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Make a Choice!

“You cannot control the behavior of others, but you can always choose how you respond to it.” ― Roy T. Bennett

The greatest gift of life is our ability to choose. It is the very reason you have arrived at your current point in life. Our lives are defined by the choices we make every day, every week, every month, every YEAR!

Unfortunately so many of us choose to allow our environment to control how we feel and how we respond to it rather than take a conscious choice to create a more compelling future.

Each and every one of us is just one choice away from an entirely different life! Think about it… I mean really think about a time where you had a choice in life to make and each outcome you envisioned determined a completely different aspect to your current reality.

It may have been building up the courage to ask that girl out several years ago who is now your wife…

It could have been quitting your job and going travelling for a year and has led you to live your entire life in a new country…

Or when you became a parent!

So many decisions and how you choose to respond to the events that happen around you shape your entire existence.

See I believe that we create our own destiny. That we are here for just one chance to live life to the full and it is our absolute obligation to push each and every part of our lives to see how much we can do,  we can be, we can share and give. A life without exploring what we are truly capable of is the ultimate regret!

Decisions shape destiny. You see, every day we choose what we focus on. We choose to focus on the positive, we choose to focus on the negative whether it be on a conscious or sub-conscious level.

If you want to take control of your destiny you must learn to choose what you focus on. There is a saying – Where focus goes energy flows. What you choose to focus on becomes who you are. Becomes a part of your identity. Make sure the story that you tell yourself, the inner monologue of your mind is on your side.

Your mindset, your attitude, motivation and discipline should become a ritual that you practice daily. Understand that, much like your body requires continual and consistent exercise to improve, so does your mind.

Now I don’t mean this by staring in the mirror and saying things like “I am a strong independant sausage, who is powerful beyond measure” is going to somehow change your entire outlook on life because that is far from what I am saying here…

Our actions will always speak louder than our words, build momentum and confidence in ourselves but in order for that to be, we must first learn to accept that we are responsible for every decision we make therefore we are responsible for the outcome too.

Learn to accept that we may get it wrong, in fact, chances are we will get it so wrong so often but by changing our perception of failure as final to just a learning curve, we can release the power that fear holds over your ability to choose. To make a decision. To fear that we get it wrong.

See we all make mistakes. Without them, we’d never learn! Everything you see around you is a result someones ability to make a decision and move forward, either with the knowledge and experience from their previous decision regardless of being wrong or right. It was their acceptance of allowing the chance to be wrong but to choose to use that experience to improve and grow.

And with enough time, it isn’t the things we do that we regret. It is the things we did not do when we had the chance to that we regret the most.

Your Coach,

Stuart Jamieson (Head Coach & Founder of The PT Studio)

How To Rebuild Your Core After Pregnancy

During pregnancy your abs have been stretched beyond recognition! Even if you lifted weights throughout your while pregnancy, your abs will be a lot weaker because of the pressure from the baby.

You will notice your core weakness most when your holding your baby, as your lower back will start to ache after a few minutes as the muscles around your whole core area are weak, this is including your back muscles. This is because your abdomen muscles aren’t giving you support, so your back muscles are working harder to keep your torso up right. It also doesn’t help that your breasts are filled with milk and weigh a ton!

During pregnancy, the growing uterus stretches the muscle in the abdomen. This can cause the muscles to separate; this condition is called Diastasis Recti. Diastasis recti might cause a bulge in the middle of the abdomen where the two muscles separate. In mum terms, this is the frustrating baby pouch that doesn’t go away after the baby is born and can still be there years after the baby is born!

How to check if you have Diastasis Recti?

Lie flat on your back, contract your muscles and gently press your abdominal muscles above and below your belly button. If you can feel a soft gap between the muscles, then you have a separation.

What can you do to fix this?

So, a lot of people think that doing crunches or sit ups will help this, but they are WRONG!

The best exercises you can do are body weight exercises, such as:

  • Squats
  • Press ups
  • Side planks
  • Pull ups (band assisted)

Weighted exercises include:

  • Deadlifts
  • Barbell Squats
  • Over head press
  • Bench press

For those who want to do exercises at home and don’t have any equipment and want to do some core exercises at home, here are some exercises you can do:

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Single Leg Raises

Lie on the floor with your knees bent, spine neutral and arms by your side
Lift leg straight into the air with opposite knee bent. Inhale and slowly breathe out when lowering leg to the ground.
Repeat and swap legs. do 10reps each leg, repeat 4x

What-Belly-Breathing-Looks-Like

Belly breathing

Belly breathing simply involves allowing your stomach to expand and contract as much as possible while you inhale and exhale deeply. Repeat 10times and have a minute rest , then repeat the process 3 times.

 

Begin by lying on your back. Tense your abdomen muscles as if you’re preparing to get hit in the stomach. This is your starting position.

From here, preform different movements such as raising your arms above your head and extending your legs while keeping your back flat.

pelvic-tilts

Pelvic tilt

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Tense your abdomen and tilt your pelvis back by pressing your lower back into the floor.
Hold for 10 seconds

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Yoga boat

Sit on the floor with your knees bent and tense your abdomen.
Lean your torso back slightly, while lifting your feet off of the ground.
Lift until your shins are parallel to the floor and your back is straight. Your hip should be at a 90-degree angle.
Extend your arms to a comfortable position to maintain balance.
Hold for 30 seconds

Remember that you wont see results straight away but if you do these exercises 3-4 times a week for a few weeks, you will feel your core becoming stronger!

Marie x

Who You Gonna Call? MYTHBUSTERS!!

Hey guys and girls,

Coach Ali back once again to go over some frequently talked about misconceptions in the world of health and fitness. You’ve probably heard at least one of these, so let’s get to it and put them to bed once and for all!

1️⃣ Lifting weights is bad for your joints

This has been a common misconception for years, many claiming that “squatting is bad for your knees…”

ABSOLUTE rubbish! Studies have shown that resistance training WHEN PERFORMED CORRECTLY will actually strengthen the tendons and ligaments around the joints, as well as increasing bone density and joint mobility.

SO, the important part here is to make sure your technique is tip top, then over time you should see that your overall joint health will improve! 💪🏼

2️⃣ Cardio is the best to burn fat

Let’s keep this short and sweet with some funky ol’ maths! 🤓📱

60 mins of running at 5mph (12 minute mile) at 75kg bodyweight = 540 calories 🏃🏽‍♂️

60 mins of hard weight training/circuit training at 75kg bodyweight = 585 calories 🏋🏽‍♂️

But wait….there’s more! Obviously depending on the type of activity you are doing, these numbers may vary, but let’s ignore calories burned DURING the exercise for a moment, and look at the benefits AFTER the exercise.

After cardiovascular exercise, the body’s metabolism is raised for around 30-60mins, after which it returns to normal. With resistance training however, the body’s metabolism is raised for around 24-48 HOURS! Meaning with regular resistance training, your body turns into a fat burning furnace! 🔥

Not only that, but resistance training will build lean muscle tissue, which requires energy to sustain. More muscle = more calories burned! 🔥💪🏼

3️⃣ Carbs make you fat

If this were true, all athletes would be obese! Anthony Joshua, you know, the big ripped boxer fella (ladies you know who I mean 😏), regularly consumes nearly 800g of carbs PER DAY 😱😱

Carbs are not the enemy! They are just one of the macronutrients that we require to function properly. Overindulgence in overall CALORIES is what leads to gaining weight.

No human being can escape the Energy Balance Equation of Calories In vs Calories Out. If you are eating more than you are burning off, you WILL gain weight! 🍳🍚🍏🍌🥩🍗

4️⃣ Core exercises burn belly fat

“Which exercises can I do to burn fat here? And here? And what about here?” A question

I often get asked, and I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the sad truth is YOU CANNOT SPOT REDUCE BODY FAT! 😩😩

Doing an arm exercise will not burn off bingo wings, doing leg exercises will not burn off your thunder thighs, and doing core work will not burn off love handles and your mummy tummy!

HOWEVER….doing these exercises WILL build lean muscle, as has been mentioned above, and will lead to an overall increase in calories being burned. So don’t do an exercise to burn fat in a specific area, do it to build muscle and burn overall body fat! 🔥👌🏼

5️⃣ Supplements will make me massive

“So yeah, if I just get this protein powder, will it make me massive yeah? And I’ll get this creatine and some BCAA’s too, and I’ll get jacked, right?” 😎

WRONG!

“Supplement – something that completes or enhances something else when added to it” – Oxford English Dictionary y’all! 🤓

When training, if you are just getting started, supplements should be pretty low on your list of priorities. Yes, they can help increase performance and recovery, but these improvements are marginal at best. What we should really be focusing on is the fundamentals of training.

⚫️ Ensuring we are training correctly and effectively
⚫️ Ensuring that we are eating the correct foods and in the right amounts
⚫️ Ensuring that we are allowing our bodies to get sufficient rest and recovery

So there you have it folks, more myths dispelled! Do you have any others we can add to our list?

Or maybe you’ve heard something and you’re not sure if it’s true or not? Comment below and let’s bust as many myths as we can!

Ali G – Coach

The PT Studio

Eat More. Look Better!

So ladies… you’ve been smashing your training, mastered your meal plan and you’ve dropped off that initial weight you’ve been trying to shift!

But what now?
A lot of women (and men) will hit a plateau in their training where there body stops progressing at the rate they’d like. Too often us females can focus too much on losing weight, getting that bikini bod and ‘toning up’ but are guilty of neglecting the necessary muscle growth i order to achieve that ideal body shape.

Our obsession with losing weight can often impair our work in the gym which leaves us looking a little flat and feeling unmotivated! To over come this problem you’ll hear a lot of people in the fitness world talk about a ‘bulk’ – a term which can often make us females want to run in the opposite direction!

But don’t panic! While the word ‘Bulking’ may conjure up images of Arnie in a sports bra, we’re actually only talking about allowing our bodies the necessary calories and nutrients in order to grow and build the lean muscle mass to your frame.

Many desirable aspects of the female body require this addition of muscle such as that peachy bum you keep checking out on your favourite Instagram fitness model or achieving visible abs and a sculpted upper body!

It may all seem a bit daunting at first but there’s lots of ways to continue your progress and keep those muscles growing without simply just gaining weight.

Food is your friend…

Unless you have a lot of fat to lose, being in a constant calorie deficit may not be the best way to go for you. You can’t build muscle while depriving your body of the essential nutrients and energy that it needs to grow. You may find yourself training hard but not eating enough which will result in you diminishing your muscles instead of fuelling them, which will only stunt your progress. To overcome this we need to up those calories! Only when you’re in a calorie surplus can your muscles truly grow in strength and size.

Upping the protein, upping the carbs…

Just because you’re increasing your calories it doesn’t mean you should go around eating everything and anything! The two macronutrients that are most important for gaining lean muscle mass are protein and carbohydrates. Proteins contain amino acids, which are essentially what your body will build muscle tissue out of. Your body is also going to need energy in order to take these amino acids and form muscle, and for this it will to turn carbohydrates (along with a small amount of fats). By increasing these food groups you’ll make sure that all that gym work doesn’t go to waste!

Take it easy on the cardio…

If you’re serious about getting that booty then you might want to think twice about jumping on the cross trainer or going to that HIIT class. While trying to gain lean muscle you want to avoid burning off too many calories to allow the extra food you’ve been eating to be used efficiently. Instead of killing yourself to get in hours of cardio every week, instead try going on short brisk walks each day. This will help to avoid that sluggish feeling that comes with an increase in food but prevents excessive calorie loss.

Switch up your reps…

It’s far too easy to get caught up in a routine of sets of 10 or 15 at a weight which feels comfortable to you. To increase your strength and really work your muscles try switching to sets of 6-8 and upping that weight, this will really break down the fibres in your muscles and you’ll feel a different kind of burn the next day!

Recovery is key…

It’s all too easy to become consumed with training hard all day every day. But when trying to add lean mass it’s essential to allow your body time to properly recover. The best way to do this is to use a split; training only one or two areas of the body each day. This gives each muscle group several days of rest to allow for full recovery.

Full rest days are also seriously important. When your body starts to feel drained it’s important to take time to let yourself recover both physically and mentally. This will not only help you get the most out of every training session but also decrease your risk of injury.

Jenny x

(Coach at The PT Studio)

3 Rules to Building Muscle for Beginners!

The answer is pretty simple, eat big and lift heavy! Easy in theory, hard in practice. Here are some rules to help you on your way!
RULE ONE – USE PERFECT FORM

Use correct exercise technique…don’t just move the weight from A-B. Be in control throughout the whole movement, pause at the bottom and top of each rep.

On the lowering phase of each rep, lower the bar/dumbell slowly until the muscle is fully stretched, pause for one second then explode back up to the top of the rep until the muscle is fully contracted, pause for one second then REPEAT.

RULE TWO – STICK TO THE BASICS

When starting off its important to stick the big movements that require several muscle groups to perform, get stronger at these before moving onto a more complex routine and implementing isolation (single-muscle) exercises.

These are exercises such as, the Squat, Bench press, Deadlift, Military press and the Bent-over row.

Initially perform these movements 1-2 times a week each, for 5 sets of 6-10 reps and nail your technique before lifting maximal weights!

RULE THREE – EAT

To pack on muscle fast it will take getting in enough calories to fuel and recover from your workouts, and feed your muscles with enough protein, carbohydrates and fats to see them gains manifest! For those who are new to training for muscle growth, eating 4-6 times a day will seem a huge challenge but with the right plan of action it is possible!

TIP – Don’t be afraid to consume a large volume of your calories in liquid form, in an ideal world all our meals would be from solids but it can be very time consuming and for some near impossible to get it all down!

Shakes are great way to get calories in on top of our solid meals! I would recommend three meals of solid whole foods and three meals from shakes.

An example of a solid meal for gaining size could be;

3 whole eggs, 100g porridge oats, 150g berries

OR

150g Chicken/Beef mince with 250g brown rice

An example of shake meal for gaining size could be;

30g whey protein, 2tbsp peanut butter, 1 banana, 100g berries, 50g porridge oats BLENDED

Add these rules to your training and diet to help kick start your fitness journey!

Coach Niki