Friday, 8 August 2014

Post-exhaust past a plateau

Post-exhaustion is a fantastic training protocol for stimulating new muscle growth whilst giving you a challenging workout. It involves starting with a compound exercise to fatigue the targeted muscle, followed by an isolation exercise that further taps into the same motor unit pool. This will increase the overall training effect for that muscle group. There are plenty of combinations you can try that will keep your workouts fresh and exciting, but how about this for a post-exhaustion triceps routine....

1A: Tricep dips

4 x 8-12
3011 tempo

1B: lying skull crusher

4 x 10-12 reps
3010 tempo



If your a regular reader of my blog you'll notice exactly what I've done here. This post is almost the same as my previous post on pre-exhausting past a plateau. I guess my point is that by simply tweaking your workout by changing 2 exercises around you create an entirely new training stimulus.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Pre-exhaust past a plateau

Pre-exhaustion is a fantastic training protocol for stimulating new muscle growth whilst giving you a challenging workout. It involves starting with a single joint exercise to fatigue the targeted muscle, followed by a multi joint exercise that hits the same muscle group, plus a few others. This will increase the overall training effect for that muscle group. There are plenty of combinations you can try that will keep your workouts fresh and exciting, but how about this for a pre-exhaustion triceps routine....

1A: Lying ez bar skull crushers
4 x 10-12 reps
3010 tempo

1B: tricep dips
4 x 8-12
3011 tempo



Saturday, 12 July 2014

Summer supplement essentials

One thing I've come to learn when it comes to supplements, is to see the best results your supplements should intentionally work to support the particular training regime you're on. For example - doing a strength phase? Take creatine. Using a high volume protocol? Take beta alanine to help reduce fatigue...etc.

This time of year many gym goers are trying to "shred" "rip-up" "cut" "slice" or whatever the latest fancy word is for reducing body fat whilst gaining or at least maintaining lean body mass for the beach. Here's my favourite 3 Supps that I would include in a summer "shred" plan to see the best results from your training and diet regime.....



Caffiene 

Why? Fires up the adrenal glands for fatloss, increased energy and focus (particularly important if you're about to smash a workout or are on a calorie deficit diet plan) and it can increase the metabolic rate.

How much?  Try 5-10mg per KG of body weight before your workout.

Omega 3 

Why? Joint health, faster recovery, fat loss, brain health, they're anabolic - sold!

How much? If you're really serious about your omega 3 intake you'll aim for as many grams per day as your body fat %. So if you're 14% body fat, aim for 14g per day! Sounds like a lot, but as your body fat drops off with this dose, drop your omega 3 intake to match.

L-arginine 

Why? 2 main reasons. Firstly arginine changes into nitric oxide, which causes vasodilation aka blood vessel relaxation. This is great for improved blood flow and incredible muscle pumps - exactly what you want during the beach season! Secondly, some studies have shown arginine to be very effective at increasing human growth hormone levels. Higher GH means less body fat and more muscle!

How much? Try 2-3g twice a day.


I'm sure there are many others you could include! But hopefully from my explanations you can see why I've chose these 3 as my favourites.

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Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The 1-6 principle

I've recently come across and tried one of the best protocols for strength and muscle mass in my 4 years + of training! I just had to share it with you. It's called the 1-6 principle and the theory behind why it works is actually quite simple. Take a squat. A very heavy squat. Load it up with 95-100% of your 1 rep max and perform 1 rep. Now strip the weight off and squat with just the bar. It feels light right? It feels as if you could explode through the ceiling! This concept is known as post-tetanic facilitation (PTF). And the 1-6 principle uses it to its full potential. The idea is you'd perform a heavy 1 rep for an exercise to ramp up the central nervous system (CNS), then strip the weight back and perform 6 reps. Because the CNS is switched on, you should be able to handle a heavier weight with your 6 reps than you normally could. Thus having a better training effect. It worked well for all muscle groups, however I particularly liked it for arms (workout shown below), the pump was pretty impressive!....







Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Napping

There's 2 keys to success in the personal training business. First of all, you've got to stay relaxed. Do you nap?

I don't want to, that's not why I do it, I do it because I need to! Think about it, your dealing with reps, sets, rest periods and weights all day long. This is not a tip, this is a prescription. Trust me, if you don't, you will fall out of balance. Split your differential and tip the f*ck over. Or worse yet, I've seen this happen, implode!



All jokes aside, if done correctly, napping can really help your body's health, recovery and performance. Especially if you work shifts or long hours (like that of a personal trainer!) here's 5 tips and benefits of a good nap...

- napping can improve altertness and reduce mistakes and accidents. A study at NASA showed improved performance on military pilots by up to 34% after a 40 minute nap.

- a nap of 20-30 mins is recommended. Any longer and it could interfere with normal sleep patterns and cause sleep interia. Which will leave you feeling groggy and disorientated for hours after your nap.

- napping has psychological benefits. It can provide a quick hit of relaxation.

- for a quality nap make sure you have a quiet, comfortable area. Where you are unlikely to be disturbed.

- a nap could help speed up recovery from exercise.



....and when you get really good at it, you'll be napping and planning your next PT session!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Variables

As the old saying goes "variety is the spice of life", it's also the spice of your workouts. Adding variety to your sessions is a simple way to keep your body guessing and progressing. 
If you just think variety in your workouts would be just changing your reps and sets you'd be wrong! Check out this list I've put together that includes variables I, and my clients regularly change in our workouts to keep the results coming...


Volume 
Intensity
Rest periods
Number of Sets 
Total workout duration
Rep brackets
Lifting tempo/speed
Frequency
Exercise order
Exercise selection
Grip or stance width
Grip diameter (thick bars etc.)


I'm sure there's many more, but the variables above are enough to keep your workouts fresh. My personal recommendation is to perform a workout no more than 6 times, or less if you adapt to it faster...



Sunday, 16 March 2014

Fitness banking

I've invested in a lot of fitness related products over the years. Things like lifting gloves, hand grippers, battling ropes, gliders, trx, fat gripz, powerball, a dipping belt and many more! Some I've felt like I've just thrown my money away, others definitely have their place. I was just thinking about which one I would say I've had the most returns from my investment on, the result.....



The trigger point grid! This foam roller has been a fantastic, key tool in my training as well as every single one of my clients! Getting down on one of these things will help with recovery, mobilty, postural correction, flexibility and de-knotting the muscles. This act of rolling your muscles over the roller is know as self-myofascial release (SMR). When the pressure of the body against the roller is sustained on a trigger point the Golgi tendon organs (GTO) will turn off muscle spindle activity, allowing the muscle fibres to stretch, realign and relax. They can also be used as a great core training tool. Well worth the cash if you ask me....