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Showing posts from June, 2017

Fairytales from the gym - The machines are taking over

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I would put in my "fantasy gym". So far, it has a sauna, a ninja warrior gym zone and an underwater treadmill.

One thing that doesn't feature very heavily in my fantasy gym however, is resistance machines.

There are some resistance machines I'm down with. I love a plate loaded leg press. The gym I train at also has what I like to call "the bum machine" (a glute isolator) which allows a lot of load on a movement that is hard to scale. I'm also down with the odd chest press machine and their ilk - they are great for people who are a bit nervous of getting under the bar. There's definitely a place for resistance machines in most people's programming, so I'm not talking about binning them all.

But there's a phenomenon I've noticed in most gyms, where some users - usually the newer, more nervous or untrained users (often long term gymgoers who have just never had any support past induction) b…

Protein, part 2 - the shake minefield.

So last time we did some mythbusting about protein, it was good times and now we can rest easy that we are neither going to contract kwashiorkor or experience renal failure as long as we eat right. Phew.

Now I want to talk supplements, because this is another thing people like to ask me about!

Protein supplementation can be quite divisive. There are those who swear by it and those who rally against it and yet again, both of them have their points. So shall we mythbust?

If you are strength training you need to be drinking protein shakes.
Nope. If you read my last post (why didn't you read my last post? Go there now and think about what you've done), you will know that pretty much everyone, including high level athletes can meet their protein needs with real food, and....say it with me...

REAL FOOD COMES FIRST.

The possible exception being athletes who are trying to gain or retain muscle mass, whilst also in caloric deficit to promote fat loss. The high levels of protein necessa…

Protein. Are you eating enough? Are you eating too much? Do you need a supplement?

Let's tackle a meaty topic.

Meaty.
Protein.
Get it?
Everyone seems to be going on about protein. Everyone in the gym is chugging shakes. People on the internet are claiming its the secret to weight loss and everything else. Other people on the internet are saying the first people's kidneys are going to fail. Someone else says there's really no need to worry as we don't actually need much protein after all. Some people have numbers, but those numbers are all different. Everyone is confused.
Who is correct?
Well, everyone is a little. Save that they are all only telling a very small part of a bigger story. So shall we break it down? WITH SCIENCE!
The RDA
OK, so a figure you will often see bounced around is 0.8g of protein per 1kg of bodyweight. This is the Recommended Daily Allowance. This figure is based on the idea of a "normal" person who is not particularly active, or growing and consuming an adequate amount of calories per day. This figure is the amount of…

Running with wolves

When I started trying to reverse my post-baby weight gain, I spent several months, probably a year or so really floundering.

I was exercising, hard. I didn't feel like I was overeating, but I wasn't losing weight. In fact sometimes I was gaining more and I couldn't figure out why.

Often I get personal training clients coming to me with the same problem. They eat wholesome foods with few treats, they exercise hard several times a week, but there's no weight loss.

The answer to this problem is a staple for a PT or nutrition coach. It's about activity levels. If I sit on the sofa all day, I burn through just under 2000 calories. If I do a 30 minute HIIT workout, I burn about 200 more. But if I spend my day doing housework, walking to town to do errands and generally being on my feet, I burn 3000 calories or more. It's not the workouts, it's the activity or NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis if you feel fancy).

So how do you keep up your NEAT or low leve…