26 Apr

Reasons To Keep Hydrated

 

 

I am a firm believer that most people do not drink enough water. I can not express just how good it is for you both internally & externally. I personally consume around 3 – 4 litres a day but I know many do not.

The guideline is 8 ounce glasses a day but that will vary on weight , age & physical activity. I always use a reference of hydration by the colour of my pee. Like everyone , mine is dark yellow first thing in the morning but soon becomes clear like water as the morning goes on.

Here are just some of the benefits of consuming more of it.

Perform better

Proper hydration contributes to increased athletic performance. Water composes 75% of our muscle tissue!4 Dehydration can lead to weakness, fatigue, dizziness, and electrolyte imbalance.

Lose weight

Sometimes we think we are hungry, when actually we are thirsty. Our body just starts turning on all the alarms when we ignore it. For those of you trying to drop some pounds, staying hydrated can serve as an appetite suppressant and help with weight loss.

Flush out waste and bacteria

Our digestive system needs water to function properly. Waste is flushed out in the form of urine and sweat. If we don’t drink water, we don’t flush out waste and it collects in our body causing a myriad of problems. Also combined with fibre, water can cure constipation.

Make your skin glow

Our skin is the largest organ in our body. Regular and plentiful water consumption can improve the colour and texture of your skin by keeping it building new cells properly. Drinking water also helps the skin do it’s job of regulating the body’s temperature through sweating.

 

 

 

26 Apr

My Leg Workout

In all the years I have trained clients. I don’t think I have ever heard a client say “yay. Legs today”

Training legs is an amazing way to burn calories / reduce body fat as they require a lot of energy to be stimulated.

If you are looking at developing bigger & stronger legs. Follow my routine below.

Leg Press:

  1. Sit down on the machine and place your legs on the platform directly in front of you at a medium (shoulder width) foot stance.
  2. Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you. Make sure that you do not lock your knees. Your torso and the legs should make a perfect 90-degree angle. This will be your starting position.
  3. As you inhale, slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs make around a  90-degree angle.
  4. Pushing mainly with the heels of your feet and using the quadriceps go back to the starting position as you exhale.

I have always preferred leg press over squats first in my routine. I like to do 3 sets of around 8-10 reps , followed by one high volume of around 20 reps.

Barbell Squat:

  1. Begin with the barbell supported on top of the traps. The chest should be up and the head facing forward. Adopt a hip-width stance with the feet turned out as needed.
  2. Descend by flexing the knees, refraining from moving the hips back as much as possible. This requires that the knees travel forward. Ensure that they stay align with the feet. The goal is to keep the torso as upright as possible.
  3. Continue all the way down, keeping the weight on the front of the heel. At the moment the upper legs contact the lower legs reverse the motion, driving the weight upward.

Again . I like to use a rep range of around 8- 10 reps & do 3 sets. Now that my quadriceps are trained , I then move on to hamstrings.

Stiff Leg Deadlifts:

  1. Hold a bar at hip level with your palms facing down. Your shoulders should be back, your back arched, and your knees slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
  2. Lower the bar by moving your backside as far as you can. Keep the bar close to your body, your head looking forward, and your shoulders back. Done correctly, you should reach the maximum range of your hamstring flexibility just below the knee. Any further movement will be compensation and should be avoided for this movement.
  3. At the bottom of your range of motion, return the starting position by thrusting the hips forward to stand up tall.

Rep range here is around 8 – 10 reps

Lying Leg Curls:

  1. Adjust the machine lever to fit your height and lie face down on the leg curl machine with the pad of the lever on the back of your legs (just a few inches under the calves).
  2. Keeping the torso flat on the bench, ensure your legs are fully extended & grab the side handles of the machine. Position your toes straight (or you can also use any of the other two stances described on the foot positioning section). This will be your starting position.
  3. As you exhale, curl your legs up as far as possible without lifting the upper legs from the pad. Once you hit the fully contracted position, hold it for a second.
  4. As you inhale, bring the legs back to the initial position. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.

I personally like to use a little higher rep range with leg curls & perform around 12- 15 reps.

 

Standing Calf Raises:

  1. Adjust the padded lever of the calf raise machine to fit your height.
  2. Place your shoulders under the pads provided and position your toes facing forward (or using any of the two other positions described at the beginning of the chapter). The balls of your feet should be secured on top of the calf block with the heels extending off it. Push the lever up by extending your hips and knees until your torso is standing erect. The knees should be kept with a slight bend; never locked. Toes should be facing forward, outwards or inwards as described at the beginning of the chapter. This will be your starting position.
  3. Raise your heels as you breathe out by extending your ankles as high as possible and flexing your calf. Ensure that the knee is kept stationary at all times. There should be no bending at any time. Hold the contracted position by a second before you start to go back down.
  4. Go back slowly to the starting position as you breathe in by lowering your heels as you bend the ankles until calves are stretched.

I like to perform around 8 – 10 reps / 4 sets.

20 Apr

Tasty Greek Salad

 

 

Salads can be dull & boring especially if you find eating healthily hard but fear not as you can easily rectify this by spending a few minutes more preparing this tasty salad which I personally love to eat with a good either steak.

 

Ingredients: 

  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into medium pieces or wedges
  • 1 cucumber, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 /2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • handful black Greek olives

 

Prep:

In shallow salad bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber and onion. Sprinkle with salt to taste and let sit for a few minutes so that the salt can draw out the natural juices from the tomato and cucumber.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano, and pepper to taste. Sprinkle feta cheese and olives over salad. Serve.

 

19 Apr

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie Recipe

 

 

Smoothies can be  an excellent go-to food to replenish the body after a tough workout.

High in protein & healthy fat, this hunger curbing recipe makes for a hearty breakfast, lunch, or after-workout refresher.

Ingredients
200g plain  yogurt
2 Tbs Peanut Butter
1 Banana
100ml Cup milk
1 scoop of ice

How to make it
Add the milk, yogurt, and banana; blend. Add the peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) and blend again. Lastly, blend in desired amount of ice; the more ice, the thicker the consistency.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 433
Fat: 20 g
Carbohydrates: 48 g
Protein: 21 g

11 Apr

My Bigger, Leaner Triceps WorkOut

 

 

If you want bigger/ leaner arms focus more on your tricep training. I have seen plenty of guys & girls spend hours doing countless bicep exercises. The simple fact that the tricep is made up of 3 muscles ( the bicep 2) , will tell you that training this harder will equate to larger arms.

These 3 exercises have been part of my training for may years as I consider these my go to exercises. I personally perform sets of each with a rep range of around 8 – 10 with the exception of rope pushdowns as I like to go higher , around 12 – 15 reps.

Rope Tricep Pushdown

Attach a rope attachment to a high pulley and grab with a neutral grip (palms facing each other). Standing upright with the torso straight and a very small inclination forward, bring the upper arms close to your body and perpendicular to the floor. The forearms should be pointing up towards the pulley as they hold the rope with the palms facing each other. This is your starting position.

Using the triceps, bring the rope down as you bring each side of the rope to the side of your thighs. At the end of the movement the arms are fully extended and perpendicular to the floor. The upper arms should always remain stationary next to your torso and only the forearms should move. Exhale as you perform this movement. After holding for a second, at the contracted position, bring the rope slowly up to the starting point. Breathe in as you perform this step.

Skull Crushers

Using a close grip, lift the EZ bar and hold it with your elbows in as you lie on the bench. Your arms should be perpendicular to the floor. This will be your starting position.

Keeping the upper arms stationary, lower the bar by allowing the elbows to flex. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement. Pause once the bar is directly above the forehead. Lift the bar back to the starting position by extending the elbow and exhaling.

Close Grip Bench Press

Lie back on a flat bench. Using a close grip (around shoulder width), lift the bar from the rack and hold it straight over you with your arms locked. This will be your starting position. As you breathe in, come down slowly until you feel the bar on your middle chest.  Make sure that – as opposed to a regular bench press – you keep the elbows close to the torso at all times in order to maximize triceps involvement.

After a second pause, bring the bar back to the starting position as you breathe out and push the bar using your triceps muscles. Lock your arms in the contracted position, hold for a second and then start coming down slowly again. When you are done, place the bar back in the rack.

 

 

11 Apr

Summer Ab Workout

 

 

Now that Winter is over & spring is in full affect, many now look to drop body fat & start to get in shape for summer. This is done by looking at the volume of food you eat ( calories & macronutrients ) & levels of activity ( days per week you train/exercise).

As part of that you may look to increase the volume or frequency that you train your midsection.

If so , here are some of my favourite exercises to do.

 

 

 

10 Apr

Broccoli. The King Of Vegetables

 

 

 

Broccoli is one of my favourite vegetables to eat & can paired with a variety of foods. A favourite of mine is to eat it with steak & sweet potato.

It has an impressive nutritional profile. It is high in fibre, very high in vitamin C and has potassium, B6 and vitamin A. Broccoli is also packed with antioxidants, These are chemicals produced by the body or found in fruits & vegetables. Antioxidants can help find and neutralise free radicals that cause cell damage.

Probably the most publicised health benefits of broccoli is its possible ability to help prevent cancer.  It is a cruciferous vegetable, & all vegetables in this group may be protective against some stomach and intestinal cancers. It can also help lower cholesterol because the soluble fibre in the vegetable binds with the cholesterol in the blood. This binding makes the cholesterol easier to excrete, and consequently lessens cholesterol levels in the body.

In addition to reducing cholesterol, broccoli can aid in heart health by helping to keep blood vessels strong. The sulforaphane in broccoli is also an anti-inflammatory and may be able to prevent or reverse damage to blood vessel linings caused by chronic blood sugar problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 Apr

Outside Bodyweight Workout

 

 

 

With the massive improvement in weather over the past few weeks, many have got themselves outside exercising again.The most common being running.

If like me, the thought of running makes your toes curl their are others ways to get in shape & you do not need any equipment either.

Try this quick routine:

Perform one exercise, rest for 10 – 20 seconds max before going on to the next exercise. Once you have finished the whole routine, rest for a few minutes before starting again.

Warm up / Stretch for a few minutes.

Walking lunges 30 reps

Press Up  15 reps

Mountain climbers 20 seconds

Plank 30 seconds

Burpees 20 seconds

Sumo squat + Calf Raise 15 reps

30 second Sprint

Rest for 1 -2 minutes. Then repeat the cycle again

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

07 Apr

Greek Breakfast

 

 

Greek yoghurt is a great breakfast option as its relatively low in carbohydrates & high in protein. You can add a variety of foods to it to spice it up.

Here is one of my favourites.

500g of Greek yoghurt , 1 tbsp of natural peanut butter , good for essential fats & high in protein. Half a banana , high in potassium & finally a few cubs of  70% dark chocolate.

Protein: 50.5g

Carbohydrates : 34g

Fat: 34g

Enjoy

 

 

04 Apr

Protein Packed Tuna Melt

 

 

Eating enough protein can sometimes be hard, especially for a beginner. Here is a quick & easy way to get in around 30-40 grams effortlessly which still tastes great.

 

Ingredients:

1 English Muffin

1 tin of tuna

2 tbsp. tomato sauce

Sprinkle of oregano

Low fat cheese 1- 2 slices

Directions:

1. Slice the English muffin and then smear with the tomato sauce, one tbsp on each half.

2.Top with the tuna, sprinkle on some oregano, and place one slice of cheese on either side.

3.Place the muffin under the grill or in a toaster  for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is just melted.

Enjoy