Gym Factory News

July 4, 2016

Lacking Motivation? Read Here!

What drives motivation?
Motivation can be used to describe ones behavioural patterns and a person’s willingness to do something based on their actions, desires and needs. It’s the difference between ordering a pizza and watching TV or having a fruit shake and going for a run.

What drives a persons motivation can come down to a number of different factors such as eating habits, energy levels, stress levels, desire to reach a goal, importance of a goal, time constraints, self image and many more. I see all too often the face of self-doubt, the cancelled membership and the wasted money due to lack of motivation. Ahead are some strategies that can be implemented if motivation is the key factor affecting your performance.

Set goals
If you don’t know where you are going, how do you know when you get there? Set your self-short term and long-term goals. Make sure you put a number figure on it and ensure you have a finish date. This can be related to anything –
• Attending the gym 3 times a week up until Christmas
• Do 10 push ups in 3 months time
• Be able to run 1km in 4 weeks time
• Lose 10kg by the time you go on a planned holiday

Have a work out buddy
Working out by yourself can definitely get boring and you can lose focus pretty quick. Have a member of your family or a friend to train with you and help push each other that bit harder. You’ll be surprised how much faster a workout can go when you’re enjoying it with someone else!

Reward yourself
I find for myself that a reward when I reach my target always helps me push harder for my next goal. The reward must be proportional to the goal. This can be buying new gym clothes when you get to that squat target, or going on a weekend trip when you get to that 20kg weight loss target.

Classes or PT sessions
You are more likely to stick to a session if it has a time attached to it rather than deciding to go to the gym yourself. Group classes and Personal training sessions offer the best motivation you can get.

Get into your own rhythm
There’s often a lot going on in a gym and a lot to distract you. If you find you get distracted easy, put in your headphones, go into your own zone and block the rest of the world out just for that work out.

Think positive!
Always stay in a positive state of mind no matter what. Exercise actually releases the same chemicals in your brain as eating chocolate or laughing!

Conclusion
Remember that motivation is simply a mindset, and it is something that we do have control of, obviously there are a lot of contributing factors that can cause our motivation to go up & down – but ultimately we have the ability to change this! Try incorporating some of the above into your training plan and see if they have a positive effect on you. If you are still lacking motivation, feel free to come and have a chat to me in the gym and we can discuss some other ways to help you…

Ritchie

#goals #motivation #northernbeaches #warriewood #gym #fitness #groupclasses #yoga #pilates #bootcamp #narrabeen #newport #elanora #collaroy #avalon #monavale #strength #cardio #weights

May 10, 2016

An insight into Bodybuilding preparation!

Hello to the people of the Northern Beaches. Ritchie here, Personal Trainer and first time competitive bodybuilder. I wanted to give you a bit of an insight into the preparation that leads into a bodybuilding “comp day”. While people who compete take it to the absolute extreme, the disciplines used are not too different to that of a person with a weight loss, or muscle gain goal!! Hopefully you find it useful ;)

What exactly is competitive bodybuilding?

For years now, it has been an increasingly growing trend among people of the fitness industry – to push their bodies in search of the perfect physique and to match a certain criteria that would bring them into spotlight on stage. There are many divisions such as bodybuilding, physique, fitness, bikini, all of which require you to meet different criteria. I can’t speak for all divisions here as preparation varies greatly, but I will give you an insight as to what’s involved leading up to a competition as a bodybuilder…. Focusing on the 3 months prior to comp day!

So what’s involved?

Like most people competing, I did so with the help of an experienced coach who helped me with nutrition, cardio training, posing and on day preparation. In bodybuilding, it is essential to get down to a low, yet safe body fat percentage, and depending where you start, influences your training scheme.

Weight Training

The “bodybuilders” is the division where you’re required to hold the most muscle mass, so weight training is essential. Though I’m unlikely to put on much muscle mass in the 3 months leading up to a competition as I am in a calorie deficient phase, however it is important that I am maintaining all the muscle mass I have put on prior and that I keep my strength up.

Cardio Training

If you know me well, you would know that cardio is definitely not my favorite thing to do in a gym! But it is an essential part of preparation, and depending on your starting body composition, cardio may be implemented right away, or it may come in later down the track. Personally, I started my preparation on 11.5% Body fat so it wasn’t until the closer weeks that I needed to include cardio. (thank god haha). Cardio training is a great way to burn down fat and my coach and I managed to get me down to 8% for my first show.

Eating / Drinking

Eating and food preparation is the most important part of the whole equation. In order to lose fat, you have to be consuming less calories then what you are burning each day. Your daily macronutrients have to be met, going to the extent of weighing each and every part of your meal, every day…. to the gram, slowly decreasing portion size until a steady rate of fat loss is achieved.
During the course of the comp preparation, most people do not consume any alcohol!

Posing

Perfecting posing is vital. You can go on stage with the best physique there but if your posing isn’t perfected, it could cost you a placing on stage. Hours are spent in front of the mirror practicing transitions, flexing and of course a big smile.

Why is it thought of as so challenging?

In my opinion, it’s one of the hardest but most rewarding things I’ve done. To me, food was the hardest part as I LOVE food, and it really affected me….. I was told what I could eat, and at what time I could eat it. I was in a constant state of hunger. I’ve always had a healthy lifestyle, but like anyone I enjoyed things in moderation so removing all sugar, fast food and alcohol for 3 months definitely takes its toll on you and tests your will power! You would be surprised at the large part of your social life that revolves around drinking and eating. Always having to think ahead, bringing my pre weighed meals to BBQ’s and fighting the temptation to have an ice-cold beer or a nice hot dog with onion and cheese.

How I overcome challenges and temptation;

The challenges I face everyday are no different to that of the general person looking at weight loss. Struggling for that bit of motivation to go to the gym or fighting the temptation to eat that chocolate bar. I’ve implemented certain strategies to beating temptation, which everyone can find useful!

Remove opportunity – If you find you have weak will power like me, remove any sort of opportunity of cheating your self. Don’t walk down the chocolate aisle, only store healthy food at home, avoid situations where you are going to be overwhelmed by unhealthy options.

Don’t justify bad decisions – It is really common for people to justify their snacking. “I walked 30 mins extra today, I deserve a chocolate.” You are putting positive reinforcement of bad decisions that you always regret later.

Set goals – Set short and long-term goals and keep track of them. There’s nothing more rewarding than reaching the end of a week and being exactly where you planned to be or even ahead!

Planning – Meal prep can be done by everyone. Though you shouldn’t go to the extremes of weighing each portion of your meal, preparing your meals for the day the night before can drastically decrease the chance of spontaneous snacking. If you are having trouble with motivation to get to the gym, make a weekly plan. Write a weeks plan and mark off each day as you complete the day. Book in group classes or Personal training sessions. If you have a time booked in, you are more likely to stick to it.

Get creative – Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring. Check out healthy-recipes for some healthy tasty recipes. You are less likely to snack if your taste buds have been satisfied!
And if you’re struggling to stay on track and find that these strategies aren’t working for you. Feel free to come and see me in the gym and we can brainstorm a way that works for you!

Conclusion

By no means do I recommend this drastic lifestyle change for everyone. But if it’s something you have been considering doing, I highly recommend it as it so rewarding! On May 28th I will be competing in the Nationals where I hope to get my “pro status” and an invitation to compete in Bali in October. I have a further 3kg’s to lose in the 3 weeks leading up to competition day and have never been more motivated. Always keep your eyes on the prize and don’t let anything stand in your way!!

April 14, 2016

The mechanics behind weight training and muscle growth

Ok Northern Beaches crew, learning time…..

A lot of people set out with the goal for muscle growth… generally for men that will be to put on size or to get stronger for sport/work. For women quite often it is to become stronger, more defined and to have the ability to burn more fat at rest…..

So what are the mechanics behind muscle growth and what do we need to know?

How do muscles grow?

To start off we need to know how muscle growth occurs.650 skeletal muscles surround the skeleton. These muscles receive motor signals telling them to contract. The better these signals are passed between the brain and the muscle, the stronger you get.

In order to build up muscle tissue, you have to apply a greater stress to the muscle that it had previously received. The easiest way to do this is to progress to heavier weights. The process of muscle hypertrophy (muscle growth) does not occur while lifting weights, rather when you rest. Your body uses satellite cells that act like stem cells which repair or replace the muscle fibres that have been damaged during weight training to form new strands, coming back stronger in numbers. This is why there is some soreness felt after a workout.

What factors may affect muscle growth?

Obviously no one is made the same, and there are many factors that affect muscle growth and ones ability to add muscle tissue. These may include gender, age and genetics, which is why some people find it harder than others to put on muscle mass.

Am I doing the right weight?

Too often people are lifting incorrect weights. To progress, you need to be constantly keeping your muscles under tension, which is why adding weights is essential. On the other scale, people tend to over do them selves lifting weights beyond their capability. This leads to poor form, half repetitions and strain on your joints, which will eventually end in an injury. Ensure you are practicing correct technique within your own range of motion.

Conclusion

Always be pushing yourself to new limits, constantly putting your muscles under stress. While weight training is very important, it is also essential to add proper eating as well as good sleeping patterns to ensure you perform at your best!

Further to this, ensure when adding weight to your exercises that you do not compromise form!

If you would like a FREE weights focused personal training session with me, pop into the gym in Warriewood and I’ll be happy to take you for a session.

Ritchie

March 31, 2016

DO FITNESS REALITY TV SHOWS PAINT A FALSE IMAGE OF WHAT ITTAKES TO GET FIT?

Fitness reality shows have become pretty popular over the last decade, but do they paint a false image of what it really takes to become fit and healthy?

Since the boom of shows such as ‘’The Biggest Loser’’, which is regularly filmed on the Northern Beaches, people have become far more aware of their own health and fitness and for some, it has even inspired them to want to starttheir own fitness journey – which is absolutely fantastic, and should be applauded, anything that makes people more aware of their health & fitness is a positive! The problem with these shows is that we are given the impression that theonly way to get fit and healthy is to put yourself through deliberating and torturing workouts.

Challenge 1: Exercise needs to be excruciating in order to see any kind of results.

These shows give uneducatedand unhealthy viewers the impression that it is a must to go to the extreme to transform their bodies. Falling off treadmills, grown adults having temper tantrums and outbursts, crying on the ground and not to forget – vomiting. It’s great for TV!But the problem is; the uninformed viewers sitting at home watching, think this is actually what you need to do to get fit and that it is the norm…but it’s not!!

For most people the mindset is “If that’s what it takes to become fit, screw that!’’

Now we are not saying that your exercise program should be easy, or our trainers programs are easy, we are saying that they are appropriate to the individual that they are training in order for that individual to reach their goals!!

Generally slower and more sustainable progress for most people works a lot better,however this would make fairly boring TV viewing….

Challenge 2: Using scales as the only means of progress.

People obsess over “checking their weight”, and don’t get us wrong – the scale is good as a guideline to your progress, but by no means is it the only measure of progress for overall results. There are so many other factors that come into play. For example; building muscle is proven to speed up your metabolism helping you become leaner, but if you measured this simply by the scale it would say you had put on weight! The best way to measure progress is through different methods or using multiple methods. These include body-fat percentage, measurements, as well as fitness testing as well as using the scale will give you the best idea of how much you are progressing. Even if the scales don’t change, you may see that your measurements have changed! Or that your fitness level has improved!

Challenge 3: All or nothing mentality.

These programs give viewers and the contestants an “all or nothing” mentality. You have to lose X amount of weight or you’re going home.Train till you puke or you didn’t train hard enough. There is no middle ground!The truth is that real sustainable weight loss will come about by making small changes in your daily habits from week to week, or day to day.E.g. commit to eating a healthy breakfast each day, or do 20 minutes walking before your morning shower. These changes alone are a celebration in progress, but if we measure our progress purely with scales and how much “weight” we’ve lost, that is just going to knock down ones confidence!

Conclusion

There are huge positives to these shows, because as already mentioned – it makes viewers aware of their own health & fitness. However, we have found that a lot of people have a negative view of training, or personal training due to the extremes that these people get put through.

Remember that a lot of people on these shows are at a “do or die” stage, and they need a real shake up in order get somewhere.

Chances are majority of you reading this are not at the same stage, therefore the way you need to train, and the shift you need in your mind-set would not be anywhere near as great!

In wrapping, if you’ve been put off by TV – take yourself down to your local gym (not a big chain :p), and experience what it is actually like to be trained by a fitness professional!!

February 11, 2016

IS COFFEE BAD FOR YOU??

There is no doubt that we love a great coffee up here on the Northern Beaches, we have some AMAZING coffee shops around us here in Warriewood, Narrabeen and Mona Vale, and guess what – you can have coffee and not feel guilty afterwards! Coffee is loaded with compounds that increase metabolic rate. But there is more to coffee than just an energy kick; more and more research is coming out suggesting that the consumption of dark coffee has several health benefits!

History:

The consumption of coffee can be traced back to 17th century England where coffee houses were called ‘’penny universities”, because for a penny people could buy a cup of coffee and have intellectual conversations with people. If only we could buy a cup of coffee for that same price today! These days over 400 billion cups are brewed each year!!

Health benefits of coffee:

Researchers in the US carried out a study on the effects of coffee consumption and Parkinson’s disease – the study concluded that coffee drinkers and caffeine intake was associated with lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Liver disease:

Regular coffee consumption is also linked to a reduced risk of cirrhosis, a liver disease developed in alcohol drinkers. Drinking decaf coffee also proved to lower liver enzyme levels suggesting that the benefits are not from the caffeine content.

Helps keep you regular:

For unknown reasons, there is something in coffee that makes you want to poop 5 minutes after consuming it! Many researchers put this down to the caffeine content in coffee yet the same symptoms have been associated with decaffeinated coffee. Although researchers still don’t know what it is exactly that it is in coffee that makes us run to the bathroom they concluded that it must have an effect on the epithelial tissue of the stomach and small intestines.

Nutritional info of coffee:

In a long black coffee (that’s coffee without milk), there is only around 2 calories – however when you add milk and sugar to the coffee the calories can shoot up tremendously.
If you start to add cream or syrup to that, for example a Starbucks Frappe – you can be looking at up to 400calories, YIKES! That’s a far cry from 17th century England!
Coffee also has many antioxidants and is actually North America’s number 1 source of antioxidants!
The key here, like everything, is moderation – the best benefits come from having one or two cups a day. Anymore and you may find yourself with some unwanted side effects!
Try to keep calories in coffee low by not adding extra sugar or cream to your coffee! Long blacks are ideally the way to go, and add some cold milk for taste.

Over doing it!:

Like anything, it is easy to have too much of a good thing! Too much coffee can result in some unpleasant side effects. Caffeine can cause anxiety in normal people but also those with pre-existing conditions. High caffeine intake is also associated with depression, as a lot people like to self-medicate and believe the caffeine will change their mood.

Conclusion:

Coffee is awesome! Just make sure to keep it in moderation, and make smart choices. E.G.2 Sugars??Really? You don’t need that!!
If you fancy a natural pre-workout in preparation for the gym – give yourself a hit with short black!

February 2, 2016

Posterior Chain – What is it? What are the benefits of training it?

What is it?

The posterior chain is a group of muscles, ligaments and tendons in the posterior side of the body or the rear of the body. Examples of these muscles would be the glutes, hamstrings, muscles of the lower back as well as trapezius and rear deltoid muscles.

Why should I train my posterior chain?

Most people never really give there backside the same amount of attention and training intensity that they do with the front side. Often front muscles or anterior side of the body like chest, biceps and quads get far more love than rear counterparts. A strong posterior chain is essential for athleticism but it is also essential for preventing a droopy butt!

The posterior chain is the most influential muscle group in the body when it comes to your wellbeing and performance, and are the prime movers when it comes to forward propulsion. The glutes and hamstrings make up some of the largest muscle groups of the body which means they have a large influence on how our pelvis sits. But also how many calories you will burn at rest.

That’s right the more muscle you have on your body the more calories will be burnt at rest!

So how do I train it?

When looking into training exercises for your posterior chain, exercises can be broken down into two categories;primary exercises and assistant exercises.

Primary Exercises

These are the strength builders of any exercise program and the foundation of building a solid posterior. These exercises work multiple muscle groups at the same time and give you the most bang for your buck! Some of these exercises would be:

  • DEADLIFTS
  • SQUATS
  • RDLS
  • BARBELL HIP THRUSTS
  • GLUTE/HAM RAISES

Assistant exercises

These are the exercise’s to help boost the strength of the primary lifts, prevent injury and improve hypertrophy (fancy name for muscle tone!). These exercises would include;

  • BACK EXTENTIONS
  • SINGLE LEG RDLS
  • BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUATS
  • LEG CURLS
  • SLIDING LEG CURLS
  • SWISSBALL LEG CURLS

These exercises should generally be done towards the end of a workout or after one of the primary lifts.  For example; if you were to put it together it may look something like this.

Primary: Barbell Deadlift 4×8

Assistant: Leg Curl 4×8

As you can see you would complete a primary lift first then follow up with an assistant lift!

Conclusion

The posterior chain really is an important part of your training program and will make or break your athletic performance, whether you are a sports person or gym goer. A solid posterior chain will leave you feeling strong, healthy and tight.

If you would like some more assistance on training your posterior chain, come and speak with us!!

January 15, 2016

The difference between Weight Loss and Fat Loss.

Its 2016! Where did the time go? Christmas is over, New Years is over and now you are starting to feel the effects of how much food and drink you put away. The big question on many people’s minds at the moment is, howdo I lose this weight!?….But is weight loss what we are truly after? Or is it more fat loss that we are after? Both terms get thrown around a lot!! This article will help you to understand weight vs fat loss!

Weight Loss vs Fat Loss -What’s the difference?

Weight Loss: you are looking to lower your body-weight, the sum weight of bones organs muscle and fat.
Fat Loss: you want to lower the % of fat on your body while preserving muscle.
The problem with weight loss is that it can fluctuate daily since it is influenced largely by your stomach content, bowels, water retention, muscle loss or muscle gain etc…. By simply going off your“weight”, you really won’t know where you are at!
Two people that are the same height and weight can look drastically different depending on how much fat and muscle each person is carrying!

bone

The scales can be evil and misleading -do not base your opinion of success or failure on this!

Example: Carbs bind to water; so when someone decides to eat less carbs, they will lose “weight”, but this is mostly water weight! This is why there are so many reports of weight loss with low carb diets in the first two weeks. The same goes for when someone increases their carb intake, there weight can go up! Again, this is mostly water weight. These weight fluctuations can go up and down daily and can sometimes be disheartening if you don’t understand what is going on.

Weight training will help you to build lean muscle while burning body-fat, but on the scales it can look like you’re not progressing!

Take a look at the picture below, the 5lbs of fat takes up a lot more space than the 5lbs of muscle!

bone

My recommendation would be to ask your trainer for measurements, a caliper test or for truly accurate readings –a “DEXA scan”.

These are a far more accurate way to assess your progress!

A key point to consider: Cardio can help to really speed up fat loss, but without incorporating resistance training as well, you may windup ‘skinny-fat’- something to avoid! This refers to someone carrying a low body weight, but a high fat %!

A Take Home:your main goal with any fat loss plan should be to drop body fat while preserving as much muscle mass as possible.

When beginning a fat loss program start out slowly, safe weight loss is considered 1 to 2 pounds per week or 0.4 to 0.9kg per week, anything more than this and you are risking losing muscle mass. Aim to eat at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day and try to get some form of protein in every meal, this will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Sustained fat loss occurs by modest reduction of calories or carbohydrates, or a combination of both. Reducing them too aggressively can decrease muscle mass and your energy levels will also suffer.

I would imagine that after reading this, majority of you will have a light bulb moment and change your perception of what your goal really is – knowledge is power ;) FAT LOSS over WEIGHT LOSS!!

Preparation is Key

You’ve probably heard it before – if you fail to prepare, then you prepare to fail! Having your meals prepared for the week, or at least the night before makes sure that you won’t be falling of track and heading down to the local bakery.

Also, try keeping a food journal! The app “my fitness pal’ is great, and by recording everything you eat – it can really helpwith your fat loss journey!
Try to record your journal until regular habits are formed!!

Things that could hinder your progress: (outside of the obvious things we all know like sugar, alcohol etc)

  • Watching TV while eating
  • Eating in the car
  • Eating from large serving containers or plates

Please understand that you will probably make a mistake or fall off the horse at some point in your journey, and that is ok! But make sure you get back on track asap, and the easiest way to do this is through preparation!

December 1, 2015

What supplements should I be taking for training?

So you’ve been training routinely now for the last few months, you’ve sorted out your diet and now you’ve decided you’d like to add some supplements into your training…
You head into your local health store and before you know it you’re completely bombarded with every kind of nutrition supplement known to man! You know that protein is pretty important – so you head to that section.  Whey Concentrate? Isolate? Hydrolized?Egg White?Pea? I thought this was going to be easy! And then there’s a weird one call BCAA’s!

Where do you start?

If you have been training regularly it is a good idea to look into getting some basic supplementation as they can help with achieving great results!! When first getting started the two most important supplements in my opinion will be protein and a good multi-vitamin. If you would like more information about the importance of protein – there is an article written about it earlier in our blogs. Proteins can make-up to 70% of the body’s dry weight and are the building blocks for a healthy body. Although protein is mostly thought of as just ‘’stuff to make our muscles strong”, it is so much more! Your hair, nails and skin are also made of protein and when you are not getting enough, your hair and skin becomes dry and your nails become brittle! When it comes to choosing a protein there are basically 2 categories ‘’animal protein’’ and ‘’vegetable protein”.I’ll cover the benefits of each in a later article. Animal protein is protein that comes from an animal source like eggs, meat and milk. Vegetable protein is protein that comes from plant sources.
The most common protein source you will hear most about is ‘’whey protein” this is a derivative of milk. Whey has been shown to augment protein synthesis, assist with fat burning, boost the immune system and help decrease appetite. There are 3 main categories of whey. Whey concentrate, whey isolate and whey hydrolyte.

So which one is for me?

When choosing a protein powder it is important to consider your goals, your budget and any allergies you might have. Whey concentrate goes through less processing than an isolate or hydrolyte so concentrates tend to have more calories per serving and are slower digesting.
Concentrates are also generally less expensive than their isolate counterpart’s.On the over hand if you have an allergy to lactose it may be better for you to go for an isolate as they will have less lactose.
Another thing to consider is absorption time,an isolate can be absorbed into the body in a faster time frame than a concentrate so if you are really serious about getting your meal timing right, an isolate would be the way to go.

VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS

This might seem like a very basic recommendation, but the thing is if you are lacking in certain vitamins or nutrients – it can really affect your progress in the gym.For example, vitamin B6 plays a role in protein synthesis, and vitamin c plays an indirect role with metabolism and recovery.

Having a good quality multi-vitamin in the cabinet will insure that you are not deficient in any vital nutrients making your progress much faster.
When choosing a multi-vitamin, choose one that covers all the essential vitamins that the body needs. For example, although we can get vitamin D from the sun, most of us are still deficient in vitamin D – especially  if you follow a strict vegan diet or have a job working indoors for a large part of the day. Choosing a multi that includes these things will benefit you greatly over time.

November 19, 2015

RUNNING WITHOUT CAUSING INJURY

Let’s look at a common runner’s day – I’m sure lots of you can relate here….
Your alarm goes off at 6:00am – still tired, you pop the jug on, brew up a long black and shot it back. Your muscles are still a bit sore from your last run, so you do a few stretches then head out on your run.
2km in you notice that your knee starts playing up, but undeterred you finish your run and head home to get ready for work.
You get thinking about your knee playing up during the run and decide – “I must need new shoes!” You heard about minimalist shoes and that barefoot running is meant to be really good for you, so you head off and buy a pair.
On your next run,you blow your Achilles!…..What’s going on!?
Why do we keep getting injured doing the thing that we are built to do – run!!

Why do we get injured?

If you have ever tried to take up a running program and it has resulted in an injury, you are not alone. It is estimated that around 79% of-runners get an injury over the course of a year!
Recently a lot of attention has been on minimalist shoes, learning to run how nature intended and avoiding heal striking – “landing on the heel of the foot when running’’. This movement came about when physios realized that when we run in bare feet, the heel doesn’t touch the ground and we stay up on the balls of our feet. Landing and pushing off the front of the foot.
But when we put shoes on, it changes the whole bio-mechanical structure of how we move! With most shoes the heel is slightly raised for comfort which allows you to land with your heel first without causing any pain. Someone noticed this change in running style and came up with the minimalist shoe! When people first heard about this new knowledge,they went off and brought themselves a pair and the amount of injuries sky rocketed!
But here’s the thing, although it’s important to have good quality shoes – most of the time it’s not what’s on your feet that is the cause of your injury, it’s you! It’s your whole movement system and not just your feet…
There are two large reasons why people get injured when running;
1. Structural and muscular imbalances such as a severe weakness in a certain muscle group.
2. Progressing your running volume and speed at a rate that your body is not yet ready to handle.

Structural and metabolic changes

This simply means that someone’s aerobic and anaerobic system, increases at a rate faster than your ligaments, tendons, muscles and bones. For example; you might be able to run at a good steady pace for 8km without becoming too short of breath, but your hips might not be strong enough to handle the stress of that pace or distance and the result is your IT band becomes inflamed and your knee begins to hurt!
This type of thing is quite common when someone first gets the running bug, because you are so eager to increase your speed and distance!

The Fix

If you want to run without injury, you really need to take up a personalized and structured weights training program, a great area to start would generally be to increase your core and hip strength. But there needs to be analysis before you start to ensure you’re working on the key areas for you!

I’m not talking about lifting huge amounts of weight here,it can even be body weight exercises – but the main thing is to strengthen so that your body can handle the stresses of running.
Progress slowly! Too often just like we jump from 1 pair of shoes to another, we might start out on a fairly well paced program but then the next week you’re doing speed work!Progress slowly and be patient…. You’ll be glad you did in the long run! (No pun intended)
Talk to an experienced Personal Trainer or Physiotherapist & have them analyze what you need to work on, and structure a program to suit!
Running can be very enjoyable for all age groups, especially here on the Northern Beaches! We have fantastic running spots like the Narrabeen Lake Track to enjoy…just make sure that you are supplementing your running with a good quality resistance program!

November 5, 2015

IS DEEP SQUATING AN ABSOLUTE MUST!?

One thing that is really going around at the moment is deep squatting… If you want to have a good butt or big legs then you have to squat deep etc!
Type fitness into Instagram and you will be bombarded with images of guys and girls doing a deep squat with some kind of inspirational wording written over it….so with this knowledge you head over to the squat rack, load up the bar and drop it like it’s hot…! But here’s the thing; squatting deep is only good if you have good movement!
When you have great movement and mobility in your ankles, knees, hips, as well as lower back and core strength – a deep squat is one of the best exercises we can do for strength and power, or simply just building a nice butt. But when we don’t have mobility in these areas, a deep squat can spell disaster!
Here are a few things to consider when learning how to squat…

1. Let’s take someone with poor dorsiflexion (ankle mobility) for example, somebody with great ankle mobility will be able squat all the way down while keeping their shins vertical, this places the load towards the hips and glutes – the prime mover in a squat. However when someone has poor dorsiflexion you will find it impossible to keep your shins vertical, your shins will move forward over your toes and this places extreme load on the knee joint. This issue can be quickly fixed by placing a board or plates underneath the heels of your feet! In saying this, the long term goal should be to improve your ankle mobility so you don’t require the plates.

2. Not everyone is created equal!
When it comes to squatting, there is no one size fits all. Some people will have a hard time squatting to depth no matter how much mobility work they do, not because of tight musculature, but because of their makeup!
Take a look at these two femurs; you can’t say that they will both move in exactly the same way….

bone

The good news is that there are so many different squat variations that no matter what your makeup or background is like – you can still reap the benefits of a deep squat, or squat without any nasty injuries. Front squats, Dumbbell squats, Split squats and even sumo squats are all great variations of a traditional squat that you can try.
The best thing for you to do is grab a personal trainer next time you’re in the gym and ask them to assess your squat – they can then advise you of a great variation if necessary, improve your technique or simply tell you that you’re doing it spot on!!
If you’re on the Northern Beaches, pop in and see us in Warriewood and will be more than happy to assist you with your technique ;)