I’m skinny but suffer with belly fat? Well this is down to muscle tone and can be fixed by performing four exercises Squats, Deadlifts, Overhead Press and Plank. Why them exercises? Three of them are compounded exercises which work multiple muscle groups but focus a lot on your rectus abdominals and transverse muscles. And will help you increase lean muscle tissue which you will need to speed up your metabolism as the more lean mass you have the more calories you burn at rest. So this will help strengthen your abdominal area and burn fat.
Well this is interesting question! How can I lose belly fat over night? Well my answer to this with my experience is to do weight training and build lean muscle tissue. Why? Well the more lean muscle you have the higher amount of calories you body burn at rest and this will lead to more calories burnt while you sleep. Unfortunately you can’t spot reduce body fat in certain areas of your body, but this is the best and natural way of burning belly fat.
Injuries happen to us all. It doesn’t matter whether they are really serious or very minor, injuries can have a massive effect on our exercise regimes, and our mindset towards our training.
It can be extremely disheartening when you are training really well and you’re getting closer to your goals, and then injury strikes.
In my years of training, I have been unfortunate enough to experience countless injuries. From blisters on my feet, pulled muscles and ligaments, right the way up to rupturing my Achilles Tendon, I’ve been through it all. It’s tough.
But what should you do when injury strikes?
The first course of action is to stop exercising immediately and determine what exactly your injury is. Use common sense here. Don’t go to your local A&E department with a blister! Consult a doctor or physiotherapist before you do anything if you aren’t sure. Once you have determined what your injury is, you can plan on your next move.
The next thing to do is seek advice on alternative training methods. For example, if you’ve hurt your foot, running is out of the question. Try swimming or cycling on an exercise bike as an alternative cardiovascular exercise. It’s important if you pick up an injury, if possible, to keep doing some form of training. Of course, this depends on the severity of what you’re done. Nobody can carry on training in a full body cast!
Carrying on with some form of alternative exercise is beneficial in many ways. One reason is that it will still keep the rest of your body (minus the injured area) in good physical condition, which will stand you in good stead when you resume your regular training. Physiotherapy will also help massively in getting the injured area back to full health. Getting a good rehabilitation program is ideal here.
Another reason for making sure you continue to do some form of physical activity, and I think the most important, is that doing alternative exercise that is allowing you to recover and also remain physically fit, helps keep you in a positive frame of mind.
I can’t explain the amount of times I’ve been injured in the most frustrating circumstances, and wanted to throw in the towel and call it a day on whatever I was training for at the time. Without a plan and a persitance to overcome these setbacks, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Doing an alternative training program whilst I recovered, kept me physically still heading towards my goals and more importantly, kept my mindset positive.
If you experience an injury, keep your head up and work out how to over come these setbacks. You’ll definitely be stronger for it!
Be all you can be.
Is your hip flexors restricting your mobility in everyday life, when you squat or attempt any leg movement?
These are also used in upper body movements such as overhead press and even a bench press!
Your hip flexors are a group of muscles situated at the top of your legs which attach your upper thigh to your hip, these muscles are involved in almost every movement we make.
These are called hip flexors because they cause flexion in the hip which initiates a bending movement around a joint in a limb. Hip flexion occurs when you raise your knee upwards, this shortens the angle of your thigh bone relevant to your hip joint.
What causes hip tightness? It can have numerous contributing factors such as in activity and weakness in that area.
How can you combat hip mobility issues?
They are the two main secrets strengthening will be in a resistance training program with these key exercises:
barbell back squats
barbell front squats
All these exercises will strengthen your legs, hip flexors and glutes.
Below are some hip flexor stretches to try!
remember stretching is just as important as any training, do these daily and prioritise the stretches that feel most affective
Squatting is one of the most beneficial exercises when either attempting to lose weight or build muscle.
When you squat you almost engage every muscle in your body, if your trying to lose weight your goal should be to try and engage as many muscles as you can as the more you engage the more calories are burnt. This is a functional movement which you will use more than you realise in everyday life.
At the same time if your trying to build muscle the effect heavy squatting has on the nervous system enables you to build a good portion muscle in a short amount of time. This movement also can trigger anabolic stimulation which releases the chemicals Testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) which enables muscle development for the entire body!
Why would you want to build more muscle? building a pound of muscle amounts to around 50-70 cals additional burnt a day! So if you’re attempting to lose weight this is a long lasting way of increasing your bodies required caloric intake with a controlled caloric intake will promote weight loss.
This movement will also assist strengthen and thicken your ligaments and tendons in your knee, ankle and hip joints enabling your joints to take more pressure, giving you the less likelihood of injury in these important areas.
Last but not least!
Do you want to fill out your jeans? the squat is the perfect exercise to grow your legs in a proportionate way, building your Glutes (bum), Quads (fronts of your legs) and Hamstrings (back of your legs), giving you the toned, slender legs everyone will envy!!
In just over 3 years now I went from a consistent weight of 11st 6lbs at 5ft 11ins with a body fat to not my heaviest at 11st 8lbs but clearly out of shape. So if you look at the three images of me the left is what was my consistent shape at 11st 6-8lbs and the middle image is me at 11st 8lbs but clearly out of shape. So what happened why did I get so out of shape? Well the answer to that is LIFE. In 2015 was a huge year in my life and one I’ll never forget all the stresses and emotions you can have in life happened all in this one year. First my dad who was suffering with cancer at stage 4 with skin cancer took a turn for the worse in February that year. We had learnt about my dads cancer in February 2014 and which came as massive shock to us all in the family as my dad never got ill and to find out he had this horrible disease that unfortunately most people some way or another will be touched with if it’s family member or friend or worse yourself.
That was the beginning of shock that my dad who I had so much respect for and love was really ill and there was nothing I could do to stop it. Until one day I was asked to do a talk on the benefits of fitness at a talk event about prostate cancer and was asked to talk about how to keep fit and exercise which would be good for anyone suffering with prostate cancer. Now you may not be aware of is that most men that suffer with prostate cancer suffers this in later stage of life (not always) but in this room as was faced talking to an older generation of men. So which a lot of them detached from conversation of exercises as that was not for all but most men that were there not a big intreats.
There was also another guest speaker there a highly qualified nutritionalist from the NHS and she was talking about having a lot of fruit, vegetables, fibres foods, grains and beans. Very much a plant based diet. I was always on high protein diet i mean really high. I would recommend most my clients as personal trainer one that holds a nutritional certificate qualification that a high protein diet is the way to go like most trainers and fitness experts would say. After giving my talk and listening to the nutritionist I went to speak to her after the event and we chatted about nutrition and she told me about a book called “The China Study” and that I should give it a read. Anyway at the time I didn’t give too much of a thought. But with my dads health and the fact I couldn’t help him it was something when I could find the time I should look into. In August I did a bike ride for clatterbridge cancer centre with Ride of the Roses with my brother in-law and old school friend and they were telling me about this guy who is a vegan and a very keen cyclist. Well a few days after that bike ride for clatterbridge cancer centre my brother in-law sent me a video of YouTube about this Australian cyclist vegan guy explaining the benefits of going vegan. So I listened and he brought up some good statements of why a vegan diet is so good for you! So I thought why not lets have ago and I’m a very committed guy when it comes to committing to diet or anything in life. So for six months I followed a vegan diet and after reading plenty of books and one of them being the CHINA STUDY. I learnt of the benefits and especially the benefits of not eating animal products if you’re suffering with cancer. So obviously I got my dad on the diet and to be honest it was having a positive effect on him but sadly he didn’t win his battle and passed away on March the 4th of 2015. Even with this I was still convinced that my dad being at grade 4 skin cancer he was to far down the line to save no matter what his diet was and all treatment he went through and his age. So I kept to it well at vegetarian level. Also the year my dad past myself and my girlfriend of many years bought are first house the house I grew up in my mum and dad’s house. Which buying a house is stressful but happy time, it was more sad as my dad had passed and the joy of getting our own house was not the joy it should have been. And just after a couple of weeks we found out Emma my girlfriend Emma was pregnant which consider the loss of my dad was a big boost to myself and Emma plus my family. But we always discussed that we would get married before we had children and old fashion thing these days but thats what we wanted. So 7 weeks later we got married and in December we had a baby girl Yves Verite. So yes in one year I lost my dad, bought a house, got married and had a baby. So life changed dramatically for myself and Emma.
So fast forward 2017 August time my wife Emma got herself into training and strict nutrition plan as since giving birth to Yves she had not been training probably just like myself since my dads passing. And after trying to get into a training plan and seeing my wife doing so well I knew it was time for me to get back into it myself. So I put together a four day weight training plan together and committed to two 5k runs a week. I have kept to this for 13 weeks now with a small change to my weigh training program. I also decided to go back to eating meat as I had noticed loss of strength muscle and weight. Plus my shape had changed, don’t get me wrong I hadn’t trained properly for a very long time. So it wasn’t all down to not eating meat. But as you can see from the photos what a change my body has gone though in 12 weeks. But not saying its just down to eating meat its been down to myeline style and the fact I’ve stuck to eating the same type of foods in particular order part from weekends and things like weddings. But I have been very consistent with my diet and training programme. So the point of this blog post is all it comes down to is sticking closely as you can to a diet plan and a training plan and you can make big changes to your body and trust me it’s not that hard.
I will be posting my diet plan and training routine on my blog, so you can see if its something you introduce into your lifestyle and “BE WHAT YOU WERE BORN TO BE”
We all know about the physical benefits of exercise. Losing weight, increasing cardiovascular performance and building muscle are all things we associate with prolonged periods of consistent exercise.
We don’t often consider the psychological benefits of training and physical activity – We should do.
Most of us have very busy lives, whether that be with work, education, family or anything else that takes up our time. Occasionally, all of these factors lead us to become worried or anxious, and generally unhappy. This is completely normal.
Luckily help is at hand. Exercising regularly has many proven psychological benefits. These include:
– Improved mood
– Reduced stress
– Improved ability to deal with stress
– Improved self-esteem
– Increased self satisfaction
– Improved body image
– Increased confidence in physical abilities
– Reduce symptoms associated with depression
These factors, combined with the physical benefits of exercise all add up to making you feel better in yourself, and able to cope with the demands of every day life.
Nothing makes you feel better than a good training session. What are you waiting for?
Be all you can be!
Goal setting is important in all walks of life. In work, sport, education, or in our personal lives, we all have things we aspire to become or be able to do. It doesn’t matter what our particular goals are, if we know what we want to achieve, then we can work out the steps we need to take to get there, and ultimately succeed.
When it comes to our health, fitness and wellbeing, we should have the same view – goals are essential. Whether you want that summer beach body or you are training for a particular sporting event, having that goal in mind keeps you going when circumstances get tough and you want to stop (it happens to us all).
When it comes to actually setting a goal, try and follow the SMART principle. SMART stands for:
SPECIFIC: What is your goal?
MEASURABLE: Can you track your progress?
ACHIEVABLE: Do you have the knowledge, time or guidance to reach your goal?
RELEVANT: Is your training in sync with what you want to achieve?
TIME: When do you want to reach your goal (be realistic with this one, patience and consistency are key – Nothing worth working for is achieved over night).
You can put the SMART principle into practice by choosing your overall long term goal. Then break that end result down into shorter term goals. These are the steps we go through to reach our main goal. Reaching these short term goals helps keep your motivation up because they can provide quick feedback on your progress and show that you are moving forward towards where you want to be.
Remember, when you are setting a goal, make it challenging, but achievable. Easy goals are boring, and impossible goals are demotivating.
Next time you’re going through the motions in the gym, take a second and ask yourself “what’s the point?”. If you haven’t got an answer, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your goals and get back on track. Decide upon a goal, find your motivation and keep pushing towards it.
What is the purpose of Fat within foods?
It has one purpose and that is to help the body digest vitamins A, D, E and is an essential source of fatty acids of which the body cannot create itself.
In calorie strong point all fat is the same! Whether is saturated or unsaturated 1g of Fat is equal to 9 calories, like carbohydrates and Protein if too much of this is eaten it is stored as body Fat.
For a healthy lifestyle and diet you should be making a conscious effort to minimise your intake of Saturated and Trans fats, instead replace these with unsaturated fats.
This will help reduce your cholesterol and your risk of Heart Disease.
Examples of Food with high amounts of Saturated Fat: (Too much of these are what increases Cholesterol)
men shouldn’t have more than 30g of saturated fat a day
women shouldn’t have more than 20g of saturated fat a day
children should have less
Trans fats are often found in small amounts in Meat and Dairy foods, like Sat fats these can increase cholesterol.
The government daily guideline for Trans fats is no more than 5g a day for an adult, luckily there isn’t a large trace of such Fats in our foods in the UK.
As i said earlier if you want to bring down your Cholesterol and decrease your chance of Heart Disease your better having more Unsaturated fat rather than Saturated fat in your diet. These are primarily sound in Fish and Oils, they are commonly known as polyunsaturated or monounsaturated.
Examples of Foods which contain Unsaturated Fats are:
Olive oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil and other spreads
Certain nuts; Almonds, Brazil and Peanuts
Fish; mackerel, Kippers, Herring, Trout, Sardines, Salmon and Fresh Tuna
So watch your fat intake and what fats you’re eating! Something as simple as checking the Nutritional label on the back of the foods you buy will give you all the info you need!
Why is it important to build and strengthen your shoulder muscles?
Your shoulder is actually one of the least stable joints in your body and because of this you should make sure strengthening the shoulders (Deltoids) is part of your training regime.
There is one large muscle covering the shoulder socket with three heads these are:
Anterior Delt (front)
Lateral Delt (side)
Posterior Delt (back)
The rotator cuff is what stabilises the shoulder joint which has four smaller muscles which are:
Strengthening these muscles will:
Strengthen the muscle surrounding the shoulder joint
Decrease chances of injury due to instability
Improve everday tasks and activities
Where a lot of people go wrong who allready train is they neglect the back of the shoulder.
This can give instability, worsen your posture and lead to injury so below are some exercises for a well rounded shoulder workout:
Barbell Overhead press
Dumbbell Arnold press
Face cable pulls
So what’s your excuse?
Get training shoulders!
Alan Fitton-Head PT