Wonder Woman Fitness

The Carbohydrate debate

 

Good carbsbad carbs

Much debate has been documented and reported that carbs are bad for you, carbs make you put on weight.  Confused?  Well let me explain a little bit.  In this blog I will explain the good sides and the bad sides to carbs and why some are important to your diet.  So if you are confused about whether carbs are good or bad for you then read on……

 First things first some carbs are not bad for you!!!  However choosing the right kinds of carbs is very important for health, wellness and even weight loss.  So heres the science, the human body uses carbs most efficiently for energy production (as opposed to fats and proteins).  So there really isn’t any reason to avoid carbs but there is a big difference between the normal, wholesome good carbs we are designed to eat and the unnatural (although tasty) highly processed refined carbs.  These bad carbs are contributing to a health crisis in the forms of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancers.

 Choosing good carbs is the key to looking and feeling your best, simply put if your diet is based around healthy, natural carbs rather than the unhealthy processed carbs – you will feel the benefit.

 Please remember that carbs give you energy and provide many of the vitamins and minerals necessary for good health, see the right ones are good for you.

 Good carbs are unprocessed carbohydrates in their ‘natural state’ or very close to their natural state.  In other words they have been minimally altered by man or machine i.e. not out of a packet more like out of the ground.  Pretty much all ‘leafy’ green vegetables and fruit are good carbs.  Beans and legumes, nuts and seeds are also included in the good carb category.  Finally wholegrain cereals including wholegrain breads and pastas are also ‘good’ carbs in moderation.  These types of carbs provide a slower and more sustained release of energy than bad carbs and in their natural form they contribute to long-term health gains, appetite control and sustained energy levels.

 Reason you should be eating good carbs:

  • High in fibre – helps you stay fuller for longer
  • Low GI: low glycemic index which stabilizes blood sugar levels and insulin
  • High in nutrients
  • Low ‘energy-density’: which provides sustained energy, promotes healthy weight loss and long-term weight management

 To sum up what good carbs are, have a look at this list below (picture 1 at the top of the blog):

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fruit (try to not consume to much though as they contain a lot of natural sugar)
  • Beans
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole cereals, breads, cereals, flour, pasta and rice
  • Oats
  • Root vegetables

 Ok so onto the bad (boo!!!!) carbs.  These are refined processed carbohydrates that have all or most of their natural nutrients and fibre removed in order to make them more consumer friendly.  Most baked goods, white breads, white pastas, snack foods, sweets and soft drinks fit into this category.  Bleached, enriched white flour and white sugar are the most common ingredients used to make bad carbs.

 These carbs are harmful mainly because the human body is not able to process them very well.  Most of the processed carbs we eat wreak havoc on our natural hormone levels.  Insulin production is thrown out of sync as the body attempts to process the huge amounts of starches and simple sugars contained in a bad-carb based meal (i.e. white pastas, white bread etc).  This leads to dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar levels – a big reason you feel tired after eating these bad carb meals.

 Examples of bad carbs and sugary (simply carb) bad foods (picture 2 at the top of the blog):

  • Biscuits, pastries and cakes
  • Pizzas
  • Sugary processed breakfast cereals
  • White bread, flour, pasta, rice
  • Chocolate
  • Honey and jams
  • Jellies
  • Brown and white sugar
  • Soft drinks
  • Sweets and snack bars

 So if you believe that good carbs make you fat please read on.  Obviously bad carbs will make you fat especially in the form of sweets and chocolate but good carbs gram for gram contain less calories than fat, protein and alcohol.  Please remember that eating too much of any food will lead to weight gain, regardless of what food you get your energy from.  Also keep active.  If you are aiming to lose weight then by all means swap your bad carbs for good carbs but hit the gym, get yourself active in the outdoors as this will speed up the weight loss process and increase your energy levels, fitness levels and confidence.

Tips for healthy eating:

  • Your daily diet should be a balance of good carbs and protein
  • Base each of your meals on a complex carb such as potato, sweet potato, wholemeal bread or pasta and include vegetables.  Ensure your protein is lean also
  • Use high fibre wholegrain cereals as part of your breakfast or wholemeal bread for your toast
  • Large carb meals will make you sleepy and slow so save a big carb meal for the evening
  • Cut down on the amount of refined white flour products in your diet, such as white bread, pizza, pasta and rice.  The refining process produces a simple carbohydrate and many vitamins and minerals are lost.
  • Remember fruit is naturally high in sugar as are fruit juices and smoothies so limit these to your diet.  Choose more vegetables to gain your 5 a day.

Happy eating, any questions please feel free to leave comments.

Train with me

I need you!!!!

 

Train with me

Train with me

Do you think your training is going well?  Is it pushing you hard enough?  Want to try something different?  Ok then, I need you to read this and to do this.  I am basically trying to get you moving by giving you a training session a month to try and stick to.  They will be based on weights, intervals, pyramids etc all sound scary but all fun with a wee bit of hard work thrown in.  I will also give a 3 day ‘diet’ to have a look at and to follow, not for the whole month though just a max of 5 days to help with your training.  The idea of this is to show you different ways of training and to see how I train.  I will be giving beginner, intermediate and advanced options so all abilities can do this.  Give it a go what do you have to lose?  If done right the only thing you will lose is a couple of pounds or more.  Keep active………….

Session 1: Intervals

This is ideally suited to the treadmill as you will work harder, but it can be performed on the bike, rower or X Trainer.  All I will say is each session is 20 minutes in total so you should be pretty tired at the end of the session even if you are a beginner.  Also it can be performed outside if you have a hate or a fear of treadmills just make sure you have a stop watch.  Do the interval sessions at least 3-4 times per week.  If you are following a weight program do that alongside this, actually I highly recommend that you do follow one.  Remember to have your rest days to recover.  The next session will be weights based so it will work with this one nicely.

The beginners session:

Time  
2 minutes Brisk walk
30 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
45 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
90  seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
90 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
45 seconds Jog
90 seconds Brisk walk
30 seconds Jog

The Intermediate session:

Time  
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
120 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
120 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
120 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog
90 seconds Run
60 seconds Jog

 

The advanced session: (To be completed with an incline of 2-4%)

Time  
60 seconds Run
30 seconds Sprint
60 seconds Run
45 seconds Sprint
60 seconds Run
60 seconds Sprint
60 seconds Run
45 seconds Sprint
60 seconds Run
30 seconds Sprint

Repeat this session twice if you dare!!!!!

Diet:

Try this for 3-5 days.  It has limited stodgy carbs so if you are used to them you will find it hard but keep with it.

Meal Food
Breakfast 2 scrambled eggs

Ham

Handful of spinach

Snack Low fat hummus

Celery and carrot batons

Lunch Ham and avocado salad

Salad leaves, spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, ½ avocado and ham

Snack Cooked Chicken

Mixed seeds

Dinner Lean meat (chicken, fish, pork, turkey, steak)Roasted vegetables
Snack Small amount of low fat cottage cheese
BINGO!!!

BINGO

But bingo wings???

‘Bingo wings’ is now a term used a lot in the fitness world as it’s the best way to describe the flabby, wobbly bit at the back of your upper arm.  Or technically called a tricep.  Do you have fear of the Bingo Wing?  Do you know how to prevent it?  Or would you like to reduce your own wing size?

With the so called bingo wing I have seen them on ‘fit’ females and the obviously not so fit so don’t despair it seems to be a problem area for most women.  Read on and I will help you battle the bingo…..

Ok, first things first.  To tone up that area you have to start with your diet.  If it wobbles simply that is fat there.  So try your hardest to remove fat from your diet.  I don’t really think you need to me to tell you what the bad fats are, there usually the tasty treats, so just try and remove them and alcohol from your diet.  Also your main daily diet should be based around lean protein, vegetables, low fat foods, good carbs and water!!!!

So that’s the diet sorted.  The exercises I give you will help tone the area but you will have to blast the cardio machines or outdoors running to burn those calories.  Try interval training on any machine in the gym or even outside.  To do interval training you will have to do fast, hard intensity for roughly 1-2 minutes (depending on fitness levels) and a recovery period of 30 secs to 1 minute.  The idea of interval training is to push you to your limits, to push you out of your comfort zone, its meant to be hard, its meant to be tough so if you are not sweating and panting after 20 – 40 minutes of interval training then you have to work harder.

 Ok so onto the exercises for toning your triceps.  Try these exercises, lift a weight that on the last couple of reps you are really feeling it, try 3 x 8 – 20 reps of each exercise and lets work the bingo wings!!!

Triceps

Tricep extension

 Tricep extension:

With your feet shoulder width apart, back straight and stomach tight.  Hold a weight in both hands behind your head.  You are looking to keep your elbows next to your ears.  Extend your lower arm up so that you arms arm straight above your head.  Bend at the elbow and return to the starting position.  It is important to keep your upper arm still and let the lower arm do the work.

Do 3 x 8 – 12 of these

Tricep

Tricep dips

 Tricep dips:

This exercise can be performed in the comfort of your own home by the way!!  So find a sturdy bench or chair and have your hands and fingers pointing the same way as your toes.  You can have your legs bent, legs straight or even your legs elevated on another bench/chair (this is more advanced).  Bend your elbows back and lower your bum to the floor.  You are looking to keep your bum and back as close to the bench/chair as possible to ensure you use your triceps.  To return to the start position simply straighten your arms.  Complete 3 sets of 15-20 reps

Triceps

Tricep kickbacks

 Tricep Kickback:

Kneeling on a chair or a bench with one knee, support your body with the hand of the same side.  Start with the weight in the other hand in at your arm pit, elbow tucked into your ribs, back straight and tummy tucked in tight.  Extend your lower arm back so your arm is straight by your side.  It is very important to keep your upper arm still and let the lower arm do the work.  Bend your elbow and bring the weight back to your arm pit to return to the starting position.  Repeat this exercises 3 x 8 – 12 on each side.

Tricep

Tricep Pushdown

 Tricep Pushdown:

This should be performed on a cable machine or a lat pulldown machine.  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, back straight and tummy in tight.  Tuck your elbows into your ribs and keep them there.  Push down on the handle and straighten your arms.  Bend at the elbow and bring the lower arm back up to the start position.  Always keep your upper arm still and let your lower arms do the work.  Repeat this exercise 3 x 8 – 12 reps.

tricep

Full tricep press ups

 Tricep Press up:

This is a killer of an exercise.  It can be performed on your knees if you can not perform a ‘normal’ press up on your toes.  Have your hands so they are shoulder width apart.  They should be much narrower than when you are doing a normal press up.  Bend at the elbows, making sure the go back the way and that your elbows are close to your ribs, and bring your chest to the floor.  It is very important to keep your back strong and straight and tummy in tight as this will support you.  Straighten your arms to return to the starting position. 

tricep

Kneeling tricep press up

Keep active folks………………

Secrets to Weight loss Is there such a thing? With so many diet plans out there surely some of them have to be right, right? Well to be honest most of the diets are out there are money making schemes and make money they do. In America it was estimated that the weight loss industry would make around $68 billion in 2010, through meal replacements, diet pills, diet plans and programs etc and not to mention the amount people spend on gym memberships they never use or home fitness equipment (don’t get me started on that). So how do we lose weight, burn fat and more importantly keep it off and keep active?

I have put together some simple guidelines that I think may help you. If I am honest it is not rocket science it’s about balance and knowing what to do, I am sure I will not tell you anything new but I may be able to iron out some issues.

life, exercise and diet balance

Its all about finding a balance

As the picture states its all about the right balance, from exercise to the food you consume. I have read a lot of diets and fitness plans over the years like most of us have. Read my 6 guidelines and see where the results take you.

• Smaller more frequent meals: Sometimes having 3 main meals (i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner) can make you feel very full and sluggish. Smaller more frequent meals, every 2-3 hrs, can help maintain more stable blood sugar levels. This is one of the advantages I feel with smaller more frequent meals is that I feel I have more energy and not as sleepy (which is amazing for me). Smaller more frequent meals can help you control your weight because you may be less hungry and less likely to over eat at the next meal. Example of a typical day with smaller more frequent meals: 7 am 1 or 2 poached egg on toast, 10 am snack hummus with some raw veg, 12 noon ham and avocado salad, 3pm snack 3 oatcakes and cooked chicken, 6pm dinner lean meat served with vegetables and some brown rice.

• Cut out refined carbohydrates: There are two types of carbohydrates, the good ones and the bad ones. Refined carbohydrates are the ‘bad’ ones. The body processes this very quickly and causes a high rise in sugar levels like a high followed by a crash. Refined carbs are: In any beverage containing sugar or refined sugar including sweetened fruit juices, beer, wine (Boo!!), soft drinks and sweet tea or coffee. In Fruit, so be careful with it. Stick to berries if you are going to have fruit. Also be careful with tinned fruit as they usually contain sugar if they are covered in syrup also try and pick the tinned fruit with natural juice. Be careful with your grains and opt for the wholemeal or wholegrain version if you can. Stay away from white flour versions of things like your bagels, bread, muffins etc. White flour foods will leave you feeling bloated and heavy and possibly uncomfortable!! High sugar tasty snacks are always tempting but I don’t think I need to tell you that cakes and chocolate and all the tasty treats are not that good for you so limit yourself or if your will power is great get rid of them altogether. Just remember this, that refined carbohydrates are robbed of vital fibre, vitamins and minerals. Stick to a ‘diet’ rich in pulses, nuts, seeds, berries, vegetables, oats, whole grains and wholemeal foods. If you are looking to feel lighter and less bloated then limit the wholemeal and wholegrain foods, like pasta and bread but do not stop eating them, you need them for energy.

• Eat meals based on lean protein: Lean protein can be added to every meal and snack throughout your day, with eggs, chicken, fish, tuna, cottage cheese, feta cheese, etc. Eating more lean protein in our diet can lead to a higher metabolic rate as it requires a higher percentage of energy to process it in our bodies than carbs. It helps with muscle growth and repair and does not increase your insulin levels so having a lean protein diet can control your cravings. I regularly follow this for about a week and I always feel lighter and less bloated. I then include good carbs into my diet the following week so I am getting a good balanced diet for health and for my training.

• Limit your fruit intake: As mentioned in section 2 try and limit your fruit intake. Getting your 5 a day should be mostly from vegetables and try and stay with berries for your fruit. Fruit although very natural is full of sugary and this can hinder your weight loss plans even though you think you are eating healthily. Just as an example here are some of our favourite fruits and there sugar content: banana (5.5g) 1 teaspoon of sugar, 11g golden delicious apple 2 teaspoons of sugar, large bunch of grapes 500g nearly 8 teaspoons of sugar!!!!! Also fruit is packed with fructose which does not make you full as it does not trigger the insulin response of fullness, hence why some people can gobble a whole pack of grapes.

• Introduce interval training into your exercise regime: By mixing burst of high intensity work with low intensity periods of recovery, you’re overloading both the aerobic and anaerobic systems at the same time, getting the benefits of both aspects of training simultaneously. This type of training saves you time, it can be done in 20 – 30 minutes, it is a great way to relieve boredom and pass the training plateau, and most importantly it can help you lose weight. This is because you are challenging both training systems in your body and improving your bodies ability to burn more calories. Your adding new muscle groups to your training which speeds up your metabolism of fat, your getting an aerobic workout that burns calories, you’re pushing yourself beyond your limits, so your body is becoming a fat burning machine. But trust me when I say that interval training is hard work, sometimes uncomfortable and you never look sexy doing it but you can reap the fitness and fat loss benefits from doing it. General rules of interval training can be done on any machine in the gym or outside. Train intensely for 1 minute to 2 minutes then actively rest for 1 to 2 minutes. You are looking to feel the burn and repeat this process 4 – 10 times depending on your fitness levels. I will be adding a few interval training blogs for you to attempt soon so keep an eye out. With interval training it is also important to weight train to accompany it and get the overall lean look that you are looking for. Remember with weights try to lift heavier and use more full body movements. This will increase your fat burning efficiency and also give you a sleeker look if you use exercises for all your muscles.

• Most importantly listen to your body: This is the one I usually forget. It is important to listen to your body and not over train. Remember to stretch after your training, helps you look leaner and less sore, perhaps try yoga or pilates. Also treat yourself, this does not have to be food or alcohol based, for all your hard work maybe buy some new clothes a night out, a massage or a trip away. I always feel that if you have something to look forward to the training and the diet regime seems slightly easier. I also find that entering an event will boost your motivation and your training for example a 5k or 10k run, a walk, or even a triathlon!!! Anything that will keep you motivated, keep your training intensity up, keep your diet in check and keep you training hard will help you lose weight and burn fat.

A wee point to remember I am no saint when it comes to training or my diet. I enjoy food and red wine way too much but I also enjoy training. I understand the benefits of a good diet and a planned training session but I also like to enjoy my life and treat myself. My advice is find something you enjoy and make it part of your life, train hard, get the benefits and you will see results from all your hard work.

Any questions on diet or training leave a comment and I will get back to you

Keep active folks……………

Increase your core strength without 100’s of sit ups

 

sit ups

Time for a change from sit ups

 

Your core muscles have a lot to do with your posture.  In today’s society a lot of us spend time sitting (or slouching) in front of computers, tv’s, driving cars and leaning over things which can put a lot of stress on your lower back and effects your posture and how you hold yourself.  Your core muscles are actually the centre of your bodies strength.  Having a strong core will give can give you a flat stomach but more importantly it will make you more powerful, it will maintain stability for exercising and all other physical activities.  The benefits of a strong core are:

  • Improve your posture and prevent low back pain
  • Helps avoid back injury
  • Improves your physical performance
  • Improves your balance

 However, if like me the thought of doing loads of sit ups fills you with dread I may have the answer for you.  I have put together some exercises that work your core muscles (abs, stomach and obliques) and may help you lose your wobble and your muffin top.  I have included a video showing you how to do these exercises and also instructions so give them a go and see how you get on.  Stand tall and keep active folks…….

Complete all exercises slowly and under complete control and in good technique at all times.  Oh and the main thing to remember during this session is to engage your core, so pull your belly button into your spine and hold that contraction.  This is NOT the same as holding your breathe you should be able to breathe and hold the contraction, I don’t want you going blue, enjoy.

 Lunge with a twist – Begin with standing with your feet shoulder width apart.  Step forward with one leg and come onto your tiptoes of your back foot and lower your knee to the floor.  With the medicine ball or the weight lift from the inside of your knee to your opposite shoulder bringing the weight across the front of the body.  Push up with your front foot and return to the starting position.  Do 10 altogether 5 each side.

Overhead Squat – Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart. Hold the weight or the medicine ball above your head.  Sit into the squat making sure your knees don’t shoot past your toes and keep your back strong and your stomach in tight.  To return to the starting position straighten your legs and stand up.  Keep the weight above your head at all times.  Repeat x 10.

Swiss ball Roll in – If you are a beginner to exercise the have your shins on the ball during this exercise and if you are more advanced then put your feet on the ball.  So hold yourself as if in the press up position by locking out your arms and keeping your back straight and strong, stomach nice and tight.  With your feet or shins on the ball bend your knees and roll the ball into your chest.  Straighten your legs to return to the starting position.  Repeat this 10 times.

Overhead Knee up – Standing with your feet together, hold a weight or a medicine ball above your head.  Lock the arm to hold it in place.  With the opposite leg drive up with the knee and return to the starting position.  Lift your knee up 5 times each side with the opposite arm holding the weight above your head at all times.

Double crunch – Begin lying on your back with knees bent and up off the ground at 90°, your arms should be straight up above your chest.  Lower your arms and legs down to the ground without touching the ground and pull them back in to the starting position.  If you would like a more advanced version of this exercises you can use a weight in your hands and finish with a crunch when your knees and hands come back in.  Do 10 of these.

Russian Twists – Begin seated in the half sit up position.  Keep your feet on the floor if you are a beginner and if you are more advanced take you feet off the floor and keep your balance.  With or without a weight rotate your upper body from side to side.  Try hard to keep your lower body still whilst you twist from side to side.  Do this 20 times – a twist on each side is counted as 1 rep.

Swiss ball leg raises – Begin seated on a Swiss ball then walk forward so your upper back, shoulders and head are supported by the ball.  Your knees should be bent at 90°, knees directly over your toes with your hands resting on your hips.  Transfer your weight to one leg and lift your other leg off the floor keeping it in line with your body.  Hold for a count of one and repeat on the other side.  Do 10 altogether, 5 each side.

Cable twists – Standing side on to a pole or something you can attach a resistance band to, wrap a resistance band around it so it lies in line with your chest.  With both hands grip onto the band and bring straight arms across in front of your chest so you twist your torso around.  Try to keep your hips and legs facing forward and just move your torso.  Repeat 10 times on each side.

 Plank leg lifts – Begin in the plank position, with shoulders over hands and your body in line from shoulder to feet.  Keeping your stomach fully engaged, lift your left foot off the floor slightly, keeping your hips level.  Lower your foot to the floor then repeat on the other leg.  Complete 10 of these – 5 each side.

 Lateral plank with twists –  Begin in the lateral plank position with one foot on top of the other and one elbow directly below your shoulder and keeping your body in line at all times.  With your free arm start with it straight in the air and twist to bring it under your body aiming for under your arm pit.   Return to the starting position and repeat 5 times on each side.  Keep your back straight and abs engaged at all times as this will help with your balance.

 Back extensions – A great exercise to finish with.  Lie on your front keeping your feet together and on the floor at all times.  Keep looking at the floor at all times and with your hands by the side of your head, gently lift your chest and shoulders off the floor.  Slowly lower your body to the floor.  Repeat this exercise 10 times.

If you are a beginner to exercise do this circuit once, if you are at an intermediate level to exercise do this circuit twice and if you are advanced do this circuit 3 times.  You are aiming to complete each exercise one straight after the other without a rest until you have done all 11 exercises, then you are allowed a 2 minute rest.  Try and incorporate core exercises like the ones in this programme 3 times a week into your usual training schedule.  Good luck………….

 

Never give up – How to motivate yourself

 

 “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going” Beverley Sills

 

Anyone who watched the US Masters recently will have realised that it can all fall apart for the best of sportsmen/sportswomen.  It was too painful to watch, Rory McIlroy’s meltdown as the media were calling it.  So what happens when you are aiming towards something, doesn’t have to be the famous green jacket, maybe you are aiming to lose weight, to gain fitness to complete a half marathon, so what happens if you fall off the wagon? How will you stay motivated?

Rory Mcilroy 

My theory to this is a never give up attitude and set yourself goals.  I have on plenty occasions slipped up with my training by giving myself cheeky wee days off when I shouldn’t, eaten much more than I needed on my binge days and suffering from injury and illness which have all set me back.  But no matter what is thrown at me be it my troublesome achilles, my colitis or my pathetic food will power I have always stuck in and tried my best.  The reason?  Probably because I have a lifetime goal in mind and small goals to get me there, plus I secretly enjoy the pain and torture with fitness.  My goal is to complete triathlons and to be at my physical best in 2 years.  This blog is written to inspire you and help you set goals for yourself and how to stay motivated.

 “You only ever grow as a human being if you’re outside your comfort zone” Percy Cerutty

 I will start with one of my favourite inspirational sportsman stories of all time by one of my favourite sportsmen.  Like Ali without a world heavyweight championship belt, Red Rum without the famous grand national wins, the world of motor racing without Michael Schumacher or Jack Nickalaus without the green jacket this man needed a grand national triumph to mark his already sporting greatness.  However it was not without trying.  I am of course talking about AP McCoy. The 14 time champion Jockey who has ridden more than 3000 winners, yet a Grand National win still remained out of his grasp that was until 2010.  AP McCoy claimed a famous victory that year after his 15th attempt on board Don’t Push It.  Although you may argue that it’s his job to race horses, this man was at the time 35 years old racing in a very dangerous sport where broken bones are the norm and where you have to be hard, brave and unbreakable.  It meant everything to him to win the national and he always believed in himself that he would win it but also trainers and race horse owners believed in him too or he would never have been given a mount that day.  So it took this highly talented sportsman 15 years to win the Grand National, to get his hands on that elusive prize, how’s that for not giving up! And in the words of the man himself ‘If you get enough goes at something and you keep going, once your in there you’ve always got a chance’

 Tony McCoy

Keeping motivated and sticking to an exercise and diet regime can be hard with demanding lives, exercise burn out, and illness being a few of the things that may interrupt our training programmes.  Do you feel that you work hard but don’t ever seem to get anywhere? If you are struggling with motivation it can be as simple as following a few simple rules of goal setting.  Whether it is running a 10k, losing a stone or increasing your strength, you have to figure out how you are going to reach your goals.  Goal setting is a process where you think about your ideal future, how you will achieve your results and how to motivate yourself to turn your vision into reality.  However goal setting doesn’t work if you don’t know what you precisely want to achieve.  So what is your ultimate goal?  Got one?  Then read on….

 “If you train hard, you’ll not only be hard, but hard to beat” Herschel Walker

 Goal setting is used by top athletes, successful business people and achievers in all walks of life.  Setting goals gives you long-term vision and short term motivation.  It helps you to organize your time and focuses on your goal so that you can make the very best of your life.

 How to set your goal:

 Ask yourself this: Are there any athletic goals that you want to achieve? Do you want to lose some weight? Or do you want good health in old age? So, what steps are you going to take to achieve this? Well……..

 First you create your ‘big picture’ of what you want to do in your life (or even over the next year, 5 years etc) and identify the large scale goals that you want to achieve.  For example by the end of next year I would like to have done some triathlons so I can call myself a triathlete lol

Then, you break this down into smaller manageable chunks and targets that you can reach.  For example I have to be able to swim the distance in a sprint triathlon comfortably, I have to buy and test the kit, I have to work on my leg strength for cycling, I have to be able to complete the transitions smoothly before I enter a competition etc.

Finally, once you have a plan you start working on it to achieve these goals

 “Nothing will work unless you do” John Wooden

 Once you have set your lifetime main goal then you need to set smaller goals to achiever your ‘big’ goal.  Create a one year plan, 6 month plan and a one month plan of progressively smaller goals that should allow you to reach your ‘big’ goal.  I actually do this every month, things I need to do to reach my goal both in my career and my training and it really helps.  If I don’t manage everything that month I just put it into next months to do list.  However I try not to have more than 5 things on this list so that my mini goals are achievable.  Sometimes you may want to do weekly and daily to do lists that will help you get closer to your dream.

Kelly Holmes

A useful way of making small goals is to do SMART goals:

 Specific or Significant goals

Measurable or Meaningful goals

Attainable or Action-orientated goals

Relevant or Rewarding goals

Time or Trackable goals

 State each goal as a positive: Express your goals positively “Work on losing 2lb this week” is a much better goal than “Stop eating cake”

Be precise: Set precise goals, putting in dates, times and amounts that you have to do and try and measure them.  Keep a diary, jot everything down and when you have reached a certain goal you will feel complete satisfaction from achieving it.

Set priorities: When you have several goals, give each a priority of importance.  This helps you to avoid being overwhelmed with too much to do and helps direct your attention.

Keep small goals small: Keep the low level goals that you are working towards small and achievable.  If a goal is too large then it can seem that you will never achieve your small goals never mind your ‘big’ goal.  Plus if your gaols are small and achievable = more rewards for you.

Only set goals that you have as much control over as possible.  It can be quite disappointing when you fail to achieve a personal goal for reasons beyond your control.

Remember don’t underestimate your ability and your determination.  You can make goals too easy as well as too hard.

 Here is an example of how my goals will hopefully pan out for me:

 2 year goal: To have completed a few triathlons and be able to call myself a traithlete

12 month goal: Be able to complete all 3 disciplines together without exhaustion

6 month goal: Increase leg strength, leg power and core strength

3 month goal: Drop 7-10kg to become lighter for racing (following a diet)

1 month goal: Be able to ride my bike without falling off, be able to swim more than 2 lengths of front crawl without passing out, sort foot injury out

1 week goal: Follow new eating plan, train 4 times this week

 So maybe use the above plan for your own goals.  Change the timescale if you wish and elaborate on how you are going to achieve each goal.  Try your hardest to stick to your goal and timescale and it will give you focus and purpose.

Success 

“Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking your potential” Liane Cardes

 So if you have a wobble like Rory McIlroy just keep going at the end of the day your end goal is all that matters if you have to take the long road to it with a few pit stops then so be it, but never stray from your dream and from your goal.

Keep active folks………………………………….

 
large easter egg
mmm chocolate

The Easter Egg Calorie Buster

 
 
 Are you going to treat yourself to an Easter egg this year???  If you are don’t feel too guilty I will be too.  The fact is if you do treat yourself (or overindulge) then do something about it.  Burn those unwanted calories away and get back into training.  An average hollow chocolate Easter egg can contain 200-300 calories so that technically isn’t really a treat on its own it’s a small meal!  If you work hard in the gym you will know how hard it is to work off 200 – 300 calories so I have put together a calorie busting treadmill session that will help you burn in the region of 200 – 300 calories in 20 minutes.  So if you have a treat or two time for a trip to the treadmill.  Have a look and have a go……

 

This is a 20 minute walk-run treadmill session:

Minutes

Speed

Incline

0 – 2.00 3mph/4.8kmph 3%
2.00 – 3.00 3mph/4.8kmph 4%
3.00 – 4.00 3mph/4.8kmph 6%
4.00 – 5.00 4mph/6.4kmph 8%
5.00 – 6.00 4mph/6.4kmph 10%
6.00 – 7.00 4mph/6.4kmph 1%
7.00 – 8.00 5.0mph/8.0kmph 3%
8.00 – 9.00 5.0mph/8.0kmph 5%
9.00 – 10.00 5.0mph/8.0kmph 6%
10.00 – 11.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 1%
11.00 – 12.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 3%
12.00 – 13.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 5%
13.00 – 14.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 1%
14.00 – 15.00 4.0mph/6.4kmph 1%
15.00 – 16.00 5.0mph/8.0kmph 3%
16.00 – 17.00 5.0mph/8.0kmph 5%
17.00 – 18.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 2%
18.00 – 19.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 4%
19.00 – 20.00 6.0mph/9.6kmph 2%

 

You can increase/decrease the speeds if you like or increase/decrease the incline but keep the time the same.  You are looking to come off that treadmill feeling like you have worked very hard.  This 20 minutes treadmill session will help you burn calories quicker and more efficiently.

treadmill cartoon 

Keep active folks…………………..

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