Monday, August 11, 2014

"The" Fitness Class - July

The fitness class has been blessed with good weather on all of the Monday and Wednesday evenings in the month of July. All sessions have been outside making the most of the space and the temperature. 
A big focus this month has been on developing our press up technique and stamina through a range of different variations. This was done as feedback from the class was they wanted to be able to complete more press ups in one go, which I am happy to write that they all have. Tonight (30th) most of the class managed to complete over 20 decent press up showing great progress. 

Monday sessions this month have been dedicated more to using our own body weight to develop fitness and stamina versus the Wednesday classes which has used much more equipment but with a similar aim. Both sessions have focused on lower body power and strength, from which we have all seen good progress individually.

My favourite session this month was a Monday session mid July using boxing pads and gloves in pairs to great effect to get the heart and breathing rate up using high intensity sets involving punching combined with a few all body exercises. The class attacked the session with a great attitude and work rate and got a lot out of the exercises. 
Great month and looking forward to the next...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

10 Reasons to Eat Breakfast

By Charles Poliquin

1.     You’ll be leaner.
There is significant evidence that people who skip breakfast have a higher body mass index (BMI) and are more likely to be obese. When diet composition is analyzed through the use of food diaries, researchers find that people who eat breakfast consume a better diet and macronutrient profile. Plus, breakfast eaters consume fewer calories over the whole day than those who omit it. Breakfast skippers are not only more likely to have more fat than those who eat it, but they are more likely to get even fatter due to susceptibility to overeating later in the day.  

2.     You’ll lower your risk of getting diabetes or becoming insulin resistant.
 Skipping breakfast and other meals leads to the body’s cells becoming less sensitive to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that carries sugar around in the blood, taking it to be used as energy in cells or converting it to fat for storage. When you skip meals and the cell receptors become less sensitive or resistant to insulin, it leads to excess sugar floating around in the bloodstream. The body then tries to produce more insulin to get sugar into the resistant cells. This creates a problematic cyclical pattern resulting in weight gain, insulin sensitivity, and ultimately diabetes. Obesity and diabetes rates are 50 percent lower in breakfast-eaters compared to breakfast skippers. 

3.     You’ll eat a better variety of foods.
Breakfast eaters tend to make better overall food choices throughout the day. Breakfast skipping encourages overeating at later meals and snacking, which often takes the form of unhealthy high calorie choices. In their overall diets, breakfast eaters typically consume more vegetables and milk, fewer soft drinks, and a lower intake of junk foods.

 4.     You’ll eat more protein and more vitamins and minerals.
Breakfast eaters are more likely to get enough micronutrients such as calcium, zinc, iron, and vitamins in their diets. They also get a better proportion of protein than breakfast skippers, although the percentages that people commonly consumed (10-12 percent protein of total diet) are still lower than optimal, especially for an athlete or anyone interested in being lean and looking good.

Breakfast eaters get a larger amount of fibre in their diets, a key element of health and ideal body composition. Fibre and protein are thought to be one of the reasons for breakfast eaters having better body compositions.

5.     You’ll be smarter.
Research shows that eating breakfast improves performance on free recall and recognition memory tasks. It will also help you to sustain your memory function for several hours after eating by modulating both short- and long-term metabolic responses.

You’ll also do better in school. Eliminating breakfast has been associated with poorer test scores on measurements such as the SAT. Plus, among students of all ages, breakfast eaters get better grades and have better reasoning capacity.

A study of the effect of different types of breakfasts on cognitive performance compared eating a sugar-filled ready-to-eat cereal with a more nutritious oatmeal, finding that subjects who ate the oatmeal had better mental reasoning test scores. In reality, breakfast should be more nutritionally sound than just oatmeal and should include a good portion of fat and protein.

6.     You’ll be less likely to smoke, drink, or die.
That’s right! If you eat breakfast, research shows that you will be less likely to engage in health-compromising behaviours such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or not exercising.

Even better, studies have found a positive association between breakfast eating and reductions in mortality due to a variety of causes. Eating breakfast is related to a decrease in the risk of dying from diabetes, cancer (partly because it decreases your chance of being obese), or a cardiovascular-related complication such as heart disease.

 7.     You’ll be healthier and have more friends.
Breakfast eating is associated with improved social function, better interpersonal relationships, and decreased attention deficit disorder. Research on children and adolescents shows that subjects who eat breakfast get along better with their peers and have fewer social conflicts. It’s reasonable to assume that adult breakfast eaters reap the same benefits, especially in light of how breakfast affects cognitive function.

Female breakfast skippers are more likely to have fertility problems and menstrual irregularities such as dysmenorrhea. Dysmenorrhea is a risk factor for psychological disorders and gynecological diseases, indicating the importance of breakfast eating on quality of life for women.

 8.     You’ll be less likely to develop an eating disorder.
Even though breakfast skipping is common, it is a disordered eating pattern since the body needs fuel after a night of rest and fasting. The term “breakfast” literally means “breaking the fast” and is necessary for starting the metabolism, fuelling brain function, and powering the body for the physical activity of life.

Research shows that breakfast skippers are more likely to develop an eating disorder. In some cases, breakfast skipping becomes a habit with the intent of using it as a weight control strategy. An Australian study of 13-year-olds found that females who skipped breakfast were significantly more likely to be dissatisfied with their body shape and to have been on a diet than breakfast eaters. In adolescents, females are more likely to skip breakfast than males, and subsequently have poorer nutritional profiles and overall health.

9.     Your kids will be healthier, leaner, and smarter too.
Kids whose parents eat breakfast are significantly more likely to eat breakfast themselves.  The fact that parents ate breakfast also increased the overall healthiness of their kids’ meals, including the appropriate breakdown of carbs, protein, and fat in the diet. These kids were also less likely to be obese or overweight and had lower BMIs than children whose parents skipped breakfast.

Take note that frequent family meals also increased the likelihood that kids would make healthy food choices and have a better body composition. Children of parents who skip breakfast have less education by age 16, get lower grades in school, and achieve a lower overall education level in life. They also tend to have more behavioural problems and a lower quality of life.  

10.  You’ll be happier.
People who eat breakfast have lower rates of depression and a better all around quality of life. Research shows that eating breakfast improves mood levels and decreases irritability levels throughout the day.

And it makes sense, if you’re leaner, smarter, healthier, less hungry and more satisfied, why wouldn’t you be a happier person?   

Song, W., Chun, O., Obayashi, S., Cho, S., Chung, C. Is Consumption of Breakfast Associated with Body Mass Index in U.S. Adults? Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2005. 105(9), 1373-1382.
Ma, Y., Bertone, E., Stanek, E. Reed, G., Herbert, J., Cohen, N. Association Between Eating Patterns and Obesity in a Free-living U.S. Adult Population. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2003. 158, 85-92.
Videon, T., Manning, C. Influences on Adolescent Eating Patterns: The Importance of Family Meals. Journal of Adolescent Health. 2003. 32, 365-373.
Rampersaud, G., Pereira, M., Girard, B. Breakfast Habits, Nutritional Status, Body Weight, and Academic Performance in Children and Adolescents. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 2005. 105, 5, 743-760.
Fujiwara, T. Skipping Breakfast is Associated with Dysmenorrhea in Young Women in Japan. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition. 2003. 54, 505-509.
Morgan, K., Zabik, M., Stampley, G. The Role of Breakfast in Diet Adequacy of the U.S. adult Population. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 1986. 5, 551-563.
Smith, A., Kendrick, A., Salmon, J. Effects of Breakfast and Caffeine of Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Cardiovascular Functioning. Appetite. 1994. 22, 39-55.
Timlin, M., Pereira, M. Breakfast Frequency and Quality in the Etiology of Adult Obesity and Chronic Diseases. Nutrition Review. 2008. 65(6), 268-281.
Mahoney, C., Taylor, H., Kanarek, R., Samuel, P. Effect of breakfast composition on cognitive processes in elementary school children. 2005. Physiology and Behavior. 85(5), 635-45.
Hamid, R., Farshchi, M., MacDonald, I., MacDonald, T. Deleterious effects of omitting breakfast on insulin sensitivity and fasting lipid profiles in healthy lean women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2005. 81(2), 388-396.
Allbritton, Jen. Morning Nourishment: Bountiful Benefits and Creative Ideas. Wise Traditions. 2011 Apr 6. The Weston A. Price Foundation.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

"The" Fitness Class at Home

As there are no classes this week we decided to give you a session to complete at home. We have followed a similar format to the Monday Wednesday sessions but we have kept everything strictly body weight (sorry no resisted band sprints this week!) and the workout can be completed with little space.

The following are not to be used as instructional videos but have merely been posted to remind you of the movements if you do not recognise the names. If you are to follow this workout I must remind you that as usual you are under taking it at your own risk. Ensure you have sufficient space in which to train and keep hydrated.

Warm Up

Ankle & Neck Mobility Circuit - 1-3 rds, 6-10 reps
Standing ankle mobility
Ankle Circles
Shrug Up & Back
Neck mobility (look left, right, up, down, side to side)
Shoulder circles (small into Large, both ways)

Standing Leg Swing Circuit – 2-3 rds, 12-15 reps
Standing straight leg swing
Kick backs
Across the body swing

Supine Mobility Circuit
Lying straight leg raise
Hip pop ups
Single leg pop ups
Iron cross

Prone Mobility Circuit – 1-3 rds, 10 reps
Hip circles
Outside leg raise
Straight leg heel raise
Bird/ dog
Lying opposite arm/ leg raise
Scapular push ups
Kneeling T-spine rotations

Dynamic Mobility 1-2 rds, 8-12 reps
Squat to overhead squat
Groiner with rotation
Mountain climbers

1-3 rds, 12-15 reps
Jumping jacks
Seal Jumps
Cross overs

1-2 rds, 6-10 reps
Gate swings

Power Circuit
Skater lunges 6-8 steps each side
Power push ups against wall 6-8 reps
Squat jumps 6-8 reps

Rest for 60 secs at the end of each circuit

Strength Circuit 2-3 rds
Lunge holds (hold this position for as long as you can on each leg)
Negative push ups (6-8 secs down) 8 reps
Plank with leg lift 4-8 reps each leg or hold the plank for as long as possible

Rest for 30-45 secs between each exercise

Intervals - Tabata
Jumping jacks
20 seconds work then 10 seconds rest
Repeat up to 8 times

Metabolic Conditioning 8-6-4-2 Ladder
Side lunge with reach
Straight leg sit ups
Modified burpees
Elbow to hand plank
Body weight squats

For time, complete 8 reps of each exercise in round one. For the second round complete 6 reps, then 4 reps for the next and finally 2 reps of each exercise for the final circuit.

Cool Down

Walk around for 2-3 minutes to lower your heart rate. Then hold each of the following stretches for 20-30secs each.

Calf (back of lower leg of the rear leg)
Hamstring (back of upper leg)
Hip Flexor & Reach (hip of rear leg plus upper torso)
Upper Back

This can be completed every other day this week. "The" Fitness Class returns to normal next Monday 4th November at 6.30pm at Cambridge Rugby Club. New members are always welcome.

Have fun.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"Movement is Medicine"

"The" Fitness Class based at Cambridge Rugby Club is going from strength to strength as word gets around about the benefits that this unique fitness class delivers for its participants.

We place a big focus upon first improving ones movement before letting lose on more advanced training regimes. High intensity interval training (HIIT) seems to be a big thing out there at the moment and many trainers are throwing their clients straight in this mode of training......which is just plain dumb! Any fool can train someone to near exhaustion but this isn't the answer to your long term health and fitness. 

We have deliberately stayed clear of the fad of mass group training aka "Boot camps". I first put on boot camp classes over 15 years ago when no one in the UK had even heard of them. Now they are all the rage but in my opinion a majority of them do more harm than good.

Being nearly two decades in the fitness industry having trained countless clients I have learnt the "gung ho" approach to ones health and fitness very rarely succeeds in the long run. At "The" Fitness Class we first lay the foundations which leaves you moving in a far more efficient and pain free manor. Then we improve your fitness which will assist you in achieving your goals.

Come down and join us for a free taster class. Classes start at 6.30pm and your first session is on us.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"The" Fitness Class, Cambridge

Starts Monday 1st July @ 6.30pm

I have been helping people achieve a body that they feel confident with which has regained its natural movement for nearly two decades now and I still love my work. With the help of Mike Bellamy (CrossTrain's new trainer), we have developed what I believe is the most complete exercise class that is available here in Cambridge. 

When we personal train our clients we realised that there are only so many hours in a day that we can share our proven methods for weight loss and improved fitness. With "The" Fitness Class based here in Cambridge, we have carefully put together a training session that leaves no stone left unturned in the quest for your health and fitness goals. This is how we train our personal training clients to move better than they have done for years opening up many more opportunities in their new healthier and happier lifestyle.

Your First Week is FREE!!

Join us on Monday 1st & Wednesday 3rd of July at Cambridge Rugby Club, Grantchester Rd, for your free taster. Contact me soon to book your place and begin the journey which discovers wealth from health. Hurry as there are limited places in the class to ensure quality instruction.

See you soon