Friday, 31 May 2013

Skinny leg cures

Any 6ft tall guy with a 32 inch waist weighing between 70-75KG is going to have an obvious weakness. Usually it's the legs! You train hard, and you do develop, but you end up looking top heavy and your middle name should be 'johnny bravo'. Sound familiar? I found myself straying towards this body shape. Until I put an end to it and started incorporating each of the techniques below into my routine. I've found these to be the best skinny leg cures. My skinny jeans began to feel tight around the thighs and my physique started to look much more in proportion. Arnold Schwarzenegger said "I accepted the fact that leg workouts simply have to be brutal to be effective". If you haven't accepted this fact then don't even bother trying any of the below... 

Heavy front squats 

Heavy front squats really thickened my quads up. Because of my height, my stature isn't suited to the back squat, so I much prefer these for heavy reps.

Power cleans from hang 

These developed strength, power and size in all areas of my lower body. I usually do 6-8 sets of 2-3 reps. Olympic style lifts such as this torch your fast twitch muscles fibres. These are the ones with most potential for growth. 

Prowler sprints and sled work

My legs responded really well to eccentric-less training. They're great for hitting the fast twitch fibres and as an added bonus they're great fat loss tools 

High volume work

Your legs hold your bodyweight up all day, so you can imagine they're very big, strong muscles and it takes a lot to tear them down! You need to push the volume up on your leg workouts if you really want to see results. Try GVT (10 sets of 10). Or if you really want push the envelope try this quads workout for 3 weeks consecutivley. I did and saw some great results. 

Front squats 10 x 6
Back squats 10 x 8


Signalling is a technique that involves sending signals to your body pointing it in the direction you want it to go in. Actor Tom hardy says he has used it for a few film roles. I like to use it for my calves. Now I know it's not very practical for most to do this, but I work in a gym so I can. All I do is pick a day and aim to do 500 reps for my calves. I usually do calf press. Every 1-2 hours I would just do another 50-100 reps. It goes back to my previous point on high volume training. 

Sunday, 26 May 2013

5 reasons everyone should weight train

Your mum, dad, nan, grandad, best freinds cousin, sister, girlfriend, boyfriend, favourite superhero, neighbour should all do some resistance training. Even you should! Regardless of your goal, weight training should have some place in your workout routine. Here's 5 reasons why, and believe me I'm only just touching the surface here...

Weights dramatically change your body composition...

Training with weights has the incredible power to help you increase muscle, lose body fat, even do both at the same time! So whatever your goal you can use weights to sculpt your perfect body.

More muscle means more calories burnt at rest...

Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning the more you have, the more calories you will burn just to maintain that tissue. Increase your metabolic rate you'll torch through calories just by being you. Great for fat loss.

Take advantage of the afterburner effect...

Weight training is great because it creates this after burn effect. Basically your going to carry on burning calories for hours after your resistance workout because the muscles have to repair themselves and this burns calories. 

Heavy weights builds bone density... 

If you have stronger bones you'll be less likely to get injured. As you get older bone mass starts to degrade, however you can reverse this easily by incorporating some resistance training into your routine.

Weight training enhances the central nervous system...

If you have an improved cns you'll have faster reactions. This crosses over into hundreds of daily tasks and situations. For example, just dropped your keys over a drain? No worries you'll be able to react lightening quick and grab them before the even hit the drain. Some fool just took swing for you in a nightclub? No problem, you'll easily be able to squat down and dodge it. And hell, with the strength you develop, maybe even lamp them one back if they deserve it.

Weight training should not be overlooked. Period

Friday, 17 May 2013

5 carb tips for leaner body

In the run up to summer, guys and girls alike start manipulating carbs in some way in an attempt to lose fat and achieve their goals. Some cycle carbs, having a few low carb days followed by a carb up day. Some carb backload, having carbs only after their workout and some eradicate carbs all together!  A lot of the fad diets that seem to come in and out of fashion involve some sort of carb manipulation as well. But what if I said I know 5 rules you can abide by all year round that mean you'll be in great shape all year round and won't need to worry about flaffing around with carbs 6 weeks before your holiday to Ibiza or Marbella. You'd probably want in right? Well here you go....

Skip carbs at breakfast

I've touched on this point in a previous post. When you eat carbs they release serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps you sleep. Not a great way to start your day I'm sure you'll agree. The phrase "carb coma" ring any bells? A combination of protein and healthy fats for breakfast will allow for a gradual rise in blood sugar levels right up till lunch. You'll also feel more alert all morning.

Carbs at night are ok

Leading on from my last point a small portion of carbs at night is perfectly ok. The media will have you believe this is a cardinal sin! However, they will help you sleep. A better nights sleep means you'll recover faster from exercise, lose fat faster, gain muscle quicker and feel better.

Choose the right carbs for the right situation

Throughout the day you want to stick to low GI carbs. These will ensure a constant blood sugar level. However after your workout opt for a higher GI carb. The sharp rise in in blood sugar levels post work out will deliver a big insulin spike which will shuttle nutrients and glycogen back into your tired muscles, helping you recover faster.

Earn your carbs

If you live by this simple rule you'll never need to 'diet' ever again. It would be quite possible to keep a lean body all year round. The rule means exactly what it says, if you train hard you've earnt those carbs so eat them!

For weight loss avoid inflammatory grains

If your main goal is fat loss, avoiding carbs all together probably isn't the best tactic. Avoiding inflammortary grains, however is a good way forward. These include white rice, pasta, white breads and white flour. These grains are acidic (read my last post on the importance of balancing ph within the body). These refined grains also cause a rise in blood sugar and insulin. Imagine this happening every time you eat! Excess insulin in your body not only promotes the storage of inflammatory body fat, but it also activates enzymes that promote the production of inflammatory messengers. This is bad news for not only your fitness goals but also your health!