During these uncertain times it’s important to prioritise our mental & physical health as best as we possibly can. Creating new systems to help provide structure to our new daily routines.
Firstly quarantine shouldn’t be an excuse to stop everything you’re doing, start eating crap & giving up on yourself. This is only going to take you further away from your fitness goals.
Quarantine should be used as an opportunity to prioritise your health & fitness more & develop new lifestyle habits & routines bringing you closer to achieving your goals.
I have listed below some tips to help inspire you get your nutrition back on track:
1- Stock up on nutritious foods: Aim to buy 3-4 sources from each of the major food groups; protein (chicken, eggs, fish, Greek yoghurt etc), carbs (pasta, bread, oats, quinoa etc), fat (red meat, nuts, nut spread, coconut oil etc) & while you’re at it stock up on some frozen veggies too.
2- Portion Control: I’m a big advocate of the plate method, consisting of 3 meals per day, breakfast, lunch & dinner. Fill your plate up with 1/3 protein, 1/3 starchy carbs & 2/3 non-starchy carbs. This will ensure you’re getting a good balanced amount of nutrition per meal. Simple yet extremely effective.
3- Set Meals: Having set meals throughout the day will give you structure to your nutrition, providing you with a constant supply of energy & will stop you from grazing & potentially over eating.
4- Batch Cook Meals: Batch cooking meals & dividing them into smaller portions to be stored in the fridge/ freezer is a great time efficient way of keeping your nutrition on track for the days ahead. Think casserole, pulled pork, homemade chilli & soups etc.
5- Suitable Snacks: If you’re hungry in between your main meals, aim to eat a food source high in protein; protein bar/ protein shake, boiled eggs, cottage cheese etc. Or if that that doesn’t tickle your fancy, have a piece of fruit instead. If you’re no hungry enough to eat an apple, then you’re not hungry.
Ultimately it’s down to you having structure with your nutrition & having the discipline to follow it through.
Losing weight IS NOT AS HARD as people like to make it out to be, providing you get the fundamentals RIGHT.
Below is my fat loss blueprint that has been tried & tested & has worked wonders over the years for clients:
- Be in A Calorie Deficit: For fat loss to occur you need to create the right environment within your body. That means being in a calorie deficit daily, burning more calories than you take in each day. To many calories & you’ll gain weight, to little & your weight won’t budge. The aim is to eat the right number of calories specific to you, to allow you to fuel your body with the right amount of energy to help burn body fat.
- Regular Weekly Exercise: Following an exercise routine you can consistently stick to over time is what gets results. Newbies to exercise often naively jump into an exercise regime with two feet & commit to a schedule that is to demanding for them to keep up long term, committing to 5-6 hours of working out per week. Resulting in them burning out after only a few weeks, finding themselves back at square one again. The aim is to find an exercise schedule that fits into your lifestyle & one you enjoy! Most people can achieve great results by working out just 3 hours per week!
- Get Your Steps In: Most office jobs involve you sitting for long periods of time throughout the day/week/year. You also need to make sure that you’re staying active & getting your steps in each day, especially on days you’re not working out. Doing so will help improve your health, self-esteem & will also speed up your fat loss results. A target of between 8000 to 10000 steps per day is enough to get the job done!
If you have found these tips useful & serious about getting results & are looking for a helping hand along the way, get in touch today!
We all know, that you can exercise as much as you like, but if you’re not fuelling your body with the right nutrition, you won’t get results! In this blog I’m going to show you a simple & effective way to calculate your calories & macros (protein, carbs & fats) for fat loss.
Calories: Firstly, in order to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit, consuming less calories than you burn each day. Females multiply your body weight (lbs) by 10 & males by 12. For example; 160lbs x10 = 1600 calories per day.
Protein: Next you want to make sure you’re eating enough protein per day, as this will help your recovery & preserve/ build lean muscle tissue. Aim to consume 0.8 to 1.0g of protein per pound of body weight. For example; 160×0.8 = 128 grams of protein per day.
Fat: For brain health & host of other physical benefits, you also want to make sure you’re eating a good amount of healthy fats each day. Aim to consume 20-30% of your overall calorie intake from fats. For example; 0.3x1600cals = 480cals (1g of fat equals 9 calories) 480cals divided by 9 = 53 grams of fat per day.
Carbs: For extra energy when exercising & for going about your day, you definitely want to make sure you have some carbs factored into your diet. The remainder of your calories should be made up from fibrous carbs. For example; 1g fat = 9cals, 1g protein = 4cals, 1g carbs = 4cals.
Protein = 128g x 4cals = 512cals
Fat = 53g x 9cals = 477cals
Carbs = 1600cals – 512cals – 477cals = 611cals divided by 4 = 152 grams of carbs per day
Now simply input your numbers into your my fitness pal app & start tracking your daily food intake.
A lot of people like to over complicate things when it comes to growing stronger & building more muscle. For best results, you must train properly, get enough sleep/ recovery & make sure your nutrition is on point!
To help you on your muscle building quest, I would like to share with you the 3 keys to building strength & muscle:
- 1. Frequency: How often you train a muscle group/ movement pattern is a key component when looking to get strong & jacked. For a muscle to grow it must be regularly stimulated by resistance, around 1-3 times per week over a long period of time to get results. I recommend picking a workout routine that fits into your lifestyle & sticking to that plan for at least 6-8 weeks to see if it is working for you or not.
- 2. Intensity: If you want to get stronger & grow bigger muscles you must train with intensity. This requires you to work with close to maximum loads & placing a large amount of tension on each targeted muscle group. For a muscle to improve in both strength & in size, you must take that muscle group close to failure. For longevity, depending on the exercise, I recommend performing each exercise with perfect form, stopping 1-2 reps short of muscular failure for each set.
- 3. Volume: If you want a muscle to change, you must make sure you’re performing enough total training volume on that muscle group. Volume is sets + reps + weight for example 3 sets + 5 reps + 100kg weight = 1500kg volume for that exercise/ muscle group. Your aim should be to gradually increase your training volume over time by either adding more weight or performing more reps or sets. The amount of volume required for a muscle group to progress will differ depending on the body part being trained & individual’s genetics etc. Weaker body parts need more training volume & stronger body parts need less.
I hope you have found this blog post useful & If you are looking for a structured training plan that has it all laid out for you, download my F/Strength plan today!
There is a lot of misleading information out there on how to exercise when pregnant & as a result people are unsure about the best way to stay active during pregnancy. Can I still lift heavy weight? How many days should I exercise per week? How long should I work out for? The tips I share are from my own personal experience of working with clients, safely guiding them through exercise when pregnant.
Below are 5 general tips to follow:
- TRAIN TO MAINTAIN: You’re training to maintain. You are no longer training to lose weight & improve your body shape. Instead you are training to maintain your current level of fitness as best as you can. You are prioritising you & your babies health & are preparing your body for pregnancy.
- AVOID CERTAIN EXERCISES: Avoid any exercises that have you lying on your back; ab crunches, bench press etc. Instead try training your core by performing planks, cable wood chops, band anti rotation exercises or working your upper body by performing body weight push ups. As you progress with your pregnancy, you may want to stop using free weights & use fixed weights instead.
- AVOID LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS: As you are not focusing on improving, lighten your weights & focus more on lifting with low to moderate intensity with good technique. For example, when lifting weights for 8-10 reps, select a weight you can perform for 12-15 reps instead.
- ADJUST YOUR CURRENT TRAINING ROUTINE: Your capabilities are going to change throughout your pregnancy. As you progress, you will need to reduce the amount of days you exercise, time spent working out & the amount weight you’re lifting.
- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY: If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it! What works well for one person exercising whilst pregnant may not work for you. I recommend sitting down with a personal trainer who can carefully assess your capabilities & design a well thought out periodized training plan for you.
Always consult your GP & Midwife first before attempting any advice you may have heard or have researched. If you find my tips helpful, let me know.
Ditch the shoes for more gainz!
Getting rid of your shoes will help you run faster, jump higher & lift heavier.
Stuffing your feet in shoes for 12 hours per day, 365 days per year will cause your foot muscles, tendons & ligaments of the feet to weaken causing arthritis, achilles tendonitis, bunions & pronation of the feet.
You will lose mobility in your foot because they’re not moving around on the ground like they’re supposed to.
The structure of your hands is almost identical to your feet, imagine if you stuffed your hands in thick gloves all day, you’d decrease your awareness & sensation of those limbs.
Your feet are the only body part that are in contact with the ground when performing most exercises; squatting, deadlifting, jumping, throwing etc.
They are covered in proprioceptors which are sensors that single to the brain about the body’s positioning & alignment.
When performing an exercise, you produce force through the feet & up the kinetic chain (nerves, spinal cord, brain) to perform movement. Wearing soft/ spongey thick soled shoes can inhibit force production & in time can lead to injury.
With your feet in contact with the floor it will allow for more muscle activation and bigger gains in your performance.
For health & safety & hygiene reasons many gyms won’t allow for bare feet training. Instead try wearing a flat sole trainer like a pair of converses or any other flat sole lifting shoe & feel the benefits for yourself!
Sticking to your exercise regime when travelling can be difficult but not impossible. If you are serious about your fitness goals, you will still make time to work out. Below are 5 tips to consider when travelling on business or holiday:
- Look Up Local Gyms: Before setting off on your travels, spend some time online researching local gyms in the area you’re staying at. You could also phone up & ask the hotel if there is a gym close by. Some gyms offer day passes or week passes at an affordable price. Or alternatively choose a hotel with a suitable gym.
- Hotel Room Workouts: If you’re unable to get to the gym when on the road, your hotel room will work just fine. For hotel room workouts all you really need is your body weight & a small amount of space to get a good sweat on. Performing a few bodyweight exercises; press us, squats, sit ups & burpees for high repetitions with short rest periods work well. You could also use your suitcase or rucksack as a weight for some exercises, to help get the job done!
- Exercise Bands & Suspension Trainers: To help intensify your hotel room workouts, I’d recommend packing 1-2 exercise bands & or a suspension trainer. These exercise tools are extremely easy to pack, they are light in weight & take up very little space in your luggage. Both pieces of equipment are extremely versatile allowing you to perform many challenging exercises; banded push ups, banded deadlifts, suspension rows, suspension split squats etc. all in the comfort of your hotel room.
- Try Out New Exercises: Instead of sticking to the same exercises you are used to doing, switch things up a little & try out exercises you wouldn’t normally preform or have access to back home. Doing so can help make your workouts more interesting & fun.
- Exercise Outside: Perhaps you are away somewhere hot & sunny, if so, choose to swap the 4 walls of the gym for the glorious outdoors. Changing the environment you work out in can provide additional health benefits & a different training stimulus. The extra vitamin D from the sun will do your skin & wellbeing wonders, along with the mixed terrain & outdoors obstacles will help keep your workouts challenging.
Now that the festive season is over & everyone’s motivation to get fitter stronger & healthier this year, is at an all-time high, I’d like to share with you my 3 top tips to help you along your transformation journey.
1. Set A Goal: Setting yourself a goal will help give you a focus & a sense of direction on your fitness journey. Your goal determines what course of action you take with your exercise, nutrition & lifestyle. Your goal should be specific to you. If your goal is to lose weight, great! How much weight? 1/2 a stone? 1 stone? 3 stone? Be specific. Once you have established what it is you want to achieve, write it down somewhere, doing so makes your goal real & not just another thought.
2. Set an End Date: Everything that is important in life has an end date. For example, if you are going on holiday, you need to pay your money upfront by a set date. Or if you have bills to pay, you need to make sure you have paid them by a certain day. If you’re serious about getting results, you must treat your fitness goals in the same way. If you wish to lose weight before going on holiday, set that as your end date, then count back the weeks until you go & give yourself enough time to achieve your goal to avoid disappointment.
3. Monitor Progress: Many people fail to reach their fitness goals because they simple don’t monitor their progress. Monitoring your results over time will allow you to see if what you’re doing is working or not & can also help boost motivation levels. Progress can be easily measured by regularly recording a few basic measurements; scale weight, body fat percentage, body girth measurements (hips, waist, legs etc), progress photos, clothing size etc. Whatever your goal, be sure to monitor it & be patient on the results.
Christmas night outs, family visits, epic meals & new year festivities can make it difficult to fit in your exercise & stay on track with your nutrition during the festive season.
Below are my 5 top tips to help keep your health & fitness in check:
1. Eating slowly & stopping when you feel “satisfied” instead of “stuffed” is a simple & effective tool to help curb your holiday eating. It takes 15-20 minutes for your digestive system to let your brain know that you’re satisfied. When you slow down & savour your food, you will feel more content with much less, meaning you will eat less & will enjoy your food more. Eating slowly will also allow you to try all the delicious foods on offer at granny’s buffet without guilt or the feeling of needing to “work it off later”.
2. Christmas is a time for giving, with many work places bringing in sweets & chocolates for all to share daily. Rather than eating a few quality streets/ celebrations try to hold off for something worth having. If a work colleague brings in a homemade chocolate cake on Friday, take a slice & enjoy it, without worrying about all the other indulgences you’ve had throughout the week.
3. December can be a mad rush, trying to fit in visits & catch ups with family & friends before Christmas. If you find yourself eating out a lot, don’t panic, enjoy it. Rather than starving yourself all day because you’re going out at night for dinner, try to eat healthy throughout the day, such as porridge for breakfast, a big green leafy chicken salad for lunch, a protein shake, fruit with yogurt or a handful of mixed nuts for healthy snacks. This will prevent you from craving everything on the menu & you will be able to enjoy your meal knowing you made good healthy food choices earlier in the day.
4. As Christmas draws in closer many people will skip their planned workouts for “that last bit of Christmas shopping” or “after work Christmas drinks”. So rather than skipping your workout, aim to get your exercise in before work or even at lunch time. If you miss a workout don’t let that put you off for the rest of the week, simply make time to exercise the next day.
5. If you regularly workout for 1-hour multiple times per week, however due to the busyness of the festive period you are struggling to find time to exercise. To avoid “falling off the wagon” for the rest of the year & undoing all your hard work, try reducing the duration of your workouts to just 30 minutes. During this time focus on the quality of work performed rather than the quantity of time spent working out. Performing body weight exercises at home is a great way to fit in your exercise when pressed for time. Pick 4x body weight exercises; squats, press ups, plank, burpees & perform each movement for 40s of work with 20s of rest, rest for 60s & repeat for 5 rounds for a quick & effective 25-30-minute workout. It may also be worthwhile booking a one-off appointment with a personal trainer who can prescribe a suitable workout for you to perform. Something is better than nothing & the key to success is consistency.
I truly believe the above tips will serve you well. Be mindful of your health & fitness goals & remember to enjoy yourself, it is Christmas after all!
Fitness doesn’t take 15 hours a week to be in shape & to be fit.
Most people are under the impression to lose weight & get fit you need to be in the gym for hours at a time, 7 days a week. Thankfully this is not the case.
You can torch fat, stimulate lean muscle, improve overall health & boost your fitness levels by exercising just 30 minutes, 3 days per week.
Rather than spending 1-2 hours in the gym walking around, taking long breaks & not having a plan, focus on the intensity & quality of work performed over the quantity of time you spend working out.
In these 30 minutes bouts of exercise you want to make sure you are training with high intensity & are executing good quality movement. This approach is a more time efficient & sustainable for most people.
Along with making sure you’re keeping active; walking, stretching, foam rolling, playing tennis, football, yoga, hiking & in general just doing things you love, will serve you well & will yield results.
Below is one of my favourite time efficient workouts for you to try:
30 Min Fat Burning Workout:
OMEM: On The Minute Every Minute
Perform each exercise on the minute, rest the remainder of the minute before performing the next move. Once you have performed the last exercise, rest the remainder & start again from minute one. Repeat circuit 6 times for an effective full body fat burning workout.
- Minute 1: Press Ups x10
- Minute 2: Split Squat (Right Leg) x10
- Minute 3: Split Squat (Left Leg) x10
- Minute 4: Suspension Row x10
- Minute 5: Reverse Crunch x10
(Repeat for 6 rounds)
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog & I hope the information I’ve shared with you will help you towards achieving your fitness goals. If you would like to work hire me as your coach, I offer 121 personal training, small group fitness classes or 121 nutrition coaching, contact me direct; [email protected]