Diet & Training

Diet & Training

 

Neale’s diet and training section houses up to date, intelligent, easy to follow, detailed and well researched articles and videos from Mr Universe himself!

Neale’s expert hints and tips will drive encouragement and inspiration to you.

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New Year Goals For Health & Fitness

Be Specific
Instead of saying “I’ll do more cardio this year,” be specific about your goal. List as much detail as possible for ease of tracking your progress.
You need to state your goal as well as a means to accomplishing it. A better solution would be “I’ll do 30 minutes of cardio, 3 times a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings.”

Be Realistic
You may have a specific goal set, but if it’s too unrealistic you will quickly fail at achieving it, and be disappointed in your failure. Set reasonable goals that fit into your current career and social life, and still allow for sleep and relaxation.
For instance, if you aim to do one hour of cardio each morning 7 days a week before going to work, but have to report to work at 6:00AM and take evening classes until 10:00PM, it is highly unlikely you will wake up at 3:30AM to do cardio in the morning! A better option would be to do cardio right after work, and/or on the weekends or your days off.

Measure Your Success
Measure your fitness success with numbers. It gives you a concrete report of your progress (or regress) that you can tangibly measure and alter, if needed.
Keep a workout journal if your goal is exercise-related, and/or a nutrition journal if your goal is diet-related. There are no rules for workout and diet journals. You don’t have to count every minute of exercise and every last calorie consumed. Keeping a basic journal is better than none at all.
Track your weight and body fat, if possible, once a week or every two weeks to keep tabs on your progress, and reassess if necessary. You can even reward yourself every two weeks for reaching small goals, such as losing 2 lbs. of fat, or not missing a workout, or eating clean for 2 whole weeks without a cheat meal.
Rewards help keep you motivated and are a great way to stick to your long-term goals.

Short-Term & Long-Term
Split your goals up into short- and long-term. For instance, if your overall goal is to lose 30 lbs., break that up into losing 6 lbs. a month, 18 lbs. after 3 months, and so on so that you can track your “mini goals” leading toward your ultimate goal.
This process makes your long-term goals seem more attainable, and it keeps you motivated toward the next step. Taking it one week at a time with your fitness goals helps keep you from feeling overwhelmed.

Be Flexible
Stay true to your goals, but understand that unexpected situations occur that might temporarily inhibit you reaching your objectives. For example, if you suddenly catch a cold and can’t train for a week, don’t give up! Rest is just as important for the body as training.
Take the time off you need to recover and come back to the gym recharged and ready to resume your program.
Setbacks happen and they happen to everyone. The difference between success and failure is those who are able to bounce back from these setbacks, and those who cannot.

Review Periodically
After several months, sit back and review your journals to reflect on your progress and make changes if necessary. If it’s been 3 months since you set an initial goal of doing 3 weekly cardio sessions, you can try increasing that to 4-5 sessions for the next 3 months.
As your fitness level increases, your goals will need to change. Just keep the five previous steps in mind when reassessing your goals, and you will be able to more easily obtain them.

For more assistance with your health & fitness goals for the New Year why take out an affordable annual membership with Krunch Gym and hire one of our Personal Trainers? Click on the links for more details.

Neale Cranwell

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www.krunchgym.co.uk

www.nealecranwell.com/shop/personal-training/

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Common Failures During The Off-Season

1 Not Eating Enough
First off, I have to say that women tend to fall victim to this mistake a lot more than men. The reason behind this is that women hate putting on weight and after looking so good on stage the last thing that they want to do is put on Fat. So they continue to eat like they are still dieting. The result is they don’t have the energy to make any new gains or improvements to their body and, in many cases, lose muscle mass.
The off-season is the time of year a person makes 95% of their improvements to their physique. Without the energy and the fuel, via a surplus of healthy clean food, you can not make the improvements you need.
Make sure that you are eating enough calories to enable you to make those improvements and show up better next time you step on stage. Though you might put on a little (note I said a little) body fat, the body fat will come off once you diet down for your next show.

2 Not Eating Enough Healthy Clean Foods
What is the first thing you do after you step off the stage with all of your trophies (let’s be optimistic)? You go directly to your favorite restaurant, or fast food place, and EAT. Granted, it is fine to indulge in good food after the show is over. You earned it. However, don’t let a fast food frenzy spill into your off-season diet.
Now, above I talked about taking in enough calories so you can put on good size in the off-season. You might say, “fast food and junk food are calorie dense so why not have them once or twice a day so I can bump up my overall calories?”
While you want to have excess calories while bulking, the majority of those calories should be from clean healthy foods: lean cuts of meat, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. The off-season is the time to put on size but the majority of it should be muscle, not fat. A diet riddled with junk food will result in little muscle gain and plenty of fat storage. Clean it up and you beef it up!

3 Staying Away From Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a very important part of the off-season diet and a great energy source, if used properly throughout the day. Simple carbohydrates (i.e., fast digesting) are great to have post-workout because they spike your insulin level and drive the glycogen into your muscles.
They also help to drive the amino acids from your protein shake, that you should have post-workout, with that simple carbohydrate to aid in protein synthesis (i.e., muscle building). Complex carbohydrates provide a more prolonged energy source and are great to have for breakfast or later in the day.
Examples of complex carbohydrates are oats, brown rice and sweet potatoes. Examples of simple carbohydrates are sugars, white bread and pasta.

4 No Cardio
This is a huge mistake that I see all the time and 99% of the time men fall victim to the no cardio approach in the off-season. They justify it by saying “I don’t want to lose any size.” Well, I am here to tell you that three 30 minute cardio sessions a week will do wonders for your bulking phase.
By incorporating a cardio routine into your workout program, your appetite will go through the roof, which will make it a lot easier to eat clean healthy food. You also will improve your cardiovascular system, which is critical when lifting heavy.
I have seen countless guys fail to reach their desired rep range because their cardiovascular system failed on them. They were strong enough to get those extra 2 reps but were too out of breath and had to rack the weight. Sooner or later you will start losing muscle if you don’t reach your desired rep range. If you want to put on that size start, then start doing some cardio.

5 Too Much Cardio
Ladies, this is where many of you slip up. You don’t want to put on those couple of extra pounds so you stick to your contest prep cardio program. Your body cannot make improvements in muscle size and shape if you are expending too much energy with cardio.
Most people (guys and girls) should stick to a moderate cardio program like 3-4 low intensity 20-30 minute sessions a week. This will keep both your metabolism humming and your appetite up and, most importantly you will be working the heart, which is the most important muscle of all.

6 Too Much Machine Use
Too many trainers rely too heavily on machine use in their workout programs. With all the new fancy machines out now, who can blame them? They are comfortable, smooth and easy to use. But I have the motto:
These machines do have benefits, when used properly and are great to supplement your program (I like to use them at the end of the workout, if I use them at all) but nothing works better than free weight basics.
Free weight basics, with barbells and dumbbells, like squats, deadlifts, rows, bench etc., should be the bread and butter of all of your workouts off-season and pre-contest. They recruit the most muscle fiber use which will lead to maximum growth and improvement.
Only after you have exhausted maximum energy with the free weight basics, should you think about using machines or cables. Remember, the harder you work, the better the results and nothing is harder than free weights.

7 Not Enough Rest/Recovery Time
In the off-season, your major goal is to put on lean muscle mass. Many novice trainers don’t realize that you do all your growing outside the gym. Even some experienced lifters find it hard to stay away from the gym in the off-season. They do everything right: eat clean, workout out hard, but forget to give their body’s enough rest and recovery time between workouts so gains are negligible.
You break down the muscle tissue in the gym, given that you fuel your body with nutritious food. The final piece of the puzzle is time. You need to give your body time to recover. Without adequate time to recover, you will break down already broken down muscle tissue caused by overtraining.
There is a lot of debate over how long a muscle needs to rest/recover from a workout before you should work it out again. I am a big believer in 72 hours, or 3 days of recovery time. If the muscle still seems to be sore, give it another day of rest. The last thing you want to do is to injure yourself.

8 Scales
Worrying about the scales has caused a lot of men to put on fat in the off-season. Men love stating how much they weigh, if the number is above 200 lbs. So in their pursuit to put on as much weight as possible, most of these ego driven males end up putting on a substantial amount of body fat.
Your body cannot continue to add pounds of lean muscle mass each week, so if your weight continues to increase every week, you are probably putting on too much body fat. I tell my clients to focus on what they look like, not on what the scale says.
Women are the complete opposite once they see their weight go up; they either stop eating as much or do a lot of cardio. This shift is driven by the pursuit to keep in contest shape. However, this practice will make it extremely difficult to make improvements.

9 Lack Of A Goal
This issue is for my competing athletes and starts immediately after your contest is over. You should talk to the judges about your presentation to help you understand where you can improve and what your strong points are. Then, in the next week or so, sit down with your personal trainer and discuss how you are going to approach the off-season and make the improvements to your physique.
I see many competitors, pros and amateurs alike, who show up every year looking the same. These individuals don’t improve and also don’t win.
So in the beginning of the off-season, make some short and long term goals for yourself; this will help keep you focused on the improvements that you need to make between competitions.

10 Skipping Meals
This is a common mistake made by the hard gainers. They are not hungry so they either push back the meal by an hour, or worse, just skip it all together. This is a big mistake. Your body needs protein every 2.5-3 hours so your muscles can have a steady stream of available amino acids.
You need to keep your body in a positive nitrogen balance. When your body doesn’t have enough amino acids, it goes to your muscles to find them.
Your body will begin to eat away at your hard-earned muscle for fuel, a result you must avoid. This is referred to as a catabolic state (i.e., muscle wasting). You want to be in a positive nitrogen balance as much as possible, which is referred to as the anabolic state (i.e. muscle gaining). If you can’t stomach a full meal, then try to suck down a whey shake. This will give you enough amino acids until you eat your next meal.
Conclusion
The off-season is a time to make improvements to your physique. Use this time as productively as possible by avoiding any of the mistakes discussed above.
Wasted time is wasted growth so if you find yourself falling into any of these pitfalls, then make a quick correction in your diet and/or workout programs. If you can do this, you will be well on your way to adding that desired inch to your physique.

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Dieting for Bodybuilders

Adjust Activity Levels Adjust your activity level when getting ready. Don’t overdo it if you aren’t taking in enough calories to maintain muscle. Also, don’t overtrain. Most guys try to do too much. They add more sets while eating fewer calories. You do this, and you’ll lose size.

Give Yourself Time Give yourself enough time to get ready for the show. Don’t short change yourself when it comes to time. Better to diet longer and be ready early than try to crash diet and get ready in a week. You should be ready to get on stage one to two weeks out from the show date, maintain things, and then just walk right in.

Eat Right  Try to eat at least 1 – 1.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight while dieting for a show. Don’t go nuts eating too little or too many carbs. You need to establish a baseline where you’ll lose only about a pound or two at most in a week.

Eat Frequently  You want to eat small meals, at least six maybe seven a day. Again you need to adjust to what works for you-more or less food, more or less protein and carbs. Trial and error and enough time to find what works for you are the keys. Don’t expect miracles the first or second or maybe even the third time you do this. I’m not saying you may not get lucky and hit it right the first time, but chances are you won’t. Look at all this as a learning experience cuz that’s exactly what it is. You may want to keep a food journal. Now I’m not saying run around the gym with a little notebook like these goofballs in some of these gyms these days. Just keep a running tab of calories, proteins, carbs and fats. This way, you’ll know exactly what you’re doing.

Cardio  Let me get to my favorite activity, cardio. We all know cardio sucks. I hate cardio, I really do. But it is a necessary evil for almost all of us who want to compete. Be smart. During the diet phase of training, do the least amount of specific work to initiate change involving cardio training. What I’m saying of course is that more is not always better.The body can adapt rapidly to exercise, making this paramount for continuous body fat reduction. Again more is not always better right at the start. My suggestion to you would be to start some type of cardio activity four days a week, thirty minutes a day with moderate intensity (let’s say about 55% to 65% of maximum heart rate). See what happens. If you’re happy with the changes, that’s cool.

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