Personal trainer in Nottingham

Posts made in March, 2016

Fat to lean to strong…

By on Mar 15, 2016 in Articles |

Contributed by Tim Wheatcroft   This blog is a little bit about what I’ve done since my previous article on my own physical transformation. My experience at the BDFPA National Full Power championships overall was a very, very pleasing one. Check out my video montage of the day: I managed a 175kg squat, 127.5kg (PB) bench press and a 205kg deadlift (PB). I was obviously very pleased with the 2 PB’s, but slightly disappointed with the squat. Compared to my first powerlifting competition just 6 weeks earlier, the Nationals were a whole different level. There were some serious seasoned lifters who were of far greater strength than me, physically and mentally. It was a very daunting experience but one that has made me realise where I need to improve in future years to be at a competitive level. On days like the one I had, you need to be as mentally tough as you are physically strong. The day started at 7am with a weigh-in. Making weight is something that is still fairly new to me so while I was by no means totally restricted on calories through the peaking phase, in the lead up to the competition I was still low on carbs and eating less the than I usually would. This made the week before slightly stressful along with work and life’s well timed distractions. After 7am I had almost a 9 hour wait until I started lifting. The event had a record amount of competitors, which was mainly females on the day I lifted, so proceedings for my weight category did not start until 4pm. A day of sitting around in a cold gym in a singlet stuffing my face probably wasn’t ideal to go and lift at my best. Bear in my mind that I had only competed in my first regional competition 6 weeks prior to the Nationals (for those in unfamiliar with powerlifting or strength programming most competitors go through a ‘peaking phase’ of some form 10-12 weeks prior to a powerlifting meet). I did 10 weeks prep for my first comp, and it was very tough physically while also keeping the weight in check. To follow that comp with an intensification phase for the 6 weeks...

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I Don’t Like Rugby

By on Mar 11, 2016 in Articles |

I have a confession to make: I don’t like rugby.     I’ve tried and tried, but I just can’t do it. Now, this doesn’t make sense. I like team sports. I like physical sports, I like contact and *ahem* controlled violence. I even like close contact with another man’s pelvic area….well, maybe that’s a step too far. More seriously though, rugby ticks every box. I should like it. So why don’t I? Well, at school I was good at it. Really good. And quite small for my age, so I played hooker. For those that don’t know, that’s the guy in the middle of the scrum that gets destroyed every time the props don’t do their job properly. I was coerced, because forced is a strong word, into playing every week for my school. And I hated it. I loved tennis and football, but I wasn’t good enough at the latter and hadn’t yet got good enough at tennis to play in those teams. I did eventually, but initially, it was decided that rugby was my area.     So, I think that’s why I don’t like the game now. Why the long-winded post? Well, I always see clients – and people on Facebook/Twitter etc – saying they hate sport because they were ‘made to do it at school’. Now I get that, completely. But what I DON’T get is the deliberate self-sabotage that carries on into adult life – “I hated sport at school so I’m deliberately going to never do any exercise ever because it scarred me”. Sorry, that’s a bollocks excuse. Just an excuse to be lazy. If you extrapolated that attitude, you’d never add up anything in later life because you hated maths, or you’d remain mute because you didn’t like your English teacher, or pour potassium on the soil to make worms come up (well, maybe the last one is a poor example). Hating sport at school is not a reason to not develop those skills in later life. You just need to try a few things and see where you ‘fit’. I have several clients who just will never get into team sports because they aren’t motivated enough, aren’t good enough, or...

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Chin Ups – Upper Body Squats

By on Mar 7, 2016 in Articles |

Contributed by Tim Wheatcroft   Strength training is becoming ‘bigger’ in fitness now. People are realising the benefits, and it is great to see. You will see the RWF trainers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter posting a lot of videos of squats, benching and deadlifts as we’re training to ultimately increase strength in these. Part of increasing strength in the Big Three, is using other ‘assistance’ exercises which help contribute to overall strength. These exercises can be applied to general fitness, increasing muscle mass – and  weight loss. One of the best exercises to do outside of the big three movements is another compound movement – the chin up. Chin Ups vs Pull Ups The difference between chin ups and pull ups is mainly the type of grip and the joint action at the shoulder. Chin ups use an underhand grip where your palms point inwards so that they are facing you. Pull ups use an overhand grip where your palms point outwards so that they are facing away from you. Both chin and pull ups primarily target the back muscles like the middle and lower traps, rhomboids and the biceps are also heavily involved, the way they do it is slightly different. In chin ups, the biceps work a little harder. In pull ups the lats are stretched slightly more, leading to that ‘lat ache’ the next day, but the biceps don’t get to work quite as hard. Chin ups use shoulder extension, where the elbows come down and back from in front of you. Pull ups typically use shoulder adduction, where the elbows come down and back from the sides Pull ups are a little typically a bit harder for most, so start with chins and once you’re capable of doing a few sets of them, pulls are a nice alternative. You’ll always shift more weight with chin ups though, so from a muscle building point of view, they’re more effective in most circumstances. Sick of crunches, sit ups and boring ab exercises that get you nowhere? Brett Contreas (a well known evidence backed coach in America) said “I was shocked to find that the bodyweight chin-up led to the highest levels of lower rectus abdominis activation. It surpassed every ab exercise imaginable – even...

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RWF at the BDFPA National Full Power Championships

By on Mar 4, 2016 in Articles |

Last weekend, RWF took three lifters down to the BDFPA National Full Power Championships, held at Motiv8 Gym in King’s Lynn (if you’re in the area, go take a look. Lifting paradise!).     Derran was competing in the Open u90kg, Tim in the Open u82.5kg, and Charlie in the Open u63kgs. The venue was excellent; a nicely set up gym with a great warm-up area and a separate room entirely for the actual competition lifts. It made a nice change to be lifting in a room without the distractions of the warm-ups in the background…every little helps when you’re on the platform! The refereeing standard was incredibly strict – as you’d expect at a National level competition – and it was pretty nerve-wracking to watch many lifters failing their opening attempts (some down to poor opening lift selection, some down to nerves). I think it’s safe to say that if you have any doubts at all about your squat depth, you need to eradicate that before competing at a National event. I (Derran) finished with a 207.5kg squat, a 145kg bench press, and a 210kg deadlift. Those were all competition PBs, meaning I also got a new PB on my total, up 12.5kg to 562.5kg. I was really happy to only fail one lift (an ambitious 220kg deadlift; any of you who follow me on social media will be bored to tears by my deadlift struggles). All the other 8 lifts I had three white lights on, meaning they were pretty much perfect lifts on the day. Getting a better total than I’d expected meant I finished higher than I had thought possible – I came in 8th out of 16, well ahead of the 12/13th I’d been targeting. Being the oldest guy in the Open class by a couple of years makes it a nice achievement too. Next year, I’ll be 40 and in the M1 (Masters) class. The next competition for me is likely to be a qualifier for next year’s Nationals, probably around September 2016. I’ll be expecting a top 3 finish in the M1 class next year. And a vastly improved deadlift! Video of the slowest 207.5kg squat you’ll ever see: (You can...

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From Treadmill to Bikini to Powerlifter!

By on Mar 2, 2016 in Articles |

This is a guest post from Charlotte Hughes (Instagram here), who’s gone from treadmill-and-bodypump, to standing on stage in the UKBFF Bikini Class, to competing at the BDFPA Powerlifting National Championships in the space of just 4 years. And so the journey begins I took 2nd. My first ever Powerlifting competition and I came in 2nd position. This was a triumph for me! Having competed in UKBFF Bikini class only months previously, where the entire focus is on conditioning and how defined your abs are, transitioning to a competition that is judged on a “do or don’t” basis, rather than a subjective opinion, was an alien yet refreshing concept for me! I entered the BDFPA East Midland Championship in September 2015 with my coach (and questionably better half!) Derran Langston. This was a qualifying event for the British Finals which would take place in February 2016. Stepping on to that platform for the first time was a daunting yet exhilarating experience! Adrenaline was pumping and I bagged myself a 277.5kg total (Squat 90kg, Bench 57.5kg, Deadlift 130kg). This put me in 2nd place in the 63kg category, and I left that day with an invite to the British and a VERY big smile on my face! Game on The real preparation for the British started about 6 weeks ahead of the event. Following a rather gluttonous Christmas, I still had 3kg to drop, just four weeks out. I tweaked my macros, keeping my carbs around the 100g mark. Come the end of January, my daily calorie intake was still a reasonable 1,700kcals a day. My weight became stubborn! The digits on the scales refused to budge so come mid-February, I was consuming 1,500 per day, weighing in at around 64.5kg. Training had changed focus by this point. I dropped out any accessory work to focus solely on the three lifts. I followed a programme called Smolov which introduces sequenced rep ranges (usually over a 13 week period), ultimately to add to your 1 rep max. Because I wasn’t pushing to hit PBs each training session, I hadn’t realised how much improvement this programme was actually making to strength! Exercise form is the most important aspect of powerlifting. Regardless of how strong...

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