1arm pull throughs to a press with 12kg using the TRX

1 arm pull throughs to a press with 12kg using the TRX

 

1 arm pull throughs to a press with 12kg using the trx
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1 arm pull throughs to a press with 12kg using the TRX

 

Using the TRX ropes is a great way to add functionality and real strength to any gym workout. Using your own bodyweight as a weight brilliant way to incorporate the abdominal muscles and stabilising muscles in most bodyweight movements. When I talk about real strength I mean not sitting down on a machine, resting your triceps on some lovely padded foam and curling your biceps with a weight you can’t lift properly!

Real strength is the ability to lift ones bodyweight effectively,efficiently and for reps. 

Performing one 1 arm pull throughs to a press using a 12kg kettle bell is an advanced move. You have to have good grip strength, pull up strength, core strength and even the hamstrings and bum will have to contract to allow you to perform the move correctly. You see how many muscles are involved here? There all big muscles too, meaning greater muscle building and fat loss and greater more effective workouts in a shorter amount of time.

A simple low lying bodyweight pull up using the TRX:

Thing is with bodyweight movements they are always working another muscle your probably not even aware of. So a simple low lying pull up with your feet on the floor of even in a bent position will greatly work the back muscles, lats, trapezius, rhomboids, biceps and abs. So in this one we are woking 5 different muscles but there is more, your pecs or chest have to contract and relax to allow you to perform this move, your triceps also. Your hamstrings and bum will also contact to allow you to perform the move. So in this one simple enough move we or you will be using 9 different muscles!!

Effective, fun and challenging: 

You can make bodyweight moves as easy or as hard as you want. You don’t need fancy equipment, you just need you a bar and some ropes. Simple press ups work the chest, shoulders, arms, abs and even the lower back. This exercise can be made easy with knees bent on the floor or harder by putting legs straight. Harder still is explosive push ups, or slowing the movement down so the muscle has to contract for  a longer period of time.

Functional: 

Lifting, pushing and balancing with your own weight will make you very strong, supple, agile and connected. When I say connected I mean traditional gym routines encourage you to isolate muscles, work any given muscle by itself. This encourages stiffness in movement, to be come dis connected from one muscle to another. You may have big biceps but can you do  pull up? Does your body know even how to move so that you could do one? Working with bodyweight movements teaches you to re connect, become strong and flexible. Working out should be about movement and not about working and isolating certain muscles.

Get on the TRX and give it a go. Not sure how just ask me.

 

Deans fat shredding circuits

Deans fat shredding circuits 

 

My client Dean blasting his circuit training
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Deans fat shredding circuits

 

This is my client dean blasting his fat shredding circuits. Circuit training or HIT training is an excellent way to build muscle and burn fat. Here Dean is performing big explosive moves that incorporate a lot of muscles at the same time, thus maximising his energy expenditure resulting in greater fat loss. Below is a description as to why we do each exercise and the benefits of each one.

Squat jumps onto a platform: 

This exercise is great for building explosive power in the quads( front thigh), bum, hamstrings( back thigh) and the calves(lower back leg muscle). It will increase muscle mass in the legs and over the body as a whole, increase athletic performance if you play football or tennis for example. As these are both sports that require short bursts of speed and power. Squat jumps also raise the heart rate making it a little more aerobic meaning the heart and lungs have to work a little harder, making it a cardiovascular workout too.

clap press ups: 

These are great for developing the chest, shoulder and triceps as well as incorporating the abdominal muscles. A normal press up works all the muscles I just mentioned but an explosive press up will build power and speed. Great for boxers who need fast hands and explosive punching power to defeat their opponent. You may wish just to push up into the air and land on the same spot without clapping first to gain confidence in the move. Once you can do 10×10 sets of press ups easily, give the clapping press ups a try.

Shoulder press using the legs: 

As always I try in my client focused sessions to maximise the muscles used, no isolation exercises should be used as these are a waste of time. Isolation exercises only use a limited amount of muscles and do not teach the body how to move functionally and effectively. Infact they do the opposite. They teach you how to be stiff and rigid, not free and flowing. So we use big compound lifts that use as many muscles as possible in a functional productive way. Here we are shoulder pressing using the legs to help generate explosive power that starts from the legs and transfers into the shoulders the through the arms.

 

 

 

Ring muscle up progress

Ring muscle up progress

 

Ring muscle up progress
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Ring muscle up progress

 

Hey, this is a video of me woking on my ring muscle ups. Im not perfect by any means as this video only shows me doing 3 muscle ups but its progress and its my progress. hopefully in the next few weeks I will post another of me doing 5 muscle ups, 7 and so on. My short term aim is to be able to do 10 muscle ups in a row. Muscle ups are a great muscle builder for the back, shoulders and chest. Its not just a pulling exercise or a chest exercise it is an overall upper body muscle builder that also involves the core.

Some simple tips on how to start and progress

To be able to perform a muscle up you need to have good pull up strength and endurance. As in can you do 10 sets of 10 with minimal rest and with good form? You also need good dip strength and endurance, can you do 10 sets of 10 with minimal rest? If yes great, if not try and work up to 50 overhand pull ups every day. Try varying the grip in terms of width, practice wide grips, medium and narrow overhand grips. Good core strength and endurance wouldn’t be a bad thing to have either so if you can perform an L sit in a pull up position with you arms either straight or bent  for 30 seconds or more at any one time then this would be beneficial. Grip is also crucial. Place your thumbs over the bar rather than under the bar when attempting the muscle up. Reason being is this will enable you to be able to rotate your shoulders more easily, thus making the transition from pull up to a dip position easier.

You may wish to place a step below the bar so you can do a little jump into the muscle ups. This will help you understand the movement and technique.

Practice explosive pull ups to work on explosive power, practice holding pull ups a key stages of the pull up. As in head over the bar, hold for 5 seconds, hold at 90 degrees at the elbow for 5 seconds and hold just above your arms being locked out for 5 seconds.

As always practice and practice.

 

 

 

 

 

Rich blasting the circuits, lunges,dips and pull ups style

Rich blasting the circuits, lunges,dips and pull ups style

Rich blasting the circuits, lunges,dips and pull ups style
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Rich blasting the circuits, lunges,dips and pull ups style

 

Check out my client Rich blasting the circuits, lunges, dips and pull ups style. Man is on fire here! Working hard on his 90 day challenge. so we are performing dips, lunges and pull ups back to back, no rest inbetween exercises. This way we maximise the fat burning and muscle gains. Lunges are great leg developer that focus more on the hamstrings or back of the thigh. They build strength, balance and are great for a sports specific gym movement. They also help develop the quads or front thigh and the booty or bum. Dips are great overall chest, shoulder and tricep builder that will help develop that upper body into a more finished product:). Pull ups are great for back development as well as working the biceps. Too many gym goers spend too much time on their chests or mirror muscles and not enough time on there backs. This can lead to a muscular in balance and cause bad posture. Did you know there are 56 back muscles and 2 chest muscles? Food for thought.

Mixing bodyweight training with weighted exercises adds a good variety to ay training session. The bigger the movements the better, as the more muscles will need to be recruited to perform the exercise. More muscle fibre recruitment, more results.

Other examples of a good circuit would be, press ups, pull ups, squats, dips. This would incorporate the large muscle I have been talking about which would lead to greater results.

My client Rich blasting his circuit training

My client Rich blasting his circuit training

Rich blasting the circuits bodyweight style
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My client Rich blasting his circuit training

 

Yep my client Rich blasting his circuit training again. Man has become a machine! Here we are performing back to back exercises to maximise fat loss and muscle gains. Rich is using the rope to perform a variation of 1 arm press ups. This is a great exercise to place a greater stress through the one side of the body, especially in the pectoral, shoulder and tricep region. Not an easy one but very effective at building strength and muscle/reducing fat. We are then combining this exercise with under hand pull ups. This way we maximise fat loss and muscle gains by having minimal rest between exercises and as we are working opposite muscle groups it enables Rich to continue to work hard without being to fatigued by the previous exercise. Under hand pull ups are great for lat and back development and bicep development. Circuit body weight training is an effective way to gain some serious strength and educate the body on how to move properly. Its all well and good lifting weights, they have there place, things like big moves. Snatch, clean and press, squats are all good examples. Bad examples are bicep curls, tricep extensions.. these are pointless movements that only use a tiny muscle at any one time. You want to maximise your time and your results. So you concentrate on big movements that use a lot of muscles. Pull ups, press ups, dips, squats…

Rich is working hard on his 90 day challenge goals and is well on his way to achieve them.

Like what you see, get in touch.

Rich doing 24kg weighted pull ups!

Rich doing 24kg weighted pull ups!

 

Rich 24kg weighted pull ups!
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Rich doing 24kg weighted pull ups!

 

Not bad eh? This is my client Rich doing 24kg weighted pull ups! Thats and extra 4 stone to his body weight of around 80kg (12 stone 6 pounds). So that makes him 104kg (16 stone 3 pounds)! 

Most people find it hard to do a pull up let alone adding additional weight. Rich had been training hard with me during his 90 day challenge which ends on the 24th of July. Results photos will be posted then. He has been sticking to his diet set by me, been training between 3-5 times a week with myself and has shown great dedication and desire to truly change his physique for the better. His weighted pull ups are a testimony to how hard he has been training and how hard he continues to train. Adding additional weight when performing a pull up will help force the body to continue to build muscle, increase in muscular strength, bone density and reduce body fat. Pull ups are a great way to build serious strength, they are an excellent bodyweight exercise that incorporate a whole lot of muscles at the same time. This will give you real world strength. So when it comes to moving and lifting in a real situation you will be able to lift the weight in question or even lift your own bodyweight. When you compare weighted pull up strength to say a lat pull down on a machine, there is no comparison. Lat pull downs are useless, you are wasting your time and energy on something that will make you less functional and provide you will false strength and a lack of understanding on how to effectively use your body. As much as possible use your body as a weight, train with it, understand it and use it, do not lose it :).

Great work Rich keep it up. 

 

 

 

What to do is an important question

What to do? Is an important question.

 

Where to start my routine when training? How long do I train for?  How many reps or sets? Indeed what to do is an important question. 


Any workout routine should start with a basic stretching session, 5-10 minutes focussing on the backs of the thigh (hamstrings), front thigh(quadriceps), lower back, inner thighs(iliposas), chest(pecs).

Included in this routine should be some bodyweight deep squats, forward bends from the hips and shoulder rotations to help get the muscles warmer. Basically after stretching start to move more dynamically gradually. Try and replicate some moves slowly and controlled that you will be doing in your main workout too.

How long should one train for? Indeed, good question. Truth is no real set time is ever going to be applicable to everyone at any stage or their fitness journey. You may feel tired or stressed both of these will affect your performance in the gym. As a rough guide beginner 30 minutes, intermediate 1 hour and advanced 1 hour +. Always factor in stretching at the start and end of any workout.

 What are reps and sets? 

Reps simply are repetitions that make up sets. You can perform less reps on a heavier weight or more on a lighter weight. You may do 8 reps s

Start your day right.

Start your day right. 

 

 

Start your day right. What you eat when you wake greatly affects your mood, energy levels, concentration, your ability to perform normal boldly functions well, your ability to burn fat effectively and maintain muscle mass are also greatly affected by what you eat when you wake.

So what do you consume upon wakening? Sugar? nope big mistake! If you consume high sugar cereals or foods for breakfast then its a sure recipe for fat and weight gain. Too much sugar and no exercise causes the body to store excess sugar as fat. High levels of sugar lead to insulin resistance, this can lead to type 2 diabetes !

Most cereals or what are perceived as healthy breakfasts are high in sugar. So simply avoid these.

So what do I eat? 

Simply put you want to eat foods that will leave you feeling full with long lasting energy so you avoid over eating. Foods that help burn fat, build muscle and that are high in vitamins, minerals, quality fats, protein and carbohydrates.

So eat these: 

Oats: This very slow-digesting carb keeps blood sugar and insulin levels low, so fat burning can stay high.

In fact, research has shown that athletes who consume slow-digesting carbs in the morning burn more fat throughout the entire day and during workouts than those consuming fast-digesting carbs.

 

Avocado: The mono-unsaturated fats found in avocados are burned readily for fuel during exercise and actually encourage fat burning.

Avocados also contain a very interesting carb called mannoheptulose, a sugar that actually blunts insulin release and enhances calcium absorption, both of which are critical for encouraging fat loss.

Salmon:This fish is one of the richest sources of the omega-3 essential fats EPA and DHA. Unlike flaxseeds, which provide a type of omega-3 that has to be converted into EPA and DHA, salmon provides your body a direct supply of them with no conversion required.

This way you know you’re getting a direct supply of the fats that turn on fat burning and block fat storage.

Eggs: Contain about 6 grams of high quality protein, so high that it is used as the standard by which other foods are measured. Eggs are also a rich source of vitamins, including A, E and K and a range of B vitamins such as B12 (energy), riboflavin and folic acid. Eggs also contain all eight essential amino acids needed for optimal muscle recovery and building valuable minerals like calcium, zinc and iron.

Flaxseed: 

Lowers blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The soluble fiber in flaxseed has been shown to lower cholesterol, helping to prevent the buildup of plaque, which can clog arteries and lead to high blood pressure, stroke, or heart attack. Fiber is also believed to lower blood sugar levels, which is important for people who have type 2 diabetes.
Reduce bone loss. A study of diabetic rats showed a delay in bone loss after they were fed flaxseed, thanks to its concentration of fatty acids.
Helps with weight management. Flax expands when ingested, making you feel fuller. You might want to take flax 30 minutes before meals to control your appetite.
Improve digestive health. The fiber in flaxseed can help relieve constipation and make toilet trips easier:)
Increase immunity. Flaxseed has been shown to decrease inflammation, which allows your immune system to function better. Preliminary research suggests that flaxseed can help relieve autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and lupus.
Fight cancer. Studies show that flaxseed may have a role in fighting cancer, particularly colon and breast cancer. The benefit is based on its high concentration of lignans, which are believed to inhibit tumor growth.

Blueberries: This are full of insoluble and soluble fibre. Meaning that if you struggle to do a number two then these might help you. Check that I made a rhyme. Anyway a bit more science now. Blueberries help the GI tract. This is the pathway food takes from the mouth, through the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine within where the nutrients are extracted for the needs of the body. The residue then passes to the rectum where it is evacuated. As I say helps you go to the loo.

Nuts in general, taste wise I go for pistachios:

Pistachios contain:

Zinc(mineral): Vital in the production of testosterone and growth hormones, perfect for muscle building and fat loss. Supports reproductive health and fertility. Helps prevent cancer and help stregthen your immune system. Zinc lessens the affects of inflammation and lessens the affects of ageing!

Monounsaturated fats: These help reduce bad cholesterol levels in your blood which can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also provide nutrients to help develop and maintain your body’s cells. Contains the antioxidant Vitamin E which helps protect and maintain the skins appearance and protect against conditions such as diabetes.

Magnesium(mineral):Magnesium is important for bone formation. High magnesium intakes are associated with a greater bone density and have shown to be effective for decreasing the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.

Copper(mineral): Pistachios are high in copper which acts as an anti inflammatory that helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis, copper assists in growth of hair, organs and muscles. Also copper helps prevent premature ageing! Copper helps us utilise our energy department. Therefore, when we have enough copper in our bodies, we will have enough functional and accessible energy to get through the day without feeling lethargic or tired.

Protein: Greater muscle growth, more lean body tissue( less body fat). Protein makes you feel fuller, so less chance of over eating and gaining excess weight. Protein raises you energy expenditure when resting so more calories burned at rest more fat loss and more muscle preservation. Increase in strength and bone density.

This is just one example of one food containing fats that are high in quality nutrition that will leave you feeling energised and full of health. So please don’t be afraid of cousumming fatty foods as long as they are the right type.

What you eat matters, start you day right. Get the quality nutrition, lead an active and healthy lifestyle.

Fresh Fruit Prince Smoothie

Fresh fruit prince smoothie

 

 

Green smoothies are awesome for your health.  this fresh fruit prince smoothie tastes great and is a fantastic way to get vital nutrients. I personally don’t like many green vegetables but I manage to cram my daily or weekly fix of green vegetables into my green smoothies.

Fresh fruit prince

Ingredients: half a small pineapple, half a cucumber, handful of fresh mint leaves, 2 green apples, 1 banana and a small amount of ginger.  Add 400 ml of water. This makes about 3-4 pints.

Benefits: 

Pineapple:1 fresh cup contains 131% of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C. This helps keep you healthy, heal, increase your uptake of iron, meaning higher haemoglobin and red blood cell production leading to a more efficient heart and lungs! Great for all you cardio kings and queens :).

High in potassium that helps maintain muscle mass! Diets that are low in potassium can result in muscle wastage! Especially as we get older. Higher protein intake and potassium rich foods need to be consumed. The tasty pineapple comes to your aid :).

Cucumber: Aids in brain health, improves memory and protects nerve cells from age related decline, lowers the risk of cancer, helps in losing weight as contains soluble fibre that makes you feel fuller for longer, meaning less chance of over eating.

Mint: Aids digestion, the strong aroma of mint is very effective in clearing up congestion of the nose, throat, bronchi and lungs, which gives relief for respiratory disorders that often result from asthma and the common cold. As mint cools and soothes the throat, nose and other respiratory channels, it relieves the irritation which causes chronic coughing.

Banana:Feeling low? Bananas boost your mood! they contain high levels of tryptophan. stress, irritability, depression are all affects on the mind that affect us in a negative way. Tryptophan is converted into serotonin which helps boost your mood in a positive way! So stay happy and get munching.

Apple:Help fight cancer! Apples Protect cells from cancer-inducing oxidative damage, Prevent the start of cancer growth! Stop tumours from growing and promote cancer cell death. Not bad eh? Cheap too, id eat them regularly if I were you.

Ginger:lessens muscle pain from exercise by 25%, aids absorption of nutrients, prevents colon cancer, increases your immune system, reduces nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness.

Kick ass healthy smoothie recipe


Kick ass healthy smoothie recipe

 

 

 

Smoothies are a great way to get vital nutrients into your body that will aid your training, increase health, fight disease, infection, make you look and feel great. This great tasting energy boosting smoothie will help fight infection, aid your muscle recovery, fight cancer and aid in helping you lose weight. So try it and let me know what you think.

 

Banana kick 

Ingredients:

3 bananans, 2 lemons squeezed, 2 limes squeezed, 2 green apples ( without the core), Fresh ginger grated ( small amount).

Add 400 ml of water, about 3-4 pints worth.

Health benefits

Banana: Boosts your mood, aids absorption of nutrients, high in fibre helping prevent disease, helps you feel full so you avoid over eating, helps prevent muscle cramps.

Lemons: Full of potassium good for the heart and brain function, aids digestion, flushes toxins from your body, helps keeps the skin looking fresh and wrinkle free, increases energy.

Limes: help keep the skin looking fresh, fight cancer, high in the antioxidant vitamin c, strentghens the immune system, protects against arthritis.

Green apples: Natural teeth whitener, aids weight loss, protect against type 2 diabetes, help fight cancer and high in fibre.

Ginger: lessens muscle pain from exercise by 25%, aids absorption of nutrients, prevents colon cancer, increases your immune system, reduces nausea and vomiting caused by motion sickness.

 

 

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