17 Jun 2010

Hi Everyone

Those of you who have received my newsletters for some time now will know I talk a lot about metabolic resistance training (i.e. “cardio with weights).

From what I see each day in the gym, many people are still stuck doing long duration, low-intensity cardiovascular exercise!!!

Quite simply, if you’re looking to achieve maximal benefit from the time you put into your workouts, then long duration “slow-go” cardio is NOT the way to go, and for many reasons.

Here are my top 5:

1. Minimal calories burned — 45 minutes on the treadmill may burn a whopping 300 calories if you’re lucky, the equivalent of ONE TENTH of a pound of fat. Exercise ten hours a week and you might just lose a pound!

Which brings me to my next point:

2. Way too much time involved — I don’t know about you, but I don’t have hours and hours of my time to pour into working out each week. In fact, very rarely do I ever exceed three hours of exercise weekly, and you know what? That’s ALL you need.

Beyond that, slow-go cardio is:

3. BORING — Sitting on an exercise bike staring at the wall in front of me for 45-60 minutes? No thanks.

But perhaps even worse is the fact that slow-go cardio provides:

4. No prolonged metabolic benefit — did you know that with higher intensity exercise it is possible to continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours post workout? It’s true, and I’ll talk about this “afterburn” effect in another newsletter very soon.

But you know what else is true? Long duration, low intensity cardio provides virtually NO prolonged elevation in metabolism. In fact, with slow-go cardio, metabolism returns to baseline almost IMMEDIATELY following the exercise session.

And finally, the reason that trumps all the others:

5. Minimal fat loss — Minimal calories burned during the session and virtually no additional calories burned afterward = minimal, if any fat loss results. And let’s be honest, the only reason anyone is doing cardio is for the “result”.

So if slow-go cardio isn’t a great solution, what is?

Short duration, high-intensity exercise. Less time, faster results — THAT’S what it’s all about.

And keep in mind, “high intensity” is relative to you. I don’t care if you’re already in great shape or if you’re 5 stone overweight, you can still exercise with intensity.

So what about you? Are you stuck doing slow-go cardio or have you embraced the benefit of much shorter, higher intensity sessions?

Give me some comments and I’ll be back to talk about short duration, high intensity exercise in more detail soon.

14 Jun 2010

Summer deadline

Hi Everyone,

Well it’s here, summer has arrived. The sun is out (mostly), the England football team is disappointing us all in a major football tournament (again) and we’ve all probably been to at least one BBQ so far.

It’s also the great “unveiling” when the shirts come off, the swimsuits go on and the entire world knows exactly how good or bad your diet and exercise has been for the last 3-4 months.

Are you ready? :)

If not, you have one more BIG weekend this Summer to make a huge difference to your physique!

Goal Setting

I drone on about this all the time but stay with me here. Goal setting is all about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals, and T stands for “Time line”. Athletes peak for National Championships, Trials and World events. Just because you’re training for fat loss or to look better naked doesn’t change the fact that DEADLINES are extremely effective tools.

So we’re going to set one this summer.

Your next goal is 31st July, just 6 weeks away.

With a combination of a kick start plan, a solid workout and nutritional support program and a healthy dose of motivation you could easily be 1 stone lighter and considerably leaner by then. So if you’re looking a little flabby this Monday afternoon, or feeling a little embarrassed about your body you can still make amazing changes. You really can. You have to believe that. It’s never too late.

This is an opportunity for you to look great while we still have some sun to enjoy.

But you need to start NOW.

Here’s the fat loss basics to help you:

You need to create a caloric deficit – no two ways about it – you must burn more than you consume. But that doesn’t just mean eat less.

The most effective way to create that deficit is to use a combination of diet and exercise.

Your diet should consist of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables. Keep starches and refined carbs to a minimum.

Keep your fluid intake high (water only), and try to eat at least 4-5 small meals per day. This will help maintain blood sugar levels and keep you from blowing your diet.

Exercise – interval training and metabolic resistance training will provide the most bang-for-your buck. Steady state aerobic training just doesn’t burn enough calories for your goals right now, and a body part training split will be less effective than total body training for fat loss.

Try to exercise at least four to six days per week – two to three days of interval based cardio and two to three days of resistance training.

Supplements: there is almost nothing that will make a difference. Sorry. Certain supplements can boost metabolism, or increase your energy somewhat and these may be useful but in terms of real world “pounds of fat lost” I have yet to see anything that really made a difference. A multivitamin and a fish oil supplement are vital though – but more for your overall health. A protein shake can be useful for convenience but are no replacement for high quality food.
Get started now!

If you want a fast program that tells you exactly what to eat, and what to do to maximize your results in the next four weeks then e-mail me now and we’ll get going.

Here’s to the rest of the great British summer.

Don’t be lazy, be lean.

Come on England!

19 May 2010

5 weird tips you might not know when it comes to getting a flat stomach and firm abs.

#1 - The best interval training work-to-rest ratio for losing belly fat might be 1-to-1.5 (e.g. 30 seconds fast running to 45 seconds slow running).

But in a recent Australian study, researchers found that doing intervals for 8 seconds followed by 12 seconds of rest resulted in significantly more belly fat burning than long slow cardio.

Now I know that 8 seconds on and 12 seconds off sounds a little annoying (just try doing that on a machine), but the good news is that these researchers found that going for 24 seconds followed by a 36 second rest works just as well for boosting fat burning hormones. Give it a try.

#2 - "Get almost all of your carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables."

I really liked that tip because I've been telling people this for ages, and it's part of my Fat Loss nutrition plan. Oh, and while I am on nutrition, try this Super-charged Strawberry-Banana smoothy:

1 ripe banana, frozen strawberries, spinach, flax oil (trust me, you can't taste the spinach OR the flax seed oil), cashew butter, chocolate protein powder, and almond milk.

It was one of the best smoothies I've made in a while.

#3 - You need to be able to do a Plank exercise for 2 minutes.

Dr. Stuart McGill, the world's leading expert on low back health, says in his book that a person with fit abs should be able to do a plank exercise for 2 minutes straight.

If you can't do the plank for 2 minutes, then you need to lose belly fat and you need to get a program that works your abs properly. I can help you with that!

#4 - New research shows that superset training burns more calories than traditional straight set resistance training, so start super-setting!!

#5 - To see your abs, a man will need to be close to 10% bodyfat and a woman will need to be at about 16% fat.

Of course, the more muscle you have, the easier it will be too see your abs, so you'll still be able to see a 4-pack on muscular guys when they have 12-13% fat. But the bottom line is that you need to fix your Nutrition to burn belly fat to see your sexy abs.

BONUS Tip - A great way to work your abs harder than normal planks is the Stability Ball Plank. Research reported in Men's Health magazine reported this exercise to be 30% harder on your abs than a regular plank.

If you are a member at DW Bromborough, then come and try my Fitball class at 6.30pm on Monday evenings, or 9.30am Tuesday morning.

Dedicated to your success

Chris

Goal setting

Goal setting

All good plans start with a clear, concise picture of the desired objective. The main problem starts when the objective is not clearly defined. When was the last time you tried to buy a new car and you just hoped the money would show up in your account?

Hopefully never! So why do so many people go the gym and hope that they will lose fat or build muscle? You must have clearly defined goals that work like magnets. They pull you in their direction. The better YOU DEFINE them, the better YOU DESCRIBE them, the harder YOU WORK to achieve them, the stronger THEY PULL.

And I’m sure you will agree that there are a lorry load of excuses to block your road to really shaping up, so you’ll need a very strong magnet to pull you forward. My Dad always said, “Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.”

I want you to be truly honest with yourself. Do you think that you can casually or unintentionally lose over a stone of weight or tone your hips, thighs, stomach or whatever? No way!

Do you think deep down that if you believe your genetics make a slim physique something that is out of your limits, that you will ever achieve any significant results? Of course not!

And when was the last time you hoped for something and it actually happened? Probably never! Right now, ask yourself if there is any circumstance that could prevent you from achieving your goal and begin planning how you will respond if and when that circumstance arises.

I want you to actually record on a piece of paper the habits in your life that will be required to change so that you can lose more fat, improve you tone, increase your muscle mass or whatever you want.

Better yet, ask yourself, “How committed am I to my goals on a scale of one-to-ten?” If you are only a seven or an eight, ask yourself, “What would make me a ten?” What is holding you back from being committed to your goals 100%?

If you are only committed to your goal seven or eight out of ten, that’s fine, but be prepared to get an equal return on your investment. Like the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for.”

You must be prepared to break old habits and build new habits.

Habits are basically like automatic behaviors. I will be the first to admit that breaking bad habits and forming new habits is not easy at all. If it were, you would have no financial problems, perfect relationships, a healthy body and you would be on top of the world!

The ‘sick-cycle’ is a term used to describe the continuous cycle of poor choices. When we continue to make choices that lead to the same dead end, we are in the midst of a sick cycle.

It’s interesting how you have probably tried to break an old habit by doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result. It’s foolish. Why can’t we see that trying to write a different ending to a story by mentally writing a different story in our minds just does not work and it will never work!

Creating new habits to truly transform your body is not easy and will require you to assess which habits in your life need to be destroyed.

But you probably already know what habits are destroying your progress. The biscuits with your tea, the take-away on a Friday, the wine / beers on a Saturday etc. But knowing what to do is not enough. In my opinion, YOU DO NOT TRULY KNOW ANYTHING (you might have talked about it) UNTIL YOU actually EXPERIENCE AND LIVE IT!

“A bad habit never disappears miraculously; it’s an undo-it-yourself project.”
-Abigail Van Buren-

Here are some tips to help you create new habits:

In his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” (Simon & Schuster, 1990), Stephen Covey compares the making and breaking of habits to the launching of a spacecraft. “To get to the moon those astronauts literally had to break out of the tremendous gravity pull of the Earth.”

I also have an analogy that has helped me break some of my own bad habits:

Visualize your hands clasped together, finger-over-finger, and tied together with tight string. This picture represents adherence to a bad habit. Every time you resist a bad habit, one of these strings will come undone. This represents resisting your bad habit once. Since you have only removed one string the bad habit is still present. However, as you continue to resist and resist, another string, and another, and another will fall off your hands and eventually your hands will be free to move and come apart freely.

This analogy works in reverse as well. Every time you reinforce a bad habit, a new string binds tighter around your hands and it will become harder and will require more time to remove all the strings tying your hands together.

Rarely are genetics the problem in achieving significant results, whether weight loss or muscle building. Most of the time the problem is YOU!

However, if you truly are genetically cursed, you will always have to work a little harder to keep up to par but I believe you will be quite surprised with the results you attain using my nutrition and training programmes.

The question is always about how much you want to reach your goal!

Don’t be lazy, be lean! And feel free to forward this to your friends or relatives who may need a push in the right direction.

Have a great week