get lean

fitnessinfo

Fat Melting Core Workout!

 

Written by Hayleigh Bennett

Eat Run Lift's HIIT and female weight loss specialist. Hayleigh is exclusively available as an online coach.
Learn more about Hayleigh here >

Instagram - Blog 


 

Have you ever felt insecure about your mid-section? You’re definitely not alone. Whether you’ve felt uncomfortable without a shirt on in summer or less-than-average in those jeans through winter… we’ve all been there. 

Did you know that there are two types of abdominal fat?

Subcutaneous fat is the type that you can pinch and prevents us from seeing any sign of ‘abs’. Although it is not necessarily bad for our health, it can make us feel insecure about our appearance. Visceral fat is hormonal and relates to the fat cells sitting around your heart, lungs, liver and other organs – this stuff is harmful! Sure, we need some of it for ‘cushioning’ around our organs, but if you have too much of it you are more likely to be at risk. Some of the biggest risk factors of visceral fat include increased blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin sensitivity and is linked to diabetes and heart disease.

When people slim down through exercise and diet, visceral fat disappears twice as fast as subcutaneous fat according to Dr. Klein, Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Science at Washington University School of Medicine. One of the easiest ways to measure this is to get a body scan – enquire through your GP or local fitness centre.

Spot-training your abdominal muscles will help grow and strengthen your core - the higher the intensity of this training the better chance of burning fat. Just remember, good nutrition is just as important for losing belly fat – eat fewer processed foods, watch your portions and increase your protein and fibre intake.

Having strength through your core will improve your stability and your range of motion as well as helping to maintain a good posture. The following workout will target your abdominal muscles that connect to the spine, pelvis and shoulders. Exercising these muscles provide the foundation for all arm and leg movements and will help to prevent injury from poor posture.

What I want you to do during the workout (especially the first time that you try this one out!) is to focus on the activation and movement of the muscles. Make sure to move from your waist rather than your hips – and don’t forget to breathe!

Equipment needed: none!
All you need is a carpeted floor or mat.

10 x Burpees

20 x Leg Raises

30 x Reverse Crunches

40 x Bicycle Crunches

50 x Mountain Climbers

Repeat 3 – 5 times.

Rest for 30 - 45 seconds between each set.

Complete this 2 – 3 times per week – try to include it as a ‘cool down’ after your cardio sessions. This workout should only take 15-20 minutes.
 

fitnessinfo

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.

fitnessinfo

Strength or Size? What Do I Train?

If you’re a beginner you might be thinking, “Hold on.. isn’t weight training just weight training?” Well, no, not really. The exercises you choose to do, combined with the amount of weight used and number of reps can alter how you’re training your body. Training for strength (example: powerlifter) is about increasing the amount of force your body can exert, to lift heavier. Training for size (or mass, example: bodybuilder) is more about ‘sculpting’ the muscles to look a particular way, and getting that pump when you train.

If you’re just starting out at the gym it’s a good idea to aim toward strength training to build yourself a basic foundation and have something to work with, it’s also a good idea to start off around 10 reps of each exercise (which is more than an advanced strength training routine) because on average it takes a combined 500 reps for your brain to recognise the movement patterns. However, once you reach a particular point you may want to decide to focus solely on strength training with heavy, compound exercises and low reps, or to increase your training volume and focus more on building size. Training volume is the number of reps and sets that are included in your workout; the more reps and sets you do, the greater the training volume.

Training for strength usually involves focusing on compound exercises, which are exercises that target many muscles at once. Prime examples of these are the deadlift, squat and bench press. The general rule that you see for strength training is to keep reps low, and the load high in any particular exercise (the number you will do in your rep range will depend on both your fitness level and your body type). This is to focus on the force that you’re able to exert.

Training for size needs a different approach, it usually will require you to work your muscles to complete fatigue through small, isolated exercises with a higher number of reps and a lighter weight. The amount of weight that you lift in a mass-building workout is not as critical as it is when you are training for strength, rather, the primary focus should be higher reps and fatiguing your muscles and getting a pump.

Depending on what your goals are, and if you’re not one of the aforementioned types of athletes, you may want to consider working in both training styles in a way that compliment each other (if you’re lost at how to combine them into an effective workout plan our Get Lean Guides cover that for you). It can also be easier to achieve a particular training style through the type of exercise you choose to do. We’ve created a chart for you to help you understand a little better (click to enlarge). Of course, there are many more exercises than this that we couldn’t possibly fit into such a compact chart, and some exercises (example: deadlifts) will work far more than just one muscle group. It’s also important to note that some exercises can be completed using different techniques to help focus on slightly different muscle groups. Think of this chart as a basic guide to strength versus size exercises.

Remember, just because you see someone at the gym doing a certain exercise a particular way doesn’t mean that you need to as well. Figure out what your goals are, and then find a training plan (or trainer) to help you achieve them!

fitnessinfo

7 Day Plan To Get Back On Track

Get back on track and motivated in 7 days.

Whether it's coming back from a holiday, recovering from sickness or from being just plain lazy for far too long now, it's time to get you back into routine and fit again. I’m helping you with 7 easy steps that can get you motivated again and ready to kick butt!

Day 1: Write down your goals.
You may have set some goals before, but did you write them down? Did you just think of a time you need to be fit for and just hope it would happen? Write them down, stick them on your fridge, near your computer, somewhere.

What do you want? (Specifics E.G. Size 10 jeans, lose 5 kgs 3cms off your arms)
When do you want it?  (E.G. My birthday 21st of July 2016)
Where will it be? (Out with friends, getting dinner)
Why do you want it? (You need to feel confident in your new dress)

How are you going to achieve it?
How is it going to feel when you achieve it?
How is it going to feel if you don’t?


Answer these questions, keep them close.



Day 2: Throw out 'junk' food/processed food.
Try it for 1 week, not only will your body be able to burn fat more efficiently, but your skin will clear up, sickness will drop and you will feel healthier and you will notice a slight change in your waistline.
 


Day 3: Plan out a new routine.
Planning is key, working around a schedule to fit in work, study and play and keeping it balanced is the best way to not burn out and get tired. Sort your day into hourly blocks and work from there. Plan at least a few days in advanced if possible, and each morning sit down and write out your 'to do' list for that day.

 

Day 4: Create a work out playlist.
I’ve written about how music can motivate you and keep you energised throughout your session., release endorphins and get your blood pumping. Make sure you make something long enough that it can take you from the time you need to go to the gym and to the end of your warm down.



Day 5: Buy some workout gear or equipment.
I think investing a bit of money no matter how much or little it is can keep you more inclined to exercise when you have something to show for it. Equipment to use at home, a new training program, some new shoes, clothes even. 



Day 6: Do something different.
Go hiking, try a sport maybe even some new fitness yoga hybrid that your friend Michelle has been raving on about.  Doing exercise is obviously not the most enjoyable thing in the world for many people, but the results are, and if you can do something different that is a step closer to getting you fit, then just do it!

 

Day 7: Book in with a Personal Trainer.
This is the final step when it comes to committing to your results,  some PTs can be can be a luxury, but even just getting them to write you a program can be a great start. Although all of my clients get to experience my dad jokes, missed numbers whilst counting reps and massages. Check out the Eat Run Lift Trainers if you're from Brisbane.

It doesn’t have to stop there, you can do many more things to continue and narrow down your goals. If you need your hormones checked see a doctor, need a meal plan? See a nutritionist.

What have you done in the past to get yourself back on track?

 

fitnessinfo

High Calorie Does Not Equal Unhealthy

FullSizeRender (6).jpg

A common event we see take place when people start a new training or exercise program, or start adjusting their diet, is that they often opt for low calorie foods. From a young age the media, people around us, and even the education system have told us that calories (and counting them daily) is a way to stay on top of what you're eating, or a way to lose weight. "Low calorie" is a selling point on the labels of products you'll commonly see in the grocery store. While yes, it's true that a caloric surplus over an extended period of time can cause weight gain, most people don't realise that they simply aren't eating enough (for some, this can be noticed by bad cravings or wanting to binge eat).

After a few weeks of eating a low calorie diet a change will take place in your body. Your metabolism will begin to slow and your weight loss will plateau. In this situation it is common for people to cut calories again to see more weight loss. After a few months you may begin to find yourself getting fatigue, nausea, constipation or diarrhoea and even gallstones. If you still continue to stay on a low calorie diet after a few months you may see more serious side-effects, such as extremely low blood pressure, swelling of the joints, trouble concentrating, anaemia, brittle fingernails, potassium deficiency, heart abnormalities, and depression.

Often diet plans or online advice will tell women to opt for calorie ranges as low as "1200-1400" (note: depending on your height, age, sex 1200 cal/day may be acceptable for your body). We've also noticed that apps such as MyFitnessPal will generally set your "calorie goal" for the day at 1200, as standard. Calories are not something you should be overly worried about, just something to check in on from time to time; you should be more concerned about the type of foods you are eating. 500 calories of vegetables will not have the same impact on your body as 500 calories of a doughnut. Often, a correctly calculated and sustainable caloric intake will be higher than you think, you'd be surprised how difficult it can be some days to get enough calories in of the right foods (especially if you're someone who eats a plant-based diet). The Get Lean: Nutrition Guide offers a full explanation and way to calculate your daily caloric intake if you're unsure what it really is.

I have compiled a list of some calorie-dense healthy foods to help ensure that you're not under-eating!

Note: some of these foods you simply would not eat '100G' of, this is just to keep the measurement standard.

Note: some of these foods you simply would not eat '100G' of, this is just to keep the measurement standard.

If you'd like to learn more, grab your copy of the Nutrition Guide, or subscribe to the blog so we can keep in touch!

 
22.95
Download Now
 

fitnessinfo

Do You Have Correct Technique?

Have you ever been mid way though a work out and someone comes up to you and says, “Hey, you're doing it wrong”, “Can I show you something”,  or “Can I give you a hand”?

If that’s the first thing that usually comes out of their mouths, it probably means that they are wrong and you shouldn’t take advice from them. As much as you may suck at the gym lifting weights, we all have different goals, different needs for a type of exercise and injuries and mobility issues.

There isn’t just one type of deadlift or squat, in fact, there are many. Cross-Fit, Body Building, Power Lifting all use the one exercise to do work the body in different ways and use different mechanics. The thing that bothers me is that so many people are ready to tell someone they are doing something to make themselves feel more accomplished or more knowledgeable. What they should be asking is, "What are you training for?” By establishing first what you are training for, you can then begin to learn whether your technique is correct for what you're trying to achieve.

Of course there is always going to be bad technique that can lead to injuries, and if someone looks like they are in danger of hurting themselves you should always help! However, one thing that can throw people off is if they have been taught this technique by someone else who isn't completely sure of what they're doing, and they too them selves have been a victim of, “Let me show you how to...”

I encountered this today whilst training a client. A member approached my client and insisted to give him advice on how to get more out of his deadlift by using a certain technique. Luckily my client felt like it was a good time to look back at me and roll his eyes to show his dissatisfaction with his new “PT” so to affirm that he wasn’t going to follow him up on his tips. With one of my clients posture abnormalities this method probably would have seen him massaging his neck for the next few days.

Like everything in health and fitness there isn’t a one size fits all approach.

If you or a friend have suffered from “Brosciencetechniqueintrusion” call your local PT to get the best program to your needs. This post is mainly for those of you who have been going to the gym and have been doing a certain technique and told it's wrong, but have always thought it was right. There can be lots of confusion when doing exercise, and this only adds to the moreconfusing nature of going to the gym!

If something doesn’t seem right, please speak to a professional.

Safe Training!

Food

Recipe: Superfood Snack Salad

This salad seriously packs a punch and is great to eat as a snack during work, it's high in protein and good fats to keep you feeling full and content. If you so desire you can also serve it with some brown rice.

This recipe has been adapted from our GET LEAN: Nutrition eBook. The GET LEAN eBook has 3 different ways of creating each recipe according to what best suits your body type. For the purpose of posting it on the blog I will be adapting it to one-size-fits-all. If you wish to see the whole recipe plus 24 others and heaps of nutritional information on food and how to eat better make sure you pick up a copy of the eBook!


Makes 1 serving
Carbs 33g / Fat 23g /Protein 13g / Calories 390


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup kale
  • 1/2 cup spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup cucumber
  • 1/2 cup green beans
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 20g pumpkins seeds
  • (optional) 20g sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

Serve with

  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • (optional) 1/4 cup brown rice

Method

  1. Wash vegetables and then cut up the cucumber and green beans
  2. Place them all into a bowl to serve
  3. If packing up the salad to take to work wrap the lime and avocado separately and cut/serve them with the salad when you are ready to eat it.