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Have you ever wondered how we work out your nutrition plans?

Honestly, we keep it as simple as possible.

Below, I’ve used myself as an example; if I were to create a plan for me and wanted to lose weight.

My BMR (the number of calories I need to be alive) is 1900 calories

My current lifestyle activity level (this is the energy needed for training, moving, work etc) is an extra 700 cals

Total = 2600 cals

If I consume 500 fewer calories, then I need per day, that’s a calorie deficit of 3500 calories per week – this is approximately the number of calories in 1 LB of fat- = 1lbs of fat/weight loss.

So, if someone says they have lost 5 lbs in one week, chances are it’s not all fat. Some will be glycogen, water and unfortunately- muscle tissue.

As this would equate to a 17500 calorie deficit – I would not want to around this person.

So never feel disappointed at a 1lbs weight loss result as you’re on the right track.

This rapid loss will eventually slow down, sometimes stop- the dreaded plateau. But this is for another post.

* Constant states of depletion can lead to being lethargic, moody, hangry, cravings.

This is when a refeed meal can be advised.

* But when you have created an eating plan you can stick to, then it’s about balance,

And providing you:

A- Eat mainly nutrient dense food for satiety (being full)

B- Stay within your calorie/macro limits.

Most foods can be enjoyed as long as you stay within the limits you set for yourself.

 

Coach Baz

You may have already seen this but I wanted to express more on actually what dino has done in the past 18 months with me…

Rewinding back to how I know Dino and when. I remember when I used to see him come round my fathers house and FILL the doorway and block out the light making it look like it was midnight- thats my memory of him!

Dino, in his day was a big bodybuilder. Always been a big frame and has a lot of muscle that he has built over the years. He is never going to be ‘small’, but after not training for years and having a job that doesn’t require a lot of movement he started to put on more fat. Also being Italian, his parents didn’t understand the difference between feeding someone and having food on drip 😛 (Im only saying that because my girlfriends in the same boat)

Starting with me 18 months ago Dino was weighing in at 31 stone. Like we know he isn’t ever going to be ‘light’, but he wanted to change this. And I wanted to as well.

He wont mind me saying this but we could possibly say that Dino ‘hates’ training. Or very close to the word. Simply because he said he finds it tough to get moving. The reason im telling you this is simply because many people feel the same way. But if the reason for doing it is enough and you invest into a coach to help you, the excuses become less.

The first 6 months were tough to start things off for Dino but also he was losing every week and it was very positive. He dropped down to 28 stone in the first period, then moving into 27 stone and 26 stone by the year point. And then the last 6 months have been slower. That is normal and the point you need to get more specific with training and more specific with nutrition.

We went through stages of lower calories and higher calories to test out what he needed. We also went through different training styles to see how he responded.

You may think training is training, but people response very different depending on their body type. Dino grows muscle very fast and gains fat very fast if he eat a lot of food- simple theory but its important to know how fast!

We made his training more cardio based (I don’t mean cardio machines, weights but faster movements and more reps) Then after a 12 week period of changing a few factors and focusing on calories, more specifically what the breakdown of Protein, carbs and fat was, he started to drop more weight.

Having 25 stone as a goal, we started another 12 week focused plan to see that number on the scales.

Again we kept the calories at a consistent low, but fuelling with good enough nutrient to feed his body. We kept the training with high reps and some heavy lifting. And he grinned through with taking his steps up to 10k minimum per day…

At the end of our last 12 week check in he jumped on the scales and weighed in bang on 25 stone!!

This is not the end of the journey for Dino and he’s ready for more, but its a MASSIVE achievement to go from 31 stone down to 25 stone.

He is an amazing guy and deserves it. Knowing he feels and looks so much better is the reason I love my job and help people like Dino.

There is options for everyone, you just have to find the reason you want to achieve it and then find the way you are going to do it…

We run online and in person training so what ever suits you. If you are stuck and want a 12 week plan give us a shout!

Thank you for reading and show Dino some love!

Dean

Strong.Lean.Fit – Educ8
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Almost everyone who trains at any level, unknowingly practice the art of Progressive Overload.

I was inspired to write about this subject after reading ”The Worlds Fittest Book” by Ross Edgley. A fantastic read if you’re looking for your next fix.

What is Progressive Overload?

If you have a particular goal, then you have to put your body through enough stress and stimuli to achieve that goal.

For example bench press:

Week one you bench 100kg to failure. The week after you add an extra 5kg, week after the same.

Now the above example may be possible for the newbie lifter, however, an experienced lifter would be lucky to get a progressive overload of 1%, but progress is progress.

This concept governs all gains of any kind. If you hit the road to improve your running, week one you may manage 1 mile, week two would be 2 miles and so on.

Expecting someone to go from a couch potato to running a marathon, would be foolhardy and dangerous; that is why the art of progressive overload is employed. Small, steady and achievable goals.

Now, there are many factors and variables to consider; but that is it in a nutshell.

Progress can’t always be increased weekly either. But, as long as you’re programming toward a progression, then you’re on the right track.

Your body very quickly and effectively adapts to this- termed as a general adaptation- and that is why you need to consistently overload the body with stress and stimuli for your body to develop.

So, where do you go from here?

Do you often train to a comfortable level? And wonder why you’ve not changed lately.

Keeping this close to home and using our classes as an example- how can you use Progressive Overload?

In our advanced Barbell program, members knowingly or unknowingly are in a constant state of Progressive Overload, as we always throw different kinds of stress and stimuli at them. Whether its different tempo’s, rep ranges, movements, angles or energy systems. That’s of course in conjunction with their weight ranges for specific exercises.

In our beginner/ intermediate Team Training program; Progressive overload maybe as simple as being able to perform a full squat; turning half press-ups into full ones, or merely increasing increments on kettlebells.

Whether small or large, we should all be training towards some form of progressive overload.

 

Coach Baz.

 

Another one of those terms that do the rounds from time-to-time.

Most peoples belief is that they train, they ache, they feel tired; it must be because they train too much.
I find it hard to believe that out of the 168 hours a week; you may spend somewhere near 3-8 hours of that available time training, does that constitute overtraining?

Probably not.

In professional sports, athletes regularly complain of persistent fatigue, frequent illness, poor sports performance. However, these guys are training up to 5-6 hours a DAY!

This when a break would be recommended.

A regular gym user, probably, is not having adequate sleep, sufficient calories and maybe burning the candle at both ends. Something has to give.

Sort out some of the above, and you will probably feel fine.

Ask yourself these questions:

– Have you been in a calorie deficit for a long period?
– do you get between 6-8 hours Undisturbed sleep a night?
– have you been constantly lifting to extreme fatigue on every session?
– persistent muscle/joint soreness?
– No motivation?

Even if you answer yes to any of these questions, it doesn’t automatically mean you’re “overtraining.”
Funny how no one has ever said: “under training.”

If you think rest is what you need, then, of course, take it.
Bear in mind, that actual overtraining syndrome takes up to 4-6 weeks to recover. Even 2-3 months in some cases. However, as said before, these tend to be pro athletes or extreme sports people.

It’s not just a case of feeling a little ”under the weather.”

 

Coach Baz

Im really excited to launch these as firstly I love talking…

But most importantly I want to help people hear more about the different lives people live and what can hopefully help you develop further.

Im not saying you will take up strongman, or any other sport they may do. But its seeing things from other points if you like.

Many people ask me questions about my life, my views and what I do for x,y,z…

But I personally LOVE to hear other people opinions too.

Dan is a great friend of mine. Ive known him years but only recently started training together as we matched on tinder and struck gold since!

Ok, obviously thats a joke!

But we now push each other and keep each other accountable and motivated.

He has literally been to the top in Strongman at the worlds a few times. Yet to win it but he is super strong and has some great biceps too (He pretends he doesn’t train arm but he does!)

In the interview we talk about how he trains, how he eats, what keeps him motivated and the struggles he goes through. Its an awesome interview and whether you are into strongman or not… you will love to hear it.

If you wanted to plan it in its just 15 mins. Worth the time!

After this one I have a range of different people lined up so keep an eye out, im super pumped for this series.

As always your feedback is welcome so let me know who you would like to see on.

Everyone who joins us, joins us with a goal, initially.

Below is a few examples of the different types of people and their goals:

1- Goal changes weekly/monthly depending on where they’re mind-set wise. One week it’ll be fat loss, the next it’ll be a 1RM. Fleeting from one goal to the next is fine if it keeps you motivated, however, what if you’re not achieving any of the goals you set out? This could lead to the feeling of failure.

2- No goal, just love the social aspect. Nothing wrong with this, as long as you’re not holding anyone back and being supportive of other peoples goals.

3- Go all in for a few weeks or months, then disappear for a while. This works for some people and life can certainly take over training from time-to-time. However, consistency is key to any plan, short or long term. Personally, I would hate to see all my hard work vanish.

4- Trinket/trophy oriented goals. Some people are motivated solely by the end goal: wedding, competition, holiday etc.
These are great, but again what do you do after the event? Always keep that backup goal on hand. Arrange the next comp, look for that next goal etc.

5- Applause goals. When someone achieves amazing results, they usually get lot’s of slaps on the back, high fives, plenty of ego boosting congratulations. Let’s be honest, we all love this. When these are a little thin on the ground, sometimes you can search for any goal, just for those self-affirming congratulations again. Make sure you know why you’re doing what you’re doing. Try not to be a slave to this, because ultimately, it comes down to how you feel about yourself, not what others think of you.

Me personally, I have some kettlebell goals I’m currently working on. Also, continuing to love training and trying not to get injured. As I get older, injury prevention is something I have to think about. However, I’ve been training that long now, that training is just part of my day-to-day.

Please feel free to comment on anything goal orientated I may have missed, it’s an interesting subject.

 

Coach Baz

A question that has come up quite often recently is someone’s weight loss has plateaued, slowed down, or just stopped altogether.
Most people’s reaction to this is to take away more food instantly.

For god sake keep the food!

When looking to increase your calorie deficit, then look at increasing expenditure first.

There is no difference between walking briskly for twenty minutes and burning 100-200 extra calories. Or taking away 100-200 calories away from your daily nutrition plan- apart from the obvious.

You’re already in a calorie deficit, which means you’re eating less food than you need, why would you want to take away more?
Make taking away food your last port of call!

Imagine that, slightly more of a calorie deficit, without the sacrifice of already sparse food.

I also need to mention- as with most posts that involve calorie deficits- if you’ve been in a calorie deficit for more than three months plus, then maybe consider a maintenance stage.

A maintenance stage is like a reset button, where your body’s energy level can increase, and your hunger hormones (leptin and ghrelin) can also stabilise.

Sometimes bodyweight can increase BUT NOT BODY-FAT. This is due to an increase in water and glycogen. Always measure yourself to stay on track with this.

So what’s involved in a maintenance stage?

You’re increasing your calorie levels back to its natural TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) and then sticking to that for around 2-4 weeks.

So put simply: if you’re in a 500 calorie deficit, then put those calories back into your nutrition plan.

Hope this helps.

As always- fire away with any questions.

 

Coach Baz.

I miss being a beginner lifter.

Every week -when I first started training- I would see some increases in strength, and of course, physical changes to my appearance.

I can remember adding as much as 5-10kg to my lifts most weeks.

This just like fat-loss, it will inevitably slow down. Let’s face it; if it did not, then we would all be lifting like Eddie Hall.

Your body goes through a progressive and adaptive state. Once it finds it is homeostasis, then you can often find that increments in weight are very rare, and you are left banging your head against a wall trying to find a solution to continue this growth.

Welcome to the world of the intermediate lifter. (well kind of, I will look into that a little later)

This is a lifter who needs to plan and program every session, just to increase their lift by just 1%. A beginner lifter does not have to be so strict.

Often what I see happening at the gym, is when your lift/progress grinds to a halt, you get bored, and try something else (more CV for example) and lose all the progress you have made so far.

Now don’t get me wrong, just because your lifts have stopped seeing strength gains, that does not mean you are automatically an intermediate lifter, as all it may take to see some gains is a change in tempo, volume, rep range. Maybe try a different system of training, for example- negatives, GVT, DTP, HIIT and many more.

As well as the changes mentioned above, are you hitting all your major compound lifts (Squat, deadlifts, Bench press etc.) with good form?

Here’s an example of a fairly generic bench press routine:

3 x 10 at 65-70% 1rm

Maybe try this:

– Week 1: 3 x 10 at 70% 1RM
– Week 2: 4 x 8-10 at 75% 1RM
– Week 3: 4 x 8-10 at 75% 1RM
– Week 4: 4 x 8-10 at 75% 1RM

Then the next month maybe increase by 1 set on every week. So week one will be 4 sets, with every other week being 5 sets.

All I have done is increase 1RM% slightly and made the rep range a little more variable.

Then the following month (so month 3) decrease rep range once more, so now looking at 6-8 reps, and increase 1RM% to 80-85%.

I would throw in a deload if needed.

Now that is a very quick example of how just one particular lift can be changed, to add a different type of stimulus to your training, and hopefully generate a progressive overload approach.

Hope this is helpful, as always feel free to ask any questions.

Many people at some point or another will go through what’s called the ”blame game”.

”It is their fault I am not where I want to be”.

”It is the gym’s fault I am not losing weight”.

”It is my partner’s fault I hate my job, and can’t get out”.

These are just a few examples of the blame game.

So bringing it back home for a second; let’s talk about gym goals/results.

We will take a hypothetical example of someone who started well in the gym and enjoying sessions. However, results have been very limited. This carries on for some weeks/months, where motivation is now very low.

We have the ”chat” where I am told that they have done everything we have asked of them, followed the plan, recorded food, done 3-4 sessions a week.

…..We delve a little deeper….

They recorded food for one week, then why bother? I already know what I am having! Right?

The 3-4 sessions a week, turned out to be, good week, bad week, good week, bad week.

Not consistent and not what we coach.

– No replies to emails
– No attendance to seminars (for now they are free for god sake)
– No attendance to open gym invitations.
– No attendance at the running club.
– No reply to check-in month.
– Little to no involvement with the FB group.

In this made-up scenario, all the answers were right in front of this person, but we decide to play the blame game instead.

Don’t let the blame be an auto response/default behaviour.

Look a little deeper, at what you are doing, or may not be doing.

Don’t be scared to reach out and ask for help, we are in the ”helping game” It is what we do, and love to do.

However, what doesn’t help you or us, or the people around you, is blaming everyone and everything.

It is uninspiring, negative, and if I am really honest, no one cares!

Be honest with yourself, and those close to you, and strive to be the person you envisioned when you set out on your journey. Whether that be gym, job, love, or general life.

Would love some comments on this, what do you think?

Well, Christmas has come and gone. Leaving me with plenty of time to reflect on the year so far.

One goal I set myself last year, was, quite simply, to get up half an hour extra, three times a week.

Which for me means getting up at 4.30am.

Why three times?

This, for me, was more than achievable. Had I said seven times a week, I know, again for me, wouldn’t have been realistic.

 

Now I coach at 6 am, three day’s a week, and would’ve got up at 5 am usually anyway.

So what’s an extra half hour now?

Exactly- I told myself- just do it.

With this extra half an hour, I walk and listen to a positive podcast of some kind.

Whereas before I would roll out of bed, chuck a coffee down my neck, and walk into the gym, to coach, like an extra from the ‘walking dead.’

This was such a ridiculously simple goal. However, because of that, I’ve managed to add an extra 78 waking hours to my life, last year. Can’t be bad.

When setting any goals, it’s always good to try and make them SMART:

S- Specific
M- Measurable
A- Attainable
R- Realistic
T- Timely

On top of this, I have just started walking to work too. By 8 am I’ve already walked over 10k steps.

My mornings simply wouldn’t be the same now without that walk first.

In the gym, we’ve just done a very similar thing. Added a ”pledge” wall.

By this, members can now set themselves some goals to reach.

Feel free to share any goals you’ve set yourselves.

Coach Baz