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23 Oct

The first of February 1994, that’s the day when a giant 5166-gram baby was born. That infant was me 23 years ago. Some people say that obesity and overweight is something that can be a part of your genes. However, I have had trouble keeping my weight down my entire life. Meanwhile, my brother, who consumed the same food and drinks as I did and played the same sports as I did, held his body tight and fit.

Unfair? YES. But what can you do about it? Stop whining about the unfairness of life and get shit done, that’s what I did. And this is my story about how I went from dadbod to Beachbod in 4 months.

My whole life I’ve been struggling with my weight and failed every single ‘magical wonder cure’ out there. I felt bad about my self and even went so far that I tried a powder diet where you drink powder shakes and powder soups all day to lower the number of calories consumed with the purpose of losing weight.

So basically, I was starving my self to gain that body and self-esteem I’ve always daydreamed about having. Of course, that didn’t work either in the long run. No matter what I did, it only worked for a couple of weeks, and then I came back to where I started. It was a hopeless journey.

Around mid-May in 2015, I booked a trip to Australia. And literally, the moment after I confirmed my booking, I started to think about the many times I would have to take off my shirt while in a sunny country like Australia and basically panicked the sh.. out of my self. I only had 4 months left till departure, and I was floppy AF. At that time I had just seen the new Wolverine movie and read about Hugh Jackman’s “Wolverine diet.”. So I decided to give it a go.

Intermittient Fasting

The real name of the diet plan is Intermittent Fasting. Intermittent fasting means that you divide your 24-hour day up in eating and fasting windows. So, what I did was to eat in an 8-hour window, so between 12am-8pm. In the last 16 hours of the day, I didn’t consume any calories at all. So no soda, no juice, no food, only water. And when I did eat, I made myself a WOK consisting of vegetables, chicken and an amazing sweet/sour sauce. Beautiful dish.

The reason why Intermittent fasting is so effective is that your body automatically burns calories just by going through your daily routine. But before your body burns away pure body fat, it will start with the food left in your stomach. After your stomach is completely burned out and empty of food, your system will start working on your body fat, and thereby you will lose weight.

Clever people say that it takes an average of 8 hours for the metabolism to burn away all the food in your stomach, and since you’re only eating in an 8-hour window, that leaves you with the last 8 hours of the day where your system burns pure body fat. So Intermittent fasting is actually pretty simple and easy, because you’re burning pure fat just by living. However, it is quite challenging to get used to these ‘window’ eating habits during the first week and maybe the second week. But since the human body is incredibly smart, you should feel comfortable after a week or two, since your body adapts to your new eating habits.

HIIT Training

But I was desperate! So I mixed this diet plan up with an insane cardio plan. High-Intensity Interval Training, also shortened as HIIT.

HIIT is a training plan where you only have to workout 30-60 minutes per time. Imagine that you’re at a running track, sprint 100 meters as fast as you can and walk back to the starting point. As soon as you’re back at the starting line, turn around and start your 100-meter sprint again. Do 10 rounds of walking and sprinting and you will quickly see results. You can do HIIT with many other cardio activities or even machines. I did it with a skipping rope.

As long as you make sure that you give it 110% for some time and then go down to 30% and back up again, it doesn’t matter what specific exercise you do. High-Intensity Interval Training makes your pulse go up and down which increases your metabolism drastically. And the higher your metabolism is, the higher amount of calories are burned daily.
I found that the 2 different sports plans are a perfect mix for me and my body.

Results

So I kept my diet straight through Intermittent Fasting, did my cardio with the HIIT program, and then I did standard weightlifting and strength training 5 times a week. That was the golden ratio for me, and it worked. I ended up with a toned body that I never thought could happen. It was tough at the beginning, but as soon as I started to see some results, I was hooked and motivated like never before. So, I just kept on doing my routine for those 4 months, and never have I felt so good about my self as I did when it was over.

I strongly encourage people to try this out. As earlier mentioned, I had tried every ‘magical wonder cure’ out there, and they just don’t work as promised. However, this training program mix is extremely effective if you do it right.

Before and After Hiit training and Intermittent Fasting

Author bio: Stefan Hildebrandt is the founder and co-owner of Sports Amigos, an online sports magazine, and sports gear review site.

03 Sep

 

Right now I’m extremely busy, I’m burning the candle at both ends and I’m finding it extremely hard to get to the gym. That being said, I’m still going. Here’s a bunch of advice and tips that I use, I hope it helps!

Get the pots on

Every morning I put a cup of coffee on. I find that when i consume caffeine I’m able to work longer and train harder.

 

Fill your tank

Get a good breakfast in you! These might seem like obvious tips but I don’t miss my full English breakfast ever!

Set a goal

Set short term goals. Think more on the lines of lose 2lbs by Friday or add 10kg to my deadlift in a week! not get shredded in time for Ibiza!

Phone a friend

You’re more likely to hit the gym if you’ve got a buddy there with you. Having someone who is stronger than you boosts your intensity of your own session by 200%! mental! so hit the gym with your ripped pal!

Bank on it

Use the app Pact to help motivate you! It charges you every time you don’t go to the gym and will pay you every time you do. I honestly love this idea! You can earn between $0.30 and £5 a week if you hit your targets.

20 Aug

If you’re someone who doesn’t like taking a break much, the sort of person that skips rest days, then please listen up! While its amazing to be dedicated skipping your recovery is doing you harm!

Here’s what happens to your body when you don’t take the time to recover from intense exercise (or endurance events!):

  • Glycogen stores are depleted. Your glycogen decreases. This isn’t something you want to get rid of! Glycogen is your body’s energy source! Decreasing this means your muscles will fatigue much more quickly!
  • Corticosteroids increase.  So cortisol and cortisone aren’t good for weight loss and actually add to stomach fat retention. Elevated levels of this hormone will depress the immune system too! So basically overtraining gives you a higher chance of being sick.
  • Your heart goes into overdrive. Both your resting heart rate and training heart rate will be increased. Chill a bit! don’t hurt your heart.
  • Your performance will be worse. Your ability to perform will plateau without a doubt! it might even get worse and by perform im talking about continuing training, growing muscle, getting stronger etc.
  • You’ll lose muscle mass. Constantly breaking down your muscles with no recovery means no more muscles.
  • You’ll feel pretty bad. The tiny tears in your guns won’t be able to heal and this will result in inflammation, swelling and tenderness.

Seriously do not over train!

01 Aug

6 over rated exercises

It’s very easy to get emotionally attached to your own workout and think it’s the best. Yes we know working out is not a religion, but we continue to practice it like any other person of real faith on the planet. We all have our own sacred cows when it comes to our routine, but it turns out we’re probably better not being devoted to the cause, but better treating our regular routine like our other relationships – easy to get in a rut, and much more beneficial when we shake it up a bit, work on it, and keep it fresh.

 

In addition to making the same moves part of our routine week on week, do we ever consider our lack of real gains may be down to slavishly following our favourite exercises rather than turning things over and embracing the new. Life is change people, we want to put the effort in for our bodies and our overall health, so let’s start embracing change in our workout routines.

 

If you find yourself hanging on to session after session with no real benefits, it might be time to step back and get your usual practices under the microscope. I hate to say it, but you may be hanging on to some exercises which are not doing you much good, and you also might also be practicing stuff that while impressive, may be doing you harm. It’s not my place to judge, but once I dropped running for lunging I made gains which would have gotten me laughed out of both the gym and the local running club. But the gains in terms of symmetry, definition, balance, posture and lower body strength were undeniable.

 

Time to shake it up I reckon. So here’s six sacred practices from the mists of time you need to drop as they’re probably doing you no good at all.

 

1 – Burpees – If you are in the UK you’ll be like WTF is a Burpee?

 

Do real U.S. soldiers call it this – for us Europeans it’s called a squat-thrust – burpees indeed?!

 

The burpee (let’s go with it) came about in the 1940s to test the fitness of candidates for military service during World War II. I personally discovered them during Karate training classes in the 80s as a child, and being of a larger frame, I never got much from except sore knees and ankles, which I later learned are usually alarm bells for “this is hurting you rather than helping you”. Today, as it was back in days of yore, the Burpee is notoriously common in CrossFit and metabolic conditioning workouts. I think it ends up there through tradition rather than usefulness.

 

Okay, burpees can raise heartrate in a short period of time, but there’s no way it’s mandatory for general fitness. If you’re not prepared for the burpee, it can be a harmful and debilitating exercise. There are simply too many moving parts, changes of position and focus on the outdated idea of physical exhaustion being beneficial for the risk-to-reward ratio for it to be very useful in any modern exercise programme.

 

I reckon the reason most folk do this exercise is to help bring their aerobic conditioning up to scratch. That’s an excellent goal, but there are better ways of doing it without putting your shoulders, wrists and lower back at risk. I’ve written before on how debilitating lower back pain can be to general fitness, with severe spinal pain putting not just your workouts, but your whole life on hold. So as a rule of thumb, I’d leave well alone unless you’re able to complete sound bodyweight squats and push-ups as standalone movements. Speed and strain are never a good measure of a successful or a beneficial exercise routine.

 

2 – Sit-Ups

 

So a thousand sit ups a day for an impressive six-pack “yeayah go me”. It’s a story as old as time. Do sit ups before breakfast and some at your morning ‘Huel’ break. Why not do a few on the bus home from the gym. I hate to say it, but the benefits of the sit-up are mythical and not at all factual. Time we out this one to bed and got on with real movement for real fitness.

 

“But it’s influencing your core” you say and yes targeted regional fat loss is possible at the very highest levels of sport. The truth is however, for most of us mere humans, the sit-up isn’t doing a great deal for us at all.

 

I reckon most of you are gone and burpeeing and sitting up this article out of your system by now, but the real-life science of targeted abdominal fat-loss is simple enough – it doesn’t work for the average person doing average level training. A strong muscular contraction is powerful for enhancing results, but in the case of the sit-up, it’s not doing a whole lot for most of us.

 

Basically, if you’re carrying any substantial amount of body fat, especially fat around your middle, or in technical terms the abdominal wall, a more generalized fitness program would be far more beneficial in both the short and long term. Ultimately, building muscle, burning fat, and monitoring your nutrition will do you far more good than pounding out endless sit-ups.

 

If you want more prominent abs and you concentrate mainly on strength and lifting, considering practising direct core training is an incredibly powerful alternative. Build lean muscle and if you’re lean enough to see an aesthetic benefit, then power to you, but you’d probably be doing sit-ups from now to doomsday to achieve the same results.

 

3 – Running

 

Runners. We need to be careful how we approach runners. Never tell a runner that their human worth is unrelated to their ability to crank out mileage. It’s not safe, it’s not useful, and they may harm you for saying it. For all round exercisers, the runner should never be confronted about the benefits of their chosen vocation.

 

It is almost impossible to coach a runner. It is the one area where pain is overwhelmingly doing more harm than good, but changing their plan in order to train around potential injury and show-stopping pain is like pissing in the wind when it comes to advising your dedicated runner.

 

Runners are a certain breed of people, so why are these (often incredible) athletes a challenge? It’s possible that this discipline attracts them for reasons other than health. Evidence suggests that certain athletes are “harm avoiders” meaning that they are drawn to routine and predictable practices.

 

How many runners do you know who continue to train while injured. I know more than a few and I’d answer, “most of them”. Okay many runners use endurance training to control their calorie output, but you shouldn’t really be involved in activity that frightens you to stop when you depend on that activity to burn of thousands of calories. There are healthier and safer ways to exercise, get healthy, and make real gains other than running.

 

I’m not much of a runner myself, but I have had a period of being emotionally attached to running and experiencing the “runner’s high” that’s associated with long duration exercise. It’s good to be mindful that every exercise has its own benefits, but runners often use their workouts to improve their outlook on life. Do not be duped into painful and challenging conditions being equal to good health and real functional fitness.

 

Lifters can alter training loads, methods, means, and frequencies more easily. Running is a single movement. Yes, take lessons from the commitment, but make sure you create more wiggle room that allows healthier, stronger and more resilient bodies for the long haul.

 

4 – Pull-Ups

 

That first real pull up is a doozy isn’t it! My first real, no leg help, no cheating pull-up was a moment I repeated again and again until my arms were dying. It’s worth remembering however that too much of a good thing can affect your net gains in a negative way.

 

Let’s face it, if you can only do a few quality pull-ups without assistance, then you’re not really getting anything from it.  Once someone gets a pull-up for the first time, the very thought of using accommodating resistance like a band or pull-up machine is considered beneath them. This results in tons of “skill work” instead of any structural work, which elicits strength and hypertrophy-based benefits. As anyone who has focused on power sports knows, working at high frequencies, volumes and intensities on any given movement can be pretty hard on the body.

 

The truth is, pull ups are not good for your joints at all. It takes a great deal of strength to do pull ups properly where that energy would be far better used in working on coordination and motor control. In turn, developing these skills would enable you to pull-up safely utilising stable and correct movement.

 

You may be burning empty energy if you can’t get into a full range vertical pull, or you lack the motor control to stabilize the shoulders through the range of motion involved. Continuing to practice this is simply throwing gasoline on the fire.

 

There is already a strong body of evidence which proves that pull-ups can result in shoulder and lower back pain and injury. So please, as someone who longs for a better back and regrets past mistakes, be smart about your pull-ups.

 

Read this: Stop doing them if you’re no good at them; work your whole body to get stronger over time, and then try again. You’ll soon realise how minor they are in the grand scheme of physical training.

 

5 – Hamstring Stretches

 

“Yeah I have a hamstring injury” said everyone with sudden lower back pain. It’s never crappy movement patterns or a weak core to blame. I’ve seen it again and again; athletes and lifters almost religiously stretch their hamstrings because they think this muscle group is too tight.

 

I used to stretch my hamstrings every day, but I noticed doing it for months on end didn’t bring about any improvement at all in terms of flexibility, mobility, movement patterns, or relief from pain. It wasn’t working and it took me too long to get out of the rehab purgatory I was in.

 

Stretching without results is not only a waste of time, but it may be working against you. Muscles simply don’t get any longer; they maintain a certain tone or tightness based on neurological impulse. So yes, strategic stretching works in terms of reducing tone and tightness, but if it hasn’t worked for you by now, I hate to be the bearer of bad news – it probably isn’t going to.

 

I’m not saying stretching doesn’t have its place, but if it isn’t alleviating pain, you ought to look elsewhere. Doing anterior core activation drills such as active straight leg raises and dead bugs will help so much more. Don’t waste time guessing if drills are working, just touch your toes. Test this before and after your core stability work, and assess the results for yourself.

 

 

6 – Barbell Bench Press

 

This is a controversial one. In every gym across the land, someone is doing a horrible twisted interpretation of the barbell bench press. It’s a shocking but true statistic (I’ve proved this by using at least 11 or so gyms in my lifetime…ahem).

 

Bench press is very hard on the shoulders and does little for the aesthetic musculature of your pectorals. It’s incredible how many people gravitate towards it for reasons more to do with gym rituals and gym image than actual results. Many people don’t know their results kind of suck, since the bench press does directly train and pump up the mirror muscles.

 

The cold truth is, If you can bench press without pain, or without drastically compensating your movement pattern, range of motion, or tempo, you’re fine. Otherwise, leave it alone until you’ve either figured it out yourself or been taught and fully practised the correct method.

 

If you want a bigger chest – and we all do, don’t think the barbell bench press is the best pressing variation. Try Bench Press Without a Bench for example.

 

In addition, please for goodness sake don’t for a second think anyone cares how much you can press. This information is about as useful and interesting as a friend’s holiday snaps or a detailed account of a mate’s dream they had after eating cheese on crackers after midnight. Don’t be that person…not cool…not cool at all.

 

So, the conclusion is – slay those sacred cows, take an interest in learning about your muscle groups and how they can be worked best. Don’t get in the rut of practice for practice sake. Mix it up a bit – it works in the rest of life, so why not in your regular workout.

 

 

29 Jul

The Benefits of Lunges

how to do a lunge

​So legs eh? Yes you walk around on them, run with them, use them to swim with – other than why would you spend your time training them. They’re not exactly the first things you think about when you want to get ripped or add mass.

The more dedicated lifter will train their legs, and it is essential to have good legs and a strong back if you want to get big weights off the floor.

But there’s so much more to leg training, and lunges offer excellent benefit to definition, leg shape, size and general health and fitness. These brilliant exercises are mostly unrecognised and are seen mainly in comedy films when an unfit protagonist tries to make an effort to get fit in a silly training montage.

Training your legs is hard work, especially when you’re starting out or trying to make gains in size. The common exercises like barbell squats and leg presses are efficient in gaining mass on your legs, but the humble lunge is an excellent bodyweight exercise which can be an incredible addition to your arsenal of adding bulk to your legs. Overlook it at your peril. You may be missing out on a less brutal form of mass building than the traditional presses and squats.

Instead of putting some token lunges at the end of a leg work out when you’re already done in from squatting and pressing, put your lunges up front and you’ll see clear benefits of prioritising the exercise.

Let’s take a fresh look at lunges – we’ve identified 6 real benefits to the exercise which we hope will encourage you to put them at the heart of your leg work.

 

  1. – You don’t need to go anywhere or use any equipment to lunge.

Lunges can be performed anywhere, and I do mean anywhere, perhaps not at a funeral or a christening, but you get the point. You don’t need an occasion or a venue or a piece of equipment. You can simply … well … lunge.

You might want to add a dumbbell or a barbell to your lunge, but your own bodyweight is sufficient enough to get the optimal benefit from this exercise.

Make lunges a regular part of any exercise session, do some lunges after stretching in preparation for a run, or do some at home or in work. I work in an office to pay for my supplements, and I find a set of lunges while the coffee pot is brewing is a perfectly acceptable way to get the creaks and cracks of desk sitting out of your joints; and it entertains colleagues too, especially on a tight trouser day – will they burst – will they not burst – you know how it goes. Do a few walking lunges around the park, your legs are getting bigger and in better shape and you’ll entertain a few dog walkers as well.

Basically, there’s no reason not to do them. You can do them anywhere with a little bit of space.

 

  1. Lunges are great for mass building

I may be over egging this, but there really isn’t a better exercise for building leg mass. Okay leg presses and squats are the traditional big two when it comes to training your legs, but do not overlook lunges for mass building.

Lunges will undoubtedly tone your muscles well, but lunging targets the glutes, the quads, hamstrings and the calves making them one of the finest compound exercises. A positively brilliant set of exercises for helping you pack on some serious mass.

Compound exercises are great because they target more than one muscle group at a time when you do them. This helps with the overall building of muscle and naturally benefits your body.

If you are serious about lifting or generally creating more impact with your workout, lunging does not only make your muscles larger, it makes them much stronger. Stronger legs generate more power which means you can work with heavier and heavier loads. Done regularly you can create a useful cycle of power and growth.

Lunging will add benefits to the traditional squats and presses as well. You may not be noticing a great deal of growth in your leg muscles using the big two. Adding regular lunges to your routine will help develop some good leg mass.

 

  1. Lunges are versatile

I’ve covered a lot about the versatility of lunges on point one, but it is worth drilling down into the detail of not only the versatility of lunges in terms of the spaces and opportunities you can create to do some lunging, but also the benefits of tweaking and varying your lunging technique to get maximum results from this exercise.

Lunges are one of the most versatile exercises in your arsenal of workout moves. They are the perfect exercise to keep your leg workout fresh and interesting.

You can lunge from a stationary position, you can do a walking lunge, or consider exploring the benefits of side lunging which adds yet another dimension to this compound exercise.

If you’re in the gym you can lunge with dumbbells, or a with a bar on your back, or even with the kettlebell. In fact, you can increase the impact of lunges by adding almost any weight to your back, hands or shoulders.

Okay there’s no denying a lunge is pretty much a lunge, but each different version will exercise the main muscles as well as stimulating different muscle groups in the lower half of your body.

 

  1. Lunges improve posture.

 

I’ve already mentioned that I mostly work at a desk all day. It’s a story that’s repeated everywhere as more and more people are now working in stationary or sedentary desk jobs. Our bodies were never designed for these levels of inactivity and back and joint issues are the most common ailments for the office worker.

I struggle sometimes with back pain, for which I point the finger of blame at myself for not taking regular screen breaks, and not utilising tasks where I can move about to break up my seated work.

It’s not all bad news though – lunges are actually proven to improve posture and increase overall spinal health.

A lot of heavy compound exercises will not help your posture or your spine. If fact they can do the opposite by putting pressure on your spine and causing compression in your discs. It is essential you look after your spine and strike the right balance of exercises to keep you fit and take care of your skeleton.

Lunges are an incredibly good exercise for decompressing the spine. Walking lunges and other variations are proven to decompress the spine and alleviate pressure from it. This improves your overall posture, alleviates back pain and contributes to negating and preventing back pain and back issues in general.

So, there’s the bonus there, get strong defined legs and improve your back health by adding simple lunges to your routine. As I said, have a stretch at work and don’t be shy about doing a lunge or two in the workplace for those all-important posture issues.

 

  1. Lunges improve your balance

Don’t be surprised if you feel like you’re going to tip over when you first start to do lunges. The exercise itself teaches you proper technique as this simple move forces your back into an upright position and stretches your leg muscles as you perform it. Incorrect technique means you will be unbalanced or topple over. It is important to take advice on how to lunge properly and to take your time to practice the technique properly.

Lunges are considered a to be a unilateral exercise, which means that they target both sides of the body evenly.

You want symmetry in your legs and you want to increase balance and co-ordination. You simply won’t get the same benefits from squats as these do not even come close to the lunge in terms of balance, coordination and stability.

 

  1. – Lunging is “functional”

Here we go, another website putting “functional” in inverted commas. Surely all exercise contributes to body functionality, right. Yeah not necessarily. Can I escape a lion or an angry mob with torches if I’ve been concentrating on squats and presses. Probably, but the squat is a truly “functional” exercise as it contributes to strength and fitness you can use in the real world.

People are moving away from training to simply look good. It’s all fine and well getting ripped, but you want to be able to put that muscle to use in every day circumstances as opposed to only having a body that is a machine which is useful for operating gym machines.

Look at these big musclebound folks you see who can bench press astonishing weights. That’s great for the gym, but what use is it in everyday life? Will they be as strong outside the gym when you need to bend over to pull some weeds or tie your laces or pick up the ping pong ball for the thousandth time because you suck and are the worst table tennis player in the office break out area? Okay that last point might be a personal one, but it still stands to reason that there isn’t a great deal of use in putting a tone of effort into building a body that doesn’t in turn become more useful for real life activities.

Lunges are a great example of building functional strength and fitness, because you mimic similar actions in everyday life. Lunges make you more flexible and improve your posture which are things you can take outside the gym and make useful every day.

Get on to the humble lunge, it’ll change your legs, your back and your everyday life.

22 Jul

 

Image result for table tennis

 

Forgetting the fact it is great fun, table tennis or ping pong can be a great way to burn calories and get yourself fit! It can be a fast paced competitive sport that really gets you moving. We recently just got a table in the office and I’ve found it has been a great way for me to break up the day. If I’m blogging and start feeling a little drained, a quick game of ping pong gives me the quick break i need to come back to my work refreshed.

Here are 10+ health benefits of Ping Pong:

  1. Playing Improves hand-eye coordination. It is the perfect game for young people to sharpen reflexes!
  2. It stimulates mental alertness, concentration and tactical strategy. 
  3. You will develop mental acuity. The speed, spin and placement of the ball are crucial in table tennis. Well practiced players know their stuff and are skilled in creating and solving puzzles involving speed, spin and placement of the ball.
  4. Improved reflexes. Due to the fast-paced nature of the game and the fact its relatively short distance you will find both gross and fine muscle movements are improved.
  5. Its easy on the joints. Got back problems, had knee surgery? twist your ankle a lot? you should give table tennis a go as its a great way to improve your leg, arm and core strength without putting a LOT of pressure on the joints.
  6. You’ll burn calories. Its a fun way to burn calories too. For example if you’re a 150 pound person and play a high speed game of table tennis you will on average burn 270 calories.
  7. Low risk of injury. The worst that can happen is you get hit with a plastic ball! i mean really you don’t have any risk of collisions, tripping up or getting hit with anything hard.
  8. Improved balance. Its a great sport for the elderly.
  9. Keeps your brain sharp!
  10. Ping pong is a fantastic social game.
  11. Improved coordination. The ball moves quick so trying to follow where it goes as your opponent hits it will help improve your hand-eye coordination.

Trust me when I say its really not as simple as it looks. Just do a quick Youtube search and you’ll find loads of tutorials on different ways to hit the ball etc. It is quite a technical game!

Now for the workplace I can see why table tennis is a great addition. Especially for people for people where where creativity is essential, its a great way to break things up.

I’ve recently found this site too – https://athletable.com – its a leaderboard site for your games in the office!

 

 

22 Jul

Right laddy,You may of heard of me, cursed of my name, cursed by nature. The storms coming and am no travelling any further in this today so if ye fancy some training lets go.

Ya have tae to understand if you want to join the Bronzebeard Clan ye have to be well trained, disciplined and dutiful. Now if you don’t want Resurrection Sickness start by stretching. This is a full body workout laddy so be ready.

Ye see, us dwarfs are known to be able to put up a fight, we can endure the longest battles and fight monsters tripple our size.

Are ye ready to queue for our time in the battleground? (join queue for a battle ground)

  • Start by doing 10 jumping jacks then 10 butt kicks and repeat this 3 times.

If ye manage tae join a battle ground before ye get to complete all 3 – ye have tae repeat the process again. If you don’t, move onto doing 10 knee tucks, 5 back bows and plank for 30 seconds.

Hopefully by noo you’ve found yersel a battle but if no we best keep the blood pumpin and move onto doing pushups x 20. If you have tae stop, take a break and start again.  If ye are feeling a bit exhausted sit doon and hold yer legs out.

 

Now! if you’ve found a battle heres what you have to do-

  • If you activate a quest objective – stand up off your chair (squat position) while you activate this. Grabbing, activating or returning the flag or base.

  • If you die and have 30 seconds before you ress – high knees as fast as you can.

  • Summon a mount you stand up into a calf raise.

Goodluck laddy!

 

 

18 Jul

When it comes to fat loss, the GYM or exercise might be the first thing that pops in to your mind but have you considered other points that might plateau your progress? Other than duration, frequency or intensity of your workouts you should consider these points below:-
(I’ve numbered them in importance)

1 – Nutrition
2 – Sleep
3 – Stress
4 – Daily Movement
5 – Training

All of the above are the factors of losing weight and if you want to achieve the very best results possible then you need to find ways of improving each step. Look, if one or more of those areas are suffering then your weight loss will suffer drastically.

Nutrition

Most of the time people eat food their bodies don’t need… we over eat and they attempt to work it off with exercise but that doesn’t really sound like the best idea now does it? It just typically won’t get you the results you think you will get as doing loads of exercise typically makes you want to eat more.

Over eating and stressing too much can also lead to insulin rsistance.

Nutrition: Exercise less, eat less

What you eat and how much of it are the most important factors when it comes to losing body fat. Often, people eat more food than their bodies need, and then they attempt to “work it off” with exercise, but that typically doesn’t lead to the results they thought they’d get. Doing obscene amounts of exercise usually further increases appetite for many people, which leads to eating even more than necessary, so they add more exercise to “balance things out”—it becomes a vicious cycle.

Sometimes you might find that the exercise less and eat less approach will work better. This is usually because it prevents them having an increased appetite from working out. Give this a try for the next couple of weeks, chill and enjoy the gym on smaller doses. So shorten the duration, go less or just don’t go as intense in the gym and you’ll be fine.

Sleep

When you’re tired your cravings for carbs and sweets go through the roof. This happens because when you’re in a sleep deficit your bodies way of combating this is to make you hungry so you can gain more energy.. Your willpower will also tank and ultimately you’re going to crash out on terrible foods.

Sleep is vital for good health and if you’re short on sleep it will affect everything from your mood, hormones, stress levels, appetite, energy, will power and your ability to train hard and recover well. So if you love your bed then this should be music to your ears. MAKE sure you get minimum 7 hours sleep per night or else there is a great chance this could hinder your fat loss.

For the next few weeks try make a plan to get a bit more sleep and establishing a bedtime routine could work wonders for you.

Stress

We’re all stressed at some point and sometimes we’re that used to it that we don’t actually realise how stressed we are until breaking point. This isn’t surprising between juggling jobs, partners, kids, pets and everything else us as human beings seem to be dealing with extremely high levels of stress and honestly this is an article in itself. Managing your stress has to be taking seriously.

Sometimes stress is good but in terms of fat loss, stress can prevent us from getting a good nights sleep and will contribute to emotional eating. So try bring down your stress the best you can.

Daily Movement

Most people tend to sit for more than 8 hours a day which makes them inactive. It’s extremely important to get up and move your body as much as you possibly can. There is a LOT of problems that can arise from sitting for long periods of time plus overtime you move you add to your energy expenditure. If you’re hitting the gym several times a week you should still think of ways to increase your physical activity outside of it. So taking the dog a walk, taking the stairs rather than the lift, park further away, walk to the shops, walk to pick the kids up from school etc etc. It all adds up, so try and get creative and move your body!

Training

Training is important as it helps preserve muscle, it fixes imbalances, keeps your heart healthy, improves bone density and most importantly helps you gain confidence. We’ve got a full site dedicated to training tips so check that out. We also have links to Fitness DVDs you can try at home, you could try some of these:-

Charlottes 3 min bum blitz – http://premiersportsandfitness.co.uk/product/charlottes-3-minute-bum-blitz-dvd-2015/

Davinas –  http://premiersportsandfitness.co.uk/product/davina-5-week-fit-new-for-2016-dvd/

Scarlets - http://premiersportsandfitness.co.uk/product/scarletts-superslim-me-plan-dvd/

So If:
you’r nutrition is on point,
you’r getting those well needed hours in bed
you’re keeping your stress levels in check and
you’re moving about and burning extra calories
then you should find it easier to reach your goals.

Work on improving each step and as a collective they will help you reap the goals you’re looking for.

17 Jul

I grew up watching wrestling and if I’m honest with you I still do. When I was 8 the king of the wrestling world was Hulk Hogan and I was obsessed with him. I was like every other kid, all I wanted to do was be like the Hulkster and my dream was to be a professional wrestler. That dream disappeared and frittered away like so many others but the one thing that has stuck with me into my adult life was trying to get 24 Inch biceps like the Hulkster and let me tell you that is no easy feat. When it comes to biceps everyone gets results fast but they seems to plateau and some point and trying to get gains gets harder and harder but let me tell you this brother! I have some tips here to kick start the guns and they don;’t involved taking your vitamins, drinking your milk or saying your prayers (well maybe it has a little with drinking milk.)

When trying to grow your biceps its not all about adding in random sets or crazy exercises. Its all about intensity. One of the things you can do straight away is drop sets.

I use drop sets all the time and I always get the results I’m looking for. In a nutshell a drop set is this. Do an exercise until failure. Drop the weight. Do the exercise till failure. Drop the Weight and repeat this until you have worked your way down to zero in weight.

My advice is use a selectorised stack machine if you can. Get your gym buddy to change the weight as quickly as possible for you. If you can add several pins in at your different weight then even better. Just pull the pins out and lift, pull the pin and lift.

If you are using a barbell then you can see that this might cause you some problems. You’re probably better making the switch to barbells to keep the momentum up.

Drop Sets are not about building strength. They are all about building mass. They are perfect for increasing muscle size (hypertrophy) but if you are training for athletics and strength then avoid drop sets like the plague!

How Do Drop Sets Work

Imagine you are busting out between 8-12 sets with 120 pound bicep curls. You reach rep 10 and its getting hard. You at rep 11 and you can feel it starting to burn. Your putting everything you have got into rep 12 but you manage to dig deep and you have just enough left in the tank to hit number 13 and now you have hit complete failure. WRONG!

You my friend have hit complete failure at 120 pounds. I think you will find if you drop the weight down to 100 pounds you could squeeze out a few more. Thats the whole idea of drop sets . The majority of the time we feel like we have hot absolute failure when in actual fact we haven’t.

When you perform a straight set until failure you haven’t used every single fibre in a group. You have only used the necessary fibres to lift a particular weight for that amount of reps. By doing drop sets you are engaging more of the fibres.

Drop sets were made popular by none other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, he likes to call them stripping sets. If you want to be like Arnie then I suggest you give yourself zero rest in between sets. That way you will be targeting those deep fibres that are extremely hard to reach.

Of course you must be eating right for muscle growth. You body is built in the kitchen remember so make sure you are getting the carbs and the protein you need to build those biceps and who knows if you work hard maybe one day you too can have a set of 24 inch pythons!

12 Jul

Online personal training is definitely becoming more common. Especially in the Uk! You’re given a tailored program that you have to do in order to achieve your goals. The obvious difference is the trainer isn’t with you! I personally love having a personal trainer when working out – they always help me get those few extra reps!

 

There is quite a few positives to using an online personal trainer though. I’ve pointed out a couple below and you can let us know what you think!

Positives

1 – You get instant access to expert advice, there is PLENTY of well known fitness professionals out there who are offering an online version of their services. This is great because you can get training from some very well known fitness pros you wouldn’t of been to able to get otherwise – for example training from a specialist who has a lot more knowledge than your average trainer.

Even still your local trainers can offer you amazing advice that will push you further into the right direction. I’ve seen guys in the gym who have been in there almost as much as me and made absolutely no changes compared to myself. The difference was, I had a coach by my side telling me the do’s; don’ts and just generally giving me that boot up my arse that I needed.

2. Easy to ascertain a trainers s ability. You could take a few online sessions before you get the real session in the gym. Look at their reviews, mentions and check out their social media!

3. Less expensive. It is much cheaper as they can deliver courses/deal with more people online than they can in a 1/1 session – this means you get things cheaper obviously. When PTs online build a reputation up they can get busy extremely quickly and this leads to them increasing their pricing.

4. Flexible! It is much more flexible! having an online trainer means you can access your workout on your mobile at any time and usually trainers let you message them if u need advice/tips too. So you don’t need to be restricted to gym times.

5. Extra support.  I touched on this earlier but most trainers do offer a way of providing additional support if u need it. Need help with your diet? are u struggling with an exercise? they are there to help you! and none of them should have a problem with giving u a bit of help. In my opinion any trainer who won’t have any contact with you isn’t worth it.

 

The Negatives

Bad form. There not with you so its impossible for them to know if you’re performing an exercise right. This can reduce the effectiveness of the plan/workout and potentially cause injury.

Motivation. You don’t feel like u actually have to turn up anymore… you don’t have someone pushing you through tough workouts.

 

So what do you think? would you pay for an online PT or do you?

Let us know.

 

The next best thing would be Fitness DVDS – why not try some of these:-

Charlottes 3 min bum blitz – http://premiersportsandfitness.co.uk/product/charlottes-3-minute-bum-blitz-dvd-2015/

Davinas –  http://premiersportsandfitness.co.uk/product/davina-5-week-fit-new-for-2016-dvd/

Scarlets - http://premiersportsandfitness.co.uk/product/scarletts-superslim-me-plan-dvd/