Apple Cider Vinegar
Tip; Next time you clean your shower, mix 1-2 cups vinegar with 2 squirts of dish washing liquid. Warm up in the microwave and apply to glass doors in your shower. No scrubbing required !
2. Lowers blood sugar levels and helps fight diabetes.
3. Lowers Cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.
4. Is a great over all tool in the combat against fat, especially around the stomach and love handles!
Recently I completed the Kokoda Trail.. For those that dont know what the Kokoda Trail involves, here is a brief description;
The Kokoda Trail or Track is a single-file foot thoroughfare that runs 96 kilometers overland – through the Owen Range in Papau New Guinea. The 1942 World War II battle between the Japanese and Allied – primarily Australian – forces, was located on this track.
The track begins from Owen's Corner , which is 50 kilometers or about a 30 minute drive from PNG's capital Port Moresby, and continues across rugged and isolated terrain which is only accessible on foot, to the village of Kokoda. The steepest part of the track reaches a height of 2,190 meters as it passes around the peak of Mount Bellamy and through extreme dense forest, rivers and mud, which at times goes up to your knees
Hot, humid days with intensely cold nights and torrential rainfall add to the challenge the track already imposes. Depending on the pace you set the track can be completed within 4 days and up to 12days. There is a Kokoda race held annually and currently the fastest recorded time is 16 hours 34 minutes. ( Source; Wikipedia).
Training consisted of walking with a large pack carrying approximately 20 kg. 6 months out i did my first walk of 2 hours with the pack. Over time the walks increased to eventually 4-5 hours with a reduced weight of 12-15 kg. Apart from the obvious cardio training I completed, 3 months out I started to incorporate more specific training that I thought I needed based on how my body was feeling after my weighted walks. This consisted of;
If you have any questions about the exercises above, my training in the lead up or even about the Kokoda Trail itself please do not hesitate to get in contact with me or your local personal training in Charlestown.
Every day, as a fitness professional and a weight loss specialist I am faced with questions from clients around training, nutrition and rehab. I have decided to compile the top 8 questions here. If you feel this was of value it would mean a lot if you share this with your friends on facebook via the link below.
1. What Is the Best Way to Lose Fat? The simple (and complex) answer is that there is no “best way” to lose fat. Each client will respond differently to a training program. However, there are some principles you can apply when designing your programs.
Activities that incorporate many muscle groups and are weight bearing use more calories per minute and are therefore better suited for fat loss than non-weight-bearing activities that do not use many muscles.
Both strength training and endurance exercise have been shown to decrease body fat percentage. However, aerobic exercise appears to have a greater impact on fat loss than does strength training (Ballor et al. 1996; Dolezal & Potteiger 1998; LeMura et al. 2000).
Once again everyone is different, MY personal preference is resistance training (weights) with a short burst of interval (cardio) training at the end. Check out some of my clients results HERE
2. If I Lift Weights, Will I Get Bigger Muscles?. So this question is mostly aimed at females. Generally speaking, males acquire larger muscles than females do, because males have greater amounts of testosterone and other sex hormones that influence protein metabolism (Tipton 2001). Thus, females experience less muscle hypertrophy with strength improvement than males do.
In a nut shell, unless you are taking steroids or are a direct decedent of the Greek God Zeus you WILL NOT get bigger. Weight training has massive benefits for weight loss and building lean muscle mass for both males and females..... So get lifting!
3. How Do I Get a Flat Stomach? Genetics also plays a role in whether or not you can obtain a flat stomach or a “six-pack” look.
Having said that, two types of exercise can help: strength training and cardiovascular exercise. Doing 'ab' exercise after ab exercise is simply not good enough to get the shredded look. In order to see a six pack you must first remove the fat surrounding the stomach. This can be difficult as most people carry all their weight here, and in most cases this is the last area for fat to disappear when losing weight.
Above all of this it is extremely important to work your nutrition that is well balanced. Without this achieving abs will become extremely difficult, if not impossible.
4. Should I Do More Cardio or Weights? That really depends on what results you want. If you are training for a sports specific goal, example; A marathon runner, then lifting heavy weights and doing little cardio would not do you any good.
If your goal was simply to lose weight and improve on your general health I would be focusing on a mixture of styles of training incorporating the FITT (Frequency Intensity Time Type) principles.
5. Do I Need to Take Dietary Supplements? In short, no.
Unless you have a deficiency in your nutrition and have been recommended by a health care professional I would not worry to much about supplements.
The supplement industry is a forever growing market with numerous potions and powders promoting a 'healthier' body. Although not necessary, these supplements are my favorite on the market; Super greens, multivitamins and a protein powder.
6. Why Are My Muscles Sore After a Workout? Soreness results from high force production when an exercise is new or a load is greater than normal. Furthermore, eccentric muscle contractions (where the muscle lengthens as you lower a weight) cause more soreness in the days following the workout than either isometric contractions (where the muscle does not change length, when holding a weight) or concentric contractions (where the muscle shortens when lifting a weight).
This soreness in the days after exertion is called delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) (Armstrong 1984; Clarkson & Sayers 1999). Although many people think that lactic acid is the cause of muscle soreness, the fact is that lactic acid (lactate) is removed from the muscles within 30 to 60 minutes after exercise, so it is long gone by the time soreness develops.
Generally speaking, the soreness is caused by micro tears in the muscle and is at worst 24-48 hours post work out. Although DOMS may reduce ROM (Range of motion) and Strength during this phase its not an injury as such and is normally recovered within 5-7 days.
7. How Do I Get Rid of These Flabby Arms? One of the biggest exercise myths is that you can lose fat in an area of the body by strength training or exercising that specific body part. The truth is that “spot reducing” and “spot toning” do not work, because we cannot dictate from where our bodies will decide to oxidize fat, nor can we change fat into muscle (it will be the equivalent to turning water into wine). Doing tricep press-downs will not decrease the amount of fat you have on the backs of your arms any more than doing crunches will decrease the amount of fat you have on their stomachs.
Any exercise that decreases body fat percentage will help you lose fat on your arms, just as it will help you lose fat from other areas of the body.
8. How Often Should I Work Out/Lift Weights? Again, this question is around what results do you want.
Going off a steady weight loss of .5 kg /week ( providing you are eating well) I would recommend 4-5 times per week of moderate exercise lasting at least 40-60 minutes
1. DITCH the cardio machine. Sure, the treadmill has its place in the gym and at times it has a purpose. But if you are putting in the hours and seeing little to no results its time to move on. Resistance (weights) training is a scientifically proven sure way to shred the fat off your whole body fast!
TIP; Stay clear from isolation movements such as bicep curls and leg extensions. Concentrate on compound movements such as squats, bench press and bent over row.
2. Sleep on it. If you aren't getting enough Zzzz's in the bedroom this may hinder your results dramatically. Not sleeping enough can cause several road blocks when it comes to losing weight. From reducing insulin sensitivity to putting unnecessary stress on the body causing FAT STORING hormones being released, sleeping less then 8 hours a night is a sure way to restrict your results at the gym.
3.Increase your FIBER. A simple change in your diet by increasing your fiber intake can help with weight loss. Studies have shown by consuming as little as 30g of fiber a day can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure improve your body's response to insulin and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Try adding foods like lentils, split/chick peas, almonds and vegetables like squash, peas and brussels sprouts.
4. Up the INTENSITY. If you are already doing weight training and you still aren't seeing any results its time to make a move. Start by reducing your rest time from 2-3 minutes to as little as 30-60 seconds. You can incorporate techniques such as active rests and/or super setting each exercise to get that heart pumping.
Combine these techniques with some HIIT for 10 minutes at the end of your workout. This is a great way to finish the workout, get the heart racing some more and to shred fat for good!
5.Down the H2O. Can drinking water really help with weight loss? I am sure you have heard that water makes about 55-70 % of your bodyweight. We can survive weeks without food but just days without water....
It is important to drink water so your liver can effectively metabolize body fat. From a fitness perspective, the more water inside your muscles, the better they function. More water in your muscles increases strength and size capacity.
You can also argue that increasing your water intake can make you feel full for longer, thus decreasing your calorie intake.
When I mention "carb cycling " my mind wonders off and I start to picture a potato stud on top of a bike with a slice of bread trailing close bye....
Let me tell you this is not carb cycling!!
So what is carb cycling?
While it has a fancy name, carb cycling is nothing more then eating more carbohydrates on some days (high carb days) to help promote muscle growth and eating less carbs on other days to help minimise fat gain and even promote FAT LOSS!!!
We put more focus on carbs and not fats/ proteins because carbohydrates seem to play with our body composition and how we look (at least we think so!).
High carb days:
Low carb days:
So we are down with the WHAT, but what about the HOW? Follow this simple program for maximum results:
Day One: No carbs at all. Keep today strictly lean proteins (meat), green vegetables and good sources of fat (eg. Fish, avocado etc)
Day Two: Follow day one but this time introduce ONE carb meal about 45 minutes prior to training.
Day Three: this time we can have Two cab meals- one before and after we train.
Day Four: On day four we can have a carb meal for breakfast, before AND after we train.
After day four simply go back to day one. Remember to drink plenty of water, consume a large quantity of green vegetables and include good fats in your daily diet.
If you follow this I GUARANTEE you will see results in no time!
The last time you ran Newcastle beach stairs through bootcamp how much did your legs burn? Or at your last personal training session you COULDNT feel your arms? Why does this happen and how could I reduce it?
As our bodies perform strenuous exercise, we begin to breathe faster as we attempt to shuttle more oxygen to our working muscles. The body prefers to generate most of its energy using aerobic methods, meaning with oxygen. Some circumstances, however, --such as evading the zombie apocalypse or lifting heavy weights--require energy production faster than our bodies can adequately deliver oxygen. In those cases, the working muscles generate energy anaerobically (without oxygen). This energy comes from glucose(sugar) through a process called glycolysis, in which glucose is broken down or metabolized.
When there is plenty of oxygen around the body will use this as the main source of energy by breaking down into a substance called pyruvate (via a few steps here and there). So what happens when there's little oxygen around? Is this when our bodies get tired and need rest to recover before continuing? - Not quite.
In the absence of oxygen, the body will continue to make energy by turning that thing called pyruvate into lactate. Lactate basically takes over the oxygen's role in breaking down sugars so we can use it as energy. But all this comes at a price! The body has limited amount of lactate that it can produce, and this is responsible for the burning feeling you get when you are doing exercise.
Once the body slows down, oxygen becomes available and lactate reverts back to pyruvate, allowing continued aerobic energy for the body's recovery from the strenuous event. How long will it take for the body to flush out the lactate with oxygen will depend on your fitness levels and how long your body was within the 'lactic acid system'.
So I have been talking (well trying) to get some of my clients to go into the city to surf this year. For those that dont know City to Surf is a 14 km FUN run, held in Sydney Australia. Since 1971 people have entered this running event from all fitness levels, with the main aim to raise money for charity. Check out there website http://www.city2surf.com.au.
At saying that I decided to upload a 7 week training program for the event, and some tips. If you decide to run this race good luck!
8-Week 14k Training Schedule Week 1:
Monday - Run 25 minutes, Tuesday - Run/Walk 3km, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 30 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run/Walk 3.5 Km, Sunday - Off
Monday - Run 30 minutes, Tuesday - Run 4km, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 35 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 45 minutes, Sunday - Off
Monday - Run 40 minutes, Tuesday - Run 4.5km, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 40 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 5.5km, Sunday - Off
Monday - Run 30 minutes, Tuesday - Run 4.5km, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 35 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 60 minutes, Sunday - Off
Monday - Run 6.5km Tuesday - Run 50 minutes, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 35 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 70 minutes, Sunday - Off
Monday - Run 20 minutes, Tuesday - Run 8km, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run 20 minutes, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 75 minutes, Sunday - Off
Monday - Run 20 minutes, Tuesday - Run 10km, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run-40 min, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 1 hour, Sunday - Off
Monday - Run 20 minutes, Tuesday - Run 12km, Wednesday - Off, Thursday - Run-50 min, Friday - Off, Saturday - Run 80 minute, Sunday - Off
Some key stretches;
(Repeat each stretch two or three times)
Lie down with one leg straight up in the air, the other bent with foot flat on the ground. Loop a towel over the arch of the lifted foot, and gently pull on the towel as you push against it with your foot. Push only to the point where your muscles contract. Stretch both legs.
Stand on one foot, with one hand on a wall for balance. Hold the other foot with the opposite hand and raise the heel of the lifted foot to the buttocks (or as close as comfortably possible), stretching your quadriceps. Keep your body upright throughout. Change legs and repeat.
Hips, glutes, lower back
Sit on the ground with your legs crossed. Lift your right leg and cross it over the left, which should remain bent. Hug the right leg to your chest and twist the trunk of your body to look over your right shoulder. Change legs and repeat (i.e. looking over your left shoulder).
Seated, put the soles of your feet together. With your elbows on the inside of your knees, gradually lean forward and gently press your knees toward the ground.
Train like your ancestors to achieve the best health and body composition. An “organic” training program that includes large physical movements is best conditioned and will prevent disease and eliminate obesity as a problem. Best results in Newcastle will come if you make fitness fun and keep your food and movements 'natural'. Here are some facts/ tips;
• Humans have evolved to be genetically predisposed to perform an extremely large volume of daily physical activity in order to survive.
• Technology in Newcastle (agricultural, industrial, and technological revolutions) has eliminated the need for physical activity, but our genetic makeup is the same as our Stone Age ancestors. It is this discrepancy that causes widespread disease—we live in a high-tech, sedentary, overfed, emotionally-stress world.
• In Newcastle, we have formed the habit “move when we have to, and rest when we can.” As hunter-gatherers, simply getting food and water required a large energy expenditures, making rest a necessary and intelligent instinct.
• Studies show present-day hunter gatherers burn between 600 and 1,700 calories a day in physical activity, whereas present-day Newcastle urban populations burn 200 to 300, often indoors on weight loss machines or with relatively light weights.
• Todays life, people from Newcastle are relying on prescription drugs to offset the lack of physical activity, the overeating of processed foods , and the high-stress environment. A more effective solution that will produce happier, healthier people from Newcastle is to adopt a weight loss training program and diet that as closely mimics our ancestors as possible.
The typical hunter-gatherer performed what could be called a “cross-training” regimen today. They daily engaged in brisk walking, jogging, sprinting after prey, carrying rocks, meat, and children long distances, digging, butchering meat, gathering food, constructing shelters and tools, and transporting water.Now I am not saying people from Newcastle looking to start a weight loss program should go ''Amish" . Rather, a personal training regimen and “paleo” diet are a better solution. Here’s how to do it:
• Interval training should be performed a few times a week with bursts of high-intensity training followed by recovery. This improves cardiovascular, pulmonary, and muscular fitness. Stairs at Newcastle beach are a great weight loss tool.
• Strength train with heavy loads to produce gains in strength and muscle mass.
• Do Regular exercise outside . Our ancestors performed all of their “training” outdoors, and studies show outdoor exercise, even in less than ideal weather, will improve mood and adherence. It also raises vitamin D. Boot Camp in Newcastle is a great weight loss tool.
• Include some sort of activity that promotes flexibility—stretching, foam rolling, yoga, or soft tissue work.
• Ensure recovery—our ancestors typically did strenuous activity to secure basic needs and then took advantage of their hard work to take time to recover.
• Walk and run on natural surfaces as much as possible—trail running or at the track are two ways to get off the pavement. .
• And the biggest weight loss tip for the people in Newcastle- Avoid all processed foods and eat a “paleo” diet.
Introduction to Human Energy Systems
Similar to the way we digest and absorb energy, the way we expend our energy is also highly complex. Our Primary Energy System is the ATP System which provides immediate energy at all time. There are three Secondary Energy Systems: Phosphocreatine System, Lactic Acid System and Aerobic System. They are used by our body to replenish the ATPs broken down for energy in the Primary Energy System. At any given time, all three Secondary Energy Systems are employed. The proportion in which each system is employed depends on the energy substrates availability and the intensity of the exercise.
ATP System (Anaerobic)
For immediate energy, our body just grab the ATPs (Adenosine Triphosphate, ie the energy currency used by humans) floating around in our body. Unfortunately, humans only store about 80g to 100g of ATPs at any given time. To replenish used ATPs, we have three Secondary Energy Systems that can resynthesis them: Phosphocreatine System, Lactic Acid System and Aerobic System.
Phosphocreatine System (Anaerobic)
Phosphocreatine (PCr) System is the fastest system to generate ATPs. It doesn't require oxygen. When our body senses that we are beginning to exert maximal effort, it breaks down PCr for energy to refuel ATPs that are used up.
We use this energy system when max effort is being pushed out however, its only available in small amounts 1-12 seconds, and it takes a while to refuel the energy ( 2 + minutes) . Any exercise past the 12 seconds will result in other energy groups of energy. An olympicr power lifter would use this energy group.
Lactic Acid System (Anaerobic)
Lactic Acid System is the second fastest. It also doesn't require oxygen. It releases the glucose in muscle glycogen. Then glucose is broken down into lactic acid to release ATPs ( the stuff that burns ;) ). The lactic acid generated can be transported to cells to be oxidated for energy or it can be transported to the liver to re-generate glucose when we have energy from other sources. Similar to the PCr System, the Lactic Acid System only lasts a limited amount of time ( 1-3 minutes) of all-out effort. It is the primary fuel source for short distance runs like 200m and 400m or 100m swim.
Aerobic System is the slowest way to generate energy. Unlike the other two, it requires oxygen. But the good thing is that it can use many different kinds of molecules for energy: glucose, lactic acid ( Ever go running on the treadmill and the first 2-3 minutes our legs become heavy and after you get in that 'rhythm' your legs become lighter? Thats your body switching from Lactic acid system to aerobic!!!!), fatty acid, and many others.
Since most people do have a big reserve of energy in body fat, energy supply from the Aerobic System can last very long. Basically, any exercises that lasts more than a couple minutes ( a continuous slow walk/ run) uses this as the primary fuel source.
Part One- Thoughts
You can have a great nutrition plan and exercise regularly with your personal trainer or at your local boot camp, however if you stress, have a negative outlook on life or worry more about other people then getting results might seem that little bit harder (not to mention if you think poorly of yourself then you are more likely to abuse your body with processed foods and no exercise).
To put simply, thoughts affect your emotions and emotions affect your actions. So negative thoughts will result in negative actions and positive thoughts will result in positive actions.
An example of this is a person stuck in traffic running late for work would be thinking, "Oh my god I'm running so late, I could get fired!" Naturally their emotion would be stress and anxiety and this could result in the individual doing something risky in traffic to try to get to work on time, smoke a cigarette to calm down etc). A more healthier option would be to think and believe, "I'm running late, no problem, I can't control the traffic so I'll get there when I get there, I'll stay back later to make up for it."
The person in the first example would more likely have fat around the waist line because when you stress you release a hormone called cortisol. During training this being secreted isn't a bad thing, it is responsible for the breakdown of muscle so you can adapt properly to your training. However when this hormone is being secreted too much it starts to breakdown the muscle too much, and it causes fat to be produced around the waist (less muscle means a lower metabolism).
So in a nutshell if you want a good healthy start towards achieving your weight loss in charlestown, think positively, know you have the power to do it and start loving yourself more.
I can guarantee that anybody who is successful in life or really fit and healthy don't use the words "I can't" or "I won't." They are positive, they believe, they know they have the power to achieve and they love and respect themselves.
Part two- Breathing
As a personal trainer, i see this problem everyday at Charlestown. Breathing as many of you may know, is pretty essential for living. Automatically we will breathe in, breathe out and all is well. Unfortunately many people breathe incorrectly. Take a deep breath in right now, then exhale now you should hopefully figure out whether you breathe through your chest, or your stomach. Now if you saw you stomach inflate like a balloon when inhaling air, fantastic! This is what should happen! However if you are a chest breather you need to retrain your body to breathe correctly.
So the procedure goes as thus: breathe in through your nose, relax your stomach and let it inflate like a balloon, then breathe out through your mout...h and watch your stomach come back in. The reason why it is recommended you breathe this way is because it activates the diaphragm which pulls the lungs down and allows more air to enter in. When you breathe out more air can be released from the lungs so breathing is much deeper. Deep breathing has been proven to activate the frontal lobe of the brain which facilitates the parasympathetic nervous system. In other words, if you are stressed, proper deep breathing will help get you relaxed and back to normal.
Another reason why breathing is so important is that approximately 70% of your body's toxins are released through breathing, is it any coincidence that when you breathe in only 0.04% of the air is carbon dioxide (CO2) and when you breathe out the levels of CO2 are around 4-5% of the air? Thats 100 times the CO2 that could still be in your body, I'm not saying that incorrect breathing won't get rid of any of the CO2 it just won't get rid of all of it, remember this the optimal functioning series :)
Finally, breathing properly during exercise will make life a lot easier too. Whenever you are pushing something away (bench press, shoulder press) it is recommended you breathe out during the work phase of the movement, easy stuff. When you are pulling something to you (chin ups, seated row) you breathe in during the work phase of the movement. For squats and dead lifts its a bit different, when lowering the weight down, switch your core on and breathe in then breathe out on the way back up.
So in a nutshell, proper breathing is essential for optimal living, it helps you relax, it helps lift heavier weights at the gym, detoxifies the body (toxins are stored in fat so it helps with that too) and more. If you need help getting the technique right,talk your local New Found Fitness personal trainer in Charlestown.
Part three- Hydration
Water makes up 70% of our bodies, so it is vital to our existence!
There are six main benefits that water provides:
1. Aids in Digestion
2. Transportation of nutrients
3. Elimination of waste
4. Circulation of bloody and lymph
6. Regulation of body temperature
So how much you should drink. It is a basic formula, very easy to calculate. It's 0.033 x your body weight (kg) for example I weigh 84 kgs so 0.03 x 84 = 2.52Ls of water a day. That may sound a lot but if it is spread out evenly over the day, it's not too difficult. If you are exercising you have to drink more water to make up for what you lost. I recommend weighing yourself before and after exercise because how much weight you lose will determine how much you have to drink.
Optimally water should be drunk at room temperature. Drinking cold water is fine, however your body has to warm it up before using it. This uses up energy however it is energy we can spare. For any athlete out there, it might just make the difference.
The best time to drink water is 30 minutes before a meal, this aids the digestion of your food, however there is nothing wrong with having a few sips in between mouthfuls so don't worry. I'm putting out there the optimal way of drinking water.
Finally, you're probably thinking where the best places are to get water. There are a couple of good brands of water that I know of, they are Evian and Fiji water. If you can't justify spending that kind of money, don't just go back to tap water. Purchase a water filter (either a jug or big one) and pour the tap water in there instead. This gets rid of all the chlorine and flouride (and all the other chemicals added in) and then you can add in some minerals. Our ancestors would drink from the stream with plenty of minerals so why not us. Instead of drinking from the stream though, add a pinch of unprocessed sea salt. I have Celtic Sea Salt and there are a few others. Purchase them from any health food store. The best thing about drinking proper water is your body absorbs it better and you won't have to take as many trips to the bathroom, fantastic!
Anyways thats enough from me this week, next week is nutrition, a very grey area which I hope that I can provide a bit more clarity for.
Until next time, stay healthy and well hydrated ;)
Part four- Nutrition
The first thing I'll say is that every year your 100 trillion cells get replaced every year, and each cell is made up of the food you eat. So you are what you eat! So eating good wholesome organic food will always win over crap. Organic food on average has 4 times the amount of nutrients as regular food so if you are pricing your food off nutrient value, go organic :)
I'm not going to talk about carbs, or protein specifically, I'm going to be focusing on micronutrients. Vitamins and minerals (water is included too but I've talked about that). Instead of worrying what ratio of carbs to proteins to fats lets talk vitamins because our cells need these to work properly!
There are 2 types of vitamins: water soluble and fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins are vitamins that are not easy stored so they get excreted through the urine and fat soluble vitamins are stored in fat and the liver. All B Vitamins and Vitamin C are water soluble and Vitamin A, D, E and K are all fat soluble vitamins.
What food is good for you can be a very grey area, however the clearest I can put it is this, foods which naturally contain vitamins and minerals are generally going to be good for you! Foods that require vitamins and minerals to be put in them or foods that don't contain any nutrients in my opinion are bad for you!
The foods that naturally contain these vitamins and minerals which are responsible for replenishing your cells are: vegetables, fruit, protein especially from animal fats and organ meats, nuts/seeds and oils. Most of these seem pretty straight forward.
Vegetables and fruit are a low calorie, highly nutritious food that people should be eating a lot more. Everyone knows that nuts and seeds are good for you containing good fats along with omega 3 and 6. Organ meats probably nobody wants to even think about however they are so full of nutrition it is not funny. Liver in particular is full of vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and not to mention iron.
Now the curve ball there is animal fats. Animal fats from organic grass fed meat are incredibly good for you. If the soil is nutritious, the grass is nutritious and therefore the fat in the meat (where these nutrients are stored) is nutritious. This means that saturated fat isn't necessarily the killer we once thought it was. No is no real evidence to prove that fat increases cholesterol (cholesterol is a stress hormone so stop stressing! cholesterol is also very important for your body, but thats another day) and no evidence to prove that it causes heart disease. Watch a documentary called Fat Head (get it off youtube) and then say you don't believe me. However it can be bad for you if there are toxins in the soil (herbicides, pesticides etc.) which get stored in the fat and not everyone reacts well to fat so see how you feel. Good oils such as Olive Oil and Coconut Oil have lots of fat soluble vitamins so start using them!
So what food is bad for you? The major 2 killers are sugar and processed foods. Both have no vitamins and minerals and your body will store these as fat in no time! Stay away if you are looking for optimal living. Trans fats which are in margarines, fast food, snack food and baked goods are the fats you have to stay away from, these fats cause heart disease! For a lot of people grains and dairy can be bad too, have a food intolerance test if you want to be sure.
The final piece of information before I wrap up is how to know what exact foods are better for you, and metabolic typing is a great way to do that. Not everyone has the same metabolism and not everyone requires the same foods. Metabolic typing classifies you into a carbohydrate type, protein type, or mixed type. Those who are a carbohydrate type are more likely to get full very easy, go better off fruit, vegetables and grains and feel worse after eating protein and fat. Protein type are the opposite, feel good eating protein and fat, get excited at the thought of eating and feel terrible after eating carbohydrates. Mixed type is a combination of the other two. If you want to know how to determine your metabolic type leave me your email address and I'll send you 65 questions to answer, enjoy that one lol.
To wrap up, if you want to have an optimal diet, in my opinion, know your metabolic type and what foods you are intolerant to, eat organic wherever possible, only eat foods that naturally contain micronutrients and stay away from sugar and processed foods. Hope that has helped at all, good luck guys.
Part five- movement
First of all, I'm going to talk about primal movement patterns. These are the basic movements that are required for an optimal life and are the base of your personal training exercises.They are: Squat, Lunge, Bend, Push, Pull, Twist and Gait. If you think about it, every movement you do involves at least one of these movement patterns in some form or another. Flaws in any of these movements mean that you aren't moving efficiently and if you aren't moving efficiently then the chances of injury goes up. All of these movements require the use of your core, which I can not stress enough how important it is to have an active one! Not to mention with the extra muscle mass you will have a better metabolism, resulting in more weight loss.
These movements apply to strength training as well, the squat is the king of all movements for putting on muscle mass and nothing recruits more muscle than a deadlift (which is a bend). Bench press and shoulder press are pushing exercises, chin ups and any form of rowing are pulling exercises. Lunges, I think you all agree are great fun to do and are very effective at working all of your legs. They are a very similar movement to gait (running) and will improve its efficiency. Finally twisting is essential for generating more power in other movements, but that's later down the track.
Basing your training around these movements is already a great start to achieving your goals, no matter what they are. With practice you can master these movements. And that's when the fun begins. We can then start adding movements together to make one super movement. Examples include squat press, lunge pull, deadlift with a pull etc you can go crazy with it. By having an understanding of these movements, you can now create your own exercises. Not to mention that automaticaly more muscles are recruited, meaning more calories burnt and therefore better results.
If that becomes a bore for you, then it's time for 3D training. Meaning not only adding movements together, but adding a twist as well. A favourite of mine is a 1 armed cable push which in one movement targets the chest, triceps, core, obliques, serratus anterior (stabilises the shoulder) and not to mention you can add a lunge in there too! That is not only challenging, it will burn many more calories than your basic push up! The more complicated the movement, the better I say (within reason).
I thought that now would be the time to talk about cardio training. I see a lot of people running for what seems hours on the treadmill and I never see one kilo of weight lost. They may get a bit fitter but there is a better way. If you are going to train cardio, be smart about it! You need no longer than 10 minutes to get a better cardio workout than steady state running for 30! It's called Interval training. In my recent studies for my strength and conditioning coach course, I have found that it is the epitomy enhancing their aerobic fitness. So why not us as well? Interval training involves a period of time under high intensity work (sprinting) coupled with an equally long time of active rest. So your basic one is a 30 second sprint with a 30 second rest, do that for 10 minutes and tell me how you are feeling then!
Finally I would like to talk about machine weights and spot reducing. Machine weights isolate individual muscles which purely a bodybuilding way of training. They do not use your core and will not help your quality of life! I once knew a guy who could leg press around 500 kgs but couldn't manage a body weight squat so there you go. Spot reducing (reducing fat by working the muscle underneath it) is a myth. So if you think doing crunches will get you ripped then I'm sorry you've been seriously misled. The best long term way for that is by doing everything mentioned in this series, easy hey?
In summary, if you want to lose weight, don't overdo cardio (no more than 30 mins) or weights for that matter (no more than 45 mins), train movements not muscles and mix it up! Keep it interesting and always challenge yourself! Follow the steps to optimal movements and you will find your results will go through the roof. I know many of my clients have and if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for you.
Part 6- Sleeping
Rhythm is the topic of conversation and it is essential for gaining the best possible results in your training.
Everyone knows that getting a lot of sleep is important, however it’s not how much you sleep, it’s when you sleep. People who go to bed at 1 in the morning and wakes up at 9 will feel more tired than someone who goes to bed at 10 and wakes up at 6. Many people are guilty of this and wonder why they are so tired! From 10pm until 2am, the body should be in the process of physiological repair. If you have done a hard training session that day and you want to recover quicker, go to bed at 10-10.30!! From 2am until 6am your body should go through psychological repair. That’s why people who go on all nighters can’t focus the next day.
Ideally throughout the day our stress hormones (cortisol) are produced, this is a good thing, it is natural for the body to be under stress because we are active. However overproduction of this hormone means big trouble for your results. Cortisol can put fat on your stomach and break down your muscles which you need for a good metabolism, if produced in excess. At night time our body will start to produce our growth and repair hormones (growth hormone, testosterone). Any disruption to this process will drastically affect your results and your health.
There are many things that will disrupt the sleeping cycle of any individual. Being exposed to unnatural light, too much TV, caffeine intake, diet, water intake and stress, just to name a few. From 6-8pm it is time for the lights to dim and tell your body it’s time to start the repair process. The TV or a computer screen flickers light and colour between 60-120 times a second, and your brain has to process them, so no wonder it can be hard to get to sleep sometimes. Caffeine intake and late nights go hand in hand. A late night will naturally make you more tired, so a stimulant like caffeine can really affect you. Caffeine produces more cortisol, and will prolong the amount of time your body is under stress, meaning more repairs are required later in the night. But people can’t usually stop at one, and some people even have a coffee at night! When your body is supposed to be repairing! If you are going to have caffeine have it before lunch! I have many more issues with caffeine but I just don’t have the time to voice my full opinion. Diet plays a big part in sleeping patterns. Sugar intake before bed will affect your quality of sleep, an insulin spike will make sure you want more food in the middle of the night. Therefore waking you up and undoing the work by going to bed early. If you are dehydrated at night, your body will be put under stress, so get drinking guys! Finally stress increases cortisol levels, stress at night and unwanted cortisol will rear its ugly head once more.
So in a nutshell guys, go to bed at 10 and get to sleep BY 10.30!! Cut out caffeine, eat healthy, exercise; in fact follow the advice from the other 5 weeks, and you will be fine ;)
Publisher- Matthew Knapman, Personal trainer at Ab Fab Fitness