Daily Archives: Jun 20, 2011
Over the past couple of years I have written endless programs and diets for a lot of ladies to follow and they have all enjoyed varying levels of success. Simply put, the ones who stuck to it got great results and the ones who didn’t stick to it failed! No surprises there then! However, one common misconception which I had to overcome with every lady I wrote a diet for was that eating 5 small meals a day wouldn’t make them fat and that jogging isn’t the best form of cardio for fat loss! Here are some pointers I would like to make clear for our female audience from my own experiences!
It is OK to eat!
I genuinely sympathise with women who read these fashion magazines full of models who are like celery sticks, because they then feel the pressure to look like that. The simple fact of the matter is these models are neither healthy or are they attractive! Having a toned, slim figure is much more appealing and an awful lot more healthy for you in the long run as well as today! Therefore I would insist you eat 5 small solid portions of food a day, with a balance of lean protein, slow burning carbohydrates and some healthy fats for your first 4 meals of the day! Thereafter, for your evening meal I would swap the slow burning carbohydrates with lots of fibrous carbohydrates instead to limit wasted energy. The logic behind this is that your metabolism will be running faster because of your frequent eating intervals, and the nutrients you are eating help promote fat loss through several pathways!
As I am into training and building muscle a lot of women I help sometimes feel in the beginning I am giving them a diet to make gains like myself! When you mention protein they tend to worry because they associate it with muscle ‘mass’! For sure, I wouldn’t recommend a lady who wants to tone up to eat 1.5g of protein per pound of body weight, but perhaps as much as 1g! If you follow my advice you will be weight training as well as doing low impact cardio, therefore your body will need this protein to help rebuild the muscle tissue. Maintaining a good level of lean muscle tissue will help burn body fat because it requires a lot of calories just to maintain! Protein is also essential for fat loss because it helps stabilise your blood sugar levels, which is vital if you are going to burn body fat!
Most women are ‘carbophobs’ because they are portrayed in these glossy magazines as detrimental to your figure! This is not the case; you just have to know what the right form of carbohydrates! Slow burning carbohydrates like brown rice, brown pasta, porridge and sweet potato are all excellent! Carbohydrates are responsible for speeding up your metabolism, so don’t sweat it, just don’t take any in after 4:00PM and you will be fine!
Fats, ‘now you’re just getting silly!!!’
Healthy fats play a very big role in fat loss and here is why my lady friend! Healthy fats help the body to metabolise stored body fat as an energy source, which basically means over time your body fat percentage will decrease. If you were to starve your body of healthy fats then it may be that your body will be more inclined to hold on to your stored body fat, because it doesn’t want to let go of what you are not giving! So you have to give your body fats with one hand, and take it away with the other!
There is a guide for our female readers as to why we tell you to eat the way we do! Crash dieting is not a solution, it is a ‘stop gap’ and it has a very short life! This way of eating is both sustainable and healthy for you, so what are you waiting for?
Having now trained for 2 ½ years, I have learnt so much along the way, I’m no expert, but have looked around, listened to people, and discovered what’s best for me. My starting point was 14 stone, and so unfit a flight of stairs would take it out of me, I was a couch potato in all honesty!
So having joined the gym, I was given a weights routine to do on resistance machines, and some light cardio work. Not knowing much I just kept going with this, and it seemed to do the trick, but at the time all I cared about was getting thin, and not adding muscle tissue, and this was down to a lack of knowledge! I decided to really up the cardio, get my fitness level up, and this in turn would get me thin and ripped or at least I thought! With that I started to run 5-6km at lunch times, 3-4 times a week. It took me around 6 months to build up to this level, and I was getting a lot happier with my fitness, but I wasn’t defined nor did I look quite like I wanted. The time had come to try and look like a cover model, get some muscles and a 6 pack – my biggest goal. In the gym I saw a PT, and got a weight training routine split over 3 days. This was a nice routine aimed at getting me some definition; however I was still running 3 times a week as I was doing this. As the more knowledgeable of you out there reading this know, those two things don’t mix very well together! My two very different training routines were cancelling one another out. At this point I was still unaware of the best way to utilise my time at the gym and get the body I wanted. To add to this I was over training my body, and this meant I wouldn’t grow at all, and gain no definition, just look thin, but in an unhealthy way. What it took me too long to learn, is that you can do cardio while you try to add muscle mass, but it’s vital you do the right kind, and allow your body to rest and grow. If I could go back in time, it would take me a fraction of the time to achieve what I have now, and all because I was doing it wrong. I was too concerned that if I didn’t do any cardio I would get fat, and too much weight work lifting would make me huge.
As I have said my biggest recommendations to anyone is read up and ask people for help and advice, the more knowledge you get the better results you achieve. This is why FitMag is such a blessing for us all, because we have access to endless advice on training, nutrition and supplementation!!!
In my next instalment I will go into more detail about the things I have learned with weight training specifically!
Getting into the zone before a workout is easier said than done! Often after a hard days graft you end up strolling into the gym instead of rushing to the place, ready to TRAIN! Slightly off topic, I wasn’t suggesting you speed to get to the gym, just in case plod is reading this!!! Therefore you have to find a way to get your head into your training session before you start, this way your intensity levels will definitely be higher and you will get more out of your workouts! Here are 3 ways I get into the ‘zone’ before a workout and I haven’t failed to batter my muscles yet!
This may sound obvious, but I am being quite specific here! Music in general isn’t my advice, what I am saying is to learn to listen to music which really gets you amped!!! Surely there is a film you watch and the track just makes your spine tingle, or a song which just makes you want to be Superman!? Make a track of these songs and play it in your car on the way to the gym or on your headphones if you walk or cycle! Once your in the gym and you begin your session, don’t let the music stop! Keep your headphones in; enjoy the shot of adrenaline the music is firing into your blood and TRAIN!!!
If you have a spare 10 minutes before you go to the gym whilst you are taking your pre-workout drink watch a video! No, not junk like Family Guy, Fonejacker or The Simpsons because funny videos put you in the wrong frame of mind! Watch a pro athlete blitz a session on Youtube or anyone else you idolise! This will have you breaking down the front door and tearing off the door handle of your car to get to the gym!!!
Negativity is my pet hate, but in the gym I love negative people! People who doubt me, people who say I can’t, people who say I will fail. Instead of my training partner, these people become my best mates because I visualise them as I am about to give up, then I keep going! OK admittedly, I milked that point but does that sound familiar? If you are skinny and you have set out to get muscle, or perhaps you are overweight and you aim to get ripped and people laughed at you, how are you going to react? My advice would be to take that and embrace it and take your gym sessions to another level!!! Then you will be able to laugh right back in their face!
There you go, 3 very easy ways to get into that zone, that place where you need to be to make your workouts count! Damn, I am pumped so I ‘gotta’ go train! Thinking about it has got me into the ZONE!
Mainstream supplements are always in your face in magazines, on websites and in gyms! The likes of protein, creatine, nitric oxide, fat burners, L-Glutamine and similar products are what I would call ‘main stream!’ However, sometimes people forget the importance of other supplements, which can potentially benefit them massively! Here are my top 4 supplements which you may have overlooked!
HMB or officially Beta-hydroxy, Beta-Methylbuterate is a fantastic supplement which could potentially offer several massive benefits as an athlete! In short, HMB helps prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue during and after training, making it a very effective anti-catabolic agent! As a result following a gruelling HMB accelerates the rate of growth because your body has to spend less time repairing damaged muscle fibres!
Glycine-L-Arginine ketoisocaproate is a very useful pre-workout supplement which I highly rate! This particular formula uses an optimum mix of ingredients to achieve maximum impact! Gakic has the ability to help you train harder and for longer periods of time simply be prolonging the onset of muscle fatigue! If you train with increased intensity, and you can train at this intensity for longer your muscles will probably be forced to grow and get stronger!!
USN Multiplex Vitamin & Mineral Complex
Not many people eat a diet where they get enough vitamins and minerals! In fact, as an athlete even if you do you may lose a percentage through intense training, therefore you need more! So many beginners are fixated with ‘muscle mass’ supplements that they forget the foundation supplements which are also vital!! Using a top class multi-vitamin can help you stay anabolic and accelerate your rate of recovery, because you’re immune function is high, therefore your body is less likely to become run down!
BCAAs are becoming more popular after a massive push among the fitness community to really promote this amazing supplement! BCAAs have the potential to help prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue during exercise, where you are most vulnerable to lose it! As a result they are an absolute must supplement in my mind, and if you don’t use them every time you train you will be thinking ‘I am losing muscle!’ because you are not getting your BCAAs in!
There are my top 4 supplements which I feel people miss out on, as they get so caught up in ‘super’ supplements and ‘magic’ formulas! Get these basics into your supplement plan along with the protein, creatine and L-glutamine and you will really see some progress!!HiweHowe
Summertime can have an effect on our appetites and the foods which we crave. In the colder months of the year, we normally crave warm calorific dense foods! During the warmer months of the calendar people normally begin to crave refreshing foods like fruit! Fruit can be the enemy, but it can also be a helping friend if you know when to eat it! For all the health and fitness advisors out there who don’t advocate fruit, here is my take and why I think the following 5 fruits should remain in your diet this summer!
Naturally I was going to start with pineapple because it is my favourite fruit! However I am not allowing my biased opinions to get in the way here! Pineapple is a very valuable fruit for a lot of athletes during breakfast time because not only does it have natural sugars to help rise your blood sugar levels, it also contains a very effective digestive enzyme known as Bromelaine! It is vital when you eat a big hearty breakfast that you provide your body with enough digestive enzymes to promote efficient digestion!
Like Pineapple, Kiwi fruits are rich in natural sugar carbohydrates which can be beneficial in the morning and right after training. However, the reason I chose Kiwi fruit in particular was because of its mammoth vitamin C stores! Oranges are often dubbed as the vitamin C fruit, although Kiwi fruits contain TWICE as much! Vitamin C plays a huge role in overall health and immune function, and as somebody who is very active your immune function can suffer! Therefore, a Kiwi fruit right after your workout is something I would highly recommend!
Antioxidants are very important to athletes because they help neutralise free radicals in our blood, which have the potential to attack our cells and cause some serious damage! Blueberries are bursting with very effective antioxidants, which I believe every human should get plenty of, but especially athletes who have a slightly more vulnerable immune system!
How often do you see a pro athlete chomping on a banana like a possessed chimp? All the time! Bananas are fantastic because they provide a solid source of energy and they are also enriched with potassium, a vital mineral to any athlete! Potassium can help improve your overall cardiac health and support healthy blood pressure! Bananas also taste great in a brown bagel or brown toasted sandwich making them the perfect snack!
This is another one of my favourite fruits simply because it tastes so good and is very quenching! However, the reason it has made my top is due to an amino acid it contains! Citruline Malate is an amino acid which is known to stimulate enhanced levels of muscle capacity, meaning your strength and muscle endurance could potentially increase! Therefore having a healthy serving of Water Melon before a workout, perhaps in a smoothie could lead you up the stair way to new gains!!
There are my top 5 fruits for everybody, and in particular athletes! There is no reason in my opinion why you cannot eat these on a fat loss diet as long as you eat the right quantities at the right time of the day! Keep sugary fruits for breakfast time and your post-workout meal and you should be fine!!