Personal trainer in Nottingham

Posts made in January, 2015

Better ‘core’ performance may just get you those abs you’re after…

By on Jan 23, 2015 in Articles | 0 comments

Disclaimer: no amount of ab exercising will produce stand-out abs if you have a high level of bodyfat. This article is about strengthening your core area, not revealing a six pack. That is largely down to diet and nutrition. Almost everyone I have spoken to as a Personal Trainer wants  a flat, defined  stomach – or even to have a clear set of ‘abs’. When people say abs, they mean six-pack…you know, the chiselled, tanned, waxed cover-model look. In actual fact the wonderful things we call abs are an abbreviation for ‘rectus abdominis’. This is the muscle made famous in movies and television— which, aside from the pleasing-on-the-eye factor, provides both core stability and trunk mobility while allowing the torso to flex. This is the part of the core that takes all the glory of the functionality away from the other core muscles; the behind-the-scenes actors that work in conjunction with the rest of the body to maintain a solid, stable centre from which to exert power. These other, unsung hero muscles I’m talking about? Let me introduce you to the transverse abdominis muscle. The important part about this muscle is that it acts to protect your spine. It’s beneath the superficial ‘six-pack abs’ so it often goes overlooked. However, its role is integral to the function of all other muscles within your core. The transverse abdominis stabilizes your pelvis and provides support against rotation, flexion and extension of the spine. This includes twisting to pick up the shopping, bending to pick up the kids, running, squatting, etc. Keeping a strong core will help you transfer force more efficiently through the muscles, rather than through your back and joints (and hey presto, less back pain). Then we have the external and internal obliques. These muscles rotate and allow the trunk and to bend while also contributing to spinal stability. If you can properly engage your ‘core’ before performing exercises, and during them, you’ll have a much healthier spine and lower back moving forward (and yes, your six-pack will reap some benefits as well). By training your core, you’ll find it easier to achieve optimal levels of performance and health, while preventing injury along the way. *Free sample programme* Try this as...

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The Iron Lady (no…not that one).

By on Jan 6, 2015 in Articles | 0 comments

Almost every female I’ve spoken to wants to ‘tone up’. Although there’s no such biological process as ‘toning up’ – there is only building muscle and burning fat – people do know what they mean when they use the phrase…they want to look more defined, and less ‘flabby’. Women can run on a treadmill all year round, but without a solid, safe and progressive program of heavy resistance training they will never get the body composition changes they desire.  Why is composition important? Read on… Weights will help you build MUSCLE. This in turn will give you that solid rear you’re after,  lose inches off your stomach and eat up excess fat that typically shows itself hanging onto your hips, thighs and arms. But I’ll get bulky if I lift weights? This is a big, fat (pun intended) MYTH! Unless you’re gifted genetically, which is rare, women do not have the hormonal potential to gain mass amounts of lean muscle tissue.  Compared to men they have much less free testosterone floating around the body (testosterone is a hormone responsible for building muscle) so there is no need to worry about looking like the hulk overnight! Men are primed to build muscle, and it takes most years to add any decent amount. It won’t happen to you by accident, or within weeks. It just won’t. Heavy resistance training will help you naturally increase your levels of growth hormone which has many benefits. It will increase fat burning, muscle growth and – get this – studies have even shown it can have anti-ageing affects. Lifting some iron ain’t sounding too bad now is it? Improve your metabolic rate Lifting weights raises your metabolism long after your workout is over. This is because lifting heavy weights strains your body so much, that it needs extra time to recover, replenish and rebuild what was used during your workout Extra pounds of muscle gained will burn extra calories each day, even at rest! So on those hard earned days off your body will be working overtime to get you the physical adaptations you want. Structural integrity Bone density, ligament + tendon strength and joint strength will all be increased by lifting heavy weights! This is especially important as...

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Great Expectations

By on Jan 1, 2015 in Articles | 0 comments

Whatever your goal, it’s important to have an idea of what is and what isn’t possible. Of course, within a certain scale, there can be some wildly differing results. This blog is intended to give you an idea of the upper and lower extremes of what you can expect while training. Fat Loss You’ve probably heard that ‘healthy weight loss is around 2lbs (1kg) a week’. Well, yes, for some people it is. It’s an average. If you’re 10 stone overweight, I’d suggest a 2lb a week loss is actually pretty poor progress. I’d be looking for 3-4lbs a week at first; much less would suggest that the diet is still poor or the activity hasn’t increased enough. You should be looking at around 2yrs to lose ten stones healthily and sustainably. Five stones can be lost in a year, with commitment. If you’re only a stone or two over, then it’s probably about right. It’s a manageable amount of weight to lose without going ridiculously hungry, or having to spend two hours a day training. There’s no reason to take longer than a year to lose two stones. However, if you’re only looking to ‘drop half a stone’ then the actual rate of loss is almost irrelevant. When you start training and eating better, SO many things change in your body that your weight is almost pointless to track. You’ll probably, at least initially, be gaining muscle at the same rate you lose excess bodyfat. To the scales, you’ll weigh the same, yet your belt or dress will be getting looser. As such, there’s no real timescale – but you should be looking distinctly better within six months of starting training. Muscle Building This is the hard part. In comparison, losing body fat is easy. Really. For men, gaining 10-15lbs (5-7kg) of LEAN (i.e muscle) mass in their first full year of hard, committed training and nutrition is not unusual. Not that common either, but not unusual. You can then pretty much half that for the second year, and same again for the third year. So, typically, a very slim 10 stone guy can expect to end up around 12.5/13stone in three years if he does exceptionally well. Transformations...

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