So this is something I see a lot in the fitness industry. Planks being performed incorrectly, even when taught by personal trainers. People's posture is all wrong, either their ass is too high in the air, meaning they get very little benefit from the movement or their hips are sagging in the middle, putting a great deal of pressure on the lumbar spine.
In the video I share with you a great little adjustment, where you can really target your abs and improve your strength and stability in the plank position.
WARNING! THIS WILL CAUSE YOUR ABS TO WORK VERY HARD
So now Christmas and New Year are finally over, the race is on to get in shape, lose weight and get stronger. As a trainer with well over 10 years experience I have found that its not about the dietary or training advice you give someone, its the all about the belief you can instill in someone to take the steps needed to get results.
With this in mind, here are my top 5 tips to help you be successful in dropping weight and finally getting the real results you always wanted.
1. Avoid using the word diet
To me this means that you are looking at a temporary fix that is more than likely not going to last. It puts you in the mindset of denying yourself things you think are making you fat. You start in a negative mindset already, which means you will fail! Instead, think of it as a lifestyle change. I try to get my clients to think about the good stuff they will be adding to their nutrition rather than what they are taking out. Things that will give them more energy and benefit their health.
2. Make small changes
This will ensure your success and avoid you getting overloaded and bored with a program. Start by making sure you eat breakfast or targeting 2L of water every day. Then focus on how much better these changes have made you feel and how much more energy you now have. Once you feel like you have mastered these, move on to some other changes, like adding a source of good, lean protein to every meal to help you balance you blood sugar levels better.
3. Make a habit of being more active
Make a point of moving at least 10 mins per day, this could be going for a walk or playing with your kids. If you are embarking on a gym program, then this needs to be the most important appointment you have every single week. Book your training times in to your diary and make them set in stone. The only reason you cancel a session is because of a family emergency or you have been in an accident and almost died. Get yourself to the gym and quit making excuses!
4. Be accountable to someone other than yourself
This will help with motivation. Get a training buddy or hire a trainer. Basically someone to share your goals with that can support you and help you out when you need it.
5. Don't Beat Yourself Up
This is a big one. You must understand that your journey to better health will not be straight forward, there will be blips and there will be time you fall off the wagon a bit. The best thing you can do is to forget about it. Get yourself back on the horse and continue to work on mastering your mini targets.
14 day kick Start programs
If you would like a little extra help with this, why not send in an application for my 14 Day Kick Start Program. These are aimed at men and women over 30 who want to get the help and support they need to make positive changes to their body and mind.
The Kick Start Programs are an amazingly cost effective way of experiencing exactly what I do here at Faster Fitness Solutions. They are also a great way to help you get yourself motivated and ready to tackle your health and fitness challenges in 2018.
I have been running these programs over in Liverpool with amazing success. Clients have been getting as good if not better results than many of my 1:1 personal training clients. I think the reason is all about the sense of teamwork and support we are able to build with the small group training. Not only will you get all the help and support you need from me as a coach, you will also get 3 training busies that will spur you on and keep you on track.
Hit the button below to find out more and send me over an application.
Check out the video below to view my Faster Fat Loss Circuit. This is a great resource that is perfect for you guys who don't really like the gym and would prefer to train at home.
All you need is a pull up bar and a box and your ready to go. Keep the intensity of all the movements high and make sure you watch the credits section a t the end of the video that will give you instructions into how to perform the workout for optimum results.
I hope you enjoy the video.
Hopefully you enjoyed the workout in the video. If this looks like the type of training that you would enjoy and you have been considering hiring an online coach, why not give our free 21 Day Shred Faster Challege a try. Its a 21 Day program that will get you dropping around 10lbs while improving your overall strength and fitness.
Hit the button below to find out more and sign up.
So this is a part of the training process that still has some contentious issues. Most notably, whether stretching will help you recover after exercise. What is absolutely nailed on in terms of science though is the 15-20 minute window we have to consume the right combination of protein and carbs to help us establish better protein synthesis and ultimately better muscle growth and fat loss.
So let’s try and put everything together so we can come up with a definitive list of what exactly works. What will help you recover faster, ache less and stimulate as much muscle growth and fat loss as possible.
1. Don’t Stretch post workout
This is basically a waste of time. It will probably make you sorer and won’t really make any difference to your muscle building or fat loss results. Check out the link to one of my previous articles where I talk a little bit more about stretching and what works best (click here). So basically you can skip this and spend less time in the gym, meaning more time to recover, relax and grow.
2. Get a good combo of protein and carbs into your system as soon as humanly possible.
Now the research into how much varies but as a rule, anything between 2-40g of protein and 40-60g of carbs will do just fine. You can do this through food but after a really tough session most people don’t really feel like consuming a meal. This is where a good recovery shake can come into play.
There are a number of these on the market but I tend to go with this one from The Protein Works which has really given me and my clients good results.
If you would like to purchase Recovery Protein from The Protein Works or find out more, click the link below
The Protein Works Recovery Protein
3. Move more: Get in some active recovery
This is a big one, recovering from a high intensity workout means there will be a lot of lactic acids and waste products floating around your system that you need to get out. One of the jobs of the muscular system, especially in the legs is to aid blood flow and removal of waste products via the lymphatic system. Activities like underwater running, and low grade dynamic mobility drills have been proven to aid this and help speed up active recovery between bouts of high intensity training.
Sounds obvious but we need to be getting around 7-9 hours of sleep every 24 hours. When we sleep we are in the best possible state to promote both physical and mental repair. This amount will not only help our bodies recover between training sessions but also keep our metabolism at optimum levels for fat loss. Another benefit of this amount of sleep is that it helps out brains repair mentally too. Helping our stress levels to stay low, keeping our cortisol levels down and our testosterone levels up.
5. Train Smarter
Keep your training programs short sharp and intense and don’t over-train. 40-50 mins of high intensity training about 3-4 times per week is optimal to develop good improvements in fitness and body composition. Most of us are just normal guys who want to stay in shape and we can get pretty awesome results without feeling like we live at the gym. Don’t get me wrong, if your goal is to compete in body building or any other sport at a high level then you are going to have to train more than this but to get lean and strong, this amount of sessions and time will be enough. In fact, one of the ways I helped my client Greg get in awesome shape was by doing just this. Limiting his training to no more than 4 sessions per week and cutting down the amount of time he was spending in the gym (click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to check out his results).
So I hope this has helped clear a few things up for you and helped you get some clarity into not only what works well for recovery but also how to structure your gym visits to avoid overtraining and allowing your body enough time to recover sufficiently to promote fat loss and growth.
I would love to help…
If you like the content of the blog and would like even more help to get you to your training goals I would love to talk to you. Click on the button below to get in touch and schedule a free strategy call.
Here I can help you set out meaningful and achievable goals and give you a blueprint of how exactly you can achieve them.
I will look forward to hearing from you soon.
As a follow on from the faster-six-pack-solutions.html blog post I wrote a few weeks ago I though I would put this short video together to give you a few more ideas of the type of movements and exercises I use with my clients to create a stronger and more functional core.
There are literally thousands more movement variations to access but here is a run through of my top 5.
Give them a go and comment in the box below to let me know what you think.
5 Reasons a high protein breakfast will accelerate your muscle building and fat loss...
So you have all probably heard the sayings
“Six packs are made in the kitchen”
“We are what we eat”
“Eat big to get big”
“You cannot out-train a bad diet”
Well unfortunately these all ring true. The mere fact that you are reading this blog post tells me that to at least some degree, you want to drop body fat and build muscle mass. If that is the case then your diet and the things you put into your mouth are a vital ingredient in how successful you will be. When I talk to clients, they all seem to get this point. They know, as I am sure you do that nutrition is important. What they find difficult however, is understanding what works and how they can fit this into their lifestyle so they can stick to it and create sustainable and long-term changes.
Breakfast is a hugely important part of any nutrition regime especially when it comes to getting bigger and leaner. So here are my top 5 reasons why we need to ditch the cereals and instead go for tasty high protein breakfasts that will get our results motoring.
1. High protein breakfast make you feel fuller for longer. In a study by the AJCN (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition) it was found that high protein breakfasts reduced the secretion of Ghrelin (the hormone responsible for hunger stimulation) which will stop you feeling hungry and prevent you from craving high carbs/sugar snacks.
2. High protein breakfasts help you target belly fat. It has been found in a study by Loenneke et al (2012) that high protein diets lead to a targeted loss of abdominal fat. So guys, if you want to get rid of that beer belly, then I suggest that it’s time to make the switch.
3. Your body starts to catabolise protein as you sleep. Basically your body starts to go into a fasting state in the final hours of your sleep. This is where the term “break-fast” comes from. A high protein breakfast will help you quickly reverse the effects of this and put you in a position where you can get your metabolism firing faster, putting you in the right state to burn fat and build lean muscle
4. You need to consume a higher intake of protein to stimulate muscle growth. Dependant on your goals, anything up to 2g of protein per Kg of body weight is required to stimulate muscle growth. For the average guy, around 1.5g/kg will do the trick. Getting started early in the day means that this is a much more achievable target compared to eating a carb based breakfast
5. High protein breakfast recipes are usually healthier all round. So not only do these recipes have higher concentrations of protein, they are usually accompanied by other good food choices such as fruit and vegetables, beans and pulses that have a huge number of other health benefits. So making this change will mean that you are not just helping yourself to hit your protein targets, you are also helping yourself to pack your bodies full of amazing vitamins and mineral to further ensure you stay healthy and feel ready to train harder.
Free Faster Abs Recipe Book
So now you know the importance of a good protein rich breakfast, why not let me help you out even further by supplying some great recipe ideas that will allow you to implement the information in this blog post straight away.
Not only is my Faster Abs Recipe Book packed full of great breakfast ideas, there are also some great ideas in there for lunches and dinners and even some healthy snack ideas for when you are peckish between meals.
Click on the button below to download your copy now!
How integrated training will help you get a six pack without having to spend ages doing crunches or leg raises
At Faster Fitness Solutions we specialise in helping guys who are short on time get quick and effective workout that helps them maximise their results. With this in mind, I thought I would ask the question…
Do we really need to be wasting time lying down and training our abs at the end of a workout?
Now there is nothing wrong with doing this other than the fact that it isn’t very time efficient also, when we look at the relationship between traditional core stability exercises and their effect on athletic performance the research doesn’t really support their effectiveness. In fact most of the research suggests that traditional core training may only play a slight role in performance improvements but certainly does not warrant spending a significant amount of time on (Okada et al 2011, Shamrock et al 2011, Thomas, Nesser and William 2009).
So, let’s be straight, I am not saying the core isn’t important and if we are honest, we all want a six pack don’t we? What I am saying is there are ways of integrating and training your core in far more functional ways that you can directly include in your workout. By simply adding some movement and functional tweaks into your training you can target your core while still getting great strength and muscle building training into the rest of your body.
Check out the video below where I take you through an uneven barbell training matrix that will not only give you a great six pack but also give you a great shoulder and leg workout in a very small amount of time. So there will be no need to waste time on endless crunches, planking or sit ups.
Uneven Barbell Matrix
If you enjoyed the video and would like to take advantage of our amazing special offer, why not give our FREE 21 Day Shred Faster Challenge a go?
Hit the link below to find out more and get started
Darren has over 10 years experience in the fitness industry as a personal trainer, sports injury therapist and most recently as an educator to other trainers. Originally from South Wales, he went to Liverpool University to study Sports Science and liked the city so much, he decided to stay. Since finishing his degree he set up a thriving personal training and injury rehab business which continues to this day. He has recently moved over to Denby Dale in West Yorkshire and has opened Faster Fitness Solutions, a multi-purpose training and rehabilitation facility located in the heart of the village.