How not to lose fat

We are all guilty of over indulging during the festive period and come January, people are desperate and looking for that quick fix to drop those extra lbs.

You may have gone over your calories between Christmas and New Year but what is important now is to look at the amount of calories you eat between now and next Christmas.

And I’m sorry to say it but there is no quick fix, no matter how many times you see it on Instagram! Some of the magic pills you might come across include;

  1. Going “Keto”, “paleo” or low carb – I don’t care how many times you tell me, you won’t be able to avoid carbs for the rest of your life!
  2. Removing another entire macronutrient (i.e. fat) or food group (all animal products/meat/dairy etc…) from your diet
  3. Skinny tea – Honestly?
  4. Replacement meal shakes – Eat real food. Eating in a calorie deficit is likely to make you hungry enough. Don’t surrender those precious calories to liquids.
  5. The 5/2 diet – also known as intermittent fasting, is effectively starving yourself for 2 days a week, every week!
  6. Fasted cardio – not at all necessary. Not in the slightest! Sure you can do it if you really want to, but it doesn’t burn any more calories than the same amount of time on the treadmill after eating. In fact, eating before your cardio probably means you’ll perform better and hence burn more calories.
  7. No alcohol/no sugar– wow, how long can you keep this up?

While all of these approaches may help you to lower your calorie intake and may even be positive changes to your lifestyle, you have to ask yourself, can you stick to it for life? 

Learning about food and the way it can affect you can help you to understand what works for you and how to make it fit your lifestyle which is key if you want it to be sustainable. And this is exactly what you can learn on Principal Nutrition. Over the 8 weeks, we can educate you giving you the information you need to develop a positive relationship with food and empower you to make good decisions to help you achieve your goals. We can help steer you through the maze that is fat loss while making the experience as enjoyable and effortless as possible.

Whatever your goals are for 2019, let me help!

The next course starts on 30th January. If you want more information or to sign up, you can contact me directly or sign up on the list at CrossFit Nottingham (non-CFN members also welcome).

Big love and I look forward to seeing you soon!

Yus x

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100 reps of madness!

Earlier this year my good friend Dan and I decided to embark on a 100-repetition challenge. The only catch? Once you pick the bar up, you can’t put it down! I decided I would aim to complete 100 reverse back rack lunges at 100kg and Dan would target 100 back squats at 100kg.  I bet you’re asking why? I ask myself this every week when training for this arduous task!

The answer is simple – there is no point. But it keeps us super motivated and keeps us excited about training and coming into the gym each day. I’ve talked about how important training with friends is and luckily I have Dan to embark on this challenge as well. If I had to go in every week to punish myself under 100kg on my own I would just crumble and flake off this goal.

Every week we get together and hit 100 reps in a multitude of varieties with our aim to see if we can go unbroken by the end of January 2019.  Some examples of our workouts might be completing reps every minute on the minute (EMOM) such as 10 reps for 10mins, another being 15 reps then hold the bar on the back rack for 1min and perform another 15 reps then rest 1min until 100 reps complete. The hardest version to date has to be 21 down to 1 lunges/squats with 21 down to 1 calories on the assault bike (so 21 lunges/squats 21 cals 20 lunges/squats 20 cals… etc). Yuk! When you’re cramping mid set you know your pushing hard.

Would I recommend this challenge to everyone… probably not. However I do recommend setting yourself a challenge even if that challenge seems miles out of reach. If it keeps you on track and gives you a purpose then yes, go for it.

“If you set your goals ridiculously high and it’s a failure, you will fail above everyone else’s success.” –James Cameron

Come end of January we will see how far we have come and if this challenge was achievable or complete lunacy. This will be the perfect opportunity to end some general training and get ready to specialise and focus my training again as this I’ve decided to throw myself into competing again, more on that another time!

For now get out there, set a goal and go pursue it.

Big love!

https://www.instagram.com/ypaterson/

Is the juice worth the squeeze?

Dieting is tough, there’s no question.

Being hungry, potentially training with less energy, having to forego social outings (including alcohol!) and even avoiding your favourite foods for fear of blowing your diet can be tough to take.

I don’t know a single person that wouldn’t choose to get lean without having to restrict their calories or to be able to do so whilst eating untracked quantities of pizza and pasta, drinking beers and offering a big, resounding YES to any and all social events.

The reality is, EVERY diet is going to involve at least some form of sacrifice.

The reason why its all so hard? You are forcing your body to burn fat, changing the homeostasis and driving a new change. CHANGE. A wise man once said “to get something you’ve never had before, you’re going to have to do something you’ve never done before”.

If you’re wanting to simply look a little better on the beach & improve your day-to-day fitness levels, chances are you can probably get used to saying no to that third beer, or avoiding dessert every once in a while. But if you’re wanting to see significant changes (like veins popping out of your abs or striations in every muscle) and make the majority of people react with admirable looks any time you train, chances are those sacrifices are going to be a touch more serious.

So with that in mind, ask yourself one simple question –

Is the juice, is worth the squeeze?

Is the effort you’re putting in and the lengths you’re going to, worth the ‘reward’ you’re chasing? Is it ever ‘enough’? Is having a set of abs that more closely resemble a roadmap, really worth not being able to enjoy a meal out with friends, avoiding alcohol. Because chances are, that level of effort is going to require a fairly extreme approach in order to achieve and more importantly, maintain.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s impossible to get lean without incorporating a flexible diet and lifestyle, but typically to get those sorts of extreme results, flexibility ultimately isn’t really an option at that level of body fat/ calorie intake. It takes effort and huge amounts of motivation for a really long time. Most people I know when they achieve extreme results tell me that reaching their goal wasn’t even half of it, its what they learnt about themselves on the way. As a coach and trainer its important I help people understand that change is proportional to effort.

So, is it worth it for you?

Wasted time

How I wasted time/years

5 years ago I got out the shower and couldn’t help but notice that when looking in the mirror what was looking back at me wasn’t what I wanted to see.

Initially, don’t get me wrong, the gains were great but then despite the fact training and fitness had been semi consistent the progress I had made thereafter wasn’t amazing. (Well nothing to write home about).

That moment, for me sparked what has turned into an incredible journey so far.  I did not want to be in that situation again.

I’ve been a PT, a CrossFit coach and training for 10+ years now. I have lost count of the people I’ve seen in the gym that look pretty much exactly the same as what they did when I first started working out. No lie, the exact same! Maybe they have seen a few fluctuations here and there but a lot have done nothing more than go through the motions.

I completely get it there are those that simply just use the gym to justify their lifestyle and for some it’s much more of a part time hobby.

Cool, but for a lot more of us this is greater and you aren’t one of them.

So here is what I want you to do. Be as truthful has you can be, think about how long you’ve been training for. How many hours you’ve spent inside the gym, prepping meals thinking about the progress you want to make.

Have you been moving further away from your start point?

Are closer to where you want to be?

If not you need to consider why?  

What is going to be your spark moment?

Is it reading this?

Why is it important that girls and guys need to lift heavy

Don’t be afraid to push, keep striving to get stronger and you’ll see dramatic changes in your body and an increased rate of fat loss.  

Why girls should also lift heavy

As a coach, son and friend I have had many conversations with people about their body image and changes they want to make. One of the easiest and most effective ways to train is using resistance or weight training. Whilst it may seem complicated, confusing or down right intimidating, ask yourself this…

Do you want to look toned, sexy and lean?

Or do you want to look skinny, slender and frail?

If the answer is the former, then you should definitely be lifting weights!

Why is it important that girls and guys need to lift heavy

Let’s look at the science:

As we get older the storage of fat happens easier, this is because of a decrease in testosterone (yes ladies, you have testosterone as well!). This is a massively misunderstood hormone which we all produce and is vital to health and wellbeing. Lifting heavy will help in boosting that testosterone to some degree. So if you want to stay lean & strong, keep the curves and be athletic, then lifting weights is the way to go.

Often people think that lifting weights is down to vanity and body building but it also has other benefits. For example, as we become older our muscles and joints slowly weaken leading us to become more susceptible to injuries and falls.

So if you fancy staying healthy and happy. Then lift heavy!

In my experience working in gyms and especially in the ‘functional training’ world girls love lifting heavy (maybe more than some guys!). It’s also is amazing to see how training heavy boosts confidence and more motivation, and in this day and age that is a beautiful thing!

Same ‘ol routine

Now here is the secret….always shooting for 20-30 boring old reps of the same exercises, not really following a periodised plan gets seriously monotonous and boring. But if you give yourself goals in terms of strength then all of sudden training can become a whole lot more fun. It’s the lifting ‘heavy’ (which is relative to each person) which is absolutely KEY! We need to stress to progress and give the muscles a reason to work hard and grow!! Lifting heavy also means we can vary our training more and everyone enjoys some variety, it’s the spice of life.

Guys you are guilty too

I get this all the time – People believe that to get lean and cut then you need to lift lighter for higher reps, or even they worry if they push too hard all of sudden they will sprout gigantic muscles! Listen up, you’re not the Hulk!

Celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” and bodybuilder Phil Heath didn’t suddenly get huge as soon as they started squatting and pressing. It honestly takes DECADES of progressive overload, specific nutrition and most importantly consistency to get to the standard most would even consider ‘big’ so there is no need to worry that you might accidentally turn into Mr Olympia J

Practical Recommendations

With all that being said, first things first you need to enjoy your training, but I truly believe the best way to go both physiologically and psychologically is to train heavy. It doesn’t matter if it’s a deadlift, a squat or a sandbag, just make sure you are not going through the motions. Push yourself to move heavier loads and you will begin to see the results.

So where to start

Try starting with 2 to 3 sessions per week focusing on compound lifts like squats, rows, deadlifts, lunges and presses. Keep most of the rep ranges in the 5 to 10 range, occasionally going a little higher and sometimes lower. Keep the total reps to approximately 30, so this might look like;

Squats – 5 sets of 6 reps and Push press 3 sets of 8 reps followed by some cardio…

Don’t be afraid to push, keep striving to get stronger and you’ll see dramatic changes in your body and an increased rate of fat loss.