Personal trainer in Nottingham

Posts made in January, 2016

How to screw up a PL meet…

By on Jan 18, 2016 in Articles |

Well, after the roaring success of my first meet last September in which I qualified for the BDFPA nationals, I had a second meet yesterday – the West Midlands last-minute qualifier. It wasn’t a competition I needed to do, but the idea was to get some more experience before going to the Nationals. Well, I definitely got some more experience. Just not quite the kind I was after! Basically, I bombed. Let me get my excuses in to protect my ego: I’d had a cold all week, I have a hip niggle, I have bicep strain, and I hadn’t even tried to peak for the competition. I’d also dieted fairly hard into it, coming off the back of Xmas, to get under 90kg. There were also a couple of weird spotter issues on the bench. BUT. None of those things really should have led to me missing all my benches. I squatted 190 and 200 easily, then did something I’ve never done in 8 years of squatting – I picked the bar up for a 210…off-centre! How?! I have no idea. That totally threw me, and even though they kindly allowed a re-rack and re-start, it had thrown me off completely. I proceeded to fail a lift I’d got comfortably just 10 days prior. Bench came, and not only did I initially forget to take the wrist straps off my thumbs, but I apparently didn’t wait for the spotters to completely pass the weight (we only had side spotters, no-one to hand off the bar above you) before I started. So although my initial 135kg bench was comfortable, it was a no lift. In reality, neither spotter ever made it clear it was ‘my bar’, something that was very clear at the last comp. Variation is fine – now I know never to take it for granted. With this in my head, I now failed 140kg on my second lift – a pretty comfortable gym 95% effort for me. I know that if I fail a lift once, I never get it on a second attempt – so I bombed out of bench with no lifts…and no point carrying on to deadlift not being able to set a total. So as...

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When do YOU train?

By on Jan 6, 2016 in Articles |

The online fitness community often likes to brag about training at frankly hideous times of day. And we get it: there IS a certain smugness to having gone for a run, or done a hard leg session, before most people are out of bed. Often though, people are made to feel less adequate because they train at normal times of day. I’ve trained at 6am when I had a normal 9-5 job, trained at lunchtimes when that job allowed me to have an extended lunch break, and trained with the Great Unwashed at 6pm after work in busy commercial gyms. These days, I train when I can – usually I get my preferred time of around 2pm, but sometimes it’s 9.30am (which I hate – I don’t train well in the morning) and often it’s 9pm after a 12hr day…when the 6am club are getting ready for bed. Who cares? It’s the same session, whatever time of day it’s done. My ideal time to train is on a Saturday lunchtime, when I know I’ve got the afternoon free to do nothing but eat, maybe go for a pint and catch a movie in the evening. But life is rarely ideal… From a practical point of view, train when you can. If you need to get in 4 sessions a week, just do them when it fits. There is NO optimal time for training. Ignore the gurus. They’re talking crap. You will not get distinctly better or worse results training at 10pm than you will at 6am. What’s important is that it gets done, simple as that. From experience, I would say that if you struggle with keeping your appetite in check and/or don’t have great willpower, that morning training before a 9-5 office job can be a killer. Training in the early morning will almost always make you crave more calories than you actually need. Many of our clients that train in the evenings find it far easier to manage their appetite than those who train first thing. Early morning spin classes are an absolute bugger for this: they burn off maybe 400kcals, but leave you starving all day, meaning most people without a solid handle on their nutrition...

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Those b*****d scales…

By on Jan 5, 2016 in Articles |

This time of year, everyone’s on a diet. Even the ones who aren’t, are out to lose that little extra they put on from a diet consisting of leftovers and excess wine since Xmas Day. So how do most people measure that progress? Usually, the first port of call is the bathroom scales. Never be scared of the scales. All they give you is data, that’s it – try to learn to take the numbers as information, not emotional blackmail! If you KNOW you’ve done everything right, the scales are largely irrelevant (especially if you’re female, with all those hormones fluctuations that guys don’t have to worry about!). For women, your body ‘weight’ will fluctuate during the month because of that, so don’t worry when it does. We’re after a consistent downward *trend*, not a lower weight every single time you step on. The fact is, weight loss is not, never has been, and never will be, a linear process. It’ll look more like a descending share price graph – an overall downward trend, but occasionally, inexplicably, it’ll jump up. It’s totally irrelevant as long as you weigh significantly less at the end of a month, than you did at the start. Also, the first rush of weight loss on a new programme is usually down to slightly dropping carbohydrate content, which is often a by-product of any diet. Carbo*hydrate* (clue is in the name!) helps to retain fluid in the body – less carbs, less fluid retained = weight loss. It’s not fat though, it’s water. So, it doesn’t count – we’re after losing body fat, not water. There is no way, unless you are genuinely obese, that you can lose 5lb of *fat* in a week. No way. Just won’t ever happen. That’s roughly 10,000kcals of stored energy. Even if the average person with a stone or two to lose didn’t eat a thing for 5 days, they still wouldn’t lose that amount of FAT (muscle, water etc , maybe – but not fat). A big problem is diet “coaches” and WeightWatchers etc knowing nothing about how the body actually works, and making you feel bad for not losing 5lb a week long term. If it were possible to lose that amount of fat...

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