Three Secrets to Fat Loss

Hey guys, Stefan from Fitness Room here, hope you guys have had an amazing day so far! We’re going to be talking about the secrets to fat loss today, these are things you should be doing in order to maximise the results you see from your diets and reach your goals.

Caloric Restriction

This is the heart of all of your fat loss, it doesn’t seem like much of a secret that you need to be eating less, but most people don’t do this at a steady pace! The common practice is to start slashing calories in order to lose fat faster, but your body will quickly adapt to this and start fighting back at you. This also makes dieting extremely difficult and unsustainable, meaning it’s unlikely you’ll be able to stay consistent.

Nutrient Dense Food

Your calories should be made up of foods that give you energy, help rebuild muscle from training and provide you with all the vitamins and minerals to keep your body functioning at an optimal level. Foods such as oats, broccoli, flax and chia seeds, blueberries and beans are all food choices you should be including.

Drink Water

Water is a natural appetite suppressant, so drinking water is a must throughout the day in order to keep you from snacking. It also makes you feel healthier in general and flushes out waste products 

No Alcohol

Guys, we’ve also got a bonus secret for you. As you gradually lower calories, your need for nutrient rich food will increase in order to keep your hormones stable and retain your muscle mass. Alcohol is also a diuretic, dehydrating you and even making you feel hungry. Alcohol is absolutely useless as it is just empty calories that don’t provide you with any protein, fibre, vitamins or minerals. Most of the time it just causes you to spill over your normal daily caloric intake and kill your progress.

If you have any questions about your nutrition or training, don’t hesitate to send an email back or give us a call, we’d love to have a chat and help you see the results you’ve always wanted. Thanks guys!

Debunking Fat Loss Myths

Hey guys, Marcus from Fitness Room here! We’re debunking four common weight loss myths today, so let’s cut the fat and get straight into it.

Carbs Are Bad For You

Carbs are required for you to properly function on a day to day basis. They are extremely important in providing energy for exercise, but they also provide energy for your brain in order for it to work optimally. People eating low carb (not keto), often report brain fog and dizziness, so don’t cut them out!

A quick note on keto: Low carb does not equal keto – a keto diet is no carb. Everyone is different and I’ve had a few clients in the past that actually have better diet adherence when on something more extreme, like a keto diet. However I would not recommend this to many people. Keto is unnecessary in order to achieve most people’s goals and merely makes the whole process more difficult. Eating so little carbs that your body is forced to produce ketones for energy is not an easy thing to do. Just stick to a normal caloric deficit and make steady progress!

You Have to Starve Yourself

This is actually extremely counter-productive. Most fad and crash diets do work for a very short period of time before your body realises what’s going on and actually starts to store more fat and fight your weight loss efforts. We can’t outsmart evolution, our bodies want to maintain homeostasis and if we shock our bodies with cutting a ton of calories, it is going to fight back.

All Calories Are The Same

Losing fat is a simple process, but not an easy one. You just need to burn more calories than you consume. You could technically create a deficit eating pizza and donuts every day. However, you will be extremely micronutrient deficient. You’ll be getting next to no vitamins or minerals and this will kill your diet’s longevity. Whilst incorporating ‘refeed’ days or a cheat meal when your training performance is declining can be beneficial, making up the bulk of your nutrition from bad foods will not yield any results. When it comes to being healthy, calories are not created equally.

Fat Makes You Fat

Fats are extremely important for a number of functions in your body, namely hormone regulation and vitamin absorption. This myth might come from fat containing 9 calories per gram, compared to protein or carbohydrates which contain 4 calories per gram. This means we have to be careful not to spill over with our fat consumption, especially with oils as they add up quickly. Finding a balance with your fats is important, and we should also be mindful that they’re coming from good sources like seeds and nuts.

If you have any questions about anything here then don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to have a chat and get you on the right track to hit your goals. Thanks guys!

The Most Effective Way To Train

Hey guys, Marcus from Fitness Room here! Most people need to add variety into their workout routines in order to keep things fresh and help keep you motivated. It’s good to stick to the fundamentals for a few weeks before adding in too much variation. It’s important you get good at the basics and actually let your body adapt to these movements, as this will set you up for greater strength and muscle gains down the line.

That being said, exercise variation is also very important to provide the muscle with a new stimulus to adapt to, and this is so you keep making steady progress over time! One of the best ways to incorporate this is with your big muscle groups that have multiple functions. In other words, your chest is very active during lots of different exercises and movements, whereas your biceps, (being a smaller muscle group), will only be predominantly active when you hinge at the elbow. 

Using this example, because the muscles that make up your chest can be activated by a wider range of movement, it’s important to change up the movements you perform in your training in order for you to get total or complete chest development.

The other large muscle groups that this applies to are the: quadriceps, back, glutes and hamstrings.

For the chest, the most common movements to add variety into chest training would be:

Flat Bench Press: Total Chest Development, muscle building/strength focus

Incline Bench Press: Upper Chest Development, muscle building focus

Decline Bench Press: Lower Chest Development, muscle building focus

Dips: Lower Chest Development, muscle building/strength focus

Bench Pushups: Mid Chest Development, muscle building/strength focus

Chest Flys: Mid Chest Development, muscle building focus

In order to cater to the varying frequency that you guys attend group sessions, we always add variety in all of the sessions you do. This is so your body is forced to adapt more rapidly, due to the exercise stimulus always changing. This means that it’s common to find you’re making quicker gains in your strength, rather than your physique.

To call back to previous emails, unless you’ve started strict dieting, it’s common for your bodyweight to stay the same or maybe increase during the first few weeks of training, this is because you’re putting on muscle, (and therefore building strength), due to all the different exercise adaptations your body has to make.

Luckily those who are new to training or those who haven’t trained in a while are in the best position to put on muscle and lose fat at the exact same time, but it requires stricter adherence to your diets in order to maximise, which is a discussion for another time!

So make sure you change it up and add some variety into your own training, as it will help keep you progressing steadily – especially with those large muscle groups that we mentioned before. Thanks Guys! Have a great weekend and we’ll see you soon!

How to Perfect Your Squat

Hey guys, we just put out a video about how to perfect your squat technique! Go ahead and watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZTaJR8zUs4 

The video goes into the full breakdown of everything to remember while doing your squats, including breathing and tension techniques. This email will just outline the main cues you should keep in mind to make sure your squat is always safe and effective.

Stance: Feet at shoulder width or just outside shoulder width apart
Feet are slightly pointed outwards

Knees are driven out and in line with your middle toe, don’t let knees cave in.

Depth: Hip bones at the same height as knees

Head up and chest up so your back is straight and safe.

Use a mirror to help get your setup correct and then practice the movement without weights. Once you’re comfortable doing bodyweight squats, either film yourself or get a coach to monitor your form as you perform the movement with weights. Adding load will slightly change the way you perform the movement so keep that in mind.

Thanks guys! If you have any questions then get in touch, we’d be happy to help you guys out!

Do These Things To Build Muscle

Hey guys! We’ve got a new video out on the things you need to be doing in order to actually build muscle and see results. Unless your goal is to be an elite endurance athlete, having more muscle on your frame will always improve your quality of life by increasing your metabolism, making you stronger, giving you more energy during the day and also has the added bonus of giving you that toned and defined look!

Watch the video here, ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4_Ho6Q2mu4 ) to get the complete breakdown, and we’ll go into a few key points in this email:

Intensity:

Training intense means coming close to failure on your reps for a given set. If the set calls for 10 reps, then you want to be within 1 – 3 reps of failure by the time you hit those 10 reps.

If it is a 10 rep max set, then you must be failing at 10 reps. If you can do more than 10 reps, you should be going heavier. 

7 – 8 Hours Sleep:

To expand on the intensity point, some people are worried they’ll over-train and injure themselves by training close to failure. It is less about over-training and more about under-recovering.

As long as your form is solid, if you eat and sleep adequately, it would be very difficult for you to overtrain.

7 – 8 hours of sleep per night is the recommended amount for setting up your body to actually grow and recover properly. It is extremely important for your muscles, but also for your hormonal and nervous system. Just because you feel fine on 6 hours or less, doesn’t mean that it is good for you!

Regular Stretching:

Stretching is important for increasing blood flow to the muscles, especially for the muscles you trained. The increased blood flow will allow for quicker recovery and the removal of the waste products that would’ve accumulated whilst training.

Stretching also helps undo the shortening muscles undergo when trained. This is important as a longer muscle will give an increased range of motion, and range of motion for your exercises will play a major role in how much of the muscle you can recruit and therefore rebuild bigger and stronger after exercise.

Eat 1g of Protein Per Pound of Bodyweight:

Protein is the building block for all of your muscles, if you aren’t eating adequate amounts of protein then you will quickly hit roadblocks with your training goals. Protein is also important for the satiety of your meals, which will help combat snacking.

To figure out how much you need, multiply your weight in kilos by 2.2 (or just google the conversion), that is how many grams of protein you should be eating per day.

Train Frequently:

Muscles need to be frequently stimulated to get the best muscle building response. It’s generally considered that training any given muscle group twice per week will have a better effect than just once. While you can definitely do well training 3 times per week, the results won’t come as quick as if you were training even 4 times per week.

Thanks guys! If you have any questions then let us know and we’d be happy to discuss your training or nutrition with you!

How Sleep Affects Your Results

We touched on how much sleep you guys should be aiming for in yesterday’s video. To reiterate, that’s 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night, but we’ll try and unpack how this works specifically for you in this email.

I’m sure it seems like we bring up this point every week, and that’s probably because we do! Sleep is extremely important, and it only gets more important when you start training. No matter if your primary goal in the gym is building muscle or losing fat, the amount and quality of sleep will affect both, whether that’s a positive or negative effect is up to you.

We’ll list some main reasons why sleep is important, this could be a huge list so we’ll mainly stick to the ones that are relative for training and overall wellbeing:

1. Muscle Recovery

– If you aren’t recovering properly then you won’t be able to build any muscle. On the other hand if you’re under-slept and trying to lose weight, your body will elevate cortisol and make your body store fat, which is definitely not what we want. 

2. Hormonal Balance

– Sleep is crucial for your hormone regulation. If you’re training, you need to maximise the amount of growth hormone and testosterone in your system while minimising cortisol to see the best results, and proper sleep will help with that.

3. Mental Focus, Clarity and Improved Mood

– No brainer here!

4. Greater Strength and Energy Throughout the Day

– This is an obvious one too!

So we all know the benefits, but how do we make a change to our sleep and make sure it improves? We’ve established that we should be aiming for 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night, however, some people report feeling better, (or at least functional) on considerably less sleep. Since everyone is a little bit different it can be difficult to pin down the exact amount of sleep we need – but this is trying to solve the wrong problem.

We should instead place our focus on when we go to bed, and how to make the quality of sleep better overall.

Sleeping from 2AM – 10AM is 8 hours, but your circadian rhythm is way out of whack with a 2AM bedtime. There are set times for our sleep schedules, and unfortunately, we can’t beat a hardwired biological process that says the best time to fall asleep is around 11PM, with a wake up around 7AM, give or take 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

For some people in more extreme work/family situations, this is going to be impossible to get, but it is still worth having the knowledge so that when the opportunity arises where you can start a healthier sleeping schedule, you will be better equipped to do so. 

The other way to improve your quality of sleep is to limit light exposure and highly stimulating activity before bed. We should be aiming to turn off our tech and dimming our lights (specifically blue light) one hour before bed. 

To wind down during this hour, you can incorporate night time activities like reading a book or listening to music, instead of looking at screens.

This will maximise the quality of your sleep, which is just as important as the amount of sleep you get!

To sum up, sleep is as important as everyone says. So make sure you’re getting enough quality time asleep and setting up your body for the most amount of success both with daily life and inside the gym!

You Need Sleep

We’ve touched on how much sleep you guys should be aiming for in previous content. To reiterate, that’s generally considered to be 7 – 8 hours of sleep each night.

It might seem like we bring up this point every other week, and that’s probably because we do! Sleep is extremely important, and it only gets more important when you start training. No matter if your primary goal is building muscle or losing fat, the amount and quality of sleep will affect both, whether that’s a positive or negative effect is up to you.

We’ll list some main reasons why sleep is important, this could be a huge list so we’ll mainly stick to the ones that are relative for training and overall wellbeing, the rest will be in the video which you can watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FehtLp-Qu0

1. Muscle Recovery

    1. If you aren’t recovering properly then you won’t be able to build any muscle. On the other hand if you’re under-slept and trying to lose weight, your body will elevate cortisol and make your body store fat, which is definitely not what we want. 

2. Hormonal Balance

    1. Sleep is crucial for your hormone regulation. If you’re training, you need to maximise the amount of growth hormone and testosterone in your system while minimising cortisol.

3. Mental Focus, Clarity and Improved Mood

4. Greater Strength and Energy Throughout the Day

So we all know the benefits, but how do we make a change to our sleep and make sure it improves our sleep? So we should be aiming for 7 – 8 hours of sleep per night, however, some people report feeling better, or at least functional, on considerably less sleep. Since everyone is a little bit different it can be difficult to pin down the exact amount of sleep we need – but this is the wrong mindset.

We should instead focus on when we go to bed, and how to make the quality of sleep better.

Sleeping from 2AM – 10AM is 8 hours, but your circadian rhythm is way out of whack with a 2AM bedtime. There are set times for our sleep schedules, and unfortunately, we can’t beat a hardwired biological process that says the best time to fall asleep is around 11PM and wake up around 7AM, give or take 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

For some people in more extreme work/family situations, this is going to be impossible to get, but it is still worth having the knowledge so that when the opportunity arises where you can start a healthier sleeping schedule, you will be better equipped to do so. 

The other way to improve your quality of sleep is to limit light exposure and highly stimulating activity before bed. We should be aiming to turn off our tech and dimming our lights (specifically blue light) one hour before bed. 

To wind down during this hour, you can incorporate night time activities like reading a book or listening to music, instead of looking at screens.

This will maximise the quality of your sleep, which is just as important as the amount of sleep you get!

To sum up, sleep is extremely important. So make sure you’re getting enough quality time asleep and setting up your body for the most amount of success both with daily life and inside the gym!

Fix Your Posture With These Movements

If you have any common postural abnormalities, you’ve probably noticed them and want an easy fix. Luckily, all that’s needed is a bit of stretching, strengthening the right areas and consistency over time!

We’ll focus on upper body posture today, so we’ll be talking about forward head, rounded shoulders and hunched upper back.

The exercises you’ll need to be doing to strengthen your back and rotator cuff are listed below. If you need an explanation of how to do these movements then watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxrAl61Lifg

Face Pulls

ITY 

W’s

Now that we’ve strengthened the weak muscles that are hopefully beginning to pull your head and shoulders back and lift your chest up, we need to stretch out the tight and usually overworked muscles. The muscles we’ll be stretching are below, once again, the video contains a tutorial on how to stretch the following muscles. Feel free to google other stretches relating to these muscles and see what works best for you!

Chest 

Lats 

Delts

Because of our daily life being filled with front ended movement, e.g. driving a car or typing on a computer, it will take time to improve our posture in the 30 – 90 minutes we might devote to exercise. The movements above don’t take very long to do, so you must be consistent with the frequency that you do them. Thankfully their effects will be fairly immediate as you start to feel your mobility increase.

If you have any questions about anything here or you’d like us to cover other muscle groups, then don’t hesitate to let us know.

And finally, for the rest of August we’d like to give you guys free training every time you refer a friend to come and workout with you! You’ll get 4 weeks free once your friend joins up after their trial, so theoretically you could get years of free training, but we’ll leave that in your hands. Have a great week, thanks guys!

The Importance of Bodyweight Exercise

A lot of us get our introduction to training through bodyweight movements. 

The pushup, squat and pull up are some of the first exercises we learn, but they seem to get traded out for machine work or other variations as soon as possible.

This is unfortunate because these movements set a great foundation for future improvements in both your strength and physique.


Bodyweight movements are excellent for building total body strength, balance, coordination and burning fat. This is because the majority of bodyweight movements are inherently athletic due to their activation across multiple muscle groups and multiple joints. Everyone knows that pushups and pullups are difficult, and that is exactly why they should be practiced! 

We include these movements in our group sessions because of all of the positives they add to your training. Once again, pushups or pullups are obviously great for making you conventionally stronger, but they also make you stronger with natural movement patterns. Most people lose mobility in their shoulder blades, which will impact your ability to actually do a pullup in the first place. It even affects things such as how much weight you can bench press or shoulder press. 

Correct pushups and pullups make your shoulder blades stronger in each plane of movement they work in, which will translate over to your other movements in the gym!

For all those people wanting to achieve an unassisted pullup, or maybe transition from pushups on the knees to on the toes – you might already be strong enough in your major muscle groups, but your shoulder blades aren’t assisting the major muscles due to the lack of emphasis placed on the pullup or pushup once we have access to a lat pull down chest press machine. This is why bodyweight, or ‘functional’ training is so important.

To sum up, even as we progress and get stronger with our weight training, all of those basic bodyweight movements still have a place in order to keep our bodies as functional as possible, which in turn will help us lift more weight with better form and enable us to get stronger, fitter and leaner! Thanks guys!

Leg Day or Game Day?

If you just played a sports match, you will typically be a little weaker when training legs in the gym. Having weaker legs from playing team sports won’t allow you to push it in the gym. This works vice-verse as well by the way. If you were to have a heavy gym session, your legs might be fried for your sports training or game day. 

This is incredibly important to note down because you don’t want to perform at a lower standard in either the gym or your sport. So here are 3 ways you can minimise your soreness from either the gym or playing sport!

1) Plan your Training Days

Say you have Soccer training on Tuesday and Thursday then your match day is on Saturday, it is important you plan your gym sessions around those days. You don’t want to be sore for any training session, so you may only be able to do 2 or 3 gym sessions a week. Here’s how I would personally structure my week for this example:

Monday: Squats, core work, mobility and agility. 

Tuesday: Soccer Training.

Wednesday: Deadlift, Lunges, core work, mobility and agility.

Thursday: Soccer Training.

Friday: Rest and Recovery day with light Soccer related activities (juggling the ball, dribbling, shooting etc) and mobility work.

Saturday: Game day – After game do a core workout with leg recovery work.

Sunday: Rest

2) Intensity of Training

You want to find a happy medium so that you’re training hard enough to see results but not so hard that you’re sore and not recovered enough for game day. Over time you’ll learn how your body responds to training and how much frequency you can handle and can recover from, so you will need to do some trial and error to discover how much you can handle, because everyone will be different based on their own physiology and also how much they sleep or eat, or even the type of sport they play.

3) Recovery 

As an athlete, you need to consider how you will feel the next day after you train. If you sleep poorly, don’t eat a healthy diet full of complex carbohydrates, have sufficient protein and healthy fats, you will struggle to recover optimally. 

Stretching:

Stretching allows your body to release tightness and avoid inflexibility. It also promotes blood flow to the area you are stretching, allowing it to heal faster. 

Sleep:

Sleeping is the most important aspect to any athletes recovery. Without sufficient sleep or by having a poor quality of sleep, the body will not replace toxins and heal exercise induced oxidative cell damage. The body requires 7 to 9 hours of sleep to perform at the most optimal level as an athlete. I personally have found my sleep periods shortening as my diet became healthier. It was as if my diet was doing some of the toxin cleansing for me. 

Diet:

Eating a variety of plant based foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and protein will allow your body to heal fast after a workout. Eating complex carbohydrates will play a significant role in your body’s ability to perform in better during workouts. Protein is the building block of muscle and allows it to recovery after strenuous activity. A combination of the latter and essential fatty acids through diet consumption will allow you to peak at your sport and in the gym.

Foam Rolling:

Foam rolling helps release tight fascia and tight muscles. Foam rolling creates micro tears in muscles and aids in reducing recovery time after training.

Myotherapy: 

Similar to foam rolling, Myotherapy is deep tissue work that helps the body recover after training. It helps release tight fascia and tight muscles. The tight muscles and fascia pull your joints in weird directions, not allowing you to perform at your greatest ability.

Hot/Cold Baths: 

Hot and cold baths or showers will allow your body to repair and heal muscles faster. It aids in recovery through blood flow to sore areas.

Lots of you who play sport and also train have had lots of questions about figuring out when to train or how hard to train, or about how to recover properly to become the best athlete you can, so I hope this helped you guys out and gave you a better idea of how to balance your sport and your training in the gym. Thanks guys, I hope you have a great weekend!