Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Whey is not always the way!

One of the tips I'd give to guys and girls that regulary use a whey protein powder (or even a whey protein blend) is to rotate it every so often with a beef protein powder. The main reason being, whey can be quite allergenic. Some individuals can't take whey for this reason right from the outset. Like whey, beef will still deliver those all important amino acids for muscle growth, repair and recovery. The main difference is, unlike whey, beef protein's digestion takes place in the stomach. This avoids the swelling sensation that is commonly associated with whey digestion that takes place in the intestine. 

I regularly rotate between these two awesome products....

Impact whey protein 

And remember for 10% off all Myprotein products use code 007PT80

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The big 100

This post marks the triple figure milestone! And fast approaching 20k hits, I want to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you for your continued support and giving it a read when you can. For me, even if you take one useful tip away from this blog and apply it to your lifestyle and see a positive outcome then it's worth it. 

Hitting this milestone today did make me take a minute to look back about how far I've come I'm the last few years in my career as a personal trainer and fitness professional. Currently working for the flagship David Lloyd leisure health club and about to hit "platinum trainer" status, things are going well for me. Now one important lesson I've learnt along the way is that no matter where you're headed you should never forget from where you came. I started my PT course with Future Fit Training around 4 years ago now and the first contact I had with a more experienced fit pro was with my tutor Jacqueline Hooton. Thanks to Jacqueline's expertise and guidance and the useful course information from FFT, I believe it's set me up on the path for a long and successful career within the fitness industry. Jacqueline's recently been nominated for the 'most inspiring physical activity professional' for the UK active awards. Myself and Jacqueline would very much appreciate it if you could take 1 minute out of your day and vote for her by clicking the link below!

I couldn't finish this post without offering some form of tip you can take away with you could I? For an awesome plateau busting training protocol, why not try the 100 reps method. It's also a great way to increase work capacity. To do this, pick a weak or lagging muscle group and select an exercise. Select a weight you can complete 20 reps for. You would then perform as many reps as you can followed by a 30 sec rest. Then pick the bar up and repeat this process until you accumulate 100 total reps. For example:

Biceps - barbell curl - 25kg
Set 1 - 18 reps
Set 2 - 18 reps 
Set 3 - 17 reps 
Set 4 - 20 reps
Set 5- 18 reps
Set 6 - 9 reps

Total reps = 100

Have fun!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Bulk like Ben Affleck pt.2

In my previous post (pt.1) we looked at training in order to bulk up like Affleck has successfully done for his upcoming role as batman. Obviously that's only half the battle! Proper nutrient intake is also important. Now I don't know for sure what Bens diet consisted of, but I'd put money on it was something like this...

The 5,4,3,2,1 nutrition basics protocol

5 small-medium meals a day should be consumed in order to consume enough nutrients, increase the metabolism and maintain energy.

To work out how many carbs you should be eating per day, use this simple formula:

4 x bodyweight in kg = total grams of carbs per day

For example if you weigh 80kg you'd need 320g of carbs per day. Divide this number by 5 and that's how many grams of carbs you should put in each meal. Good carb sources include sweet potato, quinoa and all green vegetables.

Aim to drink at least 3 litres of water per day.

To work out how many grams of protein you should be eating per day, use this simple formula

2 x bodyweight in kg = total grams of protein per day

For example if you weigh 80kg you'd aim for at least 160g of protein per day. Once again divide this number by 5 and that's how much protein you should have in each meal. Good protein sources include eggs, chicken, fish and nuts.

Allow yourself 1 treat meal per week. This could be whatever you're craving, wether that's a pizza, burger and chips or a slice of cake! This will help keep you motivated and a few dirty calories will help towards the muscle building process and keep your metabolism stoked. The only rule is, you have to get straight back on the good quality, clean nutrition intake right away for the next meal.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Bulk like Ben Affleck pt.1

Who's seen the latest pics of Ben Affleck's transformation for his upcoming role as batman? Well if you haven't here's one....

Pretty impressive eh? He's certainly bulked out with some superhero worthy muscle mass! For those wondering how he's done it look no further. Now just to clarify I don't know for sure what Bens trainer had him doing, but it was probably something like this...

Following the 1-2,3-4,5-6,7-8,9-10 protocol.

1-2 muscle groups per session
Focusing on 1-2 muscle groups per session allows you to really stimulate the fibres for optimal growth.

3-4 workouts a week
3-4 sessions a week is plenty enough for the natural trainer. A 3 day split over 4 training days allows you to train a muscle group every 5 days which is perfect. 

This could look like:
Session 1: chest and back 
Session 2: legs 
Session 3: shoulders and arms
Session 4: repeat cycle

5-6 total exercises per workout
For example a chest and back session might look like this:

1A: Barbell bench press
1B: Pull ups
2A: Incline db press
2B: 1 arm db row
3: Back extensions

7-8 reps per exercise
7-8 reps per exercise on a 3010 tempo will be sufficent enough time under tension for gains in muscle and strength. The heavier weights will also hit the fast twitch fibres, which have most potential for growth.

9-10 total sets per muscle group 
Again this is sufficent amount of volume to work the targeted muscle fibres thoroughly, without overtraining. 

Using the above example you could do this:

1A: Barbell bench press x5 
1B: Pull ups x4
2A: Incline db press x4
2B: 1 arm db row x4
3: Back extensions x2

Chest total sets - 9
Back total sets - 10

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

T-spine smash

Tackle poor posture, spine mobilty and improved overhead positioning with exercises such as shoulder presses with my favourite spinal mobilty drill...

What you need
Two massage balls in a sock or 2 lacrosse balls duct taped together will work just fine.

How to do it
Elevate your feet with your knees bent at 90 degrees and keep your spine in a neutral position. Hug your arms round your body to move the scapular out of the way. Place the 2 balls on the thoracic spine (around chest level). Slowly extend over the balls, but keep your core engaged to prevent any hyperextension of the spine.The great thing about working with the two balls is you can localise the target area and work on 2 segments of the spine at a time. Feel free to move the balls up or down to work on another 2 segments of the T spine. Spend at least 120 seconds on the mobilisation to see and feel some change.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The best shaker bottle

For the last year, a client and friend of mine regularly lectured me on how he found the protein shaker bottles with the metal ball in had the ability to make a better shake than the style with the grid at the top. Eventually I gave in and tired one, and guess what. He was right! They really do make a creamier, smoother shake.

I suppose you're thinking "why is this relevant?!". Well my theory is, if you can make a more enjoyable tasting shake with ease, it becomes something you look forward to having. You'll be less likely to skip it, meaning your nutritional intake is optimal for your goals. And believe me there's nothing worse than having vile tasting, watery, lumpy shake to consume day in day out.

Get yours here from Myprotein and for 10% discount off all products use code 007PT80

Friday, 3 October 2014

Compression band knee mobilisation

Using a compression band for increased joint mobility is nothing new. If you struggle with stiff, tight painful knees, or if you have difficulty driving the knees out during a squat/achieving decent range of motion then this technique might be for you! I've been using it for the last few months and my knees feel stronger, looser and I my knee mechanics are much better during squats. 

What you'll need...
A voodoo compression band or a bicycle inner tube cut in half will work just fine.

How does it work...
Wrapping the band around a joint (knee, elbow, ankle etc.) a few inches above and below the joint and keeping the band nice and tight will create compression forces. This helps restore sliding surface function to the underlying banded tissues as well as create a flexion-gaping force at the joint. This can help restore normal range of motion in the joint. Once the band is removed the tissues surrounding the joint will flood with fresh blood bringing nutrients to the muscles and joint for improved recovery. One of the biggest advantages of using the banded mobilisation technique is you can closely mobilise the movement you want to improve. Just like below, I want better knee mechanics during squatting so I'm squatting! 

How to do it...
Wrap the knee joint fairly tight a few inches below and above the joint. Start from the bottom and work your way up. 

Start by performing some basics squats. Then sit in the the bottom position allowing the knee to come into deep flexion. You can also drive your knee out with your elbow. The whole drill should last for 2-3 minutes. Then unwrap the knee and perform on the other side.