It’s the start of March! That means the warmer weather must be getting closer, right?
3 training thoughts
Training does a lot of great things for you in terms of body composition, mental and physical health, confidence and self esteem, amongst many other things. Getting into the gym regularly and challenging yourself builds good habits and adds structure, getting through a tough workout when you want to quit on it builds mental strength and, obviously, provides the stimulus for building physical strength.
So even if you aren’t aiming to build slabs of muscle or chasing powerlifting records, don’t give up on training, it’s doing a lot more than you might think.
While it’s getting a little lighter outside in the mornings and evening (yay!) it’s still cold, grey and damp, and it can still be a bit of a struggle to get yourself into the gym to train when all you want to do is sit on the sofa and chill. But getting your ass into the gym is often just what you need to give yourself a boost and energise yourself for the rest of the day. If I had a £ for each time a client has slouched into the gym on a grey, wet morning and bounced out feeling great after a good training session, I’d probably be on holiday, sitting in the sunshine right now.
If you are struggling with staying on track with your sessions, check this article from Tony Gentilcore out with a couple of tactics to overcome the winter eff its.
Speaking of getting lighter mornings, this podcast had some great stuff from Linda Geddes, author of Chasing the Sun, all about how light exposure can improve sleep, and a whole lot more besides.
2 nutrition bites
It’s all too easy in this age of endless social media and celebrity driven aesthetics to compare ourselves to how the stars of our age look. But the reality is that most of us have full time jobs, family and other commitments that make it a little harder, not to mention the lack of private chef, private gym and the lure of a million dollar contract if we hit a certain shape in a certain amount of time.
The 2 biggest changes you can make to your diet without changing everything you eat, and still see results, are:
- Eating more slowly, to give yourself the chance to tune into how hungry/ full you are, and
- Listening to your body and stopping eating when you are satisfied.
It sounds too simple, right? Well, it is. It’s not easy though. We’re so used to having constant distractions from our phones, TV, radio, chatter and the rest that it can be all too easy to get distracted and over eat. When you can, turn off the distractions and focus on eating more slowly to better listen to what your body is telling you. (I know this can be hard when you have kids) Like any other skill, it takes time to build up your ability and get better at doing it. But with some time and effort on your part, you can get better at it, and before too long you’ll be able to make progress without changing much about what you eat.
1 exercise demo
I like planks as a tool for building great core strength and endurance, but they are often done badly. Here are the 2 ways they can go wrong, and how to make them better.
1. The watching the tv plank. Also known as the “who is watching my fabulous plank” plank. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Hips dropping almost to the floor, shoulders sagging between your shoulder blades and a growing ache in your low back. There are no abs here. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
2. The Wheres my feet? plank. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Your hips have shot up in the air to move your weight towards your feet and shoulders, completely negating the need to engage your abs to hold you up.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Set your elbows up below your shoulders, push the floor away. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Squeeze your glutes and slightly tuck your pelvis up towards your belly button. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Lift yourself up into position so your hips are level with your shoulders. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Now try to drag your elbows back along the floor towards your hips, this will engage your lats. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Squeeze the bejeezus out of everything, ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Don’t forget to breathe. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
If you need to, drop your knees to the floor, maintaining the rest of the cues.
Have a great day!
P.S. If you haven’t checked out my latest episode of the podcast, what are you waiting for!?