“Your Brain, Pain & Energy”

I was listening to professor Timothy Noakes who has led exercise science for 20+ maybe even 30+ years now and is a big proponent of low carb, high fat diets.

What I’m going to talk about here is the brain. Timothy actually explains that the main limiting factor within your results (using physical activity as the example) is not exhaustion or decrease in energy, but rather the brain being the limiting factor in order to protect the body.

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For an insight into where you should LENS your efforts for maximum energy & results complete this 4 minute questionnaire for a personalised coaching report: https://goo.gl/hyUp7t

 

What they found through testing over 30 years is that you can find two people with exactly the same VO2 Max (that’s usually the limiting factor that will tell you someone’s performance) and you will get one that can run a marathon in 2 hours 20 minutes and the other can run it in 3 hours.

 

Some people experience these illusions of pain in the muscle or pain in the joint, as blocking you to protect you. So the brain is blocking you from continuing the race.

 

As long as we know this information we know that we can keep going, and get a better experience from it and even learn more.

 

He’s wrote several books, one of them is the law of running and another is real meal revolution. He’s run 71 marathons and ultra marathons (ultra marathons are 50 miles!)

 

The point being in this one is that your brain again is the limiting factor. I keep going back to this because if 80% of your results is psychology, 20% is mechanics and there’s a lot of evidence that points to that being the truth then where should we focus most of our efforts? On the brain.

 

We can work on our brain, work on our emotions and work on our energy levels but where does our energy come from? I had this conversation earlier, does it come from food, does it come from oxygen does It come from sleep?

 

I propose something to you that energy comes from movement, the more you move the more energy you get. Have you noticed that when you’re really active and you’re doing things the more energy you’ve got and you can keep going? When you’re more lethargic and you’ve allowed yourself to be a little bit lazy you can’t be bothered to do anything. This is clear that much of something brings more.

 

Timothy Noakes said that your brain is a limiting factor, but when we know this if it’s fear or if it’s actually pain from exercise, we know that the brain may be bringing up that illusion just to try and protect us and if we can go through that we can actually extend, and get our results that we desire a little bit sooner than we thought rather than being stopped by these illusions.

 

For an insight into where you should LENS your efforts complete this 4 minute questionnaire for a personalised coaching report: https://goo.gl/hyUp7t

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‘6 MUST KNOW’S’ : How to Choose Your Omega Fish Oil Supplement

  1. Does your oil contain Omega 6 ?

baked-1549171_1920You don’t need any more. Your Omega fish oil supplement should not contain any Omega 6.

Om6 is pro-inflammatory (promotes it) & it is highly likely you already have enough of it in your blood.

Main sources of Om6 are :

NOTE: Do not ingest any more Omega 6

 

2. Should it contain more EPA or DHA ?

Both EPA & DHA are amazingly good for you. Studies in fact show that DHA has even more health benefits than EPA.

Particularly for your brain & eyes.

NOTE: You want a supplement higher in DHA to EPA.

 

3. Capsules or Liquid?

You want your oil to be in a liquid form. Why? One reason is it will be purer & gone through less handling.

The second reason is that in the heating of the capsules in order to seal them a portion of the DHA is lost to the heat. The more heat process the oil is put through the less fresh it will be.

As mentioned you want as much DHA to remain as possible.

NOTE: Make sure your oil is in liquid form

 

4. How pure is your oil ?

All oils in the UK must pass stringent tests to be fit for human consumption. The industry standard in Scandinavia (where the best fish comes from) is the TOTOX Value.

Totox stands for total oxidation & assures that the oil is pure & fresh. Basically how many toxins are in the oil & how quickly is it ageing.

Clearly you want the purest oil with as little toxins present as possible & you want it to be fresh.

TIP: The more fishy smelling an oil becomes the less fresh it is.

In the Uk all oils must score 10 or below on the Totox Value. This should be public information but not all companies release this information easily. (I wonder why?)

The lower the score on the Totox the cleaner, purer & fresher the oil.

It is fit for human consumption if you see on the shelves in the Uk but the closer to 10 on the Totox score the less pure it is.

I think of it like this: a drop of arsenic each day wont kill me but it certainly isn’t doing me any good. Combine that with all the other toxins coming in & over the years of accumulation it could become a problem…. The purer the better.

NOTE: Only use the lowest scoring oil from the Totox Test. If a company wont tell you that information DON’T TAKE THEIR OIL.

 

5. How much should a quality oil cost ?

For a decent oil expect to invest £30-£40 per bottle.

This is one area where a little extra is worth it. You could choose to save a pound or two per month but be wasting your money if its optimal health, vitality & wellness you are in search of.

There are some excellent oils out there for around £1 per day – what is your health & happiness worth to you ?

NOTE: £1 per day could save you many aches, pains & potential risk to diseases especially as you age.

 

6. How do I know I need it & how much should I take ?

Most people take Omega supplements blind: They don’t know their Omega status & don’t know if the product is doing them more harm than good AND if the product is doing anything at all !

There are some extremely simple ways to test your Omega status these days & combine that with the other facts above you will know exactly how much you need & for how long.

NOTE: Get the simple cost effective test & correct your Omega levels asap. Your health, energy & performance could depend on it.

 

To conclude…

If you were to prioritise your budget to ‘which supplement will give me the most bang for my buck?’ then TWO jump out & every health care practitioner will tell you the same:

  1. Multi vitamin
  2. Omega supplement

 

You have a simple decision to make…

If you want to cover ALL the bases mentioned above & have access to the most SUPERIOR oil on the market so ‘ YOU LOOK & FEEL YOUR BEST ‘ get that decision handled right now by CLICKING HERE.

 

5 Reasons Skip the Alcohol & Keep the Muscle

Are you proud of the muscles you’ve sculpted?  Or looking forward to the ones you are about to create in the coming months?

Either way – it’s important to skip the alcohol to help gain & retain muscle… It can inhibit muscle gain!

It’s true.  If muscle is an important part of your fitness goals then alcohol should take a back seat at your upcoming social events.

Why so?  Below are 5 ways that alcohol can negatively affect muscle gain…

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  1. Alcohol Increases Estrogen Levels & Decreases Testosterone Levels

For men, testosterone is one of the hormones that helps to build & maintain muscle.

Alcohol not only reduces these hormone levels but instead, it increases the production of estrogen, a hormone found most abundant in females.

Excess alcohol can even lead to gynecomastia (male breast enlargement – otherwise known as moobies)

Furthermore, alcohol has proven to lead to testicular atrophy, low sperm count & erectile dysfunction as well.

 

 

  1. Alcohol Reduces Protein Synthesis

 

To achieve muscle growth the body must have a positive balance of muscle protein.

 

If you are not consuming enough protein to fuel your exercise you may create a catabolic state in which you begin to lose muscle tissue.

 

Alcohol is another way to send the body into a catabolic state due to its high calorie content & the way that it disrupts the body’s natural processes – including protein synthesis.

 

Ultimately, you could be eating enough protein but then counteracting the affects by drinking too much alcohol & hindering your muscle growth or causing muscle breakdown!

 

 

 

  1. Alcohol Strips the Body of Vitamins & Minerals

Alcohol acts as a diuretic on the body.

This means that it promotes the increased excretion of vitamins & minerals.

When you consume too much alcohol, it tends to strip away a great deal of these important vitamins & minerals, specifically:

  • Vitamin A
  • B Complex
  • Zinc
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin C

The more alcohol consumed, the more quickly the body is drained of these essential elements. As these levels bottom out there is not enough to help support muscle growth.

 

 

  1. Alcohol Creates Dehydration

This is one of the first symptoms you notice when you start drinking.

Because again – alcohol is a fast acting diuretic it can increase your body’s ability to dispose of water.

This means, that your body is quickly drained of water from all areas – including the muscles.

 

Keep in mind that your muscles are composed of 60-70% water so the more you drink, the more they will be affected!

When you do drink – remember to follow each alcoholic drink with some water to help balance your hydration.

Not only will you keep your body hydrated but you will also reduce your total alcoholic intake & reduce the chances of a nasty hangover!

 

 

 

  1. Alcohol Increases Fat Storage

We’ve all seen it.  There’s even a nick-name for it: “beer belly” or “beer gut” is a term that developed for a reason – alcohol triggers fat production!

Alcohol contains around 7 calories for every gram – & the worst part is: these are empty calories, meaning that they have no nutritional value!

When we intake calories from alcohol they contain no nutritional value, the more you drink the more these empty calories can build up in unnatural looking ways – hence the ‘beer belly’!

When you are building muscle, the last thing you want to do is also encourage fat production – talk about confusing the body as to what you really want!

 

The Bottom Line…

If you are eating right & exercising well the last thing you want to do is diminish, reduce or completely undo all of your hard work & progress due to a few alcoholic drinks.

Instead, try to stick to water or use social events as a time to get your lemon & lime waters in which help to alkalinise your system (a good thing).

Being obsessive – take one of your protein drinks along & help support muscle growth even while you’re relaxing!

 

 

To Your Best Health,

ShapeTrainer Daniel Grant

 

 

p.s.

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Resources:

http://stopdrinkingalcohol.com/alcohol-lowers-testosterone-increases-estrogen/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/539982-alcohols-effect-on-protein-synthesis/

Less is More: Why You Shouldn’t Work Out For More Than One Hour

When you miss a few days at the gym do you try to ‘make up for it’ with a few marathon sessions?  While the intentions are good – the results – are actually bad.

My workouts never last longer than one hour.  Over one hour workouts increase cortisol production & ultimately slow protein synthesis, aka. muscle mass production.

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What is Cortisol?

Cortisol, sometimes called the “stress hormone” is essential to body maintenance, however it can negatively impact your life by reducing protein synthesis – the production of lean muscle mass.

 

Three functions of cortisol are:

  1. Halting tissue growth & bone formation in preparation of the use of current muscle mass:

When stressed, all your body knows is fight or flight.

 

It’s purely a matter of survival. All growth & repair will be slowed as every emphasis is placed on survival in that stressful moment.

 

If you’re under prolonged bouts of stress, which stimulates production of cortisol, (everyone you know is currently in this state most of the time) then health & vitality no longer are the focal point of your bodily systems – survival is.

 

Get enough energy (glucose – think sugary foods & quick energy sources like chocolate, bagels & energy drinks) so that you’re ready to respond to the danger at hand.

 

Everything else is second to survival. Even though you are not actually under physical attack or in immediate danger of losing your life your body is under the impression that you are!

 

 

  1. Metabolise protein, fat & carbohydrate as sources of energy:

Cortisol will blunt the production & function of Insulin so that all energy that enters your system is instantly available to your muscles so that you can punch & kick or run your way out of danger rather than being able to store that energy.

 

This might sound like a good thing? It is – for a short period of time, but it is most definitely a bad thing if your system predominantly functions in this way.

 

Triglycerides (fat) will be mobilised & over time visceral fat will build up around your abdomen – think fat flabby belly.

 

Protein will be burnt for energy if stress levels warrant it. Don’t have enough glucose (sugar) floating around your bloodstream? Burn whatever you do have to keep the limbs moving & the heart pumping fast.

 

If you’re not alive then there is no point having stored energy or a rippling six-pack!

 

 

  1. Inhibits Immune Response:

This happens to prevent your body from creating inflammation.

 

In the most part inflammation is a protective response. Swell an area to inhibit movement & flush that area with blood & immune cells.

 

It’s natural & supports healing.

 

However in the stressed moment – think most of the time these days what with constant artificial light, unhealthy processed food & a lacking exercise habit – all your body is trying to do is survive.

 

Inflammation would slow you down & increase your chances of getting caught or not being able to fight your way out of this dangerous moment.

 

However, when you slow down for a moment you start to realise the moment may not be quite as dangerous as your body is interpreting it right now.

 

Cortisol is considered to be catabolic as it produces the opposite effects of testosterone – it breaks down tissue instead of building it up.

Cortisol/Testosterone balance is an important factor if you’re aiming for optimal health & performance. More about this in another article.

 

 

Why no more than an hour?

Just think of the old adage: ‘too much of a good thing’.  There is a point when working out goes from making improvements to your body to stressing & straining it.

Working out longer than an hour can result in some or all of the following:

  • Muscle loss
  • Lower Testosterone levels
  • Weakened Immunity
  • Greater chance of injury
  • Insomnia
  • Little to no muscle gain or fat loss
  • Overall poor health

 

 

The Bottom Line…

Keep your workouts between forty-five & sixty minutes long

Concise & effective workouts save you time & harbor greater results

While you may be ambitious, remember that consistency is key & results will come when you have a clear smart plan & stick to it.

The more Testosterone you have the easier you will find it to increase muscle tone. Cortisol can suppress Testosterone.

In another article I’ll talk more about Cortisol/Testosterone balance… stay tuned. Until then…

 

To Your Best Health

ShapeTrainer Daniel Grant

 

 

P.S.

To Receive Quality Info Like This Straight To Your Email: Click Me!

 

 

Resources:

https://www.adrenalfatigue.org/cortisol-adrenal-function

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/lebrun3.htm

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/drobson.htm

http://www.details.com/story/oding-on-exercise-are-you-working-out-too-much

 

Ass to Grass: 9 Tips for Proper Full Depth Squatting

The squat is one of the most effective exercises for building leg, lower body & whole body strength.

At the same time, it is one of the most difficult exercises to perform correctly & can be ineffective or even dangerous if performed incorrectly.

Many trainers use the cue, “sit back into the squat” to help teach proper technique & get clients to push their bodies & get the most of out the exercise.

I prefer to use the reminder, “Ass to grass!” to help provide an effective (albeit funny) visual on how to squat as low as possible for full effectiveness.

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A Functional Exercise…

Squats are considered to be a ‘functional exercise’ as they have a high carry-over to use in everyday life.

Squats will help with range of motion at the hip & knee joints & help strengthen your back.

They build muscles which help you to sit in & out of chairs, lift items &/or bend down & pick items up off the floor.  Squatting effects essential muscles that are used in everyday life.

When performed correctly proper squatting will help to improve muscle tone in your thighs, glutes & hips which will then ease tension on the joints & helps to support your lower back.

 

 

Proper Squat Formation…

When squatting, keep in mind the following things:

  1. Your knees can protrude past your toes, in fact this is much healthier for your knee joint.
  2. Hinge your hips so your butt moves backward.
  3. Keep the pressure of the squat on your heels & through to the balls of your feet & toes.
  4. Keep your head straight – look at the horizon. Spinal alignment is a key technique point.
  5. Keep your shoulders back & chest out – again, keep the spine aligned.
  6. Set a healthy arch that suits you. Get this right for your lower back.
  7. Spread your toes for better balance.
  8. Inhale as you go down – exhale as you come up. Use your TVA & pelvic floor muscles.
  9. Aim to cover your calf muscles with your hamstring muscles – this is ‘ass to grass’.

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The Importance Of The Pre-Stretch…

Tightness in your chest, back, hips, ankle joint, calf, foot and even toes can cause effective squat technique to be a wish rather than a reality.

Stretch out your groin, your feet and your calf muscles before each set.

You can simply do this by sitting into a deep squat while holding onto a solid stable object & holding that position.

In fact, while you’re down there stretching lean into any areas where you feel tight, this could help increase the depth of your squat & therefore increase the effectiveness of your squat session.

I have my clients stretch before every squat set, then allow thirty to sixty seconds recovery before performing the next set – stretching in this way is more important the heavier you are lifting.

If you are unsure about your technique, invest in a good trainer for two or more squat technique sessions.

Alternatively keep an eye out for my ‘Squat Technique Day’ – coming soon. Let me know if you’re interested in a day of learning how to squat effectively for a strong back & fat loss.

Together we’ll get the ‘ass to grass’ method working to improve your health & physique right away!

Until then…

 

To Your Best Health

ShapeTrainer Daniel Grant

 

 

P.S.

To Receive Quality Info Like This Straight To Your Email: Click Me!

 

 

Resources:

http://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Fulltext/2009/12000/Sitting_Back_in_the_Squat.3.aspx

http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/cyberpump1.htm

http://stronglifts.com/squat/

 

The Importance of a High Protein Diet: Volume One

You may not realise it but protein is an important element in every cell of your body.

For example, both hair & nails are made up of protein. Your body uses protein to make enzymes, hormones & to repair & build different tissues. Protein is an important component in bones, skin, blood, muscle & cartilage.

 

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So…obviously keeping high levels of protein in your diet is important for optimal health & wellness!

 protein

What Are Macronutrients?…

Micronutrients provide calories or energy. In order to grow, repair, digest or perform any bodily function you require specific amounts of macronutrients on a daily basis.

The word macro means large, this indicates that you need a lot of these types of nutrients regularly.

There are three types of macronutrient:

  • Protein
  • Fat
  • Carbohydrate

Each provide energy as explained, but they all provide different amounts of energy in a different form for the body to process.

Protein provides four calories for gram, carbohydrates seven calories per gram and fat nine calories per gram.

Aside from macronutrients the only other substance that provides energy is alcohol at seven calories per gram.

This is not considered a nutrient as we do not require it to survive… much to the surprise of some people I’m led to believe!

Alcohol provides what is termed ‘empty calories’. As you’re taking calories on board but without any nutrients that help perform vital processes.

 

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12 Benefits of Protein…

  • Greater muscle mass & lean tissue
  • Lower hunger & calorie intake
  • Easier fat loss on a calorie-restricted diet
  • Decreased belly fat
  • Greater muscle development
  • Greater strength gains from training
  • Better bone density & lower risk of osteoporosis
  • Better brain function
  • Better sleep
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Stronger Tendons & faster recovery from injury
  • Greater lifespan & better quality of life as you age

 

Coming Soon…

In the next article I will explain why protein is so important for your health & performance, plus what is the best protein supplement that money can buy…

Until then…

 

To Your Best Health,

ShapeTrainer Daniel Grant

 

 

p.s. This Free Coaching Won’t Be Available Forever – Click Here To Learn More

 

 

p.p.s.

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Resources:

http://www.webmd.com/men/features/benefits-protein

Stress Chemically Affects Willpower…But….

Have you ever been totally on track with your diet & eating habits, happy about your overall diet & then get hit with a big bout of stress?

 

Maybe it’s work related, family related or just a combination of everything but suddenly your willpower to make healthy choices lessens until you no longer care to make those good decisions.

 

…In fact, you may even feel a bit rebellious – when stress is impacting you & there’s nothing you can do to eliminate the stress, eating poorly seems like a small (albeit inner-child serving) impulse to do one irresponsible thing in your day.

 

Here are some totally quick and realistic stress busters. Determine what yours are right now… Click Here

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Don’t worry.  Not only is it understandable from a human standpoint – but even new studies performed in Switzerland prove that even moderate stress led participants to choose food that they liked over food that was healthy.

 

 

 

 

The Big Why….

 

The study actually showed that there are neural pathways in the brain that influence a person’s desire for immediate gratification.

 

When stress is increased, the areas of the brain that help to control willpower are actually affected & the desire for immediate gratification increases.

 

According to Silvia Maier, a co-author of the study & doctoral candidate in neuroeconomics at the University of Zurich, “The findings show that self-control is mediated by a complex & distributed network in the brain.”

 

She outlined that any number of disturbances in any of these complex regions of the brain can weaken self-control.

 

 

Use These Logical Coaching Points To Decrease Your Stress And Increase Your Success – Click Here To Learn How

 

 

The Good News…

 

It’s not all your fault.  The point is that willpower is not 100% a production of your mind thinking through what’s going on & making choices.

 

There are actually chemicals in your body that are affected, particularly in times of stress – which help to weaken your resolve.

 

 

 

The Big “BUT”…

 

Then again, knowing that it is not 100% reliant on your own thought processes does not provide an excuse!

 

If anything, knowing that there are even more things affecting your willpower you need to be that much more dedicated to working against all of these factors & keeping yourself motivated, inspired & dedicated in any & all ways possible!

 

 

 

Motivation Techniques…
Below are some ideas on how to help stay motivated, particularly in times of stress:

 

  • Mater Mind Group: We all know it helps to talk through the stress, plan to meet for a walk or a workout at the gym while you talk about the issues and think through solutions.

 

  • Do anything & everything you can to eliminate or reduce the stress in your life – if there are areas that you’ve been avoiding (i.e. talking with a spouse, co-worker) tackle them head-on & get these conversations out of the way as quickly as possible so to reduce the stress as soon as possible.

 

 

  • Keep an eye out my new book which helps busy professionals find ways around their high-stake & stressful jobs to still get the body & results that they want: Coming Soon!

 

 

To Your Best Health,

ShapeTrainer Daniel Grant

 

 

p.s.

Dont Miss Out – Twenty Quick Questions That Could Make The Difference For You – Click Here

 

 

p.s.

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Resources:

Stress may sabotage diet willpower: http://www.livescience.com/51756-stress-food-decisions-willpower.html