Just 3 things W/e 20/12/20

Another lockdown

Yesterday it was announced that due to the new Covid strain that has popped up, we’ll be going into another lockdown as of Boxing day. While it’s disappointing, it’s not exactly unexpected.

So it’s back to home workouts, getting out for walks and controlling what we can. To give everyone a bit of a boost, I’m going to launch a free January training and nutrition group on Facebook with workouts, nutrition ideas, mindset and habits info, as well as weekly FB lives to answer questions and give more help where I can) to help you get through the new lockdown and transition back into gym training (if you choose to get back into the gym post lockdown!) It’ll run for the whole of January.

If you are interested, keep an eye out and I’ll be sending out the link to join the group this week.

Situationally appropriate

We tend to view food as good or bad, giving an unnecessary moral position when really, it doesn’t need one. And by giving a moral value we tend to see ourselves as good or bad for having eaten it. If I had a fiver for every time a client has said to me that they had been “really good this week”, or “I was so bad at the weekend”, I’d be a very rich man indeed.

Instead of viewing food as good or bad, how about a little shift in how we think of it?

Food is just a mix of proteins, fats and carbs. We need all 3 for a balanced nutritional approach to maximise our health, performance and body composition in line with our goals.

Proteins build every component of our bodies, from muscle, skin, hair to hormones, neurotransmitters and other cells.

Fats provide insulation around cells, store fat soluble vitamins, regulate hormone productions and are a valueable energy source.

Carbs are the quick energy your brain and body thrives on.

Most combos of these things are tasty, but not all will provide the optimal amounts of each for your health, performance and body comp. Nor should they have to.

Food is also a social, emotional and fun thing, and the act of eating with others, or sitting down to a meal that tastes fantastic is an important part of the equation.

But, as with all things,  there is a balance to be found.

If you focus on nothing but optimising everything, it becomes a bit boring and soulless. It’s fine if you are prepping for a competition, you do everything in your control to do your best and try to win. But after there has to be a return to some middle ground.

Equally, you can’t simply eat what you want all the time because it is emotionally driven. There has to be some restraint so as not to suffer the potential negative outcomes associated with poor diet and nutrition.

So how about we start looking at foods as either situationally appropriate or not, and use that to help us make improved choices?

For example:

Haribo for breakfast? Probably not situationally appropriate.

Haribo as a boost before a training session? Probably more situationally appropriate.

A glass of wine or 2 mid-morning? Probably not situationally appropriatete.

A glass or 2 with a great meal on a Saturday night? Probably more sitationally appropriate.

Taking the morality and judgement out of food, and instead asking yourself whether your choices are appropriate for your situation and goals, helps you make better choices and stops the potential negative spiral that comes after “being bad”.

Glute ham raise alternative

The glute ham raise is, as the name would suggest, a fantastic exercise for building strong glutes and hamstrings. But not every gym has one, and frustratingly, the gym I work out of had one but they got rid of it because no-one was using it correctly. Preferring to do sit up variations and preacher curls on it instead of building hardy hamstrings and bulletproof butt muscles.

You can sometimes use other pieces of kit, finding ways to hook your ankles under some kind of support to try to mimic the movement, but I’ve found a set up that works pretty well with a piece of kit most gyms have.

The 45 degree GHR

While it doesn’t hit you as hard, it is still a very effective glute and hamstring developer, particularly if you control the reps and squeeze those hammies at the top of each rep. It’s a great way to build strength with both hip extension and knee flexion using the hamstrings in one simple movement.

Stay strong,



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