Saturday, 21 May 2016

You can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink!

The same is true of people, you can take them to the gym but it does not necessarily mean they will work hard, and you can give them all the diet advice they need but it does not mean that they will follow it.

Whilst it is nice to see people who are dedicated and following your plan and training hard with you in the gym, some people can not find the extrinsic motivation to reach the goals that you want them to reach and know they can.

Sometimes these people need to look more within themselves to find the intrinsic motivation to push them towards what it is they want to achieve.

Personally, I feel that I always need to have a reason to train, and struggle to find the extrinsic motivation to train simply for trainings sake. Whether this be an event such as a half marathon, 10km, obstacle race (such as Total Warrior) or even a holiday or photoshoot. There needs to be a goal at the end of the training or an achievement of some sort.

This is completely normal (well, I hope it is!) And my way of dealing with it is to arrange events around 6-12 weeks apart from each other allowing me to stay on track and staying motivated. I also find that planning weeks off plan every few months (ie Xmas and summer holidays) helps to stay on track for the rest of the time. As in those off plan weeks I become sick of the sight of food junk and makes me keen to get back on with a healthy diet!

Summer is fast approaching and I know there are many of you who like to get in shape for your summer holidays and get that beach body, so stick at what you've been working hard for all winter and whilst you're away do not be too scared to go off your diet- you have another 52 weeks to get your summer body back afterwards!

Thanks again for taking the time to read, be sure to follow me on Twitter and instagram (@ 1989shirley) and follow the blog on bloglovin

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

A few gym bag essentials!

I thought I'd share with you a few things I always ensure I carry in my gym bag. For me, the gym isn't simply a place where you can go in with just a tshirt, shorts and trainers. To get the most out of each workout you have to be prepared for every eventuality! Here is my top 5 items;

1- Gym Diary
Number one! If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail (or at least not see the results that you had hoped for). Plan and track your workouts and you will be able to see trends and improvements! Don't just go to the gym and use whatever machine is free!

2- Lifting Shoes
I must say, I toyed with the idea of buying some solid lifting shoes for approximately 18 months. Then one day I took the plunge and I haven't looked back since! Allowing for a solid base to squat from rather than flimsy running trainers like most people wear.

3- Liquid Chalk
Im not a huge fan of using lifting straps. Not only do they make me feel weaker, but I would rather train to lift as heavy as my grip will allow. Meaning I also pay more attention to grip training as I feel having a strong grip is a true test of strength.

4- Lifting Belt
Personally I don't own one.... yet! I am quite lucky that my gym has a box full of belts for anybody to use. Since I started incorporating the belt into my very heavy sets, I have noticed a remarkable improvement in my max squat and deadlift.

5- Bluetooth Headphones
Simply put, sometimes you just need that extra edge in the gym. Sometimes the music playing over the speaker system is good, other times its dreadful. Don't take that risk! I always make sure I use Bluetooth headphones too- no messing around with wires getting tangled with the bar!

Obviously this list isn't extensive and there are other bits in my gym bag, but this list gives you a good starting point for those who want to give themselves an edge!

Have I missed something that you feel is essential? Comment below!

Friday, 1 January 2016

Is It Really New Year New You?

...or will you slip back into old ways come February 1st?

The secret is to not go completely cold turkey from the things you enjoy, and don't go mad and try to change everything all at once! Small changes week to week, month to month and staying consistent with your efforts to keep exercising and the results will come. If you don't usually go to the gym start with one or two sessions per week and build up from there, not twice a day for the first week and falling back into old ways come February!

One of the main reasons for this is recovery.

People who are new to exercise, naturally, will recover slower than regular exercisers. Over time your body will become accustomed to training, so make sure you have at least 3/4 months worth of regular exercise behind you before you go hell for leather.

Without wanting to sound too "sciencey", refuelling is a massive part of recovery, ensuring you eat the correct combinations of macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrate and Fat) in the meals prior to and post exercise. And the more experienced exerciser you become, the more efficiently your body will be able to replace your energy stores.

As I always say, don't jump straight into a lifestyle that isn't yours, slowly make it your lifestyle- leading a fit and healthy life isn't really that hard it just isn't as easy as mainstream marketing would have you believe.

The secret to a healthy lifestyle isn't actually a secret at all.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Cobra Labs- Shadow X

As a fan of Cobra Labs The Curse, I was intrigued when I heard that they had released a new pre-workout supplement Shadow X.

Having compared the ingredients in the shop between this and a few other pre-workout supplements that I am yet to try, it seemed that it would be a lot stronger than the competing products.

And it is, for practically the same price I now only need one scoop prior to each workout, rather than 2/3. So, not only is it more effective in the gym, it also lasts longer so you get more for your money. I bought the 'magic berry' flavour and it tastes fine (if a bit intense- but that's pre-workout for you!).

As I train at 6am (and I don't drink coffee) I feel that I need something to perk me up ready for heavy lifting sessions- and this certainly does the trick. It keeps you focused, gives you a pump, and gives you a lot more energy without too many unwanted side effects.

Having recommended Shadow X to a fellow gym user where I train, he also loves it and has since recommended it to a few others.

This stuff really works and is my new favourite by far!

If you're interested in purchasing Shadow X, the best price I could find was here, although I would check your local supplement shop as I got it slightly cheaper from there!

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Over indulging around the festive period?

So summer has been and gone, the clocks have gone back and we only have 8 more weeks until the dreaded C word.

Yes, winter is well on the way and many will fall foul of saying "just one mince pie can't hurt" and then regretting eating the whole packet.

This time of year is when most people slip into the mindset of "I'll fix it in January" but why wait till January to get fit?!

Yes, the run up to Christmas is full of staff parties, mince pies and other gorgeous foods, but why can't you indulge just a little every now and again and maintain your fitness levels and even improve?

Life is about balance. Keep up with your gym routine and try and keep your diet on track as much as possible. Don't refuse to have a treat here and there but also remember to not stuff your face! There really is no reason why you should put on weight over this period other than you being lazy and not exercising because it's cold and wet.

Moderation is the key here, as with anything. Stick with it and remember "summer bodies are made in the winter".