So you want to be more powerful...

Hi everyone, Donogh here again and this time I’m going to tell you how you can get more powerful without learning the Olympic lifts. What??? But how?? Just listen 😉

Olympic lifts are excellent for power output, research has shown us that. But from my experiences with teams, the time taken to teach the technique eats in to a lot of time where you can be getting faster or more powerful or doing curls 😊

When we train for power, what we are essentially looking for is big extension through the hips and glutes and explosive power right up from the ankles which we call triple extension. Improvements in power will come by moving weight very very fast.

These are 4 exercises that I recommend for power that are easy to do and come very close to Olympic lifts for power output.

1.       Loaded Squat Jump – The most similar exercise to an Olympic lift without the complications. I like to hold 2 dumbbells by my side weighing about 40% of my body weight. Get into a quarter squat and jump as high as possible. This exercise gets you into a similar triple extension as the Olympic lift but eliminates the catch. You still produce a lot of power and when landing correctly you receive force too which is crucial for contact sports. Very simple to do and I would recommend 3-4 reps, 3-4 sets with about 90 second rest between sets.

2.       Prowler Push – This exercise when done correctly can produce great amounts of force. You can do this exercise 2 ways, pushing off one leg at a time like a running motion or 2 legs at a time. Either way you will want to ensure that you push your legs back as far as you can to get into that triple extension. I personally like pushing off 2 legs explosively driving the prowler away from you and ending up lying face down on the floor in a push up position (just remember to put your hands out as you fall). I would recommend 50-60% of your body weight and about 10-15m of reps and 3-4 sets again with about 90 seconds rest.

3.       Hip Thrust – Research has suggested that hip thrusts can increase your vertical and horizontal jumps while decreasing your 10m and 20m sprint time. If that’s not a reason to be doing this exercise more than I don’t know what is. I would recommend working at around 70-75% of your 1 rep max and moving the bar as fast as possible getting into hip extension. Again 3-4 reps and 3-4 sets would work well with about 90 seconds rest.

4.       Kneeling Med Ball Wall Slam – This exercise works on upper and lower body. The key to making this exercise worth adding in to your power program is exploding through the hips as you throw the ball and again ending up lying face down on the ground. This will work on extension through the hips and power through the upper body. 4-5 reps and 3-4 sets with around 90 seconds rest will be enough.

So that’s 4 great exercises to add to your program to get more powerful which will lead to increases in your speed and in your jump. And who doesn’t want that?

Here at PFP we have a jump mat that can give an accurate measurement of jump height and speed gates that give an accurate measurement of speed. So why not call in and test yourself before trying these out and then re test after 4 weeks to see if they work.

As always, if you have any questions pop in and ask or leave a comment underneath.

Talk soon

Donogh

 

Why the site of your pain is not necessarily the source of your pain...

When we have pain, the usual reaction is to assume some sort of injury or issue at the site of the pain and so we normally set about getting treatment to this area in order to eliminate the pain.  

But this may not be the only answer to your problem.

Treating the site of the pain is fine, but the site is not necessarily the primary source of your discomfort. Many people don't know that a dysfunction at one joint can cause over-use at another, and eventually lead to injury.

The body is just like a stack of joints. Each joint has a specific function and if it fails to do its job, then the joint above or below must pick up the slack. This can lead to injury.

So what are the functions of our various joints? The ankle’s primary job is mobility, the knee’s function is stability, the hip is concerned with mobility, the lower back’s purpose is stability and the upper back is mobility.

If you are getting a common pain - such as knee pain, where might it be coming from? There are many potential answers to this, but it could very well be that your ankle or hips (or both!) are lacking in mobility meaning that your knee has had to compensate for this, and so resulting in knee pain. 

I regularly get asked about the difference between mobility and stability with regards to joints - mobility is the ability of the joint to move through a preferably full range of motion; stability on the other hand is the opposite. A stable joint needs to resist motion; not produce it. If your hips or upper back fail to move properly, your lower back will become mobile. So when your lower back is in pain, it can be due to a lack of range of motion in the hips or upper back.

Bottom line is that if you are in pain - STOP. Pain is a sign something is wrong and you shouldn't try to train through it. That's why I particularly DESPISE the sort of quotes bandied about below - they perpetuate the idea that you should be in pain in the gym . Let's be clear - you shouldn't be in pain. Yes, it may be uncomfortable and sore; you may feel 'the burn', but actual pain in any joint or muscle shouldn't be happening!

If an exercise hurts, then don’t do the exercise. With an appropriate gym program you can train the joints to enhance mobility and stability and to then eliminate any joint pain you may be experiencing.  

As always please get in touch if you have any questions  - I'm more than happy to help. 

Nigel

The PFP Gift Guide - 10 picks for fitness gifts

Are you looking for a Christmas gift for the fitness fanatic in your life? Well, look no further - here's the PFP Gift Guide, covering all things health and fitness.

1. RunPhones

Sick of headphones? RunPhones are headphones in a headband - no more annoying ear buds! They are specifically designed for activities such as running, walking or gym. They have speakers in a stretchy headband that is designed to fit comfortably on the head and stay put during activities. Simply sync with any Bluetooth enabled device and off you go. 

For more info find them here:  http://www.boots.ie/en/Acoustic-Sheep-RunPhones-Wireless-Black_1748134/

2. Bands

body bands.jpg

Bands, with varying degrees of resistance, are a great tool for anyone looking to get a workout in at home or while travelling. They take up minimal space and if you are a bit imaginative you can get, pretty much, a full body workout done. Great stocking filler. 

Find them here - https://www.body-bands.com/

3. Foam Roller - Mini

Ideal for those who are on the go - this mini - foam roller will easily fit in to a bag. The grids on the these rollers are great for hitting all the niggles and sore spots. Highly recommend!

Find more info here - http://www.barefoot.ie/triggerpoint/grid-mini-foam-roller

4. Fit Bit

A great present for anyone in your life who is interested in their health and fitness. This FitBit watch allows them to monitor sleep, steps, workout stats, heart rate, calories plus will sync with iphone, windows and android. Plenty more details over on the Boot.ie website - have a look here: http://www.boots.ie/en/Fitbit-Blaze-Fitness-Super-Watch-Black-Silver-Small-_1830471/

5. Fitness Dice

Anyone who is looking to spice up their workout routine might enjoy this! Simply throw the dice to find out the exercise and the reps - sounds like fun!! Handy for a fun workout at home. 

https://www.amazon.com/Stack-Bodyweight-Instructions-Included-Equipment/dp/B017KVWSTW

6. Kate Spade Activity Tracker

One for the ladies! A bracelet and activity tracker all in one. Find it here:  https://www.katespade.com/products/scallop-hinge-bangle-tracker/KSA31212.html?cgid=ks-jewelry-bracelets&dwvar_KSA31212_color=022#start=10&cgid=ks-jewelry-bracelets

7. Vodi Hoodies

Comfort is key when it comes to gym clothes and these Vodi Hoodies are nothing if not comfortable. They come in a range of colours for both men and women.  A great, practical present. Load of other fitness accessories on their website too. 

Find out more here: https://www.vodisport.ie/

8. Towelmate

These towels are the ultimate gym towel - one side says gym, the other side says skin! No more mixing up which side to use. Plus they have built-in compartments for storing essential like keys, phone and money.

Have a look at their website for more info: http://www.towelmate.com/order-products/fitness-towel-with-germ-shield/

 

9. Contigo Kangaroo Water Bottle

This water bottle has a secret comaprtment for storing keys, cards or cash. A great gift for those who like to keep things minimalistic. 

Find it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Kangaroo-Gym-Water-Bottle-Leak-proof/dp/B00UBNYBF6/ref=sr_1_4?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1479153068&sr=1-4&keywords=contigo+water+bottle+kangaroo

10. PFP Gift Voucher

 

 

I know I might be biased - but you can't go wrong with a PFP Gift Voucher - from beginners to seasoned gym goers - we've got you covered! Check out the new 'Class Pass' gift voucher  - 3 PFP classes for €20 - a great taster for anyone looking try the gym out. Find them in our online storw here: https://www.pearsonfitnessandperformance.ie/shop/

 

 

 

 

The Great Protein Debate

Protein is gaining a lot of attention these days – so much so that marketers are desperately jumping on the bandwagon and throwing “a source of protein” on pretty much everything that you can eat – an example below shows a desperate attempt at it. (Image provided by Joseph Agu @ Elite Nutrition Coaching). 

 

Our bodies use protein to make some fundamental molecules – like enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters, and antibodies, as well as helping build muscle and replace and repair damaged cells, meaning our bodies don’t function all that well without adequate protein.

When blood sugar levels are low, for example during and after exercise, or in between meals, a hormone called glucagon is released, which causes the liver to breakdown any stored energy, meaning glucagon can help breakdown body fat. Consuming adequate amounts of protein can help increase levels of this hormone.

Recent media reports have tried to suggest that too much protein can cause organ damage or increase cancer risks. These concerns are typically overblown and here are some recent studies to support the fact that protein does not damage organs or cause cancer.

http://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-016-0114-2   

http://www.lookgreatnaked.com/blog/new-study-on-protein-overfeeding-a-critical-analysis/

To clarify, people with certain medical conditions may not be advised to consume too much protein, but all excessive protein will do to a healthy person is give them a dose of wallet ache. This has stemmed from the fact that people with kidney issues respond well to a lower protein intake, but this leads to people taking a reverse causality approach, whereby they see that a lower protein intake helps those with kidney dysfunction, so high protein intake must have caused the kidney dysfunction, this however, is far from the truth.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17383270

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17383270    

Protein Intake recommendations

Your daily protein intake is largely dependent on your goals and activity level: Some recommendations will say that 0.5g/lb of body weight is sufficient, but this recommendation is purely based on avoiding a deficiency. Therefore, in order to get the benefits mentioned previously, you need more to thrive!

0.8 - 1g/lb body weight if your weight is stable and you don’t exercise

1.0-1.2 g/lb if your goal is fat loss and you’re physically active

1.2 - 1.5 g/lb if your goal is muscle building and you're physically active

People who are overweight or obese should calculate their daily protein intake based on their target weight as opposed to their existing body weight, as going off your current weight could result in consuming too many calories.

Gaining Weight or “Bulking”

Bulking and weight gain doesn’t require a massive increase to your protein intake, provided this intake is adequate. Muscle growth is affected by protein availability and protein elimination rates, or how fast protein is used up. Muscle tissue is constantly going through a process of breaking down and restoration – training and eating are the biggest contributors that will determine whether or not your body breaks down muscle tissue more or builds it up more – as you can probably guess, if you’re eating more food and hitting your protein intake, then you will sway towards the side of muscle building and not muscle breakdown.

The more calories the body has available to it, the more efficiently it utilizes protein because fewer amino acids are converted into glucose. This means that the added calories are contributing toward more efficient protein use, so there may not be a need to increase protein intake during a “bulking period”, once you are consuming an adequate amount in the first place.   

Moreover, since protein has a high thermic effect, (burns calories through the process of digestion) than carbs and fat, it might not be in the best interest of someone looking to put on weight to consume more protein than they need to, when the extra calories could go towards carbs or fats, which won’t burn up valuable calories in the digestion process.

Thermic Effect of Food in %

  • Protein: 20-35% of calories burned through digestion.
  • Carbohydrates: 5-10% of calories burned through digestion.
  • Fats: 0-5% of calories burned through digestion.

Sources of Protein

Protein sources do not matter much when we are just talking about protein, however, they matter in the context of the overall diet. For example, eating a high calorie protein source means a lot of calories are taken up, calories which could be directed elsewhere. If looking to lose weight, then choosing lean sources of protein can help keep calorie count low.

Protein from both plant and animal sources work just as well as each other in terms of increasing protein synthesis. The amino acid Leucine seems to be a major contributor to muscle protein synthesis – which can be found in eggs, poultry, milk, fish and meat.

Supplementation

People who cannot eat enough protein due to finances, diet preferences, or motivation often turn to supplementation to avoid eating more chicken or eggs! Others, however, seem to think that protein comes only in powder form and in a shaker bottle.

Mainstream media and supplement companies have tried to over complicate protein intakes because it helps sell products. There is only one advantage a protein shake has over protein from real whole foods and that’s convenience.  If you’re stuck for time then a protein shake is your biggest ally, although the new protein milk is a great source of protein plus other vitamins and minerals. 

Don’t feel under pressure to shell out on protein supplements or even stick to drinking them if they cause stomach discomfort (which many people complain of). Try getting your protein from whole sources of food and use the protein shakes for convenience, (if you are going to use them).  Supplementation should only be used if dietary changes cannot be made to meet your protein requirements. It is however, worth noting that consuming protein in the form of actual food can give benefits that supplementation may not be able to provide.

Summary

The debate over “optimal” protein intake is likely to continue for decades to come, as research continues to evolve, however the intakes recommended above are reasonably accurate and pose no health risks to healthy populations. Sources of protein are generally well known, however, be careful of marketers jumping on the bandwagon and read food labels to ensure you know what you are consuming. Use supplements for convenience and don’t view them as a staple. 

Thanks for reading guys - as always if you have any specific questions give us a shout.

Adam

S & C Coach

PFP GYM

5 healthy things you can do TODAY

Sometimes it is hard to feel motivated to make healthy choices and do what's best for our bodies, especially, after things like bank holiday weekends, holidays or even just the good weather :). It's always easier to start 'tomorrow', 'next Monday', 'next month' anytime really, except today.

But I think that the more you make 'healthier' choices the easier it becomes, so here are 5 healthy things you can choose to do TODAY.

1. Drink water - after the weekend, especially if you had alcohol, or if you were just out and about in the warm weather you will need to hydrate your body. Aim for 2.5 - 3.5L per day depending on levels of activity. If you find it hard to drink water - add flavour with slices of lemon, lime, berries, oranges, cucumber, mint. Set reminders on your phone if you tend to forget.

2. Sleep - rest and recovery is just as important as exercise. You need sleep. You can't function properly without it. Sleep loss is vital for health, in particular, for fat loss. If you do not get enough sleep you will reduce your insulin sensitivity and increase inflammation in the body. Do yourself a favour and put away all electronic devices about 40min - 1 hour before sleep. Try not to watch TV. Turn off room lights - light candles if you want. Make sure your room is as dark as possible. No caffeine after late afternoon. Belly breathing before you sleep.

3. Eat protein with every meal - From talking to clients in PFP gym, I know that getting the required levels of protein into the body everyday can be hard. So try to be mindful of eating protein with every meal - eggs, meat, protein shake, dairy. Make it a priority.

4. Meditate - meditating for even a few minutes a day is a great way to counteract the stresses of daily life. There are load of apps that you can download to meditate.  Focus on breathing - breathe in through the nose, deep in to the stomach, hold for 5 sec and exhale through the mouth, pushing out every last bit air.

5. Move - move as often as you can. Stand up from the desk every 1/2 hour and take a 2 minute walk, have a stretch and move your body. Go for a walk or run, do a gym class or yoga class, go for a cycle or hike, play sport, dance - put on the music and dance at home - do whatever you enjoy but make sure that you move!

Counting Macros...Free PFP Talk

Just a short blog post today to give you a bit of an idea of what the Macro 101 talk will be about.

In case you haven't heard there is a FREE talk in PFP gym on Tuesday 28th June at 8:30pm - 9:30pm. The talk is open to everyone, not just PFP gym members. There will be two topics discussed on the night - Macros and Hip Mobility for increased strength.

I will be delivering the Macro talk and just want to give you a better idea of what I will be talking about on the night; so here are 3 reasons why you should count your macros -

1. To make yourself more knowledgeable about what foods have more calories / less calories, more /less protein, fats, minerals, vitamins etc. By doing this you can ultimately put yourself in a position to make better choices - knowledge is power!!

2. If you're already eating a healthy diet and have lost body fat and /or gained muscle mass and you want to take your progress (nutrition, body composition) to the next level, then counting your macros is a massive tool in helping you to do this. It's super easy - I use 'My Fitness Pal', which allows me to scan any food with a barcode and record it with all macronutrients broken down automatically  i.e. carbs, protein fats, vitamins, minerals etc. . If there's no barcode I can weigh it out and manually put the food in to the app - which the app will then break down into the macronutrients. Once I have manually put in a food /recipe it is in my app forever - this makes it easier the next time you use that food.

3. Using an app to track food makes you more accountable for your actions - you'll hesitate to eat foods that will take you over your daily macro requirements. On the other hand, if you're not tracking macros you are more likely to have for example,  3-4 biscuits with your tea because you probably haven't really got an idea of how much you've eaten already that day or of how many calories /macros you have left.

I hope that you found that interesting!! The talk on 28th June will include a lot more information including  how to break down your own macro requirements for your own goals - this has been highly requested so I am looking forward to giving people the tools to work out their own macros!!

Details for the talk are : PFP GYM - Tuesday 28th June - 8:30pm - 9:30pm - FREE

In meantime, if you have any specific questions that you want answered then let me know and I will do my best to answer them on the night.

Nigel

 

Welcome to the new PFP site!

And, finally we are live!

For a while now, we have been working behind the scenes to create a brand, new website that provides a better representation of what we do here in PFP.

We have listened to your feedback and we hope that you find our new site to be more intuitive, informative and full of appealing visual content!

On our site you will find details of the services offered by PFP, and for anyone wondering what exactly we offer here's a quick overview:

  • Personal training /group personal training
  • Gym Membership
  • Classes (HIIT, Kettlebell, Post-natal, bootcamp, core and glutes etc.)
  • Team Strength and Conditioning
  • Injury Rehab
  • Program design for individual goals (fat loss, hypertrophy, increased strength, rehab etc.)
  • Powerlifting group training

So, what's new?

Well firstly, we have included a recipe tap that displays some of our favourite food options with ingredients and macro breakdown included. These foods options are tried and tested and recommended by us to PFP clients and members, so be sure to check it out for some serious food inspiration.

Secondly, you'll find that our blog will be regularly updated with posts from both myself and Simon.  We aim to cover a variety of content in our blog posts with plenty of information, opinion and ideas. If there's a topic, in particular, that you would like to see covered please let us know - we love to cover topics that you have suggested!

Finally, our new site is an extension of us here in PFP and as such it will be updated with the latest news, events and info from PFP so be sure to drop by regularly. Also, in case you haven't heard there's a FREE TALK in PFP on Tuesday 28th June from 8:30pm -9:30pm covering Macros and Hip Mobility - it's completely free and open to all (including non-members!) so if you have any interest in either of those two topics do come on in.

As always, we welcome your feedback and suggestions - so don't be shy! Let us know what you think of the site or send us a pic if you have tried any of our recipes.  

Nigel