action, awareness, body, Body shape, Energy, Goals, habits, long-term strategy, mind, muscles, planning, respect, risk, workout

Take care of your “set of wheels”.

2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships staged in NY, USA. Represented: Australia. Placing: 4th. Repeated this in 2008.

2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships staged in NY, USA.
Represented: Australia.
Placing: 4th.
Repeated this in 2008.

Now, I know some of you may love your cars and affectionately refer to them in many ways, including a ‘set of wheels’, and I am sure many of you take good care of your set of wheels. Let me tell you a story about the first time I heard that phrase.

One day, early on in my body-building years, during a break from my ‘set’, I gazed out the window and down at the cars parked on the road (the gym was on the 1st floor), when the owner, came up to me and said –

“Son, you’ve got a good set of wheels there.”

I said “umm, no none of those cars there are mine. I jogged to the gym”.

He laughed and said that he wasn’t referring to the cars as he looked down at my legs. He pointed to my legs and said –

“those wheels – you’ve got a good set of wheels!”

I was a little embarrassed about the mis-understanding but I thanked him for the compliment.

Over the last 23 years of training with weights in the gym, I have managed to invest more time in those wheels he was referring to and the other body parts, with the goals of – balance and symmetry in mind. Sculpturing the most proportional physique that my genetic potential would allow. This harmony of the ‘flow-of-muscle’ has helped me represent Australia twice at the World Natural Body-building Championships and placed in the top 4 in consecutive years.

In all this time, I can proudly say that I have managed to stay relatively injury-free and have not seen a physio or chiro in that time for any serious injury. One of the contributing reasons is that how much weight I lift has been close to irrelevant to building my muscles and being considered one of the best natural body-builders in the world. What matters is QUALITY not QUANTITY. I have a ‘safety-first’ approach to training that does not hinder me or my client’s achieving the goals they desire.

I have never allowed the amount of weight I lift to be a critical factor of my progress. What mattered to be me has always been two things:

  1. Control
  2. Feel

If I am not feeling the muscle and am not in control of the weight I am lifting then I am not building muscles in the most effective way. I am not maximizing my muscle growth potential. I always believed that to build good, quality muscle, one has to ‘leave ones’ ego at the door of the gym’.

I have seen it since I started lifting weights all those years ago and I still see it today, sadly, in increasing numbers amongst youth today – people using too much weight.

Aiming to build better wheels by using too much weight for movements like squats is like trying to bench too much, bouncing the bar off your chest and generally with very poor form. Not good at all. Flat Bench pressing with too much weight has been the primary reason that shoulder injuries is the most common injury sustained by men world over.

Not worth it, not good.

Why would you want to do that – overestimate how much weight you can lift or perform countless repetitions of a particular exercise with very bad form and for no particular purpose? Most people unfortunately use a scatter-gun approach to training and hope that what they are doing will get them to their goals.

So, back to my set of wheels analogy story, unless you just happen to have very strong legs and can train with huge poundages easily and copy the mass monsters you see on you-tube, there is just no need to try to squat 600 to 800 pounds.

As with any other body-part, use the appropriate amount of weight for the set/rep scheme you’re using, no more and no less. You need to remind yourself that you’re in the gym to train the muscle, not to impress the people around you with how much weight you can lift.

I have always said you should aim to “work the muscle, not the joint”.

So, it follows that if you’re aiming to build muscle and a more aesthetic, pleasing physique, remember that the actual amount of weight you use is irrelevant. You’re body-building, not power-lifting or weight-lifting or any other modern-day activities that are “off-shoots” of body-building, where measurements and numbers play a pivotal role. Knowing how much weight you can press or how many repetitions you can perform is how millions of weight-training enthusiasts all over the world, injure themselves.

Work on your set of wheels and build them with control and feel, with continuous tension and simplicity. Maximize muscle and minimise risks to knee joints.

Take care of your set of wheels, don’t damage them beyond repair. You don’t want to have to replace your knees and hips too early in your life.

Build your brawn with brain. Remember: You’re in the gym to help yourself, not hurt yourself.

Train hard. Train SMART.

 

Until next time,

Back lats spread a few weeks prior to the Australian Natural Bodybuilding Titles. Placing: 2nd in Australia.

Back lats spread a few weeks prior to the Australian Natural Bodybuilding Titles.
Placing: 2nd in Australia.

A slight variation on the compulsory "Front Double Biceps' bodybuilding pose. With this one ... I'd say you reach for the stars. Contest: 2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships held in NY, USA. Ranked: 4th Best Natural Bodybuilder in the World.

A slight variation on the compulsory “Front Double Biceps’ – a signature pose of mine.
Contest: 2007 World Natural Bodybuilding Championships held in NY, USA.
Ranked: 4th Best Natural Bodybuilder in the World.

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awareness, Body shape, body weight, change, choices, diet, eating, Energy, habits, perspective

7.5 Diet Tips that may help ease your bloating.

Was there ever a time where you’ve grudgingly complained? –

“what’s the point with all the exercising?!” when the minute you try to slip into a tight skirt or your favourite pair of jeans, your stomach blows up like an inflated balloon.

I find that it has been a common point of disappointment with quite a few people I have helped over the years. And it can be quite de-motivating for those who put in all the hard work in the gym and still suffer from excessive bloating.

So, if you’re one of these people who suffer from this condition, maybe your diet (for the body) needs a little assistance.

Here are a few tips that may help:

1. Eat small, well-compositioned meals

  • Eat them more frequently – ideally, ‘split’ over 5 or 6 meals throughout each day.

2. Take your time –

  • Try eating slowly or slower.
  •  Observe the speed at which you consume your food. Do you inhale it or do you take your time and try chewing it thoroughly before swallowing? Don’t rush the mush.

3. Reduce salt intake –

  •  The sodium in salt holds water in your body so watch your salt intake. For you women out there, ‘that time of the month’ may play a part in that bloated feeling.
  • So, try reading the labels of the foods you eat so you can have a miss on the high sodium-content foods.

4. Say no to refined (very processed) foods –

  • Choose complex carbohydrates (like sweet potato, brown rice, whole-grain pasta or breads).
  • Highly refined products can leave you feeling quite bloated (especially white, wheat-based products).

5. An aversion to milk and milk products –

  • Your bloating can be significantly influenced by lactose. From the lactose in milk and milk products.
  • Try replacing all dairy items with rice milk or soy etc.

6. Limit your fizzy drink consumption –

  • Limit it to non-calorie/zero sugar varieties.

7.5 Eat some yoghurt –

  • Eating some yoghurt with active acidophilous culture could deflate you down to your normal size.

I hope these tips help you reduce your bloating or even reverse it.

Now, don’t stop going to the gym and exercising just because your bloating doesn’t seem to get any better no matter how hard you work-out. Keep up your training with consistency and persistence. Keep up your investment in your health and fitness.

Your health (physical and mental) is literally your wealth. It is only when it is taken away from you, that you realize the value of it so put aside some time towards this every single day.

And don’t be too worried about the bloated stomach. There are many cultures in the world that find a rounded belly more sexier and fulfilling than a flat stomach. The middle-East and Pacific Island countries love a well-rounded tummy.

Keep up your daily crunches and other tummy exercises but you don’t need to do a thousand sit-ups. No,these exercises don’t actually get rid of fat. They only tighten and strengthen the muscles (abdominal wall) on top of your stomach. Its the extent of body-fat you have that determines whether or not you can ‘see’ your abdominals. For example, you will begin to see your abs at or under 9% of body-fat, so excessive amounts of abdominal work will not reveal your abs until you work on losing fat.

On a more serious note, although being overfat is an important health risk, I believe where you carry your fat is even more important. Don’t be too concerned with how much you weigh! Be concerned with what your body-shape is: is it an ‘apple shape’ (with most of your weight around your tummy) or a ‘pear shape'(weight mostly around your hips and thighs)?

Now don’t confuse feeling ‘bloated’ to carrying excess visceral fat around the mid-section (typical area of deposit for middle-aged men). The greater the discrepancy between your waist and your hips (your waist:Hip ratio), the greater your health and life risk. These risks stem from insulin-related metabolic problems like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes. NOTE: as a guide, men should strive to have a waist-to-hip ratio less than or equal to 1 and women should aim for 0.8 or less.

Recognize that storing fat in the tummy area does not cause your health risk to rise – it is simply another symptom of the underlying metabolic disorder: insulin resistance. So, it is in your best interest to you and your life to do all that you can to manage the accumulation of fat in this area so that your risk is lowered to an acceptable level. The gym is a good place to start to complement a good diet and stretching program.

If all else fails, try practising holding it in. Yep, There are some products out there (some undies for you ladies) that may assist with tummy bulges. Men, you could probably try wearing a weight-training belt around your waist.

See how this goes.

All the best in your journey towards a tighter-tummy. I will leave you with one summary: manage your tummy, manage your life risks.

 

Until next time,

Paul V2 (1)

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The BEST workouts – the fusion of chaos and structure.

Relaxed with dumbells.

Relaxed with dumbells.

After 23 years of gym training, I would define my best workouts as what the subject heading states.

The best workouts are the ones that ‘flow’. It is the fusion or culmination of chaos and structure.

You want your workouts to be a continuous progression of 15 to 60 second ‘focused moments’ within a rough plan. Chaos and structure fused together. You want a workout to hang together like a champion team with many muscle parts moving along cohesively as ‘one’ with one objective.

So, how do you make your workouts more orderly and have structure? How do you go from the myriad of workout possibilities and the chaos of research and conception to the necessary order of the actual workout? How do you choose between low reps or high reps? Which is better? Should you use heavy weights or moderate weights or feather weights? How long should you rest between sets? So many questions, so many answers.

Its neither in the questions nor the answers. Its in the intention. Your intention.

It can all get quite confusing and overwhelming, so much so that it would stop well-intentioned beginners in their tracks enough to quit even before they get started. Very sad indeed. They have so much information, most of which contradicts one another and so it leaves them with a feeling of not knowing where to start.

What I have always tried to do in almost all areas of my life is to manage my funnels better, to keep things simple. This includes my approach to my gym training. Keep this in mind.

When it comes to muscle, building quality muscle it is very similar to life itself. It builds on two principles:

1. Simplicity
2. Continuity

Here’s what I find helps:

1.Visualize and simulate.

In other words I try to arrive at my completed workout (in my mind) before I begin it.

I always have a ‘rough plan’ in mind. Here, a rough plan is like the scaffolding of a non-existing building, its there and provides structure and a bit of security but I don’t usually stick to it like glue. Nope, most of the time I do something completely different.

So, I have a rough plan – but I don’t stick to it!

“Why have a plan?” you may be thinking.

Well, I have found over the years that a rough plan will serve you better than an elaborate one or none at all when it comes to getting the best experience and results from workouts. You see, workouts generally have a way of making itself up as you go along due to the many variables you are faced with when you are in the gym within a rough plan.

Some variables you may likely experience is fluctuating energy levels, unavailability of machines, lack of focus, lack of sleep, rude patrons and so on.

2. Know what your goals are: be specific and then stick to it!

Whilst a rough plan is ideal, knowing what your specific training goals are is critical and will serve you much better than a general, loose one. You need to know what it is you’re trying to achieve before you go lift any kind of weights. What are you striving for – strength, power, endurance, better shapely physique? For example, if you want to train for strength then training like a marathon runner in the gym will highly likely end in disappointment.

Know where you stand and where you mean to go and be very clear about it. A workout is also not meant to be a walk in the park or sleep walk!

3. Dream it before you lift it.

Workouts are usually more enjoyable and shorter when its been thought through first. That is what I have concluded in my over two decades of deliberate practice of contracting and extending skeletal muscles in my entire body.

I ask myself questions – what am I trying to do here with this set of this particular exercise? What am I trying to achieve? How well am I doing each rep of each set of each exercise? What am I trying to feel after doing it? What am I looking for? Unless you’ve got answers to those questions, you’d better keep your hands away from those weights or don’t rush in to it or you may increase your risk of injuries. Better still, seek help from a suitably experienced professional.

Whilst training goals and a rough plan gives you structure and order the danger is that you can spend all your time planning and doing nothing. The truth is we discover weight training through training. Its that simple. You do your hardest training doing the training, the actual physical lifting – not in your mind.

A workout process gives you that sense of achievement at its completion among other things. Out of the process of its own unraveling. Out of the process itself chaotic – the thinking of the sets of the exercises and the order of the exercises that make up each workout and then the execution of the actual physical workout.

.. the road ahead .. 

It is through trial and error and deliberate practice over time that a genuine gym enthusiast discovers what it is he or she is really trying to achieve and how he or she needs to bind it together in some order – some framework. He finds his or her muscle success formula.

You may find you asking yourself how each set you doing of a particular exercise contributes to your physical goal. I know I have always done so and still do.

If you’re diligent enough you may find yourself getting to the end of each set doing it rhythmically, economically and competently and moving progressively towards your specific goals. This is ideal.

You may find yourself feeling one of the best feelings you could feel in your lifetime, a feeling that only a few gym enthusiasts feel. I have trained people that have trained for over 30 years and have not felt this feeling.

This is a feeling that is as elusive as the Tasmanian tiger. You see anyone can lift weights but not many people get to learn to lift weights the right way and really ‘feel’ what you’re meant to feel in the worked muscle and your whole body. All my clients past and present feel it in their workouts. Its a gift from me to them.

A feeling that all bodybuilders refer to as the ‘pump’.

A feeling that I call the ‘essence’. A feeling that is climaxed through the ideal reps of the ideal set which makes for the best workout – the fusion of chaos and structure in and out of the gym. Its almost like daily living in some ways.

… but that essence ain’t vanilla essence!

You friend in muscle and body transformation success,

 

Until next time,

Paul V2 (1)

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adaptation, awareness, balance, better choices, Body shape, body weight, choices, diet, eating, game of life, habits, happiness, Imagination, life, muscles, needs, responsibility, self discipline, self-respect, you, your life

Eating Right actually takes less time than you think. Tip # 6: Eat more snacks!

Educating a top national sprinter of the importance of proper nutrition for recovery & growth for optimal performance

Eating more snacks

How good is that?!

Eating more snacks, that is. It makes us all feel good just reading that tip. Gives you some mental peace of mind, a release valve when you’re on a ‘slimming diet’ program or just contemplating the thought of going months on end saying ‘no’ to all the good food you’re used to eating.

It can be quite difficult for many to create what I refer to as your own self-imposed ‘purity bubble’ when everyone around you is consuming everything. In abundance. Yes, indeed, it can be very difficult.

Your saving grace is your imagination.

The more vivid your imagination is of the image you visualize yourself to be, the less difficult it is to maintain that purity bubble. Your desire and need for this has to be greater than your need for instant gratification from temptation in the short-term. You goal (image) could be to ….

… To look and feel better about yourself at Christmas, say.

My tip of eating more snacks will assist in your journey towards this goal. Phew, finally, a nutritional tip that agrees with the majority of us! Finally, a tip that we all want to do more of and yes, the more snacks you consume, the better.

But not too fast now … there are conditions though.

There is a definite ‘mind-muscle’ connection. Train your muscles to train & exercise your brain and help it release all those necessary life-affirming hormones to flood your body … needed nutrition for the cells and soul. Try it.

there are conditions 

This tip should take you less than 4 minutes flat!

Add that to the running total of my previous Top 5 Tips which was thirteen minutes.

Sum of estimated time taken to perform the Top 6 Tips = 17 minutes. A whopping 17 minutes (or 1020 seconds) out of your busy day with the goal of eating right.

Just to remind you that these Top Ten Tips to eating right also has another goal and that is to demonstrate to you that it should take you less than 30 minutes (1800 seconds) out of your day to eat right. And why is this important to you and worth your body, mind and spirit’s time? Because it is important to provide the best ‘mix’ of raw materials to the being, the machine, the energy-ball that is – YOU.

I am not going to go in to why snacking is important. I have elaborated on this in a previous blog “snacking. The more, the better”.

What I am going to do is give you a list of some good snacks you should carry with you every day before you leave the house for work, play or socialize. Whether you’re a vegetarian or an omnivore, we all still get most of our protein from the three main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. And, before you get the wrong idea, by snack I don’t mean cupcakes and fries!

Nope, I refer to a well-composed small meal on the run.

Your life is a continous journey of setting, failing and succeeding in goals … until you …
kick the bucket!
Keep moving forward, I say!

The choice of what you eat is always yours 

Whilst food is analysed to shreds keep this one fact in mind for simplicity’s sake: once any form of carbohydrate is eaten (whether its fast burning or slow burning), your body converts all carbohydrates to sugar. So, from that standpoint all sources of carbs are equivalent. However, what is different from the types of snacks I will be listing below and junk choices are essential input the body needs.

Essentials such as fiber, the vitamins and minerals and some cancer-fighting phyto-chemicals found in vegetables and fruits.

At the end of the day, the choice of what you eat is always yours, but so are the level of risks attached to those choices and the consequences likely to occur to your health. Your life.

Choose wisely.

Carbohydrate (Carb) comparisons examples:

1 marshmallow = 1 medium raw carrot = 7 cups mushrooms = 420g (3 ½ cups) of broccoli = ½ cup melon = ½ orange = ¼ very small potato = 1/7 Mars Bar = 1/3 medium banana = 7 jelly beans = 14 cups fresh lettuce = 3 french fries!

Interesting calorie to volume ratios relating to just a small sample comparison, isn’t it?

The snacks below provide approximately 5g or less. If you’re hitting the weights in the gym, add a protein shake (with low carbs or no carbs) to these to ensure that you’re getting adequate levels of protein for muscle repair and growth. A serving should give you between 20g and 30g additional protein.

½ medium avocado = 1 medium carrot = 1 cup frozen spinach = 1 medium tomato = ½ cup diced eggplant = ¼ cup blueberries = ½ cup strawberries = ½ cup snap beans.

Other snack options:

Sandwich (light bread, 30g meat) P:C = 7g:7g

Apple/cheddar slices (1/4 apple/30g cheese) P:C = 7g:1g

Cottage cheese  (1/4 cup) P:C = 7g:2g

Hard-boiled egg (1 large) P:C = 6g: 0.6g

Lean meat slices (30g) P:C = 7g: 0.1g

Walnuts (30g) P:C = 4g: 5g

Macadamia (30g) P:C = 3g: 4g

An exhaustive list of ideal snacks? No. Rightly so.

Homework for you: try to become more aware of what you’re consuming. Start measuring the food you eat. We measure everything else – how much money we spend; how much time you spend at work; what size coffee you want; buying a new pair of shoes or trousers.

Measuring is part of our every-day life. We’re constantly measuring. Why not start measuring your food intake. Buy yourself a food scale and measure your foods.  Make it habit. To make it habit, repeat to remember and remember to repeat. Like a good pair of shoes, make your food ‘mix’ fit right. For you – the YOU, you want to be (in a few months perhaps).

There you have it, my 6th Tip of my series of Top Ten Tips to a better you, this summer.

If by some chance, a part of you, a part of your goal is to lose excess body fat – and for most people who suffer from insulin resistance, it is – this tip, along with the previous five and the next four will be good for you. It will offer you one of  the easiest and most effective system available (through the power of habit) for doing that quickly, safely and sustainably.

Two common questions I have heard from the many hundreds of people I have helped over the last two decades is:

  1. How quick can I lose weight and how long will it take to reach my goal?
  2. How much food can I eat each day?

Before you seek answers to this, my tip to you is try adopting my Top Ten Tips in to your daily life. Work it in to your lifestyle. The metabolic adaptations that occurs in your body as a result of falling insulin and the increased sensitivity achieved triggers off many good things.

Your improved sensitivity to insulin will in turn increase the rate at which you burn calorie (even at rest) and you will find the new you, sooner than you think.

Act.

Adapt.

…. And give you a little bit more peace of mind.

Good luck in your choices.

Until next time,

Do the Right Thing, ALWAYS.

 

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action, adaptation, awareness, Body shape, diet, eating, habits

My Top Ten Tips to ‘trimming the fat’ off your meals in your day in a matter of seconds.

_MG_9779-1

Re-engineering your body to where you want to be is hard. Matter of fact it can be very difficult for some. It can be like asking an amateur golfer to play in the Pro Ranks and win! One of the reasons that it can be especially difficult for some is that there are so many conflicting information out there.

People get confused. And confusion leads to inaction at worst. You see, everyone has a little bit of information and knows a little bit of everything but very few know exactly how everything, every piece of the jig-saw puzzle is put together. In an efficient, effective and above all – safe manner.

Fat intake, for example is one variable that delays the search for a better you. Below are ten habits I carry out in my daily life that helps me maintain or lower my fat levels and which does not take much time at all to implement. Try working these jig-saw puzzle pieces in to your daily life.

Today.

1. Choose only one. When eating cheese or cheese products (say a plate of assorted cheese and biscuits), choose only one cheese variety and stick to this during your ‘snacking’. You can change the biscuit but only choose the one cheese. My favourite is Blue Cheese. So, choose well.

> Calories saved (approx.): anywhere between 400 and 1000 cal.

2. Spice things up! I use hot chillie powder or whole chillies on almost every meal I have during the day. Has a thermo-genic effect (or heats up the body which in turn forces the body to burn more energy, even at rest). People mostly add sugar to their cereals in the mornings. You may not want to burn your tongue and taste buds with chillie so try substituting cinnamon on your foods. We all need a bit of spice in our lives! My wife, Cathy loves adding cinnamon to her breakfast meals.  Your food or drink will taste just sweet but without the extra sugar calories.

> Calories saved (approx.): 15 cal per teaspoon.

3. Choose soft over hard. Choose versions of butter, cheese or cream if you use these on your breads for meals. There is less calories per serving in soft versions than the dense-packed hard ones. I like using cottage cheese or ricotta cheese on my crackers and breads. Has a better protein to fat ratio.

> Calories saved (approx.): 150 to 200 cal per 30g (serving)

4. Slice and dice. Applies if you enjoy eating sandwiches or wraps. Finely slicing and dicing cheeses can cover the same amount of space (and taste) with half the quantity (and calories). Less quantity is less fat storage on your body.

> Calories saved (approx.): 100 to 150 cal.

5. Pizza please! My wife makes pizza with our kids once a week at most. They enjoy making it. We keep it simple. A nice thin base with a touch of tomato paste and simple topping. Make your pizza for you and your family … and eat it too! Less is best when applying cheese. Also, the choice of cheese is important. Regular pizza cheese has more calories so go for feta cheese of goat cheese. Refer to tip # 1. Less topping on pizza is best. So, add one or two vegetable toppings to add volume and make you fuller sooner.

> Calories saved (approx.): 200 to 300 cal.

6. Eat cold. Try eating your cooked lean meat cold. Yep, cold. I take my meals wherever I go. I tend to eat a lot of my meals cold. I have found that eating food for its functional value and at a lower temperature makes you eat less. Try it if you’re serious about losing unwanted fat. I know, I know, food is more enjoyable when it’s hot but keep in mind that this tip is to trim off fat – also done by reducing calorie intake per serving. This is what happens when you eat food cold.

7. Eat your treats. Sometimes, it is very difficult for people to give up all the treats that they love to eat with their foods when asked to do so. I have found that a big reason for people not undergoing or not sustaining any body transformation program is the ‘thought’ or ‘idea’ of giving up things they find pleasurable for any length of time is torturous. I understand. Pleasurable things like – food, for example. I totally understand. That is why this tip is about ‘whining off’ the treats like a baby is to its mother’s milk.

> Strategy: try halving or even reducing down to a third of every portion of treat you currently taking. That includes all condiments on foods – tomato sauce, cheeses, salts, humous, jams etc.

8. Soak it up. If you’re like me and you like eating fried food – in olive oil, then do so. However, after applying oil on the pan, use a paper-towel of sort and soak and spread it around the pan. Here’s the next important thing: place the fried chicken, beef and other lean meat on to paper towel. This further soaks up the fat. Less in you. Less chance of putting on unwanted fat.

9. Freeze it. Freezing cooked meat allows separation of the excess fat. You could also cook food in advance and in bulk. Leave just enough in the refrigerator for the day and put the rest in the freezer for the following days. It will save you time and save you calories as you will have food available to eat almost immediately when you feel the need to eat.

10. Be the surgeon you know you are. Every man is a doctor  or specifically a surgeon (you see it in action around the bbq) out there. Yes, all you men out there – whip out the best knife you’ve got and perform surgery on the piece of meat(s) you have ready in front of you to cook. Slice off the fatty parts of the meat like the best surgeons in the world. Slice off fat that is hanging off the bone, clinging to the meat, parts that is obvious to the eye, normally the skin of chicken and the side portions of steaks and pork cuts. Be the best surgeon you’ve always wanted to be. Slice away, meticulously and slice away unwanted fat from entering your mouth in the first place. Remember: less in the mouth equates to less time spent exercising in the gym.

> Approx. time (depending on size of meat): 30 to 60 seconds.

There you go, my current Top Ten Tips to a less fatty YOU. I can almost guarantee that with the right attitude and desire for a better you and the consistent implementation of these tips, you will not only stop putting on unnecessary fat but also lose fat. Lose fat around the gutt (for men, maybe even aim for a ‘6-pack’ but not of the beer variety) and arms (for women) and butt (for both men and women).

Make it habit.

Obviously, there are other variables like exercise etc but try putting in action these top ten tips to trimming fat and see how you look in a month or two.

This is meant to make your life easier. So, don’t waste any more time. Set your goals and start sailing towards your destination. Now.

You are now Aware. Apply Action and most importantly Adapt yourself to a changing life-style choice.

All the best in your journey towards a better, more improved YOU as you head through the last quarter of 2015. All the best to you in your endeavour to closing the gap between how you imagine yourself to be and how you actually look in the mirror.

Focus!

Until next time,

In the heat of competition.  Pose name: Abdominal/Thighs. Place in contest: 1st.

In the heat of competition.
Pose name: Abdominal/Thighs.
Place in contest: 1st.

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adaptation, Body shape, body weight, habits

Eating Right actually takes less time than you think: Tip # 5.

I like this hat.

I like this hat.

Tip # 5: Make one equal half.

There are many ways to lose weight.

Many.

You could do it the healthy way or you could do it the unhealthy way. Your definition of ‘healthy’ may differ from mine, as I have found over the many years I have assessed clients’ diets.

A big part of successful body re-engineering or transformation is ensuring that you are on a ‘healthy’ diet which is aligned with your end goal in mind. Typically, before I am even given a chance to assess peoples’ diets, they usually say something along the lines of “… oh Paul, you know, I eat healthy … “ or “ … no problems with my diet. I eat healthy all the time.”

Your life. Your choice. I understand that. I accept that I cannot help everybody, but I will do my very best to reach out to the many readers (like you) around the world who take the time to read my blogs. Hopefully, each one you read adds some value to your life.

A wise man told me this over five years ago now, when he saw that I was upset for a client who sabotaged their own progress by giving in to temptation.

He said “ Paul, don’t be upset my son. You cannot save everyone. Especially those who don’t want to be saved.”

I have never forgotten that. You can only do so much.

Something that we all need to remember as we serve those around us, and particularly if you’re lucky enough to be doing what you love to do. A big bonus indeed. But, we must continue to love to serve those who love what we do, to the best we can perform them, without prejudice.

Until proven wrong.

That is just an integral part of life’s journeys. Each and every one of us’s – JOURNEY: CHOICES.

Most weight loss diet programs work. Yes. And how do we know this? Well, a pictorial representation of “ before” and “after” is normally displayed as proof of success, with a bucket load of testimonials. Wow!

Healthy? Some are. Many, are not.

There are many unhealthy ways of losing weight, too. One should not just focus on the scale and make decisions on the change of scale weight when undergoing body transformation programs. It could not only be mis-leading but also unhealthy, especially if you’re not including resistance training or weight training a pivotal part of your journey.

I’ll give you an example: I lost 5kg in absolute terms when I went on the ‘drip’ for four days when I was admitted to hospital in 2007 for a complication. Was it a healthy way to lose weight? Nope!

The worst part of losing weight in an unhealthy fashion is how it made you feel. I felt this feeling when I was in hospital for almost a week. You lose that sense of vitality. You feel weak. You don’t feel like your usual self. Essentially, you feel like cr#p!

Yes, I know this is an extreme and abnormal circumstance but the point I am trying to make is that it is not a ‘healthy way’ to lose weight. Just like so many fad diets that have come and gone over the years. Losing weight just for the sake of losing weight should not be the goal as it is body-shape (your muscle to fat ratio) and your ‘waist-to-hip ratio’, not body weight, that matters.

The scale does not know that. The scale still tries to make you feel better by indicating your loss of weight. The questions you’ve got to ask yourself is:

  1. Is this good for me? What is the risk/benefit ratio?
  2. Is this sustainable? (Can I work it in to my life-style?)
  3. What is the opportunity cost? Short-term and long-term?

Now, I want to get to the gist of this latest tip – Top Five of my Top Ten Tips to eating right and proving to you that it actually takes less time than you think.

Every day.

So, you’ve got this far with your body transformation. You’re either implementing my last four tips (if you’re serious about learning) or you’re still eating the way you’re eating. And wishing the excess blubber (weight) you’re carrying around your waist and butt and thighs and arms (those ‘tuck-shop’ arms ladies) would just melt away.

Melt away before summer. Before you hit the beach. Melt away so that you can fit back in to those summer shorts you wore three years ago. When you were a little smaller, perhaps.

Well, you cannot do that by sitting around and wish the excess will just ‘melt away’.

Wishful thinking!

Can you spare 2 minutes?

Well, if you’re still eating the same way and find it difficult to adopt a more ‘green’ approach. Fine. This tip requires you to just halve all meals you are currently eating. Specifically – cutting your carbohydrates in half. Yep, that’s right, half!

What are some typical sources of carbohydrates eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks, I hear some say? Examples include – bread, pasta, rice, biscuits, wraps, potatoes. Put simply, if it white-powder based, halve your consumption of it.

Easy, right? Wrong.

It will be a challenge. It won’t be easy. Why? Because habits, especially, bad habits, are very difficult to break. We now know that habits cannot be eradicated – it must instead be replaced by another (good) habit. The hard part with this intervention is the first 5 to 7 days. Allowing your body (and mind) to adjust and adapt.

Your stomach ( a smooth muscles, which also contracts and extends like other muscles) needs. You need to be strong. Its one thing having the discipline for the physical. Its another having the mental discipline to stay focused. Your stomach will shrink and you will eat less. Over time.

Give it time. Have patience.

I have found that people generally work very hard at maintaining their bad habits or habits that are less than ideal. If they only took that same focus and work and apply to the adoption of good habits that are aligned with their life goals. Maybe, just maybe, the successful attainment of their goals may be more forthcoming. It is difficult, I know – replacing habits and then sticking to it.

One of the major reasons that replacing habits does not ‘stick’ is that it is NOT ENOUGH just to REPLACE A HABIT. Nope, not enough. This is where belief comes in. You must believe change is possible. Real, sustainable change. That is one of the critical components of my unique body re-engineering programs. The power of belief. No belief, no nothing. In the photo below is an example of the successful habitual change in the successful achievement of a pupil’s physical transformation goals using the principles in my programs.

Change CAN HAPPEN. I know that because I have seen many examples over the years. Alcoholics can stop drinking. Smokers can quit puffing. You can stop ‘snacking’ at work with less than ideal snacks. Perennial losers can become champions (change can be applied to companies, clubs – like the recent NRL champions – South Sydney Rabittohs, winning a premiership after 43 years).

So, if you’re eating 4 pieces of bread for breakfast, reduce it to two. Add more of tip # 3 (eat more greens) to fill you up a little more.

There you go, a running total of 13 minutes (11 minutes from past 4 tips and add this two minute tip) to adopt these Top Ten Tips so far in your day. Can you spare thirteen minutes of your day to eating right. Do you have the time?

You bet you do!

Help yourself. First. This allows you to become more useful and a better servant to others.

Amen.

Good luck,

Until next time,

Me and one of my students who did excellent in her physique contest. In ten months, this mother of two young children went from not training for 8 years to number 2 ranked physique competitor in New South Wales, Australia. Consistency and persistence and focus daily habits helped her achieve such great results.

Me and one of my students who did excellent in her physique contest a few years ago. In ten months, this determined and disciplined mother of two young children went from not training for 8 years to number 2 ranked physique competitor in New South Wales, Australia. Very proud of her achievements. Consistency and persistence and focus on daily habits helped her achieve such great results. Her podium finishing results demonstrates the power of habits (aligned with goals).

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Drink ‘til you float.

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The title does not refer to what some of us did in our youth with beer and the various other types of alcohol. No, I am talking about: water, and consuming more of it.

As part of my effort to prove to you that eating well takes less time than you think, here is my 2nd tip in my series of blogs that will outline my Top Ten Tips.

TIP # 2: Drink a minimum of 3.0L water per day.

When you wake up, go to the toilet and relieve yourself first thing, drag yourself from the bathroom to the kitchen sink and pour 12 glasses of water (approximately 250ml per glass) in to a larger flask or water bottle. The water bottle should be able to hold 3.0L of liquid, in this case – water or H2O (for the chemistry inclined).

Approximate time needed to do this: 3 minutes or 180 seconds.

Can you take 180 seconds out of your ‘busy’ day to do this very important task? You bet you can! This is the 2nd Tip to “Tip-Top” shape and all it takes is 3 minutes.

So, back to my previous blog, when we add the 3 minutes to the time it took to do the first habitual tip (which was less than five minutes), you have an accumulated total of 8 minutes. Yep, eight minutes to invest to a more healthier – YOU.

What to do after you’ve filled the water bottle? Put it in the fridge to cool. Why? Because, you are going to take it with you to work and be ready to drink from it throughout the day until you finish it.

Why is this tip valuable to your body and worth your time investment?

Water makes up more than sixty percent of your body’s mass. It is vital to your health and vitality and without sufficient water intake, you could put your life at risk. If you didn’t know this, sometimes when your body tells you that it is hungry, a lot of times, it is actually asking you for more water. It is telling you, you are thirsty.

Why? Well, if you are not aware of this, the body does draw a lot of its water from the food you eat.

So, when you constantly sip water throughout your work day, in addition to its health benefits, you will feel fuller. And when you drink before, during and after every meal, it reduces your appetite, especially during the rest of your day.

There are many studies done on what the recommended daily amount of water an average person requires and generally, there is a consensus that a person should drink anywhere between 8 and 10 glasses (250ml) per day. Great!

The question I would like you to ask yourself is this: are you currently drinking that many? Be honest. I am certain that many (maybe you included) are not drinking anywhere near the recommended daily allowance.

If you’re staying physically active (and I am presuming most of you reading this are active), having a little bit more (12 glasses) is wiser, giving you a little buffer for the additional energy output you expand during exercising.

Most of you know that the moment you realize that you’re thirsty, it’s a little too late. The body, by that stage has already lost approximately 4-5% of its total water. Now, you should note that your energy output is heavily dictated by the amount of water or hydration level you have at any point in time. Losing just 1 percent of your body weight in water (approximately 1kg to 2kg) can decrease your overall energy output by as much as 20 to 30 percent.

Now, that is a significant reduction in potential energy output. It will affect your vitality. You will notice this lack of energy in your training sessions. You can see that dehydration puts unnecessary stress on your body, on your organs. Your body goes hunting for water in other places – within the body itself. Where do you think it will find water? Yep, you guessed it – your kidneys, your stomach, colon and also, where you least want to lose it – your hard earned muscles.

All that muscle you have been working hard in the gym for months. Years, perhaps. Being catabolised. Not good. Not what you desire. You want to work hard to build muscle and then hang on to whatever muscle you have. Muscle is precious. Preserve it as best you can from it been cannibalized by its own body.

From a health point-of-view, your organs are put under unnecessary stress than it already has and does not work at its most effective and efficient selves. Your brain requires adequate water to allow you to focus and think at its optimum. A lack of water can also relate to recurring headaches and migraines. I have seen a reduction in these ailments over the years with my clients, the frequency and intensity of such drops.

From a muscle point-of-view, muscles that don’t have sufficient water will mean that your lifts in the gym due to a reduction in your strength levels. This would mean a less than your best effort which would translate in to less potential for muscle growth. No growth means no progress. No progress ultimately leads to an empty, unhappy feeling in your gut. This remains true not only for muscle but for almost all areas in our lives – not experiencing a step-by-step progression towards whatever goal you are working towards.

No progress – you get de-motivated. Progress – you feel motivated. The latter feeling is preferable, I believe.

We are all ‘goal-seeking’ animals, so make this 2nd Tip of my Top Ten Tips to a healthier you a part of your daily life. Take action and start making this habit a part of your life. Today. In a week, see how you feel.

There is power in habit.

It takes approximately 8 minutes of your day to carry out these two habits. Give your body, your life what it needs. Simply, because you’re worth it. The compound effect of making these two tips habit is contribution to a better quality of life in your future.

You’re now Aware. Apply Action. Adapt accordingly.

 

Until next time,

 

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Eating right actually takes less time than you think. Tip #1 in my Top 8.5 Tips to Eating RIGHT.

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Save you, life

Yes, you read that correctly.

In my experience, eating right can actually save you time. Save you, life.

It is winter in this part of the world (I’m live in the beautiful city of Sydney, Australia). Stop, project less than 12 weeks from now, when the next season arrives – ahhh, Spring. Picture this: people are getting out their spring/summer clothes from the cupboards and are feeling a little down because they can’t squeeze in to them like they remembered they did last year. It can be quite de-motivating for some.

Maybe , you’re in that spot of bother right now?

In this first blog of an 8.5 Reasons why Eating RIGHT should not take too much of your time.

 

My Tip # 1: Never Skip Breakfast!

In one of my earlier blogs, I state that imagination is key to the achievement of any worthwhile goal or goal you place value on . So, if achieving a more sculptured (tonned body) is what you desire you need to learn to use your imagination.

Yes, use your imagination to visualize (now) how you would like to look by summer. This is a very important step – ‘seeing’ yourself as you imagine yourself to be. Having a clear understanding of your destination (refer to earlier blog:Don’t be a rudderless ship).

The more vivid the picture of your destination is in your mind and the more it connects with your heart, the more drive and focus you will muster.

Champions practise a lot of visualisation and simulation.
To create magic, you need to fuse the worlds of sanity (where you are) with insanity (where you dream/imagine you are, before you are).
That is difficult.
That is one of the key keys.
Don’t stop. Trying. Believing.
Keep on … keeping on. You’ll get there. Everyone always does.
Especially, if you do it with your heart. and ….
with LOVE.

And, with the help of “Coach Mo” (incidentally, that little voice on your shoulder, we can call Coach “Mo”)  to start your steam train again …. Hoot … hoot … slowly towards your goal). Just like a steam-train, getting started in your body transformation goals, getting those wheels cranking  at the beginning of the journey is the difficult part.

But when you pick up [Mo]mentum (Coach Mo), you, just like that steam train can smash through whatever obstacles that lay in your path. To smithereens! Because you have Big Mo (momentum) on your side.

Here we go again.

Its easy to put off things, to procrastinate. Don’t. Don’t leave it for September, it will be too late. That’s when the majority of people start panicking and joining gyms. Start now. Find your plan (or get help from the relevant professional) and work your plan. You don’t want Spring and then Summer time and Christmas to roll around and you not feel happy about the way you look in you clothes, now, do you? Or you can just buy bigger clothes to hide it all.

Up to you.

You’re the Captain of your ship through the seas of Life.
Set you goal towards being your BEST and put a quality plan in place (includes your health & overall well-being) and set sail …
Towards your destination.

Making better use of the 86,400 seconds given to us every day

I have said this before: no matter what your exercise goals are, eating healthy (well-compositioned meals), can help you achieve them faster.

And right now, time is ticking and time is your friend as we have just started Winter and have a little under 10 weeks to Spring. But, the question you’re probably thinking is how are you supposed to spend time preparing healthier meals. You barely have enough time to hit the weights, how are you realistically supposed to find time to watch what hits your plate? Right, I hear you …. that is why I wrote this blog to convince you to help you, help yourself more effectively.

Eating right is actually easier than you think.

How so?

Well, in my more than two decades in the health and fitness industry and helping hundreds of people around the world. It is one truth I have discovered. They have learned that, too. You can save more of your life. Here’s how …

I believe that spending a few minutes a day making the right decisions about your nutrition could save you from spending twice the time in the gym or four times as much time on the treadmill or aerobics. How so, Paul, you may be asking? I don’t have the time, you may say!

We have 86,400 seconds in a day. Agreed.

I argue that it typically takes less time to prepare a healthier meal than it does to work off the extra calories you would eat if you didn’t spend time watching your diet.Makes sense? Yes, it does!

Think about it.

You have 86,400 seconds of your life everyday to live, the way you choose to. But, my question is why would you spend more of those seconds sweating and exercising (and for many enthusiasts doing group classes – smelling intense body odour in small bacteria-infested rooms).

I pity these folks and their poor, poor nostrils. If you do like it, God bless you. Applying my tips could mean you spend less time doing those classes. Smelling those arm-pits. That would be good for you and your nostrils, wouldn’t it? Also, I see so many people lining up outside cafes and stressing about what they are going to have for lunch. How about I say, we take that wastage of time and thought pattern with my tip here?

Achieving a well-balanced physique should be understood for what it is: a masterful fusion of art and science.
One should improve once’s “BODY Smart”knowledge. this takes time and deliberate practise.

 

Your daily eating habits

Ok, it isn’t always easy predicting how much time you’re going to have each day to pay attention to your nutritional habits. It isn’t easy. I realise that. Still, there is a smarter way you can make sure you’re getting the most from what ever number of seconds you can use each day.

What if I told you that there are ways to change your daily eating habits without making major sacrifices in your diet. What are you thinking now? For many people, they have tried everything, and ‘nothing works’ is a common frustration. What if I told you that these changes are very real and can be implemented in to your “all-day” eating routine. And the great thing is that you could implement these changes anytime you wanted to?

In the next series of blogs, I will be sharing with you my top 8.5 tips to successfully making changes to your daily eating habits with sustainability in mind. Changes that you can sustain forever. These Valentine Top 8.5 Tips only takes a few hundred seconds (a few minutes) to master, but I believe, when implemented, they can take months of unnecessary hard work off your schedule, provided you follow them each day.

This is the real challenge for you: Unlearning old habits that are not aligned with your new, ‘imagined self’ and learning these new habits, my Top 10 tips. Successful change is and can only be brought about through improvement in your self-regulatory behaviour . This is heavily dependent on the power of your imagination.

Changing habits – releasing bad eating habits and adopting some good ones is like facing an internal Predator. You need to ‘face the Lion’ within you.
Having a conversation with a lion.

Spring/Summer/Christmas?New Year, here you come – You, only better!

How much time do you have a day to apply these tips?

How much time can you spare? Can you spare 30 minutes in your day or 1800 seconds of your 86,400 seconds? We will do a little maths exercise and count the amount of time each of these tips will take out of your day, starting with Tip # 1 in this blog. Doing all 8.5 of my tips would take less than 30 minutes tops each day. Yet they can give you everything you need to maintain a balanced diet. That’s not much time, is it?

Can you allocate that time to YOU? Simply because your life is important and you would like to do everything you can to not only add years to your life but more importantly, add Life in to your years.

It’s going to save you spending your valuable life, your valuable seconds, thinking and exercising unnecessarily to undo what you unknowingly – did in the first place!

How good is that?!

These tips are not meant to create more stress in your life, it is meant to help make your life a bit more manageable, a little less stressful, when it comes to eating a balanced diet with sustainability in mind. It is about making the best of whatever time you have. Allow me to show you how.

My Top 8.5 Tips will cover all main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks in-between. We will begin with the first meal of the day – breakfast. So, I will go through your day, from sunrise to sun-set and piece together a sustainable, efficient and effective schedule for melting off fat, building muscle and having increased daily energy towards reshaping your body, not tomorrow or next week.

Right now.

Spring/Summer/Christmas/New Year’s here you come. You – only better!

Sunrise – you rise.

Education through a perception of the truth.
Increasing your awareness, taking sufficient and appropriate actions and adapting accordingly is key towards self-improvement.
Funny thing is that the process also applies to relationships and response. In the photo, Former Australian Wallaby Captain listening intently to learn key principles of my philosophy in to being your BEST, ALL the time, not some of the time. Great student. Great Champion. Great friend.
Vv

Tip #1: DO NOT Skip Breakfast.

It should consist of a mix of the 3 basic macro-nutrients: carbohydrates (oats), protein (eggs – 3 eggs/1 yolk) and a little fat (avocado, peanut butter, almonds).

Estimated time spent: < 5 minutes.

Why not skip Breakfast, you may be thinking?

It is one of the best advice our parents and grandparents have given us when we were children. Missing this very important meal creates more hunger later on and increases your risk of ‘bingeing’ and taking in more calories than you truly need in later meals. With no food in your stomach, your body’s response is to take in whatever calories you ate the night before – and whatever you eat later on and … bingeing at lunch and like many reading this – at dinner. Just before bed.

Result? Guess what? All these ‘extras’ TURNS INTO UNWANTED BODY FAT!

Yes, around the gut ( as some call a ‘spare tyre’) for most men out there after they turn 30 and deposits around the butt and legs for the ladies. Very de-motivating indeed. Not exactly what you want, is it?

So, I insist, make this first tip if you’re skipping breakfast a part of you life. Make it your first habit to master: take 4 minutes when you wake up and eat a meal for breakfast but make sure that it combines all macro-nutrients. You will get sustainable energy all day long and lower your desire for extra calories from other food to provide energy later.

This is a very good rule of thumb you should apply for every meal during your day. Ask yourself – do I have a good mix of carbs, protein and a little fat.

Use what I’ve told all my past customers – my “eyeball method” or ‘I see with my two eyes’ method. Look at your plate, ensure the macro-nutrients take up space on the plate in this ratio:

P:C:F = 0.4:0.5: 0.10. ( where P = Protein; C = Carbohydrates; F = Fats)

Steve Reeves was a Master Poser. He imagined and built the Best Built & Aesthetically beautiful body in the world through synergistic awareness.
He understood that optimum health of body & mind required the fusion of art and science.
Become a scientific artist of YOU … of your life.

Homework: Lets keep adding the time needed to apply each tip I share in successive blogs and see if it requires you to spend less than half an hour of your day.

Let me prove to you using numbers (minutes spent) that Eating right actually takes less time than you think over the next month or so. Let you in on a secret: I love Physics and Mathematics. They were my first majors in my first University Degree almost 30 years ago now.

Let me show you how these little but significant 8.5 Tips can and will encourage an optimum environment that is a fusion of art and science, allowing for Synergy. This synergism is KEY: it is in the combining of the elements that creates a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

This is where you create your miracle, your magic within.

You’re now Aware. Apply Action. Adapt accordingly.

Repeat. Make it habit. Make this one change. Repeatedly, with enhanced self-regulatory behavioural change. Repeat.

Believe.

My triple A approach to the development of Self.

 

Ahoy & all the very BEST… allow me to guide you through my Top 8.5 Tips over the next few weeks.

Cheers & ahoy!

The old Captain Viking Pirate …. & Life Tips

 

Relaxed with dumbells.

SYNERGISM: The Critical Mind-set to success. Understanding that it is in the combination of key elements to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Create the BEST you firstly, through 1) Education and then 2) motivation.

 

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So, what is “Light Weight” anyway?

Back Double Biceps - few days out from the Australian Natural Bodybuilding Championships Result: 2nd in Australia.

“Back Double Biceps” under the watchful eyes of my coach at that time (2 x Australian Champion, Mr John Daniels) – few days out from the Australian Natural Bodybuilding Championships
Result: 2nd in Australia. 

If you’re familiar with bodybuilding and bodybuilding history, there is a former Mr Olympia (one of only 13 men who have won the best-built body title in the world over the last 50 years), that made the phrase “Light Weight” part of gym lingo and folklore.

He was none other than Ronnie “The King” Coleman. An eight-time Mr Olympia, beating Arnold Schwarzenegger who won it seven times. Phenomenal achievement!

So, what he considered “Light Weight” would be someone else’s heavy (actually, it would be 99.9% of all gym goers definition of “extremely heavy”). This is what I am talking about here today.

I have heard many people ask the question “what weight should I use?” It really is a very individual thing. What may be less heavy for someone, may be too heavy for others. If you’re unsure of what weight to use, it may be wise to do a little “pre-exercise” planning.

Now, what I am going to explain below may be considered by many to be ‘quite obvious’  but for some, it may not be so. Here’s what I mean, for a beginner:

Steps before lifting weights –

  1. Start with the bare minimum, in terms of poundage (leave your ego at the door)
  2. Progressively increase weight with each set of the exercise
  3. Stop when you reach a poundage that allows you to strictly perform the exercise within the required number of repetitions.

For example, some of the basic gym tools:

Dumbells.

  1. Start with 1lb dumbbells and work you way up incrementally – either 1lb or 2lb increments
  2. Where the increments switch to 5lb increments, apply steps above accordingly.

Barbells.

  1. Start with just the bar (no weight added). A standard weight bar could weigh anywhere between 5kg and 9kg. An Olympic bar would weigh 20kg (~ 45lbs).
  2. Once the bar feels too light, start adding 2 ½ lb plates on both ends.
  3. Increase weight incrementally by 5 pounds.

Medicine balls.

  1. Start with the lightest (once again, leave your ego at the door). It may be 2 or 2.2lbs.
  2. Once you feel strong enough to move up, do so. Keep in mind, however, that medicine balls typically increase in 2-pound increments ( 6 to 6.6 lbs, 4 to 4.4 lbs etc).

So, there you go.

Figure out how much time of your 86,400 seconds each day you can devote to a work-out (hopefully a minimum of 3,600 seconds twice a week). Find a results-specific workout type you would like to put your body (and mind) through and then just do it!

Don’t be afraid of the gym. You don’t need a degree in exercise physiology. If you’ve ever resented anyone for their physique, you can stop now. I want to let you know that sometimes the bodies that have earned your exercise envy may not be more committed to working out than you are.

It’s just that they’re smarter when it comes to HOW they work out.

Now it’s your turn.

There is no secret to getting in great shape. It is not how much time you spend exercising (there is a bare minimum though for every goal) but it is taking the time to exercising properly. Executing each exercise in proper functional manner, continuously asking yourself the question –

How well am I doing this particular rep of this particular exercise?”.

Not knowing how to.

Not executing exercises with good form could be disastrous. One simple slip in form can transform a useful exercise into a useless one. The problem areas in your body are progressively neglected and you continuously stress and overwork muscles you would rather avoid or work less.

Don’t you sacrifice your ‘safety umbrella’. Sets you up for major postural problems in the future.

Remember, overworked and over-stressed muscles ( like shoulders for men ) lead to muscle imbalances which lead to (over time) – injuries. Injuries, yes. Some of which you cannot afford to have.

Seek help from a suitably qualified and experienced professional for guidance if you’re unsure.

Train safer. Train smarter.

You’ll enjoy the next 40 or so years in the gym, better.

 

Until next time,

 

Relaxed with dumbells.

Relaxed with dumbells.

 

Collage of some bodybuilding poses

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Snacks – the more, the better.

Two days before Australian Championships

Two days before Australian Championships

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Placing: 2nd in Australia.

When my children were born, I was fascinated with their eating behaviour. They ate every 2 to 3 hours without fail, around the clock. As most of you would know (especially parents), the first few years of a child’s life can cause huge sleep deprivation on parents (especially mums).

I asked the question why society teaches us that the main times for food intake should be breakfast, lunch and dinner. Why don’t we just follow what we have all gone through in our first years. It seemed like we were biologically born to consume food every 2 to 3 hours. It seems that society’s expectation is forcefully applied to us as ‘normal’ eating behaviour because that’s just how it has been for centuries. Probably helps us all become better employees when we are older – less time eating, or for breaks and more time devoted to working.

Apparently, great for productivity and the “bottom-line”.

The thing is that the body works more efficiently and effectively with energy pumped in to it regularly and this is where snacks come in.

If you’re like most people and being ‘busy’ and busier than everyone you know, then  you would probably only make time to eat three meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whether your goal is fat loss, muscle gain or a combination of the two, the smarter way to get your daily energy intake is to spread them throughout the whole day. It’s the way our bodies are made to work.

We need to work with our body, not against it.

I’ve always told people that body re-engineering or transformation is mainly about hormonal management, through management of raw materials going in ( your body and your mind). Frequency of meals is a key factor to success in your body transformation.

You see, anytime you eat, blood is rushed in to your stomach for digestive aid. If you eat huge meals (as most people do three times per day), your energy and vitality levels get affected and fluctuate. Many people feel intense sleepiness in the office after a big lunch. The more food your body has to process, the more blood it steals from other areas of your body to aid in stomach digestion. The same can be said for digestive enzymes.

Losing blood from other areas of your body could affect your metabolic state and so slow down the distribution of energy within your system (hence the sleepiness feeling after a hearty lunch). This leaves you feeling less sharp and tired you struggle to focus.

Having large meals also triggers a higher insulin response which inhibits fat burning as it alerts the body to desperately store unwanted body fat. So, an answer to reducing your meal sizes is to go back to eating with more frequency just like you did when you were a baby, being luckily breastfed or bottle-fed every 2 hours. You need to eat more often and so increase your meals from 3 to 6.

How do you do this? Simple: eat more smaller, well-compositioned meals.

Try preparing or having at least three snacks ready to eat between your three main meals, spreading your calories throughout the day. On the face of it, it may sound like you will be eating more but spreading out what you eat can actually cause you to eat less. This is what I tell most if not all my clients – “I’ll show you how to eat more to change your body shape … and lose weight”. They then say, “but shouldn’t I be eating less?”

Another mis-perception propagated by the weight-loss industry.

You see eating six to eight smaller, well-compositioned meals instead of three large meals, keeps you blood sugar levels in a good range and does not encourage sudden fluctuations. For your body, this equates to a constant flow of readily available energy which reduces your tendency to eat more.

Eating smaller meals more frequently also allows you to feel fuller, longer and does not encourage you to over-eat in your main meals. More importantly, keeping your blood sugar levels in a good range, does not trigger the hormone – insulin, which when triggered forces your body in to ‘starvation’ mode that encourage fat retention and storage.

The key to body re-engineering and transformation is fundamentally hormonal management.

So, snacks are necessary but when people talk about snacks they think of ‘junk food’. It does not have to be. When possible choose snacks that are a combination of the three macro-nutrient groups: protein, carbohydrates and fats.

Some good examples of:

  • Protein sources: lean meats including chicken, beef/kangaroo, ham and fish, tofu.
  • Carbohydrate (low GI) sources include: fruits and/or vegetables like beans, broccoli, spinach, celery.
  • Fat sources: most nuts like almonds, cashews, peanuts and avocado, ricotta cheese

Each snack can combine all three, for example, two pieces of chicken breast (120g) + avocado (30g) + long beans (120g). Keep nuts to 30g or less per snack intake.

So pack your snacks in lunch boxes just as you or your parents did when you were a kid and have it ready to eat at work. It will save you time (waiting in line to get a sandwich) and will help improve your overall sense of vitality throughout the day.

Adding snacks to your life should help you take one step closer to the body you want. Little habits like this, when practised deliberately – daily, over time is where the real miracle is.

A little change within has a greater change – without.

Try this one change in your day. See how you look in two months.

All the best,

 

Until next time,

 

Paul V2 (1)

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