Kevin Betts completed 52 marathons in a year in under 4 hours each time, including New York, Las Vegas, Nottingham, Brighton and 27 of them on treadmills. He even ran one on his wedding day. Mr Betts was inspired by the memory of his father Richard. Who took his own life in 2003 aged 46. He said after completing the last event in Portsmouth: “Every week got tougher but I’ll but it will have been worth it if it raises the issue of mental health.” Kevin has collected £10,000 for mental health charity Rethink and Passingiton, which builds schools in Africa.

You ran 52 marathons in the space of a year! Why did you set yourself this challenge?

I’d run a couple of marathons before and felt like I wasn’t ‘done’ with the distance. Running had become a crutch for me after my dad passed away and I realised how important it was for both my physical and mental wellbeing. I thought doing something stupid like this would get a bit of attention and it could be an opportunity to get people talking about mental health.
My idea was to raise some money for mental health charities but my biggest goal was to blog about it and to encourage people to be more open about mental health. I lost my dad to suicide after years and years of depression and the reaction to his death was so mixed. I really felt like I had the opportunity to lead by example and so I blogged as I went along and drummed up a bit of a following.

How did you train for this feat? How important was nutrition during this training?

If I’m absolutely honest, I didn’t! My first was on New Year’s Day 2011 and at the end of that run, I really wish I had! As the year went on, I knew I could physically complete the runs but mentally they were really taking their toll! It took me a few days to recover from each marathon so my general training load actually went down and I put on weight throughout the year! Each marathon ended up becoming the training for the next one. The treadmill marathons were broken down to different types of session to keep things interesting.

Nutrition was crucial to support both the marathons and the recovery. I used bananas and some energy gels (when I really felt like I was crashing) during the runs. I’m a big fan of using caffeine during runs, too – it really helps me to concentrate. I ate a normal diet throughout, although the night before was plain food so not to upset my tummy before a marathon. And I’d have a protein shake afterwards to support the muscular recovery.

What toll did it take on your body? How did you recover during the challenge and once it was over?

The Physical toll was pretty tough. It was attritional and I had numerous ‘incidents’ throughout the year but luckily none needed me to stop. I ended up in an ambulance after a particularly tough one and ran the last 7 marathons with a hairline fracture in my leg. In all, I actually put on weight throughout the challenge because each week I was doing less activity in total than I otherwise would have – recovery meant not doing much in between.

My recovery during the challenge was to stay mobile after the runs (I’m a big fan of active recovery) and to eat well. I was pretty poor at stretching and doing mobility exercises back then – I just kept walking. Now I’m a PT I realise how lucky I was to get through it without serious injury. I never considered ice baths, proper stretching and massage.

When the challenge was over, I just took time off. I stopped running completely and took some time to myself to do whatever I wanted. I started playing around in the gym more and lifted a lot of weights. I also started football again. It wasn’t long before the bug hit me and a bunch of people who followed the 52 marathon challenge got in touch asking if I’d consider something as a group. In summer 2012, after the Olympics, we ran from Paris to London – 164 miles from the Arc du Triomphe to Marble Arch.

How do you mentally prepare for a marathon just before you set off? Any top tips on conquering the distance?

This depends on the goal for the marathon, to be honest. It’s very different, for me, to mentally prepare for an attempt compared to mentally preparing for a standard marathon distance run. As blasé as it sounds, I can just go out and knock out 26.2 miles no problem. The mental challenge comes in aiming for something beyond my limits. Concentration, focus and some grit are so key before a big run.

The mentality is actually my specialism as a PT – pushing my clients beyond their perceived limits by refocusing their mind and convincing them that they can push their body harder than they thought possible – it’s about not giving in. I could talk all day about conquering the distance but here’s my top two tips:

1) Rehearse it. Take yourself off in the week before the marathon, look at the map, the mile markers and the landmarks along the way. Then imagine how you might feel at certain points along the way. Half way, 20 miles, each mile afterwards. What’s best case scenario? And worst case? What if you do feel terrible? What might you do to pull yourself out of the dark and focus on getting to the finish? If you know what might happen and it does, you’re in a much better place to face them head on and manage the situation. Arm yourself with emotional and personal triggers – we all have a reason for running so use memories, people and occasions to get there. You can use them like energy gels – when it’s tough and you’re low, you have your mental gel to perk you up a bit.
2) Break it down. I use metric and a marathon is a long way – 42.2km. Too far to think about on its own, so I reassess every 5km. I then have something to look towards as I move around. I count up to half way then I change the way my brain works and start counting down afterwards. 13 miles to go, 12, 11, 10… It sounds better than counting up from 13 to 14, 15, 16. You’re ticking off the distance as you go along.

What is the Marathon In A Day challenge? What are you hoping the initiative will achieve? How can people get involved?

Marathon In A Day is the brainchild of me and my PT client Clare, who also supports Mind. The idea came about when we were talking about how the marathon distance is daunting for people and how we wanted to change the way people think about it. We played around with loads of ideas and decided that we wanted to put on an event with two goals. The first was that it was inclusive, fun and accessible – not all about racing and bravado. The second was that it should be unique, interesting and quirky.

What we came up with is an event that people can do on their own or in a team. Marathon In A Day gives you and your team a 24 hour period to run the marathon distance. Only the time spent running counts towards your overall time – so you can take as many breaks as you like. An individual could run 26, one-mile reps, for instance (and then another .2 miles, obviously), with half an hour’s rest between them. Or they could be traditional and just go and run a marathon – it’s completely flexible. A team of 8 could all do parkrun together (and then another 275 meters each), if they wanted. Or they could all do that distance at different parkruns. Or one person could do a half marathon and the other 7 all do about 3km each. You get the idea – it’s totally and utterly flexible!

Our goal is to get more people running, talking, laughing and taking part. We want to support Mind because of the incredible work they do, and I truly believe there is such a strong relationship between mental and physical health. I lost my dad in 2003 after he took his own life. Running became my outlet and a big coping mechanism for me. At first, it was an escape and now it’s different – often, it’s my opportunity to spend time on my own and think.

People can get involved by entering, of course. Or just by supporting us, telling their friends and family about us and encouraging others.

You’re a dad, how do you fit training in around family life?

My boy! He’s my Achilles heel. He’s three and a half now and he’s changed how I think about running. He’s made me run less and I have different priorities, but because he’s around, I’ve also been smarter about my training. If I’m training hard for a particular event, I structure my training so much more now so that I get a bigger bang for my buck. I will work running into my day – include a run as a part of my commute, for instance. I’m much more efficient.

But the biggest change is also the best – we run together! He’s got a pretty durable running buggy that I reckon has covered about 2,000 miles in total. We parkrun together most weeks and I can rely on him to add a bit of resistance to a faster run. On a Sunday long run I’ve used the buggy as a training aid. He’s used to it now and will sit for up to an hour and a half without moaning too much. I’ll run half my long run with him to add resistance (especially uphill!), drop him home and finish the rest of the run on my own. So long as I give him some food and an ipad, he’s patient and understanding. We have a brilliant time together and he loves it. He shouts at other runners as we pass them. We’ve come second at parkrun before and have been known to hit a sub-40 10k with the wind behind us.

Why do you enjoy running?

This is going to sound weird to most, but hit home to many. I run because it’s about not giving up and challenging my body not to give up before my mind and visa versa. Running isn’t just running – there are so many types for so many moods and mindsets. After my dad died, I ran because it hurt. I could run and run and run and feel myself wanting to give in, but still refuse. I could fill my mind with thoughts and memories and try to rationalise them, or I could empty my head and think of nothing. As I started getting faster, I realised there were lots of types of running. Slow, tempo, interval, hills, on road, trail, Fartlek – the list goes on. It’s so variable and you can always improve. Running is my time on my own, if I want it, but it’s also my time with others if I choose that instead. It’s for everyone!

You run for the charity MIND. Do you feel there is a connection between exercise and good mental health?

There is a huge connection between exercise and mental health. Let’s be clear, I don’t think that exercise is a cure for mental health problems – it’s not that simple. But for managing mental health conditions with medication and therapy, it’s huge. And for people in every walk of life, getting out, challenging your body and achieving new goals is a real buzz. There are all sorts of hormonal responses to exercise that cause your brain to function better, so physiologically it’s doubtless. But it’s so much more than that. For people who are lonely, anxious, depressed or struggling in any way, there are so many social benefits of exercising that make you feel a part of a community of like-minded people.

For me, the difficulty is getting people to take part in the first place because exercise and sport can be intimidating. For someone who is anxious, putting yourself out there into a lion’s den of people who look like they know what they’re doing is massive. That’s what we want to address with Marathon In A Day – give lots of people the opportunity to start somewhere and not get worried about performance.

What tips would you give someone who is running their first ever marathon?

I could go on forever here, but will keep it short and sweet. The first marathon can never be repeated. It’s unique and it’s amazing. You WILL run a PB. You’ll have an experience that will stick with you forever. Here are my tips:

1) Give yourself plenty of time to train. 16-20 weeks is ideal. Make sure it’s structured
2) Mental preparation is as important as physical. The marathon itself is your reward – it’s the training and commitment that are the hard bits
3) Tell everyone. Raise some money, get encouragement and make a difference
4) Expect things to go wrong. Injury, illness and boredom are normal. Take them in your stride
5) Break the race down into manageable portions and tick them off as you go along
6) Don’t underestimate the importance of nutrition. Eat well, include more protein and consider recovery shakes or similar after runs to help with repair
7) Rehearse your eating and drinking in advance of race day
8) Smile all the time when you’re running. Try not to wear headphones and instead interact with the crowds and fellow runners. When you struggle, then switch on your power songs to give you a boost
9) Save something for the finish. Look your best as you cross the line
10) Sign up for number two as soon as you can. One is never enough!

What tips would you give someone who wants to run a faster marathon?

It’s human nature to want to improve. Running a faster marathon is a good way to set new goals and focus. There are some easy ways to improve your marathon time. You should consider:
1) Structure your training more. Be focussed and add in some speed work. Threshold runs, intervals and hills sessions will help to build up your endurance levels
2) Rehearse. Enter some races in advance of the marathon and have sections that are marathon paced. I run a 20mile race before my fast marathons. I run the first ten miles stead and the second ten at marathon pace. It’s a decent long run and will give you an idea of what you might feel like on race day
3) Add in some strength and conditioning training. Think about strengthening your core muscles to make you more efficient and make sure your glutes aren’t being lazy
4) Train with others. There’s nothing like a group of people to push you just that little bit harder during training. It’ll also keep you committed

What’s your ambition for the next five years? Where would you like to be and where would you like to see Marathon In A Day?

I’m still chasing my dream of a sub 3-hour marathon. I’ve hit 3.02 in the last few years but since my son’s been around, it’s taken a little more of a back seat. I will hit it one day. I WILL! Other than that, I want to help others. I love working with Mind’s London and Brighton Marathon runners and I’ve seen a lot of clients cross the lines of those runs when they thought it’d be impossible. It might not be within the next 5 years, but I want to have run all the World Marathon Majors, too. And an Ironman – if I can learn to swim!

As for Marathon In A Day – I want it to thrive. I want hundreds and hundreds of people to have taken part and to have spread the word. I think it’s unique and I think so many different people can do it for so many reasons. It would be great to have it as ‘the’ virtual race to take part in and to have the backing of a lot of people.

What’s your favourite training move?

I love being in the gym – it’s a great break from running sometimes. I’m a fan of simple exercises and mastering the basics. You can’t go wrong with the barbell squat. So long as the movement is there, you can use it in so many ways to strengthen your legs and core. I like to work through endurance ranges usually, but if I’m not running I’ll focus on some power work, vary my tempo or concentrate on different sections of the lift.

What kind of diet do you follow?

I love food. Mostly I follow the ‘eat a lot of food’ diet. Unless I’m training hard for a pb, I don’t worry too much about specifics as I know my diet is balanced and nutritious. I have different cycles throughout the year so December to April is marathon training. This is about high protein and lots of nutrients. I use recovery shakes but otherwise eat as standard. After that, through summer, I like to spend time in the gym. I’ll use more protein supplements and maybe some creatine and BCAA supplements if I want to train hard. I also reduce my carbohydrate intake and increase high-quality fats and protein, eating five smaller meals during the day and snacking on things like nuts. I also include a cheat day – usually the day I have my hardest training load. I have a real sweet tooth and love dessert. I’ve never yet been so committed that I’ve given up on dessert!

What’s your favourite ‘cheat day’ meal?

Easy. Pizza. Any type, anywhere, anyhow. Take away, home-made, shop bought – it really doesn’t matter! Afterwards, so long as it involves custard, I’m in!

What’s your favourite Bio-Synergy product?

I take part in events that really challenge my body’s ability to recover. Because of that, I have to focus on taking in the best quality protein straight after I work out in order to give my muscles the best possible chance of recuperating quickly. Whey Better protein isolate is brilliant for that – it’s over 90% protein with next to no carbohydrate or fat. It also tastes great and can be mixed with ice or frozen fruits to thicken or jazz it up if you wish! What I always know is that with Bio-Synergy, I get top quality products that are tailored brilliantly to whatever type of training I’m doing.

As you may or may not know Ramadan is a time of year where Muslims fast and they consume nothing (no food or water) from dawn to sunset. So I thought I’d put together TOP 10 TIPS AND TRICKS for you ‘guys and gals’ that struggle for a routine or unsure of what to do when it comes to training and eating during Ramadan.

Top Ten Tricks for Training and eating during Ramadan:

 

1. Try to get your workout in 1-2 hours after you have broken your fast as this allows your body to digest the food you have consumed after going so many hours with consuming nothing.

2. Consume a ‘light’ meal when you break your fast with adequate protein, fats and carbohydrates as your body will digest this in a good amount of time then you can train.

3. Ensure you are hydrated – consume at least 1 litre of water before you train as your body will have been severely deprived and dehydrated from the amount of time you have consumed nothing.

4. Keep your workouts short (30-45minutes) in order to be able to get back home and EAT!

5. Reduce the amount of exercises and sets you typically do as your going to be struggling to get in your normal amount of calories you typically do to recover so you need to cut back on exercises and sets so your body has less stress to recover from.

6. DO NOT train while you are fasting as you can’t even consume water so this would be a very bad idea and can cause you to faint. Studies have shown training when your body is in starvation and dehydration can decrease strength and muscle mass significantly and that’s not what we want.

7. Try and stick with calorie dense foods as you want to be able to recover from working out and as your already limited with a restricted time window you won’t be able to fit in a lot of meals so you want to be able to choose calorie dense foods that will keep you full.

8. Aim to consume a minimum of 2.5 litres from when you break your fast because you want to be able to stay hydrated for when you train but also for the next day where again you won’t be consuming anything again.

9. Stick to weight training and avoid any excessive cardio as you want to be able to preserve as much muscle you have and your already restricted with not being able to eat the normal amount you typically would.

10. Supplements? – Supplements can be very helpful during Ramadan due to the restricted time frame you have to eat and train. I would recommend my top 3 during Ramadan. 1 – BCAA’S during training as this will help preserve muscle. 2 – Multivitamin/Fish Oil supplement which will allow you to get the required daily amount of vitamins the body needs which you will be struggling to get from food during Ramadan. 3- Whey protein is a big help when you need to hit your protein goal and as you can consume it in liquid form it is very convenient and saves you a lot of time than cooking.

 

Zarak’s Daily Ramadan Routine

I will typically train 3-4 times a week focussing on full body workouts with compound exercises. My training session would be kept short 30-45mins focussing on main Compound lifts such as Squat, Bench press, Shoulder Press, Bent over Rows and Pull ups.

Breakfast: I will typically consume 500ml of water with Dates and Watermelon to break my fast. I would then consume a meal consisting of chicken breast with 2 wholemeal slices of bread and avocado.
90MINS later – TRAIN! (Sipping on 2 Litres of water infused with BCAA’S during training)

Immediately Postworkout – Whey protein and Honey – Protein for the muscles to feed off and the honey to replenish them glycogen stores.

1 hour after post workout shake – This is where I consume the majority of my calories as its my final meal so I make it a massive meal where I will consume chicken/fish/beef for my protein and I will have that with a big plate of rice/pasta. Then I will treat myself to a desert and this can be anything from pancakes, chocolates, ice cream and/ or milkshake.

 

Follow Zarak’s Instagram for more updates

 

Start your day with the Sun Salutation:
The sun salutation is a series of yoga postures that warms, strengthens and aligns the entire body. Each pose coordinates with your breathing: Inhale to extend, and exhale to bend. If you spend a lot of your time sedentary, perhaps looking down at your phone too much, and have hip, knee or lower back discomfort this warm up yoga sequence will be sure to help relieve some of the pressure in those areas. This is a great way to link mind and body and start your day with clear thoughts.

Drink a pint of water with a slice of lemon in the morning: It sounds simple but when you lose more fluids than you take in you will be dehydrated. This means you will feel less energetic and that’s quite a big draw back. Imagine if you had an extra 30% energy each day. What could you do with it? Other symptoms include dry skin, constipation of some level, muscle cramps, dry mouth, bad breath and much more. I know it’s not easy drinking the recommended 2.2 litres for men and 1.8 litres for women each day, so I set alarms throughout the day reminding me to ‘take a sip’ and to make water a little more exciting I bought in a fruit infused water bottle which provides all the antioxidants from the fruit. Staying hydrated with change your life, trust me!

Eat more fibre:

Fibre cleans your colon, acting like a scrub brush through the intestines. This ‘scrub brush’ effect helps clean out bacteria and other build-up in your intestines and reduces your risk of colon cancer. A high fibre diet also helps you have regular bowel movements which reduces constipation helping you feel lighter throughout the day. Some examples of high fibre products are whole grain breads, cereals, brown rice, beans, fruit and vegetables.

Incorporate daily meditation into your morning routine:

In today’s fast paced culture, we tend to get caught up in the busyness of the day ahead of us we forget to take a moment to ask ourselves the questions that matter – are we focusing on what makes us truly happy? Is what we’re doing giving meaning to our lives at all? Am I losing touch with what matters the most? According to The Happiness Advantage, research has shown that regular meditation can ‘permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness, lower stress, and even improve immune function.’ Taking even just 3-5 each morning to stop, connect with yourself & set intentions for the day allows you to cultivate inner strength and clarity. If you’re completely new to mediation, you don’t have to feel put off by not knowing where to start; there are plenty of great apps out there which offer guided meditations & daily reminders, providing you with an easy entry into meditating.

Dynamic stretching:

Static stretching is a deep, slow stretch which is held for 10 – 20 seconds I prefer a form of stretching which is more commonly used by athletes to warm up before exercise; Dynamic stretching is a series of challenging movements that are executed repeatedly so the stretch is felt deeper with each motion. Typically, dynamic stretching involves starting in a stationary position, holding the stretch for a few seconds, taking a step and repeating the same stretch but feeling it move a little deeper through the muscle.

Foam Rolling:

The benefits of foam rolling have to do with the mobility of the fascia. Fascia is a fibrous layer of connective tissue that surrounds all of the muscles in our body. Without proper mobility, fibers of the fascia become cross linked and they bind to muscles and nerves, inhibiting normal motion and causing pain.

If we don’t stay on top of our flexibility in our muscles, it will affect our joint movements and therefore lead to incorrect technique and further injuries. The good thing about a foam roller is that it can get right into your deeper tissue, like a massage but without someone else physically having to be there, and for me I feel it is a super important part of my routine and my routine.

Phoebe Schecter

After the regular football season, the NFL schedule moves into the playoffs, which ultimately lead up to the Super Bowl. In regular-season games, teams compete for the best win-loss records, and those teams with the best records advance to the playoffs. The playoffs, meanwhile, decide who goes on to the Super Bowl.

The NFL schedules all those regular-season games — 256 in a typical season — to separate the good teams from the bad. On every level of sports, people want to declare a champion. In the NFL, a total of 12 teams qualify for what amounts to the road to the Super Bowl.

The Super Bowl is the NFL championship game. It pits the winner of the AFC against the champion of the NFC. The game was born out of the merger agreement between the former AFL and the NFL in 1966.

Six teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs, with the four division winners qualifying automatically. These winners are joined by two teams called wildcard teams, who qualify based on the win-loss records of the remaining teams in each conference that didn’t finish first in their respective divisions.

Phoebe Schecter

The two division winners with the highest winning percentages host second-round games, skipping the first round of competition. The third and fourth division winners host the wildcard teams in the first round.

The winners of the two wildcard games advance to the second round of contests, called Divisional Playoff games. The lowest-rated wildcard winner plays the division winner with the best record, and the other wildcard winner plays the division winner with the second-best record. Both division winners enjoy home field advantage, meaning that they host the games.

For the Conference Championship games (the third round), any surviving division champion automatically hosts the game. If two division winners survive, the team with the better winning percentage hosts the championship game. If the two surviving teams have identical records, home field is based on how the two teams performed in head-to-head competition during the season, and then on who had the best winning percentage in conference games.

The Super Bowl is such a huge television and fan attraction that cities routinely bid for the game, offering to defray many of the league’s expenses for hotels and travel. In fact, the Super Bowl is so large that cities are selected three to four years in advance. This gives the cities the necessary time to prepare.

In the two weeks between the two conference championship games and the Super Bowl, plenty of hype and hoopla about the game arises. The two teams usually arrive in the host city on the Sunday prior to the game, along with more than 2,500 members of the media. The event has a national flavour to it.

With ticket prices from $500 to $700, and most fans paying five times that amount via ticket scalping, the Super Bowl has become more of a corporate event than a bastion for hard-core football fans. You almost must be somebody important or know somebody important to attend. The Commissioner’s Party — which owners, coaches, and NFL executives attend on the Friday night prior to the game — is an even tougher ticket to acquire.

 

The Dimensions of Football Fields

There’s nothing like a football field. Here’s what you see on a football field, whether you’re on the field or in the stands:

Field dimensions: The dimensions of a football field haven’t changed much through the years. The field has been 100 yards long and 53 1/3 yards wide since 1881. In 1912, the two end zones were established at 10 yards deep and have remained so ever since. Consequently, all football games are played on a rectangular field that’s 360 feet long x 160 feet wide.

The marks on the field: All over the field, you see a bunch of white lines. Every line has a special meaning:

End lines: The lines at each end of the field.
Side-lines: The lines along each side of the field.
Goal lines: The goal lines are 10 yards inside and parallel to each end line.
Field of play: The area bounded by the goal lines and side-lines.
50-yard line: The field is divided in half by the 50-yard line, which is in the middle of the field.
End zones: The two areas bounded by the goal lines, end lines, and side-lines.
Yard lines: Run parallel to the goal lines at intervals of 5 yards and are marked across the field from side-line to side-line. These lines stop 8 inches short of the 6-foot solid border in the NFL.
Hash marks: Mark each yard line 70 feet, 9 inches from the side-lines in the NFL. On high school and college football fields, the hash marks are only 60 feet from the side-lines. Two sets of hash marks (each hash is 1 yard in length) run parallel to each other down the length of the field and are approximately 18 1/2 feet apart.
Player benches: Six feet outside the border of the field, or 6 feet from the side-lines, is an additional broken white line that defines an area in which only coaches and substitute players may stand. Six feet farther behind this broken white line is where the bench area begins. The team congregates in the bench area during a game, watching teammates play or resting on the benches. Within this area, team doctors and trainers also examine injured players.
Goalposts: The goalpost serves as the guideline for the kicker, whose goal is to sail the ball high between the goalpost’s two vertical bars, an act that’s sometimes called splitting the uprights. The goalpost rises from the back of the end zone.

 

 

 

While we all know that it is beneficial to get a good workout going to the gym on a regular basis, did you know about the benefits aerobics can add to your gym time? Most people, when they hit the gym, are just focused on building muscle while also using the treadmill, elliptical or other cardio machines just for warming up.

Aerobic exercise
Studies have shown that aerobic exercises like brisk walking, running,
or cycling can have profound beneficial effects on your health and gains as well. Experts recommend that you need to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity done in a week. There are several benefits to regular jaunts of aerobic exercise that you need to be aware of. You can get more information about benefits of aerobic exercises right here.

Benefits of aerobic exercise
Human beings were built to run, believe it or not. We have enough endurance to outlast most other animals. While this is partly due to the biomechanics of efficiently dissipating heat from the body, it also has to do with the fact that our muscular fibers are built for intense aerobic activity over prolonged periods of time. However, are there tangible benefits to pursuing aerobic exercises? Yes, there are.

Develops Cardiovascular Strength

When you do aerobic exercise, you are working out your muscles as well as your heart. The increased blood flow through your arteries lowers LDL, the bad cholesterol, and increases HDL, the good cholesterol. Regular cardio exercise also drops your blood pressure levels resulting in a much healthier cardiovascular system.

Helps Lose Weight

If you are looking to lose flab then supplementing your gym routine with aerobic exercises is the best thing that you can do. This is because aerobic exercise burns a lot more calories than just lifting weights. You can actually keep your calorie intake the same and still see a decrease in weight when you add aerobic exercise to your workout plans.

Better Immune Response

Keeping yourself aerobically inclined when it comes to exercise routines can improve your immune system and keep you from falling sick often. Regular aerobic exercise increases the quantity of a disease-fighting antibody group in the blood known as Immunoglobulin.

Boost Cognitive Ability And Mood

When you do aerobic exercises you feel a lot better and a lot sharper. Scientists have actually proven that this is a tangible benefit of exercise and not a placebo effect. Also, aerobic exercise has been found to slow down the process of aging.

Improves Balance

A high percentage of people who are above the age of 65 have issues with balance. When people are older, falls can lead to broken bones and bruises. Aerobic dance movements are found to alleviate this problem to some degree by improving their posture and increasing physical awareness.

Conclusion

While working out at the gym can build overall body strength, aerobic exercises complement that by giving you a lot more. The cardiovascular system is critically important, and just strength won’t help you improve it. You need to spend time on aerobic exercises to get the most out of your workouts. The best method to incorporate aerobics in your workout routine would be to allow time for both so you can keep track and make the most of combining the two.

A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet (not no carb), which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many proven benefits for weight loss, health and performance, as millions of people have experienced already.

What is ketosis?

The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”.2 This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.

Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar).

Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day, and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones.

On a ketogenic diet, your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low, and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is obviously great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, such as less hunger and a steady supply of energy.

When the body produces ketones, it’s said to be in ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting – not eating anything – but nobody can fast forever, and we certainly don’t recommend it!

A keto diet, on the other hand, can be eaten indefinitely and also results in ketosis. It has many of the benefits of fasting – including weight loss – without having to fast.

Who should NOT do a ketogenic diet?

A keto diet is safe for most people, but if you are on medication or pregnant or have any queries always consult your GP.

Keto diet food list – what to eat

In summary, eat real low-carb foods like meat, fish, eggs, vegetables and natural fats like butter or olive oil. As a basic beginner’s rule, stick to foods with fewer than 5% carbs, feel free to supplement with high quality protein powders.

Here’s what you should avoid on a keto diet – foods full of sugar and starch. As these foods are much higher in carbs.

Meat

Meat – Unprocessed meats are low carb and keto-friendly, and organic and grass-fed meat is the most healthy of all. But remember that keto is a high-fat diet, not high protein, so you don’t need huge amounts of meat. Excess protein (more than your body needs) is converted to glucose, making it harder to get into ketosis. A normal amount of meat is enough.

Note that processed meats, like sausages often contain added carbs. When in doubt look at the ingredients, aim for under 5% carbs.

Fish and seafood

These are all good, excellent even, especially fatty fish like salmon.

Eggs

Eggs – Eat them any way, e.g. boiled, fried in butter, scrambled or as omelettes, whatever you want.

Fats

Remember, don’t fear fat. On keto, fat is your friend. Why saturated fats are fine to eat

Keto low-carb vegetables

Vegetables growing above ground. Fresh or frozen – either is fine. Choose vegetables growing above ground (here’s why), especially leafy and green items. Favorites include cauliflower, cabbage, avocado, broccoli and zucchini.

Vegetables are a great and tasty way to eat good fat on keto. Fry them in butter and pour plenty of olive oil on your salad. Some even think of vegetables as a fat-delivery system. They also add more variety, flavor and color to your keto meals.

Most people end up eating more vegetables than before when starting keto, as veggies replace the pasta, rice, potatoes etc. Full guide to keto low-carb vegetables

Dairy

High-fat dairy – The higher fat the better. Butter is good, high-fat cheese is fine and high-fat yoghurts can be had in moderation. Heavy cream is good for cooking.

Avoid drinking milk as the milk sugar quickly adds up (one glass = 15 grams of carbs), but you can use it sparingly in your coffee. Definitely avoid caffè latte (18 grams of carbs). Also avoid low-fat yoghurts, especially as they often contain lots of added sugars.

Nuts

Nuts – Can be had in moderation, but be careful when using nuts as snacks, as it’s very easy to eat far more than you need to feel satisfied. Also be aware that cashews are relatively high carb, choose macadamia or pecan nuts instead or check out our full keto nuts guide

Berries

Berries – A moderate amount is OK on keto, perhaps with real whipping cream, a popular keto dessert. Full fruits and berries guide

Drinks

Water – Try to make this your drink of choice, flavored or sparkling water is fine too.

Coffee – No sugar. A small amount of milk is fine.

Tea

Avoid these high-carb foods

The worst. Soft drinks, candy, juice, sports drinks, chocolate, cakes, buns, pastries, ice cream, breakfast cereals.

Watch out

Be very skeptical of special “low-carb” products, such as pasta or chocolate. Unfortunately these products usually work poorly. They have prevented weight loss for loads of people. They’re commonly full of carbs once you see through the creative marketing.

Fake low-carb products

There are dozens of companies trying to trick you into buying their “low-carb” junk food, full of starch, sugar alcohols, flour, sweeteners and strange additives.

Two simple rules to avoid this junk:

Don’t eat “low-carb” versions of high carb stuff, like cookies, bars, chocolate, bread, pasta or ice cream – unless you are SURE of the ingredients (perhaps from making it yourself).

Avoid products with the words “net carbs” on them. That’s usually just a way to fool you.

Athletes looking to boost performance while on a ketogenic diet may benefit from taking the following supplements:

  • Creatine monohydrate: Creatine monohydrate is an extensively researched dietary supplement that has been shown to promote muscle gain, improve exercise performance and increase strength.
  • Caffeine: An extra cup of coffee or green tea can benefit athletic performance and boost energy levels, especially in athletes transitioning to a keto diet.
  • Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): Branched-chain amino acid supplements have been found to reduce exercise-related muscle damage, muscle soreness and fatigue during exercise .
  • HMB (beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrate): HMB can help decrease muscle loss and increase muscle mass, especially in those who are just beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity of their workouts.
  • Beta-alanine: Supplementing with the amino acid beta-alanine can help prevent fatigue and muscle burnout when following a ketogenic diet .

 

With the Tour De France fast approaching a recent study has been undertaken to explore the benefits of creatine supplementation for both elite and amateur cyclists.

The details of the study and results are detailed below.

There are a number of myths surrounding creatine, notably that it is only suitable for strength athletes and gym workouts, where it is already recognised as one of the most effective supplements.

In fact, we developed Creatine Boost a combination of creatine monohydrate, l-glutamine and electrolytes in 1998! Specifically, for cyclists, triathletes and endurance athletes.

This study, as we have contended since 1997 confirms that creatines benefits go beyond the gym and that it’s benefits are wide ranging and should be incorporated as part of your training and supplement regime.

Male recreational cyclists who received creatine and electrolyte supplementation exhibited increased power during a short-duration cycle sprint when researchers measured their performance using a Velotron ergometer, according to a study​​ published last week in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. ​

Participants supplemented with the placebo, on the other hand, exhibited no such improvement.

“The increase in peak power output observed in this study is the first time a significant increase in overall and repeated peak power output has been observed during sprint cycling following creatine-electrolyte supplementation,” ​ the researchers from Western Washington University wrote in the report.

Study details​

The design was randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled. Twenty-five male recreational cyclists between the ages of 19-33 were included. They were screened for conditions that could affect creatine absorption or metabolism.

Participants were then divided randomly into two groups given either the supplement or placebo. The supplement contained 4 g of creatine monohydrate combined with electrolytes (114 mg sodium chloride, 171 mg calcium chloride, 286 mg magnesium chloride, and 171 mg sodium chloride) per day.

Baseline data collection was conducted at the beginning of the study. During this time, participants performed five short-duration cycle sprints with two-minute rests between each. Intervention period lasted for six weeks, in which the participants took their daily dose of supplement or placebo, before another cycle test is conducted at the end of the period.

 

Results​

The participants supplemented with creatine and electrolytes showed a 4% increase in overall peak power and a 5% increase in overall mean power from baseline to the end of the study.

Meanwhile, for the placebo group, no differences were observed in overall peak and overall mean power.

The postulated mechanism is that creatine monohydrate supplementation improved peak and mean power output during sprint cycling, and the electrolytes further improve creatine and the ergogenic effect.

But with the present study, the researchers argued it to be the first time “a significant increase in overall and repeated peak power output has been observed during sprint cycling following creatine-electrolyte supplementation.” ​

Results in detail

A supplement-time interaction showed a 4% increase in overall peak power (pre: 734 ± 75 W; post: 765 ± 71 W; p = 0.040; ηp2 = 0.187) and a 5% increase in overall mean power (pre: 586 ± 72 W; post: 615 ± 74 W; p = 0.019; ηp2 = 0.234) from pre- to post-supplementation for the CE group. For the P group, no differences were observed in overall peak (pre: 768 ± 95 W; post: 772 ± 108 W; p = 0.735) and overall mean power (pre: 638 ± 77 W; post: 643 ± 92 W; p = 0.435) from pre- to post-testing. For repeated sprint analysis, peak (pre: 737 ± 88 W; post: 767 ± 92 W; p = 0.002; ηp2 = 0.380) and mean (pre: 650 ± 92 W; post: 694 ± 87 W; p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.578) power output were significantly increased only in the first sprint effort in CE group from pre- to post-supplementation testing. For the P group, no differences were observed for repeated sprint performance.

Source: ​ Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition​

Published online, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-018-0226-y

Creatine-electrolyte supplementation improves repeated sprint cycling performance: A double blind randomized control study​

Authors: Daniel L. Crisafulli, Harsh H. Buddhadev, Lorrie R. BrillaEmail author, Gordon R. Chalmers, David N. Suprak and Jun G. San Juan

https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-018-0226-y

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an emerging nutritional strategy being utilised by many for the purposes of reducing body fat and improving overall body composition. IF is usually divided into the subtypes:

  1. Alternate day fasting (ADF) – This involves a 24 hour fasting period alternated with a 24 hour feeding period.
  2. Whole day fasting (WDF) – This involves one or two 24 hour fasting periods during the course of a week.
  3. Time restricted feeding (TRF) – This involves a fasting and a feeding window included within each 24 hour period e.g. 16 hours fasting, 8 hours feeding.

A key reason why IF has been shown to be an effective nutritional strategy for fat loss and body composition improvement is because the fasting periods of any IF protocol help to ensure that an energy deficit is being enforced. Without an energy deficit fat loss will not occur. An individual following an IF diet will not completely compensate during feeding periods for the calories not eaten during fasting periods, hence weight loss and fat loss occurs as the individual is consuming a calorie intake below that required to meet their daily energy expenditure (referred to as maintenance calorie requirement).

ADF, WDF and TRF have a reasonably strong evidence base for being equally successful for fat loss and improving body composition; even sometimes outperforming standard daily caloric restriction. A study by Moro et al., (2016) reported a significantly greater loss of fat mass in a TRF group compared to a normal diet control group (1.6kg vs 0.3kg) after 8 weeks, where participants exercised three times per week. Although, it must be noted that not all research into ADF and WDF use zero calorie intake during fasting periods and have ad libitum feeding cycles; therefore, do not involve precise tracking of food intake. There is emerging evidence for TRF combined with resistance training for effective fat loss whilst maintaining muscle mass and strength.

An extensive systematic review of the existing research investigating IF was carried out by Seimon et al., (2015). The review included 40 studies that have previously looked into IF. The authors of the review concluded that IF can prove to be an effective dieting strategy for reducing body weight, fat mass, improving glucose regulation and enhancing satiety (i.e. reducing hunger). However, IF does not prove to be superior to standard daily calorie restriction.

Following any IF protocol should be approached with caution. Careful planning and consideration should take place for IF, especially for those who require their nutritional strategy to facilitate optimal athletic performance.

Supplementation can be utilised during the fasting periods of IF protocols to help offset the loss of lean tissue, as IF has been reported to result in losses in muscle mass as well as fat mass. Essential amino acids (EAA’s), especially leucine, HMB (a metabolite of leucine) and fish oil (Omega 3) could be taken during fasting periods, as all have been shown to reduce muscle protein breakdown (MPB); thus, protecting lean tissue. Similarly, a whey protein supplement could also be utilised during extensive fasting periods (i.e. 24 hours) to protect muscle mass, as the existing literature indicates that the benefits of IF can still be achieved even if fasting periods are not completely zero calorie. A quality whey protein supplement with high protein content and low carbohydrate/fat content (therefore, low calorie) could help promote the retention of muscle during long fasting periods; still yielding the benefits of the IF strategy.

One of the biggest challenges tournament football presents is managing fatigue levels & recovering properly between games that are sometimes as little as 4 days apart. Add to this conundrum the fact that many of your players will already be in a state of fatigue from a long domestic season & you can see why tournament football doesn’t always go how it should on paper.

England’s group games take place on the 18th (Tunisia), 24th (Panama) & the 28th June (Belgium) – this means that they play 3 games in 11 days; with only 4 days to recover between the Panama & Belgium games. This may seem like ample time to recover, but with outfield players running as much as 12km per game (Thomas Mueller averaged 12km per game in Brazil), the numerous high intensity actions (accelerations, decelerations, jumps etc), the physical contact / knocks that may occur, alongside the effects of dehydration…I’m sure you get the picture – for optimal performance going in to the next game, this physical stress need to be negated.

This is where the various National teams’ Sport Scientists, Strength & Conditioning Coaches and Medical Teams become priceless. They will have recovery protocols in place at both a team level and an individual level, based upon information they receive from the players’ club Sports Scientist / S&C Coaches. For example, a team will have a post game recovery protocol which all players will adhere to, however they may also allow an extra day’s recovery for those players who have been identified to need it (these are usually the fast-twitch / type II fibre guys – think pacey, powerful, with high neuromuscular demand – Jamie Vardy is a prime example of this & a case which has been highlighted by Leicester’s highly regarded head of Sports Science, Matt Reeves).

The Basics The three ‘pillars’ of recovery when it comes to sport (& fitness) are; Sleep, Nutrition & Hydration. They are very basic & controllable variables that can have huge effects on how athletes recover & therefore the potential to enhance or negate performance accordingly.

 

Sleep

Research into sleep, recovery & performance (Le Meur, Skein & Duffield, 2013) has shown:

  • 7x greater injury risk in athletes who sleep <8hours per night.
  • Sleep is crucial for tissue repair as growth hormone is released in phases of deep sleep.
  • Sleep loss is associated with immune system dysfunction (which makes athletes more susceptible to viruses / illness).
  • Sleep loss is associated with slower & less accurate cognitive performance (key to football performance.
  • Sufficient sleep should be obtained following training sessions as perceptual & motor learning processes continue during sleep.

So…it’s pretty obvious as to why athletes need to have >8 hours of good quality sleep per night in order to recover properly.

During tournaments players are; away from home, in strange beds & often sharing rooms with teammates – these factors present a challenge for athletes to maintain normal, healthy sleeping patterns. However ‘sleep hygiene’ protocols can be put in place to help promote quality sleep.

These usually consist of the following practices:

  • Creating the ideal sleeping environment; quiet, dark room with NO light, temperature ~18oC, avoid the use of electronic devices <45mins before sleep (light from these devices can reduce melatonin by up to 22% – Figueiro et al, 2012).
  • Consuming a high GI Carb & high protein meal >1hr before bed. (high GI carbs have been found to help promote sleep & high protein foods have been found to increase the quality of sleep) (Halson, 2014).
  • Avoiding alcohol & avoiding caffeine in the afternoon/evening.
  • Keeping a regular sleep schedule with a wind-down period of 1hour (dim lights, no ‘blue light’ from electronic devices & partaking in relaxed activities; reading, listening to music etc.)

 

 

Nutrition

When it comes to nutrition strategies with football teams; supplements, pre-match meals, post match meal, carbohydrate intake…there are ‘many ways to skin a cat’.

Every club will have their own nutrition protocol & use their own supplements for their players, so when it comes to international duty it will be a marriage of the players clubs’ & the country’s nutritional strategies.

Here are a few of the basic nutritional strategies many clubs/countries employ to try to maximize recovery & optimise performance:

– Periodisation of carbohydrate intake based upon training loads & game schedules. In the case of England’s 3 games in 10 days, research suggests 6-10g/kg body mass of carbohydrates per day during this period (this is effectively carbohydrate loading). On lighter days within 1-game-per-week periods, <4-5g/kg body mass of carbs is optimal for maintenance of body composition whilst having healthy carbohydrate availability (Anderson et al 2015).

– Use of a recovery shake post training sessions / games. Personally my preference for a recovery shake is ~60-80g carbs & 30g protein, consumed with 45mins of the session/activity ending. This acts as an anabolic hit & serves to reduce the cortisol (stress hormone) built up during training / matches. Cortisol is a testosterone suppressor, so it’s important to reduce cortisol levels before the next day’s session / match. Maintenance of high natural testosterone levels is vital in optimizing performance (especially in powerful, fast-twitch athletes – think pacey strikers, wingers, full backs, strong centre backs).

– Eating protein with all meals & consuming 20-30g protein 30-60mins post match/longer training sessions. Multiple benefits including; maximizing muscle protein synthesis, provides amino acids for repair of muscle proteins, can optimise muscle glycogen concentrations (key for football) & can reduce training-induced reductions in immune function (Moore et al, 2014).

– Pre-match meal ~3 hours before kick off, consisting of high carbohydrate, some protein & low fat (to ensure it can be easily digested).

 

Hydration

Dehydration as a result of sweat loss from training/matches (which is exasperated by higher temperatures during Summer tournaments) can have serious negative effects upon performance. However, these effects can be easily addressed & as a result aid recovery & performance optimisation.

Below are some of the negative effects dehydration has on performance & recovery (in relation to water loss as % of body weight:

– 0-2%: Impaired ability to regulate body temperature.

– 2-4%: Reduced muscular endurance time (you simply fatigue quicker).

– 4-6%: Reduced muscular strength (20-40%), impaired concentration, drowsiness & possible cramping.

– 6-8%: Heat Exhaustion, heatstroke, coma, and death!

(None of the above effects are ideal for tournament football!)

To address dehydration & stay hydrated, here are a few protocols national teams may employ:

  • Measurement of sweat rates to ensure that fluid intake outweighs sweat loss
  • Consumption of isotonic drinks; the carbohydrate & electrolyte content is optimised for quicker absorption from stomach. Once electrolytes have been consumed, this further aids the uptake of plain water due to the higher electrolyte concentration in the gut.
  • Avoid alcohol & excessive caffeine intake.
  • Have a clear plan for pre competition hydration.
  • Ensure that whilst travelling (especially by plane) you are consuming 1.5x your normal fluid intake.

If you can address the three basic pillars of recovery (sleep, nutrition & hydration) correctly, this will provide the best possible chances of maximizing recovery & optimising performance. Beyond the above basics, there are numerous methods to optimise recovery with varying research outcomes. Some of the alternative methods which are often employed & most credible (in my humble opinion) include; ice/cold water baths or cryotherapy massage therapy, compression garments & regeneration / active recovery days.

To put it all together into a post match recovery protocol, it would often look something like this:

 

 

End of match > Thorough Cool Down & Mobility > Hydrate > Recovery Shake (carbs & protein) > Cold Bath > High GI, High Protein Meal > Compression Garments > Sleep Preparation Protocol > Sleep.

The following day would normally be a regeneration or recovery day, consisting of light non-impact aerobic work (often on a bike or in the pool), mobility work, a stretching protocol & any prehab/injury prevention work.

As with all sports science protocols, the key is to get the basics right first (as they will provide the biggest gains), from there the marginal gains can be made from the high-technology more innovative practices. In short; there is no excuse for any national team to allow their players to have poor sleep, be dehydrated or have a diet that does not meet the nutritional demands of the sport.

Hopefully, even as England fans, we can enjoy the World Cup…but spare a thought for sports scientists & coaches trying to get the players off their phones/laptops/iPads before bed to ensure a good nights sleep…if you see an Instagram post at 1am from a player at the 2018 World Cup, you know they haven’t succeeded!

Matt Burton

Performance Director

Zero | Ten Performance
Twitter: @zerotenelite
Insta: @zerotenperformance

At Bio-Synergy we are often contacted by brides, bridesmaids and even groom’s to help them get fitter, more toned, confident and calm on their wedding day.  The thing to do is remember – this day is for you – and the most important thing is that you feel good – inside out. Below we have created a few questions, and top tips which will help you achieve your goals, and more. Enjoy!

 

Buy a wedding notebook to answer these questions to help you get Specific About your Goals:

  • Questions to help you achieve your big happy day in style…
  • How do you want to feel on your wedding day?
  • How do you want to look on your wedding day?
  • How much exercise do you currently do?
  • Do you know how to achieve your goals, or do you need someone
  •  To help you on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis?
  • Do you want to train on your own, with your fiancée, and/or bridesmaids?
  • Do you need support and advice with healthy eating to give you energy, lose weight and feel good?
  • What things are going to stress you the most? Once you have identified these – write a solution and plan to manage these stresses?

Write a plan for each month leading up to the wedding with really specific goals to help you achieve the overall big goal. This will make things happen – we promise!

 

 

One you have taken the time to do this follow our simple tips to help you have a happy wedding, feeling fabulous on the day:

  • Exercise
  • Aim to do at least 20mins of daily activity – brisk walking, dancing, cycling to raise the heart rate and help to burn fat
  • Plan 2-3 ‘training sessions’ when you get sweaty, and start to improve your overall fitness – include cardio exercises, weights for toning and fat burning and core muscles to improve your posture for the wedding day, and flatten your abs for the honeymoon!
  • Daily exercises to improve your posture and core – for example, when your phone rings – pull in your lower core muscles, relax your shoulders and lift through the spine

 

Nutrition

 

Manage Your Stress

  • Keep a happy diary – writing down three things each day that have happened that made you smile, however small
  • Review your goals from the initial questions on a weekly basis to make sure you are on track
  • Get plenty of good quality sleep – aiming to be resting between 11pm – 6am at least as this is when you body gets the best repair.
  • Task people with things to do so they feel involved, and help keep you calm

 

 

Confidence

Write down how you would like to feel on the day – what four qualities would you like to have. Ie. Happy, calm, confident and fun

  • Any limiting feelings you have , write them down and then focus on what the positive would be to let go of that fear
  • Start to visualise yourself on the day – what you will be wearing, how you will feel, who will be there, how happy you will be – keep a positive focus
  • Allow yourself to relax and be happy – believe in you, smile and have fun – it is your special day J

So commit to believing in yourself, and making this day wonderful for you, inside and out.

Kim Ingleby BSc (Hons)

GETMOVING

CrossFit Changed my life..


[full_width]

My first encounter with training took place in the school gymnastics hall. I went on to do flips, front lever, handstands, climb a rope, olympic rings, burpees, squat jumps, yes really CROSSFIT, at the time, it was, however, only called school gymnastics! It is all our primary movements and we were ALL created to do them.

However, during the whole of evolution, they have been vital for our survival…today’s way of life have sadly erased our most basic functions with a severe expense on our physical health.

My passion in life is to get back the movement in our lives…one man or woman at a time.

Unfortunately, at 25 years of age, I had a difficult period in my life that resulted in a weight increase from 80 kg – 107 kg.[/full_width]


[one_half][/one_half]

[one_half_last]

So one day I just realised how I am living my life and treating my body and that was not me. And in one moment in front of the mirror I decided that I was going to make a change. I decided to test myself to find out if I am being governed by my desires or am I the master of my own thoughts and actions.

So I went down to a gym, signed up and started training the same day. I didn’t know much about nutrition so I just took the logical solution if I am hungry that must mean I am going to lose weight so I just cut the portions to the minimal. I ate four times a day and was as hungry after the meal as I was before when I was overeating. I trained 2-3 hours every day and 5 months later I was 20 kg lighter. With every time I didn’t give in to the hunger I felt like I was winning a war with my bad side and that feeling was amazing.

By far the most important thing I have accomplished in my life is taking me through this journey and creating a version of myself I’m finally happy with.

This is all I want to convey and my heart tells me this is why I want to teach.

#BEUNSTOPPABLE[/one_half_last]


[two_third]

Together with my team at Reebok Hybrid we will build up your mindset, your knowledge, as well as your technique and help you become the best version of yourself.

We offer a journey within yourself on a physical and mental level, in order to get where you want.

Your body is the most complex machine that exists.

Our goal at Reebok Hybrid is to work together with you to make it work optimally…through a varied workout

By Rafael Motloch[/two_third]

[one_third_last][/one_third_last]



 

How is oral health related to sport?

Having balanced sport and dentistry over the past 5 years learning not only of the physical but mental effects of oral health on our society I have always questioned; are the two related or is our oral health completely separate from our sporting lives? With around 2% of the general population having never visited a dentist, 31% of adults in the U.K. having tooth decay and 29%of the population suffering from regular dental pain, out of the 15.97 million people over the age of 16 playing sport weekly in England alone, there are many athletes whose oral health have suffered and potentially their sporting performance.

Oral health is not at the highest standard in the general public in the U.K. with one in four adults admitting they don’t brush twice a day, including a third of men. Some of the knowledge is there however it is not seen as a high priority to most people to take 2 minutes out of their daily routine as, let’s be honest, no one (including dentists) enjoys brushing their teeth however if it is this difficult for the general public to maintain their oral health how do our elite athletes fare?

From published studies, it is a consistent finding that oral health in elite athletes is poor. This statement should come as a shock to most as oral diseases are large in part preventable and with their potential to impact physical and mental health and in turn performance of otherwise fit, heathy and highly prepared athletes they should be closely monitored. Below is an abstract from a study carried out during the London 2012 Olympic games which showed dental consultations comprised 30% of all medical visits (second to musculoskeletal), showing the implications of oral healthcare during major competitions. This demand has increased over successive games.

Needleman I, Ashley P, Petrie A, et al Oral health and impact on performance of athletes participating in the London 2012 Olympic Games: a cross-sectional study Br J Sports Med Published Online First: 24 September 2013. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092891
“302 athletes from 25 sports were recruited Overall, the results demonstrated high levels of poor oral health including dental caries (55% athletes), dental erosion (45% athletes) and periodontal disease (gingivitis 76% athletes, periodontitis 15% athletes). More than 40% of athletes were ‘bothered’ by their oral health with 28% reporting an impact on quality of life and 18% on training and performance. The oral health of athletes attending the dental clinic of the London 2012 Games was poor with a resulting substantial negative impact on well-being, training and performance. As oral health is an important element of overall health and well-being, health promotion and disease prevention interventions are urgently required to optimise athletic performance.”

 

How does this effect performance?

Oral health is a basic right of all athletes but is consistently neglected or de-prioritised showing a high need for treatment. Dental caries, dental erosion (tooth wear), periodontal disease (gum disease) and dental trauma in ‘at-risk’ sports are the principal oral health conditions affecting athletes today. The effect of these can have short-term and long-term consequences. In short-term, poor oral health can cause pain, difficulty eating, difficulty sleeping, a change in quality of life and therefore an impact on training and performance. The long-term includes, increased risk of tooth loss, increase need for treatment and resulting negative effects on appearance with psychological effects on confidence and consequently on performance. There are many challenges to the oral health of elite athletes which cause these problems. These include nutritional challenges from constant carbohydrate intake and acidic sports drinks, mouth drying from dehydration, lack of awareness or lack of prioritisation and lack of preventative support.

 

Dehydration and local drying of the mouth

Sporting activity increases the impact of carbohydrates on caries and acidic drinks on erosion by reducing salivary flow and therefore reducing the protective properties of saliva. These properties include anti-microbial effect protecting from foreign bacteria which initiate caries and re-mineralisation which strengthens the teeth throughout every day.

 

Nutritional intake

Including usual diet, sports drinks and supplements is a major determinant of oral health, including dental caries, gum disease and dental erosion. Training and performance are often supported by carbohydrate-containing sports drinks and gels, which are taken frequented during activity. These drinks include energy drinks (normally with a carbohydrate concentration of >10%), isotonic sports drinks (4–8% carbohydrates) and hypotonic drinks (normally around 2% carbohydrate or less)1. Dietary carbohydrate intake is one of the most well-characterised causative factors for dental caries and acidic foodstuffs and beverages are the main factors causing erosion.

In conclusion, our oral health plays a big part in our sporting lives whether we know it or not. From the studies we can see poor oral health can lead to numerous problems which in turn have negative effects on our performances and for elite athletes who spend their entire lives improving every small aspect of their bodies to get the best results possible, oral health should be but another aspect of their body to improve to get the best results and performances possible.

References: – Needleman I, Ashley P, Fine P, et al Oral health and elite sport performance Br J Sports Med Published Online First: 28 September 2014. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2014-093804 – Needleman I, Ashley P, Petrie A, et al Oral health and impact on performance of athletes participating in the London 2012 Olympic Games: a cross-sectional study Br J Sports Med Published Online First: 24 September 2013. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2013-092891

 

How can we improve the oral health of athletes?

  • Oral health assessment should be part of every athlete’s routine medical care.
  • Poor oral health can affect well-being, training and performance of athletes and as such this information should be made more readily available for athletes.
  • Oral health promotion and disease prevention strategies need to be developed to facilitate the health, well-being and performance of elite athletes.
  •  Substitute (where possible) parts of an athletes diet which are high in carbohydrate for low alternatives e.g isotonic sports drinks for Bio-Synergy Skinny Water®

 

By Ben Cosgrove

Strength training is one of those things triathletes know they “should” do but many never quite get around to doing it.
To complete a triathlon, athletes must swim, bike and run. So that tends to be the only training 85% of athletes do!
However by adding strength training twice a week to your programme – you will save time, race faster, prevent injuries, delay the ageing process, get sick less often and be more fatigue resistant.

 

Bio-Synergy Insanity Pre-workout explosive Cherry bomb flavour
Click to see more

Let’s face it:
* Life gets extremely busy
* Its much more fun going for another 2 hour ride in the mountains than lifting weights in a sweaty gym
* Historically many triathletes focus solely on endurance training.

Why Should Triathletes Do Strength Training
?

 

The evidence is undeniable. The scientific evidence is overwhelming that triathletes get far better results in less time with a specific triathlon strength- training program.
In fact- so much so, you would be foolish not to!
If you want to do well at any sport-just look at what the best in the industry are doing- then do that!
When we look at the programmes of the elite triathletes- they are ALL strength training- bar none!
The benefits of strength training are so numerous.
Here are the most important ones:
• Strength training makes you go faster
• Strength training prevents injury
• Strength training increase resilience to lactic acid build up
• Strength training help develop explosive power
• Strength training increases muscle mass and burns more fat
• Strength training prevents age related changes
• Strength training boosts the immune system, whereas a LOT of cardio can decrease the immune system, making you more susceptible to colds and flu.

What Strength Training Should I Be Doing Exactly?

Many athletes new to the triathlon struggle to fit all three sports in and learn all the other things like: transitions, the gear, the lingo and the subculture.
Once the basics have been mastered, they are left in some confusion as to how, what and when to strength train?
These are some of the questions you may have been wrestling with too:
1) Do I strength train as well as my normal session or instead of my normal session?
2) What exercises exactly will make the biggest difference to my race performance?
3) Will I get too bulky and end up slowing down?
4) What about in season vs off season strength training
5) When should I start strength training?
If there is some confusion about “doing it right- you can end up doing nothing.
I believe this is the reason the power of strength training in endurance sports is under rated. So let’s answer these one by one:

Click to see more

 

When To Start Strength Training

The true answer is – it depends.
If you are new to triathlon and are already feeling overwhelmed by learning the three sports, getting to grips with all your gear and doing you first race- leave it for the first season.
If however you are already fit, you have everything under control, there is no reason not to start right away.
The quicker you start, the quicker you will get great results.
If you are an intermediate-advanced triathlete, you absolutely should be doing strength training. If you have not started yet, start immediately.
The only reason not to start immediately is if you are in the middle of your racing season. Never change your training program, your equipment or your diet just before a race.
If you have not done strength training before, it is likely you may have sore muscles the first few times as your muscles get used to new movements.
You will be stimulating some muscles that may have been under utilised for a while and it may take some trial and error to work out the right weight for you initially.
Most people do start strength training in the off-season to avoid a few initial sore days being a major problem.
In fact some coaches only get their athletes to do strength work in the off season then go back to just swim, bike and run during the season.
I do not subscribe to this view and believe you will lose the strength training gains you have made in the off-season.
The body requires the continued input from strength training during the season to maintain the gains.
So a good way to structure it is do heavy weights and make a lot of strength gains in the off-season. Then during the season- do lighter, more explosive power work and maintain what you have worked for.
Also incorporate more functional strength training whilst you are on the bike, or running or in the pool(more about this later).
Always schedule in a taper a week or two before the event.

What Strength Exercises Are Best for Triathlon?

There are two places you can incorporate strength training:
• In the gym and
• During normal functional training

These are my top 5 specific triathlon exercises:
(I will discuss these as gym based exercises but you can do these at home too. If you don’t have weights, just do body weight exercises or be creative and carry a small child on your back as you do your squats, press ups or climb the stairs!)
For both time efficiency and sport specific reasons, whole body exercises are what works best.
There is no point looking to isolate muscle groups and stand in the spot doing hundreds of bicep curls or hundreds of crunches.
These are not functional and they not time efficient!

1)SQUAT

Squats are the most basic human exercise.

EVERYONE should be able to do a full squat- especially athletes. I am amazed when I have athletes who cannot do a simple full body weight squat.

It is such an important exercise. My rule is you should not be running AT ALL until you can do a good form, full body weight squat.

Running is a technical sport and you do need a certain about of movement and strength at your hips, knees and ankles or you are likely to get injured.
It is important for flexibility and basic strength.

But increasing your strength here in the squat will dramatically improve your running endurance and your running speed. You will also notice massive improvements in your cycling ability.

You can do a body weight squat, a front squat, a back squat, a goblet squat, a dumbbell squat. It does not matter- just do your squats!

2)PULL UPS

This is the second most important exercise. Many people find this exercise hard and don’t ever do it. However as athletes we must train our weaknesses- not our strengths-right?

Pull-ups are an amazing exercise for core strength, shoulder strength, back strength. It will help your swim stroke, and your back posture on the bike and run.

If you have ever watched the end of a running race or a triathlon, 70% of the field are starting to slump as their back muscles fatigue. As soon as you lose this form, you will start to slow down and place excessive stress on other joints in your body.

Pull ups: Start with assisted pull ups if you need to then progress to full pull ups

3)DEADLIFT

The deadlift is one of the best exercises ANY athlete can do. It works nearly every muscle in the body, burns fat effectively, will give you a six-pack, get your gluteal muscle group firing correctly. It trains especially the back, gluteals and core muscle groups.
Anyone who knows strength training chooses the deadlift if they have to pick just one exercise to do for the rest of their lives.

Strong back, gluteals and core muscles will improve your speed in all three disciplines. Deadlifts improve the kick in running, improve hip extension, improve leg velocity, stride length and sprinting power.

Deadlifts also improve shoulder strength and rotator cuff power for the swim.

Deadlifts also help develop cardiovascular fitness as they utilise nearly every muscle in the body.

Deadlifts develop a stronger core than crunches ever will (and crunches are bad for your back!)

Of course- technique is key. If you have not done them before get a PT to watch you the first few times. Keep your back arched, not rounded. Stick your bum out and weight on your heels.

Again- you can start at home with small weights if you want to. The heavier you lift, the more benefit you will get.

4)PRESS UPS

A simple but effective exercise you can do anywhere with no equipment. Press-ups are a better all body workout that isolating plank exercises. They work the stability muscles in the back and core and develop great arm and shoulder strength.

You can make them harder by putting your feet up on a bench – or try explosive push ups with a hand clap in between each one.

If they are too hard, you can make them easier by starting on your knees.

5)KETTLE BELL SWINGS

Kettle bell swings create dramatic improvement in the posterior chain. We all need to fire up our gluteals, hamstrings and lower back muscles due to too much sitting and forward bending over our cars, our desks and our bikes.

You will observe great improvement in fat burning and running and cycling with kettle bell swigs. You will also notice your posture is better in both sitting and standing.

Common Objections to Strength Training

Of course triathletes come up with many objections to strength training: These are the common ones:

1)I don’t have time

FALSE!

Strength training actually saves you time. You can switch some of your longer runs and cycles for short intense strength training sessions and get better results plus more time back in your week.

Read here how to train for Ironman in just 10-12 hours a week by strength training

Very efficient!

2)I will get too bulky and slow down

FALSE!

This is rubbish- all your swim, bike and run training will ensure you do not get too bulky. Also you will be doing reps of 8-12, instead of the 3-5 reps that body builders do to pack on size.

How To Do Strength Training for Triathlon

Make sure your strength training is high quality. You must use good technique.
Warm up first on the treadmill or the bike for 5-10 minutes.
Do 2-3 sessions a week of 30-40 minutes.
Aim to do 8-12 reps of each exercise.
Perform 3-5 sets.
Pick 5 exercises and do a circuit with 3 minutes rest in between each one.
Focus on explosive power.
Not the heaviest weight you can lift.
Aim for 60—70% of MAX weight. Go for speed of movement without compromising form.
Simply lifting heavier and heavier does not translate into faster speeds.
You must train for power to generate explosive strength for triathlon.

Keep adding more sets to build endurance.

(Though remember this is not another aerobic workout- so the weight should be heavy-but not maximal).

Functional Strength Training

You can add strength training in to your swim, bike and run also.

In the pool: Add resistance by using hand paddles.
Or do one arm only swimming
Or kick board only.

(These are tough sessions).

On the bike: Add strength training by either shifting to a big gear and maintain it as long as possible.
Or find some hills and do hill repeats.

In the run: Do strength training by running hill repeats.
Or dragging a tire behind you.

In all types of strength training good form is imperative.

If your form slips- slow down or reduce the resistance.

When To Strength Train

Ideally do your strength training BEFORE you swim, bike or run.

Aim to stimulate similar muscle groups in the strength session, as you will train in the functional session.

So if you intend to swim afterwards, strength train pull ups, kettle bell swings and press-ups.

Maintain good form when swimming in the pool and if you can, add some hand paddle work as long as your form is good.

Before you cycle, you might choose to do deadlifts, squats and step ups…. Then go cycle.
Depending on how you feel you might add in some hill repeats or big gear training.

Overall strength training is essential to progress and develop as a triathlete.

It will help you sprint up a hill, pull away from the pack and stay strong in the last 1/3 of the race when others are fading.

It will save you loads of time, prevent injuries and improve your performance dramatically. Unless you are racing this weekend-start today!

About the other

Sam Samuel is the founder of Triathlon Hacks. He is a lover of all things health, fitness and triathlon. Sam has competed in triathlon 2000-2007 in UK, Australia and Spain and now writes, coaches and shares his passion.

He aims to deconstruct triathlon into what actually works to get better performances fast and destroy the training myths that have many athletes wasting valuable time doing inefficient time wasting sessions.

We only have one life- get results fast!

www.triathlon-hacks.com
sam@triathlon-hacks.com

 

Paralympians Dan Powell and Libby Clegg are fronting a national campaign to educate the fitness professionals and sports coaches of the UK. In doing this they show how best to integrate and coach disabled people into the fitness environment.

Paralympic Judo competitor  Dan is a newly turned international sprinter, He has grown up with a visual-impairment and was registered blind by the age of ten. At the age of eighteen Dan was scouted by the British Judo talent team and was quickly welcomed to the full time training centre in Kent where he trained full time towards the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Dan claimed fifth place at the age of 21 losing out to the current Paralympic Champion of the time. The next year Dan went on to win international titles in Germany, America and France whilst also claiming the British title. Around this period Dan fell out of love with his sport and decided to retire and move back home to Liverpool.

Throughout Dan’s sporting journey, he was inspired by his father who was also a three time Paralympian. Terry Powell always taught Dan to embrace his disability and not allow it to define him or stop him from achieving all he wanted to and reaching his maximum capabilities. This key message is one Dan now takes forward in his work and his day to day life, with his ambition to empower other people with disabilities and educate others in these different conditions through the means of sport and activity.

In 2016 Dan launched a campaign with a national sight loss charity named ‘Access to Gyms’ with the aim to make fitness environments more accessible for those with a visual impairment. With this campaign Dan’s business was born, Ability Training.

Whilst holding British records over three sprint distances on the track, Dan then continually strives for success off the track, his main aim being to educate and empower others through his work with Ability Training. Over the past year Dan has created and preached the VisAbility course which is the first official disability specific awareness course for instructors and coaches.

With support from VisAbility Ambassador Libby Clegg MBE who is a double world record holder and double Gold Medallist from the Rio Paralympic Games 2016, Libby got on board with Ability Training after seeing first hand the positive impact it had on other visually impaired people.

“The campaign had such positive feedback from everybody involved. It clearly made coaches and instructors very aware of their coaching styles and gave them an insight of how to deliver the best service for those with a disability such as a visual impairment.” – Libby Clegg MBE.

Since working with Pure gym, who piloted the first ever VisAbility workshop, Ability Training has worked with other gym chains, Judo coaches, Football coaches and MMA instructors amongst other sports coaches. The result of the work Ability has done has been very positive and has managed to introduce many new individuals into the fitness and sporting world.

“Our aim at Ability is to up skill the leisure and fitness industry so that visually impaired people have an equal opportunity in sport as mainstream participants”, says Dan. “We wish to not only help disabled people achieve in sport, but also to empower these people to achieve in other aspects of their lives”.

The VisAbility course offers sports coaches and instructor to learn more about disabilities and in particular visual impairment, The course offers a more specific education tailored towards the sports and fitness industry. On top of innovative new techniques to develop communication methods, the VisAbility course offers trainees the opportunity to learn how to guide individuals with sight loss and also learn specific guide running techniques from Paralympic Gold Medallist Libby Clegg.

On top of the ongoing education sector to Ability Training, They are also working towards showcasing Inclusive sport through Paralympic sports in day long events across the country named Para Sports Festival. This day festival aims to bring together disabled and mainstream participants from the local areas to join together to take part in fundamental Paralympic sports such as athletics, judo and goal ball alongside international coaching staff and top Paralympic athletes to pass on their experiences and help inspire others.

Other aims of Ability Training is to focus on inspiring others to develop what they can achieve as opposed to what they can’t as Ability has a bank of top Paralympic athletes who speak to businesses and groups to help inspire others to focus on positivity through speaking about the complications and struggles they have tackled en route to the top of their discipline.

 

For anymore information on the work Ability Training are doing to promote Inclusive Sport or to see how Ability Training can benefit you or your business check out, www.ability-training.com or contact dan@ability-training.com

Twitter: @Ability_UK

Facebook: @AbilityTraining

IG: @ability_UK



 

With over 15 years in the fitness industry, Texan born Jessie Pavelka has trained countless people from all backgrounds how to shape their bodies. But Pavelka is a trainer with a difference – he specialises in extreme weight loss, true health and corporate wellbeing.

 

‘It was when I started working with a Gastric Surgeon in my early 20s that I started to love what I do. I had learned how to tone and shape my own body and could help others do the same, but it was working with people who really needed help to simply be involved in life that I found my vocation.

Pavelka’s empathetic but practical approach caught the attention of TV networks on both sides of the Atlantic, and his raw, organic shows ‘Obese: A Year to Save my Life’ and ‘Fat: The Fight of my Life’ are still being aired across UK Sky TV channels.

Although he still lives in Los Angeles, he regularly visits the UK to work on his business Pavelka Limited with his UK Business partner.

I love the UK. It’s a second home for me and I get on really well with the British people. They are salt of the earth and remind me of those who I grew up with in Corpus Christi Texas.

His good looks and athletic physique is definitely a draw for his audience in Britain, but Pavelka feels that his philosophy of health is the value he has to offer.

 

 

I help people lose weight, but I also want to be able give everyone the tools to ‘feel good’ on a daily basis. That’s what we all want, right?. I also think that things have become so complicated. There are so many programmes and plans to follow. It’s a mine field!

Pavelka works with his Four Elements of Health: Eat, Sweat, Think, Connect.

‘I encourage people to look pragmatically at their lives and then start making small changes within these four areas.

Eat is a simple one, but one people can get so hung up on. I start by getting people to put more colour on their plate, eat 3 meals and 2 healthy snacks a day and include carbs, lean protein and leafy greens with each meal. It’s very simple stuff. I’m not a fan of calorie counting – it’s too much like a second job to me. I think food should be fun, nutritious and enjoyed. I do think portion control needs attention from a lot of people, but that’s down to education.

When it comes to Sweat, I have always been active and as kid couldn’t keep still. I’m lucky as I love to live through my body. It helps me to get out of my head when things get too much. But not everyone is like me. I know that. So I tell them to fall in love with the feeling of exercise. It takes work but it’s so important to move every day in some shape or form.

Think is a tricky one for some. We all get food and exercise, but the mind is not so easy but in my opinion, this is key. Everything starts with a thought, right? Becoming aware of your thought behaviours and patterns is crucial when dealing weight loss or with any journey when someone is wanting to improve their overall health. If you build an element of awareness into the way you think and behave, you can take a beat and shift perceptions and decisions accordingly.

 

 

Finally, Connect. I say we should connect in 4 ways. To the self: Understanding who we really are giving ourselves time to work on this part of our lives helps us deal with what comes our way with confidence. To another person: We all need someone to turn to when in need. Whether it’s for accountability, advice or just someone to talk to. To a group: I love the diversity of the human race and connecting to a group can open your eyes to so much and it’s the perfect antidote to isolation. To a higher power: Call it God, religion, the universe. I don’t care. It’s what you see it to be. Mine is when I’m out in nature – all my problems and issues become so much smaller then.

To me, wholesome health is about balance in all of these four areas of life. When we create small changes in all of them we create a sustainable way to be healthy for a lifetime.

Pavelka is spreading his philosophy across the globe with his work with technology giants, Cisco Systems where he is the ambassador of health for employees in their EMEAR (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia) region.

There’s a huge amount of science around health and wellbeing in the workplace, but Pavelka feels that simplicity is key and his Four Elements is the no nonsense, easily applied and effective way to achieve overall, true health.

Find out more about Jessie Pavelka and his 4 Elements at pavelka.co.uk .

via GIPHY

 

Plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular given a greater awareness around animal ethics/rights/welfare, the production of meat, and environmental concerns.  Also for health reasons with many traditional Eastern practices – including vegetarianism – and increased awareness of food allergies and intolerances inspiring detoxification, cleansing and weight loss diets.

Whatever your reasons, as an athlete or regular gym goer there many benefits to eating less meat without compromising your training and performance goals:

 

•A diet with a larger vegetable, pulse, grain and fruit component significantly boosts your micronutrient intake. Micronutrient –vitamins and minerals – are essential to health and wellbeing.

•Meat-free days give the digestive system a ‘time-out’ from the tougher job of processing meat (particularly red meats, fattier cuts and pork). This means time to heal for improved gut health, and hence nutrient absorption i.e. more efficient absorption and use of nutrients obtained from food/drinks consumed. This is also a benefit of intermittent fasting.

•Plenty of leafy green vegetables, berries and other colourful vegetables help with various processes that assist the body in breaking down and/or flushing out toxins and metabolic by-products.  This helps the body manage recovery and inflammation. Also, with maintaining a more alkaline state (refer to previous point regarding gut health).

•Regular, healthy bowel movements!

•Reduced intake of saturated fats associated to heart disease

•Redresses a good macro-nutrient balance i.e. offsets over-eating of protein and/or good fats (key to weight management/maintenance)

•More sating meals due to the higher fibre content (fibre can only be derived from plant based foods). Again, this can help with weight management/maintenance goals.

•More colourful, varied, and appetising meals!

 

 

Still worried about hitting your protein requirements?  

A meatless day with an adequate intake of protein is easy:

•Start your day with eggs; vegetable omelette or frittata.

•Lunch could include a serving of tofu/tempeh or a sandwich made with a high protein bread.

•Snack on a high protein yoghurt, quark or cottage cheese with sunflower or pumpkin seeds and berries or a small handful of nuts.

•Have plant-based protein shake post-workout. Try the Bio-synergy ‘lean and green’ vegan protein powder.

•A high protein plant based pasta (bean, lentil, edamame based) in tomato sauce with roast vegetables for dinner.

 

 

In fact you will probably be close to exceeding your protein requirements by the time you include incidental protein; nutritional yeast (use to season food and enjoy the light cheesy taste), cheese, nuts/nut butters, seeds, roasted chickpea/ pea snacks, quinoa, bulgur wheat, beans, peas, hummus, oats, BCAA drinks and/or a protein bar (some contain gelatine which is an animal derived binder – check the label for vegetarian or vegan friendly markers/text).

The one challenge can be that some vegetarian protein sources mean a higher carbohydrate intake; prioritise these foods around your workout – i.e. pre and post workout – and gaining additional body fat at the expense of a meatless day or two a week needn’t be a concern.

Fortunately, there are so many varied, interesting vegetarian options when eating out. Similarly, the fitness industry has seen a surge in ‘food prep’ companies with a growing niche of those that genuinely cater to vegetarian and vegan audiences. If the idea of innovative, interesting vegetarian cooking seems a bit of a challenge, have you considered the option of using one of these but supplementing with your own protein source e.g. salmon, eggs, turkey? Not only will you be doing yourself and the environment a favour; you’ll be saving on time in the kitchen!

 

 

And remember, you don’t have to wait until a Monday to #makeithappen!

Got questions, experiences or tips you want to share as a meatless athlete or meatless Monday athlete?

Tweet @Biosynergy or @weasellulu



Switching from a meat, dairy and fat-heavy diet to a lighter vegan version can bring a whole raft of health benefits. From reducing your saturated fat intake to lowering your risk of heart disease there’s every reason to start focussing on plant-based foods in your everyday diet. Check out five top benefits of the vegan diet.

1. Less saturated fat intake

Saturated fats are most commonly found in rich meats, butter and heavy dairy products. As you will be eliminating these it’s inevitable that your saturated fat intake will decrease. Eating plant-based products involves taking on very little fat and there are a number of benefits that come with this. For starters, as saturated fats are one of the major causes of high cholesterol, significantly reducing them can really help lower those levels.

2. Lower risk of heart disease

A diet rich in fresh produce and whole foods is much better for your overall health, versus one full of processed foods, and it can also lower the risk of heart disease. Vegan diets have been shown to help reduce blood pressure, regulate blood sugar levels and lower bad cholesterol levels, all of which can play a big part in putting a strain on your heart. The combination of eliminating the unhealthy attributes of certain meats and focussing on plant-based foods can certainly support overall heart health.

3. Can help regulate weight

As with saturated fat, excess weight is another one of the biggest causes of high levels of bad cholesterol in the body. Therefore, shifting a few pounds can be another added benefit of the vegan diet by bringing things back into balance. If you’d like to read further about cholesterol you can find more information here.

4. High in specific nutrients

When you commit to a vegan diet you are going to be replacing animal products and relying more on nutrient-dense whole grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables. These are all high in a myriad of vitamins and minerals and if you include them in your daily routine you’ll be taking on a whole raft of health-boosting nutrients.

Many people assume that because you are eliminating meat when eating a vegan diet, you are going to be protein deficient. That doesn’t have to be the case at all as there is plenty of protein in the various vegan products you’ll be eating regularly, and if you do want to take on more you could always plump for a quality vegan protein supplement.

via GIPHY

5. Increased fibre

As pulses, grains, fresh fruit and vegetables are such a key component of the vegan diet, you’re definitely going to be getting plenty of fibre. Fibre helps to block the absorption of bad cholesterol in your body and supports overall health – another huge bonus and reason for re-thinking your usual dietary habits.

So there you have it; five great reasons showing you just how beneficial a vegan diet can be. If you’re looking to lower cholesterol, protect yourself from disease and boost your overall health it could well be the one for you!

 


 

Want to over indulge in pasta, but still hit your daily macro goals? These recipes will help you do just that!

 

Vegetable and Ricotta Pasta

 

Ingredients

 

¼ cup low-fat ricotta cheese

2 Tbsp fat-free milk

½ tsp olive oil

3 tsp parmesan cheese

1 fresh garlic glove

4 oz chicken breast

½ cup yellow squash

½ cup couchette

Olive oil (fry light)

1 cup cooked (2 oz dry) whole-wheat pasta

Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

 

Method

 

1.Mix the ricotta, milk, olive oil, 2 tsp parmesan, and minced garlic in a glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, and set aside.

 

2.Combine chicken, squash, and couchette with, salt, and pepper.

 

4.Bring water to a rolling boil and add your pasta of choice and gently cook

 

5.While the chicken mixture cooks away, heat the cheesey mixture in the microwave until just hot. Transfer the chicken and squash to a large mixing bowl, and add the cooked pasta and cheesy mixture. Toss. Season with additional salt, pepper, parmesan, and pepper flakes, and serve.

 

Nutrition (per serving)

461 calories; 47g protein; 48g carbs; 10g fat

via GIPHY

 

Mexican Steak Pasta

 

Ingredients

4 oz top-round steak

Salt-free Mexican seasoning

Olive oil spray (fry light)

1 cup broccoli

1 cup tomatoes

¼ cup natural salsa

1 cup cooked (2 oz dry) whole-wheat pasta

Fresh coriander leaves

½ Fresh chopped chilli

 

Method

 

1.Sprinkle the steak with the Mexican seasoning and salt. Place a large, non-stick frying pan and cook until it’s a stage bellow your desired rareness (if you want it medium cook until rare). Bring water to a boil and cook your pasta.

 

2.Stir in the broccoli and tomatoes until broccoli is bright green, crisp-tender, and warm.

 

3.Transfer the steak and veggies to a medium bowl. Add the cooked pasta. Toss. Top with fresh coriander, fresh Chilies and salsa. Enjoy immediately.

 

Nutrition (per serving)

 

440 calories; 35g protein; 58g carbs; 10g fat

 

via GIPHY

 

 

 

Exclusive interview with Ant Middleton, as he reveals his day to day training routines and how he gets in shape for his Channel 4 TV series such as SAS Who Dares Wins and Mutiny. We have a behind the scenes glimpse in what it’s like to be on a small ship, starving and following Captain Bligh’s story, joined by a carpenter, a doctor and some specialist sailors. We also get an exclusive into Ants forthcoming series Escape.

 

What is a typical training day like for you?

I don’t train to a level of fitness like I used to in the military. That was my life, I used to train and train and train for the battleground, so there’s a reason behind it. We would push and push ourselves to the extremes to simulate war, you know we’d push ourselves to the extremes because when you’re at war you never know how long a mission’s going to last, you never know how long a fire fights going to last, it could last an hour, it could last 2-3 days, so we always push ourselves to the extremes. But now that I’m in Civvy Street and have got to juggle a family, and a new career, I sort of maintain. So again this box is ideal for me because it’s literally the basics, the bare essentials that I need to maintain what I’ve got, and then I just dilute it or build it up according to what task I’m doing next. I’ve got a survival task coming up, so I’m going to be tamping the stuff down, really building up knowing that for 10 days to 2 weeks I’m going to be surviving off the land and losing weight, so my training depends on what project I’m doing next.

I do a lot of maintenance stuff now, so a lot of swimming, a lot of running, and a lot of military circuits, core stuff, stability and I need the fuel to tick me over.

How do you fit it in with a busy family life? Is your wife a gym widow?

My wife moans that I’m not there, but I can train anywhere. You give me a square metre and I’ll train the square metre. I’ll do press ups, I’ll do hand stands, press ups against the wall, I can do whatever needs to be done, sit ups. There’s no excuse not to workout. There’s always, even if it’s 10-15 minutes in the day and you literally blast it, you blast your body, you’ll come out as good as a workout that you’ve dragged out over an hour.

I’ll always find time, there’s never an excuse you’ve always got that time in the day to work out, I don’t care who you are, how busy you think you are. Trust me, at the moment there’s no one busier than myself, especially with five children, a wife, media, interviews, PR-ing, my life is just one constant roller-coaster at the moment, but I’ll always think right I’ve got an hour here, I’ve got 30 mins here. I even do it in my clothes sometimes, I’ll be at home and I’ll bang out 5 sets of 20 press ups, quickly and I’ll change positions. I’ll put my legs up on one, I’ll do commando press ups, just different types. 20 boom, get up shake it off, another 20 and that’s literally done in 5 minutes. In my head, even though I’ve got such a packed out day, in my head I’m maintaining my body, it’s pumping those endorphins out and it’s making me feel good. It’s making me feel ‘I’ve done something in that day’. There’s no excuse, it’s a military mindset

Mutiny – how important was your nutrition when it came to surviving the endurance?

I love endurance, I’m a keen mountaineer. Endurance is key for me. When you think of the Special Forces, we carry an extreme weight over extreme distances, so endurance is key and nutrition is key.

During Mutiny we had just under 400 calories a day. If you’re going to endure or you’re looking at an endurance task which this was, 2 months plus, then this is where the psychological game comes, this is where the healthy mind set comes in rather than the physical. It’s all about sustainability, how am I going to sustain myself with 400 calories a day over 2 months. It’s just boxing clever. It’s the reverse effect of not pushing yourself, but doing enough to keep yourself agile, keep yourself sane, and keep the body parts moving. During Mutiny I put myself straight into that survival mode, I didn’t exercise, but I did arduous exercise when I needed to. Like climbing up coconut trees. People don’t realise, but climbing up the coconut tree sapped all my energy, that was after 40-59 days at sea.

Ant on the ship in Ep.5

What’s your typical diet like?

I just eat as healthily as I can, I put the right products in my body e.g. omega oils, vitamins, but I do something I can maintain. A lot of people are up, down, up, down. I try and keep on a level that I can maintain that I’m happy, but I’m also healthy. It won’t engulf my life. I think it’s really important, especially as someone with a family and a career that takes me everywhere, I don’t let it swallow me up. When I say I’ve got a life, I mean I don’t sweat if I have to go and grab a sandwich or something. I’ll grab brown bread, and chicken with no mayonnaise. For me, I can maintain that. Being on the move I just pick carefully with what I eat. I don’t go OTT, with it, but I definitely eat healthy, I would say I’m a healthy eater. Sometimes, especially doing survival, with Mutiny I put on 10kg! I was just eating steak after steak after steak, jacket potato, mash potato, I just put on 10kg for it and I didn’t suffer as a result, it’s preparation. It comes hand in hand, there’s no point being super fit if you’ve got a shit diet, and there’s no point in having a super good diet and then not exercising on it. You’ve got to find that happy medium. But if you’ve got the time and you’re a professional athlete then crack on, but for the everyday fitbox, urban, eat as healthy as you can. But don’t fluctuate, it’s the worst thing. They get to their goal and they think, right that’s me done I can go out boozing etc. I don’t drink that much either, I’ll have the odd glass of wine when I’m out with my dinner, but I don’t have a beer in the fridge. I’m not a big drinker.

Do you have a favourite cheat meal?

I do like a burger, a healthy burger. I go to a gourmet burger bar or burger restaurant where you’ve got the proper meat, but then you’ve got the bread and the sauce. If I’m at home and it’s a Sunday then I’ll say to the wife, let’s have an Indian or Chinese. I certainly won’t have them every day of the week, but it’s important to have that cheat day as well. It helps with the maintenance, if you go right don’t be too fucking fussy with having a cheat day once a week. But yeah, I like to get tucked into a nice burger.

Are there any supplements you rely on?

I like my post workout supplements, my whey protein. I’m quite religious on my oils and my vitamins. I was brought up in a culture where people rely too much on a pre-workout. It’s nice to have if you’re feeling lethargic or need a little boost, but for me personally I don’t like to rely too much on a pre workout. I like to make sure that I’ve eaten correctly and I’ve got the right fuel in my body for whatever task that I’m doing. I don’t like that spike and that boost.

 

If you can train anywhere in the world, where would you train?

I like to train in altitude, I used to work in South Africa with Johannesburg being one of the highest cities in the world. It just made me feel alive. You can almost feel your lungs half full when you start training, you go out for the first couple of runs knowing that I’d be dead in my bed for a good half an hour to an hour after. But I do enjoy coming back and smashing whatever is put in my way. Being a keen mountaineer as well, altitude training – there’s just something about the lungs that I like. I like to just be able to expand my lungs, get more air in there, more oxygen circulating around the body, I’ve just got a thing about altitude. I like to keep my lungs clear. It’s tough, it’s hard to acclimatise and you have to get past that initial shock of breathing in and taking nothing in. But once you’ve acclimatised and after a good couple of weeks of training, you start massively feeling the benefits.

If you could train with anyone who would you train with?

I’m a big fan of MMA, I like the explosiveness of it. People think you’re flat out for 5 minutes, but it’s not, it’s about knowing when to use your energy, knowing when to rest, knowing when to use that explosive movement, it’s very technical and it’s psychological as well. Not only do you have a physical battle, you’ve got a psychological battle as well. It’s outwitting the enemy as well.

I’d say I’d love to roll around with and have a bit of a grapple with Conor McGregor. It’s like a game of chess really isn’t it, what’s your move, what’s your next move. I like having that psychological aspect to the physical challenge.

The new show ‘Escape’ – what’s involved?

I can’t give too much away at the moment, but Escape I’m filming all summer. From mid-May to mid-September on and off. It’s five episodes, in five different locations and five different environments – so jungle, dessert, Arctic, mountains. There’s going to be all sorts of elements in there. What I like about it is that’s it’s not only a survival project or task, but it’s an ingenuity task too. I’m going to be the team leader, I’m going to lead the project and these guys have to come up with a plan to build something to get out of that hostile environment to escape to safety basically. What’s going to be so interesting about it, is that we’ve got these highly technical engineers, highly technical geniuses, but they’re used to the comforts of having a full workshop, being able to use their minds only. But here we’re going to tap into the psychological side of being able to do that whilst under extreme pressure, whilst surviving off minimal rations, whilst surviving the elements of the environment. To see under extreme pressure and duress whether they can still function at psychological level as they do at their comfort zone. It’s got an element of survival, an element of willpower, an element of ingenuity, also that seed of doubt. These guys are so used to succeeding, putting them in that situation where that seed of doubt about whether they will be able to cope and work in these environments with the elements that are imposed upon them. To see if it eats away at them or if they can get a grip of it and get through it. It’s a really good twist and I’m looking forward to it.

 

Channel 4’s latest show Escape with Ant Middleton. (Credit: Channel 4/Vance Jacobs)

 

What’s next?

In September/October time I’m filming series 3 of ‘SAS Who Dares Wins’, which will be in the mountains, so a bit of altitude which I love. They’ll have more of an operational feel, so Afghanistan/Iraq pressures in the middle of nowhere. Isolate them and see how they cope.

It’s an exciting time, a busy 2018 but I’m going to stay true to who I am.

How are you preparing?

I always do something to prepare myself. For the survival shows, it’s about putting on healthy weight. Unnatural weight goes very quickly, on Mutiny the 10kg went within a week and a half, two weeks, so it’s putting on that weight that’s not too much fat, a healthy fat, a slow burning fuel, an endurance fat. I’ll be putting on a little bit of weight as I’ll be bouncing from episode to the next. By episode 3, 4 or 5 I’ll be feeling the pinch.

You have lots of Tattoo, do they have special meanings to you?

My tattoos are all old school tattoos, they’re timeless. They’ve come in fashion and they’ve never gone out of fashion. I’ve got a ship with an anchor that represents me travelling the world, they’re all sort of military tattoos. I’ve got the old swallows, and the lucky horse shoe and again it just symbolises luck and stuff like that. I’ve got a soldiers grave tattoo which is an old rum bottle, that’s what they used to say a sailors or soldiers grave, once you’ve finished in the military a sailor or soldier would drink themselves into an early grave as you can see by the skull. Then I’ve got some tattoos that fit in, the majority are military tattoos. I’ve got a little frog here, which only people in the know will know it means I was a frogman. A frogman is from the special boat service, so if someone from the SBS saw this they’d know. A discreet tattoo but it symbolises I am a frogman. I have a cut throat razor on the neck which symbolises that I live on the edge and I’ve diced with death a few times. It’s when I felt my most alive.

I’m planning on getting more, it’s just finding the time to get more. I don’t like to just get one tattoo here, I like to book in for a full day session, an 8 hour session. I’m a glutton for pain, for my right sleeve and right chest I was in for three days, one after the other, 8 hour sessions. I wouldn’t do that again!

The most painful one was where you have the bend from the forearm to the bicep, just on the inside of the arm there. It was quite painful but I just block it out and get on with it. It’s a challenge against myself, when the pain comes I’m like ‘man up’.

They’re a part of who I am, they tell a story, I still to this day love every single one of my tattoos, I wouldn’t change them, I’m just going to add to the collection as I do more stuff. I conquered the military and got to the highest peak that I could get to. Now I plan on doing that in what I do in the survival world, the media world and in Civvy Street. I won’t stop until I’m at that peak, I’ll probably never get to my peak because I’m one of these people who keeps going and going. I won’t do anything by halves.

Do you think anyone can do a survival show?

I like to push people. I get a lot of satisfaction out of letting people see their potential. Seeing where their limits lie, seeing how far they can push themselves. The minds a powerful thing, it’s a mind-set. Don’t get me wrong, you need to be physically fit, but if you’ve got that mind-set where you believe in yourself, believe in your capability to deliver, it’s astonishing what you can achieve.

What’s your biggest fear?

Failure, but I’m at a stage where I’ve accomplished so much that I’m happy with my skin. That’s why my shows are so different, I’m happy to strip myself down to my bare bones and go this is me. Throw whatever you can at me, that’s what motivates me. With SAS I talked the talk, but with Mutiny I walked the walk.

If you could have a Super power what would it be?

If I could have any superpower, I’d want to be invisible, there’s just something about that stealth, moving with guile, undetected. I suppose that comes from the military, I was a royal marines sniper and sometimes I wish I was invisible.

 

Healthy Mind, Happy You

Life is becoming increasingly stressful in modern society including a more fast paced life, financial stress, image stress, and just general life stress which is leading to a massive increase in mental health issues. More than 70 million sick days are lost each year due to mental health which includes depression, anxiety, stress and other mental health related issues. Managing your mental wellbeing is becoming increasingly important and increasingly promoted through the press, media and social influencers. As personal trainer and working within the fitness and sport industry optimal mental health is really important for optimal performance and optimal adherence to reaching your goals. Ghandi once said: “Become The Change You Wish to See in the World” which resonates and resounds so clear with me in regard to my outlook on life. Let’s not deny it, everyone has things they go through, but the ones who fight through despite potentially the world crumbling around them are the ones we gain strength from, the people we look at and think wow, “I want to be able to be like that”. I had similar feelings, which is why I wrote my book: Free-ed. I used to pray for my mind and my body to look at myself in the mirror and be happy with what was standing there, for my mind to stop tormenting me that I wasn’t perfect, that if I could just portray happiness within myself to the outside world, that I could be one of these people whos’ smiles shined brighter than anyone else because I installed hope and inspiration to others. The key thing is how do we install a healthy, happy mindset? Having a positive outlook on life is harder than what a lot of people think. We can all get motivated for 10 days, then our gym regimes fall of track, and we got back to square one. This is where mind management comes in is the 30/60/90 day approach. Did you know that it takes 30 days to create a habit, 60 days to consolidate that habit and 90 days for that habit to become a part of your normal life…. THAT is ONLY 3 months of your life. What is 3 months in the big scheme of things to make a big change? If for 3 months you took small positive steps to achieve a better mindset, you will take small positive steps towards more consistent training, happier mindset, better food choices and more success in your goals. FOR 3 months only why don’t you set yourself goals for each 4 week block and create a short term (4 week), medium term (8 week) and long term goal (12 weeks) for your fitness, mindset, and nutrition.

 

Focusing on a positive and happy mindset you need to focus on who you want to be, whom helps you lift you up and who do you feel most yourself around. I wrote a blog over on: jaynenisbet.com called “its not me, its you.” This focuses on those that ridicule or tell you you are not good enough, you are obsessed, you are crazy, they are focusing on things that they feel uncomfortable about, and reflect this on you. It is a reflection of their insecurities within themselves and they deflect this on to you. So what would you do to become and what is currently stopping you from achieving this? Is it you or is it the fear of what everyone will think, is it the journey? If you take the risk and go for it what will your life look like? If you don’t take the risk will you live in regret? Lets start facing your fears and stepping up to the challenge.

 

Everyone’s been there… you really want to achieve this big goal but for some reason you are just not quite ready to take the risk. Something’s holding you back, whether it’s fear, self doubt, negative talk, other people and sometimes the fear that it will go right and your whole life will change – scary stuff right? Because being comfortable is well… comfortable its not challenging you. What if you knew that if you took that leap and faced whatever it was that you wanted… imagine how that life would feel like? What if it’s telling someone you love them, or embracing change and moving to a new location, or going for that new job? What is stopping you? I procrastinated for 8 months before eventually taking the leap and moving to London everyone faces fear but here I want to you take the challenge head on. I also took 2 years to write my first book free-ed before i decided to face my fear and use my story to help others.

So here is my top 5 tips for getting what you want, when you want it and embracing fear to create a happy mind, a health mind and happy you:

 

 

Identify Your Goal

 

Identify exactly what it is you want to achieve. Draw a mind map, map it all out, imagine what your life would be like if you achieved it. How accomplished you would feel, how excited you would be. This will create a clear image of exactly where you want to be.

 

 Identify your fears

 

What are your current fears and attitudes towards this. What do you feel is currently stopping you from going for it. Don’t be afraid to write it all out. The more honest with yourself the better and it can be as silly as you think.

 

 Create a roadmap

 

Create a plan of action. How are you going to overcome these fears, how are you going to get to your desired goal. Plan it all out from a – b and any road stops you have in the middle.

 

Tell people about your goal

 

Honestly it’s sounds scary but if you start telling people you are going to do something by goodness you will ensure you do it. Last year when I started writing my book I started telling everyone because I thought if I don’t I’ll keep putting it off. Then every time you see someone they will ask “oh how is the book going”. Do it, start spreading the word.

 

Put all your intentions towards it

 

The saying, ‘what you think about you bring about.’ Put positivity out there. Start ensuring you are putting positive vibes on the situation. When you talk to people notice how your voice and persona shows excitement and clarity. Go show the world what you want to show them.

Implement the above strategies to achieve your goals in health, fitness and nutrition through managing your mind and identifying what is currently stopping you. Lets start a revolution towards positive body image, positive nutrition and positive mental health.

 

 

“Commonwealth Games high jumper Jayne Nisbet was very open about her struggles with food throughout her athletics career. Jayne has written a book Free-ed which has been designed as a book of hope and inspiration to help those in similar situations to come forward and start working towards their own freedom. Free-ed is an eye opening and honest book, which covers Jayne’s story to freedom and provides you a step to step guide on how to go from zero self esteem to redefining your future. Whatever mind issues, body issues or addictions you are suffering from, this book will provide you with a story of hope, determination and inspiration to make your own dreams come true.”

 

My book Free-ed is out on Monday 16th October 2017 on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0764YWVL7

1. Weight loss

If you’re substituting your bevvy with family-sized bags of M&Ms, you can’t expect to suddenly loose weight, but if you’re eating like usual and dropping drink from your diet, you might find the those extra pounds are still there. This isn’t just because alcohol is calorific, it also increases your appetite – in fact, research has shown that people who have just two drinks consume 30% more food than someone sober.

2. Improved insides

Right, let’s get the obvious out of the way – we all know liquor is bad for livers. However, what you may not realise is just how quickly it starts to recover when you stop drinking. Scientists at University College London found that people who gave up the sauce for just five weeks had an average reduction of 15% in fat around the liver – one of the most common precursors to liver damage. And that wasn’t the only benefit: ‘Stopping drinking for a month alters liver fat, cholesterol and blood sugar, and helps them lose weight,’ consultant Kevin Moore told New Scientist.

3. Reduced risk

Lessening your alcohol amounts also gets you a reduced risk of lots of nasty diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, pancreatis and cancer. Of course, your likelihood of developing these conditions in the first place is significantly higher if you’re a very heavy drinker, but another benefit of reducing your alcohol intake is realising just how much you were drinking in the first place. Awareness is the first step to taking control, so even if you do incorporate alcohol back into your life, you might find yourself less likely to binge.

4. Better sleep

Studies have shown that drinking before bed messes with a certain kind of alpha wave in your brain, increasing its frequency and disrupting your much-needed shut-eye. Even when you do manage to get to sleep after a heavy night, the quality is much worse – giving it up means you can expect to get a much better night’s rest, leading to benefits like better concentration and improved memory. In the aforementioned UCL project, ratings of sleep quality rose after just a couple of weeks, leaving participants feeling brighter and more productive. If you’re eyeing a promotion, you might be wise to lay off the rose for a while…


 

5. Glowing skin

Sticking to soft drinks not only hydrates your skin far better, alleviating dryness and often calming symptoms of skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, it reduces the redness and irritation that alcohol can introduce, and eases puffiness, leaving you looking healthy.

6. Positive. Mental. Attitude

A pause from drinking can make you feel refreshed, and better mentally as well as physically. Alcohol as a substance is a depressant, so it’s unsurprising that one study of female heavy drinkers showed that they were more likely to feel depressed than their light-drinking counterparts, and a reliance on booze can make you more prone to stress, and worse and managing it too.

Protein is vital for overall health and often referred to as the building blocks of the body. You need plenty of it, but it’s key to know how to manage your intake effectively.  Keep reading to check out how protein can benefit your health, how certain types of high-protein foods can help lower cholesterol and what are the high cholesterol foods to avoid.

The health benefits of protein

Before we get down to the nitty gritty, it’s really important to state that any healthy diet has to be balanced. That means a combination of protein, carbohydrates and good fats. Talking specifically about protein, raising the levels you eat can improve your health in a number of ways.

  • Body function

Protein is used to help build, develop and regulate nearly all functions in the body. It’s hugely important to consume so that you don’t get protein deficient, as this can cause big problems. We’ve looked at how important protein is for overall health and here are a number of other benefits:

  • Improve concentration
  • Boost energy
  • Regulate blood sugar levels
  • Aid concentration
  • Support muscle and bone strength

 

 

  • High protein, low cholesterol foods

There are a number of protein-rich foods that can help lower cholesterol, particularly when they’re swapped in for others that contain high levels of saturated fat. These include:

  • Fish. Oily fish in particular. Trout, salmon, tuna and mackerel all contain high levels of Omega 3, which is one of the good fats and plays a big part in overall heart health.
  • Poultry. We’re talking chicken and turkey, with the skin removed. Both of these meats are very low in fat, but be sure to stick to lean cuts, rather than thighs or legs.
  • Nuts and seeds. A handful of nuts each day may help lower cholesterol levels too. Be careful though, they are very high in calories so definitely consume in moderation.
  • Pulses. Swap out your white pasta and rice for beans and lentils for an extra protein kick. Not only that, they are full of fibre so try to get at least one serving in per day.
  • Supplements. In particular whey. Not just great at providing high levels of protein, whey has also been shown to help lower blood pressure, give the body an anti-oxidant boost, regulate weight and reduce inflammation, which can be a huge contributory factor towards high cholesterol.
  • High cholesterol foods to avoid

Needless to say, there are a number of foods you want to give a miss if you’re trying to lower cholesterol, or just eat healthily in general. There’s a saying that goes, ‘a little of what you fancy is fine’ and this is so true; however, sometimes you have to just cut things completely. There are a number of protein-rich high cholesterol foods you should be avoiding and they include:

  • Burgers
  • Sausages
  • Bacon
  • Full fat cheese

The fats in these products can all play a major role in elevating cholesterol levels. If your levels are high it’s best to cut them out completely (under guidance of your medical professional of course), but there are lower fat or vegetarian options you can try if not.

There you have it, a solid overview of why protein is so important, how you can eat healthy proteins and some of the high cholesterol foods that are best avoided. Now that you know your proteins, start eating them the right way!

 

Below is the training preparation you should begin as soon as you find out that you have your place. 

If you do this you will be fully prepared to begin the fully comprehensive training  programme 16 weeks before the big day. This training programme is split into sections  depending  on your experience and the time you are aiming to  complete the marathon in.

Beginners

If you haven’t run before, walk and run very slowly for about 30 minutes at least 3 times a week. Break it down so that you walk for 3 minutes and then run very slowly for 2 minutes, it doesn’t  matter how slowly. Afterwards stretch; please don’t neglect stretching after every run.

 

4 Hours

You probably run 3 or 4 times a week at a steady pace, you may have recently run a half marathon in about 2 hours. You have a good foundation to build up your marathon training.

 

Before your 16 week plan begins you should try to run for about 1½ hours slowly and steadily. At the end of the run you should feel comfortable it shouldn’t feel difficult. If you can run for a little longer again at a steady pace then that is even better.  Try to do a long run AT LEAST once a week and do two other runs of about 5 miles perhaps with some bursts of speed.

 

3.30 Hours

If this is your target time then you have been running for a few years and your half marathon time will be about 1.40 –1.50 hours. Marathon training should not present a problem to you, it will be hard as it is for everyone but not too stressful.

 

Before your 16 week plan begins you should be aiming for 1½ hours or 12 miles at a very steady pace for your long run, with three other runs during the week.  If you belong to a club one of those training sessions is perhaps a speed session and the other two are between 5 and 7 miles. Don’t neglect your stretching and try to do some core strength exercises, both will help you run faster and prevent injury.

 

Sub 3.30 hours

You are an experienced or very talented runner with a half marathon time of about 1.15 – 1.30. You probably run 5 times a week either with a club or with a training partner.

Before your 16 week plan begins you should run 12/13 miles at race pace on a Sunday and a steady run of 5 miles on a Saturday preferably on an undulating route.

Don’t neglect to stretch after all your runs and to warm up before you run particularly in cold weather if you want to avoid injury.

 

You can download the full plan here – Marathon Training Guide

 

 

People who regularly skip breakfast face an increased risk of developing atherosclerosis, or the hardening and narrowing of arteries due to a build-up of plaque, according to research published today.

The new study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology , builds on previous evidence that suggests eating breakfast promotes greater heart health, including healthier weight and cholesterol. While previous investigations have linked skipping breakfast to coronary heart disease risk, this is the first study to evaluate the association between breakfast and the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis.

“People who regularly skip breakfast likely have an overall unhealthy lifestyle ,” said study author Valentin Fuster, MD, PhD, MACC director of Mount Sinai Heart and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. “This study provides evidence that this is one bad habit people can proactively change to reduce their risk for heart disease.”

High energy breakfasts: the most important meal of the day

Researchers in Madrid examined male and female volunteers who were free from cardiovascular or chronic kidney disease. A computerized questionnaire estimated the usual diet of the participants, and breakfast patterns were based on the percentage of total daily energy intake consumed at breakfast.

The researchers identified three groups: “breakfast skippers” , who consumed less than 5% of their daily energy at breakfast; “low-energy breakfast consumers ” who eat 5-20% of their daily intake at breakfast; and those consuming more than 20% of their total energy intake in the morning – “breakfast consumers”.

Of the 4,052 participants, 2.9% skipped breakfast, 69.4% were low-energy breakfast consumers and 27.7% were breakfast consumers.

Atherosclerosis was observed more frequency among participants who skipped breakfast and was also higher in participants who consumed low-energy breakfasts compared to breakfast consumers. Additionally, cardiometabolic risk markers were more prevalent in those who skipped breakfast and low-energy breakfast consumers compared to breakfast consumers.

Participants who skipped breakfast had the greatest waist circumference, body mass index, blood pressure, blood lipids and fasting glucose levels, the study concluded.

According to the researchers, participants who skipped breakfast were more likely to have an “overall unhealthy lifestyle ”, including poor overall diet, frequent alcohol consumption and smoking.

 

 

Breakfast skippers were also more likely to be hypertensive and overweight or obese. However, in this case the study authors said reverse causation cannot be ruled out, and the observed results may be explained by obese patients skipping breakfast to lose weight.

“Aside from the direct association with cardiovascular risk factors, skipping breakfast might serve as a marker for a general unhealthy diet or lifestyle which in turn is associated with the development and progression of atherosclerosis ,” said Jose L. Peñalvo, PhD, assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and the senior author of the study.

“Our findings are important for health professionals and might be used as a simple message for lifestyle-based interventions and public health strategies, as well as informing dietary recommendations and guidelines.”

Prakash Deedwania, MD and professor of medicine at the University of California, added: “Between 20 and 30% of adults skip breakfast and these trends mirror the increasing prevalence of obesity and associated cardiometabolic abnormalities.

“Poor dietary choices are generally made relatively early in life and, if remained unchanged, can lead to clinical cardiovascular disease later on. Adverse effects of skipping breakfast can be seen early in childhood in the form of childhood obesity and although breakfast skippers are generally attempting to lose weight, they often end up eating more and unhealthy foods later in the day. Skipping breakfast can cause hormonal imbalances and alter circadian rhythms. That breakfast is the most important meal of the day has been proven right in light of this evidence.”

 

Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Volume 70, Issue 15, October 2017, DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.08.027

“The Importance of Breakfast in Atherosclerosis Disease”

Authors: Jose Peñalvo, Irina Uzhova, Valenitn Fuster, Antonio Hernandez-Oritz, et al

 

Full credit to – https://www.foodnavigator.com/Article/2017/10/03/Breakfast-skippers-face-higher-risk-of-hardening-of-the-arteries?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright

Someone told us it was #NationalCakeWeek this week?! Move aside Bake Off because we have a low fat, low sugar, protein packed birthday cake! Perfect for those days where cake is the only food you need for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

2017’s our 20th Birthday! So everyday is a good day to eat some protein packed cake… or thats what everyone in the office keeps telling each other.

Ingredients

Cake
  • 40g chocolate Whey Better  – Bio- Synergy
  • 45g dark chocolate
  • 120g egg whites
  • 40g Xylitol (sugar alternative)
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 30g reduced calorie butter
  • 25g zero fat chocolate syrup
  • 110g extra light cream cheese

Protein Cream/Jam

Chocolate Ganache Topping

  • 80g Dark Chocolate
  • 2 Tsp Coconut oil
  • Star dust cake sprinkle and chocolate stars (Optional)

Method

Mix all the dry ingredients together then in a separate bowl, mix all the wet ingredients. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix everything together. Line a baking tin then spray with coconut oil. Spread the cake mix into the baking tin and bake for 15-20 minutes at 150-160C. Ensure to keep checking the cake by inserting a tooth pick. When a clean tooth pick is removed, the cake is cooked. Let the cake rest for 20 minutes to cool down.

Next make the protein cream mix by mixing the vanilla whey and cream cheese along with the vanilla extract. Slice the cake in the middle to form a bottom and top tier. Spoon the jam onto the bottom tier along followed by the cream mix. Place the top tier to form a cake sandwich.

For the topping melt the dark chocolate with the coconut oil and cover the entire cake with the ganache. Finally decorate your cake with your choice of sprinkles.

Enjoy!

via GIPHY

This recipe comes from @proteinprincesslondon, follow her for more amazing, creative protein packed recipes!

obstical-race-image

If you are new to the OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) scene and have an event coming up, here’s some tips that our Ambassador Luke Lawrence learned the hard way.

To find out more click the link bellow –

First OCR race Guide

Fit over Xmas

Pretty much everyone tends to have a battle of the bulge over the festive holiday.

Most of us want to be healthy but also enjoy ourselves & indulge a little with friends & family. So how do we get a balance & not fall into a total blowout, ending in big regrets & added pounds come January.

#1:

Struggle to get time for the gym whilst children are on holiday or the gyms are closed:

Do bodyweight HIIT (high-intensity interval training) sessions in your home, garden or park.

Take 5 exercises and do them to your max say 60 seconds each one. After 5 mins rest for 1 min & the. repeat 4/5 times.

Eg: squat, press up, burpee, lunges, triceps dips. So each exercises straight after the other as many reps as possible till 5 mins are completed. Rest & repeat. Simple!

#2:

To boost the fat burn effect of this workout try to do it in the morning fasted and add BCAAs. Use Bio Synergy pre workout with BCAA drink for a real kickstart 

#3:

Christmas dinner.

We all want to eat along with our family and friends a full dinner along with all the trimmings & puddings Christmas Day.

Don’t deny yourself or you may start to regret. This doesn’t mean eat more or double portions if possible! But have a small portion of everything you fancy.

For breakfast, on this day we recommend having something very light & low in fat high in protein.

If you starve yourself till Christmas lunch you may be so hungry that you may end up picking at all the extras put out like nuts & chocolates before the dinner is even served!

Opt Bio Synergy Skinny Shake or zero fat Greek yoghurt with berries.

#4:

Add more cardio to help balance calories in/out.

This can be enjoyed with the whole family. I always go on lots of walks Christmas Day.

Take the kids roller skating, swimming, ice skating, golf, laser quest, trampolining & bowling on other days. Keeping the family active is of benefit to you all & also makes it fun rather than a chore.⛹⛸

#5:

Alcohol!

Everyone likes an extra drink or has a party of 5 to go to over Christmas & new year.

To say don’t drink will be impossible for most.

If you want to party but keep the calories low, opt for the following drinks as they are much lower in sugar & calories:

Dry white wine, light colour spirits like vodka, gin, white rum etc…& mixers like fresh lime & soda, diet drinks or a little light cranberry juice. Avoid beer & cider where ever possible as they are really high in sugar and easy to drink in large quantities!

When you get home drink a pint of water before bed.

#6:

In the morning have lots of fresh fruit & veg plus vitamins.

Use Skinny Shake to rehydrate & Bio-Synergy multivitamins, omega & colon detox.

And keep drinking plenty of water all day 

Most of all, have plenty of fun with your family & friends & remember moderation is key to a healthy & happy new year. 

#strongnotskinny #makeithappen

 vitamin-guide-image

The foods we eat contain vitamins and minerals. These micronutrients provide our bodies with the ability to perform countless biological activities such as hormone production (testosterone) bone formation and immune system support.

Minerals are found naturally occurring in the soil and the production of vitamins begins with photosynthesis (plants creating energy from sunlight). A deficiency in any single vitamin or mineral may interfere with your body’s ability to function properly which could ultimately hinder performance.

Want to find out more?

Download here – vitamins-and-minerals-guide

shakshuka

 

{serves 4 -6}

ingredients

6 large eggs

500ml pasta tomato sauce (jarred)

50g curly kale, stems removed

1 large onion, sliced thinly

125g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced, stems removed

4 tbsp sunflower or coconut oil (odorless)

sea salt and white pepper

garlic granules

garnish

cracked black pepper

Preparation time – 30 mins, cooking time – 31 to 33 mins

Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan, and sauté the thinly sliced onions for 5 minutes until soft and translucent.

Add the sliced shiitake mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes and at this point you should notice the mushrooms soaking up the oil. Season well with sea salt, white pepper and garlic granules and cook for further 3 minutes.

Add the curly kale and cook for 5 minutes, continuously stirring.

Pour in the tomato sauce and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat to reduce the sauce.

Remove from the heat, crack the egg into a wine glass, then make a little well in the sauce and pour in the whole egg, repeat with each egg.

Place the frying pan back on the heat and cook covered for 6-8 minutes until the egg is set.

Then serve straight from the pan with a sprinkle of black pepper.

garnish

cracked black pepper

louise-carbs-imageCarbohydrates (carbs) are the body’s preferred source of energy. This is because the body can easily and quickly break carbs down into glucose for energy – via ‘blood sugars’ – and/or store as glycogen in muscle cells for future energy. This means they are best consumed post-workout as this is when the body has depleted blood sugars and/or glycogen, even if you train in the evening.  In fact when consumed in the evening they will help with better sleep quality for improved recovery as well (depending on choice, see later section). We’ve just busted the ‘no carbs after 5pm myth!

Want to find out more?

Download here – Carb Guide

1. Employees of Bio-synergy or their family members or anyone else connected in any way with the competition or helping to set up the competition shall not be permitted to enter the competition.

2. There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.

3. Closing date for entry will be [17/12/16]. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.

4. No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.

5. The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.

6. The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.

7. No cash alternative to the prizes will be offered. The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.

8. Winners will be chosen: at random by completion creator and all entries received will be verified by Promoter and or its agents.

9. The winner will be notified by email or Direct Message (as appropriate) within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.

10. The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected.

11. The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.

12. By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.

13. The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.

14. Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

15. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network.

16. If in the unlikely situation that Bio-Synergy runs out of stock then the prize will not be dispatched and the chosen winner will be informed via Direct message or email

Protein Pancakes

Kickstart pancake day with some with some killer vegan protein pancakes. Delious high in protein and 100% natural! Made by our ambassador Charlotte Clarke

Makes approx 8 pancakes 

 

Ingredients (all using the same scoop)

• 2 scoops Butterscotch Lean and Green

• 2 scoops Gluten free SR flour

• 1 scoop oats

• 1/2 tsp baking powder

• 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed 3 tbsp water)

• approx 300ml unsweetened almond milk

 

Method:

 

1. Make your flax egg. Mix the flaxseeds and water together and leave to one side to come together

2. Put protein, flour, oats and baking powder into a mixing bowl

3. Add your milk until you get a thick consistency

4. Mix in your flax egg

5. Cook in coconut oil on a medium temperature

6. When you start to see the edges have cooked. Flip and cook the other side

 

I enjoyed mine topped with a little dairy free ice-cream and dairy free fudge.

 

idea-101

 

We created our most in-depth guide to date, it’s rammed with everything you need to know about protein and what type of protein you should be taking. Have you still got myths and doubts about protein?  Then we’ve created a FREE downloadable guide informing you about everything there is to know about protein.

DOWNLOAD LINK BELLOW

Know your protein 

 

 

 

spreadfatburnerWhether you already use fat burners in your current supplement stack or you’ve never used it as a supplement before, and want to get in shape so that the Christmas jumper isn’t as embarrassing as its meant to be. Then we’ve created a FREE downloadable guide informing you about everything there is to know about our range of fat burners.

DOWNLOAD LINK BELLOW

Guide to Fat Burners

Whether you use Creatine in your current supplement stack or you’ve never used it as a supplement before we’ve created a FREE downloadable guide informing you about everything there is to know about Creatine.

DOWNLOAD LINK BELLOW

Creatine Everything You Need To Know

how-does-creatine-work

rsz_1pizza_zena

Serves 4

Calories for the base per serving 120, carbs 4g, fat 7g, sugar 1g,

Nutritional value will vary per toppings used.

Ingredients for the base

  • 2 1/2 cups of cauliflower rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 50g low fat cheddar cheese
  • 40g parmesan
  • 1 tsp cayene pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

pepper to taste

Suggestions for toppings

  • Tomato Puree mixed with salt and pepper and pinch of sugar
  • Mozerella cheese
  • Garlic
  • Spinach
  • Eggs
  • Mushrooms
  • O
  • reganoOnions
  •  etc.,
  • Schiracha Sauce! (HOT)

How to make me

Preheat the oven at 180 Place a pizza stone or baking tray lined with baking paper in the oven to heat up.  Put the cauliflower rice into a large deep frying pan for 10 minutes minutes stirring occasionally for all the moisture to evaporate. When the cauliflower is dry tip it into a large bowl  and mix in the 2 eggs, 50g low fat cheddar cheese, 40g parmesan cheese, 1 tsp cayenne pepper, 1/4 tsp salt . The mixture should be wet. Divide the mixture making two medium sized bases. Take the baking tray out of the oven and make the bases by flattening it with your fingers or a spoon. Bake for 30 minutes remove from the oven and flip the bases and cook the other side for a further 10 minutes .  When both sides are golden remove from the oven and spread them with tomato puree., mozerella.cheese,  garlic spinach egg whatever you want and return to the oven for a further 10 minutes

twin-challenge-banner

INTRODUCTION

Back in early 2016 two twins decided to embark on a fitness challenge that would have them pitched against one another.

Trevor and Delroy Thomas had previously competed in the fitness model show Pure Elite where they where approached about the challenge from Bio-Synergy.

Both twins not only compete in competitions such as Pure Elite but also have full time jobs outside the fitness world, as well as having children.

AIM

The aim of the experiment was to show that even those that have already obtained lean muscle mass and low body fat through a good diet and training, could achieve even greater results through the use of supplementation. However only ONE would be using supplements.

We gave this decision to both Trevor and Delroy, with Trevor being chosen to take the supplements.

HYPOTHESIS

With Trevor being chosen to take the supplements, we believed he would be the one that would be able to achieve greater results at the end of the challenge than his brother Delroy.

METHOD

We enlisted the help of MSc James Rutherford to advise on the twins diets and PT Hayley Sinclair for their training programme.

Get the excersize-plan

Both guys had EXACTLY the same plan from how much they would eat (macros) to what they would train, how, where and when.

Get the nutrition-plan

We monitored their progress over 8 weeks through video vlogs and updated measurements.

Click below to review each week of the challenge on our Youtube channel.

week1week2week3week4week5week6week7week8

RESULTS

Below highlights the differences between the two twins at the end of the challenge. Measurements where taken from their, chest, arms, waist and thighs. The twins where also weighed.

Trevor

trevertransformation

Delroy

delroytransformation

CONCLUSION

As the results have been able to identify, using supplements in conjunction with a good diet and training plan can help with achieving your desired physical goal even if you are already training and eating right previously.

GET THE TWINS SUPPLEMENTS

If you would like to purchase the supplements used on the challenge click the banner below and begin your own challenge to #MakeItHappen

Buy Bio-Synergy Whey Better protein powder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

savoury-vegan

Bio-Synergy ambassador Charlotte Clarke has been in the kitchen cooking up a storm to help us stay on track through the colder winter days.

She has put together this delicious dish that is quick to make.

Serves two:

Ingredients

1/2 courgette

1/2 red pepper

1/2 red onion

8-10 cherry tomatoes

4 asparagus heads

1 red chilli

75g oats

1 Kallo vegetable stock cube

Peri Peri salt/ Cajun spice

Black pepper

1 clove garlic

Extra virgin olive oil spray

Optional

1 broccoli to roast as a side

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C

2. Chop garlic, courgette, red onion and pepper and place in the bottom of a casserole dish/ deep

pan

3. Add the tomatoes and Spray with oil spray. Roast in the oven for approximately 20mins

4. Place oats, chopped chilli, Peri Peri salt, black pepper and stock cube to a medium saucepan

5. Add boiling water and cook on a medium temperature until a thick porridge consistency

6. Remove roasted vegetables from the oven and top with the oat mixture

7. Press asparagus heads into the top

8. Bake in the oven for approximately 20mins

9. OPTIONAL- chop broccoli, spray with oil spray and roast in the oven until the edges start to

catch and brown

10. Serve and enjoy!

Other serving suggestions:

– For you meat lovers, enjoy with grilled chicken breast or white fish

– Vegans who can eat soy could enjoy with grilled tofu or add a layer of tofu between the roasted veg before topping with the oats

– Try part cooking peppers and stuffing with the savoury oats mixture

Find out more about Charlotte on her ambassador page.

charlotte

 

 

run-634702_960_720

If you’re an athlete and train regularly, I bet you’ve heard a thing or two about mental toughness: how to get it, why it’s important, or ways you can develop it. Me personally? I’ve been a runner, someone who does the long-distance stuff like half marathons, marathons, and ultra marathons for the past decade, and what I hear (and tell people) more often than not is that yes, absolutely, running is hard work, but it’s mostly a mental exercise. That is: it’s mind over matter.

Perhaps you can relate. Maybe you’ve been training to realize a specific athletics goal for a long time, only to get side-lined or discouraged time and again. Maybe you think that perhaps this sport or athletics endeavour isn’t for you, that you aren’t good enough or won’t ever be good enough, and that you should just throw in the towel and find a new hobby (after binging on bad TV and sweets because you feel sorry for yourself). It can be really easy and tempting to let our minds take us to dark places, places where we’re convinced that we’ll never be as good as we want to be at something, and before we know it, that can lead us on a downward spiral, making us lose control, make poor decisions, and ultimately give up altogether.

I’ll couch my conversation here in running parlance, since that’s why I know, but I think talking about mental training cuts through barriers and applies to virtually every athletic endeavour out there. The physical conditioning our sport gives us no doubt matters – we can’t be as strong or as fast as we’d like if we don’t put in the physical training components – but the mental training we do also matters a great deal. It’s so important for us as athletes to hone our mental game so that when we’re in the thick of a competition, when a personal record is on the line, we know how to be our biggest advocate and cheerleader and can help push ourselves to victory. It’s not healthy to constantly criticize ourselves; sometimes, we absolutely need to remind ourselves of what we are capable of doing and encourage ourselves just like we would our very best friend.

Based on my own decade-plus years of running, I’ve compiled some of my tried-and-true tips that have helped me break through mental ruts in training. When we’re pushing ourselves, things will get tough, but it’ll be in those super-tough moments that we can gain so much mental strength and fortitude. You can do it! Here’s how:

Believe you can do it. Admittedly, this sounds really simplistic and pretty cheesy, but at its base level, it’s so important. If you don’t believe in yourself – if you don’t think you’re capable of working hard, testing your boundaries, and succeeding, then who will? Training is meant to be challenging because it’s supposed to prepare you for the Big Day – whether that’s a race or some other type of competition – but it’ll be through hard training that you’ll get stronger and later will be able to achieve your goal. Learn to become your own biggest cheerleader. Talk to yourself – encourage yourself – like you would to your very best friend. Constantly criticizing yourself or minimizing your accomplishments won’t help you in the long run.

Make your words matter; mantras can be pretty powerful. The running community can be rife with hippy-dippy, pseudoscience elements, and it’s possible that you think ascribing otherworldly power to specific words would qualify under those categories. However: many runners swear by mantras for a reason. Choose a word or a phrase that you can say to yourself, either aloud or mentally, when the going gets tough. Closely related to my point earlier, what would you say to encourage your very best friend during a rough spot in training or in a race? The words we select have a very real effect on our feelings, so choose deliberately and intentionally. My favourites: I can do hard things, go forth and kick ass, eye on the prize. Whatever you choose, your mantras should empower you.

Find strength and power in power songs. I have many friends who swear by a special race-day playlist full of their favourite songs – what they call their “power songs,” either because of the lyrics or the way the music makes them feel when they hear it. If you regularly compete or train while listening to music, you might want to consider creating your own special playlist that you can listen to on these special occasions. Ultimately, it’s all about the music that leaves you feeling strong and ready to throw down, so don’t hold back! If Metallica gets you going just as much as bluegrass country, so be it. Include whatever helps you feel strong.

When it gets really tough, have a moment with yourself. Finally, and probably most importantly, when things are really tough in training or in competition – when you really question whether you’ll be able to complete your workout or finish your race – I really encourage you to take a moment with yourself and remember what got you out there in the first place. Many people call this exercise “remembering your why.” When you started doing this stuff X number of months/years ago, what inspired you to have the courage to start? Who or what inspired you to try your hand at this activity? Over the course of the time you’ve spent training and competing, what good has your sport done for your life? These questions are admittedly a bit lofty and may be challenging to develop coherent responses to when you’re in the thick of a hard training session or a competition, but they can also be instrumental in giving you the space and opportunity to re-focus and to re-center yourself. Moreover, these questions can help you remember the inherent gratitude you should feel – the gratitude that you should always be feeling – at your ability to participate in your sport in the first place. When the going gets tough – when you are in such a deep mental rut that you honestly question whether or how you’ll ever be able to pull yourself out of its depths – remember the journey that you’ve taken to get where you are today and the one that you’re currently on. It’s all about the long-term perspective.

There are many other motivational and self-help books out there that can help you further develop your mental training game, and many are marketed specifically to athletes. Just like with any other aspect to your athletic endeavours, working a little day in and day out on your mental game, just as you do with the physical and cardiovascular side, can help you become the most fit and strongest version of yourself that you can be.

Bio

Dan Chabert

chabert

Writing from Copenhagen, Denmark, Dan is an entrepreneur, husband and ultra marathon distance runner. He spends most of his time on runnerclick.com, monicashealthmag.com & nicershoes.com and he has been featured on runner blogs all

lulu

Prep time: 10-15 min

Cooking time: 25-30 min

Serves 4 at approximately 200 calories per slice, 19g carb, 5g fat, 19g protein and packed with vitamin A, C, iron & calcium.

Best time to eat: Postworkout or snack (makes easy food prepping)

Ingredients

1 cup chopped white onion (you can buy already chopped to save time!)

1 cup chopped white onion (you can buy already chopped to save time!)

1 large egg

200g liquid egg white

125g low fat cottage cheese (I use a polish one as they are ‘drier’ in texture so your pie won’t go soggy)

30-40g dry, gluten free oats

2-3 laughing cow low-fat blue cheese wedges (you can substitute with feta if not a blue cheese fan)

200g spinach

100g kale

Seasonings – salt, pepper, nutmeg, paprika, mustard seed

Method

  1. Turn your oven onto fan bake at 165 degrees.
  2. Sautee the onion in the olive oil on a low heat. Add paprika, mustard seed and nutmeg.
  3. Steam/cook the spinach and kale together (or use frozen spinach only and defrost). Then run under cold water in a colander.  The next step is very important:  using you hands squeeze out as much liquid out of the kale and/or spinach. Doing this with very small handfuls at a time works best. This will prevent your pie going soggy and crumbly.
  4. In a bowl mix together the egg, liquid egg whites, cottage cheese, cheese wedges, salt and pepper, oats and cooked onions. This should form a wet, sloppy mixture.
  5. Line a flan dish or large cake tin with baking paper (rub some butter on so your pie won’t stick) and place the squeezed out spinach and/or kale evenly across the bottom. Pour over the cheese mixture. The uncooked pie mixture should ideally be about an inch deep.
  6. Place in oven for about 30 min; take out when the top of your pie starts looking golden. Don’t be tempted to cook it faster at a higher temperature or your pie will burn and not set properly!

Enjoy hot or cold. I recommend serving with a green/vegetable salad and side of kimchi.

Try sprinkling nutritional yeast flakes on top for an extra cheesy taste, vitamin B & protein boost.

To boost the carbohydrate count add sweet potato chips or have on toasted rye bread with sriracha sauce for an extra kick!

To boost the fat content serve with mashed avocado (or use fattier cheeses in the recipe).

Check out Louise’s ambassador page here.

 

 

13532757_980187525427634_2251892234229140998_n

As I sit here writing this I’m getting butterfly’s. I’m taking part in the Pain and Suffering Legends race next Saturday.  The Pain and Suffering Legends Race comprises of three obstacle course races in one day: 10 Mile, 10 KM and 5 KM.  You have 8 hours to complete it and this year it is my only and last chance to qualify for the OCR British Championships on November 19.  I’ve run 9 Spartan races this year, and done well enough in them, but Spartan Races don’t count towards qualification.  Injuries have forced me to miss other qualifying events, so this big dummy has thrown all his eggs into one basket.  It’s said to be so gruelling that anyone who finishes earns qualification regardless of their final place.

So with one shot at qualifying, you can bet your ass and mine that I’m going into this race as prepared as I have ever been!

I’ve spent a few of years participating in obstacle course racing so you’d imagine I’d be pretty prepared by this point, but I still forget things; like my GPS watch, strapping for my feet, my heart rate monitor. Sometimes I realise I’ve made a wrong decision in my preparation, like right before the Edinburgh Spartan Beast I realised I probably should have brought a T-shirt.

There are lots of things you can get wrong before a race that won’t make a big difference. You can get by without a watch or a T-shirt, but one thing you have to get right is nutrition.  Get that wrong and it will have an impact on your final position, your enjoyment of the race and even your ability to finish.

This whole season has been in preparation for this 8 hours of pain. People think I’m mad, I always get asked why I do it? And it’s a question I often ask myself.  If I’m neck deep in mud or carrying a sandbag up a hill, I wonder what the hell I’m doing?! The answer is never far away, there are moments of absolute beauty, of spectacular terrain in wild forests.  There are moments of accomplishment, approaching an obstacle you’ve never seen and nailing it is one of the most satisfying feelings in the world.  Moments of complete failure, I’ve slipped from rig, failed to flip a massive tyre or missed a course marker and become lost and it’s those moments you truly learn the most about yourself.  You dig deep and you find the strength to flip that monster tyre, you sharpen your exhausted mind to find the trail, you overcome failure and conquer the rig. The only failure is in quitting.  Nowhere else in life have I found so many opportunities to succeed and overcome failure as I do during an OCR.

14712527_1070576926388693_8618902528547809205_o

Be prepared! Mentally, emotionally and physically!

Load up on essential salts and minerals, make sure you eat well the week leading up to the race. Don’t eat a whole pizza the night before and think it will make you a Ninja Turtle the next day.  Eat what you’ve been eating while you’ve been training, with one or two extra meals a day for a couple of days before the race.

I’ve been training 630-830 three days a week, 1230-130 five days a week, three hours on Saturday and Sunday and cycling up to 70 km a week. I should be tired all the time!  But I’m not! I have a very healthy diet, I drink very little alcohol and here’s the kicker, I fuel my body correctly and I take lots of supplements to support my muscles and joints.  The OCR athlete needs to be light and strong like a mountain climber.  I’ve tried lots of different supplements over my time but these are the ones that I’ve found complement my training best.

Bio-Synergy Essential Sports Fuel™: I take this almost every day and I’ve found it tastes fantastic and really helps keep me lean while making me stronger

Bio-Synergy Performance Joint formula: The rigors of training for a multi discipline sport means I place huge pressure on all my joints at crazy angles. It’s a great supplement for all athletes from a Martial artist to a tennis player.

Bio-Synergy Performance Power Beet Beetroot and Bio-Synergy Performance l-glutamine: These guys are fantastic! They give me the right kick just before I need it, either before training or a race these supplements really take me to edge

Being prepared doesn’t only mean making sure your kit is packed the night before, it means being psychologically ready to suffer and physically able to take it! Get your prep right and the race is the final 10% of the journey.

Lose weight now

So, many of us dream of that “ideal body”.

Whether it’s a male who wants those arms and shoulders that belong to an action figure or a female who wants a super flat toned stomach and a backside that resembles two premier league footballs.

Granted these are two extreme examples but nonetheless targets that people aim for.

The difficult part is the majority of us do not want change our easy lifestyles; microwave meals, taking the lift up the flight of stairs or just coming home and watching TV all night.

In England alone, Public Health England published data in 2014 indicating that 63.8% of adults in England have a body mass index (BMI) of 25 or over.

If we do not help ourselves then we cannot combat this.

In this small article I will give my advice on how I achieve my body goals and how I help others reach theirs.

Phase 1: Have a goal

Everyone needs to have a goal, you need to have something to aim for.

If it’s at the high end of a bodybuilder / physique athlete wanting to step on the Olympia or Arnold classic stage or you have that holiday booked and you want that perfect “holiday body”, it’s still a goal to aim for.

First off you must be realistic, it’ll all be incremental steps. Do you want to lose weight? Gain some extra muscle?

(For weight gain please see the article by James Rutherford.)

This is the first part of deciding your path.

Phase 2: Setting the wheels in motion

Weight loss:

Okay, plain and simple.

You need to be in a calorie deficit in order to lose weight. This does NOT mean you are to skip meals. In fact it’s quite the contrary, you’ll want to incorporate more meals (within your calorie allowance) throughout the day whilst keeping your training on track.

Eating less will lower your metabolism – bad news!

Not doing cardio will also lower your metabolism – bad news!

I am not promoting shovelling copious amounts of food into your body every couple of hours. I am saying that well placed and well balanced nutrition throughout the day will keep your metabolism spiked, as well as cardio alongside your regular training then the weight loss will prevail.

You will not need to be doing anymore than 30 minutes to 1 hour of cardio per day (depending on your current condition) providing that your diet is on point. If you are having to do more than that then something is off and will need to be reviewed.

There is not a perfect set amount of calories that one should consume, so unfortunately it really is person specific and will require some form of trial and error in order to achieve that optimum diet.

A good way to keep tabs on this is to weigh yourself each morning before food consumption at the start of the week and then every 5 days. You should see a small weight loss consistently.

There are four main factors to achieving your goal.

  1. Consistency / Preparation
  2. Correct diet and nutrition
  3. Training
  4. Water

Hit these four and you’ll achieve your goal.

You will note that I placed consistency and preparation at the top of the list. In my personal experience and with my clients it’s proven that if you are consistent then you will make that change you want. If you think you can follow your diet and training for 5 days a week and then “slack off or relax” for the next 2 days then you are truly mistaken.

Although water is number 4 on the list it is by no means a representation of the order of importance and should not be underestimated.

Water consumption is important, it is pushed on us to consume “2 litres per day”. Again, in my experiences it will be close to double that. A high water consumption helps for the hydration of your body, with your activity being increased you’ll need the extra hydration. Water will aid your digestion and nutrient absorption. The proteins and carbohydrates that our body uses as food are metabolised and transported by water in the bloodstream. It’ll also help with fatigue throughout the day.

So, you can see the importance of keeping water intake high.

If you have a good understanding of foods and are confident enough to put your own diet together by all means do so. Understanding what you are eating is a great help in making the changes in your diet. Not just for the 8 or 12 week diet, but for the rest of your life! Try not to look at it is a diet for a set amount of time but more as a lifestyle change.

However, if you are not confident or your knowledge just simply isn’t great enough when it comes to nutrition then get a coach to help with this.

Although I compete at a national level and help others with their diet I still have someone else construct my dietary intake and my training plan.

You WILL always be your worst critique!

If you have to wake up 30 minutes earlier in order to prepare your food for the day or to do your 30 minutes fasted cardio is it really going to affect your day? If so then make your food at night. There really is always a way to combat the “I don’t have time”.

If you are going to a friends house for dinner at the weekend then do not be phased by taking your food with you, it’s about being consistent.

Phase 3: Seeing light at the end of tunnel

So you are well and truly on your journey with the end in sight.

You’re sticking to the four factors, your weight is coming down, you’re feeling better about that holiday and overall confidence is up. From around day 14 things should really now be a habit almost, and becoming easier.

At this point here is really the time to be checking in with your coach (if you’re using one). If you are not using a coach then I recommend that you take weekly photos to see the changes in your physique as well as seeing the changes on the scale.

This is where some small changes will be made if required.

Each week you’ll be aiming for around 1-2 pounds of weight loss.

But do remember, that your body is not a machine it’s a living being. So do not get disheartened if one week the weight loss isn’t there, just know that you may have to make those slight adjustments or you may have had a stressful few days in the office. Stress can play a huge part in how your body looks and feels. Try to combat your stress levels by getting enough sleep and having fun.

There is not much more to it from here on in other than maintaining consistency, continuing to apply a positive attitude, surrounding yourself with likeminded people and above all bettering yourself and your happiness.

Remember you have the power to MAKE IT HAPPEN!

si-ukbff

Reference

1.Public Health England (2014) PHE release local authority adult obesity data. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/phe-release-local-authority-adult-obesity-data (Accessed: 24 October 2016).

rsz_chicken_jambalaya_at_russos

With the temperature getting a little colder we all look to indulge in what we call ‘comfort food’

Although a lot of the time this does the trick on comfort and taste our waist lines are sometimes not so forgiving.

We have got this fantastic recipe for a healthy chicken and chorizo jambalaya which is great for those colder days.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 2 chicken breast, chopped
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 75g chorizo, sliced
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 250g long grain rice
  • 400g can plum tomato
  • 350ml chicken stock

How to make me

Add the extra virgin olive oil to a pan then add the chicken. Cook for 8-10 mins until chicken has turned golden brown.

Once cooked removed the chicken and place to one side. Now add the onion, peppers, garlic, chorizo and Cajun seasoning. Cook for 5 mins.

Put the chicken back in with the rice and add tomatoes and some stock. Cover and leave for 20 minutes on a low heat.

Macros per serving

Kcal- 445

Protein- 40g

Carbs-64g

Fat-10g

 

 

I’ll start with a bit about myself, my name is Dermot Bailey I am a wheelchair tennis player currently 4th in Britain and 44th in the world, I also actually work as an accountant for four days a week so fitting in training can be tough!

For those who don’t know wheelchair tennis and the able bodied equivalent are very similar, in fact the only difference is that wheelchair players get two bounces of the ball.

I am currently in the final stages of training for the Swedish open in Uppsala, this time last year I went out to the tournament and lost first round. This year I am going as the number 2 seed. The training I am doing for this is mainly based around points practice, for me this is the key area of my game, practicing routines and making sure I am comfortable in all areas of my game at any stage of the match, whether I am up on the scoreboard or down and under pressure. Yesterday I trained for 4 hours on court and did a gym session on top of this, so nutrition, refuelling and recovery is key for me.

 

There has been a lot made of tennis player’s diets in the past couple of years with Novak Djokovic attempting various different diets, including vegan, and finding that a gluten free diet was key in him not having a drop in physical or mental levels during matches. The results have clearly had an amazing effect on him personally. Another example is how Andy Murray apparently cut out pasta from pre-match meals as he felt that whilst it provided him with the energy but made him burp and distracted him.

For myself I have a simple diet which I have tailored over time to work out what is best for myself and what I need in terms of recovery. Below is an example of a standard days diet:

Breakfast –

Bacon, eggs and wholemeal toast

Strong Black coffee

Lunch –

Pasta with chicken

Fruit

Dinner –

I tend to have something simple like a chilli with brown rice or couscous, or meat with vegetables and sweet potatoes.

When training I would have take Beta Performance along with BCAA 2.1.1 to aid muscle recovery and before and during training I also have PowerUp Energy Charge as I find that this gives me a little boost during training and helps me push on for that extra set or extra ball on court.

And finally after training I would have Super Max Protein to aid muscle recovery and make sure I’m ready for the next day of training.

 

 

 

Chicken & Pomegranate Salad

Super tasty, super quick, super food salad. Our chicken salad is great for those late night dinners where you want something healthy and substantial but don’t want to hover around the oven trying to quickly rustle something up.

 

Super tasty, super quick, super food salad. Our chicken salad is great for those late night dinners where you want something healthy and substantial but don’t want to hover around the oven trying to quickly rustle something up.

INGREDIENTS

For the marinade:

Juice from half a lemon

1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Pinch of salt and pepper to taste

For the salad:

6oz baby spinach

4 chicken breasts

Handful of pomegranate arils

½ red onion, thinly sliced

1 avocado, chopped

For the dressing:

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp raw honey

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

 

METHOD

1. Combine the marinade ingredients and coat the chicken. Leave it in the fridge for around two hours, but the longer the better.

2. Fry on a medium-high heat and grill the chicken, until cooked through.

3. Whilst the chicken is cooking, combine the spinach, pomegranate arils, red onion and avocado in a large bowl.

4. Once the chicken is cooked, transfer to a chopping board, slice and mix in with the salad.

5. In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, raw honey, extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper and drizzle over the salad

6. Finally, serve and enjoy!

golf / golfer

The Ryder Cup is upon us again and we get ready to watch the most elite golfers in the world join together over 3 days to form Europe V USA.

In the build up to the event we watch the best golfers battle it out for spots on the team, what we don’t see is how hard they work for this sport, and how behind the scenes they do a lot more than just go to the golf course and hit balls, and play in major tournaments for big bucks.

The biggest misconception is that to be a golfer you don’t need to be an athlete, that is by far the biggest mistake you can take into account when thinking about golf.

You trying to tell me this man is not an athlete? I reckon there is a lot of people that would argue with you over that.

Just because we don’t see it doesn’t mean they aren’t doing it, as a professional golfer myself I know what the life is like.

4/5 Gym sessions a week if not more, running 3 times a week, and core workouts every day, at times we do a lot more than footballers, and other sports athletes.

This is what sets players apart their ability to move faster, harder, create more power without the chance of getting injured.

Now the part no one ever talks about the diet of a professional golfer, how nutrition effects the golfer, and the body of a golfer.

You never see it on TV if you’re watching the golf, but professional golfers will be eating all the way around the golf course, they will be putting the right stuff in their body to keep them going. not many other sports require you to be mentally and physically fit for 5/6 hour periods of time, and yes they do most of the hard work in the gym to keep them going, but the food and nutrition they eat while on the course is the biggest part of getting them through the round.

I wish that the TV would show them eating food, because I see a lot of younger kids, playing golf eating snickers, mars, crunches all types of rubbish that will make them sluggish, but what they don’t know is golfers would never touch that stuff they will be eating.

When I was on the course I would always carry a protein shake such as Bio-Synergy’s Whey Better RTDs or a scoop of Whey Better in my Supershaker, nuts, and bananas. that way I had an edge on my competition, I wouldn’t stop for bacon rolls, or sausage rolls, because I knew the effects would make me sluggish and mentally drained.

I wish people knew the positives of how important NUTRITION is on the golf course as its half the battle out there.

Find out more on Joe here on his ambassador page.

coffee-beans-759024_960_720

Coffee a friend to us all a lot of the time, providing us with a much needed kick when our energy levels are low.

However this magical little bean also carries other benefits to our health.

1. Improves Memory Reducing Risk Of Alzheimers

A recent study shows, that people that drank 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 65% than those that didn’t

2.  Heart Health

If you are serious about health then taking care of the most important muscle in the body, The Heart is a must.

Simply drinking 1 to 2 cups a day can help reduce your risk of heart disease by 38%

3. Defense Against Diabetes

Drinking coffee can also have a significant affect on reducing your risk of diabetes.

Just make sure your aren’t overdoing it on the sugar.

4. Weight Loss

Looking to lose some weight? If yes coffee can be a fantastic thermogenic aid.

Some studies have been able to show a significant drop in weight when supplementing coffee into the diet.

5. Reducing Pain

We all get aches and pains even if we aren’t working out.

One study in office workers showed that those that took a coffee break recorded less pain and more energy than those that didn’t.

So next time some asks if you want to a coffee break, say YES.

Try our Whey Hey Coffee or our Caffeine Boost capsules

References

1. Eskelinen, M. and Kivipelto, M. (2010) ‘Caffeine as a protective factor in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease’, Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD., 20.

2. Tamakoshi, A., Mineharu, Y., Koizumi, A., Wada, Y., Iso, H., Watanabe, Y., Kondo, T., Yamamoto, A., Kikuchi, S., Inaba, Y., Toyoshima, H. and Date, C. (2011) ‘Coffee, green tea, black tea and oolong tea consumption and risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease in Japanese men and women’,Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 65(3), pp. 230–240. doi: 10.1136/jech.2009.097311.

3 van Dam, R.M., Willett, W.C., Manson, J.E. and Hu, F.B. (2006) ‘Coffee, caffeine, and risk of type 2 diabetes’, Cardiovascular and Metabolic Risk, 29(2), pp. 398–403. doi: 10.2337/diacare.29.02.06.dc05-1512.

4. Press, D., Vinson, J., States, U., Nagendran, M.V. and Burnham, B.R. (2012) ‘Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, linear dose, crossover s | DMSO’, Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity: Targets and Therapy, Volume 5, pp. 21–27. doi: 10.2147/DMSO.S27665.

5. Strøm, V., Røe, C. and Knardahl, S. (2012) ‘Coffee intake and development of pain during computer work’, BMC Research Notes, 5(1), p. 480. doi: 10.1186/1756-0500-5-480.

We all love a treat every now and again, but this commonly comes at a cost which is normally high calories and fat.

Well, NO MORE we say.

Try the below recipe which is high protein, low fat and doesn’t hold out on taste

1 (140g) Oats (turned into Oat Flour)
3 Tablespoons (15g) Baking Cocoa
1/2 Cup Sweetener (in dry mix)
3 Scoops of Activate or Whey Better Vanilla Protein
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
4 Large Egg Whites
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Red Food Colouring (optional)
1/2 Cup Water
1 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1/4 Cup Sweetener (in wet mix)
10 Drops Liquid Sweetener

Calories per cupcake (makes 14):

Calories: 75
Fat: 1g
Saturated Fat: 0g
Sodium: 59mg
Carbs: 9g
Fibre: 1.5g
Sugar: 1.5g
Protein: 7g

Turn your rolled oats into oat flour by blending/processing them. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl and wet in another. Slowly combine wet ingredients into dry. Spray non-stick cooking spray onto muffin cups. Fill cups 3/4 of the way full with mixed ingredients. Bake on 180 until cupcakes have risen and are soft to touch.

Try to only eat one 🙂

Shop Bio-Synergy sports supplements

fishing-1081734_960_720

If you are looking to build muscle lean protein sources are a must.

We all here people talking about chicken this turkey that but let’s leave the birds alone for a second and take a look at some top picks from the sea.

1. Tuna

Whether this is in a can or a fresh steak this fish provides a huge amount of protein, with over 25g per serving.

This is also very versatile so can be added to a variety of dishes.

dish-601579_960_720

 

2. Octopus

A great source of lean white meat. Octopus has become a lot more popular with fitness enthusiasts.

Great when smoked or added to a healthy soup.

octopus

3.Cod

We would recommend minus the batter or chips, but this is another versatile fish that is packed full of protein

For a fresh take on this add to a tomato salad  with some pesto

cod

 

run-1290022_960_720

Don’t spend hours trying to get abs simply work harder in the time you have.

Even 10 minutes is enough to get a good workout in to help reveal your abdominal muscles.

This circuit is great for getting your heart rate up and fat melting.

Perform each exercise for 1 minute

1. Jumping Jacks

2. Crunches On Exercise Ball

3. High Knees

4. 30 seconds crunches to the right, 30 second to the left

5. Plank Jacks

6. Plank

7. Jump Rope

8. Leg Lift Crunches

9. Skaters

10. Bicycle Crunches

Always refuel after a workout with the help of Bio-Synergy’s award winning supplements.

chick_cashews_broccoli21296

Chicken & Cashews with Broccoli

A lighter, healthier version of the Chinese takeaway treat.

{serves 4}

Ingredients

2 tbsp peanut oil

1 tsp sesame oil

500g chicken breast fillets, sliced thinly

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 small leek, sliced thinly

1 red onion, sliced thinly

1 medium carrot, sliced thinly

250g broccoli, chopped coarsely

1 tsp cornflour

125ml chicken stock


2 tbsp teriyaki sauce

garnish

75g unsalted roasted cashews

fresh coriander

toasted sesame seeds

250g black gluten-free noodles

Preparation time – 30 mins, cooking time – 30 mins

Season the thinly sliced chicken pieces with salt & pepper.

Heat half of the peanut oil, with the sesame oil in a wok or a large frying pan. Stir fry the chicken in batches, depending on the size of your pan, until browned, for around 2-3 minutes, with a splash of teriyaki sauce. Now set aside.

Heat the remaining peanut oil in the wok, stir fry the red onion, garlic, leek, carrot and broccoli until leek is soft. Add the carrot and broccoli and cook for 5 minutes.

Pour boiling water into your measuring jug with half a chicken stock cube, then mix in your corn flour.

Return the chicken to the wok with the chicken stock and teriyaki sauce. Stir and check for taste, seasoning if necessary.

Stir fry for about 8 minutes, then sprinkle with the roasted cashew nuts, toasted sesame seeds and fresh coriander.

Serve with your choice of brown rice or gluten-free noodles.

LISA’S TIP

Check that you have all the ingredients you need ahead of time. Make sure all the food is cut according to directions before you start. Never try to prepare food while stir-frying and be sure to cut all the ingredients the same size. Pre-heat the wok on medium-high to high heat for at least a minute before adding oil.

For more of Lisa’s delicious recipes check out My Relationship With Food.

 

12662490_758165040981676_768416234970769223_n

So what does it take to balance training with other daily tasks. We caught up with GB athlete Ryan Raghoo to see what goes down

What does a typical day look like?

As elite athletes training is a big part of your life… obviously

But you’d be surprised to know everything is planned around training, from your work to your diet – even your rest. I train around 40hrs a week which is the equivalent of doing a full time job or your 9 -5, add in to the mix balancing a degree plus working and there’s very little time for much else.

In athletics we have different training programs for different seasons, currently I’m starting my winter block of training so a big part of this will be conditioning. Winter is the hardest time of the year as your training is more regular and intense; add in the weather conditions of the wet, cold and rain and everything seems to take so much more out of you.

For me winter training is harder as the cold affects me more; exacerbating the symptoms of my Cerebral Palsy – my muscles are tighter which means it’s easier to get injured and it takes a lot longer to warm up (sometimes my body doesn’t warm up because it’s too cold).

6am – my first training session, I use the mornings to stretch; having CP I’m already tight so by stretching in the morning it means that when I come to train in the evening I’m much more flexible which means I can get more out of my body with an increased range of movement. My stretching programme takes around 45 minutes, after this I foam roll. NOT NICE! I have a combination of torture devices to get the knots out of my muscles including cricket and gold balls for those hard to get areas, although I hate it I know it’s good for me so I persist with it. Sometimes the morning session can include a bodyweight circuit or an abs circuit too, usually my morning session takes around 2 hours.

After a quick shower, a big breakfast and my Bio-Synergy Coconut protein I’m ready for work or university.My next session is around 6pm after I’ve finished my day’s work – by this point I am tired! I’ve already been awake for 12 hours and now I have a 3/4hr training session ahead of me.

whey_hey_copy

I don’t know why but it doesn’t matter how tired I am when it comes to training time I find a new energy. I genuinely love what I do and when it comes to training time I’m ready! (the coaches often have to tell me to go home as I’m there long after the session is done working on various weaknesses)

What gets me up in the morning?

A lot of people are mortified when they find out the routine I keep, often asking when do I rest or go out, the most popular question is how do I do it? How do I stay motivated?

Many of my friends have been asking how I feel about not being selected for Rio and whether or not I’ll carry on or not, in fact the coaches did ask me earlier in the year if I wanted to call it a day.

I’m hungrier now than ever! It’s said and done; there’s nothing I can do about it apart from continue to work hard. One thing that’s never been in question is my work ethic – now I’m over the disappointment my focus is back and I’m looking forward to the World Championships in London next year and then the big one in Tokyo 2020.

tokyo_2020_olympics_logo-svg

Every day when I wake up I wiggle my toes, silly I know but there was a time I couldn’t do this. Every day I can move I’m going to get up and do something; this is not just about me anymore. There are so many people worldwide that follow my story, so many people with disabilities who have seen what I do and believe they can too. This is about showing the world the true meaning of Enabled Not Disabled; irrespective of your level of ability you can achieve whatever you want to, as long as your willing to put the work in and you have the right support. I’m best to have the team at Bio-synergy behind me supplying me with world class supplement, now it’s my job to do the hard work.

I was told I would never walk, this year I qualified for Rio 2016, I wonder what next year holds?

Find out more about Ryan here on his ambassador page.

 

Protein

If your goal is to achieve a toned physique and feel stronger then you are probably incorporating strength training into your weekly exercise regime whether that be deadlifts and squats or kettlebells. In addition to helping you get toned and stronger, resistance training improves bone density which in turn reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

If you find that you are not achieving your goals, it could be a lack of protein in your diet which is holding you back, as your body needs this to recover and repair, in fact, if you are training regularly your protein requirement can double! A simple, tasty and cost effective way to redress this in-balance is with a delicious Bio-Synergy protein shake and we have a range to choose from including Skinny Protein, Whey Better, Whey Hey. Oatein and Activate.

For best results and subject to your diet, protein should be taken throughout the day, but if you can only remember to have one serving, make sure it is after you exercise. As Bio-Synergy protein is delicious simply add 1 scoop to 250ml water and shake.

skinny-protein-strawberry-web

Water

Hydration is the key to wellbeing and more often than not, we leave it until we are thirsty before grabbing a drink. If working out a lack of hydration can lead to fatigue and significantly affect your performance. Instead of grabbing a sugar-laden energy drink, opt for Skinny Water available in delicious flavours and fortified with vitamins, minerals and amino acids that we will leave you feeling energised and reduce your sugar cravings too. Each bottle is sugar-free and zero calories so will not set you back.

skinny-water-orange

Creatine

If you are struggling to squeeze your workout into the time that you have available, then Creatine Plus could be the perfect supplement for you. Contrary to what you may have heard, creatine is a 100% natural supplement and you have up to 100g in your body naturally as it plays a significant role in providing energy. Supplementing with Creatine Plus, will allow you to get the most from every workout by allowing you train harder and longer and reduce your recovery time, so you can either take your intensity to the next level or just finish quicker, the choice is yours.

For best results take 4 capsules per day.

creatine-plus-phase-strength

Body Perfect

If you want to rev up your metabolism and energise your workout, Body Perfect is the ideal supplement, it combines natural ingredients that have been proven to work. For best results take 2 capsules before a workout and if a non-training day before your main meal.

4twmf-body-perfect-180

Multivitamin

If your goal is to feel great and be beautiful inside and out, a good quality multivitamin, particularly as we head into winter is a great daily supplement to ensure your wellbeing.

With more and more of us eating on the go we miss out on many key vitamins such as iron and vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) which not only affects your wellbeing and mood but your fitness too.

So to beat the winter blues and feel great with our selection of award winning vitamins, whether you choose our Super 7 Super Armour which contains essential vitamins, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12, as well as Vitamin D and E, or Bio-Synergy Collagen Vitamin with 700mg of the purest marine collagen for radiant skin, hair and nails or Active Woman multivitamin with the addition of amino acids you can be assured of the results.

34c7c-collagen

 

man-641691_960_720

Time to break your gym plateaus and build some strength with 5×5 training. This style of training was specifically designed to help you build strength. Each exercise is consists of 5 reps and 5 sets hence 5×5

The workout consists of heavy compounds hitting the major muscle groups. Split into 3 x a week this gives the body enough time to recover so you can come back stronger and leaner.

The below workout is an example of 5×5.

1.Barbell Squat

2.Barbell Bench Press

3.Bent Over Barbell Row

4.Weighted Sit Up

5.Lying Triceps Extensions

Remember to give yourself a day to recover before the next workout to optimise recovery.

Make sure you are also taking on an adequate amount of protein. Shop the Bio-Synergy range here.

beef_teriyaki20777

Beef & Asparagus is a classic, rich Chinese dish that is surprisingly easy to re-create at home. Tender strips of beef, crunchy asparagus and a flavourful sauce; it all comes together in minutes

{serves 4}

Ingredients

460g rib eye steaks (approx. 2 steaks), sliced into ½ inch strips

250g Asparagus, trimmed, peeled all the way down the stalk and cut into 3 pieces diagonally

125g shiitake mushrooms, sliced

2 enchlion shallots, finely sliced

2 tbsp. rapeseed or groundnut oil

1 beef stock cube (Knorr), dissolve in 200ml boiling water

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tbsp. tamari soy sauce (gluten-free)

3 tbsp. honey

Marinade

2 tsp. sesame oil

2 tbsp. corn flour

2 tbsp. tamari soy sauce (gluten-free)

2 tbsp. mirin

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Garnish

brown rice, to serve

1 handful sesame seeds, toasted

Coriander

Preparation time -40 mins, cooking time – 15-20 mins

How to make me

In a medium bowl, mix together sesame oil, corn flour, tamari sauce, mirin and garlic until smooth. Add the sliced beef, and mix well. Marinate for 20 minutes.

Cook the brown rice as directed on the packaging if using.

Dry roast the sesame seeds in a frying pan, then transfer to a plate to cool.

Dissolve the beef stock cube in the 200ml boiling water.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan or wok over high heat. Add the beef and stir-fry until lightly browned and tender, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate.

Add the rapeseed oil to the frying pan or wok then add the shallots and cook until translucent over a medium heat. Add the shiitake mushrooms and garlic together with 100ml of the stock continue to cook for 2 minutes stirring continuously over a medium heat. Then add the asparagus with the remaining 100ml stock and cook for 5 minutes, until tender.

In a mixing bowl mix the honey together with the tamari soy sauce and then pour over the asparagus and bring to a boil over a high heat for 2 minutes. Return the beef to the frying pan or wok and toss to mix the ingredients thoroughly and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Check for taste and serve with brown rice.

Garish with toasted sesame seeds and coriander.

Enjoy x

LISA’S TIPYou can serve this stir-fry with gluten-free noodles. They are available in most good health shops and supermarkets. They are very quick to prepare and are a great alternative to rice if you prefer. You can also serve this stir-fry with cauliflower egg fried rice. I have also made this dish with variety of cuts of Beef if you prefer such as Sirloin and Rump, just as delicious!

Check out more of Lisa’s amazing recipes over at My Relationship With Food.

 

couple-1210023_960_720

You’ve probably heard the saying.. “Couples that train together.. Stay together!”

Well here at LWFITT  we believe that there are lots of health benefits to be had from training together.

We live in a world that’s so fast paced and frenetic that we don’t often find time to “organically” connect with our loved ones.. But it is very important that we do try to.

Wellness is the ultimate gift you can give yourself and your loved ones and it’s great to share that gift by bonding and working out together.

Working out with your partner can translate not only into muscle and fitness gains, but into relationship gains too!!!

Here’s my top tips on why training together is the ultimate couple wellness..

1.Strengthens communication skills, which in turn builds trust.

2.Strengthens your emotional connection therefore you become closer and work better as a team to motivate each other in other areas of your relationship.

3.Develop your dependability so that you are less likely to skip a workout and more likely to stick to your fitness regime.

4.Build a closer bond as you spend more quality time together getting fitter and having fun together.

5.Enhance your sex life, as a happy healthy attitude connects mind and body.

All while getting in the best shape of you life!!!

See more about Lisa here on her ambassador page.

muffins-blog

We have teamed up with Fit Cooking to bring you these great tasting, high protein banana muffins. Easy and quick to make these can be enjoyed in the morning or afternoon.

Ingredients

  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yoghurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 scoops Bio Synergy Skinny Vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 30g coconut flour

How to make me

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees. Mash the bananas in a large bowl until almost a liquid consistency, add the eggs and whisk well
  2. Fold in the yoghurt and the vanilla paste
  3. In a separate bowl combine the protein powder, coconut flour and baking powder. Fold in the dry flour mix into the banana mixture until it has a doughy batter consistency if the batter seems too liquid add another tablespoon of coconut flour
  4. Line up 15 muffin cases and add about a tablespoon of cake mix in each and top with a thin slice of banana
  5. Bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes. You can tell that the bread is done when an inserted skewer comes out clean

rsz_pexels-photo

Below is a workout that will work your entire body and takes 30 minutes to complete. This workout is great as you can do it anywhere with no equipment.

Repeat each exercise 3 times performing each movement to the time stated below.

  • 1 minute Squats
  • 30 seconds Mountain Climbers
  • 1 minute Push Ups
  • 30 seconds Squat Jumps
  • 1 minute Bicycle Crunch
  • 30 seconds Burpees
  • 30 seconds 1 legged deadlift (alternate legs)
  • 30 seconds Ice Skaters
  • 1 minute Tricep Dips (use chair or park bench)
  • 1 minute Toe Touches
  • 30 seconds Lunge Jumps (alternate legs)

Don’t forget to refuel post workout with Bio-Synergy’s Skinny Protein.

 

rsz_grain_free_blueberry_pancakes_version_1_high_res

A large dollop of Cashew Butter to top these pancakes off and I am sorted! Great post workout or for a healthy breakfast

{makes 9 pancakes}

Ingredients

4 large eggs, beaten

3 tbsp. organic coconut flour

1 large banana, mashed

200g blueberries

1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or 1 vanilla pod, deseeded

1 tsp. baking powder

oil spray

salt, pinch

Garnish

50g blueberries

agave nectar, honey or maple syrup

cashew butter (optional)

Preparation time – 20 mins, cooking time – 20 mins

Put all the ingredients except for the blueberries into a bowl and blend together with a hand stick blender. Once blended add the blueberries to the pancake mixture and stir in by hand.

Spray your pancake or non-stick frying pan with the oil and heat over a medium heat.

Once the oil is hot, take ¾  ladle of the pancake mixture and pour into the pancake pan.

Cook until golden brown on the underside (approx. 1 minute), then flip over and cook until golden brown on the other side (about 30 seconds).

Once you’ve cooked all 9 pancakes, stack them back on top of each other in a set of 3 to warm through in the hot pan and flip over to warm the other side.

Serve warm with a drizzle of cashew butter, blueberries and syrup.

Yum…

LISA’S TIP

After you have poured in the pancake mixture, shake the pan gently to ensure the mixture is evenly spread. It’s hard to believe that you don’t need flour, milk or refined sugar to create a lovely, light and kid-approved pancake. Although delightful, don’t be expecting your run-of-the-mill carb-filled pancake. These have more of an eggy crepe-like texture, which is equally appealing. 
If you’re used to eating clean healthy foods, you will more than likely LOVE these. Low-calorie, high-protein, gluten-free and wheat-free…. what’s not to love? Not only do they make a quick and easy breakfast, but they’re also the perfect pre or post-workout fuel, you can even add your favourite protein powder.

For more delicious recipes like this check out My Relationship With Food.

 

17679152365_18b891a022_b

Getting your fuelling right or wrong for a run can mean the difference between achieving a new personal best or hitting ‘the wall’ and not making the finish line as you’d hoped or even reaching it at all. Genetically we all operate in our own unique ways so there’s no hard set rule that works best for every runner but there are a few guidelines that can certainly help your progress.

Plan your meals well ahead of a run so you’re best prepared.

Let’s start with smaller runs. For runs of up to up to 45-60 minutes your body should have more than enough stored energy to see you through without wilting but it’s still ideal to have right stuff inside and important to be hydrated ahead of time.

So what foods are ideal to charge you up before a run?

  • Starchy carbs such as potatoes, rice and oats are a great natural source of energy than will sit well as slow release energy.
  • ‘Pasta / pizza parties’ often happen the night before races with runners loading up for the big event. Personally I’m not so keen on pasta as it can take longer to digest than rice and potatoes so may make you feel a bit heavy during the run but don’t rule it out as it works for many and I’m a big pizza fan myself.
  • Carb-loading couldn’t be easier than glugging down a high-carb drink like Bio-Synergy’s ‘PURE ENERGY’. This is quickly absorbed, easily digested and gives you the extra energy to have a great run and it also has those all-important electrolytes your body will need when you sweat out those body salts.
  • Try to avoid spicy foods leading up to a run as all that bouncing around will cause a lot of sloshing around and the last thing you need when a few miles out is a belly ache and a sudden need for an ‘emergency stop’. So clean foods are best.
  • Beetroot is recognised as a great natural supplement for improving endurance over longer periods and Bio-Synergy’s ‘POWERBEET capsules provide an easy way to add this to your intake and feel the difference t makes.

Good old H2O

If your run is due to be an early one then drink plenty of water the days before and have a glass of the wet stuff by your bed so you can sip it before you sleep and again upon waking. We lose a lot of water whilst we sleep, with every breath a little more moisture leaves our bodies so that dry cloth tongue and morning breath can be helped with a quick glug of water first thing. Again adding some soluble carbs to your water is a great way of sneaking some extra carbs in without needing to squeeze in an extra meal.

Longer runs

On a longer run as well as gels I’ll often have a bag of skittles for little top-ups, these pretty much give the same benefits as the more expensive ‘sports sweeties’ but for a fraction of the cost.

As a rough guide for fuel on the road if you can account for needing 1 gram of carbs per 1 kilo of body weight per hour of running. That’s should help avoid hitting your wall. So I weigh around 75kg therefore 75g of carb energy per hour is a rough amount that should see me to any finish line. That and of course keeping hydrated!

Find out more about the author of this article on our ambassador page here.

 

Raw_Choc_Brownies21548

Made with whole food ingredients, these divine brownies are truly indulgent.

Ingredients

250g rolled jumbo oats (gluten-free if required), blended

500g pitted Medjool soft dates

25g raw cacao powder
 or cacao powder

1⁄2 tsp pure vanilla bean extract

1⁄4 tsp sea salt, crushed

100g dark chocolate chips (or you can use milk chocolate chips if no dairy allergies)

chocolate coating

160g coconut oil (odorless), melted

120g agave nectar or maple syrup

80g raw cacao powder
 or cacao powder

sea salt


1 tsp pure vanilla bean extract

Preparation time 30 mins, freeze time – 30 mins (plus refrigeration)

How to make

Line a 23cm square pan with parchment paper.

In a food processor, process the oats into a fine sandy consistency with slight rough texture.

Add the pitted dates and process until finely chopped and smooth.

Add the cacao powder, vanilla, and sea salt and process until thoroughly combined, keep scraping down the sides, and breaking up the mixture.

When the mixture has formed into a log or ball shape, remove from the food processor and place in your pre-lined tin. I wear disposable gloves at this point to evenly press the mixture into the prepared square pan until smooth, or you can use the back of a large spoon.

Then scatter over the chocolate chips and then press into the mixture.

Place in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

For the chocolate topping: pour the sunflower/coconut oil into a mixing bowl and add the following ingredients: cacao powder, syrup, salt, and vanilla and whisk until combined and smooth.

Remove the brownies from the freezer and pour on the chocolate topping and spread out evenly.

Carefully transfer the pan to the freezer on a flat even surface and chill for 20 or more minutes or until the topping is firm enough to slice.

Run hot water over a knife for a minute or so, wipe quickly with a towel, and carefully slide the knife into the brownies to slice (warming up the knife helps it slice more evenly without much cracking). Store leftovers in the fridge for a chocolate treat anytime! Invite friends round to share!

LISA’S TIP

You have to keep these brownies either in the freezer or fridge to prevent the topping from melting, however remove from the fridge or freezer 30 minutes before serving. My advice would be, once made, cut into squares and keep on a flat platter covered with cling film in the fridge.

Find out more of Lisa’s amazing recipes over at My Relationship With Food.

 

nikki lloyd

Hockey has been in the spotlight recently – especially after Great Britain’s women’s hockey team won a historic gold medal at the Olympic Games after a nail-biting final.

Hockey is such a high paced sport and the players who compete are some of the fittest in the world. In hockey there are rolling substitutions, enabling players to work in rotations. The average time spent on the pitch before a substitution break would be between 5-8 minutes. When on the pitch, players are required to work above 90% of their maximum heart rate. This is a huge ask and is only possible through intense training and strong nutrition.

Below is an example of how I would fuel myself pre and post match.

Pre-match – 2 hours before match

3 Bio-Synergy BCAA 2.1.1 capsules with water

Full-fat Greek yoghurt with 6 almonds and a handful raisins or 1 apple with 5 teaspoons or peanut butter

The BCAA capsules help me maintain/repair muscle mass without a using a protein shake or heavy meal. My yoghurt, raisins or apple and peanut butter provide me with a good balance of protein, fats and carbohydrates.

Pre-match – 1 hour

Strong coffee or Super Charge – pre workout formula (Blackcurrant Flavour)

I have found that consuming caffeine before a match aids my concentration and reaction speed.

During match – orange squash with sea salt added, jelly babies

By adding sea salt to squash it helps maintain hydration. I eat approximately 7-10 jelly babies during an international match as the simple sugars give me instant energy.

Post match – within 20 minutes

Whey Better protein banoffee flavour with 200 ml of full-fat milk

It takes delicious and immediately helps my body rebuild and recover

Post match meal – approximately 40 minutes to 1 hour after match

Chicken breast, vegetables (broccoli, sweet potato, ratatouille) and sour cream

After a match, I enjoy a simple balanced meal. This meal gives me a good balance of protein from the chicken, carbohydrates from the vegetables and essential fats (without high amounts of sugar) from the sour cream.

To find out more about Nikki check out her ambassador page here.

 

pexels-photo

Let me guess – you are at the gym every day, trying to get bigger and stronger. Maybe you even spend every free moment of your life obsessing about adding muscle. You read all the magazines, follow every piece of advice you can find online and buy all the best supplements, but you still don’t see any results. If you think you have worked hard and are eating right, but are still too weak, skinny or fat, maybe it is time to change your approach completely.

1. Fasted Cardio is not a Ticket to Fat Loss

On the surface it seems to make sense – you do your aerobics first thing in the morning, and since you haven’t had your breakfast, your glycogen levels are low and your body has to burn fatty acids for fuel. Scientists suggest that fasted cardio burns a spectacular 30% more fatty acids than non-fasted does. Now, if 30 minutes of regular cardio burns around 300 calories, and you do it three times a week, after six months you will burn more than 23,000 calories, which translates to roughly 6.6 pounds of fat. Burning 30% more calories will help you burn an additional 0.07 pounds per week, which adds up to another 2 pounds lost during the same period. However, fasted cardio also elevates cortisol levels, and burns muscle, so it is counterproductive, to say the least.

2. Too Many Recovery Days

Rest and sleep are essential for your training, but many people take the concept of recovery to the extreme. Unless you ran a marathon, you don’t need to speed a week recovering. Recently, researchers from the McMaster University conducted a study to determine how long it takes for your muscles to fully recover. According to the findings, the recovery process peaks about 24 hours after training, when muscle protein synthetic rates are up by a staggering 109%. Furthermore, instead of spending those 24 hours sitting on the couch watching TV, try active recovery techniques, like kettlebell swings, Prowler pushes, or even riding a bicycle up some hills.

3. Your Ideas about Training and Nutrition are Obsolete

You probably still think that you should consume a protein-rich meal about an hour before your workout and then eat again about an hour after you train. That pre-training meal is meant to raise your insulin levels, which allows nutrients to piggyback onto the hormone, and get sent off to your muscle cells. Even though this sounds good in theory, your insulin levels, unfortunately, go back to normal by the time you hit the gym, allowing glucagon to start robbing your muscles of amino acids so it converts them to glucose that your muscles need for fuel.

4. You Have Too Many Meals

While we are on the subject of obsolete ideas, let’s talk a little about number of meals. For as long as you can remember, everyone has been telling you to have a meal every 2-3 hours. The premise is to keep your sugar levels steady by not allowing yourself to get hungry. The trouble is, of course, that nothing suggests that this practice works. On the contrary, there is plenty of evidence that suggests it doesn’t. In a healthy body, glucose is taken up by the bloodstream and moved into cells where it is burned as fuel. This process is facilitated by insulin that is produced by your pancreas after a meal. However, if your cells aren’t able to utilize the glucose properly, it can build up in the blood, which can lead to insulin resistance, and subsequently to type II diabetes.

5. Ignore Squats and Deadlifts

Most of the biggest natural bodybuilders in the world put squats and deadlift in their top three exercises for a good reason – there are no two better lifts for gaining strength and building muscle, period. If you continue to focus on lightweight leg presses, your legs will remain weak and frail; if you add these primal strength exercises to the mix, your legs (and the rest of your body for that matter) are forced to respond and grow. To put it simply – skipping legs is not an option, no matter how exhausted you feel during an intense workout session. Luckily, adding muscle to the lower body is drastically easier than the upper body, because your legs are the largest muscle group in your body and once you master the deadlift and start squatting, you will start building leg muscles.

6. Stop Pushing Yourself to the Limit

Progression, or the adding of weight over time, is the fuel that drives muscle building, and if you start lifting too much too fast, you will only wear your body out. According to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, people who push their bodies too hard are basically undoing the benefits of exercise. German researchers discovered that people who ran at a fast pace for more than four hours per week during the 12-year study, had about the same risk of dying as people who barely exercise at all. Surprisingly, the people who ran less than two-and-a-half hours per week achieved better cardio, gained more strength and had the lowest risk of dying during the study period.

Check out Sam’s blog here.

rsz_matcha_smoothie_breakfast_bowl_version_2_high_res

A quick, healthy breakfast, supercharged to energise you with the natural benefits from green tea

Ingredients

{serves 2}

2 bananas large, frozen (sliced 1inch pieces)

2 tsp. matcha powder

2 tsp. agave nectar (optional)

1 avocado, ripe

2 handfuls spinach

toppings

2 tsp. chai seeds

2 tsp. hemp

banana chips

coconut chips, toasted

blueberries

Preparation time – 5 mins. freezing time – 6-8 hours

Cut the bananas into 1 inch slices and place in a freezer bag, and freeze for 6-8 hours.

Blend together avocado and spinach, then place the sliced frozen bananas in your blender with the matcha powder and blend it together until you have a smooth thick texture. Add the agave nectar if you would like it sweet and blend it again. Pour into 2 bowls and top with your favourite toppings, be adventurous!

LISA’S TIP

Matcha is an alternative way of getting your caffeine boost in a healthier way. Matcha powdered green tea is full of antioxidants, it has over 100 times more than regular brewed green tea. Be adventurous with your toppings. Adding a handful of spinach gives that extra boost and you can add a tsp. of almond butter for extra protein. If you are not a fan of avocado, add 100ml of almond milk and choose another fruit of your choice. As it contains caffeine, I’d advise not serving it to children!

For more of Lisa’s amazing recipes head over to My Relationship With Food

 

curtis tips

Get a coach – I cant stress how important having a good coach is. After doing 3 shows without one and trying to manage my diet and training alone and now having a coach for my next show I know how beneficial it is having someone to give solutions when needed.

Research/learn and ask others – anyone can join a gym and begin lifting weights without knowing what they are doing but if you get some advice or take some time to learn what you want to do you will probably find you will achieve goals quicker or prevent injuries from exercising incorrectly.

DIET! – its no good putting all the work in in the gym if you are just going to grab a takeaway on the way home and wash it all done with a can of coke. Learning to prepare proper meals is something I’ve been challenging myself to do more and have found it to be more rewarding eating something I’ve cooked entirely myself from scratch and know exactly what I’m going to be putting into my body.

To learn more about Curtis check out his ambassador page here.

 

Lemon_Rosemary_Chicken21147 1

Easy to prepare and bursting with citrus flavour. Serve with Pan-Fried Jersey Royal Potatoes.

Ingredients (serves)

4 chicken breast (supreme on the bone with skin)

2 whole garlic bulbs

1 lemon, large

2 tbsp olive oil

sea salt and cracked black pepper

garlic granules

2 stalks of rosemary

Preparation time – 30 mins, cooking time – 40 mins (If you have time you can marinate for 2 hours or overnight)

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F, gas mark 4, 180°C (160°C fan-assisted).

Place the chicken breast in a hot frying pan with a little olive oil to seal the chicken, 2 minutes each side until the skin is crisp and golden, then place in your roasting dish.

Cut both garlic bulbs in half, then rub all over the chicken breast and place in the middle of the roasting dish.

Season with salt, black pepper and garlic granules on either side.

Slice your lemon into 6 slices, and place over the chicken and squeeze each of the leftover ends over the chicken.

Scatter 2 stalks of rosemary around the baking dish. Don’t worry about the rosemary sticking to the chicken, it tastes great when it’s cooked.

Pour a generous amount of olive oil – around 2 tablespoons – over the chicken.

Place in the oven for 40 minutes, turning over after the first 20 minutes, start with the skin side down.

Cut your chicken breast in half on the diagonal when serving.

LISA’S TIP

These chicken breast are full of flavour and simple, yet fancy enough for your next summer garden party. Grilled chicken breast is one
 of my favourites. It is lean, tender and juicy. I love how the lemon slices caramelizes during the cooking and becomes sweeter. .

Find out more about Lisa and her amazingly healthy recipes here

legsWhen we think about training legs we normally think, pain, nausea, hobbling and legs feeling like jelly.

Skipping legs isn’t an option no matter the battle during an intense workout.

Having good roots help with the symmetry of your physique and going half-heartedly can result in an imbalance over a big upper body and small legs that resemble sticks.

So with that in mind lets crack on and hit legs.

Each set will vary between 4 to 6 reps to help build mass and strength with 2 exercises having drop sets to really help you feel that burn and get a great leg pump.

Barbell Squat. 4 sets, 4-6 reps.

Dumbbell Lunges. 4 sets, 12 reps each leg.

Leg Press. 3 sets, 12-15 reps. (Drop Set)

Lying Leg Curls. 3 sets, 12 reps.

Leg Extensions. 3 sets, 20 reps.

Standing Calf Raises. 4 sets, 12 reps. (Drop Set)

After finishing this workout don’t forget to recover with some good post workout nutrition such as our Whey Hey Protein or our award winning Whey Better.

oarsmanship-828651_960_720

Over the last 19 years, Bio-Synergy has worked with many of the world’s leading coaches, sport scientists and athletes, from a range of disciplines including Double Olympic Gold medallist James Cracknell.

So it is with almost un-paralleled experience that we can share 3 keys to achieving your fitness goals.

1. Hard work. It is no surprise that winning and success are achieved by those that put in the extra hours at the gym, track, pool or on the field and those who do, increase the chances of success significantly. If you want to get more out of every session by maximising every rep, then Creatine Plus, which is proven to increase explosive power, strength and reduce muscle fatigue is a must.

2.Eat to win. There is a widely accepted belief that winning starts in the kitchen and that you cannot out-train a poor diet. It is for this reason that elite athletes and teams rely on nutritionally balanced high-quality meals to meet the requirements of their vigorous training schedules to ensure that the are fuelling their bodies correctly. If you neglect your diet, you are setting up yourself to fail, and top athletes will use a high-quality protein such as Whey Better and vitamin to ensure that they are 100%

3.Recovery. So you’ve put in the hours, followed a healthy eating plan, now it’s time for the hard part rest! Top athletes know that recovery is important to success, but can find this hard as they tend to have a strong work ethic, so a rest day has to be forced, the same goes for amateur athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

So that’s it.. easy? Not really, you will still need to have the right attitude, focus, discipline and the control to #MakeItHappen.

 

dan powell

So about my story… I’ve been sprinting now for three years off the back of a successful Judo career. As a judo athlete I won lots of national titles and a World Cup in America and Germany. My judo career came to an end when I felt I needed to move home back to Liverpool to be around my friends and family again after sacrificing many years of my life to full time training down in Kent.

dan p

I moved home and soon realised I needed a outlet for my competitive nature, the only thing around was my local running club, Liverpool harriers. I started running and soon got scouted by the Paralympic British squad for my first year of performances. Over the past three years I have lost my sight quite drastically. I now have to run along side a guide runner and have taken out a fair few fellow runners in my path, I’d like to think that wasn’t much my fault but theirs…

dan training

I’m now hitting the same speeds from when I could se and currently hold British titles in the one, two and four hundred classes.

Body Perfect CLA 500 - 90 capsules

Fat burning and lean muscle are now more accessible than ever with Bio-Synergy’s non-stimulant fat burner.

If getting a six pack is your goal then CLA could be the product for you. Combined with a good training regime and sensible diet CLA has been shown to burn fat.

Is an omega 6 fatty acid, and represents a whole new dimension in sports supplementation. Not only is it essential for health and muscle growth, but in numerous studies it has been shown to enhance them.

CLA naturally occurs in food and is derived from sunflower oil. CLA, similar to other omega 6 fatty acids, performs a number of important metabolic functions in the body: it assists muscle maintenance and burns body fat. Recent studies have also indicated that CLA acts as a powerful anti oxidant and has anticarciogenic properties.

A study by Richard Kreider investigating the effects of CLA on body composition and strength it was determined that CLA had a marked benefit in increasing strength and a further study by Erling Thom PhD revealed that subjects reduced their bodyfat between 15-20%. CLA is available from Bio-Synergy.

References

1.Kreider RB, Ferreira MP,Greenwood M, Wilson M, Almada AL. Effects of conjugated linoleic acid supplementation during resistance-training on body composition. Bone density, strength, and selected hematological markers. J Strength Cond Res 2002;3:325-34.

2.Thom E,Wadstein J, Gudmundson O. Conjugated linoleic acid reduces body fat in healthy exercising humans. J Int Med Res 2001;29:392-6.

lulu

Getting started with a new sport can be difficult but can also be very exciting helping you to increase your social group and find a passion in a new sporting discipline.

Bio-Synergy ambassador Louise Sinnah Burr found this through taking up powerlifting and has never looked back.

Louise has provided 3 top tips to help you take up her chosen sport.

1. Find a Powerlifting club where you feel comfortable and leave your ego at the door, that is, be open to learning! Learning to lift technically well from the onset – and probably with lighter weights that you would like! – will pay dividends in the long run but will require patience at the beginning. Often experienced lifters are happy to help new comers so take advantage. 

2.Competing is not for everyone but having a structured plan at least should enable you to experience the satisfaction of progress. Also, being part of a sport/club gives you a great sense of community, new friendships and networks, and the accountability that keeps you going when times get tough. 

3.The sooner you start the better! You wont regret diving straight in.

dish-601579_960_720

Keep you diet on track with this delicious recipe for grilled tuna steak. A great way to get you taste buds buzzing.

 

Ingredients

  • 1 thick tuna steak

  • 1/2 lemon, zested

  • Rosemary

  • Parsley

  • 1 sping onion

  • Diced red peppers

  • 1 garlic glove, crushed

  • Coarse salt and black pepper or grill seasoning

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for cooking

 

How to make me

Chop the rosemary and parsley placing into a bowl with the lemon zest. Pile garlic and some coarse salt and black pepper on top adding the chopped spring onion and red peppers. Brush both sides of the tuna steak with the extra virgin olive oil.

Grill tuna steaks 6 minutes on each side depending on how well you like it cooked. Take of the grill and place the herb mixture on top and serve.

curtis

After always being the skinny kid growing up and in school I used the starting of my new job as a roller-coaster engineer as my initial reason to start gaining weight and trying to be stronger as I knew being stronger would help me at work.

curtis car

By the time I started my job I was already in the gym at least 3 times a week at first not knowing what I was doing but still feeling the benefits that come with trying to be healthier and fitter. It took a lot of research and I learnt a lot from friends I’ve made while training but I started to make some good progress and in 2015 after around 5 years of training I decided to enter my first competition which was pure elite and came away with a completely unexpected result placing 4th in fitness under 75kg and 3rd in tattooed muscle.

curtis chill

Doing pure elite was a huge eye opener to what I could achieve with the right focus. From there I entered Miami pro and competed in the pure elite worlds where I didn’t place in both of those competitions but used them as a learning experience. I am now currently preparing for pure elite entering fitness under 75kg and tattooed muscle again but this time with the aid of a coach.

Curtis is sponsored by Bio-Synergy. Shop the range now and join Curtis and #MakeItHappen

lawrie

So! UKBFF West Midlands in just under 9 weeks away as of today. Things are getting scary and I had a meltdown/diva strop at myself yesterday. What did I need? A prep coach! Why? Wel….

Now don’t get me wrong I know a fair amount, more than a lot and not as much as some. But I do know my body and how it works. So this year I decided around 14 weeks out I would prep myself. I have my own clients I prep and they all do extremely well with some nice trophies and placing’s this year so the decision wasn’t that difficult.

But here is the downfall. Paranoia mostly. The mirror never lies, the scales matter somewhat less apart from tracking the direction of progress. But your head messes with them all. I forgot just how hard I am on myself, and just how inpatient I am. Every piece of advise I give to my own clients I was finding hard to adhere to. As I was doing my own diet and training I could simply change protocols whenever I wanted to. Well that’s silly! Adherence and consistency are key when prepping for a competition no matter what. I wasn’t adhering and I wasn’t consistent. Well saying that I was, but as I kept moving the goal posts I was consistently inconsistent over the most part.

Time for a change and time to relax. After speaking with the group of guys whom all compete in different federations in a group we have Lee Kiley stepped up. Lee Kiley Physique Consultant is a proven coach. So him offering his services to help me, I took his hand off. Having a coach makes life so much easier, I have a fulltime job, a wife, a dog, family commitments so having someone else I can trust to simply give me instructions to follow takes all the stress away. Lee gives me my daily and weekly macros, my training split inc cardio and I simply get on with it.

So should you have a prep coach? For me YES! Being accountable to someone else makes such a massive difference, you will tend to do less of the “wrong” things as you are letting your coach down as well as yourself. Then the added weekly check ins, we all want praise so pushing from week to week makes those check in’s so important. Also we never notice the changes ourselves, looking in the mirror 100’s of times a day happens all too often, I’m pretty sure there are many an exception to this cause and some guys who have been doing this for 20+ years probably don’t, but for right now I’m excited and cant wait to hit that stage!

Find out more about Lawrie here.

 

pull upCrossFit involves daily workouts – known as ‘WODS’ (workouts of the day) – that are a combination of aerobic activity, weightlifting and gymnastics.

It is practised in more than 10,000 gyms worldwide, half of which are in the US.

Demand on muscles

Because of the frequency and intensity of exercise involved in CrossFit, great demands are placed on the muscles. As a result, that participants need quality sports nutrition products that enable them to recover fast enough to maintain the intensity of their WODS day after day

training-train-lime-barbell-39688

.

In recent studies, it was found that supplementation with whey protein after resistance training resulted in increased muscle and tendon growth and stimulated the muscle stem cells (satellite cells) that are essential for the repair and maintenance of muscle.

In another study, researchers found that supplementation with whey protein helped maintain muscle strength following the type of exercise that causes muscle damage.

Bio-Synergy Whey Better and Whey Hey help reduce muscle recovery times from days to hours, supporting people in their efforts to stay in perfect shape to maintain their CrossFit regime.

View all our award winning performance supplements here.

Strawbeerry_kulfi

Enjoy the sunshine with these deliciously refreshing Skinny Protein Pops.

Don’t wait for the ice cream van today have these amazing pops ready to go in the freezer

So good you’ll be heading back to the fridge for another one

Ingredients

  • 8 scoops of Skinny Protein
  • 150g of fresh berries
  • 12 tbs greek yoghurt
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbs  of Lime juice

How to make me

  • Blend all ingredients together
  • Pop in a lolly stick and freeze until fully set
  • Enjoy 🙂

For more fun and healthy recipes click here

pizza-933695_960_720

Pizza is arguably one of our favourite so called ‘cheat foods’ but it doesn’t have to be a cheat.

Bio-Synergy ambassador and professional team GB snowboarder Gary Bartlett has provided us with this recipe that gets him through those cravings. Both low fat and high protein this pizza takes less than 15 minutes to cook.

Ingredients

  • 1 chopped cooked chicken breast
  • 1 kcal spray or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tortilla
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of tomato sauce
  • Oregano
  • Rested Peppers
  • Low fat mozzarella cheese

How to make me

  • Pre heat the oven on 180 degrees for 10 minutes
  • Spray both sides of the tortilla with the 1 kcal spray or brush with the extra virgin olive oil
  • Gently prick the surface of the tortillas in several places with a fork.
  • Place the tortillas directly on the oven for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until lightly browned. Make sure you are watching to stop them burning.
  • Place tortillas on baking sheet. Spread each with the tomato sauce.
  • Arrange chicken and vegetables on each. Sprinkle with oregano and cheeses.
  • Place back in the oven for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Finally Enjoy

runner-690265_960_720

1. Are there any last-minute training methods athletes use in the weeks ahead of a big event like the Paralympics?

The final ‘Race Preparation’ phase of training leading up to a major games or long term goal involves bringing together both mental and physical conditioning to a natural peak.

Gym work focuses on power and speed of movement through activation/recruitment of fast twitch muscle fibre. This can be achieved through contrast/complex training i.e., Heavy squat followed by Squat Jumps/Tuck Jumps. Step ups followed by Split Jumps etc.

This process is known as ‘Potentiation’, which basically increases or heightens the responsiveness of fast twitch muscle fibre.

Track sessions taper down and rest and recovery become paramount. The contrast complex principle is applied to speed sessions, a session my group enjoy is, Med’ Ball Squat Throw – Box Jump – counter Jump – Sprint.

The mind plays a huge part in human performance so I try to set the high-speed sessions as close to race time and conditions as possible. This lowers anxiety and mental pressure in the arena.

I am a registered hypnotherapist and have used Autogenic training or Imagery to effectively prepare the mind for competition and also for relaxation as a coping strategy for periods of heightened stress.

2.On race day, what advice do you give to your athletes?

The biggest mistake Athletes make is trying too hard or trying to take the body way beyond what it is accustomed to, which produces lactic acid at a point in the race where they would not expect it. Once this happens co-ordination at speed is hampered and technique suffers.

So simply put ‘’Execute as you have done in practice’’

3.The odds of getting gold are tough. How do athletes stay confident when faced with such stiff competition?

Confidence when surrounded by World Class or higher achieving Athletes comes from the successful completion of a well-planned training and race programme. The ability to ‘’Go For Gold’’ is developed through high-level competition exposure which breeds familiarization and don’t forget personal desire… and the will to win!

4.How do you pick athletes up from a bad race/performance?

Usually in any under-performance there will be an aspect of the performance that was executed well. It is better to focus on what went well than the negative overall outcome (result). So I tend to look at the positive regardless of the result and leave the in-depth analysis until back at training; especially if the Athlete still has to continue in the competition.

Harry King Dip Hyp CS

Performance Mentor

England Athletics National Coach Mentor

Great Britain Team Coach

Brunel University Performance Coach

For all recovery needs check out our award winning supplements such as Whey Better and Essential Sports Fuel both Informed Sport.

 

flapjack protein

These scrumptious protein packed cakes can be enjoyed for breakfast to get you going for the day or as a post-workout treat to aid recovery.

Makes 6-8 pancakes

Ingredients

40g oats

1 scoop vanilla whey better or coconut whey hey to add a nutty taste

1 tsp golden syrup (for the flapjack flavour)

½ tsp baking powder

30g greek yoghurt

2 w

hole eggsHow to make me

Mix all ingredients except the baking powder and leave to stand for 10 mins so the oats soften. Add 40 – 50ml water to loosen and for consistency. Mix in the baking powder.

Spray a large frying pan with fry lite and on a medium heat, fry batches of 3 – 4 pancakes at a time for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Top with roasted hazelnuts and dark chocolate chips for a topping that tastes a bit like Nutella! Drizzle over calories free pancake syrup if desired

 

zero ten

One of the biggest challenges tournament football presents is managing fatigue levels & recovering properly between games that are sometimes as little as 4 days apart. Add to this conundrum the fact that many of your players will already be in a state of fatigue from a long domestic season & you can see why tournament football doesn’t always go how it should on paper.

England’s group games take place on the 11th (Russia), the 16th (Wales) & the 20th (Slovakia) – this means that they play 3 games in 10 days, with only 4 days to recover between the Russia & Wales games & only 3 days to recover between the Wales & Slovakia games. This may seem like ample time to recover, but with outfield players averaging between 7-9km covered per game, the numerous high intensity actions (accelerations, decelerations, jumps etc), the physical contact / knocks that may occur, alongside the effects of dehydration…I’m sure you get the picture – for optimal performance going in to the next game, this physical stress need to be negated.

This is where the various National teams’ Sport Scientists, Strength & Conditioning Coaches and Medical Teams become priceless. They will have recovery protocols in place at both a team level and an individual level, based upon information they receive from the players’ club Sports Scientist / S&C Coaches. For example a team will have a post game recovery protocol which all players will adhere to, however they may also allow an extra day’s recovery for those players who have been identified to need it (these are usually the fast-twitch / type II fibre guys – think pacey, powerful, with high neuromuscular demand – Jamie Vardy is a prime example of this & a case which has been highlighted by Leicester’s highly regarded head of Sports Science, Matt Reeves).

The Basics The three ‘pillars’ of recovery when it comes to sport (& fitness) are; Sleep, Nutrition & Hydration. They are very basic & controllable variables that can have huge effects on how athletes recover & therefore the potential to enhance or negate performance accordingly.

Sleep

Research into sleep, recovery & performance (Le Meur, Skein & Duffield, 2013) has shown:

– 1.7x greater injury risk in athletes who sleep <8hours per night.

– Sleep is crucial for tissue repair as growth hormone is released in phases of deep sleep.

– Sleep loss is associated with immune system dysfunction (which makes athletes more susceptible to viruses / illness).

– Sleep loss is associated with slower & less accurate cognitive performance (key to football performance.

– Sufficient sleep should be obtained following training sessions as perceptual & motor learning processes continue during sleep.

So…it’s pretty obvious as to why athletes need to have >8 hours of good quality sleep per night in order to recover properly.

During tournaments players are; away from home, in strange beds & often sharing rooms with teammates – these factors present a challenge for athletes to maintain normal, healthy sleeping patterns. However ‘sleep hygiene’ protocols can be put in place to help promote quality sleep.

These usually consist of the following practices:

– Creating the ideal sleeping environment; quiet, dark room with NO light, temperature ~18oC, avoid the use of electronic devices <45mins before sleep (light from these devices can reduce melatonin by up to 22% – Figueiro et al, 2012)

– Consuming a high GI Carb & high protein meal >1hr before bed. (high GI carbs have been found to help promote sleep & high protein foods have been found to increase the quality of sleep) (Halson, 2014).

– Avoiding alcohol & avoiding caffeine in the afternoon/evening.

– Keeping a regular sleep schedule with a wind-down period of 1hour (dim lights, no ‘blue light’ from electronic devices & partaking in relaxed activities; reading, listening to music etc.)

Nutrition

When it comes to nutrition strategies with football teams; supplements, pre-match meals, post match meal, carbohydrate intake…there are ‘many ways to skin a cat’.

Every club will have their own nutrition protocol & use their own supplements for their players, so when it comes to international duty it will be a marriage of the players clubs’ & the country’s nutritional strategies.

Here are a few of the basic nutritional strategies many clubs/countries employ to try to maximize recovery & optimise performance:

– Periodisation of carbohydrate intake based upon training loads & game schedules. In the case of England’s 3 games in 10 days, research suggests 6-10g/kg body mass of carbohydrates per day during this period (this is effectively carbohydrate loading). On lighter days within 1-game-per-week periods, <4-5g/kg body mass of carbs is optimal for maintenance of body composition whilst having healthy carbohydrate availability (Anderson et al 2015).

zero ten supps

– Use of a recovery shake post training sessions / games. Personally my preference for a recovery shake is ~60-80g carbs & 30g protein, consumed with 45mins of the session/activity ending. This acts as an anabolic hit & serves to reduce the cortisol (stress hormone) built up during training / matches. Cortisol is a testosterone suppressor, so it’s important to reduce cortisol levels before the next day’s session / match. Maintenance of high natural testosterone levels is vital in optimizing performance (especially in powerful, fast-twitch athletes – think pacey strikers, wingers, full backs, strong centre backs).

– Eating protein with all meals & consuming 20-30g protein 30-60mins post match/longer training sessions. Multiple benefits including; maximizing muscle protein synthesis, provides amino acids for repair of muscle proteins, can optimise muscle glycogen concentrations (key for football) & can reduce training-induced reductions in immune function (Moore et al, 2014).

– Pre-match meal ~3 hours before kick off, consisting of high carbohydrate, some protein & low fat (to ensure it can be easily digested).

Hydration

Dehydration as a result of sweat loss from training/matches (which is exasperated by higher temperatures during Summer tournaments) can have serious negative effects upon performance. However, these effects can be easily addressed & as a result aid recovery & performance optimisation.

Below are some of the negative effects dehydration has on performance & recovery (in relation to water loss as % of body weight:

– 0-2%: Impaired ability to regulate body temperature.

– 2-4%: Reduced muscular endurance time (you simply fatigue quicker).

– 4-6%: Reduced muscular strength (20-40%), impaired concentration, drowsiness & possible cramping.

– 6-8%: Heat Exhaustion, heatstroke, coma, and death!

(None of the above effects are ideal for tournament football!)

To address dehydration & stay hydrated, here are a few protocols national teams may employ:

– Measurement of sweat rates to ensure that fluid intake outweighs sweat loss

– Consumption of isotonic drinks; the carbohydrate & electrolyte content is optimised for quicker absorption from stomach. Once electrolytes have been consumed, this further aids the uptake of plain water due to the higher electrolyte concentration in the gut.

– Avoid alcohol & excessive caffeine intake.

– Have a clear plan for pre competition hydration.

– Ensure that whilst travelling (especially by plane) you are consuming 1.5x your normal fluid intake.

If you can address the three basic pillars of recovery (sleep, nutrition & hydration) correctly, this will provide the best possible chances of maximizing recovery & optimising performance. Beyond the above basics, there are numerous methods to optimise recovery with varying research outcomes. Some of the alternative methods which are often employed & most credible (in my humble opinion) include; ice/cold water baths or cryotherapy, massage therapy, compression garments & regeneration / active recovery days.

euro recovery

To put it all together into a post match recovery protocol, it would often look something like this:

End of match > Thorough Cool Down & Mobility > Hydrate > Recovery Shake (carbs & protein) > Cold Bath > High GI, High Protein Meal > Compression Garments > Sleep Preparation Protocol > Sleep.

The following day would normally be a regeneration or recovery day, consisting of light non-impact aerobic work (often on a bike or in the pool), mobility work, a stretching protocol & any prehab/injury prevention work.

As with all sports science protocols, the key is to get the basics right first (as they will provide the biggest gains), from there the marginal gains can be made from the high-technology more innovative practices. In short; there is no excuse for any national team to allow their players to have poor sleep, be dehydrated or have a diet that does not meet the nutritional demands of the sport.

Enjoy the rest of the tournament & spare a thought for sports scientists & coaches trying to get the players off their phones/laptops/iPads before bed to ensure a good nights sleep…if you see an Instagram post at 1am from a player at Euro 2016, you know they haven’t succeeded!

Matt Burton

Performance Director

Zero | Ten Performance

Twitter: @zerotenelite

Insta: @zerotenperformance

Alex article

Do you find yourself floating around the gym  from machine to machine. Spending hours in the gym thinking you are being productive but actually you are just wasting valuable minutes and even hours?

As a personal trainer I spend a lot of my time in gyms or studios and I see regularly on a daily basis people going through the motions in the gym,  hoping results will happen just by  being inside the gym.

Unfortunately this isn’t the case you do actually have to work at a reasonable rate that will probably make you feel slightly uncomfortable for short periods of time whether that be muscles burning or lungs and heart beating at a higher rate or even sweating..sweating is a good sign that your body is warming up and starting to cool itself down. 

By all means I’m not saying you have to go balls to the wall every session and make yourself feel sick or in pain for half the week so you then miss half a weeks worth of training. 

One good indication of whether you aren’t working hard enough is..  ..if you can hold a conversation whilst performing a set. Please work harder.

Specially in my experience I can’t talk to somebody in the middle of set and my clients certainly can’t.. Again not saying go flat out.. Just hard enough to cause you to focus on the exercise and the muscles you are working. 

  1. Some good ways of improving productivity and work rate in the gym..
  2. If you struggle with short a attention span, group 3-4 exercises together and make a little circuit and complete for 10-15mins.. Then change it up.
  3. Join a fitness class, classes are amazing for keeping you working at the correct intensity.
  4. Have an active rest exercise, or be active in your rest periods with lighter exercises usually bodyweight to keep you moving and stop you from losing interest. E.g Main exercise = squats Active rest = 1min jogging on spot
  5. Get a personal trainer for a session so you can experience the correct level for you and get some added knowledge!
  6. If you know the gym is going to be super busy, try and go at different times of plan ahead for that.. Go to a class! 
  7. Train on your own. Some gym partners are a distraction and only needed for a spot at certain times. 
  8. Train with a gym partner find someone with similar goals and ambitions as you and stick together make exercises or circuits into mini competitions between you. 

Above all leave happy and feeling like you have accomplished something during your time there. Don’t leave thinking you could have done more!! 

sports-768430_960_720

It’s that time of year where we head off on our holidays and enjoy a bit of fun in the sun.

However a few days in, some of us though may start to feel slightly guilty by the food and beverage choices we make whilst away.

If this is the case spare 20 minutes on the beach and give this quick circuit a go and sweat out some of those toxins.

Warm Up

Even though you might be warm already from the heat this is essential to get the blood flowing and to stretch out your muscles which will help prevent injury.

Start

Complete 3 rounds of this circuit with 2 minutes rest at the end

Squats x 20 reps

Punches x 40 reps

Jumping Lunges x 20 reps

Push Ups x 10-20 reps

Mountain Climbers x 20 reps

Leg Raises to failure

Russian Twist to Failure

Make sure you have water with you at all times or if you want something fruity, take our Skinny Water

Looking to get ready for the beach check out our other award-winning products such as Thermogen, Skinny Protein, Super Burn and Creatine Plus.

Use BEACH10 and save £10 off your order.

 

11872800_10156165980740001_1634507497_n

Starting my journey into the bodybuilding industry I knew it was very important to find the right coach and for me I’ve not only found the right coach but the best coach I could of asked for and for me loyalty in life is key and I intend on going on my journey with mark until I either stop the sport or he stops coaching he is that good, his dedication towards everything in his life is incredible and a large part of that is his clients, he treats us as his clients but we are also a team verging on a family he is that good as a coach and bringing people together in a very individual sport.

For me I have done two shows so far the UKDFBA and the UKUP where in the second show I placed second and qualified for the British finals, none of this would of ever of happen if it wasn’t for mark, I probably wouldn’t have even stepped on stage if I didn’t have Mark by my side the whole way.

His knowledge on every aspect of training is brilliant and unlike a lot of coaches and PTs in this industry he is always happy to admit he is always learning and also so humble which again seems quite rare in this industry which in my eyes makes him even more of the great person he is!!

I’ve went from an international hockey player to being stuck in a rut with what to do with sports then working with Mark who has turned me into a men’s physique competitor and I can’t thank him enough for his support all the way, he’s got me through things in my life and I owe him so much!!

Use Bio-Synergy to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. Shop the range here.

sprinting

Today is #GlobalRunningDay

Bio-Synergy ambassador and Paralympic athlete Dan ‘Dash’ Powell has provided us with a workout to help improve speed and have you running like the flash in no time.

Most of my gym work would be super-set weight baring exercises coupled with either functional sprinting movements or plyometric exercises

A typical power/speed building session suited to improving your sprints would look like this:

Warm up – including light 5 minutes of cardio, tall postural walks with med balls, running drills and flute activation movements, (flute bridges/clams etc).

Main bulk– all weight baring exercises should be at a higher weight with a low amount of reps and a full recovery (3-5 minutes) between sets.

Cleans – 4 X 3 reps at 90%

Squats 4 X 3 reps at 85% / 3 X box jumps

Dead lifts 4 X 3 at 90% / tuck jumps X 4

Hamstring curl 4x 5 at 90% / bounding hops X 3 each leg

Core/cool down– flute bridge hold X 30 secs each side X 2

Tall standing running posture, (one leg at hip flex ion, running posture) hold for 10 then change.

Remember to refuel after each training session with Bio-Synergy.

Dan is currently awaiting selection for Rio 2016 so look out for news on this across our various social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

 

Anthony Murray

What is SAQ Training?

SAQ Training is Speed, Agility and Quickness Training. This method of training aims to improve an athlete’s multi-directional movement by reprogramming their neuromuscular system

What are the benefits of this method of training?

This method of training is normally performed by top level Athletes but more and more we are seeing amateurs and semi-professionals using this method of training in their respective sport to progress.

This type of training is very beneficial as it helps to improve your power in lateral, linear, horizontal movement, ground force reaction time, brain signal efficiency, spatial awareness and motor skills.

It also looks to improve the acceleration of your legs and arms as well as being able to slow it down.

Who is this training specific to?

Traditionally this type of training is specific to top level athletes as it requires a lot of strength and conditioning to perform this type of regime. As mentioned before beginners and intermediate sports persons are using this type of regime to improve their performance. But also your normal gym goers are using this type of training as a form of HIIT to burn body fat and functional training.

How has the traditional SAQ Training methods changed?

The traditional SAQ Training methods has changed over the course of the years because in recent times a lot more newer methods have been added to the equation. This would be things such as resistant band training, plyometric training, balance, strength training, pushing and pulling exercises and core strengthening exercises

6 Key SAQ Exercises

  1. High Knees with Mini Hurdles
  2. 30 Yard Sprint
  3. Agility Ring Hops
  4. Ladder 2 in 2 out
  5. Depth Jumps
  6. Overhead Ball Drop Reaction Drill

1-2 = Speed

3-4 = Agility

5-6 = Quickness

Find out more abut SAQ training over at Anthony’s Facebook page at ADM Fitness.

We caught up with BSc Hons James Rutherford to find out what you can do to make sure your health and fitness plan stays on track when you take a little city break.

Before:

  • Consumption of B vitamins is crucial for optimal energy yielding metabolism in order for an effectively functioning nervous system ready for the stress of lengthy bouts of walking and sightseeing. Good sources of B vitamins include lean meats, poultry, fruit, vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables), nuts and eggs.

salad

During:

  • Consumption of foods high in anti-oxidants to neutralise free radical activity caused by air pollution in a busy urban environment. All fresh fruit and vegetables have a strong phytochemical profile but foods especially high in anti-oxidants include blueberries, kale, spinach, broccoli, grapes, pecan nuts and dark chocolate. If possible make a fruit smoothie with fresh berries.

berrie

 

After:

  • Quality REM sleep is a must after a tiring city break filled with sightseeing. Consumption of foods containing zinc (e.g. fresh meat and shellfish) can result in deeper REM sleep cycles. A good meal option to have before bed is oats (rich in melatonin) with some almonds, as they contain tryptophan and magnesium to promote optimal relaxation and REM sleep.

healthy-lunch-meal-fruits

Pancakes

 

Get up and start the day with these tasty pancakes from Lorna Lang Evans.

Ingredients

1 scoop vanilla whey better

1 whole medium egg

30g oats

30g greek yoghurt

1 level tablespoon green and blacks dark cocoa powder

50ml water

How to make me

Blend all ingredients. Spray a large frying pan with fry lite and on a medium heat, fry batches of 3 – 4 pancakes at a time for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Hot chocolate sauce:

Mix 1 tsp green and black organic dark cocoa powder with 3-4 tsp hot water and ½ tsp agave syrup. Drizzle over pancake stack.

sandwich-932646_960_720

This week is #BritishSandwichWeek. Go veggie with this take on the club sandwich.

Try this vegetarian alternative to the traditional club sandwich. Low in fat and high in fibre.

Ingredients

3 slices granary bread

1 large handful of fresh lettuce

1 radish

1 carrot peeled and coarsely grated small squeeze lemon juice

2 dessertspoons reduced-fat houmous or low fat spread of choice

2 tomato thickly sliced

(NOTE- to add more protein use a meat alternative)

 

How to make me

Toast the bread. Mix the watercress, carrot, lemon juice and olive oil together. In a small bowl spread the houmous over each slice of toast. Top 1 slice with the watercress and carrot salad, sandwich with another slice of toast and top with the tomato. Lay the final slice of bread, houmous side down, then press down and eat as is or cut the sandwich into quarters.

Macros

Kcal 299

Fat 7g

Carbs 30g

Protein 11g

post workout meal recipe
This jerk chicken post workout meal will hit the right spot

A good post workout meal is the cornerstone of a successful training regime.

It refuels your body after the stresses of training and whatever goal you’re training for a healthy, balanced post workout meal will help you make it happen.

Try this Jamaican jerk chicken recipe which will give you all the vital macros you need post workout and tastes great.

Ingredients:

225g chicken breast

225g cubed sweet potato

225g broccoli

2 tsp olive oil

Jamaican Jerk seasoning to taste

 

Directions:

Place a medium-sized, non-stick pan over medium to high heat. Add olive oil, chicken, and the Jerk seasoning. Stir as needed to cook the chicken on all sides.

As the chicken cooks, place the sweet potato cubes and broccoli florets in a bowl. Cover with a damp paper towel and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes to steam.

Once the vegetables are done steaming in the microwave, add them to the frying pan. Stir and reduce heat. Cook until chicken is done and sweet potato cubes are fork tender.

Makes 1 serving

Calories: 466

Fat: 15g

Carbs: 34g

Fibre: 9g

Protein: 50g

For an added post-workout energy boost and recovery consider adding BCAA’s or something from Bio Synergy’s extensive energy and recovery range.

6684205707_31fe16a1a4_o

It’s almost summer time and the weather is getting better, so it’s time to shed the sleeves and fully embrace the suns out guns out mentality with this awesome arms workout.

Building big developed arms is usually one of the goals for guys. We all want the guns to impress the girls but it takes a lot of hard work to build those 18 inch arms.

But fear not use this arms workout and you’ll soon be stretching the sleeves on your t-shirts.

A good arms workout will train both the triceps and biceps, both of these muscles can be isolated effectively so the plan will be split into two separate parts, first the triceps, then biceps and well finish with a tri-bi superset:

Close-grip bench press 3×8-12

The close grip bench place is the place to start any arms routine, start with a couple of warmup sets to get the muscles ready for the heavy load they’re about to shift.

Once suitably warm do 3 sets of 8-12 in the range of about 60-80% of your 1 rep max. This will put all three heads of the triceps under tension and is guaranteed to stimulate growth.

Lying Triceps Extension (Skullcrushers) 3×8-12

Next will be Lying Triceps Extensions aka skullcrushers. Laying down on the bench grab a bar and raise it into the top position of a bench press. Then slowly lower the forearms until the bar is close to touching your forehead, from this position raise the bar back to the top position without moving your elbows.

Do 3 sets of 8-12 increasing the weight after each set if you can manage. You could also do the dumbbell variation on this exercise if you have problems with you elbows or you want to isolate your arms individually.

Standing Barbell Curl 3×10-12

On to biceps now and the exercise everyone knows but people often get wrong. They key here is to use a weight you can curl effectively with good form i.e. NOT bending your back over to get the weight up and not moving your elbows too far forward from the starting position.

Go for heavy weight here to stimulate the biceps as much as possible all the time remembering to maintain good form. Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps and your biceps should be burning.

Dumbbell Hammer Curls 3-4×10

Hammer curls work the outer head of the biceps and are crucial to getting the desirable ‘peak’. Hold the dumbbells in your hands with your palms facing your legs in a neutral position and simply curl up from there.

Do either 3 or 4 sets of 10 depending on your energy levels and remember to squeeze every rep at the top of the rep.

Bi-Tri Superset 3×15+15

Use the cables for this. First use either a rope or a bar for triceps pushdowns, use a reasonable weight but do 15 reps. Then get straight into the cable curls using a bar, again use a weight that will test you but will allow a full 15 reps.

Do this superset 3 times back to back if you’re able to because your rest will come while doing the opposite muscle. Don’t worry if this is too much just take a short rest after each round and once recovered go again.

After this monster workout you’ll need to fuel your body for growth, check out our Super Max protein blend or any of Bio Synergy’s other whey protein supplements. Using BCAA’s can help with recovery so you can crush another session in no time.

What are you waiting for, get those guns out!

So you’ve decided to run a marathon. Congratulations on taking on one of the most grueling physical tests known to man. But you can’t just pitch up at the start line of next year’s London Marathon and expect to be able to complete the 26.2 mile course without serious dedication.

But don’t fear the challenge, make it happen with Bio Synergy’s guide to marathon and endurance training.

This 12 week marathon training plan and diet advice will get get you from novice to marathon god and leave your competitors trailing in your wake.

marathon training plan
Start using this 12 week training plan and you’ll soon be marathon ready

When training for a marathon you need to ensure you are keeping your energy levels up, without the correct nutrition and supplementation you will be left lagging behind and won’t be able to overcome the dreaded wall.

Make sure to focus on getting a healthy dose of carbohydrates, carbs will be the lynchpin of your marathon training diet because they are the body’s primary source of fuel. Aim to include plenty of complex carbohydrates on your diet plan, including whole-grain bread and brown pasta and rice.

You can also get a boost of energy from Bio Synergy’s Pure Energy and Essential Sports Fuel to help aid with energy levels before, during and after your runs.

As well as a good serving of carbs any marathon runner in training should make sure they get a good serving of lean protein from chicken, turkey, salmon or chickpeas. Fish has the added benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids but for times when fish isn’t the dish of the day there are Performance Omega 3,6 & 9 for those essential fatty acids.

For the extra efficient and versatile source of protein a person training for a marathon could use whey protein. Bio Syenrgy has a wide range of high quality whey protein supplements. the best time to use it is immediately after a run, when your body is in need of protein to aid recovery.

You can give yourself and your training an extra edge with multivitamins, Performance Joint formula for your aching knees and ankles, Bio Synergy has your training needs covered.

Now get out there and start pounding those streets on your 12 week journey to marathon glory!

gingerbread protein waffles

Come take trip down to the gingerbread house with the Lorna Lang Evans. Lorna has created these delicious gingerbread protein waffles that wont leave you feeling guilty.

Ingredients

1 scoop whey better vanilla
60g plain low fat cottage cheese
1 medium egg white
1 medium egg
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder
30g oats

How to make me

Blend and add little water if needed.

Spray your waffle makes with Frylight and evenly fill, then cook for about 2mins – don’t over cook otherwise they will go tough instead of light and fluffy.

Topping:Pecans, dark chocolate chops, blueberries and Walden farms calorie free pancake syrup

For more of Lorna’s recipes and amazing food pictures check her out on Instagram.

Screen Shot 2016-04-14 at 17.48.34

 

Looking to build a developed chest at home without weights? Give this home chest workout a try and make some gains.

Building a developed chest is a primary goal for many new lifters. That said, not every gym newbie has access to a gym–or even a set of dumbbells. Good news: with this zero-kit workout created by conditioning expert JC Santana and composed entirely or press-up variations, you can achieve that huge chest you’ve always yearned for without the need of a bench press.

Directions

  • Do this workout once or twice a week.
  • Do it 48 hours away from your regular bench day or as your regular upper-body workout.
  • Do all the reps of each move back to back (or with as little rest as possible), rest for two minutes, repeat, rest for two minutes and then repeat one last time.

THE WORKOUT

Rotational press-up – Reps 20

  • Start in a press-up position and lower yourself to one side, twisting as you do so most of your weight is on one shoulder.
  • Press up, then do the same on the other side. That’s two reps.

Shuffle press-up – Reps 20

  • Get in a press-up position with one hand ahead of your shoulder and one behind. Lower yourself to the floor and press up. That’s one rep.
  • At the top of the move, jump or walk your hands into the opposite position, then do the next rep. Continue alternating.

Diamond press-up – Reps 10

  • For this triceps blaster, position your hands together under your chest so your index fingers and thumbs form a triangle, and lower yourself until your chest touches your hands.
  • Press back up to the start.

Gorilla press-up Reps 10

  • Start in a standard press-up position, lower yourself to the floor and then press up quickly, launching yourself off the floor.
  • Slap your chest quickly before returning your hands to the start position.

One-leg press-up Reps 10

  • Raise one leg, keeping your glutes tight, and do a press-up.
  • Switch legs and repeat. That’s two reps. Now do the rest.

Effective recovery

When done correctly, this workout will have your chest feeling burned. With or without weights, there’s one thing for certain, your body needs effective, smart nutrition to recover. In order for your chest–or any other muscles– to grow big, you need protein to recover. Whether it’s whey protein isolate, or whey protein concentrate, at Bio-Synergy, we offer a wide range of protein powders to help you achieve your goals. For an additional boost, try our fat burners, or BCAAs.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 18.04.30

Today is National Make Lunch Count Day! Treat yourself to a delicious protein filled feast with these vanilla and almond protein pancakes.

Makes 6 – 8 pancakes

Ingredients

1 scoop whey better vanilla or Active Woman Activate

40g greek yoghurt

2medium egg whites

1 whole medium egg

½ tsp baking powder

40g ground almonds

½ tsp organic almond extract

1 drop red food colouring

Method

Blend all the ingredients together and add a little water if needed to make single cream consistency, then marble in the food colouring.

Spray a large frying pan with fry lite and on a medium heat, fry batches of 3 – 4 pancakes at a time for 2-3 minutes on each side.

Stack, top with a dessert spoon of yoghurt and raspberries.

Hot chocolate sauce:

Mix 1 tsp green and black organic dark cocoa powder with 3-4 tsp hot water and ½ tsp agave syrup. Drizzle over pancake stack.

 

30g protein, 20g carbs, 10-15g fat

chocolate-smoothie-1058191_960_720

This week is #NationalCoffeeWeek.

We have created this delicious and really easy recipe that can be enjoyed anytime of day to help boost energy, aid recovery and help build lean muscle.

Ingredients

2 shots of espresso or 3/4 cup coffee
1 cup almond milk (or the milk of your choice)
1 scoop of Whey Better Chocolate or our BRAND NEW Whey Hey Coffee
1 frozen banana
Ice (depending how slushy you like it, anywhere from 1/4 cup to 1 cup)
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 drop of vanilla flavouring

How to make me

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until desired constiency. Serve and enjoy

Macros
Kcal-200
Protein-30g
Carbs-18g
Fat-4g

fat-free

Fat Free Results In Fat Loss

Fat in your diet is vitally important to keeping your system healthy. Look at what fat you are eating a try to get fats from good sources such as nuts, organic oils, salmon, eggs.

SUAGR

Increased Sugar Intake Results in Diabetes

You get diabetes when your body cannot produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels. Staying inactive and being overweight as you grow older puts you at risk of getting diabetes.

egg-869300_960_720

Eating Egg Yolk Leads to High Cholesterol Levels

Yes egg yolks contain cholesterol, but the affect they have on cholesterol is minimal. Eggs provide your day’s requirement of selenium, folate and and Vitamin B12. So eating eggs can be a great way to keep healthy with a good source of fat for energy.

pasta-514893_960_720

Go Carb-Free to Lose Weight

Complex carbs in small portions through the day can help you efficiently burn body fat and lose weight

Tone Flabby Arms By Lisa Wilkinson LWFITT Fitness

presenter & Bio-Synergy Ambassador

lisa 1

Want toned, sexy arms and shoulders especially for summer?!

I get asked a lot how can I tone the bingo wings. I’d recommend that you try these 10 exercises to help get rid of any unwanted arm fat and tone sleek muscles with the help of these exercises. So you can wear your vest tops with confidence this summer!!

Try this 15-minute FITT arm workout at least twice a week to sculpt, firm and tone your biceps, triceps and shoulders.

This workout will require dumbbells, not too heavy though! 1 – 3kg will work well.

 

WARM UP

Prepare your body for this set of arm exercises with a 5-minute upper body warm up routine.

WORKOUT

  • Perform each of the following 10 upper body exercises for 30 seconds or complete 15 to 20 repetitions.
  • Rest for 30 to 60 seconds between each exercise
  • Repeat this 5-minute circuit 2 more times through, for a total of 15 minutes.

Bicep curls:

Keep your upper arms stationary, and your elbows tucked in close to your body, breathe out as you lift the dumbbells.

Tricep kickbacks:

Take a set of dumbbells, bend your torso and bring your elbows up. Exhale as you kick your arms back and then slowly return to the starting position.

Push press:

Hold the dumbbells in front of your shoulders with your palms facing each other. Push the dumbbells over your head and exhale.

Lying tricep extensions:

Lie on your back and extend your arms in front of your shoulders. Keeping the upper arms stationary, bend your elbows until the dumbbells are near your ears.

Hammer curls:

Hold the dumbbells with your palms facing your hips, bend your elbows and lift the weights until they’re at shoulder level.

Lateral raise:

Hold the weights and raise your arms out to the sides until your elbows are at shoulder height.

Front raise:

Lift one weight at a time, keep your palms facing down and raise your arm to the front, until it’s parallel to the floor.

Bent over lateral raise:

Bend your torso and raise your arms out to the sides. Keep your knees and your elbows slightly bent.

Shoulder press:

Hold the weights in front of your shoulders with your palms facing front. Push the dumbbells up and, as you extend your elbows, breathe out.

Standing Front Punches Finisher:

Stand with your feet apart so they equal the width of your hips. Keep your arms bent, with the elbows in near your body. Tighten your abs and punch the air with the strength of your shoulders and back, not your wrists and elbows. Alternate between right then left. Continue for 30 seconds.

STRETCHES

Relax and stretch your upper body with a set of cool down exercises.

luke lean

It’s heard all the time, some people use genetics as their key to why they look so good, but on the other hand, some people use it to explain why they find it hard to reach goals. But does it really make a difference?

The answer is yes. Genetics do play a big part in how easy it is for you to achieve goals but doesn’t make it impossible. Genetics are passed down from generations way before us of which we cannot control so we have to work with what we have. Genetics can determine the shape of your body, how big your muscle grow and also how easy it is to lose/gain weight.

Good genetics

What are good genetics? Well if you look at any bodybuilder for example, they’re shoulders can be different shapes and widths, chest shape is different and the most common difference is the shape and alignment of the abdominals. If you have perfect alignment in most muscle groups and they grow evenly you probably have good genetics as these things you can’t really change. You can change symmetry of your body, but genetically things like shoulder width and muscle shape is already set. Good genetics may also include a naturally fast metabolism, this is great to burn calories and stay lean, but makes it very hard to bulk up, so there is pros and cons.

Bad genetics

What are bad genetics? Being brutally honest, if your muscles aren’t greatly aligned or muscle shape isn’t the same as what you see in your magazines you may have bad genetics. You can’t change them, but this doesn’t mean you can’t have a fantastic physique. Another thing which is typically linked with bad genetics is metabolism, ever heard someone say they can look at certain foods and put on weight? Everyone metabolises food differently and many variables affect this, but in truth some people just don’t burn calories as efficiently as others.

It’s not an excuse!

I don’t want anyone to come away from reading this article disheartened, just being honest with what position they’re in. Good genetics, bad genetics, it really doesn’t matter! It’s all down to you! If you don’t burn calories and quickly as your mate, don’t moan about how unfair it is, get to work and make your body burn the calories. Comparing bodies, genetics and how your body burns fuel won’t help you achieve your goals. You need to focus on your body, follow your own journey and work as hard as what your body needs. If it comes easy, lucky you! If it’s a struggle, then make sure you get through it! Don’t let genetics ruin or sway your mentality and work ethic as you can still create amazing progress either way.

Summary

Some are blessed with good genetics, some are not. But it’s down to the individual if you let it affect your goals. I’m all about working with mind and body, so if you focus on your personal journey and not someone else’s you’ll have a better chance and seeing what works with your body, what goals you have and how hard you personally need to work to get there! So make sure you stay positive and stay focussed.

For more on the author Luke head over to Lean With Luke or follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

swimming-924895_960_720

Is your cardio becoming dull and boring?

Time to change it up and jump in the pool and do some HIIT.

This short but effective routine is a great way to finish off your session and burn some fat.

100m warm up – freestyle at a slow pace

50m sprint – freestyle sprint

100m slow – breast stroke / slow freestyle

50m sprint – freestyle sprint

100m slow – breast stroke / slow freestyle

50m sprint – freestyle sprint

100m slow – breast stroke / slow freestyle

50m sprint – freestyle sprint

100m slow – breast stroke / slow freestyle

50m sprint – freestyle sprint

100m slow – breast stroke / slow freestyle

50m sprint – freestyle sprint

100m cool down – breast stroke / slow freestyle

Make sure your refuel after your session and aid recovery with Bio-Synergy Whey Better RTDs. A great high protein drink that is great on the go.

Vanilla protein waffles with peanut butter sauce

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 14.43.03

Ingredients

Makes 2 – 3 waffles

1 scoop Whey Better – Vanilla

50g greek yoghurt

2 medium egg whites

1 whole medium egg

½ tsp baking powder

30g oats

How to make

Blend all ingredients and add enough water – about 50ml to make a single cream consistency batter.

Spray your waffle makes with Frylight and evenly fill, then cook for about 2mins – don’t over cook otherwise they will go tough instead of light and fluffy.

Topping:

Mix your favourite peanut butter with a little hot water to make it runny enough to drizzle over your waffles, slice bananas and then sprinkle dark chocolate chips.

Macros per serving

30g protein

20g carbs

10-15g fat

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 14.13.12

This great 15 minute core workout requires no equipment!

 

Power knees – Right & Left x 30 seconds per leg

Power knees are a popular cardio kickboxing exercise that strengthens the obliques and glutes, a great core exercise.

Bear walks x 30 seconds

Bear walking gets your whole body moving and helps to develop strength

Mountain climbers x 30 seconds

Mountain climbers provide a full body exercise, starting in the plank position and working your core, your shoulders work to stabilize your upper body whilst your legs work your lower body

Press ups x 30 seconds

this upper-body exercise works to strengthen your chest, triceps and shoulders

Repeat this three times without resting!

1 minute rest

Lying leg raises x 30seconds

Lying leg raises work the lower abdominal muscles, perfect for toning up

high-low plank x 30 seconds

Starting in the low plank position, holding your core tight and resting on your forearms move into the high plank position by lifting up onto your hands

Side hip dips x Right & Left x 30 seconds each

Side hip dips are another core exercise that works to tone the waist

Glute bridges x 30 seconds

Glute bridges work the glutes and the hamstrings

 

Repeat this three times without resting!

 

Once you’ve worked up a sweat help your body recover with your favourite flavour Bio-Synergy Skinny Protein #makeithappen

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 09.30.23

Start your morning right with the great 15 minute full body workout by Bio-Synergy ambassador & fitness presenter Lisa Wilkinson.

FITT IN 15 By LWFITT

The 15 minute no excuses, no equipment, total body workout!! #makeithappen

WARM UP

START WITH LIGHT JOGGING ON THE SPOT TO WARM UP FOR 3/5 MINUTES

(Perform each exercise for 30 seconds with a 30 seconds rest after, repeat the circuit 2 more times through)

EXERCISE 1: SQUATS

Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Contract the abs and keep them tight. Start the squat by bending at the knees and hips, keeping the back straight. Keep the knees in line with the toes. Fully extend the legs until you are back to standing position. (30 seconds)

EXERCISE 2: PRESS UPS

Place both hands on the floor in front of you, Shoulder width apart. Wrist and elbow should be in the line with the chest. Body should be supported only by hands and knees. Pull in the abdominals tight and keep the pelvic straight. Bend at the elbow to lower the body toward the floor until the upper arms are parallel to the floor. Pause briefly then push back to start position (30 seconds)

EXERCISE 3: LUNGES

Stand upright, hands by your side, feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Step forward and drop so that the leading knee is roughly at 90 degrees. At the bottom of the move push back up and step the leading leg back to the start position. Keep the chest lifted, back straight and head looking the entire movement. Repeat with the opposite leg. (30 seconds)

EXERCISE 4: PLANK POSITION

Lie with your face down towards the towel/mat with elbow and forearms flat. Raise the trunk, thighs and knees off the floor. Pull in the abdominals tight and keep the pelvis straight. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds or until form begins to fail.

 

Repeat circuit two more times through.. #makeithappen

 

FullSizeRender

 

 

 

For those with a sweet tooth, these delicious frosted flapjacks make the ideal guilt-free treat.

Ingredients

Flapjack Base:

8 pitted dates + 1 Tbsp water

1/2 cup of oats

2 Tbsp of honey

2 Tbsp of almond milk

Frosting:

1 scoop of Bio-Synergy Vanilla Whey Better – 100% Whey Protein Isolate

1/2 cup of low-fat cream cheese

1 Tbsp of low-fat yoghurt

1 Tbsp of honey

 

How to make

Flapjack Base:

Place the pitted dates and water into a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 1 minute to soften. Once softened mash the dates into a paste, stir in the remaining flapjack base ingredients and mix thoroughly.

Once mixed, flatten the base into a small baking tray and set aside.

 

Frosting:

combine the Bio-Synergy Vanilla Whey Better – 100% Whey Protein Isolate, cream cheese and yoghurt in a bowl and mix thoroughly.

Spread the frosting evenly over the flapjack base and refrigerate (2 hours minimum), slice when set, serve and enjoy!

For extra decadence drizzle the flapjacks with melted protein chocolate before refrigerating.

 

Macros per slice

Each scoop of Bio-Synergy Vanilla Whey Better – 100% Whey Protein Isolate contains 27g of protein, roughly 7g+ per small slice of flapjack

108 Kcals per serving (2 slices per serving)

14g+ protein per serving

 

 

healthy-person-woman-sport-large

By Alex Macdonald

Nobody wants to feel old or look older than they are…

So, how can exercise make us feel and look younger?

What exactly does it do to our body, muscles and energy levels?
Exercise can make us look and feel younger in many shapes and forms. When we exercise our body releases hormones, three of these are Endorphins, Dopamine and Serotonin.

Endorphins make you feel exhilarated and happy and block any feelings of pain, whilst Dopamine is a pleasure chemical. Working out helps stimulate the production of dopamine, and increased levels of dopamine can help with feeling satisfied and prevent over eating which can lead to weight gain.
Serotonin is a chemical responsible for happiness, restful sleep, and a healthy appetite, Serotonin will increase if you work out regularly and can lead to more energy and clearer thinking. Put all these together and it will help eliminate the feelings of Stress, Fatigue and nagging aches and pains from everyday life. Working out allows us to become fitter and stronger allowing us to do more for longer.

So, which type of exercise or exercises would create the biggest difference?

Large compound exercises along with varied intensity cardiovascular exercises will help with the anti-ageing process. This training can range from steady state walking or jogging to higher intensity sprints or spinning classes. As we age, our muscle mass decreases which will contribute to a less toned look. Lifting weights can help increase and maintain muscle mass which will give our body a tighter more toned look, which will lead you to looking younger and more youthful.

As we train we want to stimulate as many muscles as we can, large compound lifts are the most functional and beneficial, these lifts will also stimulate the production of growth hormone, which is vital for cell growth and regeneration.

Squatting and Deadlifting are two of the greatest exercises that can be used, they both work a large number of muscle groups and can help form a solid base for the rest of your body, these exercises will also increase bone density and joint strength.

Having a good level of cardiovascular fitness is so important for your overall health of heart and lungs. This will keep blood pressure level and decrease the chance of getting forms of respiratory disease, and help you complete day to day tasks without getting out of breath!

Find the exercises and types of training you like to do, the more fun and enjoyable you find them, the more likely you are to keep them up for long periods and reap the rewards of being fit and healthy!

11232017_10152779717491481_1770919974232285665_o

My name is Nathan Honess and I have been a fitness professional for over 8 years. I am passionate about what I do and take a massive amount of pleasure from helping people achieve their fitness and weight loss targets. The most satisfying part of my job is watching people’s confidence growing as they learn to feel really good about themselves – something I can relate to as you will see below.

I would like to share with you a brief history of my life to date and how I have come to help people feel good about themselves. Here we go…

Let’s start with my childhood – I don’t remember much before the age of 10 as I had all the illnesses under the sun and missed a lot of school. I also had many learning difficulties which I believe has made my sub conscious block many things out.

My mum said as a young child I was quiet and very reserved and I didn’t start speaking until I was about 5. My mum and dad were worried so they took me to a speech therapist who thought I may have had a learning disability. With help and support I did start speaking and I have made up for the late start now! My Mum said during my younger years I didn’t have many friends and I used to cry myself to sleep every night but, between the ages of 10 and 14, I become a lot more vocal and would voice my opinion a lot more and believe it was my friends, my sense of humour and my cheeky face that brought me out of my shell. The problem being that I couldn’t read or write and I would hide behind being badly behaved, cheeky and by making people laugh.

Despite coming out of my shell more, behind the scenes I would worry about everything (not realising at the time that most teenagers had similar worries). I would worry that the moon was going to crash into the earth; I’d worry about death; catching cancer; the world generally, and getting older. I had constant panic attacks and I wouldn’t sleep as I would be worrying about everything.

When I look back now, I do think it was all down to a lack of direction in life and a lack of parental guidance. Also, the fact that I had no confidence in achieving anything as I was in the bottom group in every class at school and I had no support by teachers as they would just see me as a badly behaved child.

The ages of 14 – 18 were the most important years of my life and it was this period that has made me the person I am today. At age 14 I made a conscious decision to give myself a sense of achievement but had to decide what that would be. So I tried to play some sports and with football being the No.1 sport, I decided to try it! I remember very well the first time I played. The ball was coming towards me in the air and my natural reaction was to catch it so I did! As a result everybody on the field laughed at me and I got sent off. Crucially, I didn’t let that put me off. I said to myself that I’ll try something else and so I went for a jog. I soon realised that this was my answer as I was good at it and it really gave me the sense of achievement I was looking for.

Jogging was my release and from doing this I could think about my problems and could keep focusing on extending my jogging distance.

From this point onwards I set short term goals in my jogging and in life. In this particular year I got 100% attendance at school and I achieved going up a group in most subjects therefore I wasn’t in bottom group for everything any more. It is amazing what you can achieve when you set a goal and focus on achieving it.

nathan pre workout

Exercise was my strength and my platform to set goals and to achieve them – from this I gained self belief and self respect.

When I left school I just kept exercising and was determined to achieve great things. Year by year I kept setting goals, some small ones and some bigger ones. By doing this, I was hitting and exceeding the goals, achieving well above my own expectations as well as what everyone else expected. This set the foundations for what makes me the person I am today putting me in a great position to help others by being able to show empathy and passing on the experience I have. I am passionate about helping people achieve their fitness and weight loss goals – I know the power of self confidence and self belief and seeing this improve with the people I work with is why I do what I do.

IMG_4728

Libby Hancock brings you this little delights to brighten up your day.

Ingredients
12 small cupcake sizes
5 medium eggs
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 onion diced
1 handful chopped coriander/ herbs of choice
1 clove garlic minced
1 handful chopped peppers
1 handful broccoli chopped
1 handful spinach
1 pinch S&P
1 tsp baking powder
optional: 2 tbsp almond flour for texture
20g scoop of paleo protein

How to make me
Grease a cupcake tin with coconut or groundnut oil and preheat oven to 200 degrees
In a bowl crack your eggs open and whisk to combine.
Add the herbs, turmeric, baking powder and chopped vegetables and season with S&P
Spoon mixture into your cupcake tin and bake for 10- 15 minutes until your muffins are bouncy to press and solidified.

Macros Per Muffin
42 calories
2.6g fat
1.6g carbs
3.2g protein

Adam Hamilton beta performance

Daily supplements containing HMB, a metabolite of the branched chain amino acid leucine, may reduce fat mass and increase aerobic capacity in athletes training for endurance sports, says a new study.

Polish scientists report that a daily three gram dose of HMB (beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyric acid) for 12 weeks was associated with increased values of maximum oxygen uptake and indices of the ventilatory threshold. VT is believed to reflect the onset of the build-up of lactate and anaerobiosis.

Long-term HMB supplementation seems not only to have a significant effect on changes in activity of selected intramuscular enzymes testosterone and cortisol concentration, but also on values of the testosterone-cortisol ratio in blood,” wrote the researchers in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition .

Krzysztof Durkalec-Michalski and Jan Jeszka from the Poznan University of Life Sciences and the Polish Wrestling Federation recruited 16 elite male rowers with an average age of 20 to participate in their randomized, placebo controlled, double-blind crossover study. The men were randomly assigned to consume three grams per of HMB or placebo for 12 weeks. A two week washout period separated the two phases.

Results showed that HMB supplementation was associated with significant increases in VO2max, while this decreased during the placebo phase.

In addition, HMB extended the time required to reach VT in the men, said the researchers.
In terms of fat mass, HMB supplementation was associated with an average 0.9 kg decrease over 12 weeks, while the men gained an average of 0.8 kg during the 12-week placebo phase.

The results indicate that HMB intake in endurance training has an advantageous effect on the increase in aerobic capacity and the reduction of fat mass, wrote Durkalec-Michalski and Jeszka. It may also stimulate an increase in peak anaerobic power, while it seems to have no effect on other indices of anaerobic adaptation and levels of investigated markers in the blood.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition recently published a position paper on HMB in Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition as a nutritional supplement.

1.Krzysztof Durkalec-Michalski and Jan Jeszka, The efficacy of a β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate supplementation on physical capacity, body composition and biochemical markers in elite rowers: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover,J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015; 12: 31.

smoothie-833470_960_720

Had enough of the cold and ready for summer? Try this post workout smoothie and add some summer vibes into your life.

Ingredients
1 scoop of Whey Hey Watermelon
1 cup of watermelon pieces, seedless
1 handful of strawberries
3 mint leaves
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Crushed ice

How to make me
Place the watermelon pieces into a blender and blend until smooth.
Add the strawberries, lemon juice and mint leaves blending until smooth.
Serve right away or refrigerate for up to 1 day.

dan flemming

Hi, I am Dan Fleming; I play rugby league for the Bradford Bulls and Wales RL, in October 2015 I was selected to play for Wales in the European Championships against Scotland, Ireland and France. To say I was over the moon is an understatement!! It was the first week of training and I got through the tough week with no problems or signs of any injury, the week leading up to the first game I injured my knee in one of the sessions early in the week.

I was gutted!!

I had a good idea what the problem was as I had the same issue with my opposite knee the year before. I was able to use an ice and compression device straight away to and keep the swelling to a minimum. Later the same week I went to see a knee specialist and had an MRI scan and consultation, I was told that I needed a microfracture operation on my patella…. The exact operation as I had the same time last year. I had the operation the following week and then the frustrating twelve-week recovery process started.

HalifaxBulls124

The first three weeks involved getting the range of movement back in the joint, I did this by keeping the muscles around my knee activated by contracting my quad muscles using certain exercises i.e. seated single leg raises.
The following weeks were all about strengthening the muscles around my leg. I did this by completing a rehabilitation programme. This involved lower body exercises such as single leg squat to a box, single leg body weight Romanian deadlift and lying single leg raises.

Before I was able to run I had to try to keep my fitness up the best way I could, I would try to do this by doing various different upper body conditioning sessions. With rugby league being physically and mentally demanding I had to get a mixture of both into my sessions and try to replicate different scenarios of the game…. Getting up off the floor being one of them! Buprees are one of the exercises that everyone loves to hate, they get you fit and they can be adapted to suit all levels. I would also incorporate boxing and battle ropes into my workouts, here is a session I did in my own gym…

Boxing- 10,20,30,40,50,60,70,80,90,100
Ropes(Power Slams)-100,90,80,70,60,50,40,30,20,10
Burpees- 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10

I would try and complete the session as quick as possible but I wasn’t too bothered about keeping the time as I wanted to simulate the mental aspect of the game on having to do repeat efforts on your own try line and not knowing how long is to go in the game.

Weeks went past and I would try and fit these sessions in once or twice a week as I was still completing my rehab program, which started to involve a lot of leg weights. From having a previous back injury, which resulted in a bulging disc between L5 and S1, I tried to stay away from leg weights, as I was a bit worried that the same injury would occur. I spoke with my physio at the Bradford Bulls and we decide to incorporate core-strengthening exercises to support my back when I was training. The core exercises helped with keeping my form whilst I was performing exercises such as Deadlifts, Bulgarian spit squat and Single leg hip thrusters which I was doing every other day to try and build the strength back up in my lower body.

The only downside to the weight training was the weight I was actually putting on. Whilst I wasn’t able to run I had to monitor my food intake and seen as I can look at a carb and put 3kg on…. It wasn’t easy!!

dan brad

At the time I wanted to try to keep as much weight (body fat) off but at the same time try and increase my strength as much as I could this too wasn’t easy, I was weighing approximately 113kg at the time I got injured. This was taking its toll on my knee when I was starting to run again on the Alter-G treadmill and then when I progressed onto the field, so I tried to limit my carbohydrate intake to before 12 pm. As I was still training I didn’t get too hung up on the grams per kg of my body weight, but I was trying to stick with more complex carbs, sweet potatoes, quinoa and vegetables along with a portion of protein every time I ate; whether that be chicken, tin of tuna, or Whey Better.

I managed to get back in full training in 10 weeks, which was 2 weeks quicker than the consultant had said. I was able to play in both of the preseason friendlies, and at Christmas, I didn’t think I was going to be back for round 1 of the season. I put this down to the rehab program that was set by my physio at the Bradford Bulls, which I feel lucky to be in this position to have access to it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story on coming back from injury. Being injured can be a lonely place when u are training on your own without your teammates but the end product and being able to train and eventually compete with them make it worthwhile.

crossfit-534615_960_720

1. Have A Plan.

If you don’t set yourself a goal or target you might be more likely to give up.
Set yourself a plan over a period f 8 weeks then change it up to keep you interested and training fun.

2. Keep A Journal.

This is the best way to actually see progress. Seeing where you have come from to where you are now will provide you with the motivation you need to keep going.

3. Big Movements.

Focus on the good old fashioned movements such as Squats, Bench Press and Deadlifts. Not only will this help improve your overall strength but they are great for stimulating muscle growth.

4. Pay Attention To The Tempo.

This is the speed you lift the weight.
Tempo is a great way to really intensify the way you lift as it increases the tension your muscle under resulting in growth.

5. Rest Between Sets.

Rest will be dependent on the workout you are doing.
When doing higher (12-15) then you rest periods will be shorter (45-75 seconds), but if you are only doing reps in the range of (1-6) then you will need longer periods of rest such as (2-5minutes)

6. Post Workout Nutrition.

One of the most common mistakes post training is under eating or not eating the right thing. Dependant on your goals this meal ideally such be made up of protein and a high glycemic carb. Read more on this here BSc Hons James Rutherford explains the benefit of such a meal to help recovery post workout.

scardone gb

I first started judo when I was 5 years old. I was introduced to the sport by hyper active big brother.

Judo has been in my life ever since, and despite wanting to stop at many moments of my life, my education was only secured through judo.

I grew up in Brazil, and I come from a working family. Despite my dad having various jobs at once, living expenses were difficult for us, and good education in Brazil is only provided in private (paid) schools unfortunately. My mum was an artist that tried to sell crafty things that she used to make to help in our financial situation.

Judo has been the main reason (alongside my parents constant support) that has provided me with an outstanding education in Brazil. I was sponsored by my primary and secondary school. The scholarship consisted of my education being free, as long as I had my schools name on my judogi and continuously represented my school in competitions.

I started competing when I was 8 years old. During the week I trained every night, and on the weekends I used to go to competitions of various levels. That’s where I used to wear my schools logo.

As I got older, my judo also improved, and so did my results in competitions.
When I was 12, I was number 1 in my state (states in Brazil are huge, so that was a big deal considering I was only 12)

However, when I turned 13 my life changed drastically. My family decided we were moving out of Brazil, due to high costs of living, danger of some places but mainly, my parents simply couldn’t afford to provide what me and my brother needed anymore. We sold everything we owned (not too much) and sent my dad to Europe. Me, my mum and brother had to live with my grandparents for a while, in a town that there was no judo (very rare thing in Brazil)

My dad is Italian, so we could choose anywhere in Europe to live. After one year of a lot struggle with choosing somewhere that would be good for the whole family, we moved to London.

During that year I only talked to my dad sometimes, he was in Europe trying to find a job, and had little money to be able to communicate all the time, it was the hardest year of my life, I had just turned 13, I had to stop a part of my life (judo) that was basically what helped me to create my identity, I moved 8 hours away from my school, friends, and anything I knew and I barely had any contact with my dad, who has always been a fanatic about judo, and would never ever let me miss anything to do with judo (my mum did too, but she didn’t have much of a choice from moving cities before we moved to London)

When I arrived in London I had been away from the mat for one year. A whole year without the sport that pretty much brought me up. I was excited to see my dad, so I didn’t even think about getting on the mat at all!

The first couple of months were school holidays here, so I was just sight seeing London, it felt like a holiday, so judo was not on my mind at all.

Until September came, and I had to join the kids in school. Up to then it was one year and a half that I had not been on the mat.

julia gold

The start of my school year life here was horrible. I was constantly bullied, constantly freezing cold (there was a rule about not wearing hoodies but I couldn’t understand it because I didn’t speak English yet, so my hoodies were always confiscated), I was always either eating by myself in the toilets or trying to avoid having any eye contact with any other kid! I was so depressed. That year I put on 10kg (or more)

So there I was, 5ft, 68kg, miserable. I was getting very ill for various reasons, my parents were constantly working to make sure they can provide for me, my brother was at university in a different town. I wasn’t doing well in school, and when I could I would miss weeks of school. I was so scared of going to school.

After my first year here, I decided to get back to judo. I joined the Budokwai, which is the oldest judo club in Europe. It’s really close to where I live, so I decided to go along to a practice.

I was used to being the best, fastest, and best at generally everything on the mat. I have always been competitive so I made sure I was always the best. However when I stepped onto the mat after nearly 2 years of having quit (15years old by now) I was the fattest, slowest, pretty much the worse judo player on the mat. I was devastated, however I felt home, I felt like I could communicate despite my broken English, I felt confident despite being over weight, and I felt proud to be there. So that kept me coming back! So that’s how I got back into it. Interestingly, when I was 16 I was able to get a bronze medal in the Nationals here, which is a big deal! Only the top players fight at that competition and it tends to be a selection process for GB cadet squad and England Squad. I couldn’t join because I was not yet British.

It took me at least 5 years (until 20yrs old) to get back to a good level. During those 5 years I lost more than 10kg with a healthy diet, training everyday, and doing extra work outs all the time! During those 5 years I also decided that one day I want to go to the Olympic Games, not sure when, but I want to go. My school work also improved.

julia throw

I am now 22, I feel like those years that I was not training is making me play catch up now in the judo world, but it’s okay, I can be patient (sometimes). I have gained my British passport two years ago, and since then I have gained medals in international competitions including European cups, I have remained in the top 3 in Great Britain for my weight category, and for the first time this year I have gained a medal at the British trials, which gave me a spot on the GB judo team. I also am at university now studying Sports Development.

I still am looking for my objective took to the Olympic Games, and I will carry on doing everything I possibly can, even if it takes a long time. I would love to compete in Tokyo (2020)

For now, I am juggling studying, training, and funding myself to competitions. It’s busy, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

sports perdon julia

I have already had a great start to 2016 winning Active Wandsworth sports person of the year and I’m really looking forward to working hard and seeing what else he year brings.

To find out more about Julia head over to her ambassador page here.

avacodo

If you missed it this week we highlighted some steps to reducing your sugar intake, one of which was making your own sauces.

Linking up with Libby Alice Fitness we give you this Avocado Pesto Sauce.

What you need
– 2 avocados ripe
– 3/4 cup fresh basil
– 1 juice of lemon
– 2 teaspoon minced garlic
– 1 Pinch salt and pepper

How to make me
1. In a blender add the basil, lemon juice, garlic and seasoning and blend.
2. Add one avocado and blend until smooth.
3. Spoon into a small serving bowl and then dice your other avocado into squares and add to the mixture for a nice chunky texture.
4. I love my sauce on chicken or salmon.

Macros
500 calories per bowl (60 calories per spoon full)
44g fat
6g protein
33g carbs
4g sugars

alex fresh

By Alex Macdonald

When you first walk into a gym and are contemplating getting a personal trainer what do you look for? What is the first thing you take note of when reading profiles on the wall or casually observing from a far?

Over the years I’ve got to know and become good friends with plenty of trainers… Some in amazing shape and clearly practice what they preach… Others look as if they’ve never exercised before!

Now for me personally I’d be drawn to someone who looks the part, in good shape or resembles the build I have in mind for myself… That is the first thing I’d look for! I do believe that if someone can’t keep themselves in shape how are they going to motivate me to do so? How are they going to persuade me to work out if I can’t be bothered… If they themselves have no will power?

Granted the PT in the best shape might not have the best set of skills to get you results, but it is a great place to start, you’ll soon find out if their style of training or knowledge is suitable for you.

A personal trainer is a sales and a results driven job, and you are selling yourself, selling a product which you are the biggest advertisement for, You have to be what you sell.

There are so many different avenues you can take in personal training and some don’t require you to look in prime physical condition, such as rehabilitation or pre/post-natal specialists you would go to them for their knowledge and know how.. Whereas a fat loss trainer or a weight loss specialist should however be in good shape. In my opinion you can’t gain the trust from a client if you are out of shape or have never been in that required shape.

You are what you sell.

Of course there will be the odd exception!

But would you really ask a dude in the gym how to build muscle if he was smaller/fatter/weaker than you?

Ego plays a big part but I highly doubt it!

To find out more about the author Alex check out his ambassador page here.

Sucre_blanc_cassonade_complet_rapadura

With the recent news of many high street coffees containing as much as 25 teaspoons of sugar, many of us are looking to reduce are overall intake to help us stay healthy.

1. Stop Buying Processed Foods

Try and opt for foods that are fresh and not pre packed. Unfortunately the ones we need to cut down on our the ones we love the most. However eating these in excess can de damaging to our health.

2. Make You Own Sauces or Go For Low Sugar

Some sauces are really high in sugar and you just don’t need it. Sometimes it can be easier to make your own. Tomatoes sauce for example all you need is canned or fresh tomatoes in a pot with some fresh herbs. If you still find yourself in your local shop looking for a sauce then choose the lower sugar option which now a lot of companies are moving towards.

3. Low Fat Doesn’t Mean Low Sugar

Some yoghurts although marketed as healthy, some actually contain more sugar that a chocolate bar. Read the label and go for natural yoghurts.

4. Reduce Treats In The House

We all like opening a cupboard seeing the glorious delights of chocolate, sweets biscuits you name it but like having a huge tub of ice cream in the freezer, more often than not you are going to eat it. Try reducing the amount of treats you have in the house and if you are going to have something try to use it as an actual ‘Treat’ and have something on the weekend then close the cupboard door.

5. Try Sweeteners Like Stevia

Sugar substitutes can sometimes be a great option for satisfying your sweet tooth.
Stevia. Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant. Try our brand new Watermelon protein which is our first product to use this.

6. Switch from Milk Chocolate to Dark Chocolate

We all love a bit of chocolate but unlike milk, dark carries a number of health benefits lower the risk of heart disease.

7. Cut Out Soda

Trade soda for water with lime or lemon in it and you’ll cut your sugar intake in a huge way. Try making your own fruit infused water for a healthy alternative with our fruit infuser bottle or use our skinny water.

10. Swap Cereal for Oats

Cereal may not seem too bad but our favourite breakfast cereal with that quirky cartoon character on the front can have as much as 15g of sugar. Go for a bowl of oats like our Oatein or try and omelette to start the day with some good protein.

11392835_393117847540666_1666417347521925271_n

Where do I start…. from the age of 9 I started to play tag rugby for a local team, as the years went on I carried on playing rugby. When my parents slip up, my mum moved really close to the river Thames. She though it would be a cool idea to get a boat to see the river more, well! What I didn’t know is that she meant Kayaks. I thought we were going to get a big motorboat! So my young self was pretty upset about this. But lucky enough for me this is where my sporting life really begun. A random guy came round to our house “oh you just brought some kayaks” it turns out this guy has done trips and expeditions all over the world. And he was our neighbour, pretty handy! So he coached me, and showed me all the basics. I never looked back. It got the stage where I had to pick kayaking or rugby (this was hard for a 14year old) I picked kayaking of course! My dad on the other hand was not so happy…

10527696_10152145367232587_3730106905112535600_n

I was doing some events over the country at this time just loving the sport and life. One day someone said to me “you should go and compete at the GBR Selections” this was a big step. After talking to my mum I decided to enter, not having ever really trained before I want into the event and at the age of 15 years old I made the GBR Squad! Damnnn.

So from that point on it was all up hill. Paddling with best in world, traveling all over the world competing at different events and sitting on the water with my biggest role models! “It was like meeting a celebrity” here are some of my results from over the years.

578475_546285128720191_1628703133_n

Team GBR Member 5 years
Junior British Champ
World Champs 11th Junior
World Cup 3rd Junior
European Champs 6th Junior
USA Tour, Lyons 2nd Junior
USA Tour, Fibark 2nd Junior
USA Tour, Payette River Games 9th Junior (Against Seniors/Men)
Hurley Classic 1St Junior
USA Tour, Payette River Games 6th Men’s
World Cup 1 – 11th Men’s
World Cup 2 – 16th Men’s
European Cup – 6th Men’s
Hurley Classic 10th Men’s

There are few I have forgotten…
It took me a long time to learn how to compete, getting my head in the correct place “Everyone has the ability to be great, its your mind and actions that set you apart” It has been a huge life lesson I have learnt, and now I can put everything I have learnt from competing and sport and put it into action into other situations.

10418492_10152145367202587_1894362826394258882_n-2

Now that 2016 is here, I have made a bit of a change. I have just qualified as a Personal Trainer, plus I have made the decision not to compete in 2016. I will still be on the water having fun and training as usual. But I have set my self some new goals. 1. To start/grow my Personal Training Business 2. Focus on my Physique, aiming to compete in a Physique Event in 2017 3. Get my foot in the Fitness Industry. Don’t worry the love and passion I still have for kayaking will always be there!

Thank you to all my sponsors that have stuck by me over the years. You are Brilliant! I’m casing my dreams, come and join me!

To find out more about Brandon check out his ambassador page here.

15333-uncooked-pasta-and-rice-on-a-counter-pv

Low carb diets with a lot of people have now become the best way to shift any unwanted fat. However, with so much conflicting and misleading information, it’s difficult for the average person to not only find out what works but also understand how to use it on a day to day diet to aid weight loss.

We have kept it simple with these 3 points to remember when looking at reducing your carbohydrate intake.

1 YOU CAN EAT CARBS AND LOSE WEIGHT, JUST THE RIGHT AMOUNT AND THE RIGHT TYPE
Focus on eating carbs that are high in fibre such as vegetables, beans, fruits, and whole grains.

2 CONTROL THE AMOUNT YOU EAT ON DAYS YOU ARE EXERCISING AND NOT EXERCISING
For example, on days you don’t exercise reduce the carbs you eat and maybe vary the types.

3 ENJOY CARBS POST WORKOUT
Spiking insulin with carbs post workout can be beneficial to muscle recovery when consumed with protein. If you missed it earlier in the week check out the guest post from BSc Hons James Rutherford on insulin

So to conclude, focus on having a balance and look at timing you intake around your workouts.

chicken libby
Libby Alice Fitness brings you these chicken chutney meat loaf balls.

Ingredients
– 400g cooked chicken(chop your chicken and grill or bake till cooked)
– 1 large egg
– 70g organic chutney
– 1 large chopped bell pepper
– 2 tbsp flax seed
– 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
– A pinch salt and pepper

How to make me
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare a tray with baking paper.
2. Mince the cooked chicken in a blender and then add the chopped pepper, chutney, egg, mustard, S&P and flaxseed.
3. Take tbsp sizes from the mixture and roll into balls with your hands.
4. Place the balls on the tray and bake for 30 minutes.
5. I have 5 or 6 or seven balls at a time yum!

Macros
Whole batch:
812 cals
68 cals
19g fat
14g protein 38g carbs 26g sugars

oat berry cake

Ingredients
– 2 cup Gluten free oats (put them in a blender to make flour)
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup Berries / frozen berries
– 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
– 1tsp baking powder
– 1 tbsp maple syrup or natural honey
– 1 tbsp walnuts chopped
– 1 scoop of whey better or paleo protein (optional)

How to make me
1. Preheat your oven at 200°.
2. Stir all ingredients apart from the berries in a large bowl.
3. Add half the berries in and mix trying not to crush them too much.
4. Place the mixture into a baking tin and top with more berries. Bake for 20 minutes. If you are in a rush, you can microwave this dish in a serving bowl for 5-10 minutes.
5. When done the mixture should be spongy but moist.
6. Pour over a tbsp almond milk to soften and leave to cool.
7. Divide into 5-6 slices ready to enjoy whenever you desire.

Macros
Whole Loaf (190 cals per slice):
952 cals
34g fat
35g protein
134g carbs
21g sugars

Follow Libby on social media here

By James Rutherford BSc Hons

JellyBellyPile

The topic of insulin is one of the most spoken about topics in the sport of bodybuilding, but not a huge amount of people actually fully understand it. First thing’s first, there is a common misconception that insulin is blood sugar (glucose), however, this is not the case, insulin is simply a hormone that regulates blood glucose levels, it is not blood glucose itself.

There are two hormones that regulate blood glucose levels, glucagon and insulin. The role of glucagon is to increase blood glucose levels and the role of insulin is to decrease blood glucose levels, simple. Now the way insulin works are that the brain senses when blood glucose levels are too high and it then sends signals to the beta cells in the pancreas to secrete insulin. This insulin then binds to glucose in the blood and removes it via two main pathways. It transports the glucose either to the liver to be converted into glycogen for storage via a process called glycogenesis or it is shuttled via the GLUT4 transporter (a type of glucose transporter) to muscle and fat cells for them to absorb; this results in a reduction of blood glucose.

The latter of these two main pathways is what we’re interested in as this is the pathway in which the glucose is taken to muscle and fat cells, and it will be the muscle cells that will be much more receptive of this glucose. This is because after training the muscles will be drained of nutrients after having used them up for continuous muscular contractions during training and will want to replenish whatever nutrients they can as quick as they can.

This is where the insulin comes in! Ingesting fast acting carbs and simple sugars post workout will cause a sudden increase in blood glucose which will of course signal a sudden release of insulin to counteract this. As described above this insulin will then attempt to remove the glucose from the blood as efficiently as possible by shuttling it to muscle and fat cells, but the insulin release causes muscle cells to become hypersensitive and at this point the muscle cells will be far more receptive than the fat cells as they have a greater need for the glucose and therefore the insulin secreted will shuttle the majority of the glucose to the muscle cells, which will also be readily absorbing amino acids to stimulate muscle protein synthesis. Once inside the cells the glucose is then phosphorylated (a process that involves protein enzymes being switched on) to form glucose-6-phosphate, a compound that can be either converted into glycogen for storage within the muscle or enters the metabolic pathway glycolysis, which involves the glucose being converted into pyruvate, resulting in the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is then readily available to facilitate muscular contraction.

All in all the process of insulin spiking after training and the effect it has on muscle cells is a very complex biological process that can be made simple by these three easy to remember steps…
Increase blood glucose by ingesting simple fast acting carbs

Insulin secreted shuttles glucose to the muscle cells and causes these cells to increase their uptake of amino acids for enhanced protein synthesis

Muscle cells absorb the glucose and use it for anabolic processes to facilitate future muscular contractions
So in conclusion, make sure that your post-workout supplementation contains some form of simple carbs, high-quality whey protein and BCAA’s as all of these nutrients will be rushed to the muscles to stimulate recovery, growth and most importantly GAINS!

To find out more about James you can view his ambassador page here.

IMG_3937

We have teamed up again with the very talented Libby Alice Fitness.

Libby has created this scrumptious recipe that is high in protein with some healthy fats.

Ingredients
1 ripe avocado
3 large tbsp total greek yoghurt
2-3 tsp raw cocoa powder (found in whole food stores) or dark cocoa powder (green and blacks is a good pick)
1 tbsp maple syrup, natural honey or natural sweetener source (e.g. melted dates)
1 tbsp cashew nuts (soaked in warm water for 30minutes or more)
1 pinch of salt
1 heaped tbsp Bio-Synergy chocolate whey protein or paleo protein powder

How to make me
1. Place avocado in a blender with the soaked cashew nuts and blend until smooth.
2. Add the yoghurt, natural sweetener and pinch of salt then continue to blend until smooth
3. Spoon in cocoa powder and protein then blend again till the mixture is all a lovely chocolaty colour.
4. Spoon mixture into a bowl or 2-3 smaller pots and allow to set in the fridge for 1-2 hours

I like to sprinkle some 70% grated chocolate, some cocoa nibs or chopped hazelnuts on top.

Macros
383 calories per serving
28g fat
24g carbs
32g protein

To get more recipes and nutrition tips sign up to her training programs here.

By BSc Hons Sid Atkinson and BSc Hons Austin flood

8236445542_8cf77af0cf_b

During a fight camp, athletes dramatically increase frequency, duration and intensity of their technical training. As Strength and Conditioning coaches we have to manipulate our programming to accommodate this to ensure fatigue is managed effectively and that the athlete ‘peaks’ for the fight. This requires the consideration of a wide array of factors such as monitoring and testing, appropriate volume/intensity manipulation and conducting a thorough needs analysis of the athlete before the start of the fight camp. Important to note is that this work is complemented over time by educating the athlete on how to take care of their own bodies.

When conducting a needs analysis we consider the requirements of the sport, strengths and weaknesses of the athlete and opposition and how the phases of training leading to the fight will ensure peaking. However, a vital factor that must not be overlooked is injury prevention and management. Due to the extreme nature of MMA, many of the athletes have long term injuries which require our consideration to reduce the risk of re-injury and ultimately improve performance. All of the physical qualities that we have identified for improvement in our needs analysis than have to be tested in a way that is practical and easy to repeat. For example, neuromuscular control of glutes in relation to reducing knee valgus and be tested with a series of jumping and landing patterns. Following the identification of appropriate tests, specific exercises will be implemented to improve said qualities. Some exercises will be used to improve a very general quality (e.g. back squat for lower body strength) and other will be used to improve a quality that is very specific to the athlete (e.g. high volume leg press for an athlete with an ACL deficient knee).

Each exercise then has to have appropriate progressions and regressions that still train the same quality. Before exercises progressions are applied pre-determined criteria must be met. An example of this would be before we allow an athlete to deadlift they must be able to move through a full range of hip flexion with no spinal deformation during a Romanian deadlift (RDL). In contrast to this, there are times when an athlete has to be brought back a step or two in order to train the same quality whilst minimising injury risk. This can often happen in a fight camp as a result of the enormous fatigue they are subjected to. Important to consider at this point is the mental aspect that this may have on the fighter during their fight camp. To minimise this, planned de-load weeks during the entirety of the fight camp are crucial. Before any programming is done, we talk to the fighters about the training schedule with regards to intensity, duration and level of fatigue. This allows us not only to have a structure for our training week but also how to vary specific sessions throughout the fight camp.
The fight camp itself is completed in phases; each phase has a specific focus. This is known as periodization. When there is no fight on the horizon training is much more general.

Any previously determined weaknesses are worked on consistently; this underpins any phase of training but further away from a fight is a good opportunity to iron out any deficiencies. As well as weak points our fighters will also focus on strength training, heavy load and low volume is the key here. This allows for maximal strength to be increased, the fact is that stronger fighters can hit harder and grapple more effectively. Also as weight cuts are a long way off, it is possible to get the calories required to recover from these heavy sessions without worrying too much about gaining weight. The low rep nature of the sessions does ensure that there isn’t too much muscle bulk piled on.

As a camp gets closer fitness training will increase. Our guys maintain a good level of fitness throughout the year, before a fight camp we ensure they have a high level of aerobic fitness. This includes longer sessions on the bike, often hooked up to a heart monitor so we can observe exactly what level they are training at. As we move into the camp the fitness sessions will change to short bouts of high intensity with scheduled rest periods; incorporating full body movements, not just cardio equipment. This more accurately represents the demands of a fight Again we keep an eye on heart rates, in this stage we expect them to be working close to their max.

The weights sessions change significantly during a fight camp. As we work to peak power the strength training reduces to a ‘maintenance’ level. That is just enough to keep it, but the main focus is power and as the fight becomes closer the overall weight being used reduces. Any deficiencies are still considered, especially during the warm up. The warm-ups are often specifically catered to individual issues as they are repeated daily. Our focus during the main sessions switches to become much more sports specific. This is important because as the phase is relatively short, we keep it very specific and include much more than just endless med ball throws. Power training is essentially the most force one can produce in the shortest amount of time. And we work with whole body compound movements to ensure a proper transfer of force through the body. We utilise jumps, hops, Olympic weightlifting, band resistance, kettle bells and many other training tools. Week by week we expect faster and faster movements until our fighters are peaked and primed ready to fight.

The final point we shall discuss when completing a fight camp its fatigue management. MMA is a multi-disciplinary sport so we often have to schedule gym sessions around technical drills, boxing, wrestling and jiu-jitsu, with enough time to recover. Not only this but often our fighters are in the process of cutting; recovery is even harder with a reduced calorie intake. There are only so many hours in the week so we carefully discuss with each fighter what their week consists of and at what time. We then plan everything around this, advising days to eat more, days to rest, how to utilise supplements such as protein, creatine and bcaas and when the big sessions should be. Together with a meticulously structured program, we are able to ensure the best performance physically possible on fight night.

About The Authors

Sid and Austin are coaches from Strength and Conditioning gym The Athletic Edge

sid2-300x200

Sid Atkinson BSc

Completed his Undergraduate degree in Strength and Conditioning Science at St Marys University and currently doing a Masters in Sports Rehab, Sid competes in Powerlifting and has previously played competitive level rugby as well. A coach with a keen eye for detail and sound rationale, Sid has expertise in coaching a wide range of athletes and people who want to achieve diverse fitness goals.

AV7P5341-1-300x200

Austin Flood BSc

Currently doing a Masters in Sports Rehab having completed his degree in Strength and Conditioning, Austin has coached a multitude of athletes over the past few years. In 2012 he studied in America working with Division 1 Collegiate Football at Lehigh University. Austin assisted coaching with Wales women’s lacrosse in the run up to the 2013 World Cup and has worked with London Irish for the 2013/14 season as part of the prestigious gold medal intern program through St Mary’s. Austin competes in Weightlifting. Having worked with a variety of athletes, Austin has developed a versatile coaching style which enables him to train lots of different groups of people.

By Lawrie Gormley

treadmill

The wonderful joys of fasted cardio. For me it’s pretty scary when you read x, y and z doing something and straight away take a look at there physique and think yes! I’m going to do what they do and look like them, right? Well no! Wrong!

I remember prepping for my first comp and moaning at my coach a lot, when do I do fasted cardio, when do I drop carbs, when do I water load? He must have thought oh god not again after every beep and vibration of his phone. For me my journey is now a lot easier as I am a question asker! Why? Why? Why? Now this is not because I doubt my coaches it is more that I have a need to understand so I can justify the hard work and challenge. Following blind instructions just isn’t really my bag.

So lets take fasted cardio. Do we really need to go out on an empty stomach and hit some cardio? The method or science behind the theory; Completing cardiovascular exercise on an empty stomach should use fat as an energy source due to glycogen levels being depleted. A reduction in circulating blood sugar causes glycogen levels to fall. At the same time creating low levels of associated insulin which is conductive to fat breakdown, thus increasing the amount of fatty acids we can use as an energy source during the workout.

Ok so that’s cool and I’m probably not the only one that when starting out, or even now, that just did fasted cardio without actually considering why or what it is we are trying to achieve.

When we are exercising ultimately the body will continually adjust its use of fats and carbohydrates for fuel depending on a number of factors. So if you are utilising fasted cardio for a greater fat loss the numbers are so small they are pretty insignificant. Also it has been proven that eating prior to cardio increases EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) this is a measure of how the increased rate of oxygen intake following strenuous activity is intended to erase the body’s “oxygen deficit”, so in theory more fat shall be burned in that post exercise window with food than without.

For me as a fitness model, bodybuilders will fall into this and pretty much most people looking to hold onto muscle burning fat and not muscle is really the challenge. So any training done in a glycogen depleted state will increase the chance of catabolic effects or simply muscle loss. I remember myself attempting my own carb cycling, with no real structure to my training schedule and losing weight, but also losing muscle. Since then I have a paranoia regarding losing muscle when aiming to lose fat.

But….I still sometime partake in a little fasted cardio. For me my fasted cardio is maybe 45-60mins walking with the dog, my diet is structured for the most part with a high level of carbs so catabolic effects won’t really come into it as much. No chance I would be doing HIIT or anything too strenuous on an empty stomach. Simply put I’m not driving my car with no diesel in there, something is going break and go wrong! But that moment of getting straight out of bed popping my clothes on, saddling up Oscar (well putting the lead on the dog) and wandering around and clearing my head for a while sets the day up perfect. So if fasted cardio is, like me, your way of meditation then go for it. If you think doing HIIT on an empty stomach and killing yourself is a good idea, then there certainly is better ways to get that fat off.

lawrie top and medal

If any one has any questions on the above or anything else please hit me up on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

stefan-k

How I became a ‘NewMan’

It all started for me when I was 23 years old. I was suddenly aware of the fact that I was a man and seen that way by others yet when I looked in the mirror I saw the same teenage boy staring back at me. It was time to make a change. I walked to my local gym and, like so many guys before me; I had a one on one induction with a gym instructor and told him that I basically wanted to be ‘bigger on top’.

Let’s rewind a bit. I’ve always been healthy and fit. I studied martial arts during my teens and trained as a chef when I moved to London. What I mean to say is that I had a good foundation to start with.
Back to my induction. It came from nothing more than a desire to look better and more masculine to others. The idea of getting stronger or fitter wasn’t on the agenda.

So I flirted with fitness for a few years. Looking back I was basically sailing against the wind and just standing still. I became a father at 25 and I was trying to work out how to juggle a married life, parenthood and a full time shift working job whilst finding time to train.

The catalyst came when a friend and colleague suggested that I try out for a local American football team. Being fast and confident with a reasonable level of fitness helped me strive in this amazing sport. Before long I was the starting running back. It soon became clear that I needed to be Bigger, faster and stronger to progress within the sport. My ambitious goal was to play for the UK team.

So I started reading. I spent my free time reading articles, studying apps, learning nutrition facts and fiction. And I started to learn how to train properly. I started incorporating HIIT treadmill training and Compound lifts into my routines. I even started training legs!

matt dual fuel

That’s when the gains came. It’s hard to notice yourself as you see yourself every day, but others would notice and comment. At work it became a regular thing for a colleague to joke that I was ‘on roidz’. I soon realised that there was no point defending this naive attitude but instead take it for the complement that it was. “He must be cheating to have gained that much size”. Also, as a guy, you get treated differently by other guys when you’re ‘in shape’. They seem to take you more seriously and there’s a level of respect there that I felt was missing before. I think it must be a caveman thing relating to pack orders or something. Who knows, I’m no psychiatrist, but it felt good.

It then became like a banker investing money. As they would invest more funds to earn more returns I would spend more time researching and training and enjoying the results. More results meant more work and research. It compounded the effects.
At the age of 26 I was finally aware of the importance of clean eating and nutrition. That was the final piece of the puzzle for me. When that clicked it all came together. It was the ‘tadah’ moment. By now I thought I was in better than average shape but I knew I had more in me. I walked into Sports direct one day and looked at the underwear boxes by the tills. I looked at the pictures of guys torsos and thought, “I’ve got better abs then him, why can’t I do that?”

So I started hunting for photographers with a goal to building a portfolio. Things slowly started growing and I began to promote myself on social media. I was suddenly aware that I couldn’t fit it all in and needed to make sacrifices. The American football had to stop. I never achieved my goal of playing for the UK.

In early 2015 I was on a shoot in Muscle works gym, London when I mentioned my desire to compete. The photographer mentioned the upcoming Pure Elite Show and I thought, why not? I stuck to my diet and training and got a posing coach. Before I knew it I was on the stage and showing everyone my physique in the fitness model category. It was a long day and I was gutted to have not placed but I later learned that I won the ‘male audience’ vote along with my first trophy and sponsorship with a leading nutrition brand, Bio-Synergy. I was over the moon but hungry for more.

I upped my game and learned new training and nutrition techniques. I studied my rivals and started thinking about my next competition. In late September I placed 4th in the Miami Pro Mr Universe comp and 4th in the Pure Elite World championships in November. They seem to take you more seriously and there’s a level of respect there that I felt was missing before. I think it must be a caveman thing relating to pack orders or something. Who knows, I’m no psychiatrist, but it felt good.

matt trophies

It’s now 2016. I’m 31 years old and feel in my prime. I’m aiming to compete in April’s Miami Pro Worlds show and depending on my result I may just take the plunge over the Atlantic to compete in the WBFF Worlds Show in Toronto. I’m also considering entering a Strong Man Competition in the summer.

I’ve still got a long way to go. The secret? There really isn’t one. I see my fitness ‘career’ as a snowball gathering momentum. It started with just a desire to look better and grew and grew. It’s only just started. I’m constantly learning and reading new ideas and training protocols as well as designing and trying my own. I’ve even taken on my first client.

I have achieved these things whilst working full time in the London emergency services juggling shift work whilst being married and having a son. I say this not to gloat or show off but to show you that it can be done. I am just a normal guy. I make the time to train and eat clean. Busy schedules aren’t a barrier I allow. It’s more than just getting ready for shows and enjoying social media followings, it’s a lifestyle. I love to share it with others and hope to inspire as many as possible to live a healthier life. Whether you want to compete, model or just look and feel so much better, make the kitchen as fun as the gym.
I can’t tell you how much my physique grew when I started eating properly. I can’t imagine living any other way.
To be continued…..

To find out more about Matt check out his ambassador page here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Try this delicious high protein low carb wrap that will help you hit your macros.

Ingredients:
-1tbsp Reduced Ketchup
-1tsp Honey
-1tsp Worcester source
-1tsp Lemon Juice
-1tsp Tabasco
-1/2 Avocado-
-Wild Rocket
-175g Chicken Breast

Calories: 282kcal
Protein: 44g
Carbs: 37g
Fats: 10g

refuel crispy

Libby Hancock over at Libby Alice Fitness has made these little treats to help you snack happy without the guilt.

Ingredients
2 tbsp raw cocoa powder or dark cocoa powder (green and blacks is a good pick)
40g scoop Bio-Synergy paleo diet protein
2 tbsp natural sweetener, maple syrup or natural honey
3-5 blended and melted dates
2 tbsp crunch organic peanut butter
3-4 cups whole grain rice puffs (found in ‘free from’ section or whole food stores)
2-3tbsp almond milk

How to make me
Blend the dates, natural sweetener, almond milk together to make a gooey paste.
Spoon into a pan on a low heat and mix in nut butter, cocoa powder and protein
Once smoothly mixed take off the heat and mix in the puffed rice
Spoon mixture into a tray and leave to cool/set for 20 mins in the freezer or an hour in the fridge
Slice into rectangular squares and enjoy!
I like to melt 85% dark chocolate and spread it on the top

Macros
128 calories per slice
2g fat
22g carbs
5 g sugars
7g protein

Sign up here to get all of Libby’s creations.

_DSC9094

Swimming in a triathlon can be tough. Conditions and surroundings are key.

Follow these 5 tips to make sure that your swimming technique and performance is fine tuned.

1. Stay Relaxed
This will stop you from tensing up. When tensed your stroke will become a lot more irratic which will affect your speed.

2. Don’t Hold Your Breath
Exhale when under water. Doing this will also keep you relaxed as well as keeping your form on point

3. Keep your head down
By looking up your body becomes unbalanced with your hips sinking down. Keep your head down with the occasional glance for a buoy.

4. Draft
This involves swimming behind someone faster. This will help you conserve energy.

5. Rotate Your Torso and Engage Your Core
This will help keep your body in a horizontal position, which will help reduce water drag.

libby pancakes_opt

In celebration of #NationalBreakfastWeek we have teamed with Libby Hancock over at Libby Alice Fitness to bring you these awesome protein packed pancakes.

Easy to make packed full of flavour these are a great way to start the day.

Ingredients
1 Banana
2 Eggs
1 tsp Coconut Oil
1 Scoop of Paleo Protein
1 tsp of chopped nuts (optional)

How to make me
Mash up your banana in a bowl
Crack open eggs and whisk them with banana
Heat oil in a pan and then poor in mixture and fry like a pancake !!! Or poor in dollops and make mini pancakes.
I like to top mine with berries or Greek yogurt !

Macros
250 calories
10g fat
13g protein
30g carbs
19g sugars

For more of Libby’s recipes head over to her sign up page here.

DOTTLogo

Dash of the titan is an OCR set in the picturesque woodland of the Thoresby Estate near Newark Nottinghamshire and is now entering its third year.

We have developed the course over the 3 races we have held to date and will continue to do this into 2016 with new course distances and routes that are designed to test all our participants.

Our 2016 calendar of events includes the Titan Dash a 5k OCR designed for those starting out in the OCR world, the Titan Survivor a gruelling 10 mile OCR designed to test hardened OCR participants, both being held at our March and November events and our 12 hour Total titan obstacle marathon event being held in August.

titan

As a family friendly event we welcome everyone to come and spectate and watch their loved ones toiling in the mud and struggling over our obstacles.

All the courses are designed by racers for racers and are developed in keeping with the natural woodland landscape and include obstacles and natural hazards as well as some other surprises along the way. You will get wet, you will get muddy and you will be tested. Every muscle in your body will be used so an effective training and nutrition plan is always wise.

As part of our growth we have partnered up with Bio Synergy as our solus nutrition partner for all our events in 2016, the team believe the range of products Bio Synergy offer supports the needs of all our participants both during training and during the races and the team will be there to give useful advice and samples for each of our events this year.

For more information and registration visit www.dashofthetitan.co.uk

Phoebe 1

Born and raised in London, Phoebe Robinson-Galvins talents as a dancer and performer were evident early on. Phoebe (or PRG as we come to know her) was technically trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Modern dance from an early age by the time Phoebe was 13 years old her overwhleming passion for all dance styles lead her into the urban dance scene and she began learning and teaching in this field. Traveling through the urban she then glided into contemporary arts. Phoebe went on to become and extremely versatile dancer who graduated with a BA Hons Dance Degree specialising in contemporary dance styles at the University of Chichester in 2011.

Phoebe 8

At 19 years old and in her second year of her Degree, Phoebe gained a place at The University of Buffalo in New York USA where she transferred for 7 months. She underwent full time training in tap, ballet, and contemporary as well as persuing commercial and Hip Hop training in New York City. Her urgent desire to uproot more of her artistic creativity grew and she began to travel the world with dance. As part of her degree she lived in Hawaii to study the art of Hula dance and trained in Muay thai camps in Thailand for various months. This was just the beginning.

Phoebe 4

Since then Phoebe has performed both in the UK and internationally, appearing in music videos, commercials, TV shows, live theatrical performances, trade and co-operate events. She has appeared for Adidas, Mizuno, Wella, Tigi, Britain’s Got Talent, Strictly come Dancing, Scissor Sisters, The Clothes Show Live, Lee Evans viral, Graham Norton show, Arcade fire, Fast and Furious Film, and more.

Phoebe 9

To see Phoebes hunger, passion and talents you need look no further than her eyes. In the midst of her dance career she has also perused her flare for fitness which then resulted in her placing 2nd in the UK Body Building Federation, Kent Klassics Bikini division competition in 2013 and London SE bikini competition 2015. Phoebe then won a place to Compete for the UK British title in this sport. This lead to her becoming a sponsored athlete by Bio Synergy and rebound published fitness model. Phoebes Desire to be the best she can be has been her driving force in her career and life. Dancer, model, actress, Fitness competitor and trained in martial arts, Phoebe’s hunger to exceed herself is evident in all she does.

Phoebe 3

Phoebe has been training in mixed martial arts for the past two years and has been training with the best in Los Angeles for the past few months. She is now a sponsored athlete by Jiu Jitsu company Breakpoint and is moving into stunts for film.

phoebe fighting

PRG can’t wait for the rest of her journey to unfold.

To find out more about Phoebe and some of our other fantastic ambassadors head over to our ambassador page.

In a traditional bodybuilding diet, the emphasis will undoubtedly be placed on protein and carbohydrates as these two powerhouse macro-nutrients are seen by a lot of bodybuilding enthusiasts as the alpha and the omega of their muscle building diet.

Some people in pursuit of a muscle-bound bod may place a small focus on fat intake but for the majority, it is a misunderstood and therefore avoided macro-nutrient. The vast majority of recreational bodybuilders and those desperate to pack on size are missing key elements of their diet that would help excel them to their goal…..VEGETABLES!

These hardworking guys and girls are letting their efforts in the gym be stunted by not including essential vegetables in their diet which contain vital micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals) for staying healthy and assisting in the maintenance and growth of lean tissue. Micro-nutrients tend to be neglected due to the misinterpreted connotation of the word ‘micro’ meaning extremely small and this therefore causes people to think that micro-nutrients only play a very small role for bodybuilding purposes and as a result come second best to the three macro-nutrients that everyone raves about. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth as micro-nutrients provide and a plethora of vitamins and minerals that are essential for health and fitness such as antioxidant benefits, fighting off illness, speeding up recovery and enhancing post-workout muscle repair.
Below are 5 vegetables that should be included in the diet of every bodybuilder or muscle bound gym fanatic due to the importance of the
vitamins and minerals they provide.

1.Broccoli – Without a doubt a heavyweight contender for being king of all vegetables. It packs a real punch as it’s loaded with fibre (for digestion) and iron (for haemoglobin production: an oxygen transporter) and surprisingly, gram for gram, contains more vitamin C than a standard orange. It’s also packed with Vitamin K, calcium, selenium and potassium which has a huge role to play in muscular contractions.

broccoli-166949_960_720

2.Kale – Rich in vitamin A and C (both vital for immune system support). It also contains a large quantity of vitamin K, an essential nutrient that allows proteins to bond to calcium ions and therefore play a critical role in all aspects of cellular functioning. Kale is also full of fibre, calcium, potassium and vitamin B6, an essential vitamin for absorption and assimilation of nutrients from food.

8303557795_57a6ba4ee8_b

3.Spinach – The go to snack for Popeye to make his guns bulge; everyone should follow in his footsteps. A great source of vitamins A, K and E and saturated with phytochemicals providing a range of anti-oxidant properties, spinach is an absolute winner for maintaining a healthy physique.

spinach-74220_960_720

4.Bell peppers – In a variety of colours, bell peppers have the winning combination of being tasty and nutritious! With loads of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6 and fibre; they’re also a top source of folic acid (vitamin B9) which plays an important role in red blood cell formation and central nervous system support.

bell-peppers07-md

5.Asparagus – As well as being a diuretic to prevent unwanted water retention, these green spears of goodness are a protein rich vegetable! In addition to this, they are considered the number one plant source of vitamin K, plus a good source of potassium and anti-oxidants (indispensable for protecting cell membranes from structural damage than can lead to several major illnesses and diseases such as cancer).

asparagus-700153_960_720

There you have it. 5 vegetables that are an absolute must when putting together your muscle building diet. If your body is healthy with everything functioning optimally then this will fire you towards your bodybuilding goals, with immediate physiological improvements including increased alertness, fatigue reduction, quicker recovery and an increased workout intensity.

By BSc Hons James Rutherford

Try adding these 5 foods into your daily diet and see how they can put a smile on your face by improving your mood.

Avocado, full of b vitamins and low in sugar, the healthy fats that they contain help with brain function and can improve your mood

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Raw Cocoa, this little beauty is high in magnesium. It also contains tryptophan which releases the feel good hormone serotonin.

3159279052_3b335837fd_o

Leafy Greens, vitamins A, C, E, and K, minerals and phytochemicals. Food such as spinach and kale also have immune boosting properties to fight off any nasty colds.

spinach

Nuts and Seeds, these are packed full of healthy fats such as omega 3 and packed full of protein.

nuts and seeds

Berries, these are the food equivalent of bodyguards. They help protect cells and are full of antioxidants which can help improve mood

berries-90861_960_720

FB_IMG_1449068161225

As far back as I can remember I’ve been sport mad, growing up I tried everything but my main sports were football, hockey and golf.

I played all at club level and but when I was put forward for county trials with hockey I decided to focus on that as my main sport. So from the age of 14 my weeks were spent fitting in as many hockey sessions as possible along side my normal school work and my weekends playing ladies hockey on a Saturday and junior level on a Sunday.

FB_IMG_1449068079052

I was then lucky enough to go to university in America on a sports scholarship. I spent 4 years in Virginia and Boston and for the first time I was introduced to strength and conditioning and how it can aid you in your sport. I came back fitter and stronger than I’d ever been and also more confident in my self.

Shortly after returning from university I was invited to trial for the Scotland hockey team – something that had always been just a dream to me. I remember that day like it was yesterday and could walk you through all the drills we did. After that day the head coach asked me to come back… I had an in, as long as I could show him what I was capable of I might just have a chance. Thus began an extremely hard couple of months. I had secured a job down in London however needed to be at training on a Tuesday and Sunday in Scotland. I racked up a lot of air miles in a very short amount of time… And got a taste for coffee! But it was all worth it as that winter I was selected for the indoor team and got my first taste of international competition, but I wanted more. I kept training and in May 2012 I was privileged to receive my first outdoor cap for Scotland against South Africa. It was a fantastic experience singing our anthem and playing alongside my team mates, and it was made even sweeter when I scored in the final seconds.

FB_IMG_1449068191062

It’s been over 3 years since that moment and I’ve been to two European Championships, two world league competitions, one commonwealth games, travelled the world and amounted 75 caps (and counting).

FB_IMG_1449068122149

Some days it’s hard to get out of bed at 5am to go to the gym before work or to leave work and go to training when you’re really tired or your friends are going out but when I think about it I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love hockey, being this fit and playing for my country.

To find out more about Nikki and all our other ambassadors please check out our ambassador page.

9194430174_c83590c4d7

This delicious and refreshing shake is packed full of protein. Each serving has over 30g of protein to help fuel and build muscle.

Quick and easy to make, all you need is the ingredients below and a blender.

Ingredients
30g Whey Better Vanilla
1 apple, peeled and cored
¼ cup raw oats
½ cup vanilla Greek yoghurt
1 Tbsp. almond butter or peanut butter
½ cup almond milk
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
dash of ground nutmeg
½ tsp. vanilla extract

How to make me
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth and enjoy 🙂

6247166026_1d67730a5c

With it being New Year we want to do our best to stay healthy in January.

This for many of us, unfortunately, means no treats. But we are here to help you overcome this sweet barrier.

Below is a quick and simple recipe to make a healthy Rhubarb and Custard crumble.

The recipe is very high protein and virtually fat-free. This will help crave your sweet tooth and keep you on track for your new year new you.

Ingredients

160g frozen rhubarb
50g total fat-free greek yoghurt
30g or 1 scoop OF Rhubarb and Custard Whey Better Protein
3-5 teaspoons Truvia
30g granola or jumbo oats

How to make me

Place the rhubarb in the microwave for 5 mins (stir halfway)
Mix in the yoghurt, whey and sweetener
Top with granola

Macros

Calories: 244kcal
Protein: 28g
Carbs: 21g
Fats: 5g

Whey-Better-Rhubarb-&-Custard-225kg

ed-djafeur

“A little bit about me.

I am a London based body transformation specialist, fitness model, and men’s physique competitor.

I became interested in fitness totally by accident. I don’t come from a sporting background, and I certainly wasn’t the sportiest or coolest kid in school. In fact, I was the one that was last to be picked for the team.

ed gym

I was always one of the smallest boys in the playground. All the other guys seemed to be growing taller, bigger, and stronger, while I remained the same. Even the girls were bigger than me! As you can imagine, I always dreamt of building a big muscular physique that I could be proud of. I used to watch the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger and WWE superstars like Hulk Hogan and Mr Perfect . I wanted to walk down the street looking and feeling as big and strong, with the confidence and charisma of these guys. I guess I was a late bloomer!

ed gym tshirt

On my 14th birthday, I received my first set of weights, and as they say, the rest is history!
Nowadays, as one of London’s top personal trainers, online coach, and a UKBFF Men’s Physique Competitor, I set my standards high. I strive to be the very best I can be, and I wont settle for anything less. I am very passionate about what I do. My job is to help others be the best they can be. I give 110% in all I do and I expect the same drive and determination from my clients. If you believe in yourself and are willing to work hard, you can achieve your goals too.
I believe nothing is impossible! If I can do it, then so can you!”

Fir more on Ed check out his ambassador page.

For more motivation, check out Ed’s Leg workout on our Youtube Channel here.

crack london

Getting Started…

Running 26.2miles is a long way yet something, with some good planning in advance, commitment, focus and self belief is totally possible and one of the most rewarding physical challenges you can do.

The London Marathon is one of the biggest and most popular marathons in the World, attracting many first time runners. The support is amazing with crowds lining the streets all the way, and always someone beside you to keep you going. Often you will find yourself running next to a giant bear or man in a sumo suit, hundreds of charity runners and then those speedy club runners – plus of course, the odd celebrity dotted amongst everyone else.

Yet there are many races throughout the UK, and abroad, from small local races through country lanes to bigger races like New York City. These all require early entry, and are often against a ballot, or through a charity place.

So take a little bit of time to look up a few marathons, and get entered up for your very first marathon….. Good Luck and Enjoy the training and race day.

Training Tips

Give yourself plenty of time to train – at least nine months if you are new to running, and plan a couple of 5km, 10km and a half marathons to keep you motivated.
Make sure you have easy weeks in your training cycles to allow your body to adapt and recover, plus add variety to what you are doing.

If you don’t feel well make sure you reduce your training until you feel better. If you feel any niggles get them checked out immediately, never run through.

Gain the support of friends and family to help support you, and keep you on track.

Get some expert advice and a training plan devised specifically for your fitness, lifestyle and enjoyment. Get some good core and strength included once a week – it really makes the difference.

Write down all the things you will gain from achieving the marathon, and how you will feel. Make this into a big picture board and this will help keep you on track.

If you are running for a charity, choose one that has a personal meaning to you – it will make it easier to fundraise and more rewarding.

Prevent Injuries

The golden rules I have found over the years of training people to avoid injury are… consistent training, with gradual increase in volume and speed – combined with proper rest periods, good quality trainers, healthy good food and lots of sleep!

Plus listen to your body and how it feels – if you feel good train hard, if you feel tired adapt your sessions and have an easier one, and if you feel unwell swap a rest day and get an early night.

To reduce the risk of joint injuries and inflammation check out ActiVeman FreeMotion and Bio-Synergy Performance Joint Formula

Pick your Race

Make sure you choose a marathon that works for you – so if you enter London lots of your training will be done when it is cold, wet and dark. Some of your training can be done on a treadmill, but ultimately you need to train on the surface you are going to run on, to get your muscles, joints and ligaments used to the surface and reduce the risk of injury.

If you choose a late summer marathon, lots of your training could be in the heat, and if you suffer from hay fever this may not work well. Also consider how you are going to get to race, hotel accommodation, flights and time difference (if abroad) and most importantly how you are going to get home at the end of the race!

Then decide what works best for your lifestyle, how your body responds to different conditions, if you would like lots of crowds or a quiet race and then spend a little bit of time looking at different races and choose the best race!

What you Need to get started …..

A good training plan – ideally with structured 4-6 week cycles on endurance, strength, speed, recovery and tapering. This will add interest, motivation and allow you to be in your best condition on race day.

A couple of pairs of good quality trainers – get yourself to a shop that offers a foot scan so you can choose a pair of shoes that support the way you run.

Breathable clothing, socks, wind proof and water proof fitted running clothing – most on line shops do great deals for end of season ranges.

Reflective out layer is essential in the winter months, and highly recommended all year round for your safety.
Lots of energy, commitment and support

Fuel it Up

Nutrition is one of the keys to getting to the start line feeling fit and well. It is key to give you the energy for long training sessions, even if you are trying to lose a little weight – and it is key to good recovery. The basics are a good guide, always have breakfast, lunch and dinner – plus a couple of snacks if you are hungry.

Try to make sure you eat as much freshly cooked, locally sourced foods with a balance of proteins, carbs and good fats. Avoid the sugars, processed foods and diet options if possible – the best way to do this is good planning of your meals, especially if you are travelling.

After long runs a protein shake such as Whey Better, Active Woman Activate or Skinny Protein is a great thing to start with the aid recovery, followed by a good balanced meal, and electrolytes.

Hydration is key also and not just water. When you sweat you lose electrolytes so it is really important to make sure you re hydrate. Pure Energy and Active Woman Revitalise are brilliant, both naturally low in sugar.

To find out your water requirements divide your bodyweight in kg by 0.033 – this will give you the minimum amount your bodyweight needs …. Then add 500ml per 90mins of exercise minimum.
Extra Things you could have or do….

Heart Rate Monitor – to record how hard you are working – ask an Expert to help you work out your average heart rate training zones to make your sessions even more effective.

Compression Tights & Tops – scientific research suggests that they aid in the reduction and removal of lactic acid, help support the joints, reduce the risk of injury and improve performance. Worn after training sessions, and by many during training – especially the calve guards and full leggings during the winter months.

I-pod – music is proven to help increase your motivation, duration of training and enjoyment. So get a running mix uploaded, change it every few weeks and enjoy your training. Do be aware that some races no longer allow competitors to run with music, so check you can if you do all your training with music… get free music with Bio-Synergy. (more…)

lulu weight

As a kid I was always the smallest, skinniest one, not very athletic or coordinated; my poor parents attended many uneventful school sport days!. However I loved classical ballet and danced and played a number of musical instruments (including violin in a quartet) up to my late teens when I felt I had to make a decision about University.

University kept me busy with last minute assignments, parties, hangovers, and working crazy hospitality hours to pay my rent, bills and student loan (really just having way too much fun!). In my final year body pump and step aerobics were the big fitness trends and I ended up captaining my University’s team at the New Zealand University games (I cringe at this now!). After University I always made time to run, swim and started learning to lift but without any real focus as the party lifestyle continued. It was after getting into football (soccer) that I got a taste for competing, but picked up a few niggly knee injuries and tendonitis in my Achilles that led me to start taking my lifting ( and boxing for cross training) a bit more seriously. And it was though a friend at the gym that I went to watch my first bodybuilding show: The next day I phoned New Zealand’s top Bodybuilder trainer (and competitor) and explained I wanted to compete in my first show in 20 weeks…

lulu be inspired

The preparation for my first show was a real eye opener; I had to give up drinking, make immediate, strict diet changes, train twice a day and completely change my lifestyle. Luckily I had a trainer that I could place my faith in 100% so I never doubted that if I stuck to his plan I would make it. One of my darkest moments was being so exhausted I had to crawl on my hands and knees up two flights of stairs to the fridge. But after that it was all uphill. For 4 years I competed at National level (figure, short category) forging new, inspirational friendships with all kinds of athletes (my training relationship with my coaches, fellow athletes and Jonah Lomu is something I cherish always) as I changed from a party-girl to a determined, focussed, driven woman in all aspects of my life.

The discipline I gained from competitive bodybuilding also resulted in my return to university to study for a degree in nutrition via distance learning (Science and maths had never been my strengths at school so this was a brave decision for me!). Then I landed a job in an organisation I had wanted to work in for a while; the Manager who interviewed me later told me I was successful because my C.V demonstrated to her that I could juggle being challenged in all aspects of my life (I had ignored my recruitment agents earlier advice to remove competitive bodybuilding from my C.V to avoid any stereotyping!). And to top it off, around the same time I was fortunate enough to pick up a sponsor. At this time it struck me that the decision to compete at bodybuilding had positively impacted every part of my life.

At this point in time I realised that I needed change to challenge myself further and decided to use the British passport I had through my Father. 2 months later I landed in Manchester (I didn’t want to take the typical kiwi approach and move to London!). The first 3 months were tough; Britain was in a recession so I was burning through cash while trying to find a job. The worse bit was waking up every morning hearing people go to work while I got ready for another day of online job hunting. I remember spending my first birthday in England on my own in a city where I didn’t know anyone, still jobless, and thinking I never wanted to feel like that again. 1 month later I had a job and a flat in London and wondered why I hadn’t moved here in the first place?!

lulu power

Through all of this I kept lifting but I also made the decision to take a break from competitive bodybuilding. Whether I wanted to admit it or not, my body was stressed from four years of restricted eating and intensive training on top of a full-time job and studies. For a while I dabbled in Olympic lifting, teaching Spin classes and training at a HIIT gym but I missed having a specific goal and the sense of purpose that gave my training.

By chance, an attendee at a lifting course I was on told me about a modified Strongman event and at Body Power Expo I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes with Andy McKenzie regarding a training approach (he probably won’t remember that meeting but for me it cemented my move from aesthetics to a strength athlete). One of the trainers at my gym (now the GB Powerlifting coach) told me about the modified Strongman classes at The Commando Temple (Deptford, London), so I signed up. It was intense. It was emotional. I was physically broken. But most importantly, I realised I was nowhere near as strong as I thought was. I was hooked.

I have now been competing at Strongwoman for just over a year with mixed success. At 54kg I am a lightweight, but this isn’t an excuse. In fact I believe this has been my greatest source of motivation along with my constant drive to challenge stereotypes of what female strength athletes look like. It has meant working on becoming even stronger for my size (it’s an urban myth women bulk up simply from heavy lifting) by simplifying my training and focussing more on the big lifts: squats, bench press, deadlift, overhead press and weighted carries (such as farmers walks, bag carries and the yoke). Also, work to develop explosive power. And as part of this process I have ended up in the world of competitive Powerlifting (I had my first comp in November this year). I guess you could say I am well and truly converted to strength sports!

lulu trophy

What drives me to keep doing what I do with 100% commitment – I work hard at work and outside of work, make sacrifices, eat well 95% of the time, surround myself with the right people and am continually seek out learning opportunities – is to show women through lifting how much potential we have both physically and mentally. No matter what age, size or background (I am of mixed descent) your only limitation is yourself. Being a sponsored athlete gives me the added motivation, support and optimism that I can help expand a community of likeminded people. I am not even minutely athletically gifted; I am simply a woman genuinely choosing to #makeithappen in every aspect of my life, every day, always hopeful that others will do the same.

Stay tuned for more of our teams stories in the coming weeks. In the mean time check out the Bio-Synergy ambassadors here

top tips christmas

Pretty much everyone tends to have a battle of the bulge over the festive holiday.

Most of us want to be healthy but also enjoy ourselves & indulge a little with friends & family. So how do we get a balance & not fall into a total blow out, ending in big regrets & added pounds come January?

Here are some of the top tips I have used over the years & recommend to my clients:

#1:

Struggle to get time for the gym whilst children are on holiday or the gyms are closed:

Do body weight HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions in your home, garden or park.

Take 5 exercises and do them to your max say 60 seconds each one. After 5 mins rest for 1 min & the. repeat 4/5 times.

Eg: squat, press up, burpee, lunges, triceps dips. So each exercises straight after the other as many reps as possible till 5 mins is completed. Rest & repeat. Simple!

#2:

To boost the fat burn effect of this workout try to do it in the morning fasted and add BCAAs. I used Bio Synergy pre workout with BCAA drink for a real kickstart

#3:

Christmas dinner.

We all want to eat along with our family and friends a full dinner along with all the trimmings & puddings Christmas Day.

Don’t deny yourself or you may start to regret. This doesn’t mean eat more or double portions if possible! But have a small portion of everything you fancy.

For breakfast on this day I would recommend having something very light & low in fat high in protein.

If you starve yourself till Christmas lunch you may be so hungry that you may end up picking at all the extras put out like nuts & chocolates before the dinner is even served!

I usually opt for Bio Synergy Skinny Shake or zero fat Greek yogurt with berries.

#4:

Add more cardio to help balance calories in/out.

This can be enjoyed with the whole family. I always go on lots of walks Christmas Day.

Take the kids roller skating, swimming, ice skating, golf, laser quest, trampolining & bowling on other days. Keeping the family active is of benefit to you all & also makes it fun rather than a chore.⛹⛸

#5:

Alcohol!

Everyone likes an extra drink or has a party of 5 to go to over Christmas & new year.

To say don’t drink will be impossible for most.

If you want to party but keep the calories low, opt for the following drinks as they are much lower in sugar & calories:

Dry white wine, light colour spirits like vodka, gin, white rum etc…& mixers like fresh lime & soda, diet drinks or a little light cranberry juice. Avoid beer & cider where ever possible as they are really high in sugar and easy to drink in large quantities!

When you get home drink a pint of water before bed.

#6:

In the morning have lots of fresh fruit & veg plus vitamins.

I also use Skinny Shake to rehydrate & bio synergy multi vitamins, omega & colon detox.

And keep drinking plenty of water all day

Most of all, have plenty of fun with your family & friends & remember moderation is key to a healthy & happy new year.

#strongnotskinny #makeithappen

Push your limits… be #limitless

Hayley Sinclair

Limitless Personal Training

www.limitlesspersonaltraining.com

weight-loss-christmas

Guilty of overeating during the holidays? Here are 7 simple ways to help you make it happen and work off the unwanted weight gained over Christmas.

1. Drink 2-4 litres of water per day. People often mistake thirst for hunger, so next time you feel like eating, reach for water first. Drinking also helps you feel full and is equally important when you are exercising to help you remain hydrated when you’re sweating.

2. Set realistic goals. Instead of trying to reach the finish line straight away, think of taking baby steps to achieving your desired goal.

3. Eat small but often. Tracking your macros and ensuring you are on a calorie deficit is the most efficient way of losing weight. However, for the more time starved, eating small meals often is a great place to start. Stay away from too many carbs, trans fats and eat plenty of greens.

4. Make weekly resolutions. Don’t try to overhaul your diet overnight. If you make too many changes at once, chances are you’ll get frustrated and throw in the towel. Instead, make one change, such as eating at least one piece of fruit daily, every week.

5. Write notes to yourself. To help you stay on track, post notes to yourself on the fridge and the pantry. Put up a little stop sign or make tags with questions like “Do you want this food enough to wear it?” and “Are the calories worth the consequences?”

6. Make smart substitutions. Look for nutritious low-calorie alternatives to sugary, high-fat treats. Try frozen grapes instead of candy. Use air-popped popcorn instead of oil-popped. Dip fresh strawberries in fat-free fudge sauce for a sensuous chocolaty treat.

7. Think positively. Experts note that low self-esteem is a major cause of overeating. Train yourself to focus on your best points rather than your weak spots. Buy clothes that fit and flatter you at your current weight. Update your hairstyle and get a makeup consultation so you feel attractive today.

IMG_4659

As a PE teacher you have to be pretty resilient and it is not just going out in the British wind and rain that have its challenges. Summer comes with the iconic ‘PE teacher tan’; sock and t-shirt lines are tough to work with!
When I am not out on the school field with 30 teenagers in tow I’m either training, racing or doing more outdoorsy things which tend to fill my weekends and holidays. Through school and university I was always your typical sporty girl; in every team and spending every evening at training for one thing or another. It was being involved with Guides and Scouts however that really opened up the world of outdoor pursuits and wow did I love them all. Kayaking, climbing, camping were all so different to the school sports I spent my weekdays doing so these began to fill my weekends.

When I became a teacher my aim was to give the pupils in my care the opportunities that I had, I have amazing active parents and this really showed in my childhood. This goal is still my main driving force through my career and has been my motivation to lead many new activities to my pupils. I really try to be an inspiration to my pupils, children tend to have a very low belief in their actions and I strive to motivate through mine. It was starting new trips and sports in school that got me thinking about starting new things for myself. A mate and I planned what has become an annual surfing trip to Newquay, this was the first time I had ever surfed and I was hooked instantly! So I bought my own board, roof racks, the works and now the other half gets dragged along on surfing holidays too!

IMG_5533-001

In September 2014 my Dad decided after 40 years of running that it was no longer enough of a challenge so he entered a local triathlon. Not wanting to be outdone I borrowed my partner’s bike and entered. I have always swam competitively since a young child so this part didn’t faze me but in the other two sections I was just waiting for the end. Turns out it all went pretty well and in the well renowned hardest sprint distance triathlon in the country I finished in second place.

_DSC9052-2

I had caught the bug! I love training hard anyway but find competing in events gives me a focus and makes me push that little bit harder in every set. Through the year I have started to enjoy the Aquathlons more, mainly because it means no blagging 24km on a borrowed bike, obviously a massive bonus! After 2 further races which saw me get a 2nd and 4th under my belt I wanted to qualify for the National Championships, this meant another new thing; open water! I consider myself to be pretty tough and swimming in dark murky water doesn’t bother me, despite not liking pond weed touching my feet, but nothing could have prepared me for this swim! Swimming is my favourite thing to do ever but I hated it, I was in a borrowed Tri wetsuit so I was totally freezing, there were fish, I felt sea sick bobbing along in the waves, I just wanted to get out. But giving up is never an option so instead I held my own and fought back in the run to finish in second place. Not bad for my first OW attempt and that was it I was going to the National Championships and undertaking yet another new aspect… a sea swim. I was hoping for a better swim; I knew what to do now, I had the tactics going round and round in my head, I was going for clean water, ready and determined. I wouldn’t say it went perfectly and was my dream race but I was crowned Runner-up British Aquathlon Champion. I had done it, I had held my own against the best in the country – that is all I ever wanted and I am so proud! I don’t think any race goes without a hiccup, in this one I was stung across my neck by a jelly fish and had to go back in transition to get my race belt that I had forgotten to put on – who does that in the National Champs?! But it was fun, I was working hard and that’s what matters. Everything I do is due to pure 100% love of it and giving things ago, you never know what you can do until you try and you often surprise yourself.

Rollei

Next step for me is the European and World Aquathlon champs in 2016 which I am eagerly awaiting details on. To have the opportunity to compete against the best in the world whilst representing the mighty GBR is so exciting and something that keeps me focused every night in training. It makes every muddy, sweaty, painful rep totally worth it.

To learn more about Stef check out her profile on our ambassador page and #BeInspired

 

If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

 

  1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

  1. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

  1. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

  1. Drink In Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

  1. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

  1. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved.

  1. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights.

  1. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

  1. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

  1. Drink Lots of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

  1. Eat Less, And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 3 enormous meals, have 5-7 small ones. This will keep your metabolism at a steady rate.

  1. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

via GIPHY

Any athlete who I have worked with who has been successful, have all mastered the ability to control body movement whilst on the move, and changing direction at a high velocity. With this constantly at the forefront of my prescription of training programmes, I always emphasise training for movement, rather than training certain body parts.

Training for movement allows the athlete to improve functionally and more importantly, will transfer any improvements from my strength prescription to the competitive environment. Most of my exercise prescription for performance training will be ground based exercises, that involve the athlete standing on their feet producing force against the ground (squats, deadlifts, lunges, snatch, clean, power shrugs). The higher the force the athlete can apply to the ground means the higher they can jump, the faster they can run and change direction. It goes without saying that all these exercises involve barbells or dumbbells, as this will allow multiple planes of movement. This can involve left/right, up/down, forwards/backwards rotational or angular movements.

Most sporting actions require multi-joint movements as well as major joints – the ankle, knee and hip. These three joints when moved from the flexed to the extended position create the explosiveness needed to blast out of the starting blocks. This is what is needed to blast after an opponent, or leap up for a ball. Training multiple joint movements is far more effective for elite performance than training single joint-isolation movements.

It is also worth noting that single leg movements need to be implemented in programming prescription, as it is very rare in any sport that the athlete is on both legs at the same time. I have been quoted figures that during competition 70-80% of the athlete’s bodyweight are supported by a single leg during a running action. This would make exercises likes single leg squats, lunges, single leg deadlifts, and speed step ups vital in lower body development. Training on one leg would also promote and allow a higher degree of balance and stabilization to occur. The subject of stabilization is a very important factor when training the upper body. It is imperative that dumbbells are used to develop strength in this area, as they force the body to recruit more muscle fibres than a standard barbell. Unlike the dreaded resistance machines, dumbbells will cause the tendons and ligaments to strengthen at the same rate as the muscles being trained. An added bonus of using dumbbells is that you will get a certain amount of improvement in body proprioception, core strength and overall body balance which you will find hard to do on a exercise machine such as a leg press. A leg press only requires the athlete to lie on their back looking up at the ceiling!

The explosive power and strength element plays a large role in any training programme. It not only develops absolute strength, but it also can help in improving the cardiovascular abilities of the athlete. Using plyometric style training can develop explosive strength and power. Almost every sport imaginable involves jumping of some sort. This skill is developed with contrast or reactive type training. Some examples of reactive or contrast training include box jumps, band squats, depth jumps, single/double leg bounds, altitude jumps, ravers and load release jumps. These, among many other contrast or reactive exercises, can be selected to closely mimic what action the player does in a game.

via GIPHY

Box jumps are one of the simplest, cheapest and easiest of all the contrast methods of training to implement to any training programme. Box jumps are exactly what their name suggests. The athlete literally jumps up onto a box from the ground using both feet. If it is decided to introduce box jumps into a programme, here are a couple of general tips;

Start by doing basic jumps onto a normal bench/box.

Don’t do too many jumps per session/per week as this can lead to overuse injury. (A figure of 12 – 15 jumps per session is a general safe rule of thumb.)

I have found another simple exercise that can be implemented into most programmes is knee jumps. Again knee jumps are fairly self-explanatory. To execute the exercise quite simply kneel down on the floor with the hips relaxed. Swing back the arms to help create some momentum in assisting an explosion up off the floor. The hips should be pushed through as the athlete leaves the ground, to help go from a kneeling to a standing position. When the basic knee jump has been mastered, the athlete can progress to repeating the exercise with a bar placed on the back of the shoulders. Not only does the extra weight add to the difficulty, but the elimination of the arm drive means the more power and momentum must be produced by the lower body.

The two exercises mentioned above, and in fact all jumping exercises, produce the fastest rate of explosive strength. I have always found that explosive strength is best developed by using moderate resistance (a rough figure of around 40% of 1 rep max) with maximum speed. This dynamic method of training is often misunderstood, as athletes and coaches feel unless the athlete is shifting big weights they are not improving for performance.

 

 

 

food-sweet-cookies-christmas-large

Bio-Synergy ambassador and BSc Hons James Rutherford shares his top 5 tips to staying lean over the festive period.

So take the mince pie out of your mouth and read the below

1.Fill up on fibre – Fibre helps to increase satiety and combat feelings of hunger as fibrous foods generally take longer to chew; this therefore automatically slows down the speed at which you eat; as a result, giving your brain more time to register feelings of fullness so that you’re less like to overeat with each meal. Fibre also absorbs and holds on to water; therefore, fibre-rich foods swell up in your stomach, helping to fill you up. But because fibre takes longer to digest, it stays in your stomach for longer and keeping you feeling fuller for longer periods, so you’re less likely to reach for those mince pies in between meals!

2.Choose low GI (Glycaemic Index) carbs – Select low GI carbs over those sugary Christmas treats as your main source of energy. Low GI carbs are digested slower than high GI carbs and therefore slowly release glucose into the bloodstream to be used for energy. As a result, they provide a steady supply of energy rather than a quick and short lived burst of energy provided by high GI carbs, which soon leaves you feeling lethargic and reaching for another similar high GI snack, which will only have the same affect. Low GI carbs help to stabilise blood sugar levels and control appetite.

3.Snack on protein – Eating small amounts of high protein foods may help to increase satiety and keep hunger at bay. Research has indicated that protein packed foods may have the ability to suppress ghrelin (the ‘I’m hungry’ hormone) and therefore make you feel fuller for longer. So snacking on some fish, lean red meat, chicken breast or some Christmas turkey mid-afternoon for example, will provide a much better chance of controlling hunger levels than snacking on a few biscuits, and also help to preserve lean muscle tissue.

4.Don’t rush when eating – The brain requires about 20 minutes before it recognises that you are full and sends signals to fat cells within the stomach to release leptin (the ‘I’m full’ hormone). Regardless of how much food consume within this 20 minute period, the brain can’t signal that you’re full any quicker. Consequently, it’s a good idea to slow down your eating pace so that it gives your brain an adequate amount of time to sense when you are getting full and hence will ensure that you don’t overindulge and consume unnecessary calories.

5.Stay hydrated – The feeling of being thirsty can sometimes be masked by feelings of hunger. It’s an easy mistake to confuse thirst with hunger and it leaves you grabbing a quick snack rather than a drink of water which can only intensify the confused hunger feelings, especially if the snack is dry food e.g. biscuits. Instead grab a bottle of water and consume the whole bottle before deciding to reach for that snack as this may well have satisfied those masked feelings of hunger. Plus water will not just help in filling you up, it’s also a necessity for every chemical reaction within the body, and has even been linked to an improved ability to oxidise stored fat. So the day after the office Christmas party, make sure you’ve got plenty of water within reach to help curb that urge to grab an unneeded sugary snack.

12294880_10153740296968088_4010307014987821370_n

I had a brilliant idea that after competing in my first strong woman comp, I could 8 weeks later compete in a very glamorous fitness model beauty comp…. The idea seemed simple enough…but, in reality, this was an extremely short turnaround.

Training to be strong involved 6 months of extremely heavy low rep compound lifts, only focusing on Deadlifts, Press, Bench & Squats. Conditioning which involved log clean & press, push & pull of sledge & Farmers walks & 120kg tyre flips! (again heavy but AMRAP) for short bursts of time to the max of 60 seconds.) Also, untracked eating of food….food for fuel, energy & recovery. I always eat pretty clean & high protein diet but with this training, there was a lot of carbs to help me through each session.

I was probably averaging around 2500 calories per day and my weight had stabilised at 65kg on this consumption with training & my body fat was around 23%.

The supplements that helped me in this phase of training were:
Raspberry pre-workout with BCAA’s
Whey better RTD for after training
Whey better cookie & cream in my oats for breakfast
Joint supplement
OMEGA

So with only 8 weeks and a lot of body fat to lose to compete in a bikini on a stage, in front of hundreds of people, including for the first time my parents as well as my daughter & friends, the challenge was on and the cut was steep!

I was straight down to 1400 calories per day, mainly protein with low carbs and low fats.
My training was high volume high reps 6 days per week of weights. then gradually upped cardio from 30 mins per day to 60 mins as I got closer to comp.
The first 4 weeks felt good. It was fun training in a totally different way to the last few months. Short rests, pushing each set to feel the burn, super setting most exercises, targeting body parts in each session.
But after 4 weeks the low calories & high volume of training hit me hard. A couple of weeks I pushed my hardest but struggled emotionally.
Luckily I have amazing sponsors who pepped me up with some more supplies…

I now used Skinny Strawberry shake for breakfast (usually making it into a yummy pancake!)
BCAA’s
Joint supplement
HTP-5
Colon Cleanse
XPEL H2O
The brand new pre workout called INSANITY which not only tasted unreal in cherry but also pushed me through my sessions right to the last couple of days out from comp when y calories dropped even lower!

12294763_10156319587030055_5995470918739326073_n

Let’s just say that, yes this was a crazy hard prep, & in future I will definitely give myself longer, but the pain was worth it as I managed to walk away placing 3rd, which I’m extremely happy with as the other competitors were all of an incredibly high standard, but I said from the beginning, my eyes are on the prize, every time I hit the gym & every time I prepped my meals.

Couldn’t have done it without all my support from family, friends & of course Team Bio Synergy

Insanity® in the latest pre-workout supplement produced by Bio-Synergy.

Many people who are getting ready to head for the gym to complete a routine workout are often fatigued after a long day at work. Studies show that lack of exercise leads to fatigue. That said, many people struggle to find enough energy to get to the gym and train as intensely as they desire.

If you are looking for an insane hit of energy and motivation before your workout, look no further than Insanity® pre workout.

insanity buy now

Insanity® pre-workout is for those who are looking to increase their performance, size and strength and add some Insanity® to their gym routine.

The insane blend of creatine monohydrate, arginine AAKG, beta alanine, caffeine, taurine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid is designed to help you lift more weight, push through more sets and truly take your training to the next level.

One of the key ingredients in insanity is creatine. In addition to improving your strength and endurance, creatine is also a great ingredient to give you energy. A study published in the April 2010 issue of the journal “Nutrition” set out to determine if low doses of creatine could improve muscle function. After giving 20 healthy young subjects either .03 grams of creatine or a placebo per kilogram of body weight daily for six weeks, researchers found that the group receiving creatine had more energy and was more resistant to fatigue in some of the tests.

Discover more about creatine in this exclusive article below:

creatine-kauffman

Train insane or remain the same with Insanity® pre workout.

Looking for some cool gym inspiration to go alongside your Insanity® pre workout? Try out this exclusive Insanity® workout below! #MakeItHappen

tosner insanity cover

Benjamin_Gregory__e68228_relaystart

Sprint interval training (SIT) consists of short, high intensity bursts of speed interspersed with longer, lower intensity periods of rest and recovery e.g. sprint for 20 seconds, then active recovery (walking) for 60 seconds; therefore each cycle lasts 80 seconds and because of the intense nature of this type of training it means you only need to perform a small number of cycles in one training session to reap the benefits. As your body adjusts to the intensity of the training, you would then just increase the work the rest ratio (sprint time to recovery time) or increase the number of cycles performed in order to add progression and overload to your training.

SIT is a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) which is becoming increasingly popular amongst all types of athletes as it has been shown to improve both anaerobic and aerobic fitness and significantly enhances the body’s ability to burn fat compared to performing steady state cardiovascular training (Trap, Chisholm, Freund & Boutcher, 2008). Burgomaster, Heigenhauser & Gibala (2006) found almost a 10 percent improvement in cycling time trial performance after just two weeks of SIT; therefore showing the rapid performance effects of SIT. Research into SIT has shown various physiological enhancements including improved VO2 max (Dawson et al., 1998), improved muscle oxidative and glycolytic enzyme activity (MacDougall et al., 1998) and enhanced muscle buffer capacity (Sharp, Costill, Fink & King, 1986).

In conclusion, SIT is an extremely efficient way to structure your training as it can be completed in less than half the time of sub-maximal training and leads to far greater fitness benefits. It also helps to maintain lean muscle tissue by up-regulating muscle protein synthesis and revving up metabolic rate to turn your body into a furnace for torching stored body fat. So ladies and gents, bin off the long and boring jogs on the treadmill or the cross trainer and swap them for some maximal effort sprints to fast track your way to the fitness goals you want to achieve.

Author
James Rutherford BSc Hons Sport and Exercise Science

hugo 1

Supplementing alongside a regular healthy diet is a popular choice amongst most fitness enthusiasts.
Any individual who trains a lot generally has an understanding of the need to put the right quantities and the right types of food in to repair the body, therefore it’s not always possible to pack in the amount of calories required from food alone, this could be because of a busy day at work, lack of time etc so this is where the supplements will come in, there are lots of supplements for many different purposes though.

I have used many different supplements for varying purposes, however more recently not specifically for training alone.
I suffered a pretty bad jaw injury during a basketball game, I broke it in 3 places which caused me to have my jaw wired shut for 2 months, now even though I was unable to go to the gym or train at all my body still needed the massive amount of calories to repair itself. (this can be anything up to 6,000 calories per day depending on how bad a break is)
Initially I began to lose mass very rapidly from being on a liquid diet, however I managed to curb it after a while. I started to add protein powders back into my diet, as well as mass gainers, which ensured my protein/carb intake stayed high, I often mixed these in with full-fat milk too. So I ended up relying on supplements not just from a training perspective but as a way of generally preventing myself from wasting away and helping to keep my calorific intake up also aiding the healing of broken bones.

There are many supplements on the market though, generally the choices you make when purchasing them should be to suit your exact purpose – for example you wouldn’t be buying a mass gainer if your goal was to lose weight, you’d choose a lean diet whey type supplement or equivalent. Another example would be straight after a workout, anything mixed with water is the fastest way of making sure the vital nutrients travel into your system quickly to replace your immediate energy stores – hence post workout supplements that can be mixed with water and taken immediately or generally within 30 minutes prior to completion of your workout.

So there is an element of “picking the right tool for the job” when choosing the supplements for your specific goal.
My overall advice would be to look at your goals, choose the best supplements for you, your training requirements, or lifestyle and factor them in with a healthy balanced diet.

Ian Hugo
Twitter: hurricanehugo29
Instagram: ianhugo

With the launch of our brand new pre workout Insanity, Bio-Synergy ambassador Grant Tosner shared an exclusive workout to put to the test. So, will you train insane or remain the same? #MakeItHappen

tosner insanity cover

Warm up
Press ups – 50 / 40 / 30 / 20 / 10
DB lateral raises 3 x 10 ( light weight )
Tricep rope extensions 3 x 10 ( light weight)

Exercise 1
flat bench warm up 2 x 20 reps ( light weight )

Flat bench
5 x 5 ( pick a weight you can just about hit 5 reps with )

Rest – 3 minutes between each set

Exercise 2
Clean and press 5 x 5 ( pick a weight you can just about hit 5 reps with )

Rest – 3 minutes between each set

Exercise 3
Weighted Dips 5 x 5 ( pick a weight you can just about hit 5 reps with )

Rest – 3 minutes between each set

Exercise 4 ( superset )
Cable flys / Press ups 3 x 14

30 seconds rest

Exercise 5 ( superset )
Side lateral raises / DB Press 3 x 14

30 second rest

Exercise 6 (superset)
Tricep push downs / close grip press ups 3 x 14
30 seconds rest

FINISHER
3 rounds of press ups
1 minute rest
Keep track of your count each round and then try and beat it every time you start again.

insanity buy now

_DSC9052-2

As a PE teacher you have to be pretty resilient and it is not just going out in the British wind and rain that have its challenges. Summer comes with the iconic ‘PE teacher tan’; sock and t-shirt lines are tough to work with: Just the mentality needed for Aquathlon training!

Aquathlon is for the Triathlete with a puncture, for those who are not keen on bike rides or simply do not like having freezing hands and feet for such a long time. I would put myself in the first or third category, I have no massive eversion to cycling, I just prefer off road and much shorter things where you don’t have the time to realise how painful everything is. The swim, run and transition sections are pretty much the same. Swims tend to be open water; even ocean based if you are feeling brave and as for sprint distance, runs are a nice 5km just like the Triathlon. All in all in my opinion the perfect event!

Training for any multisport event comes with its questions and is always a difficult one to get spot on. Focus all your efforts on one disciple and the other suffers, try and split your sessions between both and you don’t improve at the rate you’re hoping to. I have tried something completely new this season and I love that’s it is paying off. The majority of my sessions each week have a high intensity interval training (HIIT)/circuits style focus with some specific run and pool sessions thrown in to keep the balance. These session are all outdoor, whatever the weather! Something about working in the mud and rain adds a comedy factor, you have to laugh at yourself doing chest down burpees in a muddy puddle…if I don’t, I think the other option would be to cry.

I truly do love doing these sessions, I have always thought that swim training and long runs are so dam boring and I thought this was how it just had to be if I wanted to improve. As a child I would always be in the pool with the swimming club and the best part about each session was before and afterwards catching up with my mates. It is so important that training is fun, regardless of if you are working towards the Olympics or simply to stay healthy, it has to be enjoyable or else you are fighting a losing battle.

The circuit sessions combine everything in one go and are by no means easy, sprints to improve lactate threshold play a major part and feature in large blocks. Your lactate threshold is the point where your muscle begin to react to the lactic acid in the blood stream, increasing your cells resistance to this allows you to work harder for longer. This is understandably vital for most athletes regardless of the disciple but especially for those in multisport or endurance events.

Glute and Hamstring conditioning is another favourite of my coaches’, not so much of mine as this means a killer session and jelly like legs. Exercises such as squats, deadlifts, kettle bell swings, and weighted runs all require explosive power from these muscles. Combine this with a starter of sprints and you really do have a tough workout on your hands. Throughout the winter season after races have finished my focus is always on strength, weight training in the winter leads to increased power and speed in the spring. It is combining this power with the muscular endurance from the lactate work that will allow me to push that little bit harder in the summer months and races.

Whey-Better-Cookies-&-Cream-750g

Nutrition plays a large part in training and is often the aspect people forget about. How I train in the day affects what I eat in the evening as well as for breakfast the next day. Each and every day starts with a protein shake, Whey Better Cookies and Cream is my all-time favourite however I have mixed it up at bit recently and gone with choc mint which I am loving!! If my evening session has been cardio heavy I will have depleted glycogen stores these can only be replaced by having a carbohydrate heavy meal. Attempting to train with depleted stores is like training when you have a cold, everything is 10 times harder and you feel as if you never really have the energy to get going. If I have had an unusually hard session or am feeling run down after work I will have a second protein shake after my evening session to replenish my body ready for the onset of work and training the next day. Training properly has to go hand in hand with eating properly your body cannot function without the energy it requires, if you are asking it to increase its exertion levels you have to provide it the fuel to do so. Being a full time teacher and training seriously every evening I cannot afford to forget this, it is so important to give your body every fighting chance.

To find out more about Stef check out here ambassador page.

pre workouts category bannerPre workout supplements are constantly growing in popularity and demand. In addition taking supplements like creatine, protein and BCAAs, it’s no secret that gym goers are reaching for a trusty pre workout to help them achieve the very best out of their workouts.

Pre workouts contain a wide range of ingredients that help boost energy and focus, as well as improve nutrient delivery, and promote muscle pumps.

Ever felt the buzz and the tingles but wondered what exactly is in them? Here is a list of some of the most popular pre-workout ingredients and how they can help your workouts:

Caffeine helps boost energy, focus, fat burning and performance. Numerous studies support the use of caffeine before exercise. It stimulates the central nervous system, raising alertness and focus.

Caffeine also has a mild fat burning effect, which can spare carbohydrate and enhance endurance performance. Several reports have shown caffeine can increase strength as well.

Creatine increases strength, power and muscle size. Many studies prove that effective cycling off creatine increases creatine levels and high-intensity exercise performance. Studies show that compound movements such as bench press and squats increase in weight, rep range and intensity.

Similar to creatine, muscle levels increase over several days/weeks, so the timing of ingestion is not critical.

L-arginine is one of the key nutrients in pre workouts. Some studies have shown better blood vessel function after L-arginine supplementation in people with impaired vascular function, but positive effects in young healthy athletes are less clear.

Taurine, an amino acid, is abundant in skeletal muscle. There is evidence taurine may increase insulin sensitivity and decrease oxidative stress. It may also help burn fat in overweight individuals. Doses greater than 1g are likely needed to have any impact on cell function.

Tyrosine is an amino acid that serves as the precursor for norepinephrine. NE is an important hormone that acts in the brain to stimulate metabolism. Prolonged, intense physical stress can deplete NE levels, which is associated with a decrease in performance.

Electrolytes – replace what is lost in sweat 
Providing various electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, magnesium and others help replace the electrolytes lost from sweating. If your workout is less than an hour, then they’re not really critical but are still an added bonus.

Pre workout supplements:

Below are some of the best pre-workout supplements on the market to help you achieve the most out of your training.

ActiVeman Energy Charge – a great pre workout supplement for endurance athletes as well as gym goers. It also contains a blend of agave, fructose and maltodextrin to provide immediate and sustained energy AAKG to increase nitric oxide levels to improve muscle protein synthesis allowing you to train harder and gain strength. This supplement is low in carbs and contains a blend of Agave, fructose and maltodextrin to provide immediate and sustained energy.

 

Insanity® is the newest, most explosive pre-workout supplement on the market. Insanity® is designed for people who are serious about increasing their performance, size and strength in the gym. The insane blend of creatine monohydrate, arginine AAKG, beta alanine, caffeine, taurine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid is designed to help you lift more weight, push through more sets and truly take your training to the next level. Train insane or remain the same with Insanity®.

Bio-Synergy Creatine Plus – the original and still one of the most popular sports nutrition products is creatine, which is ideal to support gains in size, strength, power and muscular endurance.

Active Woman® Activate is great for women who are serious about boosting their energy levels. We’ve added All-Natural Green Tea extracts to Activate to put a little more bounce in your step and to give your metabolism an extra push. Green Tea has been shown to aid in digestion and improve metabolic fat burning. This is also a protein based pre workout, which shows a maximum benefit over a period of time.

Maximise your gains, optimise your performance and fuel the superhero inside with Super7 Super Charge. 7 Key ingredients blended by our experts to fuel the most hardcore workouts, feel the buzz and get lifting and take things to the next level. This pre workout is intentionally high in carbs for a sustained energy hit.

Each serving packs a serious punch energising your workout with a revolutionary blend containing creatine, AAKG, B- vitamins and quality carbs. What if one more rep was worth more than every rep that came before?

2015 is coming to an end… scary thought, right? Well, fear not. We have provided the ultimate guide to the top gym bag essentials to help you stay equipped in the new year.

gym bag essentials

Bio-Synergy® ambassador Phoebe Robinson-Galvin reveals the products she will be using to maintain her fitness and physique throughout 2016. If you want to stay in shape and feel great, this carefully selected range will not only help you shift any stubborn pounds, but ensure that you are getting the most out of your
fitness and exercise.

“The thing I like most about Bio-Synergy is the quality of the products… I love to recommend the products all of my clients! – Phoebe”

Body Perfect® is a multi award-winning weight loss and slimming product, which has helped millions reach their goals.

CLA is a naturally occurring ingredient that’s mainly in foods, designed to aid weight loss and improve lean muscle definition.

Whether working out or at work, stay hydrated with the Bio-Synergy® Fruit Infuser, where you can create favourite fruit infused water.

A delicious, gluten free, light and refreshing coconut flavoured whey protein powder with over 21 grams of protein & low in fat and carbohydrates.

Shop more sports supplements online to #MakeItHappen.

denver kettlebell

These are three words that can strike fear into the hearts of many otherwise happy and successful women. We have it drilled into us that we’re supposed to look a certain way; eat this and not that; be popular and always know how to act. It seems that in modern life, we are missing the fundamental understanding that humans are built to be active, to eat, and to look after themselves. Three pretty simple things I know – but then why do so many of us continue to get it so wrong?

The advent of ‘Fit Not Thin’ is still less than two years into its mainstream fame. We only have to look back a decade to the Size Zero trend that swept across the western world: when my anorexic frame was the height of cool and earned me plenty of compliments from people I shouldn’t really have cared less about. We are a nation of extremes, and there has never been a higher percentage of us suffering from eating disorders or obesity; depression or arrogance; laziness or over-exercising. We are digitally savvy and should understand how prevalent airbrushing is, but are we capable of dismissing those images of perfection that bombard us, even when we know they’re not real? What does fit and healthy really look like, and how can we achieve it?

I’ll start with Exercise. Although you’ll see plenty of (largely accurate) stats stating that exercise accounts for only 20% of a body’s aesthetics, it is essential for the health of everything you can’t see: your heart, bones, and of course your brain. Exercise releases endorphins, the happy hormone, so even though most of us hate our training at the time, afterwards you get that feeling of elation that is hard to beat. Exercise remains the most under-prescribed anti-depressant.

denver confidence

When starting out, it’s crucial you have a plan to follow. That way you’ll have targets to reach and enough guidance so you don’t stray off-track or get overwhelmed by the volume of information out there. We tailor your exercise programme by selecting appropriate Fit Missions workouts from bodyweight only all the way up to strength and power, depending on your goals and lifestyle. You can carry these out on your own at home, in a gym or with a friend or Fit Missions trainer, and you get support as you go along.

Next up: Food. Eating is something none of us can avoid, however hard we try. When starving yourself – or, equally, binge-eating – is your coping mechanism, every day and every social situation becomes a challenge. Like it or not, food has to be a part of your life. Most of us view food with some form of emotion. When we’re sad we gravitate towards ice cream and cookies; to celebrate we go for a slap-up dinner and drink champagne. The vast majority of us have some form of sugar addiction (just look out for the 3pm slump and rush for the office biscuit tin and you’ll see what I mean).

denver article food

Finally, we come to looking after ourselves. This is central to and underpins every under-confidence, every eating disorder; every instance of depression in the world. We don’t want to look after ourselves. We feel we don’t deserve it. God forbid we treat our best friend the way we are able to treat our own bodies!

This article has been written by Lucy Denver over at Fit Missions.

Choosing the right protein can be a difficult enough task without worrying about the marketing and ‘scientific’ claims that are tossed out by every brand in the sports nutrition industry. Here at Bio-Synergy, we pride ourselves on our no-nonsense approach to nutrition. We’re 100% honest about all the ingredients we put into our products, and we know that the results speak for themselves.

Unfortunately, sometimes the best products are silenced by all the meaningless white noise and promotional fluff of the companies pumping the most money to their marketing. To bring things back to basics for you and your body, we put together this handy comparison index to prove just how ‘good’ your protein really is.

HOW MUCH PROTEIN AM I BUYING?

Bio-Synergy-Whey-Better-protein-powder-brand-comparison (1)

The best starting point of sorting through the various proteins is a simple but fundamental question: how much protein am I buying? Many brands only include protein content per serving, which varies depending on their recommendations or the size of their serving scoop.

We’ve painstakingly gone through all of our competitor’s websites and come out with a standardised list ranking each protein brand by its protein content per 100g. The results may surprise you.

*DISCLAIMER: these records are accurate as of November 3, 2015, and reflect information taken from brands’ own websites. We’ve done our best to maintain accuracy, and will be happy to correct any issues should they exist.

As you can see, some major brands like BSN include only 50g of protein per 100g in their products. The rest hover around the 75g mark. Not Bio-Synergy. Our elite scientists have crammed over 91g of protein into every 100g to give you the most powerful protein punch available in the UK. That’s why independent reviewers like Men’s Health have named us the Most Powerful Protein – with more than 37g more protein than some of our competitors, we’re leagues above.

PROTEIN MISCONCEPTIONS

Despite the vast array of information we provide here at Bio-Synergy, it is easy to get misguided with inaccurate information about protein. Many of these misconceptions are thought of by women, particularly those who are new to exercise and nutrition. Well here are Bio-Synergy, we are here to help demystify any confusions you may have. Protein does not make you “gain huge muscles” it simply helps repair muscle tissue and aid recovery. Additionally, it does not make you hairy. Yes, no moustaches or extra leg shaving required!

Check out some of the most common misconceptions in the infographic below:

Protein-Facts

WHAT’S ACTUALLY IN MY PROTEIN?

Protein sources

There are many different sources of protein – chicken, fish, and red meat are all sound natural sources of protein. But serious athletes and gym-goers often turn to whey protein to make sure their muscles are receiving the complete nutrition they need to rebuild and strengthen. But not all protein shakes are created equally.

Reaching your daily macro requirements can be a difficult task from eating food alone. Additionally, protein supplements contain a good amount of BCAAs as well as low carbs and fat, which many protein sources don’t. Browse our range of protein supplements to help you reach your healthy and fitness goals. #MakeItHappen

protein supplements

Stay tuned for more protein articles and content this week!

protein-explained

This week’s category of the week is protein. Discover why you need it, where you can find it, and the best Bio-Synergy supplements to help you reach your daily macro-nutrient requirements. #MakeItHappen 

Examples of protein include fish, chicken, eggs, beef and some vegetable sources such as soya beans. Proteins break down into amino acids in the body and are used for a variety of functions such as repairing tissues, immune function support and the manufacture of hormones.

Roles of Protein in the Body

Check out our Whey protein comparison chart below. #MakeItHappen

whey-better-protein-chart

Everyone knows that protein is important for building and repairing muscle fibres after exercise, but proteins in the body have thousands of other essential roles, including:

• Producing antibodies for the immune system
• Manufacturing hormones and enzymes that are involved in most reactions in your body
• Aiding in the digestion and absorption of food
• Maximising the transport of oxygen to tissues
• Providing structure for muscles, tendons, ligaments, organs, bones, hair, skin and all other tissues

Protein is a word that sparks both controversy and reverence among the fitness and nutrition community.

How much protein we actually need, what type of protein we should ingest* and what protein products are the most effective are all topics that are under constant scrutiny and debate.

One fact about protein remains clear; muscles need it to grow. So, for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, exactly what type of protein is best and how much of it to take are very important topics.

Bio-Synergy generally recommends a minimum of one gram of protein per pound of body weight each day.

To lose weight, one could eat for their lean body mass weight. To gain weight and muscle size, one could eat to the bodyweight they would like to reach (within reason).

There are certain ‘givens’ where protein is concerned. One given is that we need to consume a portion of protein with each of our meals to supply ample amounts of amino acids for our bodies to use for a variety of functions.

Protein Digestion and Absorption

protein absorption

You need to eat protein-containing foods daily to obtain your daily requirements for essential amino acids.

About 90% of the protein you eat is broken down into amino acids and becomes part of the amino acid “pool” that the body draws upon when it needs to build or repair muscles or other tissues or do any of the other roles that the amino acids play (The body excretes the other 10%).

Unlike carbohydrates and fat, which the body can store as glycogen or triglycerides respectively for use later, amino acids have no form of storage in the body, so it’s important to have some protein every day.

When you eat foods containing protein, the protein molecule is broken down in the mouth and small intestine into its amino acids. Once broken into amino acids, three things can happen.

The amino acids can be:

• Converted into glucose
• Converted into triglycerides land stored as body fat
• Released into the bloodstream as the plasma protein or free amino acids to be used as energy

When you eat enough protein to cover your body’s amino acids needs, your body is considered to be in protein equilibrium;
however, if you don’t eat enough, protein (usually from the muscles) is broken down to fulfil the amino acids “pool.” If you
consume more protein than your body needs, the excess amino acids are broken down further and the nitrogen, ammonia uric
acid and creatine are secreted in urine, and part of the amino acid remaining can either be stored as body fat or muscle.

Amino Acids

Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and are necessary to support muscle growth. Amino Acids are usually categorised
as essential and nonessential.

There are eight essential amino acids, these amino acids are those that your body cannot manufacture to create what it needs for countless functions on its own and must be obtained from foods and/or supplementation. A non-essential amino acid can be produced in the body by re-configuring other amino acids to create what it needs for countless functions.

This process (re-configuring amino acids) in layman’s terms may be something like taking a piece of clay and reforming it into something else so that the body can use it in a different way.

Table of Essential & Non-Essential Amino Acids8
• Nine Essential Amino Acids Non-Essential Amino Acids
• Histidine Alanine
• Isoleucine (BCAA) Arginine
• Leucine (BCAA) Asparagine
• Lysine Aspartic acid
• Methionine-Cystine
• Phenylalanine Glutamic acid
• Threonine Glutamine
• Tryptophan Glycine
• Valine (BCAA) Proline
• Serine
• Tyrosine

Important Note:

Histidine is an essential amino acid in childhood and in a small percentage of adults. As it is not essential to all adults, it is commonly classed as non-essential. For the purposes of this training material, neither classification is incorrect.

Protein Explained

Bio-Synergy Whey Better - BCAA

There are two general types of proteins: complete and incomplete. A complete protein offers all of the essential amino acids.
All animal proteins are complete proteins.

An incomplete protein is missing one or more of the essential amino acids. Plant-based proteins are generally incomplete.

Some of the proteins that we select should be high in branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). BCAAs are called ‘branched’ because of their molecular structure.

These amino acids are leucine, isoLeucine and valine. BCAAs are important because a third of muscle tissue is comprised of BCAAs. BCAAs are depleted from muscle tissue during strenuous exercise, being used as an energy source by the body.

Essentially, this means that we are losing muscle size during strenuous exercise. That being the case, it makes sense to use a protein that is high in BCAAs to replenish this lost tissue as quickly as possible.

One type of protein may offer specific benefits that another protein may not. Since your body uses the different attributes of proteins for a wide variety of functions, it is best to consume several types of protein each day. For this reason, Bio-Synergy uses a blend of several proteins in its formulas.

Whey Protein

Protein in an essential part of recovery post exercise. Check out the video below for an example of how protein is used after the gym.


There are two types of proteins that come from milk; these are whey and casein proteins. Whey protein is derived from milk specifically from the process of making cheese.

During this process, the milk is curdled, separating the curd from the whey. The whey is the syrupy liquid that you sometimes see on top of cottage cheese. The curd (cottage cheese) is pure casein protein.

For many years, whey was discarded as a waste product from cheese manufacturers. Eventually, it was decided that the cheese industry finds alternate means of disposal or uses for whey.

As a result, whey was tested for what it contained. It was found that whey was actually loaded with a variety of proteins that were extremely high in quality and contained better amino acid profiles (for humans) than beef.

Whey protein contains a high amount of the specific amino acids that are most needed by humans. In addition, it was found that whey was not only extremely digestible, it dissolved well in water (a convenient attribute for making whey in nutritional supplements).

To make whey practical for use as a nutritional supplement, methods were developed to separate the unwanted components out, specifically lactose, cholesterol and sodium.

One process that has proven effective but expensive, is cold ultrafiltration – microfiltration. This process works by physically passing the whey through a micro-filter, leaving some of the impurities behind.

The other method is through ion exchange (also expensive) in which the proteins are extracted by taking advantage of their specific electronic charges (kind of like using a magnet).

Whey protein contains the highest concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) of any single protein source. It is also rapidly absorbed into the body. This makes whey protein an excellent source of protein to use after a strenuous workout to replenish the BCAAs in muscle tissue quickly.

Whey protein also has properties that may help to support immune function, offer anti-oxidant protection, stimulate growth hormone production and assist in the production of glutathione (the body’s natural anti-oxidant).

However, whey protein is low in phenylalanine (an essential amino acid), glutamine and arginine (two ‘conditionally essential’ amino acids). These three amino acids are said to be the ‘limiting factors’ of whey.

Choosing the right protein product for your goals

Understanding the individual health and fitness goals of each user, we have developed a range of different products to help you maximise your training.

Bio-Synergy Whey Better whether your goal is packing on lean muscle, supporting your diet, improving recovery or taking your training to the next level then Whey Better is the ideal protein. Each serving contains up to 92% protein (over 27g per 30g serving) per 100g and 6.7g BCAA’s (over 27g protein per 30g serving) and is manufactured right here in the UK from the highest quality whey protein isolate and is gluten & lactose-free. Whey Better is the perfect partner whatever your goals, so if you want the UK’s most powerful protein, as voted by Men’s Health then choose from 7 delicious flavours and join the revolution.

For those who want a kickstart in the morning, we recommend ActiVeman Oatein. Not only does Oatein contain over 20 grams of whey protein per serving, but also a blend of complex carbohydrates that helps sustain slow releasing energy all the way up until lunchtime.

For women, we have Active Woman Activate. With Vitamin D, B5, B6, calcium, zinc, and folic acid, Activate is primed to push you into the best shape of your life. These vitamins play vital roles in efficient energy metabolism, and also help safeguard bones and sensitive muscle tissues. Play smart and play safe with Activate so you’ll never have to stop.

For the young and more gym focussed, Super7® Super Max whey protein concentrate, is a protein that contains a unique blend of 7 key ingredients created by experts to power you through your workout and pack on lean pounds of muscle.

High-quality protein is an integral part of the diet and serves as the foundation upon which sound nutritional protocols are built. Super7® Super Max whey protein concentrate is rich in high-quality multi-source protein and contains 18.4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat and 12 grams of carbohydrates per 30 gram serving.

Isolate

There are many ways in which a protein source can be extracted from raw materials; some of these have been explained earlier in this article. Under some extraction processes, a certain amount of other by-products remains alongside the protein, for example carbohydrates, fats, etc. With a protein isolate minimal by-product is left, meaning isolates are a purer protein source.

Casein

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of protein contained in milk. These proteins are separated during the process of making cheese. During this process, the milk is curdled, separating the curd from the whey.

As previously discussed, whey is the syrupy liquid that you sometimes see on top of cottage cheese. The curd (cottage cheese) is a pure casein protein.

Two of the primary benefits of casein are that it is slow digesting and is also very high in the amino acid glutamine. Casein tends to form a gel in the stomach, causing it to digest slowly, which may release amino acids over a period of time into the system. This makes casein an excellent protein source to use right before bed as it may help to prevent tissue breakdown while you sleep.

Also, protein sources with added casein may help to suppress the appetite between meals, which is a key benefit for those on a restricted calorie diet.

Casein contains the highest concentration of glutamine of any single protein source. Glutamine is a ‘conditionally’ essential amino acid necessary for tissue repair, volumisation, immune support and overall muscle growth.

Casein is typically seen in protein blends in the form of calcium casein ate, or sodium caseinate. The sodium or calcium simply comes from the milk as it is naturally rich in these two minerals. Casein is also seen as micellar casein which is sometimes called ‘native milk protein’. This form of casein has been unaltered from its natural state as it is found in milk.

Milk Protein Isolate

Milk protein isolate is a combination of the proteins found in milk, namely, whey and casein. For this reason, milk protein isolate will offer some of the inherent benefits of each of these proteins. However, milk protein isolate is not as concentrated a protein source as whey protein isolate or many casein proteins by themselves.

Egg Albumin

Egg albumin (egg white protein) is one of the best whole food sources of protein. Egg protein was formerly the ‘gold standard’ of protein quality before whey isolates and soy isolate came along. Egg albumin is still a very good source of protein and helps to round out the amino acid profile in protein blends.

Soy Protein

Even though up to 38% of the bean is protein, soy has never been considered to be a quality source of protein, especially in its unrefined form such as tofu. Because it is derived from a plant source, soy has been looked upon as an inferior or incomplete protein and in its usual form, may very well be.

Whole soy meal products were used as food additives for years before finding their way into the nutritional supplement industry.

When it first entered the supplement market, soy came in the form of a crude soy protein concentrate, which lacked a quality amino acid profile and was full of carbohydrates and sodium.

Soy Protein Isolate Strengths

Soy protein isolate contains the highest concentration of what is referred to as the ‘Critical Cluster’. This combination of main amino acids contains the BCAAs plus the amino acids glutamine and arginine.

Soy-protein isolate may also assist a healthy metabolism due to its ability to support thyroid function. The thyroid is an organ that helps to regulate the metabolism. This is one reason why soy-protein isolate may be effective for people who are trying to lose body fat.

Soy-proteins may also decrease blood viscosity (may make it thinner) which may help support circulation and nutrient delivery to muscles. Diets low in saturated fats and cholesterol that include 25g of soy protein may help to reduce cholesterol levels.

How Much Protein is in a Pound of Muscle?

Your muscle is primarily water and contains up to 20% protein by weight. Here’s how a pound of muscle breaks down into components:

• Water: 70 – 75%
• Protein: 15 – 20%
• Fat, glycogen, minerals: 5 – 7%

Work out exactly how much protein you need based on your gender, age, weight and with our protein calculator

Protein Requirements for Active Individuals

The dietary recommendations for protein for physically active individuals have been hotly debated for years. The protein requirements appear to be affected by a variety of factors, including age, sex, exercise type, intensity and duration, training history, total calorie intake and timing of meals.

The protein requirements for athletes are based on the requirements for specific essential amino acids; for example, the branched chain amino acid leucine is used as fuel during exercise. One study found that during two hours of exercising at 50% VO2 max nearly 90% of the total daily requirements of leucine was burned as fuel.

Both intensity and duration will increase protein requirements. Resistance exercise and endurance exercise both affect protein utilisation. When beginning a training program, the body uses a lot of additional protein until the body adapts to the exercise program, usually happening in two or three weeks.

If you’re trying to lose weight, protein needs per pound of body weight are also increased. This happens because as you lose weight muscle protein is broken down as an energy source.

Research has shown that consuming 1.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight while dieting enabled subjects to maintain more muscle mass compared to those who followed a traditional diet with .8 grams per pound of body weight.

In order to make the most of the calories, high-quality protein sources are important when
dieting to help maintain muscle mass to keep metabolic rate high.

Despite increased protein requirements for active athletes, there is no need to believe that more is better. The maximum protein the body can utilise daily is about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight or 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

Too much protein can lead to weight gain (as fat), interfere with other nutrients and increase the load on the kidneys to excrete additional nitrogen.

Both intensity and duration will increase protein requirements. Resistance exercise and endurance exercise both affect protein utilisation. When beginning a training program, the body uses a lot of additional protein until the body adapts to the exercise program, usually happening in two or three weeks.

If you’re trying to lose weight, protein needs per pound of body weight are also increased. This happens because as you lose weight muscle protein is broken down as an energy source.

Research has shown that consuming 1.6 grams of protein per pound of body weight while dieting enabled subjects to maintain more muscle mass compared to those who followed a traditional diet with .8 grams per pound of body weight. In order to make the most of the calories, high-quality protein sources are important when dieting to help maintain muscle mass to keep metabolic rate high.

Despite increased protein requirements for active athletes, there is no need to believe that more is better. The maximum protein the body can utilise daily is about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight or 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight.

Too much protein can lead to weight gain (as fat), interfere with other nutrients and increase the load on the kidneys to excrete additional nitrogen.

Protein Requirements for Active Individuals

Try our protein calculator below, to find out what your daily consumption should be!

Find your protein number

Age:* Weight:KG Gender:

Goal:

Activity Level:

Daily intake:
N/A

Per KG:
N/A

*Please enter an age between 18 & 80

Additional Explanations

The following explanations will help your understanding of proteins and amino acids.

Conditional Amino Acids

We have explained essential and non-essential amino acids. The non-essential amino acids can be manufactured within the body, by converting the essential amino acids consumed through diet.

However, when the body is placed under increased physical stress, such as intensive exercise, this creates a need for greater quantities of these amino acids. This is when a non-essential amino acid becomes conditionally essential, as it is advisable to supplement the diet to fulfil the bodies increased demand.

For more information on how protein can help improve athletes for cycling, check out this exclusive blog post. #MakeItHappen

nutrition-in-cycling

Stay tuned for more protein posts from Bio-Synergy coming soon this week.

Back in September at Pure Elite, we came across Paul.

Paul was competing in his first show and had come down from Scotland with Bio-Synergy ambassador Mark Mathews, who had been prepping Paul for the competition.

mark and paul

Speaking with Paul we found out that he had been suffering from a serious illness for the past 15 years and with the help of friends and family and the right advice on health and nutrition he had made an amazing transformation.

Below is his story.
paul blog

Summary

• Suffered from Ulcerative Colitis for 15 years.
• Caught a near fatal infection of the Hospital Superbug, C-difficile, in Spring 2013.
• Eventually had my entire colon removed in Nov 2013 leaving me weighing 50kg and using a colostomy bag.
• Put myself forward for further surgery in October 2014 to reconstruct my intestines, removing my need for a colostomy bag.
• Caught C-difficile again and my weight dropped back down to around 50kg.
• Got back to the gym in Jan 2014 and worked towards Pure Elite.
• Continue to suffer from a serious iron deficiency and stomach ulcer.

Details

I suffered from Ulcerative Colitis for 13 years. It’s an extremely painful, life-limiting and embarrassing condition, effecting, as it does the large intestine (aka colon). After several years of extremely poor health, my condition became reasonably well managed with heavy doses of corto-steroids. These work to reduce inflammation but unlike anabolic steroids, they literally disolve muscle, releasing it into the bloodstream to be excreted. Despite this, I started going to the gym on a fairly casual basis and, although it was impossible for me to ever really build muscle, I worked hard enough to be able to hold the wasting effects of my medication in check.

In Spring 2013 things took a dramatic turn for the worse when, during a routine check up I caught the serious hospital acquired ‘superbug’ C-difficile. C-difficile specifically effects the large intestine and kills around 1800 people in the UK each year. The chances of surviving it with a pre-existing serious bowel disease are not good. It took many months for a clear diagnosis and in meantime through the infection itself and the huge doses of intravenous steroids that I was administered during a 3 week stay in hospital, my weight plummeted. One particular weekend, my condition had deteriorated to such an extent that it was hanging in the balance as to whether or not I would still be alive on Monday morning. That weekend happened to include the day of my brother’s wedding so instead of celebrating with him and his wife I was being visited by a solicitor to make my will. Very slowly the cocktail of antibiotics that were being channelled into my vein day and night started to take effect and I was eventually discharged. My muscles were so wasted that I was in a wheelchair when I went to my parent’s house for the few months.

My recovery was achingly slow particularly because the iron levels in my body were so low that my muscles and organ simply were not getting enough oxygen from my blood. My GP prescribed iron tablets and within a few days I was back in hospital.. These had hopelessly overwhelmed by fragile intestines and caused the large intestine to rupture, sticking to my bladder which was now also at risk, and spilling the contents of my bowels into my upper body cavity. Needless to say this was a medical emergency and there was nothing else for it but immediate surgery to amputate my colon. The colon is one of the largest organs in the body, mine weighed 2.5 kg and having it removed is a major operation. The extent of the damage meant that less invasive keyhole surgery was not an option so instead the only option was to fully open my abdomen with all the implications that that brings for length of recovery. The operation too over 5 hours and was not straightforward but the team were able to save not only my life but my bladder too. My colon was not so lucky, it ended up in the incinerator, taking with it my ability to go to the toilet normally. From now on I would expel solid waste through a hole in my side where the end of my small intestine poked out, covered by a bag stuck to my side. By the time I was discharged (again, in a wheelchair) after another long stay in hospital, I was deeply depressed and had lost a third of my body weight. The first time I saw myself naked in a mirror in the bathroom at my parents house I broke down into tears.

Over the winter of 2013/14 I recovered though, very slowly but at least I had turned the corner. The first couple of months are a blur of opiates and excruciating boredom but by the early spring I had moved back home and was graduating from walks to very light trips to the gym. I had decided months before that if I survived, my target would be to rebuild my emaciated body and, finally free of muscle-wasting drugs, get into better shape than before I became ill. I contacted Mark Mathews who I had known from my gym for a couple of years. Mark is in better shape than anyone else I have ever seen with my own eyes. He has entered and won competitions, MMA fights and is simply an all-round King of the Gym. I was delighted when he agreed to give me a diet and training plan and even more delighted when, as the months passed, I saw the results.

By September 2014 I was in the best shape of my life but there was one problem, I still had a bag of my own poo constantly attached to my side. Many people with a bag get on fine with it and live out the rest of their lives with one. You can’t see them through someone’s clothes and you’d be amazed how many are out there. Rightly or wrongly I had always wanted to have a further operation to construct an artificial colon and return me to normal bathroom habits without a bag. Mark and I had discussed this further surgery and that it would hold up my progress a bit but only for a few months. I didn’t even expect to lose much muscle. Wrong.

Although the operation was completely successful, it was again through a full abdomen incision rather than keyhole surgery. The wound became infected but a short course of antibiotics was enough to sort that out and I was discharged from hospital feeling….surprisingly good! My recovery soon started to falter and eventually, after weeks of more misdiagnosis and pushing and shoving with health workers I eventually discovered that the antibiotic for my wound infection had allowed another infection of C-difficile to take root and thrive. I was readmitted to hospital and spent another three soul-destroying weeks in solitary confinement with a constant drip of a powerful antibiotic cocktail going into my veins.

By the time I was discharged (in a wheelchair again) it was nearly Christmas 2014 and my weight had fallen back to 50kg. I was devastated to have gone through all this again but at least I knew that recovery was possible. After treatment for a further serious iron deficiency, in late January 2015 I slowly, very slowly got back into the gym. I started doing a few reps on the machines usually only used by the odd pensioner and the gym management were so unsure about the wisdom of me training that I wasn’t allow to exercise unsupervised.

With Mark’s incredible help and despite a continuing iron deficiency, a stomach ulcer and a few dietary restrictions, I got up to my previous weight and better shape than ever by the summer of 2015.
Not bad considering I’m at an age where a lot of my contemporaries are carrying beer guts around with them!

rob f

I have a confession to make. I’m not a fitness pro, a personal trainer or a nutritionist. I’m a just a guy who whose passionate about fitness and had the objective of achieving what I guess you could say is the classic ‘cover model’ physique – lean muscle, a six pack…you know the drill. And after a lot of hard work, I managed to achieve that whilst balancing a pretty hectic career in London and a busy social life.

Hard work and dedication in the gym were definitely a big part of that. But even more important was making sure I had a simple plan in place to give my body the energy and fuel it needs to perform and grow. Supplements were a key part of that.

But choosing the right supplements is essential. It’s really important to not only buy high quality, clean products, but also ones which are going to help you achieve your goals. These are my top 5 which I use all the time:

Pre-workout – It all starts with the pre-workout! After a long day in the office, this one is a real lifesaver and gets me up and ready to hit the gym with renewed energy. I tend to drink mine 20-30 minutes beforehand if I can so that it properly kicks in by the time I start training.

Creatine – One of the most well-researched and proven supplements, Creatine has been shown to improve power and endurance when weight lifting, helping to boost strength and muscle size. I’ve found this makes a genuine difference when I’m looking to lift heavy weights or increase muscle mass.

Whey protein – Undoubtedly one of THE most popular supplements, whey protein is pretty much essential to anyone who is working out in the gym regularly or doing other sports and activities. Getting enough protein in your diet is critical to muscle growth and repair. My focus is always on making sure I eat enough from real food, but I am never without a high-quality whey protein shake like the ones from Bio-Synergy for during the day and especially after training.

Amino Acids / BCAA – Branched Chain Amino Acids come in tablet or powder form and are essential amino acids which are found in your muscles and are basically the building blocks for muscle growth. They are generally viewed as helping to aid muscle repair and recovery and I’ll always take an extra few of these after my workout.

ZMA – This is kind of a fancy title for Zinc, Magnesium and Vitamin B. It’s most often used as a recovery aid for high-intensity training but Zinc also has a role in testosterone production. Zinc tends to be one of the minerals that we are most often deficient in and you also lose key minerals through sweat when you workout. It’s often overlooked as a supplement and I like to add it to my overall supplement stack – check out ActiVeman Power Up® Vitamin to get yours.

So there you have it! My 5 must-have supplements that can make a real difference to your training and overall fitness.

About the Author
Rob Farrington is a fitness blogger at LIVE WORK TRAIN, a blog about training, nutrition and balancing your fitness goals with a busy lifestyle. When he’s not working 9 until whenever at a City finance job in London, he’s pushing his limits in the gym and eating copious amounts of chicken and sweet potato.

bond workout

Want to look like 007 this autumn? Based on multiple interviews with Daniel Craig, here is an all-around example of Daniel Craig’s workout and diet that he used to get in shape for the latest James Bond movie, Spectrum. #MakeItHappen 

Diet

Before we get to the workout, let’s talk diet. Here is a typical day for Daniel on his diet:

  • Breakfast: 2 Poached Eggs and 2 pieces of Toast
  • Snack: Protein Shake -or- fruits and Nuts
  • Lunch: Meat or Fish with small amount of Brown Rice -or- Baked Potato
  • Snack: Protein Shake -or- Yoghurt with some Nuts
  • Dinner: Meat -or- Fish with some type of Leafy Green Vegetables like Salad, Spinach, or Broccoli.

Because Daniel was more concerned with cutting body fat while building muscle, his carb intake was very low. If you’re on the bigger side of the spectrum and trying to slim down…this diet will work for you.

Workout

Let’s take a look at his full body circuit routine on Mondays and Friday On this day, Daniel would do 10 reps of each exercise and then move immediately onto the next exercise and do 10 reps, then move onto the next one.  He would do three complete circuits of these exercises, minimising rest.  If you don’t know some of these exercises, you can read about them on the MH website.

  1. Clean and Press
  2. Weighted Knee Raise
  3. Weighted Step-ups
  4. Pull ups
  5. Incline Push-up
  6. Triceps Dips

Here is the rest of his schedule; you can click on each day to see the specific exercises:

  • Tuesday: Chest and Back
  • Wednesday: Legs
  • Thursday: Shoulders and Arms

super stack skinny

It’s time to wage the war on fat. Get up and get active with your bike this weekend.

Yes, that’s right we said bike. Mountain Biking is a fantastic way to shed some unwanted weight as it encourages you to head up hills in a forward posture which in many cases when pedalling hard has you literally off your seat.

You may think that this could be damaging to your back, however, scientists at the Universite de Franche- Comte found that “the change of pedalling posture in uphill cycling had a significant effect on the muscle activity.”

With your body moving up down and side to side they found that this has a greater effect on your biceps, triceps and glutes. The most significant part of your body getting a really good workout is your abs so hold tight for a stronger, leaner and more tones physique.

After completing such a strenuous session make sure you are taking on the correct nutritional supplements to aid recovery.skinny_water_running

To rehydrate take on our Skinny Water. Skinny Water contains zero sugar, zero calories with each variant fortified with micronutrients including chromium, Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamin B vitamins.

For optimum recovery try one of Skinny Powders, Skinny Protein and Skinny Shake.

Skinny Protein is low calorie and low fat packed with protein to help aid recovery. This product also contains guarana and green tea which helps to mobilise and burn fat as well as boost your energy levels.

Skinny Shake is also a low-calorie shake which is made up of protein and essential vitamins and minerals. It also contains the highly researched ingredients chromium and l-carnitine which have been shown to help suppress appetite and aid fat loss.

For optimum recovery, purposes stack this product with some of our other award winning products such as our Whey Better, Super Charge or ActiVeman Vitamin.

Whey Better contains up to 92% protein (over 27g per 30g serving) per 100g and 6.7g BCAA’s (over 27g protein per 30g serving) and is manufactured right here in the UK from the highest quality whey protein isolate and is gluten & lactose-free. Whey Better is the perfect partner whatever your goals, so if you want the UK’s most powerful protein.

Super Charge is a blend containing creatine, AAKG, B- vitamins and quality carbs. This will give you a much-needed boost when it’s needed allowing you to take on anything thrown in your way.

AcitVeman Vitamin contains ingredients such as, Pantothenic acid which can help reduce fatigue, increase energy levels and improve mental performance It also contains iron to help boost immunity, energy levels and oxygen flow Zinc for healthy skin, hair & nails, energy and testosterone levels Copper for energy and healthy immune system
Manganese for healthy bones and energy Magnesium for muscle function and energy, as well as healthy immune system and protein metabolism.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your bike and helmet hit the hills and burn some fat.

skinny banner

This week’s category of the week is Skinny.

Discover how the range started, the sports supplements within the category, and how they can help you achieve your health and fitness goals. skinny-ad

When we developed the Skinny range in 2006, the basis was to create a range of products that would be offer consumers healthier choices and have functional benefits.

The first product to be launched was Skinny Water, which was in response to high calorie, high sugar vitamin waters, that were launched around the same time. We felt that many vitamin waters gave the impression of being “healthy” when in fact, many many of them contained over 30g of sugar.

Skinny Water making its TV debut 7 years ago! Oh how time flies… Shop the entire range: goo.gl/V9dPY1 #MakeItHappen #SkinnyWater

Posted by Bio Synergy on Monday, 19 October 2015

skinny_water_running

With Skinny Water, we wanted a name that conveyed health and wellbeing. We felt that as many people were familiar with ordering skinny lattes (healthier, skimmed milk, low-fat lattes) and this name was a great fit for vitamin drinks that are actually healthy and contain zero sugar. Skinny Water contains zero sugar, zero calories with each variant fortified with micronutrients including chromium, Vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamin B vitamins.

To this day, Skinny Water proves to be one of our most popular products internationally.

@skinnywater_beirut

A video posted by Bio-Synergy (@biosynergy) on

Following on from the success of Skinny Water, we turned our attention to developing a “diet” protein powder and meal replacement and created two low fat, low sugar skinny protein products. Both supplements are ideal for those who are looking to manage their weight effectively and perform their best.

skinny powders

This week was all about post workout recovery. When you are training hard in the gym or within your chosen sporting activity, it is important to fuel your muscle with the correct macro and micro nutrients.

Post workout supplements are perhaps the most crucial for aiding recovery and muscle growth. After a challenge workout, marathon or fitness-related activity, your body is crying out for those hard-earned macros and micro nutrients it deserves.

You can replenish muscle glycogen stores by consuming high GI carbohydrate foods, sports drinks or juices. Research is also suggesting that combining protein with carbohydrates in the post-exercise meal may increase glycogen synthesis.

For everyday exercisers, water is the best beverage to consume before, during and after exercise. Endurance athletes and others training at high levels may benefit from the addition of carbohydrate and electrolyte containing beverages during and post-exercise to maintain optimal levels of hydration.

Studies also show that combined ingestion of protein and carbohydrate improves protein balance during ultra-endurance exercise. Understanding the importance of this, we have developed a range of sports supplements with these specific goals in mind.

And with so many post workout supplements readily available, it is important to make sure you are using the right ones. Choose from one of our stacks below to #MakeItHappen 

Recover like James Cracknell after your strenuous marathon

James-Cracknell's-Marathon-Stack_qzxs-nj

 

Lean muscle recovery Active Woman Stack. 

 

active_woman_pe_stack

 

Gain lean muscle mass and size with this bulking stack

super gain stack

 

 

 

ask_coach_2

Sometimes getting the right advice when it comes to your training or diet can be difficult. But don’t worry, we have a group of experts here ready to answer your questions.

Picking the correct training plan or a diet to achieve your goals can be hard, so we wanted to help share the knowledge of our experts with you and help you get on the right track to a healthier and fitter you.

Got questions on powerlifting? We have an expert. Got a question on diets for weight loss? We have an expert. Got a question on the best exercise for getting abs? We have an expert.

Whatever your question we have an unrivalled group of coaches here to help YOU.
So don’t wait send us your questions to askcoach@bio-synergy.co.uk and each month we will choose three questions to feature on our blog and be answered by one of our coaches.

Not will we feature your question, but we will also tag you on social media if you have an account and send you a voucher to use online at Bio-Synergy.uk.

Don’t wait any longer. #ASKCOACH

pt montage

The results are in… after months of searching for the UK’s #No1PT, we are excited to announce that the final four candidates have been selected out of the hundreds who applied. These four PTs will now progress to the final judging stage, where they will have the chance to win £500 and star on the front of PT Magazine.

The UK’s leading sports nutrition brand Bio-Synergy teamed up with Gymbox, PT Magazine and Shortlist to provide the perfect opportunity for personal trainers to elevate their careers to new heights with their exclusive competition to find the number one personal trainer in the UK.

fitpro_crowd

Part of their coveted Bio-Synergy PT Programme, the competition was launched at this year’s Fitpro event in London, the search offering PTs a chance to showcase exercise innovation, inspirational motivation and extensive technical knowledge; the winner swiftly gaining a profile boost in the industry by receiving their very own Personal Trainer Magazine cover as one of the numerous rewards.

Who do you think made the best claim? Find out who is crowned the UK’s #No1PT.

Contestant number 1: Mark Matthews

Contestant number 2: Polly Rowe

Contestant number 3: Christopher Barker

Contestant number 4: Jenz Robinson

Bio-Synergy Essential Sports Fuel is arguably the best all-around recovery sports supplement on the market.

Originally launched back in 1999, Bio-Synergy Essential Sports Fuel was specially developed for the British and Irish Lions tour in association with Graham Henry and Steve Black.

essential sports fuelWith the goals of professional rugby players at the forefront of its design, Bio-Synergy Essential Sports Fuel is packed with the highest quality whey protein to assist lean muscle growth and recovery as well as l-glutamine to aid muscle repair.

Each serving contains Beta-Hydroxy-beta-methylbtyric acid, which has been shown in studies by Nissen et al to increase lean muscle and prevent muscle breakdown.

Another effective source of recovery is branch chain amino acids (BCAAs). Your body needs essential amino acids in your daily diet because your body cannot make them. If you do not get essential amino acids in your diet, proteins break down, resulting in muscle loss and problems with repair.

If you want to make it happen and fuel your muscles to grow and recover, rely on the industry’s most effective all-in-one recovery sports supplement: Bio-Synergy Essential Sports.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out this exclusive review on Bio-Synergy Essential Sports Fuel. #MakeItHappen 

Discover more about post workout supplements in this exclusive article below.

post workout banner

post workout banner

Post workout supplements are perhaps the most crucial for aiding recovery and muscle growth. After a challenge workout, marathon or fitness-related activity, your body is crying out for those hard-earned macros and micro nutrients it deserves.

You can replenish muscle glycogen stores by consuming high GI carbohydrate foods, sports drinks or juices. Research is also suggesting that combining protein with carbohydrates in the post-exercise meal may increase glycogen synthesis.

For everyday exercisers, water is the best beverage to consume before, during and after exercise. Endurance athletes and others training at high levels may benefit from the addition of carbohydrate and electrolyte containing beverages during and post-exercise to maintain optimal levels of hydration.

Studies also show that combined ingestion of protein and carbohydrate improves protein balance during ultra-endurance exercise. Understanding the importance of this, we have developed a range of sports supplements with these specific goals in mind.

Bio-Synergy Essentials Sports Fuel

Bio-Synergy Essential Sports Fuel is arguably the best all-around recovery sports supplement on the market.

Originally launched back in 1999, Bio-Synergy Essential Sports Fuel was specially developed for the British and Irish Lions tour in association with Graham Henry and Steve Black.

essential sports fuelWith the goals of professional rugby players at the forefront of its design, Bio-Synergy Essential Sports Fuel is packed with the highest quality whey protein to assist lean muscle growth and recovery as well as l-glutamine to aid muscle repair.

Each serving contains Beta-Hydroxy-beta-methylbtyric acid, which has been shown in studies by Nissen et al to increase lean muscle and prevent muscle breakdown.

Another effective source of recovery is branch chain amino acids (BCAAs). Your body needs essential amino acids in your daily diet because your body cannot make them. If you do not get essential amino acids in your diet, proteins break down, resulting in muscle loss and problems with repair.

If you want to make it happen and fuel your muscles to grow and recover, rely on the industry’s most effective all-in-one recovery sports supplement: Bio-Synergy Essential Sports.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out this exclusive review on Bio-Synergy Essential Sports Fuel. #MakeItHappen 

 

Active Woman Refuel

active woman refuel

 

Active Woman Refuel is designed for busy women on the move and making a conscious effort to #BFit.

Your body requires a serious shot of energy following exercise to bring it back into fighting shape, but not all sugars are created equally. Active Woman Refuel tops up your energy levels with long-chain quality carbs like Dextrose to give your muscles the attention they need.

Each serving of Active Woman Refuel packs a punch of premium protein – that’s high-powered quality energy to charge your batteries. Our premium protein blend is made with micellar casein, whey isolate, and whey concentrate to provide a balance of short bursts of energy with slow-burning, long-lasting fuel that will carry you through the longest Zumbathon.

With Vitamin C, E, B2, Calcium and Vitamin D and Folic Acid, Refuel is primed to push you into the best shape of your life. These vitamins play vital roles in efficient energy metabolism, and also help safeguard bones and sensitive muscle tissues. Play smart and play safe with Refuel so you’ll never have to stop.

In addition to recovery, Active Woman Refuel can also help increase your strength thanks to its inclusion of creatine. Creatine is a naturally occurring amino acid that releases energy and assists in sustained performance.

Each serving of Refuel is packed with 5g of creatine to improve recovery and energy levels following workouts.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out this exclusive review on Active Woman Refuel. #Bfit

ActiVeman Free Motion 

ActiVeman Free Motion is designed for those who participate in long-distance endurance events, train hard in the gym and want to aid their joints and recovery process.

Treat your joints to Free Motion and power up your recovery in time for the next session. This unique blend of ingredients including Vitamin C it is the next generation in supplementation that increases mobility, flexibility and range of motion.

In this breakthrough formulation, Free Motion brings together bio-active nutrients that work to create a fast acting approach for occasional ‘tweaks’ and joint stresses brought on by exercise, sport or physical activity.

Hear what ActiVeman ambassador James Cracknell had to say about the importance of interval training for endurance events.

ActiVeman Free Motion works as part of the ActiVeman range for optimum performance and maximum results. #PowerUp and #MakeItHappen

free motiong buy button

 

Super7 Super Gain 

Super7 Super Gain is a revolutionary post-workout formula with a blend of 7 key ingredients including Protein, L-Glutamine, BCAA, Beta Alanine, Calcium, Phosphorus, and Potassium to refuel your muscles and feel awesome.

When cooking a nutritious meal after a heavy session at the gym is too much of a strain, reach for Super Gain and fuel your muscles the right way.

Super Gain contains both protein and carbohydrates to re-feed your muscles and provides you with the recovery and replenishment you need. Available in deluxe chocolate and strawberry and cream, this delicious post workout shake serves as the ideal go-to supplement to help you achieve your goals and take it to the #NextLevel.

super gain button

 

Kirsty 5
This week marks #GirlsFootballWeek so we had our very own Kirsty Allen provide us with an example training session that she would normally go through with her team Notts County.

Small sided (3v3) pressing drill.

Session focus:

• Pressing distance, when to press and when not to press.
• Recognising pressing queues, such as a poor pass from attackers (slow, bouncing etc), poor body shape to receive, poor touches.
• Pressing as a unit of 3, using queues off one and other to press players into a certain direction; to cut off the attacking teams passing options to regain possession quickly and effectively.
• Team depth, angle & team balance when attacking or defending to score/ prevent opposition scoring.
• Tracking runners whilst maintaining eye-contact with ball & developing play.
• Defending against wall-passes & movement of attacking team.

footy pitch

Session outline:
9 blues and 9 reds are organised into groups of three at opposite ends of the practice.
The groups of three are 5 yards apart and face the opposition at the opposite end of the area.
The blue team attack their opponents with the aim of moving the ball into the opposite end-zone. If the defending team are successful in regaining possession they attempt to counter-attack and move the ball into their end zone.
Practice Organisation
• Area of 30x18yds; with 5yd channels at each end of practice.
• 18 players organized into 6 groups of 3.
• Supply of balls, with coach for instant restart.
• Groups of 3 are 5yds apart, facing opposition on either end of area.
• Practice starts with: ball fed-in by coach to one team who proceed to attack opponents 3v3 & 
 move the ball (under control) into opponents end zone to score.

Key Coaching Points:

• Make your decision early whether you’ve got to attack or defend.
• Take personal responsibility for opponent when deciding to defend 1v1.
• Press, cover, support & track opponents.
• Concentration & managing player inter-changes of position, as a unit of three.
• Recognising pressing queues, such as a poor pass from attackers (slow, bouncing etc) , poor body shape to receive, poor touches. Then press quickly as a unit to cut off space preventing the attacking team from playing out and scoring; regain possession and counter attack.

Progression:
• Add 1 player on each side line to assist team in possession & increase potential to make wall- passes – which will create more difficulty by overloading the defending side.
• Change the 
service from the coach, such as throw the ball in the air
testing players control or even rolling the ball in slowly so the receiving team has less time to make their first pass, this is also a pressing queue for defending side so invites pressure instantly onto attacking team.
• Attacking team must play off one or two touches.
• Change the 5 yard scoring end zone to the corners of the grid, where the objective is to score in either corner of what was the 5 yard zone. This stretches and progresses the practice as theres now two goals each end to attack or defend.

super stack banner

Bio-Synergy

With winter fast approaching being healthy and making sure you are active is an essential part of maintaining good health.

Exercise and good nutrition are vital. Making sure you are active and taking on the correct nutrients will allow you to maintain a healthy immune system and will fight off any colds.

Below is a quick and easy home workout that come be done anywhere and requires no equipment.

Bodyweight Squat
Push Up
Close grip push up
Walking lunge
Crunch

30 percent

All these movements will hit the major muscle groups. Before this circuit 3-4 times resting for 1 minute upon completion to keep your heart in an optimal fat-burning zone.
Keep your heart healthy by taking our Big Red Krill Oil. Rich in phospholipid omega-3s EPA and DHA, which are more bio-efficient than other marine oils, Big Red Krill offers a superior user experience in the form of smaller pills and no digestive upset and no fishy aftertaste.

Use Big Red with other Bio-Synergy supplements such as our Skin and Hair capsules and PowerBeet capsules

Skin and Hair has 100% of the RDA of more than ten essential micronutrients and a healthy dose of marine collagen, you can rest assured that your skin and hair will be glowing and fuller during the winter months.

PowerBeet, can improve endurance and exercise performance, so if you don’t fancy the idea of eating more beetroot or drinking the juice, these easy to use, convenient capsules are the ideal solution for boosting your performance.

ActiVeman

It’s time to #powerup, with winter just around the corner and fights off any potential colds.
ActiVeman Vitamin is a great way of giving yourself an insurance policy on your health during the cold months allowing you to stay fit and strong.

AcitveMan Vitamin contains ingredients such as, Pantothenic acid which can help reduce fatigue, increase energy levels and improve mental performance It also contains iron to help boost immunity, energy levels and oxygen flow Zinc for healthy skin, hair & nails, energy and testosterone levels Copper for energy and healthy immune system
Manganese for healthy bones and energy Magnesium for muscle function and energy, as well as healthy immune system and protein metabolism.

However, you must make sure that you are also exercising on a regular basis to maintain a healthy mind and body. Ideally, try and perform workouts in the morning to prepare for the day and before it optimises fat burning. Perform any high- intensity activity, such as sprinting, jumping rope, or boxing. Make sure you are going all-out for 10–15 seconds, and then rest 45–60 seconds. Repeat for 20–30 minutes. For boxing throw hard or fast punches then shadowbox lightly while recovering.
If you’re looking to add any additional supplements to your daily routine look no further than our fasted muscle stack. Developed with HIIT coach and cardio guru Scott Alexander this stack was developed to help you keep fit and healthy whilst burning fat. The stack is made up of ActiVeman Vitamins, Whey Better, Glutamine and BCAA Powder.

Whey Better contains up to 92% protein (over 27g per 30g serving) per 100g and 6.7g BCAA’s (over 27g protein per 30g serving) and is manufactured right here in the UK from the highest quality whey protein isolate and is gluten & lactose-free. Whey Better is the perfect partner whatever your goals, so if you want the UK’s most powerful protein, as voted by Men’s Health then choose from 10 delicious flavours and join the revolution.
Glutamine reduces the risk of overtraining as well as supporting your natural immune defences.

BCAA Pre-work out is an advanced high performance & delicious blend of amino acids containing 5g of the Branched Chain Amino Acids (L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine) and Beta Alanine, Taurine, Caffeine and Vitamin B6, making it one of the most advanced strengths, endurance and energy supplements on the market.

Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) contain a 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. These amino acids are considered to be essential amino acids as they cannot be synthesised in the body. BCAAs can be consumed throughout the day for or before, during and after workouts. You can increase the effectiveness of BCAAs by consuming with Vitamin B6, which is whey each serving contains 100% RDA.

Bio-Synergy PRE workout BCAA is suitable for anyone taking part in intense training or exercise, or for anyone looking to increase lean mass and reducing body fat levels.
Each delicious blue raspberry 12g serving is sugar, fat and calorie free, so provides the performance & recovery without unnecessary calories.

Super7

Take your health and wellbeing to the #nextlevel this winter. We are fast approaching the colder months and with this being said we become more likely to catch a cold.
However making sure your nutrition is on point and you are exercising will have you prepared to take on any cold and win.

Super7 Super Armour packs a punch full of all the essential vitamins and minerals needed to keep you fit and healthy.

Super Armour contains essential vitamins, including Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12, as well as Vitamin D and E. With many of living hectic lifestyles it is sometimes difficult to get all these from your diet.

Make sure you are also exercising to help fight off any colds this winter. Perform high-intensity bouts of physical activity to help break a sweat, keep healthy and better yet burn some fat.

Below is a workout to help with this.

This circuit is focused on the chest so prepare to build a chest of steel.

Perform each exercise once moving straight onto the next with no rest. Once you have completed one circuit repeat. Do this 3-4 times.

Wide push up
Close hand push up
Decline push-up
Push up
Dips
Incline push up
Push up with hold

Make sure you are stacking Super7 Super Armour with more from the award winning

Super7 range
Try out our Super7 fat burning stack made up of Super Burn, Super Lean, and Super Charge.

Super Burn is a powerful fat burner. With a maximum fat loss in mind, Super7® Super Burn utilises research-supported fat burning ingredients, including Magnesium Oxide, Green Tea, Extract, Caffeine, L-Carnitine, Ginger Powder and Copper Citrate.

Super Lean thanks to the revolutionary blend of Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Magnesium Stearate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1) as well as many other core ingredients, not only will you be burning calories at a higher rate thanks to your boosted metabolism, you will also be providing your body with many of the essential nutrients which often go missed through dieting alone.

Super Charge is a blend containing creatine, AAKG, B- vitamins and quality carbs. This will give you a much-needed boost when it’s needed allowing you to take on anything thrown in your way.

Make sure you are covered with all the above and take it to the #NextLevel

Active WomanThe leaves have fallen off the trees and the scarfs and beanies are back out. This is the time of year when we are more likely to catch a common cold which could put a stop to our current exercise and nutrition plan.

Do not fear, as we have a plan.

A multivitamin combined with continued exercise can help you stay on track. The Active Woman Multivitamin is a blend 31 nutrients, specially selected to help support active women who want to get the most from exercise, sports and fitness, as well as meet the needs of an active life and fight off any illness.

It also contains vitamins C, B6 and B12 contribute to normal energy release and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, as well as green tea and green coffee, natural sources of caffeine.

The formula is unique and includes vitamin C and E which contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. Vitamin D, iron and copper contribute to the normal function of the immune system.

Safeguard yourself further by making sure you are exercising each day. Whether its 15 mins or 1 hour it all helps.

Below is a fantastic workout to keep you on track. This workout has been devised by our very own Tyrone Brenand and has been used by our Active Woman ambassador Binky.

1. Full body warm up and stretch

2. Floor warm up exercises. Knees to elbows

3. Box press ups 2 x 10

4. Circuits –

Running on spot 40 sec change intensity after 20 sec.
15 star jumps
10 squats into 10 squat jumps
15 sit ups
15 leg raises
15 tricep dips
2min rest for 2 rounds

5. Leg circuit all plyometrics

6. 3 sets of plank

If you are truly committed to a plan already why not stack our multivitamin with our Active Woman stack. The stack is made up of Active Woman Activate, Active Woman Define, Active Woman Revitalise, Active Woman Define, Active Woman Refine and Active Woman Refuel.

Active Woman Activate a high protein supplement to aid recovery. Made with a blend of the highest quality proteins such as micellar casein, whey isolate, and whey concentrate. It also has an unrivalled vitamin complex made up of Vitamin D, B5, B6, Calcium, Zinc, and Folic Acid to help protect you maintain perfect healthy.

Active Woman Defi