Friday, 27 April 2012

Spring cleaning my diet

After indulging at Chritmas and then helping my son work his way through his Easter eggs on a daily basis, I decided my diet needed a bit of spring cleaning. Lots of foods had crept in, that aren't particularly healthy or patricularly beneficial to my training. Some foods that have found their way in because I haven't taken the time to plan ahead. The more sweet stuff I eat, the more of a sweet tooth I get. This then leads to worse choices on a daily basis.

Below are the swaps that I have made to get back into good habits:

  • Out with the White Bread and in with the Wholemeal bread / Rye bread
  • Out with the sugary cereal and in with the gluten free porridge
  • Out with the pasta and rice and in with the brown rice pasta and sweet potato
  • Out with any processed meats and in with the preferably organic/unprocessed meat
  • Out with the tea and in with the filtered water
  • Out with the chocolate and biscuits and in with the seed bars and apples
One thing I have added in, is so much more green veg and I have got back into the habit of eating a couple of avocados a week. My veggies have been consisting of mainly spinach, green beans, broccoli and sugar snap peas.

I must say, my sweet tooth has almost dissapeared. One week of cutting the processed food out and the sugar addiction virtually goes. My energy feels better, my training is going well and I feel less sluggish. When you start to eat a little leaner, your body will detox the rubbish that you have been putting into your system. It's only when you eat something like this again can you taste the added sugar. It is very easy to turn your taste buds off. Bring them back to life with real, natural food and feel the energy come flooding back.


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Boot Camp

Join in with the re-launch of the TSC's extremely popular Boot Camp.

Commencing 23/01/12
Mondays 6.00-6.45pm
Wednesday 6.30-7.30pm

A fun challenging class set outdoors come sun, rain or snow. The sessions’ will involve a wide variety of exercises with all abilities catered for.
Expect a tough workout for the whole body!

For more information please contact a member of the gym team or alternativley email

Friday, 13 April 2012

Pre-Fatigue/Pre-Exhaustion Training Follow Up

After incorporating the Pre-Fatigue/Pre-Exhaustion principles of training into my own weights session it is safe to say they have definitely shaken things up for me.
Week one
Week one left me feeling more motivated in my training, as you always should following any structured change in your routine. More importantly following the change I knew I had begun working hard again feeling physically challenged after the sessions. As expected, when training for Hypertrophy (development of muscular tissue), I have felt a little stiff/sore post training and I would definitely recommend allowing yourself time for a thorough stretch after your workouts. I also found a swim and a sauna substantially helped my recovery time in week one and two although not essential.
Week two
Week two is where the training really came into its own. I found that performing the two exercise back to back (totalling between 20-25 reps) much easier and although still pushing hard in my sessions the previously experienced stiffness was minute compared with week one. I modified the training routine slightly after working through week one as some exercise I had put together didn’t work quite as well as I had hoped. Whilst following a plan and Periodization of training are important when something isn’t working a simple substitute of exercise is far more beneficial.
Moving forward
Like anyone aiming to progress in there training, no matter what the goal, structured change is key! After another minimum of four to maximum of six weeks it will be time to refresh my routine and focus on the next stage of my training. Knowing this provides a great sense of focus and direction helping motivate me in every session I have. Whenever training I know I only have a maximum of four-six session left performing my current workout and always endeavour to make each session better than the last.

For any help/advice with training please feel free to contact me at

Friday, 6 April 2012

Try this to speed up your metabolism

One of the best ways to get lean and stay lean is to speed up your BMR (basic metabolic rate). Your BMR is the rate at which you burn calories whilst resting. If you layed in bed all day, your body would still burn calories to exist. To simply have your organs working, for breathing, for digestion etc, all of these use calories in the energy process.

However, your basic metabolic rate can be altered so that your body burns more calories on a daily basis, even if you don't exercise. Imagine if you could burn 500 extra calories a day before even getting active! That would be the equivalent of a spin class or a long run.

Here are some top tips to rev up that rate and reap the rewards:

Train with weights

The more muscle you produce, the higher your metabolsim. For every pound of muscle you put on your body, you burn an extra 50 calories a day. So if you gain 5 pounds of muscle, you can burn an extra 250 calories before you even get going! Think about it, muscle is living tissue that needs to be fed. It uses up energy to exist. One of the best things you can do is lift weights. Big compound movements are the best. Squats, deadlifts, presses, dips, chinups, etc, anything where you use more than one muscle group in an exercise.

Eat more Protein

Protein is great. Not only is it low in calories, but your body can't easily store it as fat , using it for essential tasks including muscle repair and to rebuild cells. Protein itself is very complex. It takes a lot for your body to digest it. The process of digesting protein in itself increases your metabolic rate. Protein also releases fat burning hormones!

Eat little and often

If you snack on the wrong foods, you could pile on the pounds. But trying to consume 3 mini meals and 3 snacks, instead of three large meals is proven to boost your metabolism. It is like throwing a log into a fire. The more often you throw them in, the stronger the fire burns. Try and incorporate protein with every meal and snack:

Breakfast - Eggs and rye bread
Snack - Cottage cheese and Pineapple
Lunch - Fish and salad
Snack - Low calorie protein shake or Almonds
Dinner - Chicken and roasted veg
Snack - Natural yogurt

All the above meals and snacks include protein of some form, through meat, fish, dairy or supllementation.

Do interval training

This means instead of doing long cardio sessions, you crank up the intensity by adding short, sharp bursts of effort. For example, 1 minute of gentle rowing followed by a 30 second sprint repeated 5-8 times. An interval will elevate your heart rate to a level that will in turn boost your metabolic rate. You will also get what is called oxygen debt. After your workout, your body is still working hard to get the oxygen back into the sytem after periods of anaerobic activity. Anaerobic means not using oxygen for energy. A sprint would be an example. You only have to look at a sprinter to see what great physiques they have. They never do long cardio sessions. Sprint training and weight training are the biggest part of their programmes.

Add spice to your food

This doesn't mean a takeaway every night from the local Indian restaurant! But adding spices like chilli to your meals can speed things up.

Eat Breakfast

When you sleep, the metabolism slows down. The best thing to get it going is to eat first things. Keep breakfast protein based.

Drink milk

Recent studies have shown that a deffiency in calcium can slow the metabolic rate down. Drinking milk and low fat natural yoghurt has been proven to lift this.


Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Pre-Fatigue/Pre-Exhaustion Training

If you have found yourself stuck doing a the same weights routine for over six weeks I would strongly recommend trying a few weeks of pre-fatigue/pre-exhaustion training. Not only will changing your routine provide a "fresh" stimuli causing your body to keep adapting but it'll also help  keep you motivated with your training.  

Pre-fatigue/pre-exhaustion is a tough way to train really overloading the muscles so expect to feel a little sore after the first one or two workouts. The principle involves performing one isolation (single joint) exercise directly before a compound (multi joint) exercise. This results in the agonist (main muscle) of the compound movement being thoroughly worked. 

Quads (leg) example:
Exercise 1: Leg extension 15reps
Exercise 2: Leg Press 10reps

The weight is set so that you work to failure for the 10 or 15 repetitions.
 The first exercise is followed directly by the second.
A rest period is taken only after both exercises have been completed.

For more information or help with alternative training routines please contact: