Thursday, 31 January 2013

2013 Motivation

31 days ago a new year began. You probably set yourself a goal, like "I want to loose 3 stone in 2013" or "I want to gain 2kg of lean muscle in 3 months". How are you getting on with that? If your still working toward it, well done. Keep going, as progression is just a matter of constant effort. Given up already? Was it just a typical January health kick? That's your relationship with the gym done for another year? I know why you failed. Lack of motivation. Simple.

So what is motivation? Quite simply, it's the general desire someone has to do something. Motivation will strongly determine how quickly you achieve your goals in life (not just the gym). How motivated you are comes from 2 things - values and beliefs. Motivation is at its strongest when these two factors come together. Let me explain, a value is developed over time and is strongly influenced by the people you live and hang around with. An example could be 'a fat body is not a good look'. A belief is a belief you must have in yourself to be able to achieve your goal. If I'm honest, if you don't have either of these factors you may as well not even bother attempting the goal you set out, because you probably will FAIL.

Let me use smoking as an example. You might decide you want to quit smoking. You may believe in yourself that you can do it, but you might live by the value that smoking is cool and great to socialise around. How long do you think before you give in and spark up? It works both ways as well. You might hate smoking, realise its slowly killing you and emptying out your wallet every week. But if you don't believe in yourself, your not going to last!

Remember: good values + self belief = real motivation.

Motivation is a fire and without fuel it will die. How do I stay motivated week after week, year after year? As far as my fitness and body building goals go, I constantly have a vision in my head of what I want to become and how I'm going to get there. I regularly change my programme to keep things fresh. I might even train toward some other fitness goals such as speed and strength. I train at different gyms, meeting and training with other people. I entertain myself by reading and learning new things in fitness magazines and books. Most importantly, I believe in myself and I enjoy everything I do.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this post and have taken some useful info away from it about how you can stay motivated and keep the fire alive toward achieving your fitness, career 
and personal goals this year.

Friday, 4 January 2013

5 practical tips for a better body in 2013

Put these 5 tips into practice to get your year 2013 off to a great start. Be consistent and you'll be well on your way to improved body composition!

  • Omega 3 liquid 
The benefits of omega 3s include improved brain function, joint and muscle recovery and more stabilised blood sugar levels. I used to pop 8 capsules throughout the day (yes I did rattle) but 2 X 5ml teaspoons of omega 3 liquid contains just as much EPA and DHA as 8 capsules. In my opinion, making it much easier to take. And don't be put off by rumours that they smell and taste dreadful. You can now buy flavoured variations. 

  • Dark quiet room for improved sleep
Sleeping isn't just about resting your body and letting it recuperate after a hard days work. During sleep many hormones are released that are fundamental for achieving your dream body. One of the most important, a powerful anabolic hormone from the pituitary gland - HGH or human growth hormone. Aim for 8-9 hours of sleep a night. I also find my body gets a better rest when I'm in bed by 10pm. 

  • Train with weights
Anyone can benefit from weight training. It will build muscle, burn fat, increase strength, prevent injury and so much more. If your one of these fitness types that loves the treadmill - train with weights more. If your a bodybuilder that loves pumping iron - train with weights more. Yes weight training really is that good!

  • Foam roll
Foam rolling can be a great recovery aid to your training. Benefits of regularly foam rolling your muscles include improved blood circulation, flexibility, removal of post exercise toxins and improved spinal alignment when used on your back. 

  • Supplement your diet with CLA 
In my opinion CLA is such an underrated supplement. CLA is an unsaturated fatty acid and usually marketed as a fat loss supplement. Studies suggest that it can help reduce fat storage and increase fat burning. Combined with resistance training it may also help increase muscle mass and strength. Norwegian researchers observed up to a 20% reduction in body fat after volunteers took 3g a day for 12 weeks. 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Make Christmas last a little longer...

First off, happy new year to you! And I hope you had a great Christmas. I once again want to thank you, yes YOU! For your continued support. By reading this and hopefully taking away useful information and ideas to help you with your fitness, fat loss and muscle goals, it makes it all worth while. I'm psyched for 2013 and have got some big plans I want to see through. All I'm going to say is - bring it on!

Without further ado, here's my first blog post of 2013. It's quite simply an idea. It dawned on me yesterday that most fitness folk like me pig out for a few days (or weeks! I know what some of you are like) on chocolate and sweets over Christmas. Only to be left with mountains that don't get eaten. Last year I wasted a lot of it and either gave it others in my family or binned it. This year I thought - why don't I make Christmas last a little longer and use the chocolates as part of my post workout insulin surge?

 The high sugar content would be perfect for getting that insulin spike, replenishing well needed glycogen in the muscle cells and switching on muscle growth. My post workout shake normally consists of 40g whey with 100g of fast acting carbohydrate like waxy maize starch. However for maybe one or two workouts a week I'm going to drop out 20g of fast acting carb powder and replace it with some chocolate! Not something I would recommend for fat loss or to do for a long period of time, but it will make Christmas last another few weeks. Plus if you've smashed a workout out to the best of your ability, treat yourself you deserve it!...