7 Top Tips to Look Great by Summer!!

Hi Everyone,

I wrote a post previously (see here) about Winter being the time to put in the hard work to get the body you want in the Summer. Well that is absolutely true Summer bodies are made in Winter. However if you over indulged a bit over the Christmas period (like me) and are keen to have a body to die for when beach season comes around (or at least not look like a beached whale), then what can you do to turn things around in the next few months.

Below are my 7 top tips for getting yourself beach ready and looking as well as feeling fantastic when Summer comes around. After all feeling fantastic on the inside will go a long way to helping you look great on the outside.

7 Top Summer Tips:

  1. Drink as much water as you can: Yeah yeah, yeah. I know you’ve heard it all before, hell I’ve even written about it numerous time (here and here) for example. It just happens to be true however. Did you know that drinking a large glass of water will make your body burn 30 calories more over the next hour than it would have done without drinking it, even if you just sit on your arse for that hour. 6 glasses a day = almost 1300 calories a week burnt off. Water also allows your body to work more efficiently, flushing toxins out of your body, improving your skin and also allowing more effective processing of proteins and good fats to help you build muscle and shed fat. Finally drinking lots of water make you feel more full, reduces your appetite and actively helps you shed weight.
  2. Cut out the booze: I know, I know, this is a hard one right. Well I don’t mean completely. This is a site for ordinary people and most of us like a few beers or glasses of wine now and then. However what I do is try to be good and have no alcohol at all from Sunday night when i hit the pillow, until Friday evening. Why? well a number of reasons. You sleep better which is major factor in both physical and mental wellbeing. You sleep well you look better, simple. Proper rest also allows your body to rebuild its cells and grow muscle. As well as sleeping better you will be cutting out tonnes of calories you probably didn’t even think about. A pint of Lager contains approx. 190/200 calories, wine even more at about 210. If you can cut out 8 beers or 8 glasses of wine a week that’s roughly another 1600 calories gone (2900 including the extra water.) Just these two measures alone over the period of 3 -5 months will have you shedding pounds in weight.
  3. Eat right: At this point I can feel you frowning at the screen “damn this all sounds like hard work” you’re saying. Well I have two answers to that. Firstly, I’m all about moderation and enjoying your lives so believe me I’m not saying you have to deny yourself completely. Secondly, yes it does involve a bit of effort…..shock horror!! Did you really expert to transform your lazy arse into Elle Macpherson or Dwayne Johnson without having to do just a little work? So what do I mean by eat right? Well in previous articles (here , here and here) I go into a lot more detail. However lets keep things simple. Try to reduce portion sizes by 10%. Cut as many starchy and heavily refined carbohydrates as possible (that means less bread, less white pasta, white rice, potatoes). Cut out or at the very least reduce sugar as much as possible (sorry, that means very few cakes, biscuits/cookies, sweets and definitely cut out the soda’s and fizzy drinks). Eat lean proteins – Fish, Chicken, lean red meat every day and get as much salad and vegetable matter down your neck as you can. Again, for me, the same rules apply as with booze. Cut it our Monday to Friday and then (within reason) enjoy what you want at the weekends. Do this and again that will be many hundreds of calories less per week. Combine with the above two measures and you’ll be rocking and rolling in terms of internal health and weight loss.
  4. Aerobic Exercise: Or as it’s also known cardiovascular exercise. By this I don’t mean an old school John Travolta aerobics session (leg warmers are soooo last century). Unless you love running and have plenty of time on your hands I also wouldn’t go the route of long distance running (nothing against this, it’s just not time efficient in getting you fit and looking good). I would go the way of HiiT (High Intensity Interval Training, or if you are more old school Circuit training. Pick 6 exercises that work your whole body between them. Do each exercise for 20/30 seconds or 10/12 reps with no rest in between. Once you have completed all 6 rest for 1 minute. Then repeat 3-6 times depending how fit you are. It should only take 10-20 mins max and you can do it in your garden, a park or even in the house if you can’t get to a gym. If possible try to incorporate some weights such as dumbbell/kettlebell into 2 or 3 of the exercises as this will tone muscle as well as build fitness and torch calories. This article and video demonstrates some examples you can use.
  5. Do some Strength/Weight training: I know that some of you hate weights. Ladies either get embarrassed using weights or mistakenly believe that they will turn into a 1970’s style East German shot putter as soon as they pick up a Dumbbell. Guys either don’t know what to do or again feel embarrassed by the muscle heads in the gym. Ignore all that, bite the bullet and do some strength/weight training. This sort of training tones and shapes your body like nothing else can. For ladies it will shape your legs and butt, define your shoulders and neckline and help shed those saggy backs of your arms that you hate when wearing summer dresses (yeah i know about those). It doesn’t have to be Olympic style lifting ladies, some smallish dumbbells and the right exercises will do the trick. Guys, unless you shift some weights around now and then it’s going to be very hard to tone up the muscles underneath that weight you have lost. Every man in the world looks better with slightly wider shoulders, a narrower waist, toned, fat free arms and a chest that is firm and free from moobs. We are not trying to turn you into Arnold Schwarzenegger here (unless you want to), just simply putting some muscle and toning onto your frame.
  6. Be targeted: I mean this in two ways. Firstly think about what you want to achieve by the Summer and write it down as a goal committed to paper becomes much more tangible and real. It could be I want to lose 2 dress sizes and tone up my butt. Or for guys, I want to get into 34 waist jeans and have muscular arms. Set a date to it eg by 1st if June i want to….. . Once you have done that you also need to be targeted in terms of your actual body. Take a look in the mirror and be honest. what are your good points that don’t need much work, and which are the bits that are heading south faster than you would like or are just a bit to squidgy and need some work. Once you have done that tailor your approach around those parts. If you are a lady and you want to firm up your bottom and legs then focus your training around those a little more (lots of lunges and squats). If you are a guy with a Pigeon chest or saggy triceps then target those areas and hammer things like presses and crossovers or push downs. It’s just common sense.
  7. Have fun and enjoy life: This is probably more important than all the others. None of the stuff above should be a chore. It’s all about moderation in life. By working hard and having some discipline some of the time, you can have fun and enjoy the good things in life the rest of the time. However it’s more than just that. I mean really enjoy life. Spend time with your kids, be stupid, laugh a lot, put work second to family, go on long walks, visit amazing places, eat good food, try new things. Get out and experience the world and squeeze the enjoyment from it. This is critical. People that are happy, enjoy life and are vibrant just exude a sense of wellbeing and simply look better. If you want to look and feel fabulous this summer the trust me, the six points above may help you along the way, but it’s this one, number 7 that will make all the difference.

Take Care,

John

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8 Top Tips To Defy Age!

sly-stalloneAge….It gets us all in the end!! However there is no need to be defeatist about it. We are all living longer, generally are healthier and with a little work can look and feel amazing well into our latter years. We may not all be able to look as incredible as Sylvester Stallone as we approach 70 (or even want to) but we definitely can defer, defy and defeat some of the symptoms that we’d all rather avoid.

Below is a list of 8 top tips to help you beat nasty Mr Age!! if you adopt at least some of these you’ll hopefully be looking and feeling fantastic well into your latter years. I’m 47, approaching 48 and fully intend to be fit, fun and ageing disgracefully for as long as I can. These tips apply equally if you are in your 20’s as your 70’s. The earlier you start, the easier it is.

Top 8 Tips:

  1. Mentality: This is hands down THE most critical thing for helping you stay young. How you feel about getting older will to a large extent determine not only how you age but how you deal with ageing. Of course getting older has it’s frustrations but if you get down about it, worry about every little ache or pain and generally live a life where the whole concept of getting older makes you miserable then that will be reflected in your health and face. Worry and frowning ages us, both medically and facially. Worry and stress release a chemical called Cortisol into our bodies which has a whole plethora of negative effects. Instead try to be positive in all things. Count the blessings that you have, laugh loud and hard as often as you can, shrug off all those daily little setbacks and generally squeeze as much fun from life as possible.
  2. Walk: This sounds very basic but again it makes a massive difference. Walk as often and as far as possible, ideally with some scenery thrown in. It has been proven in study after study that people who walk regularly are fitter, happier and live longer. If you are going on a short journey, just popping to the shops or heading into the country for the day then ditch the car or bus and walk. Get your head up, look around you , take in your surroundings and really notice the world. Most of us are in a hurry and don’t really look around us. Walking every day and getting into the outside air WILL have a hugely positive effect on both your fitness and mental wellbeing.
  3. Stretch: Maintaining your mobility is key as you get older. Many people start to suffer with aches and pains, lack of mobility in their shoulders and hips, lower back problems and general creakiness when getting out of bed or chairs. Unfortunately, to a degree it’s just a wear and tear issue. However you can really help yourself by stretching regularly. Spend 10 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes every evening doing a proper routine of yoga like stretches (loads to look up on YouTube) and focus on your back, hips, legs and shoulders and you will feel loose and mobile for as long as you want. Actually this applies to everyone, not just older readers.
  4. Exercise: “No shit!!” i hear you all cry. Yes I know this is an obvious one. We all know we should exercise but to me it’s important what type of exercise you do. If I’m honest any form or exercise that gets your heart rate up and lungs working will benefit you, but for maximum benefit as you get older you definitely need to incorporate some weight training into your regime. Why? I know many people are scared of weights. The answer is that by regularly doing some weights (doesn’t have to be hugely heavy) you will build and maintain muscle strength, tendon, ligament and joint strength and even more importantly It will help with bone density and strength. As we age many people, especially women suffer from decreased bone strength and even crumbling bones. if this happens in your spine or hips it can immobilise you. Regular bouts of strength or weights based activity fights this off.
  5. Drink Water:…..and lots of it. Yet another obvious one. Yes maybe it is obvious but how many of you do it? I wrote a previous article here proclaiming the many benefits of water consumption, but as we get older it’s even more important. If you want to fight off things like kidney and liver infections, bladder problems, joint stiffness and a whole host of other irritating age related issues then drinking 4 -6 glass of water a day WILL help. I guarantee it.drinking-water-2
  6. Supplementation: By that I don’t mean cramming a load of pills and vitamins down your neck. What I mean is using natural ingredients that have proven health and wellbeing benefits. Such as? Well if you can get as many of the following into your diet as possible on a regular basis they will have a wealth of benefits for your physical and internal health; Ginger, Turmeric, Chilli, Lemons & Lemon water, Apple Cider Vinegar, Natural fish oils, Organic Honey, Chia seeds, Cinnamon….and as stated above lots of water.
  7. Booze: Waheey…..that’s more like it. Don’t get too excited. This is not a license to go out on the lash 3 nights a week. However a couple of drinks in moderation has been shown to be good for the heart AND to help alleviate stress (see Cortisol above). So what do I mean by a couple of drinks? Well one glass of red wine 5 or 6 days a week will do you no harm. Or if you abstain 3 or 4 days a week then a couple of glasses of wine or 2 or 3 beers now and then should also be fine. I wrote a piece way back when i started this blog (see here) all about consistency and how it can give you freedom to enjoy your life. A few drinks here and there will allow you that enjoyment that is key to looking and feeling younger, and if you are consistent in your approach to fitness and wellbeing in most areas of your life, cutting loose now and then will do you no harm at all.
  8. Diet: Yet again a pretty obvious and boring one, but vital all the same. Lets be honest here, we all know what we should and should not be eating. Just to recap and break it down into basics. Lots of good protein – Chicken, Turkey, lots of fish and less often, good quality red meat. As well as Nuts, eggs and some good cheese. Don’t avoid fat as long as it isn’t processed fat. So some fat from meat, nuts, eggs, natural dairy products, real butter, real yoghurt, Avocado…it’s all good for you. Lots of fruit, veg and fibre. Basically as much veg as you can get down you. Things to avoid? Well, processed and packaged food as much as possible, sugar in all it’s sneaky hidden forms, almost all drinks other than water, tea, coffee and some occasional alcohol, and try to limit starchy food such as bread, cakes, flour based products, pasta etc.

That’s it, all pretty straightforward and basic stuff. The truth is however that its often the obvious things that we ignore. This article is not aimed just at us old/older gits. Whether you are 22 or 72 you are still ageing. If you can incorporate as many of these tips into your daily, weekly and monthly routines as possible then it will help everyone to age more healthily and gracefully and to actually start to forget that age is even a problem.

Take Care,

John

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The No Plan Training Plan!!

workout-diaryHi Everyone,

I hope you are sitting down as what I’m about to say might shake your world just a little bit. At the very least it will send any professional coaches or trainers reading this into meltdown. Here goes…….”I’m a big fan of not having a training plan!!”  There I’ve said it, you can pull yourself up off the floor now.

Let me try to put a little context around that bold statement. I know that the entire industry revolves around fitness and training plans. Magazines, Websites and many trainers base their entire income and life around designing and coaching fitness, training and workout plans. So who am I to diss them so easily? Well the answer is, I’m no-one, and I’m not dissing them…well not completely.

This site is Ordinary Guy Fitness and for many ordinary people trying to stick to a hard and fast training and diet regime can be very tough. I’m not talking about mentally but more so just because our lives are complex and busy. You may be able to get to the gym 4 times this week but only twice next. You can prep your meals and eat healthily for the next few days but then are going to be away on business and eating out a lot, etc etc.

Don’t get me wrong, properly designed training and eating plans 100% work BUT in the real world, hand on heart, are you always going to stick to it?

time-for-fitness

No Plan:

So what exactly am i proposing…..that you have no plan at all and just turn up and wing it whenever you can? No, absolutely not. That definitely won’t work. However there is a middle way, a way that builds flexibility, some creativity and a longer term approach into your health and fitness. Here is how it works, or at least how I utilise these ideas myself.

Firstly you need to understand what it is that you are trying to achieve, and ideally this should be a medium to long term goal. So the best example I can give is myself. What’s my longer term goals? Well i want to be fit and healthy, able to run, play some sports, look good in clothes and on the beach well into my 60’s (I’m currently heading for 48). That’s the long term goal. The medium term (next couple of years) is to hit 50 looking and being as fit and buff as possible. Shorter term (next 6/9 months) is to gain as much muscle as I can over the next 4 months and then get as cut as I possibly can in time for summer and possibly, finally, at long last reveal some proper six pack abs.

So you would think that to achieve that I need a proper plan right? Not necessarily. What I have is a broad brush , high level plan, and then I just change the day to day components to suit how I’m feeling, what I’m doing and what’s happening in my life.

So for example. I know that to gain muscle I have to train all the main body parts – Shoulders, Back, Chest, Arms, Legs, Abs probably a couple of times a week plus throw in some good cardio/fitness work. A traditional plan would probably split that into something like a 5 day routine with a couple of push days, a couple of pull days and a cardio day. Or 5 days of 2 bodypart splits etc. You would then stick to that routine pretty rigidly for 2 to 3 months.

I’m not suggesting anything radically different to that, I just like to take a slightly more intuitive approach based on what I’m “feeling”. Here is what I mean. I may go to the gym on Monday and blitz a Chest and Triceps session, maybe with a little Abs to end. Then Tuesday I might do Back and Shoulders. So logically Wednesday should be Legs and Biceps right? However , If I came out of Monday’s session thinking “you know what, i really didn’t feel my Triceps and wimped out a bit on them, I’m gonna do them again today”….that’s fine, do what you feel is best. Then the next day you hit the Biceps and Legs. Day after that you should probably do Chest and Triceps again but you’ve already done those twice so maybe do Chest and Shoulders. Just mix it up as and when you feel it’s right.

I know that sounds confusing but it really isn’t. It’s just about doing what your body and mind feels is the best to do on that day. You know in your own mind that you need to train all your body parts regularly AND do cardio. None of you are dumb and can remember what you have been doing over the last week or two so just adjust and flex as you go along. Rather than a weekly plan, have a more holistic 3 to 4 week plan where you roughly speaking hit everything that you need to equally during that period. This has so many positives for your training and lifestyle.

  • It means you don’t get stale by following the same routine all the time
  • It means that if you are really sore and need to rest a body part, fine, just hit something else
  • It means if you feel a body part is lagging behind, or you need to focus on weight loss or need to bulk up you can do it. Hell I’ve trained Biceps 3 days on the trot sometimes….it’s not against the law. Going off plan isn’t illegal despite what your PT says.
  • It means that if your life gets in the way and you can’t train as often or when you want you just adjust things. Do 3 bodyparts or a whole body workout for a few sessions.
  • By having an overall strategic plan but not a rigid daily plan you don’t feel like you are letting yourself down when you miss something out.
  • It’s fun. Last Friday I drove to the Gym with no idea what I was going to do and in the end did a load of stretching , made up a HiiT routine and then went on the rowing machine. I loved it. Follow your intuition.

Psychologically I really think this works. So many people set off on a training regime with fantastic intentions. Then something happens, an injury, family commitments, work issues etc. They fall off the plan for a week or two and their mind set changes. They believe they can’t get going again, become despondent “this damn fitness stuff is just too hard!!” and they give up. Having a “No plan, plan” helps with that because you haven’t really missed anything or let anyone down.

The critical thing is, you DO need to understand what your targets and goals are. You need to know that when you gaze into the distance, you do have a specific destination. As long as you get there at roughly the time you want and in the shape you want, does it really matter what route you take?

So if you have an organised life and can follow a strict plan fantastic, that will work for you. If not, if your life is a bit more chaotic like the rest of us, then ditch the rigid plan and follow your instincts. To recap, here are my top tips.

  • Have an overall plan of what you want to achieve some way down the track
  • Figure out the things you need to do regularly to get there.
  • Incorporate all of those things regularly and semi methodically into your routine BUT mix it up based on what’s happening in your life and how you feel.
  • Adjust the plan (or no plan) regularly based on the progress you are making and what you feel needs extra focus and work.
  • Above all, be happy with yourself and enjoy what you are doing.

Take Care,

John

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Winter is the time to transform your body!!

summer-winter-bodiesWe all train and try to keep fit for a variety of different reasons: Health, weight loss, sport, to achieve a goal or simply for enjoyment. However one thing I think very few of us would deny is that we all like to look good, or as good as possible. That is especially the case as we move into summer. When the tree’s start to bloom, the sky brightens and the weather gets a bit warmer every lady I know swaps from winter wardrobe to summer wardrobe………often involving hours of deliberation and a great deal of standing in front of mirrors muttering to themselves.

It’s not just the ladies, us guys, or at least the vain ones like me, break out the t-shirts and shirts, and then stand side on to the mirror patting our guts and saying “I really must do something about this beer belly”.

Winter Training:

However what so many people fail to realise is that by then it is almost certainly too late, or is going to take an incredible amount of hard work and self discipline to really make the changes you want in time to hit the beaches in great bikini shape for July/August.

There are a few points I would make here. Firstly so many people see fitness, weight and shape control as exactly what I’ve just described……a summer sport if you like. Something not to be thought about too much when the days are cold and nights are dark. Then panic sets in as soon as spring comes. Well it’s pretty clear that that is the wrong way to approach things. Rather than crash diets and crash fitness plans it’s far better to take a much more year round, lifestyle and holistic approach. In previous articles here and here I talked about why continually going on seasonal or crash diets don’t work and how by being consistent over the long term you can achieve amazing effects AND still lead a fun and treat filled life.

Secondly, by leaving things late you will have to work much harder, physically punish yourself much more and also be much more rigid in your eating plan. If you have any significant weight or fat to lose or intend to build any real noticeable muscle, then trying to do that in 8-12 weeks is so much more difficult than doing it over a 6 month period. By going more slowly you can gradually shed the weight, still eat healthily but also still allow yourself the odd blowout. You can also work more effectively on your fitness regime as you will have more time to build in both cardio and metabolic training to help you shed the pounds or kilo’s, as well as time for muscle building and toning to give your body the shape you want.

winter-weight-trainingFinally, most people have more time in the winter. There are less BBQ’s to attend, holidays to go on, sunny evenings with friends and a bit less temptation to drive you off course. Even as a committed fitness fan I freely admit that when it is a sunny Sunday afternoon in the garden all I really want to do is crack open a couple of beers or get stuck into a nice chilled bottle of white wine, often washed down with some fattening snacks. In winter there is less cause to dress in your finery and go socialising and more chance to dig out the old tracksuits, set yourself some targets and warm yourself up by working hard. Then by Summer you can emerge like a Phoenix from the flames with a brand new set of feathers and looking magnificent (well that’s the plan at least).

So how should you go about this. Firstly you should spend five minutes giving some thought to and ideally writing down your goals. It could be as simple as “I want to fit in those skinny jeans that used to fit me”, or “I want to lose 20 lbs in weight”, or it could be something much more specific like I want to be able to run 5 miles and have built my shoulder, chest and arm muscles up significantly.

Then you simply break that down into workable and mouthful sized pieces. So if you want to lose 20lb in weight, that’s roughly 3.5 lb a month or just under 1lb a week. Believe me with some dietary changes and an increase in your exercise that is achievable for anyone over 6 months but would be far more difficult if not impossible in 8 weeks. Similarly if you hit the weights fairly hard in a structured programme, throw in some cardio and also make some changes in what you eat, then you can really transform your build and musculature over 6 months, much more so than you can do in 8-12 weeks.

The final and fun benefit of training hard in the winter is that it is hidden. Just think how you’ll feel Ladies on that first sunny weekend (about the end of June if you live in England) when you finally shed the heavy jumpers and wear a sleeveless blouse for the first time and all your friends gasp at how you have traded in your batwings for svelte and toned arms…….it can be done. So what you really need to do, as with almost everything I advise is change your mind set. It’s September now, the dark days are coming (if you’re in the northern hemisphere at least). Plan ahead. Picture how you want to look and feel by May/June next year and put your plan into practice now. Summer bodies are built in Winter so this Winter make it count!!

rocky-balboa-winter-training

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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

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

How to Kim Kardashian your Butt!!!!

Kim KardashianIt’s a little known fact that Kim Kardashian owes the large part of her huge fame and fortune to me. If it wasn’t for the training tips that she uses from Ordinary Guy Fitness then her most famous asset, her Derriere, would not be in the shape that it is. As a result she very kindly agreed to pose for the photo above.

Now you may or may not be a lady who wants a backside of quite the proportions that Kim’s is and may also not quite want as much exposure as the Kardashian’s get, but i know of very few women who would not like to tone, firm, lift and shape their bottom just a little bit more than it is at the moment. Am I right?

So how do you go about that? Just what can you do to tone up not just your backside (or Gluteus Maximus to give it the correct name) but also the thighs as well.

There are a number of exercises you can do that will work your thighs and bum hard and give you that round firm look you’d like. I wrote in a previous article here about how to tone up this area and I’ll go back through some of the key routines that Ms Kardashian learned from me.

Click on the title word for each exercise and it will take you into YouTube for an example of how to perform them. So let’s get started on getting you a Kim Kardashian booty!

Glute Training:

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 Glutes 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. when you hit the top point, squeeze hard and count to 5 then lower back down, that’s one rep.

Glute Kickbacks: Another great exercise for really shaping your bottom and adding great muscle tone to your bum and backs of your thighs. The key to this exercise, in fact all Glute and Thigh exercises is to really concentrate on squeezing the right muscles ie your Glutes and your hamstrings in this one. I’d suggest starting off with 3 sets of 10 on each leg and then progress up to sets of 20. If and when that starts to become easy then as with the girl in the video add some weight, either by using a small dumbbell as she does or by adding some strap on ankle weights that you can easily find or get on Amazon.

Initially i would suggest picking two of these four exercises to do each day eg Squats and Kickbacks one day, Lunges and Hip Thruster the next. Mix it up and change it around as regularly as you can and use different varieties of squats and lunges. The idea is to work every part of your Glutes and Thighs. Believe me 10 minutes a day, 5 days a week and within a month you will really notice the difference and you’ll be on the Kardashian website buying dresses to show off your new favourite asset.

Take Care

John

PS: Some of the information in the article above may not have been quite entirely true…..but I’m sure you already guessed that! The exercises are spot on though!