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Lack of Sleep: It Affects Your Brain & Your Training

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This post is going to cover the ins and outs of sleep deprivation, looking at how it affects your brain, and then how a lack of sleep can also impact your training. We’ve all been there, the odd late night or early morning; but there comes a point during that day where it instantly catches up with you and you remember just how little sleep you’ve actually had.

There are many, many effects that a lack of sleep can cause, ranging from general productivity loss, to your wider health and general well-being. Of course, it goes without saying that without the correct and proper sleep, we cannot perform as normal, but just how much of an impact can inadequate sleep really have on the body?

 

The Effects of Insufficient Sleep on the Brain

Are you sitting down? If not, you might want to for this next piece of information. A recent study, conducted just last year (2017) in Italy, revealed that depriving yourself of sleep can result in your brain cells consuming parts of their own synapses.

These brain cells are also known as astrocytes and it their primary responsibility to get rid of the worn-out cells, However, following a period of sleep deprivation, these cells actually eat the brains synapses. Another significant effect of sleep deprivation on the brain is a sharp increase in anxiety and anger. This is because the amygdala which is a specific part of the brain that is responsible for controlling emotions is also heavily impacted as well. This results in the generation of a more emotionally charged response when we are faced with negative stimulation, it makes staying in control of your emotions even more of a challenge.

And, it doesn’t end there...

There is another part of the brain that is severely affected by a lack of sleep. This has another interesting name, and its called the Hippocampus. This is essentially what controls your ability to store new memories. I’m sure you can relate to this; it is the reasons why it is very hard to take on new information and retain that information when you are tired or haven’t slept well the night before.

Everything from problem solving, controlling emotions, making decisions, and remembering information is affected when you do not get enough sleep.

While everyone is different, and some people suggest they can survive on just 4-5 hours per night; there are others who feel they need between 7-9 hours per night in order to get enough rest. The optimal amount of sleep has not been clinically defined, but for most people, around 7-9 hours is the average accepted count.

 

How A Lack of Sleep Impacts Your Training

Getting the right amount of sleep is vital when it comes to your training regime. With enough, your performance, results, and recovery are all going to be affected.

It goes without saying that there are always going to be occasions where you simply cannot get the required 7-9 hours. However, if this starts to occur more frequently, and even takes on form as a regular occurrence, you will find that your levels of energy are unable to be sustained, you will have less motivation, and your recovery rate will be much slower.

Metabolism

If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will produce less of a specific hormone called leptin. Leptin is a key hormone that helps you to feel full; with less of this in your body you are more likely to want to eat more, thus thwarting your chances of keeping your weight under control. According to scientific research, another hormonal consequence of not sleeping is enough is the increase it will cause to your levels of ghrelin, and this will actually make you want to eat more. The overriding result of both these factors is weight gain.

Energy and Motivation

It goes without saying that sustaining energy and motivation without sleep is tough. Your workout will be restricted if you are deprived of sleep, which can seriously hamper your progress. Just a single night of sleep deprivation has been scientifically proven to affect your anaerobic abilities for up to 36 hours following that period of inadequate sleep. Energy levels are also impaired as a result and your peak of energy following a period of sleep deprivation will be much lower than normal.

Muscle Strength and Repair

By not getting enough sleep, you will limit your progress. During a normal night’s sleep, a growth hormone that strengthens your muscles and bones is released into your body. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will significantly reduce the availability of this hormone in the body, which negatively affects the body’s natural ability to recover and repair the muscles. Don’t underestimate the importance of the Human Growth Hormone; without it, you will limit your ability to lift weights and recover easily following intense workouts.

Performance

Last, but by no means least, is physical performance. As I have already covered, both motivation and energy are both affected by inadequate sleep. However, one of the biggest impacts is on performance. The easiest way to explain this is to provide you with a tangible study that was conducted at Stanford University, the results of which were measured over a 2-4 week period Basketball players were asked to increase their sleep time to ten hours per night, compared to their normal average of 6-8 hours. After sleeping more, their recorded times for sprinting increased significantly. The accuracy was also improved with a demonstrated increased of almost 10% which came about as a result of their sharper focus and enhanced levels of concentration.

 

As you can see, insufficient sleep can really wreak havoc on the body, both mentally and physically.

It also goes a few steps further by speeding up the aging process, it can cause depression, and impact the immune system, which as we know all too well, can also affect your ability to train hard and stay fit.

In quick summary, skipping sleep just isn’t worth it. It is just as important to your health and wellbeing as what you eat, and how much you exercise.

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10 Signs Your Workout Isn't Actually Working

It’s all well and good to go to the gym and train, but how do you know if your workout is actually working? If you’ve been training for a while and your results have plateaued, or never changed at all, it’s time to figure out whether it’s your food plan or your training plan that’s dampening your results. So let’s take a look at your training plan, and go through the signs that your exercise program just isn’t what it should be.

1. You’re Never Sore
It should be a given that when starting new training program, or making some big switch-ups in your current training program that you’ll be a little sore. Your fast-twitch muscle fibres (the ones that you’re going to be using for any rigorous activity like sprints, weight lifting, boxing, etc) take time to recover, and while they’re repairing you may have a little pain that comes along with it, the more your body gets used to a training program, the less post-workout soreness you’ll have. If you’re not feeling any soreness at all 1-2 days after your workouts, then you are probably not actually training as hard as you could (and should) be. A training program should be designed to push you a little to ensure that you’re getting fitter, stronger, or closer to your physical goal.

2. Your Reps or Weights Haven’t Changed
As you make your way through your training program over a few months, the amount of weight you are lifting, and/or the number of reps you are doing should change to ensure that there is progression in your workout. For example, the Get Lean training program has a section dedicated to teaching you progress your reps and weights in a way that is safe and sustainable. If you’re not changing what you’re doing, you’re not moving forward.

3. You Always Have An Injury
Are you doing the workouts correctly? Poor form can lead to poor results, and injury. For example, squatting one way will build your quads, but squatting with slightly different form will focus more on your hamstrings and glutes. Little changes can make a world of difference to your time in the gym. And if you’re not focused on how to do an exercise correctly, or you have no recovery routine (stretch/foam roll/physio/chiro/etc) a common sign is regular injury. If your recovery routine has no need for adjustment, then it’s time to start looking at your form during your workouts.

4. You’re Fatigued, A Lot
Over-training is also a thing! If your training program is poorly designed (e.g. rest days vs training days, or even the order of your training days) you may begin to get fatigued. This can also happen if you take on too much, too soon. If you’re new to training you should build up your resistance, starting with 2-3 days a week, and over the course of 6 months work your way up to 4-5 days a week. At first it may seem exciting and new, and you might want to exercise every day to get results faster, but it will all come crashing down like a pile of bricks if you’re unable to keep up with the schedule for a prolonged period of time. Slow it down, and figure out a training program that not only suits your lifestyle, but also your fitness level.

5. You Can Converse During Your Workout
Having a good ‘ol chat at the gym with your buddy and not feeling out of breath once? Maybe it’s time to step it up a notch. You’ll know you’ve had a good workout when you’re sweating, and when it’s hard to talk afterwards. It’s usually a little easier to get a word in during your breaks if you’re doing weight lifting sets, but if you’re doing cardio you’ll know you’re working hard enough when you just don’t want anybody to speak to you in the fear that you cannot speak back.

6. Your Workout Is The Same Every Day
The problem that I see with a lot of people following YouTube demonstration videos as their only workouts (don’t get me wrong, this is a good way to start) is that the exercises don’t change. The same thing with those who do the same kind of workout every day. If your workout is not changing then you are not changing. As you become fitter, lighter, stronger or gain muscle (whatever you’re working towards) your program needs to be adapted to make sure that you can keep going further. 

7. You’re Not Noticing Changes
You’re not noticing any changes, and in fact you might even be going backwards from where you started! Not every training program is designed the same. Some programs focus more on weight loss, some on muscle and weight gain, some on just general fitness. Make sure that you have a fitness program that’s designed for your body and your goals, not just a generic one-size-fits-all.

8. You’re Not Tired At Night
If you’ve worked hard during the day you should feel it at night. Now, naturally some people are slightly more nocturnal than others, but if you’re able to get a good workout in during your day, you will start to feel tired earlier at night than your usual bed-time hour. 

9. Your Heart Rate Isn’t High Enough
During your workout you should actually be able to feel that you’re training hard enough, sometimes you might even feel a little bit sick from the lactic acid build up. If your heart rate isn’t high enough, you will never feel this. During exercise you should be between 50% and 85% of your maximum heart rate (maximum hear rate is 220 - your age). Example: 25 year old heart rate zone during exercise: 97 bpm - 165 bpm. To record your heart rate, either measure your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6, or invest in a heart rate monitor that will accurately monitor your heart rate throughout your entire workout.

10. You Can Complete All Your Reps
If you’re having no problems completing all the reps listed for your in your workout, then you have a problem (your workout is too easy)! You should be starting to struggle with your reps toward the last 2-3, particularly on the last few sets of your workout. 

If you’ve gone through this list and it seems like your workout might actually be difficult enough for you, but you’re still not getting the results you’re after if may be time to look at the other factors: food, alcohol, and the rest of your lifestyle.

If, on the other hand, you’ve decided your workout is too easy for you, make sure you check out our Get Lean Guides here. They’re dictated by your body type, are 6 month training programs, and are designed to progress with you.

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Your New Years Checklist

So the clock struck 12, and now it's 2017. Remember how a few weeks ago you decided to make some changes... maybe get on top of your fitness as your new year’s resolution. Now that it's here, knowing where to start is the biggest obstacle.  What is going to suit you: time-wise, goal-wise and budget-wise. Depending on the type of person you are, you may be able to just step in the gym and pick it up from there, but knowing what all the machines do, how many reps to do, when do you have your protein shake and if butter is a carb? These are all the things that may put up road blocks before you even start.

So with that in mind, this is your NYR Checklist:

1.     Get a program: it’s the easiest way to start. It's planned for you, it takes out all the guessing, you just have to do all the hard work. Programs can be done up by Personal Trainers, Online Coaches, 12 Week Challenges or you can find an eBook. Each option has it's ups and downs, so choose one that is going to get you results.


2.     Set a goal. This is your absolute dream, what you picture in your head when all the hard work is done. Make it specific: date, location, what you will look like, where on your body you want to see the change, how much weight/muscle, what you want to feel like etc. Write it all down and put it in a place you can see.
 

3.     Throw out all of your junk food. This can be a cleansing process. Refined carbs, sugary treats, soft drinks. Anything that you know is naughty, throw it out. This will help you resist temptation, boredom is one of the many reasons we overeat.
 

4.     Set missions throughout. So let’s say the first mission is to get to the middle of February and stay on track with the plan. Having mini goals to look forward to helps the time pass, as results won't happen over night, so you must be patient! Set little reminders in your diary.
 

5.     Always have a bottle of water. Keeping hydrated can increase energy levels, keep you healthy and help fight of food cravings.
 

6.     Up your game, some people will plateau throughout their fitness journey, so it's up to you to find out why... you can get a PT, see a dietitian, naturopath, do more exercise, research vitamins and minerals, start using supplements, there is a whole new level you can step up to.
 

7.     If you fall off the program, don’t worry, don’t stress. The last thing you want to do get upset and feel like you haven’t done anything. You have laid down the foundation for what is your fitness journey. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are your biceps.
 

8.     Assess! If its not working, are you doing the right thing for your goals? Are you just going for runs, are just lifting weights, have you been doing any ab work?  Making sure you are following the right program for you goals is integral to your outcome. I've seen a lot of people doing the wrong things when it comes to there pushing forward and trying to achieve results. Your body type plays a big role in what you have to do. Weights or Cardio, do you want to be strong and lean or do you have a few extra KGs to lose? The ERL12 challenge was put together to help define your body. Not everyone wants to be skinny, some people actually want to be bigger, and that’s including girls, if you want a nice butt to look nice in a pair of jeans, you're not just going to go for walks. We designed the programs so you can do what you want to do, beginner, intermediate, advanced, the ERL12 will get you results. Registrations for the January round of ERL12 are still currently open. The next 12 week program will begin January 16, 2017. Register here today>>>

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Mistakes You Make in Squats + Deadlifts

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A lot of people seem to think that doing squats and/or deadlifts is going to give them a sore back... wrong. Doing squats and deadlifts will actually strengthen your back, IF you do them with the correct technique.

There are a variety of ways to do squats and deadlifts, depending on what you want to get out of your training. For example, a powerlifter isn't going to squat the way that I squat, because I simply want to build strength, not squat until my knees snap (horrible flashbacks to that video that's going around Facebook at the moment).

These exercises predominantly use your leg muscles, but actually help strengthen all over (core, back etc). And I think it's important to remember that if you want to burn fat more effectively, you need to get yourself some more muscle, so head down to the gym and use these techniques to improve your technique, lift heavier and get more results:

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Enough is Enough: How to know your limits

So you have either passed out on the floor or just gone and thrown up in the toilet and you’re thinking, do I keep on going? Or do I stop? When is “Enough is Enough”?

 There comes a time where you have to think to yourself, 'Is this just hard or am I actually about to die?' There is a fine line on when you should decide to stop exercising because you have hit your wall.

Whether you are doing weights of cardio, it really comes down to what your goal and mission is in your program. When training weights you are really trying to stick to a program that is structured, if you are doing say a deadlift in your program, you should really be aiming for the set number of reps that’s there.

If you’re following one of the Get Lean programs the progression of sets should give you the ability to complete each set and program feeling exhausted and fatigued, but you should be able to complete every rep and set! 

Doing HIIT or cardio on the other hand is a bit different, because you’re focusing on using more glycogen and oxygen, so your level of fitness and glycogen supply both play a big role. My rule is make sure you eat a bit before you train, even if it's just something like a banana, something light before a HIIT session, and during your session make sure you have a bottle of water with BCAAs or at least just plain water by your side. The second part is doing a structured program of HIIT, don’t start with something that is crazy and going to make your heart rate spike too fast, otherwise you’re going to deplete your glycogen levels too fast. Imagine there are stages: start easy for the first exercise, step it up and do something a bit challenging, then something that is going to get you to the peak of your fitness. If this is making you feel dizzy, you’re getting there. Be wary and keep on going, try and complete the sets and rest and relax, catch your breath and then complete the next exercise.

If you can’t make it through this and you feel like you’re going to puke, STOP!!!! Sit down, lie down and breathe! Whatever you do try and stop your self from throwing up, you’re trying to get fitter and build a tolerance to lactic acid, so don’t go and undo all of that hard work by sending it down the loo! Don’t worry next week will be easier and the month following you will be close to a pro!

The thing you have to think of, 'Is this going to actually kill me or am I making up excuses for myself?'

-Beau

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No Pain No Gain

It's either your first session or you haven't exercised in a while and you're thinking, "Awesome! This is the start of my journey to a better body"...... Then the next day comes and you get out of bed feeling like you have been hit by a bus! Welcome to the world of Delayed Onset Muscle Sorness, or DOMS for short. I have seen so many people fail and stop a program because of the unfamiliar experience. Like they say NO PAIN NO GAIN...

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Brotein

By Beau

It seems to me that there is not enough information on protein - what it's used for, where it comes from, where it goes. Most of us know that protein helps the muscles repair and grow within the rebuilding phase known as the "super compensation phase" where your body breaks down and mends itself with the delivery of water and glycogen around the body.

//Where is it?
Protein can be found in meats, eggs, dairy, dark green leafy vegetables and supplements such as protein shakes and BCAAs. Handy chart here.

//How much?
Now the amount of protein the body can handle per day is 0.8 grams per kilogram of your bodyweight for sedentary men & women, 1.0 – 1.2 grams per kilo for elite female athletes and 1.2 – 1.5 grams per kilo for elite male athletes (EG if you weight 61kg: 61kg x 0.8 grams = 48.8 grams per day). But what happens if you go over your limit? Where does it go? Does  your body burn it up? Does it come out in your poop or does it just disappear?

The correct answer is that what hasn’t been utilised metabolically by your body is broken down into building blocks known as peptides. Peptides are further broken down into amino acids, the amino acids are absorbed through the small intestine's lining and enter the blood stream.  From here, some of the amino acids build the body's protein stores. Excess amino acids are converted to fats and sugars that will store through out the body and flow out the kidneys and out of the urinary stream.

Don’t forget that there is also harm in retaining excess protein. For example, excess protein may lead to dehydration, because protein metabolism requires extra water for utilisation and excretion (i.e. elimination) of its by-products. Since exercising individuals are already at an increased risk for dehydration, the additional strain of protein waste excretion may further promote dehydration as well as kidney damage. So when you hear dudes talking about protein and how it makes them huge and they need as much of it as they can it's not the correct information. Fitness and health is so widely misinterpreted and should be tailored to you for the best and safest results!

So make sure you eat the right amount of protein and drink plenty of water!

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How taking selfies helps you lose weight

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Left early August 2014, right early January 2015

Hear me out for a second... it's actually the psychology behind it. As many of you know I am still on my own fitness journey trying to achieve the body that I want. This started back in February 2014. It's been nearly a year now and although I feel healthier, my skin is a million times better, I have more energy and I am much stronger, I look at my body and don't actually feel that 'different'. I was never unhappy with my body, it's a sack of meat that you use to walk around and do stuff in, so I think that's pretty awesome and you should be happy regardless. However because the changes in progress are pretty slow (you don't wake up slim after a week) and they fluctuated depending on how strict I was being with training and exercise it meant that when I looked at myself, and when people who saw me very frequently looked at me, they weren't noticing any changes.

I only heard that I looked different when I ran into people I hadn't seen in a while, they would exclaim how much weight I had lost and that I look great, but again, I couldn't see it. This is where taking photos has come in handy and I love looking back through them every couple of weeks. I think for your own motivation and to see the changes you have made you should take a photo of your body once a week, at the very least once a fortnight, to track your progress. It's great when you get measured or weighed and the numbers have come down, but in the end numbers and just numbers and you can't see what they look like unless you have photo evidence.

Even if your aim is the opposite, to gain weight, or gain muscle, this is such a useful exercise for you to do. Most of us snap selfies anyway so just take one in your training clothes next time! It's not even about putting them up all the time either, I know most of mine remain unposted - I just keep them on my own phone for reference.

For those doing the 8 Week Transformation Challenge I strongly urge you to take photos of your progress once a week! These will help you so much. We'd love to see your results too, so don't forget to follow and tag us @eatrunlift.me #eatrunlift8

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Also a quick side note, to anyone who has registered for the challenge and hasn't received their 'Welcome to the 8 Week Transformation Challenge' email yet please check your junk/spam inbox and if it's still not there contact me: rachel@eatrunlift.me A few of the emails looked like they had typing errors and I use an external program to automatically send out the welcome pack emails. Registration shuts 9:00am AEST and the book is being sent out tomorrow night.

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Ohhhh Did That Burn?

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By Beau:

Have you ever been doing something that has made you break out in to a sweat and though "Ohhhhh, I wonder how many calories I just burnt then?" For instance I've had to help Rachel carry shopping bags down escalators, through the car park, out of the car, up the stairs and in to the kitchen and have needed to lay down and have a nap I was that exhausted.

Obviously doing different activities and exercises are going to affect your heart rate depending on the intensity you do them, but also playing into the fact that your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) will change the amount of cals you burn from day to day activity. Your BMR is based on your age, weight and height and determines the amount of calories you need to burn through out the day to maintain energy, or wether you lose or gain weight depending on if you are over or under your daily intake.

Things like doing the dishes, playing with the dogs, fixing the car all burn calories too but on a very low level, in fact whilst you are sleeping your body goes in to repair mode where it's BMR is at work helping your proteins help your body recover so it's bigger and stronger the next day.

So here is a list of a few exercises, sports and activities that may interest you in how many calories you actually burn from them.

If you want to know how many calories you burn in something that's not listed, leave a comment with your name, age, height and weight with what exercise or activity you would like to know!

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WhatSupp? [Part 2]

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By Beau:

This is part two of my supplement post series. If you haven't read the first one yet you can find it here.

BCAA

  • Branch Chain Amino Acids are the support mechanisms for keeping hard lean muscle mass, with out BCAAs your body will start eating away at your hard work spent in the squat rack and leave you looking like a pregnant giraffe.
  • You spend hours and hours on the treadmill, or you have gone for that 10k run and think “EFF YEAH, GO ME! IM DOING SAAAAAA WELL!” Correct , you have burnt through so many calories burning all that fat and carbs that was sitting on your arse, but you don’t realize that now your energy source has turned to your protein, and protein is your muscle. This is where BCAAs play their part, they will help your body stop catabolising muscle in to glycogen as fuel.
  • As a general rule of thumb, I keep most work outs 45 mins or less to help the metabolic window use the right fuels at the right time, otherwise the food you eat depletes as an energy source, unless you are going to have a bite to eat mid session I would recommend having your BCAA as a intra-work out supplement to prevent your body producing cortisol and storing fat on your belly!
  • My two favorite BCAAs are: Scivation – Xtend, or Nubreed – Helix. Both come in a range of amazing flavours!

Creatine

  • Creatine is a natural occurring molecule found in the body which helps with the delivery of energy to the body and the brain. When broken down on a cellular level creatine can aid the production and delivery of energy (ATP) to the muscle to help fight off lactic acid and increase strength.
  • When preforming short bursts of energy such as lifting weights creatine is most effective, especially when you get in to the end of a set and pushing out the last rep!

L-Carnitine

  • This supplement is a natural existing amino acid that helps with the break down of food in to energy, this is great for a lot of people such as vegetarians and mothers breastfeeding who would most likely be deficient in L-Carnitine (mainly because its found in dairy, red meats and avocado).
  • The major benefits of L-Carnitine is the oxidation of food into energy to help stimulate muscle growth and endurance, which makes it the perfect supplement for endomorphs doing cardio and burning through the fat. It also helps with fat by heating up your core temperature.
  • Another great benefit of L-Carnitine is that it helps with so many little processes that help the body function normally. For instance, I have found that it is a great supplement to help manage my fibromyalgia. Other disease and disorders can also get beneficially supplementation from L-Carnitine aswell.
  • It can increase energy and and imrpove resistance to muscle fatigue. As a speculated fighter of muscle disease, liver disease, and kidney disease, L-Carnitine has also been shown to help build muscle and even treat some forms of cardiovascular disease. It is great in dieting, as it reduces feelings of hunger and weakness.

Other Supplements you should check out are: CLA, Test-Boosters, E-Blockers, L-Glutamine, Beta-Alanine, ZMA

Check out the supplements we have available HERE.

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WhatSupp? [Part 1]

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By Beau:

So you just read the heading and you’re thinking, “God damn it Beau, not another pun!!” Yes, I know….. and there are more to come so get used to it! This blog post is pretty much a run down of the supplements I use my self and that are essential for balancing out your body and helping it get the energy and boost it needs. Lets start:

Protein

  • Protein is one of the macronutrients in the body that provides us with energy along with carbohydrates and fats.
  • Protein is essential for helping the muscles recover and grow so you can gain lean muscle mass and repair tissue to become stronger. The average recommended dietary allowance for adults is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.
  • Before we get in to the supplementation side of things protein can be found in many food sources such as: lean meats (chicken breast, lean beef, kangaroo), eggs, dairy (cheese, milk, yoghurt), fish, lentils, and spirulina to name a few. These guys are important in a balanced diet, but when it comes to training and a busy lifestyle taking a protein powder can be a reliable and easy way to get your protein fix.
  • There are 2 types of proteins that you need to consume through out a training program: isolates and casein.
  • Isolates are a faster synthesising protein that absorbs better directly after a work out. Isolate whey protein is 90% protein and is separated from its base component, water and is lactose free and low in carbs and fat.
  • Casein is your slower releasing protein which is commonly found in cows milk and makes up 80% of its content. Best used through out the day as a meal replacement and also when you want to make protein treats. Casein is better used for throughout the day and before bed. There are many blends of protein that have both isolate and casein, plus other amino acids for ultimate recovery and best efficiency, For people who are scared of getting fat or to big stay away from the “bulking” proteins. Extra carbs have been added and best used for ectomorphs who need the extra energy.
  • Check out the Evolve range of proteins from our friends at ASN.

Pre Work-Out

  • The market for pre works outs have exploded and with many different natural and synthetic products on the shelves it makes it hard to choose what’s the best for you and what is going to get the job done.
  • Pre work out supplements help you achieve a higher focus, boost of energy and maintain strength and power during a training session. Imagine that these are a cocktail of vitamins, extracts and amino acids. Usually a lot of products will get banned because they are deemed illegal and taken of the shelves, mainly because its legal speed. I don’t recommend taking a pre work out when starting off a training program, healthy nutrition timing (having the right healthy foods at the right time) and a thermo supplement can boost results with out making you feel like you have just stepped in to a nightclub ;).
  • With the high you get from taking a “pre” you can also experience a “crash”, I know some nights after training I have just sat in the corner of a shower because I feel absolutely terrible. Sleep is disrupted, and energy levels can still be pretty high, so take at your own risk.
  • Some Pre Work Outs I have used in the past are: BPM Labs – The One 2., Lecheek Nutrition CRANK! Prototype II, USP Labs USP Labs Jack3d Micro.

Thermogens

  • I love these, they are a staple in my life, most people use coffee to get them up in the morning, I use “thermos”.
  • The effects from thermos are energy boost, focus, appetite suppressing and fat burning. They acts as a diuretic and help with bowel functionality aswell. Fat Burners (or Thermogenic Fat Burners) can increase the body's temperature enabling the body's ability to burn calories as heat; to be used as energy, thereby preventing them from being stored a fat.
  • Effective thermogenic supplements are those that contain key ingredients that create or support a fat burning 'thermogenic' environment by working together & in synergy. Some of these ingredients also aid in reducing appetite & spiking an increase in short-term energy. Such common ingredients are: garcinia cambogia, green tea extract, guarana extract, cayenne.
  • Thermogenic Fat burner supplements are the most commonly used fat loss products in the sports, bodybuilding & fitness arena today & stack well with other fat loss supplements including CLA or L-Carnitine. Fat loss supplements are highly effective and are best cycled for optimal benefit.

So these are the 3 most common types of supplements used in the fitness industry at the moment. I will be doing a part 2 which will include: BCAA, creatine, CLA, and more.

Check out the supplements we have available HERE.

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What Are You Weighting For? Strength or Size [Part 2: Size]

sizetrainingBy Beau:

Ok, so back where we took off. Now that we have gone over being strong its time to get SWOLE. As I have noticed a lot lately the whole body building culture is on the rise and the appeal to be as aesthetically pleasing to the eye is a number one priority in the gym scene. There are so many different sciences on what works for getting big, how many sets, how many reps, when you train, what you take etc. It doesn’t have to be that complicated, especially for people who are beginning a training routine.

Mass/size gaining is all about the capillarisation of the muscles, where the blood vessels around the myofibril increase with sarcoplasm and which then increase muscle density and makes them larger.

Sarcoplasmic training comes after Myofibril training, in its natural progression. The normal amount of reps completed in a set are 8-15. Typically I will use strength training first in a session then move on to mass training after. This mainly depends on the type of muscles that would be used in the session. For instance lets say we are doing chest. First I would start it off with a compound exercise like bench press for my strength, then I would follow it up with a more isolated exercise like a fly and move focus on getting size through that and have it super-setted with an incline press. Then move on though until the reps are at the height of their rep range. I usually aim for 3 sets on each exercise and 6 different exercises in a session.

How many reps do you need to do for each exercise? This comes down to what you want to achieve out of the session. The bigger a muscles mass is the less reps you need. So lets say we have a back session, I would do: Chin Ups – Works: Lats, Biceps, Traps, Rhomboids (3-7 reps) Bent Over Bar Bell Row – Works: Traps (6-10 reps) Wide Grip Lat Pull – Works: Lats & Rhomboids (10-14 reps) Seated Row - Works: Rhomboids & Erecta Spinae (14-18 reps) Reverse Cable Fly – Works: Rhomboids & Rear Delts (16-20 reps)

 That’s the way I would break down and focus on different parts of the back and work them at different loads so they can define through strength, mass and muscle endurance.

Recovery time is usually very limited from 30 secs to 1 min, and depending on where you are try and make sure the machines you use if you are super setting are close and not in demand by others, other wise just focus on the one exercise and move on. Through the end of the session you should be experiencing “The Pump” muscles are swelling and filling with sarcoplasm which is the energy source of ATP, creatine, water and glycogen.

Training for size takes a lot of dedication, and requires mental toughness to push through long sets of high intensity weights. The burn is what deters most people from training and becomes very hard, so I encourage muscle endurance sets, mainly sets that have higher than 20 reps and go until you burn out. These are pretty much cardio but through hypertrophy. Along with high carb diets with in your metabolic window gaining mass wont be as hard as you think, it just takes time and effort and to stick through.

Remember to stretch and finish it off with a protein shake!

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Fitness: Where To Begin?

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A guide on how to begin your fitness journey by Beau.

So you've looked in the mirror and realised you don't look how you looked last summer and you don't want your body being seen dead in a bikini on a beach this summer. So what do you do? You decide to get fit, eat better, go out a bit less and stop smashing the Long Islands back every weekend… but where do you begin? There are so many options to consider when choosing the first step in your fitness journey.

The factors to consider when making the the right choices revolve around: *Lifestyle *Budget *Time *Self-motivation *Confidence

Let's start here…

Gyms You pretty much have two types of gyms, budget gyms and commercial gyms. Most of your budget gyms will have basic equipment to get you by, ranging from machine weights to cardio machines, free weights and limited HIIT equipment. Most budget gyms (in Australia these are ones like Jetts, Snap, Stepz) are 24 hours, don't include classes and range from $10.00 - $15.00 per week. Large commercial gyms such as Goodlife, Fitness First and Go Health (in Aus) have a much bigger floor space for weights, cardio equipment and offer multiple classes from boxing, yoga, pump, core, and body attack etc all through the week. Other bonus features of these clubs are their amenities: saunas, larger changing rooms and in-club offers, memberships range from $15.00-$30.00 per week with joining fees and contracts. Depending on your level of commitment this can either be the best investment to your health or the worst. The average rate of active gym members is 7%, so that means that people lack the self-motivation to go, or the knowledge, or may be a little scared to go in there. A lot of the time when people are grunting and dropping weights it can get intimidating, and not to mention the feeling of thinking other people are watching and judging you. That's where a personal trainer comes in!

Personal Training Finding the right PT for you can be a method of trial and error, you need to commit to them like you would to anyone in a relationship, or maybe dating more-so than a relationship, but you need to get to know them and see if there is chemistry and if you two are getting value out of working together. Depending on the level of necessity of you training with a PT is how you can work out how much you will need to spend on one, remember, usually the cheaper PTs have less experience and you will receive less value, the more expensive PT, generally means the more experience they have, and the more value you will gain. So if you are someone who just needs that little bit of push and help with technique a low-end PT will suffice. Do you have an injury that needs rehab? Or an illness? Or have been requested by a doctor to see a PT? Then a more experienced PT may be on the cards for you to achieve your goals. Most trainers will offer a free session for you to trial and see if you both work together. Remember that PTs aren't employed by a business, they are sole traders who don't make a living unless they train clients, so please respect their time and be courteous if you need to cancel sessions. PTs operate out of different places and facilities. The main three types of PTs are: 1. Gym PTs: prices will range from $40.00 - $90.00 per session with a membership fee on top, these are great for having many options in your training, with programs that can be used by yourself in the gym. The downfall is that you and the trainer have to compete with other members for space and equipment which can slow a session up. 2Studio PTs: like myself operate in private facilities that are much smaller than gyms but have the right amount of equipment to help achieve your goals because you are 100% focused with a trainer. The quality of trainer is much higher and more professional, usually you will get a water and towel supplied for every session. Not having to worry about what other people are thinking is the main reason why people are here, no meatheads just walking in and taking up machines. The cost of a Studio PT is pretty similar to what a Gym PT would charge, minus the membership fees. 3. Outdoor PTs: operate with minimal equipment and focus on more calisthenics if you want to do weight training. The cost is usually minimal and affordable. Depending on where they operate from sessions get sold in packs and range from $20.00 - $50.00 per session.

Bootcamps Bigger than ever, outdoor groups/bootcamps are a fun, affordable way to do various types of activities that focus on HIIT, core and cardio exercises. Usually you can find bootcamps at major parks in your area and most often they are run by PTs who operate out of studios and gyms. The only downfall to bootcamps is rain. These can range from $5.00 - $20.00 per session and are mainly run in the mornings and nights, out of work hours.

Crossfit If you are someone who is over the gym thing and feel like you need a challenge and to be competitive, then crossfit is for you! Crossfit is a combination of weights and bootcamps in a more active sporting atmosphere. Only, and I say ONLY, do this if you are an advanced weightlifter, as injuries are highly likely if proper technique is not executed. Crossfit can range from $15.00 - $40.00 per session.

So there you have it, where to begin and start your fitness journey, in no time you will be uploading progress selfies and #fitspo. If you are interested in a complimentary PT session with myself and are living in the Brisbane CBD area leave a message below and I can be in contact with you ASAP. #behyperactive

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Literally Can't Even Lift, Bro

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Beau only took a photo of me during my cool down set, I'm not actually this weak, ahha!

5 myths about women and weight training, by Beau Bressington.

So I would say about 70% of my clients are females, and I would do at least 1 weights session a week with all of them. Building muscle and getting strong are a staple in any exercise program. Muscles do a lot more than just look nice, they provide structure and warmth to the body, burn fat, move your body place to place and protect your organs as well!

I get questions all the time about training, here are a few myths solved for you ladies wanting the gains… brah.

1) "Doing weights makes me fat." No, it doesn't. Eating cupcakes and burritos makes you fat. "But when I do weights I get bulky!" Well lets go back to the first blog I did. You are most likely a mesomorph or an endomorph, you will gain weight faster. So the intake of what you eat is important. If you are still eating relatively similar or more than what you were before, you will gain weight. A 45-min weight training session will burn approximately 300-400 calories.

2) "If I do weights I'll look like a man, yuck." No Becky, you won't, you are a woman and doing a weight session 1-3 times a week isn't going to make you look like Arnie. Women produce a hormone called oestrogen, which limits the ability to build muscle, whereas men have a lot more testosterone. Both men and women have more or less of each hormone, but the girls you see in body building comps train every day, use a lot of supplements (some are not even legal) and have very strict food plans.

3) "Does protein make me put on weight?" No, like I said, cupcakes and burritos do! But… relating back to the first post again, if you eat more than you are meant to with any diet (regardless of whether this is 'bad' or 'good' food) you will put on weight. There are so many different types of protein supplements out there as well which all do different things, so if you're going to use one of those, make sure you get the right one for you.

4) "High reps are for toning." 'Toning' isn't really a thing, looking toned is. To look toned means to decrease the fat mass laying over a muscle and to increase the muscle. This can be achieved by having a balanced fitness routine with cardio, weights and a good eating program. Choose the program which suits your body type. The number of reps you do is important though. If you are a beginner I would recommend doing about 10 reps in each set for the first 8 weeks until your body has adapted to the technique and weight. In general, reps work 3-7 for strength, 8-15 for mass and 16+ for muscle endurance.

5) "My arms are flabby, so I'll do some arm exercises to burn the fat." NO! In fact, that would make them bigger! Whilst doing the exercise will burn calories (ultimately which 'can' burn the fat around your arms, as long as you have a great food plan too), a bicep curl won't spot reduce the fat on your arms. There are other ways to tackle places that store more fat than other areas on your body, and that's by managing your hormones better. For instance, women who store more fat than usual in their arms tend to have a higher amount of oestrogen in their system. There are some exercises which can help lower your oestrogen levels, such as deadlifts and squats. For some women, very high oestrogen levels (which can be affected by birth control etc) can also have an effect on your mental ability to exercise, or even to be motivated at all. If this is you, and you think the world is about to end and have zero motivation and are depressed, talk to your doctor.

If you have any questions or myths you want busted, leave a comment below!

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