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.

 

29 Jan

Stronger Calves For Faster Running

 

 


 

 

With just under 12 weeks to the London Marathon many of you are already or just about to start training for it.

Whilst slowly increasing your mileage week by week is the most important part of training.  You should also be hitting the gym to make sure your body is strong & conditioned for the work load ahead of you over the coming months.

Weight training will not just keep your body strong but will also help with reducing injuries. Whilst you should be covering the basics such as squats , bench pressing & a pulling movement. I highly recommend training your calves too which is a area some can neglect.

There are 2 basic movements you can incorporate in to your training programme which will make sure your calf muscles are strong & healthy.

 

Seated Calf Raises

Some gyms will have a machine specifically for this movement. If not, you can use a bench & place a weight on your legs / over your knees to get the same affect. Sit in the machine /bench. Place a weight plate, dumbbells on your legs. Lift your heels as high as possible, squeezing your calves. Slowly lower your heels as low as possible, until you feel a stretch in your calves. Do 10 to 12 reps for 1 set. Do 2 or 4 sets.

 

Standing Calf Raises

Stand on the edge of a step/ on the machine, letting your heels hang slightly lower than your toes. (If you’re a first-timer, ease into this exercise by standing on the edge of a slanted surface, like a raised wood plank.) Rise onto the balls of your feet, engaging your calves. Keeping knees straight but not locked, lower down until you feel a stretch in your calves. Do 10 to 12 reps for 1 set. Do 2 or 4 sets.

 

 

18 Jan

Home Booty Workout

 

 

 

 

Back when I first started working out in 1993 , gyms were always full of men & very little women. Thankfully times have changed & over the past 4-5 years there has been a massive influx of women going to the gym & more importantyly , lifting weights whilst there. One of the main areas women always want to look more appealing are there legs & glutes.

Incase you are not comfortable with going in to a gym or do not have the time to get to one. Here is a routine you can do at home, which will not take much time or use any equipment.

Try super setting 2 exercises to save on time. Complete the first 2 exercises without stopping. Then take a small break for around 30 seconds before starting the second super set. Once you have completed the full routine. Rest for 1 minute before repeating the whole cycle again 3-4 times. When starting aim for a rep range of 10-12 building up to a rep range of 15-20.

 

Hip Bridges with Jump Squat

Hip Bridge

Start lying flat on your back, your knees bent and your feet should be about hip-distance apart with your heels a few inches away from your butt.

Lift your hips up, then lower them back to the ground.

Jump Squat

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart.

Bend your knees and sit your butt back, keeping your chest upright.

Jump up into the air as high as you can and straighten out your legs.

Land back on the floor with soft knees.

Reverse Lunge with Lying Leg Curl

Reverse Lunge

Start in a standing position with your feet about shoulder-width apart.

Step backwards with your left foot, landing on the ball of your left foot and keeping your heel off the ground.

Bend your knees creating two 90-degree angles with your legs. Aim to have your back knee hovering about three to six inches off the ground.

Return to standing and repeat with your opposite leg.

Lying Leg Curl

You will need laminate floor to do this.

Lay on your back & place a towel under each foot.

take your arms out to the side to give you some stability.

Slowly pull your feet towards your glutes whilst lifting your  backside off the floor ( you feet will slide on the towel).

Once you feel a hard contraction. Slowly lower you feet away from you again in to the starting position.

 

 

16 Jan

Winter Home Workout

 

 

 

January can be a grim time of year for many. It’s cold & you may find you are struggling to leave the house unless it is completely necessary.

For some, the thought of venturing to the gym can be too much. Waking up early when it is dark or trying to find the motivation to exercise after work can be a real struggle but fear not. You can still get in a good work out in the comfort of your own home. Why not try this workout to beat the winter blues.

Warm up & stretch for a few minutes to get your body warm & active ready to exercise.

Complete each exercise. Then rest for 20 seconds before starting the next one.

Side Lunge x 20 reps 

Most people only exercise in two planes: up and down or forward and back. That’s what makes side lunges so effective — they train you laterally. This lunge variation is a great addition to any conditioning plan because it will challenge your muscle fibers, tendons and ligaments in a different movement pattern.

Mountain Climbers for 30 seconds

This exercise combines the difficulty of a plank, deep core stabilisation & alternating knee drives towards your chest. The knee drives also increases your heart rate, which is the perfect way to flatten your abs and burn calories. It’s crucial that you maintain proper alignment throughout the exercise and keep your shoulders and wrists perfectly stacked.

Press Up x 15

This is one of the best upper body exercises because it works everything — your chest, your back, your arms and even your abs! Make sure your shoulders line up with your wrists and you tuck your elbows in toward your side (so don’t flare your elbows out wide). Try to get your chest and hips as close to the floor as possible without touching.

Burpee  for 30 seconds

The great thing about burpees is that they combine cardio and strength into one exercise. A burpee is a complex, total-body exercise that will work your upper and lower body at the same time with a strong focus on the core.

Plank for 30 seconds

The plank has become one of the key go to exercises to define your core. If you are struggling to maintain the arms straight position try this exercise on your forearms. Be sure to align your elbows and shoulders and keep your hips, heels and shoulders at the same height.

Squat Jump for 30 seconds

It’s a simple but challenging way strengthen your entire lower body: quads, hamstrings and glutes. Bonus: It also works the core and will help you jump higher and improve your power & elevating heart rate.

Bicycle crunch x 20

Bicycles create fire in the core because they require deep abdominal stabilisation and rotation. They have also have been proven to activate more muscle fibers in the rectus abdominus and obliques than a standard crunch.

Dips x 15

Sit on a chair with your hands by your side. Slide your backside off the chair with your legs out in front of you. Slowly lower your body making sure your shoulders & head up right. Once you get to around a 90 degree bend in your arm, push yourself back up to the starting position.

Once you have completed the whole circuit . Rest for 1-2 minutes max then repeat it all again another 2 – 3 times.

 

 

 

 

 

02 Jan

2 Ways To Make Sure You Stick To Your New Year Resolution

 

 

 

It is that time of year again that many of you will be looking to start a healthier lifestyle. Hopefully most of the Christmas food has gone & it is now being replaced with healthier options.

Now. You have probably said to yourself countless times every January that you are going to get fitter, lose weight & improve your health but always quit after a short period of time.

Fear not. Below is a very basic but affect way to approach it this time. These are the 2 key pointers I always tell my clients , especially this time of year.

 

Food

December is a time of over indulgence with both food & drink. If you were to look at what you have been consuming over the past few weeks or month I am sure your daily calorie count would be much higher than normal.

Now come January many will go on a massive calorie restriction in some way shape or form BUT this never ends well. If your body has been use to excessive food & alcohol & you just stop it all & then go on to a massive health kick with a massive drop in calories you will find this will only be sustainable for a very short period of time.

Instead. Why not set up some realistic goals where you eat a little less every day, try to make better food choices & slowly over the next few weeks incorporate this more allowing you to acclimatise to it easier.

 

Exercise

The same rule above also applies to exercise. If you have done very little for at least the past month then going to exercise 4-5 x a week straight off will be over kill. The chances of you becoming disinterested, allowing little – no recovery time & the possibility of injuries is a lot higher.

Again. Why not aim for 2 x exercise sessions in week 1 then increase it to 2 – 3 the following week & if you really wanted to, 3- 4 the following week at which point frequency would not need to be increased but the intensity of each session would be.

 

Hopefully by reading this there is one key factor that stands. CONSITANCY. If you can find a good balance where you are eating better & exercising frequently for longer periods of time, you will feel & look better as opposed to giving up after a few weeks.