Fitness Confusion!

The all new ‘HIIT Keto Yoga Spartan Spandex Warrior Training Program’ is WHAT YOU NEED RIGHT NOW!

Eeeeek!

Okay, a slight over exaggeration there but yikes, doesn’t the fitness industry seem like a field of land mines to battle through?
Who can blame those who just run screaming for their exercise.

And you know what, I am probably part to blame too. I get such a short time with each person per week that it can be hard to put across the honest truth about what a balanced exercise program should look like.

I have spent quite some time this winter putting together a package that maps fitness. It’s not quite ready to share just yet but it’ll be a nice Christmas present to everyone once it’s done.

In short, it outlines the shape of an average weeks complete fitness plan. It’s not for the extremists or specialised sports people. It’s aimed for all of us who want to use exercise to enhance out health, strength and fitness now and going into the future.   

In the video below I talk, yes rather excitedly about this.
This was in response to a question from a member who is time-stuck and wanted to use high intensity training in what time they had in their stress-filled week.
What they wanted to do and what they should do couldn’t be further apart.

 

It does not actually matter how you get in your aerobic training or strength training. Find what you enjoy and do it. Walk, cycle, roller skate, climb, hike – just find what you enjoy and can sustain and repeat.

At the gym these days we practice strength training with bodyweight movements, kettlebells, some barbell work and for others, they get to use the parallette bars too as well as the more progressive bodyweight system called Animal Flow.

Both Kettlebell Training and Animal Flow training have proven their value but what often holds people back is not knowing how to use them.

Heading into Summer, I’m looking to add a few people to the roster and to make on-boarding easier, I’ve set up times for people to learn how to use Kettlebells and the Animal Flow system.

If you or someone else is interested in learning either of these, follow the links below to check out dates and times.

Animal Flow Introductory Classes (facebook link)

-> https://www.facebook.com/events/254622681922592/

Mondays from 5th November at 10am to 10:45am 
Fridays from 9th November at 9am to 9:45am


 

The Kettlebell is practically a complete gym in your hand that allows its user to transition smoothly from one movement to another cutting out time and hassle… providing you know how to safely use it.

I’ve been using and teaching Kettlebell Training since 2009 and it’s transformed my health and fitness and my outlook on strength and fitness training.

Over a series of classes, learn the Swing, Squat, the Press and other great kettlebell movements.

I teach in the Hardstyle method as taught by the RKC and StrongFirst with whom I certified in 2012. The method of teaching is second to none, simple and effective.

The course will include online homework with videos and lectures to compliment the ’in-gym’ training.

Each weeks lessons will be offered on a choice of a:

Wednesdays at 5:45am or the Saturday at 10am.
*** Starting Wednesday 7th ***

Link => https://www.facebook.com/events/2227912690783686/

Note: this beginner course is set-up to allow for a permanent class to continue from January 2019.

$20 per class or $100 for the complete 6 week course per participant.


 

Finally…

My number one goal as a trainer is to help people. It really is that simple.

Whether you want to move better, get stronger, learn more about healthy nutrition habits or you want to know how to use kettlebells properly… I want to help.

I think I do a pretty good job too but your feedback is always welcomed.

To reach out to more people who might like what we do here, I’d love your help by referring friends, family or other business owners.

In particular, I am very keen to work with small groups, 2 to 3 people who would enjoy exercising together.

To thank and reward you for any successful referrals I want to give you a lovely dinner voucher for our local Portabella Restaurant or if you’d prefer, a Westfield voucher.

To refer someone, please direct them to this website to have a look around. Once there, it’s really easy to get in touch with me directly, pretty much from any page.

https://fitstrong.com.au/

Thank you for spending time reading my thoughts today.

Any suggestions – just shout 🙂

Jamie

20 Minute Freestyle Challenge

Hey ya’ll. photo-output

So, it’s a sunny Brisbane afternoon, the pool is glistening under a late spring sub-tropical sun and the glass of Johnnie Walker Swing scotch is tasting mighty tasty, but… I must interrupt my moment of bliss with a quick mention of the workout I like to throw out when I want to get stuff done in between actual planned days.

It’s a kind of snack between meals that serves as a great opportunity to practice whatever the heck I want to practice.

So here’s the game plan rules.

  1. Choose a light weight, an 18kg kettlebell in my case.
  2. Pick it up and keep ‘er lit for 20 minutes non-stop.

That’s it folks!

With no particular plan of attack or whiteboard emblazoned with exercises, just move non-stop for 20 minutes between each exercise, any exercises you know and want to work on.

The caveat; weight must not rest on the floor at any time.

I typically rotate between left and right arm and work through a list of:

  • Swings
  • Cleans
  • Snatches
  • Windmills
  • Turkish Get Up ‘downs’
  • Floor Presses
  • Presses
  • Push Presses
  • Jerks
  • The Bent Press
  • Rows
  • Bottom Up carries
  • Other Carries
  • Halo
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Single Leg Deadlift variations
  • Prying Goblet Squats

Darn, the list could go on.

This is just a workout but serves as a great opportunity to put in a practice session with a nice strength endurance outcome.

You could use a sandbag, a barbell, a medicine ball, bodyweight movements (which is actually the hardest option) and you can even use a concrete block or a sledge hammer too!

Have a go sometime you feel the urge to workout and let me know what you did.

Thrive to your Final Day

What a title – how dramatic! But if I had to sum up my message with just 5 words, that’ll do it.

Today I want to touch on a subject many cry away from completely or conversely, drive headlong straight into but crash and burn!

Toughness

In a time when we can utilise tech to do lots of the hard for us, when we can have food delivered to our doors within 15 to 30 minutes, when we can outsource many of the mundane physical tasks to others and again, technology, you can see how it could be easy to say it’s not our fault – the system allows us to become lazy.

So much of modern living has done away with having to deal with discomfort. Physical occupations and past times that we had to do up until the 1970s and 80s have now largely been made redundant. You can easily spend a week, a month or many months not having to undertake anything remotely physically demanding or causing discomfort.

You think that’s a good thing? Think again.

For the most-part, most people for most of the time want to avoid physical discomfort. What happens then when a situation arrises that demands just that from us…. gulp!

I am not implying that you should go out of your way to make everything difficult. Don’t. Enjoy the luxury of modern living but at the same time, practice toughening up a little bit.

How?

As you’d expect, my response as a trainer is, well, ‘exercise’. Whilst a lot of our time in the FitStrong gym is dedicated to learning and practicing great technique, there are times too when we program pushing the boundaries of comfort, expanding our comfort zones. This in fact forms the premise of how we progress. We have a session of light stress, a session of medium stress, then a session where we stretch the comfort zone.

Here’s a quick story of member, Michael, who is a champion of toughening up and thriving.

 

Final thought. If we spend our lives wrapping up in proverbial bubble wrap to avoid discomfort and physical effort we will end up frail, weak and feeble in our later years. If we spend a little time every week getting a little out of breath, lifting some weights and moving around to develop better mobility and agility, we will thrive to our final days.

Got any thoughts?

10 Minute Circuit

Let’s be honest, many of us claim to to have very little time to exercise.

I get it. I’m a parent, a stressed out business owner who’s job it is to exercise and lead by example but here’s the thing. Life happens.

IMG_4798

Cute and guilty!

We might start the day with good intentions but then it happens. The upsetting email, the unexpected tax bill, the dog eats your daughters school hat on the last term in her current school (yes, that happened this week) and the last thing we want to do is exercise – “where’s the wine”?

But, if we’re pressuring ourselves into the notion that we’ve got to go to the gym and do a 45 to 60 minutes training session, guess again.

Let’s consider exercise as life credits. Every moment we carry out intentional and even non-intentional exercise, we are adding to our bank of health and vitality.

If all you have is 10 minutes, use it.

If all you have is 5 minutes twice a day, take it and use it.

Don’t have a kettlebell, dumbbell or a gym at hand – who cares. Just grab whatever you have that you could consider a weight.

Let’s get creative. Here’s a list of potential makeshift workout equipment:

  • heavy ball
  • backpack
  • a wooden log
  • a kids toy-box
  • a toddler, preferably your own
  • a big stone, or brick
  • a sledge hammer!
  • just your body weight.

Here’s a demonstration that actually targets all the essential movements.

 

Final thought. Ten minutes is not a long time that most of us can find during the day. Some people even report that once they get going, they actually find more time… who’d have thought.

A whole training program can actually be built upon the premise of 10 minute blocks, in fact, I’ve made one.

If you are ready to jump into a plan that’s made of a menu of 10 minutes sections, check out this first program I’ve just released. Now, this program is a fusion of kettlebell and bodyweight training, but a purely ‘household’ program will follow soon. If you are interested in that idea, just get back to me with the contact form below.

2018 Spring Program

Just click the image

Thanks for reading.

Jamie

 

8 Week Metabolic, Muscle & Strength Program

8 Week Metabolic, Muscle & Strength Spring Program

A Fusion of Kettlebells and Bodyweight Training

INTRO

The FitStrong Spring Program is a simple fusion of both strength focussed training and metabolic enhancing training using Kettlebells and bodyweight movements..

The three days that we will rotate between place demands on two different energy systems.

Day 1: One pure power and strength

Day 2: Endurance and muscle building.

Day 3: Vital ‘Other Stuff’

Now, you’re probably not going to turn into Arnie overnight or even after 8 weeks but creating the stimulation for maintaining muscle hypertrophy helps immensely in creating more favourable conditioning for increasing muscular metabolism and hopefully fat loss.

To simplify, one session you’ll lift heavy with lots of rest and the other session you’ll push a little longer and get a little out of breath.

At FitStrong we heavily promote moving better as well as developing our strengths. With this in mind, the program does include elements of mobility and bodyweight movements also.

4 x 10

This program is built with four (roughly) 10 minute sections, finishing with a 5 minute cool down (either static stretches or repeating some of the warm up mobility movements).

Why? Oftentimes I hear frustrations that, “I’ve not got time for a 30 to 45 minutes training session”.

This program is slightly unique in that you don’t have to complete each of the four sections and that if stuck for time, you build your daily routine to meet your time budget. Only got 10 minutes? I’d recommend just running through the warm up mobility routine. Yep, if stuck for time, guaranteed you’ll be slightly more stressed too. For that reason your body does not need more stress in the form of muscular stress. The body when under stress needs a reset. The warm up will offer just that.

Got 20 minutes? Do the warm up then any of the 10 minute blocks that you’d like to do. Keep it simple.

Of course, you might find that once you start, that you might find it easier to squeeze in one more 10 minute section…. go for it.

 

Each training session emphasises pressing and rowing to develop the shoulders and arms in general. We play with various leg movements and both days use the kettlebell swing to enhance power and fat utilisation using tried and tested StrongFirst ‘Strong Endurance’ protocols.

But here’s the caveat – I’m not a believer that exercise is a good tool for body fat loss. Yes, strength exercise helps to boost the metabolic rate but pales in comparison to dialling in our nutrition habits.

So, I will be providing just ONE Nutrition Challenge to accompany the exercise component. We’ll get to that soon.

I do have an online version of this to be released on my Teachable platform, but if you prefer a slightly more low-tech access to the program, for $20 you can have the PDF version with workable links to video demonstrations. Yep, if you print the PDF the links don’t work!

At the checkout, once you completed the purchase the receipt page will include the link to the download. But, if you don’t want to go through that, once you’ve paid and I receive confirmation from paypal, I can email you the PDF too. Your choice.

Want to keep busy, fit and strong up to Christmas?

Just A$20  Payment Link (redirects to PayPal) 

Any questions or do you want access to the high-tech online version? Just shoot me a message below.

 

Pre Christmas Strength and Fitness Program

We don’t offer cheap Personal Training (but keep reading haha) but we do offer Great Personal Training in shared sessions. Yep, you get all the personal attention you need just sharing the training session with 1 or 2 other people AND at a reduced cost.

We currently have openings in morning sessions on:

  • Tuesday @ 5:30am
  • Thursday @ 5:30am
  • Saturday @ 7:45am

(Other mornings are available too for new groups)

If you want to get all strong and fit for Summer, get in touch in time for our morning Spring Program kicking off Saturday 13th October 7:45am. (There will be an-board session in the week leading up to the Saturday)

Want More Info – get in touch below

 

The Program is set up as a starter program for 8 weeks, after which you can opt to stay on for the summer program.

So, what is the program?

At FitStrong we build our programs around helping people to move better and build real world, practical strength. This Spring program has an emphasis on:

  • Upper Body Pushing strength (who doesn’t want strong arms and shoulders this coming Summer?)
  • Squat movement variations to keep our knees and hips healthy and strong
  • A focus on explosive strength with kettlebell swings. Cant Swing? Well, I’ll teach you how to swing with a simple 4 step process. Don’t want to swing? Well, that’s fine too. There are options for other activities. This is still personal training but in a small group setting.
  • Abs – got to keep those abs strong!
  • In addition, we’ll take a look at nutrition with a simple challenge.

I can’t give too much away as programs hold $$$ value and releasing full details to the world would be fool-hardy.

How often must I train per week?

Great question. I’d love it if everyone could come along at least twice a week but I totally understand if this isn’t an option for you. If once a week is all you can commit to I can offer some homework to squeeze in at home. This can be customised for blocks of 10 minute sections.

As a bonus incentive and reward for reading this far (well done) I’ll gift you a great ebook all about getting you abs into kickass shape  – in fact, here it is.

The Top 3 Abdominal Exercises You_re Not Doing! (1)

FINAL NOTE:

If coming to our gym doesn’t work for you, this same program will be released as an online program that you can follow along to at home, in you own time. This of course will be a fraction of the cost of face-to-face training.

If you’d like to be put on the application list for this 8 week program, reply below.

 

 

Foot and Knee Width Whilst Squatting

If you frequent your gymnasium every now and again (hopefully more often than not) you may have worked on your legs. I sure hope you do cause these things have to carry us around for a good while yet.

But, so many people do not carry out leg work like deadlifts and squat or their variations due to some prior experience with pain. This does not mean deadlifting and squatting are bad for you, it just means you haven’t found the particular set-up for you.

What do I mean by set-up?

Most times you read about squatting or deadlifting you’ll read about generic foot and knee width or set up. Mostly it’ll say to place feet hip width apart or something like that.

However, it’s just a general statement. We are all special snowflakes and will all have quite different biomechanics.

In the video below I talk about how to find your own ideal knee width, foot width and then foot positioning. Did you know that both of your feet may be angled totally differently to achieve a comfortable squat?

 

Got any ideas? Agree? Disagree? Want further details or advice?

Just get your fingers tapping below.

Bodybuilding and Strength Training… what’s the difference?

At FitStrong we focus on strength training and moving better as adults. Strength training often takes the path of using tools like Kettlebells, Barbells or other ‘stuff’.

But, oftentimes the use of these or even the mention of ‘strength training’ causes some alarm initially to some members. Why? Because they often have concerns with building big muscles.

They Confuse Bodybuilding and Strength Training.

Whilst the tools are the same, the way in which they get used varies considerably. Bodybuilding focuses on maximal muscle fatigue under certain timing protocols or large number of repetitions whilst strength training focuses on short sets, focussed tension and NO fatigue or muscular exhaustion.

For the most part, we work on getting stronger but when the time is appropriate or required, some clients will include periods of the year working on developing some muscle growth.

Typical example would be a young person wanting to get more muscular for their sport. Another would be an older client who needs to work more frequently on maintaining the muscle mass. The process here is less focussed on maximal effort but would use higher repetitions.

For the majority of us though, what we need in life is a stronger more agile body not a bigger body and as such, we prioritise strength and mobility.

Got any ideas or want more to chat more…. get in touch.

Getting Back to Old Fashioned Health Values

Attaining optimal physical health in the year 2018 is probably a little bit confusing. Do short-cuts exist? Can you hack a boost with a magical coffee and fasting for 3 days? Is there a wonder food? Is there one exercise that’ll do the job and is strength training all you need to lead a wonderful and fulfilling life allowing you to thrive into old age with grace and all your human facets in place?

If anyone tells you ‘just need ____’, they are most likely full of cr@p!

To get a grasp of how and what is means to lead an optimally, healthy life as a human, you need to grasp what it means to be an optimally, healthy human. What is our system designed to do?

Thankfully the impartial and unbiased side of the medical and sports science world has outlined this for us on numerous occasions. We’ll delve into this later on.

For the purposes of physical health, strength, wellbeing and seeing results from training, I like to focus on the following areas:

  • Recovery
  • Nutrition
  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Resistance exercise
  • Movement practice

Here’s a wee infographic I’m working on. Eventually it will have links to resources for each area.

Screen Shot 2018-09-20 at 1.04.21 pm

For a very long time (until recently) people have included the above ‘agenda’ in their lives out of lifestyle necessity.

Until the 1950s and 1960s people had lifestyles that promoted:

  • moving more than sitting,
  • activities that kept them strong,
  • eating mostly unprocessed foods,
  • sleeping a good 7 to 8 hours rather than binge watching TV until they fell asleep.

Standards and values of basic human performance have dropped dramatically. Waist inches have climbed and even though we are living longer, we are just delaying death rather than prolonging life. Let’s read that last sentence again.

Waist inches have climbed and even though we are living longer, we are just delaying death rather than prolonging life.

There is no doubt that we will never return to a lifestyle that demands more physical living unless war and famine dictates it!

If you value old fashioned physical standards of health, attaining a good balance of physical living, what do you need to do?

At the start of the blog I mentioned that medical and sport science has informed us what we need to do. Let’s recap on what is promoted:

Sleep: 7 – 8 hours is optimal despite the fact that some people tell you that 5 hours is all they need.

Nutrition: No diets are required. Just aim to gradually reduce processed foods and meals and snacks and instead target fruits and vegetables that are in season NOW. Three to four fist sized portions a day. Eat unprocessed sources of protein, roughly the same size of 2 to 3 palm sizes. Eat unprocessed (read – natural) sources of carbohydrates like rice, potatoes and other root vegetables. Roughly 2 to 3 palm fulls a day. More information from Precision Nutrition. 

Cardiovascular: The targets have been made clear. Walk 30 to 90 minutes a day. You do not have to get seriously out breath, just get up and walk for at least 30 accumulated minutes a day. Simple really. Once this standard is met, then an additional 2 higher intensity sessions can be added a week – 30 minutes of effort that take you pulse to 180 – your age. Not flat-out death chasing stuff! Read more here.

Resistance Training: Two to three times a week undertake a strength training program that includes all the essential human movements. These are the most common physical movements we are required to perform and designed to perform frequently. These can be labelled as Squatting, Pushing, Pulling, Bracing (our torso), Hinging / Bending at the hips and Carrying weight. A well structured plan can be simple and undertaken in as little as 20 to 30 minutes. Need a hand, just ask.

Movement Practice: This is probably one area that should increase compared to strength training as we age. As a goal now, if you spend 30 minutes strength training, you should spend up to an hour on a movement practice. What do I mean movement practice? Yoga, Animal Flow, Original Strength, whatever flexibility techniques you like but in any case, you gotta get looser. As we age our hips, biceps, chest, hamstrings and other areas develop and hold onto more tension due to fatigue, posture, lifestyle. Stretch, move – get all loosey-goosey.

Building this into a week as a beginner

  • Walk every day for 30 minutes (3.5 hours a week)
  • Strength Train twice a week for 30 minutes (1 hour a week)
  • Stretch / Get Mobile 4 times a week for 30 minutes (2 hours a week)
  • Start a habit of eating mostly natural foods
  • Sleep every day for 7 to 8 hours

Yes, you read that right. Exercising for 6 ½ hours is essential for a beginner. Any less and you really are leaving a lot on the table. Any less and your lifestyle will be underpowered to assist you into old age.

It’s a serious matter but think of it this way. Do you want to spend the final years of your life in assisted aged care, unable to clean your own bum or do you want to thrive until your dying day.

To quote Steve “Coach Fury” Holiner, ‘Live Long, Be Strong, Die Mighty’! 

I know I’ve laid out a handful of information here. If you want to start to thrive now and you’re not sure where to start, get in touch and I will happily steer you in the right direction. Not a sales pitch, I just want to help.