Monday, 29 September 2014

Listen to your body

This Monday morning has inspired me to do a post on something that a lot of people are divided on. Last night I had a little back ache, nothing bad, nothing that stopped me doing anything. This morning I woke up and had an almighty pain in the lower left part of my back, I couldn't move without being in agony. I just kept thinking "what the heck has happened? Did someone break into my house and attack me with a baseball bat?". Obviously that didn't happen, but that's what it felt like. I rested over the weekend and was ready to workout today, ready to kick ass, but I couldn't. One thing popped into my mind - people online who say "no pain, no gain" and "push through the pain!". What utter garbage.

If I thought 'sod it, i'll just workout, i'll just push through", I am sure I would be in the worst pain I have ever been in. It hurt to just bend down and pick something up, how do you think it would have felt if I lifted some weights??

I fully understand that wanting to shred fat or build lean muscle mass takes a lot of effort, and its not going to be comfortable, but it should not hurt. If you are in pain, that is your body telling you that something is not right and you need to stop. Pushing through pain will only make that pain worse and could cause a serious injury, which you will then be out of action for a long time, instead of resting for a day or two.

If anyone claims that working through pain is the way to go, then I'm sorry, but they are morons. Whenever you see a footballer pull up with a suspected hamstring injury, looking like he's in a bit of pain, does he just carry on? no, he gets substituted, why? because it will only get worse and then he'll be out for much longer (I know that most footballers injuries are over exaggerated, but still, they don't carry on through pain). It's called being sensible.

They're just my thoughts, but after waking up in pain, I wanted to share this.

Lee Gregory Fitness 

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Gyms and intimidation

Do you, or have you ever, gone into a gym and feel intimidated? like you shouldn't be there? It's a common issue. A lot of gyms, mainly the decent ones, are usually full of people in great shape, training hard and look good. This can make 'newbies' feel really intimidated, to the point where they simply turn around and go home, or have a pointless training session because they are too self conscious and worried that others are looking at them with judgmental eyes.

The amazing thing about fitness is that everyone starts from the same place - the beginning. Nobody is born and develops  into the size of Dwayne Johnson, you have to train hard to get in great shape. Going into a gym as a 'newbie' is intimidating, I get that, and I was once a 'newbie' and felt the same. But I had to make a choice - do I quit and not bother? or just power through, knowing that at some point I wouldn't be a 'newbie' and would be progressing.

There is an alternative though. If you are still too self conscious to go into a busy gym, you can always buy some equipment and workout in the comfort of your own home. It's more expensive to start with, as you might have to spend a couple of hundred pounds to purchase a variety of exercise equipment, but you won't have to pay any monthly costs, as you do with a gym membership. I know a fair few people who do this, and it is extremely convenient. I myself have weights, a bench, dumbbells, barbell, chin up bar, kettlebells and a punch bag. I do work out at home a lot, and in the near-ish future, i'll be moving out where I will be fortunate enough to have a private gym in my apartment block. Working out at home is great though - you can choose when to workout, you don't have to wait for equipment during peak times, you can have whatever music on in the background, there isn't anybody around to 'judge you' or intimidate you and so on.

So for those people are do get intimidated, you do have options. You can either 'suck it up' and power through, or you can workout from home. You just want to keep in mind that the majority of the people who go to a gym, are there to train, to improve their fitness, to improve their looks, not to look around at others. You do get some people who are so in love with their body that all they do is look in the mirror - those are the ones who should feel embarrassed.

Lee Gregory Fitness

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Post Workout Meal

Many things to do with nutrition are important, and a post workout meal is one of them. After you have had a tough workout, your body needs nutrients to start the recovery process. A lot of people think you have to get the nutrients in immediately after your workout, that's not entirely true. I aim to get a post workout meal/shake in within half an hour. I personally think that anytime during that half hour is fine.

A question I get asked a lot by clients, people who like my Facebook page, and friends, is "what should I have after my workout?". How much of certain ingredients will depend on the intensity of your workouts and your fitness goals, but here is what I have after my workouts, and have found it to be effective:

- 6g glutamine
- 6g BCAA's
- 6g creatine
- 1g electrolytes
- 30g maltodextrin
- 30g whey protein

Yes, that isn't a 'meal', it's a shake, but that's simply because when I workout, it's more convenient for me to have a shake, and I usually have a meal a couple of hours later. This shake really helps me to recover. Before I started having this, I used to ache a lot more later that day and also the following day, whereas now I ache far less after getting that goodness into my system after my workouts.

Post workout nutrition is all about getting necessary nutrients into your body to start the recovery phase. If you 'miss' the window to get those nutrients in, your recovery could be hindered and you'll recover slower. You definitely want protein and fast acting carbs (i.e maltodextrin), and having other ingredients like I use will aid your recovery for sure.

Some peoples post workout nutrition is a lot less than mine, I know a few guys that literally have protein and carbs, and that's all. It all depends on what you want to do, your budget and your goals. An aspiring bodybuilder will have a lot more than I do, but a guy who is simply wanting to get a little fitter, will have less.

There's my opinion and also what I do, any questions please contact me through my website or my Facebook page.

Have a look on Hench Nutrition for awesome post workout supplements! Discount code - HNBKHM1H

Lee Gregory Fitness

Saturday, 6 September 2014

How to be healthy 'on the go'

I get asked this a lot to be honest - "how can I stay healthy on the go?". It's all about discipline!

You have to be prepared to actually prepare! Sure, you can eat out wherever you want, but is that healthy? most of the time no. So what can you do? you can cook meals for when you're on the road. At the moment, I don't travel that much for work, but I do have the occasional overnight stay, or sometimes a weekend, and I make sure I am prepared. It is easier now as I have the Core150 stackpack, but I still prepared my nutrition before I got that. Pre cooking your meals is a must. Having some tubs of chicken/rice/veg, or some nuts, fruit, cottage cheese etc. Make sure you put them in a food friendly bag of course, but having food like that on the go is great. Nothing easier than popping a tub of nutritious food in the microwave, or eating it cold! Having food prepared in tubs is also great if you just have a long day ahead of you, long drives or commuting to and from work.

Many people are into supplements as well, so buying storage containers for powders and pills (sounds a bit druggy....) is a must too. You need to treat your nutrition like your general packing when you go away for a short break - make sure you pack the supplements and food that you need. I myself pack my protein, bcaa's, glutamine, creatine, beta alanine, green tea extract, and then some pre cooked meals that I can microwave.

It does take a lot of effort but it is well worth it. You don't want to let your results slip a bit just because you are out of your comfort zone. Don't be lazy and prepare properly! your body will thank you later. A lot of hotels these days have gyms, and if not, then I'm sure there is a gym nearby, so you can still get your workouts in, even though you are away. At the bare minimum you can go for a run!

If you eat out at restaurants, avoid the fatty foods obviously, and stay away from many sauces and salad dressings, as they tend to be high in empty calories. Just remember, YOU are paying THEM, so you can ask to switch a few things around in your order, don't just settle for what they have on the menu. Keep the meats lean, keep the vegetables high, avoid overloading on carbs, and say no to the free bread! (a lot of restaurants serve that, and it's usually white and very poor).

There's some of my tips for being healthy on the go, just a quick post today, but have been asked that a lot recently so I thought I should do it as a blog post!

Enjoy your weekend everybody, I shall be watching the main man, Lewis Hamilton, winning in Monza!

Lee Gregory Fitness 

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Dr Zak's high protein bread review

I first heard of Dr Zak's bread quite a while ago, but for whatever reason I never came around to actually buying a loaf (which I regret). They kindly sent me a loaf to try and review, which I appreciate, so here it is!

Bread is one of the most common pieces of food that we eat, but unfortunately most of the bread consumed is unhealthy. White bread is just a huge 'no no', and I always tell my clients and anyone who comes to me for advice, to cut out all 'whites' (bread, pasta, rice etc). Truth be told, all breads aren't that good for you, simply because they are processed (you don't grow a loaf of bread on a tree....). Most breads tend to have high carbs (simple carbs - spike your blood sugar) low protein, low fibre, and a few other bad things chucked in there. I rarely have a sandwich, but I do have things like egg on toast, which obviously requires bread. Up until now I have had 'Burgen' bread, which is probably the best bread out there that I have seen. Per slice it contains 124kcal, 4.4g fat (0.6 sat fat), 12g carbs (2.4g sugars), 4.1g fibre, 7g protein. From the breads I have seen around, that is the best one I have personally found and have eaten.

Then I got to have a taste of Dr Zak's bread.

There have been many traditional foods that have had the 'protein treatment' - pizza bases, flapjacks, cookies, ice cream, and now bread! Here are the stats:

Per slice:

kcal - 150.9
Protein - 15.1g
Carbohydrate - 14.9g
of which sugars - 2.5g
Fat - 2.9g
of which saturates - 0.55g
Fibre - 2.05g

For bread, that is pretty impressive to be honest. I don't think you should be eating bread all the time if you are super keen on getting in great shape, but if you are going to have a meal that has bread (egg on toast for example) then I highly recommend you have Dr Zak's bread. As mentioned, I don't have that much bread, but up until now, when I have had a slice, it has been Burgen, simply because that is the best I have found, but now, it will be Dr Zak's. The high protein content is awesome, it has a low sugar level compared to the carbs, and low fat.

The taste? Well, I like it. It doesn't have a weird flavour to it like some 'healthy breads' out there (bit of sarcasm, some claim to be healthy, but aren't, and also taste horrible). It's very filling, due to the higher amount of protein, and it goes well with foods such as eggs.

Not everyone wants to get into 'compeition ready' shape, some people simply want to lose a few founds but not be ripped, so bread will either be a part of your diet or not. If it is going to be a part of your diet, make sure it's Dr Zak's, because it's raised the bar in terms of bread.

Thank you to Dr Zak's for sending me this, I love it, and will be recommending it to my clients! (if they are bread eaters!)

Follow Dr Zak's on Twitter here

Lee Gregory Fitness