New Year New Me 2021

It’s 1st of January 2021…so hold onto your hat and buckle in for what will inevitably be a month of fitness secret reveals and weight loss tricks enlightening you on how to finally “GET THE BIKINI BODY YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED”, “DROP 5 LBS IN JUST 5 DAYS” and “SHED THAT XMAS BELLY”.

But…whilst the notion of quick fixes may be tempting, particularly so in a society obsessed with instant gratification, is it time that we finally stop falling into this dated annual trap perpetuated by the media and diet culture? Let us not forget that it’s the very same media moguls who on December 31st are actively encouraging a laissez-faire, let your hair down and eat that mince pie attitude, are then the very next day pedalling rituals of how to run off that Christmas excess.

Now, let’s get one thing straight…this is not to say that the turn of the New Year doesn’t represent an opportunity to clean the slate so to speak, but the huge pressure and expectation that we will or should become fundamentally different people in 24 hours is profoundly flawed. Maybe it’s time to shift the focus from drastic and so often short-term resolutions and begin to dig a little (or a lot) deeper into what it is that we truly want, and perhaps more importantly, why.

So, this new year, why not try these three steps…

  1. Reflection

Let’s be honest, 2020 hasn’t exactly been the smoothest of rides, but that’s not to say that it was all doom and gloom. Take some time to reflect on the past year. What were the victories? No matter how small you may perceive them to be, a win is a win and should be celebrated as such.

Watching the ADC family come together for the six-week challenge, encouraging and supporting one another, with a touch of friendly rivalry along the way, demonstrates perfectly how each of you triumphed in the face of adversity. ‘Oh, but it was just 10,000 steps…that’s hardly a victory’ I hear you say. Wrong. 10,000 steps, to use that example, very often represents so much more than just the physical act, and probably something different for each of you. The mental battle, self-discipline, and the act of carrying on even when a Baileys and season 4 of The Crown (insert alternative drink and programme as necessary) is far more tempting, is a huge feat. It is in these smaller habits where great things are borne, so give yourselves a well-deserved pat on the back and a nice dose of credit where it’s due.

  1. Let’s set goals, not resolutions.

Having reflected on the past year, it’s time to think about what you want for the year ahead. Here, however, I’ll challenge you to set yourself some goals rather than the familiar resolutions. Whilst there is nothing inherently wrong with resolutions, a word that actually derives from a Latin expression meaning ‘to simplify’, it seems that our modern approach to setting these resolutions has taken on a very black and white, all or nothing mentality. The focus too often revolves around what we are going to eliminate from our lives rather than what we can add. If we don’t stick to our too stringent plans, we often use this as proof of failure and give up on the resolution altogether.

This is where goal setting comes into play. Goals provide direction. Goals provide focus. Goals provide actionable steps. Crucially goals allow for a degree of flexibility such that any obstacles that may arise along the journey need not stop us from attaining our goals. Much research has been conducted demonstrating that the world’s best athletes all share one common feature: setting clear and concise goals. Here at ADC, we operate on an ethos of training all of our clients like athletes…so, now it’s time to start thinking and acting like one too.

Whatever your personal goals may be, a powerful way of setting them is to make them SMART.

  • S– Specific (or Significant).
  • M– Measurable (or Meaningful).
  • A– Attainable (or Action-Oriented).
  • R– Relevant (or Rewarding).
  • T– Time-bound (or Trackable).

See our post on ‘SMART goal setting’ under the Mindset Education tab for more info.

  1. Identifying your why?

Brilliant, you’ve got a list of your SMART goals, all ready to be stuck to the fridge under your Ibiza 2018 magnet. Job done. Let’s get going…. carpe diem and all that. Well, not just yet. We have one more step which is arguably the most critical of all. Finding your WHY.

It was the German philosopher Nietzsche who said ‘He who has a why can endure any how’; indeed, it is in finding this reason or ‘why’ behind any ‘what’ that will ultimately propel you invincibly towards your goals.

Why How WhatWe tend to work backwards when it comes to finding our why. In the fitness industry especially, people often come to us with a clear idea of WHAT it is that they want to achieve. Maybe it’s fat loss for one person or muscle gain for another. Some people want to accelerate their sports performance to the next level, whilst another may want to reap the psychological rewards that exercise provides. Whatever your personal goal may be, it is now time to really ask yourself why do you want this? It is by really digging deep and being honest with yourself about your personal reason and motive for having a certain goal that will ultimately provide you with the momentum to get there. Without this resolve and a solid awareness of your why it is unfortunately very easy to give up when you hit the first hurdle. And let’s be clear that is no failing or weakness in you; it happens to all of us, but it doesn’t need to.

Take some time to ask yourself WHY do you want your personal goal. Write that down. Then ask yourself again…why? And again. And again.

There is a lot to be learnt from a toddler, one of which is their incessant use of ‘but whyyyyyyyy?’, but really and truly they are on to something there. We need to get this deep level connection to our goals, and fundamental understanding of our goals. Once we have this unwavering foundation, we become unstoppable.

*cue Eye of the Tiger* 2021, team ADC are coming for you!

how exercise affects our mental health image

how exercise affects our mental health image

At ADC we appreciate that Physical and Mental health go hand in hand. As much as we like to put things in boxes and separate different systems in the body, the reality is that they are all interconnected. Just like a line of dominos, one thing leads into next and so and so forth. We are living in very psychologically challenging times, and an extremely powerful way you can change your physiological state within minutes is by EXERCISING. Here are just some reasons how exercise impacts your mental health

  • Exercise stimulates the release of “feel good” hormones such as endorphins which boost your mood, relieving depression and anxiety.
  • Exercise controls cortisol levels thus reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body and brain.
  • Exercise helps you to “get out of your head”. By doing something physical you are able to become more present within your body.
  • Exercise is good for the brain. Moving your body in different and increasingly challenging ways builds new neural connections to be made in the brain and improves cognitive function.
  • Exercising regularly helps you to maintain a healthier, fitter and stronger body which in itself provides you with confidence.
  • Exercise is social. Exercising with others helps builds strong bonds and relationships with others which is great for your mental and physical health.

For more information about personal training please click here.

WHAT IS YOUR MORNING ROUTINE? Image

The start of each day is an opportunity for you to set yourself up in the best possible way. Even simple habits can have a big impact on how you think and feel. Simply drinking a glass of water or doing a few minutes of exercise can transform your energy levels and get you in the right frame of mind to bring your best self.
Here are 5 simple morning rituals to kickstart your day:
1️⃣ Make your bed
2️⃣ Meditate
3️⃣ Glass of water
4️⃣ Nutritious breakfast
5️⃣ Exercise
Win your morning… WIN THE DAY! 💯💪🏼

MODES OF RECOVERY Image

DO YOU PRIORITIZE RECOVERY IN YOUR TRAINING PROGRAMS?🤔
Recovery is a key part of the growth process. Without adequate recovery and replenishment, adaptions cannot occur and you will be doing more damage than good. The reality is that when we train, we are taxing our bodies to the point of cellular breakdown with the intention of building them back up stronger and more efficient. Often people have the perfect training plan written on paper, yet they do not manage the stress in their lives and struggle to keep up. We need to understand that staying up late with a sick child to the early hours of the AM, or working extra hours to reach a deadline can play into your ability to perform in the gym. With this being said, it is important to remember that a training plan is a template “written in pencil, not etched in stone” Sometimes the stresses in life may affect your ability to perform what the program has written for the day and that’s okay. Modify to get your work in and then look at how you can optimize your recovery and day to day habits to get back on track for next session or next week.
MODES OF RECOVERY 👇🏼
SLEEP – While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to function at their best.
ACTIVE RECOVERY DAYS – Studies show that active recovery exercise may help clear blood lactate in the body. Blood lactate may accumulate during intense exercise and results in an increase in hydrogen ions in the body. This accumulation of ions can lead to muscle contraction and fatigue. By participating in active recovery, this accumulation decreases, helping your muscles feel less stiff the next time you workout.
ADEQUATE PROTEIN – Proteins help repair damaged muscle tissue and build new lean tissue as part of your body’s adaptive process. As a general rule, you should aim for 0.8-1.2g Protein per pound of bodyweight.
STAY HYDRATED – Water flushes toxins out of the body, transports nutrients into the cells and helps regulate body temperature and pH balance, in turn helping to reduce the effect of DOMS (Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness)
#Recovery #Performance #TeamADC

Create Healthy Habits Not Restrictions Image

In a world where Instant gratification is highly sought after, a lot of us just want quick results. In how we look physically, our health, our relationships or our career. But in doing this we are setting ourselves up for disappointment and frankly are missing the whole point. For those of you who have tried to stick to restrictive diets, this should resonate. Yes, you may get those quick results you were after, but at some point, you hit a wall and come to the realization that the approach is just not sustainable for you, and your focus was in the wrong place. So instead of going after quick results, EDUCATE yourself, create HABITS that will help you reach your goal and last but not least ENJOY how exercising, moving and eating healthier makes you feel better and learn more about yourself, in turn boosting your overall quality of life.
#Weeklywisdom #Habits #Lifestylechange #TeamADC

How to build muscle while in lockdown image

How to build muscle while in lockdown image

Is it really possible to build muscle in lockdown?

In short, Yes!

Even with limited equipment, it is possible to stimulate muscle growth. Limited equipment means we may not be able to load up our muscles as many of us are so accustomed to doing in a gym environment. This method of building muscle is termed ‘Mechanical tension’ and involved lifting weights closer to your max. This is out of the question for most of us, but don’t say goodbye to your gains just yet as there are other ways in which we can stimulate muscle growth. Another way is by placing your muscles under what is called metabolic stress. This involves taking muscles to failure (in a safe manner), using moderate to higher reps and shorter rest intervals. The third way in which we can cause a muscle to grow is through muscle damage.

This is characterized by slowing down the negative (lowering) portion of the movement. But what do each of these looks like in a practical sense…

Metabolic stress

Perform 10 full range Press-ups with controlled lowering phase (you can regress to your knees if you are not competent in doing normal press-ups), then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this as many times as you can until your technique starts to breakdown and you reach muscular failure. After, you will feel that your chest and tricep muscles (the main working muscles) are pumped and visually look larger in size. This is because your muscle cells swell up and trigger anabolic adaptations to occur.

Muscle damage

Perform 10 full range bodyweight squats lowering for no less than 6 seconds and coming up at a normal pace.

For more information about personal training please click here.

Why sleep matters and 5 proven strategies to sleep smarter Picture

Why sleep matters and 5 proven strategies to sleep smarter PictureSleep really is fundamental to health and performance. Sleep quality is just as important if not more so than diet and exercise combined. A recent study by the University of Chicago put a group of people on a calorie-restricted diet to see the impact on fat loss when their sleep-deprived or getting enough sleep. In one phase of the experiment, the group had 8 hours sleep then the next phase, the same group were sleep-deprived by sleeping 5 hours. The experiment found that when the individuals were well-rested, they burned 55% more body fat, just by getting more sleep.  What’s more, good quality sleep is not only crucial for fat loss but actually helps us to live longer. Telomeres Studies have found that people who sleep more efficiently tend to have longer telomeres. Telomeres are the caps at the end of chromosomes that protect your cells and genes. When telomeres get short from ageing, (or a lifestyle that promotes ageing,), our cells cannot replenish, thus speeding up the gaining process. Fortunately, there are things you can do to keep these caps long and happy. So, how exactly can we go about getting better sleep?

Exercise in the morning-Research shows that people who exercise in the morning spend more time in the deepest, most anabolic stages of sleep. What’s more these people actually slept longer and had a 25% greater drop in blood pressure at night, increasing parasympathetic nervous system activity (rest and digest) and decreasing sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) activity.

Go to sleep earlier-Scientists have found that from the hours of 10 pm-2 pm there is an anabolic window where the highest levels of HGH (human growth hormone) is produced, which is muscle sparing and helps to keep you more youthful and energised. Also, this time, lines up with natural melatonin secretion, which helps us move through our sleep cycles more efficiently.

Create a sleep sanctuary-Make your bedroom your sleep sanctuary. If you want to optimise your sleep, your bed should not be for watching TV or going on your phone; instead, it should be for sleep alone. You also want your room to be dark and cold when you come to sleep as this helps your body produce more melatonin.

Avoid Blue light exposure-Blue light exposure from our favourite devices suppress melatonin substantially. Research has found for every hour you are on your device at night you suppress your melatonin production for 30minutes. This habit change is a difficult one for most of us but try to start by avoiding going on your devices for at least 30minutes before bed.

Avoid caffeine in the evening-Caffeine acts as an “adenosine receptor antagonist.” Adenosine is a substance in your body that promotes sleepiness. Caffeine blocks the adenosine receptor to keep you from feeling sleepy. Caffeine begins to affect your body very quickly. It reaches a peak level in your blood within 30 to 60 minutes. It has a half-life of 3 to 5 hours. The half-life is the time it takes for your body to eliminate half of the drug. The remaining caffeine can stay in your body for a long time. As a general recommendation, try to avoid caffeine after 4 pm.

In summary, we can see how vital sleep is to our health, performance and body composition. So, before we get caught up in what fad diet you should try next, prioritise getting better sleep.