Personal trainer in Nottingham

Posts made in December, 2014

New Year, New Torture…

By on Dec 28, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

Just a quick blog post  – I mentioned on social media a new ‘powerbuilding’ style programme I’d put together for my next training segment. It gained a bit of interest, so I promised I’d blog it and let people judge/have a go for themselves. A couple of points of note: – I’ve not gone through this programme myself yet. – It’s matched to MY goals, which may not be YOUR goals – It’s based on equipment that I have access to, that you may not. That said, there’s nothing ‘new’ here. In fact, before you even read it, I should pay homage to this programme and this programme, where some of the ideas have been cribbed together from. Likenesses to any other programme are purely coincidental, not deliberate. So, here goes. It’s a four-way split focussing on strength initially, and volume to back it up. It’s neither strictly powerlifting, nor bodybuilding, but for most people’s goals and abilities it should achieve enough of everything. All supersets are 2 mins rest between sets, no rest (or only changeover time) between exercises. Tempo on the big main lift is ‘as fast as possible with good form’. Everything else is a 2-3 second eccentric, 1 sec pause, explosive concentric. Day One: Quads and Abs Back Squat 5 x 3 Superset 1: Back Squat 10/10/10 Bulgarian Split Squat 10/10/10 Superset 2: Leg press: 10/10/10 Leg Extension: 10/10/10 Abs: Hanging leg raises x 6/ Barbell rollout x 12/Floor crunch x 25. Repeat x3, no rest between exercises, 2 mins rest between sets. Day Two: Back and Biceps Chins x 6/ Bent over row x 12/ DB prone rows x 25. Repeat x3, no rest between exercises, 2 mins rest between sets. Superset: Seated Row: 8/8/8 Single Arm DB Row: 12/12/12 Biceps: EZ Curls x 6/ Laying Cable Curls x 12/  Seated Hammer Curls x 25. Repeat x3, no rest between exercises, 2 mins rest between sets. Day Three: Rest. Day Four: Hams and Shoulders Deadlifts: 5 x 3 Superset: SLDL: 10/10/10 Glute Ham Raise: 10/10/10 Single Leg Hamstring Curls: 10 per leg x 4 sets. Shoulders: DB Arnie Press x 6/ Military Press x 12/ Lat Raise x 25. Repeat x3, no rest between exercises, 2 mins rest...

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Training During Pregnancy – Can I? Should I?

By on Dec 18, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

At RWF, we’ve trained around a dozen women at various stages of pregnancy, and ‘recovering’ from pregnancy. You can see a couple of testimonials on our website, to get a first-hand account of their experiences. This post isn’t intended to be an exact how-to guide. There are a myriad of things to consider in training whilst pre- and post-pregnancy, and whilst the medical profession rarely understands what strength training actually is, it’s probably worth listening to your doctors more than your PT at this stage – if for no other reason than for your stress levels and peace of mind. Let’s just say though, that even in pregnancy, you are not a delicate little flower that must be wrapped in cotton wool. You are capable of exercise – some to quite a high level –and we hope to extol some of the benefits of doing so. There’s a big caveat. Pregnancy brings on a lot of hormonal and physical changes. For that reason, it’s generally unwise to suddenly start doing something you’ve never done before. Never weight trained? It’s probably not a good time to start learning how to deadlift or squat with an Olympic bar. The main reason for this is because of the additional stress, mentally and physically, this would place on a body already undergoing major changes. You won’t know whether an ache, or a pain, is due to training, or due to the pregnancy. It’s simply not worth the worry for most women. However, if you’re already active, or you already train, then there is NO reason not to continue unless you get diagnosed with a condition that specifically prevents it. The trick to exercising when pregnant is to manage expectations. It’s unlikely that you’ll be getting much stronger and fitter, as the body changes priorities way too much for that, but there’s no reason you can’t maintain your existing fitness and strength levels. You can continue to get the anti-stress benefits, which are probably even more needed at this point! When someone is pregnant, changes happen to the cardiovascular (CV) system and the blood supply which make the way you exercise have to change. For example, blood vessels dilate in the first couple of...

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So who screwed up this year?

By on Dec 12, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

End of year summaries tend to be used to big ourselves up. I’ll do a little of that, but mainly I want to talk about what I got wrong this year. I want to talk about how even someone with a fair bit of experience in this game can get lost and lose sight of what progress actually means. I had goals for this year (2014). I ended last year with a 177.5kg one rep max in my squat. At some point in the next couple of years I want to do a powerlifting meet – I’ll likely compete at 90kg, so I want a 200kg+ 1rm at that point. So, this year my target was 200kg. The year started off great. I used Smolov to pretty good effect for the first three months of 2014. I hit a PB of 192.5kg. Nice depth, the works! And then I realised I’d not really tracked my food intake much. I’d fallen into the trap of “I’m squatting 4x a week, I can eat LOADS”. I didn’t particularly care, but I went from 90kg at the start of the year to around 96-97kg by April. I’m not going to pretend I did much more than add a kilo or two of muscle at best. The rest was, ahem, probably fat. Now, let’s not cry about this. My bench press went this year from joy at getting, finally, a comfortable 140kg – to getting a comfortable 152.5kg. With a big thick axle bar, no less. I’m able to rep out (ok, maybe only 3…) 140kg. Success! My military press has gone from a shaky 75kg, to a solid 85kgx3. So hell yes, I’ve made progress. Sad thing is, like most of you, I’m a bit vain too. I had holidays coming up. I put myself in a position where to get into any kind of decent shape for the beach, I had to start dieting/leaning out. And I had to start early. Consequently, I spent a large portion of the year ‘cutting’ and compromising potential strength gains. I also tweaked my back, partly due to fatigue at training on lower kcals than I really should have at that stage. That cost me a...

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RWF’s Christmas Survival Guide

By on Dec 3, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

I’m not that much of a bah-humbug guy, but I did refuse to even consider a post like this until December had at least begun. And seeing as though I’m being forced to put up a Christmas tree on Sunday, I realised I couldn’t fight the tide for ever. This isn’t going to be about how to survive seldom-seen relatives, or schedule TV viewing around the Queen’s speech, or how to re-gift unwanted pressies. Somewhat predictably, I’m going to talk about how to protect your training, nutrition and waistline over Christmas. Now, as I alluded to at the start, Christmas starts earlier and earlier. Whatever you feel about that, it’s a fact that some Christmas work parties have already happened, and there’ll likely be more, as well as the more informal getting together with friends in advance of the holidays. With that in mind, it’s no longer about a bit of a binge for three days and then back to normal. Most people’s bodies can get away with that short-term damage, if it’s infrequent. But a whole month of eating and drinking way more than normal? No chance. Things will change, and not for the better. So, what’s the answer? Become a hermit? Refuse invites? No, of course not. Training and nutrition – unless you’ve got a competition coming up in January (poor you) – shouldn’t take away from living life. Trouble is, do you really want to spend all of January and February undoing the mess you created in December? Many people are still carrying Christmas weight in March – that’s a quarter of the year spent just getting back to where you started! So how can you limit the damage? Here’s some ideas that, whilst they won’t negate an entire tub of Celebrations, will at least remove some pointless calories: 1. Avoid beer and wine. You what? At Christmas, you’re telling me not to drink? No – just limit the beer and wine. Stick with spirits – Christmas is ALL about an 8am brandy – and you’ll save 150-odd kcals a drink. That mounts up over a month. You could wipe out 10,000 calories just by drinking more sensible choices, NOT by not drinking at all. 2....

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Hamstrings – The Final Frontier

By on Dec 1, 2014 in Articles | 0 comments

Get people to list a bunch of muscles and the obvious will come up – pecs, biceps, triceps and the occasional traps or quads. Hamstrings often get a final mention almost as an afterthought. Scary thing is, a lot of trainers fall into this category too. That’s unforgivable, but that’s another post for another day. Your hamstrings are a powerhouse. They keep your back healthy, they work in conjunction with your glutes (your arse!) to keep your hips where they should be and provide the power for anything involving fast movement or uphill walking/climbing. Many, many lower back problems are caused by a lack of strength in the hamstrings (and often the glutes as a linked issue). Why does this happen? Well, you can’t train them in an easy session. The exercises that work hamstrings well tend to be big movements (hey, they’re big muscles!) The other big issue is that hamstrings are one of the non-mirror muscles. You can’t see them easily when you train, and much like a cat hiding it’s head behind a curtain thinking it’s invisible, many trainers think if THEY can’t see it, no-one else can. Unfortunately, everyone can see when someone skips leg training. If you only ever train your quads – muscles at the front of your legs – you will also end up injured. Fact.   So how do you train them properly? Bear in mind they aren’t just one muscle. They’re a group of muscles with one catch-all term. As with any bodypart, they need a range of stimulation to get stronger and to grow in size. Have a go at this sample programme below and see the difference that spending 6-10 weeks training your hamstrings properly makes. A word of warning – if you’ve never PROPERLY trained them before, this routine done straight away will leave you incapable of walking down stairs or sitting on the loo properly. As with anything new, take it easy the first session and ramp up the weights as you get used to the volume and movement. Don’t say you weren’t warned. 1. Straight legged deadlift – 4 sets of 6 to 8 reps with a weight that has you getting worried about failing...

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