Tag Archives: whole foods

2 Moves You Need To Do

Are you missing out?

A lot of people certainly are, but are you one of them?

There are two upper body exercises that will not only help you fill out a t-shirt but also build some impressive strength too.

The best part about these exercises is they work brilliantly for the ladies too. They will help you achieve those lean looking arms and sculpted back you desire.

What exercises do I mean?

The Dip & The Pull/Chin Up (pull ups hit more back, chin ups hit more biceps)

These are the upper body equivalent to the Squat & the Deadlift, or so some people say anyway.

Being able to perform a strict set of 25 dips & 12 pull ups (woman) and 50 dips with 25 pull ups (men) won’t just make you impressively strong, it will also help build your confidence and add some sought after lean muscle to your frame.

It is true that people will add weight to these exercises to help overload but personally I would advise hitting the numbers above with good form before you venture in to the realms of adding weight to the exercise.

For both men and woman focusing on mastering these bodyweight movements and increasing the reps until they have hit the desired numbers is the first and most important goal.

But what if you can’t do more than a few of each?

Fear not. There is a great method that will help you build up your reps and get stronger, the best part is because of the volume loading it can be done daily.

What is this miraculous method?

Ladder Training.

You simply do one rep of each exercise. The two, followed by 3, basically adding a rep for each successfully completed set of reps for each exercise. Once you fail start again at one.

This style of training has been proven over the years as a great way of adding strength and building lean muscle.

If you can take your ladder from 1 to 10 then you’re not he right path, you might then want to start working for unbroken ladder reps up to 15 or even 20! By doing this you will find you ability to crank out 25-50 dips in one set isn’t an issue. the same is true for pull/chin ups.

Now go and get practising.

*Please note that if you can’t do one of either then the use of resistance bands to assist you or an assistance machine is permitted.


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Early Bird & The Second Mouse

Morning Guys,

Do you really train better in the evening or is it just because that’s your routine?

Training in the early morning has been long said to be more beneficial because of higher levels of testosterone and your hormones being more optimal overall, but some struggle to get up.


Because it’s not a part of their routine.

Routine is something we all need and for those who have become used to training in the PM they can’t see it being any other way. If these people try to train early the feel weak, sluggish and are almost certain to have a bad session, but considering their hormones should be more optimal at that time how can this be?

Mental readiness is the answer.

If you are mentally prepared for what is coming then you will find that it doesn’t matter what time of the day you train, you will have a good session regardless. Being mentally ready can be the difference in hitting a PB and missing it, the same is true fro the times you decide to train.

That said…

If you FEEL training in the PM is really the only way for you and you get your best results from training at that time then more power to you, but I would suggest trying to build a new routine and start getting in at 6 or 7 AM, it will help free up lots of time in your day and potentially allow for a second session too.

Try early morning workouts for 6 weeks and you will soon find you start to become a morning person.

As they say, it’s the early bird that gets the worm but the second mouse that gets the cheese.


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Why You Don’t Get Results, Part 3.

You expect too much too soon.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to see some results so that you know you’re on the right path, but from my experience it takes a good 3 months to make a real difference. There may  be some small change after 4 weeks but it’s round week 12 you will actually realise how things have changed and start to see some real progress.

12 weeks isn’t a long time in the grand scheme of things but for those wanting to get a beach body or be holiday ready it can seem like an eternity. However, this feeling can be avoided by simply starting your quest sooner rather than later. Putting off going to the gym or starting because of some flimsy excuses just won’t cut it with me I’m afraid.

If you don’t achieve your goal then you probably didn’t start training for it soon enough.

I will be honest and say that for most people who are untrained the minimum amount of time you will want to allow yourself is 12 weeks, any less and you better expect to work dam hard or accept that you might not achieve your goal.

Starting sooner rather than later really is thefts way to go.



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PEDs in sport?

Drugs in sport are nothing new.

PED’s (performance enhancing drugs) have been in sports for a very long time, and almost all top athletes are using them.

Time to stop being naive.

The reason PED’s will help your performance so dramatically is because they allow your body to recover faster than you naturally can, steroids are a medicinal thing after all. This allows you to train harder, more frequently and achieve levels beyond that of even the most genetically gifted people.

It’s advised that you stay away from taking such substances, you’re not an endocrinologist and you will cause yourself problems. There are plenty of ways you can increase your performance without taking PED’s, you just have to be prepared to put in some times and effort to achieve the results you desire.

Here are some simple steps to help improve your recovery, boost your performance and take you to the next level NATURALLY.

– Eat more nutritious whole foods. This will promote an anabolic state in the body providing your calories are in a surplus.

– Stress less, meditate more. Lowering cortisol levels will help you recover much faster, remember cortisol is inflammatory and you need to bring this down asap.

– Have regular massages, or at least foam roll. This will help release some tension in the fascia and break down some unwanted muscle knots, allowing for increase blood flow which means more nutrients to the muscles to help them recover.

– Sleep in a completely dark room. This means no lights, no electrical devices, essentially nothing int he room that can disturb your sleep. The deep your sleep the better you will recover.

– Train Less. This might seem counterintuitive but there is a difference between chasing performance and facing fatigue. People want to feel demolished, but that doesn’t always mean that they will be getting results or progressing, these people are chasing fatigue and not performance. The best way to ascertain this is to always aim to increase either your reps, weight on exercises, increase time under tension or decrease rest periods. If you can’t achieve at lest one of these and progressively improve then it might be time to take a step back and bring down the volume, but keep the weights the same (3×3 @ 85% 1RM instead of 8×3 for example).

– Supplement. Supplements are not a substitute for real foods, but they can help aid in your recovery by providing precious extra nutrients, vitamins and calories.

Follow the advice above and always chase performance, not fatigue.



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I Have NO LIMITS! Except The Genetic Ones :(

Morning Guys,

How much muscle can you genetically build,

Drug free and only through hard training, ample recovery and solid nutrition,

Lets find out….

When it comes to building muscle ewe always want more, but exactly how much lean tissue (muscle) are we meant to have on our frame anyway, 170lbs, 200lbs more perhaps, lets delve int o this subject further.

There are some rather good writings by a Dr Casey Butt (google him to find his work if you want a more in depth look) and how much muscle you can build NATURALLY. He research was done on around 300 natural athletes ranked professional (body builders & strength athletes comprised the group) from he years of 1947-2010 if memory serves me correctly, and brings up some rather compelling points it has to be said.

The amount of mass you can amount if limited genetically by not only your general heigh/build but by your naturally occurring hormone levels too. True there might be the occasional genetic beast lobster who can break this rule, there are always exceptions, but to avoid disappointment just assume you’re not one of them for now.

There is a rather scientific equation he came up with that I shall link to below. But for those who don’t want to go trawling through the internet to find out more here is a a very basic and quick reference to his findings you can use as a guide.

If we were to take the average height of a male being 5,10′ then his alleged total lean mass genetic potential would be around 178-180lbs, if you were 10% body fat then your total weight would be roughly 200lbs.

If you’re not the average height then it is easy to know how you will establish where your lean mass potential, for each inch height increase or decrease you will simply take the base number above and add or subtracts 4-5lbs from it.

So for example a man at the height of 5,6′ would have a lean mass potential of 160lbs and a potential total weight of 176-80 at 10% body fat. Now a taller guy who hits the 6 foot mark would add 10lbs tot he guide and have a potential LBM of 190lbs.

If you were 10% body fat and you had pretty much filled out your genetic potential you would look pretty huge.

With the info above you can workout your genetic LBM total and then go and get some body fat reading done. The most accurate tests are stupidly expensive, but if you find a decent Strength & Conditioning coach they should be able to give you ar reading this is pretty much spot on the money.

Now go and grow to your potential.



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What The TEF?!

A question popped up regarding the Thermic Effect of the Food (TEF) you eat the other day, but what is it exactly?

Basically this is when certain proportion calories used from the the food eaten is used to process/digest it (put simply). It’s worth noting that protein has a themic effect up to 5 times higher than that of carbs/fat
Each food has a different estimated value, here are the suggested % of calories from said foods used in processing:

Protein: 20-35% of calories burned through processing
Carbohydrates: 5-15% of calories burned through processing
Fats: 0-5% of calories burned through processing

To put this in understandable terms, if you eat 200 calories worth of protein, your body will use between 40 and 70 of them in digestion, roughly. The most common estimate for the total thermic effect of food is around 10% of your total caloric intake, but as your protein intake increases so does this number, the more protein you eat the more calories (proportionately) will be used as a result of the TEF.

*This is one of the reasons ketogenic diets work well when it comes to shifting excess body fat.

You can use this knowledge to help aid in fat loss or muscle gain, just remember that the rough % of of your daily calories used as a result of TEF greatly depends on how much protein you’re having each day. Therefore you could potentially increase your TEF if you’re on a high protein diet.
If you’re looking to lean down increase the protein (1.2-2g per lb of lean body weight), this will help not only with increasing your TEF but also your satiety too.

For people looking to add muscle on a diet high in protein might want to bring the overall protein content down a touch (0.8-1.2g per lb of lean boy weight) and increase the total carbs or fat. While your daily calories won’t change it will have an interesting effect on your daily TEF.


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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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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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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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Unhealthy Health Foods

Not all foods are created equal, lots of people know this. However it’s the so called ‘Health’ Foods that can be something to watch out for.

Today we are going to give you our top ten Unhealthy Health Foods.

1 – Vegetarian Meat Substitutes – They are often devoid of anything the body needs from the meat alternative. They can too be filled with ‘filler’ such as soya to make them palatable.

2 – Sports Drinks – How often do you actually see an athlete drinking them? Precisely… More often than not these brightly coloured calamities will be filled with sugar and other nasty things.

3 – Special Cereals – Not naming names here, but there are plenty of cereals that claim to be staples of a healthy diet when in fact these sneaky little flakes will add inches to your waistline because of all the extra sugar in them. Don’t fall for the cereals clever trix.

4 – Smoothies – A hidden source of high calories. Many of the nutrients are often compromised in the process of making the smoothie, but the fructose will still be there waiting for you.

5 – Dried Fruit – Better than sweets right? Wrong… Loaded with extra sugar and preservatives, along with the fact that they’re incredibly easy to eat (stick with whole fruit).

6 – Fat Free Anything – Ok, some fat free products are not all bad, but the majority are loaded with lord only knows what to make them edible. This will send the caloric content through the roof and straight to your thighs.

7 – Protein Bars – While these handy snacks might save you from post workout catabolism (yea, some people still believe that… oh dear) they are easy to eat and not necessary if you’re diet is filled with whole foods.

8 – Skinny Coffees – Opting for the lighter option in the coffee house is an admirable choice, but this often leads to people having more than one which can mean up to 700 calories in less than 30min.

9 – Meal Replacement Shakes – These are pretty much a one way ticket to problems. There is no replacement for whole food.

10 – Diet Drinks – The Grandaddy of them all is the fabled ‘diet’ drinks. Apparently because they have less sugar, calories and whatever else is in the normal product it means you can have more guilt free… This clever marketing ploy has kept the fat cats lining their pockets with your hard earned cash for years, and it will continue to do so. Opt for water, you need that to live.

Now these simple truths might seem like common sense, but you will have an onslaught of people who defend these products because they have become reliant on them.

You are by all means free to make the choice on what to eat, it’s your body after all, just be aware of the choice you make and don’t start moaning when you’re adding the pounds.


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