I used to binge on food. I’d stick to a diet all week and then have a “cheat meal” at the weekend, which would turn into a cheat day, or even a cheat weekend. Then I’d “start again” on Monday. Sound familiar?
HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is extremely popular these days, so should you be doing it? In this article I’m going to look at the pros and cons of HIIT so that you can decide whether or not to include it as part of your exercise regime, as well as giving you a couple of routines to try at home if you think it could be for you.
Sometimes when the gym is really busy, it can be hard to try and get an effective workout in. When all the equipment is being used it can be hard to do what you need to do, meaning you end up having to do a workout that is ineffective, or worse still, just leave the gym because it’s so frustrating!
When this happens, I like to give my clients this routine, as it means they can get the workout they need. It’s a really effective fat loss routine (when combined with an appropriate nutritional plan) that will really challenge you.
Do you struggle with eating breakfast in the morning? Perhaps you don’t always have time to make it, or maybe you just can’t bring yourself to eat a breakfast high in protein? In this article I give you my 3 favourite breakfast smoothie recipes that are not only packed with protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, but are also extremely quick to make.
Do you really struggle to lose body fat? In this article I’m going to discuss 7 reasons why you may not be losing weight, as well as telling you how to fix them!
The German Body Comp system is a fat loss workout invented by world-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin. I learnt the system many years ago and have used it to great effect on countless personal training clients who are looking to get in shape quickly. Over the years I have tweaked the formula slightly to suit my own client base, but have always kept the basic principles the same.
Being organised and prepping your food in advance is essential to getting in shape and eating healthier. But for many people, the idea of batch cooking can seem daunting. If you struggle to organise yourself well enough to prep your meals, then this article will show you how easy it is to start taking control in the kitchen.
We’re midway through December, Christmas parties are in full swing, and you are probably already a little sick of minced pies and festive cocktails. You’ve already got one eye on January, in the back of your mind you can’t wait to have a sober month and eat some vegetables.
But when January comes what’s the plan? Are you going to turn up at the gym that you joined at the start of the year and have never been to and simply wing it? Or are you going to follow a set plan?
When it comes to fat loss, there are certain things we can implement that are very effective and others that may be less effective. When time is limited and we need to ensure we are getting the best results possible there is a hierarchy of fat loss to follow. Certain things have to take precedence over others.
It doesn’t matter whether they are male or female, young or old, a huge percentage of my personal training clients come to see me because they want to lose belly fat. This might not necessarily be because they want abs they could wash their clothes on, especially as in this day and age they probably have a washing machine, it is simply because they need to lose a little bit of the podge after too many months over indulging.
I could give a training plan to 100 different people and it will be executed in 100 different ways. Some will get great results from the program whilst some may not. The key to success often lies in how you go about what you do, rather than the actual specifics of a program.
One of the most common things I hear from new personal training clients, is that they have poor energy levels and find it hard to train effectively or even concentrate all day at work. If you lead a busy life, it is very easy for things to catch up with you and before you know it you’re dead on your feet and running off adrenaline. From a health perspective, this is a nightmare. With this in mind I thought I’d give you all 3 of my favourite tips for improving energy, which will lead to better productivity and better results in the gym.
“But I don’t want to get too big, will weight training make me bulky?” and “Will I look like a bodybuilder if I use weights?”
Two questions I and every other Personal Trainer will have heard an innumerable amount of times. The female form has an indoctrinated view that lifting weights will make you big and bulky, at least, that used to be the case.
If you want great abs or even anything that vaguely resembles a flat stomach, then performing endless sets of ab specific exercises such as crunches are ab-solutely (pun very much intended) useless.
In this article I address what I feel are the main reasons why even the most motivated females can struggle to get the results they desire from their training.
Using super sets and tri-sets are two methods I use with my personal training clients to stimulate a lot of lactic acid and therefore growth hormone, which is a pre-cursor to dropping body fat.
For fat loss, I love using finishers with my personal training clients at the end of a session. When used effectively, finishers will be a lactic acid and growth hormone inducing way to complete a training session and ensure that your body is in a great position to shed body fat. With that in mind allow me to introduce The Minute Rule.
If there is one thing we don’t do enough these days, it’s sleep. On average our sleep has dropped by around 1.5 hours per day from 8 hours to around 6.5 hours, so how does this effect fat loss?
So the Christmas and New Year period is out of the way and we have all eased ourselves back into work and some semblance of normality. For the majority of us, the most exercise we will have done over the holidays is struggle to get a tin of Quality Street open. We’ve eaten and drunk everything in sight and as a result we feel fat, lethargic and in need of kick starting our body back into life.
In this new series I will be discussing exactly what it takes to change your body considerably and get into the best shape of your life.
One of the main benefits of personal training is that your program is designed in advance with your goals in mind, ensuring optimal results.
Dysfuntions caused by chronic calorie deficit diets.
In this article I address some Common dysfunctions caused by chronic caloric insufficiency.
Dealing with personal barriers is a key part of personal training. What barriers are you creating that are preventing your success?
Goal setting is one of the 1st steps we'll take in your personal training experience. Those that have clear, defined goals will always get better results than those that do not. If you do not have a clear idea of where you want to get to, how do you know which path to take?
When we conduct our initial consultations with clients, we often find that for many, food has become something that they see either as a chore, or something that takes a backseat in their day, with other, “more important” tasks taking precedence within their day. We immediately start to encourage clients to think more, not just about what they eat, but how they eat.
Achieving the body we desire is as much about consistency than anything else. One of the biggest challenges with remaining consistent is being taken out of your normal daily routine, this is often demonstrated even with Monday – Friday food intake compared to Saturday and Sunday food intake.
My view on calories has changed over the years. From ‘A’ Level and University education where the calorie was the most important aspect of manipulating fat loss, through to the manipulation of hormones being the most important aspect of fat loss and counting calories being a pointless task. Over the years I have mellowed and developed a more balanced view on the subject.
When it comes to supplementation for low testosterone, you really do need to know where the dysfunction is coming from and the best way to do that is to run the appropriate testing. Without the knowledge of where the dysfunction is coming from it really is like closing your eyes and throwing the darts at a dart board. If you are lucky one might hit the bull’s eye and you will get good results but on the most part the rest will be a total waste of money.
Following on from a previous article I wrote on the 7 reasons for low testosterone in males, I have decided to put together 12 simple questions you can ask yourself to establish if low testosterone is affecting your health.
Low testosterone in males is a major concern these days as more and more men are presenting with low testosterone symptoms. It is well documented that sperm counts are on a steady decline and the feminisation of males is on the increase, with symptoms such as increased fat deposits around the nipple, low sex drive, erectile dysfunction and even nipple discharge. There are numerous symptoms associated with low testosterone and one of the major symptoms is an inability to lose body fat.
Carb cycling is a method we at Body Solutions London have used for some time. It is my preferred method following the initial low carb phase that clients will often experience in the initial stages of a fat loss transformation. Carb cycling is not just a fat loss method though it is also a great health promoting protocol.
Steve and I have over 20 years experience within the personal training industry and have taken hundreds of clients through tens of thousands of hours worth of personal training. We have seen radical body composition changes in a huge amount of clients and used virtually every method under the sun (firstly on ourselves, then our clients) to test out what works and what doesn’t. We are certainly not experts (in my eyes if you call yourself an expert then you are up your own backside) however we are certainly pretty well placed to make an informed decision on what it takes to lose body fat.
So what is it that our clients, friends and family members who we have helped to change have in common? Desire.
The Modified Hepburn Method is a training program that has absolutely nothing to do with the late great Audrey, but everything to do with the late great Doug.
Many of our clients have extremely busy lifestyles or have jobs that prevent them from being able to buy good food or don’t have the facilities to make good food during the day.
Phytochemicals, also known as phytonutrients are nutrients derived from plant material such as those found in the cacao plant that eventually end up in varying quantities in our chocolate. Often we see research being reported in the paper about their health benefits; usually the headline reads “Eating a chocolate bar a day can help reduce your risk of Alzhiemer’s”. Unfortunately the press can be slightly misleading with how they report scientific literature, especially if it means we can eat more chocolate and drink more coffee and wine!!
“Once you pop you can’t stop”. Does everyone remember that tag line from and famous potato crisp? Recently a few incidences with clients and some recent reading led me to writing this article. What I am going to look into is the addictive nature of certain foods and the reasons why.
Many of you that have worked with me before will know how much emphasis I put on addressing gut health as a number one priority, not only to enhance absorption of nutrients but also for a number of other health reasons.
Treating the gut can be one of the most powerful tools in improving overall health. Not only have I seen this with clients over the years but my approach to gut health has stemmed from the effects that digestive infections had on my own health around 4 years ago.
Toxins can enter our body from many different sources. Unfortunately our food supply has become one of the most potent sources of toxins.
In the previous article we outlined why we should reduce our toxin exposure. Now we are going to look at practical applications for reducing toxin exposure, starting with purifying the air in your home.
What is the best breakfast for fat loss? In this article I give you my opinion on the four most important factors you need to consider when selecting what to eat in the in morning.
The Back Squat is labelled as the king of lower body exercises for good reason, when applied correctly it is unrivalled at producing size and strength of the lower body. Despite all this, it’s not for everyone. Why?
Well a lot of us simply do not have the ability to squat properly. This may be due to a lack of mobility, pain caused when squatting or issues from past injuries. You might be sitting there thinking “I have back pain” or “My hips hurt when I squat” if this is you then you need an alternative to effectively work your lower body….
... enter the Split Squat!
I’m yet to train a bloke who doesn’t want more definition or size in their pecs. In this article, I’m going to give you 3 key variables for enhancing your chest and ensuring your moobs are left behind for good.
Last month I posted a beginner program for you guys to follow. Hopefully you’ve stuck to the program and managed to get some great results! In this article I want to give you something a little more advanced, that’s going to test you and ensure that you keep progressing towards your targets.
Some people are really pessimistic about New Year’s resolutions, not me, I like them, I think January is a great time to reflect on what went well and what didn’t go so well the year before and then set targets for the year ahead.
However, the stat I found the other day (which is maybe not overly surprising) is that 92% of people fail with their New Years resolutions. In this article I’m going to address how you can change that.
In this article I’ll be answering that common question “How much should I eat to lose weight?” as well as provide you with 3 handy steps to help you work out exactly how much you personally should be eating, plus a breakdown of your macro-nutrients when trying to lose fat.
I bang on about goal setting a lot, the reason being is that I think it is an extremely important aspect of self improvement. Many of us will have said in our lives that we want to lose weight, learn a language or learn another new skill. The key question you need to ask yourself is why you want to achieve this goal. Why is losing weight important to you? What is the driving force behind it? In this article I'm going to help you understand how you can achieve more this year than you ever have previously.
Time is of the essence, these days we work longer and have less spare time to do the things we enjoy. If that means missing a workout then it can be the first step on the path to getting out of your exercise routine.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that if you want to be in shape, then you have to eat well, and if you’re going to eat well, you need to know how to cook and prepare food. This seems to scare a lot of people, talking about a “diet” seems to stress people out, something that should be relatively easy, becomes an added stress to our already stress laden lives.
We all know that water is vital for life, you wouldn’t last too long if you were to go without water for more than a few days. But do you all know how important staying hydrated is to basic everyday functions?
70% of our body and 80% of our brain is made up of water, which in itself should serve to highlight how important water is. Vital organs such as your liver and kidneys require ample hydration in order to function. Go without water for a couple of days and these vital organs will begin to shut down completely, which is never going to be good!!
Strong well-rounded sets of glutes are both functionally and aesthetically very desirable. From a strength perspective there is a lot of carryover to better running mechanics, faster sprinting and an ability to jump higher, which all in one way or another can benefit sporting performance.
For the non-athlete strong glutes will mean you are less likely to suffer from back injuries as you are more structurally balanced. Lastly, from a purely aesthetic point of view most of us could do with a little more junk in the trunk.
The sun is shining here in London. Which can only mean one thing, Summer is just around the corner (hopefully). If you have been grafting away in the gym all winter ready to unleash your abs on the world, then good for you. If however you are still carrying some of the excess “Winter Insulation” then it may be time to step it up a gear!
In this article I am going to touch on a few things that females do that can really sabotage results.
Most guys will think they know what they are doing in the gym. At least their ego will probably let them believe that they know what they are doing. However, no matter what gym I step in to, I will invariably see lots of things that could be filmed and turned into a blooper reel for YouTube.
Here are a few of the most common mistakes I see blokes making in the gym and the ways in which you can correct them, and in the process go from zero to hero...
The pre-fatigue method is another I learnt from world-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin. It is perfect for those that have hit a plateau with their arm development, as it will add size to your arms fast when incorporated with the correct nutrition and recovery methods.
“I always train much harder with you than when I train by myself”. This is a phrase I hear all the time from my personal training clients.
Choosing a Personal Trainer can be difficult. In this article I hope to help you make the right choices when it comes to finding the right trainer to work with.
Changing eating habits and maintaining them long term is key to ensuring that once you lose weight / body fat, it stays off. Many people will have a target weight or dress size in mind once they begin a more traditional diet. Upon reaching this goal it is normally a green light to return to old eating habits.
One of my roles as a personal trainer is being able spell out exactly what is required of my clients in the simplest way possible. I have met countless people that fret over the smallest of details, yet fail to sometimes look at the bigger picture. Clients who stress out over how many almonds constitutes a handful, yet fail to see that it is more likely the fact that they spend more time socialising with Ernest and Julio Gallo, than they do in the gym, that is their biggest issue.
What to eat? When to eat it? How much to eat? High carb? Low carb? Low fat? Paleo? Gluten free? Cabbage soup diet? Atkins? The Kate Moss cigarettes and alcohol diet? So much information is available on the internet about how and what to eat, that it is no wonder that sometimes when we begin with clients they seem perplexed as to exactly the way they should be eating for fat loss.
Restoring balance after long term or yo-yo dieting.
Probably one of the most challenging aspects of dealing with a client who has been undereating and over training for some time is the combination of physiological dysfunction and also psychological stress.
Training like an athlete, eating like a catwalk model.
One of the biggest challenges I face these days is addressing the effects of chronic dieting on the health of my clients, mostly female clients. Years of body image issues and being told conflicting nutrition guidance such as low fat this and low carb that leaves them not only confused, but struggling to ever get results.
I certainly do not have all the answers when it comes to understanding the female form. However, given that I am married, have a lot of female friends in my social circle and have trained many women in my career as a Personal Trainer, I’m going to put it out there that I’m in a pretty good position to say I understand what women want when it comes to their physique and the way they want to look. A pert derriere is almost always top of the list.
You may have your training program all worked out but it's not always possible to follow the plan exactly. In these instances, it is important that you are able to adapt it accordingly.
In this article I am going to look at how you can use hotel gyms that aren’t quite as well equipped as your normal gym, or our Personal Training Gym in Shoreditch.
Due to our demographic of client I often have to write programs for people that travel a lot on business. Often this means that clients will not be able to follow the original program I have set out for them, due to hotel gyms having under par or simply different equipment.
There are few men on earth who would say no to the chance of having bigger arms. With that in mind, here's my top 5 tips...
Hormone testing can be a controversial area for many reasons, including test validity, expense, what markers to run, and whether the dysfunctional hormones are simply a symptom of dysfunctions elsewhere in the body. Low testosterone can be a culmination of significant stressors elsewhere, e.g. inflammation caused by digestive infections, high levels of adrenal stress, nutritional deficiencies, toxin exposure such as mercury toxicity, lack of sleep, work and family stress etc.
The recent Biosignature Modulation courses running recently in the UK will provide the industry with numerous practitioners filled with excitement on how they are going to incorporate the knowledge they have learnt from Charles Poliquin and the biosignature methods.
In this article I have outlined a few techniques I use in order to maximise muscle growth with my personal training clients. The techniques serve to extend the time under tension of a given muscle once Maximum Voluntary Contraction (MVC) has taken place.
This is a question I get asked frequently, often someone has read somewhere that eating protein is bad for the kidneys, is bad for your bones and will cause dehydration, yet they have also read an article that says the opposite, such as a high protein diet can actually help increase bone mass and is not harmful to the kidneys. Government guidelines suggest aiming for around 0.8 grams per kg of body weight, in my view this is insufficient for most people, so how much should you aim for and what levels are safe?
Inflammation is essential for survival, but being able to control the inflammatory responses is important for optimal health. Absent, excessive or uncontrolled inflammation results in a variety of diseases and learning what is causing the inflammatory response in the first place is an essential part of improving health. Not only that but often inflammation will be a major block against achieving optimal body composition, whether fat loss or improved muscle mass.
All too often I’m faced with questions by people who worry far too much about the minutia of fat loss, the small details, before they have the macro elements in place first. Questions like “will nuts make me fat?” or “should I be taking X, Y or Z supplement” for instance, when I know that the person in question has drinking habits that make Charlie Sheen look like a teetotaller.
This has been a controversial area of choice in recent years with a variety of conflicting studies regarding the benefits of organic food against non-organic produce, with the majority of studies focusing on nutrient levels. What is the research on this area and is there more to organic food than just the nutrient content?
Drinking your calories in one of the fastest methods to gain fat and increase your risk of chronic disease such as diabetes and heart disease. Many people consume both high sugar and artificially sweetened beverages daily.
Why the Meat and Nut Concept Works
The meat and nut breakfast has been popularised by Canadian Strength and Conditioning Coach Charles Poliquin. Of all the things I have learnt from Charles and the Biosignature courses this concept of protein and fat in the morning for breakfast is probably the one I apply the most with great success. Whilst it is not for everyone, I have found that in around 95% of cases this is a great breakfast choice, especially if you are storing a little excess fat around your mid-section and on the side of the body, or for those that have poor morning energy or mental clarity.
The “Giant Sets” concept is something I was formally introduced to a few years back whilst on a strength and conditioning course in the United States, however, if I look back at my early training it was something I was doing without really knowing the technical term for it!
In my time as a Nutritionist, the one thing I have noticed and studied the most about is the major impact gut health can have on our health in general and how it can be a major block when it comes to fat loss. So many people live these days with some kind of digestive distress; I would say around 75% of people I consult with show some kind of digestive dysfunction.
Often we will get asked how you can eat healthy for fat loss on a budget. Whilst we truly believe the cleaner the food the better, i.e. organic fruits and vegetables, grass fed meats etc, this is not always possible for everyone’s budgets.
We are exposed to toxins from the moment we are conceived, one study showed an exposure of 287 chemicals in just 10 new born babies. All of which were linked to cancer, developmental problems and/or nervous system damage (Houlihan et al, 2005).