Why Personal Fitness Coach is the best money you will ever spend

Have you ever thought about getting a PT but not really understood what they do and how they can help you?

If you have aesthetic goals then weight training and specifically with a barbell is the best way to go. When people say they want to “tone up” all they really mean is that they want to build muscle and potentially lose some fat. Yes there are other ways to build muscle but most of us don’t want to spend hours in the gym everyday doing gruelling workouts wondering if they are going to see any results. Thus, Barbell training with a sprinkle of body part specific extras (ie. emphasis on a peachy bum) is the best way to train. Sounds simple right? The basic fundamentals are simple but to action this isn’t quite as easy. *Enter Personal Trainer*

Good Form for Squats, Deadlifts, Bench Press and Overhead Press is essential. They are complicated movements and even elite powerlifters are still perfecting their form. Doing these movements incorrectly can cause injury but more importantly won’t have the desired result 😉 Pulling up the weight on a deadlift with your back won’t get you a peachy bum and defined hammies plus there’s only so far you can go with bad form.

Good Programming. This will look different for everyone. A beginner programme should emphasise on learning movement patterns. Push, pull, hinge, squat, bridge and lateral rotary. There are many variations of the barbell movements I listed above that can A. Give you a great workout (and you will still see progress with) and B. Help you master the big lifts so you can continue your journey into unlimited progress.

More intermediate lifters will plateau. Although strength gains are not linear. There will be a time that you simply can not break past a certain weight. There are numerous ways to structure your sets and reps to push past. Plus there are many life factors that can have a big impact. Diet, sleep etc. Click here for a more in depth article if you want to dig deeper.

The last thing and just as important as the former. Coaches keep you accountable. They keep you focused. It’s easy when you train yourself to get distracted by this workout and that workout but if you keep flipping in between programmes and not building on what you already have then progress will be slower. It’s also easy to skip some sets and reps but when you have a coach you are much less inclined to do so.

So there you have it. Get yourself a coach that doesn’t just beast you in the gym but actually knows what they are talking about. Coaches come in all different shapes and sizes and all have their niche. Do some research and find one that fits you, your goals and understands your lifestyle. Remember that good athletes don’t necessarily make good coaches so don’t be blinded by the abs! Just because they did it themselves it doesn’t mean they know how they did it! I personally believe everyone needs a coach. Coaches need coaches! The bottom line is invest in yourself. It’s money you will never regret spending.

I’m Mimi!

My mission is to help women love their bodies and love themselves ❤️ From the age of 13 I hated my body. I tried every fad diet under the sun that promised me fast weight loss. I was doing 3 classes at the gym 5 days per week, one after the other. It was completely demoralising to “fail” every diet and to regain weight. The failures also affected my confidence in other areas of my life.
I then got my first Personal Trainer that showed me another way. I learnt how to lift weights and I educated myself about nutrition and fat loss. I found a way of eating that gave me results and most importantly was sustainable because it fitted my lifestyle.
I later changed my career to become a Personal Trainer so I could help people in the same way PT helped me.
PT is more than telling someone to eat less and exercise more. Everyone leads different lives, has different motives. The plan must fit you and not the other way around. There are lots of great PT’s out there. Find yourself a good one and invest in yourself. You are a worthwhile investment.

me

Why gym classes suck…

If you have been going to gym classes for a while you will have realised that progress is a thing of the past and the plateau effect is real. The problem is that realistically there are only so many reps you can pump out and so many burpees you will be able to do in a minute. You’ll find that you can only use the same weights or find it hard to progress onto heavier weights.

Strength training with an emphasis on getting stronger will do much more for you than endless amounts of classes and cardio will do.

Even when it comes to strength training it can be hard to break through plateaus but the difference is there are always ways to break through them. The great thing about strength training is that what you are doing is measurable and with a good coach you can figure out a way to progress. Classes have also given the wrong misconception to people that cardio and exhausting yourself to the max is the way to lose weight and to “be fit”.   For one weight training will give you good cardiovascular health and building muscle will do more for you in the long run, especially as we get older. Think of it as a long term investment. Invest in learning to lift weights. Make it a priority, hire someone to help you. It is a skill that will last you for years ahead and a journey you won’t regret embarking on!

Should you train when you are sick?

I’m sick blurgh. The most I have done today is move from bed to sofa bed to bath to bed. I thought however this would be a good opportunity to do some research into training when sick to see how, when or if it should be done.

How sick are you?

If your body hurts then don’t train. If you have a fever then don’t train. Speaking from experience the last thing you need is to add aching muscles on top of the aching muscles you already have. If you have a head cold then you can play it by ear.

What kind of exercise should I do when I’m sick?

Intense exercise is not a good idea when you are sick as it temporarily depresses immune function giving the bad guys an open window for attack. Saying this light/moderate cardio can improve immune function/respiratory function and can actually speed up recovery. You could also take a deload week or even completely change you training for that week and maybe do some yoga instead.

Will I see any loss in progress?

If you are having anxiety about loss in progress you have to remember that it takes 2-4 weeks to notice any loss in muscle size/strength. 1 or 2 or even 3 weeks off won’t make much difference in the long run.

Most importantly!

If you are contagious do the rest of us a favour and stay at home. The cold you got in the first place was probably from Jim wiping his nose and touching the dumbbells. Sharing isn’t always caring!

Are BCAAs a must have supplement?

The supplement industry seems to be crazy on pushing BCAAs as the must have muscle building supplement but are they worth your money?

What are BCAAs?

Protein is made up of 20 amino acids. 9 of which are essential which means your body does not produce them and they need to be consumed within your diet. BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids) are made up of Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. These are the “most important” building blocks of protein for muscle building.

How do amino acids help with muscle building?

Muscle protein balance is the net trade-off between 2 opposing processes. (MPS) Muscle protein synthesis and (MPB) muscle protein breakdown. The triggering of MPS can be narrowed down to the content of Leucine within a feeding. However, the issue is that once you trigger MPS you need all 9 aminos for the actual muscle building to occur and BCAAs are just 3 of these.

Am I getting enough aminos?

If you are hitting your daily protein recommendation (between 1.5g and 2.5g of protein per kg of bodyweight) and each of your meals contains an adequate amount of Lucene. (High leucine foods include cheese, soybeans, beef,chickenpork, nuts, seeds, fishseafood, beans and whey supplements). Then there is no need to waste your money on BCAAs.

 

Best exercise selection? Straight sets, pyramid sets, supersets, tri sets, giant sets, drop sets

When designing a weight training program, you must decide how many repetitions, or reps, of each exercise you’ll perform. You must also choose how you will group these reps into sets. Here are a few things to consider when designing your programme.

  • Straight sets

Straight sets are the most commonly used in a weight training programme and they will look something like this.

Squats 50kg x 10 50kg x 10 50kg x 10

Repetitions are grouped anything between 1 and 16 depending on the exercise, body part, weight used and individual preference.

Sets are the groups of repetitions. I usually use between 3-5 sets in my training depending on the exercise, rep range, weight used.

Most weight training programmes will start with strength training (lower reps more sets) and end with higher reps less sets depending on goals

  • Goals

Are you interested in strength, building muscle, body part focus? Or do you just want to use weight training as a way to keep healthy? I don’t include fat loss here as I believe this has more to do with diet.

  • Training frequency

This will impact your daily exercise selection and the recovery time you have in between training sessions will impact how much stress you can afford on your muscles in each session.

  • Recovery

Recovery is underrated. I don’t just mean stretching and foam rolling but how well you recover in between training sessions. For example, drop sets will cause more muscle damage than a traditional straight set however a drop sets takes less time and if you are only training twice a week you will have more recovery time so in this case a drop set would be a more optimal exercise selection.

  • Adherence is key

Sure I could be working on an “optimal” programme for my goals but if I don’t enjoy it then I won’t do it.

Designing a training programme takes a lot of consideration and an individualised training programme can make all the difference to your training. Working with a good coach is a worth while investment. You will be able to work on a programme that suits your experience, lifestyle and goals.

How to write your own workout routine – beginners guide.

You want to start exercising but you don’t know where to start? What to start? Can’t afford a personal trainer?

 

With the amount of free resources out there these days writing a workout routine is something anyone can do. Here are my top tips.

  1. How much time do you want to dedicate to exercise? This isn’t about going all in or going home. Moderation is the hardest thing to learn and I encourage you this time to slowly create a lifestyle around exercise that you can still maintain in 5 years.
  2. What do you enjoy? Weight lifting? Yoga? Running? You can do all 3 if you like. This routine you design yourself will be around enjoyment, not punishment. Gone are the days of 1 hour stair master sessions to work off the bad food.
  3. Stick to your routine – no excuses. If you have created a routine for yourself that fits your lifestyle and time constraints and that you enjoy there are no reasons why you can not commit yourself to the program.

Example:

Monday – 6am Yoga:

30 mins Yoga *Insert YouTube link*

Wednesday – Lunch time run

5k – time goal 30 mins

Friday:

Body weight full body circuit x 3

10 Burpees

10 Jumping lunges

10 Push ups

10 Tricep dips

10 Leg raises

This programming method for beginners is with the aim of making exercise a habit. Once exercise becomes a part of your routine, like brushing your teeth, the sky is the limit. It’s a time where you will discover what you like, what you don’t like and areas of improvement that you will wish to build on. More than often the reasons you start wont be the reasons you continue so keep this in mind in your journey of self discovery.

The natural muscular potential of women – Menno Henselman

This is a really interesting article by Menno Henselman highlighting some interesting information about the muscular potential of women.

  1. Women gain the same percentage of muscle mass as man during strength training.
  2. Why women are not as high performing in competitive sports despite of our genetic potential.
  3. Why testosterone in women isn’t a strong determining factor into why we don’t build as much muscle and why estrogen is not the enemy.
  4. Why women’t shouldn’t train like men!
  5. Environmental and physiological factors in creating an enjoyable and more effective workout plan tailored towards women.

 

Why counting calories isn’t enough

More often than not I am approached by girls that are tracking their calories but are finding it hard to stick to their prescribed calorie amount. They usually manage it Monday – Friday when will power is high then bail at the weekends eating back all the calories they lost over the week. Or they feel are feeling hungry all the time and unsurprisingly can’t stick it out longer than a day. This combined with excessive cardio is the most common unsustainable way I see girls trying to lose weight.

The good news is that it’s not hard to change and actually with a few small tweaks it’s a lot easier than you think.

veg

 

  1. Are you eating enough protein? Even when I ask people this question they don’t take seriously how important this is for weight loss. Protein helps with satiety (feeling full) and prevents muscle loss (which is important in a calorie deficit as you lose muscle as well as fat). A good place to start is with around a gram of protein per pound of body weight and then you can make the rest of your calories up with fats and carbs at your preference. Even if you are not tracking your calories/macros  eating more protein can aid with weight loss without you even noticing. There is a reason why you have heard of the low carb/low fat diet but never the low protein diet.
  2. You are not eating enough fiber. Fruits and veggies are the best way to keep full whilst cutting your calories. Especially the green veggies. Not to mention they are super nutrient packed. Even when people think they are eating enough vegetables they are more often not eating enough. Eat your greens!
  3. Your dieting calories are not the same as your maintenance calories. So many times people reduce their calories too much and they think that they have to stay at those calories forever more. You can reduce your calories by just 200 everyday and slowly lose weight and just to put that into context that’s just over 2 table spoons of olive oil. The same however works in the reverse. More often than not people don’t gain a lot of weight over night. It’s often that they have been in a small calories surplus for a long time. Dieting does not have to be all or nothing.
  4. Prep your food. If you prep your food in advance and even include the treats you will have you are much more likely to stick to your diet. The amount of willpower and decision making you will need in the day drastically decreases and therefor compliance is much higher.
  5. Learning how to cheat. If you are going out for dinner you can think ahead and just eat veggies and protein in the day. This way you can live your life without blowing your diet and you can still reach your goals.

So next time, before getting down about not being able to stick to your diet, make sure you consider the above and don’t underestimate what a difference these things can make.