food pyramid

Food Pyramid – Why it’s wrong?

The Food Pyramid: Why It Might Be Ruining Your Diet

The food pyramid is a piece of nutritional guidance that the government put out in the 1970s. It’s been a big player in the way that most people eat over the past few decades, and it’s set the scene for how we talk about the “average” diet.

There’s only one problem: it’s awful advice.

Today, we’re going to take you through the food pyramid, where it comes from, what’s wrong with it, and how you can work past these out-dated ideas to improve your diet.

What is it?

The food pyramid was introduced by the government in the 1970s to provide general-guidance. It was a response to the way that nutrition culture had developed, as the 1900s saw some incredible fad diets rise and fall.

The prescriptions that the food pyramid provides are simple: carbs make up the majority of the diet, followed by fruit and vegetables, moderate amounts of dairy and fish, relatively small amounts of meat, and very little fats and sugars.

This isn’t wrong about everything, but there is a lot of misinformation there. This is because it was a system pushed by politicians, not nutritionists or other experts in the field. Clearly, this is a bad start!

What’s Wrong with it?

To start with, the food pyramid promotes dependence on simple carbohydrates which is an awful dia. Carbs aren’t bad by themselves but over-eating a carb-heavy diet is a huge risk for diabetes. Unsurprisingly, the type-2 diabetes numbers have shot up since the 1970s and its one of the top-10 killers in the U.K.

Restricting Healthy Foods, Promoting Unhealthy Foods

There are also huge problems with some of the foods that are limited – some great foods that are restricted to very few (2-3 servings). The most obvious of these are fats – even healthy ones. They may be high in calories, but healthy fats like nuts and seeds should be a big part of your diet and are great for heart health.

Beyond this, reducing the intake of dry beans, pulses, seeds, nuts, and beyond is a real problem. These are some of the healthiest carb and fat sources, but the food pyramid suggests restricting them while eating 6-11 servings of bread, cereals and pasta. This is the exact opposite of what the nutritional science says you should be doing!

So, the main problem we have is that the pyramid doesn’t really make sense. The wide base of huge carb consumption is a problem for diabetes risk, it pushes out healthy carbs and fats, and it pushes people to make poor choices about what to eat. This is, ironically, a failure at its only purpose!

One Size Fits All

Once we’re past the silly misinformation and mistakes, there’s a deeper problem to the food pyramid.

Simply put, your diet should not be the same as everyone else’s. You are an individual human being – your nutritional needs depend on everything from your age to the type of exercise you do. It’s not as simple as eating a set amount of servings of each type of nutrient.

The amount of proteins, fats, and carbs that you need are totally different to someone who runs ironman races, or an Olympic weightlifter, or a strongman. So why would you use the same diet template as everyone else?

The idea behind this food pyramid simply doesn’t make sense. You don’t need to eat a ridiculous pyramid of foods – you need a diet that responds to your individual needs and provides the nutrition to recovery and improve your physique/training. One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to food.

What Should you Be Doing Instead?

To start with, you need a diet that is moulded to the type of exercise you’re performing, the goals you have, and the foods you like. You need a diet that fits you, that you’ll be able to stick with, and that brings real results. The food pyramid doesn’t do this: it’s not enough guidance to be a diet, and it doesn’t consider that you’re a unique individual.

An effective diet also prioritises healthy fats and carbs. Instead of the nutrient-devoid white bread and cereals diet that the pyramid suggests. Pulses, beans, nuts, seeds, fish, veggies and fruits should make up the majority of your diet. These are the best sources of both carbs and fats.

You also need to be able to adjust a diet on the fly according to your time commitments, when you’re exercising, and what foods you like. This isn’t talked about as much, but it’s a key part of changing your behaviours and developing good food-habits.

Closing Remarks: Lessons from the Food Pyramid

The first lesson from the food pyramid is that you probably shouldn’t let politicians tell you what you should be eating. There’s a lot of money and politics in food and agriculture – politicians aren’t going to be an objective source or educated on nutrition science.

If you want nutritional advice, talk to an expert, not a government bureaucrat. You also need to match your nutritional needs to your personal biology and the exercise/activity/lifestyle you’re living. That’s the role of a coach, nutritionist or trainer, and it’s why we spend so much time trying to educate you on these areas.

Finally, work with someone who cares about your goals rather than pushing an agenda. What we do here at Action-Reaction is develop training and exercise plans that work together to produce health, fitness, and physique changes. This is what nutrition is about.

If you want to discuss your needs, or get further guidance on nutrition/exercise, get in touch. We love hearing from you and are happy to respond to any queries with expert, professional advice!

Olly.
 
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“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

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Weight loss foods

What are weight loss foods?

Can you eat foods that help you lose weight (weight loss foods)?  Well yes, and we all know what these are: wholefoods, being fresh vegetables and lean meats, however there’s a bit more to it then that.

In order to lose weight / drop body fat an individual needs to be in a calorific deficit, there are no two ways about it.

Macros (protein/fats/carbs) need to be set and can be adjusted accordingly in order to elicit a better response whether physical or mental. However once you have all these set in place you need to allow for some flexibility when it comes to food choices. Long gone are the days of chicken, broccoli and rice!

Now I’m not here to say that you should use a “if it fits your macros” approach, but I do believe that a combination of the two is the best method when creating a healthy sustainable fat loss plan.

Allowing yourself to include foods that you truly enjoy will show you that there is no need to be so restrictive in order to be successful. You do not need to suffer endlessly by removing all pleasure and joy.

However it is important to understand the calories you are consuming as most people (especially on the weekend) consume a significantly higher amounts of calories than they realise, which could stall their weight loss goals.

How to track your food intake?

MFPLogo copy

The easiest and most simple way you can track your intake is to use a free app like myfitnesspal.

Try this for a week, which will give you a good idea of how many calories you are really consuming and what your macro breakdown percentage is. Knowing this information is vital when comes to making changes to your physique.

If this confuses you then don’t despair. I can help.

My ART 12 week body transformation program has been designed to educate you on all things nutrition. This is not a one stop shop where you are left to do it all by yourself. By using my process you will begin to understand effective nutrition, applying what diet works best for you and how you can plan and prepare it based on YOUR lifestyle.

Isn’t it about time you started achieving the results you deserve?

Olly.
 
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“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

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How to be healthy?

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We now live in an age where we are constantly bombarded with information on how to be healthy?  This information is mostly unregulated and can come from anyone who has access to the internet, more often than not from idiots who create fad diets such as ‘The Cotton Ball Diet”  WTF!!!  I’ll leave that one to your imagination.

Because of the mass of confusing information out there many people turn to the Government for advice, as surely the information provided by the people at the top is good advice backed by scientific research?

Erm…. Sadly NO.

When it comes to information on how to be healthy, the government, food companies and even qualified so called nutritionists are feeding you lies and bull shit. These big companies care about making a profit and will play on your emotions to get you buying into their myths so that you buy their products even if they are bad for your health.

But fear not!

I’m here to quash these lies as it could be these beliefs that are holding you back from getting that dream body.

10 lies the Government and food industries

are feeding you…

1) A calorie is a calorie

Many people say that the only important thing you need to think about in order to create weight loss is calories in versus calories out. So if you eat fewer calories than you burn then you will lose weight due to the law of thermodynamics.
Now essentially this theory is true, however I’m here to tell you that the quality of your calories matter. This is because different foods go through different metabolic pathways in the body and elicit different responses based on its quality. If you think that eating 1000 cals of processed junk compared to eating a 1000 cals of whole foods makes no difference then I’m sorry, you will never achieve successful healthy fat loss.

2) Saturated fat is unhealthy

For years now we have been told that in order to be healthy we must avoid saturated fat as it can increase the risk of heart disease.

This has been one of the pillars of mainstream nutritional advice that we have been plagued with for far too long.

Recent studies prove that saturated fat is harmless and has nothing to do with heart disease, and in actual fact consuming it raises good cholesterol (hdl) and changes the “bad” cholesterol to a benign subtype.

So there is no reason to avoid full fat butter or coconut oil. If it’s a natural fat then it’s a good fat.  This is how to be healthy.

3) Eating too much protein is bad for you

For some reason many of us believe that eating too much protein can damage your bones and increase the strain on the kidneys which can contribute to kidney failure. I don’t know where this came from but I do know GP’s still spout this crap even today.

What I can tell you is that if you eat protein regularly in relatively high portions it will actually increase bone density. Those with kidneys disorders are asked to reduce their protein intake but how many of us actually suffer from this condition?

More protein in the diet will increase lean muscle mass, reduce body fat which increases your body’s thermodynamics, and will lower the risk of diseases like cardiovascular disease.

4) Too much red meat is bad for you

We’ve been eating red meat for thousands of years and now suddenly it’s being blamed for heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. There is no study out there that proves the validity of these claims. However like most processed foods, the quality of the meat can have an effect.

Unprocessed red meat is perfectly fine if cooked correctly and consumed in moderation. Cheap processed red meat however can lead to issues.

As with any foods these days, quality does matter, and unfortunately price represents quality.

The bottom line here is that red meat is incredibly nutritious. It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, quality proteins, and healthy natural fats that are important for the body and brain. So if you want to eat red meat 3, 4, 5 times a week you can do so, as long as you don’t overcook it (burn it), and the meat is unprocessed.

5) Follow the pyramid diet for optimal health

The pyramid diet was originally published in the 70’s and specifies that you should follow a high carb, low fat diet.

This recommendation made by politicians (not nutritionists) has since been debunked and ironically the obesity epidemic began when the system was promoted.

Everybody responds differently based on different set Marco percentages and although this may work for a few, in my experience this isn’t optimal for most. The results from my 12 Week Body Transformations are proof of that from both a physical and mental perspective.

6) Fat makes you fat

This is an old school theory that has only really within the last 10 years been proven to be untrue. On paper it does make sense that eating more fat will make you fat as there are more calories per gram of fat than that of the other macro nutrients protein and carbohydrate. Fat based foods are therefore much more calorie dense meaning it is very easy to overeat your required calorific intake needed for your daily activity rate.

However on the flip side of the above, higher fat diets with a lower carb intake are much more successful when seeking fat loss, as long as you can still control your calorific intake. So the take home message here is that more fat won’t make you fat but will actually aid in fat loss.

7) You shouldn’t eat carbs at night time

“You can’t consume carbohydrates at night or you will store fat!”

You will have heard or have been told this theory at some point no, right?

It’s crazy how much it is still used or preached out in the fitness world today. The reason behind this is because most people who recommend limiting carbs at night do so because they believe your metabolic rate decreases at night therefore those consumed and unused carbohydrates will be stored as fat instantly.

This idea that you should avoid carbs at night because your metabolism slows down has been proven to be an invalid theory. Research now actually shows that not only does your metabolism NOT slow down, its actually no different to your resting rate during the day, plus if you exercise it’s actually shown to increase your sleeping metabolism significantly.

Also if you do have difficulty sleeping, including a carbohydrate source in your last meal of the day can activate certain chemicals in your brain that relax you, signaling sleep and encouraging a better nights recovery.

8) Low fat, fat free or low carb is a healthy alternative

Low fat, fat free or low carb diets are extremely popular these days and food manufacturers have cottoned onto this and started mass producing products to serve the public need for them. However all of these products are far from healthy and in order to be the product they claim to be, ingredients have been removed and replaced with unnatural chemicals that the body just doesn’t know how to utilise. You just have to look at the ingredients list to see it contains no real food at all, they are highly processed. The take home message here is to avoid these options as they do more harm than good, they are not healthy. When you see low fat, fat free or low carb think “chemical shit storm”.

9) Gluten free is healthy

Eating a gluten free diet is extremely trendy these days and to be honest most people when questioned about it have no idea what gluten even is.

If you have a known gluten intolerance then I’m in total support of you opting for a gluten free diet, but please bear in mind that just because the product is gluten free it doesn’t make it healthy. I have had clients on several occasions try to justify eating biscuits or cakes or similar because they were gluten free. However most of these foods are usually made from highly refined, high glycemic starches like corn starch, potato starch, tapioca starch and may also be loaded with sugar.

Dropping gluten should mean replacing it for real food, not highly processed foods that as a general rule of thumb we should be avoiding.

10) Eating 6 smaller meals a day will boost your metabolism, increasing fat / weight loss.

This is probably the biggest myth and misconception that I still hear day in day out. Let’s think about it for a second, do you really think your metabolism accelerates based on a meal to meal frequency basis? I don’t think so. This has been proven time and time again to be a complete myth, but here’s the catch.

Eating smaller meals more often can actually help you lose weight but not by speeding up your metabolism, but by increasing thermogenesis.

So how does it work?

By eating more often, generally with protein and fibrous veg servings with every meal, will help curb cravings and will keep you fuller for longer which will help stabilise blood sugar levels which reduced the desire to binge eating or snacking.

So if you want to eat 3/4/5/6+ meals a day then you can, do what works for you but don’t do it for the wrong reasons.

The take home message is this: Food manufacturers don’t truly care about your health they only really care about profit. The government and many qualified nutritionists know very little when it comes to real nutrition. Avoid fad diets, avoid heavily processed foods and always try to eat real, natural food as much as possible. Real food doesn’t need an ingredients list, real food ‘is’ the ingredient. 

Olly

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Would you like to learn how to be healthy for just £24?

Start my 4 week trial today for just £24 with no onward commitment.  I’ll give you your money back if you don’t see or feel a change during the trial.

For more details or to sign up for the trial today click buy now link below…

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

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Resistance Training: what is it?

Resistance Training: what is it? What are the benefits?

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What can resistance training do for you?

Resistance training is a big term – it covers everything from weightlifting to band pull-aparts. It should be part of everyone’s training and boasts a variety of amazing health and fitness benefits.

With all these potential benefits, today we’re going to define resistance training, talk you through the key benefits, and provide some examples you can use. Stick with us if you’re intrigued by strength, fitness, and improving your health into the future!

Definition

One problem we see in health and fitness is that resistance training and “weight training” are mixed up. They’re not the same thing – they’re two different terms in the whole landscape of health and fitness training methods. Weight training is a type of resistance training, but it isn’t the only kind.

Weight training is the most popular kind, but resistance training is anything that requires you to work against external resistance. This could be working with a weighted club for your golf swing to throwing med-balls. Clearly, it’s not just working with a barbell or weight machine!

The idea behind resistance training is a simple, ancient one: pick a movement or group of muscles you want to strengthen and make that movement more difficult. This is a type of training that leads the way for every athlete and every fitness enthusiast – it’s at the heart of getting better: challenge yourself and you’ll get stronger!

Benefits

So why should you care about resistance training?

Overloading your muscles with resistance is the fastest and most-effective way to get bigger and stronger! This is why weight training and other resistance exercise is so popular – it’s why athletes and fitness enthusiasts alike spend time training in gyms or on fields. Muscle and strength are common goals for simply looking and performing better.

Staying Healthy: Improves Bone and Joint Strength

If you feel like staying healthy and active as you age, resistance training is one of the best ways of achieving this. The bones get stronger when you add resistance, too – the stress of exercise improves their density, which is important for keeping bones strong as you age. This is key for avoiding fractures and other debilitating injuries!

Between the muscles and the bones, you have the tendons. They’re underrated, but they store a lot of energy during exercise and they’re key for moving well and keeping your joints healthy. Resistance training – especially the ‘lowering’ portion – is essential for healthy tendons. It keeps them stiff and strong, protecting your joints and keeping your mobile as you age.

Resistance Improves Coordination and Stability

The benefit of resistance training with compound exercises like the squat and press also include developing the core, balance, and stability.

These aren’t as glamorous as big guns, but they’re just as important. Learning to coordinate your joints effectively while loaded is a great way of improving how you move. This is key for keeping your joints healthy as you age, but it also helps with everyday life and health.

Balance and stability are underrated. For example, combining strength training with jumping movements directly protects the knee and hip from pain and injury – common problems for every active adult!

The control of muscles and joints also directly plays into your risk of lower-back pain. With 80% of adults being debilitated by back pain, it’s key to protect yourself. Training the strength of the back muscles and learning to control them is a key way of reducing risk.

We see the same thing in the shoulders where 43% of people deal with shoulder pain – many of which are the result of weakness, imbalance, tightness, or poor movement. Strength and full-range resistance training are key to building effective mobility and coordination – which means less injuries, as well as looking and performing better!

Can Resistance Training Improve your Metabolism?

More muscle doesn’t just mean more strength – it means a healthier, regular metabolism. If you’re struggling to lose weight, it could be related to a lack of muscle. Muscles require lots of energy, from food, to build and maintain.

I like to look at resistance training as a form of investment in your long-term health and physique. It doesn’t burn as many calories as cardio in the short-term, but you burn more calories when you’re at rest after resistance-training and the muscle that it builds improves your resting metabolism for years to come!

This is important for metabolic problems like diabetes, too – resistance training and muscle mass fight against insulin resistance. They provide you with improved mood and regulate the physical and psychological processes that put you at risk of metabolic syndromes.

Resistance Training Examples

Weight training is the most common kind of resistance training. It’s why the two are often confused. Free weights are the most advanced and most-effective for overloading resistance.

However, weight machines and cables are a great way of targeting specific muscles, building up strength and stability in at-risk joints, or just getting your foot in the door with resistance training. They’re a great way of adding resistance if you’re coming back from an injury or you’re at greater risk (such as advanced age or a total novice).

Resistance bands and elastic resistance are also great for stability and certain types of explosive movement. They’re resistance but not weight, and they provide a totally different type of training. You’ll get a lot of benefit from bands for the upper back and scapula: a notoriously tricky area in the upper back that requires huge amounts of control and stability.

There are too many weighted implements to even count. These range from the sport-specific (such as the heavy discus or club) to the general (like the med-ball). These are great resistance training tools for power, balance, and stability exercises that you might have missed out on.

Med-balls are the best example of this – they provide a totally different challenge to the power you can produce and how you move.

These are movement-quality based exercises where you’re not dealing with huge weights, and the resistance is about how you move, rather than how much force you use. There are some great benefits for your strength, health, power, and even movements like a golf swing.

Final Thoughts: Resistance Training isn’t Everything

External resistance is great, and we’ve got nothing but good things to say about it, but it’s not the only important style of training.

Internal resistance exercises like gymnastic movements and core work aren’t about resistance, they use leverage to challenge you. These make up a big part of training for health and strength. This is just one example of why you need more than resistance training – cardio is another.

Putting together a well-balanced training program is about using the right tools for the job. Resistance training is a great tool and you should be using it to your advantage – it has a wide variety of benefits to health, fitness, performance, and especially the aging process.

At Action-Reaction Training, we put these parts together to cover all the most important benefits. It’s about using strength and resistance training to get the most out of the time you have to train – our coaching is about balancing these exercises to get the most from your body and mind.

Olly

If you’ve still got some unanswered questions or fears about signing up to the ART 12 week body transformation programme then visit our FAQ page were we’ve hopefully covered and addressed all your concerns.

Alternatively drop me an email at olly@action-reaction-training.com.

 

COMMENTS:
If you’ve anything you’d like to say about this topic then I’d love to hear it, please post your comments in the feed below…
 

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Would you like to learn effective resistance training for just £24?

Start my 4 week trial today for just £24 with no onward commitment.  I’ll give you your money back if you don’t see or feel a change during the trial.

For more details or to sign up for the trial today click buy now link below…

If you have any questions about the plan then drop me an email, I will always respond to you: olly@action-reaction-training.com

Alternatively visit the WEBSITE for more details.

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

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How to lose fat

belly fat burning exercises

Belly fat burning exercises: Myth or Reality?

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  • Are you confused as how to lose that stubborn fat around your waist?
  • Frustrated at the lack of progress given the effort you put in?
  • Have you read conflicting information about the best belly fat burning exercises and diet to lose belly fat: HIIT? Increased cardio? Low carb? Low calorie? 

It’s a confusing web of information out there, I totally understand how frustrating it must be to not have clear and accurate information for an issue such as belly fat burning exercises, so hopefully this blog I’ve written will clarify things for you.

Targeted belly fat burning exercises: Myth or Reality?

Can you burn fat from your belly alone?

In short…no!

There is no scientifically proven way to burn fat in particular areas of the body, no amount of sit-ups or abdominal workouts will help lose the fat in this area alone to reveal your abs underneath.  I’m afraid in all honesty there is no such thing as belly fat burning exercises.

When fat cells are broken down to be used for energy they will be taken from anywhere in the body during exercise. There is no biological way to ensure that only fat cells from the belly area are utilised.

In recent years a study was conducted to investigate the effect of abdominal exercises on abdominal fat, the study took 24 participants who each partook in regular abdominal exercises whilst maintaining a healthy balanced diet. After 6 weeks there was no significant effect of abdominal exercises reducing fat in the belly area, or overall body fat percentage.

The products you see on shopping channels which claim to be the best belly fat burning exercises, i’m afraid to say are a complete waste of your time and money.

So how do you reveal those abs?

Firstly it’s important to have a basic understanding of how your body burns fat.

In it’s simplest form; fat loss is determined by the amount of calories you consume vs the amount of calories you burn. If you consume less calories than you burn it will result in fat loss.

What about low carb diets for fat loss?

We all know that food is fuel for our body. And like cars using either petrol or diesel, our body can utilise different fuels being either carbs or fat. It’s true if you consume a low carb diet your body will turn to fat as it’s energy source. However! This isn’t a good long term sustainable system for fat loss and can have detrimental effects on your health as the body ‘needs’ both carbs and fat in the body for optimal health.

A good fat loss program will ensure you are consuming the correct amounts of carbs, fats and proteins keeping the body in a metabolically flexible state meaning the body will have the ability to switch from one fuel source to the next; from fats to carbs and carbs to fat. When executed correctly, you’ll have the ability to lose fat on either a high carb or low carb diet depending on how many calories you consume.

So now we know how fat is burned, how do we lose it from the belly area?

The only way you will be able to lose belly fat is to participate in a quality full body training and nutrition program, designed specifically to burn fat in a sustainable way, which will see you lose fat from ‘all’ areas of your body including the belly area, so not so much belly fat burning exercises, but ‘all over’ fat burning exercise.

By doing a plan such as the ART 12 week body transformation program we’ll take you through a series of nutritional phases designed to keep the body in a metabolically flexible state, coupled with a predominately strength training regime with limited cardio, you’ll be burning fat while building lean muscle mass, which over time will lead to a visible reduction of fat in the belly area revealing your already existing ab muscles underneath.

For more information about the ART 12 week body transformation program and how it can help to get you the results you desire visit www.action-reaction-training.com

Olly

If you’ve still got some unanswered questions or fears about signing up to the ART 12 week body transformation programme then visit our FAQ page were we’ve hopefully covered and addressed all your concerns.

Alternatively drop me an email at olly@action-reaction-training.com.

 

COMMENTS:
If you’ve anything you’d like to say about this topic then I’d love to hear it, please post your comments in the feed below…
 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Would you like to learn how to burn belly fat for just £24?

Start my 4 week trial today for just £24 with no onward commitment.  I’ll give you your money back if you don’t see or feel a change during the trial.

For more details or to sign up for the trial today click buy now link below…

If you have any questions about the plan then drop me an email, I will always respond to you: olly@action-reaction-training.com

Alternatively visit the WEBSITE for more details.

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

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How to avoid the afternoon slump?

Do you suffer from the afternoon slump?

Recently I’ve had a few clients experiencing the afternoon slump and in the past I was a constant victim to this whereby I actually had to schedule in a 20 minute power nap in the afternoon to get through the rest of the day without crashing.

 

What is the ‘afternoon slump’ and why does it happen?

The slump refers to the period of time typically post lunch when many people experience a noticeable dip in their alertness, energy levels, and ability to concentrate. This can happen for many reasons but the most common are:

1) As humans we are actually designed to sleep twice a day

For most this isn’t possible so half way through our working day we crash in need of a nap. Our core body temperature naturally dips between 2:00pm and 4:00pm. It’s this dip that triggers the release of a sleep inducing hormone called melatonin. It’s a normal part of your body’s circadian rhythm.

2) You ate too many carbs at lunch time.

This will cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels and inevitably when they drop just as quick you become tired and cranky.

3) You’ve been sitting still for too long.

When we stay stationary for too long your body associates this stillness with tiredness and so desires sleep.

4) You are dehydrated.

Dehydration can make you feel tired and drowsy so it’s essential you stay on top of your fluid intake to avoid this cause.

What tips can we apply to power through this low period?

1) Set an alarm

Every hour where you stand up, stretch or go for a quick walk to wake the body back up, even if it’s just for a couple of minutes this will help.

2) Go outsie

If you work indoors step outside into the daylight for a few minutes to wake the brain back up, the daylight can re-alert your senses.

3) Play music

When the slump hits try playing some upbeat music and do a few jumping jacks at your desk. The exercise combined with the music will help revive energy levels and concentration.

3) Have a light lunch

As mentioned above try to avoid a heavy lunch that is high in carbs and opt for something higher in protein, fats and fibrous veg.

4) Take a nap

I’m a huge fan of afternoon naps if you can get away with it. A 20-minute snooze can boost alertness, productivity and creativity and sometimes the only way to fight a little fatigue is to give into it.

And that’s it, so give these a try and let me know how you get on.

Olly.
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Effective cardio for fat loss, my secrets revealed…

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There is a huge amount of debate out there with regards to which type of cardio is best for fat loss: Low Intensity Steady State cardio (LISS) versus High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). So which one should you choose? Let’s discuss them both in more detail first.

So what is LISS?

For decades now, we’ve been led to believe that endless bouts of low, to moderate, intensity cardio is the most effective way to burn unwanted body fat. Without going heavily into the scientific detail, endless cardio can in fact be counter-productive to this aim. Firstly, when you undertake long durations of steady state cardio, your body will adapt to conserve energy. Your body’s metabolism will actually slow down and coupled with a calorie deficit diet, this can greatly hinder your ability to burn fat.

Endless hours of LISS will also give rise to higher levels of cortisol (stress hormone) that is linked with the accumulation of more body fat. This isn’t to say that LISS should be avoided completely as it can be useful when implemented correctly.

LISS should be performed at a low-level, working at roughly 50-60% of your maximum heart rate. An example of LISS would be walking at an incline on a treadmill or use of the X trainer. Jogging is not deemed as LISS.

So what is High Intensity Interval Training – HIIT

Developed as a training modality initially for athletes, HIIT has recently been proven to be a far more effective cardio method for burning body fat and improving metabolic function. Research tells us that HIIT produces a much higher percentage of fat oxidation and it also blunts fat production. Additionally, it spares muscle mass and increases your EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) also known as the ‘afterburn effect.’ The higher the intensity of the exercise, the greater the afterburn affect is and the more calories your body will burn to get you back to your normal homeostatic state.

HIIT workouts are also shorter, but they must be performed at maximum capacity. A true HIIT session should last no longer than 5-10 minutes and the exercise you select should last no longer than 15-30 seconds with sufficient recovery time to repeat the exercise with the same amount of maximum intensity.

Still confused by which one to use?

Personally I wouldn’t choose one or the other; instead my advice would be to combine them both into one session. HIIT will mobilise fat for energy whilst LISS will actually utilise it. Dual Cardio.

So try this next time it’s cardio day and let me know how you get on. You can thank me later!

Step 1 = 3 min of LISS on a treadmill working at 50-60% max effort

Step 2 = stop the treadmill and perform 1 dead tread at 60% intensity for 15 seconds, rest 45 seconds and repeat another dead tread at  80% intensity.

Step 3 = at this point you should be fully warmed up. Now it’s HIIT time, 5 x 15 sec dead treads at 100% maximum all out effort and rest for 45 seconds between sets.

Step 4 = once completed move back into the LISS phase for a further 20 mins. Personally I recommend hill walking, this will last a total working time of 30 mins and will be much more effective when it comes to real fat loss.

Olly.
 
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Alternatively visit the WEBSITE for more details.

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

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Twice A Day Training

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I think you’ll agree with me when I say this:

It’s REALLY hard to train twice a day!

And are the results even worth it and isn’t it very bad for your body?

Well, firstly, you can dramatically increase muscle size with an Arnold Schwarzenegger twice a day workout regime..

…and secondly, it CAN be bad for your body but with some careful consideration (and the right amount of rest) it can produce incredible results.

If you don’t like going to the gym or if your job restrains you from accessing the gym twice a day, or you’re full of excuses, then this mode of training isn’t for you.

The twice a day training principle was popularised by big Arnie. He firmly believed his “double-split system” allowed him to separate himself from the pack and win his first Mr. Universe title.

I was introduced to the practice through Nick Mitchell via Canadian strength coach Charles Poliquin. Poliquin suggested that muscle gain would be greater if we could train twice a day on a consistent basis.

Obviously this isn’t for us all, and it isn’t something that can be done for long periods.

For me, the aim of using this style is to build as much size possible, in a small period of time. I will use it when I feel that my muscle development has plateaued, or when I’m highly motivated, like when I have a shoot coming up.

People that succeed with training twice per day do two things very well:

First, they have the perseverance it takes to get to the twice a day, every day, rain or shine.

Second, they have the discipline to rest when the have to and (and they do HAVE to rest).

These two things will ensure that you don’t burn out while taking on what is a big challenge!

The Rules, to ensure you don’t burn out:

  1. You need to limit the practice to no more than two weeks in a row, with a one week de-load / active recovery week before you repeat for no more than 3 cycle.
  2. The timings of your workouts don’t need to be exact, but I would allow at least 5-6 hours between the two sessions. For me this is easy since I work within a gym, but due to other work commitments, most find it a struggle. Your best options are to get a workout done in the morning before work and then hit another workout after work, alternatively go on your lunch break and then again in the evening. As long as you’ve waited roughly 6 hours as a typical guide, your levels of intensity required for each session shouldn’t diminish.
  3. You must train the same muscle groups in both sessions and limit these sessions to no longer than 45 minutes of intense strenuous lifting. Quality not quantity!
  4. Get on top of your nutrition! You need to design a set macro ratio specific to you and make sure you hit it, including your 2 post workout meals. Monitor your gains and listen to your body, as things may need to be tweaked to cope with the extra demands you are now under. *It’s hard to go any further into the nutrition side right now, as you are all individuals and for me to recommend macros etc. may not be specific to you. I wouldn’t recommend this type of training if you were intermitting fasting.
  5. Train heavy in the morning, focusing more on strength using compound movements, high intensity / low volume. This will serve to kick-start the nervous system. Avoid training to failure and generally use a controlled tempo of 31X1 with longer rest periods.
  6. In the evening a typical hypertrophy based workout is applied, lower intensity / higher volume.  Here you will use more typical bodybuilding isolation based exercises with a slower more controlled tempo such as 2121, contracting hard throughout the movement. Take less rest between sets and unlike earlier you will train to failure, hit it and hit it hard.

Program Design:

Generally I would always recommend a ‘2 days on – 1 day off – 1 day on – 1 day off’ principle, or just ‘2 days on – 1 day off’ etc. it all depends on your split.  You may get away with 3 on – 1 off, but if you’re truly performing with maximum intensity on the first 2 days, you will be screaming to take that third day off. When it comes to body part grouping this is entirely up to you and what suits your needs best.

Typically my personal split looks like this.

Day 1 – Chest, shoulders & triceps

Day 2 – Back & biceps

Day 3 – Off

Day 4 – Legs

Day 5 – Off, or back to chest, shoulders & triceps, if 2 on – 1 off cycle.

Day 6 – Repeat cycle

After 2 weeks of these double sessions, or the equivalent of 4 doubles per split, you are ready to de-load for a week (also known as active recovery).

A de-load is a planned reduction in volume, or intensity, where the purpose is to allow the body to fully recover, and prepare you for the second cycle.

Why we should De-Load:

De-loading allows your joints, tendons, ligaments, and other supporting tissues to repair.

Your central nervous system (CNS) has been highly stressed, so this will have time to recover, as well as giving yourself a mental break from the intensity of hitting the gym twice a day.

However, importantly we apply this to stop overtraining and allow the muscle to grow and prepare you for even greater gains to come.=

How to De-Load on doubles:

The main thing here is work at 50% of what you have normally been doing.

Drop to single day sessions and apply what was your second pm session as the basis to your workout.  You keep your split and work 3 days on – 1 day off – 3 days on – 1 day off, and boom, you’re ready to get back onto doubles.

You should feel re-energized and raring to go, if not… perhaps you didn’t back off enough. I know backing off is hard and I have been victim to feeling this myself, but trust me, less is more in this case.

Take the foot off the pedal and learn to appreciate the knowledge of others when they say ease off buddy.

So there you have it, the basic in’s and out’s of Twice a Day training. Maybe you have used it before, maybe you haven’t, it’s certainly not for the casual gym goer.

You must be focused, truly dedicated, and highly motivated to do this type of training. However, if you are committed to the cause, and you have the flexibility to do so then I strongly recommended you give it a go.

Olly
 
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Looking for a high quality online workout plan that can transform your body?  My 12 week body transformation programme has helped 100’s of people achieve the body they desired with my guidance, knowledge and support throughout.

If you have any questions about the plan then drop me an email, I will always respond to you: olly@action-reaction-training.com

Alternatively visit the WEBSITE for more details.

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

Visit www.action-reaction-training.com to sign up to the 12 week body transformation programme.

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Reasons why you gain weight after a diet?

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Do you struggle to keep weight off when dieting?

With so many people failing diets or re-gaining weight it’s easy to ask, “why do we gain weight back after a diet?”.

Today, I’m going to address this problem. Here at ART, we’re all about making positive change that starts with your mentality so stick with us and you’re going to learn to make your results stick: we don’t do yo-yo diets!

Your Body Changes

When you diet, you’re putting your body into a new situation.

As an adaptation-machine, your body will change to meet these demands and keep you alive. Overlooking these changes is an easy way to sabotage your diet and re-gain weight.

Watch your Metabolism

If you lose weight on a diet you’re going to weigh less, and your metabolism is going to drop a little bit. If you don’t keep an eye on this, you’ll gain weight if you revert to your “maintenance” diet. This isn’t your maintenance anymore, and you’ll gain weight right back.

You should be adjusting your diet to deal with these changes whenever you lose a significant amount of weight.

After every 3-5lbs of weight loss, re-calculate your diet to make sure that you’re eating enough. This is even more important at the ‘end’ of a diet, as it’ll frame your next steps after big weight loss.

Efficiency Can Be a Trap

When you eat less, you’re also going to become more efficient at using food. Your body deals with reduced food intake by making the most of what you are eating.

This can be a strange change: you’re making the most of every single gram of food. If you start eating more after you reach a goal weight, this means more efficient fat-storage.

That’s the opposite of what you want, so it’s important to keep your diet stable after a weight cut.

Dieting Behaviour is Key

The way that you deal with your diet – from mentality to behaviour – is a huge part of whether or not you’re going to regain the weight.

While the changes in your body are important, it’s obvious that the real problem is taking the wrong approach to diet. Changing behaviours when you finish your diet is the fastest, most common way to fail in the long-term – even after you’ve made so much progress!

Yo-Yo Dieting

We’ve all heard this dreaded term before.

Yo-Yoing is a pattern of dieting where you cut lots of weight in a short amount of time, then you gain it back on. This happens because of your approach to dieting goals, as well as changes to your body.

Dieting too heavily is an easy way to bring on the changes we mentioned above, but you’re also going to be hungry and exhausted by the time you finish. If you’ve half-starved yourself, you’re going to revert to bad habits when you come off of a diet because you’re hungry and under-fed!

On the other hand, a sustainable diet is one that you can keep doing forever.

Extreme, unsustainable diets result in weight gain when you’re “off” your diet and allowed to eat whatever you want again. Combined with the metabolic changes we discussed, this is a recipe for disaster.

Exercise

Do you go to the gym to reach your goal weight? This might be the problem.

Using weight as the main reason for diet and exercise makes it hard to continue after you’ve achieved that goal. Where do you go from there? Often, people fall off their exercise routine when they see that number on the scale and think they’ve ‘finished’ their diet.

Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle beyond your diet weight is key. Aim at something bigger: the values and benefits that made you want to diet in the first place, or simply improving your athletic performance.

The best approach is to love the process, enjoy the positive changes, and give yourself a reason to keep going when you reach those mid-term goals!

The Problem: Mentality for Dieting

In reality, you will re-gain a little bit of weight when you come off of a diet. This is just water and muscle-glycogen (the fuel for strength and endurance!) returning. Remember, weight gain isn’t fat gain!

A good mentality builds good habits and avoids the bad ones that cause re-gain.

Treat dieting as a lifestyle change – something you can/should be dealing with for the rest of your life. This forces you to use a sustainable diet – you don’t need to eat chicken and broccoli every meal!

Consistency and persistence are the biggest factors in long-term weight management. Putting together a diet that isn’t too restrictive avoids this shift between extremes of cutting and feasting that causes long-term weight-loss failures.

Final Thoughts: Making Your Diet Stick

We’ve covered a few key points, and they’ve highlighted some of the key steps in losing weight and keeping it off:

  • Adjust as you go: your metabolism is going to change – you need to change with it!
  • Think about the long-term: you need to know why and how to diet beyond a single number on the scale – focus on something bigger!
  • Develop Good Habits: your diet and exercise should be fun and focus on self-improvement, so you can keep them up even when you reach those fitness goals.
  • Be realistic: don’t go on any diet that’s going to make you hate food or feel restricted. You need a diet that you can stay on forever, so it should allow you some enjoyment from time to time!

 

The key to all of these is that weight management is a life-long concern, you can’t take a short-term approach to a long-term problem. You have to go for consistency and good habits, not fads or extreme, restrictive diets.

At ART, we design individualised diets that focus on a big, long-term win. Get in touch if you keep putting weight back on after your diet, and we’ll teach you how to keep it off and keep progressing!

 

Olly

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………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Are you confused as to how to burn unwanted body fat?

Too much conflicting information out there?

Frustrated at your lack of progress given the effort you put in?

Then my 12 week body transformation program can help you.

The ART 12 week program cuts through the bull shit, and brings clarity to your training and nutrition. With me as your guide I’ll help you achieve the body you desire.

If you have any questions about the plan then drop me an email, I will always personally respond to you:

olly@action-reaction-training.com

Alternatively visit the WEBSITE for more details or request your FREE taster training plan via the buttons below…

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

Visit www.action-reaction-training.com to sign up to the 12 week body transformation program.

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How to exercise when you have limited time?

Do you find life keeps getting in the way of your fitness goals?

For many people just like you, training simply isn’t the number-one priority. If you have kids, a high-pressure job or academic studies to attend to, it can be hard to optimise your training.

If you’re looking for a way to stay in the best possible shape and crush your goals, you need to train smart and get the most from limited time.

That’s what today’s piece is all about; getting as much as possible from short workouts, or even home workouts.

Step 1: Prioritise Weight Training

Weight training is one of the easiest ways to make the most of your workout. It builds muscle, burns fat, and improves bone/joint health.

This could be as simple as choosing two big compound movements that cover large muscle groups at once. For example, the split squat and overhead press can be a great start to a workout and may only take 20 minutes to complete both.

When you’re rushing, focus on getting a few sets of heavy weights out. 3-5 sets of 4-8 reps is a great way to cut down on time while still causing significant changes!

Step 2: Bang for Your Buck Exercises

This is the next step – choosing the right exercises that are going to combine different, essential effects that contribute to your goals.

For example, if you’re looking to get stronger, look better, and improve your posture, pull exercises are a great choice. They contribute to everything from the core to the biceps and the whole back. You’re going to see big developments here.

Equally, a heavy kettlebell swing can be an amazing tool to boost cardio, strength in the posterior chain, and build a big old butt. You have to be sure to perform this type of exercise with good technique, but it can tick a lot of boxes with as little as 6-10 minutes!

Step 3: More Body, More Efficiency

As a rule of thumb, the more of your body you use for an exercise and the greater length of the movement, the more efficient it will be with your time. A rower is a great example of this, as it moves from totally flexed to totally extended and the stroke is long. This burns a huge number of calories.

This is why we prioritise compound exercises that include lots of muscles and joints in a short workout: the more you can use at once, the more quickly they can reach the amount of use necessary to force development.

If you perform 3 exercises that all hit the glutes, for example, you don’t have to use each of them as hard, meaning you can dedicate less time to each exercise and still see plenty of fantastic results while chasing other effects (such as leg strength)!

Step 4: EMOM and Timings

If you’re low on time, cut down on rest. When you’re at the gym, there’s definitely some spare time you spend browsing Instagram or texting. We all take a bit of extra time between sets to recover and this is fine, but if you cut down on these rest periods you’ll get through a workout faster.

Every-Minute-on-the-Minute (EMOM) training is a great way of maximising your results on a time limit. Perform 5-10 minutes of EMOM training with any exercise at a relatively light weight (somewhere around 60-70% depending on the exercise) and you’ll soon realise that you don’t need a lot of weight to feel the effects!

These are particularly useful on simple strength and conditioning exercises. Things like Kettlebell swings respond well to EMOMs, as do skipping, running, rowing, squats and other basics.

Step 5: Complexes/Supersets

This is a classic way of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of your training. We’ve seen bodybuilders use these techniques for years. You might not be supersetting so that you can get to the beach faster like Arnold, but it’s an easy way of fitting more exercises into the same timeframe.

Perform supersets of exercises that hit opposite sides of the joint. These antagonists are best trained together to improve the health of the joint and when you superset them, you won’t notice the reduction in rest times, but you’ll definitely save time.

The best types of exercises to use for supersets are presses/pulls, biceps/triceps and even lower back/abs & core exercises. These can be performed without rest, as you’re training opposite muscles. There are small carryovers between these opposite movements, but they’re going to make light weights feel heavy and you’ll get all your volume in for these muscles without having to worry about the clock!

Step 6: Harder not Longer

When it comes to cardio exercise, the simple advice here is to go harder rather than going longer. You’re going to struggle to fit in that hour on the treadmill on top of the rest of your exercise. We’d rather see you performing HIIT circuits on the rower than slogging it out for an hour.

This is a great way of improving your speed and other athletic traits, while also saving yourself precious time. A hard, sprint-based HIIT cardio workout can take as little as 8-10 minutes if you’re really pushing yourself.

HIIT isn’t a magic pill, but it is a great way of cramming all that exercise into a shorter time period so you can worry about the rest of your life. Being late sucks, and being late because you were suffering on the treadmill sucks even more.

A Quick, Effective Full-Body Workout

This is a simple workout that can be completed in 45-50 minutes and will provide a full-body stimulus. It’s going to mean improvements in muscular quality, as well as effective conditioning and even postural improvements.

Split Squats: 4 sets of 10-12 reps

Pendlay Row: 4 sets of 8-10 reps

Superset (Cable Bicep Curl/Tricep Extension): 4 sets of  10-12 reps

EMOM Kettlebell Swing: 20 reps, 8 minutes (heavy)

EMOM 150m Row: 10 minutes

This is a true full-body workout, hitting all the muscles in the body whilst also providing plenty of cardio work to keep your heart and lungs healthy and to burn off that extra fat.

 

Olly

COMMENTS:
If you’ve anything you’d like to say about this topic then I’d love to hear it, please post your comments in the feed below…
 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Are you confused as to how to burn unwanted body fat?

Too much conflicting information out there?

Frustrated at your lack of progress given the effort you put in?

Then my 12 week body transformation program can help you.

The ART 12 week program cuts through the bull shit, and brings clarity to your training and nutrition. With me as your guide I’ll help you achieve the body you desire.

If you have any questions about the plan then drop me an email, I will always personally respond to you:

olly@action-reaction-training.com

Alternatively visit the WEBSITE for more details or request your FREE taster training plan via the buttons below…

“I honestly couldn’t recommend this programme enough, it has completely changed my day-to-day life and overall happiness.” HOLLIE

“Best purchase of my entire life. I’m so happy with the physical results, but I’m even more happy about the way I feel mentally.” JUDE

Visit www.action-reaction-training.com to sign up to the 12 week body transformation program.

Follow me on