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

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

Technique: It Matters!

Today is a brief one where we’re looking at why good technique is so important…

In exercise, as with many things there are more than way of doing things…again though there is usually an optimum way ie. the best technique…

In exercise & sport correct technique is vital to prevent injury and protect muscles, soft tissue & joints…

Think about an overhead shoulder press…You load the bar up with as much weight as you can just about move, you then try to throw it above your head with jerky, snapping motions and lock your elbows at the top…Just imagine how much stress that places on your shoulder, rotator cuffs and elbows – it won’t be long before you pull or tear something

Benefits of Good Technique:

  • reduce risk of injury
  • activate the intended muscle fibres
  • increase muscle activation in the right area
  • quicker increase in muscle mass & strength
  • leads to heavier lifting = more calories burnt
  • development in the muscles targeted
  • more aesthetic/balanced physique
  • you won’t look stupid (if you care about this)

Tips:

  • Before you try a new exercise invest time in learning the technique
  • We release tons of technique tutorial videos
  • Ask gym staff for advice
  • Employ a Personal Trainer
  • Start light – learn the feeling before going for it
  • use mirrors
  • film your techniques & review them
  • Leave your ego at the door..technique trumps weight/speed
  • If it hurts, STOP!!!

Remember:
You don’t get in a car for the 1st time & know how to drive….Like driving exercises are a skill that must be learn’t

Happy Health,
Tom’s

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