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December 2014

Don’t Be That Person On The Plane (For Health Reasons,Not Aesthetics)

childhood obesity

This may come across as me being a bit of a dick.

 

However, what I am talking about has serious health implications and can have a massive impact on your life.

 

The fitness industry is too rife these days with overly positive rhetoric and too much massaging of egos of the public and clientele.

 

What I am about to speak of may be harsh but sometimes the truth hurts.

 

So, I was on a plane at the weekend and was sat next to someone I would be comfortable describing as morbidly obese.

 

It is a bad day when your stomach sits over your tray table when you have it down.

 

Comedic, I am not trying to be. My initial thoughts were not off how much space the guy was going to take up.

 

Instead all I could see was a walking health scare, so many possible health issues leaving him a ticking time bomb.

 

Heart disease

Diabetes

Forms of Cancer

Strokes

High blood pressure

Respiratory problems

 

These are to name but a few of the possible serious consequences that being overweight or obese can lead to.

 

Scary fucking list eh?

 

No matter who you are that should be enough motivation to get your health in check and do all the right things to give your body the best chance in life.

 

Remember we only get one body, abuse it and you are stuck with it.

 

This has been very abrupt and to the point but I feel it necessary to get some people on the correct path.

 

All these health issues I listed above are all linked to obesity and your chances of falling foul to them increase greatly if you do not look after yourself.

 

I often hear people say that they don’t care that they are overweight.

 

BULLSHIT!

 

People do care; no matter who you are, you want to fit in nice and appropriate sizes clothes.

 

You want the opposite sex to be attracted to you.

 

This is human nature!

 

Even if you couldn’t give a damm about these vain reasons (I know you do though) have some respect for your body and those around you by taking a step for the positive.

 

GET EXECRISING!

 

ESTABLISH HEALTH EATING HABBITS

 

LIVE A LIFESTYLE THAT WILL BOOST YOUR LONGEVITY IN LIFE!

 

Even if you are on a less extreme part of this spectrum, I want you to realise that every decision you make health wise has consequences, both negative and positive.

 

You are solely responsible for the state of your health and only you can be accountable to make it right.

 

So there it is…

 

If anybody would like to discuss any of the issues raised, get in contact with me and we can discuss them further.

 

Or if you would like me to help you reach your health and fitness goals, drop me a message.

 

Yours truly,

 

Kieran ‘The Truth’ Malone

Deadlifting Alternative – Trap Bar‏

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It’s been emotional but this will be the last part of my three day deadlifting spectacular.

Although I have enjoyed it greatly I am not going to lie I hope I don’t need to type the word deadlift again for another lifetime.

My whole life has been revolved around sport and exercise. Most of my friends are all high level athletes or dedicated gym goers.

So I feel this puts me in a good position to say this.

Most people I know or have spoken to who have back problems usually attest these problems to deadlifting.

Now this could be down to poor technique but I do think deadlifting puts an incredible amount of pressure on the lower back for some people.

For the past 2 days I have spoken in depth about how the deadlift can be such a great exercise. So how best to combat this problem and keep this great exercise in your exercise problems.

There is 1 simple solution!

TRAP BAR DEADLIFTING.

This just involves using a trap bar instead of a straight bar for deadlifting.

I am still unsure how to attach images in the middle of these but google the term ‘trap bar’ to see exactly what I am speaking about.

What a great invention for athletes, personal trainers and recreational gym users.

Trap bar deadlifting is far easier for beginners to work with than a straight bar. It is significantly simpler for a novice to sit into the correct position.

As I outlined in the first deadlifting e-mail, it is a pretty complicated process to get the correct form on the barbell deadlift.

So doesn’t matter if you are a novice, intermediate or experienced with the deadlift using the trap bar simplifies the process by a nbso huge amount.

Due to the design of a trap bar we step inside the bar essentially putting us in the middle of the weight rather than being behind the bar. Which reduces the amount of pressure placed on the spine compared to using the straight bar.

Which is a huge advantage from an injury prevention perspective.

The design of the bar has another advantage as it allows us to lift more weight using this method. I find it lends itself to a more powerful and quick movement. Studies have shown that use of the trap bar can lead to developing more power when deadlifting.

HOW TO TRAP BAR DEADLIFT?

Step inside the bar.

Grip bar tightly using the handles.

Sit into a squat keeping your hands down with a slight arch in your back.

Drive by pushing your feet through the floor; drive your hips forward while straightening your legs.

Keep your core tight throughout the movement.

Much like the barbell deadlift do no over extend at the top of the lift.

Maintaining good posture squat back down to return the bar to the floor.

What an exercise!

So there you have it, I think I have finally run out of things to say on this matter.

I hope you have enjoyed this in depth look at deadlifting.

Deadlifting – Why?‏

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So apparently when I start talking about deadlifting I find it hard to stop.

It is like a packet of pringles, once you pop you can’t stop.

Well not for us, as we are all health conscious people and wouldn’t eat such rubbish like pringles.

Yesterday we covered more technical aspects of the deadlift.

Today we are going to advance on to looking at why we should be deadlifting and how you should be programming the deadlift into your workouts.

Despite the injury risk I perceive in heavy deadlifting I still think it is a must for those looking to make big strength gains and packing on new muscle mass.

There is a risk with most exercise so don’t overly worry about this.

The deadlift helps to strengthen more major muscle groups than pretty much any other exercise.

Obviously, the deadlift hits the posterior chain hard. Working various muscles in your legs, glutes and hips.

It also works heavily your lower and upper back.
People sometimes forget that during the pull phase and upon completion of locking out the knees standing that it strengthens arms and shoulders as well.

The deadlift is also a key component of building core strength. Having a strong core is crucial as our core is necessary to complete most movements.

Core is usually a wishy washy term. By core I mean, abdomen, stomach, hip, lower back and glute muscles.

As I stated earlier if you want to make the quickest and best strength and lean muscle gains then look no further than deadlifting.

How should you incorporate this in your training?

When deadlifting I never program any more than 6 repetitions.

Deadlift is an exercise where form is of the upmost importance. Upwards of 6 reps I find that form becomes sloppy and the risk of injury increases greatly.

To ensure the quality of reps keep the numbers low and focus on having the perfect form to take away a large risk of the injury which is apportioned to deadlifting.

As with any big lift I like to add some accessory lifts which help to compliment and improve the areas we are hitting on the deadlift.

Alongside any deadlifting programme I will always accompany it with these 3 exercises;

RDL’s (Romanian deadlifts)

Barbell hip extensions

Rack pulls

These exercises mimic the movements during a deadlift and work the same muscle groups which will help to make your deadlift stronger.

Believe it or not you may have the wrong body type for deadlifting which will make this harder for you.

If you are an ectomorph which is the build where you are taller with long limbs and are likely to be leaner and skinner it could be more difficult for you to deadlift.

Due to having a longer body the difficulty of maintaining the correct posture increases. If this applies to you, be extra vigilant.

Again, the deadlift has set my keyboard on fire.

I know you all love the deadlift but tomorrow will definitely be the last part of my impromptu deadlift series.

We will look at different variations of the exercise particularly looking at my favourite, the trap bar deadlift.

As usual I appreciate any feedback on these
e-mails so let me know what you guys think!

Deadlifting – What Is It? And How Do You Do It?‏

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Consistently I discuss ‘the 3 big lifts.’

Previously I have written about the squat.

Today it is the turn of the…..

DEADLIFT

Just like many topics in the fitness industry you could ask 5 different people their opinions on the deadlift and receive viagra super active 5 different responses.

I have mixed feelings on the subject but I shall try and articulate them succinctly enough to give you some great information.

WHAT IS A DEADLIFT?

Basically this is when you take the bar from the floor to a standing position roughly at your hips.

Technique is key in every exercise you do but it is even more vital in the deadlift. Any slight wrong you have in your technique could result in injury.

Trust me; you do not want to mess around with back pain.

Get your deadlifting technique as flawless as you can.

Firstly we shall discuss how best to grip the bar.
I strongly advise that anybody who uses the straight barbell deadlift uses a double overhand grip.

This is the most basic and easiest to apply grip.
It is also the safest and ensures your body is as symmetrical as possible during the lift.

Some people use a mixed grip, with one overhand and one underhand. This is the strongest grip available and will aid you to lift a higher total.

However, it can be problematic as it can put a slight tilt on your hips and spine which could cause a muscle imbalance.

For most of your session, especially with higher reps I would go with the double overhand grips and utilise the mixed grip when going for attempts at your 1 rep max or heavier sets.

Once you have secured your preferred method of gripping here is what I want you to do next.
Stick your ass out; make your chest as tall as possible. Your back should be as flat as it possibly can.

Head looking up to exaggerate this body position.

Bend your knees until your shins are touching the bar. I want the bar attached to your shins throughout the lift.

Keeping your chest flat, start to pull the bar by keeping the bar close to your body, it should scrape up your shins and your thighs until your knees are locked out.

At the top of the deadlift avoid one of my pet hates that I always witness.

DON’T LEAN BACK!

Stop moving the bar as soon as you feel your knees have locked out.

Just because you have locked out and got to the top of the deadlift, DO NOT JUST PUT THE BAR DOWN.

Be sure to stick your ass back out, move your hamstrings back whilst keeping that perfect flat back and chest.

Then return the bar to the floor.

The manner you put the bar down is just as important as the set up.

Some people liken this exercise to a squat but they are totally wrong.

It is a completely different movement, the deadlift is a hip dominant movement and I try to focus on getting my clients to hinge at the hips.

Another trick you can use is to deadlift barefoot. Which will help you use your feet to drive.

So 600 odd words in and I am not nearly done covering the points I want to hit you guys with.

Don’t want to overload you with too much information in the one sitting.

Tomorrow will be part deux of this e-mail mainly focusing on why should you deadlift and what set and rep ranges you should be using.

Eye of the Tiger

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Earlier today while training myself something felt different.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was at first.

There was just a lack of atmosphere leaving me feeling very flat.

Then it clicked.

I was training without music playing for the first time in……well…….forever.

Which lead me to think and investigate further.

Does music improve and increase your capacity to work hard in the gym?

For me, it is a resounding yes!

I won’t take you down somewhat of a pretentious route and advise you to listen to classical music to boost your productivity.

Although there has been some solid research behind that theory.

HOWEVER

Take these points into consideration.

Appropriately chosen music will lift your spirits and help to psyche you up. Obviously listening to some crooner belting out a ballad might not to have this effect.

BUT

Depending on your preferred choice of genre, certain dance or heavy metal tracks will help you attack the workout with a new intensity as the music provides you with a buzz and a sense of confidence.

Use tracks that have a motivating or emotive meaning to you which can help drag extra effort from you during your session.

I actually find the music sometimes provides a welcome distraction meaning online casino I don’t realise how dog tired I am due to the music having a feel good effect.

Most of the information I provide you is from personal experience and things that I have learned by trying myself.

I find that listening to the correct music that inspires me also helps me visualise during my workout. Providing me positive imagery in my mind to help bring the best out of myself.

Certain lyrics and music which has a specific meaning to you can also stimulate you to use more positive self-talk. Internally telling yourself the right things for sure increases your capacity to work.

There is a certain run I always do which has a big ass hill near the end of it. I always attack the hill more and feel better when I do it with music on compared to the only noise being my heart beating at an increasing rate.

When ‘eye of the tiger’ comes on I feel ready to run through a brick wall. You must have a song which triggers the same response?

The only caveat I would add to this is, if you are learning something new or completing a tricky task I would do this without music to avoid distraction and keep concentration at a high level.

Next time you have a training session lined up; design your perfect playlist to inspire you through the workout.

Hit play.

See what effect it has.

What YOU Need

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A key element in helping your body reach its optimum fitness and strength levels involves being on the correct training program.

Not just any old program.

The one suited specifically for YOU.

Many programs that gyms hand out for free are bog standard, intended to suit most of the general public.

Don’t get me wrong it’s cool because it’s free but will it help YOU get the best results possible.

Even some lazy personal trainers design one program when they begin their careers which are used for every single client no matter what their circumstances are.

Every single human being on this planet is unique and has different needs.

A plethora of varying strengths and weaknesses depending on the person.

You deserve a program which is individualised to suit your life, your body and your goals.

Even using myself as an example,

I am the epitome of the upside down triangle body shape. Big upper body frame, but tiny pins that some girls would kill for.

You should see them in skinny jeans!

So generally I need more leg and lower back work which are my main areas which need strengthening.

A couple of clients of mine are super busy with work and families, leaving them only 15-30 minutes of training time a day.

Meaning they don’t have time to complete an industry standard workout they need a very specific set of exercises and rep ranges to give them the best workout to suit their time constraints.

Certain muscle imbalances and injuries will also ensure that a tailored program is the only way to have your body functioning the best it can be.

When I take on new clients I get them to fill out an extensive questionnaire covering all aspects of their lives.

They probably hate me at the time as they need to complete a fair bit of writing/typing but it guarantees I can design a program which is specifically for them.

Taking that a stage further upon embarking on my first gym session with new clients I carry out a full body physical analysis.

Big words and slightly creepy sounding I know!

All this means is I watch the person as they do various exercises and movements to determine if we have an area we need to work on.

Hiring a personal trainer to train you or design you a program may cost you some extra cash but it will benefit you in the long term.

If you are serious about achieving the best results it will definitely help rather than training yourself or following a random program from the internet,

If you wanted a nice haircut you don’t get a pair of scissor and do it yourself.

You hire a professional to do the best job that they are trained and have experience of.

Marginal Gains

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Due to competing at a high level in my chosen sport, I am always searching for methods to improve my performance in fitness and exercise.

I like to call these ‘marginal gains’ a phrase that was coined by British cycling’s chief of performance, Dave Brailsford.

This is the baldy genius who has played a huge role in British cyclists winning more gold than the Bank of England has in houses. Creating stars like Bradley Wiggins and Chris Hoy in the process.

Marginal gains have a very simplistic meaning.

Making multiple small and incremental action/changes that all add up and cause a better end result.

Although this is a theory designed for high performance athletes I feel it actually has even better crossover results for the general public.

Athletes tend to already be pretty structured and stringent with their routine as that is their occupation meaning they have less marginal gains to improve on.

People living normal lives with normal jobs and families usually have more areas of their lives where they can make gains from.

Every habit you have, good or bad is the result of many small decisions you make daily.

The beauty about these changes is they should be smaller and not be drastic enough to cause you too many problems or make you feel like they are hard to maintain.

The aim is just to make 10 or more of these.

At this point I know you are wondering what are examples of these marginal gains that you speak of?

These will vary depending on your lifestyle but here are some examples,

Going to sleep one hour earlier.

Instead of drinking Friday and Saturday every week, cut this down to one day a week.

Have one less bar of chocolate a day.

Jog or walk 20-30 minutes 3 times a week.

Only order take way food once a fortnight.

Switch to diluting juice over soda.

The list could go really go on!

The addition of decisions like these plus similar choices can go a long way to help with weight loss and exercise.

Too often we are looking for that huge epiphany moment to stimulate change in our lives.

What we forget is the huge value of making the right decision on a regular basis.

You may not notice and see the results of these small improvements at first but long term they will prove to be very powerful.

Some say even more powerful than sporadic big changes, which I agree with.

Getting 1% better at many aspects of your life can help yield the results you desire.

Keeping adding up that 1% and before you know it that percentage is looking pretty dam high and you have made a huge difference.

What changes could you make to your life?

What 1% improvements are you willing to make in your life?

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