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what gets tracked gets done!

I use a training dairy to record all the training sessions I complete….

the strength sessions

the sports massages

the conditioning sessions

the runs

and all the other stuff (training related)

 

WHY?

When I track my training, I know what I’ve achieve in each sessions, each week, each month, each block of training.

I am able to progress every session, and plan when to push and when to ease off the throttle.

This allows me to keep my training progression without wiping myself out physically or mentally…

running CF is a full on job, and with fun things like GDPR to sort out and the pleasures of other things, I don’t want to totally smoke myself every session.

BALANCE, ENJOYMENT and PROGRESS are what I look for….

There was a time when I was fed up of fitness….

the pressure I put myself under was huge, and i lost what it was about this professions that i loved.

My training diary is a tool that I find really helps me to monitor my training session by session and block by block.

Im a able to reflect on past sessions and see progress, and ive talked about the importance of looking back and seeing what you have achieved…how far you have come.

So 2018….using my diary I know I have:

  • dropped just under 10kg (22lbs)
  • increase my back squat by 30kg
  • increase my yoke carry by 40kg
  • increased my axil bar C&P by 45kg

and

  • i can now run 10k pain free

so progress towards my longer term goals is being made.

these key principles of balance, enjoyment and progress are core pillars in my training and I in-still them in all my clients training too. 

No one will train long term if they hate it, and whilst there are smaller/shorter term goals to hit along the way, fitness, health and perfromance (relative to you) show be part of your life, just just for when you have a holiday in 2 weeks time.

Longer term investment will always pay off dividends to the short term gimmicks, and at raining diary is a excellent tool to use.

So much so that we have these 12 week diaries for our clients…. 😀

If you are looking to achieve results, enjoy the process, and make your long term health a priority then maybe the CF 30-day trial is a great starting point for you…..

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FOOD RECIPES

Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

This is super simple salsa recipe which can be used to top a salad, in a wrap, to top a chicken burger, as an accompaniment to a curry or as a dip. I use it in tacos with curried chickpeas. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 200g Cherry or Baby Plum Tomatoes
  • 1/2 Mango
  • 1/2 Red Onion
  • 1 Avocado 50g
  • Sweetcorn
  • 1 Red Chilli – (you can use dried chilli flakes if you don’t have fresh)
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Small Bunch of Coriander (Optional, as I know it’s not for everyone!)

Method

1. Quarter the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.

2. Finely dice the onion and red chilli.

3. Cube the mango and avocado.

4. Add all of the above to a bowl and mix in the sweetcorn, lime juice and coriander if using.

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Articles

Friend OR Enemy???

FRIEND OR ENEMY….

scales & body weight

I saw a post the other day and it discussed scales and how the individual had thrown them away so that they couldn’t become obsessed with them anymore – that negative relationship that can develop when everything is about weight, and is common in todays society. A Number of people then chipped in about it – saying how good it was etc.

I think its THE most common thing that Ive heard over the past 20years of working in this industry – and not just from females, but both genders.

BUT

Are the scales as bad as they are made out???

are they to blame?

OR is it a classic lack of understanding, peoples individual issues or other factors??

Many of the lower entry point weight management programs use scales as their means of feedback….

Its cheap, easy to repeat, and doesn’t take a lot of skill by the person. Plus it’s been beaten into our heads that how you look and feel are directly linked to what you weight.

And this is where the problem lies……

Weighing yourself is NOT a bad thing…..

Your weight is a reflection of your lifestyle decisions/choices…..

It can hold you accountable – its not a person thing – your weight is your weight…

yes the excuses can come out to WHY you weigh what you weight, but the fact remains thats what it is.

I use to be someone who stated ‘it doesn’t matter what you weigh, its all about body composition’…..

WHAT A DICK I was then!

the reality is Weight can be a positive or negative means of feedback

IT all depends on YOU, YOUR GOAL, and YOUR CURRENT STATE…..

so EXAMPLE time…..

Roll back to the beginning of this year…..Jan 2018

I know that I was tipping in at about 110+kg on the scales…..

whilst what I weighed has never really bothered me – this year my misses and I had set a goal.

Part of that goal was to run the spartan beast OCR (half marathon-ish distance Obstacle Course Race)

and whilst Ive never been someone bothered with aesthetics

carrying that much weight around on a OCR is hard work ….

the distance,

the obstacles themselves

SO I decided to sort my shit out and train for the events…

and I’ve used 3 things to monitor my progress….

  1. my weight
  2. relative strength levels in the gym
  3. running performance (distance/speed)

If we just focus on weight for today –

I use it as its a quick and simple means of feedback

I can repeat it with as much consistency as i can

as and when I up my training I may start to calorie count, and using my weight I can calculate total calories and macro ratios more accurately.

PLUS it helps me stay focused – its hold be accountable.  ITs no ones fault but my own if the scales don’t move…or go in teh wrong direction!

Its simple – regardless of my weight i’ve got to get around this OCR, and the lighter I am (to a certain extent) the easier it will be…and ive tried running at 110kg…its not fun!

So weighing myself IS an excellent and appropriate means of feedback…..

And the other benefit to being lighter – i’m stronger, leaner and my CV fitness is increasing too!!!

I fit into my clothes – which is handy

i don’t feel as much of a oaf – cant say i loved be a porker

shit load more energy and focus

and I’m loving the numbers going up on the lifts

SO whilst the scales have been DEMONISED and ABUSED by mass weight loss programs and society, the FACT is that there IS a place for weighing yourself, tracking progress, being held accountable with factual data and taking emotion out of the equation.

The key with all thing is the means of TRACKING progress has to be relevant to the outcome GOAL.

If you want to be ripped, then weight may NOT be the best means of tracking performance, BUT it then could also be a excellent means of tracking  The specifics are individual to each person, and relying solely on one means of feedback may not benefit the individual.

 

If you want some help working out what it is you want and how to get there…..

Hit the TRAIL button…..top RH corner

 

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Articles

Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is an explosive lower body exercise. It involves a hip hinge similar to the deadlift. The kettlebell swing builds a strong lower back, glutes and hamstrings and develops your grip. When performed for high reps it is a killer conditioning exercise that will leave your breathless. If done for lower reps, it is a fantastic movement to build explosive power.  It’s also has an awesome corrective/posture benefit through extending and loosening up the hips as well as strengthening the lower back and gluts.

Exercise Steps

1.  Assume a shoulder width stance with a kettlebell several feet in front of your body.s

2.  Drive your butt back while keeping your shins close to vertical and reaching forward for the kettlebell with your arms.

3.  Pull the kettlebell back towards your pelvis whilst keep your chest up and spine long.

4.  Stand up explosively and exhale. Think of driving through with hips, squeezing your bum and driving through your heels. Don’t worry about the height of the KB to start with.  

5.  Hike the kettlebell back towards your pelvis and allow gravity to help you ‘swing’ the kettlebell back between the legs. 

6. Stand up again explosively/drive hips through for as many repetitions as desired. 

 

**TOP TIP**

To begin with, focus on building your technique and then consistency.  Look to more sets with lower reps to start, and then build you volume/load. 

Ready to mane a Transformation?? Click Below to meet with a Coach and Try a FREE session

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FOOD RECIPES

Recipe Time….Easy Peasy Ramen

This weeks recipe is an easy one again massively customisable!

Two parts  – the broth and the topping.  Whilst this recipe is vegan friendly, it doesn’t take much to add some meat in if you want to!….or anything else…..

Ingredients

Broth

  • 1 white onion
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic (dependant on your taste!)
  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 and a half litres stock (I use vegetable, but you can use chicken)
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (not essential) – 1 nest of dried noodles per person

Toppings (all optional and customisable!)

  • Sliced and roasted sweet potato
  • Fried mushrooms (add a little soy sauce to the frying pan)
  • Sweetcorn
  • Sliced raw radish
  • Sugar snap peas (add in raw or blanch beforehand)
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Bean spouts
  • Sesame oil
  • Thinly sliced carrots (add in raw or blanch beforehand)
  • Toasted cashews, sesame seeds
  • Roasted and shredded chicken thighs
  • There’s no reason you could whack a fried egg on top of this either!

Method

  1. To make the broth; soften the onion, garlic, ginger and red chilli in a large saucepan.
  2. Add a cup or so of the stock to deglaze the bottom of the pan and then add the soy sauce and the rest of the stock.
  3. Bring to a simmer over a medium heat, cover, lower the heat and simmer for an hour stirring occasionally.
  4. After half and hour, begin to prepare all of your toppings. These are all completely optional and you can dress up this meal however you want!
  5. Taste the broth, season, add miso paste if using.
  6. With 5 mins left, add to noodles to the broth so they cook.
  7. Serve the broth and noodles in a large bowl and top with all of your other bits and bobs!
  8. Add a few drops of sesame oil to the top of the dish to taste.

NO macros for this as its really down to what you have added to it.

Categories
FOOD RECIPES

Recipe Time….. Smoothie Bowl

This weeks recipe is an easy one and massively customisable!

Perfect for a bit of a treat on the weekends, it’s like having ice cream for breakfast! IF you don’t feel like you have actually eaten when having a smoothie due to the fact you aren’t ‘eating’ something.

Whilst smoothies DO have their place, why not try a smoothie bowl….it’s the perfect compromise between food and smoothie 😀 

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 cups of frozen mixed berries
  • Soy yogurt
  • Almond Milk Protein Powder – other brands/types of protein powder are available

Toppings (can include but are not exclusive to):

  • Chia/Flax Seeds
  • Chopped fruit (pick your fave!)
  • Coconut
  • Mixed Nuts
  • Nut Butter
  • Mixed seeds

Method

  • Add half of the banana, berries, a few table spoons of yoghurt, a table spoon of protein powder and a dash of milk to a blender or smoothie maker and blend.
  • You don’t want it to be too runny as you want to be able to eat it with a spoon so only add as much milk as you think is appropriate.
  • Pour into a bowl and top with the remaining banana and toppings of your house.
  • I usually add mixed seeds for a healthy Omega boost and any other toppings I have in the house!

Nutritional values are obviously very dependant on what toppings etc.
Think of this as more of a fun recipe really!

Gemma 

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FOOD RECIPES

Recipe – Lemon Drizzle Energy Bites

These are to die for……

Gemma knocked these up this week in between work, meetings and a few other curve balls!

Ingredients

  • 50g almonds (or any nuts of your choice!)
  • 50g cashews (again, use your favourite!)
  • 20g + extra for coating of coconut flakes
  • 50g sultanas
  • 40g pitted dates
  • 1 lemon

Method

  1. Put the nuts and coconut in a blender and blitz until they’re a fine crumb.
  2. Add the juice of half the lemon, sultanas and pitted dates and blend until it comes together into one “lump”.
  3. Divide into approx 15 and roll into ball shapes.
  4. Roll in extra coconut mixed with a little lemon zest.
  5. Refrigerate!

Macronutrient Values

Per 2 energy balls – 124 calories

  • 3g protein
  • 10g carbs (5g sugar)
  • 8g fat
  • 1g fiber

 

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FOOD RECIPES

New Recipe – Vegan Quinoa Chilli

Here’s a recipe for this week: Vegan Quinoa Chilli.

Depending on who you’re feeding this will serve 3-4 people….or maybe 1 😋

Ingredients

  • 100g Quinoa
  • 250ml Vegetable Stock
  • 1 x Red Pepper Red Chilli (whole chilli or I use Lazy Chilli!)
  • 1 x Onion
  • 1 x Garlic Clove
  • 2 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g Tin of Kidney Beans
  • 140g Sweetcorn (Tinned or Frozen)
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Chilli Powder Dried
  • Oregano Ground Cumin

Method

  1. Cook the quinoa in the stock according the packet instructions in a saucepan. Set aside (no need to drain if any liquid remains).
  2. Chop the pepper and onion and sauté in a separate saucepan or deep frying pan, with oil/Frylight.
  3. Add the crushed garlic glove and chopped red chilli (to taste), to the onion and peppers and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Then add a teaspoon of dried oregano, teaspoon of dried cumin and chilli powder to taste and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Add tomato puree and briefly continue to sauté.
  6. Add tinned tomatoes, quinoa (and any remaining stock) and simmer for 5 mins.
  7. Add sweetcorn and drained kidney beans.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for a further 5 mins until the sauce thickens up.

This can be served on its own or with crusty bread, on top of a baked sweet potato, with slices of avocado, a dollop of plain soy yoghurt or with homemade ‘nachos’ (a tortilla wrap, cut into triangles, sprayed with oil, sprinkled with salt and cooked on tray for 5-10mins).

Macronutrients

So for those who use MFP (other calorie trackers are available!), then this is what’s been calculated for this meal.

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FOOD RECIPES

How to make Clean Eating Bread

This is a recipe I found on the web compliments of Mr. Oliver.  Im no chef/baker/cook and I’ve knocked this bread out multiple times.

Its quick, simple and easy to make, and with no yeast in it, it agrees with me more.

Bread isn’t the enemy as far as losing weight is concerned, so to make it clean eating bread I wash everything down before and after 😉

INGREDIENTS

250 g wholemeal flour
100 g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
50 g pinhead oatmeal
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large free-range egg
1 x 300 ml tub buttermilk


METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5.
2. Place the flour, pinhead oatmeal, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl and mix together.
3. In a separate bowl, use a balloon whisk to beat the egg and buttermilk together.
4. Use a fork to stir the egg mixture into the flour, then as it starts to come together, use your hands to pat and bring the dough together.
5. Shape the dough into a ball and place onto a lightly floured baking tray. Use your hands to flatten the dough slightly so you end up with a disk, roughly 6 to 7cm thick.
6. Score a cross into the top of the bread with the blunt edge of a knife, then bake in the centre of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a firm crust has formed and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
7. Turn the bread out onto a wire rack to cool, then serve slightly warm with some soup or a nice wedge of cheese.

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Articles

SIMPLICITY IS THE KEY

In today’s post I hope to show that often, simplicity is the key to achievement.

I had a great discussion with one of my fellow CF coaching crew yesterday and the upshot of it was that as humans we always seem to be looking for the ‘NEXT’ thing that will get you the best result yesterday….

Its ironic, as when having a discussion with one of my other coaches last week it covered this same topic.  In this conversation we referred to Dan John and some of his classic works.  For those who have not read some of Dan’s work you have missed out!

We discussed Dan’s Mass Made Simple – its a brilliant name for this program. Quite frankly some of the sessions in this program are brutal (if you do them correctly). Assuming you do follow them as planned out and follow the program guess what – you build mass!!!  The topic them went onto how because it may appear simple that the program is second guessed. Questions like ‘is it that simple?’ and ‘there must be a quicker/better way?’ appear.

With the availability of information via good old google its not difficult to find millions of articles/programs/this and that which all ‘guarantee’ X result.

The key points that we agreed on were that simple DOESN’T necessarily mean EASY, and to follow a plan THROUGH is far better than to continually chopping and changing with a end result of no change.  Science and an element of common sense will stand the test of time with what works….WHY? because it has worked.  the good old Barbell, Kettlebells, Strongman stuff Kit – its been around for a bloody long time and why? – used correctly they have repeatedly delivered results for more years than I have had hot dinners!

I reflected some of the simplicity in my own training this past week where I used 3 bits of kit –

  • Ski erg
  • Dog Sled
  • Prowler

In 45 mins I was a a sweaty mess struggling to walk correctly.

For the majority of people who are looking at getting fitter, losing a bit of weight and/or getting a bit stronger, keeping things simple and building repetition in are the foundations to getting where you want to be.  Even at an elite level the basics are still applied, but with a greater level of fine tuning.

Its ironic really, as if people stuck to the training plan from day one, followed the process from start to finish, they would achieve far greater results and not waste time ‘looking’ for the next MAGIC PILL whist achieving nothing.

I can hand on my heart say in the past I have been guilty of this…..and with reflection and a greater level of knowledge and experience I can look back and see this.  Im currently not in a position to train lots, so I set myself a target of 3 sessions minimum and I keep it simple.  Each week I will squat, push stuff, carry stuff, pull stuff, press stuff and pick stuff up.   I mix it up to keep me focused and I like the variety.  There is no end goal for me ATM, simple to get a good sweat on, move my body through large ROMS’s under a load.

End result – I don’t get back pain, I feel energetic and motivated and I have a reasonable base level of fitness.