workout

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Hard Core (+ Free Belly-Burning Ab Circuit)

By Beau

We all dream of having a flat stomach, chiseled abs or even just as little as having those dirty muffin tops gone. When doing crunches or sit-ups we are determined to see it all go, but are we doing it the right way? Are the sit-ups we are doing actually burning away that belly fat?  Ill explain what doing sit ups actually do for your body!

When we contract a muscle repeatedly we pump blood in to the tissue and make it expand which causes tiny little tears that then repair over the next week until it is fully healed. By the time they have healed its time to hit the gym again and work on your abs and core again! When building muscle it takes time for them to grow, so doing an exercise more often isn’t going to make them get bigger faster or stronger quicker (unless you use steroids). So the quickest way to getting a 6 pack isn’t from doing sit-ups every day, in fact once a week is enough!

The smaller the muscle is the more reps you have to do on it to make them work, these are called slow twitch muscles or type 1 muscles. These muscles are designed for maintaining structure and balance, if we didn’t have these you would be walking around looking at your feet all day! So when you hit the gym and want to work on your abs they have to be long endured sets in high reps.

The best way to see a flat stomach? Eating more of the the right foods. The fat that stores on your belly is more common in men than it is women, hormone fat storage is the biggest killer to great looking core. Males produce more insulin and testosterone than women and where that stores is on the belly and love handles, where as women tend to store more on the hips and thighs and back of the arms. So reducing the amount of sugars, starchy carbs, soft drinks, energy drinks and anything else that is overly processed will see the belly fat disappear in no time - If you stick to it. 

Another hormone that prevents flat abs is cortisol, a stress hormone that is released though the body and stores on the belly. When the body is put under stress, mental or physical it initiates catabolism and starts a to elevate your heart and pumps oxygen through your body and ignites a glycogen feed that breaks down proteins and turns them in to energy, what’s left over turns in to belly fat. So massage, stretching, relaxing, staying away from caffeine can help too!

Finally, lets touch on the exercise side of things!  When doing any exercise we need to engage our core, if we don’t the technique can be poor and we will see over/underdevelopment and the chance of injury. Switching on your lower back muscles is a great start to any exercise, if these aren’t engaged or are week the exercise needs to be done carefully from the start. A lot of people I train start off with having lower back problems, if getting them to change their technique is hindering their progression we need to start on an easier exercise that focuses on the same muscles groups with out relying on the core too much. For example, I had a client who I wanted to do dead lifts with to gain strength in his legs but he suffered from postural challenges like kyphosis, so his back is always arched over, so instead of trying to push him through a technique he physically cant do, we started on the leg press and got his back looked at by a professional so he can see results in his lower body, leg day is actually his favourite day. 

Apart from keeping your core switched on doing a balanced weights, HIIT and low intensity cardio program doing all of these will help you burn calories and eliminate fat, making sure you balance your energy in vs. energy out is key to burning calories, say your daily intake of calories is 1500, you need to make sure you are eating that or just a bit less plus exercise. The average weight session can burn 200-400 calories per hour.  


Now lets focus on the core training, here is an 8-week abs circuit for you to try

3 rounds:
40 cycle crunches

30 crunches
20 reverse crunches
15 frog sit-ups
10 leg raises
1 min plank
Rest for 1 min

Repeat!

Do this once a week at the end of a cardio session or on its own in your spare time! Lets see those abs grow!


Food

Recipe: Sweet Apple, Date & Walnut Oats

sweetoats2

It's meant to be summer here - *meant* to be... It's currently cold and rainy. I've been spending my Sunday morning editing the last photos that need to be done for the 8 Week Transformation Challenge eBook. We've already had over 150 people sign up for it, I am so excited! (By the way, if you sent through a request to be a part of the challenge I have sent out your thankyou/information emails, if you haven't received it yet I suggest you check your junk or spam inboxes! Let me know here if you still haven't got them!) Anyway, this morning has been busy and quiet and Beau won't wake up so I decided to make this for breakfast for myself. Hands down my new favourite breakfast for training days, it's high in carbohydrates and good fats to help fuel your workout.


Makes 1 serving
Carbs 119.7g / Fat 15.5g / Protein 8.7g / Calories 611.3

all

*GF depending on what type of oats you use.


Ingredients

  • 1 medium apple (diced)
  • 4 dates (chopped)
  • 20g walnuts (chopped)
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2/3 cups water

Method

  1. Place diced apple and coconut sugar in a pan on a low heat, stir occasionally
  2. In a saucepan combine oats and water on low heat and stir regularly until water almost absorbed
  3. Once the water is absorbed in the saucepan add chopped dates and continue to stir until water is fully absorbed into the oats
  4. Add the apple into the saucepan and stir to combine
  5. Remove from saucepan and add walnuts to serve

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WhatSupp? [Part 2]

2649web

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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Literally Can't Even Lift, Bro

lift

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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