Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Top 10 reasons strong is the new skinny Part 3:



There's more to it than physical strength.......

When I talk about being strong, I don't mean looking like you're an over filled, over grilled sausage who's spent too long on the barbeque. I'm talking about having the strength to live a healthy fulfilled life and being functional or able to do all activities of daily life, without burning out.

To increase strength, is not (necessarily) a ticket on the vanity train, but developing physical strength will require hard work, an investment of time and money plus a wholesome, healthy relationship with food. In addition an increase in strength will empower you to understand that anything you desire is possible, if you are prepared to work for it and be consistent!

Getting stronger and stronger is great for your health, and is a goal which can almost always be progressed.........

Try this for size: 
"I originally started with a goal of a 20kg chest press, when I achieved that I went on to 25kg, now I can lift 75kg no problem!! (insert your own strength goals 💪).

Investing in your physical strength will help create mental strength and resilience. In a world, which is often shallow and judges purely based on looks. As Arthur Ashe once said:

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.” 

Arthur's quote hits the nail on the head, you can spend the rest go your life getting stronger, you can't do that with weight loss. 

Matters of the mind(fulness):
In some cases of anxiety, the brain is stuck thinking about the past and things that have gone wrong, our brain becomes lazy and assumes that things will go wrong in the future this amounts to a fear of the future (anxiety). Being mindful is all about living in the current moment, concentrating on what's happening in this very moment- Exercise is a perfect way to practice Mindfulness: E.g: You've done 6 push ups, you're beginning to tire. YOU ARE LIVING IN THE MOMENT and push on to the 7th, you have no time to worry about what's happening in the next few minutes never mind the next few months or years. All that matters is the push up!

Take home: Having a goal to become stronger will mean resistance based exercise. As you focus on movement you will be in the moment which is great for your mindset, progression through a challenging workout will develop a "can do attitude" which has the power to change your outlook forever 💪.

If you have any questions or would like to talk to me about how you can improve your own, diet and lifestyle without depravation and increase strength, then why not get in touch? Call me on 01273 258212

Thanks for reading,

Andy


Andy Payne is a Personal Trainer, based near Brighton in East Sussex, and founder of Three Pillars of Fitness, Exercise : Diet : Mind. You can follow him on Facebook and twitter 








Friday, 2 February 2018

Top 10 reasons strong is the new skinny Part 2:






The goal is skinny...... the cost is variety in the DIEt and volume of food= Restriction and FAILURE, something which the health and fitness industry has profited from for far too long!

The very fact that you are here reading this is nothing short of a miracle, from the moment you are conceived until you shuffle off in a box, you / your body is burning energy.

With every breath, every heartbeat, every thought, movement, frustration and celebration you ARE burning energy, nutrients and vitamins.

✋Raise a hand if you've ever been on a calorie controlled diet and failed to stick to it for more than a short period of time. The chances are, the new diet, lifestyle or exercise regime is too far away from your old habits. Put simply you are asking too much of yourself, both physically and mentally.

You've heard the saying "Rome wasn't built in a day" healthy lifestyles are the same, it takes time to build a healthier lifestyle. The foundation of successful change in your lifestyle is a minimum amount of disruption. 


Conversations with clients often sound like this:

Client: "But Andy, I have lots of things that need to change!"
Me: "That's cool, lets change one thing at a time, lets prove we can do that one thing before moving onto another!" 

Psychologically, those who enrol in a restrictive diet experience significant changes in their cognitions concerning eating: subjects become more preoccupied with thoughts about food!

Take home.........

Trends will come and go, remember Atkins? Rosemary Connelly? Herbal life? etc etc.....All sought to sell a miracle cure, none of them created an education in food, a platform for long term change, a process of personal growth and empowerment. Shifting your goal away from being skinny to becoming strong will require a lot of energy/food and variety/ from lots of nutrients, meaning those feelings of depravation will disappear instantly.

At Three Pillars of Fitness, this is exactly what I do with my clients:


Stage 1: 

Continue current relationship with food, whilst logging exactly what's consumed.
Stage 2:
Swap sub optimum foods, with better options (same volume/ calories)
Stage 3:
Reduce calories to desired amount (total calories needed with a small deficit where appropriate-depending on goal)
Stage 4:
Maintain stage 3 and return to tracking and goal setting every 3-6 months

If you have any questions or would like to talk to me about how you can improve your own, diet and lifestyle without depravation and increase strength, then why not get in touch? Call me on 01273 258212

Thanks for reading,

Andy


Andy Payne is a Personal Trainer, based near Brighton in East Sussex, and founder of Three Pillars of Fitness, Exercise : Diet : Mind. You can follow him on Facebook and twitter 






Saturday, 20 January 2018

Top 10 Reasons strong is the new skinny Part 1:



So, you've been to the docs, they've measured your weight and your height.
Then, BAM! They tell you..... Mr Smith, according to the BMI scale you are obese!
  • You spend the next 6 months, starving. Desperately trying to get rid of this STUPID LABEL. 
  • You drop your calorie intake to 1200, per day for 6 months and hit the gym!
  • You're exhausted, life is no longer enjoyable and you are irritable (with headaches to boot!)

Cardio and starvation will work, RIGHT? 
Wrong (Well, at least it's not a long term solution!)


For many years the NHS and other health care professionals have used BMI as a single measure of health......
This is too simple, because your total weight is more than that, contained within your total body weight is a number of other measures, which make up your composition:
  • Body fat percentage (visceral and subcutaneous fat)
  • Bone mass/ weight
  • Intracellular and extracellular hydration
  • Muscle weight/ percentage
According to the national centre of biotechnology information Caution should be observed when using the BMI as a measure for interpreting overweight and obesity as body composition can be highly variable yet have the same BMI. Therefore, BMI is not a reliable measurement of body composition in individuals particularly in older and younger people.”

More here: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15615272

So what should I concentrate on? 

In order to be truly healthy I recommend that you shift your focus away from your weight and the DREADED SCALES and focus your workouts on a combination of cardio vascular exercise such as fast walking or running (anything that increases heart rate) and strength exercises. Strength exercises could be: working with a resistance band, resistance machines in the gym or hand/ free weights (other strength exercises exist!).

Take home........
Having strength and health will allow you to live a fulfilling, happy life, activities of daily life are much easier when we have a strong body and muscles (queue ARNIE!). 

If you have any questions or would like to talk to me about how you can improve your own strength and lifestyle, then why not get in touch? Call me on 01273 258212

Andy

Andy Payne is a Personal Trainer, based near Brighton in East Sussex, and founder of Three Pillars of Fitness, Exercise : Diet : Mind. You can follow him on Facebook and twitter 


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Top 10 Ways to create healthier habits

















Have you tried to change your lifestyle for the better in the past, and been unsuccessful? As a Personal Trainer and Healthy Habit Coach I find the most common mistake made by all of us is expecting too much.

Life is busy: Work, kids, relationships, monetary concerns, as we set about changing our lifestyle typical goals include: Lose weight, get fit, be more active, and eat less. The issue here is that although these aspirations are well meaning they are simply too big. The key with habit making is small/ micro goals which are too easy to say no= setting yourself up to succeed! We all like to succeed!!


1: Keep it simple:
This is incredibly important. Understand completely what you have asked of yourself. For instance: If you want to lose weight, the habit you chose to focus on maybe “eat one extra vegetable per day” This will work for a number of reasons: fibrous vegetables have little energy/ calories, the bulk of them can help to displace more energy dense foods. For many this will be achievable.

How can I do this?
Cut vegetables into batons twice weekly, store them in the fridge in portion size containers and eat for a snack. As Bruce Lee famously said: “Simplicity is the key to brilliance!”

2: Keep it quick and easy:
The habit you choose should be so easy you can’t say no. It should be completed and logged in a matter of minutes each day. A busy individual, who does little activity, with lots of commitments who wants to move more, is likely to struggle to walk for an hour a day.

How can I do this?
Plan your day so that you have time to take the stairs on the way in and out of the office, likely to take a couple of minutes (provided you don’t work on floor 38 at Canary Wharf).



3: Keep a record:
One of the main objectives with habit forming is consistency; we are all the sum of our small repeated, effortless actions! In order to monitor consistency you could keep a log, a simple tick sheet, like the one below does a great job.


How can I do this?
Download and print the habit tracker below. Amazing what a simple tick in a box does for adherence (remember gold stars when you were at school? –the principle is the same).


4: Keep a trigger (AKA a reminder):
How many times have you told yourself “Today I’m going to…………” in order to become healthier. The problem is that unless we commit to when this will happen, it’s likely that we will get caught up on other things (walking the dog, feeding the children, visiting relatives etc.).

How can I do this?
All of our lives follow a similar pattern, take a look at your day… you already have loads of habits, such as: Wake up, shower, have breakfast, brush teeth……… Attach the new habit to an existing one, I like to call this HABIT STACKING…. Soon, you won’t be able to old habit without the new

5:  Keep it small:
They say size doesn’t matter, it’s certainly true when it comes to habits.
It's much better to create a small sustainable habit than to ask too much. How many times have you tried to change without success? It's a good idea to ask less of yourself and be kind as you set about changing your habits. Small habits can always be made bigger!

How can I do this?
If the habit you’re working on takes more than 2/3 minutes a day you are unlikely to sustain it! –Enter failure, and all the emotions that go with it! Perhaps take a look at some of your previous attempts to change and ask yourself why it didn’t work, the likely response is: “It’s too hard! I can’t do it!, I don’t like it!, I don’t have time!“Incubate the habit, make it bigger over time!”




6: Keep consistency (Routine):
Our brains like repetition, it views repetition as safe! Lets take advantage of this!

Remember: “A habit is a routine of behaviour that is repeated regularly, and tends to occur subconsciously”



Think of the brain as a field. If you tread the same steps often enough, you create a pathway.
Try taking a walk in a field but don’t use the footpath, see how strange it feels!

How can I do this?
Make sure your habit can be practised daily at exactly the same trigger. This will build Neuro footprints in our behaviour/ pathways.

7: Take a break, once a week:
Yes! That’s right! Choose one day a week and have a break from habit building and tracking. You did great for 6 out of 7 days so take a day off (of habit tracking only, everything else stays in order). When you return to tracking the following day, it will be with new enthusiasm. Remember: “It’s so easy you can’t say NO!”

How can I do this?
Choose the day, and take a break from habit tracking. It’s that simple. For many people it will be a Saturday. Remember this isn’t a carte blanche to eat whatever you want and spend the day on the sofa, you don’t want to waste the effort that you’ve put in this week ;-)

WATCH OUT… Weekends are dangerous as our routine is often more relaxed. The weekend begins Friday so each Thursday, think about how will you manage the weekend? What are the boundaries make sure these are clear every Thursday!


8: Keep it real:
That’s right Gangsta! …………
It’s Friday, you look at your tracker and you have managed to complete the habit twice this week (SIGH!). So revisit the habit: Why hasn’t it worked? Too complicated? Takes too long? It's too expensive? Then revise the habit.......

How can I do this?
Make the habit and your expectations of yourself smaller, SET YOURSELF UP TO SUCCEED. Once you have consistency (12 out of 14 days) you can make the habit bigger and more challenging.



9: Rinse and repeat:
You know you should be drinking around 3 litres of water a day, but you were smart, when you set this habit up! Having tried to increase water intake and given up before, you chose to have a glass of water before your first cup of coffee each day. You’ve smashed the habit for 14 days, you’re proud and you know you can do more. 
Go ahead, progress… maybe you will have another glass of water before lunch?

How can I do this?
Review the tracker, 12 out of 14 is your pass to progress the goal. Keep progressions small to ensure success.


10: Keep trying:
So you tried, it went wrong. Spend some time looking at what it was like to complete the habit in real life. Sometimes we have lofty aspirations and our daily life gets in the way. What was the obstacle and why did it get in the way?

The thing that separates those who succeed from those who do not is successful people don’t give up! Check out this video link, where James Dyson speaks about failure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5eIyRVpwmc

Feel free to use this link to get your own habit Tracker:
https://www.facebook.com/ThreePillarsOfFitnessLimited/photos/a.338243536310320.1073741828.314697175331623/1115602345241098/?type=3&theater

If you have any questions or would like to talk to me about how you can change your habits, long term – then why not get in touch? Call me on 01273 258212

Andy

Andy Payne is a Personal Trainer, based near Brighton in East Sussex, and founder of Three Pillars of Fitness, Exercise : Diet : Mind. You can follow him on Facebook and twitter