Home Archives 2011 June 3

Daily Archives: Jun 3, 2011

What is really stopping you getting what you want?

Whether it’s your goals in the gym or goals in your life, what is it that’s really stopping you?
It has become a hobby of mine to listen in on other peoples conversations while out and about in the gym or in cafes….not in an intrusive manner, or to be rude but I find people watching and hearing how others think, fascinating. A couple of recent gems that have made me want to write about them in this article.

Man in starbucks: ‘I’ll go for the fruit muffin rather than chocolate today as I’m being good…..I’ll get one of my five a day that way too…’ he was dead serious too…..GUILTY

Girl in gym changing room: ‘I’ll never lose weight, it’s just my body type…’ GUILTY

Lady in PT consultation with me: ‘it’s alright for you to say….its easy for you’. GUILTY

Guilty of what?
Making excuses for the facts.  Clouding the truth with excuses.
It’s one thing to say you want to achieve a better body/eat better/be fitter/ but are you actually prepared to change something in order to actually do it? My last blog mentioned how it was a sign of madness repeating the  same actions and expecting a different result.

Gym receptionist: did you try the zumba class yet, like you wanted to?
Gym member: really don’t know how I would fit it in…..so busy
Receptionist: we have 7.30am, lunchtimes at 12.15 and 7pm in the evening. Can you fit one in?
Member: well I only get up at 8am, lunchtimes are out of the question and evenings I like to leave and go straight home.
Receptionist: wow, lots of excuses (said jokingly!) are you not prepared to change something just to try the class….?
Member: errrr perhaps….

Classic example of declaring you want to do something and it’s everyone else’s fault you don’t achieve it.  How many times have you gone out for dinner and succumbed to peer pressure for the extra bottle of wine/dessert/bread basket when you promised yourself this time it would be different.  Because you can blame another person and that lifts it away from you.

When you decide to embark on a training and eating plan YOU are responsible for your results! If you state to those around you how you’d appreciate their support and respect in your quest, to not try and pull you off course, more often than not you find that you become an inspiration.  Countless times I’ve said to friends, ‘this is what I’m doing, let me be successful as it means a lot to me’.

The support factor is essential to a competitor like me.  I did have to say to friends that I wouldn’t be going out in the weeks leading up to competition, I stayed in and prepared my food, got my recovery and planned the next day’s training.  However, now that show day has passed I can live back in the real world for a while, go out for my friends birthday, have dinner and drinks and thank them for letting me be me.  They have been a support the whole time, even if they don’t realise it. By inviting them to the show they can see the end result and they walk away proud of me and with an understanding.

From Sunday, it begins again.  The 12 week countdown to the next show.  It’s time to up my game and push myself a little more.  Over the next 12 weeks I will be documenting my training, nutrition and progress right here.  It’s not all plain sailing as you’ll see, but that makes the end result so much more worth it.

Choose a goal. Make a plan. Make it happen.

Volume training is a very popular form of working out, and it does hold the potential to offer great gains. However, the application of this form of training must be correct otherwise you will end up going nowhere!

To begin with, you must understand what exactly volume training is and also what the pitfalls of using it can be. Volume training is exactly what is says on the tin, it consists of lots of working sets usually within the range of 25-40 with repetitions ranging from 8-15 normally. There are some major benefits to this style of training; however there can also be some major problems.

The secret to successfully utilising volume training is to keep the intensity of each session very high. This means that if you are performing 30 working sets within your workout; keep that session to within an hour. If you were to do 30 sets and keep the rest periods to 2-3 minutes between sets your time in the gym is way too long. Spending over an hour is usually not advisable simply because you will be catabolic; therefore your training isn’t productive!

Volume training is great to use some of the time, but when? The best body parts to use volume training on are major muscle groups such as your legs, back and maybe your chest. With such big muscle groups as your back, this form of training is sure to hit every angle and completely fatigue your target muscle group. That is the whole idea of volume training, to know that by the end of the session there is absolutely nothing left in the tank. This form of training will see your endurance during the session put to the test, as performing so many sets in such a short period of time will challenge your ability to push through the pain. Obviously your strength levels will suffer slightly, therefore you need to push as hard as you can to and beyond failure to ensure your muscles are been stimulated!

Volume training is a great way to shock the muscles because if you usually perform 12-15 working sets, doubling that is certainly going to be a huge shock to the muscles. However, make sure every set does count and you are not just ‘repping’ out sets for the sake of it. If you are, you may as well go home. Volume training is intense and you need to get your head into, in order to make every set count!

You can potentially benefit from added fat loss when using volume training due to the nature of the system. However, as mentioned before do not over use volume training because you will just over train!

To conclude, I would advise using volume training as a means to shock certain muscle groups every now and then, and to also spike your metabolism! I wouldn’t make it my training system for every day use because your body will soon get run down!

Thickness is something which usually comes with time as your muscles mature however there are certain things you can do to help develop overall muscle thickness! There are also some mistakes you need to avoid which will potentially slow down the process of building thick and dense muscle!

So what is thickness? It is developing a physique which looks more 3 dimensional, where your muscles look full from all angles. For example, a lot of the time you will see people from the side and their arms may look big, but front on their arms are paper thin! That is a lack of muscle thickness. Here are my top 4 tips to getting a thicker set of arms in the shortest time possible!

Tip 1 –

Don’t get too carried away with isolation movements! These are great for building muscle, yet compound movements are the best way to pack on thick muscle mass! To develop thick biceps, try using heavy hammer curls instead of dumbbell curls every other week! Doing this will certainly add overall thickness to your arms and it will also help you develop some juicy forearms!

Tip 2 –

Hit barbell curls every week without fail! Barbell curls are a fantastic mass builder for your arms and they really promote thickness in the area as well! Opt for a close grip so that you are hitting the outer portion of your biceps. The outer heads of the biceps are often neglected; stimulating this area will ensure that front on your arms look THICK!

Tip 3 –

Triceps are a huge proportion of the arm, and if you have weak triceps you won’t have a nice thick look at all! People go over board with isolation movements for triceps! Again you need to use them, but don’t neglect compounds. Hit the close grip bench press and straight bar pushdowns every week! When you do pushdowns, put your hands close together, this will hit the inner portion of your triceps, giving a very thick and 3 dimensional look to your arms!

Tip 4 –

Your body weight is often more challenging than any weights resistance on a ‘like for like’ machine. Therefore make sure you perform close grip dips on your triceps day, this exercise is fantastic for developing thick triceps! If you can lift your own body weight easy, just add weight plates to your lap and this will soon make it harder!

Following these tips will help you add real thickness to your arms very quickly. It isn’t just the size of your arms; it is the density and thickness which looks really impressive! Now you know what to do, get to it!!!

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One of the most beautiful places to relax is on the beach, on a hot sunny day! The sound of the waves crashing against the rocks, the smell of sea salt in the air and the warmth of the sun heated sand on the soles of your feet are all very calming. OK, enough of that nonsense, the point is that the beach can be a great place to workout if the gym isn’t your kind of place!

Most beaches have masses of space therefore you can exercise in complete peace and quiet, without worrying if there are people watching you or getting in the way. There is something about the beach which makes it a nice environment to be in, which will certainly enhance your mood towards exercise if you find it hard to get motivated! You can also get a sun tan whilst training, what could be better? So whether you don’t like gyms, or you are going away on holiday this summer here is a ‘beach workout’ guide for you to stay in shape!

Beach Workout Circuit –

Perform each of the following exercises for 60 seconds flat out, getting as many full repetitions as possible done in that time! Take 30 seconds rest between exercises. Complete 3 circuits of these exercises! These circuits can be performed 3 times a week if it is going to be your main point of exercise.

Wide stance press ups

Bench dips (on a rock, bench etc)

Crunches

Explosive squats

Lying hyperextensions

Close stance press ups

These exercises are not just thrown together for the sake of it; instead they have been chosen to help target different areas of the body. By following this exercise plan you will be giving your core a great workout and you will also be burning a lot of calories, keeping your heart rate elevated. This workout only takes 27 minutes, yet it is extremely intense. Therefore it is ideal for the summer, perhaps whilst you are on holiday and you just need to stimulate your muscles and keep the body levels down.

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Dreaming about a toned and curvy sexy butt?  No worries believe me, you can make it!  With training and nutrition you can finally achieve what you have always wanted.

I am a Scandinavian girl who naturally has quite a straight skinny body. Personally, I always had a small and flat butt… I was the girl thinking can I ever get nice shaped curvy bikini body…And finally, thanks to all my hard work I can now see the results!!! It is like designing…Thinking what exercises you should do more of and how to improve the weak parts of your body.

I have the type of body which loses muscle easily and just gets skinny so I try to avoid long duration cardio. Instead I concentrate training hard with weights, sprinting and plyometric training. So basically I am trying to shock my muscles by using different methods, using my legs and buttocks different ways to maximise the muscle stimulation!

Exercises I find the best and have provided the best results for me are deep Squats, walking lunges, one leg lunge or incline lunge, sumo squat, jump squat, step up, Romanian dead lift, Bulgarian split squats or one leg press.  I train lower body twice a week and vary the exercises every few weeks.  My target every time is to get that little bit of soreness so I know I have really used my muscles and that it is working.

And do not forget stretching!  That helps with circulation and good circulation helps with cellulite. Long stretches for problem areas will improve the flexibility and circulation and at help eliminate cellulite.  Stretching also helps to improve your muscle size. If the tissues around the muscles are really tight they might limit the amount of space your muscles have to grow.  So it really is an important part of training. That also helps to avoid injuries and soreness after a hard training session.

The most challenging thing is to keep the curves even when the fat percentage is low. To do this you have to make sure when dieting that nutrition is varied and you will get enough protein to avoid muscle loss.  Always when dieting, your nutrition should be well planned to make sure you will get everything you need and keep your body healthy.

So now all you have to do is get in the the gym and train your ‘butt’ off!!!

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