Motivation 101 – Be Great, Be Powerful Beyond Measure

Hey guys,

This is another post to add to the Motivation 101 series. Having recently just started my training again, I know that sooner rather than later, the feeling of ‘I cant be bothered’ and ‘Ill do it tomorrow’ will start to kick in. I also have a lot of uni work going on at the moment and that provides a number of perfect excuses.

I, alongside EVERY other fitness enthusiast and professional suffer from a lack of motivation from time to time. Its perfectly normal and the truth of it is, there is really no way to stop it. But if you want to succeed and if you want to achieve your goal you have got to work past those days when you really feel that you cant get out of bed, or you want to watch TV a little longer, or you just need that chocolate pudding.

One of the ways I help myself push through these ‘I cant do it’ periods, is listening to a series of speeches or motivational videos I have saved onto my phone that I can chuck on at any given time to give me that extra surge of motivation. Weather it be when I wake up and need that extra push to get out of bed, when I’m in the gym and struggling to churn out those last two or three exercises or the night before a day I’m due to train and I know I have a busy day ahead.

These video’s work almost every time for me, and I hope they will work the same for you. Just plug in your headphones, listen to the audio or watch the video, and remember, the pain you feel today, will be the strength you feel tomorrow.

Anyway enough talking, here is one of my favorite motivational videos. Enjoy:

Watch the video and let me know what you think in the comments below, and if you think any of your friends could benefit from this video, post, or series of posts, please share it with them.

Thanks for reading guys.


 

Twitter: @SMsimplefitness

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Week 2 – Workout #1

So I’m working myself into the routine nicely (sticking to my periodization plan), I’m past the stage of being crippled by DOMS the day after working out, and I’m starting to push myself more each session.

Today didn’t go so well. I came back from staying at my girlfriends in Surrey over night, when I arrived home I was so tired, I had to have a nap. After about 3 hours sleep and getting my bag together it was 3:30pm before I was in the gym, and I started work at 6pm! In order to make sure I get all of the exercises done, I had to do half of my workout today, and I’ll do the other half + a small bit extra tomorrow.

Anyway, after starting the session with a 5 minute warm up, here is how it went:

Squats

squat1Warm up set: 12xbar
Set 1: 
6x65kg
Set 2: 6x70kg
Set 3: 6x75kg

Squats are going up nicely, I’m looking to hit 80kg next session.

 

  Bench Press:

Bench-Press

Warm up set: 15xbar
Set 1: 12×47.5kg
Set 2: 12×47.5kg
Set 3: 8×47.5kg
Set 4: 6×47.5kg

I’m not making as much progress as I would like on bench at the moment, its normally my fastest progress.

T bar row

137_2

Set 1: 12x30kg
Set 2: 12x30kg (one pause)
Set 3: 12x30kg (four rests)

 

This exercise is another one that is not increasing so fast, although I have decreased the rest time from this exercise on-wards throughout the rest of the workout.

  Military Press

arnold-lifting-shoulder

Set 1: 12x25kg
Set 2: 12x30kg
Set 3: 8x30kg (one big rest)

Pushed the weight up for this exercise today, hopefully I will be able to get at least 2 sets of 12 next session.

Hamstring Curls

52_2Set 1: 12x40kg
Set 2: 12x45kg
Set 3: 12x45kg

 

 

 

 

Anyway its getting late now, so I have got to get to bed and get myself some sleep before part 2 of the workout tomorrow!

Song of the workout:

Thanks for reading guys!


Twitter: @SMsimplefitness

Week 1 – Workout #2

Ok so today was the second workout of the week! It is near enough the same FBW as Week 1 – Workout #1, but a couple of the exercises were swapped up, as you will see!

P.S. I reduced the rest time between sets for some of the exercises, which is why it may seem that the number of reps I managed dropped from last time.

Ok here goes:

Deadlift:
Deadlifting today was a pleasure as always… NOT… No I don’t mind deadlifting so much, its just the first time I have done it for a little a while and to say it took it out of me would be an understatement!

Warm Up Set: BillStarrDeadlift6x60kg
Set 1: 5x100kg
Set 2: 5x100kg
Set 3: 5x100kg

I could have definitely added more weight for all of these sets, but its the first session and I don’t want too pick up any injuries.

 

Bench Press:

Bench-Press

Warm Up Set: 15xbar
Set 1: 12×47.5kg
Set 2: 12×47.5kg
Set 3: 8×47.5kg
Set 4: 6×47.5kg

Still not hitting the 12 for the last two sets, but hopefully within the next two sessions I will be hitting those reps.

T bar row:
This was one of the exercises that the rest time was reduced for.

137_2

Set 1: 12x30kg
Set 2: 12x30kg (one rest)
Set 3: 12x30kg (four rests)

My goal for this exercise is definitely getting all the reps in each set out with now small rests, before putting the weight up further.

 

 

Military Press:
This is one of the exercises that the rest time was reduced for.

arnold-lifting-shoulder

 

Set 1: 12x25kg
Set 2: 12x25kg
Set 3: 12x25kg

 

Leg Press:

trey-brewer-leg-press-wallpaper

Set 1: 12x100kg
Set 2: 12x100kg
Set 3: 12x110kg

 

 

 

 

Hammer Curls/Dips Superset:

dips-chains

Set 1: 12x10kg/8
Set 2: 12x10kg/8
Set 3: 12x10kg/6 (big pause for both exercises)

 

 

 

 

 

 

So I then finished up the workout with:

Sit ups: 22, 20, 22
Press-ups in 1 minute: 25, 15, 10

For the press-ups in one minute, I leave one minute rest between sets, this really gives a massive chest, shoulder and tricep burn!

Overall today was a great session, I’m really looking forward to Tuesday to get back into the gym.

Here’s the song of the workout:

Thanks for reading guys!


Twitter: @SMsimplefitness

 

Week 1 – Workout #1

So today (actually yesterday now *yawn*) was my first day bag to blogging, but more importantly (controversial I know), my first day back in the gym!

Todays session introduced my new training routine.. A full body workout (FBW)! This particular FBW was one I put together myself, half asleep, during my last sports psychology lecture (oops).

Based on the principle of an increased rate of protein synthesis for up to 72 hours, alongside the fact that it’s a FBW, and that my body needs more recovery time than 48 hours, I will be doing this routine twice a week (if you want some help understanding scientific justification behind training frequency be sure to leave a comment and I’ll try to help you out).

Anyway to the workout:
As it was the first session, the weights used were estimated out using a % of my 1 rep max (1RM). This was the first session based on hypertrophy work I’ve done for a while, and my body was not keen!! To get things moving I smashed through a 5 minute run to get the heart rate (HR) up!

Squats
Today’s squats felt good, my technique has improved vastly over the past 6 months due to my Strength and Conditioning studies, all squats are now ass to grass (ATG)!!

Warm up set: 10xbarsquat1
Set 1: 6x60kg
Set 2: 6x65kg
Set 3: 6x70kg

I could have definitely added more weight for all of these sets, but its the first session, got to remember that periodization!

Bench Press
Now, I just mentioned taking it easy during the first session, but my bench press was so light and I still couldn’t reach the desired twelve reps for the third and fourth set, and I was too stubborn to drop the weight (this theme then actually continued for the rest of the session)

Bench-Press

Warm up set: 15xbar
Set 1: 12×57.5kg
Set 2: 12×57.5kg
Set 3: 7×57.5kg
Set 4: 8×57.5kg

I was particularly happy with this, but hey, lots of room for improvement!

 

T bar row
One of my favorite exercises, still felt pretty weak though

137_2

Set 1: 12x30kg (one rest)
Set 2: 12x30kg (one rest)
Set 3: 12x30kg (three rests)

My goal for this exercise is definitely getting all the reps in each set out with now small rests, before putting the weight up further.

 

 

Military Press
This exercise is slowly becoming a favorite of mine, felt super strong doing this today.

arnold-lifting-shoulder

Set 1: 12x25kg
Set 2: 12x25kg
Set 3: 12x25kg (one big rest)

I really didn’t expect to get 3 sets of 12 for this exercise, was really happy.

Hamstring Curls
Hate the burn with this exercise, but I need to train those hamstrings badly.

52_2

Set 1: 12x35kg
Set 2: 12x40kg
Set 3: 12x40kg

And at this point, my gym decided to let me know that its closing time has changed to half an hour earlier, so I had to call it a day there.

Missed exercises:

  • Hammer curls/Tricep dips superset
  • Calve raises

So today wasn’t such a bad first session! I’m thoroughly looking forward to getting back into the gym on Saturday or Sunday!

Song of the workout:

Thanks for reading guys!


Twitter: @SMsimplefitness

The blog is back!

im-back1After being away for almost a year, the blog is going to make a return!
Joey PineappleThis past year has been pretty difficult, with illness, uni work, family commitments, and all other sorts of ‘get in the ways’. Don’t get me wrong, I have also chosen watching Friends over going to the gym, and beans on toast instead of a wholesome meal far too many times too… BUT its time to get back on track!

 

changing_plansI’m going to change the blog slightly. At first I was gearing it towards being a very ‘educationally’ based blog, but due to the tens of thousands (or so it seems) of assignments that I’m being given by uni, I’m going to turn it into more of a personal, and fun page! Don’t worry if you find me boring though, as I will still post informative blogs explaining different aspects of fitness, its just these will be fewer and further between as my focus is largely on my degree!

I will try to create new posts once or twice a week. Hopefully you guy’s wont, if you haven’t already, give up on me! If you have… Then I guess I need to try harder to keep you engaged!

Cheers, I look forward to speaking to you all!

Sam


Twitter: @SMsimplefitness

 

Week 2 – Workout #3 25/11/2013

Hey guys,

Another workout post! Just writing this up as I’m watching the football, sorry it wasn’t up yesterday I had a manic day! Anyway the workout went pretty well. I was VERY tired from rugby on Saturday and I think that affected some of my lifts. Anyway here’s how it went…

P.s. Sorry I forgot to record my warm up weights! I’m sorry!

LifterDoesDeepSquatWithPowerThe Squat

Set 1: 5x65Kg

Set 2: 5×67.5Kg

Set 3: 5×67.5Kg

I’m a little disappointed I couldn’t up the weights from my last session, but I’m pretty sure it was due to the fact I was so tired from a very difficult game of rugby Saturday.

benchpress

Bench Press

Set 1: 5x55Kg

Set 2: 5x55Kg

Set 3: 5x55Kg

Again a little disappointed I only managed to up the weight on the first set, but little progression is better than none. Again I’m certain this was due to fatigue from rugby.

deadlift

Dead lift

Set 1: 5x105Kg

I was determined after performing so miserably in my last two exercises to increase the weight I lifted in my dead lift, and considering how tired I was by the time it got to this exercise I am really happy with how it went!

Overall I’m pretty please with how the workout went, I guess I could have dropped the reps in the last sets and increased the weight, but I didn’t want to force an injury, and I 100% feel like I’ve trained.

Thanks for reading again guys, and sorry for the late post! The next workout will be posted tomorrow!

Don’t forget to check out the links below! Cheers,

Sam.

Twitter – @SMsimplefitness

YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/SMsimplefitness

Bodybuilding.com workout journal – http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=158341993

Nutrition 101 – How to manipulate your diet to achieve your goals!

meat-and-vegetablesNutrition… Possibly the topic that more people are confused about than any other! All for good reason though. It’s a massive topic, and with so much rubbish information out there on the internet and in magazine’s, how can anybody expect to learn what they really need to know?! Well its a good job you’ve found your way to my blog, because in this somewhat lengthy post, I’m going to explain all the basics to constructing YOUR diet, to ensure YOU achieve YOUR goals.

Notice the words in that sentence that stand out, that’s not by accident. The reason I have highlighted those words, is so that you realize that a diet that works for your buddy, or for a Victoria’s Secret model, may not work for you, and a diet that works for somebody trying to gain weight, is unlikely to work for you if you’re trying to lose weight!

Diets can be divided into two sections, those that make you lose weight and those that make you gain weight. The main difference between these two diets is that one will put an individual into a calorific surplus, and the other into calorific deficiency. Don’t be scared by the word deficiency it simply means that in a 24-hour day you have eaten fewer calories than your total energy expenditure (TEE), which will make you lose weight. Whereas a calorific surplus means that you ate more than you’re TEE, which will make you gain weight.

Physically-Active-Energy-Expenditure1

Total Energy Expenditure (TEE)

Your total energy expenditure is the amount of calories that you burn each day. It is made up of four things, these are:

  • Your BMR (basal metabolic rate) – This is the amount of energy you would need to maintain exact body weight while in a coma. This is often called the base level.
  • Exercise associated thermogenesis (EAT) – This is the amount of energy required to carry out purposeful exercise for example training for a specific sport, going for a jog or going to the gym. Unless you are doing one of these things for 2+ hours every day it doesn’t make a massive difference.
  • NEAT (Non-exercise associated thermogenesis) – This is the amount of energy that is needed to carry out non-purposeful exercise for example washing, cleaning, talking and walking. By doing less of these things you can reduce this amount.
  • TEF (thermic effect of feeding) – It is a percentage of the total calories consumed while eating a meal, it tends to be around 15% but varies with different people.

Adding together all the calories needed for these four things gives you your total energy expenditure.

primal-weight-gain

How to gain weight

For your body to store energy from the foods that you’ve eaten in the form of muscle or adipose tissue (fat), you must eat enough food to ensure that your calorie intake is higher than your total energy expenditure for the day. The magnitude of your calorific surplus can be changed to determine the amount of fat and muscle you gain from the diet. If you are to eat a 700 calorie surplus you are going to gain more fat than if you were eating a 350 calorie surplus combined with an effective weight training program. That is not to say that you would gain no fat when eating in a lower calorie surplus and doing an effective weight training program but the amount of fat gained will be less. You have to juggle this though with the fact that eating a higher calorie surplus gives your body more potential to gain muscle.  Deciding how much of a calorific surplus you want to be in can often be a difficult task, typically if you want to gain weight quickly and go for sheer size and strength most athletes tend to eat 500 to 750 calories over maintenance. If you can be patient, and want to keep those six-pack abs and keep fat gain to a minimum but still increase lean muscle mass most athletes tend to eat 250 to 500 calories over maintenance.

Tips-For-Losing-Weight

How to lose weight

To lose weight the process is similar to gaining weight but you need to eat under your total energy expenditure. This will cause your body to burn adipose tissue (fat) for energy to carry out those four aspects of total energy expenditure. Similarly to gaining weight the magnitude of your calorific deficiency has an impact on body composition. If you are to eat 700 calories under maintenance you are going to lose an increased amount of muscle and fat, as opposed to eating 300 calories under maintenance. So again determining the magnitude of your calorific deficiency can be difficult. If you want to keep as much lean muscles possible then it’s advised to eat 250 to 500 calories under your maintenance. If you want to lose weight quickly and I’m not concerned about the amount of muscle loss it is advise you eat between 500 and 750 calories under maintenance any more than this amount can start to have adverse effects on your health.

How do I know what my TEE is?

This is a question a lot of people asking often get wrong, it differs with every person and can ultimately only be decided with trial and error, but there are ways that you can estimate this amount. One of the quickest and easiest ways is to use a calorie calculator, hundreds of these can be found if you Google calorie calculator but the one I like to use and is the most detailed is Fatcuda, you just enter the details it asks you for and click calculate.

what-should-I-eat

Ok so I’ve decided how many calories I need to eat, but what should I eat?

This is where it starts to get slightly difficult. Regardless of your goal the diet needs to be made up of a least three macro-nutrients these are carbohydrates, protein and fat. Each gram of these macro-nutrients contains a certain amount of energy as follows:

  • Carbohydrates – 4 kcal (Kilocalorie)
  • Proteins – 4 kcal
  • Fats – 9 kcal

So you now need to how many of each of these  you need to make up your calorie goal.

high-protein-diet

Proteins

To work out how much protein you need is quite simple, as I’m sure most of you want to, to either preserve lean muscle mass whilst losing weight, or gain lean muscle mass while gaining weight, you are advised to eat 1 g of protein per pound of bodyweight. For example if you weigh 160lbs you should be using 160 g of protein. By using the values above you can then work out how many calories that amount of protein will take out of your calorie goal. For example if you were 160lbs you will require 160 g of protein, which when multiplied by 4, gives you 640 kcal. Subtract 640 from your calorie goal, and this gives you the amount of calories you need to make up from carbohydrates and fats.

fats

Fats

You might think that you want to keep fat consumption to a minimum, but you can’t do this as it will have adverse effects on your health and please believe me when I say this. Most people suggest that you eat 0.5 g of fat per pound of bodyweight. You can reduce this amount, but I would suggest you do not go below 0.3 g per pound of bodyweight. So for example if you weigh 160lbs you should eat 80 g of fat per day. By doing the same as we did for proteins we can work out how many calories of our calorie total are used up by fat. Just multiply your fat requirement by 9 and this will give you the amount of calories taken up by fat. For example if your fat requirement is 80 g, then the amount of calories this will take out of your calorie goal is 720.

ComplexCarbohydrates

Carbohydrates

For carbohydrate there is no requirement from your body. But unless you’re in a state of ketosis (which I will explain in a later post), you will need carbohydrates for energy, making them vital for athletes, active people and people trying to gain mass.  To work out how many carbohydrates you need you need to divide your remaining calorie goal after subtracting your fat and protein calorie requirements by 4.  For example if you weigh 160lbs and your calorie goal is 3000 kcal per day, then you need to subtract 640 and 720, this gives you 1640. That is the total amount of calories that you need to make up in carbohydrates to hit your calorie goal. So divide that value by 4 to give you 410, which represent how many grams of carbohydrates you need to eat in your day.

301_5-calorie-counting-myths_flash

How do I count my calories?

After working all this out you still have the difficult job of counting your calories every day. There are loads of ways to do this including a food diary, 24-hour food, recall 48-hour food recall and many more, but I feel the quickest and most effective way is a calorie counting website or app. There are loads of these out there but my two favourite are, Fitday and My Fitness Pal, both of these have a website and an app downloadable for iPhone/android. By scanning in the barcodes on your foods, searching their extensive food database, or reading the label and entering the details of your food, you can track your calories and amounts of fat, protein and carbohydrates easily.

So there you have it even though this is a pretty long post, it’s just covering the basics of diet manipulation. I really hope this information helps and you can use the skills learnt from this post to create an effective and efficient diet that will help you reach your goal as quickly as possible.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post and please check out the links below! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to comment!

Sam.

Twitter: @SMsimplefitness