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!!!

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

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

I Don’t have Time!

Time is something that we all share equally but how we use it is very different….

TIME..is undoubtedly the #1 reason we hear for people not looking after themselves, what makes us good at our job though is that we refuse to accept this EXCUSE…

Effective time management is a powerful tool and today we’re sharing some time efficient tips to help maximise your health & fitness…

Starting Point
Where is your time going?

Completing a time diary/audit may surprise you, Eg. how many minutes/day are you on Social Media or watching TV?

  • Turn off social media notifications
  • if you sleep 8 hours/night this leaves you 16 hours/day
  • an hour workout is 4% of your day, 3 workouts/week is plenty
  • the UK government recommend 300 minutes exercise/week, this can be done in as little as 10 minutes chunks when heart rate >60% max
  • Plan your week & time ahead, factor in time for food prep & workouts
  • cook in bulk and freeze for busy days
  • exercise in your lunch break
  • prepare your gym kit for lunchtime or a workout on your way home
  • active commuting: walk to work or park half way and walk the rest
  • Set daily and/or weekly goals
  • Be flexible & willing to adapt/change your plans
  • have a back up plan
  • take the stairs – always!
  • Set golden rules – eg. I MUST workout 3x/week, I will only have 2 takeaways/month
  • Find sources of inspiration: quotes, videos or idols
  • Choose a mantra eg. I’ll feel better if I exercise & eat well

We could continue for a while, but that wouldn’t be time efficient 😉

We’ll leave you by referring to our previous article that looks at setting your priorities, the key point being that your output in life is only increased by prioritising the foundation of everything you do, this being your health.
CLICK HERE

Happy Health,
Tom

Fruit & Nut Flapjacks

Try these tasty Fruit & Nut Flapjacks for a healthy, balanced snack with no added sugar

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10-14 minutes

Ingredients:
– 1 cup porridge oats
– 1/4 cup raisens
– 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
– ground cinamon
– 2 bananas (mashed)

1. Nonstick cooking spray
2. Preheat oven to 350° F or 170°d
3. Lightly coat large baking sheet with spray. Set aside.
4. Combine oats, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl; mix well.
5. Add bananas, raisins, and walnuts; mix well.
6. Drop mix onto baking tray.
7. flatten cookies with a spatula.
8. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes or until firm.
9. let cool, slice & enjoy

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
(per serving):
Calories: 104
Total Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 73 mg
Carbohydrates: 18 g
Fibre: 3 g
Sugars: 6 g
Protein: 2 g

Winter Vegetable Soup

Warm up with this simple & nutritious Winter Vegetable Soup…

Serves: 4
Prep: 10 Minutes
Cook: 45 Minutes

Ingredients:
Carrot 330g
Swede 250g
Potato 350g
1 leek
1 onion
200g turnip
50g cabbage
1.5ltr veg stock
1 Garlic clove
Thyme
25g butter

  • Chop all the vegetables into small pieces or slice in a food processor
  • Melt the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onions on a low heat until softened
  • Add the leaks and crushed garlic clove and cook for a few more minutes until cooked down
  • Add all the remaining vegetables and stir so coated in the butter
  • Cook for 5 more minutes
  • Add the vegetable stock and thyme. Bring to the boil and simmer for 30-40 mins or until vegetables are soft.
Allow to cool and blend.
Serve & Enjoy

Challenge Yourself

Who doesn’t like the feeling of achievement?!

Setting yourself Goals & Challenges is a great way to stay motivated and something to work towards, to cap it all off at the end you get an unrivaled sense of achievement…

Your goals don’t have to be huge, they could be something as simple as improving your lap time around the park by 1 minute in the next month.

The key to setting goals & challenges is to keep them SMART…We’ve mentioned SMART goals before and undoubtedly will again, for now here is a little reminder…

Related image

At the end of every GOAL should be a reward whether internal or external….Last Sunday that’s exactly what we got when we took some of our Boot Campers to an 5k Inflatable Obstacle Race…Not only did we all get medals and freebies but of us including our trainers felt an immense sense of achievement that already has us focused on finding our next challenge.

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What will your next challenge be?

 

What Is Pre-Exhaust Training?

As the name suggests, Pre-Exhaust training is  a system that aims to Exhaust/Fatigue a certain muscle group. This is done using an isolation exercise such as a flye or extension before moving on to a compound lift such as a press or squat.

Why Use Pre-Ehxaust?
It is important to understand that muscles work in pairs to perform movements, for example the chest pairs with the triceps to push whilst the back pairs with the biceps to pull.
With this in mind, picture the size difference between the biceps and the back, which one do you think will fatigue first?  Given the biceps considerably lower size and power output its very likely that their fatigue would prevent us from fully overloading the back.

This is where Pre-Exhaust training comes in, by using an isolation exercise such as a reverse flye we can start to fatigue the back without placing stress on the biceps, this ultimately will allow us to perform a greater volume on the compound exercise.

Studies have shown that Pre-Exhaust training is an effective method for allowing a greater volume of work resulting in greater overload and muscular adaptation.

How Do I Use Pre-Exhaust?
Perform 1-2 isolation exercises on your target muscle group (3-4 sets each) before moving to 2 compound exercises (3-4 sets each).Isolation Exercises:

  • Chest: Flyes, Cable Cross Over
  • Back: Reverse Flye, Reverse Cross Over, Straight Arm Pulldowns/Pullovers
  • Shoulders: Side Lateral Raises, Front Lateral Raises,
  • Legs: Leg Extensions, Hack Squats, Leg Presses or Squats

Overnight Oats: Ready Made Breakfast

Do you find yourself rushing in the morning?

Did you know that people that skip breakfast have been proven to have less healthy lifestyles and are more prone to weight gain?

Eating a balanced breakfast can be easy though, you can prepare this filling, nutritious treat the night before in just 2 minutes.

Prep: 2 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
30 grams Porridge Oats
Palm full of Nuts (we used hazelnuts)
Semi/Skimmed Milk
Ground Cinamon
Fist Full of Frozen Berry Mix
tea spoon of seeds (we like chia)

Instructions:

  1. Place the oats in a glass kilner jar
  2. add the nuts
  3. add a fist full of berries
  4. add a teaspoon of seeds of your choice
  5. add cinnamon (flavour to taste)
  6. cover to the top of the oats with milk
  7. seal the jar and shake
  8. leave in the fridge over night
  9. take out the following morning, 5-10 mins before you want to eat
  10. Enjoy & full full for longer