Monthly Archives: July 2015

My View of Nutrition

I have spoken about the business side of things for the last few posts on here, considering this trend

I thought today I would talk about nutrition, or rather some quick tips you can use to help you when you get some new clients on your books (Obviously as a result of all the business posts).

Macro nutrients and counting calories have come back around in recent times and everyone likes to jump on the band wagon, my personal view to nutrition is as follows:

Losing Fat = Eat more fibre & protein and less processed foods.
Gaining Muscle = As above but eating 6meals + per day.

This is easily tracked by looking in to the mirror and establishing what’s mission.

Looking flat? Introduce some more simple carbs with protein.
Looking soft? Take simple carbs down a notch and add in more complex carbs and protein.
Pretty easy really.

Okay, now I have shown you how I do it I shall actually give you some useful info smile emoticon.
Over the internet, books and seminars you will find that you can use several methods to establish a persons total required amount of calories and can be done off of lean body mass by the use of the Harris-Benedict formula (pretty much the best one for using lean mass). In using this you can get some pretty accurate numbers for fats or muscle building, but the downside is it takes an age, lots of numbers and a scientific calculator to get right.

A great way of working out calories for either fat loss or muscle gains is as follows:

Fat Loss = Total weight in LBS x11-13 (to give range of calories)
Muscle Gain = Total weight in LBS x17-19 (to again give a range)

I have used all the different formulas around and I don’t know quite what it is about these simple equations by they are never far out from the more complex ones.

When it comes to Macros there are a couple of breakdowns you can use that are as follows:

Order of % of Carbs/Protein/Fat*
40,30,30 – Optimal For Steady Muscle Gain
45,35,20 – Agressive Bulk
30,40,30 – Optimal For Steady Fat Loss
20,40,40 – Almost Ketogenic Diet (kept could be as low as 10% carbs)
35,35,30 – Maintenance

Your Fibre % would be roughly 10-20% of total carbs (I usually go for 20% for most people as they never get that much).

You simply take a persons estimated total calories and use one of the macro ratios to get their required numbers, here is an example.

Fat Loss First:
225lbs male

225 x11-13 = 2475 – 2925 range (Now assuming they are new to exercise and reconditioned I would go for the lower calories and ignore the nigher range for now. This will help increase their overall deficit and aid in fat loss.)

2475 x0.2 = 495 calories from carbs
2475 x0.4 = 990 calories from protein
2475 x0.4 = 990 calories from fat
495/4 = 124g carbs per day (rounded up form 123.75)
990/4 = 248g protein per day (rounded up from 247.5)
990/9 = 110g fat per day

(you can round up or down, it’s your choice)
Fibre = 25g per day (That’s a lot of fibre)

So lets recap:
2475 Total Cals
124g Carbs
248g Protein
110G Fat
25g Fibre

Pretty reasonable for a Ketogenic bias diet.

Now these are just simple guidelines that I personally have found that work for 90% of clients, there are odd times more detail is require but for the majority these numbers seem to work.
Don’t ask me for the science on this because there isn’t any (well there is but I can’t de dealing with looking for it). This is largely from my EXPERIENCE, hopefully it will help you find a place to start.

Use the suggestions on yourself for your goals and see if the numbers match up, I would be willing to bet that they’re not far off.


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Making Small Changes

Morning Guys,

Making dietary changes is hard, after all it’s not just a smile tweak that can be reverted in a few weeks, it’s a lifestyle change.

It’s not uncommon for people to fight life style changes with untold ferocity because they feel there is nothing wrong with their life, but given their current health/weight issues it’s obvious that’s not the case.

Making a change isn’t about giving up what you like/enjoy it’s about making small sacrifices to allow you to progress. Unfortunately people have become so reliant on their comfort foods they struggle to let go, or search for a way to keep living how they are but achieve the goals they want (It doesn’t work that way we’re afraid).

Realistically you have to decide what is more important to you.

Do you want to live in as you are or do you want to make a change?

The secret is to make a list of small changes and apply them over an extended period of time, this way they won’t be a shock to your system and they will be easier to sustain. By making small changes you will amass big results.

Here are 4 small changes you can make over the course of a year, yes a whole year and only 4 change (it’s not that scary is it).

Months/Small Changes:

January – March: Drink more water. Ideally you will want 1 litre per 25kg of bodyweight per day as a guideline and once extra litre per hour of physical activity you do. If you don’t drink much start off with at least 1 litre per day and add accordingly until you get to your ideal amount required for your weight/exercise needs.

April – June: Eat more veg, starting off at 4 different types each day and adding 1 ever other week until you hit 10. This will help you get all your vital vitamins, minerals and fibre.

July – September: Eat more protein, aiming for 3 portions per day and working up to 6 (the portions size can be of your choice) this will encourage you to have 3 good meals and 3 good snacks.

October – December: Move more. This basically means start getting to the gym, once per week is a good start with the aim to move up to 3 times per week (this is enough for most people to see good results) and it’s only one extra day per week. If time is an issue then it’s suggested you purchase some kettlebells (8,12,16kg for woman and 16,20,24kg for me) and hire a trainer to teach you how to use them so that you can train in the comfort of your own home.

*You don’t have to make the changes in this order, you can do which ever you want to first just make sure it’s one change every 3 months and it progresses to the point of which is optimal for YOU.

The above changes are small and very achievable, will you make the change you need?


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How Much Protein?

“How much protein should I be eating per day?”

A good question that is asked quite often by those seeking to build muscle, mainly because that’s what’s required to build muscle and here is the definitive answer that you won’t get from anyone else.

I don’t know.

Protein requirements that are recommended are exactly that RECOMMENDED, that does not mean that it’s what you need, they are just guidelines and starting points, however there is a nice simple way to establish if you need more or not.

Instead of trying to workout the numbers why not keep things simple and just add more to your diet and see if you start gaining weight in the form of muscle*.

*Please note your training should ideally be dialled in, your recovery optimal and everything else where it need to be.

Lets say you add an extra portion of protein and start gaining muscle, brilliant! Stick with the extra protein you’ve added in your diet until you plateau again and then review what’s going on and possibly add some more.

What I am trying to say is that nothing is an exact science, you can workout all the numbers in the world but that doesn’t mean you will actually get anywhere, the best thing to do is experiment and learn how YOUR body works.


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The People’s Choice

It’s fairly typical of people to always choose the easier option if there is one and while there is nothing wrong with this, the easy option very rarely leads to the results you want.

Quick fixes come in the forms of magic pills, super shakes, insane training programs and usually a flashy advert too. The marketing might be strong and the numbers of people who have ‘succeeded’ by following the specified quick fix are always in the thousands (millions for some) but can you really trust them?

If achieving a goals was a simple as taking a pill, doing 6 weeks of intense training or living off shakes for a period of time then everyone would be doing it, but they’re not.

To succeed you will need the following things:

– Patience
– Dedication
– Good Nutrition
– Guidance

With those things you will be able to achieve pretty much any fitness related goal. I suppose the same is true of goals that don’t involve the gym too.

Don’t be one of the people lured in by the quick fix temptation because even if by some small chance it does work the results seldom last and you will end up back at square one again, some even end up worse than they were before and claim they’re living life and are much happier than they were when they had achieved their desired goal (I call bullshit on this. If you used a quick fix then perhaps it’s true, but if you achieved a goal through hard work then theres no way you would be happier as your old self).

There was an age old saying that always made me smile:

“A dog isn’t just for Christmas.”

The same is true for your goal. If you want it to be long term then you need to make a life change, but if not then by all means let yourself fall back in to the void, just don’t start complaining when you feel crap becsaue it’s no one else fault but yours and quite frankly no one cares.

Health is for life, not just for a holiday.


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A Quick Guide to People

So this is a day late, but it will be worth the delay :).

When it comes to a new person talking int o a gym there are some things we as trainers must understand.

Key Things to Know:

– Their preconceived ideas.
– Their motivation/motive.
– Their fears.
– Their desires.
And most importantly
– How they feel currently.

^^ Information you NEED from every one of these people (you will understand what this means later).

Being able to display a degree of empathy will help you in understanding the new member, but you must be aware that there are various different type of personality and some you won’t be able to sell to straight away.

The common personality types you need to be aware of and are as follows:

(In simple terms)


Lets break their characters down so you will know how to deal with them.

Dominant – These are the type of people who will have a firm hand shake, a commanding presence and want to get straight to the point (no faffing about). They don’t care about science, facts or fluff, they want to know that what you’re offering will get them their results, if you do then they will be back for repeat business in the future.

These people will often approach you because they like initially what the see and will give you one chance and only one chance.

Don’t blow it.

Typical D People:

Directors, Managers, Business Owners, General Business Men/Woman, Ex-Forces.

Influential – These lovely people can be heard long before they are spotted, though if they’re too far away to hear you will see them because of their flamboyant dress code or over enthusiastic gestures. They like to be shown new and shiny things and often buy on impulse, basically if they see something they like or the think is in short supply they will want it.

Put up a new and shiny deal and they will flock to find out more, especially if it’s a LIMITED time offer, these people will love to talk about themselves and hate being interrupted. Ask about them and let their chatter begin, as long as you keep the conversation about them you will have them buying any and all sorts of services from you.

Typical I People:

Clothing Shop Workers, Sales People, Designers, Anyone in Marketing.

Steady – The book worm of the bunch for lack of a better description… Ok I could have said someone who has a keen eye for details and a meticulous nature with a hint of OCD but the former is funnier.

Anyone who falls in to this category will want to know all the details, how it will work, why it will work and are essentially the opposite to Dominant people. You will need to be able to back up anything you claim with these ones, but if you do they will sing your praises and refer you a lot of business.

Keeping in touch over the long term is the way to get their business, so be aware it will take time to get anywhere with them.

Typical S People:

Analysts, IT Workers, Accountants, Bankers.

Lastly we move the the most interesting of the bunch, Cautious People.

Now these are the ones who you need to know the info listed at the top of this post (See, I told you it would make sense by the end.). These are the timid ones who are stepping foot in to a gym for the first time and can easily be frightened off, this is why you NEED to treat them with kid gloves.

The cautious individual will be looking for any excuse to run 100mph in the opposite direction, it is your job to help inspire, motivate, reassure and help them because without you they WILL quite, it’s that simple.

Using the listed ‘Key Things to Know’ will help you break down their barriers and learn about them as a person (you must be genuinely interested in helping them), helping them feel that they belong and you’re there for them will be the first step in getting them to use you instead of any other trainers.

If you’re successful in gaining a cautious person as a client and achieve the results they want then you will have a life long client.

Trust me, there is a reason I specialise in training beginners.

This will post will help you understand some of the basics, but remember there is a lot more to learn; this is only the beginning.


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50 Rep Fallout

Afternoon Guys,

Picking routines that will give you both size and strength might seem like an impossible task, but don’t worry because today you will learn one of the simplest ways to add weight on the bar and slabs of muscle to your frame.

The ‘Secret’ (It’s not really a secret but most people seem to think it is.)

Heavy weight lifted for multiple reps.

Yes, it really is that simple but it’s not easy and that is what puts off a lot of people. Lifting heavy weight is hard and trying to lift it repeatedly is even harder, but the benefits far outweigh the workload. There are several ways you can accomplish the task of lifting heavy weights lots of times, however I will give you the easiest one I have found over the years and how it fits in with your strength program.

Lets say you have just done your 8×3, 12×2, 5×5 or whatever other strength protocol you might be on and you’re not sure where to go next. You could do sets of 6 at 85% (of 1RM),8 at 77% or 12 at 65% but the sheer choice is just too much after lifting such heavy weights. A much simpler way is to look at the weight you’ve just lifted for today; perhaps your top set was 2 reps at 200kg (for the ease of maths) on squats, you now take 70% of that (140kg) and do 50 reps (squat) with it…. Obviously not in one set, although that would be impressive.

Your 50 reps can be achieved however you see fit. Personally I suggest getting under the bar and going until you’ve got only 1 or two clean reps in the bank and then taking some rest. Lets say you did 16 reps, this leaves you with 34 to go. After you’ve recovered get back under that bar and continue, you might get 13 reps this time leaving 21 left, you get the hist by now.

Once you hit 0 you can strip the bar down and either end your session or if you have the time (or energy) do one more movement following the same scheme of reps, an isolation movement would be a good shout.

This is simple, effective and brutal.


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The Most Common Mistake People Make.

The Biggest Mistake People Make:

Our culture has long been obsessed with the number we see on the scale, even though more and more people are putting them in their rightful place (the bin), there are still a lot of people who let the scale rule their lives.

Various people will jump on a set of scale at any given chance and it usually has one of two effects:

1 – Elation because they’ve dropped 1Lbs.
2 – Depression because they’ve gained 1Lbs which results in them devouring an entire cake.

It’s 1Lbs… 1Lbs!! Stop worrying so much about what you weigh.

Today you will learn some of the reasons why you shouldn’t rely on the scales and how you don’t need them to tell you that you should feel good about yourself. The scales are just a number, you’re more than a number, you’re YOU don’t let a silly number define who you are.

Here are a few of the reasons to throw away your scales:

– Weighing yourself becomes obsessive.
– They can cause mental issues with food (Anorexia etc).
– Your weight has little relevance once you have been training for a while, it’s al about body comp.
– A persons weight changes daily depending on what foods they eaten or what time of the month it is…
– Different scales will give you different weights ‘Your’ scales might say you’re lighter than someone else’s which makes them largely invalid.
– If you 1Lbs of fat and gain 2Lbs of muscle your weight will go up, but that’s not a bad thing.
– We are not defined by how much we weigh.

There are lots more reasons but these should be enough to validate throwing out your scales.

If you want a true indication of how your progressing take PHOTOS as they will not lie to you. If you’ve lost fat you will be able to see it.

Simple really.



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Forget Front Delts.

If you are to stop in almost any gym and take a look around you will find lots of people with impressively large Front Delts.

These play one part in creating boulder shoulders but you will find men spend a lot of time focusing on the needlessly, often because of a video they saw on Pumping Iron of Arnold doing a full overhead dumbbell front raise. So with their logic they assume they should do it too, when in reality they have no need.

Why the advice to not train a body part?

Your front delts get enough stimulus from doing bench press, overhead press, incline press, basically any pressing movement you’re doing will get in a sizeable amount of front delt, so will fly’s for that matter.

It’s recommended that the average person will have weak read delts and practically no shape laterally, they neglect the 2 heads of the delt that will give the shoulders the impressive loo they desire.

If you’re one of these guilty people fear not, this simple yet effective 3 day protocol will help you add that much sought after shape & size to your shoulders.

Day 1 –

A1 – Lateral Raise 5×15
A2 – Reverse Fly (pronated grip) 5×15
B1 – Iron Cross Hold 5x fail (note time)

Day 2 –

A1 – Y-Press x8
A2 – Face Pull x16
A3 – Lateral Raise x24
*You may swap the face pull and lateral raise around if you wish.
Do 3-5 sets of this tri-set with no rest until your last lateral raise.

Day 3 –

A1 – Reverse Fly (pronated grip) 4×12
A2 – Face Pull 4×12
B1 – Reverse Fly (supinated grip) 4×12
B2 – Cable Upright Row 4×12
C1 – Snatch Grip Behind Neck Press 4xfail

These can be added to your workouts and shouldn’t take you longer than 20min tops to get done.


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Do You Even Daily Max?

A question was asked yesterday about what exactly a Daily Max is meant to be, today will be the answer to that question.

The term daily max is often used by Power Lifters and Strength Athletes and is in reference to building up to a kinda max for the day. There is little need to worry about percentages and it’s based on how you FEEL for that day.

This was popular in Russia and other similar countries and it’s also worth knowing that the Westside Conjugate Method is based on this principle so you know where to look for proof of its effectiveness.

Another trait of the daily max is that it doesn’t mean you have to go for 1 rep, the max for that day could be 3,5 or even 8 if you’re hard core. Maxing out daily might seem counter intuitive because for most people working at 90% or above of your actual 1RM for more than 3 weeks will literally destroy their CNS but a daily max doesn’t have to be based on one of the big 3 lifts; you can use any lift you like.

If you’re looking for a recommendation using any number of reps other than 1 is the way forwards because it’s often safer. The sam is true for exercise variation, but here is an example of a typical week for you:

Monday: 3rep DM – Front Squat
Tuesday: 6rep DM – Incline Press
Wednesday: 8rep DM – Good Morning/Box Squat
Thursday: 2rep DM – Comp Style Bench
Friday: 2rep DM – Comp Style Squat
Saturday: 5rep DM – Snatch Grip Deadlift

A daily max is a great way to keep your body accustomed to lifting heavy and being ready for a big lift. Use it to bring up your weaknesses so that your strengths become even stronger.


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Tips for Trainers: Return on Investment

Trainers will often fall to their default knowledge 9/10 times and teach people what they enjoy or find easy to coach. While there is nothing with this expanding your knowledge should be a priority and attending courses in your chosen field is a must for any hungry trainer.

Everyone enjoys attending courses that peak their own interests, if this fits in with the niche your business is based on and your style of client then that’s brilliant and feel free to attend all you desire, but if your average client ins’t interested in the same things you are then your courses could be a slight waste of your time and money.

There are a few styles of courses that often offer invaluable information, namely the following:

– Nutrition
– Biomechanics
– NLP/Psychology

Why these 3 specifically?

Those courses have very transferable knowledge that can be applied to almost any type of client and will normally improve your business, where as courses like:

– Olympic Lifting
– Sports Specific S&C
– Specialist Equipment (Bulgarian Bags, TRX, Kettlebells etc)

May not have a lot of relevance to your clients, no for lack of effectiveness, rather lack of equipment or the correct facilities to train them in, not to mention the specific goals of the clients themselves.

It’s highly encouraged that you attend courses to develop your skills, just make sure they are relevant and will offer a return on your investment. If you pay £300 for a weekend course then you will want to make £3000 from that course in the space of 1 year, unless you’re doing a course purely for your own academic masturbation.


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