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

 

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!

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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…………………….

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So that’s next year sorted then!

Kind Regards,

Luke and Si

The 30 Day Challenge, 30 Days On – How Fat is Keeping me Lean!

photo 1So after the 30 day challenge I wondered what would be the best way of maintaining my body fat and increasing performance. I wrestled with a couple of ideas and they all seemed to come back to one thing…..Ketogenics! So what is a Ketogenic diet I hear you ask. Well it’s pretty simply a high fat, low carbohydrate diet…..though this doesn’t mean stuffing your face with pasties and deep fried food. This is about getting your carbs through fruits and vegetables, and getting your fats through good sources like olives, oils, animal fats, nuts, seeds.

So how does eating more fat help me maintain and lose weight.

When the liver is low on stored glucose it begins to use fat as a source of energy, this creates things called Ketones, these can then be used for energy around the body. Though to the achieve this the daily intake of carbs can only be around 50 grams per day. Now a massive drop in carbs naturally will reduce the amount of calories that goes into the body for fuel, but that’s where the fat comes in. By increasing the amount of good dietary fats being ingested, the body will be more comfortable. So weight and performance can be maintained without having to constantly count the calories. Also increasing dietary fat and reducing carbs will promote the body to use fat as a predominant source of energy and burn more stored body fat.

The upsides of Ketogenic Diet.

Many people think of being in ketosis as a bad thing, but all it means is that the body is using fat as an energy source. One of the biggest upsides is the reduction of body fat, as fat is being used instead of stored. Research has also shown that Ketones are the organs preferred source of fuel, and have been known to show increased functions. Ketones are shown to improve alertness, concentration, sleep patterns and hormone levels. Also as calories aren’t being massively resrtricted stress hormones remain lower, this means the body will function better day to day and recover better after training. Stress hormones have the affect of making the body catabolic, this means muscle will be used for energy, this is dramatically reduced on a ketogenic diet. With fat being used as a source of fuel this means training volume can have a increase, as you are less restricted by the amount of stored glucose in the  body, meaning training can be more intense and longer. The last massive upside is that dietary fat adds to the flavor of foods, making meals more enjoyable as we all naturally crave fats. This also means you feel fuller for longer as the body will have a constant supply of energy.

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The Downsides.

The main downsides are minor effects on lifestyle. When the body becomes ketogenic it doesn’t take much in the way of carbs to take you out if it. Thats why carbs have to be kept to around 50 grams, if you go to far out of ketosis by having to many carbs, the body will begin to store the dietary fats. It also takes some getting used to. I would advice doing the 30 days of slow carb eating first, it will reduce the cravings for complex carbs and make the transition easier.

So how did I go about it?

I wasnt too hard having done the 30 days of slow carb eating. All I had to do to adapt was remove the peas and beans from my diet and replace them with, olives, butter, oils, cream, animal fats, cheese, whole eggs, nuts, seeds, chorizo, ect……pretty easy actually. So my average day would be…….Bacon, eggs, and tomato for breakfast……..spinach, cheese and chorizo stuffed chicken for lunch…..nuts and berries to snack……and lamb bolognese with broccoli, asparagus and parmazan for dinner……it all sounds pretty good hey? Once a week I would then chose to either have a one whole cheat day from midday to midnight, or 2 cheat evenings. This just made socializing on weekends easier and didn’t seem to knock me out of ketosis too much. It also allowed the body to completely replenish stores of glycogen throughout the body that would have been slightly diminished through training. The real secret is to make sure you don’t get your 50 grams of carbs though simple carbohydrates. By getting them though vegetables the body will stay in ketosis and not store fat. Having something starchy or sugary will rise insulin and cause the body to stop burning fat.

So how did I get on.

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30 Day Challenge results:

Weight = 73.6 kg

Chest = 106.5 cm

Waist = 81.5 cm

Body Fat = 10.1%

Now

Weight = 77.9 kg

Chest = 107.5 cm

Waist = 82.5 cm

Body Fat = 10%

So from what you can see is that making a massive increase in my dietary fat I have gained 4.3kg, and still maintained my body fat. This means I have had an increase in lean muscle mass and reserves of stored glycogen. We were a little confused by the 1 cm increase in waist size, but we later work out on the calipers that my obliques and abdominal muscle seemed thicker. This even suprised me, It’s very difficult to increase lean mass and maintain body fat all at the same time. The biggest factor of all was the way I feel……I feel amazing! I’m sleeping better and for sorter amounts of time, my recovery and training has gone through the roof, and I am in better moods and have so much more in the way of concentration and alertness. I thought I felt good after the 30 days, but this has taken it to a whole new level.

The secret is again is not to look at this as a “fad diet”, this is just a lifestyle adaptation. Removing the junk food, getting rid of the stuff that that we didn’t evolve to eat and getting back to eating to what suits our bodies. Over the last 60 or so days I haven’t calorie counted, of worried how big my portions are, and on my cheat days I haven’t felt guilty, and this is because what I have been eating has suited the biology and our bodies. So for those reasons I’m going to keep this going the foreseable future and hopefully all will carry on in the same direction, but will keep you all posted. If you want some advice or fancy having a crack at what I’ve tried book in for a session with us at BourneFit Personal Training or check us out on Facebook and Twitter

Many thanks,

Luke

x

The 30 Body Challenge – THE RESULTS!!!!

photo 1So the 30 days are over!!!! I’m not gonna say its been clean sailing the whole way through, but it’s been a pretty good experience. Once I got through the difficult first week of caffeine and sugar withdrawals it all leveled out into a maintainable lifestyle…..and that’s the key word “Lifestyle”. This actually isn’t a faddy diet or something we drop in and out of  it should just be what we do all the time, eat clean and cut out the processed junk. So I suppose we better get down to the nitty gritty of the results!

Start to Finish!

Day 1

Weight = 78.2 kg

Chest = 108 cm

Waist = 86 cm

Body Fat = 12.9%

Day 30

Weight = 73.6 kg

Chest = 106.5 cm

Waist = 81.5 cm

Body Fat = 10.1%

Totals

Weight = 4.6 kg loss

Chest = 1.5 cm loss

Waist = 4.5 cm loss

Body Fat = 2.8% loss

What the Numbers Mean

So everything has gone the way that was expected, weight and body fat have dropped at a slow and steady rate, and I haven’t sacrificed muscle in the process. The best was to work this out is taking body fat percentages based on weight at the start and finish. So my total weight in fat on Day 1 was 10.1kg, my total fat on day 30 was 7.4kg. This means a total fat loss of 2.7 kg, so that’s a 26% loss in total body fat…..which in 30 days is a massive result. And taking into consideration of reduction of weight in water retention, the total  loss means only tiny percentage will be lean muscle tissue. The other numbers to look at are waist and chest measurements. Most people carry fat around their midsection, and for men large amounts of muscle is carried around the circumference of the upper torso. For men seeing a larger reduction in waist compared to the chest means the body hasn’t began to massively break down muscle tissue for energy and is burning fat. This can be a huge factor in peoples weight loss when crash dieting, as the body will break down muscle tissue, this looks great on the scales, but not good for the body. For woman, measurement of muscle mass is less significant, but still use waist measurements to track fat loss. The other thing to take into consideration is bloating and water weight. When the body has higher amounts of stored body fat and sugars in the system, the level of water retention can be very high. This can add as much as 2-4 kilos of extra weight. So as promised on Day 1 a before and after photo (just to let you know, the sun tan helps a bit)

Before - After

So what can be taken from the last 30 days?

The biggest thing to take from this is the way I have felt over the last 30 days. I’ve had more energy, slept better, been more alert, recovered quicker from training (taking the adaptation phase at the start into consideration), been less bloated, mood has been less erratic, appetite has been more stable, less mucus in my nose and throat and generally feeling amazing. I mean these are huge responses, and show that my body is now less occupied with all the things that I shouldn’t have ingested in the first place and is now just getting on with all its normal tasks. The other thing to take into account is that fat loss is just a byproduct of the whole experience. At not point did a calorie count, or read grams of fat and carbs on packets. I ate fresh, clean food and actually had massive portions, and the times I did want to snack, I made sure it was healthy and not full of sugar and junk! I may have had the odd cravings, but at no point was I physically hungry. Like I said before this isn’t a fad diet, it’s a lifestyle, and when you incorporate it, weight loss is actually the easy part. As for the cold showers, mini workouts, and ice cold drinks, this definitely helped. And that comes down to one thing…….keeping the metabolism boosted. When the body is kept active either through rigorous exercise, quick workouts, long walks or being cold, the body will do more with the food you put into it. Both go hand in hand, undoubtedly what is in your diet has massive part to play, but training, and boosting metabolism will speed the process of fat loss along. I think for most people this seems like a massive transformation as we are so used to having quick energy through food whenever we want it, and our brains know this! This is why the first week is so hard, but once you’re over that initially hump, you feel better and you can see the results it becomes very maintainable and comfortable.

hm.gifI’m gonna keep this going for another 3o days. During the next 30 days i’m going to tinker with a few aspects of it, see where somethings work and somethings don’t. I will also use it to find out what the best ways to achieve weight loss, how to maintain weight, and the best ways to recover after training and maintain mass and body fat. For more information check out some of the older blogs, Like us or follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or book in for a session at BourneFit Personal Training Sudios.

Speak to you in 30 days

Luke

 

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.

 

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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/

 

Why Crash Diets Don’t Work!

The New Year is looming, and it’s easy to resort to crash diets or a detox to shift that Christmas weight! Crash diets just aren’t the answer though, and you’re more than likely to be setting yourself up for disappointment!

 onscales

What is  a crash diet? 

Crash dieting pays no attention to healthy living or a good balance of foods. It just focuses on the drastic reduction of calories! (below 1500 kcal). They will also focus on a very narrow range of foods, seriously restricting what and when you can eat. Some crash diets completely remove foods all together and replace them with shakes and supplements. Though people show some short term results with crash diets, most gain more weight not long after stopping. These short term results don’t come without their costs though. Most crash dieters find they suffer with hunger pains, lack of energy, poor sleep patterns, mood swings, poor skin and hair, bad breath and lack of concentration……….and all this to lose some weight that you will put straight back on!

Why crash diets don’t work?

Drastically reducing calories causes the body to lower its metabolism. Your metabolism can be summed up as the calories your body uses to maintain all it’s functions throughout the day. A slow metabolism means the body will require less calories throughout the day. This means losing weight through calorie restraint becomes even harder. It also means that when the diet is over or you have a “bad day” the body is unable to deal with the extra calories and is more likely to store them as fat! This is made worse by the fact that when feeling starved, the brain makes the urge for calorific foods higher….making those leftover Xmas crisps, biscuits and chocolate almost impossible to say no to! Crash diets also don’t change people’s behavior towards food or their lifestyle. So when the diet is over, it’s very easy to go straight back to poor eating habits and start putting the weight back on!

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How much weight should you be losing dieting properly?

A healthy and maintainable rate of weight loss is 2 lbs a week! When hearing claims of people losing 10 lbs a week, this is almost certainly done with massive calorie restrictions, and wont be long till all the weight comes back! Just remember 2 lbs a week is 7 stone 6 lbs over a year…….sounds pretty good for weight that will stay off!

What’s the right way to do it?

A good diet should consist of a healthy balance of foods, a healthy reduction in calories, and an increase in activity. A healthy reduction in calories will be between 300-500 calories a day. This will allow the body to adapt without feeling starved, and will begin to burn fat as a source of fuel. It is also good to eat smaller portions more often throughout the day. This keeps the metabolism high, and also evens out the body’s blood sugar. A steady blood glucose level will stop problems like lack of energy, mood swings, and will make you more likely to burn fat.  It’s also essential to avoid quick releasing calorific foods! These are things like sugar, chocolate, white bread, white pasta, crisps, fizzy drinks and highly processed foods. These cause a large rise in blood glucose and stop your body burning fat. A good diet should consist of fresh fruits and vegetables, a mix of proteins, seeds, nuts and slow releasing carbohydrates, and plenty of water. When combined with a productive exercise plan and weight loss should come easily and not become something that is difficult.

For a nutritional assessment why not book in for a session at the BourneFit Studio by clicking here

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Sport Massage

Sports massage isn’t just reserved for elite athletes. It’s now widely used by people participating in all levels of sport, and even those with just aches and pains. So how can it help you…….

Sports massage is designed to relieve muscular tension and restore balance to the musculo-skeletal system. Tension and muscular imbalances can be caused by sports, but can also be caused by daily activity, like sitting at a desk or driving. Improving these issues with massage is achieved with techniques designed to manipulate the muscle and it’s components.  The physiological and psychological benefits of sports massage can be immense. Teamed with good training and nutrition, it can lead to significant improvements in health, performance and well being.

The Benefits

  • Increased flexibility
  • Improved performance
  • Reduced muscular tension
  • Reduced risk of injury
  • Improved circulation
  • Increased recovery time
  • Realignment of scar tissue
  • Enhanced muscular awareness
  • Increased the permeability of the muscle tissue
  • Improved posture

 

In and around sport

Massage can be used before, after and even during sports. Used effectively it can improve performance and allow quicker recovery after!

Pre-workout

This is normal done in and around the warm up. It is used to help increase circulation to the muscle and make them more supple. It is also helpful on the more problematic areas affecting performance, i.e tight muscles and areas of previous injury. It can also help psychologically, giving the muscle increased sensitivity and help mentally prepare for the activity.

Post-workout

Sports massage directly after exercise is used to improve recovery. It helps remove waste chemicals from the muscle, and realign muscle fibers. The quicker the body can return itself to a recovered state, the sooner you can get back to training! The sooner you can get back to training, the fitter you will become!

Between training session

Sports massage between training session is used to work on problems areas. Participating in any sport will cause certain muscle to have increase tension. These muscles vary depending on the sport, your posture and your flexibility. These sessions tend to be a lot deeper, but yield some of the best results. They can be help with current injuries, or help identify and treat areas susceptible to injury. This treatment will aid performance and help reduce your chance of injuries in the future……meaning you can train better and more consistently throughout the year.

Sports massage massage isn’t just for when aches and pains spring up. Used properly it can be done all year round to maintain health and well being in and out of sport.  For more information or to book a session check out www.bourne-fit.co.uk

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

Burning Calories Away From the Gym!

The gym is a fantastic way to stay in shape and get fit, but there are loads of things you can do throughout the day to help increase your calorie consumption and speed up your weight loss!

Very few of your daily calories are burnt in the gym, most are used throughout the day, during normal activities. So a great way of burning calories is to increase your daily activities! Below is a list of 10 simple activities and the calories they burn. This won’t make them any more fun, but when you know how many calories you’ll be burning it might give you more of an incentive to do them!

  • Wax on Wax Off – 30 minutes of polishing your table tops and shelves can burn up to 80 calories, this will burn off the same as 2 and half chocolate fingers!
  • Changing rooms – Give your house and your body a revamp by painting a room. 3 hours of painting can use up to 1030 calories, this is the same as 2 sandwich packs from the supermarket!
  • Fold your clothes to lose your folds – 30 minutes of folding after your ironing can burn 70 calories, this will burn the equivalent of 2 hand a half digestive biscuits!
  • Supermarket Sweat! – 1 hour of pushing your trolley around the supermarket can burn 250 calories! This is the same amount of calories as  nearly 3 crumpets!
  • Longer waits equals less weight! – We all hate it, but standing in line at the bank or the post office can burn 100 calories and hour! This is the sames as a slice of white toast and jam!

 

  • Trim down your lawn to trim down your tummy! – Now summers on the way take the mower out of the garage. 30 minutes of lawn mowing can use a whopping  200 calories! This is the same amount as 2 chocolate mini rolls!
  • Take the Stairs! – We know the lift looks so appealing, but choosing to the stairs can burn 100 calories in 20 minutes. This would burn the same amount of calories as a fruit scone!
  • Skipping’s not just for kids – Relive your childhood and start skipping again. 30 minutes of skipping in the garden is fun and can burn a huge 350 calories, this is the same as 1 and a half jam donuts!
  • Suck up dust to suck in the stomach! – 30 minutes of vacuuming  does’t just give you a clean carpet it can also burn 100 calories! This is the equivalent of 1 large glass of red wine!
  • Healthy dog healthy you! – Taking the dog for a walk for and hour can burn 200 calories! This is the same amount of calories as in 2 bowls of corn flakes! If you haven’t got a dog, a walk on your own is just as good!

Combining a healthy diet, some good quality exercise a few times a week and keeping active throughout the day will speed up your weight loss goals! To kick start your weight loss and improve your fitness by booking in for a free taster personal training session at http://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/