Saturday, 28 February 2015


Today, I want to talk about progression.

Too many people become frustrated and annoyed at a lack of progression. I've lost count with the amount of times I've heard people say "I workout just as hard as him, why don't I look like him!?". This is a common problem, but here is my answer... 

You're NOT doing what that other person does. If you workout for 1 hour a day and you do train your butt off in the gym, then great, that's the first box ticked. The other 23 hours of the day are vital though. If  your recovery is poor, your nutrition is poor, your sleep is poor, then it doesn't matter how hard you train in the gym, you won't get the results. Let's take Mr Simeon Panda as an example. His physique is insane! but there's a reason why he looks the way he does. The hours he's in the gym, he kills it, the hours he isn't in the gym, he kills it. His nutrition is spot on, he gets enough rest and he doesn't stray from his lifestyle. So to those people who claim to do the same things as people such as Simeon Panda, but don't have similar results, then they are just lying. 

People do think that they can still have their chocolate bars, crisps, coca cola, Friday and Saturday nights out getting drunk and have an incredible physique, but because they go to the gym 3 times per week, they should have a great body, that's not how it works. Having the odd thing here and there (like a beer or a pizza) won't mess with your results too much to be honest, but by having a lot of junk food and/or alcohol, you're simply not going to get the results you're after, so there's no point in moaning about it. 

This has probably come across as a bit of a rant, but people do need to realise that if they aren't where they want to be, 9 times out of 10 it's their own fault. If you want a ripped, muscular physique, you have to commit yourself to the gym, nutrition and lifestyle, not just the gym. 

I hope you're enjoying your weekend so far, and take it easy if you're heading out for the night!

(picture above is not taken by me, I do not take credit, I am simply using it as an example)

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Lee Gregory Fitness

Sunday, 22 February 2015

The TRUTH about a cheat meal

This has to be one of the biggest trends of the last few years - having a cheat meal once a week. Do you need one? why is it a good idea? does it work? Here's my view....

Some people, when starting a fitness/nutrition plan, will find it very strict and hard to stick to. The common idea of a cheat meal is to give you that 'escape' from your strict diet, but you don't have to have one. Some people will be fine with the healthy diet and won't have any urge to have their favourite burger and chips. Sometimes it's not only your cravings that require a cheat meal, but your mind. With a tough training program and healthy eating plan, you could do with a 'reset' - a night off of your nutrition, a time to relax, eat whatever you want, and then get back on it the next day.

I have seen some fitness professionals who actually LOSE weight after having a cheat meal, and that's because their body just needed a break, and reset its systems. But many people think that a cheat meal is a must have thing, and there are some people who simply do not need a cheat meal. If you're 20 stone in weight and starting a healthy eating and fitness plan, then you do not need a cheat meal, as that could easily cause cravings, and you could very easily turn that one cheat meal into a more regular occurrence.

The concept of one cheat meal per week is a bit misleading, and people tend to think that they have to do it. It should be something that you do when you really feel like you need it. It's similar with training. You could be training hard for a few months, week in, week out, and then feel like you need a break - a few days off, which will be very beneficial. It doesn't have to be once a week, it could be once every 3 weeks - have a cheat meal when you think you could do with a 'reset'.

There's my view on the cheat meal idea. I do think people do it for the sake of it, even when they don't need it.

Lee Gregory Fitness

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Obesity benefits

The past week I read on Sky News that The UK government are planning to stop the benefits of obese individuals who refuse to diet. This is a very touchy and controversial subject, but one that needs to be addressed more often. Obesity, smoking and drugs costs the UK roughly £10m per week (from what I read) and members of the government say that those 3 causes of that cost can be avoided.

To be on benefits because you are 'too fat to work', means you have to be of substantial size. I have read a lot of comments and articles from personal trainers and nutritionists about this, and I agree with what I have read. You don't suddenly go from average weight to so obese you can no longer work in a year, it is the result of poor lifestyle choices for a number of years. So while the obese individuals may find this harsh and wrong, most of those have got themselves into the position they are in. Yes, there are certain illnesses that require certain medication that can cause weight gain by increasing cravings, but that can also be avoided. I know of someone who has a serious illness who was on very high steroid medication for a number of years, but this individual did not want to put on weight so they changed their diet and was very strict with what they ate and drank.

The country cannot keep paying out that kind of money, especially when we (and the world) have come out of the worst part of a financial crisis. The main part of this government approach to benefits is because 'x' amount of people are actually refusing to diet, meaning they are claiming benefits because they are too fat to work, but yet saying 'I'm not going to diet', so they are only going to get bigger and their lifestyle will continue to get worse = costing the country more money.

People against this change seem to blame everyone else. I have read people who have said that the government should do more, should give money incentives to lose weight, should punish supermarkets for the way they advertise unhealthy food, claiming that obese people can't afford to eat healthy and many other reasons. Whilst the supermarkets are cheeky with the way they advertise unhealthy food, that doesn't mean you as a customer have to buy those foods, it's down to you. People do need to take responsibility, and do everything they can within their control. Let me focus on that last point - can't afford to eat healthy.

Those who are too fat to work eat a lot of food, and even with the cheaper, unhealthy foods, that costs a lot of money. Yes, foods such as chips, crisps, ready meals, frozen meals, take aways, on their own aren't that much money, but eating 5000 calories of those adds up to a lot of money. I work with people who are overweight and those who want to increase sporting performance who are on low budgets, and it is doable, you just have to be smart and organised with your shopping, budget and choices.

The government have made cuts to a lot of benefits, to those who actually need them to be fair, who have suffered severe illnesses out of their control. I have read articles and interviews with people who are angry that obese people can still claim benefits, and I can understand that anger to be honest. As mentioned, to get to the size that you can no longer work, it takes many years, and during that time those people could have reduced the amount they ate, that is the view of many fitness professionals.

The only incentive a severely obese individual needs to lose weight is to live a healthier, more fulfilling life. Some of those people will have children who they can no longer play sports with or do other activities with, that's another added incentive.

The government have said they would cut benefits of those who actually refuse to diet, not just cutting their benefits altogether. So if you are in the position of 'too fat to work', you will continue to get your benefits if you can show that you are actively trying to lose body fat. There are many people out there - personal trainers, nutritionists, doctors, who give a lot of free advice as well as paid services. The help is out there, you just have to go and get it.

Lee Gregory Fitness

Monday, 9 February 2015

The best diet - The Caveman Diet, apparently...

I got sent a link by a friend of mine about Sky tv following 4 people on different diets to find out which one is best. The winner of this 'study' was the caveman diet. But I don't agree with this 'study', and here's why.

It stated that over 21 days, a male lost more percentage of weight than the other 3 individuals on 3 different diets. Sounds good right? not really. 21 days is nothing, it is not enough time to determine if one 'diet' is better than another. Also, you cannot possibly eat like a caveman for the rest of your life, so what will happen to that man when he stops that diet? he'll put on weight again.

I always see so many articles about new and different diets, claiming to be 'the next best thing!', and they are all a load of garbage. The caveman diet (known as paleo) does work, and does have its benefits, but you can't possibly do it long term. I know that bodybuilders use the paleo diet from time to time, and some of them use it leading up to a competition, but they don't stay on it long term. To lose body fat and to keep it off, you need to do something that you can do for a long time, not a 'diet' that lasts for a few weeks and then you stop it.

To me, that 'study' was a waste of time and the results are meaningless. Why didn't they do a study of 4 people eating a healthy, balanced diet and training hard in the gym? I would guarantee they would have lost more body fat than those 4 diets, they would be healthier, feel better, and most importantly, can stay doing that for as long as they want.

Don't be conned by these studies that claim 'x' diet is the best and you must do it. The BEST way to lose body fat and to keep it off is to eat a healthy diet and to train hard. You will always have these fad diets come and go, and there is a reason why they always 'go' at some point - because they are not good!

Lee Gregory Fitness

Friday, 6 February 2015

How To Get A Great Nights Sleep

One common issue that I hear from people to do with a lack of results with their fitness plans, is that they are always tired. Working out hard in the gym, holding down a full time job and living a healthy lifestyle does take its toll on your body, and you need to have adequate rest.

There is one main thing that I always hear and read about that affects sleep - technology. It's unbelievably common for people to watch TV, using their computer, tablet or phone before they want to go to sleep. The one issue with this is that 'screens' affect your body and causes you to have unbalanced sleep.

Everything these days seems to revolve around technology though, so how can you avoid it? In some ways you can't but in same ways you can. My biggest piece of advice is to not have a TV in your bedroom. I understand that if you live with your parents, then you're most likely going to have one in your room, so you can't get away from that really. Most people use smartphones nowadays, and they have an option to turn off your signal pretty much, so that you don't receive any texts/calls/emails/chats which can distract you from trying to sleep. So what if your best friend has to wait until the morning for your reply? it's not the end of the world. One thing that many people do actually do, is to read before bed. I have read studies that have shown reading calms the brain and can give you better and more consistent sleep. I have done that a lot lately to be honest, I decided to tuck into The Wolf Of Wall Street book by Jordan Belfort (very interesting!!!). Watching TV late at night can also strain your eyes, which is never good.

To be honest, it's about discipline - leaving your phone alone, not watching another episode of a TV show that you're streaming, and trying to relax before you go to bed.

You can't get away from technology, it's part of everyday life, but you can for 30-60 minutes before you sleep.

Lee Gregory Fitness 

Monday, 2 February 2015

Should you train with DOMS?

Even though I'm not a personal trainer (yet), people who I know tend to ask me for training advice, as well as nutrition, but I do get asked about training with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Firstly, they usually say "I had a gym session yesterday, and now I'm in agony! what the hell!?", then I explain what DOMS is.

DOMS is very common, and it can affect you from 24-72 hours after your workout. Many people who aren't familiar with it, will tend to think they have injured themselves, so having another workout wouldn't even cross their mind. DOMS is not an injury, but it can easily feel like one. If you injure yourself in gym, doing a bench press for example (lifting too heavy, torn a pec) you will instantly feel it, you wouldn't carry on with your session and then find out you've torn your pec 48 hours later. I was once training with a guy who tore his pec during a set, and he knew it straight away.

Training with DOMS depends on one thing - how bad it is. If you're struggling to walk without feeling very sore, then clearly it's not a good idea to have a workout. However, if you can walk fine, move about fine, but it's a 'bit of a niggle', then it would be fine to workout. You can also 'work around it'. If you have DOMS in your chest, then work your legs and core while resting your chest.

Yesterday (01/02/15) I woke up for a workout, and I felt a tad sore to be honest, and the thought "should I even train?" did cross my mind, but I knew I wasn't injured, I knew it was just a bit of DOMS, and I manged to get a god workout in, and I'm glad I went ahead with it.

Just remember, DOMS isn't 'shooting pains', if you do have actual sharp pains, then you could have injured something. Just be sensible, listen to your body, work around DOMS if you can, and train smart.

Lee Gregory Fitness