• Is the mass i gained from taking Creatine just water?

    Hey guys,

    Danny here, I just got asked a interesting question the other day and thought I’d write a quick piece on it.

    So for you guys who are taking the supplement creatine probably noticed that your body weight has gone up as well as your muscle look and feel more fuller, logic tells you that the weight gain is almost all water.

    That may be largely true after you first begin taking it, but even then, the increase in weight appears to be proportional to the total weight gained. Remember guys that muscle is around 75% water, so if you put on say 10 pounds from using creatine, about 7.5 pounds of that is water.

    When it comes to creatine it does cause cellular volumization and that’s an important determinant of protein breakdown and protein synthesis in skeletal muscle (and other cell types, too). Working out turns on protein synthesis while simultaneously breaking down protein, but creatine shifts the balance towards protein synthesis.

    Yes, creatine supplies an extra phosphate group to help regenerate ATP during high-intensity contractions, but cell volumization is an even more important cause of creatine’s muscle-building effect.

    Long-term use is a slightly different scenario because that’s when creatine increases fat-free mass without a concomitant increase in total body water. Muscle fiber diameter goes up, along with strength, so long-term effects appear to be caused largely by increased muscle mass.

    What Creatine Product is right?

    First of all make sure it’s from a reputable company. Remember supplements are Not FDA checked so don’t go buying supplement from so dodgy drug store or warehouse! When it comes to what type, simple creatine monohydrate is fine. Dosages wise, about 3-5 grams pre workout is good (follow the instruction on the label). One last thing remember to keep hydrated to prevent cramps or stomach issues!

    So what do you guys think? Do you guys take Creatine? If so what type? And what was your experience like, leave your interesting comments blow and lets have a discussion.

  • New Year’s Resolution Top 10 Tips On How To Do It Right

    It’s that time of the year, we done with 2016 and now we are welcoming 2017 and it is an opportunity for us to reflect on our past success and challenges. It will also be the time of year where lots of us will be making new year’s resolution and one of the biggest will be get healthy, maybe to lose weight, quit smoking or drink less – but what’s the best way to stick to it?

    Now new years resolution can be hit and miss but studies and psychologists have found we’re more likely to succeed if we break our resolution into smaller goals that are specific, measurable and time-based. So let’s go over the top 10:


    Top 10 Goal-setting tips

    1. Make only one resolution. OK guys I know there will be the temptation to want to much but you have greater chances of success when you channel energy into changing just one aspect of your behaviour.Look for internal desire/wants to drive you.
    2. External factors such as it being new years can be useful as a trigger but will fade as times goes by, this is one of the main reason that so many people fail to keep their resolution/goal. So look for the reason why you want to get healthy and it’ll drive not just for the next few weeks, but for the whole year!
    3. Avoid previous resolutions. Deciding to revisit a past resolution sets you up for frustration and disappointment, so to help you keep a positive mindset try focusing on something new .
    4. Don’t run with the crowd and go with the usual resolutions. Instead think about what you really want out of life and what is important to you.
    5. Break your goal into a series of steps, focusing on creating sub-goals that are concrete, measurable and time-based. This will help you keep focused and but achieving smaller goal will help you reward yourself and keep going to the next sub-goal.
    6. Tell your friends and family about your goals. You’re more likely to get support and want to avoid failure. But be careful, not everyone will support your goals, maybe due to their own failures they are unable to see what possible. So create a support group of other positive people and work together.
    7. To stay motivated, make a checklist of how achieving your resolution will help you. Remember having the smaller goals will help you keep track!
    8. Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a subgoal, which will help to motivate you and give you  a sense of progress. But remember rewards does not have to be a binge of food or drink, but something more positive like some new gym clothes!
    9. Make your plans and progress concrete by keeping a handwritten journal, completing a computer spreadsheet or covering a notice board with graphs or pictures. Remember visual cues can help you keep on track!
    10. Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time. Treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether. Remember success is never straight road and the ability to bounce back is keep, so keep moving forwards!

    So what do you guys think? what new years resolution will you be setting for yourself? what tips do you use to keep on track? Let us know and lets have conversation below.

  • How to Host a Healthy XMas Dinner

    Hey Guys

    So we talked about some tactics you can use to help prevent you from getting massive weight/fat gains over the X Mas holidays, now we are gonna talk about some tips for you all who will be doing the hosting/cooking for the festivities and how you can help keep it healthy, enjoyable and your guests will thank you for it!

    Cooking Methods Tips  

    Use Spray Oils

    Use Spray Oils

    OK when it comes to cooking we can’t always boil everything, for one the food tends to lose it flavour and can become quite soggy, and the last thing we want is to be suving our guest some bland and soggy food. So what can we do about it? Well this is where spray oil can be a life saver for light frying food, it’ll help keep the calorie count down, while providing the food with a nice crispness to it that we all enjoy. Which one to choose can be down to your personal preference and can depend on what your cooking, personally i use coconut oil spray since it give the food a nice nutty tasty and coconut oil is very stable at higher temperatures.

    Use A Light Fryer For The Dishes That Need To Be Deep Fried

    Use a Air fryer for the dishes that need to be Deep Fired

    So some dishes like chips, battered meats and fish will sometimes need to be deep fried, but we can work around this by investing in a air fryer. These machine a pretty handy and will usually only use about a tablespoon of oil to cook a large portion of foods that normally would need a 1 litre or more to deep fry. Yes it can got a bit to get especially if you’re looking to cook for a large group of ppl, but with their mart function and health benefits i think it some you guys should look into getting.

    Roast Rather The Fry

    Roast rather the fry

    As we mentioned some dish usually are cooked by deep frying, but another alternative to this is to oven roast your food. Again for glaze try using spray oil rather than drowning the food in oil and use lots of herbs and spices to help bring out a lovely tasty and aroma.

    Recipe Tips

    Replace sugar with natural sweeteners

    Replace sugar with natural sweeteners

    OK we all love a nice home made dessert, the amount of time and care put into them is kind of like mix of art and chemistry, however they can tend to be filled with lots of sugars in the baking process. So to help keep the levels of sugar down and to enough that no one goes into sugar shock, try replacing sugars with a natural sweetener, sweetener are much for potent the sugar so you’ll need a lot less of it and will help keep the calorie count down.

    Make sure there is plenty of veggies available for guests to snack on

    Make sure there is plenty of veggies available for guests to snack on

    OK giving your guests the option of veggies to snack on will help fill them up and provide fibre for them, this is turn will help their bodies process the more indulgent food more effectively and help stop them binge too much. It’ll will also help keep your food bill low since veggies can quite affordable and what’s not eaten can be cooked later in the weekend. So this one will help your guest waistline and your wallet! Just be careful of dips that you might offer with these since some of the can have lots calories.

    Make Your Own Dips

    Make Your Own Dips

    As mentioned above, there are lots of dips on the market and most of them will be heavily processed and be filled with “empty” calories and lot of preservatives. So one way to avoid this is to make them yourself, from humus to salsa dips, which are very easy to make and tasty even better fresh. So why not give it a try your guest will love it!

    Try Skinless Poultry Meats

    Try Skinless Poultry Meats

    OK cooking with can help the meat from drying out and does have a lot of flavour, but with that comes an increase of fat. To help keep your meats nice and healthy try cooking your meats skinless, it have a massive decrease in fat, mainly consisting of protein. To help prevent the chicken from drying out try making a nice saucy marinade to coat the poultry in when roasting. This will help the meat keep it moistness and allow the meat to absorb the flavour.

    Try Getting Lean Cuts Of Meat

    Try Getting Lean Cuts Of Meat

    When it comes to selecting your meats, try buying lean cuts of both red and white meats. In the case of red meat especially since  going for anything under 10% fat would be great. And in the case of white meat, ideally chicken breast is the leanness, but you’ll be ok with thigh to, just keep it skinless as we mentioned above.

    Drinks

    Serve Sugar Free Drinks

    Serve Sugar Free Drinks

    Of diet drinks are a bit hit and miss, some studies have shown that even though diet drink have no calories they can cause the body to increase its appetite, which can result in guest eating more food. But you have to take into account that calories from solid foods are broken down much slower than from liquid, meaning that there will be a reduce insulin pike in the blood. So as long as there is heathy food available this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

    Keep The Alcohol To A Minimum

    Keep The Alcohol To A Minimum

    OK i’m not much of an alcohol drinker, but i can understand a lot of ppl are, and as a host you want to cattier to your guest needs, so having some available to them is not going to be the end of the world, but having too much available can lead to ppl getting pissed and really missing up the festive atmosphere. Also alcohol have 7 cal per gram, so for example 1 pint of beer has around 200 cal, which is a the same as a slice of pizza or dessert! Out the to i know which i would choose. So keep drinks to a min, and really focus on creating a festive atmosphere.

    Make Tea and Coffee Available To Guest

    Make Tea and Coffee Available To Guest 

    I am a massive fan of tea, from both my Asian culture and the health benefits. Have herbal tea available will help your guest with aiding them digest their food, keeping them warm and herbal teas have shown to help suppress the appetite. When it comes to coffees, having both caffeine and decaf would be great, since later in the evening your guest might not want to much caffeine and this is where the decaf comes in handy. Again with these option provide sweeteners rather than sugar to your guest, with skimmed or semi skimmed milk to help keep the calories count down.

    Have Plenty Of Water Available To Guest

    Have Plenty Of Water Available To Guest 

    Remember to have plenty of water available for your guest to drink, this will help them keep hydrated and feel full, stopping them going over boards.  So remember water is cal free and comes straight from the tap, so FREE!

    Desserts

    Serve Smaller Portions Of Dessert

    Serve Smaller Portions Of Dessert

    OK as mentioned above if you are baking from scratch try using sweetener rather than sugar. But if you’re purchasing your desserts, try getting desserts that are already in small portion, like mini cakes. The reason being that this means each guest has a fixed about to eat, and will help stop them going over board. If you’re getting a large dessert, try cutting it up into small portion than serving rather than have your guest do it, since some may go a bit over board!!

    Serve Dessert On A Smaller Dish

    Serve Dessert On A Smaller Dish

    It science fact now that if you use smaller dishes to serve food, ppl will end up eating less, so this one is a no brainier! It help stop your guest going overboard on food and save you money to, so win win!

    So what do you think? What tactics will you be using to keep your festivities healthy yet fun? Let us know in the comments below and lets have a discussion. And HAPPY X MAS to you all!

  • 28 Science-Backed Ways to Avoid Holiday Weight and Fat Gains While Enjoying Yourself

    Ok its almost that time of year, family and friends are around, there will be a lot of food and drink available. There nothing wrong with enjoy the festivities but i’m here to make sure you don’t end up looking like Santa by the end of them. Below is a list of tips that can help you during the this time.  

    Tips for Eating and Drinking

     

    1. Try Eating before drinking and celebrating.

    Skipping breakfast or lunch in order to “save your appetite” probably isn’t the best weight-maintenance tactic since not eating until the afternoon may lead to binge eating later on So stick to a reasonably sized breakfast with plenty of protein, complex carbs and some healthy fats which will keep you fuller longer and temper the urge to binge your face later.

    2. Keep your protein in the meal.

    Like we just mentioned, protein can help maintain a healthy weight because high-protein diets are associated with greater satiety and important for healthy muscle growth. Make sure to serve up some turkey, roasted chicken, or if you’re a veggie some prepare animal-free alternatives like quinoa, lentils, or beans.

    3. Bring your own snacks and treats.

    Rather than spending all the day trying to figure out what’s in every dish at a party or avoid eating altogether, bring a healthy side dish or dessert (this is where having some protein bars on you can come in handy). So have a nibble what you want, but know you have a healthy alternative to fall back on.

    4. Eat, chew slowly and really enjoy your food.

    Eating slowly may not be easy when appetiser options are endless, but it pays off to pace yourself. The quicker we eat, the less time the body has to register fullness. So slow down and take a second to savor each bite and enjoy the food and company.

    5. Serve meals restaurant-style.

    When you sit down for the main event, leave food out of sight rather than on display a basket full of treats, snacks, and an entire turkey directly on the table. When you’ve cleaned your plate, take a breather, and then decide if you really want seconds. Changing up the environment—in this case, by leaving food near the stove—can help reduce overall food intake.

    6. Fill up on fibre.

    Snacking on vegetables like cucumber and celery with other high-fibre items like legumes can help keep us fuller, longer. Also the body responses to calories different when there is fibre present and will release energy much slower help prevent blood insulin spikes.

    7. Use smaller plates.

    Plate sizes have expanded significantly over the years. Whenever possible, choose the smaller salad plate (8-10 inches) instead of a tray-like one (12 inches or more). Using smaller plates can actually make us feel fuller with less food. The brain associates a big white space on the plate with less food (and smaller plates generally require smaller portions).

    8. Make room for (healthy) fats.

    Cutting butter and oil can slash calories , but not all fats are bad fats. We need fat in our diets to provide energy and help body functions as well as absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, plus fat helps us feel full.

    9. Avoid simple carbs such as sugar.

    Holiday cookies, cakes, white bread and pies are nothing short of tempting, but all that simple carbs will may increase your blood sugar then your insulin causing your body to store it as fat. Try your best to stick to complex carbs that comes in its natural form (fruits, veggies, and whole grains) and try enjoying small nibbles of the desserts you’re truly craving rather than loading up a full plate of bland cookies.

    10. Just say no.

    Though your relatives may encourage overeating by shoving seconds onto a cleaned plate, it’s OK to respectfully decline. “I’m full” or “I’m taking a break” should be enough for friends and family members to back off (and give you time to decide if you’d really like more).

    11. Wait before grabbing seconds.

    Like we’ve said earlier, the quicker we eat a meal, the less time we give our bodies to register fullness. Since it takes about 20 minutes for the brain to get the message that dinner’s been served, it’s best to go for a walk or chat with friends before dishing up seconds.

    12. Invest in some toss-away Tupperware.

    Before guests leave you with half-full platters of food, have some Tupperware at the ready. Load up containers for friends and family to hand out as they leave. Bonus points for getting containers that are holiday-themed or for adding a festive bow to your parting gift.

    13. Freeze it for later.

    If you end up with loads of leftovers on your kitchen counter, pack up the extras and store them in the freezer for a later date. Studies show that when food is out of sight, you’ll be less likely to reach for a second helping.

    14. Chew gum to stop you over eating.

    Studies have conflicting results on whether chewing gum will actually help curb your appetite and lead to weight loss in the long run. However, in the short-term, chewing can keep you busy when socializing or when you’re full but still eyeing a second plate of dessert.

    15. Turn your back on temptation.

    The closer we are situated to food that’s in our line of vision, the more we’ll actually consume. A simple fix? Face away from the dessert spread to listen to cues from your gut rather than your eyes.

    16. Beware of booze.

    Not only does alcohol add unnecessary calories to your diet, but getting boozy has another effect on us, too. Drinking too much in the presence of champagne, eggnog, wine, and beer can make us lose our inhibitions around food and start eating irresponsibly. Take it easy with the bubbly before you start saying things like, “Eh, what’s one more cookie?”

    17. Cave in to cravings.

    Finally, a suggestion we can all get behind. It’s smart to acknowledge a few cravings instead of pushing them away completely. Caving to a craving—as long as it’s in moderation—can curb the desire to go at it like a kid in a candy store. Forbidding a specific food or food group during the holiday season may only make it more attractive. Still want more of that apple pie after a couple of bites? Try thinking of your favourite holiday activity, like opening presents, watching Christmas movies, or playing in the snow. Research shows that daydreaming about pleasant activities or distracting yourself with just about any activity can reduce the intensity of food cravings.

    18. Choose smaller drinking cups.

    When you’ve got a hankering for some seasonal eggnog, reach for a tall, thin glass, not a short squatty one. Research shows people pour less liquid into tall glasses than into their vertically challenged counterparts. With a taller glass, you’re likely to down less in one sitting (which is especially helpful when drinking booze).

    19. Drink Plenty of water!!

    Drinking water helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories. Rather than guzzling calorie- and sugar-laden sodas and juices (which are associated with increased body fat and blood pressure) treat yourself to a glass of wine with dinner and keep your allegiance to water for the rest of the day.

    Tips for Moving and Mindset


    OK so we have gone over some eating tips, now let’s go over mindset tips that will also help!

    1. Meditate.

    Emotional eating to make ourselves feel better when we’re sad or anxious can interfere with weight loss goals. But meditation—using techniques like muscle relaxation, deep breathing, and mindfulness—can help binge eaters become aware of how they turn to food to deal with emotions. This is especially important at parties where there’s a ton of food on display.

    2. Set realistic goals.

    Come New Year’s resolution season, it’s easy to set lofty goals about weight loss (i.e. drop three dress sizes by February!). Since impractical targets can slow down long-term weight-loss, it’s important to address those goals before making any health and fitness changes. Write down your goals—keep them specific and attainable—and post them somewhere highly visible, like the refrigerator door. If your goal is “stick to two cookies at every holiday party” seeing it periodically may help you commit.

    3. Stay positive.

    Many of us demonize certain foods and even punish ourselves for indulgences. Instead, positive messages like “I can control my eating” or “I’m proud that I ate responsibly today” can re-frame our relationship with food. Research shows positive expectations are associated with weight loss. Even if it feels a little silly, try telling yourself at least one positive affirmation per day.

    4. Try to De-stress.

    The holiday season is full of cheer, but it can also be stressful keeping up with family get-togethers and paying for all those gifts. Unfortunately, a lot of stress can trigger increased eating and cravings, especially for sugary carbohydrates. If family time (or being away from family during the holidays) has you feeling overwhelmed, try out one of these ways to reduce stress before downing hot chocolate and cookies.

    5. Let go of limitations.

    No, we’re not talking about unbuttoning your pants at the dinner table. Before hitting up holiday parties, remember that a good workout isn’t limited to a gym or the track. It’s easy to use your bodyweight—even in small spaces—to work up a sweat.

    6. Rest and get plenty of Sleep.

    Though there’s likely no stopping the urge to wake up early on Christmas morning, getting enough sleep can help shave off some pounds, since sleep loss is linked to changes in appetite. Getting enough sleep has also been associated with less weight gain. Practice good sleep hygiene, like turning off electronics in the bedroom and avoiding high-fat foods at night.

    7. Partner up.

    Research suggests we perform better on aerobic tasks like running and cycling when exercising with a partner. If you’re home for the holidays, call up a friend or family member for a gym date or a home workout with our favorite partner exercises, including medicine ball lunge-to-chest passes, and clapping push-ups.

    8. Move it to lose it.

    A simple phrase for losing weight is to move more and eat less. The secret here—like we said before—is that moving doesn’t just mean hitting the track or going to the gym. Make a conscious decision to get more steps into the day by taking the stairs or parking the car far away from the grocery store entrance. Before curling up around the fire, round up family members for a hike or snowshoeing session.

    So what do you guys think? What do you use to help keep you weight in check over the holiday period and did we miss anything? let us know in the comments below and lets have discussion.

  • Beating the Winter Blues!

    It’s winter time, and you know what that means! The weather has turned to shit, both cold and wet, your energy levels have taken a dive and you find yourself socialising and going out has stopped. What this can result in is the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which affects around 2 million people in the UK and more than 12 million people across northern Europe. It can affect people of any age, including children. Meaning you not alone dealing with this which i have have also dealt with personally.

    Key symptoms:

    • depression
    • sleep problems
    • lethargy
    • overeating
    • irritability
    • feeling down and unsociable

    Below are 10 tips that i used that were recommended to me by our NHS and how to incorporate them into your winter lifestyle and get you back to feeling like you.01_1ge-travel-012-_1110514k

    1. Keep active
      “Research has shown that a daily one-hour walk in the middle of the day could be as helpful as light treatment for coping with the winter blues”.

    As i have mentioned in the past, walking is a fantastic form of steady state cardio, but if u can’t go out due to weather try jumping on your indoor cycle, putting a bit of tv on and cycle away!

    1. Get outside
      “Go outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible, especially at midday and on brighter days. Inside your home, choose pale colours that reflect light from outside, and sit near windows whenever you can.”

    Now this i found is very effective when combined with your morning cardio, since the feel of fresh air and natural sunlight can give a mental recharge! Again if u can’t get you butt out due to weather then try working/spending time near the window so u can get some natural light!

    1. Keep warm
      “If your symptoms are so bad that you can’t live a normal life, see your GP for medical help. Being cold makes you more depressed. It’s also been shown that staying warm can reduce the winter blues by half.

    Keep warm with hot drinks and hot food. Wear warm clothes and shoes, and aim to keep your home between 18C and 21C (or 64F and 70F degrees).”

    Now keeping warm will help prevent you from getting into hibernation mode (sleep mode) and help you feel more energised, what i found is very helpful is enjoy hot cup of tea (without milk to keep the calories down) throughout the day and wearing socks (keep those feet warm) and a nice comfy jumper while at home.

    1. Eat healthily
      “A healthy diet will boost your mood, give you more energy and stop you putting on weight over winter. Balance your craving for carbohydrates, such as pasta and potatoes, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.”

    Now temptation would be to eat more and eat dirty, but i’m telling you from personal experience that eating junk food while dealing with SAD will only give you short term mood boost, then when you blood sugar drop you will need to eat another junk meal resulting in a bad cycle of eating, which will result in massive fat gains (i once gained over 10kg in a 2 week!) and mood swings.

    1. See the light
      “Some people find light therapy effective for seasonal depression. One way to get light therapy at home in winter is to sit in front of a light box for up to two hours a day.
      Light boxes give out very bright light at least 10 times stronger than ordinary home and office lighting.”

    Like i mentioned before i found that exposing myself (not that kind of exposing ;)) to natural sunlight help me feel more energized, so get out if you can, if not spend some time near a window and if there is no sunlight (it being winter) then studies have shown that a dawn simulator can help to.

    1. Take up a new hobby
      “Keeping your mind active with a new interest seems to ward off symptoms of SAD, says Pavlovich. “It could be anything, such as playing bridge, singing, knitting, joining a gym, keeping a journal, or writing a blog. The important thing is that you have something to look forward to and concentrate on,”

    Ok guys, i know what you thinking, “i can just play lots of video games!” i thought the same thing to, and yes gaming can be socially thing but can also lead you to becoming quite isolating as it did with me, which made my SAD worse not better, so i tapered back my gaming and returned to training at the gym which was a massive help in dealing with my SAD since it got me out the house, keep me active and surround me with people.

    1. See your friends and family
      “It’s been shown that socialising is good for your mental health and helps ward off the winter blues. Make an effort to keep in touch with people you care about and accept any invitations you get to social events, even if you only go for a little while.”

    Now like a lot of people when winter hits, i become a bit of a hermit, spending most my time alone. Now when it comes to SAD this is not a good thing and lead to my SAD getting alot worse. This was the most challenging since my closest friends and my time tables were always different (them being family people) and the weather being crap maybe it harder to get motivated to leave the house, but this can really help with SAD since having a friend or family to talk to can help you feel not alone and be fun!   

    1. Talk it through
      “Talking treatments such as counselling, psychotherapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you cope with symptoms. See your GP for information on what’s available.”

    Now if shit has hit the fan and you feeling super low and your mental health is taking a hit then seeking professional may be needed. First of, there nothing wrong with seeking help to help dealing with SAD, I have done so in the past and it has helped me massively since when talking to a professional there are topics you can talk about that you might not be able to speak about with friends and family.    

    1. Join a support group
      “Think about joining a support group. Sharing your experience with others who know what it’s like to have SAD is very therapeutic and can make your symptoms more bearable.”

    Now joining a support group can help build your confidence back up, since you can get help and give help to real people who have gone through the same experience and being humans we always do better as part of a group.

    1. Seek help
      “If your symptoms are so bad that you can’t live a normal life, see your GP for medical help.”

    Again guys don’t be ashamed of getting help, this was my biggest hurdle, since i felt like i would waste my Gp time and thought i should “just get over it”! But after seeking help i was able to bounce back thanks to the help my GP got me. So guy, use your Gp’s that’s what they’re there for!  

    Extra helpful tips!

    1. Keep clean and groomed

    Personal hygiene is a very important to overall health and well-being, yes i been there! When you go days without showering and letting my beard and hair grow, and ending up looking like a hobo! But keeping yourself clean, shaving, trimming your body hair and nails can make you feel refreshed and feeling human.

    1. Keep your work-space and living environment Tidy

    Just like with you personal hygiene, living/working in a messy/dirty environment can make your SAD worse and leave you feeling like shit. Again i speak from personal experience here, after clean my living area up i felt much better and more on focus!

    So hopeful these tips will help you deal with SAD and the Winter blues just like they helped me, is there anything i missed? What helped you deal with Sad, leave your interesting comments below and lets have a discussions

  • 3 Types Of Strength Everyone Needs

    If you limit yourself to a single definition of strength, you’ll limit your potential! Become the ultimate version of yourself with this total approach.

    People like to talk—and brag—about strength these days as if it’s easy to define. To hear them tell it, strength is just your one-rep max number on a certain lift, or a few select lifts. For certain people, it will always be “how much ya bench” and for others, it’s going to be how many pull-ups you can do—two standards that require very different definitions of the word “strength.”

    As a strength coach, I tend to think of strength a little more strategically and break it down into types of strength. Here are the three types nearly anyone can benefit from and how to build them.

    Type 1: Core Strength

    Core strength almost sounds like a cliché at this point, but for those of us who work with athletes, it’s crucial. In fact, when it comes to finding that sweet spot of performance, safety, and quality of life, core strength is probably the most important kind of strength you can have.

    What’s the big deal? First and foremost, your core ties together your upper and lower body. It’s not uncommon to see athletes whose upper or lower bodies are brutally strong in isolation, but who fall apart when asked to perform lifts—heck, or even a yoga class—that demands they tie the two together.

    Second, core strength is critical for injury prevention. When the core is weak, humans have a natural tendency to default to a position of spinal extension—or leaning back—particularly at the low back. For many people, this precarious position is how they spend their days.

    While not the major cause of injury in and of itself, being stuck in this position makes it very likely that you’ll deal with nagging aches and pains around your knees, hips, and lower back. Learning to control extension via better core control and strength will go a long way to keeping you healthy over time.

    Last but not least, strengthening your core can take your performance to the next level. Many athletes find it’s the kind of “everything I did just got better” solution they didn’t know they were looking for. So, yeah, building a stronger core makes sense.

    But what does a “strong core” mean? More than any other muscle group, a strong core must be balanced. It must be able to resist your spine’s tendency to bend to unsafe extremes in four ways:

    • Anti-extension (to the back)
    • Anti-flexion (to the front)
    • Anti-lateral flexion (to the sides)
    • Anti-rotation (twisting)

    Training to prevent motion in each of these areas is crucial for building a strong, healthy, balanced core. And while there’s value in isolated core work, there are lifts you can incorporate into your regular workouts to build core strength where it counts. Here are my favourites for each of the fundamental directions:

    • Anti-extension: Loaded push-ups
    • Anti-flexion: Front-squat variations, deadlift variations
    • Anti-lateral flexion: Offset farmer’s carries, suitcase deadlifts
    • Anti-rotation: Single-arm dumbbell bench presses, unsupported dumbbell rows

    Type 2: Maximal Strength

    You may not aspire to be a world-class powerlifter, and that’s fine. You can just plug your 5-rep max, or a weight you can lift with perfect form 5 times, into a calculator to get an estimate of your one-rep max. Is it totally accurate? Not necessarily. But it’s good enough for pretty much all of us who aren’t competitive lifters.

    But to be clear, the fact that I’m not asking you to grind through do-or-die nosebleed singles doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be striving to put more weight on the bar over time.

    Maximal strength training is important, because it emphasizes the nervous system, not just the muscular system. When you train with heavy weights, your body is forced to become more efficient, turning the right muscles on and off in a certain sequence.

    But beyond getting stronger, maximal strength training also has a huge carryover to speed and power development for athletes. It’s common for us to start training young athletes with the most basic exercises, putting minimal emphasis on speed or power. Then, lo and behold, as the athlete gets stronger, we see a direct and immediate carryover to their speed and development as well.

    This proves the power of the nervous system. It’s great to build muscle and look good, but the nervous system is the “go” to the muscular system’s “show.”

    When training for maximal strength, your exercise selection is critical. Biceps curls and triceps kick-backs aren’t going to help you here. You need to focus on big-bang, compound lifts that allow you to put weight on the bar week after week.

    My primary four exercise variations for building strength are:

    • Squat variations (front and back)
    • Deadlift variations (sumo, conventional, or trap bar)
    • Bench presses
    • Chin-ups

    If you based your training around those four lifts for a year, with the sole goal of getting stronger at them, I guarantee you’d see huge changes not only in your strength, but also your physique

    Type 3: Explosive Strength

    What’s the first physical quality we lose as we age? Sure, you’ll lose some muscle and strength, but the first quality you lose is actually power, or the ability to move things quickly.

    While not all of us compete in sports as we age, that doesn’t mean we don’t want or need the ability to run fast, jump high, or move quickly. It ties together with the two other types of strength discussed into a coordinated, athletic package, making you the best weekend warrior you can be. 

    I’m going to oversimplify this a bit, but explosive strength can be divided into two categories:

    • Strength-speed: Moving heavy things as fast as possible
    • Speed-strength: Moving light things explosively

    Strength-speed would include exercises like the Olympic lifts, or variations of the clean and jerk or snatch. These aren’t as heavy as a maximum-effort deadlift or squat, so the bar speed is considerably faster.

    You don’t need to learn the full lifts to get the benefits. Even something as simple as a hang clean from the knees will go a long way toward making you more powerful and explosive.

    On the flip side, you’ve got speed-strength, or moving lighter implements as quickly as possible. When it comes to speed-strength, I favor med-ball throws and jumping exercises.

    Med-ball throws are fantastic, because you can perform not only total-body variations, but also variations that are specific to the upper body. It’s easy to train lower-body power, as there are so many options to choose from, but exercise selection for upper-body power can be a bit more difficult.

    Jumps are another option that works incredibly well. But don’t feel the need to jump right into max-effort vertical jumping. Start with basic progressions like low box jumps, where your only focus is on sticking the landing, and you step down gently after each rep. The box is a great tool—when used correctly—as it reduces the eccentric forces and impact, especially early on in a program.

    I can’t stress this enough: You don’t have to be a competitive athlete to enjoy the benefits of power training. Emphasise it in your program throughout the year, and I guarantee you’ll not only feel more athletic, but you’ll have fun training.

    How To Build These Types Of Strength Together

    I’m a big believer in training everything at once while keeping certain priorities at the forefront. Working in blocks of 4-6 weeks, make some strategic substitutions.

    Phase 1: Accumulation Block (Core Emphasis)

    The focus here is on building a brutally strong core and setting the stage for more strength and power development down the line. Include some basic power and strength training, but emphasize variations that challenge the core.

    For example, instead of a barbell front squat, perform a double-kettle-bell front squat. Instead of a bench press, perform a single-arm bench press. Instead of arm-supported or chest-supported dumbbell rows, I’d do unsupported dumbbell rows.

    Basically, find a way to integrate your core into all of your primary movements. This will make sure you’re building a strong, balanced core in all planes of movement.

    Wrap your session up with some isolated core training. Dead bugs, planks, and ab-wheel roll-outs are all fantastic here. Along with the strength work, this will put an emphasis on building your core in three dimensions rather than just focusing on either the posterior or anterior core.

    Phase 2: Maximal Strength Block (Strength Emphasis)

    Here the major goal is simple: To get stronger. On your power training, you might make some micro progressions to make the exercises more intense. Same goes for your core training exercises: Challenge yourself and make them a bit harder. But the real emphasis in this training block would be to get as strong as possible.

    While I love unilateral variations , the goal here is more likely to put both feet on the floor, both hands on the bar, and move as much weight as you can with rock-solid technique on big lifts.

    Whether it’s the front squat, back squat, deadlift, bench press, or weighted chin-up, make it a goal to add some weight to the bar each and every week.

    Phase 3: Realization Block (Explosive-Strength Emphasis)

    This is where things get fun. You’ve built a brutally strong, balanced core. You’ve gotten stronger and primed your nervous system in the process. Now it’s time to convert that strength to raw power.

    The emphasis on this block should be speed and explosiveness. Run. Jump. Sprint. Throw medicine balls. Work on the Olympic lifts. Anything you can do that’s fast and explosive will work here.

    Put your maximum strength and core training on the back burner. Maintain them, but don’t think about pushing the envelope. Once you complete a training block like this, chances are you’ll feel more athletic than you have in years.

    The great thing about these three types of strength is the way they feed into one another. For instance, you’re not emphasising core or max strength in Phase 3, but when you return to those goals in the future, don’t be surprised if you’ve improved there. You’re a more well-rounded, complete athlete now. Get ready to surprise yourself!

    So what do you guys think? What dose strength mean to you and what have you tried to increase your strength, leave your interesting comments below and lets have discussion.

  • Top 5 Halloween Treats For Fitness Enthusiast

    Don’t fall into the Halloween-treat trap! Stay out of the candy bowl and try these 5 recipes. They’re seasonal and fun, but they also have the extra bonus of being healthy-diet friendly!

    It’s not hard to pack on an extra 10 pounds during the fall and holiday season. Halloween candy, Thanksgiving stuffing, Christmas mashed potatoes, and bottles of wine aren’t exactly the right ingredients for a shredded six-pack. And once you start—”Another Twix? Don’t mind if I do?”—it’s easy to shrug off your diet plans and settle into an “I’ll start up after the holidays” mindset.

    With this in mind, those who are careful about what they eat can feel more anxious than excited about October, November, and December. Fortunately, with the right tweaks to traditional treats, you can still enjoy seasonal food.

    These fun Halloween recipes will bring back childhood memories without the haunting guilt of added sugar and saturated fat. Bring them to a party, make them for your kids, or just enjoy them on your own. Either way, these recipes will certainly put you in the Halloween spirit!

    1. Pudding Parfaits

    At this time of year, trying to forgo your cravings for chocolate may feel like mission impossible. Instead of stealing candy from your kids, whip up this low-calorie pudding as a chocolatey snack.

    Ingredients

    • Chocolate pudding powder 1 scoop
    • Skim Milk 2 cups
    • Cookies and cream protein powder 1 scoop
    • Light whipped topping 1 cup
    • Orange Juice 1/4 cup

    Directions

    1. Beat together skim milk and pudding powder.
    2. Once mixed, beat in protein powder.
    3. When mixed, place in separate serving dishes.
    4. In a separate bowl, combine whipped topping and orange juice.
    5. Once fully mixed, spoon on top of each pudding serving.
    6. Serve.

    Nutrition Facts

    • Calories 211.4
    • Total Fat 4.65g
    • Total Carbs 28g
    • Protein 12.8g

    2. Cheesy Pumpkins

    This creamy snack is perfect for a Halloween party. Feel free to get creative with your pumpkins!

    Ingredients

    • Fat free Cream cheese 8 oz
    • Low-fat cheddar cheese 1/4 cup shredded
    • Pretzel sticks 10
    • Whole grain crackers 10 whole

    Directions

    1. Heat cream cheese at medium heat until cheddar cheese has melted.
    2. Place cheese in fridge and cool for at least one hour.
    3. Once cool, form cheese into small balls and place on top of crackers.
    4. With a toothpick, draw lines from top to bottom of the cheese balls to create grooves like a pumpkin has.
    5. Stick half a pretzel stick on the top of the cheese balls to create the stem.
    6. Place in fridge until ready to serve.

    Nutrition Facts

    • Calories 78.6
    • Total Fat 1.54g
    • Total Carbs 5.57g
    • Protein 8.25g

    3. Pumpkin Carrot Muffins

    The pumpkin flavor gives these muffins the feel of the season, but the low-cal ingredients deliver solid nutrition. They’re a great addition to Halloween festivities.

    Ingredients

    • Almond flour 1 cup
    • oat flour 3/4 cup
    • Baking powder 2 tsp
    • Ground Cinnamon 1 tsp
    • Pumpkin spice 1/4 tsp
    • Whole egg 1
    • Agave syrup 1/4 cup
    • Pumpkin cooked 1/2 cup
    • Carrots cooked 1/2 cup
    • Raisins 1/4 cup
    • Skim Milk 1/2 cup
    • Coconut oil 1/3 cup

    Directions

    1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
    2. Combine flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice.
    3. In another bowl, mix egg, agave syrup, milk, raisins, and coconut oil.
    4. Purée carrots and pumpkin together and then combine with wet ingredients.
    5. Mix wet and dry ingredients and then pour batter into a non-stick muffin tin.
    6. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
    7. If desired, top muffins with fat-free cream cheese.

    Nutrition Facts

    • Calories 182
    • Total Fat 5.6g
    • Total Carbs 17.34g
    • Protein 4.7g

    4. Carrot Eyes

    Need a low-cal, spooky treat? Try these carrot eyes. They only take a few minutes, but everyone will love them.

    Ingredients

    • Carrot sticks 3 large wide
    • Greek yogurt 1/2 cup
    • dried cranberries 20

    Directions

    1. Peel carrots and cut them into inch-thick slices.
    2. Top each carrot with a spoonful of Greek yogurt.
    3. Place two dried cranberries on top of the yogurt to form eyes.
    4. If preferred, use olives instead of cranberries.

    Nutrition Facts

    • Calories 32
    • Total Fat 40mg
    • Total Carbs 4g
    • Protein 3.7g

    5. Banana Coconut Ghosts

    They’re better for you than ice cream and they taste just as good! This ghostly treat will please kids and adults alike.

    Ingredients

    • Large Bananas 2 ripe
    • Dried unsweetened coconut 1/4 cup
    • Coconut oil 1 tbsp
    • Grapes sliced in quarters 4
    • cranberries 8
    • Popsicle sticks 4

    Directions

    1. Peel bananas and cut into halves.
    2. Stick Popsicle stick or toothpick into flat end of banana and place in freezer until firm.
    3. Once firm, roll bananas in coconut oil and then roll in dried coconut flakes.
    4. Lay coated bananas on a plate and use quartered grapes for the eyes and cranberries for the mouth.
    5. Serve immediately

    Nutrition Facts

    • Calories 159.5
    • Total Fat 10.5g
    • Total Carbs 18g
    • Protein 1.25g
  • Dealing with Injury when Training

    Hey guys,

    Here a quick video on how to deal with an injury that you might get when training and what to do.

    11

    Don’t panic and get Stressed!!

    Okay! I get it! You have been doing your stretch and your warm up but still its happened your injured! First thing u need to do is stop training and get out of the gym! The last thing you want to is make it worse! So take a moment to calm yourself, since stress will make your body release cortisol which will run havoc on your body system! Its not the end of the world and you will recovery, remember fitness is not a sprint it’s a marathon!

    10Seek Medical care!

    Depending on the severity of your injury you might need to seek medical help, if so get help, don’t let you ego or pride stop you getting the help you need, there is no shame in getting help! Dr’s are there for a reason, so use them!

    9Analysis

    So first we need to analysis what the issue is so ask yourself, “What were you doing when you hurt it?” and, “Can you show me specifically which movements cause pain?”  10Get Real
    Take a moment and understand that we are not pro athletes and tomorrow is not the Olympics. When you are injured, your priority is dealing with your injury, or at the very least, not worsening it. If you are questioning whether or not you should be at the gym – GO HOME!!!


    11Focus On Recovery
    Use your time at home to work your recovery. Recovery does not mean sitting still. It could mean using a foam roller and a lacrosse ball to work out muscle spasms or adhesions. It could mean icing for 10-20 minutes at the top of every hour. It could mean visiting your chiropractor, massage therapist or yoga instructor. It could mean visiting your doctor and having diagnostic tests run. It does mean, without a doubt, listening to your body and being nice to it.

    12Be Reasonable
    If you choose to stay at the gym and work around your injury, then really work around it and make sure your coach is aware of the situation. Do not do things that only “hurt a little.” If it hurts, stop doing it. If you are hurting it, you are not healing it. Yes, it might feel better once you get going into the workout, but that has more to do with endorphin’s and than it does with whether or not you are causing damage and preventing healing. This does not mean you cannot move around at all, but do not do things that cause pain.
    13Don’t Create Other Injuries
    If you are dealing with an injury requiring a long healing period, a shoulder injury for example, be careful you do not cause other injuries or imbalances in your training. If your left shoulder is hurt and you spend three months only working your right arm and right shoulder, you are setting yourself up for future problems. It is not just your arms, but your back, hips, and legs that will be affected by this constant unbalanced unilateral movement. In this scenario, you are better off focusing on lower body and core exercises, but be careful!!.

    14There Is No Quick Fix
    As with most things in life, we are in a hurry to get to the next step and injury recovery is no different. Beware of the quick fix. I have had clients come to me saying their doctor wanted to give them a cortisone shot. Unless you are playing the Super Bowl tomorrow, there is no reason for you to get a cortisone shot. In my experience it only allows you to train through the pain and worsen the injury. Likewise, beware of painkillers in general. If you want to take something, double or triple your fish oil and deal with the inflammation aspect of your injury.15If It Hurts, Stop. It’s Just Not Worth It.
    This one is worth repeating. For the vast majority of us, we work out for fun or because we are committed to a certain level of health. We are not professional athletes, nor for the most part even competitive amateur athletes. Our priorities in our lives are different from a pro-athlete and therefore our priorities in the gym should be also.

    Take the time necessary to heal properly; it will serve you in both your performance and your quality of life for years to come. So what do you think? Did i miss something, Leave your interesting comments below and let’s have a discussion!

  • How To Start Your Fitness Journey

    Hi Guys

    Today I’m gonna talk about how you can start your Epic Fitness Journey!

    So you have got to the point when you have decided that you need a change and just like starting a new game we all gotta start somewhere.

    So let go over some simple points that will help you achieve a new healthy life:

    So hopefully these tips will help you start your fitness and have a successful journey and come healthy! Is there anything i missed, what do you guys think? Leave your interesting comments below and let’s have a discussion.

    The Trigger! So what do i mean by this? What i mean is an event or a feeling that forced to release the truth, that you need to make a change. This can one thing or mixture of things and doesn’t always have to be the most noble reason, such as it might be that your looking to attract someone from the opposite gender or maybe you want to be a role model for family or friends.

    Keep it simple! Starting your journey doesn’t always mean you have to make massive changes or drop everything you’re doing! Start of with simple changes, like changing out your sugar filled drinks with the diet versions (zero cal), your sweet for fresh fruit. Try making your food rather than getting take away (a takeaway once in awhile is not a bad thing but home cooked will always be best). Have fun with your food and try to keep it fresh 🙂

    Define your goals. This is another important step, the reason being that there is a shit load of information out there in regards to fitness so it can be hard to find the right info with regards to your goals. For example losing fat mean taking a different approach then putting on muscle. So start by writing down what you want from this journey, from there you will have a better chance of getting the right information you need.

    Get Moving! Getting our butts moving will be the key thing in start our fitness journey. But it doesn’t mean you have to run to the local gym and buy a years membership! Just start with something simple like get off the bus one stop early and walking the rest or using the stairs instead of the lift. Simple thing like this can be incorporated into your day very easily and a great way to start burning some calories!

    TUNES!!! Music can be a life saver when it comes to keeping active, no supplement can compete with an awesome track playing on your headphones, so load up your mp3 player or mobile with some tunes to help pass the time when your walking. Here a list of some of my music i listen to.

    Money and Budget!! Like anything we do it’s a good idea to keep some cash saved for any your journey, this will help with things like food bills or any clothing you might need, so just like pre-ordering a game  make sure you have some cash saved up to help out.

    Build a Support Network!! Going alone on this journey can be done, but honestly it will be tougher in most aspect and easier in some. Having a support network can be like have an extra life or a co op partner when times get tough, and you need that extra help. This can be a friend or family, but make sure that they are someone you can rely on and won’t sabotage your progress, So be selective!!

    My Journey

    My Jounery and How i did it!

    To find out how I was able to have successful transformation and what i did from training to food plan, click below

    So what do you think? Whats your reason for starting your journey? Did i miss something, Leave your interesting comments below and let’s have a discussion!

  • Whats are Fats?

    Fats

    So We have covered Protein and Carbs, in our other videos, now its time to cover fats? cos what are fats?

    What are Fats, like protein you hear this term being used a lot, from diet fabs warning fats are the world’s problem to other telling us to eat more.  But what are fats?

    Fats are our second macro, just like protein fats are essential to the body’s function, since the body is unable to produce them on its own and requires us to obtain them from our nutrition.

    Fats are involved with the body neurological, hormonal and organ functions.

    In the past Fats were seen as the main cause and effect of obesity and people were told to keep clear, but developments is nutritional science have shown this not to be the case. Findings showed that fats are broken down in to different groups depending on their structure, with some showing positive effect on the body and some being negative.

    There are two types of “good” unsaturated fats:

    Monounsaturated Fat.

    monounsaturated fatThis is a type of fat found in a variety of foods and oils. Studies show that eating foods rich in monounsaturated fats improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease, also benefiting insulin levels and blood sugar control, for people with type 2 diabetes. When combined with saturated fats, monounsaturated fats have been found to promote healthy testosterone levels. They also function as an energy source during workout sessions. Peanut butter is a terrific source of monounsaturated fat.

    Monounsaturated fats are found in high concentrations in:

    • Olive, and canola oils
    • Avocados
    • Nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and pecans
    • Seeds such as pumpkin and sesame seeds

    monounsaturated-fat-food

    Polyunsaturated Fat.

    polyunsaturated-fatThis is a type of fat found mostly in plant-based foods and oils. Evidence shows that eating foods rich in polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. PUFAs may also help decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes. .

    Polyunsaturated fats are found in high concentrations in

    • Sunflower, corn, soybean, and flaxseed oils
    • Walnuts
    • Flax seeds
    • Fish
    • Canola oil – though higher in monounsaturated fat, it’s also a good source of polyunsaturated fat.

    1302548053polyunsaturated-fats

    Omega-3 Fatty Acids.

    omega-3-and-omega-6-fatty-acids

    One type of polyunsaturated fat and are essential because your body can’t produce them on its own. Omega fats have shown to be beneficial to your heart, and appears to decrease the risk of coronary artery disease, protect against irregular heartbeats and help lower blood pressure levels.

    Now in fitness the omega fats have been shown to turn on genes that increase fat burning and reduce gene activation of our body’s fat storage mechanisms.  There are plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids. However, the body doesn’t convert it and use it as well as omega-3 from fish.

    Sources of omega-3 fats include:

    • Salmon,
    • Sardines
    • Flax seeds,
    • Walnuts,
    • Canola or soybean oil

    omega-3-foods

    Saturated Fat.

    saturated-fat

    This is a type of fat that comes mainly from animal sources of food, such as red meat, poultry and full-fat dairy products. Saturated fat raises total blood cholesterol levels and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. However there is research that shows that Saturated fat can promotes healthy testosterone levels and is especially important to men.

    Good sources of saturated fat is

    • Egg yolks

    Foods rich in protein, including cheese, eggs, fish, lamb, beefNow let’s cover the fat that should be avoided.

    Trans fat.

    trans-fatThis is a type of fat that occurs naturally in some foods in small amounts. But most Tran’s fats are made from oils that are altered in the lab by a process called partial hydrogenation. By partially hydrogenating oils, they become easier to cook with and less likely to spoil than do naturally occurring oils.

     

    Research studies show that these partially hydrogenated Trans fats can increase unhealthy LDL cholesterol and lower healthy high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. This can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

    trans-fats-2

     

    The problem with fats can be that they are calorie denies, with 1 gram of fat = 9 calories, so it easy to eat over your recommended daily amount. So how much fat should you be eating? For an active person I would recommend 0.5 grams per pound of body weight.

    So know you have a better understanding, is there anything I missed? Feel free to leave comments bellows, and like always for more great videos don’t forget to like and subscribe.