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Hacks and Alcohol

Simple Tips to Enhance Your Training

‘hack’ – a quick tip that will enable people to work out effectively in less time, or to make the workouts they do more effective.
Spread your proteins evenly throughout the day.
Eating approximately 1.8-2.0 grams / kg of body weight per day will ensure full protein consumption for lasting protein synthesis. This is important for faster results, be it muscle gain, weight loss or recovery. This means that for a 60 kg female, you’d be looking at around 120 g proteins per day; Or, 30 g per meal. 30 for breakfast, 30 for lunch, 30 for dinner, 30 post-workout.
Studies show that protein ingested in this manner has superior effects for protein synthesis than chunking the amount in one meal.

– What happens to your body if you get supremely drunk to celebrate after, say, a Tough Mudder event or a similarly intense workout?
Drinking to celebrate a sporting victory, or even a once in a year event like the Tough Mudder, is what most of us do. After all, we’ve worked hard, so we should play hard. Right!
But when it comes to day-to-day training, and our focus on the objective at hand seems to get diverted – at least on the weekend – can we have that cheeky drink, and not feel too guilty about it?

There are a few things that we need to consider before making our own judgments.
1. Calories matter: Though many people believe that calories in and calories out is a poor indicator of weight gain, it is the best we have. Drinking champagne for example is likely to leave us with a 130-calorie surplus. Equivalent to a 15-minute jog. Add a couple of vodka ad cokes and your routine just became obsolete.
2. Alcohol inhibits protein synthesis: While this may not be a factor you’ve come across in your programme, the aim of any good workout plan is to increase the use of protein by muscle in the body (protein synthesis). This process helps aid in recovery and rebuilding of muscle due to micro damage caused through training. Should you choose to have a night out on the town following that hard session, you can kiss goodbye to a large portion of the effects the session had for you. With reports of up to 37% less synthesis occurring with the use of alcohol.

– Can a workout kill a hangover?
With evidence that alcohol can stay in the body for up to 48 hours, it’s worth taking a look at whether or not a good sweat will help you rid yourself of the day after the night before hangover.
Hangovers are caused by several factors: Dehydration, toxins left over from the drinks, and hypoglycemia (due to the effect alcohol has on Blood Glucose Levels).

While exercise is a great way to work up a sweat and rid the body of toxins, it also relies heavily on the body being fully hydrated to begin with. Symptoms may even become worse if you are not properly hydrating during the training bout. That’s not to say you may not feel wonderful afterward. Exercise is an easy way to increase those happy hormones (endorphins). But just be sure to load up on water throughout the day. The best cure for your hangover is going to be time.

– Is it OK to workout if you’ve had a drink, e.g. to have a beer after work with mates, then hit the gym?
Let’s look at all the things alcohol does to your body and its relation to exercise:
1. Dehydration: Alcohol interferes with the mechanism that regulates water in our body. Thus leading to frequent urination and consequently, dehydration.
2. Poor glucose transportation: The body uses glucose for energy. When working out, the most available source of energy is glucose. If you take this away, you have little or no stores for having a half-descent workout. SO why would you bother?
3. Decreased Amino Acid use by muscle: Poor gains from poor decisions
4. Alcohol affects judgment and coordination: alcohol is strongly correlated to injury in sports. When it comes to the safety of those that are in your vicinity, not just yourself, then alcohol needs to be removed from the situation.

The answer then is quite simple. Alcohol has no place in the training room. While it may seem harmless, if you’re out for a drink then that’s where your nights taking you. But if you want to workout, then come focused and clear headed.

How to stop thinking and start doing

Learning to enjoy exercise is a never ending emotional rollercoaster. But it’s not something that takes years to master. It takes seconds.

Sitting comfortably in the café prior to a training session that I just know is going to be a struggle, I start thinking of all the things I’d rather be doing. My old friend procrastination rears his ugly head and suddenly, I feel the urge to “think”…

It takes me back to my school days where I would always just do “one-more-thing”. I’ll just call my friend before I really get into my study books.”, “I’ll just have one more cup of tea before I start!”

But why is it that sometimes you feel like giving it your all in the gym and others, not even showing up?

For years I have been into fitness. The feeling of accomplishment is something that you never quite get anywhere else. I have managed to force myself time and again to do things I’d rather not be doing. But during that time I have also become quite efficient at convincing myself to do other things.

Sure I love the feeling you get once you finish . That feeling you’ve done something rewarding. That you’ve made an effort and achieved something or that you’ve pushed yourself a little harder.

Surely after all this time, I should be able to “Just Do It!”

But alas, another day is going by and you have yet to step foot into the gym.

[Tweet “Procrastination is the killer of confidence, progress and self-respect. @petercobby”]

In this TEDx Talk Mel Robbins suggests to break the cycle of procrastination, never press the snooze button.

Instead, stand up to the first buzz make yourself experience the physical discomfort of doing something that everything in you tells you not to. This is how you make change. By pushing past your comfort zone.

She quotes, “to make change is simple (but not easy)”

Force yourself out of your head: past your feelings and outside your comfort zone

TEDx Talks

This stands not only for those moments you are waking, but for your daily lives as well. Robbins suggests that it is merely the first few seconds that are uncomfortable. Your body then begins to adapt. Then you are in it. From here it is much easier to keep going.

In a study by Hansen et al (2001) it was concluded that [Tweet “it takes no more than 10 minutes for exercise to leave you with a positive mood state. @petercobby”]

10 minutes!

This is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

To think of the downside from not having that workout; poor mood state, a feeling of non-accomplishment (personal failure) among others. How is the rest of your day going to pan out? How does it make you feel to know that you have not been able to do what you set out to do? Learning to not question the action, but rather allowing yourself to bypass those first 10 minutes will allow you to progress.

Think of it another way:

1:         In 10 minutes’ time, you could be slightly uncomfortable yet feeling extremely positive about yourself for starting something that is extremely beneficial for you; or,

2:         In 10 minutes’ time, you could be feeling sorry for yourself that you didn’t just stand up and walk out the door for that run. You could have been well into doing it by now!

What are you putting off? How are you going to get yourself to begin the process of completing it?

 

 

Are you sure you want soya with that latte?

Soya versus Whey Protein Post-Exercise

With milk getting a bad rap over the years as the cause of everything from bloating to cramps in the lower stomach, soy has been touted as a beneficial alternative to the beverage the milk-man brings. It has now become the focus of quite a few research studies and has been compared with its competitor in exercise studies.

In a recent issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, researchers found higher testosterone responses following whey protein supplementation and lower cortisol levels post exercise in opposition to soy-based protein. It appears that whey protein, a byproduct of the cheese production process, is superior to soy-based protein as an aid in serum testosterone levels post exercise. Good news for those of us who enjoy milk with our coffee.

Whey is a naturally occurring substance. Derived from the liquid part of fresh milk that is left over from the making of cheese, it has been used for health related reasons for more than 24 centuries. In 2005, researchers at Lund University in Sweden discovered that whey appears to stimulate insulin release, in type 2 diabetics; also helping in the reduction of blood sugar spikes.

It is generally associated with bodybuilders or athletes, but Whey is also a great additive to the general diet. Getting enough grams of protein throughout the day is often difficult and at times, impossible. The ease of use of this product is fantastic for the person on the go. For the amateur exerciser, protein should be an essential part of your daily diet. The FDA suggests a serving of up to 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, though those who are trying to lose weight, or who have an intense physical daily activity can consume much higher then this at around 2 grams per kilogram. This is quite difficult to achieve though through food alone and this is where supplementation comes in.

Sports people and those wanting to lose weight have used whey protein as a way of getting their daily protein requirements for years. It remains the dominant contender on the supplement stage, as it is readily available for the individual.

“With the introduction of everything from pea protein to protein from locusts, there is now a great deal of competition on the market. Unfortunately, this has created confusion for the layperson as to which protein is the best for individual consumption. A study like this one begins to paint a clearer picture for the consumer.”

For those of us who have a true lactose intolerance, this news is not relevant. But for those of us who are avoiding milk because your neighbor said it’s not good for you, it may be time to reconsider the benefits of dairy.”

Whey protein can be purchased from any good health store and fortunately for the consumer, comes in a variety of flavours. To get the full benefit from each scoop, using simply water as a mixture will give you the most accurate level of protein per serving. Protein should be consumed in even portions throughout the day and so the option to add this product to cereals or lunchtime snacks is an attractive proposition for some.

 

Journal Reference:

William J. Kraemer, Glenn Solomon-Hill, Brittanie M. Volk, Brian R. Kupchak, David P. Looney, Courtenay Dunn-Lewis, Brett A. Comstock, Tunde K. Szivak, David R. Hooper, Shawn D. Flanagan, Carl M. Maresh, Jeff S. Volek. The Effects of Soy and Whey Protein Supplementation on Acute Hormonal Responses to Resistance Exercise in Men. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 2013; 32 (1): 66 DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2013.770648

Marine S. Da Silva, Pierre Julien, Patrick Couture, Simone Lemieux, Marie-Claude Vohl, Iwona Rudkowska. Associations between dairy intake and metabolic risk parameters in a healthy French-Canadian population. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, 2014; 1 DOI: 10.1139/apnm-2014-0154

Frid, Anders H.; et al. (2005). Effect of whey on blood glucose and insulin responses to composite breakfast and lunch meals in type 2 diabetic subjects. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 82 (1): 69–75.

Book Reference:

Driskell, J.A. (2009) Nutrition and exercise concerns of the middle aged Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. P.92

Good Nutrition is a Choice

I consider health to be the perfect harmony between movement, nutrition, spirituality and personal growth.

Each day we are put in a position of making good or bad decisions when it comes to the food we put in our bodies.

Being mindful of the choices we make is a simple step in the right direction to living a healthy, satisfying life.

Putting good nutrition into your non-negotiables list is an easy way to ensure you are making the right decisions when your health and that of your family’s is considered.

I found this infographic taken from DailySuperFoodLove. A simple to follow colour chart for your nutrition education.

Good nutrition is a choice

What do you eat daily? Are you making the right choices? Tell me some of your vices in the comments below.

Practice Daily

I consider health to be the perfect harmony between movement, nutrition, spirituality and personal growth.

As we go through life it is hard not to notice the greatness that some people possess. Whether it is through business, sports or your personal life, these people have such an influence on your life that they become idols.

One of my greatest idols is Bruce Lee, not only for his sporting prowess, but also his determination to better himself. His relentless focus on perfecting his art, as an athlete and as a person led him to be one of the most respected martial artists of all time.

I recently came across this video of him on Youtube. Take a look and notice what daily practice can do for you.

http://youtu.be/kl1sS1kVAvA

What inspires you to perfection? What do you practice daily for personal growth? Let me know in the comments below.

Lingerie Models Figure

Six simple steps you can take right now to get a lingerie models figure

What is it that the lingerie models are doing, that the rest of us aren’t?

Though we may not all have the face of a supermodel, we can have the body. Following a few simple lifestyle rules will bring you that one step closer to having a body that others can’t seem to stop staring at.

Try the following tips to get your body in top shape:

  1. Posture: Though there are a lot of models out there with poor posture, the successful ones all seem to have this trait in common; they convey confident, upright posture that is accompanied by graceful movement.
  2. Eat clean: This seems to be the buzz of the minute and means a lot of different things to different people. It is however a good rule of thumb. When placed in a situation where you have the option to eat a piece of cake, or a few brazil nuts, the answer should be quite simple. Natural wins over artificial every time. Select organic fruit and veg, grass fed meat products and quality nuts. Basically, if it’s gone through any form of preparation to get to the supermarket, you can rest assured there are better options.
  3. Train daily: I’m often asked how often you need to train to be in top shape for the camera. The answer is easy. If you are committed wholeheartedly to a goal, there is something you can be doing to get you closer everyday. Recovery from exercise is important comes in two forms: passive (sleep) and active (light movements or exercise) and both should be utilised. Though you can’t train hard everyday, some level of periodised exercise should be used.
  4. Periodise: Though resistance training is good for muscle density and tone, constant work is going to build muscle. So many trainers are spouting the line that you won’t put on muscle because you’re a girl! Bollocks! If you work a muscle it will grow. Cycling your training between heavy, medium and light periods (e.g. weeks or months) is the best way to tone up and improve overall health.
  5. Pay attention to body fat percentages: Too high and you’ll just look overweight, too low and you run the risk of impairments in bodily functions (i.e. hormone transfer and nutrient transportation). Women should not be below 8-12% as this is detrimental to your health and men below 3-5%. Having slightly more than these markers will ensure veins are not visible.
  6. Be realistic: When you see a photoshopped image of your favourite model, take a moment to go online and view their image without all the bells and whistles. You might be surprised at just how close you really are to having that perfect lingerie models figure.

Featured Image of Adrian Lima from Huffington Post

5 Steps to Create Longer Leaner Legs

Want Longer Leaner Legs? Here’s 5 simple steps to get you closer:

    1. Start with the end in mind: Knowing what type of look you want is paramount to constructing the relevant programme. It’s no use wanting to have the legs of an ultra thin cat-walk model, and doing heavy squats day after day! Know your end goal, and train with that in mind.
    2. Posture: Without paying close attention to your postural habits and weaknesses, there can be little gains in the way of shaping your legs. Weak arches and inactivity of the hips will not only lead to poor standing posture, but will also result in very minimal changes being made. Pay attention to weaker muscles first, and then to shaping the rest.
    3. Stretch: Stretching is one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t end up having lean muscular looking legs, that make you move like you’ve just finished a 100k horse ride. Aside from being a fantastic way to recover from all the hard work you’ve put in at the local gym, stretching is great for posture, agility and grace!
    4. Eat small meals, often: Aside from improving metabolism (one byproduct of the digestion process), eating light meals will keep your hunger at bay. This will result in better choices when it comes to selecting which foods are best for each body shape.
    5. Rest, Recovery, Relaxation: The most important thing to do is not to stress the small stuff. Stick at it, know your goals and over time you’ll begin to see some pretty awesome results! Getting your shape to have longer leaner legs is a process, results are the product of hard work, though it’s worth it in the end.

Feel free to leave comments below, and any shaping tips for the community that have worked for you.

 

5 Simple Ways to Have an Extremely Productive Day

Take Control of Your Day

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself – Da Vinci

Each waking moment we are faced with decisions about how we are to live our life. Should you hit snooze one more time? Should you go to the gym? Should you have that extra sugar in your coffee?

Learning to take control of simple tasks throughout the day will do wonders for your self-confidence, and your productivity.

Try these 5 simple ways to have an extremely productive day:

Non Negs

  • Write down your daily non-negotiables: Non-negotiables are those things you do each day that are 100% going to be done! You’ve no choice but to do them. Consider these things are like brushing your teeth, or eating dinner. It just happens. An example of a non-negotiable for me is to write a post for my blog or exercise. Whether you’re feeling sick, tired, upset, don’t think about it, just do it.
  • Work in a tidy space: Clutter creates confusion. Whether you feel like you work better with mess around you or not, it’s been scientifically proven that working in an organised setting will enhance productivity and enjoyment. If there are papers on your desk, organise and put them away. If you work from home and there are dishes to be done. Do it and then get bak to work.
  • When you write down your daily tasks, complete them with why you did it: Saying you’ll go to the gym, and then waiting all day before going will only give you more time to talk yourself out of it. You’re too tired or you’ve had a hard day at work. Any excuse is just that, an excuse. Telling yourself in advance why something is important will give you a greater sense of achievement once it’s complete. For example – Today I’ll go to gym because my body is a gift I need to take care of – is much more appealing than – Today: Go to gym!
  • Do it!: The worst thing you can do for your productivity is tell yourself you’re going to do something, and then not do it. You are only providing yourself with evidence that when you set yourself a task, there is an option of not doing it. Each day, when you are writing down your tasks for the following day or week, consider how important it is to you, why you will do it, and then just do it. Don’t think! Do!
  • Reward yourself: At the end of each week, when you have completed all tasks set by yourself, reward yourself. Not with a night out on the town, but with something meaningful. A dress that you’ve been eyeing up. A book that will enhance your knowledge. Whatever you find most appealing, if you have achieved all your weekly tasks, then say thank you to yourself. We all deserve a little bit of recognition every now and again, none better can come then the feeling of accomplishment.

Take some time each day for personal growth. It’s now just your body that needs taking care of, your mind and spirit require just as much attention.

Feelings follow behaviour. Taking action creates the very emotions we want to be feeling