Motivation is a finite resource –

This is something we tell our clients upon the joining process.

We believe it’s an important thing to understand as we’re exposed to countless motivational resources across the world of media.

Those that come seeking our guidance have often failed due to the pressure they put on themselves to remain motivated consistently.

I wanted to share some tips today on how to stay motivated and help relieve the pressure you might put on yourself to work out and lead a healthier lifestyle.

The truth is that no one is truly motivated every minute of every day, not everyone has an undying love for the gym, nor do they have to.

With that said, if you feel you constantly struggle to find your ‘gym motivation’, here are 3 tips that will shift your mindset and help you avoid a slump.

1. Think about what is necessary to help you achieve your fitness goal

This will remove the non-essential elements from your programming, whether being nutrition or training.

At no point on your journey do you want to get emotionally attached to one method type of dieting or training, this could lead to sacrificing areas of your life that you don’t need to, and therefore make the journey unnecessarily harder.

One example is, the primary factor for losing weight is a balanced calorie deficit, so being attached to a form of dieting such as the ketogenic diet will serve no additional purpose but restrict yourself on social occasions – making it hard to stick to the diet over time.

2. Remove the all-or-nothing mindset

Following from the first point, people who tend to invoke an all-or-nothing attitude starting their journey are at risk of developing a love-hate relationship with the whole process.

Focus on the basics first, and keep consistent with those.

If you’ve ever found yourself yo-yoing to and from your results, this can be an important one to consider.


3. Invest in a specialist in that area

Whilst this sounds obvious

There are those of us that are still extremely resistant to the help of others when it comes to health and fitness.

One of the main reasons people invest in coaching is for accountability because if you’re struggling for motivation or feel accountable to yourself, you’ve now got someone (or something) else to give you that missing drive.

Remember that once you start seeing results and evidence of your efforts, things will change.

Suddenly the gym won’t seem so intimidating.  Skipping the takeaways become far easier. Drinking alcohol doesn’t seem so appealing as was.

So, take that first step, trust the process, be consistent.

Paul

 

We receive many messages from people asking for the nutrition guidance that our clients follow to get into shape. A lot gets pretty frustrated when we say “This really depends”, or give general guidelines but nothing specific.

 

Many inexperienced personal trainers may simply send out a generic diet plan when asked for advice, and to be honest, they’ll work for some, but not for everyone.

 

Remember, to achieve the results you want, you must have a plan that has been designed for you.

 

Fat loss is specific to the individual, it’s dependant on many factors, but the biggest ones are how you respond to a certain amount of calories and certain foods.

 

One thing we teach everyone that we work with is how to listen to their body. Do they feel better after eating certain foods, do they have enhanced energy levels and train better with carbs in their pre-training meal, or do they feel better when they stick to protein and fats for the majority of their meals.

 

Personally, I like to mix up the diet for my clients, I use carbs in their diet and then switch it to more fats on others. After a while of watching how my clients respond, I might get them to eat more carbs and higher protein. By manipulating macronutrients, you can also see if your body looks better after carb-based days, or on days when you reduce your carb intake.

 

Normally, I do have a style of nutrition and timings on that which I know works pretty well for optimizing most people’s fat composition whilst keeping lean muscle. However, I’m also very happy to switch it around if my clients aren’t responding enough. When I say responding, I mean not seeing the changes that I’m expecting to see, either on the scales, from looking at their progress pictures or when I read their body fat measurements.

 

It might frustrate some that hear me say that it all depends, but your own physiology really does dictate which style of dieting works best for you.

 

You Might Like: The Key To Losing Fat & Keeping It Off

 

As I’m writing these articles to a mixture of inexperienced and more experienced people, please make sure you’re putting yourself in the correct area. For the purpose of this blog, I’m referring to more advanced weight loss strategies.

 

Many of those reading this can simply get into a really nice shape by just tidying up your diet alone. It can really be pretty simple and most people overcomplicate things right at the beginning.

 

So when it comes to more advanced methods when looking at fat loss, it really isn’t as simple as sending someone a nutrition plan that one of our clients has gained success from. Over the time we’ve worked with someone, we’ve tweaked their diet based on how much they have to lose and what’s most sustainable for their lifestyle.

 

Pay attention to how you look and feel after eating certain foods, start off with a set of guidelines, and don’t be afraid to mix things up as you go along.

 

Would you like to know how we help our clients with their diet? Book A Free Consultation with a member of the Lean Body Training team today to discuss how we can help you with your fitness and dieting goals.

 

“Which exercises should I be doing to lose body fat?” Compound exercises, HIIT, body part split, running and how many reps, sets?

Confused?

Our answer to everyone who asks this question is – what is your goal specifically and what is your training experience?

How we design our programmes for someone with 10 years experience as a confident weight-trainer, will differ completely from someone who has just started or been out of action for a while.

How we design a programme for a man who specifically wants a bigger chest and bigger shoulders, will differ completely from someone who has a goal of fat loss.

There are so many variables to consider, which makes it so difficult to give a set answer to everyone.

However, here are some guidelines to think about.

Download our FREE copy of our 12 Week Transformation Ebook

If you looking to lose some fat and you’re pretty new to training, you want to be picking exercises which involve as many big muscle groups as possible for example lower body compound exercises or big upper body movements. You would also benefit from a full body approach, where you are moving from lower body to upper body through the workout.

 

You want to be trying to include as many muscle groups as possible. These are ones where you will be using as muscles within a same exercise as possible. Examples of these are, pull downs and rows, squats, lunges, big pressing movements and deadlifts.

 

If you’re a beginner, your body will respond so well to multi joint exercises, you wont have to worry about training individual muscles. As you become more experienced, you can then split the body parts up.

 

If your goal is to build muscle or fat loss and your goal is to achieve a specific shape or size, you do also need to be including a broad range of isolation exercises. Yes you will get some overall growth by using big lifts (deadlifts, bench press etc), but to work on weaker areas you have to work them in isolation.

 

Too many people copy workouts from magazines that they are purely focused around specific muscle groups, when they really need to be putting on some strength and mass on their frame with the big exercises like squats first. In another scenario, people with the mass who lack shape and tone, need to look at refining their physique with more isolation work.

 

Think about your goal, be honest about your training experience and work from there.

 

Do you need help with your training programme? Get in touch for a FREE consultation to find out about our 121 and group personal training in Finchley.

 

Research has shown us that living through your 40’s can be the most challenging decade of your life both mentally and physically.

This is when you are at the highest risk of being diagnosed with chronic diseases, often stemming from lifestyle habits.

In particular, excess levels of unwanted body fat are associated with shorter life expectancy, fertility, poor mental health, productivity levels and self-confidence.

 

The statistics on these numbers make it a grim reading for middle-aged men and women.

Statistic show:

  • Just under 2 billion (1.9 billion) people worldwide are classified as overweight or obese – that’s around 40% of those being in their mid-to-late 40’s.
  • Up to 40% of obese men who are not diabetic men have registered a drop in testosterone levels.
  • Men in their 40’s are most likely to commit suicide.
  • 1 in 5 adults have reported some level of progression in their mid-40s.
  • 60% of these individuals deal with mental health.

 

It’s worth bearing in mind these issues do not need to be inevitable and you can turn things around.

Living a healthy lifestyle can be the solution to controlling, preventing, and reversing many of the health issues above.

 

Staying Healthy Beyond Our 40’s

 

Starting your fitness journey can be the best ‘anti-ageing pill’ you can find:

1. Living a healthy lifestyle, type 2 diabetes is preventable and reversible for most individuals. Research has shown that if you are overweight and diagnosed with diabetes, losing 5-15kg (11-33lbs) can reverse this within months.

2. Fertility rates in both men and women see their first significant dip in the 40s and decrease even further for those who are overweight and sedentary. For example, obese men are more likely to suffer from issues with decreased testosterone production when compared to healthy weight individuals.

Fertility levels may increase by almost double for obese individuals who lose weight and research has also shown that testosterone levels improve alongside a regular exercise regime in men.

3. Those who exercise regularly reported almost a 50% reduction in mental health symptoms and a high-quality varied diet is linked to improved mental health and cognitive function.

So, being in your 40s may bring a raft of increased mental and physical challenges, but these do not have to be a life sentence. You can take back control of your health.

 

Ashis transformation story:

Ashis is similar to a lot of the clients that we coach at Lean Body Training in Finchley. He has a demanding job and a busy lifestyle.

He had been going to the gym on and off for years but frequently would plateau and lose his motivation. Having a trainer, losing belly fat and taking away the guess-work were changes that he needed to make.

Now 42 during the transformation process Ashis has lost 2 stones and lost inches around the waist.

He said:

“I’m the fittest I’ve been in years and exercise has become more enjoyable. The process taught me that accountability and consistency are key, as well as staying positive.

Having the right help with the right coach is paramount, as long as you follow the structure laid out, results are inevitable”.

With a lot of guys we first meet, all it takes is a level of commitment to get them past stage one – that important stage when you start to see changes.

These alone are so motivational and will carry you forward.

 

Read: How quickly does it take to regain strength after taking a break

 

 

If you’re someone recently suffering from knee pain, back pain, neck pain or general tight and stiffness then we promise you you’re not the only one.

The issue stems from the fact that humans aren’t designed to remain in a single position for hours at a time, we’re designed to be mobile. Think about your day today… How many hours did you spend sitting down in front of a screen and driving? When we limit ourselves to very little movement it’s given that we will experience discomfort of some kind.

Before we go over our top tips, we want to say that this isn’t a curing-article and if you suffer from any severe physical pain we would advise seeing a physical practitioner of some kind. The tips in this article are just some strategies we use to help get our clients out of pain.

 

1. Breaking up the day with movement

This doesn’t mean doing an exercise, just try moving your joints and muscles in ranges that are different from sitting at your desk. This will help get the circulation going and stiffening of the joints.

For example, stretching in the morning, going for a brisk walk at lunchtime or a jog in the evening. Don’t overthink what you’re going to do just move.

 

2. Arrange your workspace

Try to be away of what position you’re staying in most. If you have to constantly protract your neck forward to look at a screen, your neck wont be thankful.

Aim for a setup and positioning of screen, desk and seating, also the space to move to the sides and just move-a-little.

 

3. Managing stress

It’s not the first thing that comes to mind when suffering from pain and niggles, but your stress factors may be the reason why you’re suffering in the first place.

Chronic stress not only increases tension in the muscles but can actually change the quality of your breathing. By breathing, heavy and frequent through the chest and with the mouth, you’re contracting the neck area constantly – which further tenses and tightens that area.

We recommend breathing from the belly as much as possible, along with stress management techniques such as meditation, walking, exercise and mobility training.

 

4. Get Stronger

This is something our clients can definitely attest to. Getting stronger, especially in areas that are weaker, is a fantastic way to reduce aches, pains and stiffness.

Every muscle in our bodies has a role to do. When a muscle is very weak, another muscle may try to overcompensate that role to ‘help’. This can then create a series of issues in that area.

If you currently do not do any form of strength training, then we recommend making this part of your routine.

If you don’t know where to start with your training, why not apply for our Personal Training services and book your Free Consultation Here

 

When building lean muscle there are a few fundamentals that you need to know and focus on. However, before you start the process, you have to be mindful of that, in order to be successful with the muscle-building process, you will need to be consistent and take a long enough approach to let muscle fibres grow.

Apart from being consistent and patient in the building process, in this weeks article, we share some key principles to help you build lean muscle tissue.

Firstly, an important area to focus on is your nutrition.

 

Here are three nutrition tips to consider:

 

1. Consuming Enough Calories

 As a guide, if you’re training 3-4 times per week, aim for 15-20 calories per pound of overall body mass. For example, for a 200lb male, at 12% body fat, we would recommend 3100-3500 calories per day. If you’re nowhere near the calorie requirements you need to gain muscle size, don’t complain when you don’t see the results you’re looking for. Time to make eating a daily priority!

 

2. Include Healthy Fats Within Your Diet

Not only do essential fats support your immune system, lower inflammation and help deliver vital vitamins around the body, but foods like oily fish, avocado, nuts and oils provide 9 calories per gram. If you’re struggling to add calories to your diet, you’re missing a trick if you’re not adding in your fats. Fats should form around 20% of your daily calorie intake.

 

3. Eat More Protein

Protein is a key building platform to help you build lean muscle mass – but are you eating the right amount? There are many different opinions about the quantity you should eat each day. A good amount to start aiming for is 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight for muscle gain and repair.

The process of gaining muscle mass isn’t as simple as just working out protein and food intake requirements.

 

To help you gain muscle you have to also really focus on the quality of your training sessions.

 

 1. Emphasise Focus When Working Out

You shouldn’t really be wasting time when working out. Avoid spending more than one hour on actual training time. To ensure your sessions are really productive, prepare your workout ahead of time, whether that means noting your session beforehand or planning your exercises prior. That means you can get started, train hard, and then get on with the rest of your day.

 

2. Time Under Muscle Tension

 An area where we see so many people in the gym going wrong, is their inability to use weights at the right amount of tempo. This is important to make sure that the timeframe being used is one which supports muscle growth. For this to happen progressively, you must make your set last between 45 – 75 seconds. Quickly performing 12 reps in a set could take between 20-30 seconds. You get completely different results if you try the same 12 reps with a 2-3 second lowering tempo, quick pause at the top of the exercise and 1 second on the way up, and repeat.

 

3. Mind & Muscle Connection

 To grow muscle, you must muscle learn when to contract it. The best way to learn how to do this is how to focus on the muscle you’re training during the set. So next time you’re performing your set, slow down your reps, focus on the muscles you’re working and reap the results!

Finally, an area often underestimated when it comes to building muscle is REST AND RECOVERY. This factor for many is sometimes one of the hardest to achieve but it plays an important part in the muscle building process.

 

Ensuring that you recover enough after your training sessions allow the body to revitalise and repair damaged tissues. Remember that during weight training, muscle fibres actually get damaged (small microfiber tears) and only afterwards, when we rest, does the body start to repair these muscle tears and create muscle growth. Consistent attention on recovery increases your energy levels and prevents body fatigue, allowing you to train on a consistent basis and perform better in your workouts.

 

A lack of sleep can increase your cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and levels of stress on this hormone could in turn potentially impact your testosterone. If you don’t know this by now, we need testosterone to grow! So make sure you focus on getting quality sleep, ideally 7-8 hours.

 

Some other recovery techniques that you should be considered can include mobility work, stretching and types of massage can help too.

 

Have a great week,

Lean Body Team

 

The internet and media nowadays is awash with supplements, diets and training strategies claiming to “convert fat into muscle!” But is this actually possible to do?

 

The answer is an absolute no. Muscle and fat are two entirely different substances and both play separate roles in the body.

 

Body fat is involved in several important physiological processes, including regulating appetite, storing fat-soluble hormones, such as vitamin D, and providing an energy source during periods of caloric restriction and survival. It also plays a vital role in protecting internal organs from damage.

 

Muscle tissue is not just vital for allowing us to move and function physically on a daily basis, it is also a big component of our daily energy needs.

 

Because these are two different substances and provide two vital uses for the body, it is simply impossible to turn one into the other.

 

The reason that people believe “muscle turns into fat” could be because of individuals who undergo a drop in their training. They go from relatively good body composition, in their current training state, to an untrained state. So, what happens is that they lose lean muscle mass while increasing their fat mass.

 

Let’s say you are incredibly active, and therefore have high daily body-fuelling requirements, you may be used to eating a certain amount of food. But, let’s say you break your arm. You can’t maintain the same level of training as before, so you can’t train anymore, or as much.

 

In that case, your daily energy requirements would decrease, but you carry on eating the same amount of food and drink as you were before. Ceasing training may also cause you to lose some muscle tissue.

 

So, it may appear like the muscle has turned to fat, but this is simply a case of your body fat and muscle levels changing due to the above factors.

 

For more food-related tips, read: Balancing Your Social Life With Your Fitness Goals

 

Keeping a social life can be tough when you’re trying to stay on track with your health and fitness targets. There’s tempting beverages, tasty desserts and gatherings which sometimes can make our diets derail and make it harder to stay consistent in the gym. This can be a very conflicting situation to be tied too, we know because we’ve also been there!

So here are some popular tips to effectively balance health, physical and social life:

1. Increase intensity on the weeks that fit with your goals

 There will be some weeks where your schedule and motivation becomes a lot more aligned to where its easier to remain consistent with nutrition and training. It could be where your friends/ colleagues are busy, and work is quiet, therefore distractions are less and exercise can increase. Double down on weeks like this.

Other weeks, it’s your other half’s cousins wedding and your boss has dumped a huge workload on your desk to be completed by the end of the week. Sometimes accepting maintenance levels on a week like this is better than unrealistically trying to achieve what your usually used to doing and failing.

Remember, set yourself up for success and maintenance is not stepping backwards!

2. The right environment always trumps willpower

We have limited spurts of willpower. Some people have more for longer, and others have less.

Regardless, either way, yours will run out, therefore it’s important to position yourself in surroundings that are most conducive to your goals. This way your not always solely relying on willpower.

Don’t be afraid to ask peers and family for support in your dietary choices. The people that surround us have a large (whether conscious or unconscious) impact on our decisions and thoughts, whether we like it or not. If you constantly try to isolate yourself in your journey, its more likely to be short-lived and difficult to sustain long-term.

3. Make your journey flexible

This is an important one to keep in mind when going into any dieting phase.

Most people head into their physical endeavours with a false impression that they constantly need to progress.

The reality is that you don’t really need to put so much pressure on yourself. Have an idea of times when you want to push harder and other times when you’re going to maintain.

It sounds simple but the reality of these small things add up and are the difference between struggle or success for many.

So heading into Autumn ask yourself these things:

  1. What would an ideal week look like to push hard?
  2. Who, or what have a got to support me on my journey?
  3. What times of year might it be better to maintain?

If you feel you need a little bit more guidance to achieve your health and fitness goals, then consider our personal training in Finchley. Click here to find out more.

 

While you go through your 30’s and the years in which you cement your identity, it is also a time where priorities can take a shift. With health dropping down the list behind work, a young family and social commitments. Time can convenience can be a common barriers to eating healthy.

 

If you’re in your 30’s you can probably relate to feeling that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. Being short on time can often correlate to being short on quality sleep and training as much as you would like.

 

Fortunately, improve health and changing your body shape doesn’t mean you need to follow the regime of a professional athlete. Research suggests that exercising just 3 times per week, walking regularly and eating a healthy balanced diet can keep ageing at bay, improve your sleeping pattern and keep your overall health in check.

 

Health and fitness are long-term investments that bring countless positive returns. Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and chronic pain, improved mood, concentration, mental health, the list is endless.

 

Being overweight doesn’t just impact our physical health, individuals who are overweight are more likely to experience mental stress and high blood pressure. In your 30’s you usually have a key timeframe for increased opportunities for career growth, which often comes with increased pressure.

 

So how can you keep one step ahead of life’s obstacles and remain resilient? A consistent exercise routine is a good start.

 

As much as exercise is important for our physical well being, letting off some steam is good for us mentality too. Research has shown that workers who exercise and eat healthier are more productive, feel more productive, more positive and are overall more satisfied with work.

 

Working with a professional has been shown to dramatically improve weight loss compared to go in alone, and with increased age comes increased financial freedom to invest in expert coaching.

 

Training with a personal trainer is far more effective than training without one. Many studies show improvements in results doubling in just 12 weeks working with a professional trainer.

 

Your 30s aren’t just the perfect time to start investing in your career and savings, improving your health will also pay dividends!

Lean Body Training client Filippo made an investment in his health that has transformed his life.

Heading towards his mid 30’s Filippo was edging the scales close to 100kg.

The proved to be a wake-up call he needed. He has been going to the gym for three years but his weight was only going in one direction.

Investing in our Kick Start Programme with a professional trainer helped him lose 9kg and build healthy habits to set him up for life.

Now he is fit and healthy for himself and the role model for his family that he always wanted to be.

 

 

 

 

 

Motivation is a limited resource – this is something we mention to our new clients during the joining process. We believe it’s an important thing to realise as we are constantly exposed to motivational quotes and resources in the world of social media. A lot of those seeking guidance have often failed on their fitness journey due to the pressure they put on themselves to be feeling motivated every day and week upon week.

 

The truth is that no-one is constantly motivated every day, not everyone has an underlying passion for the gym, nor do they have to.

With that being said, if you feel you are struggling to find your long-lasting ‘gym motivation’, here are some tips that will help you shift your mindset and avoid your next decline.

 

1. Think about what is necessary to achieve your own goal only

This will remove the distracting non-important ‘tips n tricks’ from your own programming, whether that be nutrition or training. At no point on your exercise journey do you want to become emotionally attached to one single method of dieting or exercising, as this could take away areas of your life when you don’t necessarily need to and then in turn making the journey unnecessarily tougher.

 

Example of one that is diet-related is being in a calorie deficit to lose weight, so becoming attached to a particular method of dieting such as Paleo diet will serve no additional purpose than to restrict yourself at family and social occasions – making it difficult to stick to the diet.

 

2. Removing the ‘all or nothing’ strategy

Many people who tend to claim an all-or-nothing attitude within their journey are at risk of developing resentment with the whole process itself.

 

Ruthlessly focus on the basics, consistently. This enables our clients to reduce the pressure they put on themselves whilst still gaining brilliant results. If you ever find yourself yo-yo dieting between weight loss and weight gain this is something very important to consider.

 

3. Don’t compare yourself to others

Whist comparing ourselves to others sometimes is something we’re all guilty of. However, if we shift our focus on our own progression and acknowledging our own shifts we’ve made along the way, then we’re on the right track to being internally positive.

 

It’s not about ego-boosting, but instead a word of encouragement that you ARE progressing from where you were, whether that’s simply completing your first week of exercise in the gym, or gaining a personal best on the chest press!

 

4. Invest in a specialist for the goal you’re striving towards

Whilst this sounds obvious, there are some people that are still extremely resistant to the help of others when it comes to achieving and maintaining health and fitness. One of the most common reasons people invest in personal training is for accountability because if you’re struggling for motivation or feel accountable to your training, you’ve now got someone there to give you that missing drive.

 

It’s not always mentioned by those who achieve great, lasting results, but most journeys don’t start always to plan and there can be many obstacles along the way.

 

Remember that once you start staying consistent long enough to see results, things will change. Suddenly the gym won’t seem so intimidating. Skipping fast food becomes easier. Drinking so much alcohol doesn’t seem as appealing anymore.

 

So start by taking that first step, stay consistent and trust the process.

 

Would you like to get in shape with the help from a Lean Body Training personal trainer in Finchley? Get in touch to find out more about our personal training services and book your FREE consultation by clicking HERE.