The most underated form of exercise

The most underated form of exerciseDuring these challenging times that we have found ourselves in, people have had to make changes to their fitness routines as gyms still remain closed, and equipment has been hard to get hold of. So more and more people have been taking themselves outside and turning to one of our most common primal movements and natural form of exercise … walking!

When people think about working out, more often than not, walking is not an exercise that they think to include in their weekly routine. But they should. Walking is actually the safest, least expensive, and overall, most beneficial way to lose weight and improve cardiovascular health. All ages can take part and it’s absolutely free.

I have been running for the past few years now as part of my cardiovascular workouts, and training to enter various events. But over time I have had to deal with various injuries which have stopped me from consistently being able to run. But I still really wanted to enter a challenging event, and it was at this time as I was trawling the internet for something to do, that I came across the Oxfam Trailwalk, a 100k walk over the South Downs that had to be completed within 30 hours. Walking I thought, yeah, I could do this. You had to participate in a team of four people, and you had to have a support crew throughout the whole time you were out there. So, I recruited three other girlfriends to walk with me and pleaded with our husbands to join us and support us throughout the event. I started to include training walks into my fitness schedule most weekends, slowly building up distance, and alongside this performing strength exercises in the gym to help keep my legs strong enough to endure the ever-increasing distances and the different terrain we were going to experience.

I have to be honest, always in my mind, I thought this was not going to be so hard, it was, at the end of the day, only walking. But how wrong I was. It was a hard and exhilarating challenge, not only on the body but mentally tough as well. A challenge that had us all laughing, crying and proud to have walked and completed 100km (62miles). I loved it so much that I am due to walk 3 marathons in 3 days over the Jurassic Coast, hopefully later on this year.

But don’t think that just because walking is a relatively easy form of exercise that you should jump headfirst in, especially if you’re new to exercise. You need to take it one step at a time! Create realistic goals and build up your fitness level.

So, let’s look at some of the benefits of walking:

  1. It is a gentle low impact exercise so therefore creates less stress on the joints and bones. For some people, those with ankle, knee, back pain, and those classified as badly overweight to obese, this would be the recommended form of exercise over running.
  2. It can help with reducing weight and body fat and gaining muscle. By picking up the pace and introducing hills will increase your heart rate which in turn will burn more calories. Try interval training, short bursts of increased speed or incline gives a little variety to your walk and helps to work you harder.
  3. It helps to strengthen the heart by increasing the heart rate, which in turn makes it more efficient at delivering oxygen and nutrients to the body’s organs.
  4. As this is a weight-bearing form of exercise it is helpful in maintaining bone density and strengthening muscles, which is incredibly important as we age.
  5. Exercise can help to boost your mood and alleviate depression symptoms by releasing endorphins which trigger positive feelings in the body.
  6. A good walk can do wonders for our mental wellbeing. It can help to improve self-perception and self-esteem, mood and sleep quality. This type of activity helps to reconnect to nature, and it has been documented to increase people’s level of creativity. And you can exercise with others making it more social and keeping people in contact with each other.
  7. It’s simple, it’s free, and can be done anywhere, therefore making it easy to incorporate into busy days.

Here are some tips for starting out:

  1. Get a decent pair of trainers

    There are so many brands out there it can be a bit of a minefield, but find a pair that gives you the correct support and impacts your comfort whilst exercising

  2. Start slowly.

    If you have been inactive, then start gently with 5 to 10 minutes at a pace you are comfortable with and build up over the following weeks until you have reached your goal.

  3. Set goals.

    Set realistic goals for yourself, such as 20 to 40 minutes of walking five days a week.

  4. Fail to Plan … Plan to Fail.

    Plan strategies for incorporating short walks into your day to keep your plan on track. And try and stay as consistent as you can.

  5. Plan several different routes.
  6. Having several routes to choose from will add variety to your walking so you don’t get bored. Plan inclines into your walk and include several intervals where you up the pace a bit to make your walk more challenging. Remember to start at a comfortable pace and slowly build from there, increasing pace and distance.

  7. Make walking a social event

    Invite friends or family to join you so they can also enjoy the benefits of walking with you. Making plans with others is also a good way to keep you accountable so you always turn up

Techniques for Walking that can help when increasing power and speed

Starting with good posture – standing tall with a nice straight back, suck in the stomach just a little to engage your ab muscles, look straight ahead of you with your chin parallel to the floor, and relax your shoulders.

Arm Motion can help with increasing power and speed – Keep your elbows at 90 degrees by your side and as one foot goes forward the opposite arm goes back, your hands should stay quite low and keep elbows close to the body

Walking Stride – don’t take too long a stride, strike the foot down on the heel and roll through to push off from the toe. As you become comfortable with your stride you can start to increase your speed and take smaller strides.

It’s a great opportunity to get out there and explore and appreciate some of the beautiful green spaces that we are lucky enough to have around us. Happy Walking!

Training around your menstrual cycle image

Training around your menstrual cycle picture

The menstrual cycle represents a unique series of hormonal changes that underpin female reproductive capabilities, but when it comes to exercise we too often deem these physiological fluctuations as something that may impair our ability to move. Instead, by becoming aware of the changes occurring at each phase, it is thought that we can ‘cycle sync’ our training to match our individual cycles, and so maximize our health potential regardless of the time of the month. Whilst research into this area is still somewhat in its infancy, studies do exist that offer validity to this practice, and so it definitely warrants some closer consideration.

Let’s start with some cycle fundamentals

The menstrual cycle, as the name suggests, is a repeating sequence of phases that can typically take anywhere from 28-35 days for one complete cycle; that being said, every woman is different, and so variation will exist between females, and even any one individual will often experience variations around this average.

These phases are typically categorized as menstrual, follicular, ovulation,
and luteal phases and a woman will go through each of these in any one cycle.

The menstrual phase

What is it?

This is the phase we commonly refer to as the period. It typically lasts between 3-7 days and results from the lining of the uterus breaking down. Levels of oestrogen and progesterone drop during this time.

Exercise focus

Strength training

-Since progesterone is suggested to suppress the rate at which muscle growth and repair can occur, the relatively low levels of this hormone during the menstrual phase means that this could be a great time to focus on your strength training.

-Moreover, testosterone which is a hormone involved in building muscle, is higher during this phase, again suggesting a strength training focus.

The Follicular phase

What is it?

This phase starts with your period and ends at ovulation i.e. when an egg is released. During this phase, estrogen and testosterone reach their peak and energy levels are likely to be increased.

Exercise focus

Strength training

-Studies suggest that estrogen improves the quality of muscle tissue, and so the force that the muscles can generate. The high estrogen levels and relatively low progesterone levels during this phase may provide a great opportunity to work on your strength goals and increasing muscle mass.

-Ovulation occurs towards the end of this phase, during which there is a rapid rise in hormones. As testosterone also increases during this time, some females may find this is when they are most likely to be achieving those strength PRs.

-Additionally, by acting as an antioxidant, estrogen has been shown to limit muscle inflammation post-exercise and so aid recovery. Whilst adequate recovery time is still critical to factor into any training programme, the body’s superior recovery during this time means that higher volume training can be factored in.

The Ovulatory Phase

What is it?

This phase lasting roughly 12-48 hours is marked by the release of an egg into the fallopian tube and occurs approximately 14 days into your cycle. There is an initial dip in estrogen levels, whilst progesterone increases here.

Exercise Focus

Endurance training

-Whilst there is no need to slam the breaks on your strength training, the higher levels of progesterone have been suggested to negatively impact muscle growth potential, and so it could be a good time to include some endurance training here.

The Luteal Phase

What is it?

This is the interval between ovulation and menstruation and can be divided into the early and late luteal phases, spanning approximately 14 days. Progesterone initially rises to reach

its peak as your body prepares for the egg to be fertilised; if the egg is not fertilised, there is a rapid drop in both estrogen and progesterone.

Exercise Focus

Lower intensity

-Whilst your energy may feel relatively stable during the first few days to a week of this phase, the rapid drop in hormones towards the later luteal phase often results in the PMS symptoms experienced by many women. You may notice your energy wane, your mood to drop and increased appetite to name just a few of the enviable symptoms (eye roll). Whilst exercise may be the last thing you want to do, partaking in more gentle exercise or incorporating a de-load week here can be a great way to boost those endorphins, whilst still honouring your body’s needs during a time when it is doing some pretty amazing work behind the scenes.

-The increased inflammation that occurs during this phase can negatively impact recovery, and so whilst it is great to keep moving in any way you feel appropriate, be sure to factor in enough time for a good recovery.

So, is it worth practicing cycle syncing?

Crucially, everyone is different, and each individual female will be impacted differently by their menstrual cycle. As such, whilst broad recommendations such as those discussed herein definitely provide interesting points of consideration, a one size fits all approach almost certainly does not apply here. As aforementioned, research is limited; whilst the above information is supported in the literature, at the other end of the spectrum are studies that suggest that for the general population the menstrual cycle shouldn’t impact performance, and hence contradicts the idea of cycle syncing. This isn’t particularly surprising, and it is often the case in research that for every study that suggests one thing, another will exist that suggests the opposite.

With that in mind, regardless of whether or not science currently supports this practice, only you as in individual can know exactly how you are impacted by the remarkable series of hormonal transitions that occur within your body month on month. It is important to honour how you feel physically and emotionally at each phase, and train in a way that best suits you. It could be a good idea to start recording how you feel throughout your cycle, and on the back of that, design your exercise routine to respect your individual needs throughout the month.

The bottom line is that by tuning into our bodies and understanding the incredible changes that occur throughout our cycle, we are best positioned to work with rather than against our physiology. This in turn will help us to strive towards, and succeed in our goals regardless of the time of the month.

References
Toth MJ, Poehlman ET, Matthews DE, Tchernof A, MacCoss MJ. Effects of estradiol and progesterone on body composition, protein synthesis, and lipoprotein lipase in rats. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2001;280:E496–E501

Sung E, Han A, Hinrichs T, Vorgerd M, Manchado C, Platen P. Effects of follicular versus

Springerplus

Constantini, N.W., Dubnov, G. and Lebrun, C.M., 2005. The menstrual cycle and sport performance. Clinics in sports medicine, 24(2), pp.e51-e82.

Is Cardio necessary for losing body fat image
Is Cardio necessary for losing body fat imageMany are still under the impression that in order to lose substantial body fat that they need to be doing hours on end of cardio. However, this isn’t the case. While it is advised that you incorporate some form of cardio within your training program, if your goal is focused on building strength, muscle and aesthetics, you will best be served by prioritizing progressive weight training.
A key thing to consider is also the type of cardio that you do. A good target to hit consistently is 10k steps per day which will burn roughly around 500kcals. What’s more within your actual sessions, you will get more bang for your buck by performing HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) cardio rather than LISS (Low-Intensity Steady State) cardio. This is because you will burn more calories in a shorter time frame and continue burning calories up to 72 hours after a bout of HIIT 💪🏼🔥
how to track progress image

how to track progress image

 

When it comes to tracking progress, whether it be in terms of your nutrition or training, it is important to consider what metrics we are using to do this. For example, a personal goal may be to simply reduce bodyfat and they might use the weight on the scales as the determinant as to whether they have made progress or not. However, the weight on the scales will fluctuate daily and weekly due to a host of factors, including, water levels and hormonal changes. Therefore, when trying to measure progress, it is best to use a range of sources. While weighing yourself can be an indicator, the most important way to track your progress is from Progress photos, measurements and body fat percentage tests, and collectively all these methods will give you a much more well-rounded l, reliable result. 👌🏼

For more information about our Fitness Programs please click here.

 

ARE YOU TRAINING HARD ENOUGH? image

When it comes to building muscle, one thing that most people can agree upon is that you need to be pushing towards muscular failure in order to stimulate growth. Research shows that whether you perform 20+ reps or 6+ reps, there is little to no difference in muscular growth, as long as the individual reaches close to muscular failure.
This intensity is difficult to maintain for multiple sets, so if you are following a programme whereby you need to complete 3 sets, the first 2 sets can be used to work up to your top weight, while keeping 2-3 reps in reserve. Then on your last set, you can challenge yourself by pushing to your absolute muscular failure point (the point at which your TARGET muscle cannot produce another rep without momentum). This type of training is very effective but is best done with a spotter/training partner especially for the bigger compound lifts.
Try this in your next workout and let us know how you get on 💪🏼🔥
#TeamADC #WinnersCircle #Training #MuscularFailure #MuscleBuilding

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ACCOUNTABILITY Image

One of the most important ingredients to achieving any goal you set out to is by keeping yourself accountable and surround yourself with others who will help you to do so.
Whether you are just beginning your fitness journey or you are more experienced, it is still always important to surround yourself with people who will support your growth and care enough to tell you the truth, as well as draw from as many data sources as you can – “what gets measured gets managed”.
The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have 65% of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%. Goals take time, hard work, perseverance and commitment to achieve. And results often do not come as quickly as you hope. You can easily lose motivation in the process and give up.
If you are struggling to keep yourself accountable and want support from our expert coaches to guide you through your journey and get you RESULTS, then click the link in our bio to find out more!

For more information about personal training in London please click here.

What is NEAT ? Image

THE MOST UNDERRATED COMPONENT TO FAT LOSS🚶🏻‍♂️🚶🏻‍♀️

While we tend to focus predominantly on Nutrition or our specified training sessions when it comes to fat loss, we often miss out a very important piece to the puzzle.

We know that in order to lose body fat you need to be in a Calorie Deficit (burning more kcal’s than you are consuming). We may think the only way to maintain this deficit is to drop your kcals or add a training session. But think about it there are 24 hours in a day. If you are devoting 1 hour to training…what are you doing for the remaining 23 hours? This isn’t to say that you need to restrict your calories too low or spend more hours in the gym. In fact, there is a simpler way, which is often overlooked.

This is NEAT-Non Exercise Activity Expenditure. This is the name given to the tasks and physical activity that you do outside your scheduled training sessions. For example, walking to work, mowing the lawn, hoovering or taking the stairs. Believe it or not, all these activities burn calories. To put it in perspective, you can burn up to 500kcals over a 60-minute walk. This doesn’t need to be all in one go but spread out throughout the day.

So the next time you are debating whether to drive to the shops or walk, opt for the latter where you can. Or if you find yourself sat at your desk during the day, get up and move frequently-go for a walk or engage in some kind of household activity. Think back to when you were a kid, you didn’t think about moving you just did it! We were meant to MOVE 🙌🏼 #MoveMore #NEAT #TeamADC

Should i train everyday image

While being in lockdown, many of us are doing some form of exercise which is great, and we would certainly recommend doing some form of movement daily. However, it is also important to note that your body also needs to recover. Recovery is needed for your body to grow and repair itself, and without proper recovery, your performance will be affected. So, we recommend having a couple of recovery days throughout the week. This does not mean that you sit down all day and not do anything, but instead support the recovery process by performing activities such as LISS cardio, going for walks or foam rolling/stretching/mobilizing.
Remember:
STIMULUS+RECOVERY=GROWTH ✅
#TeamADC #Recovery

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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.

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6 Week Online Lockdown Challenge Image

6 Week Online Lockdown Challenge Image6 Week Online Lockdown Challenge 💯🏆

The goal is to get you the best results possible in 6 weeks whilst we’re in lockdown. This will include:
• Before photos, weight and waist measurements
• 2-3x week online coaching
• 2x live fitness classes
• An individualised calorie-controlled nutrition program
• Weekly check-ins via Whatsapp
• 24/7 accountability from your dedicated group chat
• Access to our online membership with lots of recipes, workouts, motivation and more

Start date: Monday, March 30th
End date: Sunday 10th May

Click the link below to secure your space 👇🏼👇🏼

https://https://chris044950.clickfunnels.com/tough-mudder-challenge

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