What types of carbs are there?
-Simple carbohydrates e.g. sugar, honey, corn syrup. These consist of 1 or 2 sugar units.
-Complex carbohydrates e.g. vegetables, whole grain seeds, potatoes. These consist of 10 to several thousand sugar units.
Fun Fact: Excess complex carb consumption is actually worse for those wanting to minimise weight gain than excess fat consumption. This is because storing 300 calories of carbs burns 30 calories to turn the carbohydrates into fat for storage, meaning 270 of the 300 calories consumed are stored as fat. Although this dosen’t mean you should avoid fats as they have there place and the ACSM recommend they make up 20-35% of an active persons diet.
However, not all simple carbs are digested quickly and some complex (slow digesting) carbs such as potatoes are actually digested faster than apples (a fast digesting carbohydrate) causing a more rapid rise in your blood sugar levels. This makes the GI index safer to use- especially for diabetics. Low GI foods include but are not limited to; sweet potatoes, porridge, eggs and fish. A high glycaemic diet (one high in sweets etc) puts you more at risk of type two diabetes and heart disease.
Brand-Miller et al (2005) and Warren et al (2003) found a low GI diet increases feelings of fullness after eating, improves appetite control and makes it easier to achieve a healthy body weight.
Do I need to cut out carbs to lose weight?
The simple answer is no. Carbs provide energy to the body and are the main source of fuel.
If you're in a calorie deficit you will lose weight whether or not you eat carbs, however there are many negatives to a low/no carb diet. For example, low carb diets can cause tiredness and a lack of concentration. It's also unsustainable as you can't build treats into your diet!
Of course there's an optimal amount of cabs for everyone to consume to reach their fitness goals. It's key to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, to ensure weight lost is fat and not muscle the correct amount of protein, fats and carbs should be consumed. These are called macronutrients.
How many carbohydrates do I need?
If you train for less than an hour per day: 3-5g per kg of body weight per day.
If you train for 1-2 hours daily: 5-7g per kg of body weight per day.
If you train for 1-3 hours daily: 7-12 per kg of body weight per day.
If you train for more than 4 hours daily: 10-12g per kg of body weight per day.
Do low carb diets work?
A low carb diet causes a glycogen depleted state, this makes athletes (and general gym goers) choose a lighter weight or a lower intensity exercise as workouts feel more intense. This makes achieving goals of muscular strength or hypertrophy (growth) much harder to meet as the stimulus being placed on the muscles is lower.
‘But so and so lost X amount of weight in X days on this low carb diet!’ Yes they did, but do you know why? The body stores 3g of water with every 1g of carbs, this means lots of weight is lost in the first few days however this weight is WATER and will not give you the appearance of a lower body fat percentage. Plus low carb diets are unsustainable and as consistency is key for physique changes, you will find the weight does not stay off.
When is the best time to take carbs?
How fast can my body digest carbohydrates?
Your body can digest 60g carbs (240 calories of carbs) per hour of exercise, although later research shows this can be as much as 90g during intense exercise!
Applying this to your diet:
By Laura Ciotte PT
Laura is a personal trainer from Worthing, she specialises in fat loss for busy people.
Hello and welcome to my blog, todays post is going to teach you what you need to know to get big and strong. A lot of people underestimate how important diet is in gaining muscle mass, therefore I will be covering both training and nutrition (without boring you with too much detail).
Firstly we will be looking at your nutrition, you need to be consuming more calroies than you burn in order to gain weight. However, too many excess calories and you’re looking at fat rather than muscle gain. In order to prevent this follow the reasonably simple formula or click the button at the end if ghis article to have this done for you!
Of course the quality of the food consumed is important as 2000kcal of chocolate and crisps will affect your body differently to 2000kcal of chicken, rice and vegetables. Follow these basic guidlines to maximise your success in gaining muslce:
You can also have your macronutrients calculated (link here) to ensure you are having the correct amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats. This will allow you to gain maximum muscle mass with minimal fat gain.
For size gains (which is understandably what the majority of indivduals are after) training in the 8-12 rep range works best. Three to four sets (depending on the size of the muscle group) for 8 to 12 reps is a good starting point. For someone starting out with weight training compound movements (which require movement at multiple joints) work best for fast results.
See this sample beginner workout below:
*Assisted if necessary. Please visit my youtube channel to see demonstrations of all the exercises.
This workout should be done three times weekly with at least one day in between. To prevent boredom and maximize progress a workout should be repeated six times. For further beginner workout programmes or a custom plan visit the 'Fitness Services' icon at the top of the page.
Three Bonus Tips To Gain Muscle:
1) Progressive Overload
Moving heavier loads over time, you can also increase the reps and sets.
To build muscles after 'damaging' them in the gym. Shoot for 2g per kg of body weight.
A tough one I know, but aim for 6-8 hours per night.
By Laura Ciotte PT
Laura is a personal trainer from Worthing, she specialises in fat loss for busy people.
So You Want To Lose Weight?
There’s a maze of diets out there, I understand. The question is what one do you follow?
The answer is simple my friend, the one that is easiest for you to stick to.
‘What dieting is easy??’
Nope. We just need to make it as easy as possible. You see all diets work by putting you in a calorie deficit, which is where you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re using on a daily basis. Therefore your body has no choice but to use those unwanted fat cells for energy, meaning you shred fat and lose weight.
So how do I do that?
Simply eat less and move more. You’ll need to pick a diet that makes you eat fewer calories, here are a few of the many options (and the best options):
Paleo: Pretty much if a cave man or woman ate it, you can eat it. Think fruit, vegetables, nuts, grass fed meat and fresh fish, refined sugars, vegetable oils, potatoes, pasta, pizza or anything processed. Nice and easy to follow as you can eat as much as you want of these foods, however if you’re not in a calorie deficit you won’t lose weight. The idea is that cutting out processed c**p does this, but there’s no guarantee you’ll be consuming few enough calories for weight loss. You can always pair this with calorie counting.
Ketogenic: Low in carbs, moderate in protein and high in good fats, the idea is that the fat fills you up. Eat lots of fish, egg yolks, olives, nuts and nut butters whilst avoiding higher carb food items such as bread, pasta, rice and biscuits. It’s good because the fats help keep you full for longer as they take longer to digest, however like the paleo diet there is no way of knowing whether you are in the required calorie deficit, unless you pair the ketogenic diet with calorie counting.
*Best For Fat Loss* Calorie counting: Simply enter each food/drink item you consume into an app like myfitnesspal and ensure you don’t go over your calorie ‘allowance’ for the day. This works best if you look at your diet and swap the higher calorie options for lower calorie things as it gives you more calories to play with. For example, swap a can of coke for a can of coke zero (saves 130 calories), cook with frylight instead of oil (saves around 100 calories), and skipping the cheese on a burger or jacket potato (around 100 calories depending on serving size). Advantages are as long as you’ve worked out your calories correctly, and don’t have any underlying medical conditions you’ll lose weight, but it can be a little time consuming (not a very good argument in my opinion- takes 5 minutes, tops).
Don’t want to track calories?
That’s (probably) ok.
Here are 5 things you can do tomorrow that (should) put you in a calorie deficit, without the need to track what you’re eating:
1 Consume less cereal, and have tea or water instead of juice at breakfast.
2 Replace pasta/rice/bread with vegetables.
3 Stop snacking - or have carrot/cucumber sticks.
4 Swap high calorie drinks for zero or low calorie options.
5 Walk 2000 steps more than you did today (trackable on my fitness pal).
Try these for a couple of weeks, and if no weight comes off, we can look at counting calories
All too often, we forget about the role breathing plays in exercise, from simple yoga poses to the most high-intensity workouts. To some extent, it’s natural to assume your body will adjust as needed, such that your breathing will catch up (or slow down) to whatever it ought to be. This, after all, is more or less what happens when we run or walk. However, it’s not always that simple. To get the most out of your workouts, and to go about them in the healthiest way possible, it’s also necessary to learn some specific breathing techniques.
Exhale On Lifts, Inhale On Returns
Regular weightlifters who have had some experience with training will be familiar with this technique, but it’s something that should be the foundation for everyone’s resistance training routines. So, if you’ve ever wondered how to breathe while lifting, or if you’re susceptible to getting a little bit inconsistent with your breaths, remember that you should exhale while exerting, and inhale when easing up. As a broader guide to workout breathing described it, contracting the respiratory muscles (by exhaling) will help brace the load and maintain lumbar stability. The “easy part,” letting a weight back down, allows you to slowly relax your body as you take in more oxygen.
For Abs, Squeeze On Exhalation
This is a trick a lot of people don’t know until they’ve been told to try it, and in fact it’s popular in some workout programs that you can subscribe to or buy tapes of. The idea is that as you exhale, you should squeeze from below the navel, basically contracting your abdominal muscles so as to get a little bit more out of a workout. It actually makes very clear sense: inhaling and exhaling with any degree of force actually uses your so-called stomach muscles, which makes this a way to effectively double down on an ab workout.
Breathe Deeply To Centre Yourself
I mentioned yoga poses previously, and it’s actually these kinds of exercises that teach us how to stay relaxed, centered, and ready for more vigorous activity through deep breathing. A blog post about breathing techniques for certain kinds of activities pointed out that deep breathing exercises can make your respiratory process more efficient, which is a lasting benefit rather than a momentary one. This basically means that by practicing these techniques – things like alternate nostril breathing, Sama Vritti, etc. – you can essentially prime your system for optimal breathing when going about other activities. So if you want to get the very most out of your workouts, both in cardio and resistance training, it’s best to devote some time to practiced, deep breathing. <br />
In this article readers will learn exactly how you can educate and qualify yourself to be a fitness professional, and work as a fitness instructor- leading group classes such as spinning and circuits.
1) Choose which awarding body you will be best suited too.
The two main ones are AIQ (Active IQ) and YMCA, these awarding bodies are the most recognised in the United Kingdom and are therefore the ones that most gyms and employers prefer you to have.
Choosing an Active IQ qualification means you can register with REPS (the register of exercise professionals) upon completion of your course- you will then be able to pay a yearly fee to be featured on their website, and have their public liability insurance which is a must have for all fitness professionals!
Although you do have to do CPD (continual professional development) to stay registered with REPS, however you should be doing that anyway and most fitness instructors really enjoy the chance to learn new things to include in their classes and own training!
YMCAfit are part of the YMCA charity which helps develop skills within communities, they’re associated with training for young people and fitness qualifications.
You’ll need to gain either the AIQ Level 2 Gym Instructor Qualification, AIQ Level 2 Exercise To Music Qualification, or the YMCA Exercise To Music (ETM) Qualification.
2) Choose a course type that you wish to enroll on.
Think about whether you are most suited to distance learning or would you prefer to learn from a mentor, or even in a group with other students?
If you are self motivated and happy to plan when you will revise and stick to it, then a distance learning course will be suitable for you as it is flexible enough to fit completely around your other commitments. However, if you haven’t studied much on health and fitness before, or you are not self motivated then you may find it useful to have a mentor to teach you and help with accountability.
If your schedule is very flexible, or you’re taking a gap year for example, then a group course may be suitable for you as this is usually the quickest route to qualification as it’s full time. However, if you are currently working set hours this can be a difficult option unless you have a large amount of annual leave saved up!
3) Complete your learning assessment portfolio (LAP).
For this section of your training course you will need to answer a series of questions and worksheets using the relevant units in the course manual. These are fairly straightforward as there is no memorising to be done, they simply check your understanding of key topics.However, your course tutor will provide support should you need help and guidance to complete your portfolio.
4) Revise and prepare yourself for your theory exams.
There are two (with AIQ), understanding the principles of exercise, and anatomy and physiology. To study for these theory exams you should use your course manual to make learning resources such as quizlet quizzes, flashcards or mind maps. Just think about what you have done to revise for previous exams and get creative with your revision!
5) Get prepared to take your practical exam.
Upon passing the two theory exams you will begin preparation for the final exam- the practical one. Here you will be delivering a gym induction with an assessor (who may or may not be your course tutor) watching. They are observing you delivering a number of different exercises and deciding whether your sessions was safe and effective, if so well done!
6) Upon passing this qualification you need to decide which CPD courses you would like to take. The easiest way to do this is by deciding which exercise classes you enjoy participating in and would like to teach. So if you enjoy spinning take an AIQ or YMCA group cycling course, or if you enjoy circuits classes take AIQ or YMCA Instructing Circuits. These courses are far shorter in duration and usually consist of a learner assessment portfolio and a practical exam where you deliver a sample session of the class you are qualifying to teach.
If this is something you may be interested in use the button below to find out more.
Not only are bootcamp classes a super effective way of shredding fat and toning up fast, but they also take the stress out of exercise.
No pieces of paper with workouts on, and you have an instructor to ensure you’re doing everything correctly.
What’s not to love?!
Here are seven additional benefits you may not even have considered.
One of the hardest parts of exercise is sticking to it.
It’s easy to be motivated for a day or even a week, but once the going gets tough it can be easy to lose motivation.
Having a fun group of people waiting for you and motivating you to get that extra rep really pushes you to get the results you're after.
Everyone Is Welcoming
If you’re considering a bootcamp but haven’t tried one out yet, I bet the most significant reason is because you don’t feel fit enough?
I’m correct aren’t I?
Well then, you should keep at it!
All the other boot campers started from scratch (some are probably even less fit than you are), so don’t expect you to complete the session with ease.
In fact, everyone breaks a sweat because we give more advanced exercises to our fitter members, and easier modifications where necessary so everyone keeps up and has fun.
Not only is someone expecting you to turn up, which makes it just that little bit harder to press snooze multiple times, but the instructors and other boot campers are there to provide support when it gets tough.
Don't worry though, we are here to help you lose weight and tone up, NOT endure a military style workout!
None Of The Boring Stuff
It’s easier to stay motivated when you haven’t got to do any of the boring bits like getting equipment, planning a session etc.
Now all you have to do is show up and have fun with your new friends!
Sessions Are Fun
Even adults like playing, and with fun games such as handball and tug of war (suitable for all abilities), you can leave bootcamp feeling happy and relaxed.
Every session includes at least one game; either in the warm up or the finisher (sometimes both).
Each session is different, so you never get bored, and sometimes we include buddy training! Here you partner up and complete exercises with someone of a similar ability.
Get Results Fast
No one knows how to get your beach ready faster than our team of qualified trainers. We know how to push you just enough to get results fast, but whilst still feeling fabulous at the end of a workout.
We are experts after all!
With 6 sessions for £30 our memberships are barely more than the price of a gym membership, which let’s be honest 2/3 people don't use anyway!
You’re also getting far better value, as we’re always here for support and guidance- unlike many gyms!
Plus did I mention the class to instructor ratio is always low to ensure all participants have the correct technique.
If you want to lose weight and tone up, whilst having fun click the button below to claim your free trial session.
Here are four handy tips for managing knee pain and sculpting your legs:
#1 Include more hip dominant work.
This strengthens weak glutes and hamstrings, which contributes to knee pain, as muscular imbalances between the quads and posterior chain will lead to excess pressure being placed on the knee joint, and therefore knee pain.
Include more glute bridges, hip thrusts, leaning lunges and donkey kicks to strengthen the glutes.
Utilise seated or lying hamstring curls, deadlifts and glute ham raises to target the hamstrings.
#2 Swap walking or forward lunges for reverse lunges.
Reverse lunges place less stress on the knees than forward or walking lunges do.
Another knee friendly lunge variation is reverse land mine lunges, as these allow you to maintain a virtually vertical tibia- putting less stress on the knee, something which is not as simple with other loading methods.
Both can be used as accessory movements after squats or deadlifts, simply perform 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps on each side.
It's also effective to complete your hip dominant work before the quad dominant work, when you're fresh at the start of a training session.
#3 Try Reverse Sled Drags
The weight will vary massively depending on the surface you're working with, for example you'll get a much lower weight on a surface like rubber, but aim for 25 metres for 4 sets. This works best at the end of your workout, or superset with ab work to save some time!
No sled? Get creative and make one!
If that's not an option due to space/equipment in your gym, try walking backwards on a turned off treadmill set to a slight incline. Feel those quads burning!
#4 Use training systems that increase the intensity without requiring heavier weights.
This reduces the weight placed on your knees, but still allows you to apply progressive overload to the leg muscles.
Try eccentric training, matrix 21's, supersets and dropsets.
Eccentric training: Use body weight negatives, two up one down negatives or partner assisted negatives.
Matrix 21’s: 7 full reps, 7 reps at the top half of the movement, followed by 7 reps at the bottom of the movement.
Supersets: performing two or more exercises back to back without rest.
Drop Sets: when you reach failure at a certain weight, reduce the weight and continue until you reach failure again. Rinse and repeat.
Do you have injuries but still want to lose weight? Find out how I can help you by clicking the button below.
(A.K.A. How To Track Macros)
What Are Macros?
The problem with restrictive diets such as the paleo or clean eating diet is that they ignore the most crucial factor when it comes to losing weight; the energy balance equation. If you're consuming fewer calories than you burn then you're guaranteed to lose weight. The problem with this is that it is too simple- weight loss doesn't necessarily mean fat loss, and this is where macros come into play.
Macronutritents (or macros) are the amounts of protein, fats and carbohydrates that we should consume to minimise muscle loss and maximise fat loss, this ensures that an 'aesthetic physique' will be gained.
For example, a 70kg weightlifter may have 2122 calories when in a cutting (weight loss) phase. This would be made up of 140g protein, 284g carbs and 47g fats. He/she then needs to select food which meets this criteria, a good rule of thumb is 80% 'clean' foods and 20% 'bad' foods.
This makes sure you maintain your general health whilst still losing weight and having a balance which allows you the odd alcoholic drink, chocolate bar etc.
Therefore, if you wish to have fish and chips for dinner you simply reduce your total calorie, fat and carb intake slightly for the rest of the day. This can be as simple as having a smaller portion of pasta with your lunch!
This approach allows you to have 'bad foods' daily, providing they are in moderation.
How To Calculate Your Macros
1) Use myfitness pals Baseline metabolic rate (BMR) calculator. Note: I am not part of their company this is merely a recomendation to a useful free tool!
2) Multiple your BMR by your physical activity level (PAL).
This is 1.2 if you’re immobile, 1.4 if you have an inactive job e.g. office worker, 1.7 if you have a reasonably active job e.g. shop assistant or 2.0 if you have a highly active role e.g. bricklayer.
For example my BMR is 1,162kcal and I have a reasonably active job so 1,162 x 1.7 is 1,975kcal. These are my maintenance calories- for if I don't want to gain or lose weight.
3) Decide whether you want to gain or lose weight.
For weight gain: To minimise fat gain we will be conserative with our extra calories and add 10% to our maintenance calories. E.g. for me this is 1,975kcal x 1.1 which is 2,173kcal. This is the amount of calories I will consume on the average daily whilst on a muscle gaining phase.
For weight loss: To avoid muscle loss and make sure it's just fat we are losing, we will put ourselves in a 500 calorie deficit each day. To do this simply subtract 500 from your maintenance calories. For example my maintenance calories are 1975 so my calories for weight loss are 1475.
4) Calculate your macronutrients.
Protein: 2g per kg of bodyweight. E.g. I weigh 70g so need 140g protein per day.
Fats: 20% of your calories should come from fat. So if you're consuming 2000 calories per day you should be consuming 400 calories from fat, divide this number by 9 to get the grams of fat you should be consuming. So in this example 400 divided by 9 is 44.4, so consume 44g of fat.
Carbs: The rest of your intake should be in the form of carbs. To work out how many grams this is multiply your protein intake by 4 (e.g. 140 x 4 = 560) and add this to your calories from fat (e.g. 560 + 400 = 900). Then subtract this from your total calories ( 2000 - 900 = 1100) and divide this number by 4 to get the grams of carbohydrates you should be consuming (1110 divided by 4 = 275g).
So in this example the person will be consuming:
How To Apply This To Your Diet
The easiest way to actually track your macros is by using my fitness pal. Some foods are easier and you can scan the packet and add the quantity consumed, whereas other like restaurant meals can be more complex and you'll need to search for them in the app.
It works best if you track throughout the day, rather than waiting till bedtime to find out you've already overeaten.
Sources of each macronutrient are detailed below:
- Protein: Chicken, turkey, beef, pork, lamb, eggs, yoghurt, cottage cheese, protein powders/bars.
- Carbohydrates: Pasta, rice, potatoes, rice cakes, bread, oat cakes, fish, popcorn.
- Fats: Avocado, cheese, nuts, seeds, nut butters, coconut.
Do you want to know how to build a great set of glutes and tone your butt?
Start lifting. Here's my top five exercises for glutes:
1) Hip Thrust- You'll need a bench and a dumbell.
Here's how to make sure you're not wasting your time with hip thrusts:
Tip #1 Look Forwards Not Up
This helps to shift the focus onto your glutes and off the lower back by increasing posterior pelvic tilt. In English that means it engages your glutes more, which leads to a great behind (over time of course).
Tip #2 Don't Let Your Knees Turn Inwards
At the top of the rep make sure your knees are not turning in- keep them over your pinky toes! Not only does this help keep your knees healthy but it also makes sure the glutes are activated.
Tip #3 Push Through Your Heels
Push through your heels as you push your hips up to make sure you're targeting the glutes and hamstrings (rather than the quads). There's nothing worse than heels leaving the floor during the hip thrust- keep your weight on them.
2) Smith Machine Donkey Kick- Can use a dumbell if no smith machine available.
Two Tips For Effective Donkey Kicks:
Tip #1 Keep Your Back Straight
Make sure you keep your back 'neutral' so it's not arched or bent forwards, as bad posture during exercise puts unnecessary pressure on your spine.
Tip #2 Pause At The Top
Hold the top position of the exercise for a second for maximum growth.
Tip #3 Keep Your Body Still
Don't let your body twist as you kick your leg back, ensure you're keeping your torso still throughout the entire set of donkey kicks.
3) Sumo Squat- Works great with a kettlebell!
Tip #1 Keep Your Back Straight
Keep looking forwards throughout the exercise and brace your core, imagine bringing your bellybutton towards your spine- this helps keep your back straight.
Tip #2 Push Through Your Heels
This increases glute activation and helps prevent unnecessary strain on the joints and tendons.
Tip #3 Keep Your Knees Behind Your Toes
Don't let your knees slide further forwards that your toes when performing the sumo squat, to help prevent this make sure your hips are dropping straight down and not coming forwards as you lower yourself into the squat.
4) Split Squat
Tip #1 Don't Lean Forwards!
This can happen when your hips come back up faster than your shoulders do. Keep the exercise slow and under control and stick your butt out as you lower yourself out to help prevent this happening.
Tip #2 Look Forwards
When you look down your back rounds, it's as simple as keeping your head up and looking forwards whilst performing the split squat to prevent this happening.
Tip #3 Raise The Platform
Raising the platform that your rear leg is on will make the exercise harder without increasing the weights your using. A great alternative when looking to increase the intensity and make those glute gains.
5) Reverse Lunges- Add weight!
Tip #1 Keep Your Knees Behind Your Toes
Allowing them to slip forwards over your toes will place unnecessary stress on your knees.
Tip #2 Keep Your Head Up
When you keep your head up and back straight during the exercise it helps stop your back rounding.
Tip #3 Use A Bar For Balance
If your balance isn't quite up to reverse lunges yet- set up the bar on the smith machine to stomach height and place one hand on it for balance. Gradually place less of your weight on the bar as your balance improves.
P.S. Don't wait till you're in a calorie deficit to start adding mass to those glutes. If you need to speak to me about this, feel free to use the button below!
By Laura Ciotte PT
Laura is a personal trainer from Worthing, she specialises in fat loss for busy people.
Pad work is a great way of having fun whilst completing your cardio, which as you know is both good for the heart and speeds up fat loss when cutting. It's tough both physically and mentally and is one of the best forms of training to combat stress. Here's some fun ways you can include in your training:
1) High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): 10 rounds of 20 seconds maximum effort punches, alternating with 40 seconds of a lower intensity exercise such as sit ups.
2) Tabata: 8 rounds of 20 seconds max effort punches, alternating with 10 seconds rest.
3) As part of a circuit to raise the heart rate, for example:
- 10 Squats
- 10 bent over rows
- 10 push ups
- 10 sit ups
- 20 seconds punches
That's great but what muscles am I training?
When throwing a punch you'll work the chest, triceps, lats, abs, deltoids, flutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. So not only are you shredding fat you're also activating a lot of muscles!
These drills can use hooks, jabs and uppercuts. Here's how to perform each safely.
Holding the pads for a hook: Brace the arms whilst rotating the shoulders and torso slightly to meet the punch, therefore absorbing most of the impact.
Throwing a hook: Allow hand to drop slightly to allow the shoulder to role, as this takes place the hand comes round and up with the hand rising.
Holding the pads for an uppercut: Brace the elbow, shoulder and wrist when the uppercut is thrown, also perform slight flexion of the hip to absorb more of the impact.
Throwing an uppercut: Allow shoulders to rotate slightly away from pads, the back foot rotates to point towards the opponent, the punch should land with the elbows behind the fist and the knuckles parallel to the ceiling.
What body position should I adopt when holding the pads?
Typical stance position, but with your shoulders square to the opponent and the pads held shoulder width apart, slightly in front of the face, keep the elbows down.
So after reading this you should now be able to include some padwork in your training, thanks to Origym for the Boxing Padwork Course!
One of the most common questions I'm asked is 'Can I use X for HIIT/LISS?'
So if you haven't got boxing equipment, and don't wish to invest in some pads and gloves here my friends, is the answer...
Best equipment for HIIT Training:
1) Spinning bikes
2) Outdoor Sprints
4) Rowing machine
Best equipment for LISS Training:
1) Your feet (yes walking!)
2) Cross trainer
3) Recumbent bike
Eccentric training is a training system which pushes your muscles past their normal point of failure by focusing on the eccentric contraction, this is the contraction where the muscle lengthens as opposed to a concentric contraction with the muscle shortens. For example in the bicep curl the eccentric part of the movement is lowering the weight and the concentric part of the movement is raising the weight, therefore with eccentric training we will focus on increasing the stimulus on the muscle whilst lowering the weight.
One way of including eccentric training in your workout program is by using forced repetitions; you will need a partner for this one. If you are using forced reps your partner will assist you in the concentric phase of the movement as you will be using a way that is too much for this section of the exercise, it will be whilst lowering the weight during the eccentric part of the movement that you will be putting an increased workload on the muscles. For example on a bench press your partner will help you lift the barbell up and you will lower it by yourself, therefore using more weight and overloading the muscles more than a usual bench press.
If you don't have a partner you can use bodyweight negative's for eccentric training. For example in a pull up you will jump up to the top of the bar and lower yourself slowly down, therefore using more of your body weight in the eccentric part of movement then you are in the concentric section of the pull up. This is useful when starting out with pull ups, as many people can’t handle their own body weight at first.
Another way you can use eccentric training is by using two up one down negatives. You will use both limbs to raise the weight and just one to lower it. For example when doing a leg extension, use both legs to raise the weight, then take one out and lower the weight slowly down back down. Repeat for the desired amount of reps and then swap legs.
The fourth way to use eccentric training in your program is the change the tempo of your lift. You will need to raise the weight at your usual speed but then take 3 to 5 seconds to lower the weight back down. For example when squatting, move upwards at your usual pace but take 3-5 seconds to lower yourself back down.
The best way to use eccentric training is at the end of your workout on your last lift.
How to include eccentric training in your program safely:
• Always warm up and cool down properly.
• Ensure adequate recovery between sessions as eccentric training boosts the intensity of your workouts.
• Do not expect to use more than 40% extra weight on the eccentric part of the movement, start off lower and increase as necessary.
• Use a spotter as you're using extra weight!
• You are stronger in the eccentric part of the movement then in the concentric part.
• Use eccentric training at the end of your workout to boost the intensity.
• You should limit the frequency at which you use eccentric training to ensure adequate recovery.
• You are 30 to 40% stronger eccentrically!
• It is a great tool for bursting through through plateaus.
If you are serious about losing weight, as tempting as it is, science is in favour of ditching alcohol. Research shows that alcohol consumption increases the levels of cortisol in our bodies. According to nutrition expert Philly Mac Mahon from Fit Food “having an increased level of cortisol in our body means more stress and a diminishing physiological ability to burn belly fat.”
But as a client debated with me “after a long hard workout, nothing quenches the thirst like a nice cool crisp pint of larger.” Despite advocating protein for the benefit of muscle repair, metabolism increases and hunger reductions for the next meal, it’s a losing battle. Alcohol is by far way more enticing than your sweetest, tastiest protein shake! So, if you are going to drink post work out, why not make these booze swaps which will help you on your journey to your goal of losing that excess belly fat.
1. Swap Beer for Red Wine
Despite research showing that beer can replenish hydration post workout faster than
drinking water alone, it is still very high in carbohydrates and calories. Instead of indulging in a large pint of beer with 208 calories, opting for a glass of red wine can reduce the calorie count from 200 to 120.
With Hop’s being the main ingredient in larger, it can actually boost the female sex hormone oestrogen. If you are a woman this is great news. Low sex drive is actually as a result of low oestrogen. However, if you a man, this means your muscle building abilities post training are reduced if you drink a pint of beer.
2. Swap the Whiskey Coke for Vodka Soda
Although Soda Water on its own might not taste as good as coke, it has 55 less calories.
And if we are comparing light versus dark spirits in terms of a hangovers the Vodka Soda is actually a double win. Clear spirits contain less hangover toxins than dark ones. As we all know, when you are hungover we tend not to care about all of our new good formed nutritious habits. We opt for the hangover saving fry up which contains about 1000 calories!
So swap the Whiskey Coke for a Vodka Soda with a bit of lime and you will find yourself
reducing calories more than you think!
3. Swap the Long Island Iced Tea for a Bloody Mary
Cocktails are notorious for being high in calories. The long Island Iced tea is no exception, racking up to 780 calories per serving. A bloody Mary on the other hand has 600 less calories! As a tip, make sure you request fresh tomato juice with your Bloody Mary. Tomato juice when fresh provides vitamin C and lycopene which is an antioxidant linked to the reduction of prostate cancer.
Booze swaps won’t do it alone!
Despite these booze swaps helping you on your journey to banish belly fat, you must
remember, alcoholic drinks are empty calories. A gram of alcohol contains seven calories, just two less than a gram of fat. And despite its bad rep, fat actually contain vitamins and other compounds essential to good health whereas alcohol is just empty!
To ensure you get towards your goal walking is a good start but getting a consistent training programme of lifting weights is one of the best ways to banish belly fat for good. For a more in-depth insight into how you can banish belly fat without even entering the gym why not check out my online coaching programme.
Are You Making These Mistakes With Your New Years Resolution?
A lot of us are making resolutions in 2017, and that's great! But do you know what sucks? Not meeting your exciting new goals.
Apply these five points to your resolutions this year and make 2017 your best year ever.
1) Make it realistic.
It's unlikely you're going to look like a cover model by February, but losing 4lb of fat is achievable for most.
2) Make it actionable.
If you're 10lb overweight- setting a goal of losing 10lb and keeping it off is realistic, but what are you going to do to get there? Instead of making 10lb of fat loss your resolution- make 3x weekly gym sessions, with a 500 calorie a day deficit (for example) your goal, as completing these actions will get you to your goal/resolution.
3) Make the actions in point 2 realistic.
Don't think you can make it to the gym every day? That's fine, neither can I. Exercising for thirty minutes three times a week, most of the time is much better than exercising every day but giving up by the 23rd January.
4) Be consistent.
Ties in nicely with point 3, by being consistent and trying to fit your workouts in at a time that works for you- exercise and healthy eating will become a habit.
5) Don't give up.
One missed gym session.. One bad meal.. No biggie. A month of no exercise and a week of bad eating.. You're loosing track of the great habits you've created. So don't let one small slip up dictate whether or not you achieve your resolution.
6) Track Your Workouts
Are you looking to gain some muscle mass, as well as loss fat?
If so are you keeping a training log?
No? Why not.. If you're not tracking you workouts you can't be sure you're applying the key principle of progressive overload.
Progressive overload = Increasing the demand placed on your body over time.
Looking to gain muscle? You can increase progressive overload by increasing the weight, reps or sets, or by decreasing the rest periods. Ensuring you consistently increase the demand placed on your body will ensure you gain muscle (when paired with a calorie surplus).
Looking to lose fat? You can apply this principle of progressive overload by increasing the duration of your cardio, working harder (increasing your rate of perceived exertion), including longer work periods in HIIT, or using a more intense exercise e.g. hill sprints rather than treadmill sprints.
Need some help with this? I've got five spaces opening up, with a free trial period!
My New Years resolution is to help others more ;)
Drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re reading this it is likely you are one of the 1000s of women who think lifting heavy weights will make you bulky, and that’s not your fault. Blame the media!
Here’s why lifting weights is good for women (and won’t make you bulk up):
Reason #1 Female bodybuilders don’t look that way by mistake, it takes a lot of planning and preparation. It requires years of dedication and consistency, as well as a massive amount of food (and in some cases performance enhancing drugs). You won’t look like you’re about to step on stage after training with weights for a year.
Reason #2 You train for the results you want. If you’re looking to be an elite bodybuilder you’ll be training for 2 hours 6 times a week, whilst eating a calorie surplus. If you’re just looking to improve the shape and size of your body you’ll combine weight training 2-3 times a week with a healthy diet and a small amount of cardio.
Reason #3 You won’t wake up tomorrow with muscles like Kai Green. It takes months to see massive changes in the size of your muscles, so you’d decrease training volume if you ever did decide for example, that your biceps are too big.
Reason #4 You’ll burn more calories when you start weight training, therefore increasing your metabolism making it easier to get yourself into a calorie deficit- and therefore lose fat. Let’s face it- who wouldn’t want to swap jiggly fat for lean muscle.
So put down those 5lb dumbells and start deadlifting. You won’t regret it.
Here’s some reasons why:
Reason #1 You’ll feel more confident in a swim suit. Weights and a solid nutritional plan are the key to a lean, toned physique.
Reason #2 You’ll burn more calories 24/7 thanks to an increased metabolism.
Reason #3 You’ll fit into those skinny jeans again as muscle is denser that fat.
Reason #4 You’ll lose your bingo wings (if this isn’t a good enough reason I don’t know what is).
Reason #5 You’ll strengthen your bones, reducing your chance of osteoporosis related fractures.
Example weight training workout for women:
High Blood Pressure?
If you have high blood pressure it is crucial you control it to avoid being one of the 62,000 unnecessary deaths per year from poor blood pressure control in the UK.
Here are some steps you can take to decrease your blood pressure:
1) Increase the amount of aerobic exercise you do e.g. brisk walking, jogging and cycling. Exercising for 30 to 60 minutes three to five times per week reduces systolic and siastolic blood pressure by 2 to 3mmHg on average (Duncan et al, 1985) and (Blumenthal, Siegel and Appelbaum, 1991).
2) Follow a lower calorie diet if you are overweight. Healthy diets that are lower in calories tend to have a modest effect on blood pressure reduction in overweight people with high blood pressure, averaging 5 to 6 mmHg in trials (Jalkanen, 1991).
3) Reduce alcohol consumption. Over 21 units per week for men and 14 for women is associated with raised blood pressure (Hart, 1999). However, it appears that moderate alcohol consumption has little effect on blood pressure.
4) Reduce your caffeine intake. Caffiene can increase blood pressure by 5-15mmHg systolic and 5-10mmHg diastolic for several hours after consumption (Rosmarin, 1989).
5) Quit or reduce smoking to decrease blood pressure. Peto et al (2000) found a strong link between smoking and cardiovascular disease and pulmonary disease.
6) Decrease the amount of salt in your diet. Consuming less than 6g per day has been shown to decrease blood pressure by 2-3mmHg in those with hypertension, by up to one year. However, reductions in blood pressure do tend to reduce over time (Hooper et al, 2002).
7) Reducing stress has shown to have a significant role in decreasing blood pressure, reducing it by 3-4mmHG (Canino et al, 2000) and (Agras et al, 1987).
The benefits of exercise for people with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis are numerous and include; reduced joint pain & stiffness, improved mobility & flexibility, reduce deconditioning of the muscles (muscle wastage) and maintained independence.
Here are seven tips for you to bear in mind when exercising to receive the above benefits:
1) Avoid excessive repetition of the same joint actions e.g. prolonged one legged stances or stop start activities like field sports.
2) Avoid over stretching joints, although stretching is great when done properly!
3) Reduce the load immediately when pain or swelling occurs whilst exercising.
4) Wear appropriate footwear to maximise shock absorption during weight bearing activities.
5)Avoid exercises that require you to be in one position for a long period of time e.g. kneeling exercises, or exercises on all fours.
6) Avoid fast direction changes for example those during a shuttle run.
7) Exercise in the late morning or early afternoon as joints should be less stiff.
8) Chair based exercises work well if you are less mobile, or unable to stand for long periods of time.
For sufferers if rheumatoid arthritis you should never exercise during flare up phases as this can cause further damage to the structure of your joints. During remission phases you are best to spend your time strengthening the muscles around the joints through full range of movement.
If you suffer from medical conditions such as diabetes, obesity, COPD, asthma etc. I am working on building a GP referral scheme so you can train with someone who has good knowledge of your medical requirements during exercise, please contact me for more details.
More Comprehensive Service
Very few personal trainers offer 24/7 support for their clients like us online trainers do. It's also easy to look online and compare different trainers and their programmes- something which would be close to impossible with in person training.
If you've discovered a personal trainer online it's more than likely its because their knowledge and amazing client results are prominent on social media. You know you're getting a trainer who knows his/her stuff.
Remember it is more than money you stand to lose with an inadequate personal trainer. It's all the time and effort you've put into your workouts.
You can access the top personal trainers, regardless of where they're located.
With the rise of the internet it doesn't matter of you're located in a different continent to your favourite trainer, you can access their wealth of knowledge from anywhere at anytime.
It is Cost Effective
When you compare 121 personal training with online coaching the cost advantages become clear. Utilising online coaching allows you to receive a whole month of training sessions for the price on one!
This is because the majority of personal trainers are fully booked during peak periods (mornings and early evenings). so online training allows us to make the most of our schedules.
No Time or Location Constraints
By training with an online coach you no longer need to worry about changes to your work/social schedule, you know you can always fit in a workout with your trainer whatever changes you need to make to your diary.
Online coaching allows you to have your meal plans and workouts in the palm of your hand on your mobile phone, so you literally can take it anywhere!
Have you vowed to get more active as a family this summer, however you are not sure where to start?
Perhaps you would like to get fit but you struggle to find the time and want to combine spending quality time with your family and getting active.
There are many activities you can choose from, so you can try them and find what that your family might want to continue doing.
Depending on the ages of your children you might be more restricted as to what activities you can do, however most of the ones I have selected can be enjoyed by most ages.
There are plenty to choose from and I would love to see pictures of you and your family getting active this summer.
Are there any other activities you think would be great?
Is getting active as a family important to you?
Comment below with your thoughts, as I would love to hear them.
If you would like any help getting fitter and healthier this summer, please just drop me an email at email@example.com
A photo from a twelve mile walk on my latest holiday in Greece.
Why is this relevant you may ask?
Well the energy balance equation is key in your success. If you are losing weight you need to be in a calorie deficit and if you're gaining weight it is crucial that you are in a calorie surplus.
So if your goal is weight loss you need to be eating less and moving more. This walk burnt over 1000kcal for me at 73kg (calorie expenditure varies based on weight, gender etc).
Now I don't suggest you go walking 12 miles every cardio session to put yourself in such a large calorie deficit as this would take up too much time and cause too much weight to be lost (if you are eating at maintenance calories or even in a deficit).
Now what I do suggest is that walking is a great option for cardio- if this is what you enjoy and if it's sustainable for you.
Burning 250kcal walking will have the same effect on your weight loss as burning 250kcal on the cross trainer, the only difference is it will take more time to burn 250 calories walking. So if you have the time and enjoy walking more than regular cardio, don't sweat it (literally).
If walking isn't for you and you want to lose weight in as little as sixteen minutes per day use the button below.
BONUS- Five Fat Loss Hacks (That Don't Involve Walking)
1) Increase your NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis). Get more active, fidget, walk to places, pace whilst on the phone.
2) Stay stricter at weekends, don't waste a weeks hard work on alcohol. Go for the lower calorie options if you want to get drunk- and make sure you track it!
3) Cure your sweet tooth with healthier swaps. Go for sugar free jelly, Diet Coke or no calorie monster rather than grabbing a chocolate bar.
4) Plan ahead. Pack low calorie snacks (avoid nuts!)
5) Avoid cooking your foods in high calorie oils or butter, use low calorie sprays; you won't even notice the difference.
Laura Ciotte is a personal trainer and tutor/assessor for trainee personal trainers. She is based in Worthing, West Sussex and likes travelling, motorbikes and good food.
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