How you’re wasting time in the gym

Marcus and I have put together 3 ways you can stop wasting time in the gym!

Note: You can only take a photo for social media after you have finished a workout. Don’t you dare take photos mid-training session, or the gains goblin will come and steal your gains. 

In all seriousness, here are our 3 ways you can maximise your time in the gym:

1) Isolation vs Compound Exercises

When we train in the gym, you have an option to either isolate the muscles you work on, or target a bunch of muscles at once. You obviously get more out of your training by not isolating your movements and instead, working on compound movements. A compound movement is an exercise that requires 2 or more joints to be moving in order to contract your muscles.

I’m not saying isolation movements are bad by the way, it’s just that they are simply not the best way for your body to grow in the shortest period of time. If you want to refine your body for a bodybuilding comp then isolation movements are completely necessary. Isolation movements are also great for injury prevention and activating muscles but not for full body muscle growth. As a general rule, isolation movements should be done to supplement our big compound movements.

2) Big Compounds Create a Greater Physiological Response

The big benefits of using compound movements in the gym are: more muscles are activated stimulating growth, faster response to muscle gain, aids in recovery (in some cases when training frequently), and they are typically more functional movements.

Isolating your muscles when training takes longer to train your entire body. This means you spend more time training individual areas of the body instead of stimulating more areas at once in a single session, which is going to make it longer until you see results.

3) What Are Some Great Compound Movements You Can Do

Some great compound movements include Squat, Barbell Deadlift, Barbell Row, Pull Ups, Lunges, Push Ups, and Bench Press. Do these movements as often as possible to help stimulate muscle growth! You’ll be wasting your time in the gym otherwise!

To conclude, do more compound movements to get more results and stop wasting your time! A lot of people train their butts off in the gym but get no results. It is because their program isn’t structured well and they end up trying to train like a bodybuilder before they even have a decent amount of muscle on their frame!

If you need any help with performing any of the movements listed above or would like to discuss your current fitness routines, we would love to help you, so let us know!

Best of luck and keep getting your gains!

Stefan Pejoski and Team at Fitness Room

You’re Gyming Wrong and Here’s Why

Nobody plays a sport, thinking they will be a top performer in that sport. But when people start training they say they don’t want to get too big or have too much definition, not realizing that it takes years of hard work to even pull that off. When people play tennis recreationally, they don’t think they will be up against Roger Federer because they know it takes years of hard work and dedication to achieve that.

People have so many misconceptions with training, it is probably due to the media pushing advertisements of how people can lose 20kg in 10 weeks or gain 7kg of muscle in 2 months.

This shit is the reason why people think it is so easy to get the results they desire, and misinterpret how long it will really take to look like someone muscular and “big”. 

Arnold Schwarzenegger trained for 15 years and took steroids to look the way he did. He dedicated a huge portion of his life to gaining muscle and competing in body building competitions and people still think, they could even come close to his majesty. 

Its important to realise that the training you do at the gym is a process. You need to have personal reasons to train that is deeper than “I want to look good”. You will never be healthy if the only reason you want to train is superficial. You need deeper reasons to commit to a training program long term. Your goals propel you forward in life. The more reasons why you have that link to you wanting to train, the easier it will be to commit 100% to your training. Looking appealing is a byproduct of all the hard work you put into your training. It is all about personal growth and pushing yourself in every aspect of your life, including the gym. Looking good comes at the end of pushing yourself mentally, physically and spiritually. The first real results people get is feeling stronger, better mental health, feeling better on the inside, sleeping better, having more positive emotions and other physiological benefits. Being able to enjoy life to the fullest is what training is all about. There is no point having hundreds of millions of dollars when you don’t have your health on point to even enjoy it.

The moral of this entire email is to help highlight your innate nature to think building muscle is easy. The truth is, nothing you do every single day that causes you physical pain is easy. You can change your perspective to make the pain feel worthwhile, but at the end of the day, building good habits is very difficult. Make a list of why building muscle and losing fat is important to you, and read that list every day.

If you are loving your gyming here at Fitness Room, when you refer a friend to train with you, Fitness Room will give you 4 weeks of free training when they sign up!

I’ll see you in the gym!

From Stefan and Team at Fitness Room

Should You Track Your Macros?

Eating to be lean and healthy doesn’t have to be complicated. There are lots of methods to get to the same point, and this should serve to help you figure out which one is best for you. It’s also important to keep in mind that if you don’t enjoy what you’re eating, it will never be sustainable. 

Intuitive Eating:

While it is a great method, the number one drawback for intuitive eating is that it usually takes lots of trial and error to be able to do it effectively. The people who are great at eating intuitively have either tracked their macros in the past and have a good rough idea of the amount of calories in their meals, or they’ve spent a (usually) long time figuring out how they react to different foods and what amounts and types are good for gaining, losing or maintaining.

This makes it difficult to recommend to beginners. It is possible for some, but the majority would have to struggle with that trial and error period before making it work for them.

Tracking Macros:

This is pretty much the furthest you can take tracking your nutrition, this means keeping track of your protein, carbohydrate and fat intake. There is a bit of a learning curve if you start with this as you’ll need to find a tracking app and you’ll also need to start weighing your foods. In addition to this, you’ll probably need to figure out what your daily macronutrient targets actually are, otherwise there’s no real point to tracking macros! 

This is one we will recommend with the caveat that you don’t have to start here – if you’re willing to take this step then absolutely do it because you’ll be getting results quicker, but it isn’t something most people want to do, and you need to maintain a healthy relationship with food, so don’t force this method.

Tracking Calories:

This is the middle road option that most people can do. It blends tracking your nutrition with intuitive eating in an effective and accessible way. Learning what is in your foods is important, but I think everyone, to some degree, knows what ‘healthy’ food is. This method allows you to make healthy decisions about your meals, while the tracking side of thing covers your portion sizes. This way you can still make tasty food as long as it fits your caloric ‘budget’, depending on whether you’re gaining muscle or losing fat.

Remember that changing your body composition is a matter of calories in vs calories out, so this really is the most important thing to keep in mind when it comes to your nutrition!

Thanks guys! Hope you’re all ready to smash the week ahead!

How Much Protein Do I Need?

The amount of protein we need day to day depends on a few factors. This email should help you guys figure out how much you need for what you want to achieve and where it should be coming from. If you’d like to watch the video version then click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-E2YsukhRc


Amount:

You can do this based in kilograms or in pounds, general consensus in the lifting community seems to use pounds when talking about nutrition, just because the numbers work out easier!

So to start, we need to find our bodyweight in pounds, (lbs). Either google it, (e.g. 60kg to lbs) or multiply your bodyweight by 2.2, (e.g. 60 x 2.2 = 132lbs).

Now that we have your bodyweight in pounds, we can talk about our different values.

In order to put on muscle we need to be eating 1g of protein per 1lb of muscle, so for the example above, that person would need to be eating 132g of protein per day to adequately recover from training and build muscle.

If you are maintaining your bodyweight and not doing any dedicated training (e.g. on a holiday), 0.8g per pound should be sufficient in retaining your muscle mass. E.g. 132 x 0.8 = 106g per day.

If you are losing weight then 1g per pound would also suffice – unless you have developed muscle and are looking to cut down body fat but keep the muscle you’ve gained. Most people want to lose fat without losing muscle, and for this goal you’d need to be eating at least 1.2g of protein per pound. E.g. 132 x 1.2 = 158g of protein every day.

Type:

So where do we get our protein? The best sources are from lean meats (chicken/turkey/fish) and beans. Both of these pack a lot of protein and are both readily absorbed by the body. 

Second to this would come rice, oats, nuts and seeds. They’re also high quality sources but the amount of protein in these foods are less, so you’d need to eat more volume to make up the difference – also they all contain higher amounts of either carbs/fats, which may rack up your total calories for the day before you hit your protein goal.

Other meats are usually too high in fat to be worth the protein, veggies also contain a little bit of protein but you’d need to eat a ridiculous amount of volume to hit your targets, making it unsustainable.

And a quick note on eggs. Whole eggs have a fat content almost equal to the protein, and per egg it actually isn’t that much – with the protein being around 6g – 8g per egg and the fat being 4g – 6g. The main benefit of an egg is that 100% of the protein in it is absorbed (when cooked, raw doesn’t count) making it a favourite among bodybuilders. In other words, there are better sources of protein than an egg, so don’t be worried about cutting them out if you’re looking to minimise your dairy.

Thanks guys! If you have any questions relating to your nutrition then let us know, we’d be happy to help everyone out.

Resistance Starch For Fat Loss

Hey guys, its Stefan from Fitness Room here! 

Today we are going over resistant starch and how it can benefit you and your weightloss!

If you aren’t a reading kind of person, jump onto our YouTube where we posted a video version of this email:

https://youtu.be/CydnkY-MXWs

Let’s get into it!

Here are the ins and outs of resistant starch:

Resistant starch can’t be digested by our body, but instead becomes food for our gut bacteria. Most starch is easily digested, starch is dissolved in the small intestine and then absorbed in the body. The remaining non digestible portion of starch is called resistant starch. This starch acts as food for our good bacteria. As our bacteria eat the resistant starch, they leave off small particles of carbohydrates for other neighbouring bacteria to eat. After the neighbouring bacteria have eaten those carbs there is a byproduct that is created called butyrate. Butyrate is used as energy for our body. As the butyrate builds up, it is absorbed by the large intestine. Butyrate encourages blood to flow into the large intestine, keeping the tissue healthy. If our diet contains enough resistant starch, the cells of our large intestine will continue to use butyrate as energy to keep it healthy.

Resistant starch will allow you to have a better body composition. Your body looks to expel unnecessary fat that is eaten together with foods that are high in resistant starch. 

Foods that are high in resistant starch include greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds.

Here’s a cool meal I like to have!

Oatmeal idea:

½ cup of oats

1 cup of soy milk

½ cup of walnuts

5 strawberries cut up

1 banana cut up

½ cup of sunflower seeds

½ cup of flax seed powder

Hope you have learnt a thing or two about resistant starch!

Stefan Pejoski and Team at Fitness Room

How To Write Your Own Program

We think it’s important that you guys know what goes into a program and also how to make your own program. This is a good skill to understand in order to make sure your training is working, and also allowing you to confidently change things in your program without throwing everything out of whack! 

If you guys want to watch a video instead of read, here’s the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_VUr_I_s28


GOALS:

First thing to do when you want to begin a new program, especially if it’s the first time, is write down your goals. This can be as in depth as you want to go with it, but you need to choose from a more general goal first, such as: Building Strength, Building Muscle, Getting Fitter, Losing Fat. It may also be prudent to write down why you want to achieve this goal, in order to stay motivated. 

FREQUENCY AND MUSCLE GROUPS:

The next thing to look at is the amount of times you’re coming in per week and on which days your training each muscle group. In order to create a balanced and healthy body most people will need to be train all of their muscle groups two or three times per week, this is dependent on your goals and experience.

This is one of the places where people’s programs differ. You could have one person training 3 days per week, full body sessions; or someone training 6 days per week doing a different muscle group each day. There are a ton of combinations, so it’s important you find out what works best for your schedule. 

EXERCISES:

Now that you’ve figured out what muscle groups you’ll be training and what days you’ll be in the gym, you need to decide on the exercises you’ll do to target those muscle groups.

There are a few staples that are recommended by most professionals, (e.g. barbell squats, deadlifts, rows, bench press, etc), these are generally compound movements. If you’re a beginner then it’s a good idea to google the best exercises for a particular muscle group or ask a trainer to help you choose and then learn the exercises. 

SETS AND REPS:

Once you’ve got your exercises sorted, you will need to choose the sets and reps you’ll be doing for each exercise. This can also be highly variable, but the main ranges that we work in are:

Strength: 4 – 6 Reps, 4 – 5 Sets

Muscle Building: 8 – 12 Reps, 3 – 4 Sets

Endurance: 15+ Reps, 3 – 4 Sets

You can apply different ranges for different exercises, and some exercises lend themselves better to higher or lower rep ranges. This is something to experiment with or bring up with your coach. Lots of sites have examples of sets/reps online after you look up the exercises you want to add to your program, but if you aren’t sure then feel free to email us and ask!

WEIGHT:

Next you have to choose the weight you’ll be lifting, when starting out you’ll just have to experiment. Remember that if you’re in a specific rep range, you want to always be aiming to fail towards the end of the range. To make sure you’re exercising with enough intensity to make a change, you need to be getting close to failure. 

I.e. if a program prescribes you 8 reps for an exercise, doing a 9th or 10th rep should be near impossible.

PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD: 

Finally you must be taking specific steps to progress. Every two weeks you should be aiming to make your training harder in some way. The most common way is to increase your weights, which is recommended for a beginner – but you’ll also need other ways in order to make sure you don’t plateau. 

Other common ways of progressing include: Increase Reps or Sets, Decrease Rest Time Between Sets, Perform Exercises Slower or Supersets (perform exercises back-to-back, like a circuit).


Note: If you do not progressively overload, you will not see any longterm progress. It’s impossible to make your body change if it doesn’t have a new stimulus to adapt to – so make sure you make your training difficult! Only you know how hard you can go.

If you guys want a new program, or a template to follow when designing your own program, Stefan has uploaded his personal training plan to our website, it’s a program he started this week to build muscle and strength. Go to www.fitnessroom.com.au/store to download it!

Thanks guys! If you have any questions about anything here then we’d be happy to help out!

How Hard Should You Train?

It’s important to approach your training with enough intensity to force your body to adapt and make you see results. However, going too hard may actually be slowing down your progress for both muscle and strength gains.

Most professionals tend to agree that training to absolute failure isn’t really worth the extra stress placed on the body, or the poor technique that starts creeping up on us as we approach our absolute max.

So where do we go from here? A lot of people tend to think in a binary way where if you aren’t training to failure, sub-maximal training must be the answer. While this is technically true, a lot of people take this idea and turn their training into just ‘going through the motions’. Training is supposed to be hard and it’s supposed to hurt, so reconciling the gap between training to failure and not training hard enough comes down to the intensity you bring to each set.

When faced with rep ranges, (e.g. 8 – 12 or 6 – 8), people tend to pick weights that satisfy the upper end of the range and then some. Instead, you should approach rep ranges with a weight that would make you fail at the upper end of that range, or at least within two reps. 

So for example, in an 8 – 12 rep range you should pick a weight that has you struggling to reach 12, and pretty much failing at 13 or 14.

This is essential for when it comes time to progress in your program, how do you know when to make things harder and increase your weights? When you start hitting 12 reps in the range more easily! This is a clear sign that you can increase the weight, which will inevitably drop the amount of reps you can do from 12 back down to 8.

It’s similar when faced with a single number too, if the set just calls for just 6 reps or just 15 reps, you want to make sure that getting another two reps above these numbers would be possible, but a huge struggle.

When it’s an RM (Rep Max), things get a little bit different. For beginners, RMs are actually one of the most effective ways of writing programs, because it makes you push hard without failing. It says rep max but most beginners aren’t inherently aware of how hard going to absolute failure actually is, so instead, they do what we described above and go hard enough that they’re within a couple reps of failure at the RM, which turns out to be the sweet spot for intensity! That’s why we often use RM in our Group Training with those exercises that require especially high intensity.  

For more trained lifters, RMs might not be as prudent, because these lifters will take it to absolute failure, which may result in poor technique or too much stress on the body if they aren’t recovering properly. But this depends on the individual, i.e. their sleep, diet and training experience. 

On that note, going to failure isn’t completely bad, it just requires you to be experienced enough to make sure your form doesn’t suffer and you also need to have your sleep and diet, (recovery), on point. 

Hopefully that cleared things up and you guys know exactly how hard you need to be training, no matter the sets and reps you’re looking at. If you have any questions about anything here then make sure to let us know, we’d be happy to help. Thanks for getting this far in the email, you’re a trooper of a reader! If you haven’t already started up with our Group Training and are interested in what we do, here is a link to see us in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2WbJq_XPhI

Thanks guys!

Maximise Your Day

Hey guys, its Stefan here from Fitness Room!

it’s a beautiful day so make sure you make the most of it! Here are a few things you can do to enhance the quality of your already blessed day!

1) Get out in the sun for at least 30 minutes to get that Vitamin D.

2) Drink at least 3L of water but if you’re exercising, plow down a couple more millilitres to keep the dehydration demon far far away.

3) Do some exercise. If you aren’t heading to the gym today then go for a walk and do some bodyweight exercises like pushups and sit ups! It’s super easy so get off your asses and move it!

4) Remember to eat a bunch of plant based foods that are full of water, vitamins, minerals, and cancer fighting compounds like antioxidants and phytonutrients!

5) Put down the bloody shortbread creams and oreos and instead, pick up a banana berry smoothy. 2 bananas, 1 cup of berry mix, 1 tbl spoon of flax seed and 1 cup of organic soy milk. Done. You’re good to go.

Doing all of these things should be pretty easy and it will drastically improve how you feel both physically and mentally!

Thanks guys, see you at tonight’s group session!

Stefan Pejoski and Team at Fitness Room

BEST SUPERFOODS TO EAT

Hey! Its Stefan from Fitness Room! Today I want to talk to you about the best superfoods ever!

Why are superfoods important?

Well, it’s in their name, superfoods have a greater nutritional profile than most other foods! A nutritional profile just means the amount of nutrients that can be found within a food. In other words, superfoods contain more nutritional bang for their buck!

Lets get started with the damn list!

Superfood Number #1 

Leafy Green Vegetables

Bok Choy

Kale

Spinach

Collard Greens

Cabbage

Superfood Number #2

Berries

Blueberries

Blackberries

Strawberries

Raspberries

Goji Berries

Superfood Number #3

Nuts

Almonds

Walnuts

Macadamia

Hazelnut

Pistachio

Superfood Number #4

Whole grains

Amaranth

Oats

Barley

Rye

Quinoa

Superfood Number #5

Herbs mate

Turmeric

Cinammon

Cloves

Cacoa

Rosemary

So this entire email is pretty much a shopping list for you. If you eat a little bit from every category I listed, your health will drastically improve. There’s no doubt about it.

So, eat your bloody herbs, and all will be well.

Stefan and Team at Fitness Room