Tag Archives: weight loss

This IS the problem.

Losing weight isn’t the hard part.
 
That comes later.
 
In the initial stages of a ‘weight loss’ journey.
 
I dislike that term as it’s really fat loss people are after because if you just wanted to lose weight you could chop off a leg and you’d see a reducing on your scale weight.
 
Fat loss my friends, that’s what people want.
 
With that fat loss they also desire to gain lean muscle, what many called ‘toned’.
 
You can’t have tone without muscle, and you can’t have muscle without accepting you need to get stronger.
 
Anyway, I’m rambling.
 
Having your numbers take a downward trend on the scales is very easy, millions of people achieve weight loss every year, consistently too.
 
Their issue isn’t dropping calories, or finding the diet that works for them, which is one that is plentiful in meat, veg, fruits, you know, not highly processed rubbish bought in a layer pf packets (if you’re an omnivore that is).
 
Their issue is keeping the weight off and the reason is simple.
 
Desire.
 
Harsh as it sounds a great many people don’t desire long term change and struggle to accept that to live life a certain way, they need to live life a certain way.
 
Sacrifices will be made.
 
That one or four bottles of wine you have each night, gone.
 
Convenience foods, reduces or removed due to the irritation they give your gut, all replaced with wholesome veg and high quality protein sources.
 
Many will have to address the pink elephant in the room though before they can make any progress with any of the above.
 
Their mental association with who they are.
 
You see as a person e’re largely a collection of habits, both known, unknown and even unexpected at times.
 
These keep is safe, they provide stability, as such our minds switch off (well, not off, they go on auto-pilot) and we simply run through the motions never really give much consideration to a lot of what we do.
 
Being more mindful is not easy, in fact it’s very draining.
 
This is due to how much we leave to our habits, now that’s faith if you ask me.
 
Are you someone who has lost a substantial amount of fat and made progress not only physically but mentally as well?
 
If so please share your story and more importantly, why you made the change and decides to stick with it.
 
In the end some change comes from necessity, however most comes from choice.
 
You should investigate this thoroughly.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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Progress Time

I don’t know what it is.
 
You might.
 
Regardless of the answer though, you can’t beat a bit of 90’s classic pop songs to make you smile.
 
They’re even better when you know all the words too.
 
Anyway, it’s time for a little lesson in time.
 
Programming sessions based on Density (work capacity, basically how much you get done in said time) is a great way to work with individual clients or groups.
 
Especially groups to be fair.
 
As a PT you get quite familiar with living your life y the clock.
 
Each second is of vital importance and not to be squandered.
 
A wise policy for life too.
 
Given most sessions are 1hour in length, you need to be optimising them.
 
Personally I love programming.
 
It’s always fascinated me, it’s truly an art to get right.
 
That being said, not all people or clients want to know the numbers unfortunately, they’re just looking for a good time.
 
As such who are we to disappoint them, right?
 
When it comes to progressing either Volume (reps/sets) or Intensity (loading %) you can end up increasing the time of a session.
 
If people can train longer than an hour then these two are the first ports of call for progression and achieving progressive overload, density would be an afterthought and taken in to account last.
 
However when the luxury of time isn’t there, Density rules.
 
Taking away the W/U-CD elements, which would total about 15-20min, we have 40min left to play with to help people achieve results.
 
That my friends is plenty of time when you know what you’re doing with it.
 
Given there are endless options on how you can use this time effectively I can’t go through them all, hopefully 4 will be enough to get you delving further in to the topic.
 
1 – Time Block & Rounds –
 
Typically AMRAP means ‘as many reps as possible’ however it could also mean ‘as many round as possible’, for the purpose of hitting a good stimulus you’ll find using rounds more useful than reps.
 
Example:
 
Reps: 5-10-15 (can be meters)
Movements: Pull Up, Farmers Walk , Med-Ball Slam
Time: 20min
Focus: Posterior Chain
Result: Hot Death
 
How to progress this is easy, you set number of rounds to achieve in time block and if it is hit then you can either change the movements or increase the loads of each of them, if not you just stick with it for as many sessions as is required until the target is hit.
 
2 – Time Block & Wave Loading –
 
A little trickier as you will need to know people strength levels ideally, not a necessity, just an ideal.
 
Example:
 
Reps: 6-6-6 (light load, medium load, heavy load)
Movements: Press Overhead
Time: 20min
Focus: Anterior Chain
Result: Shoulders for days
 
How to progress, you will need to watch the last set of reps and how the land is handled. If it flies up and the timer is at say 19min then you can logically add some load, if the person needs a chunk of rest before lifting it then keep it as it is.
 
Think of it this way. Press = 30kg, 45kg & 60kg, the first two sets are 50/75% of the top weight, they are meant to be easy so that speed/form can be focused on while still getting some work done.
 
The focus is the top set, if the top set can’t be hit then they will go between the 50-75% loads until they feel ready to hit the top one or the rest after the 75% as long as they need to hit the top set.
 
Sounds complex, it’s actually easier to do it.
 
3 – EMOM –
 
Every minute on the minute, a popular CrossFit staple, however by no means created by CF.
 
Ideally your EMOM will last 15-20 seconds in the first round, then slowly end up being longer as it takes the person more time to complete.
 
If you’re EMOM start off in round one at say 30 seconds you’ve gotten the exercise choice/flow very very wrong because it leaves no room for fatigue of any sort.
 
Reps: 3-3-3
Movements: Power Clean, Push Press, Front Squat
Time: 10min
Focus: Whole Body
Result: Kill me now
 
4 – For time, yep it’s a race –
 
As you may have guessed, you simply set out a task to be achieved and set people off, the idea is to finish it as fast as possible, with good form.
 
If you have the time limit of sat 10min and someone does it in 5, well, add load to their movements, if someone doesn’t finish it in the allowed time then they stay as they are.
 
Reps: 800m
Movements: Bear Hug Loaded Carry
Time: 15min
Focus: Posterior Chain & Core
Result: Much harder than expected
 
All in all pretty simple to grasp and when your life is ruled by three hands, this style of programming is invaluable.
 
Enjoy,
Ross

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An old forgotten post from the drafts – New Year Pitfalls

Morning Guys,

With the new year in full swing there will be some common pitfalls ready to ensnare young hopefuls, to help you understand what they are and how to avoid them to the best of your abilities we will cover the 4 most common.
1 – Too Much Too Soon.
You’ve spent the best part of 2015 living on convenience foods and building forts on the sofa, but 2016 is where that will all change. In the first week of the new year there will be the familiar sight of hoards of newbies hitting the gym EVERYDAY, going hell for leather and literally pushing themselves to the point of feeling sick, just short of collapsing. It’s okay though, it’s meant to be like this, right?
After doing this for a week, maybe two a gym virgin will be utterly ruined. Walking normally will be a distant dream, sitting on the toilet will be like harder than climbing Everest, you get the idea.
Starting down the path of self improvement is great and I fully support those who want to make a change, what you need to remember is that doing too much won’t get you results faster. It will however leave you sore, frustrated and demotivated, all of which can cause a person to quite their endeavor and we don’t want that.
My advice for gym new comers would be to join a couple of classes 2-3 per week will be sufficient to get you progressing, enjoy your workouts and also making some new friends too. If you can afford it hire a trainer/coach as they will be able to teach you a lot of the things you need to know, not to mention correct exercise form.
Don’t rush, take your time and avoid doing too much too soon.
2 – No Patience.
Everyone wants to get results, the biggest issue is the fact that everyone wants their results by yesterday. This is a major problem. Results take time to achieve, occasionally a very long time and this can be frustrating for people.
In the modern world of health/fitness there are some unrealistic expectations of what is achievable, this is largely down to rampant PED (performance enhancing drugs) use and a reluctance to accept that the people many often admire have been training for a great number of years – 10+ in most cases.
Is it possible to lose 30lbs of fat in 12 weeks? Yes, however it would require extreme focus and dedication and sadly a lot of people don’t have that. This means you will be realistically looking at more like 24 weeks to achieve that goal, this for some people is too long to wait.
Results take time, learn some patience and don’t give up when you don’t have abs or are a size 8 after only one week in the gym.
3 – Your Nutrition is Wrong.
A simple subject made complex. Here is the basics of nutrition:
To gain weight – Eat more calories than you burn.
To lose weight – Eat less calories than you burn.
Simple right? So that being the case why do so many people struggle? The answer is obvious really… You are either eating too much or not enough. Seriously, for the majority of people that is the honest truth.
Okay, now for the slightly more interesting part.
Establishing how many calories to eat. There are literally hundreds of formulas/websites on the internet that will give you a rough estimate, with one of the best being the Harris-Benedict formula (I’m not writing this one down as it’s rather long and complicated). If you’re looking for a quick guide way to establish your potential daily calorie needs then use this *equation:
Weight Loss – Weight in Lbs (ideally your LBM-Lean body mass, meaning what portion of you isn’t fat) multiplied by 11-13. So, LBM in Lbs x 11-13 = calories for weight loss.

Weight Gain – LBM in Lbs x 17-19 = Calories for weight (muscle gain).

*Disclaimer – this is a rough guide, if you want a more accurate number hire a trainer/coach to do all of this for you.
The next part from here will be establishing your Macro-nutrient ratios (protein/carbs/fat) Ideally this is based off of your LBM. There are a specific amount of calories in each macro-nutrient:
Protein – 4cals per gram
Carbohydrate – 4cals per gram
Fat – 9 Calories per gram
Grams of Protein = 1xLBM – of you weigh 150lbs of lean mass then you need 150g of protein.
Grams of Carbs = 1xGrams of Protein – 1×150=150g carbs (25-40g of this number should be fiber).
Grams of Fat = Add the calories from protein/carbs together then take it away from your established number of daily calories. What ever number that is divide it by 9 for your grams of fat, for example: 900cals remaining / 9 = 100g fat for the day.
In recent times you will hear people say that your choice of food doesn’t matter. Yep, you read that right. Provided you hit your macros/calories you can eat what ever you want, in theory… Would I personally advise this? No. Personally I would prefer people eat mostly whole foods (meat/veg, basically what is considered adult food, not sweets, cakes and convenience foods) this is for better for overall in health in my experience. True you will find people who throw science/theory at your proving it doesn’t matter but if I’ve learnt one thing it’s that everything works in theory but that’s about it.
The real secret to nutrition is to enjoy what you eat, don’t restrict yourself but don’t gorge either. Aim for the classic 80/20 split of whole foods to indulgence, hit your calories/macros and you will find you don’t go far wrong.
4 – You Don’t Put in Enough Effort (Mentally).
I am not going to sugar coat this fact.
The main pitfall that leads to people giving up is their mind is weak. The difference between fantasy and reality is purely desire, well, most of the time in the things we can control anyway.
Try to remember that you are in charge of your life. You control your actions, no one made you eat that cake, you wanted to eat it. Is that a bad thing? Hell no! If you want some cake then have some, just don’t eat the entire cake and feel guilty or blame someone else for eating it. So what if you were at a child’s birthday party? You didn’t have to eat it, you wanted to eat it. Accept your decisions and move one swiftly from the bad ones.
Everyone has the potential to achieve their goals, what most people lack is the patience, dedication and mental fortitude to keep going when it gets tough. There is no quick fix, the only way to get lasting results is to make a life long change. Remember that.
Have faith in yourself, I know you can do it.
Enjoy,
Ross

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One Reason You Can’t Lose Weight!

There are obviously many reasons people can’t shift excess weight, but the main factor is often the fact they consume more calories than they expend (basic energy balance).
 
Now before people start chanting about how they are a unique and special little snowflake you must understand some basic physiology, these two resources will get you started:
 
 
 
No matter how much you’d like to be exempt from this, you’re not and you’re going to have to accept that simple fact of life.
 
There are many people who claim to be in a calorie deficit (eating less than they are expending) and not be able to lose weight (be that fat or unfortunate muscle). This means one of two things:
 
1 – You’re consuming more calories than you think.
 
^^ Most likely.
 
2 – You have suffered muscle atrophy and have been doing less physical activity with no calorie adjustment as a result your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) is lower than what you’re eating each day.
 
^^ Possible, but number 1 is more common.
 
How can you combat this problem?
 
Simple, keep a food diary and track what you eat but be honest. That means including alcohol, sugary drinks, lattes and so on. You’ll find you can easily consume 500 calories extra per day from drinking them unknowingly.
 
In short the mantra to achieve your weightless goals is as follows: “Eat less and move more.”.
 
You’re not above science, if something isn’t happening they way you want it to 9/10 times you’re doing something wrong. All you need to is educate yourself and learn from our mistakes :).
Enjoy,
Ross

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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.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Fat Loss Faux-Pas

Today I am going to reveal the final Fat Loss Faux-pas.

This will be the one that makes all the difference to your progression, now read, learn and progress.

Fat Loss Faux-pas #10 Trying Too Hard.

Is there ever really such a thing as trying too hard?

Yes… Yes there is.

People will want to achieve a better body immediately, so much so in fact they want it to happen yesterday. This can lead to some to adopt narcissistic tendencies.

Focus is good, but too much will lead to obsession and as a result your life will grind to an abrupt halt. You won’t want to go out with friends because of eating the wrong things, you might fear going shopping because of temptation and when things get really bad you may even stop eating all together by developing an eating disorder… Don’t forgo your life just because you want to be skinny right this second.

This negative mind set is an easy one to fall prey too. In an attempt to get more results you will potentially make yourself seriously ill.

I have been in this position, I found no one put more pressure on me to achieve than myself and I got ill. Don’t succumb to there pressure, take your time and remember to enjoy the journey, remember to enjoy your life.

After all, nobody wants to look good if they feel unhappy.

Smile and celebrate each small success because in the end when you look back, you will see that all the small things where actually the big things.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Fat Loss Faux-pas

We only have 3 more Fat Loss Faux-pas left, I hope you’ve learn’t from the posts so far and started to avoid, or even rectify some that you were susceptible too.

Fat Loss Faux-pas #8 – Not Sleeping Enough.

All you need to do is sleep for 20hours of the day and you will no doubt achieve weight loss… Well that’s what a mattress company might tell you anyway. The truth of the matter is this; a lack of sleep will potentially lead to excessively high cortisol levels (lots of stress hormone), which eventually triggers some primal signals urger to find every dense sugary foods to 1 – keep you going and *2 – bring down your your cortisol levels.

*Foods high in carbohydrates will help increase your serotonin (the happy hormone) which will be lead in to a nice little cascade towards melatonin (the sleep hormone).

You will unknowingly be seeking foods of the described nature above. If you take a moment and think about it you will be able to remember times when you’ve done what I’ve just written because it’s in our nature.

Ideally you will want to try and get to bed by 10pm and wake up at 6am. I know this isn’t always the optimal way for some people to sleep because of that little thing that gets in the way called LIFE, but getting to sleep at or around these times is also very beneficial for your body to regulate/balance its natural hormone levels.

Tonight at 10pm turn off the TV, Playstation, I Pad or what ever technical gadget you have one and get some sleep because in the long run, you will be leaner for it.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Fat Loss Faux-pas

I hope everyone had a good weekend off. You probably noticed no more fat loss faux-pas went up of the weekend, but, there was a reason of that which leads perfectly in to the next mistake to avoid.

Fat Loss Faux-pas #6 – Having a Cheat Day.

Fat loss and more importantly maintaining that fat loss isn’t something that can be easily turned on and off for everyone. Copious amounts of different diets over the years have advocated a ‘cheat day’ or something similar, I believe some even allow ‘cheat weekends’, which I’m sorry to say have a disastrous effect on on your fat loss.

Why?

Because the average person lacks sufficient will power to say no when they’ve had enough, this leads some to over indulging (binge eating), thus consuming thousands upon thousands of unneeded calories which completely destroys any caloric deficit accumulated during the week and puts a stop to any potential fat loss.

When the above happens people are left baffled as to why they have been ‘good’ all week with nutritious whole foods etc and still haven’t lost any weight. Being ‘good’ is not my favourite term because as children when we were good we got a reward or treat for being good, people see their ‘cheat’ weekends as rewards and over do it.

I am not saying that you cant have a little of what you fancy. In fact I would encourage you to have a little of what you fancy each day, just to be clear I shall say it again; have a LITTLE of what you fancy each day, DON’T, BINGE.

Please try and remember you need to find a balance in your life. If YOUR personal balance means you have one or two more things you like than your friend but your fat loss is half of theirs then accept it, if that’s what makes you happy.

After all, what’s the point in staring a lifestyle/nutritional change to lose weight and burning fat if you don’t enjoy it?

We keep doing what we enjoy, don’t make yourself unhappy trying to shift unwanted fat, do it slowly without pressure on your shoulders and a smile on your face.

Avoid this faux-pas and you will undoubtedly achieve your goal.

Enjoy
Ross

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10 Fat Loss Faux-pas

The next trap that catches a lot of people does so because if appeals to their desperation, they need for a result, no matter the cost financially or physically.

Fat Loss Faux-pas #4 – The Quick Fix

There are numerous companies that will for lack of a better word ‘prey’ on those who have struggled to achieve results through conventional methods (diet adjustment, exercise and life style changes). This happens because they hit an emotional cord, because of that the unknowing victim will justify going on a 600 calorie shake diet with logic, not matter how stupid or dangerous it really is.

I understand that losing weight isn’t easy for everyone. Some lose lbs effortlessly each week, other struggle to shift 4 lbs in a month and this leads them down the dark and narrow path of meal replacement fad diets which once started must be followed forever!

Ok, maybe not forever but I have witnessed several people get great weight loss (not fat loss, WEIGHT as in muscle), shortly after returning these ‘successful’ weight loss programs they return to eating properly again and often pile the lbs back on.

Try to stay away from the allure of the quick fix, stick with whole foods that a highly nutrient dense, you will find you lose fat slowly and steadily but the weight is more likely to stay off.

The sad truth about the quick fix is this; there isn’t one.

Hard work, patience and persistence will pay off and get you to where you want to be. Don’t worry of you’re not getting there as fast as someone else as long as you’re getting there, remember the story of the tortoise and the hair.

Enjoy
Ross

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