HACKS TO STAY MOTIVATED

As the weather gets cooler and daylight hours get shorter, we all know how tough it can be to get out of bed and make it to the gym. Combine that with our bodies’ natural reaction to “insulate” us from the cold by sending out the hunger signals to fatten us up, and it’s no wonder many people put on a few kg’s over the winter. But this doesn’t have to be you! What’s the secret to beating the winter bloat? Keeping consistent with your training and lean, healthy diet – It’s not rocket science! Though we do agree that it’s definitely harder to stay motivated in winter, which is why we have put together our top training motivation tips so you can look and feel amazing in your jeans this winter!!

SET A GOAL.When that alarm goes off in the morning, you need something that’s going to get you out of bed. Something that excites you. Something that you really want to achieve. Whether it’s to be able to do something you’ve never been able to do, or at a speed you have never been able to reach, or to look better than you’ve ever looked. Make it specific, quantifiable and put a time limit on it.

BE ACCOUNTABLE. This is the thing that’s going to hold you to your goal. One of my favourite ways to push myself through a session is to train with an interval timer, not just for work time, but also to limit rest time! Announcing your goal to your family and friends, joining a training group and/ or getting a friend involved, are some of the other best ways to stick you to your goal.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW. There is nothing more interesting and exciting that learning a new skill. Every session brings little successes and new achievements. Not only does this make training far more fun and interesting, it will this help build your confidence, and will keep you coming back for more and more. More training = a fitter, happier, healthier, more confident you!

If you’re scratching your head looking for something fun and new to try, check out WickedBOX – our 8 week boxing program that starts on Monday. We will teach you proper technique, footwork, defence, real fight combos including how and when to use them and heaps more… You will be surprised at how much you will learn in only 8 weeks!! Then at the end we will even give you the opportunity to show off your skills to your friends and family in your own “fight” experience (optional). No experience is necessary or preferred! Click here for more info.

THE VERDICT ON SUGAR

In the last year or two, sugar has been completely demonized in the fitness and “diet” world. Before that it was “carbs” and before that it was “fat”; But the truth is, sugar, like all these other things, has it’s place in our diet. Sugar contains no essential nutrients, is high in calories and is quickly absorbed into the blood stream, which makes it good for fast energy, but that’s about it! We don’t actually need a lot of sugar, but people that are more physically active will need more than someone sitting at a desk all day. The main problem is that many people consume far too much for their needs!

With that said, here are a few ways you can have your sugar to curb some of the ill-effects:

  • Get your sugar from foods like whole fruit, that also contain fibre. Fructose does not register in your hypothalamus to tell you that you are full, (and as a result tell you to stop eating) but fibre will! This will help you to stop over consuming sugar. For the average person, 1-2 pieces of fruit per day is recommended by the Australian NHMRC (national health and medical research council).
  • Products like juice, soft drink and cordial that contain little to no fibre should generally be avoided, unless you’re planning on running a marathon 😉
  • Fat and protein will also fill you up, so adding things like nuts, seeds, avocados, dairy etc to your fresh fruit smoothie will also help fill you up, as well as curb a blood sugar/insulin spike.
  • Consuming sugar with protein immediately post exercise will help you to recover faster! After exercise, your energy stores are depleted and blood sugar levels are low, so having sugar at this time can actually help your body, especially if you are planning on exercising again later that day.
  • Try to always eat natural sources of sugar, i.e fruit, dairy, etc, as these have been engineered by Mother Nature to contain all the nutritional benefits you need, as well as the stoppers to offset side effects! That drink of juice/soft drink/cordial, or packet of lollies engineered by “The Natural Confectionary Company” just does not have the same technology 😉

HOW SLEEP CAN AFFECT YOUR TRAINING RESULTS

You might not know it, but getting the right amount of sleep is almost as important as nutrition and exercise to achieving your fitness goals. This is the time when your body does most of its repairing and rebuilding, so if you aren’t getting enough, this could be inhibiting you from reaching your full potential!

For most adults, the optimal amount of sleep is between 7 – 9 hours per night. Regularly undersleeping can result in increased cortisol levels – a stress hormone that can cause you to store more fat, particularly around the abdomen region. It can also cause tiredness, and make you crave fast-absorbing high-energy foods like sugar, which is not your friend when it comes to fat loss!

Try our tips for having a good night’s sleep:
– Avoid large meals before bedtime
– Avoid drinking coffee after lunchtime
– Keep sugary foods to a minimum
– Develop a regular bedtime routine
– Have a definite bedtime and wake up time (If you can)
– Try to refrain from watching TV or using your computer before bed
– Participating in a hard exercise session can help you to have a more restful sleep

Do you need a kick start with your health and fitness, or just don’t know where to start? Check out our upcoming Fitness Challenges! Or Contact Us to find out more about how we can help you achieve all your health and fitness goals. RESULTS 100% GUARANTEED.

HOW STRENGTH TRAINING CAN REVERSE THE EFFECTS OF AGEING (AND SAVE YOU THOUSANDS$$!)

Prevention of ageing is a billion dollar industry. We all want to look and feel like we did in our 20’s forever, and are unquestionably spending $100’s and $1000’s on products, procedures and even surgery to prevent and reverse the effects of ageing. What if I told you that you could save your money (well, most of it) and just workout instead?

If you think that strength training is only for men or that you are too old, you are absolutely mistaken! Strength training is essential to EVERYONE, for staying fit, healthy and strong. Strength training will build the strength of your muscles, reduce your risk of injury and illness and slow down or even reverse the process of muscle loss that ageing will bring.

So, how exactly will strength training make you younger? Here are some reasons why you want to be incorporating strength training into your workout:
Reduce fat, cellulite and saggy skin: Having more muscle mass means faster metabolism, which means burning more calories throughout the day and combined with good nutrition, will help you to burn off those unwanted kg’s! When you strengthen your muscles, you also tighten them, which helps to tighten the skin and tissue attached to them. Cellulite is basically the uneven spread of fat, so as you burn fat and tighten your muscles, your cellulite will also start to disappear. Win-win-win!

Stand tall and look defined: Having an exercise routine that contains regular strength training will drastically improve your physique by giving your body more definition and better posture, making you look slimmer, healthier and more youthful.

Development of strong bones: Strength training will increase bone density. When you work your muscles, they pull on the ends of your bones as they contract, which causes your body to create more bone tissue to support this added pressure.

Feel energized: Having more strength will not only boost your energy levels, but also make your daily activities seem much easier, so you have more energy left over at the end of the day!

Alleviates health conditions: Strength training can reduce back pain, arthritis, obesity and heart disease.
If you were carrying less weight, had tighter skin, less cellulite, stood tall with better posture and muscle tone, wouldn’t you LOOK so much younger?And if your aches and pains were gone, you got sick less, you were carrying around less weight and were stronger and had more energy, wouldn’t you FEEL an age younger? No matter what your age or fitness level, strength training can do all this for you and more.

If you’re not sure where to start, want some guidance with what to do, or just need a little motivation or a new challenge, come in and check out one of our strength and conditioning classes. We are now also offering (boys only) Strength and Size classes specifically structured for the male physique. Contact us now to find out more!

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THE TRUTH ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS

What you need to know and what you should be taking…

When it comes to supplements lets face it.  This shit can get confusing! With an endless list of nutrition and sport performance supplements on the markets these days and a supplement shop on every corner it’s hard to know what advice to take when it comes to products claiming miraculous results.

If you believe the marketing then weight loss, abs and endless energy is just a pill or protein shake away.  But the major problem with this is that a lot of supplements have not been scientifically proven and on top of this a lot them contain artificial sweeteners, colours, preservatives, chemicals and other nasty’s that could be harmful to your body and actually creating unwanted imbalances in your system.

We’d all like to think we could get everything our body needs from a well balanced diet, plenty of sleep and consistent workouts, eating a range of organic vegetables, fruits and protein sources, eggs, nuts, seeds and a small amount of dairy and super foods.  But lets face it… most of us just don’t eat like this every day, especially when our busy schedules get in the way!  With this being said some supplementation can be helpful to help ensure your getting what your body requires to function properly.

 

PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTS

On average, active people need between 1 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of bodyweight, which means if you’re 60kg, a chicken breast of around 150-200g and a few eggs would have you meeting your quota each day.

A few facts on protein…

  • It is a component of every cell in your body. In fact, hair and nails are mostly made of protein.
  • Your body uses it to build and repair tissue.
  • You need it to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.
  • It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Like carbohydrates and fat, protein is a “macronutrient,” meaning that you need relatively large amounts of it to stay healthy. (Vitamins and minerals, which you only need in small quantities, are called “micronutrients.”)

A lean protein shake can be priceless as a snack, or brekky-on-the-go, especially for the time poor (aren’t we all?).  Fermented rice proteins are great, as they’re kind to both digestion and skin. PranaOn and NutriOrganics make some pretty tasty options, or if you can tolerate a little dairy, there is a million on the market or you can pickup some Body Science protein here at the gym!

PRE & INTRA WORKOUT SUPPLEMENTS

The main purpose of a pre-workout is to help give you that added boost of energy you need to do that extra rep of to lift that extra weight.  Some athletes may benefit from supplementation but for most of us an antioxidant rich black coffee or green tea should do the trick.  A lot of the supplementation out there contains green tea and/or coffee anyway.

There are few supplements that overall can help you with performance during training.  Below are some we would suggest looking into.

A good quality Branched Chain Amino Acid (BCAA) supplement can be good during periods of heavy training. BCAA’s are the “Building Blocks” of the body. They make up 35% of your muscle mass and must be present for molecular growth and development to take place. Eight are essential (cannot be manufactured by the body) the rest are non-essential (can be manufactured by the body with proper nutrition). Besides building cells and repairing tissue, they form antibodies, they are part of the enzyme & hormonal system; they build RNA and DNA and they carry oxygen throughout the body. We can get all the BCAA’s from a good diet also but like anything, as training increases, our bodies’requirement increases and taking them as a supplement can help us easily reach our increased needs.

Other supplements to mix in with your BCAA’s and consume prior or whilst training are as follows:

L-Carnitine… a natural amino acid that helps the body turn fat into energy by transporting fatty acids in to the blood stream to be used while working out.  Carnitine occurs naturally in your diet, however in the case of competitive athletes and intense workout schedules, it may need to be supplemented to maintain fitness levels.

L-Glutamine. During intense training, glutamine levels are greatly depleted in your body, which decreases strength, stamina and recovery. It could take up to 6 days for glutamine levels to return to normal – and glutamine plays a key role in protein synthesis. Studies have shown that L-Glutamine supplementation can minimize breakdown of muscle and improve protein metabolism.

Creatine… another substance that occurs naturally by the body and is used to produce energy in the first few seconds of all out exercise. Supplementing with Creatine can help to boost this energy in explosive training such as sprints or heavy weight lifting. As a result it can increases muscle strength and size, enhance recovery, improve sprint performance and enhance brain function.

POST WORKOUT NUTRITION

Post-workout nutrition seems to be an area a lot of us ignore but it is so important!  If you lifting heavy weights you’ll want a fast digesting protein and carb drink ready when you finish training.  If you’re looking for fat loss then skip the drink and just pack a healthy meal ready to consume after your workout.  Think protein and good quality starchy carbs like brown rice or sweet potato.

VITAMINS & MINERALS

Supplementing with vitamins and minerals is only beneficial if you’re lacking in them and the best way to find out is via a blood test (ask your doctor or natural health guru about this). The main supplements people tend to benefit from with regular consumption are Omega-3 fish oils, probiotics, B Vitamins (especially B12), Vitamin C and Magnesium. Zinc and Vitamin D are next on the shopping list if your blood tests show you’re low on them.

FAT LOSS SUPPLEMENTS

Pills and potions designed specifically to raise metabolism and shed weight can be dangerous and to tell you the truth they just aren’t miracle workers.  If it was as easy as taking a pill to lose that unwanted fat long term wouldn’t we all do it?

Unless your eating is 100% perfect and your training is regular and effective there is absolutely no point in going down the road of trying fat / weight loss supplements.  The only time you may see a small amount of fat loss as a result of a supplement is as a final boost to lose the last 1 or 2% of fat after a huge effort is first put in at the gym and in the kitchen.  Sorry to be the bearer of bad news J

What may be useful for some people is a good quality fibre supplement to slow energy release, or magnesium/chromium supplements to control sugar cravings. Don’t self medicate though! Speak to a good trainer, doctor, or naturopath before you jump on the bandwagon of any whizz-bang new ‘weight loss holy grail’.