29 Mar

How To Deadlift Correctly

 

 

Why Deadlift?

It’s always important to start with why. Why? Because having a good reason for doing something makes planning easier.

Quite simply, the deadlift is one of the most effective exercises for developing the pure strength that’s a precursor to bodily size and athleticism. Since it’s a full-body exercise that recruits a lot of muscle mass, the deadlift also builds total-body muscle. It’s also one of the few exercises that directly targets the hamstrings, a group of muscles often neglected.

The deadlift also improves posture. We live most of our lives in front of our bodies, ignoring our rears. In turn, we develop bodily frames without balance, leading to a host of postural issues—hunched shoulders and weak backs, for example. Deadlifting reintroduces us to our body’s backside. Posterior training balances the body, giving us cause to stand taller and with greater strength.

In short, deadlifting will support your aesthetic goals, help you build better posture, correct various strength imbalances, help you build total strength, and turn you into a total gym badass. After all, there’s nothing quite like ripping heavy weight from the ground.

 

How to Deadlift

Look on YouTube and you’ll find a multitude of videos of folks doing their best one-hump camel impersonations while dragging a barbell up their legs. These well-intentioned lifters are not to be emulated. Every time you deadlift, you should be totally focused on good form

Good form’s main purpose is no secret: It reduces injury risk. The risk is never completely eliminated, but good deadlift form distributes the lift’s stress evenly across tissues rather than placing a destructive load on a specific area—the lower back, for example.

Secondary to limiting injury risk, good form also boosts performance: The right muscles work at the right times to crane the bar from the floor to the lockout position. When you lift with good form, the bar follows a path that allows for efficient use of the legs, hips, and back.

What does good deadlift form look like? Your feet should be spaced hip-width apart with your grip just outside your legs. Your back should be flat—neutral spine—from start to finish. The bar should remain in contact with your legs for the entire range of motion. Your hips and knees should move in concert to transfer the bar from the ground to an upper-thigh, locked position.

If you can’t maintain a flat back when setting up to deadlift from the floor, don’t deadlift from the floor! There’s no rule that says you have to. Elevate the bar on squat-rack pins or jerk boxes to a position in which you can flatten your spine. This wonderful deadlift variation is called a “rack pull,” and it’s especially good for those with mobility issues that limit their deadlifting range of motion.

 

28 Mar

Why Your Body Needs Carbohydrates

 

 

 

Carbohydrates have a bad wrap of late . If you eat any , you will gain weight and feel bloated. Especially if you eat them after 6pm ( timing makes no difference) . Like any macronutrient. If consumed in a abundance you will gain weight but far to many people will cut them drastically or out all together whilst trying to lose weight but you body requires some to function properly both physically and mentally. Even more so if you are active.

Complex carbs provide the energy that fuels muscle contractions. Once eaten, carbohydrates break down into smaller sugars that get absorbed and used as energy. Any glucose not needed right away gets stored in the muscles and the liver in the form of glycogen. Once these glycogen stores are filled up, any extra gets stored as fat.

Glycogen is the source of energy most often used for exercise. It is needed for any short, intense bouts of exercise from sprinting to weightlifting because it is immediately accessible. Glycogen also supplies energy during the first few minutes of any sport. During long, slow duration exercise, fat can help fuel activity, but glycogen is still needed to help break down the fat into something the muscles can use.

Adequate carbohydrate intake also helps prevent protein from being used as energy. If the body doesn’t have enough carbohydrate, protein is broken down to make glucose for energy.

Because the primary role of protein is as the building blocks for muscles, bone, skin, hair, and other tissues, relying on protein for energy (by failing to take in adequate carbohydrate) can limit your ability to build and maintain tissues.

Stored Carbohydrates

One gram of carbohydrate provides four calories of energy. Athletes often talk about carbohydrate loading and carbohydrate depletion which refers to the amount of carbohydrate energy we can store in our muscles.

If we don’t replenish these stores, we can run out of fuel for immediate exercise. Athletes often refer to this as ” hitting the wall.” In the same way, eating large amounts of carbohydrates can increase these stores. This is often referred to as carbohydrate loading or carbo-loading. While every person is unique, and our carbohydrate storage capacity will vary.

21 Mar

How To Get Bigger, Broader Shoulders

 

 

Having a big set of shoulders can actually make you look wider than you actually are. They are the finishing touch in creating a good  V taper. In my many years of being in gyms I have seen them being trained incorrectly countless times.

These are some of my favourite exercises you can incorporate in to your work out plan.

 

Barbell Shoulder Press

Grab a barbell and hold it at shoulder height with palms facing forwards. Set your feet shoulder width apart and slightly bend your knees to inititate the move. Push up with your legs to explosively press the barbell straight above your head. Return under control to the start position. This is a great exercise to do as it works your whole body. They are really good for strengthening your core and increasing overall strength due to the stability aspect of this movement.

 

Lateral Raise

Take a set of dumbbells and stand with them by your sides, palms facing your body. Keeping your upper body still, lift the dumbbells out to your side with a slight bend at your elbows. Lift until your arms are parallel to the floor then slowly lower to the start position. Do NOT be tempted to swing them as with this particular exercise, you can easily get in to a pattern of doing so.

Face Pull

Attach a rope handle to the top pulley of a cable station Grasp an end in each hand with palms facing each other. Step back to place tension on the cable. Pull the handles to your forehead so your palms face your ears and your upper back is fully contracted. Again, do not tempted to use huge amounts of weight. They key to this exercise it allowing the muscle to full contract.

Front Raises

Using a set of dumbbells let them hang at arm’s length next to your sides, with your palms facing each other. Bend your elbows just slightly and hold them that way. Raise your arms straight in front of you until they’re parallel to the floor and perpendicular to your torso. The dumbbells should be at shoulder level and the thumb sides of your hands should be facing up. Pause, then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.  You can also do this moment on a cable station if you wish.

Bent-Over Lateral Raise

Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding dumbbells in both hands at your sides. Bend at your waist and slightly bend your knees to lean over until your torso is nearly parallel the ground similar to the Barbell Bent-Over Row. Your arms should hang below your shoulders with your elbows slightly bent. With your core tight and back flat.

Raise the dumbbells to the sides until your elbows are in line with your shoulders. Your little finger should be slightly higher than your thumb as if you were pouring liquid out of the dumbbell. Lower the dumbbells in control to the starting position and repeat

 

 

 

21 Feb

What Are Macros?

 

 

 

Macronutrients, also known as macros for short, are the three primary sources of calories. Even if you are new to the term macronutrients you will undoubtedly be aware of the macros by their individual names: protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Each macro plays a specific role in the body and provides a number of calories per gram.
Protein has 4 calories per gram
Fat has 9 calories per gram
Carbohydrate has 4 calories per gram

Knowing the number of calories provided by each macronutrient allows you to effectively meet your daily calorie needs. To determine how much of each macronutrient you need in your diet you first need to understand the roles they play in your body once they’ve been eaten.

Protein

Protein is very important and is used to break down and rebuild the cells in your body. This process is called protein synthesis and is vital for growth and maintenance of your body.

When you eat protein, it’s broken down into amino acids by your digestive system in order to be used.

In total, there are 20 amino acids, 9 of these amino acids are called essential, which means your body cannot produce enough of them and you must get them from food sources. The remaining 11 are called non-essential as the body can produce them in high enough quantities that it’s not essential that you get them in your diet.

Overall, protein plays an important role in building, repairing and regenerating your body’s tissues and cells. It helps in the preservation of muscle mass, immune function and aids in the production of essential hormones and enzymes.

Fat

Fat in the diet allows you to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, provide essential fatty acids and in some circumstances, provide a source of energy.

When eaten, fat is broken down into fatty acids to be used by the body and depending on total calorie intake fat is commonly stored for future use, which can lead to the accumulation of body fat and weight gain.

Fat is vital for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, maintenance of cell membranes and hormone production. It can also be used as energy by the body and as insulation to help maintain a normal core body temperature.

Carbohydrate

Carbohydrate can be metabolised by the body very quickly and is your preferred source of energy.

When you eat carbohydrates, they get broken down into glucose to provide energy to your body. Any glucose not used is converted into glycogen and stored in your muscles and liver for future use.

Your liver can store approximately 100g of glycogen which is used to maintain blood glucose levels between meals. Whereas, your muscles can typically store 400 – 500g of glycogen which is used to provide movement.

Carbohydrates aids in the proper function of your heart, brain, kidneys and muscles. It is also important for intestinal health and digestion.

What’s More Important, Calories or Macros?

There’s no arguing that calories and macros are heavily intertwined but a good way to think of the difference is like this.

Calories are the main factor in weight change i.e. will you lose or gain weight?

Macros as the main factor in body composition i.e. will you lose fat or muscle or gain fat or muscle?

As for what’s more important, it really depends on your goal.

 

 

14 Feb

Egg-White Muffin Melt

 

 

 

Eggs make a great start to the day. They are full of protein which is great for helping your body recover from exercising. For many , including clients they tell me they do not have time to spend ages in the morning making breakfast. Well, here is a really simple and quick idea for starting your day off right.

 

Ingredients

3 egg whites / 1 yolk
Whole-grain English muffin
Small handful spinach
1 slice reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 slice tomato

 

How to make:

Scramble 3 egg whites / 1 yolk

Cover half of a whole-grain English muffin with and small handful of spinach and the other half with 1 slice reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Toast until cheese is melted

Add eggs and 1 slice tomato

Enjoy !!!

 

 

11 Feb

How To Pump Up Your Guns Correctly

 

 

 

The dumbbell bicep curl is without a doubt the most popular & basic exercises you can perform with a set of free weights. With the correct form and technique, your biceps will feel the burn and you’ll avoid potential injury along the way.

Step 1

Stand up straight with legs shoulder-width apart or sit on a bench. If you’re sitting on a bench, make sure your head, shoulders are in contact with the bench with your feet firmly on the ground.

Step 2

Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Make sure your thumbs are curled around the grips. Hold the dumbbells by your sides, palms facing forward. Keep your back straight and shoulders rolled back and down.

Step 3

Bend your elbows and slowly bring the dumbbells up to around 90 degrees. I know everyone will say you need bring the dumbbell up higher but I disagree and feel by keeping it at 90 degrees will create more tension. Make sure your wrists are in line with your elbows and keep your shoulders straight.

Step 4

Breathe in as you lower the dumbbells away from you back to the starting position. Maintain a slow and controlled movement as you straighten your elbows. That’s one rep. Aim for two to three sets of eight to twelve repetitions . I am for 3 seconds as you lift the weight with a second pause at the top of the movement then lowering the weight again with a 3 second tempo.

Step 5 

Increase the weight when the repetitions become easier to perform BUT make sure your technique does not decrease in the process

07 Feb

Why You Should Be Eating Greek Yogurt

 

 

 

If you are not a fan of normal yoghurt or have problems digesting it. A great alternative is Greek yogurt. A massive plus point to it is, you can also add it to a multitude of recipes.

Here are my top 4 pointers as to why you may want to add some of in to your weekly food intake.

Low in Carbohydrates

If you are watching your carbohydrate intake or have a sensitivity to carbohydrates like diabetes, then Greek yogurt is for you. Regular yogurts can have up to 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates per 100g, where Greek yogurt averages around 6-8 grams.

Protein

Greek yogurt can have twice as much protein as regular yogurt. The extra protein will help you feel full and leave you feeling satisfied. Commercial Greek yogurts at supermarkets have almost double the protein content of standard yogurt brands. A 100 gram serving of plain, low-fat conventional yogurt usually contains 5 to 10 grams of protein, where Greek yogurt averages about 10 to 15 grams of protein.

Probiotics

Greek yogurt and other fermented foods like sauerkraut, contain probiotics, live microorganisms. These bacteria microbes may help improve digestive function and the immune system, and may also help reduce side effects of antibiotic treatments.

Easy to Digest

Because Greek yogurt contains less carbohydrates than regular yogurt, it has less lactose, the sugar in dairy products that can sometimes upset people’s stomachs. This is especially helpful for people who have lactose intolerance.

06 Feb

Carbs Before a Workout & Protein After

 

 

There are loads of theories on how to fuel your body before and after a workout. Below are the basics on how to do so. They are not gospel but a good starting point which can be minupulated to suit your own requiements.

 

Carbohydrates 

Eating  carbs before a workout and extra protein afterward provides the basic materials that your body needs for adapting to the demands of your chosen activity. Pre workout carbohydrates help ensure that your body has what it needs for rising to the challenge, and making the most of your workout. Post workout dietary protein provides aids in recovery processes in between each workout session.

Glucose is the primary fuel for all the cells in your body. Ingesting carbohydrates before a workout triggers the insulin response that your body needs to use glucose for energy. Your body releases insulin when you eat carbohydrates, and insulin carries glucose into the cells. Ingesting carbohydrates before a workout also replenishes glycogen stores, which provides muscle energy during your workout. The average adult body can store up to 500 grams of carbohydrates in the form of blood glucose and glycogen.

Protein

In addition to your continuing need for carbohydrates to fuel your body, you need to add extra dietary protein after a workout to repair cells and make new ones. Your body breaks down the protein that you eat into amino acids, which are used for repairing tissue damage that occurs during your workout. Workouts deplete cellular catalysis, which drive life-sustaining processes in your cells.

Your muscles would not work without cellular catalysts, and ingesting protein after your workout replenishes these essential components. Ingesting protein after your workout also supplies amino acids that you need for building new muscle tissue. If you don’t eat enough protein and carbohydrates after your workout, you can lose muscle tissue, because your body breaks down its own muscle proteins unless you provide sufficient nutrients in your diet.

01 Feb

Hamstring Training For Better Sports Performance

 

 

 

 

When hitting the gym for sports specific training , many people will focus on training their quadricpes with such exercises as squats & leg presses but focusing on your hamstring strength & mobility will make a massive difference to your performance.

The hamstrings consist of three main muscles that extend from your lower buttocks to your knees: the biceps femoris, the semitendinosus & the semimembranosus.

Key Functions

Because your hamstrings cross the knee and hip joints, they bend your knees |& draw your hips backwards. Your hamstrings contribute to functional motion, such as walking, and they help you to achieve speed, power and agility in many sports. When executing explosive movement, these muscles play an important part in shifting the load from your knees to your hips. For example, a sprinter’s ability to launch off the blocks and accumulate speed depends on strong hamstrings.

They also contribute to your ability to absorb the shock of movements involving high velocity or force.

Deceleration

During the course of a contraction, your hamstrings shorten and lengthen. The concentric, or shortening, phase of a muscular action allows you to bend your knee, the eccentric phase, or lengthening, of the muscle helps you to control the deceleration of your body.

For example, when you’re running downhill, the lengthening of your hamstrings helps you to control the speed of the descent. This ability to properly decelerate lowers the amount of pressure on the joints in your lower body and prevents injury.

Posture and Alignment

Strong hamstrings work to stabilise your hips & keep your spine properly aligned. Envision your skeletal system as a connected chain; if one link moves out of alignment, problems ripple through the chain.

If your hamstrings are weak or tight, they’ll tug on your hips — tipping them forward — and compromise functional movement. A swayback posture, in which your lower back arches and shoulders round, may result.

Your hamstrings also keep your knee and surrounding connective tissue in alignment.

31 Jan

Eating Fat For Better Health

 

 

 

For years we were told not to eat too much fat as it was bad for our health. We now know this is not true. If anything, it can have the opposite affect on your body.

Function

Fats provide your body with energy and provide storage spots for energy in the body. Fat also helps move vitamins through your bloodstream and absorb them into your body. Fat also provides insulation for body temperature regulation by filling up your body’s adipose tissue. The essential fatty acids in fats also play a role in brain development, blood clotting and managing inflammation.

Significance

Because your body can’t make certain essential fatty acids, including, it relies on your diet to provide them. Fat is the most powerful food energy source, with 9 calories of energy in every gram of fat—more than twice as much energy as proteins or carbohydrates provide. Calories from carbohydrates are quickly burned—usually within the first 20 minutes of exercise—your body relies on its fat stores for energy.

Types

Fats can be divided into three classes: saturated fats, trans fats and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats, usually found in animal products, including meat and milk, can increase your body’s levels of bad cholesterol. Trans fats, which form when vegetable oil hardens, are found in fried foods, processed foods, spreads and baked goods. Saturated fats and trans fats should be limited in a healthy diet. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, found in fish, nuts, olive oil, canola oil and vegetable oil, are considered “good fats.”

Considerations

While fat is an important part of a healthy diet, it’s as important not to get too crazy with it . Eating too much fat can lead to weight gain and health problems, including high cholesterol. Limiting your daily fat intake to the recommended allowance helps ensure you get fat’s benefits without its potential problems.