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Rise & Grind

It’s Monday morning and the alarms ringing. You reach over to the side, grab your phone and immediately press the snooze button.

10 minutes later and it sounds it’s merry morning tune, screaming in your ears to GET UP!! Reminding you of the promise you made to yourself that this time, you were going to get up, hit the gym and seize the day!

You even pictured yourself working out like a boss, full of motivation and determination just like a Rocky montage but suddenly reality hits you so goddamn hard, you curl up like a baby swaddled in your duvet telling yourself you NEED that extra hour in bed and that you will definitely get up tomorrow.

Well before you go telling me that you’re not a morning person, perhaps we can give you a compelling reason to stop hitting the ‘Snooze’ button and wake up that little bit earlier to hit the gym.

If you don’t train regularly in the morning, you may find at first, it will be a real challenge! In the morning, your performance often suffers during anaerobic exercise (such as weight training) as compared to afternoon or evening workouts.

Nevertheless, you can make larger improvements in exercise performance if you make working out in the morning a regular thing!

Look, I get it… it’s tough just to get up in the morning, never mind try to workout! But with enough patience and consistency, you’ll see your performance make HUGE improvements and you’ll have a whole host of good reasons that justify setting that alarm just a little bit earlier.

  1. The Gym Is All Yours!

Trying to do any form of superset or pairing up any exercises in a packed gym is all but impossible.

This guy over here has taken the bench that you were on while you went to change the dumbbells you were using. That girl over there wants to steal your dumbbells so is hovering around awkwardly waiting for you to finish. The teenager who just walked in has decided to sit down on the Leg Press and work his thumb muscles on a swiping spree through Tinder.

Well, thankfully, it’s not packed! Because this time, you got up, got ready and hit the gym before everyone else did.

2. Your Hormones Are Working To Your Advantage

In the early morning hours, testosterone is elevated in the body and this helps to build lean muscle mass. By exercising in the morning, you’re taking advantage of these naturally circulating hormones just as they are peaking, rather than later in the day when they are lower.

3. It Leaves Times For Other Priorities

Obviously, we all have many areas in our life that take priority over other things. Which is why slicing off some time, like that morning workout, is usually better than in the evening.

But truly think about it for a second, training in the evening often means you have to fight rush hour traffic, navigate a crowded gym fighting for equipment, get home to shower, eat dinner and share whatever time is left with your family.

It just makes sense to workout in the morning and the rest of your day is yours!

4. You’ll Be More Focused Throughout the Day!

A bout of exercise increases your focus for the day. We all got things to do each and every day that we feel reluctant to do but what follows a morning workout, is an enormous feeling of accomplishment as you finally beat that damn alarm clock and smashed your workout!

Use that momentum to motivate you, fill you with positivity and tackle your daily activities with the energy and focus you gained from taking control of your day.

Your Coach,
Stuart Jamieson

4 Effective Exercises to Build-a-Booty!!

Targeting your Glute muscles can be tricky! All too often we hear about the Squat producing those booty gains we strive for however there are many variables involved when performing squats that may even have you neglecting them entirely! Especially if you do not squat deep enough to stimulate significant Glute activation.

We also want to target the Glute muscles from various angles if it’s a truly shaped booty you are going for. The reason being is that your butt is made up of three main muscles – the Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, and Gluteus Maximus – which are then covered with a layer of fat.

Your Glutes help you to stand up from a sitting position or a squat, climbing stairs or standing upright. It also helps to stabilise the pelvis.

What are the muscles in the butt?

The Maximus – The muscle that covers the majority of the outer buttocks

The Medius – The top of the buttocks (the part that really shows your butt shape)

The Minimus – The central muscle to the hip (attaches to the hip bone)

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Here are some Booty Blasters for you to try out when your next in the gym!

Cable Kickbacks – This exercise is one of the best butt exercises to help strengthen and shape the gluteal muscles. This exercise can be performed using a cable machine or resistance bands. The cable kickback effectively targets your glutes (butt) by isolating the gluteus maximus, gluteus minimus, and your hamstring muscles.

Barbell Hip Thrusts – The barbell hip thrust with a bench or a dumbbell laying down can increase strength and power in the hamstrings and glutes. This exercise also improves stability throughout the core and lower back. Pressing through your heels and squeezing your glutes, return the barbell to the start position.

Romanian Deadlifts – The Romanian deadlift is one of the single best exercise you can do for developing your posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, and back). It’s easy to learn, load and programme, and when it’s performed correctly, it’s also perfectly safe. There is also a number of variations of this exercise you can do i.e. the stiff-leg deadlift.

Walking Lunges – Walking lunges are arguably the most complete lower body exercise on the planet. They develop your glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves in addition to hitting your inner and outer hips and thighs. They also live at the intersection of strength and cardio, meaning they really challenge your muscles, utilise large muscle groups together to perform the movement meaning you will burn more calories than most static exercises and increase your heart rate.

So there you go… 4 simple but highly effective exercises that I use to directly target my Glutes and build that booty!

Ash x

Thank God It’s Monday!

You know, Monday’s get such a bad rep but they are my favourite day of the week and here’s why…

It gives us all the ability to reset, refresh and chase our goals! Another chance, another week to go all in on the life we want to live.

Each person is different in their thoughts, beliefs and perceptions and therefore our goals are so wildly varied. It may be to do with your career, your partner or loved one, family or friends. It could be to get the dream home you’ve always wanted. To get the car you have saved as a screensaver on your phone. To finally fit into the pair of jeans you bought years ago or strut your stuff on the beach dawning that hard earned six pack you’ve been working for in the gym!

We all can achieve more than you could ever imagine if we would simply just allow ourselves to fail along the way. Understanding that every step we take, no matter how successful or not, will shape our journey, our character and our ability to achieve our goals.

Take pride in your failures! They are helping you find your blueprint to success. Each time you fail, you learn something new in the process. All it truly takes is to not give in, have some humility and take a new approach to your goals each time. If you do this enough with an indomitable will to never give up, I absolutely promise you, you will get there!

Motivation, Determination, Perseverance and Consistency. The keys to your success!

Finding your passion is one thing, finding what makes us tick and gives us the fire inside to carry on but if we want to become good at things in life, we tend to have to work for it and when it comes to building a strong mindset, this too takes practice and effort, just like our bodies need consistent exercise to get the results we want.

Understand that it’s not something you were born with, but rather it is something you must grow yourself, through deliberate practice.

Building a strong mindset takes time and it will require your self-discipline and perseverance to keep pushing, even when things may just seem too hard. Remember that motivation gets you started but discipline and perseverance will see you through to the finish.

Many people make a decision to change something in their lives based on things that they are having some kind of dissatisfaction with. An inner conflict within themselves.

For example, many people are fed up with the excess body fat they have accumulated, they’ve had enough of feeling sluggish and tired, they are unhappy with feeling self-conscious, they feel stuck in a rut.

You see, every decision we make all boils down to just two types of Motivation – Pain or Pleasure! Every one of our decisions is based on either seeking the pleasure or to avoid the associated pain we link to the outcome.

Sometimes we link both to a tough decision but often you will find pain to be the bigger motivator as it is human nature to avoid danger or any situation that may place us in an uncomfortable position.

Change becomes permanent when we link more pain to our current situation than we do to the new changes we wish to make to our lives. Reminding yourself of why you wanted to achieve your goal should be a daily occurrence. Such as with exercise, the more you practice, the stronger you become and more focused to achieving your goals.

Analysing the real reasons behind why you want to achieve your goals will help you find answers you probably weren’t even aware of! Linking more emotional intensity helps you to drive forward when times are hard.

Try to think of motivation as something that PULLS you towards your goal, not pushes! Pushing you will always meet resistance but with enough emotional intensity attached to your “Why”, your purpose for it all, will PULL you towards your goal.

The most important tip I can give you in all this is to learn to just DO more and think LESS!

The thought of things are always more frightening than reality.

Take action, learn from your mistakes and keep moving forward. You can do it!

Your Coach,

Stuart Jamieson

Just When the Time is Right!

Many people would argue till they’re blue in the face that this isn’t necessary to lose weight and they are right!

I completely agree that managing your body weight all stems from taking control of your energy input and output by how many calories you are taking in from the food you are eating and how many calories you are burning off from your activity levels each day.

However there are benefits to utilising the timing of eating carbohydrates.

Let me explain…

Eating carbohydrates can often leave you feeling sluggish due to the sudden spike in insulin released from the body (rise in blood sugar) and then sudden drop a.k.a ‘Crash’ in blood sugar levels which makes us feel so damn tired!

Especially if you are over-eating carbohydrates or eating carbs that are high on the glycemic index (Fast Absorbing Carbs i.e. Higher sugar levels) which all too many of us are guilty of doing.

Here’s a tip that I have found to help keep me leaner, reduce my carbohydrate intake to just what I need to optimise my energy levels and maximise my progress – Try to keep your carbs to fit in and around your pre-workout, post-workout and before bed time meals.

This will allow you to have greater amounts of carbohydrates in those meals due to the decrease in number of meals throughout the day that you are allowed carb’s.

It will also improve your performance in the gym from fueling yourself up in your pre-workout meal and increase recovery levels from your post workout meal by replacing your glycogen levels (Energy Stores) that you have used during your workout.

There has also been studies that show that eating carbohydrates before bed (Give 2 hours before bedtime to allow adequate time to digest) can help improve your sleep. This is due to the effect it has on elevating the levels of Serotonin – Otherwise known as the ‘Feel Good’ Neurotransmitter.

You see, Serotonin is linked to improving our mood, providing a more calm and relaxed feeling which is ideal for hitting bed time!

How does this happen?

Because Carbohydrates are necessary for the body to synthesize sufficient serotonin levels meaning if we have elevated levels of serotonin at night, it can improve our sleep and therefore recovery from workouts. 😴

So I bet I can guess where your head is at right now… “But Stuart, if I have carb’s around those times, what the hell do I have for my breaky?”

The social norms have us believing that a higher carb meal in the morning sets you up for the day such as your average bowl of corn flakes, couple slices of toast or so on…

However all this provides us with is a larger amount of carbohydrates first thing with next to no protein leaving you with less meals to hit higher protein targets to help you recover from your workouts and of course, less carbohydrates to have with our later meals when most of us have MUCH more time on our hands rather than in the morning when we are getting ready for work or setting off with the kids to go to school.

So here’s what I do: I get my protein and healthy fats into me first thing in the morning. Two reasons for this…

  1. Alot closer to hitting my protein targets as it is spread more evenly throughout the day rather than playing catch up!
  2. Eating a higher fat and protein breakfast leaves me feeling fuller for longer and eliminates that crash from eating a higher carb breakfast leaving me with the midday blues and reaching for that sugary snack!

While I appreciate this may seem a bit complicated, I promise you, it can help improve your day to day performance and help you get more from your fitness goals.

If you need any help with how to set up a healthy, nutritious and performance based diet plan tailored to your goals, why not drop us a message and a member of our Top Team will get back to you as soon as possible!

Your Coach,

Stu

#theptstudio #performanceteam #elitepersonaltraining

Keys to Losing Weight After Menopause!

Losing weight during and after menopause may seem impossible! Hormone changes, stress and the aging process can all work against you.

However, there are several steps you can take to make weight loss easier during this time.

Why does menopause make it so hard to lose weight?

Well, menopause officially starts when a woman hasn’t had a menstrual cycle in 12 months but pre-menopause can begin 10 years prior to menopause.

Women find it really hard to lose weight around this time.

In fact, woman notice they actually gain weight around this time. Factors that can play a roll in weight gain during menopause are:

• Hormonal fluctuations: both elevated and very low levels of estrogen can lead to increased fat storage.

• Loss of muscle mass: This occurs due to age, hormonal changes and decreased physical activity.

• Inadequate sleep: Many women have trouble sleeping during menopause and poor sleep is linked to weight gain.

• Increased insulin resistance: women often become insulin resistance as they age, which can make losing weight more difficult.

Another annoying factor is that fat storage shifts from your hips and thighs to your abdomen during menopause.

This increases health risks such as; metabolic Syndrome, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

So, losing belly fat is very important! So ladies! Here are some tips to help you lose weight and keep the weight off!!

1. Be on a calorie deficit! Burn more calories than you consume and you will lose weight!

During and after menopause women’s resting expenditure and the calories she burns during rest declines.

2. Don’t go on a low calorie diet for a long period of time!

Restricting calories to a low level can cause loss of muscle mass and a further decline in metabolic rate. So while low calorie diets are good short term, I wouldn’t recommend them for a long period of time.

3. Lift weights! Resistance training is extremely effective as it increases muscle mass and also preserves muscle. More muscle = more calories burned!

4. Get plenty of sleep!

People who sleep less have higher levels of ghrelin, which is the ‘hunger hormone’ and lower levels of leptin, which is known as the ‘fullness hormone’ so people that sleep less are more likely to be overweight.

5. Find someway to relieve stress!

Stress relief is so important during the menopausal transition as stress can increase the risk of heart disease and also elevates the level of cortisol, which is associated with increased abdominal fat.

6. Eat well!

Don’t gorge on sugary and processed foods, opt for foods that are high in protein and lower in carbohydrates.

Protein keeps you full and increases your metabolic rate and decreases the muscle loss during weight loss.

While Menopause can make the weight loss process more challenging, it is still very much able to overcome and continue to progress and reach your body shape or fitness goals.

Thanks for listening x

Marie Nicol – Personal Trainer