Busy week!

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while but I have lots to update you on. Last week I ran a good indoor rowing session. Did a warm up and some technical bits followed by 4 x 4mins! Give that a go, it’s tough. Followed by a nice long stretch.

In the meantime I’ve been carrying on with strength training and going to regular spin classes!

Anyone else do spin? It’s one of my favourite workouts!

So I have been trying to have more protein than usual. I have been drinking whey. I have chocolate flavour as it also craves my chocolate cravings.

I also tried greek yogurt mixed with casein protein. I have vanilla flavour.

It tastes like custard! It’s great!

I mixed:

  • 170g greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop of casein protein
  • couple of tbsp of water until at the desired consistency
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casein custard!

Overnight oats

I’ve been having overnight oats a lot more recently. My favourite combinations are:

Banana and dried apricot (with a dash of cinnamon).

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banana and dried apricot

I’m about to head off to the gym and do some squats. Ready for that glue burn!!!

So that’s all for now. I have a big exam coming up this Friday and then we’re having a christmas party!

Catch up later!

 

Bulgarian split squats

This weekend I was a bit rushed for time during my workouts. The cold weather is making it difficult for me to motivate myself to leave the house 😦

Next week I start a new placement, which means I can live at home and go to my usual gym! Woo!

Like I always say if you don’t enjoy your workout- CHANGE IT!

Well I took my own advice and got rid of split squats in my routine. I just couldn’t get comfortable and never felt stable enough to push it with heavy weights.

So after searching the web and landing on endless youtube videos I decided to take advice from Erin Stern and tried Bulgarian split squats! Watch this video to see how.

They burn like hell!! I am in love!

I used a dumbbell as my gym doesn’t have discs that I can hold like in the video. I will definitely continue to do this exercise.

This weekend I am doing some revision (wooooo) and working on a rowing workout for beginners plus a stretch routine to do afterwards!

What I’m watching:

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Enough said! A classic crowd pleaser.

Hope everyone is having a good weekend!!!

Full body/leg pump

Hola!

It’s official I am half way through final year! The pressure is on.

But in order to keep focussed and healthy the gym and I will not be breaking up during exam revision.

So my last workout was a full body workout, staying true to my powerlifting workout styles:

  • Bench press (4×6)
  • RDL (4×8)
  • Lat pull down (3×8)
  • T-bar one armed overhead press (3×8 each arm)
  • Finisher (3 sets of 10 reps continuous!):
    • Lunges
    • Goblet squats

I love a good finisher, this is something new I have started incorporating back into my workouts. Kind of a mini-circuit. Usually I do about 4 different exercises, but that day I only had time for 2 exercises.

Finisher circuits really get your HR going and keep your heart rate raised after you’ve finished your workout (similar to HIIT)

I actually started my workout with 10 min HIIT on the bike ❤

Move crush

yup that’s the move I have a crush on right now

T-Bar one handed overhead row

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This move really sculpts your shoulders. But due to it being more free weights than machine your really need to keep that core tense (bonus workout!)

What I’m watching

Suits! Yes, I’ve been powering through this series. It’s light watching with some substance.

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Lets add some HIIT and finishers this week!

Good luck!

 

Bringing sexy back(s)!

Woooo how time flies. In a couple of weeks I’ll be half way through my final year. I feel my head isn’t as full of facts as it should be…! But let’s not panic yet, got some time.

Recently my friend and I did some YouTube surfing to get motivated for some good gym sessions and some inspiration. We ended up spending aaaaaages on Erin Stern’s videos! Isn’t she amazing!? Anyone who thinks muscles aren’t for women should take one look at her.

These past few weeks I’ve been incorporating more back and upper body into my workouts. Reverse flyes with dumbbells ❤️ and if you raise your pinky slightly up toward the ceiling while you squeeze your shoulder blades together you can really feel it hitting your posterior delts! Also incorporating bent over rows, Lat pull down, face pulls, dumbbell rows and more…!

Any more good back suggestions?

Been using incline bench to build a bit more upper chest.

I think it’s very true, if you don’t love your workouts anymore, change them!

What I’m listening too

Downloaded the Lena Dunham Buzzfeed podcast featured on iTunes. It is great. She’s so inspiring! If you’re going to listen to an episode then you have to give the “body” episode a go. It’s hilarious. Any qualms or fears you have about your own body will be challenged by this episode!

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Right I’m off to study and eat something protein-rich…!

Easy eggs!

The other day I was speaking to a colleague at work and she told me how she has eggs nearly every morning. I think my jaw dropped a little bit… every morning!? I only have eggs if it’s a special occasion and I have lots of time in the morning.

She told me she makes them in the microwave!

This I had to try… so after a couple of tries I made an easy scramble and moved on to a more egg muffin style thing!

MICROWAVE SCRAMBLE

  • whisk eggs in a shallow bowl
  • season and add additional (e.g. cheese, spring onions…)
  • microwave on full for 30s re-whisk
  • microwave for another 30s and re-whisk
  • carry on until eggs are at your chosen consistency. Enjoy!

MICROWAVE EGG MUFFIN

  • whisk eggs in a shallow bowl
  • season and add additional (my fave is a bit of grated cheese)
  • microwave for 2 mins
  • DONE
  • I found that if you stop the microwave at 1min and sprinkle spinach on the top (gives it time to wilt)



ENJOY! This is such an easy way to add protein to a meal. I have made them into a breakfast style wrap (for lunch) and egg muffin on bread thins (I love these as they aren’t as bready as sliced bread!)

Anyone else got some great egg microwave recipes?

Food and exercise, as promised!

So just so you know this is for people who are doing resistance training! And here are the links to the two papers:

  1. Stark et al.
  2. Aragon et al.

RANGE

Quick take home message for everyone! 1.2-2.0g protein per kg body weight, and >44-50kcal per kg body weight

TIMING

Luckily the truth is the anabolic window is hardly definitive (good news!) as most research bases this on the fact that exercise is done fasted (not us!).

pre-exercise protein ingestion is superior to post-exercise ingestion to promote protein synthesis.

Anabolism is increased 3h postprandial, maximal protein synthesis drops back to baseline and amino acid levels stay high! So the suggestion is whey protein as it’ll be rapidly digested, initiate maximal protein synthesis and provide 3-4g leucine (for max maximal protein synthesis)

MORNING GYM BUNNY?

So research suggest if you are a morning person you should really consider

“immediate nutritional intervention”

combination of protein and carbohydrate (see below, to build muscle and stop it breaking down) and your catabolic state becomes anabolic (win!). The paper even goes so far to claim that if you use this method long term you could cumulatively make an increased rate of gains!

PRE-EXERCISE FOOD

(1-2 HOURS BEFORE EXERCISE)

Because (see above), not everyone is a morning gym buddy and therefore considering exercise in a fasted state. If like me you aren’t good with food prep, research says your pre-workout can function as your post-workout snack depending on size and time of ingestion.

So you need some high-quality protein (e.g. 20g whey protein) 1-2h before your workout and you can forget your post-workout snack! And your next protein rich meal 1-2h later can be used for maximising recovery and anabolism.

(4-6 HOURS BEFORE EXERCISE)

This would be people who might train before lunch or after work. So a post-workout is needed here! Consume 25g protein as soon as possible should be able to reverse the catabolic state. But then if you want to get into it you need to take into consideration how trained you are and how old you are etc.

PROTEIN

  • Whey protein = increases in strength
  • Casein = does not promote strength
  • Fat-free milk = promotes increase in lean body mass, strength, muscle hypertrophy and decrease in body fat
  • Milk proteins have been shown to be superior to soy proteins in promoting lean body mass and muscle mass development
    • However milk doesn’t contain the recommended amount of leucine (3-4g) to promote maximal maximal protein synthesis

CARBOHYDRATE

Yup it’s not all about the protein! So have a fast-acting carbohydrate (maltodextrin or glucose) with your protein. And the insulin will help leucine modulate protein synthesis efficiently! Lean body mass is increased more with protein + carbohydrate combo than protein alone!

And again amino acids and dextrose are most effective at evoking protein synthesis before to rather than after resistance exercise!

So a quick summary:

  • Don’t get too hung up on timings, and if you’re working out close enough to your last meal it will work as your post workout snack!
  • Combine protein and carbohydrate for those gains!

Train hard everyone!

It’s been so long!

Hi everybody!

I’m so sorry it’s been so long! It’s been busy here with uni work, but you’ll be happy to know I haven’t let the muscle slack!

I am really working hard on my bench press, think I am getting there. My muscles are so achey from face pulls!

I also did this great ab circuit the other day, it’s an 8 minute burner and so good! I can see my little abs popping out 🙂

Give it a go!

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Something I have really been thinking about a lot recently is nutrition, and specifically, pre-/post- workout nutrition. I think a post on that would be good!

My next purchase on the horizon is the polar FT4, I have a really basic polar heart rate monitor atm but I’d quite like something a bit more advanced that counts calories and doesn’t have a big price tag.

Anyone got any good heart rate monitor suggestions?

I will get working on those new posts soon!

x

Weekend cycle and homemade granola

Hi everyone it’s been so long!! It’s been a busy week, starting a new placement which sees me travel an hour each way and a lot of uni sport is culminating this weekend!

However as promised here are some photos from my cycle last weekend. 45 miles, great fun! Our first day was a bit rainy but our second day was lovely and also coastal!

My legs were burning!

We had some really nice grainy rolls for lunch with cheese and salad (love a bit of crunch) and one too many mint imperials…and lots of fruit.

Any good healthy snacks for long cycles/runs/etc?

Another thing I have done this week is make my own granola, so tasty! I love to put it on top of my overnight oats with blueberries.

Lots of different textures

I have made a new program based on my 1RMs, it’s very tough but so good. People have been saying I look quite strong recently, which is nice! I should try and make some before and after photos at some point.

Now, my biggest 1RM difficulty is bench! How i love and hate thee! So in order to improve it I have started doing some dumbbell bench press (my left arm fails before my right arm… every time) and also using the flye machine! When i left the gym on Thursday I felt so pumped…haha.

Any other good accessory exercises to improve bench press?

1RMs and healthy shop bought food!

Hey everyone So after what my colleague deemed a “waaaaay too easy” workout, I decided I should test my 1RMs. That’s right, all three in one day, that’s just how I roll! Managed to improve both my bench and squat PBs by 1kg each (every little helps). And finally got my 110kg deadlift!

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YES!!

So now I need to recalculate my program (see my other post to find out how). And I am going back to strength training, there is no denying that despite my love-hate relationship with it, deep down I do like strength training. Thinking of doing a couple more powerlifting competitions too! Need to lose 1/2kg to get into the 57kg category first 😉

Anyone struggling with weight loss? These 500g are very stubborn!

And now to some TASTY take away food I’ve had recently. I paired this simple salad with one of my seasoned salmon filets

ater on in the week I tried this super tasty M&S salad! So good! Not sure I could afford to eat like this every day but you’ve got to treat yourself every now and again right…?

People planning on getting some good workouts in this bank holiday weekend?

I’ve got another cycle lined up!

I’ll try and take some photos this time!