Thursday, 27 October 2011


When I first started in the industry, one of my targets was to learn as much about nutrition as possible. I remember when I first read about Goji berries. Apparantley they are rich in anti oxidants, they have more Vitamin C than oranges and more Beta-carotene than carrots. They are also high in B-vitamins. Did they change my life? Not really..

I found the following on the internet:

The Tibetan Goji berry (Lycium barbarum) is an amazing berry originating from the Himalayan Mountains, grown on the border between Tibet and China (where they are called Wolfberries).
The berries are a respected part of Himalayan culture, and the locals celebrate an annual Goji (meaning happy) two-week celebration in the berry's honor.

In my opinion, flying a food miles around the world for my consumption is fantastic but is it really worth it? I believe health comes from fresh local produce. Fruits grown in an alotment or in your garden are full of flavour and goodness. As soon as a fruit is picked, it starts to lose its nutritional value. Then it has to travel the world, get delivered to the supermarket, and then sit on the shelf for a few days.

A friend of mine has his own chickens. The eggs he gives me are an amazing yellow colour, and I am still on the hunt for a farm where I can get raw organic milk! 6 eggs at my supermarket are £2.69!! I can get 10 large free range ones from a local farm for £1. So cost doesn't have to be an issue. Local butchers should be utilised for fresh quality meat.

My mission is to search the local area for more local produce (on a budget!). I also need to move out of my flat so I can get a garden to grow some veg!! Who needs the himilayas!


Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Goal setting

If you want to progress more effectively, goal setting is a great way to help you do this. Your goals can be long-term or short term. Both combined are probably even better. If you set a long term goal of losing 2 stone in 12 months, you can then break this into monthly or quarterly targets.

I often say to myself I would like to be 14 stone. I'm currently weighing in at 13 stone. However, although this my goal, I have been very vague about my approach. Being 14 stone would be nice, but with no real plan I haven't budged on the scales. Putting on a stone through weight training is tough, mainly due to the constant food you need to consume (see Dan's previous post for tips on this). With no real structure, things can take a lot longer!

Make sure your goals are realistic. If you have slowly put on 3 stone in the last 10 years, don't expect to lose it in 3 months. Don't aim to run a half marathon in a good time, with 4 weeks training. The idea is to plan ahead. Be motivated but it doesn't have to consume your life. One of the best things to do is to write your goal down. Leave it on your fridge, or on a pin board. Another great thing to do is to meet with a member of the gym team or a personal trainer. They can help guide you and put a realistic time frame on your goal. From there they can help map out your path to success!!

I have a goal in mind to squat 150 kilograms for one clean rep. Squating has never been a massive strength of mine. My legs were always pretty skinny as a young lad. My current best is attempt is 132.5 kg, going nice and deep.

My next goal is to try and perform a muscle up:
I can do pullups reasonably well but I have no gymnastic training and have little idea of where to start. Dan is going to take me through some teaching points and is going to give me things to work on. This is where the value of getting another trainer's help really pays off.

I am going to post my training over the next few months to let you know how I am going with both attempts and to see if I am closer to any of my goals. Both of which I would like to do by the end of the year!!


Sunday, 16 October 2011

Eat butter

I have been eating butter again for a good few years now. Go for a natural organic variety. I also go unsalted.
A small amount of butter with each meal will actually help your body absorb key nutrients, because butter helps promote healthy bacteria in your gut. Butter is a source of butyric acid, an amino acid that helps feed the good bacteria in your gut.


Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Gaining Weight

I think it’s safe to say the most common goal in the gym is weight loss however I continue to find myself being confronted by countless individuals whose goals is that of weight gain. With this in mind I decided to focus one post on a subject which is often not discussed however provides a problem for so many individuals. So if you are in such a position and really struggling to gain weight for a particular sport or some alternative reason then this post will give a good example of one potential diet to follow for constructive weight gain.
Key points to try when training for weight gain.
1.       Consume more calories per day then the total amount of calories your body uses per day.
(A surplus of 200-400 calories should be sufficient)
2.       Try to maintain a ratio of 50% carbs, 25 % proteins and 25% good fats.
3.       Try to minimize caloric expenditure where possible
4.       Keep training sessions should short 60 minutes
5.       The rest between sets should be kept to a minimum; 90 seconds or less
6.       Weight Training Exercise should not be performed for more than two days in a row.
7.       Work within a range of 6-15 repetitions when training.
8.       Training must be progressive
9.       Training must be varied
10.   The form in which you perform an exercise should be impeccable.
11.   Training must consist primarily of free weight basic exercises.
12.   Increase your protein intake to 1.5 grams of protein per pound bodyweight. Protein sources should come from lean low fat sources like chicken, turkey, 93% lean red meats, tuna, egg whites, shrimp, tilapia, mackerel, and salmon.
13.   Increase your carbohydrate intake to between 1.5-2 grams of carbs per pound of bodyweight. Good examples are brown rice, oatmeal, pasta and sweet potatoes. Limit the higher glycaemic/simple carbs (like bananas) for after the workouts.
14.   Finally, make sure that you have around 15-20 grams of fibrous carbohydrates, such as green beans or broccoli, at lunchtime and 15-20 grams more at dinnertime as these will help to keep your digestive tract clean and ready to accept new nutrients, thus maximizing nutrient utilization.
15.   Increase your intake of good fats. Some fats are necessary to ensure good hormonal production and thus muscle growth. Eliminate all fats and see your testosterone levels take a dive.

One Example of a natural high calorie diet used for weight gain
Week Starting: 
BreakfastEst CaloriesMonTuesWedThurFriSatSun
3x Large Eggs 210       
3x Multi Toast315       
1x 2.5 Cups Rice krispies260       
1x 250ml Milk130       
Mid Morning Snack        
1x 500ml Milk260       
1x 100g Oats388       
1x Fish portion250       
1x 90g Rice170       
1x Cup Veg25       
1x 1/2 Cup Yogurt75       
2x Bananas210       
2x Bagles287       
Mid Evening Snack        
1x 2 Chiken Breasts260       
1x 90g Rice170       
1x Cup Veg25       
1x Large Dinner600       
1x 1/2 Cup Yogurt75       
Night Snack        
2x Scrabled Eggs98