Monday, 14 April 2014

Summer Circuits

With the British summertime beginning and the weather warming up, why not take advantage of this by doing some circuits outside? Let’s be honest it doesn’t last long!

All you need is an open space (i.e. the park, your garden, the TSC yard), a few bits of equipment and your imagination! Make up as many “stations” within your circuit and do as many “rounds” as you like, but around 30-45 minutes of circuit work is plenty of time. 

Here’s an example of a simple circuit:                                   Equipment needed:

Shuttle runs – 30-60 seconds                                                              Cones

Squats/Jump Squats- 20 reps                                                                 N/A

Press-ups- 20 reps                                                                        Exercise mat (optional)

Front Plank- 30-60 seconds                                                        Exercise mat (optional)

Lateral Raises – 20 reps                                                                 Pair of dumbbells

Burpees- 20 reps                                                                                        N/A

Star Jumps/Jumping Jacks- 30-60 seconds                                            N/A

20m Sprints- 30-60 seconds                                                                  Cones


Make sure you perform each station back to back without any rest in between, once you have completed all stations, have a 2-3 minute rest, have a drink and go again! 3-5 rounds should be enough, but it all depends on how far you want to push yourself. Play around with the amount of reps and or time on each station and feel free to come up with your own exercises.

Circuits are very flexible giving you a full body workout, which not only works your cardiovascular system but also gives you elements of strength training. So you will be improving your general fitness whilst increasing your strength at the same time. This is great for fat loss and better overall body definition.  Circuits are a form of HIIT training (high intense interval training). This will get your metabolism firing, burning more calories than a more casual 60 minute gym workout.

Also if you are stretched for time in the day then a quick circuit workout for 30 minutes would be extremely beneficial for you. Finally, get some friends involved to help you with that extra motivation, pushing each other to the very end! So give some circuits a go this summer (or whenever the weather is good) maybe once or twice a week and I’ll promise you, you won’t be disappointed.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Avoid these 'dieting' pitfalls

1 - AVOIDING FATS. If saturated fat was bad for us the human race would not have survived to this day. Can you imagine our ancestors catching a wild animal but not eating it because it was red meat? Or not eating the skin because it was too fatty? This is nonsense. Eat natural.

2 - CONSUMING TOO MANY LOW-FAT PRODUCTS. The market for low-fat products is massive. This is due to many of us being told that fat is bad. How do you make low-fat products taste nice? Add sugar and often lots of it. For example avoid low-fat yoghurts but buy normal ones like greek or natural yoghurt instead. You will eat less of the greek/natural yoghurt because it's more satisfying. Sugary yoghurts will often leave you wanting more.

3 - I MUST STARVE MYSELF - If you do this, any initial weightloss will be from both the loss of fat and muscle. The body will then composate by slowing down your metabolism and then your weightloss will stall, even if you are hardly eating. Eat lean and healthy on a constant basis. Feed your body the natural goodness it needs in reasonable quantities and do some exercise with this. Exercise will change your body shape and assist the fat-loss if the foods you eat are healthy. We are born to eat, don't deny yourself the pleasure of good food! Healthy food can be tasty too, you just need to take the time and effort to cook it.

4 - TAKING PILLS AND POTIONS - People often ask me about fat-loss pills. I have never taken them and never would. It is the quick fix culture that we now live in. Many of us want to avoid consistently applying ourselves to changing our eating and lifestyle habits. Taking a pill would be much easier. I'm affraid this doesnt work! If it did we would all be taking these pills and getting results! You need to make the lifestyle change a habit. Good habits take time but they will eventually feel normal. Then you can get to where you want to be for life, not just for a month.

5 - YOU'RE ALWAYS ON A DIET - Some people switch form diet to diet, getting a few results along the way but then generally returning to their normal shape/habits when the diet stops. Instead, try the 'don't diet, diet'. Find foods that you like, that help you with your fat-loss/muscle building goals. Variety is good but don't worry if you eat similar foods, especially if they are good for you and they are helping you acheive your goals. Being on a diet will promote negative thoughts about food. We often think more about the foods that we aren't allowed and want them even more when we restrict ourselves from having them!

6 - DON'T EAT CARBS AFTER 6PM - The issue for most people is making sure they eat carbs at the right times, in the right amounts and in the right forms! Reducing your carbs as a whole will improve fat-loss. Carbs actually release seretonin so therefore having some at night should help you settle before bed. Our body does not know what time it is. It doesn't start to store fat as soon as the clock hits 6pm! Back in the day we would have hunted all day and feasted at night! Try upping good fats and protein throughout the day and having some carbs in the evening.