Friday, 28 June 2013

Have a healthier grocery shop

Grocery shopping - something that is done by everybody, but not always done healthily. Nowadays there are two ways in which people do their weekly shop - in store and online. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

I think that in store shopping is still the most popular, even though the online shop is consistently growing more popular. Shopping in store can be daunting to some, and many people 'go off track' when they enter the store. My first tip is to never go shopping when you are hungry, this can only lead to bad choices. If you are hungry and you decide to go food shopping, well.... your entering a massive store full of food, when you are craving food, not going to end well! So make sure you go shopping after you have eaten, this way you won't just be blind sighted by all the food available. My next tip is also something to do before you go grocery shopping - be prepared! Make sure you have a list before you leave for the weekly shop. By having a list, you know exactly what you are going to buy, so you don't end up walking up and down every single isle getting drawn in by all of the offers on unhealthy food.
You also want to stick to the 'outer isles', as the 'inner isles' tend to be where the unhealthy food is (not like that in every supermarket by the way...). The 'outer' areas tend to be where the fresh meat/fish counter is, vegetables and fruits.
Another tactic, that is also used to help save cash, is to give yourself a budget for each shop. This way, you cant just buy cakes, doughnuts and other fatty, sugary foods, as you won't have enough money to buy foods to actually have as meals for the week.

With online shopping, the above principles can come into play. If your hungry, and your on a supermarkets website, it is so easy and tempting to just click 'add to basket' on unhealthy foods. Obviously you don't have to worry about the isle problems with online shopping, but you do still get offers pop up everywhere, and it is very easy to just click on them. So, be careful, don't shop hungry, and stick to a list and budget!

I hope this helps you to have a healthier shop, and remember - eat clean to be lean!

Build MORE muscle!

There are a few well known personal trainers that I listen to, respect and fully take on board what they say. One thing that seems to be common with those trainers, is a training method called 'TUT', meaning - time under tension.

There are many different training styles that are said to pack on muscle. There are so many different opinions that I have read about of how many reps/sets/exercises/load etc etc that you should be doing. Some of them work, and are great, but some of them are just plain crap (the same with many things to do with health and fitness...) Time under tension, simply means how long you are putting the muscle you are working under stress. For example, with a flat bench press, many people think the best way to gain muscle is to whack a lot of weight on the bar, try your hardest to lift it, and they almost always lower the bar in a second or less. The lifting part, sure does help building muscle, but the lowering part is actually so important. People that are 'tanked', often have used, or always use the TUT method. Sticking with the bench press example, as mentioned, a lot of people take about a second to lower the weight, and take roughly 15-25 seconds to do a full set. With TUT, the average time to do a full set is around 30-50 seconds, with a lowering time of 3-5 seconds. This is A LOT harder to do. It is very likely you will have less weight on the bar, but you will actually make better gains. By taking longer to lower the bar, your actually placing more stress on the muscle, which is what causes the microscopic tears in them, which is then repaired to build the muscle bigger and stronger. To get bigger muscles, you need to tear them more.

I have personally started trying this method, and boy is it harder! You can actually feel yourself getting a better 'pump'. I would strongly recommend trying it, after all, some of the best athletes and bodybuilders do it, and they are pretty hench!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Quick + healthy breakfast!

This is just a quick post, because many people complain about a 'lack of time in the morning' to get a healthy breakfast in. SO! here is a real quick, and healthy breakfast.


-2 eggs
-A splash of milk


-Whisk the 2 eggs in a jug, add a splash of milk, whisk
-Put a slice of bread in the toaster (Burgen bread is awesome!) and turn on
-Place the jug in the microwave for 1 minute and them remove
-Stir a couple of times
-Back in the microwave for 30 seconds and then remove
-Place the toast on a place, top with the scrambled egg

Hey presto, all done!


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Chuck stress out of your life

I thought I would go for a 'lifestyle' post, as it can actually have a big impact on your health. I see at least 15-30 posts every single day on Facebook or Twitter about people being stressed, and some of those people just don't help themselves. So I thought I would share some tips on how to get rid of some stress.

Considering the world as we know it today seems to revolve around the internet, and for younger people, the internet simply means social networking. I love social networking, I think Twitter and Facebook are great, but they can actually cause a lot of stress, and sometimes, you don't even realise that its those kinds of sites that are stressing you out.

Its common to see people posting comments that are pretty much complaining about something/someone, moaning about their job, moaning about someone ON their Facebook or Twitter, or a hundred other things. There seems to be an ever growing trend at the moment, and that is simply known as a 'social networking clear out'. This is pretty much what it says - clearing out your social network accounts. Get rid of anyone that you don't like or anyone that bugs you. Go through your 'like' pages and unlike any pages that bothers you, even a little bit. Unfollow anyone that bugs you or you find irritating on Twitter. Delete anyone that annoys you on BBM or your contact list on your phone. Do this with any other communication device/account, and that in itself will actually get rid of some stress. After all, its YOUR account, where you should go on there to have fun, catch up on the latest news, and talk to friends, NOT to get annoyed and stressed out. There are no prizes for having 2000 friends on Facebook, and it really doesn't look impressive, it actually looks a little desperate!

Another thing that I would advise you to do, is just have a clear out of your room/house/apartment. Having stuff in your personal space that is not needed, or brings up bad memories, just get rid of it. By having a full clear out, when you come home from work/school, you're surrounded by nothing except things that you want and need.

You want to create a division between your work and personal life. You don't want to have a stressful day at work only to come home to a room or home that has work everywhere, because you will feel like you are still at work. Have a room or part of your bedroom (if you live with your family) that is dedicated to your work 'stuff'. This way, everywhere else is your space, where you can relax and chill out.

You also want to learn how to be super organised. This may sound stressful to do, but I assure you, when you are 'super organised', your life will actually be a lot less stressful. Having things to help you be organised, such as a diary/calender/whiteboard/notice board etc etc, will make you stay on top of things, and your life will actually run a lot smoother. By being organised, you will know exactly where things are, what your schedule for the day is like, things you have to remember to do and so on.

Lastly, money! Money can be extremely stressful, but you can help this situation. Get on top of your money! Start by making a good spreadsheet (or purchase some software) and make sure you keep records of your 'money in money out' every month. Make sure your online banking is sorted and you know how to use it. Make sure you don't have any more cards than you need to have. Make sure you put money away every month for a 'rainy day'. This way, YOU will be in complete control of your banking, and that itself will drop a chunk of stress. I see so many people moaning about their bank balance, and it doesn't seem like they are in control at all.

Once you become in control of every aspect of your life (that you can actually control) you will feel like a weight has been lifted. Remember, stress can be a b**ch! Don't let it rule you, take control and get rid of it!

Oh! I forgot to add - make sure you make time for some 'me time', everyone deserves to do things they love, whether thats playing sports, socialising, going to the spa, or simply at home watching a movie. Treat yourself once in a while ;)

My view - The rise of obesity

I have read many articles over the last two years from newspapers, magazines, online publications and so on, about why the country is becoming so obese. I have read some interesting pieces, and some diabolical pieces. So I thought I would give my view on it.

I think the rise in obesity has a few reasons.

I'll start with the 'lazy reason'. I have read numerous studies showing that the obesity rates in the modern day are way higher than 'back in the day', and most people will be confused. Nowadays there are gyms that are affordable and everywhere, home gym equipment that is affordable, healthy food is not actually expensive, personal trainers all over, and so on. Compare that to 'back in the day', there were hardly any gyms around, and the ones that were around were expensive to go to, home gym equipment just didn't really exist, and overall the 'health and fitness' industry was nothing compared to today. So, how on earth can there be a much higher obesity rate? That's where my first reason comes in. The modern day is surrounded by technology that, yes, makes our lives easier, but also makes us lazier. In the old days, all the factories (car factories for example) had humans doing nearly all of the work, which was hard labor! that kept people fit and strong. Now, most of it is controlled by machines.
You can pop online and do all of your shopping and get it delivered to your house, instead of going out and doing it for yourself. Go back a fair few years and education was A LOT harder - whereas today every school has computers and calculators and other tech. (studies have shown that a percentage of modern day people cant do fairly basic math and spell certain words, because they rely on calculators and spell check). I could name a lot more other things that tech has made our lives 'easier' but made us lazy. And because of all of this, people have become more lazy, and that's why all these 'fad diets' and pieces of fitness equipment that promises to lose a ton of weight with doing minimal effort sell like crazy! because people think - 'I can lose all my fat by doing nothing! wahoo!'. What is easier - ordering a takeaway or cooking a fresh healthy meal? the takeaway, and that is why people do it, because they cannot be bothered to make a meal themselves - they would rather sit on the couch and wait 20 mins for it to be delivered. Certain companies have earned a fortune because of this - diet companies that 'deliver food straight to your door!'. This is the same process as ordering a takeaway, and its because of people being lazy. I think i'll end it there.

Another reason can be personal situations - where they live, their family etc. If you get brought up in a family that is overweight, your most likely to become overweight too. If your going though depression, that can lead to weight gain. The amount of children that get bullied in schools these days is ridiculous, and that can cause weight gain. They get bullied at school, come home and find 'comfort' in food - food that is fatty, sugary and just bad for you.

There is a lack of education about being healthy. Schools don't really cover it, and those that do, its kind of meaningless. There are some schools that do talk about it and try and educate children, but then what do they serve in the cafeteria? fried food, battered food, fatty food in general. So kids will come out of a class after being spoken to about health, diet, fitness etc, then go to lunch and find the only food that is available is unhealthy food - stupid if you ask me. Much loved cook, Jamie Oliver, tried to help this situation, and to a certain degree, he did, but a lot of schools just couldn't be bothered as it would cost them a bit more cash to serve healthy food. (Big whoop - you would be making a real difference!)

Lastly, and this can be a bit controversial, but I have read it a fair few times now, and I believe it to a certain degree. There is no 'punishment' for someone being obese. They can get free obesity surgery on the NHS, they don't pay any more money for bigger clothing - which, I believe, whether you are obese or tanked with muscle, if you need bigger clothing, in a way, its fair that you have to pay more. (but there are downsides to that too!). They don't get charged extra money from airlines (even though one airline is trialing it) which personally was annoying for me when I flew home from Australia. I had 5kg extra baggage and got charged, and a woman in front of me who must have weighed about 25 stone, didn't pay anything, even though my weight and baggage weight was way under just her body weight. There is no penalty anywhere really, so obese people don't get it straight in their face - 'Lose weight!'. They get told about heart disease, heart attacks, lung problems and so on, but a lot of them kind of just....wave it off. If people knew that they would have to pay more for things like plane seats, because of being obese, I am sure that many obese people would get going with losing weight, because they wouldn't want to pay more and be embarrassed at the check in when they get told they have to pay more because of their weight.
There was a big article in a newspaper a couple of years ago that soon spread over the radio and I think TV. A woman was obese and got told by her GP that she would need a gastric band, so she pretty much went to book one in, only to find out that she was 3 stone under the weight limit to actually get one (free from the NHS!). So instead of her going away and losing weight as she couldn't have the surgery, (she even openly admitted this in the interviews) she went and deliberately gained those 3 extra stone that she needed in order to have free surgery, and got it! To me, that is just disgraceful and lazy.

Well, they aren't all the reasons for obesity, and I am sure many people out there will disagree with them. But they are my views, and also views of many other people. Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Working out and injuries

I thought I would do a post on this as I am currently in this position. Without going into too much detail, I have something wrong with my hand, pretty much think its a bit of a strained tendon, have no idea how on earth I did it, but its not 'painful', just uncomfortable. So I have stopped working out, been a week  now, and I think it will be another week or two. Does that mean I have to stop all exercise? no. I have decided to switch training styles and aim at fat burning exercises (ones which don't require me to use my right hand!) and a bit of endurance work.

Injuries are part of working out, and at some point you will pick one up, whether it be minor or major. But that doesn't mean you have to stop working out altogether. The only time that you should, is if you pick up an injury that is bad, such as a spinal injury, which would obviously stop you doing pretty much anything! But, if you pick up a calf injury for example, you can still train your core and upper body, as long as your not putting pressure on your calf. If you pick up a bicep injury, then concentrate on core and legs while your bicep recovers. I have read a few studies which say training other body parts when having an injury can speed up the recovery process of the injured muscle. Whether that is 100% accurate, I don't know, but as long as you're not putting pressure on the injured muscle, then you can still work out. Many people take a negative attitude when it comes to injuries, and think they cannot do anything and take up the 'ahh I'm injured, can't work out!' mentality, But, they actually can.

A common thing with guys, is that they want to be big and muscular, and they often neglect body fat. They tend to be a good size and have good strength, but they never look that 'great' because of the higher body fat, so being injured (as long as its not a major one, and preferebly an upper body injury) you can concentrate on fat burning exercises. Even though its not the best form of fat burning, going for runs (can add in sprints) bike rides (cross country is great) and bodyweight circuits, will burn up fat, and lower your body fat. That is what I am personally doing right now, knowing there is limited things I can do, I am resorting to other forms of exercise, ones that wouldn't be my first choice, but end of the day they are still burning up calories and fat, which will lower my BFP.

So, be smart, don't take an injury as a full on  negative (unless it is a severe one) and train other parts of your body while your injured part recovers.

Monday, 24 June 2013

How to get ripped!

Being 'ripped' is one of the most sought after things within fitness. I think it's mainly wanted by guys, but a good percentage of women also want to be 'ripped', and it has been said to be harder for women due to their natural higher BFP (body fat percentage). For those who don't know what ripped is, it simply means a very low body fat percentage and a good amount of muscle tone. 

So, how do you get ripped??

Firstly, it requires a very strict and dedicated diet and fitness plan. You don't want to take in any excess fat, you want to stick to lean protein, lots of vegetables, fruit, complex carbs, and have intense workouts. The diet side is the most important I would say, because you can work out all you like, but if you take in fat, you will kind of be counter acting the training. After all, the old saying of 'abs are made in the kitchen', is true. With workouts, you want to start by doing a lot of intense fat burning exercises, circuit training is amazing for this. I would say stripping the fat and then building the muscle is the best way (but each to their own!) so you want to burn away that excess body fat, and then start hitting the weights. This is NOT easy to do, and it will require a lot of dedication as mentioned. If your going to give yourself a few weeks for this process, then don't even bother starting, it will take longer than that. 

Once you have got a low BFP, toned up, gained some muscle mass, and you look ripped, that's only phase one done! You are going to want to keep looking like that, which means you need to carry on living that lifestyle, being strict with the gym routine and the diet. Many people say maintaining the 'ripped' look is the hardest part. 

If you think your up to the challenge, then go for it! but be prepared to work your ass off! 

To help with cutting the fat, my GET SLIM healthy eating plan can help! and its only £5 until thursday! click my website below and head to the E-store! (UK only)

Friday, 21 June 2013

THIS is how you get rid of fat!

I'm not surprised that thousands of people out there get confused when it comes to weight loss, because there are hundreds of diets out there, hundreds of fitness trends, and many people are like 'where do I start? what one shall I use?'.

Even though I am only 23, I class myself as 'old school', (especially music - its the best!) but I believe in good old fashioned hardcore training and eating healthy. I don't really buy into all these new high tech 'gismo's' on offer today that promise you will look like Nicole Scherzinger after a few weeks. One guy that is known to be an amazing athlete and in great shape is WWE werestler 'John Cena'. The job he does, requires a ton of strength, power and agility, and he has all 3. He trains in a gym that looks quite.... well.... bare to be honest! But I love it, its back to basics, just the equipment you need, and heck....if its what gave John Cena his physique, then I don't care who you are, it works!

But, there is one key piece of info that you NEED to start believing, and that is - 'In order to lose weight for good, you NEED to change your lifestyle'. If your a regular 'clubber', getting drunk a few times a week, partying, eating whatever you want, then don't expect 1 or 2 gym sessions a week to get you in great shape. Fitness isn't just a 'thing to do', its a lifestyle, and it's the best one out there! It gives you confidence, self esteem, makes you happy about the way you look, makes you feel great and most importantly, is the best thing for your health! Now, that doesn't mean that you won't have a social life, because you will! It will just be a little different. Yes you will still go to bars and clubs, but you won't be drinking so much that you have no idea what actually happened. You will find that the gym is an amazing social environment where you can meet new friends, hang out after a workout and so on. Once you start living the 'fitness lifestyle', you won't turn back to getting 'rat assed', eating tons of junk food, smoking, even drugs, or whatever you used to do! because you just won't miss it!

This may sound bad, but I don't have much time for people that non stop complain about their body, but actively do things that make it worse and do NOT do anything to make it better. If you don't like your body, do something about it, don't just moan, I can't force someone to change can I? its up to them. My time is much better spent on people that don't like the way they look but are WILLING to do what it takes to change. Those are my kind of people! Some people just don't want to give up their apparent 'amazing lifestyle', and that's okay, that is their choice, but I focus on the people that WANT to change, because those I can help. Its pretty impossible to help someone that actually doesn't want to change their diet, exercise regularly, stop the bad habits and so on.

So, take that step today! change your lifestyle! and it will change your life....

Take the first step with your diet, pick up my 'GET SLIM' healthy eating plan today from my new website

(UK only)

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sleep and losing weight

Sleep can affect weight in two ways - gain and loss. Ill start with weight gain.

There can be many reasons behind a lack of sleep, ranging from working hours to stress. If you find yourself having a few hours of sleep each night, this can lead to weight gain. Someone that regularly has a lack of sleep, maybe only 4 hours a night, can very easily make poor nutritional choices. If they wake up after a short sleep, they will be tired, which means the last thing that will enter their mind is to go into the kitchen and mix up a healthy breakfast, they are more likely to get something fatty 'on the go'. This can actually progress throughout the day, which means they are avoiding the foods that they need to lose weight, and eating the foods they should be avoiding. If you are someone that suffers from a lot of stress, your most likely going to make poor nutritional choices in the first place, but if you add a lack of sleep into the mix, then you will most likely find yourself eating way more 'junk' than you should be eating, which is simply going to put weight on. It can feel like a vicious cycle, and the hardest part is to break that. So my advice is to find out the root cause of your lack of sleep and try your best to fix that. If you can fix it, then you won't be eating those bad foods as you will have a lot more energy and have a 'clear mind' to make correct nutritional choices.

Moving onto weight loss.

Its kind of the opposite effect of above. If you regularly get a good amount of sleep (7-9 hours per night) you are going to have a lot more energy, which will enable you to make good, healthy nutritional choices. You won't be looking around for a quick 'burst' of energy from a piece of cake, pastry items or sweets. As you will have more energy, you will be happy to go into the kitchen and make healthy meals, and not opt for a takeaway which requires little to no effort. Also, if your working out in the gym regularly, your body needs to recover, and nothing is better for that than sleep.

So, sleep can go two ways.... do the right thing and get a good nights sleep in!

How to be a better PT

To start with, I am not a PT, but I have been trained by many and have a fair few PT friends. I also have clients that have had some terrible experiences with PT's, so I thought I would do a post for beginner or experienced PT's, on how to be a better trainer! So, from my personal experience and experiences I have heard about, here are some bullet points on how to be a better PT.

  • Personal means PERSONAL,  so make sure you are with your client for the whole session. Unless there is an actual emergancy.
  • Make sure you are always on time. If you are ever late, be sure to apologise, even offer something for being late - a free session, or an extended session if you are free after.
  • Learn! Make sure you are always keeping up with the lates trends, latest exercises. There is nothing more embarrassing than a client asking about a certain exercise or fitness trend and you have no idea what they are talking about.
  • Don't be boring! I have seen many PT's that hardly engage with their clients, only talk when they are changing exercise. Get to know your clients, talk to them, laugh with them, but train hard.
  • Try and 'find' your own style, make yourself unique, don't just follow the crowd.
  • Look the part! make sure your always presented well, not scruffy or dirty. Spend a bit of cash to get some smart but sporty gear.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Don't forget about your legs!

This is such a common mistake, which I have personally seen A LOT!

This is mainly with the guys, but I have seen the odd girl do this. Guys tend to get in the gym and want a big chest and big arms, but that soon develops into an overall big 'upper body'. The problem is, they start to neglect their legs. This can cause a few problems...

Yes, its great to have bulging biceps, chiseled chest, washboard abs and a strong back, but as soon as you are in just shorts (or even worse - swimming trunks!) you will look ridiculous if you have neglected training your legs. There is nothing more embarrassing than your top half looking like a tank, but your legs look like twigs. Not only will this just look ridiculous (and probably quite funny for some) but it can actually cause an injury very easily.

Think about it, if your top half weighs a fair bit because of a lot of muscle, and your walking around on weak legs, that will put a lot of pressure on your joints, and that is not good. You will never see an athlete who has weak legs. Some of the biggest power lifts you can do, involve your legs. Squats and dead lifts are extremely common, and they both require and work your legs. Don't be a fool, make sure you include either separate leg sessions into your workout plan, or include leg exercises into your full body workouts. Not only will you not look silly on the beach, but you will be far less likely to get an injury.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Eat chocolate AND lose weight

I think this post will be mainly read by women love their chocolate! haha, but there is a way where you CAN eat chocolate and still lose weight.

The main word that you need to keep in your min is 'Moderation'. If you eat 5 chocolate bars per day, then no, you won't be shedding the pounds, but if you eat chocolate in moderation, then you still can lose weight. Everyone seems to think that going on a 'healthy diet' means eating salads every single day and not allowed to eat any 'treats'. This isn't true.

If you have will power and self control, you can add 'treats' into your diet and still carry on losing weight. Having a chocolate bar here and there, will NOT 'make you fat'. Your body can take a small amount of fat per day and not gain weight, but the problems begin when that 'small amount' turns into a large amount. A very popular method used by nutritionists and trainers is 'the cheat meal'. This is simply having one meal a week where you can eat whatever you like. This is popular because its like 'blowing off steam'. If someone goes from a fairly bad diet to a very strict diet overnight, at some point they will slip up and binge eat/drink. That is what we don't want to happen. So for example, if every friday night, you had a takeaway or went to your favorite restaurant (which isn't known to be overly healthy) and had your 'cheat meal', this will get rid of that 'urge' to just go back to your old ways.

Also, again...depending on your will power, it is okay to have a little treat every so often, which could be a bar of chocolate for example. As long as you are eating healthily, exercising regularly (training hard!) then as I said, a bar of chocolate will not 'make you fat'. But this is where that word comes into play - MODERATION.

So, if you can control yourself, then you don't have to give up everything you love, you just have to be sensible. If you want to lose weight and get in great shape, you do have to be healthy and train hard in the gym, but you don't have to give up all of your 'guilty pleasures'.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Proper gym etiquette

I have been in quite a few gyms, and I have come across some great people and some not so great people. Everyone goes to the gym for the same reason, to workout, so why do some people disrespect others by not clearing up after themselves and having bad 'gym etiquette'?

Here is how to be good in the gym!

- Put equipment away after you have used it - don't just leave weight plates on bars or on the floor, dumbbells on the floor or benches moves out of position. If you use equipment, then put it back for the next person to use

- Wipe equipment down - If you are having a 'sweaty session', then make sure you wipe down any equipment with your towel before moving on. Would you want to use a piece of kit that has someone else s sweat covered in t? no, so don't leave your sweat behind!

- Don't hog equipment - If your using a piece of equipment, but need to go away for a sec, then it's okay to leave your towel on it or something, but if you know you are going to be gone longer than literally a minute, then don't try and 'hog it', let someone else use it, especially during busy times! Also, don't have 5 min rest breaks in between each set if someone is waiting to use the equipment, it's not just your gym yano!

- Concentrate on yourself - Don't be a fool and mock other people or just stand and stare. You are there to workout yourself, not to laugh at others. Everyone is there for their own reasons, so make sure you stick to yours.

- Help out others - if you see someone that is struggling with weights or looks like they need a spotter, then offer to help them out. Don't just jump in straight away though,  you don't want to be known as someone that walks around asking if anyone needs help, but if you see somebody struggling, then by all means, offer to help.

- Don't pretend to be a trainer - Gym's have trainers, so you don't need to pretend to be one. You may well be 'tanked', but that doesn't mean you are able to offer your 'services' to somebody, this can make you seem arrogant and if things go bad, you are not a qualified trainer and will be liable fr damages!

- Lastly, guys - don't go round 'hitting' on every woman! - Women are there to work out too, not to be hit on by some guy she doesn't even know. I'm all for making new friends in the gym, but don't think its okay to treat it like a speed dating room!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

The media and weight loss...

This is a topic that actually angers me very much. I really do hate it when I see magazines, newspapers, gossip websites etc, start 'laying' into a celebrity because she put on a couple of pounds or something. They really seem to have no idea how much that impacts the average reader....

Magazines, newspapers and gossip websites are so popular these days, the public just can't get enough of celebrities. Magazines know that if a female celebrity has put on a few pounds, that will sell more than most other topics, so they print it, and even exaggerate it! The knock on effect of this, is the women that these publications 'slate', are women that the public look up to. So, if for example, Mila Kunis put on a whole 4 pounds and start using words such as 'Mila has got fat!', women who idolise her will think 'Oh my god! shes fat? what the hell am I then?', so they starve their self and become jet thin.... That is the extreme response but it does happen!

It seems to be, unless your skinny (not too skinny that you can see bone), no real excess fat, not a lot of muscle, no cellulite, no stretch marks, then the media will slate a woman for either being too fat, curvy, boney etc etc etc. That's just a load of garbage! What makes this EVEN worse, is I have actually found in the past that some writers of these pathetic articles are overweight themselves! That's like the Prime Minister going on TV saying 'Everyone should quit smoking', and then straight after the speech, lighting a fag. But These media companies don't care, because they just care about money, how much they can earn from writing stupid articles. They don't seem to give a dam that readers believe what they say, and end up changing their body for the worse. Male celebrities don't tend to get 'attacked' as much in the media about weight, which is strange.

If a female celeb is spotted on a beach with a little bit of cellulite, regardless of her age! then that is straight into the next edition of their awful magazine. No wonder why some celebs turn to drink, drugs, become a recluse or go crazy! They can't do anything without being bullied by these gossip magazines! And again, these things make their way to the readers. Some female celebs have been accused of being 'fat' in the press, so they go the complete opposite way and become skinny - yep! then get crucified in the media for having bones showing. As many people copy what celebs do, there is a good chance readers will copy that celebrity and become jet thin themselves.

To anyone that dislikes their body and wants to change it for the BETTER, then stay far away from these pathetic, bullying magazines. If I was in school and started picking on girls for being skinny, or fat, or having stretch marks, I would get in a lot of trouble, but these companies get away with it, because its apparently 'good news'.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Split Vs full body workouts

This seems to be a popular debate, so I thought I would give my opinion on it.

First of all, if you don't know what is meant by the terms 'split' and 'full body' workouts, here are the meanings. Split workouts are simply workouts that are aimed at different parts of the body each session - I.e. one day you train legs, the next you train back and chest. Full body workouts are simply working the whole body during your workout. But what one is best? I don't actually think that just one is the best, I think it depends what your goals are, the equipment that is available to you and the time you have to train.

If you have limited equipment, then I would say a full body workout is a must, simply because you havent got the equipment to enable you to split your workouts. You can't really have a great leg session if you don't have a squat rack or certain weights. Split workouts are great for people wanting to build muscle, as you can train certain muscles 100%. What I mean by that is, you cant give 100% on each muscle in a full body workout  because your energy levels will drop after a while. Saying that, some people believe a full body workout gives a better boost in muscle building than split workouts. It is also known that full body workouts burn way more calories,  which is why I guess they are the preffered method for people who want to lose weight.

So, as I said, it does depend on a few things, you just have to do what you think is best for you and your lifestyle.

Monday, 10 June 2013

The difference between YOU and a SAS soldier

If you compare the average person to an elite soldier of the SAS, most people would say things like - 'They are in much better shape', 'they are 'tanked', etc etc. But there is ONE main difference, and this difference can literally transform you and your body.

The training that a soldier of the SAS goes through is pretty much like going to hell and back. People have died in the training process, that's how tough it is! These soldiers are trained to be like machines, to be able to withstand anything, anyone and any situation. The SAS are the guys that the UK turn too when things are really bad, because these guys (nearly all of the time) get the job done. Their are two sides to the training - body and mind, but what is more important? well it certainly isn't the body. Yes these guys are in incredible  shape, strong, athletic and have tremendous endurance. But their mind is what keeps them alive. These soldiers are put into some of the worst conditions you can think of, but that's where they thrive. You know....I see Facebook post and tweets about people 'cant cope' with bad weather etc.... those are the kinds of people that just can't really deal with anything, and that is where they go wrong. The SAS are put through such grueling training that when they are out in battle, their minds work like computers, so when a situation arises, they don't really think about it, they see - react - act. Most people know that being in the army is a very disciplined job, but the SAS is a whole new level, and that's the thing that will help so many people with not only weight loss but also their lives.

Weight loss is about discipline, you have to just get up and get on with it. If you said to someone - 'get up at 6am on a Sunday morning and go to the gym', I'm sure their response will have a few swear words in it...but that is the kind of discipline people need, otherwise it tends to be a half hearted effort. If you look at some of the top fitness athletes, they live a strict life, but its not a crap one, they just love what they do, they love working out. A lot of people these days are lazy to be honest with you, and that's why people don't bother cooking fresh, healthy meals - they will order a takeaway as it's 'easier'.

To really help either your weight loss goals or your muscle building goals, developing a mind similar to a SAS solider's, I can tell you now, you WILL notice a difference, you WILL train hard and you WILL be in amazing shape - both physically and mentally!

One thing that helps torch fat + build muscle!

Hi! I just wanted to do a quick post on something that many people actually do not do. There are many styles of training, many diets, a huge variety of fitness equipment etc etc, but if you are not PATIENT, then you will not reach your goals!....

Losing fat and/or building muscle is not a short term goal. There is no way you will be able to burn of 4 stone of fat and build lean muscle in 4 weeks, don't care who you are, it just ain't happening! You have to be patient, and realise that you WILL reach your goals if you don't expect to reach them in the matter of a few weeks. I see nearly everyday some stupid advertisement in the web that claims if you buy their 'product', you will lose x amount of stone and be ripped n such a short time, well this is what people call a load of crap! Your body is a very complex system, and yes it will be able to go from skinny to brawny AND fat to fit, but you have to give it time! Its so common for people to give up after 2 weeks in the gym because they aren't ripped by that time. I have known people to have a go and argue with their trainer because they aren't in the best shape of their life in 4 weeks time, it is NOT the trainers fault. Some trainers are stupid and make outrageous promises to their client, but most don't, because they know it takes time for goals to be reached.

There is only one plan that i have come across that gets amazing results in a relatively short space of time (3 months) and that is 'AthleanX' created by top trainer Jeff Cavalier. But that is still 1/4 of a year....NOT a couple of weeks!

Trust me....if you be patient, workout hard in the gym, eat clean, you will reach your goals. If you expect results in a couple of weeks then your just going to end up giving up, which is pointless!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Nutritional muscle building mistake!

Usually when guys (or girls) are wanting to pack on some muscle and get 'tanked', they mostly think about 2 things - gym and protein. While those two things are vital for packing on muscle, there is something that so many people overlook.

Everyone knows that protein is vital for muscle building, but there is something else, something that seems to be forgotten. To get 'hench', you need to up your overall CALORIE intake. Most people tend to eat a fair amount of protein, coming from food and shakes, but don't think about the overall amount of food. If you google bodybuilding diets, you will see that a very common meal is brown rice and chicken. Bodybuilders eat a lot of carbs, but brown rice is a favorite. They do however change this if they are leading up to a competition, but that's another story. Bodybuilders will eat a lot of protein, but also vegetables and carbohydrates. If you don't eat enough calories, you won't get big. A typical bodybuilding diet will contain between 3000-7000 calories per day depending on age and size. They don't do this purely because they love food, they do this because its a 'must-do' thing to be 'big'.

When it comes to adding size, you don't really need to calorie count as such, you just need to eat a lot of healthy, lean foods. I'm not saying you should eat all day every day, but you want to try and eat every 2-3 hours. If you are training in the gym regularly, lifting heavy weights, eating protein, but aren't noticing the gains you want to be seeing, then try upping your overall calorie intake, you should notice a difference!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

£25 for a healthier you!

There are so many products made by so many brands out there claiming to make you healthier and fitter, but one that seems to be on the 'low' is a blender! Not everyone likes eating fruit and veg, so a blender comes in very handy!

It takes no time at all to chuck some fruit and water in a blender, wizz it up and wahey! a freshly made fruit smoothie packed full of goodness! This is a similar 'process' to having protein shakes. Whats easier - eating a couple of tins of tuna, or drinking a protein shake? the shake! So, whats easier - eating a bunch of fruit, or blending it up and drinking it? its the latter again!

Blending up fruit and veg is a very quick and convenient way to get a load of goodness and healthy calories into your body. As I said, not everyone likes eating fruit, and not everyone (because of their jobs) can go and make a fruit cocktail or something. But with a blender, you can make up a shake in the morning, take it to work and drink it throughout the day. You can pick up frozen packs of fruit that are designed for making smoothies, and they aren't expensive either.

A blender really is a great piece of kit and you can pick up a pretty decent one for around £25. My advice? buy one! buy one and use it every day if you wish! Cheap bit of kit, and having a healthy fruit smoothie or a vegetable juice once a day is so good for your health!

Go buy one!!

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Semtex review

There has been a lot of buzz around 'Semtex by Jodie Marsh' for a while now. I have read a fair amount of tweets about it, pretty much all of them are positive feedback, so I thought I would give it a go and give a review too.

I had a 5 month lay off from working out, where I lost around 9kg of muscle and gained just a bit of 'puppy fat'. I wanted to get rid of that and start getting that muscle back. Being a nutritionist, my day to day eating is great to be honest (not big headed!) and I do like to think I know a fair amount about working out (no way near perfect, but I have learned a lot!)

I did what it said on the tub - 'take two capsules 30-45 mins prior to exercise'. Reading some of the tweets, I was expecting a 'rush' kind of feeling, but I didn't get that. I could feel something, about 20 mins after taking them, I suppose it was like a feeling of energy. So I started my workout, and after about half an hour I could tell a difference from when I used to workout, I did have a bit more 'punch' in the workout. How much is down to semtex? I'm not sure, but considering it has a hefty whack of caffeine, you are going to feel more alert anyway. I do think its also a mental thing as well. This product has been advertised as a fat burner, gives you twice the amount of energy etc etc. So I think when people take the product, they start thinking they have more energy and can go for longer, which in turn makes them push that much harder in their workouts. Now, I'm not saying that this product is a load of garbage and its just people thinking they can push harder. I do believe this product helps with enabling you to push that little bit more, where usually you would just quit. Any product that hasn't got 'strange' or dangerous ingredients in them, and helps to get a better workout, I would recommend people to try them. End of the day, you won't know until you try, and as I just said, if there is no harsh, dangerous ingredients in them, then trying them won't hurt you.

So, overall, I didn't experience a 'rush' like I have read people tweet about, BUT everyone's body is different, but I did feel a bit of a 'kick', and I have been having pretty decent workouts. I have gained around 4kg (not fat!) in a short space of time.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Overloading Vs Overtraining

I wanted to do a follow up post from my last one about overtraining....

There are two terms that are passed around gyms and the fitness world - 'Overloading' and 'Overtraining'. Some people do think they mean the same thing...which I can kind of see why, but they are very different.

As mentioned in my last post, overtraining is where you are training way too much without sufficient rest. I have made it crystal clear that this is BAD and you should never do it. Now, overloading is very different. Whether your a girl or a guy, if you want to gain muscle mass, you need to start overloading your muscles. This means putting your muscles under more 'strain' than they are used to. Have you ever seen a guy in the gym on the weights with facial expressions like they are constipated? well, that's because he is straining his muscles (which is actually tearing the muscles...) and this takes effort! This is what overloading is - putting more load onto the muscles, causing 'damage' which is then repaired to grow bigger and stronger. If you don't overload your muscles then you won't build more muscle. This will 'hit' your body hard, and it will require you to rest for at least 24 hours, if not more. I personally use the 'once every two days' method, where I workout once every two days (hence the name, duh!) and I find this works very well.

I hope this has helped clarify the difference between these two terms.

Overtraining - DO NOT DO THIS!

It is known worldwide that exercise helps you lose weight/build muscle/increase sporting performance and so on, but problems come along when you exercise too much.

I myself love fitness, I love working out, I get a buzz from it! But I also know when to rest, and many people don't - they just think 'must workout, must workout'. Your body heals itself and grows when you rest. Working out in the gym is only phase one of getting in better shape, phase two is rest and getting the right nutrition in your body. Here are some of the 'side effects' of overtraining:

- Can cause a weight loss plateau
- Can mess around with your menstrual cycle
- Can play havoc with your sleeping pattern
- Can cause mood swings
- Constant feeling of exhaustion
- Takes up all your free time

Those side effects are no joke.... who wants to always feel shattered? who wants to stop losing weight when that's your goal? Who wants to annoy their friends with mood swings? I would guess nobody!

Some people are so obsessed with losing weight that they will go to the gym everyday for an hour, and then get confused why they aren't losing weight, so they go even more! In my eyes, I don't see the point in going to the gym for half an hour a day doing a bit of 'light exercise', unless you are recovering from an injury or of an older age. I would rather go to the gym once every two days and 'kill it' as they say, go to the gym and have a real hard workout. This will mean you won't overtrain and also, will give you more free time to do other things. The reason why I just said you won't overtrain is because if you went to the gym for half an hour every day and you weren't seeing the results you wanted, your more likely to up that to an hour a day or more, and it can progress from there - which is overtraining.

I hope this helps, just remember - less is a way. Listen to your body, treat it with respect and you will reach your goals.