It can be difficult sometimes to know if you’re making the healthiest choices. That’s why we’ve put this simple table together to help you:
Working out is only half of your journey to smashing your goals…What you do after your workout is as, if not more important.
We’ve got 5 simple, yet essential tips to help you recover and get the most from your exercise:
Post workout the muscles and joints that you have used/targeted will be in a damaged state. Training them before they have recovered increases your risk of injury but also hinders progression as your body hasn’t had time to adapt to the previous workout. We recommend 24-48 hours rest for muscle groups before re-training. A good rule of thumb is ‘if it’s sore, rest it’.
We use the analogy ‘a workout is like taking a sledgehammer to your house, you’re breaking down muscle fibres in order to rebuild them. A lack of protein is like employing a bricklayer who has no bricks, to rebuild your house’. Amino Acids (protein) are the building blocks of muscle, you cannot recover & rebuild muscle to be stronger and fitter if you don’t have the nutrients required.
Post resistance training your protein requirements are elevated to 2.2g/kg for roughly 48 hours..eg. if you weigh 100kg you will require 220g/day of complete proteins.
Water & electrolytes play vital roles in many metabolic functions. When we exercise we lose these at an accelerated rate…Therefore it’s essential to consume water throughout a workout as well as after..It is not essential to replace electrolytes unless you are exercising for 4 hours or longer, don’t believe the Lucozade hype!
Sleep is where we heal the fastest, many amazing things happen whilst we sleep including the production of human growth hormone which helps us to repair and build new tissue. Current guidance suggests that we need 7-9 hours/night, we all know where we sit on this scale. There are plenty things you can do to improve your sleep, we will cover this in future posts.
Stretching & Mobility:
Stretching immediately after and during your recovery period will help to reduce tension in the muscles & joints, promoting a faster recovery. This will also increase your flexibility, helping you to perform better and greatly reducing your risk of injury. We have 2 stretch routines below that you can follow:
We hope that you find this helpful.
Dropping body fat doesn’t have to be complicated or require crazy diets.
The one thing that all ‘diets’ have in common, including:
- The 5:2
- Intermittent fasting
etc etc is that they produce a ‘calorie deficit’, this is the only thing that can cause a decrease in body fat.
You can reduce your calorie intake by making simple changes to your existing diet, a much more enjoyable and sustainable approach which can be done using the 3R’s system.
The 3R’s simply stand for:
This is the process of looking at which foods you can permanently remove from your diet without much difficulty. Where do most of your calories come from and are there foods here that you can live without?
Start with 1 item at a time and be realistic, once you’ve adapted to one removal you can then look for the next.
As you can imagine, this involves looking at your portions and quantities. For example reducing from 2 slices of toast to 1 will instantly halve your calories from that snack. Reducing your servings of pastas, potatoes, meats, snacks & high fat foods etc will all have the same effect.
You can bulk out your meals to ensure that you’re not hungry by increasing your intake of low calorie, high fibre foods (mainly veg) and lean proteins (chicken breast, turkey, beans & pulses).
This approach allows you to continue to eat the foods that you like, just in a moderate amount, this is especially important regarding your favourite snacks as a diet without these will have a short lifespan.
Finally, we can substitute and replace ingredients for healthier alternatives to lower our calorie intake. Great examples of this are:
– switch from butter to vegetable spread
– switch from full fat milk to semi, skimmed or even nut milks
– switch from rice to vegetable rice
– switch from sugar to sweeteners
– switch from fats to rapeseed oil
– switch to sugar free products such as drinks & sweets
– switch crisps to homemade popcorn
Applying the 3 R’s:
Naturally this won’t happen overnight and the key is in the planning.
You’ll need a good understanding of your current diet as a starting point, a great way to do this is to track your eating for a few days. A pen and paper is more than suitable, however an app such as myfitnesspal will give you all of the information that you need including which foods are highest in calories, sugars & fats.
We suggest splitting a page into 3 sections, one for each R & highlighting 1 or 2 changes for each R and slowly building on each area from there.
Over time these small reductions will add up to big change. Think of it as ‘saving £’, a few £’s here and there each day soon add up to a tidy sum.
Good luck & happy health,
The arrival of lockdown #3 just after Christmas, in the depths of winter has the potential to see many of us struggle with both our physical and mental health.
It would be easy to retreat to our sofa with our favourite foods & drinks and wait for this chaos to pass. However it is more important than ever that we look after ourselves to:
- protect our mental health
- protect our physical health
- put us in the best health possible just in case we did catch COVID
- not have to play catch up in the spring
- spend lockdown feeling good
With working from home and home schooling many of us are spending all day at home, in front of a screen and by the time we log off the last thing that we want is to exercise…We have some top tips and updates on official guidelines to help you through this lockdown:
- take a lunch break, every day!
- go for a walk before work or during your lunch break
- block out time for wellness in your diary
- track your daily steps
- find something that you enjoy
- plan your meals a week ahead
- make a shopping list & stick to it
- prepare healthy snacks for your day
- identify any barriers getting in your way, how can you address them?
- make time for downtime
- try online classes and YouTube workouts
- set yourself small targets/goals such as only having alcohol at weekends
The guidelines are clear about what we can & can’t do:
- we can meet 1:1 with another house hold for out door exercise (socially distanced)
- public places only, does not include gardens
- we can still employ personal trainers for 1:1 training outdoors (socially distanced)
- we should not do pad work (boxing) with anyone from outside our household
- we can exercise up to every day if we wanted to
We still have lenty of options….The end is near and spring isn’t far away…
It’s up to you, what position do you want to be in coming out of lockdown?
We’ve uploaded a workout we put together for a friend during lock down.. It’s a 10 minute HIIT blast, dumbells optional
Beginners: 1 rounds
Intermediate: 2 rounds
Advanced 3 rounds
Set up an interval time app on your phone for 6×30 second rounds with no rest, the video explains the rest. Enjoy
On the 13th May the UK government released their guidelines for the return of sports coaches and personal trainers in the UK.
The great news is that we’re now clear to work with the public face to face in a safe manor. For us this means:
- 1:1 only
- outside in parks & gardens accessible without entering the home
- no equipment provided by us for the meatime
- sanitation pre & post session to be completed by both parties
- a minimum distance of 2m to be kept at all times
This great news can be found here:
We’re sure that this news is as exciting for many of you as it was for us and we hope to see you soon.
We’ve got a super healthy slow cooker recipe for you that only takes 10 minutes to prepare.
Stick it in the slow cooker in the morning and forget about dinner for the rest of the day, it’s taken care of.
Prep: 10 Minutes
Cook: 4 hours on medium / 8 on low
2 Chicken breasts (Skin Off)
2 Nests of Noodles
1 Medium Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (Low Sodium)
1/2 Teaspoon 5 Spice
1/2 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste.
– Chop onions, mushrooms and crush garlic and place in the bottom of the slow cooker (cut fairly chunky to stop cooking too quickly)
– Place chicken breasts on top
– Mix together the other ingredients and pour over
– Cook on medium for approximately 4 hours
– Boil noodles and add to the soup. Slice up chicken breasts
– Serve & Enjoy
With the country on the verge of complete lock down all gyms have shut and we’re being encouraged to stay at home as much as possible.
For many this will have a huge impact on their happiness and diet & exercise routines, this doesn’t need to be the case though…Although you may have adapt there is no reason why you can’t continue pursuing your goals.
We’ve got some top tips to help you stay positive & feel fit during this difficult time:
- plan your meals & food shopping in advance (finding some foods may be difficult)
- batch cook and freeze to save time
- stick to a routine – set bed times & wake up times
- have a regular eating pattern – avoid unhealthy snacking
- go into the garden regularly to reduce cabin fever
- open windows & curtains to get fresh air & sunlight
- have music on instead of tv in the background
- make a list of things you want to achieve each day
- make time for home workouts: youtube, skype with a PT, your own workouts
- make time for Mindfulness and mental health such as meditation & relaxation
- call & skype friends and family
- try a new hobby or spend time on an existing one
- start a project
- remember: this is only temporary
Stay positive fitness friends, we’re all in this together so let’s make the most of it,
How you do an exercise is just as important as which exercise you do.
Today we’re showing you how to maximise the Upper Pectoral engagement when doing Incline Dumbbell Bench Press.
By understanding the way in which a muscle contracts you can adapt your exercises to maximise your engagement and fibre recruitment through a full range of movement.
Hey Fitness Fans,
As January draws to a close it’s a great time to take stock of your progress this year so far and set ourselves up for the month ahead.
– Did you set yourself any goals for the new year?
– How are you getting on so far?
February is historically a cold month in the UK and can feel like spring/summer is never going to come, this can have a huge effect on our motivation and lifestyle choices. We’ve got som top tips for your to keep smashing your goals for the year ahead:
- spring is just around the corner
- summer bodies are made in winter, don’t leave it until it’s too late to ‘get in shape for your summer’
- small changes make big differences: save a few calories here, burn a few there & the results soon add up
- set realistic goals
- regularly review your goals and adapt as needed
- make time for you and remember to have fun
- try a variety of exercises and sports, find what works for you
- don’t be afraid to ask for help
- keep it simple
- plan ahead: applies to food as well as workouts
You’ve got this!