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WEATHER is NO EXCUSE, nor is TIME

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

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So today the whole of Weymouth has come to a monstrous stand still. Snow everywhere, cars sliding all over the place, kids launching snowballs in your face, and facilities closing for no apparent reason.

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I have to tell you that the weather is no excuse not to train! Yes it’s cold, so wrap up. Yes it’s dark, so get a head torch on your skull. Yes it’s easier to sit at home watching Jeremy Kyle and eating chocolate buttons, and plumping up ‘because it’s that time of year’. It’s not however so easy to get into shape, after you’ve let yourself get in even worse shape than last week, and the week before that, and the month before that and so on. You gotta do what you gotta do to get results. So get your ass out there and train. Whether you’re just heading out for a walk because the gyms closed, or maybe a run, perhaps you’re gonna hit out a bodyweight workout in the snow filled park. Whatever you need to do, DO IT. If you don;t want to get outside, then do it indoors TRY THIS 4 MINUTE WORKOUT 4 TIMES IN A DAY if you’re not sure what to do.

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You’ll see how little of an excuse the weather is by watching the video in the top right of this post! Not the greatest workout ever arguably, BUT we got in there nonetheless!

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This evening my TO THE MAX program should be cancelled due to the snow, as the venue has told me they won’t open up for us. BUT, I know that all 24 of the people on the program are serious action takers, committed to success, and  WANT to train as much as I want to train them. So, this evening, we’re braving the cold, getting outdoors and we’re gonna have a BLAST with our triathlon training on the beach here in Weymouth. weather is no excuse, and lack of facilities is no more of an excuse than a little bad weather is.

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Anyway, I also wanted to make a confession today, because I’m not perfect, and I slip up, just like you do. You see, the past 4 weeks, I’d done what I tell SOOOOO many clients NOT to do. I’d let my work take over, and have let my training slip. Although I’d been still getting in around 5 sessions per week, I’d let my triathlon training fall onto the back burner. I’d been so busy with clients, planning for next year, courses, writing stuff, creating new things etc, that I found I didn’t have enough time to train. Or rather, I wasn’t MAKING enough time to train. Although 5 hours a week is a reasonable amount of training, and by no means lazy, I should’ve been doing close to double that to push toward my goal of hitting a sub 10h30m Ironman in Frankfurt in July.

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So what did I do? Well I did exactly as I tell my clients to do. I went back to my diary, rearranged a couple of things, PLANNED my week out to the minute, and made sure that I’d scheduled in enough time to work, learn, create, train and LIVE. All it takes to break the ‘no time to train’ excuse is a little planning, time management, and a willingness to get it done.

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Anyway, end of the story, I’m now back up to hitting my training targets, and also now have MORE TIME to do other stuff too. All because I managed to plan things a little better. If you’re lacking time, PLAN your week, and make sure you PLAN TIME TO TRAIN, as well as PREPARE FOOD.

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Have a great week. Be true to yourself and your body, and get some workouts in, NO MATTER WHAT!

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Andy ;-)

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Weymouth Personal Trainer: Interview with UK’s leading fat loss expert

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Hey guys, hope you’re well. Thought this might interest you:

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Basically I was privileged and really excited this week to be asked to do an interview by the UK’s leading fat loss expert- Paul Mort of thefitnesscamp.co.uk .

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Paul tours the UK and Europe teaching Personal Trainers and fitness instructors how to get great results and he’s personally mentored me.

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Here’s some of the interview we did:

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PM: So Andy, can you tell us a little bit about how you got into the business of weight loss and a little about your journey. I know you’re well into training, but what’s the story behind you?

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AS: Yeah, well I did a sports degree at Uni, and during the last year of that decided that I wanted to get into personal training. At that time, I was really into weights and all I wanted to do was get as big as I could, just like most 19-20 year old lads who hit the gym. I also got into running while at uni, banged a couple of decent half marathon times and kept training hard. I think what made me want to get into coaching others was the fact that I loved training so much, and couldn’t, and in fact still can;t, see how anyone couldn’t have it in their lives. Soon as I left uni, I set about getting myself into PT, so got the courses done, worked my ass off, studied under a pile of the worlds leading fitness minds including JC Santana and Dax Moy, and just did everything I could to get as good as I could be at training people. Through my years of training people, I found that I got very good at getting people to shift fat fast, and decided that that was one of the things I’d like to specialise in. For me it’s about getting changing people’s lives by getting their bodies to look, move and feel how they want them to. I find that my clients fat loss is just the same as me and my Ironman training and competing. The harder and better they work at it, the better the results. Same with me and my training. The better I train, the faster I get.

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PM: Wow, you really have ‘been there, done that’. Now lets get into the meat of the interview. What would you say are the 3 MOST IMPORTANT things when it comes to losing bodyfat

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AS: First off I’d say that you’ve gotta eat right. Everyone knows what they should eat Fresh food, and no crap. But so few people actually do it! I hit this on the head with my clients through my Hit & Miss Diet, which I’m actually currently turning into a 30-40 page document that I’m gonna let 1000 people download for free! Secondly is the training. This can be a little different to diet, as although everyone will admit that exercise is necessary for getting in shape, there’s still a lot of misconceptions about what they need to do to get into shape. So making sure the training is correct is vital. Lastly is the biggest one, and if they nail this then I can be sure they’ll almost instantly change their lives, and that’s commitment. No commitment equals no results, fact. You can’t cheat yourself to good health and fitness, and as soon as more people realise this, they’ll get the kind of results that my guys are getting every week.

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PM: Great stuff. So what would you say are the 3 BIGGEST MISTAKES you’re seeing people make

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AS: Ha, it’d be easy to say ”not doing the previous three things”, and that’s pretty much what I’d say. However, I’d also add a fourth and say that one of the main things is when people don;t make themselves accountable for their success. After all, I know that my methods work, not sometimes, not most of the time, but every time, when the client follows everything I tell them to do to the letter. But people are too quick to say things like ‘I had to have a drink coz it was my friends birthday’, or I had no time this afternoon so had to grab a sandwich’, or ‘I couldn’t find the necessary 15 minutes to train today’, and generally a pile of BS excuses like that. People need to realise in no uncertain terms that the success or failure of their mission is in their hands, no one elses.

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PM: you know, I see those all the time too and it makes me a little sad. So what would you say to motivate someone to finally get into great shape, even if they’ve tried everything?

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AS: Everyone’s different, and so has to be treated as such. Some people need a mahoosive kick up the arse, while others need an incentive. Some people need weekly measurements, or a weekly coaching call. Others will find one of my other clients or fitness class or bootcamp members to train with outside of time with me, and some will just need a little love! Ha

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PM: I’ve heard A LOT about your fitness bootcamps, can you tell me a little bit more about them and the training and nutrition plan that seems to be getting superb results?

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AS: Yes mate. Well They started initially as my Summer SLimmer program during the summer months, and these were quality. We were hitting the beach, the parks, the cliffs and hills, everywhere outdoors that would help us have a killer workout. Then the weather and sun disappeared so we took it inside, and I called it Wake up and Shape up, as it didn’t really warrant a summery name anymore. So thats been running since September, and we’ve got some great results. One of the guys lost 21lbs in 28 days in one of the camps, and that’s the current record. But in January things are changing. I’m going to be putting on a pile more sessions, giving people even more value for money in terms of the extras I’ll be giving them, and it’s generally gonna kick some serious ass. I’ll be using my FLAME principle, which is my Fat Loss Accelerating Metabolic Enhancement system, and this is the single most effective way I’ve found to burn fat in the quickest way possible. Nutrition is simple. Eat the good stuff, and stay away from the shit. The Hit & Miss Diet is where it’s at, and as well as this I’ve got a pile of other protocols to help people bust any plateaus too. The guys get a program to do in their own time too, which is up to 2 sessions per week, and these only take like 15-30 minutes so are dead easy to fit in between sessions with me. I love the program, and cant wait for january when things are gonna get insane.

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PM: Sounds amazing, in fact a lot of the principles make complete sense. So where can people find out more about you?

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AS: Glad you think so chief. Yep, well procisionfitness.com is the site to head to for info about me, and in a couple of weeks, I’ll be launching the all new weymouthfitnesscamp.co.uk too. There’s also a social members only social network site too, which I;m gonna use as added support so my guys get even more bang for their buck. I’m running a free fat loss seminar, provisionally at Weymouth Pavilion on January 12th, and with any luck I’ll get 100-200 people there who are keen to learn about what they need to do to get in shape. Should be quality!

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PM: Well Andy, thanks for your time, you’ve been a gent, and I hope it all goes off with a bang for you and your guys in January.

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AS: My pleasure mate, great working with you.

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So that’s how that went down anyway. Paul’s a great guy, and a great mentor of mine, and I’m really chuffed to be working with him.

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Eat clean, train mean, stay lean

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Andy

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Why Crunches DON’T WORK!

Saturday, November 27th, 2010

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Hey, so I’m feeling a little lazy right now, so have just stolen an awesome little blog post by my buddy Tim Megginson, who’s destroying some serious fat stores of his clients in Cambridgeshire.

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Anyway, check it out and be enlightened . . . .

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I’m always amazed at how many people in the gym nowadays spend hours doing stomach crunches. Yet to no avail as their bodies never ever change.

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The truth is this.. Crunches don’t work and they never will. A couple of years ago, Men’s Health magazine made a big deal about a research study proving you would need to do 20,000 crunches to burn 1 pound of belly fat. Twenty thousand! Even a “crunch fanatic” would need a few days to do 20,000 crunches. The bottom line is that ab crunches are a HUGE waste of time when you are trying to lose belly fat.

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You would probably get better abs from not even working that area. You see, we all have abdominals there just hidden under our party pack. 6 pack abs will come from doing high intensity work involving many muscles in the body to achieve fat loss. Not a burnt out mid section from doing too many crunches each week. Weight is also a very poor measure to go by, when you get to the stage of having minimal body fat and you want to reveal your abs, chances are you will make small gains in weight as the core musculature will weigh more than the flabby bits you are looking to burn off.

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Abs are not supercharged you do not need to do 600 sit ups a day, besides the fact that this is dangerous. Imagine this- a man walks into a gym does 3 sets of 200 bench presses and the 3 sets of 200 pull ups and so on.. That would be ridiculous! The high reps for tone myth is stuff of the dark ages now, you need to get with the times, the abs like any musculature of the body need to be worked within normal hypertrophy (size gaining) rep ranges and tempos in order to develop muscle tone. Toning does NOT happen with more repetitions of a movement! The core zone (mid section) also needs to be worked using bridging (stabilisation) exercises as well as rotation and extension. Not just constant bouts of spine flexion.

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As well as being absolutely useless the constant movement pattern of spine flexion (stomach crunches) will lead to lower back pain and a nasty bit of flab storage just at the bottom of the stomach. This is because generally you will have the hips flexed tightly in this crunch position. Constant flexing in this position can lead to the pelvic bones being pulled forward out of optimal alignment with the skeleton. Okay this becomes technical, but simply put you will be pulling the lower back in more tightly causing a tightness often leading to lower back ache.

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This pelvic tilt will also allow visceral (internal organs of the gut) to almost spill out forwards from the pelvis. This results in the small pouch of fat that a lot of people get right at the bottom of your stomach. This commonly seen with people that crunch with very poor technique and get really flexed at the hips. This can also lead to very poor core development, and incorrect firing sequences, through the TVA (transversus abdominas) which can result in problems at the hips.

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All told, we need to put a stop to the abdominal crunch before more people damage themselves. If they got results the people that did them the most, would have great abs. As Paul Mort says ‘”the best abs exercise you can do is called the ‘plate push away’ that plate of pasta push it away”. On serious note, if you want abs, firstly you need address your nutrition, your eating habits need to be sound to get you losing the fat. Secondly you need to address the core zone with stabilisation exercises such as plank and side plank; Rotational exercises such as Russian twists and Woodchops; And flexion and extension exercises such as stability ball full range abs draw ins.

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To target Fat Loss- this is the main component of having visible abs. You need to look at high intensity interval training protocols. Preferably compound resistance movements, put together in circuit and complex style formats as well as brutal interval cardio sessions.

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Tim Megginson

http://www.fitnesstm.co.uk/

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Weymouth Personal Trainer | 5 ways to boost your immune system

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Weymouth Personal Trainer reveals 5 simple ways to boost your immune system this winter

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If you are like much of the population, chances are that during the winter months, you frequently suffer from a weakened immune system, displaying itself as bouts of the common cold, coughs, sneezes, lack of energy and a general feeling of not being 100%. Many of us will battle through, telling ourselves ‘everyone’s getting ill now, so I guess it’s just my turn’. Some of us will stock up and fill up on cough and cold remedies in the form of hot drinks, chews and capsules. Very few people however, will set about attacking the problem at the source.

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You see, beating the winter blues is simple, and can be achieved to excellent effect by following these 5 simple guidelines. These are very straight forward, and deep down, we ALL know them, but just tend to neglect them far too often. If you follow these guidelines, within a very short space of time,you’ll be feeling and looking much healthier, and won’t have to worry about these unnecessary little ‘illnesses’ anymore.

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1. Reduce/eliminate processed food intake

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Processed food and foods containing added sugar cause an inflammatory response within your body, while also suppressing your immune system by causing your pancreas to secrete abnormally large amounts of insulin. This remains in the bloodstream even after it has helped metabolise the sugars, and one major side effect is that it suppresses the release of growth hormone (this is a primary regulator of the immune system) from your pituitary gland.

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2. Get at least 7 hours sleep per night

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Your immune system is under most threat during the day, when you’re exposed to a whole range of nasties, from other peoples germs, to pollution, to the toxins in our food. During sleep, is when your immune system is able to recover. You should try to sleep at least 7 hours per night, and at least once per week, lay in until you wake naturally. For maximum benefit, you’ll make sure you’re asleep by 10pm, as it’s between 10pm and 2am that the physical repair takes place within your body.

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3. Take regular exercise

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We all know exercise is good for us, but many still neglect it. Exercising regularly will increase blood flow, help your body to remove toxins, and improve the health of your pulmonary and cardiovascular systems. Exercise will cause an increase in macrophages, which are the cells that attack bacteria and improve the circulation of immune cells.

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4. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables

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Eating plenty of fruit and vegetables of varying colours will provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs to keep your immune system operating properly. Carotenes (vitamin A), as found in red, orange, green and yellow vegetables, are needed for white blood cell function as well as protecting your skin. Vitamin C helps protect the blood from infections, and can be found in kiwis, oranges, berries and leafy green vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are also packed high with antioxidants, which are vital for preventing and repairing damage cause by ‘free radicals’ within your body.

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5. Drink at least 2 litres of water per day

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As humans, we are composed of around 75% water. It is required for just about everything that goes on in your body, and drinking plenty of water each day will help your body to remove toxins, fight inflammation, and stay in good health on the inside and the outside. Ideally, you should drink filtered water which will minimize your exposure to metals, chlorine and other toxins.

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So that’s it. 5 simple ways in which you can get your immune system working well again, and finally stop being beaten by the winter blues.

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Train, eat and live well.

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Andy ;-)

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Eat your immune system to optimum health . . .

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Autumn is on it’s way out, and Winter is on it’s way in. As I sit here writing this post, it’s hammering it down with rain outside, and howling a gale at the same time. From a training perspective, I’m just happy to own a turbo!


Anyway, I’m not here to rant about the rain, whinge about the wind, or feebly try to alliterate any more words.

Triathletes and long distance runners are a strange breed. We often look so fit on the outside, train like champions and have a strictly ‘can do’ mindset. But on the other hand, we often have weakened immune systems, causing us to need to take time off training every month when we get a cold or just don’t feel right. Maybe you’ll take off up to 3-5 days per month due to this, which results in a loss of up to 60 days (around 2 months!) per year or quality training, all because your immune system isn’t as strong as it ought to be. In the Triathletes Training Bible, Joe Friel makes reference to a study of runners in the LA Marathon that found that runners training for more than 60 miles per week were twice as susceptible to respiratory illness as those who ran for just 20 miles per week (another tick for reduced volume training!). The runners who completed the marathon, were then 6 times more likely to be ill in the week following the race as those who had done the training, but didn’t race. As well as all this, internally, our bodies are often inflamed from the volume of training we do, coupled with the high consumption of inflammatory foods, many of which cause a hyperglycaemic (fast blood sugar release) response, such as breads, pastas, cakes, muffins, pastries, energy gels, bars and drinks and whatever else we eat ‘because we need to’.

When in training, a triathlete/runner will burn around an extra 600-1600 calories per day, depending on training volume and intensity. This obviously puts a big demand on the athlete to consume enough food to maintain and develop themselves physically, so most athletes will turn to the high glycaemic index, sugary foods such as those outlined above in order to bridge the gap. BUT, but eating these foods, you cause this inflammatory response within your body, which often leads to unstable appetite, frequent illness, increased body fat and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Not what you want. Chronic inflammation is closely linked with, and can lead to, a whole world of different problems such as irritable bowel disease, Parkinsons disease, various cancers, psoriasis, atherosclerosis, chronic dystrophy and type 2 diabetes to name a few. So definitely not good.

So enough of the depressing stuff, and onto what can help you.

In order to ensure that your immune system remains in tact, and your internal environment is not inflamed, there are a number of things you can do. The good thing, is that everything I’m about to lay out for you is dead simple. Before we kick off, here’s a list of some of the top culprits for causing inflammation within our bodies:

  • Sugars
  • Polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as sunflower, canola, safflower,
  • Trans fats such as those found in fast food, processed foods, cakes, pastries
  • Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yoghurt
  • Processed ‘meat’ (if you can call it that!)
  • Refined carbohydrates such as breads, bagels, muffins, tortilla, pitta, pasta (brown included)
  • Alcohol
  • Artificial food additives such as those found in just about any food which comes with a label
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Now, just as foods can cause an inflammatory response, they can also cause an anti-inflammatory one too. So there are foods out there that’ll reduce the inflammation within your body and bring you back to full, optimum health once more. Some of the best include:

  • Papaya
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Sweet potato/yam
  • Cinnamon
  • Turmeric
  • Parsley
  • Cabbage
  • Bell peppers
  • Avocado
  • Fresh salmon
  • Almonds
  • Flaxseeds
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Kiwi
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You get the idea. FRESH FOODS! There’s a tonne more foods that’ll fight inflammation within your body, and also give you the vitamins and nutrients you need to ensure your immune system gets back to greatness, and if you follow the (very basic yet very effective) guidelines I’m going to lay out for you for your off-season training, you’ll be well on your way to optimum health, recovery and performance. So here goes . . .

For ultimate results you’ll . . . . . .
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  1. Remove all dairy from your diet
  2. Remove all wheat and gluten from your diet
  3. Remove caffeine from your diet
  4. Remove artificial sweeteners and packaged foods from your diet
  5. Remove alcohol from your diet
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You’ll fuel yourself on fresh, wholesome foods alone, such as plenty of fish, meat, vegetables, legumes, pulses, beans, nuts, seeds, and all that other good stuff. You’ll also drink plenty of water, around 1 litre per 50lbs of bodyweight per day.

If you can’t remove EVERYTHING outlined above, then simply make a conscious effort to greatly reduce your consumption of those foods, and ensure that you are eating fresh fruit and veg with every meal, and drinking plenty of water.

If you use energy drinks, bars and gels, or high sugar content foods for training, limit these to either 5-10 minutes before training, during the workout, or within 20 minutes post workout as these times are when the body is more likely to use these sugars as a primary fuel.

Ideally, you’ll also ‘front load’ your carbohydrate intake. By this I mean that you’ll eat the majority of your carbs earlier in the day, and then gradually reduce carb intake as the day progresses. This will mean that you’re more likely to use the food as fuel in the day, as opposed to going to bed with high insulin levels. Think of your carb intake as a pyramid, so plenty for breakfast, slightly less at lunch, then minimal at dinner (also include healthy snacks in between meals if hungry).

With vegetables, the brighter the better. Try to include a variety of colours within your diet, as this will provide a massive range of phytonutrients that’ll help boost your immune system and vitality. When snacking on fruit, make sure you eat some form of protein and fat with it, as this will slow down the rate of sugar release into the bloodstream, release hormones such as leptin to signal fullness, and also helps ensure a steady release of energy so no ’spiking’.

If you employ the strategy I have outlined above, you will quickly find that you will improve your health, vitality and general feeling of well being within a very short space of time, as well as drop a few pounds along the way. I should also warn you though, that by removing the inflammatory foods, your body will thank you initially with headaches, fatigue and maybe some mood swings for 1-4 days. After that time however, you’ll feel like you’re living in a totally new body, and will quickly find that the common colds and illnesses you suffer with frequently, will disappear.

Enjoy ;-)

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Personal Trainer Weymouth: Fat Loss Mistakes Uncovered

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

It’s getting to that time of year again, where everyone is getting into Christmas mode and beginning to think about work parties, family gatherings and alike, and subsequently the thought of putting on that little black dress, or tight pair of jeans starts getting ever more worrying.

 

Most people’s work Christmas parties  I’m guessing, are going to be happening within the next 3 weeks or so, which really doesn’t seem all that long a time to get down to size and feel confident to wear what you want to , and to be able to indulge a little, knowing that you’ve ‘earned the right’ to. Well what if I was to tell you that in just 2-3 weeks of not making the mistakes I’ve outlined for you below, you could be a clothes size smaller, and ready to slip into any outfit you so desire?

 

The following are the 7 deadly sins of fat loss that my Weymouth and Dorset personal training clients often come to me with during our initial free consultation, and we then seek to banish them for good, with great results! In fact, when all of these cardinal fat loss hindering mistakes are booted out, clients are dropping fat and weight faster and more effectively than they have ever managed before during any of the many fad diets and workout programs they have tried out in the past.

 

So have a read, see which ones you are making, and stop making them starting today. If you do, I’ll guarantee you’ll lose at least a couple of inches in time for the party ;-)

 

1.                Eating refined carbohydrates

 

We all need carbohydrate in our diet, that’s fact. However, what we don’t need is the wrong form of carbohydrate.  Eating carbs that have been refined, such as white pasta, bread, rice, sugar, sweets, cakes, biscuits and all that other nasty sweet stuff, is quite possibly the biggest fat loss mistake that people can make. Sugar, and sugary foods, are addictive to say the least. You eat it, you want more, you want more, you often eat that too! By eating these types of carbs, your body’s response is to hit back with a huge influx of insulin, which ends up making your body store fat. Not only that, but although your energy levels may initially be elevated, shortly after, you will end up on a downer and with reduced energy levels. The way forward is getting your carbs from fresh, natural sources, such as fruit and vegetables, which as well as giving you a much steadier supply of energy, will also fill you up with the vitamins necessary to ‘unlock’ the energy within your foods, as well as boosting immune function and improving your general health.

 

2.      Eating processed foods

 

They’re convenient, their ‘tasty’ (debatable), they’re quick, they’re easy, they’re effortless………….they’re also so full of crap that every time you eat them you are literally filling your body with chemicals and empty calories, and inviting your body to store excess fat. By eating these types of foods, from canned tomatoes through to a full on microwavable curry, you’re voluntarily increasing your body fat and the level of toxins within your body, and decreasing your bodies ability to work as it’s supposed to. If you’re ‘trying’ to lose fat, but still eating packaged and processed foods (yes - even low fat, no fat, low salt, weight watchers, healthy living and all that), you are condemming yourself to failure. If you eat fresh, natural foods, you really can’t go wrong, so enough with the microwave, and get your steamer, oven and grill working, and start eating natural. You’ll be AMAZED at how much of a difference it makes just replacing everything packaged with fresh stuff.

 

3.     Doing your 100 sit ups a day

 

Yes that’s right, many of my personal training clients, when asked, tell me that their fat loss attempts to date have involved doing plenty of sit ups every morning and every night. Well this is a very quick and simple mistake for me to discuss. Doing lots of sit ups will not get you a skinny, toned waist!!!!! If it could, then a third of the population would have great abs, not a BMI that categorises them as obese. The idea of doing loads of sit ups to nuke your belly fat is called spot reducing, which doesn’t, has never, and will never work to reduce body fat. It’s not possible to work one part of your body and burn only the fat from that area. It just doesn’t go like that. The body takes fat from where it wants to. All that doing excessive sit ups does generally, is give people a bad back and poor posture. If you want great abs, you need to be able to see them, so they key is to get rid of the fat that surrounds them (acting on the advice you are reading right now will help you!). You’re far better off doing full body training to reduce fat. The more muscles you work, the more calories you’ll burn. Fact.

 

4.     Steady state cardio

 

Yes, this may well work for a while, and I’ve nothing against steady state cardio. After all, the sport of triathlon is pretty much all about this! However, if you’re training for fat loss, it’s not the weay to go. Many of my clients, as well as banging out sit ups by the hundred, also have previously spend an hour or so walking on a treadmill, cycling on a stationary bike, or plodding up and down on a stepper. Funny thing is, they all say it bores the hell out of them and they don’t get results after the first couple of weeks. So why continue doing it?! Cardio training for fat loss is all about hitting out the interval work. Through using interval training as opposed to steady state cardio, you will burn more ‘free’ calories throughout the day, due to the effect the interval work has on your metabolism (you can elevate it for up to around 24hrs aftre training!). So by putting in a 20-30 minute bout of interval work, you will burn plenty more calories than an hours steady workout, in half (or less) the time. Efficient, effective, and much more fun!

 

5.     Lack of resistance training

 

I don’t want to burn fat not get big muscles. I don’t have time. I don’t like the gym. Just 3 of the primary reasons I hear for why people don’t do resistance training. The exclusion of resistance training one is the biggest mistake people make with their fitness programs. I’ll put it very simply for you though: If you want to lose fat, you need to build some muscle! Now ladies, it’s not to say that you need to get stacked, and get guns like Swartzenegger (in fact, you won’t be able to due to the hormonal differences with men and women), so don’t worry about that. The underlying fact however, is that muscles crave energy, and so the  more muscle you have, the more energy they need to work, so the more calories they will burn. So, by building some lean mass (muscle) you will increae your metabolic rate, and burn more calories even when you sleep. As for using a gym, absolutely no need. Your body is the only equipment you need, and that’s a fact. Just as soon as I get some time, I’ll shoot a short workout video for you and stick it on here ;-). In terms of time, you don;t need much. 20 minutes, 3-5 times per week is whct I use with lots of my personal training clients here in Weymouth and Dorset, and the results are immense.

 

6.     Not eating enough protein

 

This is related to the above. When I have looked at a clients food diary prior to our personal training commencing, the thing that ALWAYS sticks out is the lack of dietary protein. People only ever seem to eat it in their evening meal. Big mistake. Your body needs protein to rebuild your muscles bigger and stronger after work. By effectivle ystarving your body of this vital nutrient, you are reducing its ability to create the lean tissue necessary to boost your metabolism and increase your fat burning potential. Try to get some form of protein in with every meal, but be aware that there are complete (such as in meat, fish, eggs) and incomplete (such as in bread, pasta, pulses) proteins. Go for things like organic beef, fish, chicken, turkey, whole nuts, seeds and organic eggs as your protein sources.

 

7.     No direction

 

This is without doubt, the biggest one. So many people (maybe even you) spend far too much time saying they are going to kick start their fat loss mission, but never get round to it, or go at it half assed. In my experience, the key to fat loss success (and success in general) is having a clear, determined and measurable goal, that is both achievable and challenging (check out my post here for help with seting goals http://www.procisionfitness.com/blog/2009/02/goal-setting-goal-getting/). If you have no direction, you won’t get anywhere. So know what it is you want to achieve, and actually be willing to go for it, pedal to the metal. None of this ‘I’ll start on Monday’ nonsense either, start today, start now, and start achieiving. If you truely want to be a size smaller so you can wear what you want to, and feel comfortable in it, then you will be willing to work for it. Remember, the journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step, so take the first step today by setting yourself a goal.

 

That’s it from me today. Hope you get something from this post, and don;t forget to leave a comment. Your feedback is always great.

 

If you want to find out about my GUARANTEED RESULTS fat loss program, get in touch when you’re ready ;-)

 

 Until next time, good luck.

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IRONMAN UK 2009

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

August 2nd 2009, Bolton, England

August 2nd 2009, Bolton, England

 

3 weeks on from completing Ironman UK 2009, and having now had time to reflect on the event, I figured it’s time to give you a short report on how the race went. In a nut shell,  it sure as hell wasn’t easy! But then again, few things worth accomplishing generally are. So here is the timeline of how the day panned out . . .

 

11pm (day before): Finally managed to get to sleep! I wasn’t feeling nervous, but despite getting to bed at 9.30pm, just couldnt sleep. Not what you want before a long race!

 

Race Day

 

2.30am: Alarm went off. I’d actually set 5 on my phone, as well as a couple on my girlfriends phone just in case! There was no way I wasn’t getting up! I found myself suprisingly wide awake for this time in the morning, and was massively excited about the day ahdead. I was less excited by the prospect of what I knew i was going to be having for breakfast!

 

Because I was staying in a hotel, which wasn’t providing an early breakfast for competitors, I had to work round this. So brought a steamer and a load of food ready to cook and eat. As I was eating a pretty low fibre, no wheat, no dairy diet in order to reduce risk of digestive problems, but still needed to get on board a good few calories, my breakfast consisted of the following: 1 x  steamed sweet potato, 1 x small steamed baking potato, handful of steamed green beans, 1/4 an avocado, 150g cooked chicken breast, butter, sea salt, 2 x bananas. I can safely say, that this will not go down in history as my favourite ever meal, and in fact, despite usually being able to eat anything, anytime, with a few bits of sweet potato and some dry chicken left, I called time on my breakfast and conceded defeat to the early start.

 

4am: Left the hotel, and drove down to the Reebok Stadium, where shuttle buses were running competitors to the start at Rivington Reservoir. On the bus, I chatted to a fair few people, and realised that there were a lot of first timers there like myself. A few nerves started to creep in on the way to the Reservoir, but mostly I was excited about starting, and finishing the race.

 

4.30am: Transition was open, so I got myself down to my bike to pump the tires up, and do a last minute check, as well as affix my fluids and food for the bike leg of the race. Because the weather had been so horrendous for the last few days, with loads of rain, the grassy area in which the transition was located was nothing more than a muddy pool, and despite the mats that had been layed down, it was very boggy underfoot, which meant that running from the transition tent to my bike was going to mean my cleats were full of mud, so clipping in could be a pain.

 

5.30am: By now, I’m in my wetsuit, all prepared, with hat and goggles in one hand, and my dry clothes bag in the other, ready to drop off before the swim. The man comes on over the speakers and gives the call for everyone to line up ready for the 400m walk down the steep concrete path to the swim start.

 

6am: The race was due to start by now, but not everyone was in the water as yet, so we had to wait. I positioned myself about 50m away from the line of buoys we had to follow, and right at the front of the start line. A few more nerves set in about now, as I’d not yet done a swim with so many people in such a small space, and it was going to be pretty nasty for sure!

 

6.10am: 3…2….1….GO! Swim begins, and I get a reasonable start, managing to avoid getting kicked in the face more than a couple of times, and after 400m or so I find myself in a little bit of space. I get to the first turn, and everything slows down, as so m,any people are turing 180 degrees at the same time, and at this point there’s a few more arms and legs flying in faces which makes it interesting! I ended up pretty wide on the turn, and had to cut back in, and in fact, I ended up zig-zagging pretty much the whole of that straight until the next turn. Within 30 minutes of starting, I felt my hips and calves cramping, and had to keep trying to stretch out while swimming. Eventually this subsided luckily. Lap 1 complete, and just one more to go. After about 2 miles of the swim my shoulders were beginning to tire, and I felt my technique and speed both go downhill, but as soon as I got to the home straight, got a burst of energy and hammered home. After about 1h11m of swimming, I was out of the water, and began the steep 400m run to transition.

 

Out of the water. Leg 1 complete.

Out of the water. Leg 1 complete.

7.20am (ish): Got up to T1 and took my time getting myself sorted out for the bike leg. I necked a bottle of Gatorade while running to my bike, then picked it up, ran down the muddy path, and jumped on. As predicted, my cleats were full of mud so it took a bit of time to actually clip myself in, but once in there, I was feeling strong and ready to go.

Over the mud and onto the bike

Over the mud and onto the bike

After a short downhill section from the start, the course then leads you 2-3 miles up a nasty hill, which at one point gets pretty steep around a hairpin bend, before starting a winding decent, before another hill.

Tough climb at the first hill

Tough climb at the first hill

The first lap on the bike was fast. i was feeling strong and averaged 19.3mph, a little faster than predicted. Lap 2 was slightly slower, as the head wind picked up. When it came to lap three, that first hill seemed twice as long, although I was able to overtake a lot of competitors during the climb which felt good! The final 20 miles of this lap were pretty slow, with fatigue setting into my legs, as well as some cramps coming and going in my hips. I was finding myself needing to feed more often, and that seemed to help.

 

Nice flat bit to make up some time, at last!

Nice flat bit to make up some time, at last!

1.30pm (ish): At the end of lap 3, with my legs feeling prety ruined and energy levels getting lower, I thought to myself, what a time to do my first marathon! When at T2, I again took my time to get sorted out, and when ready, began the initial climb past the spectators, including some family and friends who had made the journey to watch this event.

Out of T2 and up a hill at the start of the marathon. Easy!

Out of T2 and up a hill at the start of the marathon. Easy!

The encouragement was amazing from everyone, with the croud shouting to competitors ’well done, keep going, you’re looking really strong’. Tell us that in 26 miles time! I actually started the run pretty quick, and felt suprisingly good, but 6 miles in it hit me. Another 20 to go.

 

Running technique starting to suffer

Running technique starting to suffer

I managed to stay pretty strong for the majority of the run, although frequent cramps in my calves, hips, quads, hamstrings, groin and at one stage even my right forearm made running pretty hard going at times. After 16 miles, stomach problems began to hold me back, requiring me to walk and even stop every now and again, which disappointed me. Feeding was hard, so I stuck to Gatorade and energy gels, although did manage to sneak in 3 bananas on the route too which were a great boost. With 3 miles to go my stomach was in bits, and hurting more than I had ever felt before, but knowing that there was less than 30 minutes of running left for me, I put it aside and pushed through.

 

With the home straight in sight, emotion started creeping in, with the enormity of what I was about to achieve actually sinking in. The feeling was amazing. The croud was cheering, the finish line was in sight, and all I had to do was finish the final 100m and that would be mission accomplished.

 

10 months of training, all worthwhile. Job done!

10 months of training, all worthwhile. Job done!

5.45pm (ish): Crossing that line was the best feeling I have ever had, and after being given my finishers medal, and t-shirt, and a cap for coming inside the top 250 finishers, I found my family, who were beaming with pride, and most probably, relief that after 11h45m28s of hanging around the course, waiting for me to swim, cycle or run past them every couple of hours, they could finally go home!

 

Mission accomplished, all smiles!

Mission accomplished, all smiles!

My split times for the race were 1h11m30s for 2.4 mile swim, 6h9m39s for 112m mile bike, and 4h10m47s for 26.2 mile run. This placed my 222nd overall and 12th in my age group of 18-24. All the sacrifice and hours of training have been worth while, and having loved every minute of the race, I have now set some targets for next year, where I’ll be competing at Ironman France in Nice. Bring it on!

 

Yours in success

 

Andy ;-)

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GOAL SETTING & GOAL GETTING: THE 5 W’s

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

Almost everyone has various goals in all aspects of their lives, and those that don’t, lack purpose and direction. However those who have unrealistic or incorrectly set goals also lack this purpose and direction, and find that they waste so much time ‘trying’ to achieve their goal, without every really getting out of first gear, and subsequently fail. In essence, we all should have many short, medium and long term goals, and should not limit ourselves to achieving one at a time. A unilateral approach often has a negative impact in other aspect of your life. For example, setting out purely to earn twice as much money this year as you did last year may well have a huge impact on the time you have available for your family, your friends, and yourself, which will have other consequences such as family problems, a feeling social seclusion, decreased fitness, and many health problems such increased stress as a cocktail of all of the above.

 

This article focuses on the structure of setting clear goals. The format should be used for every single goal, and you should rememeber not to limit yourself to one ambition.

 

It is vitally important to set clear and distinct goals, and then not stop until you have achieved them, whether they are social, family or work related, physical or anything else. If you don’t set appropriate goals and follow several principles, rarely will you will ever achieve them.

 

An example of an ineffective goal would be to state that ‘this year I am going to lose weight’. In this instance, how much  weight do you want to lose? Is it really weight you want to drop, or is it simply a clothing size or 3? By what time this year do you want to have achieved this goal? Why do you want to achieve it? How are you going to achieve it? You can see that the ‘goal’ is highly flawed, and leaves far too much room for ultimate failure, which is quite possibly why you are reading this and thinking of all those times you have said to yourself that ‘this is the year that I’m gonna get thin’, only to still be sat there wishing that you had stuck to exercising and eating right.

 

The difference between succeeding and failing in life, fitness and love, can be the way in which you go about setting, and then accomplishing your goals. The following information is not ‘cutting edge’, nor is it amazing new research. What it is, is simple and highly effective advice that will ensure that one week, one month, one  year from  now, you won’t be sat there wondering why you haven’t achieved everything that you set out to in that time period.

 

The principles of goal achievement, as I see them, are illustrated perfectly by ’The 5 W’s’

 

1. WHAT

 

The key to effectively answering this, is to ensure that the goal is specific to you and what you want to achieve. The goal should also something that you can successfully measure. For example, rather than stating ‘I want to lose be thinner’, you need to specify a realistic and attainable (yet challenging) target. So saying that ‘I want to be a size 10′ would be a great start to effectively setting the goal. This however, is still incomplete and is setting you up for failure before you even begin your quest.

 

2. WHEN?

 

Nice and easy, put a date on it. In the example used above, no time scale is given, making the goal very vague and lacking purpose and thus leaves great risk of failure. Simply saying you wish to become a size 10 is not enough. When do you want to do it by? Tomorrow? Next week? 6 weeks? 6 months? A year from now? As I’ve said, it’s very simple stuff! Now our goal could look like this: ‘I want to be a size 10 by July 6th 2009′. Now we’re starting to pave the path toward total goal achievement and our ideal shape, and are ready for the next W.

 

3. WHY?

 

It’s all very well and good setting a goal such as that above, but without being totally 100% honest with yourself and discovering why it is that deep down you want to achieve it, there’s little hope of you going the distance.. In order to be fully aware of why you wish to achieve the goal, it may be necessary to do some soul searching, and not be scared to tell yourself the home truths that have been at the back of your mind for months or  maybe years. So look at your newly written goal, and pick it apart. The following example may help . . . .

 

‘I want to be a size 10 by July 6th 2009′

Why?

Because that’s the date I’m going to be in public in just my swimsuit on the beach.

Why do you want to be a size 10 for that?

Becuase I am too big and don’t look how I want to look.

What do you want to look like?

I want to look healthy and fit, with the body of my youth, rather than the sluggish, motivation lacking person that stares back at me in the mirror now.

So why do you really want to lose the inches?

Because my self esteem is low, I lack energy, I often get breathless climbing the stairs, and I’m tired of having to wear black, baggy clothes in an attempt to cover up the body that my sedentary lifestyle has caused me to develop.

 

Job done. We have uncovered WHY you want to become a size 10, and now our goal can look as follows:

 

‘I want to become a size 10 by July 6th 2009 so that I can look great and feel confident in my swimwear on holiday’

4. WILLINGNESS

Now our goal is properly constructed, written down, and staring us in the face, it’s time to ask one final question . . .

Am I willing to devote the time, energy and money necessary to achieve my goal?’

 

To answer this you have to first know the relevant info.

How much time per day/week/month am I going to have to devote to achieving? Am I willing to get up that extra hour early in the morning, train on my lunchbreak or miss out on eating and drinking at the pub with friends on a Saturday night?

How much effort am I going to have to put into achieving it? Am I willing to plan my meals, make sure I follow a training programme strictly, learn to say no to fast food and sedentary habbits?

How much money is it going to cost me? Am I willing to pay X amount for a gym membership, X amount for a better quality diet and X amount for some new gym shoes? (losing weight doesn’t have to be expensive I might add, these are just examples!)

 

If you can answer that yes, you are willing to commit 100% to achieving your goal, you are ready to get started, and work toward the final W.

 

5. WINNING

 

Winning; to be successful or victorious in a test. In this case, the test is your goal, and winning is accomplishing exactly what you set out to. Winning is not always easy, and with any real goal, comes hard work, effort and quite often sacrifice. If you have been willing to totally commit to achieving the goal, and have successfully implemented your goal achievement plan (in the above example, a nutrition and fitness programme), you will have won. So when it comes to July 6th 2009, when you are standing proud in your swimwear, not only will you be confident and glowing with health and vitality, but you will be safe in the knowledge that you have achieved a target that so many before you have set out to do, only to fail at the third, second or even first hurdle. You will have won.

 

Yours in health and vitality

 

Andy Sloan

www.procisionfitness.com

andy@procisionfitness.com

07843 438173

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10 things YOU can do TODAY to improve your health

Monday, February 16th, 2009

The following is a list of 10 simple things that you can do to improve your health and well being, starting NOW!

 

1. Ensure that you are drinking around 1 litre of water per 25kg of bodyweight per day - If this seems too much and you will keep going back and forth from the toilet, add a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt to each litre (you won’t be able to taste this but it’ll do the trick ;-)

2. Reduce your tea and coffee intake - As diuretics, these beverages dehydrate your body, as well as causing un necessary internal stress within your body. So cut them out and stick to high quality water!
3. Reduce your intake of packaged/processed food - These foods are laden with additives, preservatives, fungicides, pesticides, and all sorts of other chemicals that your body is not designed to utilise. If you have been consistantly eating these foods, many of the chemicals will have been ‘dumped’ in your fat stores, and need to go! The weight loss you can achieve through eliminating these foods is amazing!
4. Eat organic - On the contrary to processed and packaged foods (and to an extent, commercially farmed/reared produce and meat), organic foods are full of nutrients vital to optimising the way your body and its internal systems function (not to mention enhancing your skin, mood, energy levels and more). Think abvout it, what the farmer fertilizes the ground with, and sprays on his crops, then goes into the crops, which you then eat! So even eating something fresh and wholesome like an apple is going to result in you ingesting various chemicals. However, if foods have been naturally grown and fed, you are treated to all the goodness that they have absorbed.
5. Swap from white to brown - This especially goes for breads, pastas and rice. The closer the product is to its natural, unrefined state, the better. Granary bread, wholewheat pasta and brown rice are all higher in fibre and less sugary than their white alternatives, providing a slower and sustained energy release, while also helping to improve digestion and the health of your colon.

 

6. Eat as much raw produce as possible - Regarding your fruit and veg intake, raw is often best. Cooking kills off enzymes which are vital for ‘unlocking’ the energy within foods as well as aiding in digestion. Many vitamins and minerals are also sensitive to heat. Cooking makes the foods more sugary so they get into your blood stream quicker, resulting in a quick energy ’spike’, but later resulting in a plummet! If you are cooking fruits and veg, cook slow and at a low heat as the damage to vitamins, minerals and enzymes is decreased.


7. Eat protein with every meal -To ensure that your body has sufficient proteins to repair itself, a steady supply of the nutrient is necessary. So with each meal, make sure that you get some high quality protein in, such as that provided from organic chicken, grass fed beef, raw nuts and seeds.
8. Avoid all trans and hydrogenated fats - Such as those found in ‘low fat’ products, fast foods, pastries, cakes, biscuits and all the ‘fun’ stuff. It’s not so fun when you know that the chemical formula of trans fats is not too dis similar to plastic! Try digesting and getting energy from a cling film sandwich!

9. Don’t avoid fats - Just make sure you are getting them from quality sources, such as olive oil, organic meats and poultry, organic fresh fish (not farmed), organic seeds and raw nuts, flax oil, coconut oil. Fat is essential within your body, so don’t cut it out (that will do more damage than good), just be aware of what it is you are putting into your body, and what it is that your body actually needs!

10. Get outside in the fresh air and do some exercise - Whether it’s a full on workout or just taking the dog for a walk, get some sort of physical activity done and give your body a reason to grow stronger!
Hope these tips have helped ;-)
Yours in health

 

Andy  ;-)

andy@procisionfitness.com

07843438173

www.procisionfitness.com

www.procisionfitness.ning.com

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Mobile Personal Training in Weymouth, Dorset, from Procision Fitness

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

Hi,

 

I’ve had a few people ask me what exactly is mobile personal training, and why is it so good?  So while I’ve got 5 minutes I thought I’d give you a quick breakdown of a few of the reasons why mobile personal training with Procision Fitness is becoming such a huge hit in Weymouth and Dorset. 

 

Firstly, a quick summary of what mobile personal training is for those who are unaware: Rather than you having to go to a gym, studio, leisure centre or other facility, the trainer generally comes directly to you, bringing all the necessary equipment. This ensures that your training takes no longer than it need to, as it takes out the travel time, of say going to a gym, which may be anything from 5 to 30 minutes (or further) away. This is a great bonus for those with busy jobs, dependent children or simply limited free time. I can’t speak for other trainers, but Procision Fitness always ensure that for the 30 minutes to an hour that you are with your trainer, your workout is thorough, effective and efficient, not wasting a single second, so as soon as your trainer leaves, you are ready to get on with the rest of your day.

 

Another great benefit that Procision Fitness offers you, is the opportunity to train with us anytime between 6am and 11pm. There are very few gyms out there that offer that, and certainly none within Weymouth, Portland or Dorchester that I know of! This means that for almost everyone, there is time to train either before, after or even during work, so that training doesn’t have to run your busy schedule!

 

Many trainers working in large chain gyms and fitness centres with be contracted specifically to train soley within their facility. However, although Procision Fitness is a mobile service predominantly, we also have a number of links with local fitness facilities, enabling us to train clients in them. This means that if you want personal training in your Weymouth or South Dorset home you can get it, or if you wish to be trained in a local gym that can also be arranged. So the best of both worlds, with no additional gym fee!

 

On the topic of gym fees, that’s another thing you don’t have to worry about when recieving mobile personal training. As rather than pay £800 for a yearly membership somewhere, only to ‘forget about it’ and give up due to lack of interest, motivation and time, with mobile personal training you can be sure that you aren’t wasting a penny, as there really is no need for most people to use a gym for the goals they wish to achieve!

 

The last benefit I will touch upon is the fact that with mobile personal training, you can even be trained in your place of work! So this means even if you work long hours, a trainer can still come to you and train you during your lunch break, either in your office, the grounds or a company facility.

 

To briefly conclude, you could say that the main benefit of mobile personal training is that it takes much of the negative stress out of training, so you can concentrate on other important things in life such as family, friends and career development.

 

I hope this gives a good enough description of mobile personal training to those of you who are unaware of it! Apologies for the brevity of the post, but time is of the essence!

 

Yours in fitness and health

 

Andy ;-)

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