A question I get asked quite often is: what should I eat before training? Followed by a look of keen inquisitiveness as if I am about to release the greatest secret known to man. I’m sorry to tell you, but the answer isn’t that complicated at all; which is a good thing!
Think of it like this, you wouldn’t plan a drive across a desert with no fuel in your tank, would you? This is the exact mindset to have when thinking about workout preparation.
Spring is almost here & we all know what follows spring, right?
Here are my top 5 favourite tips for fat burn in preparation for the beach.
Drink Green Tea
YUM! Green tea contains the antioxidant Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG) as well as caffeine; both of which give a boost to metabolism. Several studies have shown that a combination of green tea & exercise are effective for losing belly fat, so pour yourself a cuppa, right now!
Do you need money to get fit?
No. And anyone who tells you otherwise is unimaginative and probably rich in excuses.
The truth is, fitness doesn't have to involve a gym, nor does it require expensive supplementation or diet.
In fact, getting fit will probably save you money if anything!
Getting fit requires a healthy combination of three things:
I get it, you’re in the gym, ready to take on the bench press with everything you’ve got. After cracking out a warm-up set you stack up the plates and give that bar a damn good pushing for 4 – 6 reps. You stand up, no one is watching; but they should be when you’re pushing such a tremendous amount of weight. You feel on fire… and yet, as time goes by, you don’t seem to be increasing in size…
One of the best moves I ever made for gaining muscle (fast) was leave my ego at the door.
Egos and gyms are a bad combo, do yourself (and everyone else) a big favour and as you enter the gym, just leave your ego outside (you can collect it on your way out).
In order to hit the golden land of Hypertrophy (muscle growth) your muscles need high amounts of mechanical stress placed upon them; and a combination of the 2 following things is the best way to do that:
These following points are based on the majority of the population with an average circadian rhythm.
In the afternoon the body’s pain tolerance is at its highest; which allows you to hit more heavy-weighted reps without crying like toddler performing deadlifts.
In the evening, your stamina is at its daily peak, joined by your overall coordination. These are HUGE factors when it comes to pounding the iron slabs. As we all know, stamina goes a long way… the difference between lifting for 30 minutes & 45 minutes can be paramount.
There are endless studies that say this, that, and the other about the optimal weight you should be lifting to reach your goals.
Here's the Mustard Fitness opinion:
If your primary goal is to increase your strength (your peak force), you should be going heavy.
That means working with a weight that only allows you to hit 1 - 5 reps per set. Take longer rest periods and aim to increase the weight used every week or two. Personally, when training for my deadlift strength, I go for 5 sets of 4 reps, with 3 minute breaks between sets. (the Mustard 5, 4, 3 System... not copyrighted)
If your primary goal is purely hypertrophy/fat loss (bodybuilding/looking incredible with all your clothes on the floor), you should also be going heavy, though not quite at a strength-training level.
Find your 'burn weight' with exercises. This means that you should aim to fail with a load somewhere between 6 and 12 repetitions. If you reach 12 reps and feel the ability to hit 1 or 2 more, the weight is too light and you should increase. Of course, if you can't hit 6 reps, the weight is too heavy and should be reduced a tad. Keep your rest periods between 60 and 90 seconds. Cue the red carpet.
If your primary goal is muscular endurance, then, you've guessed it, your reps need to be high and your weight low.
Aim for a weight that allows you to hit between 12 and 20 repetitions before failing. Reduce the rest periods here to 30 - 60 seconds and get all sweaty and intense!
I hope this helps!
In a day and age in which eggs on toast takes too long to make and cereal is just outright boring, the Universe steps in and brings us all the perfect breakfast; and don’t we all need it!
Introducing, the Wickedly Awesome Kick-ass Energizing Ultimate Power Smoothie! (Or, for short, the W.A.K.E. U.P. Smoothie).
There is a special something about traveling by bicycle.
I like to consider myself (arrogantly) quite a well-travelled chap. Aided by the wonders of an English passport, I am provided with very few visa complications around the world. I have travelled through almost 40 countries; each one carrying its own gem of uniqueness. Though, it was in Cambodia during a 9-month trip through Asia that I became quite disinterested in the conventional methods of travel. After all, it’s not about the destination, but about the journey, right? Apologies to the cramped buses, full of boozy ‘slack’ packers, that lost my custom, but I decided to invest more in the ‘journey’ side of traveling.
It was in Battambang, a city just southwest of Siam Reap where my travel buddy and I invested in two fixed-gear bicycles for $10 each. Using bungee cords and rope we attached our backpacks to the loose racks on the back of the bicycles, and began cycling south with no clear destination in mind.
The feeling of using your body to propel yourself across large masses of land is unexplainable.
Fitness is something that seems to pop up, daily, in numerous conversations around the workplace, household or grocery store (as does the real ‘F’ word). It passes through our conversations gracefully whether we welcome it or not.
We can’t hide from it.
And why should we?
It is a fact that regular physical activity massively reduces the risk of chronic disease (which accounts for 70% of all deaths in America(1) ). It provides locations for a social atmosphere (something that a lot of us lack in our hectic working lifestyles), and of course, most importantly, it allows us the time to enjoy that organic triple chocolate fudge cake without the plague of guilt that usually surrounds us when even mentioning the words ‘chocolate’, ‘fudge’, and ‘cake’.