Gym Factory News

October 9, 2015

STABILISATION TRAINING

Stability training is one of those things that a lot of people don’t do, maybe because they don’t know how? Or maybe because it’s not something you can really see visual change with straight away – but let me tell you, the benefits are AMAZING!!

For years athletes have known the benefits of balance training for their chosen sport. But you don’t need to be an athlete to reap the benefits of a good stability program! I’d like to tell you just a few reasons to start stability training now….

Stability work is good everyone, regardless of what your current goal is…weight loss, muscle gain, sport specific, maintain shape/health – it is something everyone should be doing 😉

1. TIGHTEN YOUR MID-SECTION: Balance training helps to recruit more muscle in your mid-section, by strengthening these muscles it encourages them to pull your stomach in tight.

2.BURN MORE CALORIES:Because the balance training will recruit more muscle, when you have more muscle in your body, your metabolism increases both at rest, and during exercise. In turn, you’re going to burn more calories – great for those with a weight loss goal!

3.IMPROVE YOUR MIND-MUSCLE CONTROL:Training for stability will help to improve your proprioception; this means you will have better control of your muscles when you ask them to do something. This will help you improve in other areas of training, e.g strength training.

4.DECREASE YOUR CHANCE OF INJURY:Quite often its weakness in our stabiliser muscles that leads to injury, this is caused because the stabiliser muscles are the ones that, as it reads….keeps you stable! They support the main muscle group that you’re engaging, when this support is not occurring correctly, that’s when it can lead to injury!

Training for balance and stability is a great way to add variety to a workout or push through a stage of plateau that we all go through. To find out about the best stability exercises for you, talk to one of our awesome trainers to help get you started…

October 2, 2015

Females and Weight Training

There are a lot of myths out there in the world of fitness. One of the biggest is the myth that women shouldn’t lift weights because it will make them big and bulky – I’m not sure where this myth started but it just won’t go away….

The truth!

No! Weight training will not make you bulky, the truth is that as a female your body simply does not produce enough testosterone (the hormone responsible to grow muscle) to grow as much muscle as what a man would when weight training.

You will however become tighter and more toned – Who doesn’t want that!?

I often hear women say, “what about those female bodybuilders, they look masculine I don’t want to look like that!” – Don’t worry, this is not going to happen to you with weight training, those women have spent years of training, supplementing and dieting too look like that!  

Now in saying all of this, there is some truth to this silly myth. You will over time build lean muscle, this is a good thing! Don’t mistake building lean muscle for being “bulky” – lean muscle is what gives us that toned, defined, athletic look – and with lean muscle comes an increased metabolism! This means that you will burn body fat faster!

Heavy Weights

Another myth is that women shouldn’t lift heavy and should only do light weight for high reps. There is a place for high rep training, but if you truly would like to strengthen and tighten around the midsection, bum and thighs -you’ll need to lift a bit more than 3kgs. If this myth was true we would need to avoid lifting grocery’s, chairs and baby strollers as well!  

Getting Started

The best thing to do when getting started on a resistance training programme is to make sure that the programme is tailored to YOU. There are a lot of training programmes out there, but how do you know if it will fit your specific needs and goals? This is where the help of a personal trainer becomes very useful. A trainer will listen to your goals and needs and write a personalised programme tailored specifically too your needs, goals and ability. They will also help you use the correct lifting technique with exercise’s to help you get the most out of your training. A “cookie cutter” program printed off the internet is not going to be the most beneficial for you!

Our advice to you, if you want to be stronger, leaner, more toned on our beautiful Northern Beaches this summer – get into the gym and start weight training!
Don’t be afraid or intimidated of the weights area in your gym, boys really do not mind if there are females training in the weights area, they are just as focused on their goals as you are!!

September 25, 2015

How to Make Exercise a Regular Habit

Starting an exercise program is really pretty easy, it’s the sticking to it thats the hard part!

We often start off with a roar but as time goes on, life takes over, we lose motivation and put exercise on the back burner. Then after we don’t see the results we were after – we quit….it’s a vicious cycle!

But there are a lot of people who do stick to their training routine…People who catch that “exercise bug”….. How do these people stay so dedicated? How can we develop the same dedication and stay motivated…?

1.      Do a variety of exercise that you enjoy!

Doing the same thing over and over again not only gets boring, it really isn’t the best way to get results either! Try different things – weight training, running, cycling, group classes, bootcamp. A mixture is a great way to make sure you never get bored or plateau with your training.

 2.      Use a Personal Trainer!

Not having to worry about what you will be doing on the day can be really convenient. You will also be more likely to go if someone else is relying on you to be there! There is also the added bonus of having someone there to push you and ensure you get the most out of your sessions.

 3.      Make it a non-negotiable!

The only thing REALLY stopping you from doing any exercise is excuses… Yes there are days that are jam packed, but a realistic goal of exercising 3-4 times per week is 100% achievable! I’m tired, I’m sore, I don’t have time…. They’re all just excuses.

Put your exercise into your diary and do not book anything over the top of it – your health should always be your priority!

 4.      Exercise when you’re tired!

It will energise you! When you get the “I can’t be bothered feeling” – challenge yourself to go and do some exercise and experience how much it can pick you up!

 5.      Log your activities!

Keep a log of your training and write down how far you ran or how many reps you managed to do. Looking back at how far you’ve come can be a great motivator to keep going.

 6.      Be aware of progress indicators!

Seeing muscle tone or weight go down is always a great experience and an indicator of your progress but there is so much more than just weight or tone to let you know that you are progressing with your training . Better sleep, more energy, realizing that your muscles don’t scream at you the next day after helping a friend move their furniture! Remember inner health is a huge benefit of exercise, as well as being confident with your body!

7.      Use a Stepometer!  

Have a stepometer and count your steps on a daily basis! Set yourself a goal at the start of the day and ensure you achieve it before winding down…

Living here on the Northern Beaches it’s not too hard to get up out of bed and go for a walk down on our lovely beaches so start your day the right way and enjoy the benefits!

September 8, 2015

Does What We Eat Really Matter?

Everything in our lives is much faster paced these days, if you consider the internet, mobile phones, iPads etc – and the food we consume is exactly the same, it’s produced much quicker than ever before!

If we went back 100 years, the bread we ate was homemade, the milk was farmed straight from a cow and drunk whole, and the cereals would be grown. All of these items would go off within a day or two if not consumed. However now days, in our busy and hectic modern lifestyles we no longer have time to grow and produce our own food, or room to keep a cow!!

So what does this all mean?

It means that today we are eating food that is lower in nutrients and high in calories (energy). The convenience of food these days comes at a price to our health and wellbeing. A low nutrient diet can lead to a list of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cancer, dental diseases and osteoporosis. The good news is the majority of these diseases are preventable, and some reversible.

What can we do to increase the nutrients in our food?

  • Try to buy from locally grown food markets. Not only will you be supporting your local small business but these stores are lot more likely to farm organically, increasing the foods nutrients. We are blessed on the northern beaches to have quite a few organic markets to choose from, you might fancy Narrabeen or Frenchs Forest market for example.

A lot of people think “Oh but it’s so expensive to purchase organic food” – let us challenge your perception…That nice car you’re driving, do you put average petrol in it, or do you pay that little bit more and put premium fuel in it?? Your body is the same – it needs good quality fuel, be proud of your health & your body like you are with your car!!

  • If you are shopping at one of the larger supermarket chains, try and keep majority of your shop to the outer ring of the supermarket, this is to avoid as much processed foods as possible – pretty much everything within the centre shelves will generally be processed.
  • Be aware of what YOU as an individual need to consume, Macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats) – also add water as essential part of your diet, and be aware of how much you need to consume.
  • An obvious one is to really eliminate the fast food/take away food that you consume; this includes purchasing “healthy” options from take away stores.
  • If time is an issue (especially in the morning), grab yourself an easy to use blender and mix up all your required nutrients into a quick shake.
  • Being conscious of what you eat is actually a really important part – keep a food diary so you can look back on what you’re consuming, then if you’re unsure if what you’re doing is correct – chat with a trainer who has a nutrition background, or a nutrition expert for advise J

 Remember the gym is an essential part of your health & fitness; however you can work your bum off in the gym and achieve little results if your food doesn’t reflect your goals!!

August 24, 2015

Why We Eat Junk Food When Stressed.

Do you have constant cravings for ice-cream, chocolate or just anything sweet? Are you still thinking about chocolate as you read this? There is much truth behind the phrase “stress eating.” Stress, the hormones it unleashes, and the effects of high-fat, sugary “comfort foods” push people toward overeating.

In the short term, stress can shut down appetite. Corticotrophin-releasing hormone, is released which suppresses appetite. The brain also sends messages to the adrenal glands atop the kidneys to pump out the hormone epinephrine (also known as adrenaline). Epinephrine helps trigger the body’s fight-or-flight response, a revved-up physiological state that temporarily puts eating on hold.

But if stress persists, it’s a different story. The adrenal glands release another hormone called cortisol, and cortisol increases appetite! Once a stressful episode is over, cortisol levels should fall, but if the stress doesn’t go away — or if a person’s stress response gets stuck in the “on” position — cortisol may stay elevated.

 Fat and sugar cravings!

Once ingested, fat and sugar filled foods seem to have a feedback effect that inhibits activity in the parts of the brain that produce and process stress and related emotions. These foods really are “comfort” foods in that they seem to counteract stress — and this may contribute to people’s stress-induced craving for those foods.

Of course, overeating isn’t the only stress-related behaviour that can add pounds. Stressed people also lose sleep, exercise less, and drink more alcohol, all of which can contribute to excess weight and an unhealthy lifestyle!

 What can we do to help deal with stress?

See previous Blog “Exercise and Stress” for great ways to deal with stress.

However, in short – exercise is one of THE best ways of dealing with it!

Another great way is Social Support – Friends and family can make a world of difference when it comes to dealing with stressful situations. But having their support when it comes to pursuing a fitness routine can really make all the difference.

A huge step in the right direction is to become conscious of “stress eating” to ensure we don’t follow the bad habit of picking up naughty food!

 At the end of the day the goal shouldn’t be to get rid of stress. Stress is a natural response; the goal should be to learn how to deal with stress in a more healthy way!!

If you would like the gym, group classes, yoga or some sort of exercise routine to help you in dealing with stress, pop in and see us in Warriewood on the sunny Northern Beaches and we can show you some fantastic exercise routines to help.

August 14, 2015

Exercise and Stress

What is Stress?

Stress is our body’s way of responding to any kind of demand. When we feel stressed by something going on around us, our bodies react by releasing chemicals (cortisol and epinephrine) into our blood. These chemicals give people more energy and strength, which can be a good thing if their stress is caused by physical danger. But this can also be a bad thing, if their stress is in response to something emotional and there is no outlet…

Many different things can cause stress – from physical (such as fear of something dangerous) to emotional (such as worry over your family or job.)

It is usually the emotional stress that really affects us on a daily basis, but physical stress can certainly come into play at times.

We all know that exercise does our body good, but we are sometimes too busy and stressed to fit it into our routine.

Any form of exercise can act as a stress reliever. Therefore it is extremely important and beneficial that we fit exercise into our day when we are dealing with stressful times.

Discover the connection between EXERCISE and STRESS RELIEF

Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts a skip in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits…

  • It pumps up your endorphins – Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Although this function is often referred to as a runner’s high, a rousing game of tennis, a gym session or a walk along one of our beautiful Northern Beaches will do just fine!
  • It’s meditation in motion – After your exercise, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements.

As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything you do.

  • It improves your mood – Regular exercise can increase self-confidence, it can relax you, and it can lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All of these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.  
  • Do what you love – Virtually any form of exercise or movement can increase your fitness level while decreasing your stress. The most important thing is to pick an activity that you enjoy.

Gym Classes, Weight Training, Running, Tennis, Yoga, Pilates – choose a few that you love!

  • Lock it in – Although your schedule may vary, plan every week when you fit in your exercise. It doesn’t matter if it’s in the morning, or evening – the important thing is that you get it done! And do not book anything in over the top of this – your exercise is a priority!

E.G. If you have a doctor’s appointment booked in for 3.30pm on Tuesday, you wouldn’t prioritise anything over the top of this – exercise is no different! In fact, chances are if you do prioritise your exercise, your visits to the doctor will not be required 😉

Key Point

Remember exercise isn’t just about looking great, or trying to get that “perfect body” – there are far more benefits internally than externally!!

August 4, 2015

Sickness & Injury Recovery

This is to help anyone that is dealing with sickness or injuries or looking to return to exercise. If you have ever experienced long term illness or injury you will know how hard it is to recover from, not only physically but mentally as well!

When an extended period of inactivity takes place, the body gradually allows muscles to shut down. This is true for everyone, not only people recovering from illness or injury.

For example, people with jobs that involve a lot of sitting will eventually experience a loss of muscle tone overall and in particular to their gluteus muscles. When muscles aren’t used, the body reduces the metabolic processes necessary for maintaining muscle and allows muscle to decrease. Injuries and illness also lead to the same type of muscle loss and can eventually become muscle atrophy.

Consider the following things when reintroducing physical activity into your daily life:

1. Take it slow.

Allow your body and brain the time they need to begin communicating again. When your muscles are called to action, even in a relatively simple task, your brain and the muscles and nerves necessary to carry out that task must communicate. These channels of communication weaken over time and with disuse. Unless nerve damage has occurred, the communication signals can definitely be strengthened, but this process takes time; be patient. Your brain and body will re-learn; given time and opportunity.

2. Begin with walking.

It’s the most natural type of movement for the human body, and so easy to achieve – take a walk outside, or jump on a treadmill at the gym.

Swimming would also be a gentle form of movement on the body. Start with a few minutes, listen to your body’s response and gradually increase your time. Luckily enough being on the Northern Beaches, we have fabulous pools to choose from at Collaroy, Narrabeen, Mona Vale, plus many more!

3. Reduce your efforts by at least 20% of what you think you can do and work your way up.

Its true movement makes us happy! It’s not until we’ve lost or had a reduction in our ability to move around that we realise just how joyful movement is – This realisation makes us keen to return to exercise as soon as possible.

While the triumph of the human spirit over adversity is incredibly inspiring, being overly eager can lead to re-injury. Making steady progress and feeling great throughout the process will motivate you to keep going, especially on days when you’re not feeling as motivated as usual.

4. Consider working with a Personal Trainer that has a background in exercise rehab or corrective exercise.

They can provide you with the step-by-step program you need to get you back to the level of physical fitness you want for yourself. Whether your period of inactivity was extensive or not, or your loss of muscle tone interfered with daily living or not, it is helpful to work with someone who can assess your ability to incorporate certain things into your regime and determine your readiness to progress.

5. Remember that pain is pain.

While some fitness enthusiasts live by the motto “No pain, No gain”, when it comes to illness or injury nothing could be further from the truth. Pain is the body’s signal that you’ve gone too far or done too much!

Rest and recovery are as important to re-introducing exercise and the physical activity itself. Give your body time and listen to it. It speaks volumes about what it needs.

6. As you have throughout the rest of your recovery, continue to pay attention to nutrition and hydration.

Feed your body the best anti-inflammatory foods – sweet potato, quinoa, broccoli and kale are great choices as they keep the body at a heathy pH. Also consider some herds such as turmeric.

Avoid inflammatory foods such as fast food and alcohol.

Prolonged illness or injury can have a devastating effect on the body. Fortunately, the body’s default setting is health and wellbeing. The body will recover in time, given the right conditions. With a feeling of gratitude for all that your body has done for you and allows you to do, nurture yourself back to health by including nutrition, positive thoughts, management of stress and the joy of movement.

For more information regarding recovery from injury or illness, pop down and see us in Warriewood 

March 25, 2015

Are You Feeling Low And Lacking Motivation?

You know those times when your head just isn’t in it? You don’t look forward to it and you just don’t have the passion and energy that you once did?

The most important thing in life is that our heads & hearts are into what we do. The mind is a powerful tool, and if we aren’t correctly using our energy then we feel zapped and unmotivated.If you are just not feeling your workouts and your heart or mind isn’t into the routine…you need to switch it up!

1) Try something new and fresh. If going to the gym to do your same routine isn’t making you tick, you gotta mix it up. Try a new sport, a different style of workout, a group class,laps in a pool – no matter where you live on the Northern Beaches you have instant access to so many outdoor rock pools. Avalon, Bilgola, Mona Vale, Narrabeen, Collaroy… The List is LONGG!! Try a few sessions with a trainer, having someone telling you what to do without having to think or assess ‘what should I do next’ is really convenient.

2) Change who you work out with. If you’re always alonetry, working outin a group,you may just need a workout partner, or a new group of motivated faces that can push you.

3) Switch the timeof day that you are training. You may think that the evening is ideal but if that isn’t working for you, try another time for a couple of weeks and see if that helps.

4) Changing your environment. Get outside! Being outdoors is always really nice, especially where we live. Make one of your sessions each week outside, try a bodyweight routine at a park, go hiking, go for a run or take a kettlebell to the beach.

5) Take a break. Are you working out a ton? Getting yourself to training, but still not giving the effort you’d like to? Feel like you’re going through the motions? If this sounds like you, take a break!!

 

Give yourself a week off, let the body recover and focus on your eating. Recovery and rest is as important as your training, then you can get back into your intense training.

March 17, 2015

Stretching

It’s probably safe to say that not all fitness lovers are aspiring yogis, but that doesn’t mean you should forget to stretch!Even if you’re not a ‘fitness lover’, regardless of your job or exercise regime – there is a big importance for stretching! So come on Northern Beaches community – office workers, retail workers, mums,waitresses, tradies…the list goes on – START STRETCHING!

I,myself find it very easy to skip a warm upor a cool down and get on with what I need to do! “I’ve got to get to Warriewood Centro before it closes” kind of approach!

If we want to achieve results, we should not take shortcuts!

Take 5 minutes off that cardio or weights program to assure you stretch before you go home!!!

The Benefits of Stretching:

Being ‘Zen’ is not only for yogis. Stretching has a great calming effect on the body as a whole unit.As the muscles contract and lengthen the physical body relaxes, which then translates to a more relaxed and calm emotional state.

Stretching re-energises, relaxes and prepares the body for what is ahead; it allows the body to warm-up and encourages the flow of blood to exhort into all the right places- being the muscles.

The muscles then enjoy an oxygen supply and the nutrients needed to keep them going throughout a workout.

Stretching allows you to move through the full range of motion when it comes to hitting weights, it reduces the risk of injury: Just like vitamins are seen as preventative medicine for health, stretching can be thought of as preventative medicine for the body by ensuring it stays mobile, flexible and best of all – injury free.

Stretching encourages fast recovery: There is a reason as to why we are trained to stretch before and after exercise. Not only does stretching get the blood flowing but it does wonders for recovery- So in effect, stretching after a tough workout means that when you’re tying your shoelaces or walking up a set of stairs the next morning you won’t be left feeling like a string puppet who just had their ropes tightened.

In fitness, stretching is often overlooked with so many of us eager to get on with the tough stuff, something even the uber flexible are guilty of. However, I think it’s important to remember that being flexible presents so many benefits to the human body that are not just exercised in the gym.

 Who’s keen for a stretch??

 The Gym Factory offers Yoga and Pilatesclasses on our timetable, or if this isn’t for you – we have a stretch chart in the studio J

XO Lani

March 10, 2015

Carrot, Zucchini & Parsnip Frittata Fingers

Hey guys,
Lani here, waking up in the wee hours of the morning on the beautiful Northern Beaches to come to work, after being up late into the night studying – having an easy to grab snack is essential for my busy routine!

 We all tend to grab what is easy when we are running out the door –so I make sure that I have something healthy and tasty in a container so I have an easy decision to make when it comes to those busy times!                                                  

Despite the fact its very convenient, it also prevents unhealthy decisions throughout the day and assists in following a clean eating plan, plus it’s so much cheaper than going and buying something from a café.                                        

 Food is a huge part of my life, and everyone’s lift to be honest – I feel like I’m continuously eating! Someone even mentioned to me the other day when I was walking though Warriewood- “You’re always eating!”, and it’s true, I eat a lot, but I am conscious of what I’m eating and make sure it is the right decision – snacking regularly keeps my metabolism where it needs to be; 6 proportioned meals/snacks is the key-if we choose to snack on healthy food this will not only benefit towards being consistent but will lift your energy throughout the day, keep your head in a positive mindset, leave you feeling alert with a bounce in your step and increase your motivation to keep going!!

Below is a great recipe for a Main Meal or Snack –give it a try

Carrot, Zucchini & Parsnip Frittata Fingers

Ingredients:

  •   2 teaspoons light olive oil
  •    1 Medium onion, sliced
  •     80g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) grated zucchini
  • 60g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) Grated carrot
  • 50g (1/2 cup, firmly packed) grated parsnip
  •     2 green shallots, ends trimmed,finely chopped
  • 3 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 40g (1/3 cup) grated Jarlsberg, tasty cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour, sifted

Method

Step 1

Preheat oven to 180°C. Use a18.5cm cake pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base non-stick baking paper, allowing it to overhang.
Step 2

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Brown the onion and add the zucchini, carrot, parsnip and shallots, and cook, stirring, for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables soften. Remove from heat and set aside for 10 minutes to cool
Step 3

Combine vegetable mixture, egg, cheese, parsley and flour in a large bowl and stir until well combined.
Step 4

Spoon vegetable mixture into prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in oven for 12 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Lift frittata from pan and place on a plate to cool completely. Cut into 12 fingers to serve.

Alternatives:

Choose a Lite Cheese if preferred- whatever you desire.You can substitute equal quantities of potato and sweet potato in place of Parsnip and Zucchini If you want to add more carbs.

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