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Over the past few weeks we have been running a Summer Boot Camp Challenge, where we’ve been working extremely hard through a wide range of exercises which have targeted Core and Full Body Strength, CV and coordination to see who is to be crowned the male and female champion for 2012.
Eeveryone who has taken part has certainly put in max effort througout and the scores have shown this for sure. It has been about pushing yourself to the limits of your capabilites to ensure you know that your body can in fact work beyond the comfort zone that many people find themselves stuck in, this application of understanding will mean greater success for now and for long term success of goal attainment.
Week 3 Results for the top 3 Males and Females are as follws:
Males – Martin W 969 points
Jimmy E 950.5 points
Josh C 664 points

Females – Rachel B 878.5 points
Ginny A 778 points
Sarah W 491 points 2wks

It will be interesting to see how this final week will pan out, to see if the leader board will change after tonights session.
Push hard all, it’ll be a great finale.

If you are trying to lose weight and burn fat then my advice is to avoid sports drinks altogether. Brands in the UK include Lucozade, Powerade and Gatorade.

These drinks should really be used by people who are trying to replenish their  energy stores so that they are ready to exert themselves again later.

They are not for people wanting to lose weight.  Unless you’re wanting to set a personal best while exercising then you will be able to cope without the added carbohydrate.  Some companies have cottoned onto this fact and now produce lower calorie versions of their sports drinks but be wary and read the labels carefully.

For the majority of people it’s not really necessary to buy these drinks.  If your goal is to lose weight most of these drinks are loaded with sugar and high in calories, so they should be avoided at all costs.

In theory you could spend 30 minutes pounding the streets and burn 300-400 calories and then undo all your good work by replacing those calories straight away.  No wonder you’re not burning fat as fast as you could be.

If fat loss is your goal then avoid these drinks altogether and just drink water and make sure you use some good quality salt in your diet.  The additional salt will help replace the salt that you have lost while exercising.

Water is the key, especially during the summer months.

If you have any questions relating to exercise and hydration, then feel free to email me at stef@stefantaylorfitness.co.uk

Enjoy your Training

How It Works:

When undergoing any type of weight-loss program, the goal is to consume fewer calories than you burn which then results in your positive weight loss achievement. Ideally calories that you burn come from body fat, as opposed to muscle tissue.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case, dependent on how well you control your nutrition and in some cases your body grows more used to any particular program, it begins to adapt to the demands placed on it and as a result your program becomes less effective. Carbohydrate cycling effectively addresses this problem by varying the carbohydrates, consumed daily in such a way that the body is hard-pressed to follow.  The result: consistent fat loss.  In addition, carb cycling allows you to maintain an intense exercise program because you’re still consuming sources of healthy carbohydrates to fuel your workouts.

According to industry experts, carb cycling diets consist of three primary phases: a high-carb day, low-carb day and a no-carb day.  These days are designed to coincide with your specific exercise sessions and goals. For example, on the high-carb day, you perform the highest-intensity exercise to allow for adequate performance and recovery and use the no-carb day as a rest day as this allows the body to recover from intense bouts of exercise while preserving muscle mass and rapidly losing body fat.  The primary method of exercise on a carb cycling diet should be from resistance training, though it’s still effective without it.  This burns an excess of calories and will also give a greater post exercise elevation on your metabolic rate.  To determine the total number of calories you should consume to lose weight, visit the NHS BMI calculator

Designing a Diet:

Specific nutrients of each day are dependent on each person but it’s important to maintain the same ratios each week.  An example, the lower end of the spectrum for carbohydrates, could recommend 1g carbohydrates per 1 lb. body weight on a low-carb day, and 2g per 1 lb. on a high-carb day. No carb days should be as low as you can make them, in other words, no direct sources of carbs.  Indirect forms such as vegetables and nuts are acceptable.  Protein intake for the week should remain a constant, at least 1g per 1 lb. body weight.  The remainder of the calories should come from healthy fats.

Sources of Food

Acceptable sources of carbohydrates are those that are from slow-digesting complex carbs, such as oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice, whole grains and some fruits.  Immediately after the workout, it may be necessary to consume simple carbs to replenish muscle glycogen.  Sources of protein include any kinds of lean meats including chicken, fish, or beef, as well as eggs, milk, soy, and nuts.  It’s important to consume enough dietary fat to keep testosterone levels high during the process.  Aim for sources of omega-3s and omega-6s such as raw nuts, fish, olive oil and avocados.

Try this Carb Cycling and see the results.

Enjoy your Food Wisely

After walking through my local city recently and seeing several children under the age of 5 being fed fast food full of sugar, fat and additives, I had to do some searching for info on what the data suggests and where this lifestyle could lead these poor unfortunates who are being led to an early grave by irresposible choices being made made by their parents.  I’m not talking about the one off choice of fast food, I’m talking about the parents who provide nothing else but sugar filled, high fat, processed food choices for their offspring.  It really is sad to read about a generation that may not live as long as their parents and the link to the BBC Article on Childhood Obesity says it all.

This isn’t a new article but still alarm bells are ringing….are you doing your bit?

Stay Active and Enjoy Food Wisely

Boot Camp Timetable 2011 in Leicestershire

DAY LOCATION IN/OUTDOOR TIME/DATE FITNESS LEVEL

 

Monday

 

Rawlins College, Quorn Indoor 1845-1945hrs All Welcome
Wednesday

 

Beacon Hill Outdoor 0645-0745hrs

(re-starts Apr 2011)

All Welcome
Wednesday

 

Foxton Locks Outdoor 0930-1030hrs

(re starts May 2011)

All Welcome
Friday

 

Beacon Hill Outdoor 0645-0745hrs

(re-starts Apr 2011)

All Welcome
Friday

 

Beacon Hill Outdoor 0930-1030hrs All Welcome
Saturday

 

Bradgate Park Outdoor 0930-1030hrs

(re-starts June 2011)

Beginner

 

All stefantaylorfitness Boot Camps are designed for all, whether you are re-starting after a break or you have been training for a while and are now looking for a fresh challenge.  2010 see’s new sessions being added to the timetable to give you a greater availability and choice of frequency to exercise effectively and gain those results you so desire.  Every session has one thing in common, enjoyment.  Exercise should be something you both feel the benefit from and wish to do again and again.

Rawlins Boot Camp: An indoor Boot Camp that changes its’ emphasis every 4 weeks, so you are constantly being challenged and will see and feel progress as a result.  This session has been designed to guarantee you burn calories, tone up and strengthen.  Suitable for all, this class gives the comfort of being indoors and will ensure you leave feeling invigorated. 

Foxton Locks Boot Camp: Situated between Market Harborough and Kibworth, Foxton Locks provides an excellent environment to challenge all levels of fitness and is a small group session with a personal touch.  A combination of cardiovascular exercise and resistance work will ensure you burn calories, tone up and lose weight and guarantee you improve your fitness levels making for a fitter and healthier you.

Beacon Hill Boot Camp: A fun, rewarding and challenging session that is based in this fabulous park.  This outdoor session is guaranteed to give you the results you desire and leave you looking and feeling energized.  Moving between several locations in the park, each session will work to improve strength, co-ordination, aid weight loss and tone up improving fitness levels and will suit all abilities.

Bookings:  All bookings can be made in advance either via telephone 07811 28 42 92 or via email info@stefantaylorfitness.co.uk if you require further information please contact via the same means or visit our website www.stefantaylorfitness.co.uk/bootcamp.html

Enjoy your fitness

Quite often hunger can just be a psychological response but you can beat the food industries vice like grip on your eating habits with these four easy info bites that will then help catapult you to shedding those unwanted pounds while following your training program.

 

The belief that food makes us feel better contributes to our desire to have food:

When you expect the food you eat to give you pleasure (+ve reinforcement) or relief from distress (-ve reinforcement), that will amplify your further desire for it and your expectation that food is rewarding will stimulate your pursuit for it.  A good way to disconnect your emotions from foods is to read the labels, this will help you view food as more of a functional need and help you eat less.

The location of some foods can become a potent desire trigger:                               

People may be triggered to desire food by a geographical cue, for instance walking past a favourite restaurant or talking about a holiday where food was of 5 star quality and this may become just as important as the food itself.  Cues that we then associate with pleasure demand our attention, motivate the behaviour that is to follow and stimulate an urge we call ‘hunger’.  The more aware you are about these triggers the clearer it will become when you are actually hungry and when you are simply responding to a geographical pleasure cue. 

Gain the upper hand over trigger foods and moderation will be easier:                 

People have become accustomed to following a certain pattern of behaviour with regards their food intake and that is the cue-urge-reward cycle that they lose sight of other possible responses.  An alternative would be to show willing and resist the temptation, yes this may be difficult initially but just going without a particular food once will make it much easier for you the next time and this could have huge health implications long term.

Beware of the ‘Bliss Point’ at which foods become more addictive:                               

It has been discovered that foods with the combination of sugar, salt and fat is just the thing that makes that food become more stimulating, Fast Food, Processed Foods and foods labelled as ‘Junk’ often follow this principle but it’s not always easy to tell as they may be masked with additives and flavourings, so always check the label and if you’re still not sure choose something that has actually been grown and not made. 

If this week you choose to follow some basic principles of Nutrition, you may well surprise yourself and the rewards you’ll see in conjunction with your exercise, will come quicker.

Enjoy your food wisely

stefan taylor fitness

Losing body fat needn’t be a chore and by thinking wisely about your nutrition and making some small changes you could really see some fast results.  Your daily intake of body fuel is the cornerstone to shedding those few extra pounds that may still be there after the Christmas period and balancing this with your weekly training, will definitely see you achieving your goals.

Eat Almonds:

Almonds can help you flatten you tummy area, thanks to their high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (good fats).  The fat in almonds is not completely absorbed by the body and this can also help prevent fats from other foods being stored.  Snack on around 10-15 per day but any more won’t have the desired effect.

Time your Fruit Right:

Getting your 5 fruit and veg a day is a must to aid your weight loss but it’s even better if you time it right.  Eating fruit after a meal rich in protein (containing plenty of fish, meat, eggs or beans) can cause bloating due to the fermentation of its natural sugars.  Eating fruit before your protein rich meal will put a stop top any such feeling and take the edge of your appetite and cause you to eat smaller portions if over eating is a concern.

Have a Good Nights’ Sleep:

Try to get more than 7 hours of sleep per night, if you don’t get enough it can throw your bodys’ hormone levels that regulate your energy and appetite, causing you to crave more foods the next day especially carbohydrates.  So it’s 7 hours or tighter trousers.

Turn off the TV:

Eating while balancing your meal on your lap and watching the box may be causing you to eat up to 71% more than you need, according to research and that’s a lot of extra calories.  This is due to the fact you don’t focus on the food you’re eating and aren’t aware when you’re full.

Have more fibre:

Increase your intake of soluble fibre that’s found in apples, citrus fruits, beans and salad.  Its natural ability to stabilize your blood sugar levels so controls cravings and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.  A good rule of thumb is to separate your plate into quarters, fill 2 with fibrous vegetables, 1 with lean protein such as fish or chicken and the other with fibrous grains such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta or pearl barley.

Give these tips a try and feel the benefits quickly.

Enjoy your food wisely

stefan taylor fitness

A great set of abs, also known as a 6-pack are a sign of being in great shape, but for most people they remain hidden beneath a layer of body fat.

You can do all the sit-ups in the world, but if you’re holding a layer of fat around your stomach, no one’s going to see them.

Fantastic abs aren’t impossible, anyone can get them, it just takes commitment and know-how.

The good news is that you’re going to learn what to do so you too can have the most coveted prize of a great physique – a 6 pack!

Reduce Calories

For your abs to be visible, you have to strip the fat away and this is done by creating a negative energy balance (burn more calories than you consume). Many fitness gurus suggest combining exercise with a calorie reduction of 500kcals below your current intake (try gradually reducing your calories by about 50kcals per day, until you’ve reached the 500kcal target). This should promote a gradual fat loss of around 1-2lbs per week.

TIP: Don’t reduce calories too quickly, or you’ll risk suppressing your metabolism, inhibiting fat loss and crave too much.

Eat More Protein

Many people fail to realise the importance of protein when trying to get lean. Insufficient protein leads to something called a negative nitrogen balance, which leads to loss of muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate. Protein supplements are an easy way to quickly increase protein and provide an instant hit of high quality whey.  Protein can also aid fat loss because it requires more energy to process than fat and carbs.

TIP: Try consuming 2g of protein per Kg of body weight, daily.

Eat Slow Digesting Carbs

To sustain fat loss, stick to small servings of low glycaemic carbs. This will avoid big blood sugar levels spikes and the increase in insulin which is so effective at storing excess carbs as fat. Stick to complex carbs such as oats, low GI fruits and brown rice. Avoid high glycaemic foods (potatoes, cakes, confectionary bars, sugary drinks, white rice, bread and pasta, etc. at all times except post exercise)

TIP: Your body processes carbs better in the morning, so limit your carbs in the afternoon and evening – This should speed up fat loss.

Eat Essential Fats

Fat in itself does not make you over-weight, only excess calories, inactivity and excess bad oils make you fat. However, fat is calorie dense so any fat you eat must be more of the healthy type. Increase your consumption of EFA’s (essential fatty acids), as these can actually increase your metabolic rate. If you concentrate on eating lean proteins (chicken breast, lean red meat, fish, free range eggs) and healthy carbs, you are dramatically reducing unhealthy fats. You should then aim to consume a small serving of healthy fats with your meals, including:

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Oily fish
  • Avocadoes
  • Nuts (except cashews)
  • or an EFA supplements

Eat Every 2-3 Hours

Eating 5 or 6 small meals is vital to reducing body fat by reducing cravings and the release of the catabolic stress hormone, cortisol (cortisol inhibits the fat burning process, so don’t skip meals), by controlling cortisol you dramatically reduce muscle breakdown.

TIP: To keep your body in a fat burning mode (positive nitrogen balance) always include a source of high quality protein (lean meat, fish, eggs) and consume a glass of water with each meal. Never skip breakfast.

Weight Training

Weight training is essential to maintain a high metabolic rate and develop an impressive 6-pack and when you reduce calories, your muscle tissue risks being burnt as fuel. Weight training counteracts this problem by promoting protein synthesis and natural hormone levels, preserving your hard earned muscle tissue.

TIP: Stick to heavy compound lifts such as dead lifts, squats, bench presses and the shoulder press and get your session completed within 45 – 55 minutes. Weight train 2-3 times per week.

Cardio

Cardio is the traditional ‘fat burning’ exercise, but it’s important to do it correctly to promote fat burning while preserving muscle.

HIIT

This doesn’t matter whether you are just starting out or are very fit, high intensity interval training (HIIT), such as 10 x 100m sprints separated by 2 minutes of brisk walking. HIIT produces a large excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) (the amount of energy required to return your metabolic rate back to pre-exercise levels). If you create a big EPOC, your metabolism will be increased for hours while your body recovers.

TIP: To prevent muscle being burnt as fuel, consume fast digesting protein before cardio sessions. Keep sessions under 60 minutes and perform cardio and weights on different days.

Ab Exercises

Ab exercises build and tone your abdominal muscles, but ab exercises alone will never give you the mid-section you crave. Spot reduction (burning fat from a particular body part using targeted exercises) is a myth, so performing 100 sit-ups a day will not melt away abdominal fat, nor will those electrical stimulant machines! Use ab exercises to sculpt your Core area, then use a strict diet and exercise programme to reveal them.

TIP: Stick to basic crunches, hanging leg raises and oblique crunches. To build rugged 6-pack muscles, you’ll need to add weight (carefully so as to avoid injury) in the 6-12 reps range. For general toning, stick to lighter weights and higher reps (10-20 rep range). Train your abs 2-3 times per week.

Night Time Nutrition

A small protein meal prior to bed is a trick used to prevent muscle loss when sleeping, whilst also promoting fat burning. Protein Supplements provides a boost of easily digested amino acids, ideal for creating a muscle maintenance state before bed.

Follow my advice for the next six weeks and you’ll be amazed at the changes in your ab definition and tone. Remember that your Core muscles won’t appear by magic, so you’ll only get out what you put in.

Enjoy your training

stefantaylorfitness

Keep On Track With Your 2011 Fitness Resolutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s about this time of year, if not sooner, that people have all but given up with their New Years Fitness Resolutions but using these simple steps, you’ll find you are more likely to keep on track with achieving them and striding into the Spring and Summer months feeling fit and ready for beach.

 

Train with Friends :

 

It’s easy to skip a session when training by yourself but if you have made an arrangement with friend(s) you won’t be missing another Boot Camp session, meaning that stubborn body fat will soon be a thing of the past.  A study has shown that those who trained with friends felt a greater rush of endorphins and were able to sustain higher intensity exercise for longer

 

Make a Lunch Date: 

 

Squeezing sessions into times when you usually socialise, such as lunch breaks, after work or weekends, makes your more likely to submit to the temptation of missing them.  By fitting a session into a lunch break or taking your kit to work to go straight to a session after work means it’ll soon become part of your daily routine.  This type of daytime training will also mean you will be happier and feel reduced stress levels.

 

Keep it Realistic: 

 

One of the most common reasons for ditching exercise in around this time of year is that your goals have been unrealistic.  Get some expert advice and have a fitness program or nutrition plan designed for you and this will make sure your objectives are SMART: specific, measureable, achievable, realistic and timed.

 

Don’t do Too Much:

 

 Aching muscles provide an easy excuse to stay at home but this will be a normal result after challenging exercise, simply give yourself a rest day and most importantly ensure you are getting around 8 hours sleep.  Avoid training the same muscles groups 2 days in a row.  These things are essential for maintaining results and remaining motivated.

 

Enter a Race:

 

 You may think this really isn’t for you but it really will help focus your mind for preventing you from skipping sessions. There are a vast number of events out there from 3km fun runs to ultra marathons, so next time you’re checking your emails take 5mins to search something online.

Reward Yourself:

While consistent training is vital for success and achieving those goals, something I strongly advocate is having a little downtime.  So if you have been sticking to your training plan, then eating some foods you really enjoy is a great reward.  Have a cheat day once in a while just as long as you commit to working hard the rest of the time.

 

Follow these simple steps to success and see the results you are really looking for, we can all talk about what we’d like but not all of us achieve it, be one of those people who achieve.

If you would like further advice on how to start your SMART training plan then contact me and we can design a plan for you.

 

Enjoy your Training

 

stefantaylorfitness

One of the most important factors in injury prevention is warming up and cooling down, and should not be neglected.
Warming up refers to a preparatory phase at the beginning of an exercise session. Warming up generally involves a period of low-impact exercise regimes which prepare the body for the more strenuous aspects of the sporting activity. Warming up is an important aspect of exercise in
reducing the risk of injury that would possibly happen if over stretching occurred, without being physically warmed up and prepared for exercise.
Cooling down refers to a short period at the end of an exercise session. The cooling down phase, again, tends to involve a short period of low-impact exercise which gradually returns the body to its ‘resting state’. The cooling down phase is believed to reduce the risk of muscular soreness which may occur the day after an exercise session, and reduce the risk of fainting or collapse after such a session.

The Warming Up Session

An exercise session should always commence with a period of warm up. In some cases it may take the form of a series of specially designed preparatory exercise, whilst in other sessions it will simply involve performing the activity at a low density before increasing the intensity to the desired level. The warming up period is important for the following reasons:

• It gets the body ready for the physical exertion that follows. This optimises the physical condition, enabling the body to cope more easily with the activity. It also enables the athlete to get the most benefit from the session.

• If the warm-up session has specific movements relating to the sporting activity the muscles can be re-educated in preparation for the coming activities.

• It reduces the risk of injury (cold muscles do not stretch very easily) and it reduces the risk of premature fatigue which can occur if the cardiovascular system is unprepared for
strenuous activity.

• It prepares cardiac function for increased activity and reduces the risk of stress being placed on the heart.
A typical warm-up may involve some ‘loosening exercises’ followed by a few minutes of low impact aerobic activity and then a series of stretching exercises. This may last for approximately five to fifteen minutes depending upon the intensity of the session which follows. Loosening
exercises at the start of the warm up may include activities such as ‘mobility movements’ and ‘jogging on the spot’. These are gentle activities which begin to prepare the body for exercise and are especially important if you have been inactive for a while.
The aerobic exercise may involve activities such as cycling on an exercise cycle. This has the effect of increasing the heart rate, diverting blood to the exercising muscles and raising the overall temperature of the muscles.

Dynamic Stretching exercises provide the final phase of warm up and ensure that the muscles and tendons are prepared for the exercise. An important reason for doing dynamic stretching exercises is to prevent the muscles and tendons from being overstretched during the session.
Such a warm up will also prepare the joints for physical activity.

The Effects of Warm Up on the Body are:

• Cold muscle, tendons and connective tissue do not stretch very easily. Stretching without a warm-up is therefore unlikely to produce the best effects. Warming up also relaxes the body and muscle which further allows them to be stretched effectively. It is also believed that cold muscles and tendons are more prone to damage since they are more likely to tear when cold.

• A warm-up increases the heart rate gradually, and aerobic exercise prepares the heart and cardiovascular system, together with the muscles, gradually, for exercise.

• Exercising, without warming up, may cause the muscles to work without an adequate oxygen supply. As a consequence, lactic acid accumulates and the muscles may become prematurely fatigued.
A warm-up increases the temperature of the body. This increase in temperature facilitates and speeds up many of the processes associated with exercise metabolism. It increases the rate of nerve impulse transmission, the rate of oxygen delivery to the muscles.

Cooling Down

A cool-down involves a short period at the end of an exercise session during which the physical activity of the body is gradually reduced to almost its resting level. A cool-down therefore often involves a period of low-impact aerobic exercise which is gradually reduced, followed by a few gentle stretching exercises. This has a number of effects.
The gentle aerobic activity helps to get rid of any metabolic waste products which may have accumulated during the exercise session. The benefits of an active recovery are believed to be related to the muscles continuing to receive a more extensive supply of oxygenated blood, which
will also assist with the removal of metabolic waste products.
During exercise the blood is being pumped around the body by the action of the heart. However, the blood is assisted in its return to the heart via the venous system and muscular contraction. If you stop exercising suddenly, the heart continues to beat fast, sending blood around the body,
but, because the exercise has ceased, the blood is no longer assisted in its return to the heart. It is suggested that this is one of the reasons why people sometimes feel faint after exercise. During a cool-down, the heart rate is gradually lowered to its resting level and the venous return
continues to be assisted by the actively contracting muscles, thereby preventing this problem.
After exercising, and following the cool-down period, your heart will still need a period of time to settle back down to its full resting rate but should be within 30 beats of what it was before the exercise session started. This will, of course, be influenced by your overall physical condition. It
may also be influenced by the content of the session, with more demanding sessions requiring a more extensive cool-down. The cooling down period also provides an opportunity for the inclusion of additional stretching exercises, which may be desirable especially if they were not included as part of the main session. The inclusion of stretching exercises within the cool-down period not only helps to gradually lower the activity level of the body at the end of the session, but it may also prevent stiffness the following day. The cool-down period is also likely to take place when the body is warm, making the muscles more receptive to stretching. The most effective stretching can therefore be performed at this
time.

Enjoy your Training