Why Cheat Days Are Killing Your Progress

The concept of a cheat day is nothing new and is very simple, it’s a given day within a period of clean eating or dieting where you allow yourself a re-feed day where you eat whatever you want.

STOP: They Are More Likely To Kill Your Progress Than Aid It!

Theories Behind Cheat Days:
1) eating lot’s of food can help boost your metabolism, counteracting it’s slowing from calorie restriction

  • The reality is that the boost has been shown to only be somewhere between 3-10% and only lasts for 24 hours
  • Exercise is a far superior method for increasing your metabolism to counter act calorie restriction

2) It aids motivation and a mental boost as you get to eat the foods that you like

  • A good diet whether for weight loss or not can and should include a healthy dose of your favourite foods – eating clean doesn’t mean complete denial of junk food therefore rendering this point invalid

What Happens When Most People Have A Cheat Day
So, you’ve been really good Monday-Friday and hit your cumulative calorie target regardless of whether it’s for weight loss or maintenance, at this rate you’ll finish your week on target, however you heard that you should have a cheat day for the reasons above (or others).

So, on Saturday you go crazy and consume double your daily allowance of calories. If you are very good you’ll then be able to return to your normal target for Sunday, however even with only 1 cheat day you’re now over your target for the entire week meaning that if you haven’t gained weight you definitely didn’t lose any.

What You Should Be Doing:

  • Remember the golden rule: there is room for all foods in a controlled, balanced diet
  • 1st & foremost weight management is a numbers game, calories in vs calories out
  • Set yourself a realistic calorie target, you can gradually reduce this down if needed
  • Understand what your current calorie intake is
  • Calorie restriction & weight loss should be gradual over a period of months, not days or week
  • Use a calorie tracker initially to understand how many calories are in your favourite foods
  • Use exercise to stoke the fires of metabolism
  • Have a re-feed/cheat day monthly or even more infrequent (should still be controlled)
  • Remember, your diet should be fairly consistent over the majority of your life, therefore drastic and extreme interventions are unlikely to have longevity
  • Play the long game & you’ll enjoy better mental health surrounding your diet

We hope that you find this helpful, happy health,
Tom’s

I’m Too Old (Inc Case Study)

We can all find reasons why we can’t exercise or eat well, unfortunately age is definitely a common one.

It may be true that as we get older we feel less energetic but the reason for this is often not down to our age but the number of years we have been inactive and/or eat poorly.

The truth is: as we get older it becomes even more important that we remain active, to:
– reduce cholesterol & blood pressure
– maintain muscle & mobility
– reduce risk of: osteoporosis, heart disease, Cardio Vascular disease and some cancers
– maintain mobility & independence
– increase energy levels
– protect mental health
– & many more

Considerations:

By all means you may have developed health conditions over the years and may be very unfit at this point, therefore the following considerations should be made before starting your healthier lifestyle (it’s never too late):

– consult your doctor regarding any pre existing health conditions
– start slow & build up the intensity over time
– favour non weight bearing/low impact exercise such as swimming or an exercise bike
– any movement is better than none
– small changes add up over time
–  consider attending a class or using a personal trainer for additional support
– always warm up & cool down
– always finish with gentle stretching

Case Study:

We’ve had the pleasure of working with many retired people and the lady below is a shining example of what we’re capable of in just 10 weeks, even at 63 years old:

Capture

Happy Health,
Tom’s

What Are Super Sets?

Super sets are a form of resistance training that sees you move immediately from one exercise to another with no rest…

This is an incredibly time efficient way of training and can also be used to increase the intensity of your workout. You can super set opposing muscles such as the biceps & triceps to save time, utilising the time that you’re resting the first muscle worked…

You could also use a super set to target the same muscle from 2 angles such as pairing a bench press with a chest flye. This will help you to continue hitting the large, primary mover (chest) even after the smaller muscles (delts & tris) start to tire…

We’ll do some videos on this which cover Pre&Post Exhaust training.

T.Bar Rows for a Bigger Back

T Bar rows are a great mass builder for the upper back…

– lift the bar into place with your legs
– keep your back straight and fold from your hips
– keep your head up
– retract your shoulder blades and pull the plates to your chest
– slowly lower and repeat
– return to the floor by bending your knees and hips

Tracking Workouts

Data plays a huge part in the success of all businesses, organisations and even our homes…However we often forget to utilise the wealth of data available surrounding our health & fitness…

Tracking your workouts is an easy way to maximise your performance and outcomes…

A simple but effective tracking system will:

  • make you more accountable to yourself
  • increase your chances of success
  • identify patterns & routines whether good or bad
  • highlight personal bests & progression
  • highlight areas for improvement
  • help you build a healthy routine
  • aid reflection and adaption in line with outcomes ie. if it’s not working you have a better chance of seeing why
  • reduce risk of injury
  • allow a structured progression = ongoing results
  • keep training varied & interesting
  • aid a trainer or coach in supporting you

How To Track Workouts
There are many ways to keep a records, they don’t have to be complicated.

We keep a record of every session we do with our clients including:
– date, time & session focus
– exercises
– weight, sets & reps
– timing
– notes on form & teaching focus

This is exactly the same information we collect for our own workouts which we then cross reference to quarterly body composition measurements.

Available Tools:
– how many minutes/week you exercise
– Smart Phone
– Fitness Apps
– Wearable Tech (fitbit etc)
– Some gyms have personalised trackers linked to CV equipment
– Pen & Paper, Diary etc

Using the Data (Example):
I’m in the gym today and:

  • It’s 28/07/19 @ 2.30pm
  • I’m training legs & shoulders
  • I’m using ascending pyramids
  • My warm up was Treadmill for 10 minutes
  • Then I write my exercises, sets weights & reps eg. Squats 100kg x 5reps, 100kg x 5reps, 100kg x 4reps etc
  • I then write down my cool down and any notes eg. my left hip felt weak

Every 6-12 weeks I then take my body composition measurements before setting my new structure for the next 3 months…If my chest grew more than my arms eg I may then steer my next 3 months to focus a little more on my arms

This approach can be applied to all of your fitness attributes and doesn’t have to be exactly the same as we’ve done it…you may choose just to focus on ensuring you spend 150 mins/week training or burn a certain number of calories through exercise each week.

We hope that you find this helpful

Go Get It!!!

Exercising In the Heat

With the UK set to reach record highs today we’ve got some top tips to help you stay fit during the summer.

It’s important to stay active even during the warm summer months, we need to be safe though, here’s how:

  • workout early in the morning or late at night
  • exercise in the shade
  • dial back the duration & intensity of your workout
  • consider paying to use an air conditioned gym instead of training outside
  • drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • limit your salt intake to protect your blood pressure & hydration levels
  • limit your caffeine & alcohol intake as they can promote dehydration
  • wear sun cream & light clothing
  • ensure you’re still eating regularly even if the meals are lighter
  • listen to your body, if you feel faint or dizzy you must stop and seek shade
  • take a cold shower
  • room temperature drinks will hydrate you faster than cold ones
  • extend your warm up & cool down
  • Remember: it will feel harder in the heat…Expect this & just go with it

Have a great summer Fitness Friends,
Tom

Stop Taking Advice

Everybody knows a little about everything, right?!

And some it seems know everything about exercise & nutrition despite having no formal training or qualifications..

Let me ask you:
– would you take a medical diagnoses from a greengrocer?
– would you take your car to a baker for an MOT?

I’m hoping the answer is a resounding no, So:
 Why would you take health advice from someone unqualified to offer it??

Sadly we seem to be surrounded by people that, because they eat food and/or exercise think that they’re qualified to offer other advice…

Some Examples of Awful advice:
– Cook in Olive Oil
– Carbs make you fat
– Carbs are bad
– Fasted Cardio will lose weight quicker
– Sit ups are best for a flat stomach

The List is Endless!!

There are huge risks surrounding this not to mention that it’s unlikely to be effective because even if it’s safe this person is unlikely to have considered the practical applications of their advice, just because it works for them doesn’t guarantee it’s suited to others.

Health & Fitness professionals dedicate their lives & huge sums of £ to studying, ongoing learning & gaining the experience & qualifications allowing them and only them to safely offer you guidance.

Filter Out Other People!!!

Stop Listening to Every Person & Their Dog When it Comes to Your Health!!!

If you need help, seek a professional with the relevant qualifications & insurance to give it

Although bordering on a rant this is valuable advice and we hope that it’s already old news for you

Happy Health,

Tom’s

£2.99 Abs

Hey Guys,

Today we’re going to show you how to get better Abs for only £2.99…
  All you need is an ab roller & your own body.

3x Ab Roll-outs to Failure
Circuit, each exercise to failure, no rest between..3x rounds, 60 seconds rest between rounds
– Jack Knives
– Sit Ups
– Leg Raises
– Heel Touches

Enjoy

Are You Over Training?

It’s normal to be stiff or sore after a workout, however if the pain is severe of you’re just not healing it’s possible that you’re over training.

It’s great to be motivated and hit your training hard but not at the expense of your physical & mental health…

Training hard needs to be met with suitable rest & nutrition to fuel your recovery, without it:
– you’ll feel crap
– be at risk of injury
– won’t make progress

Signs of Over Training:
– severe muscle & joint pain
– persistent aches lasting longer than 2-3 days
– constant fatigue & tiredness
– decreased performance
– failure to progress
– stress, depression or low mood
– insomnia/poor sleep

Avoiding Over Training:
– structure training to ovoid using the same muscles on consecutive days
– if it’s sore don’t train it
– learn how to perform exercises properly
– train with your brain, not your ego
– get 8 hours sleep/night
– protein requirements more than double following resistance workouts (48 hours)
– take the time to understand & learn about nutrition & recovery
– stretch daily
– take at least 2 rest days/week
– invest time in relaxing & de-stressing
– No caffeine after lunch

Follow these key points and you’ll drastically reduce your risk of over training, however if you’re still experiencing symptoms take some rest & deload..If the symptoms persist, see your doctor.

Happy Health,
Tom’s