The NO excuses morning workout

July 29, 2009

 

Morning workouts are great to get your day started in a positive way and get you feeling great about yourself.

 1. Go for a run, walk or ride. This is simple but effective, get out in the fresh air and do some exercise. If you want to run then make it on grass or sand rather than concrete. Treadmills are similar to grass when it comes to impact so they are also a better alternative than concrete surfaces.

 2. Don’t have equipment? Do a body weight circuit – include exercises such as; dips, push up variations, step ups, lunge variations, squat variations, calf raises, front and side braces, crunches and mountain climbers. There are heaps of exercises you can include; if you have a bar of some sort you could include chin ups or body weight rows.

 3. If you have a gym membership then USE it! Winter is no excuse for not going to the gym. It’s a great time to be indoors with all the equipment to help you reach your goals. Do some cardio or resistance training or a mix of both! Do a personal training session or group exercise class to mix things up and keep it interesting.

 Doing something is 100% better than doing nothing! Kick start your day with breakfast followed by your morning workout whether it be a body weight circuit, a gym session or a morning stroll and you’ll be feeling great by the time you get to work or whatever else you have planned for your morning.

Advertisements

Your morning sets you up physically and mentally for each day.

July 27, 2009

 

The morning is an easy time to make excuses but there should be no excuses for not fitting in what you should each morning.

 Your morning should include breakfast. Breakfast kick starts your metabolism for the day. It fuels your body and helps you perform better at work or the gym depending on your morning schedule. Include a drink with your breakfast for hydration other than a coffee as it tends to dehydrate rather than hydrate. Water is best, if not water then try a fruit juice.

 Set your alarm earlier than usual instead of setting it when you need to get up and then snoozing it a few times before getting up! There are no excuses for not enough sleep. If you feel you need to sleep more then go to bed earlier rather than sacrificing breakfast or a morning workout.

 Do a morning workout. Include it in your morning schedule whether it’s a walk outside, a bodyweight circuit or a visit to the gym. You’re almost guaranteed to feel better for the rest of the day if you get a morning workout in.

 Get organised. Be as organised as possible and have what you need prepared the night before ideally so you don’t have to rush or sacrifice things when the morning comes.

 Remember your morning sets you up physically and mentally for the day so be well organised, feel good about yourself and relax. Try this and see if you feel better about your body and about your day. If you’re not a morning person try and implement one thing a week with your goal being to include all these things into your morning.

 Unsure of what to do for your morning workout? Stuck with minimal time? Wait for my next blog to pick up a few ideas you can use.


Are you overweight? How do you measure up?

July 21, 2009

How do you know if you’re overweight? Are the scales really telling the truth? Yeah you might be overweight but is that because of lean muscle mass or because of fat?

The best way to find out how much fat you’re carrying is to conduct these 5 tests below and see if you fall into the healthy ranges in each test.

  1. Weight
  2. Girth measurements
  3. Waist circumference
  4. Body fat %
  5. Body Mass Index (BMI)

Weight – Most people use weight as the only test to determine their health. Unfortunately our scales can only tell us how heavy we are. We really need to know how much of our weight comes from muscle, bones, fluid and fat. However, weight is a starting point and will give an indicator of where you are at.

Girth Measurements – All you need is a tape measure for this one. You can measure many sites of the body but the main ones are waist, hips, chest and thighs. You can also measure your calves and upper arms. Remember to pull the measuring tape firm and keep it parallel to the floor. If possible take the measurements directly on your skin rather than over clothes. You can check these measurements every 3-4 weeks.

Waist circumference – This measure is an indicator of abdominal fat. A waist circumference above 94 centimetres for men, and 80 centimetres for women, is associated with a greater risk of health problems. Higher than 102 centimetres for men, and 88 centimetres for women is associated with serious health risks! An ideal waist circumference would be below 94 for men and less than 80 for women. Another measurement used to assess your risk of obesity-related disease is your waist to hip ratio. You get this by dividing your waist circumference by your hip measurement. For example, if your waist was 90 centimetres, and your hip was 100 centimetres, your hip to waist ratio will be: 90  100 = 0.9. Ideal waist to hip ratio is less than 0.9 for men and less than 0.8 for women.


Body fat % – The measurement of body fat consists of total fat throughout the body. You can use skin fold callipers or bio-electrical impedance scales to obtain this measurement. Leave room for error when using these methods but it will give you a fairly decent measure of where you are at in terms of body fat %. The distribution of body fat also needs to be looked at: fat stored around the abdomen is dangerous fat. It’s associated with a greater risk of disease, in particular heart disease; whereas fat stored around the hips and thighs is far less harmful.

CLASSIFICATION

MEN

WOMEN

LEAN

< 12%

< 17%

ACCEPTABLE

12 – 20.9 %

17 – 27.9 %

MOD. OVERWEIGHT

21 – 25.9 %

28 – 32.9 %

OVERWEIGHT

> 26 %

> 33 %

Body Mass Index – BMI is used as a general indicator of obesity. It’s used to define overweight, obese and underweight levels. To work out BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by your height squared. For example you weigh 100 kilograms and are 185 centimetres tall, the equation would be: 100 (1.85 x 1.85) = 29.2 (Overweight).

CLASSIFICATION

BMI

OBESITY CLASS

UNDERWEIGHT

< 18.5

NORMAL

18.5 – 24.9

OVERWEIGHT

25 – 29.9

OBESITY

30 – 34.9

I

35 – 39.9

II

EXTREME OBESITY

> 40.0

III

Remember BMI does not take into account muscle mass so ideally take all 5 of these measurements and see if they all point in one direction or not. If you’re not at where you want to be it’s time to start doing something about it. If you’re still not sure about your results or have any other questions, feel free to leave any questions or comments.


Setting goals works – how it can help your weight loss

July 15, 2009
Goal setting works! It’s as simple as that. It’s essential for anyone who wants to lose some extra weight no matter if its 5kg or 50kg you want to lose, goals are a necessity.
Here are some simple steps to planning and achieving your fat loss goals.

1. Write down your main goal. This is generally the total amount of weight or % of body fat you want to lose.

2. Give your number one goal a time frame. Setting a time frame is so important. Your time frame is predominately based around how much time and energy you can dedicate to reaching your number one goal. Ask yourself how important is achieving your goal to you on a scale of 1-10? From your answer decide how much time you can put towards achieving it.

3. Once you have your time frame you can break it up in to smaller goals. For example your goal is to lose 12kg in 3 months. You can set yourself smaller goals that are stepping stones towards your main goal. This may be ‘lose 1kg a week over the 3 month period’. By setting smaller goals that lead up to your number one goal you can monitor your progress and see what is working and what isn’t straight away.

4. Once you have your goals planned out on paper it’s time to do something about it. Get to the gym, sign up for a boot camp or exercise program, create a better eating plan, get out of the house more and do what you need to do to reach your goals! You need to make these lifestyle changes and stick to them for long term fat loss success.

5. The SMARTER your goal is the better!

Specific – the more specific your goal is the better. It gives you direction!

Measurable – you need to be able to know if you’ve achieved your goal. Lose weight isn’t a measurable goal. However lose 5kg in one month is very measurable.

Accountable – who is accountable for reaching your goals. 99% of the time you are!

Realistic – unrealistic goals will lead to discouragement. Not good for successful fat loss!

Time frame – decide on how long you will take to achieve your goal and stick to it.

Exciting – you should be excited about what it will be like when you reach this goal.

Recorded – record your progress somewhere that you see every day to keep you on track.

Whether it’s fat loss goals or any kind of goal using a method like this increases your chances of achieving it.


The importance of fitness testing

July 15, 2009

Fitness tests allow us to identify physical strengths and weaknesses and also monitor increases and decreases in specific components of our fitness. Conducting a fitness assessment allows us to create a program that is suitable for our clients. Without fitness testing how would we know if we were neglecting weaknesses and only improving on what are already our strengths? How would we know if the program we designed is working if we didn’t test our fitness components regularly?

The answer is we wouldn’t know. Without any proper testing in the right environment it’s near impossible to tell. How can we tell if a client has lost body fat if they do both cardio and resistance training? They may get discouraged by looking at the scales at home thinking I’ve put on weight, I’m failing. They may not realise that they’ve put on some lean muscle mass and decreased their body fat %. This is just another reason why testing is so important.

It doesn’t just show that you are doing a good job and have the ability to help people improve their fitness. It shows and motivates your clients to keep working hard because they know that when they do they achieve the goals they set themselves.

When should we test?

Testing should be done regularly, whether it’s done every 2 weeks, 4 weeks, 6 weeks, whatever you do don’t leave it longer than 8 weeks! If you leave it too long clients can get off track and don’t know how they are traveling and if you make it too short they may get discouraged by not achieving much as you leave little time for the body to change. You need to keep them focused and I prefer to test on a monthly basis, anywhere between 3-5 weeks I think is good because it gives your clients time to improve on their previous set of results.

What should I test?

Keep the tests specific to the client’s goals. Not much point doing a VO2 max test on someone who just wants to increase their lean muscle mass. It’s a waste of your time and theirs. It would be better to stick to muscular tests and measurements and body composition tests. There are plenty of tests for particular components of fitness out there. You just need to have a look around.

Are there any areas you don’t know how to test?

What time frame works best for you when it comes to regular fitness tests?

Feel free to let me know.


Skins™ How they effect performance and recovery

July 14, 2009

It seems to me that a lot of people these days are wearing Skins™, especially athletes. I don’t wear them myself so I’ve asked a few people I know what they think of them and are they worth the money. All feedback I got was good so I thought I’d do a bit of research and find out how skins can benefit my training or anyone’s training for that matter.

Here is what I found on their website – http://www.skins.net

  • Skins™ BioAcceleration Technology™ as they call it has been developed over years of scientific research. Ongoing testing of elite athletes have proven that Skins™ creates marked improvements in reducing the build-up of lactic acid immediately after periods of sustained exercise, and allows for more rapid return to normal levels. You experience less fatigue, minimise soreness and recover faster.
  • Skins™ is body-moulded compression performance equipment manufactured from the finest Lycra and Meryl Microfibre, scientifically engineered to provide support and muscle alignment to the smart-fabric covered area of your body. Skins™ will definitely change the way that you train and play as well as speed up your recovery. You will feel fresher after heavy bouts of exercise and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) will be minimised.
  • Skins™ technical compression wear has been developed and designed to provide engineered gradient compression. When compression is engineered to apply a balanced and accurate surface pressure over specific body parts, it triggers an acceleration of blood flow. This increases oxygen delivery to working muscles to enhance their performance. The circulation improvements also help the body to eliminate lactic acid and other metabolic wastes. The combination of these effects allows you to work at a higher rate for longer.
  • Skins™ development of the correct compression is based on a body mass index (BMI) algorithm. A unique sizing system based on the algorithm allows us to customise and engineer gradient compression. By controlling the stretch and recovery of the fabric in conjunction with specifically developed pattern making techniques based on the sizing system, they are able to ensure the correct level of surface pressure for most body shapes.
  • Skins™ performance equipment has been designed to wrap and support key muscle groups to reduce muscle movement and focus the direction of the muscle. The wrapping effect and specific compression also dramatically reduces muscle vibration resulting in less soft tissue damage and muscle soreness.
  • The other benefits of skins™ are that they keep the moisture off your skin, regulate your body temperature, discourage growth of bacteria, help prevent odour and protect you from the sun.

After checking out the site and seeing how skins™ can benefit me I am considering getting some for myself. I usually find it hard to fit gym sessions in between soccer training and games because I’m usually a bit sore and don’t want to be sore for my game on the weekend. By the sounds of it Skins™ assist and decrease my recover time enabling me to do some quality workouts in between games and training.

Let me know what you think of skins™, Do you wear them? would you buy them after reading this article?


The Benefits of boxing for fitness

July 14, 2009

I don’t blame people for getting tired of the same old cardio machines when you use them day after day, week after week! It’s always great to try something different. Boxing for fitness adds that extra fun into your workout and also delivers great results.

Here are 5 ways boxing can help you!

1. Increase your fitness levels – boxing is based around high repetitions with rest in between work efforts. It’s a great interval training session and, when done with correct technique, will give your whole body a good workout.

2. Help you achieve your fat loss goals – boxing is great for losing that extra fat. Its high intensity and gets plenty of muscles moving and burning lots of calories. With the right format to your session you will see great results.

3. Increase your muscular tone – punching bags or pads requires your muscles to be working pretty hard throughout the session. If you’ve ever done a one on one boxing session you know the feeling of how hard your arms have to work towards the end of a one minute round of high intensity effort. By losing that bit of extra fat and toning up your muscles through boxing training you’ll soon be seeing the results.

4. Improved coordination and agility – technique is really important in boxing. Once you know the main punches your trainer can combine these punches into combos which can include weaves between certain punches.

5. Reduce stress – we all know when we get really angry we like to hit things or take our frustration out in some way. Boxing is a feel good workout. After a long hard day in the office there isn’t much better than letting it all out and having a fun, solid workout to make you feel great and put everything else behind you.

The best way to get started with boxing for fitness is to ask about it at your gym and get a trainer to take you for a few sessions or join a group boxing class to learn the right technique and good session formats.