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.
7-10yrs 4:15pm Monday and Wednesday; Saturday 11:30am
11-15yrs 4:15pm Tuesdays and Thursdays, Saturday 12:30pm
First session is FREE
(Tuesday 2nd January 2018)
In January 2018 Faster Fitness Solutions will be launching a brand-new kids and teens fitness incentive designed to get the young people of HD8 more active (Click here to find out more about the founder, Darren Thomas).
Our Faster Fitness kids and teens programs are based around the most up to date and cutting-edge strength and conditioning protocols that are designed to give growing kids and teens a strong movement foundation before progressing them into safe and effective weight lifting and sports conditioning strategies.
HOW WILL THE COURSE WORK?
Well we will start with small group fitness sessions at the facility in Denby Dale. These will take place after school at 4:15pm and on Saturday mornings at 11:30am and 12:30pm and cost just £5. Over the course of 2018 I will then look to diversify the service and offer a variety of more specialist coaching options to aid sports specific development for young athletes to further enhance their sporting development.
WHO IS IT FOR?
They are not just for young athletes who play sport. They are for any young person who just wants to get more active and develop improved co-ordination, flexibility, balance and body awareness.
The sessions will be fun and engaging and involve a mixture of
ADDRESSING YOUR CONCERNS
Over the past 30 years or so there has been this stigma around strength or weight training among growing kids and teens. Accusations of stunted growth, increased injury risk and damage to growth plates have all been banded around with absolutely zero scientific backing. In fact, when we do look at the science behind using strength training with young populations, the exact opposite can be found. If you click on the button below it will take you to the UKSCA Position Statement on Strength and conditioning among youth populations. In it they highlight a significant amount of research outlining benefits such as:
My aim is to also provide the kids and parents with educational materials to help with things such flexibility and mobility drills, athlete nutrition and good habits for athlete development.
My aim is to provide a cost-effective service of the highest possible quality that will allow the young people of HD8 and beyond to stronger, more successful and healthier lifestyles
FIRST SESSION IS FREE
If you would like your child to come along to any of the sessions then please fill out the short form below. I will then be in touch to confirm you place.
1 in every 2 people will pick up a running related injury on an annual basis.
The most common site for injury to runners is the knee joint
Runner's knee is the most prevalent form of knee injury among all runners
In the video below I take you through the 2 different types of runners knee and give you a great functional lunge strategy to help strengthen your hips so you can restore balance to your knee joint and help you cope with running related impacts much better in the future.
.Hopefully this has helped shed some light on the condition for you and you now feel like you have a better understanding of the causes of running related knee pain and how you can improve these symptoms to get you back to running pain free.
If you are suffering from a running related injury, please get in touch through our contact page as I would be more than happy to help.
Please feel free to like and share the video and leave a comment to tell us what you think.
I know that shoulder pain can be a real nightmare, especially for those who lift weights and are trying to achieve a certain goal. This annoying and niggling injury can really affect a lot of your exercises and restrict your progress.
Having gone through this exact same thing this year I know how frustrating it can be. In the video below I share with you the most effective rehab strategy I used to improve my own shoulder function and show you how to integrate into your workouts to help you get back to training at full tilt again.
I hope you enjoy the video.
If you would like any further help with shoulder pain or any other type of injury, please get in touch via the contact page as I would be more than happy to help.
Please feel free to leave a comment as I would love to know what you thought of the video and how you got on with this exercise technique.
It’s getting to that time of year again. “The Dreaded January”. You, along with the rest of the western world are probably starting to think about getting healthy, losing weight and finally getting rid of that flabby gut or wobbly bingo wings once and for all.
You are probably thinking about starting a new diet and embarking on a fitness regime that will help you turn into a lean, mean fitness machine.
So how many January's is it now? If your honest, how many years has this been the intention? There has even been some years where you even kept going to the gym all the way into February.
I am aware that the intro to this sounded sarcastic and cynical. It was meant to, but only to highlight a massive trend that sees more than 90% of the people who start a health kick in January fail within the first 4 weeks.
This time, however, I truly do not want it to be YOU who fails again. That’s why I have put together a list of my top 5 tips to ensure this year’s health kick is a success and turns into a lifestyle choice rather than just another fad.
1. Run! Run away from anything that looks like or sounds like a quick fix.
Avoid faddy diets like Atkins or the maple syrup plan or anything else that tells you to be overly restrictive on your food choices. Personally, I would avoid weight loss groups like S******* W**** or W***** W*******. You might lose a few pounds here but unless you want to be obsessive about what you eat and bore everyone with talk of points and sins for the rest of your life, it is probably not a long term solution.
2. Set manageable goals.
Losing 2 stone by the end of January is not realistic. Aim for a weight loss of about 2-3lbs per week. It’s great to have a long-term goal but you need to break that up into manageable chunks.
P.S. Guys, you’re not gonna look like an athlete or a Men’s Health Model in 4 weeks either. So, don’t be disheartened when your body doesn’t radically transform and you don’t get a six pack or massive guns straight away.
Instead, make the first 4 weeks all about establishing habits. Being consistent with the little things like regular gym visits, drinking plenty of water and making sure you eat a good breakfast. This will help you form lasting habits that will put you in a great position to create long-term change.
3. Put together a weekly plan.
For most of my clients, this is where they fall down and need a bit of coaching. Sunday evenings a great for this. Spend 30 mins planning meals and shopping lists and set yourself appointments for your training or gym visits. Yes, I called them appointments. Even if they are not with a trainer, this is how you need to view them. Make them an absolute priority. Other than a work or family emergency you need to make sure you are getting your ass to the gym or making time for training and you need to do it, even though you might feel tired or you had a dreadful day. Power through because I promise it will make you feel better.
OK, this is a biggy. It means thinking a bit deep but it’s an absolutely essential part of the process if you really want to be successful.
Ask yourself WHY?
Why do you want to get healthy?
Why do you want to lose weight?
Why do you want to change?
Thinking about this will probably stir up some emotions and that is great. Emotions can be a great driving force behind our need to succeed. Understanding why you want to change will help you understand what achieving your goals actually means to you and help you figure out what you are prepared to do to achieve them. You may have to give up a few things or sacrifice a TV program, reduce you alcohol intake or the amount you eat of your favourite food.
Your success should mean more to you than any of these things. If it doesn’t and you find yourself making excuses, then you’re probably not ready to change.
Never mind! There is always next year…
5. Finally! Don’t beat yourself up.
Anything that is worth achieving in life is usually pretty tough. The road to success at anything is seldom straight forward and full of pitfalls and little blips that throw you off track. So, if you end up going on a bender or binge eating a whole packet of chocolate hob knobs half way through your plan just forget about it. Give yourself a quick slap on the wrist and move on. Wallowing in self-pitty never helped anyone and getting upset with yourself will probably end in you throwing in the towel and making shallow excuses to yourself to justify why you didn’t want to get in shape anyway.
For some of you, reading this may be a little too close to the bone, while some of you might think I am a bit of muppet. In truth though, this is pretty close to the bone for me. Not so much to do with my fitness and weight but more about self-confidence and my ability to build a business and be a good coach.
There are certainly times in the past where I have made excuses to not do something I know will help my business just because it makes me feel uncomfortable. In the end though, the regret of not having done it always bothered me more than sucking things up and just doing what I got to do.
So there you go, my resolution this year is to get out there and meet new people, introduce myself to the community and build a good business where I can help as many people as I can.
And for some reason, if I don’t manage to do this… I know that the only person ultimately to blame will be myself.
2 Week kick start program
If you would like a little bit of help to get 2018 started in the right way, why not give my 2 Week Kick Start Program a go.
You will get 4 personal training sessions plus a home flexibility workout and all the nutrition resources you need for just £29
Click the button below for more info
Check out the video below to see some of the results we have been able to get with my client Steve. Over the past few months Steve has been able to transform the way he moves and thinks about food and exercise.
Even while suffering from MD all down the left hand side of his body, he has made significant improvements in his health and well-being and transformed the way he moves and functions.
We still have a long way to go with Steve but I am delighted with his progress so far...
Check out the video below where I discuss some of the training techniques I use to help make my client's core strong, stable and mobile and how I use a system called "Isolated Integration" to target specific muscles or body areas while still giving you a great full strength and cardio conditioning workout.
Used in conjunction with suitable nutrition program these exercises could be integrated into your current training system to help you develop excellent functional strength and tone up and strengthen your core muscles without having to sacrifice large portions of your training time lying down doing endless sit ups and crunches.
our 3d kettle bell conditioning classes start this saturday 18th novemeber at 10.30am. first class is completely free. book yourself on by completing the form below
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.
I want To Drop Fat and Build Muscle… Which System is Best?
So this is something I here all the time, when I am coaching clients and even when I am tutoring other personal trainers. They all want to know, which training system is best to get results. Now before we go on, I am going to give you a very honest answer. It will be a definitive answer but it may not be the one you want to hear.
In the above picture, there is a list of different training systems that are taught to all sports science students and personal trainers across the world (there are many more than this by the way). All of them have been designed by very clever people at universities who have designed and tested a variety of ways to build muscle mass and strength.
Guess what? All of them work really, really well. As for which one is best, “I genuinely have not got a clue”. This is the answer I give to all my clients and students.
The results of each different method will vary from person to person. What I do know however, “Is that the body will stop adapting and your progress will slow unless you challenge it in a variety of different ways.”
So what exactly does this mean???
In short, variety is king, your body’s nervous system is the cleverest thing on planet earth by a million miles, it adapts very quickly and becomes conditioned to things it is used to. That’s why you need to change things up regularly. Here are my top tips on how to do just that.
1. Make some changes every 2-3 weeks
Now this does not have to be hard, simply changing your reps by 2-3 per set, adding an extra set, shortening your rest periods by 20-30 seconds or just increasing your weight will keep the body guessing and keep you making progress.
2. Add Testosterone boosting exercises to your workout.
These are exercises that use the whole body. Stuff like the clean and jerk or snatch, or combo drills like adding a bent over row or an overhead press to a lunge or a squat thrust to a press up. These will get you out of breath and get more testosterone pumping around your body. It will jack up your metabolism leading to better fat loss and better muscle growth.
3. Move in a different direction
Add some functional variations to the exercises in your program. Change foot positions in a squat, hand positions in a press up, lunge in a different direction other than forwards or backwards or add rotation and/or lateral movement to shoulder presses or any other exercise.
As well as making your training way more fun, these tweaks will get you targeting muscle fibres in different ways. Ways that your nervous system is completely unprepared for and they will need to reconfigure themselves to adapt to the new movement patterns.
4. Make a big change every 6 weeks or so
So this could be changing your split routine into whole body workouts, completely changing the design of your sessions from super sets to pyramid training or negative reps. Basically making wholesale changes to make your body adapt in a big way.
5. Program in a rest week every 8 week or so
FACT! We do not grow in the gym. As you know our training sessions are responsible for breaking down proteins in our muscles to help them re-grow bigger and stronger. It is our recovery time when our muscles repair that our body is really changing.
A lower impact rest week will help recharge your batteries and help prevent injury. So I’m not saying do nothing but maybe drop the weights down a little and reduce the number sessions you do for that week.
Trust me! Your body will thank you for it and it will really help in the long-run.
Sorry it’s not the straight forward answer you were hoping for. If you think about it though, it really makes sense. There are thousands of so-called experts out there who all claim to offer the most amazing solution and the best system ever. There are simply loads of disagreements in the industry as to what works best. Which really means, nobody knows.
Although many of look like meatheads, the whole, personal trainers and fitness coaches are a pretty clever lot. If there really was one method to rule them all then we would all be doing the same thing.
So I try to take a different route, instead of telling you how wonderful I am or how amazing my training systems are I am simply honest.
“ I will help you make sense of the confusion, work with you to figure out what your goals are and come up with a good place to start. Then we can figure out the right time to vary your program and your nutrition in order to keep you progressing. I will also make sure I offer you the right advice to and guidance to ensure you stay on track, as nothing screws up your results like inconsistency.”
So if that makes sense, and you would like a little help to get your training and nutrition heading in the right direction, why not hit the button below and book a free 30 minute call. That way we can work together to establish a defined and clear path to get you working towards your goals with direction and purpose.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. I am looking forward to hearing from you.
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.
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.