Saturday, 28 March 2015


Excess carbohydrate, especially from a sweet/simple source, will ultimately lead to an increase in body fat. Sugar in small doses will not cause any complications for the majority of individuals, however with modernisation of our food production techniques, you often find sugars hidden in foods where you might not normally expect them. This is primarily to extend shelf life and improve taste, however obvious side effects are that food can begin to possess a slightly addictive quality with real ‘sugar addicts’ experiencing strong cravings for certain foods at certain times. To avoid getting yourself in this position try to act on/follow the below points:


‘Diet’ foods – Foods that have had their overall/natural fat content reduced are often high in sugar so watch out when/if selecting ‘light’ options at the supermarket.

Fruit juices – These are filled with natural sugars and in most cases have had all the fibre/beneficial part of the fruit removed. Some companies will even add extra sugar to the juice to make it even sweeter still.

Instant foods – Instant porridges, ‘quick’ convenient lunches and ready meals are often filled with added sugar.

Breakfast cereals/bars – These are frequently filled with sugar, even the mueslis and granolas, so you have to be extra careful when making your selections. Look at the ingredients list and choose options that packed with natural whole ingredients.


With these simple steps you can hopefully lower your personal sugar intake, reducing your cravings in the long run and feel lot healthier/happier in yourself.


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 Keep sugar consumption under control




Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Five Exercises for a Stronger Core

Five Exercises for a Stronger Core


One of the main requests we get from clients, Members and Boys is that they want to strengthen their core and improve body composition in the abdominal area. The abdominal area, or core, has three main muscular groups; the transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis and obliques. Stereotypically men set themselves the goal of achieving a chiselled midsection with females preferring to generally flatten their stomach. These five exercises will kick start your quest for a stronger better looking core. 


1.       Squats


Whether you squat using your own bodyweight or with weights you’re going to strengthen your core. There are many variations of squat: Barbell Back Squat, Bulgarian Split Squat Dumbbell Goblet Squat etc. but whatever option you choose you’ll be sure to be working your core.


2.       Standing Overhead Press


The overhead press, or military press, is predominately a shoulder exercise however, when performed correctly with the right tempo your core will definitely be ‘firing on all cylinders’. Holding a barbell with a shoulder width grip, press the bar from just above your chest directly up above your head. Press hard and fully lock out your elbows at the top of the movement. On the way down ensure the return is slow (2-3 seconds), pause at the bottom and then repeat for desired rep range. Trust me, if you can press challenging loads above your head you will have a ‘rock solid’ core.


3.       Farmer’s Walk


You’re probably looking at this and thinking, what on earth is a farmer’s walk!? It’s actually quite a simple yet tough exercise.  You can perform the farmers walk with dumbbells, kettlebells, weight plates or anything else reasonably heavy. The simplest way to describe the farmers walk is to imagine you were carrying two heavy shopping bags back home (one in each hand). Keep your shoulders fixed and retracted back together with a nice tight core throughout the walk. Walk slowly for a certain distance or time and repeat this 3-5 times. Your traps (upper back) shoulders, forearms and core will certainly feel it afterwards!


4.       Pull-Ups


Pull-ups are the ‘king’ of all bodyweight exercises. If you can pull-up your own bodyweight several times with good technique you are bound to have a strong core. There are several width and grip variations: narrow (palms facing you), neutral and wide (palms facing away). Try mixing your grip up to engage as many muscles in your back and arms as possible. Keep the decent of the pull-up controlled (2-3 seconds) and be sure to fully extend your arms at the bottom before driving up pinching shoulders down at the top. An assisted pull-up machine will let you perform the above if you cannot manage pure bodyweight pull-ups.


5.       Jack-Knives


You can perform jack-knives on a fit-ball or using the TRX suspension bands. The exercise will involve holding a press-up position throughout whilst placing your shoe laces on the top of a fit-ball or in the bands of a TRX. From this position you slowly bring your knees in to your chest, keeping your hips up, and then return to the start position.


If you would like any of the gym team to show you any of these core strengthening exercises please do not hesitate to ask. I hope you will start implementing some of these exercises in your current programme. Along with a sound nutrition plan, consistent training and appropriate rest you really will start to see that desired midsection start to emerge in no time at all!


Thank you for reading.




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     Pull-Ups are great for building a stronger core