October 31, 2012

It’s never too late to become what you might have been. -George Elliot

We’re coming closer and closer to Christmas and New Years time. Think back to your New Years Resolution  2012, was your resolution related to fitness and health? Reflect back onto your current state of health and/or fitness, have you reached what you aimed to achieve? If not you have two options: accept that you’re no where near what you want to be, shrug your shoulders and continue the way you are. Does it matter? It’s soon Christmas anyways and you’ll be indulging in heavy puds, chocolates and all that yummy food, you can start again next year… Or you give it everything the last 7 and a bit weeks leading up to Christmas, prove to yourself you can do it. What were your resolutions? Did you achieve them?


More recovery nutrition

October 31, 2012


Just thought I’d pop a picture of my boyfriend’s dinner yesterday after a heavy session of dips and burpees.  Since I’m a veggie I had more or less the same but no fish. He had oven baked Haddock with cream cheese, broccoli and cauliflower, a green leafy salad followed by a yummy pud consisting of cottage cheese, blueberries and almonds.


Haddock is an excellent source of protein (roughly around 20-25 grams  per serving), very low in carbs and calories but has a high level of B-vitamins and essential minerals. Both broccoli and cauliflower are amazing nutritional foods (clickhere for a healthy alternative to mashed potatoes). Broccoli has a high level of potassium, which is brilliant after a workout for muscle recovery  and helps maintain a healthy nervous system. Additionally  it can help aid blood pressure and a healthy heart. Cauliflower i rich in antioxidants, helps reduce inflammations (good if you’ve trained too hard) and is thought to be protective against cardiovascular diseases. In regards to our super-healthy pudding, this is were I got most of my protein from ( additionally I had a protein shake after my morning pole-workout and eggs for lunch). Cottage cheese is low in fat and high in casein protein which provides a slow release of amino acids for a subtsantial amount of time. AMAZING! I could never be a vegan, because I can simply not live without cottage cheese. I’m lactose intolerant, but since cheese contain lactose I can just get about having a daily serving of cottage cheese as long as I avoid other sorts of dairy. Furthermore, cottage cheese is a good source of  calcium, hence good for prevention of osteoporosis. The berries added loads of antioxidants and the almond benefited by providing us with HDL cholesterol (the GOOD cholesterol your body NEEDS to function. ) and loads of vitamin-E for healthy skin. You might react on the low carb content, but since we had a very late supper and were not going to do anything physical, additional carbs were not necessary.

Nutrition for recovery

October 30, 2012

In regards to my previous post  about recovery, I thought I would add some good recovery foods. The list below is to be seen as a ‘after workout’ meal/snack rather than instead of lunch/dinner. Everyone needs to have some munch after working out in order for the body to recover. Some people claim that those aiming for weight-loss shouldn’t, but that is just plain wrong. The thing is, when you workout (both cardio and weights) toxins are created and released in your body (e.g. lactic acid) these disappear with recovery and appropriate nutrition speeds this up. After a cardio based workout your metabolism is much quicker, so you actually benefit from having a meal after as your body will burn most of the calories off straight away.

Some of my favourites:

  • Cottage cheese with berries and almonds
  • Quark with goji berries, cinnamon and seeds
  • Humus with carrots and celery
  • Protein shake (my favourite is PHD diet protein which is low in carbs and has additional good stuff added to it). this can be made with milk/soy/oat/rice milk for added calories and nutrition
  • 2 eggs on ryvita and a banana
  • Handful of nuts and some dried prunes or a smoothie

For some interesting nutrition tips try this blog out http://geneticpotential.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/getting-back-to-the-basics/ (though I must say I’m the person to promote 6 meals rather than 3…)

2 poached egg, cucumber and salad bread thins with blueberries

Today’s lunch consisted of two Warburton ‘thins’ with poached egg, cucumber and salad followed by blueberries from Sainsbury’s reduced section:)

This Week’s Challenge

October 29, 2012

The classic BURPEE! I tortured my boyfriend yesterday by making him do it with a bosu ball and a press-up for two sets of 1 one minute. He had to do a press up on the bosu ball (flat side up) and the pick it up to lift it over his head when he jumped up.  He was dead by the end of it. This week  I challenge you to do 21 minutes of burpees. Spread it out and do 3 minutes per day, or do longer sessions fewer times. For an extra challenge add a press-up with each burpee and give yourself a tricep workout as well.Count how many you do and add them up and you’ll find yourself with a number to be proud of!  Who’s on this weeks fat burning and arm trimming challenge?


a. Start in an upright position

b. squat down

c. jump into plank (do a press up here)

d. jump back into a squatting position

e. jump up from the squatting position to standing (repeat)

Picture taken from http://crosstrainingandfitness.com

Autumn Time

October 27, 2012

Today was the first time in a very long time the sun came out. Me and my boyfriend did the best of the day by going for a long walk in the deer park nearby. It was so nice to be outside and enjoying the weather rather than hurrying through rain. Soaking up the sun and breathing in fresh air is definitely the cure for autumn blues.  Take advantage of days like this by taking your training outdoors. Maybe go for a run in your local park rather than the treadmill or use props such as benches and skipping ropes to create your very own cardio and resistance based workout. For example: skip for one minute, do 30 press ups with your hands on the bench and follow with one minute of squat jumps from the ground up on the bench. Repeat 3 times and then do a second circuit which might consist of one minute step ups on the bench, 20 per side of split bulgarian squats with one foot on the bench and lastly 30 dips against the bench.


Defeat or a Well Needed Break?

October 26, 2012

For many fitness is about success and not completing the session or doing as many repetitions as planned is negatively attributed to giving up, lack of discipline and defeat. Weakness of the physical body is often linked to the mind. Pain, muscle soreness and other physical symptoms are ignored in order to obtain results. However, there is a thin line between working yourself to the limits and exceeding the limit. Overtraining is when you do too much training and the body is not able to recover completely. If this is done on a continuous basis one can experience muscle/joint aches, decreased performance, increased risk of injury, decreased strength and lack of appetite to mention some symptoms. One big problem is when testosterone levels decrease but cortisol levels increase which results in loss of muscle tissue and a bad immune system. This can linger for weeks if not months, leaving your body and psyche weak and tired. I have collected some information on overtraining and resting periods for you guys so you can avoid this and train healthily and stay strong and fit.

There are three types of recovery when training:

  1. Immediate recovery – that’s the short pause between one rep and the next one
  2. Short-term recovery – the recovery between sets
  3. Training recovery – the recovery between your workout sessions
  1. The main point about im
  2. mediate recovery is to do your repetitions in good form. Allow your muscles to extend or flex fully and don’t rush your repetitions but carry them out with control and good form
  3. Short term recovery is essential in order to repeat multiple sets of the same exercise in good form and maintaining the same load or increasing it. Too little rest will result in insufficient time for muscles to recover and the following sets will be performed at a worse standard and often with fewer repetitions. Too much recovery, on the other hand, can prolong your training and interfere with time for other exercises.

Use this as a guideline depending on your fitness and what your goals are:

Strength: use a high load (>85% of maximum loa

d for one rep) do 1-5 repetitions and rest for 3-5 minutes to allow your muscles to recover. 4-6 sets

Hypertrophy: a load that is around 65-85% of maximum load, 6 – 9 repetitions with 1-2 minutes rest between 3-6 sets.

Endurance: a relatively light load that you can perform +12 repetitions. Rest for 30-60 seconds and do 2-3 sets.

Cardio: Do an aerobic exercise (running, biking, rowing etc.) at 60-90% of Maximum Heart Rate. This should be at a speed where you cannot talk comfortably. Do this for a minimum of 20

minutes 3-5 times a week. However, make sure not to run on hard concrete 5 times a week as this can have an impact on your joints. Alternate using a bike or cross trainer.

Health: Low impact cardio exercise that raises your heart rate but allows comfortable conversation e.g. walking, jogging, easy bike ride. Do this for a minimum of 30 minutes 5 times a week.

3. In addition to this, regardless of your goal, make sure you re-hydrate, refuel and stretch to maximise recovery and minimise the risk of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness). Full training recovery between gym sessions is extremely important to allow muscle tissue to recover and strength to be re-gained. Due to breakdown of protein tissue after training, we are actually weaker after our training than before. The tissue needs to heal up fully before we start straining these muscles again. If you plan on training around 3-5 times a week, it can be a good idea to look into a split routine. Ask a Personal Trainer to set one up for your goals. Look out for a blog post all about split routines and ways of structuring your workout for maximum benefit in the next few days.

If you have any questions or ideas for what you want me to bring up, leave me a comment 🙂