As unaware men get older (usually past 40), many of them notice how significantly weaker and more luthargic they get, and they also notice that they’re losing muscle.

Many men think this is just part of the ageing process, and decide that it’s just the way that it’s going to have to be and accept. What many men fail to realise is that this doesn’t have to be the case at all. There are many things that can be done to fight against rapid ageing, excess body fat (especially man boobs and stomach fat), low muscle mass, and feeling fatigued on a regular basis.

Many men fail to understand, that large gains in body fat (usually as a result of a poor lifestyle and diet building over time), will negatively impact their androgenic hormones. Androgens are hormones that stimulate or control the development and maintenance of male characteristics (such as muscle mass). Low levels of androgens are closely linked to high body fat levels and chronic stress.

Many overweight men also have high levels of the hormone estrogen, this is very often due to excessive levels of body fat. One of the main reasons men have high levels of estrogen is due to an enzyme called aromatase. The higher the level of body fat you have, the more aromatase you have. It’s the aromatase that converts the testosterone that you do have, into estrogen. High levels of estrogen will promote increased fat storage, especially around the breast area in men (man boobs).

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So bearing all this in mind, a simple approach to anti-ageing and maintaining lean, lower body fat levels for men, would be to try and stop all this from happening. The best way to do this is to support the development of muscle, minimise muscle tissue breakdown, increase testosterone levels from the foods you eat and minimise stress.

How do you go about this?

 

1. Lift weights

Lifting weights have been shown to increase testosterone levels in males.

2. Consume protein with each meal

Men who don’t train, eat far too little protein. Adequate protein helps your muscles repair and grow following strength training. Increased muscle tissue is linked to increased testosterone levels. It’s no surprise that vegetarians have been shown to have lower levels of testosterone than males who eat meat. I like to use around 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight.

3. Consume healthy fats with your meals.

You need to consume fats such as coconut oil, almonds, olive oil, cashew nuts, grass fed beef, eggs and oily fish. Testosterone is made from cholesterol, and you need to consume essential fats for optimal cholesterol intake.

4. Reducing stress levels

Reducing stress levels have been shown to minimise overproduction of the stress hormone cortisol. Too much at the wrong times of the day, has been shown to lower testosterone in males. Pay more attention to quality sleep and exercise.

5. Minimise alcohol consumption.

Chronic alcohol consumption is linked to increased estrogen levels in males and lowered testosterone levels.

Taking steps to increase your testosterone levels, can impact your life in such a positive way. Try starting with some of these tips and see how good you feel.

 

Nothing beats the feeling of finishing a tough workout. But, especially when starting out the muscle aches a mild inflammation that follows an intense strength-training session or a sports match can be, well, a pain.

While recovery is a popular subject these days, it’s more holistic than it sounds. It’s not just what you eat after you workout or just a quick stretch after your workout. Recovery happens between your sessions and within your lifestyle as a whole. What you do before, after and even during your workout matters

Olivier Dupuy, PhD, associate professor of exercise physiology at The University of Poitiers in France believes recovery is as important to a training regimen as the workout itself, explaining, “It’s a period when your body adapts to training sessions; insufficient recovery may lead to overtraining … good recovery is a key area to success.”

Recovery is an active process and these five strategies ensure you’re making the most of every workout and optimize your fitness goals:

1. Keep moving

Yoga, stretching and walking are all forms of active recovery. Integrating low-intensity exercises can help expedite recovery and reduce muscle fatigue and post-workout soreness. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that engaging in 6–10 minutes of active recovery was linked with improved athletic performance.

2. Get sleep

You already know the amount of time you spend sleeping has an impact on your performance levels. Sleep is also essential for recovery.

Your body secretes hormones during sleep that help your muscles repair, build bone, help lower cortisol levels and reduce inflammation. According to researchers at the London Sports Institute. One study found that lack of sleep made it harder to repair damaged muscle and replenish glycogen, the fuel in your muscles. The general recommendation for sleep for adults is 7-8 hours. Athletes need additional sleep for recovery, as much as 10 hours per night.

3. Take a cold bath

Sinking into a bathtub filled with cold water might make you clench every muscle in your body but it can also help reduce inflammation, feelings of fatigue and muscle aches.

“[Cold water immersion] reduces the overall time needed for recovery,” explains Lance Dalleck, PhD, associate professor of exercise and sport science at Western Colorado University. “Cold water helps decrease core and skin temperature, which … may aid in mitigating the inflammatory response in the tissue affected during training.”

4. Get a massage

One of the most effective recovery strategies is also one of the most relaxing. Getting a massage helps reduce tension in the fascia, bands of connective tissue and muscle fibers themselves, helping ease aches and pains.

One study showed a 20–30-minute massage increased blood flow to the muscles, reducing muscle soreness for up to 96 hours after exercise; massage also decreased perceived fatigue among elite athletes.

5. Get serious about post workout nutrition

By now, most people understand that the foods they eat after their workout and throughout the day factor into the quality of their recovery. The foods you eat before a workout can also play an important role in pre-empting the tissue-rebuilding process once the workout is over.

Digestion is a lengthy process; proteins and carbs that you ingest prior to the workout will still be circulating in the body afterward. For this reason, choose your foods wisely. Make sure you get high-quality, lean protein along with some complex carbohydrates, especially if you plan on an intense workout. I recommend consuming your meals roughly two hours prior to your workout to avoid digestive issues or cramps

 

There’s not a day that goes by, where we don’t get the chance to speak to someone who’s working through their own health and fitness journey. It’s a privilege to listen to each person’s story and find out what or who inspired them to get started.

Every client we work with teaches us a little bit more about how people operate both physically and mentally.

A transformation journey isn’t for everyone, my team and I are always realistic when we talk about potential time frames. Having worked in the field of physique development with many clients and myself for almost 10 years now, we can tell very quickly if someone will do very well, or if they’re, in fact, not ready for what lies ahead. With the Internet littered full of claims and results daily, it’s very easy to convince yourself that you’re ready.

Liking the pictures, and then appreciating and understanding the hard work, are two completely different things.

We run a business that relies on achieving results and extremely good ones at that. So when someone says they’d be glad to be a transformation on our website, we want to make sure they’re going to see it right through to the end, and understand how long this can take. There is a huge amount of work put into helping someone completely transform his or her body.

It’s not just programme writing and going on a diet, we very often work with our clients at a psychological level. You can’t expect to go from a completely out of shape party person, to a lean mean fighting machine and stay exactly the same. There’s going to be lifestyle and psychological factors to face up to, and these can take some time and lifestyle changes to adapt to.

“To change one big thing, you have to change many smaller things”

See some of our transformations here

You won’t find many more honest coaches than me when it comes to consultation. I tell our clients how it is from day one, and I tell them what to expect along the way. I do this to watch for the reaction, does it scare them or does it make them sit up with excitement? You can be excited but nervous, that’s completely fine. But nervous, scared and doubting yourself from day one, isn’t a great combination to be starting with. I don’t expect our clients to be able to picture the final result, that’s our job. So as long as we have their full trust, they know they’re going to look and feel way better than what they ever imagined.

I run a business based on results, and that’s it. When someone asks me if results are really possible, I just reply with “that’s completely up to you”. It’s never us that’s going to fail you, it’s only going to be down to you. So if you’re considering your very own transformation and lifestyle change, take yourself through the list below and see if you’re really ready.

Mindset

I see mindset as the most important factor behind a successful fitness journey. Some transformations can take as little as 12 weeks, others can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.  You need to be prepared and strong enough to deal with the psychological issues that will face you along the way. Having taken many people through this journey, I always know who will do well. It takes someone who backs themselves and someone who wants to achieve more than anything else. It takes the type of person who is excited by challenges, accepts that there will be some bad days and won’t quit. It takes the type of person who isn’t scared to look deep inside. Someone who isn’t frightened to acknowledge areas that need to change and seek professional help.

Why don’t you pick up a copy of our very popular 12 week transformation ebook for busy men

Who are you doing it for? 

If I had a pound for the amount of people who have admitted to me, that they’re starting at the gym for someone else. You won’t ever succeed if you’re getting in shape to make someone else happy!

This journey needs to be yours and no one else’s. Each time you see your results, you want to be able to look at yourself in the mirror and acknowledge your success. People who train to make others happy often resent their results and are usually the ones who cheat on a regular basis. After all, why would you diet, train hard, and bust your ass in the gym if the results are all for someone else.

Knowing the right way to train?

There is the way you might want to train, and then there is the way that you need to train. When you talk to me about getting leaner, you’ll hear me talk about the word physique. I have complete respect for large people who have committed themselves to a huge amount of weight loss, but a true transformation in my eyes is when there is a lean, strong physique at the end of it. I don’t necessarily mean six pack abs, but I like to see that thought has gone into the persons programming. Have they actually gained lean muscle tissue throughout the whole process?

We often get enquiries from people asking if we can write them a diet plan and they’ll do all their own training and supplementation. Transformations don’t work this way!! The whole journey is designed, thought out and delivered regularly. Asking a coach to do this is like asking for the recipe of a cake, and then using only half of the ingredients on the list!

Be prepared to go outside of your comfort zone

I’m never one to hold back when it comes to the training part of a transformation. I train regularly, my team train hard, and we expect our clients to be pushed outside their comfort zones. Now there is professionally coaching someone hard, and then there is training someone like an idiot. Training a complete beginner to failure and adding in a triple drop set on the leg press is not clever.

Teaching someone how to push that little bit harder each and every week is professional coaching. Teaching someone how to connect with certain muscles particularly so they get the most out of every session is smart, allowing them to just rep out without any coaching is just stupid. Most people will always train inside their comfort zone, it’s where they’re used to being and that’s where they’ll try and stay. You have to be prepared to turn up to a training session and dig deep inside, you have to learn to train a bit harder than you’ve done before.

As a coach, I see it as a huge privilege to be able to help someone through their fat loss journey. We take huge pride in our work and the amount of detail that goes into each and every project. Therefore it’s very important that each and every client is ready for what lays ahead of them.

If you’re not able to experience our in house coaching sessions at Lean Body Training Finchley, why don’t you pick up a free copy of our very popular 12 Week Transformation Ebook?