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

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

Lunge vs Split Squat

Is it a lunge or a split squat?

Both exercises look similar and are great for developing your legs, however there are a couple of differences.

Both exercises see one leg forward, one back and you lowering your hips until your knees are bent to right angles…The difference however is to do with the concentric phase (straightening the legs.

Lunges: place equal pressure on the heel of the front foot and ball of the rear foot
Split Squats: the rear leg rests whilst the lead leg does all of the work

Barbell Leg Workout: For Size!

Have you ever found yourself in a gym with limited equipment?

We can get comfortable in our routine using the same machines & set ups..this isn’t great for progress but also can leave you a little lost when they’re not available.

We’ve put together this leg workout that uses nothing but a barbell & the accompanying plates.

We’ve programmed it using higher (slow) rep ranges to produce a pump (metabolic overload), however you could change this to lower rep, higher weight range for the Squats & Deadlifts for a strength focused outcome.

Enjoy,
Tom’s

Boulder Shoulder Workout

Strong Shoulders.. .

They look great & provide the foundation for all up upper body lifts…

Including shoulder development within your routine will help protect you from injury as well as aid you in continuing to progress in lifts such as your bench press…

We’ve got a simple & super effective shoulder workout for you:

– Military Press: heavy 5×5 (explosive press)
– Dumbell Circuit, slow, lot’s of tension 7reps each x 3 rounds
Front Raise
Lateral Raise
Rear Delt Flye
– Face Pull 3×10-15
– Y-Raise 3×10-15

Enjoy…

Strength vs Size

Often resistance or weight training is universally referred to as ‘strength training’, even by personal trainers. This is worrying as in the majority of cases the style of resistance they’re relating to is far from ‘Strength Training’…

It’s important to understand the difference.

Resistance Training
This is simply the process of applying resistance to a given movement therefore forcing the muscles to work harder, resulting in micro tears and inflammation. In time, given adequate nutrition & rest, this can result in larger and/or stronger muscles. The way in which this is done though will have a huge influence on the outcome.

Strength Training
Technically known as ‘Myofibrillar Hypertrophy, this is the neuromuscular process of increasing a muscles force production. This is done by lifting heavy weights in an explosive manor for short periods of time. In our world we often refer to this as ‘high weight, low rep’. This style of training relies on explosive contractions and adaptations within the muscles actin and myosin fibres which produce the contractions.

Size Training
Technically known as Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy this uses metabolic overload and the accumulation of blood and sarcoplasmic fluid within a muscle to produce micro tears to the lining , the result is an increase in size & glycogen (sugar) storage but not necessarily strength. These adaptions are achieved by working the muscle under tension for longer, with a lower weight in a controlled manor. Typically this will be achieved via sets of 10+reps lasting at least 45 seconds where the individual adds voluntary muscular contraction to increase blood flow to the working muscle. We often refer to this as ‘low weight, high rep’, training for ‘pump’ or ‘metabolic overload’.

Which One Is Best
Traditionally it was believed that Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy cannot occur without Myofibrillar as the process of lifting any weights should make you stronger right?! However new research is showing that this may be untrue and that focusing on one may result in a reduction in the other.

Sarcoplasmic Pro’s & Con’s
– quick increase in visible size
– pump feels great
– no real increase in strength
– not functional adaption – fairly useless to an athlete

Myofibrillar Pro’s & Con’s
– Functional adaption – stronger
– Great for sport
– Also makes muscles bigger
– High demand on the nervous system

We recommend using a periodised training programme that would have you working solely within each field for 6-12 weeks before transitioning to a pyramid system that utilises both for 6-12 weeks.

We will release individual articles on all 3 of these offering example training plans & rep ranges.

Regardless of which phase you’re in your results will remain dependant on applying sufficient overload to your muscles paired with adequate rest & nutrition.

Happy Health,
Tom’s