Thighs getting bigger, but bum staying the same size? Are your squats making the problem worse?

fitnessThe look of the moment for woman seems to be for slender toned legs with a toned well rounded backside.  So it’s become a more common sight seeing woman in the gym performing squats

This is brilliant! Squats promote muscle tone, fitness, and strength and conditioning throughout the whole body.

Though when performed poorly or with bad starting posture, the emphasis is shifted from the glutes, and into the thighs and lower back. This can lead to poor posture, back pain, over developed quads, and under developed glutes.

So here are some pointers  for men and woman to get the most out of squatting!

Flexibility

Make sure your quads, hip flexors and glutes are well stretched. This will allow you to move freely through the movement, and apply power evenly through the glutes, hamstrings and quads. A daily stretching and mobility routine will do the trick….throw in a foam roller to really help.

Form

Start the squat by sitting back as if you we’re going to sit on a chair. Make sure the hips bend before your knees do, and don’t let your knees move ahead of your toes. Keep the shoulder blades pulled together, head up and chest high. Drive up out of the squat, squeeze the glutes and push the hips forward.

Feet

For a standard squat your feet should be shoulder width apart, and pointed very slightly outwards. Most importantly, make sure you can feel the weight pushing through your heels and not the front out your feet, this emphasis the glutes.

Core

A strong core means the upper body is stable, leaving the lower body to get on with the business of squatting!

Depth

We’re not saying your backside has to touch the floor, but thighs parallel to the floor is a good depth to aim for. As you move lower, the glutes and hamstrings are called into action.  Don’t try and force it though, go as deep as feels comfortable. With good form and mobility you’ll be able to move deeper over time.

Warm up

Squatting cold makes you more likely to push excessively with the thighs and also increases your chance of injury. Perform and good warmup, especially focusing on activating you glutes….exercises like bridges and single leg dead lifts are perfect for this!

Recovery

The muscles need to time to repair and grow……squatting  again too soon slows this process down. Allow a couple of days beetween squatting sessions, for a particularly tough session give it even longer.

 

To squat perfectly book a session at the studio by clicking here

 

What We’re Normally Eating

Loads of you are now back on the training and healthy eating for the new year, and have been asking what we are eating a normal day. As we normally try and log most of our training and diet it would be easier to just take a random day and lay it out. So here they are:

Luke’s

Breakfast 1
4 whole eggs scrambled.
3 slices of back bacon.
150 grams of baby button mushrooms.
all cooked in butter)
Protein shake made with water.

Breakfast 2
2 Raw tomatoes
50 grams of green olives
Quarter pot of full fat hummus
2 Espressos
Handful of cashews

Training
2 hour road ride based on HR zones
Zone 1 = 7%
Zone 2 = 10%
Zone 3 = 15%
Zone 4 = 65%
Zone 5 = 8%

Post training food
Protein shake
2 oranges
chocolate recovery drink


Lunch
200 grams of boiled broccoli
175 grams of pork chops cooked in sesame oil and 5 spice
1 yellow bell pepper cooked with the pork
1 Espressos with MCT oil


Dinner
200 grams chicken breast - roasted
100 grams of cherry tomatoes - roasted
1 large red onion roasted
Spinach salad with mozzarella and balsamic vineger

Snack
Full fat cheddar cheese 4 slices
Table spoon of hummus
10 red grapes
10 almonds

Si's

Breakfast
3-4 Scramble eggs with butter
Smoked salmon  
Half a red grapefruit
Linseeds
Multivitamin
Double espresso with coconut oil
Ton of water

Snack
Almonds/Brazils

Lunch
Spicy Chicken
Roasted peppers. courgettes and aubergine
More coffee

Training - (running/cycling)
1-2 hours
Zone 4-5 where necessary
1-2 Flapjacks

Post exercise recovery shake
Turkish Lahmacun if it's been a tough session!

Dinner
A stack of Chilli con carne (no rice)
Fresh fruit
Glass of red wine

As you can see it’s nothing too dramatic. We’re not too concerned about calories, but mainly the quality of food we eat when we’re hungry. The main thing to take from this is we avoid refined sugar, wheat and make up our calories with good quality fats. If you’re trying to make a start on eating healthier and losing some weight just start by cutting out sugar for a week, then start getting rid of the wheat the week after that, you’l be amazed at how quickly start feeling better and losing weight. Or even better and go back and take a look at our old blogs on Ketogenic Eating, and the 30 Day Slow Carb Challenge. Or even better book in for a session where we can take you through it


 

The Beast – How We Dragged Ourselves Around 12.5 Miles of the Purbeck Coastline!

So as some of you might know we decided to take part in this years Purbeck Beast…..and it did exactly what the name implies. We had heard lots of stories about the hills, steps and treacherous terrain, but we thought to ourselves “How bad can it be?”…………

So a couple of Sundays ago on the 1st of September we made our way to Corfe and parked up in a field. It was pretty nice weather for running, still cool and no sight of wind or rain, but the ominous feeling set it when we saw who we would be racing against. Everyone else was is team colours for their running clubs, and then there was us….stood in Barefoot shoes and old cotton t-shirts…..we definitely didn’t look the part. This was made even more obvious as runners studied the map intently, making comparisons from the year before and the slight changes to the course. We on the other hand looked at the map, looked at each other, looked back at the map, shrugged and headed to the start line……true professionals!

runWe took the 5 minute walk to the start line, and it was packed, 425 runners bouncing on the stop, talking strategy and comparing anti-chaffing creams. Quick briefing from the marshals then BANG, the race began, months of training now had to pay off! The first priority was to get away from the congested pack at the start, so we shot hell for leather down the outside avoiding the ditches. After a very short and quick section of downhill on road, we then turned off and began the first uphill. This helped spread the pack out, and took us back around to the first bunch of spectators……this would be that last time they saw us looking fresh and happy.

The course then undulated for the next few miles, then we hit the first long uphill. A rocky broken path that continued up for about 15 minutes, it then flatten off and on to grass, then back to another 10 minutes of climbing……Brilliant! We then had a pretty technical and very rocky long section of downhill, this was the one downside of the barefoot shoes. Our feet took a battering for the next couple of miles until it leveled. The general pattern of climbing followed by descent continued until we hit the coast. There were some short steep climbs on the coast followed by some long windy flats, this was a relief on the legs, and the views were incredible.Footpath_ascending_Houns-tout_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1633014 (1) After hammering along the coastal paths for a few miles we reached Chapman’s Pool, a few hundred steps down, followed by a few hundred steps up…..This was brutal! Negotiating the steps down was treacherous enough and pretty draining, the way up was hideous. All ready very tired legs walking up a few hundred very steep steps, and to make life worse, at the top of the steps there was still a couple of steep climbs…..We will never moan about a flight of stairs ever again!

We then started heading away from the coast, the paths seemed to flatten out a bit more and the climbs became less sharp. We began a gentle climb into Kingston, sadly this gentle climb seemed to last for about 30 minutes, and really finished off the legs. We then made it into Kingston, and awaiting us with some encouragement was Bex, Michelle and Charlie. We pulled our shorts up to look like “proper runners” and shot past until we were out of sight…then we got back to breathing out of our arses again! We then had our last drinks station, necked a gel and saw Corfe Castle on the horizon, a huge relief! The last couple of miles stayed fairly flat, couple of steepish climbs and loads of stiles to climb over. We started recognizing things from the start of the race so knew it wasn’t too far. We turned a blind corner, around an old wall and there it was…the finish line!

run2

We crossed the finish line in an official time 1:50:41, putting us 108th out of 425 runners. We had beaten our target of going in under 2 hours and surviving! The Garmin at the end read 12.47 miles with 2017 feet of climbing in total. We then made out way to the nearest pub for some well deserved lunch…..the journey was slightly interrupted by a spot of cramp in the car which required some road side massage, but we don’t really wanna talk about that! The rest of the day was a blur, and naps were both had on the sofa in front of the tele. The legs remained trashed for the next couple of days, but as they recovered we slowly began to forget about the pain of all those hills and started talking about what we would do differently next year…………………….

run3

So that’s next year sorted then!

Kind Regards,

Luke and Si

The 30 Day Body Challenge!

So Here I Go!

photo 130 days of eating and living like a saint! (Apart from the cheat days, but we’ll get to that later). What inspired me to do this? Well I’m like most people, I’m brilliant at nailing one aspect of health and fitness at a time. I will be totally on it with training, but will let my nutrition slip with my “oh I’v earned this after today’s training” attitude. Or will have a more relaxed time with exercise, but be eating like a stone aged health guru! So what changed?

After giving clients tips to help with their nutritional plans, I thought “what if I applied everything i’ve ever told my clients, and stuck to it for 30 days?” What’s the potential? What are the limitations? Can it actually be done?…….Well there’s only one way to find out!

 

What’s the plan then?
The goal is to reduce body fat, maintain lean muscle mass, improve fitness, improve recovery from training, and generally feel better. The key thing is to keep it as simple as possible…….A list of rules about nutrition,  some tips to speed the process along, and an exercise plan….easy right? (Famous last words?)

personal training bournemouthSlow Carb eating!

Now you’re all welcome to try this with me, I’ve added a link of what foods are good to start with below. We all know roughly what we should be eating and doing to stay fit and healthy, but I suppose it comes down to one thing “how bad do we want it?”


The rules:

  • Only Slow Carbs – Beans, Legumes, Veggies.
  • No Starchy Foods – Potatoes, Rice, Porridge, Pasta, Bread.
  • No Sugar.
  • No Dairy.
  • Protein in every meal.
  • Don’t drink your calories.
  • Lots of water.
  • Avoid Sauces – Season food with herbs and spices.
  • Breakfast within 30 minutes of waking.
  • No artificial sugar – Diet drinks or sweeteners.
  • Only have fruit after and around training.
  • No Caffeine.
  • Have one cheat day every week.

The tips!

These are a few things that can just help everything along. If you’re already happy with the way you eat, try just using these on their own.

  • Chew everything 20 times before swallowing.
  • 60 seconds of Squats, Push-ups and Bent-over Flys 90 minutes after eating.
  • Ice cold water first thing in the morning.
  • A few nuts 15 minutes before eating main meals.
  • Place an ice pack for 30 minutes on the back of the neck in the evening.
  • Make the last minutes of your shower cold (Sounds horrible I know).
  • Stick something citric in your water.

 

lime

Training

2-3 x 30 minute sessions a week of resistance based training . Either classic weight training or circuit training.

2-3 Aerobic training sessions a week. Around 30-60 minutes either running or biking, and preferable interval based

15 minutes of stretching and posture exercises everyday

Make sure one of your training days falls on your cheat day.

 

I know this might seem like a lot to take in, but when planned out over a week it should be totally maintainable. There is a lot of science related to all of the above, but I’ll explaining all that over the next few weeks (don’t want to bore you all in one go). So this is what the day will plan out like:

8:00:      Wake
8:02:      5 Almonds with Ice cold water with lemon
8:10:      Shower (last minute cold!)
8:15:      Breakfast
10:00:    90 second workout
12:45:    5 Brazil nuts
13:00:    Lunch
15:00:    90 second workout
17:30:    Training (including posture and stretching)
18:15:    Fruit and nuts
18:30:    Dinner
20:30:    90 second workout
20:35:    30 minutes ice pack on the back of the neck
21:30+   Bed

Now depending on your work commitments and training plans your day may look a bit different. So don’t be afraid to tinker with it, and making it work around your day

Personal Training in Bournemouth

So where to start?

If we don’t have a start point, how will we know how we’ve done after 30 days? There are plenty of things to track progress. Weight, measurements, body fat %, clothing size, visual aesthetics, performance, mood, and generally feel. I’ve chosen weight, circumferences, body fat %, a photo (will post that with an “after” photo at the end. Topless photos on the Internet….what would my mother say?!?) and luckily I have a training log so can see how my training is progressing.
So……
Height: 178.5cm
Weight: 78.2kg
Waist: 86cm
Chest: 108cm
Body fat %: 12.9%

I officially started today, so based on the fact I’m writing this I’ve survived the first day so that’s something! Will be keeping you all updated with a diary and will be explaining some of the science and reason behind the plan.

Feel free to join in and keep us updated with how you’re getting on!

GOOD LUCK!!!!

Check out the rest of out articles for more advice on weight loss, fitness and health!

http://www.bourne-fit.co.uk/

http://www.bourne-fit.co.uk/news/what-to-eat-on-the-30-day-body-challenge/

http://www.bourne-fit.co.uk/news/

 

Get fit to play sport, don’t play sport to get fit!

Whether you are gearing up for a ski holiday or a kick about on the weekend, solid physical preparation can make the difference between having an incredible experience, and having an incredibly painful experience.

Before considering a sports specific program for any sport, it is absolutely vital to achieve a certain degree of base strength and fitness. Though many sports primarily utilize the legs for power, strength must be developed across the whole body in order to move solidly as a unit. If a car is front wheel drive, it doesn’t mean you can drive with the back tires deflated.

CORE STABILITY.

A focus on core development is very important.  Strength and mobility in the TRUNK are vital components to moving dynamically and powerfully in sport. By learning to “move from our centre”, we take the stress away from our limbs and put it into the power source of our body. Developing control in this area enables us to initiate movements in safer and ultimately more powerful ways.

X TRAINING.

While it is good to develop a certain degree of cardiovascular fitness, don’t get carried away with monotonous activity (long runs, bike rides and 90 minute gym sessions!!). Repeated cyclical exercise puts our nervous system to sleep and many sports demand agility, quick reflexes and explosive power, so it is important that you imitate that type movement in your preparation. Taking part in other sports like soccer, squash, volleyball or chasing a dog along the beach can satisfy this criteria. Just try and mix up the pace and use a variety of exercises.

FLEXIBILITY

Flexibility training is probably the easiest area of physical development to totally NEGLECT. There is nothing fun about stretching, and let’s face it, it’s boring! But I assure you that stretching 15-20 minutes a day is less boring than waiting for recovery from a knee reconstruction, dislocated shoulder, neck strain or groin tear. Take time after each workout to stretch and be sure to focus on areas you are LEAST flexible in.

When it comes to sports, take time to warm up properly and don’t be too overzealous first time or first day.  Spend time stretching afterwards and use ice or hot and cold treatment to relieve any potential soreness.

How to get your Beach Body Abs!

Summer’s back in town and everyone wants the same thing………….that flat toned stomach so we can wear our swimwear with pride. Keep reading and you find out how it all works, and what to do to get your own washboard stomach!

 The abs are broken up into 4 main groups. They all have slightly different functions, but making sure you train each one will give you much better looking results!

Rectus abdominus – These make up the “Six Pack” running down the middle.  Their job is to bring the ribs closer to the hips, so simple sit ups and crunches work this area best!

Transverse abdominus – This is the deepest ab muscle, its job is to suck in the belly button! The best way to work this is with “vacuum exercises”, simply pulling the belly button inwards! These can be be done on their own or during other ab exercises. Working the Transverse abdominus will help flatten the stomach and help your posture!

Internal & External obliques – These muscle are located diagonally around the sides of the abs, and work to twist and bend the body side to side. These can be worked with side bends and by adding a twist to your crunches

Quality, Not Quantity!

Many people seem to feel more is better when it comes to abs. “I did 200 situps this morning” is something we hear alot, but it doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you! When it comes to really working the stomach, slow your movements down and really think about “squeezing the abs”. This will stimulate more abdominal muscle and stop the larger hip flexors taking over! 3-5 sets of 20 reps when done properly will be more than enough to get your abs going!

The three S’s…..Suck, Squeeze and Stability!

Doing standard crunches is just going to work the rectus abdominus! Sucking in the belly button and squeezing the abs will stimulate the transverse abdominus. This will not just tone the stomach, but flatten the belly! Introducing a Bosu or a Swiss ball into your ab workouts will  help you build your core stability. This not only helps posture and your other exercises, but it also means you will hit more areas of the abdominal muscles! Exercise like the Plank are also brilliant to hit all the deep ab muscles, and a great way of improving posture that will help your beach body look!

Balance.

Posture is so important to a good physique! Working the lower back and hip muscles as well as the abs is vital. This will help maintain a healthy posture and emphasize your abs! Nobody’s belly looks good if they’re hunched over!

Showing off what you’ve got!

The best was to to emphasize your abdominal  muscles is by maintaining a low body fat. This is done with a healthy diet and regular exercise! Don’t just focus on your abs, make sure you’re getting all round, good quality exercise! Make sure you vary your abs exercises! Don’t keep doing the same old things. Change things up to make sure your hitting every part of the abs!

Try this on for size!

Here’s a basic circuit to give you an idea of how to train all the parts of your abs quickly and efficiently!

1) Bicycle crunches – 12 reps – These are like standard crunches with a twist! Perform a normal crunch, by bringing your left elbow to your right knee, then vice versa! Again really focus on squeezing the abs!

2) Side Plank – 20 seconds, both sides – This is performed by facing sideways and placing your elbow on the ground. Your feet are planted sideways on the floor, then raise your hips up. Try and make the body as much of a straight line as possible, then after 20 seconds repeat facing the other way.

3) Leg raises – 12 reps – These can be performed differently depending on your level. Leg raises involve bringing the legs and hips closer to the ribs. These are great at working the bottom on the abs! For beginners start by performing these on the floor. Lay flat on your back and raise the legs upward and towards the torso. For those feeling more advanced they can be performed hanging from a chin bar, leg raise station, or simply off the end of a bed.

4) Plank – 30 seconds – The exercise our clients hate the most, but we don’t know why, we love it!  Facing down, elbows on the floor, raise the hips off the ground and hold a nice flat body position. Its really important to relax the back and shoulders, and really suck the belly button in.

5) Swiss ball crunches – 12 reps – Sit on a swiss ball with your hands over your head. Slowly begin to lie back until your body is flat with your thighs. Then slowly begin to raise back up without hunching the back. Really focus on squeezing the abs and try to keep the ball as still as possible.

Repeat as many times as you needed.

For more advice book in for a free trail session at www.bourne-fit.co.uk

Circuit Training at Home

We are always advising our clients about exercising at home between personal training session. Even performing some low intensity body weight exercises in the morning will be enough to jump start the metabolism for the day and allow you to burn more fat. A great way of upping the intensity of these workouts at home and stop them becoming too repetitive is to create your own circuit training routine.

What is circuit training?

Circuit training is a form of body conditioning that combines resistance training with high intensity aerobics. It is designed to increase strength, muscle tone, improve muscular and cardiovascular endurance and burn fat. The exercises are performed at a high intensity with very short rest periods between stations. These factors then increase stress on the body, and yield better all round results than just performing exercises in a conventional fashion.

How to build your circuit?


A circuit can have anything from 4 to 12 stations, and can have a variety of different exercises. You choose the exercise based on what your goals are. F
or fat loss and all round toning, circuits made up of full body movements will be best. For those trying to work on specific areas you can build your circuit for just the upper body, legs or core. The best way to build your circuit is to write down the exercises you want to include, and order them in a way that gives each muscle group a rest between stations. So if you are doing squats on one station, it’s best the next station doesn’t directly work the same muscle. Once you have your stations laid out, chose how many times you want to repeat the circuit, then it’s time get started!!!

How to perform your circuit?

Your main consideration is do you want to perform your circuit based on repetitions or time? This means do you want to set a time limit on each station or have a set amount of reps to perform? Personally we would chose to do time. Having a time limit on each station means you will be able to push as hard as you can for every exercise, and not cheat yourself if the reps are set too low. A good starting time would be 30 seconds on each station, this can then be changed as you improve. Start your watch and begin the first station, perform the exercise with good form for the entire 30 seconds. When the time is up, move as quick as you can to the next exercise. Its important to take little to no rest between each station to maintain the intensity. Perform each exercise until you reach the end, then take your rest. Your rest depends on how long the circuit took. A good rule of thumb is about a third of the time it took to do the entire circuit. Once your rest is over repeat the circuit again. You can repeat the circuit anywhere up to 5 times, starting with 3 laps is normally a good starting point.

How to change your circuit over time?

After performing your circuit for a couple of weeks, you will begin to adapt. Its good to make a note of roughly how many reps you perform in the time limt, this will show you how well your progressing. Below is a list of things to change to maintain the intensity of your circuit.

  • Add stations
  • Increase station time
  • Decrease rest time
  • Perform reps quicker (maintaining good form)
  • Add weight to certain exercises
  • Increase the amount of laps
Things to consider
Make sure your perform each station with good safe form, when under a time limit its easy to start cheating, so don’t break into bad habits. Its also important to maintain the intensity, so if you ever feel the circuit is becoming easy, make some changes and keep the body guessing! You don’t have to be limited to the house, you can take your circuit to the gym, the beach or the park. This will help you throw in some new stations, like some hill runs, or jogging on the sand or taking on some stairs. The main thing is to enjoy it and set yourself some goals, this will give you more of a boost to keep going when it gets tough. Below we have provided an example beginners circuit, take a look and give it a go!
30 seconds per station – 1 minute rest – 3 laps
 
1. Squats
2. Push ups
3. Walking lunges
4. Dips on a chair
5. Burpees with a jump
 
Try it out and feel free to tinker with it so it suits you! For more exercise ideas check out the rest of our blog or book in for a free Personal training taster session at http://www.bourne-fit.co.uk/

Getting fit for sport

Whether you are gearing up for a ski holiday or a kick about on the weekend, solid physical preparation can make the difference between having an incredible experience, and having an incredibly painful experience.

Before considering a sports specific program for any sport, it is absolutely vital to achieve a certain degree of base strength and fitness. Though many sports primarily utilize the legs for power, strength must be developed across the whole body in order to move solidly as a unit. If a car is front wheel drive, it doesn’t mean you can drive with the back tires deflated.

CORE STABILITY.  A focus on core development is very important.  Strength and mobility in the TRUNK are vital components to moving dynamically and powerfully in sport. By learning to “move from our centre”, we take the stress away from our limbs and put it into the power source of our body. Developing control in this area enables us to initiate movements in safer and ultimately more powerful ways.

X TRAINING.  While it is good to develop a certain degree of cardiovascular fitness, don’t get carried away with monotonous activity (long runs, bike rides and 90 minute gym sessions!!). Repeated cyclical exercise puts our nervous system to sleep and many sports demand agility, quick reflexes and explosive power, so it is important that you imitate that type movement in your preparation. Taking part in other sports like soccer, squash, volleyball or chasing a dog along the beach can satisfy this criteria. Just try and mix up the pace and use a variety of exercises.

FLEXIBILITY training is probably the easiest area of physical development to totally NEGLECT. There is nothing fun about stretching, and let’s face it, it’s boring! But I assure you that stretching 15-20 minutes a day is less boring than waiting for recovery from a knee reconstruction, dislocated shoulder, neck strain or groin tear. Take time after each workout to stretch and be sure to focus on areas you are LEAST flexible in.

When it comes to sports, take time to warm up properly and don’t be too overzealous first time or first day.  Spend time stretching afterwards and use ice or hot and cold treatment to relieve any potential soreness.

Simon works as a full time Personal Trainer in Bournemouth from BourneFit Personal Training Studio.  For more info visit www.simonlesser.co.uk