Thursday, 30 April 2015

Can you achieve the 'perfect body'?

NO! no no no no no, you cannot, and here's why.



What's the perfect body? - there is no such thing. You'll hear women say things such as "ahh she has the perfect body!", guys will say the same about a muscular/ripped male model/athlete. Are those physiques perfect? to some people yes, and that's why there is no such thing as the perfect body - perception. 

Everyone has their own opinions on everything in life - they see things differently, smell things differently, hear sounds in different ways, feel things differently and all have different taste buds - the 5 senses. Because of this, if one female thinks Nicole Scherzinger has the 'perfect body' (it's pretty darn good!), another female won't agree - so how can Miss Scherzinger be perfect? surely perfection should be agreed by all that you can't get any better? Everyone has their own idea of 'the perfect body', some will say a 'fitness woman' who has more of a muscular physique, some will say more of a curvier figure - each to their own. 

There was a poster in the London Underground showing a female fitness model in great shape with a slogan about getting a beach body. This came under a lot of fire, with many, many women writing complaints saying it's not achievable/wrong/false advertising etc etc etc. Why? If you don't think its doable, or you don't think it's right to advertise like that, that's your opinion. Many people would have been motivated by that advertisement and that is the idea. Just because it doesn't appeal to you, doesn't mean it's wrong. For example, I don't like the Apple Watch that has just been released, but Apple are advertising it to appeal to the people who do want it - it's just advertising. 

But that just goes to show you that people like different things and interpret things in different ways. There is no such thing as the perfect physique. Go and ask Simeon Panda if he thinks his body is perfect, he will say no. 

Remember, each to their own.


Monday, 27 April 2015

Lose More Weight By Learning To Cook

Training for fat loss or muscle gain is just one part of the process, the other? in the kitchen.



A lot of people don't know how to cook, and the vast majority of them aren't interested in cooking, but you will want to be if you want to get in shape. By getting to know the food you eat, you will be able to take your game to the next level. 

The fact that a lot of people aren't interested in cooking simply means one thing - people are eating convenience food (very unhealthy). Ready meals, takeaways and fast foods are high in salt, sugar and fat, which are not good for fat loss or muscle gain. 

What if you want to cook but genuinely don't know how to?

My advice is to buy a few cooking books - you can buy healthy cooking books on Amazon for a small amount of money. This way you will be able to cook up some healthy, tasty meals for yourself and your family/friends. Nobody is born with instant knowledge of how to cook, so everyone has to learn at some point, if they want to of course. 

I honestly do believe that if get yourself cooking, you will learn to love it. Knowing how to cook healthy meals will benefit your health and your physique, which is awesome! Also, cooking healthy, tasty meals for friends and family is a very satisfying thing to do. Cooking has become more popular over the last few years, which is great! I highly recommend it. 

As mentioned, by getting to know your food better, you will be able to make far better gains, both with your health and physique, so give it a try! 


Friday, 24 April 2015

Is CrossFit going to injure you?

CrossFit has become one of the most popular forms of exercise, but it's had more than it's fair share of criticism. The main question people seem to ask is - "Is CrossFit dangerous?". My simple answer is.....It can be, yes.



Any form of physical exercise comes with a certain degree of danger/risk of injury. Whether it's playing football, cricket, weight lifting, running, cycling, or CrossFit, they all pose a 'chance of injury'.

The main thing with CrossFit is it's speed. Performing exercises faster can increase the risk of injury, but lifting heavier weights during conventional weight training can increase the risk of injury too. There will be many experienced CrossFitters that perform the exercises as safely as possible, and those people will be fine. However, there will be a lot of people who join the CrossFit craze who won't be trained properly, won't be shown how to perform the exercises safely, and those people are more than likely going to pick up an injury.

I personally believe that if you want to pack on muscle, you want to train like the guys at UP Fitness do, as the results they get are awesome. If you want to burn fat, I would still personally train like those at UP. If you sacrifice form for speed, not only will your chance of injury increase, but also, you're not going to work the intended muscles as hard as you should be working them. CrossFit relies a lot on momentum. I saw a video of a CrossFitter performing her version of pull ups - the form was utterly shocking and she was not performing conventional pull ups. If she tried to perform a real pull up, she probably wouldn't have completed more than 15. It was more of a 'swinging get yourself up however you can' pull up. I couldn't see the benefit at all, she nearly knocked herself out numerous times on the bar, and was not working her back much at all.

I'm not completely against CrossFit - if it's something that you enjoy, and you have got results from, then go for it. However, I would always prefer the more traditional form of working out - weighted circuits, focusing on form and tempo of the lifts, rather than trying to exercise like a Duracell bunny.

I've followed the founder of UP Fitness for quite a long time now (Nick Mitchell), and I love his technique, approach and philosophy with training. Him and the other UP trainers are in awesome shape themselves and they have got amazing results with their clients through hardcore, 'old school' training (with a few modern tricks too). I have seen transformations of CrossFitters, and the results are okay - body fat reduced, but the overall physique is nothing compared to those trained by UP. (I'm using UP as an example, I know there are other gyms out there).

End of the day, it is down to what you enjoy and what works for you. If you want to go down the CrossFit route, then make sure you are well trained by someone who is experienced. If not, you could easily pick yourself up a nasty injury.

Lee Gregory Fitness

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Build More Muscle: Slow down your tempo

Many people think if you want to build more muscle, then you simply have to lift more weight. That's not necessarily true.



Sure, lifting more weight means you're getting stronger, therefore building more muscle, but it doesn't always work like that.

In my experience of being in gyms, I've seen a lot of guys who 'just lift heavy', with paying little attention to form and tempo. This will only get you so far, and if you want to progress further, you will have to become smarter with the weights. Tempo is literally 'speed of the lifts'. By controlling the speed when lifting weights, you will be able to place more stress on the targeted muscles - which is what you want. When you just try and lift as much weight as quick as possible, you end up activating 'unwanted muscles' which takes the strain away from the muscles you want to work on. For example - neglecting form and tempo with a bench press can place more strain on your shoulders than your pecs (something I see guys complaining about on forums). Whereas, if you concentrate on your form and tempo, you can really focus on the pectoral muscles.

Now, what tempo should you have?

There's no 'magic tempo', but a common one I see is a 3-4 second eccentric tempo. So if you were performing a bench press, the lowering of the bar should take you 3-4 seconds. This will place far more stress on your pecs, therefore working them harder, which will build them stronger.

The great thing with tempo is that you can always mix it up - 2 seconds/5 seconds/even 10 seconds! You want to keep mixing things up in the gym, and you don't always have to change exercises - try changing the tempo instead.

Hope this post has helped!

Lee Gregory Fitness

Monday, 20 April 2015

Fasted Cardio: should you do it?

The idea of 'fasted cardio' has been around for a long time, with many believing it works, and others who think it's a bit of a fad. But is it worthwhile?



From the research I have done, I can't find any scientific evidence that backs up fasted cardio. If you speak to people who swear by fasted cardio, then they will tell you that it works. Before I continue, 'fasted cardio' simply means exercising without eating beforehand (i.e. first thing in the morning).

Fasted cardio can mean one thing - slightly less calories consumed. Think about it - if you wake up and have breakfast straight away as your first meal, and then eat throughout the day too, that will be more calories consumed per day than if you don't eat first thing, but instead workout. That is most likely how you can lose a little more fat by using 'fasted cardio'.

It is a personal thing though.

I myself workout in the mornings, with a protein pre workout shake consumed 30 minutes prior. The mornings are simply when it's convenient for me. I'll admit, sometimes during late afternoons/evenings, I feel 'pumped up' for a workout more than in the mornings, but as mentioned, the mornings are more convenient. I don't personally feel that I have a better fat burning workout in the mornings on a relatively empty stomach (and sometimes I have nothing at all prior to the workout).

I know of some people who have tried fasted cardio, and they have felt weak, lethargic, and their training intensity has decreased. But there will be people who train harder in a fasted state.

The fact that there is no evidence to show that you burn more calories in a fasted state, doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. Give it a try, see how you feel. Working out is a very personal thing, everyone has their own ways/styles, and if a fasted workout suits you better, then go for it. Whatever makes you train harder you should do.

Lee Gregory Fitness


Saturday, 18 April 2015

Does Red Meat Make You Fat?

Many people believe red meat makes you gain body fat, because of it's higher fat content, but I disagree.



I know many athletes/trainers/nutritionists who are in great shape, and they all eat red meat, and so do I. Just because a piece of food has a higher than normal fat content, does not mean that you will simply 'get fat'. A lot of foods that are high in fat tend to be processed, high in sugar and additives. A slab of red meat, a steak for example, is not processed or high in sugar. A steak is high in protein, but it also contains a good hit of iron, vitamin b6 and b12. Yes it contains more fat than other meats, but as mentioned, that doesn't mean you will put on body fat.

If you live a sedentary life, then yes, eating a lot of red meat will put on body fat. But if you ate a lot of chicken and sat down all day, you would end up putting on weight, simply because of the increased calories (yes, it's possible to gain weight even if you eat healthy). If you're an active individual, and especially if you are going into bodybuilding or simply training for muscle mass, then red meat is a superb addition.

Too many people worry about fat levels in food, whereas they should worry more about sugar content and what foods they are actually eating - fresh or processed. If you eat a healthy diet (no garbage, fast food, processed food etc etc etc) then you wouldn't end up eating a lot of fat, even if you had red meat in your diet. You must remember that there is actually a benefit of eating fat - your body does need it, just not a lot of it. Don't avoid fat altogether!

Lee Gregory Fitness

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Hench Nutrition Energy Plus RE:CHARGED review

This week, I received one of Hench Nutrition's brand new products - Energy Plus RE:CHARGED, a stimulating energy drink. The market is flooded with stimulating energy drinks, so I didn't know what to expect.



Here's a quick overview of the product:

RE:CHARGED is a stimulating energy drink that is ready to drink whenever you need a burst of energy. It contains sugars, caffeine, vitamin B6, B12 and more.

My thoughts

I really like this drink. Some people don't believe in energy drinks, they believe you should get your energy from food, but that's not always possible. It's great tasting, goes down well, and you can really feel the 'hit'. Some energy drinks out there have a foul taste, and are pretty much all sugar, whereas Hench's one isn't.

The price:

For one unit, the price is £1.29, which I think is a very good price. For a case of 24, the price is £29.99.

I believe this product is a great addition to the already impressive Hench Nutrition range.

I recommend you to try this product, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Check it out for yourselves

Lee Gregory Fitness 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

3 Reasons Why You're Not Losing Fat!

This blog post is exactly what the title says - so here's my top 3 reasons why you're not shifting that body fat:



1) YOU'RE NOT TRAINING HARD ENOUGH!

If when you finish your workout, you're not sweating or 'sticky', you're not even the slightest big red, you're walking perfectly normal, then you're not training hard enough. You need to push your body, get that heart rate up, burn your muscles in order to shift those unwanted pounds. If you're not sweating and burning, then turn back around and workout again! this time, properly!

2) YOUR DIET SUCKS!

You could train your butt off in the gym, but if you go home and eat nothing but garbage, then you will never progress. You need to make sure that your diet is on key - a good amount of protein, moderate complex carbs, healthy fats, lots of vegetables, lots of water. Get rid of the garbage - sugar, sweets, processed foods, fizzy drinks, alcohol and so on.

3) YOU'RE NOT SLEEPING ENOUGH!

Not many people know the importance of sleep when it comes to fitness. Sleep is vital - if you don't get enough rest, your body cannot repair efficiently. If you get on average 5 hours sleep every night, then that's not enough - your body will not like that and your recovery won't be as good as it needs to be. Poor sleep or not enough sleep can cause mood swings, decreased focus, decreased energy and a lack of performance. How will that help you in the gym and kitchen? it won't. Also, when you're tired you're more likely to make poor food and drink choices.


Be smart! train hard, eat well and get a good nights sleep!

Lee Gregory Fitness