Monday, 31 March 2014

Building muscle at home

People seem to think that you have to be in a gym to either burn fat or build muscle, well, you don't, it just makes things easier. I want to talk about building muscle at home, and this isn't just 'my thoughts', because I actually workout at home.

Due to current personal circumstances, I workout at home and have limited equipment, but do I let that stop me? hell no. Here is the list of equipment that I have to use:

- A bench with barbell rack
- A '3 position' chin up bar
- A barbell
- 2 dumbbell bars
- 120kg in weight plates
- 18kg kettlebell
- An exercise bike
- A punch bag
- And my body weight

I would say that's a good amount of equipment to have at home (all bought on sale by the way, love a bargain!) but there are pieces of equipment that I would love to have but do not own. So, how can you build muscle at home?

Well by getting yourself some equipment like I have, you can still do a good variety of exercises using fairly heavy weights. You can also use different training methods (it's not always about 'lift heavy or go home') You can experiment with different sets/reps, you can change the amount of time 'under tension' and so forth. My best advice is to stick with the 'tried and tested' exercises, such as - bench press (vary the angles) pull ups, barbell row, dumbbell fly/press, squat, shoulder shrugs, calf raises etc. The only problem I have is that I do not own a squat rack or any rests, so I have to lift the bar over my head (which is safe when you don't have a ton of weight on the bar). I have modified this to make it work, so I do slower squats (which really burn!) and I do barbell lunges, deadlifts and calf raises. This gives me a good leg workout with the equipment I have available.

As I don't have all of the equipment that I want/need, I don't do split workouts, I actually workout once every two days, performing a full body workout. This is tougher, a little more tiring, but it also burns some more calories to shift any excess fat. Now, without being big headed (as I am not at all) I wouldn't class myself as fat, even when I have been injured, I've always made sure to stay slim. But within the last 6'ish weeks, I have gone from around 72kg to about 78kg, and I haven't gained fat as my abs are still in decent shape. Coming back from my injury I tightened up everything and have thrown myself 100% into training and my diet, and my results are showing that hard work pays off.

You don't always have to pay out for a gym membership, as buying your own equipment (even though it's an upfront cost) costs you nothing every month. It is possible to gain muscle by training at home, you just have to work hard, be disciplined, keep your diet good and consistent. If I was training in a gym, I am very confident that my body would be better, and that my progress would be faster, but as I am training at home, I am still very pleased with my results, and you can do it too. It's also a great way for beginners to get in a bit better shape before they go into a gym. Some guys who are either skinny or very slim, can easily become scared or shy about lifting weights in a gym with some big guys around you. So by training at home, you can get yourself started, get into shape a bit, tone up, get fitter, and then you can head to a gym without feeling embarrassed or insecure. But remember! Everyone starts at the same place! So even those big guys in the gym were once slim, skinny or fat.

Why not try my BULK UP healthy eating plan to help you pack on that muscle!

Sunday, 30 March 2014

'Sunday Supplement'


Today I want to talk about one of the most common vitamins - vitamin C.

Vitamin C has several important benefits - It helps fight infections, colds, helps strengthen your immune system and helps to battle diseases. It is necessary for maintaining healthy connective tissue and helps to heal wounds. It also has some benefits for those people wanting to build muscle. By upping your vitamin C level, you can help to decrease the amount of cortisone that is released (a hormone that is released when you are under stress, decreases your testosterone levels and pushes your body into a catabolic state, which you do not want).

Vitamin C can't just act on its own though, it needs the help of other nutrients in order to work. For example, if you are trying to fight off an infection, Vitamin C can help, but it also needs vitamin B6, B12, zinc, folic acid and choline in order to work. That's just another piece of evidence that not just 'one thing' will do the trick.

Where can you find vitamin C?

- Oranges and orange juice (the most common source)
- Broccoli
- Potatoes
- Strawberries
- Blackcurrants
- Red peppers
- Kiwi
- Mange tout
- Papaya

How much do you need?

I have seen some different opinions out there, but the common 'dosage' should be 1-3g per day. For athletes/smokers, 4-10g per day. This is due to the free radicals in the body, infection, stress, recovery needed etc.

If you take too much vitamin C, you could end up with an upset stomach, and possibly have to go to the bathroom more frequently! So stay within the guidelines....

You can supplement with vitamin C, but to be honest with you, the fact you can so easily consume vitamin C, there isn't really any need for it. Remember, food first!

Vitamin C is crucial for many reasons, and also, your body cannot store it, so you need to consume it every single day!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Compound VS isolation exercises

Hi guys, today I want to briefly talk about two common but very different exercise methods, and they are - Isolation exercises vs compound exercises. I will split this post into two sections - those methods for fat loss, and for muscle building. Isolation exercises are movements that isolate a particular muscle, whereas compound exercises are ones that involve a number of muscle groups.

Lets start with fat loss - which method is best?

Compound exercises are far better at burning fat than isolation exercises. Let's take an example - A bicep curl (isolation) vs a squat (compound). The bicep curl will be better at breaking down the bicep, ready for growth, but it's not going to burn a whole lot of calories. Whereas with the squat, you're using your calves, quads, hamstrings, back and core muscles. This exercise is using more muscles, which will require more energy (calories). Also, you can do many repetitions with body weight, or adding weight to make it tougher, which will burn even more calories. If you stick to isolation movements, you aren't going to shift unwanted fat, you're just going to tone that muscle a bit. So if fat loss is your goal, then you want to go for compound exercises. If you carry on performing low intensity isolation exercises to work on each part of your body, then you aren't going to see the results you want.

However, if your goal is to build muscle, I would actually say that both methods are good, but compound movements are better. You have the favourited exercises for building muscle, such as squat, deadlift, bench press and military press (just to name a few), they are all movements that require more than one muscle group. If you do those exercises correctly, you will hit the intended muscle, but if your form is bad, you could end up placing the stress on other muscles. There are a few isolation exercises that people wanting to build muscle use (and even those who are already 'stacked') - bicep curl, skull crushers, calf raises etc. So isolation exercises do have a place, but compound movements are still the best as you can move more weight and you're not placing all the stress on one muscle group and also the joints needed! Over the years I have seen many guys trying to lift way too much weight on exercises such as a bicep curl, and the strain going through not only the muscle, but the joints as well, it's just stupid.

I didn't want to make this too long, and I hope I have given some of you an insight into these two training methods!

Tune in tomorrow for 'Sunday Supplement'! 

Friday, 28 March 2014

How to measure FAT LOSS

I guess this is something that people worry about, stress over, and also usually do incorrectly. If you asked a bunch of people who struggle with weight, 'how do you measure your weight loss?', the common answer will be  - 'I weigh myself on the scales'. Is this the best way? no.

What is wrong with the scales? Well, a number of things really. If you are someone that wants to burn fat and tone up (a very common goal), then if you are training correctly, you will be burning fat, but also building muscle. By doing this, your body will be shedding unwanted fat, but you will also be adding a little bit of muscle, and that can equal each other out on the scales, so it may look like all of your hard work in the gym isn't doing anything and people can soon become fed up and disheartened. It doesn't give a measurement on just fat - it simply shows your combined weight of muscle tissue, bones, fat, fluid etc. So, how should you track your progress?

To start with, stop worrying about the scales and becoming obsessed with weighing yourself. I have read some interviews and have had clients that have weighed themselves several times a day, every day! that's just nuts! Your weight can fluctuate throughout the day, depending on what you eat, how much you drink, how hydrated/dehydrated you are and so on. So if you currently do that, stop.

I think one of the best ways to track your progress, is to measure yourself. By taking measurements of your waist, thighs, chest and arms, and remeasuring every few weeks, you will be able to visually see/read your body size reducing. I personally do that, Before I started training again after my injury, I measured my chest, arms, waist and thighs, and have remeasured a couple of times to make sure I am on the right track. I have even gone to the extent of creating an excel document to keep track of my progress, but you don't have to do that. A great thing about this, is that it takes longer to remeasure yourself than it does to quickly hop on the scales, so you are a lot less likely to keep measuring yourself. You don't need to keep checking your weight if you know that you are training hard and eating healthy, because if you are doing that, you just need to be patient. Some people burn fat quicker than others, and some people build muscle quicker than others, we are all different and all do things at a different rate.

I recommend giving body measurements a try, and as mentioned, I personally do it. I don't like to advise people to do something that I don't personally do or have done. You can still use the scales if you want to, as it is quick and handy to make sure you are heading in the right direction. It's probably better for people who are on a muscle building program, rather than a fat loss (because of the reason mentioned above) but if you don't have a good diet, you could be putting on fat, and the scaled will just say you are getting heavier, but it might not be muscle, so it still has its downfalls. I do check my weight on the scales sometimes, and make notes of my weight, just as another tool to make sure I'm progressing and not going backwards. But body measurements are a lot more accurate, as you will be able to tell where you are building more muscle or less. For instance, if a guy wants to 'bulk up', and his arms are improving but not so much his chest, he will then know that he needs to work more on his chest.

'Sunday Supplement' is back in two days, so be sure to check back in!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

'Night time' nutrition

This post is mainly aimed at muscle building, but it could still be applied to others. You know about protein, you know about carbs, you know about eating enough food, you know about pre workout supplements/food, you know about post workout supplements/food, but what do you do before you go to bed?

The average amount of sleep people get is about 6-8 hours, so when you're asleep, for those 6-8 hours, you're sleeping, your body is still working, still repairing itself, still performing functions - it's like a Formula 1 pit crew that never sleeps. If you have dinner at, lets say, 7pm, and you go to bed at 11pm, that's a 4 hour gap where (if you have had a good, healthy dinner) your body will be utilising that food and repairing your muscles from the workout you have had that day. But when you lay your head down and nod off, your body will be 'running on empty' (probably not 100% accurate, but we will go with it for the conversation sake). During those hours of sleep, if you don't have the correct nutrition in you, your body can actually break down muscle tissue instead of rebuilding it, and this is not what we want. So, what should you have before you go to bed?

The number one thing that you want is a slow digesting protein. Many meat sources take an average time of 2 hours, some being 1, some being 3-4 (pork). Fish is a little quicker, anywhere from 30 minutes to about 1.5 hours to digest. I'm sure someone may tell me I'm wrong with those figures, but those are the ones I remember (If I'm wrong, please let me know) Even if you took the slowest digesting food, topping out at about 4 hours, still not quite as long as your sleeping time, and not everyone wants to eat a lump of meat at half 10-11 o'clock at night. If you don't want to go down the food route, then you can use a shake, a very popular one at that - Casein protein.

Casein protein is known in the fitness world as the 'night time protein', because it is a slow releasing protein. Brands do vary, I have seen some that take about 5 hours to digest, and some that are 7 hours, I have seen only one brand that says 8 hours. These are a lot better than the food digesting times. The benefit? A lower risk of muscular tissue breakdown. When you sleep, it is the perfect time for your body to heal itself (whether that's healing muscle tissue, or a cold - hence why you tend to sleep a lot when you're ill), so by having a protein that digests slowly throughout the night, your muscles are 'drip fed' protein all night long (providing you don't sleep for a long time!)

I know some guys that like to have a few carbs before they go to sleep as well, I have tried this method, haven't noticed any real benefit, but haven't noticed any drawbacks either, so you could also try that (makes sense in a way - have some carbs (energy) so your body will use that instead of protein).

Some brands have different forms of casein protein, for instance, Hench Nutrition have 'mega milk' that is a slow digesting protein. You just want to look out for either casein or similar products that are slow digesting. I really do think its a worthwhile purchase. If you want to go down the food route, by all means, go for it, but as mentioned - not everyone likes eating that late at night, and the digesting rates are quicker than the shake. I do recommend you give it a go though, I really do think it will benefit you and help you with your progress.

I'm not endorsing the product shown above, it's simply there for effect. 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Cardio machines - good or bad?

This topic seems to be an ongoing debate, especially online anyway! I see a lot of people backing the use of cardio machines, and then a lot of people saying they are outdated and a waste of time. So, are they good or bad? Well, it depends what your goals are really...

Lets say you're someone that wants to burn fat and pack on some muscle, are cardio machines any good for that? I would say not really... Many trainers (good ones anyway!) have moved on from cardio machines to weight training. Think about it, if you want to gain muscle, then weights are your friend, and by placing your body under stress because of the added weights, that will burn more calories.

You do still get trainers that 'plonk' their clients on a treadmill for 20 minutes and leave them, those are the people you should NOT hire, firstly it's not 'personal training' and also, it sucks! If you are a female, you may be worried about adding muscle (if you don't want muscle mass) if you train with weights, well, you're wrong. You aren't going to turn into a mini 'Arnie' if you start using weights. When I say weight training, I'm not talking about the training the 'beasts' in the gym do, I'm talking about light weights. There are plenty of body movement exercises right? well, they are good, and if you do circuits of those, that will burn fat. How about adding weights into those exercises? it will simply make you work harder, therefore burning more calories. It shouldn't be heavy weights unless you want to go into proper weight training.

Does that mean you shouldn't use cardio machines at all? no.

I personally use an exercise bike for about 5-10 minutes to simply get the blood flowing. Then I perform a little circuit to get myself pumping. Some people will say to me 'that is a waste of time, what are you doing?', well, it works for me. A fair few guys that I know that are in good shape use a cardio machine as a warm up, but that's it really.

If you want to train for endurance, then yes, you need to use machines or your own body (i.e. a run). If you want to run a marathon, then you need to run, simple as that. It really does depend on your goals, but if your goal is for fat loss, I would definitely recommend you use weights instead of going for a brisk walk on a treadmill.

The great thing about using weights instead of cardio machines for fat loss, is that using weights will actually help tone your muscles - giving your body shape. Running on a treadmill does burn calories, but not as much, and it doesn't really give your body a good shape, whereas weights do.

Cardio machines do have their benefits though, especially with the elderly and those coming back from injury. Its quite clear than elderly people can't put themselves through a weighted circuit (I suppose some can...), and when you're older, its very beneficial to keep moving and getting regular exercise. With coming back from injury, I remember when I had a thigh/hip problem, and I was out for quite a while, and to start with my physio got me on a treadmill to get back to walking, then jogging, and then full running, so it was beneficial.

It is common for people to just hop on a treadmill, as its easier than having a circuit in mind using weights. Don't be lazy, go to the gym to train! not jog!

Monday, 24 March 2014

The best beauty prescription - Fitness!

I saw a figure the other day that claimed the beauty industry in the UK is valued at over £10bn ! That is insane.. I read a bit more of that article and it was what you would guess - creams, lotions, anti-aging, lip creams, eye creams etc etc... All of those products are chemically manufactured and while they may have some benefits, what are the long term effects of using these products? I am here to tell you that many women are missing a vital 'beauty treatment', and that is fitness. I'm using the word fitness to describe the whole 'fit life' - eating healthy, training, exercise, cutting out the junk and so on.

So, how can fitness possibly be better than these specific products on the market today that have scientific evidence showing they work? Well, because you can use them all day everyday if you wish, but your 'beauty' is defined a lot by how you treat your body. You see, if you eat a poor diet/smoke/drink alcohol/do drugs/cake on tons of make up/don't stay fit etc, your body has very little to work with. Your skin is actually one of the last organs to receive 'goodness', so if you eat a poor diet, then any little bits of goodness in those foods, won't be going to your skin. So how can you look good, healthy, younger, if you're not giving your body the tools it needs? You won't.

One amazing, simple change you can make to help you look and feel healthier is water. Hydration is crucial for your health and also gives you a healthier look. As mentioned above, you can use whatever creams or lotions you want, but will they give you a good looking figure? no, not a chance! That is where exercise comes in. If you workout regularly, you will be shaping your body to how you want it, therefore, looking better! and it's a heck of a lot cheaper than paying out for those expensive products.

If you treat your body badly, but purchase all of those products, your gonna be at a standstill. Those products may work, but only where you use them, whereas if you turn to the fit life, your whole body will benefit. If your body is not in a healthy state, how will it look healthy? Fitness really is one of the best beauty treatments and also an amazing anti-aging treatment. If you look at women that are into health and fitness, they are glowing from head to toe, and that's because they take care of themselves. If you still want to go out drinking alcohol, eating whatever you want, smoking, even doing drugs, then don't expect some expensive cream to come and save you.

Take care of your body and you will be surprised at the results you will see. Also, it's never good to pile lots of chemicals on your skin. Most of what gets put on your skin actually gets absorbed into the blood stream. So all of those chemicals in your favourite creams are going inside your body, not just on your skin.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sunday Supplement

Welcome to Sunday Supplement! 

Today, I want to talk about Iron. This is a mineral that many people are deficient in, but its important to the human body for a number of reasons.

Iron is required for the production of red blood cells and transporting oxygen around the body, so that in itself shows how important iron is. In terms of sport and athletes, iron is crucial as it is involved in converting blood sugar into energy, which is obviously vital to that athlete to perform at his best. Iron can also help you recover from being ill or from strenuous exercise.

Iron plays a role in physical and mental growth, so for toddlers and pregnant women, iron is a must. I have seen surveys that have shown many pregnant women being deficient in iron, this is down to having a tiny human growing inside you, but also women in general are more at risk of being deficient in iron. Your iron levels can deplete in a variety of ways - sweating, urination, defecation, exfoliation and bleeding. As women go through their monthly cycle, bleeding occurs, which is a way of iron escaping, so I would advise women to get their levels checked if you are not already supplementing with iron or have a solid diet containing plenty of iron.

If your levels of iron are low, that means the transportation of oxygen will be lower, leading to the following symptoms:

- Dizziness
- Fatigue
- Light headed
- Difficulty focusing
- Apathy
- Breathlessness
- unusually pale skin
- brittle nails
- Lower immunity (getting ill more often)
- Reduced performance for athletes

If you have any of the above, I would advise you to see your GP and get checked out. Iron really IS important to your health.

Top iron rich foods:

- Spinach
- Chicken breast
- Lean sirloin
- Lean ground beef
- Salmon
- Pumpkin seeds
- Broccoli
- Beef liver


Since we cannot produce iron ourselves, it is extremely crucial that we either consume plenty of iron, or supplement with iron. As always, try and get it from food first, and if you need a top up, then go and get yourself a supplement, DONT just rely on a supplement.

(I am not endorsing the product in the picture above, it's simply there to show the supplement)

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Weight loss surgery - should you get it?

Today I want to briefly talk about a subject that I think people need to be more aware of before doing it, and that is having weight loss surgery.

Weight loss surgery should be a last resort, and too many people have it when they really do not need it. It was initially designed for people that were so obese that they couldn't walk, couldn't get out of bed, couldn't fend for themselves. The aim is to cut away fat and usually perform gastric band surgery (which is used to shrink the size of the stomach - meaning you can't eat a lot). You have smaller weight loss surgery such as liposuction, which is made famous by celebrities to be honest. What is the problem with this then? surely losing weight is good? Not entirely...

Firstly, it's expensive. A lot of surgeries for this in the UK are carried out on the NHS, so it's free for people, but costs the country a lot of money (private surgeries are well into the thousands...). Secondly, just because you have less fat and a smaller stomach, is that going to make you stop eating bad foods? no. Unless you change your lifestyle, your eating habits and start exercising, it will be a waste of time. You may well have a smaller stomach, but if you continue to eat junk, you WILL gain weight again. I remember reading in a newspaper (cannot remember which one, don't want to guess as I could be wrong) a few years ago about a woman who wanted weight loss surgery, but was told she was not big enough to qualify. So, what did she do? you would think she would go and lose the weight naturally wouldn't you..... you couldn't be more wrong. She actually went away, and ate even worse on purpose to gain the weight needed to qualify for weight loss surgery. To me, that just shouts - LAZY!! and its costing the country millions each year. I don't know that woman, and I don't know if she actually had the surgery in the end (but I'm sure she would have) but I wouldn't be surprised if she did not change her lifestyle, eating and exercise habits, which means she would be gaining weight again. I could be wrong, she could have changed her lifestyle, but after reading her words in the newspaper, the way she came across, that's very unlikely...

Now, there are plenty of people that have had weight loss surgery and it has dramatically changed their lives, and I have nothing against those people. Some people need it in order to start exercising and providing for themselves. I respect anyone who gets off their butt and changes their life, whether its all off their own back, or with the help of surgery. It's the people that take free operations and continue to treat their bodies like crap, who I don't respect.

So, should you have it? Well, if you're so obese that you can't do much for yourself at all, then I would say it would be an option to talk about with your doctor (I'm sure they would mention it to you first though) but if you're not that obese, and you can walk, even jog a bit, cook, go shopping, then you do not need it, you CAN do it the natural way. But whatever you do, please, please, please do not do what the woman did mentioned above, do not just gain weight to qualify for surgery.... If you do go for surgery, you NEED to make sure you change your eating habits, your lifestyle and exercise. There is no point in having the surgery if you are just going to continue with your bad ways. If you get it, make sure you make the most of it and turn your life around.

There is a saying from Will Smith that I want to share with you, it says 'he' and not he or she, but it can be applied to anyone, it just so happens that he says 'he'.

"He who says he can, and he who says he can't, are both usually right"

I think that is a great saying. Have a think about it....

Have a great Saturday! and check back tomorrow for my Sunday Supplement! 

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Who NOT to listen to

Within the nutrition and fitness industry, there are a lot of good people who talk sense, but unfortunately there are a lot of useless people who talk absolute garbage! But what's even worse, is that people get 'conned' into those peoples 'beliefs'. So, what should you look out for in people?

My best advice is to 'vet' people. With me, I trust just a few people in the nutrition and fitness industry, why? because time and time again they talk sense, they know their stuff, and they have proof that what they do and say works. There are a huge amount of 'wannabe's' out there that, to be frank, talk utter rubbish, those are the people you should NOT listen to. A group of people that I have never followed or listened to and never will, are 'Herbalife distributors'. I have had 7 follow me, and when they realised I didn't follow back, they unfollowed me. They are just salesmen, and ridiculously bad ones at that. None of them looked in shape, or showed any kind of affiliation with fitness and nutrition, they just flogged Herbalife's awful products. If people seem more concerned with money, selling their products/programs/services, than actually helping people, then run away!!

Not every trainer is 'jacked' with muscle. Some of the best trainers in the world aren't huge, they are simply healthy, so the amount of muscle mass doesn't actually matter that much. Two very successful trainers couldn't be more different - Nick Mitchell and Bob Harper, but they get amazing results in their areas of fitness. But if a trainer is overweight or just unfit (struggling to keep up with their clients) then they are a big 'no no', those are the people to stay away from. I won't name who this person is, but I remember a trainer I came across on Twitter and he wasn't in shape at all, had pictures of him getting drunk a lot, even eating take aways all the time etc etc... He preached his beliefs, he disagreed with my tweets a lot, and it got to the point that I simply couldn't be bothered reading his garbage anymore so I blocked him. You get a lot of those kind of people unfortunately. If someone is a trainer/nutritionist or anything similar, they should be healthy, fit, in shape, and do as they say. Why would you listen to someone telling you how to lose weight, when they are overweight themselves??

The best thing to do, is find a few people that regularly post on social media / their websites / their blogs or on Youtube, and if they talk sense regularly, talk about worthwhile things, they aren't just trying to flog their programs or systems, follow them! listen to them! because they are most likely 'the real deal'. Try and avoid people that seem  (sorry for my bluntness) way too far up their own ass, because a personal trainer or a nutritionist is there to help others, understand others, give other people happiness within themselves, NOT to show off their body 50x a day or go on and on about how much they bench!

As always, be smart, don't get conned, and find a few people to trust. My main 'source' for information in the fitness and nutrition industry is Nick Mitchell (you should give him a follow....he knows a few things!)

Monday, 17 March 2014

Help with Monday morning blues


It seems as though most people hate Monday mornings, and a part of me understands and a part of me doesn't.... let me explain.

Everybody loves a weekend (if you don't work on weekends that is) as you can do whatever you want, have a night out, go play a round of golf, go shopping, whatever suits you. But then waking up Monday morning and having to go back to work for 5 days seems to make most people struggle. If you love your job/career, then you won't hate waking up on Monday mornings, because you will be looking forward to going back to work, but it seems as though people hate Monday's because they don't like their job. But I'm sure there are people that love their job but still hate Monday mornings, and say things like 'ahh the weekends always go so quick!'. So, how can you help yourself?...

You want to have a structure, and I know what you may be thinking - usually when 'structure' is mentioned, people think of some army style plan, but I'm not talking about a strict system here...

Let me give you an example by sharing my 'structure' on weekends. I workout once every two days, so lets take it that I worked out on the Friday. I would just simple relax on the Friday evening, nothing strenuous, just chill out with a good movie (after a workout, my body is usually in 'rest' mode anyway!) I would then wake up Saturday morning at about 8am, and get some breakfast in me (usually eggs!). Then for a few hours during the day I will be doing little bits of work (not really 'work' for me though as I love my job!) will go through my social accounts, my blog and website. Saturday evening, whether I go out or stay in, will be an alcohol free night for me as I will be working out in the morning! (I don't drink much alcohol anyway...) Sunday morning - wake up at 7-8am, get some breakfast, pre workout shake, and then hit my session hard. After, will be doing my Sunday supplement blog post, check my emails, social accounts, and then it done for the day! I usually do a few household jobs on Sunday afternoon, and then relax that evening. I try and do something that puts me in a good mood, whether its a film, a game, TV show or something else. I find that being in a good mood on Sunday, follows through to Monday morning. I don't go to sleep late on Sunday nights, as a good nights sleep is the best thing to wake up on Monday in a good mood!

So, to be honest with you, I think the whole 'Monday morning blues' is just a 'myth', because I honestly think Monday morning are dictated by what you do on the weekend. Be smart, have fun, relax, have great weekends! but just remember - If you love your job, you will look forward to Monday mornings more (maybe a change in career is in order?) and if you drown yourself in booze on a weekend, you will not only feel like death on Monday morning, but you will be moody and irritable!

Lee Gregory Fitness

Sunday, 16 March 2014


Welcome to Sunday Supplement!

Today, it's Whey Protein!

This is the most common selling supplement on the market today, and I'm not surprised. Whey is a milk protein that has a high level of BCAA's (Branched-chain amino acids). Whey is a protein that digests fast, which is great for post workout. You can get a form of whey called 'isolate', which is digested even faster (a popular form of whey for post workout recovery). 

The problem with getting all of your protein through food, is that it can become very expensive and also a little time consuming (but it is BEST to get most of your nutrition from food). For post workout, bodybuilders, weight trainers and others alike use a protein shake to get the protein in their system quickly to start the recovery process. If you wanted to get that from food (depending what food you chose, the protein may take longer to digest) then you would have to cook something very quickly, or 'scoff' a tin of tuna or something - whereas a shake is very quick and convenient. 

Do I recommend whey protein? absolutely! BUT ! - don't just rely on it, I say this for every supplement, because its common for people to just rely on them. Use it wisely, and use it effectively. 

Trainers also recommend taking a shake with some whey in it roughly 30 mins prior to a workout, as this will give your body a bit of protein during your workout. 

When buying whey protein, you want to look for one with little to no carbs, hardly any fat, and a good kick of protein (between 20g and 24g per serving). Also, the price usually reflects the quality. If you see a tub of 1kg whey protein for £10, you're likely to be getting pure quality. It does depend on the budget you have though, as everyone doesn't have a limitless bank account to buy the best of the best in supplements and food. A good average price for whey tends to be - 1kg, for about £20-30. But look out for deals and promotions as you could pick up a right bargain and even bulk buy! The bigger the bags/tubs you buy, you do tend to save a good amount, so think about bulk buying! 

Return next week for 'Sunday Supplement!'

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Friday, 14 March 2014

Stay busy to burn fat!

Hello! Have had a little break from my blog this week as I was without internet and landline thanks to BT.... Today, I want to talk about how being busy can help your weight!

What is one of the most common reasons people gain weight? boredom! I can completely understand this as I have been there myself! Sometimes I have been bored, wandered into the kitchen, had a little look in the fridge and cupboards and have ended up eating an unhealthy snack...

There is a tactic that people use to help stop eating bad foods around the house - not buy any bad foods in the first place so they aren't in the house - if they aren't around, you can't eat them. This can work, but if people are bored, they can find a way of eating 'comfort foods'. So, you want to keep yourself busy!

How to do that?? well....find things that you like doing, and do them. For me, I love watching movies, TV shows, listening to music, play a bit of playstation (I will always be a kid at heart!) and working! Also I stay busy with monitoring, updating and designing my social networking accounts and my website.

Have you ever been at work and have been completely bored? that is a common problem, and that can lead to either bringing crisps, chocolate bars etc to work, or popping out and stocking up on fatty snacks to eat during the day. Your job can be an issue, because if it is boring, its easy to snack on bad food, but unless you are able to switch to a new job/career, then it can be an ongoing problem, and that is when you will have to 'up' your will power and self control.

Being at home, you have a lot more control. So as mentioned above, you want to find things that you enjoy, so you're not bored. Nobody wants to be at home (either on a weekend or a day off of work) and sit around being bored, so find some things to do. Getting out of the house is probably the best thing - go and see your friends, go for a round of golf, go to the cinema, go shopping, something that you like doing and stops you being bored.

I don't want to rant on too much about the same thing, but boredom is a contributor to over eating, so if you can stop being bored, you could see your weight drop. You do find that on days where you have plenty of things to do, time does fly! I have been creating a brand new website lately, and there have been days where I have needed to get a lot done, and on a few occasions, I have forgotten lunch because of being so busy!! (those who don't know me personally, I love my food! so forgetting lunch is extremely rare!) But it's good! being busy is very good for the mind and body. That's a top tip from me! stay busy and you can stay lean!

I haven't said this in any other post, but if you like my blog, please share it with your friends! :)

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Sunday Supplement - Multivitamin

Welcome to 'Sunday Supplement'! Today, I want to talk about multivitamins.

Many people out there lead busy, hectic lives, and their nutrition tends to suffer because of that. I'm sure many people suffer from a deficiency in one or more vitamins, and this is where a multivitamin can help. The one problem with supplements is that some people completely rely on them, and don't concentrate on their actual diet because they are taking supplements. By all means, you want to get your nutrition from actual food first, but some people need a boost, some people are so busy with work that they can't eat enough or regularly throughout the day. I myself take a multivitamin every day, and that's just to top up my levels. I am back in training, so yes, I do need more of a lot of things. I do eat healthy, and I prefer to get my nutrition from food, but sometimes I am too busy, or I could be ill and have lost my appetite, so a multivitamin comes in handy.

It's a real easy way of getting the vitamins you need. But as mentioned, don't just rely on them, don't let your diet go out of the window because you are taking a multivitamin. Some people don't eat certain foods, could be allergic to certain foods, could be a vegetarian and so on. These could all cause a deficiency in one or more vitamins, so a multivitamin could really help you out.

This is a short post, but I think it is an important supplement, whether your young, older, pregnant (just check with gp), an athlete, this supplement is safe to use and very beneficial.

Sunday Supplement - every Sunday!

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Thursday, 6 March 2014

Is nutrition actually complicated?

After watching a video from Nick Mitchell, I decided to do this blog post. Many people seem to think that losing fat/building muscle is so complicated and confusing.... when in fact, from a nutritional point of view, its really not.

I can see why people get confused though - there are so many diets out there that promise so much, and having different fitness and nutrition 'experts' and 'guru's' (my god I hate those terms....nobody is an expert and definitely not a guru!!) preaching different nutritional methods, It can all become a bit too much. But the way I work, I like to keep things simple (those who follow me will know that). I don't preach or do a specific 'diet', rather....I just eat healthy. Many people out there say "you shouldn't eat carbs if you want to lose weight" - what a bunch of morons - is that doable for the rest of your life? no, so don't start it. There is no point what so ever starting a diet if you cannot sustain it long term, because as soon as you stop it, you are more than likely to put the weight back on. So why waste your time and money doing that? You should just eat a healthy, balanced diet to start with.

What do I eat?? well, I eat plenty of protein (lean meats, fish, chick peas, red kidney beans, a variety really) lots of fresh vegetables (carrots, leaks, broccoli, peas etc), fruits (prefer berries, but love mangoes!) healthy fats (such as oily fish) moderate carbohydrates (such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, brown rice, brown pasta, brown bread - I do like Burgen bread). What about treats? guilt foods? Well, I'm human! so, yes I do like some chocolate here and there, maybe a bit of ice cream, or some cake - does that destroy my diet? no, does that make me gain weight? no. As long as you eat the 'guilt foods' every now and then, and not every single day, it won't affect your weight, simple as that.

Those people who go on some insanely strict diet, often get fed up and have a binge, or as soon as they come off of it, they wonder why they gain weight after. So don't go near those diets, don't get conned my money grabbing companies that promise you the body of your dreams for a fortune every month, just stick to healthy foods! A great tip I picked up lately is - don't eat it if you see it advertised on tv!'. Think about the foods you see on tv - breakfast cereals/biscuits being the most common (from what I see anyway). I've never seen fresh vegetables being advertised. Another tip that I picked up from Nick Mitchell was, "if you can't kill it, pick it or pluck it, don't eat it".

Just be sensible. Eat healthy foods, a variety of foods, you can have a guilt food every now and then, it WON'T turn you into a sumo wrestler over night....

Check out my updates website, my nutrition plans are available on there.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Skinny OR Fit?

With the 'boom' of fitness in the last few years, there has been an online debate of 'skinny Vs fit'. There are many celebrities out there that are pretty much just skinny, and girls look up to them and end up being skinny themselves, but is that the way to be? I would say NO.

Women that are skinny, simply eat a 'healthy diet'. The reason I use a -> ' is because it isn't actually healthy. These models eat hardly any food to stay thin, that is NOT healthy for the body. Women that are skinny have no shape to their body, which may be great for a catwalk, where they are pretty much a walking hanger - something to show off the clothes, but it's not great for life.

Compare that to someone who is fit, and the differences are huge. Women that are in shape, train, eat healthy, they have a great physique, curves in the right places, a strong body, and strong organs - because of actually eating healthy, unlike skinny models that starve themselves. Women that are in shape look far better in clothes, dresses, bikinis etc, because they have the shape. To be like that, they do eat a healthy diet - they eat enough food, they eat lean food, low fat, low sugar, low alcohol, plenty of fruit, vegetables, protein and complex carbs. So how is that not better than hardly eating foods, throwing up and starving yourself? well, it's not. I honestly don't care who it is that says skinny is better than fit, because I will argue with them until the sun goes down, and I'll keep going!

Being fit doesn't just improves someones confidence, how they feel, their self esteems - which can all improve their lives, it can make people live longer! because you are far healthier, which means your body is healthier -> longer life.

Make your choice, but I cannot think of one argument for skinny being good.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Sunday Supplement - Vitamin D

Welcome to the new edition of 'Sunday Supplement' - today its Vitamin D! This vitamin is very important to the body, but so many people do not get enough.

Vitamin D is not like other vitamins, as our bodies can actually produce it with sunlight exposure. Sunlight is THE best form of vitamin D, and if you're like me and live in a country that doesn't have that high levels of sunlight, then you will most likely need a supplement. You can get it from food, but you get such small amounts that its extremely hard to get enough. Vitamin D is needed by the body to help absorb calcium and phosphate, which help bones to stay healthy and strong.

Food sources include:

- Oily fish (salmon)
- Mackerel
- Powdered milk
- Fortified breakfast cereals
- Eggs
- Fortified fat spreads
- Mushrooms
- Tuna canned in water
- Cheese

By not obtaining enough vitamin D, problems can occur - Bone pain and weakening of the bones. Young children definitely need to get enough vitamin D, otherwise their bones may not grow and mature correctly, which could lead to Rickets - which has risen 4 fold over the last 15 years, and is still on the rise. In a way I can see why, as there is so much information and warnings about skin cancer, that parents are afraid of their children being out in the sun, but the flip side to that is being in the sun is the best way of getting this oh so vital vitamin.

Risk factors of vitamin D deficiency:

- Unsurprisingly, a lack of sun exposure
- Overuse of sun block
- Being 5 years or younger
- Breast feeding
- Spending most of your time indoors
- Covering up nearly all of your body (applies mostly to people with certain religious beliefs)

If you think you may be deficient, go to your GP and get a test done. That way you can know for sure, and you can take the necessary steps to sort your deficiency out - get more sun exposure, eating foods that contain vitamin D, and taking a daily vitamin D supplement.

I hope this post has given you an insight to vitamin D and just how important it is.

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