What is Protein?
Protein is a nutrient found in food which is made up of numerous amino acids that are joined together.
What does Protein do?
Protein builds, maintains, and replaces the tissues in your body. Protein is an important component of every cell in the body. Hair and nails are mostly made of protein. You also use protein to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals. Protein is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.
Benefits of protein:
Why is protein important for exercising?
During an exercise session our muscles are constantly challenged, their fibres sustain micro tears and begin to break down. To repair and rebuild they then go through a process known as protein synthesis which use the amino acids from protein to bring about a healthy recovery and growth.
Those who exercise will require increased amounts of protein to people who don’t. Without this we can lose lean body mass through continued breakdown of muscle fibres
How much protein should you have?
The RNI (Reference Nutrient Intake) recommends 0.8g per kg Body Weight.
However, a more accurate guideline for someone who excerises and works out would be a minimum of 1.2g per kg of Body Weight
For example a 100kg person would need a minimum of 120g per day
What are the key protein foods and how much protein do they contain:
The chart below highlights some of the key proteins, and how much protein is in 100g of that food:
Protein is very important food component, particularly if you exercise and work out regularly. One should aim to consciously eat more protein rich foods throughout the day and take at least 0.8g protein per kg Body Weight (increasing to a minimum of 1.2g per kg of Body weight if you exercise).
Dead Bug Instructions:
In order to lose weight, three key things to focus on are calories, exercise, and lifestyle. In this blog we are going to put the spotlight on calories.
In order to change your weight, it is the balance between how many calories you take in versus how many calories you use up (calories out).
Weight Loss = Calorie deficit = Calories out (energy out) is higher than calories in (energy in)
Weight gain = Calorie surplus = Calories in (energy in) is greater than calories out (energy out)
Food can be broken into three macronutrients, namely protein, fats and carbohydrates. In order to have a balanced diet, you need all three nutrients in your plan.
Protein and carbohydrates contain 4 Kcals per gram, whereas fat contains 9Kcals per gram.
Your calorie output (usage) can be broken into a few different groups.
To lose weight:
If for example your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is 3000 Kcals per day and you weigh 100 Kg. That means you need 3000 Kcals to maintain your current weight. If you want to lose 10Kg (i.e. 10%) weight, then you need to reduce your calorie count by 10% = 300 Kcals, and your new TDEE goal is 2700 Kcal. You need to achieve that calorie deficit through exercise and appropriate nutrition.
Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) calculator:
Use the TDEE calculator below to estimate your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) and from it your optimal daily calorie intake you need to keep your weight stable, to gain or to lose weight.
Total Daily Energy Expenditure
Tips to hit the target on calorie management:
1. Do a food diary
Take stock of what you currently eat and how many calories are involved.
Do a food diary for 10-14 days. Use this as the bases and foundation. You will see you are doing somethings very well, but you may also see some area’s for improvement.
This can be a manual diary or there are also many online or apps available. A very popular one is “MyfitnessPal”.
2. Focus on your protein intake.
There is a separate blog all about proteins. This is a vital macronutrient and about 30-40% of your daily calorie intake should be proteins
3. Include fruit or vegetables at every meal.
Try and have as much fruit and vegetables as you can. Most people don’t eat enough of them.
4. Make sure you drink loads of water!
Water is a vital ingredient. Drink at least 2 litres of water every day. Additional water should be drank during and after exercising. Review previous blog on the importance of water here.
5. Calorie deficit
If you want to lose weight, keep thinking of calorie deficit i.e. Calories out is greater than calories in. Good nutrition and good exercise routine will help you achieve this.
This time we have a special guest blog from another Personal Trainer, Chris Corden, who is the owner of Optimum Fitness Results. In this blog he discusses about managing cravings. Click on the link below to read and understand more:
Some people come to their personal trainer and say:
“I want to focus just on my arms, as my arms are weak”
“I want better core”
“I would like stronger legs”
Should you only focus on one area when working out? For most people, you shouldn’t just focus on one area, as there is no one muscle more important than another.
Let’s take a brief look at the various body sections:
One of the critical muscles in the body is the heart!
The human heart is the most incredible muscle in the body, beating about 100,000 times to send 3,600 gallons of blood through 75,000 miles of blood vessels every day.
Exercise has numerous benefits, including improving heart health to reduce the risk of heart disease. Cardio work will help with efficiency and power of the heart.
Examples of aerobic exercise include running, rowing, cycling, swimming, walking, and hiking.
Strength training exercises like lifting weights will also boost heart health.
When we think of the core muscles most people think of their abdominal muscles. However, our core is made up of many more muscles including the diaphragm, pelvic floor, paraspinal muscles (the muscles that wrap around the spine), gluteal muscles (our butt muscles), and abdominals.
A weak core can lead to balance issues. We often feel less steady on our feet and may have trouble getting out of our chair or car. This is because the core is the foundation of the body. We must engage all of these muscles to walk, stand, and exercise. If our core is not strong, then our legs and arms will not work as well, even if they are strong too.
When we strengthen the core, we are working to keep the entire body stable. Our core gives us our sense of balance. It is also responsible for stabilizing both the hips and shoulders, as well as protecting the spine. This helps with everyday tasks like carrying groceries and stepping out of the shower. It also helps if you play sports – swinging a golf club or tennis racket is much easier with a strong core.
We can improve our core strength by doing planks, leg lifts, superman stretches, and glute bridges.
3. Leg Muscles
All of our leg muscles are important, but it is especially important to work big muscles like the hamstrings and quadriceps. These will provide the strength to stand up and walk easily. You can strengthen these muscles by doing squats, lunges, heel raises, step-ups, and hamstring curls.
Keeping the smaller muscles in our legs in shape is also important. We can strengthen the smaller muscles near the ankles and knees by doing balance work. These smaller muscles also help us to stay mobile, so we can walk, run, dance, and swim with ease. Examples of balance exercises include standing on one leg, walking heel to toe.
4. Upper Body
The shoulders, upper back, and arms can help us stand up, grip rails and keep us balanced. A strong upper body is essential for good posture
The main muscles included Pectoralis major and minor (chest), Rotator cuffs, Deltoids (shoulders), Latissimus dorsi (middle back and sides), Trapezius (upper back), Biceps and Triceps
Upper-body strength is the ability to push, pull and press with the arms, shoulders, back and chest in multiple directions while having full control of the range of motion
For better balance and stability, focus on strengthening the upper back, shoulders, and triceps. You can do these with exercises such as standing rows and shoulder presses. Planks are also great for strengthening the upper body as well!
In general it is important to train your whole body. Some people may train upper body one day, and lower body next day. Others do a full body workout each time. Both approaches are fine, and it is often a personal preference, or depends if you are training for a specific event. The key thing is that you are training all your muscles over time! Increasing muscle mass on the body comes with benefits like boosted metabolism, stronger bones and a healthier heart. Upper-body strength isn't more important than leg strength. But it is equally as important. Having an overall balance of strength, from head to toe, will help you achieve any fitness goal and improve your health.
Lifestyle could be things likes:
So what do we mean by lifestyle impacts weight loss/ gain?
When stress is down, and if sleep is good, there is no smoking, little/ no drinking, relationships and work are good, then overall lifestyle is good. We feel much better, we have more energy and we tend to eat better.
On the flip side, if for example we are under stress, maybe we are under pressure as we have a major work project/ deadline, then we tend to eat more often, and eat more “bad” food (e.g. more takeaways, more processed food).
Often it is a vicious cycle. We feel stressed, so we may drink more, and we sleep less. We are fighting it on multiple fronts at the same time and it is inter-related.
What can we do?
In order to make sustained weight loss, one must focus on lifestyle as well as food/ nutrition and working out/ gym. Keep thinking of the three legged stool – you must work on all of them at the same time in order to make progress!
Goblet Squat Instructions:
Front Lunge Instructions:
Progressive overload is constantly increasing the demands placed on the body through training in a safe healthy manner. If you have a personal trainer, they will ensure you progress at the appropriate time and in an appropriate way.
Why is it important?
Progressive overload makes your body adapt to the pressure you are putting it under to continuously make gains in muscle endurance, size and strength in a controlled deliberate manner.
You can accomplish it by increasing weight, reps, sets, changing rest period, training frequency or tempo variation.
For example, if you lifted 10Kg this time for 3 sets and 10 reps, and the next time you did 10Kg for 3 sets and 12 reps, that is progressive overload (reps increase, weight and sets stay the same)
Or you might decide to lift 12Kg next time for 3 sets and 10 reps (higher weight, sets and reps stay the same)
Initially when starting training, it is advisable to only change one variable at the time, and not multiple things.
So to continue to make progress with your workout, continue to do progressive overload in a controlled and thoughtful way! A personal trainer will help you do it in the best way.
Three area's a Personal Trainer will help you get better with:
Prioritising your time and consistency is key. There are 168 hours in a week. Prioritise at least 1% (<2 hours) per week to working out should be a critical part of your week. That could be broken down to 3 sessions of 40 minutes each. By having a personal trainer, they will hold you accountability to working out on a consistent basis.
The personal trainer will encourage you to be patient with yourself. Don’t expect miracles or dramatic changes overnight! There is an expression that "It takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends and family, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world to notice." Stick at it and the results will come in time.
Don't compare yourself with anyone else. With today’s social media it is too easy to think you have to look like someone else. Just compare yourself with how you were yesterday, last week, last month, last year. Are you feeling better, fitter, stronger than you did before?
By spending at least 1% of your time working out, and being patient with yourself, and being kind to yourself by only comparing yourself to how you were yesterday, you will be better than you were previously. A personal trainer will support you to do this consistently, the results will show and you will feel much better.
Dumbbell Bench Press Instructions:
Elevated push up instruction:
Bent Over Dumbbell Row Instructions:
1. Place one hand on bench with hand stacked under shoulder. Same side knee on bench with knee stacked under hip. Opposite leg out to the side for support.
2. Pick up dumbbell with neutral grip on side of outstretched leg.
3. Keep neutral spine, flat back. Have the head looking down and little forward towards the bench.
4. Begin the movement by driving the elbow behind the body while retracting the shoulder blades. Only thing moving should be the elbow. Keep the elbow in tight to the body.
5. Pull the dumbbells towards your body until the elbows are at (or just past) the ribs. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position under control.
6. Control the dumbbell throughout the movement.
7. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.