Sitting is the new smoking?

Someone dropped this quote on me the other day and I just couldn’t get it out of my head.
I’ve luckily never felt the desire to smoke and think I can call myself quite the anti-smoker – but sitting is something I am very guilty of.
Like many of you I spent a large chunk of my day sitting behind a desk.
While I find living in London without a car or bike adds in a good amount of miles on foot every day, I still felt a bit distressed so I did a little research on the subject.

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Here’s what I found:
*People with sitting jobs have twice the rate of cardiovascular disease as people with standing jobs.
*Sitting 6+ hours per day makes you up to 40% likelier to die within 15 years than someone who sits less than 3. Even if you exercise.
*Obese people sit for 2.5 hours more than slim people.
*Between 1980 and 2000 despite exercise staying the same, sitting time was increased by 8% and obesity DOUBLED.

As soon as you sit down:
*Electrical activity in the leg muscles shuts of
*Calorie burning drops to 1 per minute
*After 2 hours of sitting good cholesterol drops by 20%
*After 24 hours insulin effectiveness drops 24% and the risk of diabetes rises.

Walking burns 3-5 x the calories that sitting does, so try to get up as often as you can.

-Use the bathroom at the other end of the office
-See a phone call as a change to stretch your legs
-Use your lunch break to go on a little stroll, it will help you get in some vitamin D as well
-If you can convince your boss, get a standing desk
-Travel by car? Pick a parking space further away
-Public transport: why not get off one station early and get in a 15 minute walk

I’m motivated to get in some extra movement, what better motivation than health?

No gym, no excuses!

As summer is upon us and we will be enjoying our holidays and the odd fruity cocktail lying next to the pool (or is that just me?) it can be hard to continue working out as hard as we do at home. Let’s be honest, hotel gyms normally consist of a treadmill and a bike which is not the sort of place where you can get some serious work done. Trying to find a gym in the local area that will let you use it for a two week period is a nightmare so what are you left with? Good news: we all carry our own little gym around with us every day. A piece of equipment that can push us, get results and kick our butts on any given day. This piece of equipment is our own body; why not use it to keep the results coming over the summer?

In this blog I will give you an effective, challenging work out what will push you and get your body fired up. The only piece of equipment you will need is a strong bar you can hang from. Now I know what you’re thinking, where the hell do I find one of these? The next time you check in to a hotel unpack your bags and then go for a walk and have a look around. I do this every time I go away and I always find a decent bar to hang from. It might take you an hour to find it but it’s worth investing the time to keep your training hardcore on your travels.

Today we are going to concentrate on plyometric training. Plyometrics is used by all top athletes to increase their explosive abilities. If you play any sports or compete in anything that requires you to get off the mark, change directions as fast as possible or you need any other powerful movements then plyometrics is for you.
Now if you are not a high class athlete and just workout to stay in shape you might be thinking that this isn’t for you. But wait, don’t click the [x] just yet, Plyometrics is for you too.
Plyometics is a fantastic anaerobic type of exercise and a great way of building lean muscle mass and stripping body fat. Think about all those sports that push the athletes anaerobically, 100m sprint, boxing, rugby, football and tennis – how much body fat do you see these athletes carrying? Not a lot!
Well if you want a lean body then this training can help you.
One mistake I see lot of people doing when they are using plyometrics is doing far too many reps. As I said, plyometrics is an anaerobic type of training. This means you should not being doing more than 5 reps per set. Go over 5 and you are now working aerobically – this also has great benefits but is not the subject of the day.
People get the wrong idea about reps: they think the more the better. Don’t make that mistake- you want to hit those fast twitch muscles and you want to hit them hard so stick to the reps and you’ll get the results. I promise.
Another common mistake people make is not controlling their landing and coming down like Boeing 747. You want to land as soft as a Ninja here. All of the negative part of the movement should be done under control.

Now it’s time to workout. Do 4 sets of 5 reps of each exercise. Remember to explode into each rep. You want to feel like you are working to your max on each rep so don’t short cut it, a short cut here is like the short cuts you get from a dodgy taxi service, it just ends up coasting you more in the long run.

Exercise one
Squat jumps- Targetting quads, hams, gluts, calves and core.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and slowly lower into a deep squat. Explode up put of this and jump as high as you can in the air. Land and than slowly return down to the squat.
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Exercise two
Tuck jumps -targeting quads, hams, gluts, claves and core
Again stand with your feet shoulder width apart but this time jump up and tuck your knees into your chest.
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Exercise three
Pogo jumps- targeting calves, quads, hams, gluts
Imagine you are standing on a pogo stick, elbows tucked in and hands in front of you. Raise up onto your toes and then jump up without bending your knees or using your arms to help you.

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Exercise four
Explosive Press ups- targets chest, shoulders, triceps and core
Start in a classic press up position explode off the floor but make sure your core stays engaged and your body is a solid plank during the whole movement. A lot of people like to clap on this one but personally I like to use a target like the bench you see in this picture. This exercise is about getting height so having something to reach for helps you get there.

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Exercise five
Explosive pull ups targets back, biceps, shoulders and core
After you’ve found your bar, grip it and rip it! Take a normal wide grip chin hand position and pull yourself up so you are moving past the bar. Remember to catch the bar on your way down.
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If you cannot perform any of these exercises and would like a regression so you can still get the max out of your workout OR if you’re a bit of a machine and you are nailing these and want progression exercises then please contact me and I will be happy to help.
In the meantime, enjoy your summer training!

Steve Mongey

Do you TLB?

Tender love and b….? No, today i’m talking about tastes, licks and bites.
An innocent little habit that could very well be the reason you’re not hitting your fat loss goals.

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You’re being good writing your meals down in your journal, maybe you’re even tracking it with an app – but are you also calculating the little bites in between?
Licking the peanut butter of the spoon for your daughters sandwich, a nibble of cheese, a slice of chicken out of the fridge, a few french fries from your friend.
While seemingly small – if you do this a few times a day it can add up to a lot of calories uncounted for.

A lick of peanutbutter: 50 calories.
10 cashews: 90 calories
Bite of cheddar: 40 calories (10 grams)
A few french fries: 50-100 calories

See where we’re going here?

Here’s a challenge for you, starting today – write down these extra bites, if you don’t already -track them into your nutrition app (our favourite is Myfitnesspal) – and be surprised by the extra calories your consuming without being aware.

It’s always good to be mindful of what you’re putting into your body, this might be the next step to get you to where you want to be.

Have BLTs kept you from your weight loss goals?