Goal setting

Whether you’re training for health reasons, sports performance or to feel/look good, everyone has a goal in mind that they would aspire to achieve. In a perfect world, it would be a straightforward path to this goal, however, there will be ups and downs and setbacks along the way. Having an effective method of goal setting can help you stay focused and keep you on track. Using our modified SMART target system, you can measure your success in order to achieve your results.

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Specific

Measurable

Achievable

Repeatable

Timed

 

Specific

Your goal must be clearly defined in order for you to progress. As coaches, you hear a lot of people say they want to burn fat, build muscle, improve their fitness, fix an injury, get ready for an event….the list goes on, but these people are the very same people that are stagnant in their journey. You must have a specific goal you want to achieve, I.E. I want to reduce my body fat percentage by 5%.

 

Measurable

Your goal must have a value that can be measured. You’re essentially conducting a science experiment with multiple variables involved. Your outcome must be measurable against your input. There’s no point just simply saying ‘I want to reduce my body fat percentage’ if you have no means to record the data needed to quantify your results. QUICK TIP: Don’t try to change too many variables at once (we’ll come onto this later)

 

Achievable

Don’t set goals which are so extreme that you set yourself up for failure. For example, losing 5% body fat is more than achievable in say, a 3-month program designed specifically to do so. Saying you want to drop 5% in 3 weeks, however, is a bit extreme and you will fail.

 

Repeatable

This is where our modification fits in. Repeatability in fitness ultimately boils down to controlling your variables effectively. You need to know what change resulted in an adaptation. I.E. If you did, in fact, drop 5% body fat how would you tell what worked best if you changed 8 things at once? How would you isolate that dominant force in your change so that you can become more and more effective at achieving your goals? You need to gradually implement change so that you can assess what works, what doesn’t work and what you need to include more/less of in the future. For example, if you are just starting to work out, do 3 total body training sessions/week and don’t change anything else. When you are comfortable with that, begin to introduce some healthier options in your nutrition and see what effect that has, etc etc. Gradually layer your changes on so that it becomes a habit rather than a chore.

 

Timed

Placing a timescale on any goal is really important in achieving it. Without that timescale, you can make excuses for yourself that it won’t affect your goals that much, but that’s how you end up stuck and not achieving anything. Setting a goal of losing 5% body fat in 3 months will help keep your focus, especially when you break that down into smaller ‘sub-goals’ which will break down into months/weeks. It’s a lot easier to say no to that pizza when you know you’ve only got 4 weeks left to achieve your goal.

 

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10 Reasons to Exercise

10 Reasons to Exercise

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Gain confidence and build self esteem

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Increase energy and productivity

Look and feel better with or without clothes on

Combat age related declines in health

Build functional strength, athleticism, and stamina

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Live a longer and better life

Decrease the likelihood of getting injured

You’ll have better sex

Improve concentration and cognitive abilities

Experience more job and relationship opportunities

Make friends with healthy, like-minded people

Improve your posture

You’ll de-stress

It will help you sleep better

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Overall it will improve your mood and you’ll be a happier person!

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​Protein Myths

Protein Myths

 Protein plays a big role for any individual and, especially that of an athlete’s diet. But there are many obscure myths about what kind of proteins to consume and when to consume them, which might be making your life a lot harder.

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MYTH 1 More protein = more muscle:

 It’s a proven fact that your body can’t repair or develop muscle without the full suite of essential amino acids found in multiple foods sources. But protein alone isn’t enough to build or maintain strength and muscle mass, you need physical exercise to do that.

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MYTH 2 You can only absorb a limited amount of protein in one sitting:

It is commonly thought that the body can only digest 30g of protein per meal. This isn’t accurate. The bigger you are, the intensity of your training and the more regularly you eat protein, will all vary the amount of protein your body needs and can digest, and therefore the better your body will be able to digest it.

MYTH 3 Fast Absorption = Muscle Growth:

It is frequently thought that the faster protein is absorbed the more beneficial for muscle growth. Wrong! Protein intake, whether processed rapidly or slowly, will always benefit athletes considerably and in the same way, the body is an intricate and impressive being and will use what it needs how it needs to.

MYTH 4 you don’t need protein powder & food – there’s no need for both:

Ideally, your diet should include a wide variety of protein sourced foods and powders, as there are different combinations of amino acids in each that have their individual benefits for muscle growth and maintenance. Protein powders can be easier to absorb, however, natural protein has a richer variety of amino acids.

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MYTH 5 You should only have 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight:

1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight is the typically recommended guideline. But this needs to be taken as a guide, because if you are training more intensely and are bigger you may need more to recover from your training sessions. Also, be careful if you are less active as you don’t want to be over processing protein as you will store it.

MYTH 6 – PROTEIN IS ONLY FOUND IN MEAT:

Although animal sources of protein such as eggs, dairy and meat are excellent sources, protein can also be found in grains, legumes, nuts and even vegetables. Although meat usually offers a higher proportion of protein per 100 g compared to plant-based sources. Protein sourced from meat is also known as a complete protein, meaning that it has the full spectrum of amino acids. Protein sources from vegetables are incomplete, so pairing these sources up is necessary for a complete spectrum of amino acids (important for vegetarians).

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Coaching Couch – Bang for Your Buck

In a world where complicated training systems and ‘new’ exercises are popping up every day, how do you know that your training is effective enough to guarantee results? In this week’s blog, we discuss the concept of ‘bang for your buck’ so that you can get the best out of your own, or a clients training program.

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What Does Bang For Your Buck Mean?

Bang for your buck simply means to get the most output for a minimum input.  In short, it’s a process where you optimise the expenditure of your resources to attain the highest possible yield. In regards to exercise, this basically boils down to spending more time/energy on the exercises/movements or training systems which give you the best progress for your specific goals. Exercises that work multiple large muscles (compound movements) are a great place to start as a general rule.

Squats & deadlifts are classic exercises which can be used for a wide variety of training goals and many pressing/rowing movements can be used effectively in the right programs. Whilst programming and periodization is a complex subject, ensuring you have the ‘best’ exercises included is a solid foundation to work from.

The easiest way to visualise this is if you have an empty jar. This is your total capacity for a single training session. You have 3 different sized balls which you can put in the jar; large, medium and small. The large balls represent your compound lifts, the medium balls represent your accessory exercises and the small balls represent everything else you could include in a training session. So the idea is that you fit as many large balls in the jar as possible, then as many medium balls and then as many small balls in the leftover space. What you are left with is a training session with the key components as the main focus (squats etc), your accessory exercises next (RDL’s) and finally, everything else (bicep curls, calf raises etc).

Use this thought process when you’re planning your own or a clients training programs and you’ll be well on the way to producing an effective training program.

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Coaching Couch – Training Movements Over Exercise

As a coach, it’s important to remember that all exercise and training essentially boils down to selecting specific movements and loading them appropriately to achieve the desired outcome. Whether that’s hitting a new 1RM on your back squat or jumping as high as you can, they can be broken down into a finite number of open or closed chain movement patterns. These movement patterns can be assessed, analyzed and from there you can select the appropriate exercises and loading schemes. Without that initial analysis, you will be limiting your progress as one exercise isn’t always going to be appropriate for everyone to include in their programs. A classic example is a high bar vs low bar squat; picking an exercise based on your own anatomical efficiency is very much advised and while (in theory) everyone should be able to do both, it doesn’t mean everyone should do both. Don’t try to knock a square peg into a round hole.

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So, now we’ve established it’s important to remember that exercises correlate to a specific movement pattern, how do you then decide which exercise is correct for your training goal? This will come down to your needs analysis. When you’re selecting exercises, whether you know it or not you’re analyzing your needs and selecting exercises which you deem appropriate to achieve your desired outcome. For example, we’ll take a winger in rugby and analyze their needs for performance. These will be entirely focused on the physical attributes of the athlete and will be far from an extensive list.

A needs analysis can be done in a number of ways, but a spider graph is often the easiest way to do this. These can be done by both the coach and athlete so you can discuss the training rationale and get that all important buy-in. Using our example of the winger in rugby, I’ve listed 3 physical attributes, which are:

1) Speed
2) Agility
3) Core strength

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So now we’ve got our training goals, we can start to look at the movements associated with these attributes. I’m going to focus in on one movement per example to keep the post relatively short.

1) Speed – When running at near maximal speed we have large amounts of hip and knee flexion/extension.
2) Agility – When changing direction in relation to an external stimulus you can recruit a ‘side-step’ movement to avoid a defender.
3) Core Strength – When sprinting the athlete will need to maintain a strong pillar so that their force transfer effectively throughout their body (not so much movement, but stopping movement).

So, now we’ve identified movements associated with our physical attributes we can begin to look at exercises which fit the bill. Again, I will provide one exercise per example, however, there is an extensive list of exercises that could be used.

1) Hip & Knee Flexion/Extension – Dumbbell Step Up: This exercise not only utilizes the desired hip & knee movements, it also provides us with a unilateral exercise. This means that it is a single limb exercise, which is perfect for running as you will never have 2 feet on the ground whilst when sprinting.
2) Side Step – Lateral Lunge: When the athlete is avoiding a defender by side-stepping, one of their legs will move laterally so that it moves away from the centre of the body. The lateral lunge trains the same movement in a controlled environment and will help strengthen the quads, hamstrings, glutes and hip abductors/adductors. This will help avoid injuries in these muscle groups.
3) Stability whilst sprinting – Resistance Band Anti-Rotations/Palof Press: This exercise will provide a resistance which will try to pull the athlete out of a centred position and will, therefore, train their core stability.

So now we’ve established the exercises we’re going to utilize to achieve the training goals we’ve just got to decide on an appropriate load and volume for the athlete based on their current condition. This is probably another topic for another day so keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a follow-up blog on the coaching coach.

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5 Tips for helping you stay on track with your diet.

Pre-plan your meals

Plan your meals in advance to give you a weekly structure to follow. You could also consider weekly menus. For those who think eating healthy is way too expensive, think again; this will also help you save money. Meal planning can save you money when done effectively, because you can buy items in bulk and take advantage of your freezer. When you set aside time to prep your food, think big in terms of volume.

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Meal Prep

Prep full meals or individual sources for easy meal planning. Pre-made protein sources help ensure you eat adequate protein & meal prepping is great for busy individuals. Once you get the gist of it, meal prepping becomes such an essential part of your weeks structure. Rather than cooking dinner and cleaning up, and then having to get everything out again to make something for lunch you have already pre-made the lunch meals. This helps you cut so much time in the kitchen and you will have the great feeling of being much more organised.

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Don’t buy tempting foods

Keep foods that temp you out of the house. If you are unable to avoid having these foods, put them out of sight to avoid easy snacking. Having a list of weekly meals and mass bulk buys will help you to avoid buying those tempting foods.

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Pump up the nutrients

Increase the volume of nutritious and low-calorie foods such as vegetables to help increase the feeling of being full, without having to add a lot of calories into your meals. This will also help you gain a better understanding of portion control and it will allow you to spread your eating throughout the day better, rather than having 1 or 2 big meals a day.

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Don’t worry if you slip up, just get back on track

No one is perfect! Not even those Instagram famous fitness fanatics. Don’t beat yourself up if you occasionally go off your dieting plan. Remember, you don’t have to wait until the next day to get back on track, you can get back on track with your next meal. It’s good to relax every now and gain to have a treat to keep you interested in your diet.

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If you want to find out more about how to put a tailored meal plan together for your own individual gaols, (click the picture below) to head over to our website and send us an email. Our nutrition guide has everything you need to get started!

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Why group training is the key to health in under 500 words.

Group training is becoming an increasingly popular way to workout. Classes included in your gym membership, a bootcamp or semi-private PT session all provide people with the opportunity to follow a coach led session at a fraction of the cost of a 1-on-1 session. Here’s a quick post on the main benefits of group training and why you should start today.

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Blueprint for success

Everything about group training is designed for your success; the fun, social environment created by working out as a group is a major component of this. Everyone attending the session has the same goal in mind so you can all push each other to succeed and, make a few new friends whilst you’re at it.

Accountability

Not only do you have your amazing coach, you’ve also got a group of like-minded people who want you to achieve incredible results. You’ve learnt new workouts, pushed and supported each other so everyone gets it done. Group training offers comradery and a support network so you can count on your peers to keep you accountable.

Lifestyle

Group sessions are normally 30-45 minute classes which have a specific outcome such as fat loss, conditioning, and core strength. The shorter, more intense classes are a lot easier to fit around a busy lifestyle and can help you stay on track with your fitness goals. More and more people are sticking to group fitness classes and are reaping the rewards for doing so.

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Beginners welcome

Group exercise is great for people who want to start but aren’t quite sure where to begin. We can’t all be ‘fitness fanatics’ and finding a good coach will really empower you to better yourself. A good coach will understand your goals, take the time to teach you new exercises and make you feel comfortable exercising so you can get the best out of their expertise.

Yeah! Science b****

Any good exercise program is based on key scientific principles, without that, we’re just getting out of breath and not really doing anything useful. The science doesn’t just stop there; it’s the music, the warm-up/cool down, the exercise selection and more. Exercise science is an innovating subject and any coach worth their salt will have a solid grasp of what’s current.

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And the one everyone loves the most…

Group training is incredibly cost effective so you can exercise more for less. Where else can you get coach led structured exercise designed for your success for a fraction of the price of a 1-on-1 PT session. As long as your coach prioritizes safe and effective practice within their sessions then you are onto a winner!

 

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To try group training for FREE today, click the picture above and just send us an email! Alternatively, just drop us a message on our Facebook page and we’ll get you booked in today!

 

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