This year and especially over the past few months, health has been brought more into the forefront more than ever.

 

Not a day goes by without hearing about infection rates and risk factors associated with Covid-19 – especially for those who are overweight or have underlying health conditions.

 

So, here’s a serious question: if you haven’t started or used lockdown as a time to reflect on how you can improve your health fitness levels? Then have you considered what’s at stake if you don’t take action to start improving your health NOW?

 

If you are concerned that poor health levels could prevent you from working, taking care of your loved ones, or even be able to do the things you enjoy doing in future – then you need to understand that what you choose to be doing today, and every week going forward, will determine YOUR future and health factors.

 

That’s why Lean Body Training we take a helpful and structured approach in helping our clients on their health and fitness journeys.

 

We focus on improving the lives of our clients using a framework pillars including: training, nutrition, education and mindset.

 

The key to long term success, being stronger and healthier is not solely what clients do from just a training perspective, but how we help them implement better nutrition, stronger and more functional bodies, which counteract stress levels as well as guiding them on how to optimise their mindset towards creating healthier habits, even outside of their training sessions.

 

Can you really afford to not invest in yourself and keeping your body fit and mind healthy?

 

Take action now and find out more on how to invest in your health and fitness. Get in touch with Lean Body today about our semi – private and 121 personal training packages here.

 

There are many guys who speak to us regularly about having issues building muscle tissue. No matter how much they have trained, they seem to struggle adding the muscle they’re wanting.

 

If this sounds like something you’ve experienced? Have you questioned the reasons that might be behind this?

 

Here are some things to think about.

 

1.Frequency of training

It is very common that most people limit training certain muscle groups to once a week. Increasing training frequency to one extra session per muscle group that you want to develop can make a difference in those lagging body parts. So for instance, if you trained your lat / back muscles once per week then increase the volume on that area to twice per week.

 

2. Eating what’s needed to stimulate muscle tissue growth and repair

Most people training to build muscle eat way too little to even support muscle tissue growth. To start with try increasing your daily calorie intake by 10-15% and your lean protein figure to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight and you’ll have a ball park figure for muscle development.

 

READ MORE: 7 Tips to Help You Build Lean Muscle

 

3. Varying workouts

Many guys stick to the same exercises over a long period of time. Some often fail to contract-their muscles enough during a set, they never increase load in the areas they’re lagging-in. As a result, their muscles get used to the same movements and begin to respond slower. Vary your exercises, even slightly, and hit your muscles from various angles throughout your programme.

 

4. Isolating muscles

Some people stick to the big compound exercises that their familiar with (pull-ups, bench press, deadlifts, rows), in the hope that all muscles will grow at the same rate. Unfortunately what can happen is that overdeveloped dominant muscles often take over the exercise, and lagging muscles receive less stimulation. To really improve a muscle group, you have to add a lot of focus and attention to it to stimulate further growth. If for example you want your arms to grow, train them in isolation, biceps and triceps. Most people will not see arm development by just doing chin-ups or press ups alone.

 

You can pick up more top training and muscle development tips in our free 12 Week Transformation ebook.

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re over 40 and don’t feel as strong as you used to and notice that you’re losing muscle, it’s not surprising. Just like bone density decreases with age, we are also more prone to losing muscle mass.

 

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

 

Many men fail to understand, that large gains in body fat (usually as a result of a poor diet and lifestyle), will negatively affect their hormones. Hormones stimulate or control the development and maintenance of male characteristics including muscle mass. Low levels of androgen hormones 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. High levels of estrogen will promote increased fat storage, especially around the belly and breast area in men (man boobs).

 

READ MORE: High Body Fat Levels And Low Testosterone In Men

 

So bearing all this in mind, a simple approach to anti-ageing and maintaining lower body fat levels for men, would be to take steps to avoid this happening. The best way to support muscle development, minimise muscle tissue breakdown, is increasing testosterone levels from the exercise you do and from the foods you eat.

 

How do you start doing this?

 

1.Lift Weights

Lifting weights regularly has been known to increase testosterone in males.

 

2. Consume Protein In Every Meal

 Men who don’t train, eat far too little protein. Adequate lean proteins help repair your muscles and grow following strength training. Increased muscle tissue is linked to increased testosterone levels. I like to use around 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight.

 

3. Consume Essential Fats With Your Meals

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

 

4. Reducing Stress Levels

 Reducing stress levels have been shown to minimise over production of the stress hormone cortisol. Too much cortisol has been shown to lower testosterone in males.

 

5. Minimise Alcohol Consumption

Chronic alcohol consumption is linked to increased to increased estrogen levels in males, and lowering of testosterone levels.

 

Taking steps to increase your testosterone levels, can impact your life in such a positive way. Give some of these tips a try notice how good you feel.

 

If you would like to know how we help men of all ages get in the best shape of their life, Get in touch today to find out how we can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

 

 

Written by Paul Karoullas

 

After speaking to somebody over the phone this week, a middle-aged man who mentioned he’d had prioritized his business and career over everything else in the past couple years without paying much attention to eating healthy, exercising and spending quality time with his family. Everything depended on his business and it could never wait. Before he’d know it he had gained 20 pounds and he says his relationship was nearly in shambles over the course of three years. He now says he ‘needs’ to place his health, fitness and leisure higher on his priority list than he used to.

 

Getting in shape and improving health for many people is something they hope will happen from going to the gym and eating “healthier”. There are others who know that to achieve a lean, stronger body they will have to make sacrifices, and they’ll have to make it a priority in their life.

 

If you take a moment to think back about the amount of times you might have tried to get in shape. We can bet that you have tried to fit it in, and all too often you’ve lost focus and quit before you’ve seen any kind of real results as it’s not been a priority!

 

When we talk about getting in shape, I’m not talking about going to to the gym to lose a couple pounds because you have a summer holiday coming up. I’m talking about the people who say they really want to lose excess body fat, improve their health and quality of life. They say they want those things, but they’re just not prepared to place it right up there as a higher priority.

 

Most people have about 4 main priorities. Family (including children), work, relationships, hobbies and friends (social life). These are always going to be in front of anything else, unless you change the order.

 

You plan to go to the gym after work and a colleague or friend calls to invite you for a drink or two. Your top 4 priority list doesn’t include going to the gym, so you go for a drink. On the other hand, what if you had changing your body shape as either the top or second priority in your life? Do you think you’ll be more likely to Not skip that workout?

 

By arrange your priority list and managing your diary, you will find sticking to your goal so much easier. If children are always number one, then of course you will think of them first. But exercise and health can be second on the list, and you can fit it in whenever you’ve done with your children. Everyone around you will benefit from a better, healthier version of you anyway.

 

We always sit down with my clients and review their priority list. If we need to move things around, we do. If you haven’t assessed your own priority list, take a few minutes to do so. If you can’t place training and health right up there in the top 3, you will struggle to ever see the results you’re hoping for.

 

Would you like to know the methods we use with clients to help them lose their first 5lbs? Download our Amazon selling 12 Week Transformation Plan for FREE. 

 

If you relentlessly exercise everyday, prepare healthy food, spend your hard earned money filling your fridge every week and fork out on the best supplements. Wouldn’t you expect your body to be looking dramatically different to what it does now?

 

There are so many people dedicating so much of their time, research and effort, but hardly have anything to show for it.

 

If this is you, take a step back and honestly question what it is you’re doing wrong. Hire a skilled professional (one who gets results) and ask how they could help, this way it would actually save you a fraction of the money by wasting time and not making progress.

 

Even though we all have our personal goals and measure success differently, there are some common reasons why people find themselves in a rut, or not seeing results they would like from working out.

 

Your goal is too vague

If you’ve hit that workout plateau but not sure why, the first step in getting to the bottom of it is to rewind back and take take a closer look at your goals again.

Apart from not having a goal at all, the most common mistake athletes and exercisers make – is that the goal they set for themselves is either set too far (which usually leads to lack of motivation) or the goal is too vague.

An example of a target that isn’t specific enough could be: “My goal is to lose weight.” How would you measure that? How much weight do you want to lose? And in how much time?

 

Your goal is unrealistic

Many times we don’t believe enough in ourselves, but some of us take it to the other extreme and set the bar way too high for anyone to reach. As a result, they end up getting knocked down by a massive disappointment – all because of unrealistic expectations.

 

So, before you throw in the towel altogether, be aware of what is attainable with your current fitness level and the time given. For example, if you don’t have a strong running background (let alone if you have no running experience at all) setting a goal of running your first marathon in sub 3 hours means setting yourself up for failure.

 

A more realistic starting point could be to aim to run a 5K or a 10K first and build on that. Your first marathon could be about gaining the experience and crossing the finish line, never mind the time.

 

You don’t know how to monitor progress

Setting attainable goals that you can measure is key, but the next step is to understand how to monitor progress.

 

If you set a big goal for yourself and six months from now see if you got there, there’s a chance you’ll find yourself nowhere near where you wanted to be because you’ve been trying things that haven’t been working for you and one in which fits realistically within your lifestyle.

 

You don’t know how to structure your workouts going forward

It’s awesome to be excited about working out but if you’ve been trying to hit your goals faster by doing more and more of the same, you may be feeling like running a hamster wheel – putting in a lot of effort without moving forward.

 

A really important rule in increasing any kind of fitness goal is Mechanics -> Consistency -> Intensity, of course there can be some variables to this. Now, if you lack in mechanics due to not reaching full range of motion in a certain movement, you won’t be able to move on to consistency and your progress will come to a halt. This rule, if followed correctly, will always guarantee you an increased fitness level overall.

 

You can read more about getting the most from your workouts here: 7 Tips to Help You Build Lean Muscle

 

Your diet is off

With all the conflicting nutrition advice out there, figuring out what and when to eat is easier said than done over a period of time.

 

Because our bodies are unique, it’s challenging to give out generic nutrition advice applicable to everyone, in all situations, but if you aim to eat unprocessed whole foods, high-quality proteins and essential fats (e.g. from avocados and nuts) as often as possible, you’re off to a great start.

 

 

Written by: Paul Karoullas – Head Coach – Lean Body Training

It can be easy to stick to something when you have passion for it. We understand that if you can stick to something long enough you can really achieve great results (if you’ve clearly decided that is what you actually want).

 

In many cases, getting in shape isn’t everyone’s passion, it’s a short term goal that would be ‘nice’ to have, and not something that many people give great thought to.

 

Now this short term goal is something that could turn into a passion later on, we see this happen very often. Often people think they’ve got to plan way ahead in the results they first set out on achieving ie making changes to their body shape.

 

We can’t guarantee that many people who have gotten into shape (and find it easy staying in shape), at some point simply decided to start healthier earlier, and started by taking out a gym membership, before it escalated into something that became an important part of their life.

 

Many people before seeing us had dipped in and out of shape, for months, if not years, before it finally becomes something that gets a lot easier to manage in their lifestyle.

 

If you would like to find how our clients get into great shape and improve their health download a copy of our 12 Week Lean Body Transformation ebook here

 

It can be easy at the beginning for so many to overlook the fact that getting in shape is all about change, it’s all about adapting your lifestyle, surroundings, support group, daily habits and being aware.

 

We spend so much of our time helping people when they find themselves dipping back into old habits. This can happen and inevitable when you are working with people who are trying to change.

 

The point of this blog, is not to focus too much on the outcome right at the beginning. Just getting started and surround yourself with people who are going through, or have been through the change that you want to become. Learn in bite-sizes, don’t get frustrated, enjoy and embrace the process, and before long it’ll become a huge part of part of your life.

 

If you focus too much on the future at the beginning, it becomes way too daunting, and you often pull out at some of the first obstacles that lie ahead.

 

Enjoy the journey, it can be truly life changing.

One of the most overlooked aspects of losing fat is the ability to change your current habits into those that are conducive with healthier ones and fat loss.

 

People often fail to succeed at losing body fat for a very simple reason, they take on way too much and they try to change everything at once. I’m not saying that certain people can’t take a lot of information in at once and make it work very well, but there are a large proportion of people that can’t. They fail to realise that the world they’re bringing the new change isn’t necessarily ready for it yet!

 

We get to see so many people that say they’ve tried absolutely everything to change the way they look. They’ve tried every diet going, every workout out there and they’re still nowhere nearer to the change they want. One thing in common with all these people is their inability to make anything they’ve actually tried stick!

 

We all live our life’s by habits, but they’re not necessarily the ones that are going to get you in the shape you’re looking for.

 

Definition

A habit is defined as an acquired pattern of behaviour that often occurs automatically.

 

You don’t realise it but your current habits away from going to the gym and working with a trainer are the very ones that are stopping you get in shape. There’s more to fat loss than just working out and following a program, you have to take accountability for what you’re aiming to achieve.

 

So here are a few of the classic habits that people do everyday:

 

  1. Get up late

 

  1. Have a drink in the evening after work with leads onto a takeaway

 

  1. Having no structure in your day, or letting having someone book your appointments all day at work, which leaves you no control over your time

 

  1. Staying up late watching television or on social media

 

  1. Not planning your meals and resorting to buying takeaway or grabbing what you can on-the-go

 

These aren’t the habits that someone would follow if they wanted to be in shape and enhance their energy levels.

 

So how could you change these around to make them more like habits of someone who wanted to lose fat and get leaner, and what benefit would it be to you?

 

1.Getting up 45 minutes earlier

This would mean you have enough time for yourself and to prepare healthy food before you start your day.

 

2. Get motivated and exercise with a group or partner in the evening

This would keep your activity levels high and inject some fun in the evenings – swaying your time from having that drink after work and having a takeaway.

 

3. Take ownership of your diary

When you take ownership of your day and schedule and write times in when you want to exercise, you will always have time.

 

4. Set a time to go to bed by, say 10:30 every night

By going to bed around the same time every night you will find it much more easier to wake up and you will also have a lot more energy to train in the day

 

5. Prepare or plan your meals ahead to avoid grazing or buying fast food

When you have food prepared for the day, you will not be hungry and therefore avoid snacking when you can on-the-go.

 

Habits have a knock on effect with each other. For example, getting up earlier will make sure you drink enough water and prepare your food, you’ll then not snack on poor choices later in the morning or at work and you’ll have more energy to train in the evening. So choose habits which reinforce the other.

 

Top tip on how to change your habits:

 

To avoid taking on too much in one go, pick one habit at a time, for example another could be to drink half a litre of water first thing when you wake up. Stick to it solid for exactly 21 days. Don’t introduce a new habit until the first once you set to work on is fixed firmly in place.

 

Try these habit changing tips for 21 days and let me know how you get on.

 

Coach Paul

The process of gaining muscle tissue isn’t as simple as lifting heavy weights and eating more protein. There are some key rules that must be followed if you are going to gain noticeable amounts of lean muscle mass. Many people gain weight but end up losing it all and realizing what they thought was muscle gain was actually fat they’d gained, with minimal amounts of muscle.

Science has evolved and since the old days of bulking up and then stripping away the fat, you can actually gain muscle and look lean at the same time. If you find yourself in this position, you may want to add these tips to your training plan.

 

1.Include Fats In Your Diet

Not only do healthy fats support your immune system and help deliver vital nutrients around the body, but foods such as avocado, oily fish, nuts and oil provide more calories to the gram compared to carbohydrates and protein. So if you’re trying to add calories to your diet to help build muscle, you’re missing a trick not eating your fats. Fats should form around 30% of your daily calorie requirements.

 

2. Eat More Protein

You must be consuming enough lean protein daily to build muscle tissue. There is so much debate out there about the quantity you should eat each day, but I work on around 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight for muscle gain.

 

3. Use Your Training Time Wisely

You really shouldn’t need more than 1 hour of actual workout time in the gym. In many cases, guys spend half the time talking and scrolling on their phones. Prepare your sessions ahead of time, get in to the gym, train hard, and then get out. A little over or under an hour is fine, but spending over an hour-and-a-half training is a waste of time and energy.

 

4. Make Sure You’re Using Enough Muscle Tension

An area where I see so many going wrong in the gym, is their inability to use weights slower and for longer. This is important to make sure that the time frame being used supports muscle growth. For this to happen effectively, your must make your set last between 40-60 seconds. So those of you who use weights quickly, and you’re looking to gain muscle mass, chances are you are not even lifting in a range that will help you to grow. 12 reps lifted quickly with questionable technique could last around 20 seconds. You get completely different results doing the same 12 reps with a 2-3 second lowering tempo, a split hold at the bottom and a split second hold at the top of the exercise.

 

5. Learn How to Contract Your Muscles Properly

All to often guys tell me what weight they lift on certain exercises, only to take them through a session, only for me to drastically lower their weights. To grow a muscle, you must learn to contract it, the best way to do this is to learn how to connect your mind to muscle to which you are training and to avoid other muscles kicking-in to help with the load. So for the next time you’re training, slow down your reps for one workout and focus on the intending muscle you’re working on that day. Don’t be scared to drop the weight, remember it’s your body training, not the person next to you, drop the ego!

 

6. Prioritise Quality Sleep

You must sleep at least 7-8 hours per night. Lack of sleep increase your cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and high levels of the stress hormone lowers your testosterone level. If you didn’t know. You need testosterone to grow! Get some sleep and start growing.

 

7. Review Your Training Programme on a Regular Basis

The programmes I write usually work on roughly 4-8 week cycles. If you have been doing your current programme for a lot longer than that, chances are your body has become accustomised to it and your muscle development would have ceased. A simple step could be to move from a programme your higher rep ranges of 12-15, down to a lower end muscle gain range of 8-12 reps. It’s a simple change but enough to provide a response.

 

Written by – Paul Karoullas

 

Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise and great for supplementing your weight loss goals. It can boost your heart-health and even improve lower back pain. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, a daily walk can help lighten up your mood and calm your mind.

 

How Far Should You walk Without Training?

 

If you’ve ever walked a long distance when exploring a new city or a park, you may have noticed you can walk surprisingly far any specialized training for it. This is perfectly safe, presuming you’re healthy and well-hydrated.

 

However, if you’re living with health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease or lung disease, or having recently experienced symptoms such as dizziness or balance issues, make sure to check with your doctor before going for a long walk. That way, you can determine what distance or intensity is a safe range for you personally.

 

If you haven’t done any physical activity for a while, you can expect your legs and feet to feel pretty sore after walking for a period of time. You may experience some DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) for a couple of days. However, as your muscles become more accustomised to long walks over a week or two, these should become less of an issue.

 

To minimise injuries, it’s better to avoid overdoing it and stay consistent rather than starting with a super-long session and then crashing.

You might like: Get Lean While Injured

Ways to Progress

1. Get The Right Walking Gear

Opt for wearing socks and well-fitted walking shoes with appropriate amount of support for your feet to avoid shin splints and blister. Make sure to stay hydrated, take a bottle of water, its better not have it and not need it rather than the other way round.

 

2. Start on Flat Level

Begin walking longer distances on flat, level surfaces like a track or pavement. Making your muscles work harder with hills or an incline too soon increases your risk of injury, so its best to incorporate that later.

 

3. Think Minutes, Not Miles

With walking and even with weight training, your body doesn’t know distance or repetitions it just knows ‘time under tension’. Aim to walk for a set period of time first. To start with consider how long it takes to walk to the supermarket first and build from there. For example, if it takes you 10 minutes then start with walks for 15 minutes or slightly longer.

 

4. Avoid Over Doing It

Overuse injuries come from doing too much too soon. To start with, limit yourself to 3-5 walks per week with recovery days in between. To increase your walking time safely, add just 5 minutes of time extra each week. This allows your muscles to slowly adapt to more stress, becoming stronger rather than breaking down and straining them.

 

5. Make it Fun

We tend to stick to types of exercise if we like doing it, and if you’re enjoying yourself, you might end up walking longer with ease. Consider scheduling your walks with nicer scenery or with a partner or family, or even dialing up your walks with short brisk walks every 5 minutes or so.

 

Conclusion

Exactly how far is too long for a walk depends on your personal medical history and fitness background. A good way to start is begin with a distance you already know you can walk – and gradually increase your walking distance. And remember either way, a regular exercise routine is a great addition to a healthy lifestyle.

If you are somebody who weighs themselves every day, you probably see the number on the scale change every time you step on it. Maybe you did actually lose or gain, but more likely, your weight is reflective of something less impactful; simple fluctuations in your daily life. If you have a routine where you ate, drank and exercised more or less the same times, then your weight would mostly be relatively balanced over time. However, that’s not something sustainable for most.

Let’s discuss a number of reasons that lead to fluctuations and what you can do about it.

 

1. Physical Weight of Foods and Drinks

Food and drink supply the body nutrients and calories that influence weight gain, loss or maintenance. These foods and drink have actual mass content which is different to calorie count, this does influence overall body weight in the short term.

 

If you for example drink half a liter of water and immediately step on the scale (even though water contains zero calories) you will weigh heavier due to that liquid weight. This does not mean you have gained an extra half a kilogram of fat or muscle. For this reason, it’s best to weigh yourself first thing in the morning before consuming anything. Also, if you ate a big meal the night before, chances are it has not digested yet and this will lead to an increase on the scale.

 

2. Sodium and Carbs

Another thing that can cause sudden-weight increase is your bodily fluid balance. Sweat and dehydration can create losses, but water retention from carbohydrates and sodium causes temporary weight gain.

Athletic situations, such as pre-workout or carb-loading, require high carbohydrate intake to load muscles and liver with glycogen to burn while training or in competition. While great for energy, each gram of carbohydrates stored requires 2–3 grams of water to go with it. This water will be used and lost as the carbohydrates are burned off, which is why the gain is only temporary.

Sodium is a mineral responsible for fluid balance and binging on a super salty meal can cause an imbalance in fluid levels between your gut and vasculature, leaving you with a bloated, puffy feeling as the body struggles to regulate fluids.

 

3. Sweating

Losing water is a big factor in weight fluctuations, many people can succumb to dehydration during long, hard workouts, especially in warm humid conditions. Weighing yourself before and after working out can provide you with a ‘water rate’ of how much is lost. This can also allow you to replenish with fluids more accurately.

 

4. Which Day of The Week

Our eating habits change throughout the week. Typically, after the weekend, many start of with a healthy motivation or the feel for some type of detox after the weekend. This slowly declines as the week goes on and Friday approaches again. Take into consideration the cycles of eating and drinking habits throughout the week. If you want to maintain consistent, healthy eating habits, try to establish some type of balance throughout the week.

 

5. Stress

Cortisol, the stress hormone can be increased after exercise and other periods of high physical or mental stress. This hormone increases inflammation in the body which can interfere with digestion, fluid retention, hunger and regular metabolism.

Females are more prone to weight fluctuations due to the menstrual cycle. This with a combination of changes in eating habits and the retention of fluids play a big part in overall body weight fluctuations.

 

6. Movement of The Bowels

Just as food and liquids has mass going in, so can what comes out. If you are a bit backed up, that can add to the weight which you see on the scale. Aim to maintain regular bowel movements with adequate hydration and a fibrous diet high in variations of vegetables.

 

Summary

Weighing yourself each morning allows you to connect the fluctuations on the scale to your eating, workouts, stress, etc … and get an overall better understanding of how your body reacts in a big picture way.

However, seeing a constantly changing number can be frustrating and research has documented that constant fluctuations can lead to a negative mindset around weight. If you are looking to gain or lose, keep in mind the day-to-day matters less than the long-term trend.

What we encourage a lot of our clients to do when tracking their weight is to track every day of the week and then get an average of seven days. This gives us a better understanding of their actual body weight, fat and muscle and anything else that maybe causing the scales to go up or down.