Training: how much is enough?

How much exercise we take is an individual mix.  It depends on what our goals are, types of training involved, results, motivation and lifestyle. Let’s have a look at what typically needs to be done – how much is enough?

BoxingGOALS

Really and truthfully our goals will dictate most of our training.  Take weight training for example.  Someone who is looking at general fitness may need as little as 15-20 minutes 2 times a week as part of another workout.  Someone looking for cover model of a fitness magazine will need to be pounding the gym most days of the week.

The same can be said of cardiovascular exercise.  Someone looking for an increase in fitness could see results at as little as 3 lots of 20 minutes per week.  Distance events like marathons and triathlons would definitely require more hours of commitment due to the nature of the event.

yoga

THE JOYS OF MINIMALISM

The good news for some is the way some research is headed.  Less is more so to speak…

  • Strength training – much can be done in under 30 minutes these days.  3 sets of quality is better than 6 sets of junk!
  • Cardio – fitness benefits from interval training are extremely high.  Most people cannot finish a set of 8 x 1 minute sprints which is more than enough to boost cardiovascular fitness.
  • Flexibility – A few minutes 2-3 times a day is still the optimum amount of time to stretch a muscle group.  Beyond this the effect of stretching reduces.

So..it is worth really drilling down and considering what elements of fitness are most important.  At times it may be a case on maintain one, work on another.  On a busy week it’s extremely easy to let it go altogether – why not maintain instead.

For more info on training or to find out all the above can be applied visit BourneFit – Our Bournemouth Personal Training Studio.  Even a one off session can be a huge step towards efficient workouts!

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/

 

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

How To Run Faster and Longer.

It’s getting to that time of year when everyone’s brushing the dust of the trainers, and taking to the beach or parks for a run. Running is a brilliant way of improving fitness, aiding weight loss and a great excuse to get off the sofa and out of the house, but everyone always wants to know one thing  “how do I run for longer without stopping?”.

 

Why you stop running?

This comes down to what is know as “the point of muscular fatigue”. This is when you are no longer able to maintain steady and constant muscle contractions, and once this kicks in, the legs start burning, heart rate increase, breathing rate quickens and you eventually stop! When this happens depends on factors like fitness level, speed, incline, energy levels, distance and hydration. Improving  this isn’t just as simple as running until you feel sick! There are techniques to help you run faster for longer!!!

 

Make the most of your arms!

Running isn’t just about your legs, generating power through your arms is key to going for longer. Bend the elbows at 90 degrees and really focus on driving forwards and backwards with your hands. Moving the hands will help generate power with the upper body and core, and give you more power in the legs!

 

Sprint interval training.

These sessions won’t be as long as your normal running session, but will be packed with more intensity! Short hard runs mixed with periods of very slow jogging for rest. For new runners this can be done with 200 meters of sprinting with 45 seconds of slow running for recovery, and then repeat until the end of your set distance. As you get better and feel more confident, begin to increase the sprint distance in 100 meter increments, or keep the intervals the same and increase the overall distance depending on your goals!

 

In the gym!

Building muscle strength in the gym can help when running. Extra leg strength and power means your stride becomes longer! This doesn’t mean you have to stick 200kg on the squat bar and have legs like a bodybuilder. Things as simple as box jumps, lunges and light squats for a few sets of 20 reps, a couple of times a week can add as much as 21% more endurance when running!

 

Getting your longer runs right.

Its good to have a longer run once a week, this will normally be 75-85% of your competitive distance. So if your training for a 10km run, training at 8km will be perfect. For marathon runners your long run would be 17 miles. These runs go hand in hand with intensity though. Going to easy too easy won’t give you the goals you’re after, and going too fast you will burn out before the end. Going at 80% of your fastest pace will get the best results, and still leave you something in the tank for a sprint finish to overtake your friends. 😉

 

Food and Drink.

An hours run on a warm day, you can lose over a liter of sweat! Being dehydrated will affect performance and cause fatigue to kick in sooner! So make sure you have plenty to drink before, after and even during! Your body uses energy from food to keep your muscles going, so remember to eat before and after your run.  It can be tempting to go running on an empty stomach when trying to lose weight, but if you run out of energy you’l have to stop sooner, and if you stop sooner you wont be burning as much fat as if you were still running! Eating properly after training will help recovery, and the sooner and better you recover,the quicker you’l be out running again! Read more on sports nutriton.

 

Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Stretching after training reduces the risk of injury and keeps your body supple. Flexible legs means a longer stride and that means going further! Make sure you listen to your body, its not hard for those little aches and pains to get worse. When you do have them, take a break and take it easy. These are normally a sign of going too hard too soon, so remember to ease into your training and slowly progress over time. If your injured, you can’t run! Fact! Read more…on recovery from exercise.

 

So just remember no matter what level your at with the right training and recovery you can improve! So whether training for a 5km fun run or the next London marathon, you’re all runners!!!

 

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