Sep 16 – Start by Moving Well!

Moving well is not just for those who train multiple times a day or for those who are planning to go to the games. Every person taking part in any sport regularly should be able to move well, especially if it involves lifting and moving any object of any weight.
Have you ever wondered why your Olympic lifting numbers are not going up or why you can’t do pistols? Well the answer may not be your strength or technique but your mobility or a movement pattern you are doing incorrectly.
After competing in the Meridian Regionals this year (2016) I started working with Simon Whitnall on improving my mobility and movement patterns. My coaches had suggested that it was not necessarily my strength or technique holding me back but not being able to move into certain positions when catching/moving the barbell. After being assessed by Simon he agreed and since then I have worked on my mobility and movement patters twice a day.
Before seeing Simon, I thought that my movement and mobility was pretty good but he proved me wrong. Simon picked up on the lack of dorsiflexion in my right ankle, lack of rotation and movement through my back and shoulders and also my right hip flexors. Not much really!
“Optimising your movement is crucial to maximising your potential.
What is optimal movement?
Each exercise requires a unique movement requirement from your body. The better your body moves the better you will perform that given exercise.
Movement is not just mobility or range of motion. Good movement requires the right amount of strength, stability, mobility, coordination, balance, power, speed and agility for that given exercise.
E.g Every joint and every muscle needs to have the range of motion and strength/balance/coordination through that range to perform the exercise successfully. Purely creating more range of motion could put your joints, muscles or ligaments at risk as you haven’t taught the body to control and decelerate the range of motion you have provided it. Vice versa creating more strength without range of motion can put more stress on areas of the body…
It all comes down to training smart and using professionals to teach you to optimise your training and your body’s potential.
Moving well and getting PBs makes life a lot more fun” – Simon Whitnall
I can say 100% that since working with Simon and completing my homework of exercises every day I have massively improved my Olympic lifting and strength work.
Not only has Simon helped me to move in the right movement patterns but because my muscles are now working properly they have become considerably stronger. I have also reduced my niggles and injuries as they are not flaring or playing up anymore.
I can speak only from experiences of friends who have used Simon and have come back from injuries stronger than ever or like me have massively improved their lifting.
If you are struggling with your movement or mobility, then I would strongly suggest speaking to Simon, the movement GURU!

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Sep 16 – Is your “low sugar” diet hindering your weight loss potential?

So you have listened to all the latest news and researched all the latest ‘fad’ diets and your conclusion is that a ‘reduced sugar’ diet plan is the way to tone up, lose weight and create your perfect body.

Well, sadly, you are mistaken. Have you ever thought how they have managed to make a diet, low-sugar product still taste so good when ultimately all the goodness has been removed? Well I shall introduce you to the devil! Aspartame!

Aspartame is made up of methanol, phenylalanine and aspartic acid creating a non-calorie sweetener used to artificially sweeten your foods. Aspartame is used in a variety of products you will find in your kitchen, from fizzy drinks, squash, yogurt, crisps and cooking sauces, all the way to chewing gum.

Since aspartame was first produced in the 1980’s it has become one of the most discussed and debated issues related to health and food. But the vital information the food manufacturers forget to tell us is that aspartame has been linked to diabetes, fibromyalgia and certain forms of cancer.


So how does this all link to hindering your weight loss?

It has been suggested that aspartame increases your hunger, consequently impeding on your weight loss goals. This is due to the phenylalanine and aspartic acid creating an insulin spike raising your insulin levels and forcing your body to store the glucose in your blood stream as fat. Aspartame also hinders the production of serotonin which in turn leads to the brain not signalling to your stomach that you are full, thus increasing your consumption of food. The increased levels of serotonin and spikes of insulin can lead to increased food cravings, therefore making it difficult to lose that stubborn fat you are battling with.

With the amount of artificial sweeteners and added hidden ingredients being added to our foods nowadays the best advice I can give is to stay away from processed foods as much as possible and stick to the raw, most natural versions. Have a think back to our Palaeolithic days when all they ate was the food they could catch and grown. How lean were our ancestors? VERY! does this not start light bulbs in your head turning on thinking how have we become overweight societies? Well if it hasn’t take a few minutes to have a think now, and when your next buying your favourite treat in the shops take a minute to look and see if any of the following ingredients listed below have made it into their ingredients list.

low sugar

Agave Nectar
Barley Malt Syrup
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup, or corn syrup solids
High-fructose corn syrup
Honey Invert sugar
Malt syrup
Maple syrup
Raw sugar
Rice Syrup
Sorghum or sorghum syrup
Sucrose Syrup
Sugar Xylose

If they are, maybe think twice about if you really want to burn that fat or eat the treat. The decision is yours and how badly you really want to burn that fat.

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Sep 16 – Fasted Cardio! Good or Bad?

Do you like to get up early and hit the gym before work?

Does it wake you up and clear your head ready for the day?

Or is it because you have heard a workout before filling your body with breakfast will be beneficial in helping you reach your fitness goals due to your fasted state?

Before I start you’ll first have to assess your own individual fitness goals – weight loss? Fat loss? Muscle building? Or even sports performance? Depending on your answer will depend on whether fasted cardio is the way forward for you or not.

If your answer is weight or fat loss then keep reading this form of training is ideal and can be beneficial for you – tapping into those fat cells already stored within you adipose tissues before fuelling it for the rest of the day. But the concept of fasted cardio can also be beneficial for those wanting to maintain a low body fat and sculpt muscle – just not on such a regular basis.


But before you get too excited, unfortunately, it isn’t quite that simple. Just because fasted cardio will tap into those already stored fat cells you will still need to keep a clean diet and eat a restricted amount of calories per day to achieve ultimate fat and weight loss goals.

Just because you are burning off the already stored fat does not mean that what you eat after exercising will not then replace what you have worked so hard to burn.

In connection with fasted cardio some will argue it can lead to muscle loss as you are in a fasted state so you may begin to tap into your muscle stores when your glycogen levels have all be consumed. This may be true in some cases if fasted cardio is used at a very high intensity, however, if preformed in a moderate manner no problems should be faced.

So if you have read this and think it fasted cardio is the way forward for you then next you have to decide how often you will incorporate it into your routine.

As the intensity of training is low to moderate then preforming on a daily basis is more than reasonable especially if you goal is weight or fat loss, however, work your way up to this.

Begin with 2- 3 sessions a week and nail your diet then you will feel able to increase your fasted cardio sessions. When you have reached daily fasted cardio sessions you might then want to consider supplementing your diet with a protein powder and BCCA supplements to enhance recovery and reduce the chances of muscle loss due to high cortisol levels and your body being in a catabolic state after intense exercise.

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