How Eggs can help you lose Flab!!

Hi Everyone,

If you’ve read some of my blogs and posts before you will know that generally speaking I am very anti diet. As I explain here , in the long term I just don’t think they work. You can’t live “on a diet” forever  and inevitably at some point you will fall off the wagon. Much better, in my opinion, to change your eating habits for the long term and move to a more sustainable healthy eating plan where you eat well for the most part, but also allow yourself some treats and to misbehave on a regular basis. Read on to lose flab quickly and easily.

However I am now going to show myself up to be a complete hyprocrite and admit….I’m on a diet!! Let me explain. I am currently training really hard, hitting the gym 5 days a week, and trying to build muscle size AND stay lean at the same time (an impossible goal many would argue). However , despite my hard work both in the gym and trying to eat pretty well, I still have some stubborn flab around my lower belly, love handles and lower back. The classic slightly soft mid section of a guy in his late 40’s to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, I am being hyper critical of myself, but then again I am a vain bastard and summer is coming, what can I say.

So I wanted a diet/eating plan that would allow me to maintain my size, contained plenty of protein for ongoing muscle growth AND would hopefully help me shift some flab and fat.

So whilst looking around I stumbled across “The boiled egg diet”. It sounds horrific I know, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. For me it ticked all the boxes. Lots of protein, lots of good fats, very few (if any starchy carbs) but also lots of good carbs and fibre from Vegetables and fruit. Would this help me maintain muscle and lose some flab?

I’m well aware that in some circles eggs have a bad reputation. Too high in fat! Too much Cholesterol! The risk of illness etc!

However, from all the research I have done eggs are an extremely healthy food as they contain lots of protein and numerous nutrients. Eggs provide the necessary vitamins and nutrients for our bodies.

Eggs contain a lot of nutrients, high-quality protein, good fats, minerals and vitamins. One egg is rich in Selenium, vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B5 and Vitamin B12. They also contain minerals and vitamins such as Folate, vitamin E, potassium, calcium, manganese, zinc and iron.

One large egg contains small amounts of carbohydrates, five grams of fat, six grams of quality protein and 77 calories. It is really important to mention that the white contains all the protein, while all the healthy nutrients are in the yolk.

The plan is to do it for just two weeks. Potentially just lose a few pounds, strip as much fat as possible and still ,as much as I can, maintain muscle size. I’ve been doing it for a week now. The diet is below. Take a look and I’ll give you my impressions of it after that.

The Diet:

Week 1:

Monday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: two slices of meal bread and fruit Dinner: cooked chicken and salad

Tuesday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: cooked chicken and green salad Dinner: orange, salad and two boiled eggs

Wednesday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: one tomato, one slice of meal bread and low fat cheese Dinner: cooked chicken and salad

Thursday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: fruit Dinner: streamed chicken

Friday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs Lunch: two boiled eggs and steamed vegetables Dinner: barbecued fish and salad

Saturday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs Lunch: fruit Dinner: steamed chicken and salad

Sunday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: tomato salad and steamed vegetables with chicken Dinner: streamed vegetables

Week 2:

Monday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs Lunch: salad and chicken Dinner: orange, salad and two boiled eggs

Tuesday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs Lunch: salad and chicken Dinner: orange, salad and two boiled eggs

Wednesday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: cooked chicken and salad Dinner: orange, salad and two boiled eggs

Thursday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: steamed vegetables, two boiled eggs and low fat cheese Dinner: steamed chicken and salad

Friday: Breakfast:  two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: tuna salad Dinner: two boiled eggs and salad

Saturday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs and fruit Lunch: cooked chicken and salad Dinner: fruits

Sunday: Breakfast: two boiled eggs Lunch and Dinner: steamed vegetables and steamed chicken

So here we are, at the end of week one, and what do I think?  Well firstly, not to state the obvious, I’m sick to bloody death of eggs!! However I can live with that part and there is only another week to go.

In terms of more constructive criticism…here goes. The effect has not been incredible but I’m fairly pleased. Mainly because I seem to be hitting the main goals. I haven’t noticeably lost any muscle size or definition but I HAVE lost about 2 pounds in weight and thankfully that seems to have mostly been in my target area around my midriff and belly. It isn’t dramatic but it is noticeable and strangely, even though I only look slightly slimmer, I really feel different. I just feel leaner, a bit more taught, tighter in the areas I wanted to tighten up. Now that may just be psychological and we will see where we are in another week, but for now it seems to be working.

Other side effects are also positive. The massive cutback on anything sugary and complete cut out of alcohol has me feeling more alert, staying awake later, but sleeping better. I’m also smashing my gym workouts for the last week.

So is there any downside?  Well Yes… I must admit to finding it pretty boring. Eggs, fruit, steamed veg and plain chicken is torture to a man who craves flavour and loves his food. However I’m adding garlic, chilli and ginger to just about everything and that has improved things.

The other definite drawback is that the eggs, whilst not creating the expected eggy fart environment 24/7, are causing some bad breath issues sometimes. The eggs seem to have the effect of drying your mouth out a bit and that creates a sort of sour feeling. I’ve found that if you just drink even more water AND clean your teeth an extra time mid day, it goes away.

So, if like me, you want to still build muscle, cut the flab AND eat healthy then after week 1 I would definitely recommend the boiled egg diet. For me it’s something I may do for 2 weeks every 3 months or so just to strip some unwanted fat.

Having said all that, I am dreaming of next Tuesday when I’ve promised myself a “bad” day and when I sure as hell won’t be boiling any eggs.

Take Care,

John

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Video’s to fix your Back Pain!

low-back-painIt’s become a well worn cliché hasn’t it? “My back is killing me” has become such a common phrase, and it’s very true that there seems to be an absolute epidemic of low back pain everywhere you look. I know this only too well because I also have started to suffer from it over the last couple of years. Having done some research and examined my own as well as other people’s symptoms, the cause is both obvious and nowadays all too well publicised. Two reasons…….we all sit down far too much, and our posture is crap. It’s as simple as that. The good news is that we can ALL do something about it.

The Causes:

Firstly let me elaborate slightly. People tend to get three types of lower back pain. The first is caused by an injury. You slip, twist too quickly, lift something too heavy, hurt yourself in an accident or playing sport etc. For these types of back pain, generally speaking, some rest, light stretching and a bit of Physio will sort the problem out. The second cause is an actual structural problem. You have damaged discs or problems with the other bones and joints in your lumbar spine or hip region. This is not so easy to cure although carefully planned exercise and perhaps medical treatments can help.

The third cause is the one I listed above and is by far the most common. The world has changed a lot in the last 40/50 years. Our parents and grandparents led far more active and physical lives than we do. They walked everywhere instead of taking the car, they did more physical jobs and work, they had less gadgets at home to do the chores for them, there were no computers/ipads/gaming machines to keep us sat on our butt the whole time. In short we are a lot less active than we were. Both in our jobs and in our leisure time, large numbers of us now spend many many hours of each day sitting down. Not only that but because of the nature of that work, done at pc’s and laptops or hunched over ipads, phones or games controllers, our posture has become appalling.

The results are now very common. Tightness, tension and pain in your lower back. Stiffness and shooting pains down one or both legs, often in your hamstrings and even down the side of your calves. A feeling of weakness in your whole pelvic and hip area. Do any of these sound common? I bet they do. The causes of all of these problems are easy to diagnose and name. In almost all cases people will have very tight hip flexor muscles and a tight Psoas muscle. Almost certainly you will also have weak or tight Glute muscles and most probably your Hamstrings will be weaker than your quads.

I wrote a previous article here about something called Anterior Pelvic Tilt. This is a direct reaction to tight hip flexor and Psoas muscles. In my previous article the focus was mainly on how to reduce the size and look of your protruding belly by doing specific exercises for your Psoas muscle and that is indeed a positive side effect of fixing your tight hip flexors, weak Glutes and correcting your APT. However the main reason for doing all of this is to get rid of those nagging, quality of life destroying back pains that have been plaguing you all these years.

Below are a couple of videos by a guy I rely upon to supply me with great and scientific information about not only fitness but physical health. Please watch the first one which describes in detail the causes and reasons for APT and lower back pain and shows how you can remedy it.

Aside from just the APT , weak Glutes and overly tight hip flexor muscles, another cause of general back and lower back pain is weak deep core muscles. You ideally want to strengthen these without shortening your hip flexors any more than they already are. Generally speaking anything that bends your forwards (like sitting down, bending over a keypad etc), but also exercises like crunches , leg raises etc will also shorten those hip muscles when really we need to be stretching them. Therefore the 2nd video shows some Ab exercises you can do that will strengthen your core without shortening your hip flexors. Of course as well as these, just doing plain simple old planks on a daily basis will work wonders for your core and Glute muscles.

I hope you found both of these videos helpful. It’s a lot of information to take in but please believe me when i say that this 100% WILL help your back pain if you can adopt at least some of these measures on a daily basis.

To recap:

  • Try not to sit down for too long a period. Every hour get up, walk around, stretch, reach for the sky.
  • Be conscious of your posture. Wherever possible sit as upright as possible, head up, shoulders back, the same when walking. DO NOT slump forwards.
  • Stretch those hip flexor muscles, as often as you possibly can
  • Strengthen your Glute and Hamstring muscles. Make sure these are worked as much or more than other muscles in your workouts for the next few months.
  • Strengthen your core and deep core muscles, ideally by doing exercises that don’t shorten your hip flexors.

I don’t want to rely on my friend Jeff too much for his information and videos so later this week I’ll be posting my own video of a lower back and hip stretch routine that I do at least every couple of days (ideally daily) which takes only 6 or 7 minutes and which will have noticeable results within two weeks if you stick to it.

Take Care,

John

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Join The Band to Build Muscles & Get Fit!

Don’t panic, we’re not talking music here (I’m tone deaf). We are talking about what i rate as the single best piece of home workout equipment you can buy. Watch the video, read the article and scroll right down to the bottom for some exciting news!!

Resistance Bands:

So what exactly are resistance bands and why do i rate them so highly? They are simply a set of latex tubes that come with handles, feet and door attachment. Usually they come in a set with 5 different colour tubes or bands and each has different resistance levels. By attaching all 5 bands you can really ramp up the weight/resistance to some quite high levels. I wrote in a previous article about these and some other pieces of essential home equipment but to me these are top of the list.

Why? Well because they are just so versatile. You can replicate probably 80% of the exercise’s that you can do in even the most well equipped Gym with just one piece of equipment that fits in a drawer. You can take it on holiday or business trips with you. They work equally effectively for beginners or for pretty serious trainers who are looking to build solid muscle. Resistance bands are also a little more forgiving on muscles, joints and tendons for those that have injuries or those who are perhaps getting on in years slightly. They are also perfect for ladies that either don’t want to go to the Gym or have busy lives with kids etc and want something they can do at home for 20 minutes a day.

They take a little getting used to and certainly a bit of experimentation to find the angles and exercises that work best for you, and that target the muscles that you want to target. However with a little practise you will find that you can work Shoulders, Chest, Biceps, Triceps and your entire back very easily. Working those leg muscles and Abs are a little more complex but still perfectly possibly.

Now i know that there are a load of guys out there shaking their heads and saying “resistance bands?? Really? They are for wimps!”  To a degree I can’t argue with that. If you are an advanced body builder or weight lifter then resistance bands cannot replace going to a gym and just shifting a shedload of heavy weights. If you are really trying to build massive muscles then resistance bands are not going to do it for you. However this blog is called Ordinary Guy Fitness and it aims to cater to the majority of people who want to get fit, lead healthier lifestyles and definitely tone up and build some muscle. For that aim these are perfect.

An additional, and for many people an essential benefit, is also the cost. Gym memberships generally speaking are expensive. Exercise classes are expensive and any sort of personal trainer is definitely expensive. I’m not putting you off of any of those things as I use or have used all of them, but many people are no fortunate enough to have the spare cash and in those cases a one of payment of maybe £20 or $25/27 is a very inexpensive way to buy a piece of equipment that can help you get fit and build some muscle.

If you want some tips on how to use the bands or incorporate them into your existing workout programme then drop me an email or comment and I’ll do my best to respond.

That’s it for this article. I will make it a mission to do my own video showing as many different band exercise’s as possible in the near future.

However at the top I promised you some exciting news. A couple of weeks ago in this blog post I talked about Ordinary Guy Fitness possibly offering some products that will help with your fitness, health and training goals. Well in a couple of weeks the first couple of products will be rolling off the production line and will be available on Amazon with Ordinary Guy Fitness branding and guarantee. Not only that but the very first products available will be Ordinary Guy Fitness Resistance Bands. Not only that but readers and subscribers to this blog , the Facebook page or my Twitter page will be given their very own discount codes that will not be available elsewhere. Make sure you don’t miss out. Go to the home page and subscribe to my email list now to make sure you don’t miss future posts and the release date.

Take Care,

John

Home Ab Workout to Blast Your Core!!

Hi Everybody,

Just a really quick post today. Following some previous exercise and video posts one of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked is can i show an Ab workout that people can do at home with no equipment. The answer to that is yes, or course. There are probably a dozen really good Ab exercises you can incorporate into an Ab workout. Your abdominal and core muscles are really tough, you need to work them hard and regularly and they will improve rapidly. Here is a combination of 6 exercises. Do them for the required number of reps or time shown in the video. Once you have completed the circuit take about a minutes rest, then repeat 3-5 times.

Ab Blaster Exercises:

Leg Raises with Hip Thrust: Lay on your back. Hold your legs out in front of you. Depending how advanced you are you can do this with legs bent or almost straight. Using your Abdominal muscles lift your legs up 90 degrees. When you reach this point use your lower Ab muscles to thrust your hips and legs up to the sky in a controlled motion. Lower your legs, under control, back out in front of you. Do not allow them to touch the floor. That is one rep. Repeat 10 times.

Sit Up/Crunch With Twist: Lay on your back with your knees bent and slightly apart. Hold your hands together with arms extended behind your head. Using your abdominals sit up and crunch forward moving your arms to extension between your knees. Lower, under control back to the floor. That is one rep. Then repeat, this time when you reach the top twist and crunch to the left, then lower back to the floor. Finally repeat the sit up again but this time twist and crunch to the right. Do 12 reps. 3 for each part.

Windscreen Wipers: Lay flat on your back, arms at your sides. Raise both legs together up to 90 degrees above your body. Under control slowly lower them down to one side as far as you can reach tensing your Ab muscles and controlling your legs down. Pause without your legs touching the floor. Then lift and raise them back to the middle. That is one rep. Then repeat on the other side. Do 10 reps in total.

Russian Twists: Sit in a semi upright position, slightly leaning backwards. Lift your feet off the floor, cross your ankles and hold them there. Then without letting your feet touch the floor and continuing to lean slightly backwards twist your torso from side to side and touch your hands on the floor to either side of your body. Do 16 reps (8 each side). I would normally do this using a weight or medicine ball but this workout is with no equipment, hence no weight.

Side Plank: Laying on your side place your feet on top of each other. Then raise yourself up onto your elbow which should be directly under your shoulder. Use the arm to support yourself and ensure that your body is in an entirely straight line. Squeeze your hips, side and torso to make sure you hold your body perfectly straight with no dipping down. Hold for 20 seconds on the right side, then turn and do the same on your left side.

Front Plank: Lay face down on the floor. Raise yourself up onto both elbows again placed under your shoulders to support your body weight and lift up onto your toes. Again it is important to hold your body completely straight. Do not lift your bum in the air OR allow your hips to sag. Whilst holding the position squeeze your torso, glutes, abs and thighs as hard as you can. Hold the position for 30 seconds.

That’s it. As i said repeat 3-5 times and aim to do this or something very similar 4 or 5 times a week. You will make progress quickly and having a strong core and Abdominal muscles is incredibly beneficial for health, posture, overall fitness and makes a big difference to how you look and carry your self.

Take Care,

John

Confession? Good for the Soul or Your Waistline?

Eating ConfessionsI’m not a religious guy, very far from it. The idea of confessing my sins is not something that really appeals to me, partly because in my case it would just take far too long and partly because the idea of admitting my wrongdoings (real or imagined) to someone else and them judging me for it just doesn’t feel right. However that doesn’t mean that I do no wrong OR that I don’t admit it…..to myself at least. Today’s blog is a way to confess your sins…..even if only to yourself, that I guarantee will also help you to lose weight and improve your diet and eating habits enormously. What the hell am I talking about? Read on and I’ll explain…

The vast majority of people that I speak to or observe who are trying to get themselves fit, or especially who are trying to trim that waistline and lose weight have one major obstacle, something that catches them out every time. What am I talking about…..it’s those bad eating or refuelling habits. Even those who are consciously making the effort and really believe they are “eating healthy” are often letting themselves down badly in the kitchen.

Little Sins That Kill Your Wasit line:

The killer is the small things, the little sins that you don’t even think about that ruin all your plans and knock you off track so that losing the weight, reducing fat levels, reducing your waistline and getting fitter becomes a much harder and longer journey than it should. If you’ve read any of my previous posts and even the title of this blog Ordinary Guy Fitness should demonstrate that I’m no evil taskmaster who wants to ruin your life and take away any fun or enjoyment. In fact in a previous post here I talk about how if you are consistent in your training and eating then you can cut yourself some slack now and then and have a blow out. However that doesn’t mean that 5, 6 or 7 days a week you can sneak a little treat or indulgence in and it will go un-noticed.

Biscuits

The fact is that most people, even those trying to be good simply don’t realise how all those tiny little slip ups, or small things that you think “won’t hurt” quickly add up. Let me give you a few examples. Tea and Coffee drinkers, and there are plenty of you, may have 3, 4 or even 5 cups a day. Let’s say you have just over a teaspoon of sugar with each cup….that’s 17 calories per spoon or 85 per day or just under 600 calories per week. In fact drinks are where most people fall down badly eg Fruit juice = average 120-150 calories per 250ml serving. 4 glasses of what you think is healthy fruit juice a week = 1000 calories. A can of soda/fizzy drink eg Coke = approx. 140 calories. It’s late at night, you’ve been good all day, you are watching TV and decide to have a cup of tea and treat yourself to 2 biscuits, “two biscuits can’t hurt right?” Depending on your weapon of choice there are between 60-95 calories per biscuit. Throw in the sugar and milk in the tea and your little pre bed treat just cost you 200 Calories. 5 days a week that’s another 1000 calories added. You’re peckish, you had a really healthy breakfast and lunch but it’s now mid afternoon. You open the fridge and there is a mini pork pie. It’s protein right….can’t be bad for me. It goes down in about 3 bites….another 185 calories. My point is that just in those few examples I have given you that is an extra 2500/3000 calories per week, and that doesn’t count any of the Wednesday night beers or glasses of wine after work which could easily add another 600-1000. That’s a real issue. Here you are trying to be good, watching what you eat, in your meals at least, yet just through small things that you consider insignificant you could be adding anything from 2000 to maybe even 3500/4000 calories a week. Let’s put that in perspective. If you are a lady looking to lose weight you will probably be aiming for a target Calorie intake of between 1400-2000 per day (depending on size and training activity etc). If you are a man it could be 1600-2400. That means that just through the odd little slip up you are eating a whole extra day’s food or maybe even 2. You are consuming 8 or 9 days worth of calories in just 7. How are you going to get a slimmer waistline doing that? Answer….you aren’t!

So here’s what I recommend. It’s a bit of a pain but boy does it work. Keep a food diary. Sounds simple, it is. Get yourself a little waiters pad and initially for a week write down every single little thing that goes in your mouth or down your neck. I do mean EVERYTHING. Every sweet, every spoonful of sugar, every nibble of a biscuit and particularly every single drink. Keep notes. Think of it as confession time. The trick is total honesty. You don’t need to tell anyone else, it can just be your secret, but you really do need to keep a note of every one of your sins. Then at the end of the first week get that pad, set aside an hour and go on google. Try to work out as accurately as possible the amount of calories you have consumed, focus particularly on the drinks, any snacks or anything you just know is probably not good or that is an extra that you could have cut out. I’ll guarantee that you’ll be shocked. Don’t cheat and deny yourself everything just to get a good result. Do what you would normally do and then do the maths. Once you know where all those little extra’s are coming from and more importantly KNOW what they are costing you it will become far far easier to exercise will power. Not only that but just by being conscious of the details and how bad those little inconsequential things can be, you will magically stop wanting them so badly.

So is confession good for the soul? Who knows!! However by acknowledging and then confessing your eating sins, to yourself at least, you will be taking the first and most important steps on the path to righteousness and much more importantly, a smaller waist.

After that first week you may find that you like the habit of keeping a diary. Making the notes and being able to see visually what you are consuming may be what you need to keep you on track. For others just that initial shock will do the trick. Give it a go, even if you are not overweight and just trying to shed a little body fat for summer or to trim an inch off your waistline show off your abs, this trick really works.

As always if you like this post, please share, like, comment and subscribe to my email list.

Take Care,

John

THE 5 pieces of essential home fitness equipment!!

Resistance Bands 1

So you want to improve your fitness and become stronger and healthier but can’t get to the Gym. Maybe you just don’t have the time to get out for an hour, don’t want to lay out the money (some gyms are very expensive these days), or one of the most common reasons is embarrassment. You may not feel confident in a Gym environment as you may not be completely sure what you are doing or could feel self conscious about your shape….

All of these are valid reasons for millions of people. However that doesn’t give you a reason to kop out and do nothing. As I’ve said in previous articles, you can do fantastic workouts that will transform your body and health from the comfort and privacy of your own home. However in order to do that effectively it would really help to have a few bits of kit and equipment to help you achieve your goals.

Listed below are 5 pieces or types of equipment that will help you do all the exercise you need to tone, flatten and pump your body as well as improving heart and lung function and general health. Most of these are relatively inexpensive, easy to source (Amazon) and easy to store.

My number one choice is a good set of resistance bands with handles. I probably shouldn’t advertise but something like this would be perfect.

They are very easy to use and enable you to literally do dozens of different types of exercises that very effectively mirror a weights or resistance training programme that you could do in a Gym. Many Gym goers sneer at them but unless you are already a hard core gym bunny who throws a lot of weight around you genuinely can do as much as you could do in a gym and the various bands add degree’s of resistance (weight) up to a fairly decent level. For women, beginners or youths they are particularly fantastic. Just check out Youtube for examples of the training you can do.

A set of Dumbbell’s or possiblly Kettle Bell’s. This is by far the most expensive item in my list. However if you prefer real weights to bands and want to shape and tone your body then a good set of dumbbells are a fantastic addition to your home fitness kit. What you buy will to some degree depend on how strong you are and what you want to do with them. Personally speaking, adjustable ones that you continually need to keep changing the weights on bug the hell out of me but they are a cheaper option. Otherwise like me go for 4 or 5 different weights. For beginners, those only looking to tone, or some ladies then you can keep it fairly light A set of dumbells that comprise or can be adjusted to 1.5kg, 3kg, 5kg and 10kg is fine. For guys or those looking to add some muscle then I’d say something like 4kg, 7kg, 12.5kg and 20kg would be perfect.

A professional style skipping rope. What?? A skipping rope? That’s a kids toy isn’t it? Very far from it actually. Some of the fittest professional sportsman on the planet, professional boxers and MMA fighters swear by them. Skipping well is not easy and when you start you will be deeply disappointed in yourself and tempted to ditch it. DON’T!! Persevere, keep practising and you will improve and when you do the benefits are fantastic. 10 minutes of skipping is a brilliant cardio workout. It gets your heart pumping, your metabolism racing and also tones your legs, forearms and even shoulders. Honestly, it’s a great exercise.

A Swiss gym ball, exercise ball, fitness ball…they have lots of names but you all know what i mean, an inflatable shiny ball. They may seem a bit naff but they work. They are great for a variety of abdominal exercises, good for stability exercises for your core and can also be used to support your body whilst using your dumbbells and weight training. Again this is a very cheap piece of equipment. Make sure you do not buy a ball that is too big, especially if you are a lady or smaller guy.

An Abdominal roll out wheel. Again not the most well known piece of equipment but fantastic for toning and shaping your abs and building deep core strength. It will also increase shoulder strength if used correctly. Another relatively inexpensive item although i’d recommend spending £15/20 and buying one that has good recommendations and is fairly robust so that it lasts some time.

That’s it. 5 very simple, cheap (apart from the dumbbells) and easy to buy equipment that will transform your home workout programme and help you to transform your body. There are lots of other things you could buy ranging from pull up bars to full home gyms, but seriously, you don’t need them. More home work out programmes will follow in later posts so get buying and lets get you ready to rock and roll in time for Summer.

Now go off and enjoy your Easter eggs without any guilt.

Take Care,

John

 

 

Ladies….How to banish flabby arms and saggy butts!

Bingo WingsThe dreaded Bingo wings, dinner lady arms (no offence to dinner ladies), bat wings….whatever you want to call them, most ladies hate them. With summer coming and the time to ditch the jumpers and break out the T-Shirts, summer dresses and even the Bikini’s upon us, many women look in the mirror and sigh discontentedly at the site of those “soft”, flabby and sometimes even saggy bits. It’s not just the backs of your arms, it’s your bum, your thighs, your belly and your waist…….aaaargghhh!!!

Well don’t panic you CAN do something about all of these problems and right now. Mid March gives you time to do something about all of these areas before we properly hit Summer in June.

Firstly, without wanting to sound like a broken record, you all know that what you eat and drink, your diet and nutrition generally is going to play a big part. This isn’t a diet article so i won’t bang on about it but if you can eat cleaner, cut out the processed crap, cut back on sugar, drink less alcohol and ideally also do some cardio based work then you are going to start to lose fat from all of those wobbly areas listed above that you hate.

However in this blog I’m going to focus on what exercises you can do to tone, firm up and add some tightness or even a bit of muscle to those soft bits. First an honesty alert. This is going to take some work. Not necessarily a huge amount of time, 20 to 30 minutes a day will do the job but during that 20 minutes you HAVE to work hard and it will be sore. No pain no gain is a cliché but it’s also true……Right, ready? Here we go.

Baggy Arms: Most women don’t spend much time in everyday life using their Tricep muscles which is the muscle that runs down the back of your upper arm. It is the muscle that extends your arm from a bent to straight position and are also the muscles you use when pushing things away from your body. It is this muscle that you need to work hard and tone up to avoid having baggy, saggy arms. So logically any exercises that involves pushing or better still straightening of your arm against resistance will work this muscle. Here are three you can do at home with no equipment.

Lady push ups: The push up or press up is a great Tricep exercise IF you do it right. The trick is to keep your hands no more than shoulder width apart and as you go down towards the floor keep your elbows tucked in close to your side. Aim for 3 sets of 8.

Chair Tricep Dips: Another great exercise for really isolating the backs of those arms. Initially start with the easy version which means your feet will be quite close to you. Make it harder by gradually moving your feet further away as you get stronger. Also be careful not to come down past a 90 degree bend in your arm or you may damage your shoulder. Aim for 3 sets of 12.

Overhead Tricep extension: This is a brilliant exercise that really stretches and tones your Tricep muscle. If you have access to some weights (At home or gym) just use a light dumbbell initially (maybe 1.5 or 2kg) If you don’t have access to a dumbbell then a bottle of water (500ml, 750ml or even 1 litre) will do the job to start with. Aim for 3 sets of 12 reps.  Each day pick 2 of the exercises and do the number of sets listed. Keep rest time between sets fairly low (max 1 minute). It should only take 6/8 minutes total.

Now for your thighs and bum!! Waheey, everyone wants great thighs and a shapely backside don’t they? Again though it’s not easy, your diet is very important but you also have to work hard. Your Quads (front of leg), Hamstrings (back of leg) and Glutes (backside) are some of the biggest muscles in the body and as a result need to be worked hard to change them.

Lunges: There are a number of different variations of the lunge, all of which work a slightly different part of your thighs and backside. Therefore I’d recommend doing a different one each day and rotate them. Initially start without any weight until you feel comfortable and can control the movements. Then as you get stronger add in some weight, but don’t go too heavy. It’s more important to go low when you dip down and really squeeze the muscles as you push back up. Start with 3 sets of 12 (6 on each leg) and work up to 3 sets of 20.

Squats: As with lunges there are many different variations, both with and without weights. To really strengthen and tone your legs you will need to use some weight at some point. However, initially you can do a perfectly good job just with body weight. Again try to use some of the different variations and change each day to work different parts of the leg and backside. Keep your back straight, chest up and head & eyes looking ahead and up. Push your butt backwards and lower it towards the floor, do not lean forward and topple over your feet. If using bodyweight do 3 sets of 12 to 15. If you progress to using some weights do 3 x 8/10.

Hip Thrusters/Glute Bridge: Hip thrusters or the Glute bridge as it is sometimes called is an excellent exercise for toning, firming and shaping your bum. Again it needs to be done correctly and the key thing here is to really focus on squeezing and engaging your Glute or Bum muscles as you push up and at the top of the exercise. Go for 4 sets of 15/16 when using both legs and 3 sets each side of 7/8 when just using one leg. Again i would choose 2 of these exercises to do each day and again it should take less than 10 minutes.

Finally lets get to your stomach and core. The truth of the matter (yes i know the truth hurts) is that if you are carrying a fair amount of excess weight and have a very flabby stomach and waist area it is pretty hard to really tone and shape it without losing some of that weight first. However you can do core and stomach exercises that will pull in and tighten your abdominal and core muscles underneath the soft tissue and simply by pulling you tighter it will give the illusion of having lost a couple of inches.

The Plank: The king of core exercises. Again there are loads of variation and the video shows a few that are all great for women and will work your entire core, ab and waist area. Initially just focus on the plain front plank until you gain some strength and then after a week or so try some of the variations. Everyone’s core strength varies but initially aim for 4 sets of 20 seconds at a time (with only 30/40 seconds rest in between). If that is too hard just do 15 seconds but the aim should be to get up to 45 seconds+ to really make it work. Concentrate on really squeezing everything tightly, your stomach, thighs and butt in particular.

The Hip Lift: This works deep core muscles and lower stomach muscles. Concentrate on keeping your legs straight above and thrusting upwards with your pelvis and lower stomach. If it helps you can slightly place your hands under the edge of your bum/thighs to support yourself. Aim for 3 sets of 10 with 40 seconds rest in between.

Russian Twists: I’ve no idea why they are called that, invented by a Russian i guess. Initially start off doing this without a weight, but again as you get stronger add some weight in. Either use a small dumbbell, a kettle bell or even just a 2 litre bottle of water. Aim for 3 sets of 8 on each side. Concentrate on keeping your feet raised just off the floor and lean very slightly back with your torso which places tension on your abs and core. As with the above choose two exercises each day and rotate them. Again this should only take 7 or 8 minutes tops. With Ab exercises try to keep rest between sets minimal for maximum effect.

That’s it ladies. 20 to 30 minutes each day and believe me in two months you will really notice the difference. Your wobbly arms will be firmer and leaner. Your upper legs and bum will definitely be tighter and shapelier and your waist and midriff will have been pulled in ad you will look slimmer. The key here is hard work. You need to push yourself. As you get better either increase the number of sets and reps or add in some more weight. Just doing the same thing day after day and not improving will halt your progress.

Take Care,

John