Firstly I’d just like to apologise for not being able to do June’s blog, we had a crazy busy month and unfortunately I didn’t get time to do it. So because I missed last month I’m going to talk about 2 things you can do to help you achieve your body goals.
OK so number 1 … Are you concentrating on the correct part of your lift when you do your resistance training? Believe it or not resistance training is not as simple as lifting a weight from A to B. There’s two main parts to a lift, the concentric phase and the eccentric phase. The concentric part is the lift, this part does contribute to muscle gain/tone but it’s main job is to increase your muscle strength/power. The eccentric phase is the lowering part, if you lower the weight slowly and in a controlled manner its main emphasis is muscle gain and growth.
So to simplify this doing an explosive set with fast reps and a heavy weight will make you stronger and doing a set slightly lower in weight (due to it being more difficult because of a higher time under tension) with a quick lift but slow lower (5 seconds or more) will encourage muscle hypertrophy (growth). Taking all that into account, if you’re more bothered about getting stronger make sure you lift heavy and explosively and try to get out as many reps as possible. If you’re main goal is to increase your muscle mass and therefore tone up, you need to drop the resistance a bit and do some slow lowering reps, still lift quickly but as I’ve mentioned lower the weight for about 5 seconds, then lift again and keep this going for as long as you can. The emphasis is more on time under tension than how many reps you do. If you want both strength and muscle gain then simply do sets of both styles of lifts. I understand this is quite advanced and can be a bit confusing so if you’d like any help with this don’t hesitate to ask me.
The second thing I’d like to discuss is NEAT…. This is something very small and simple that you can do to make sure you burn more calories each day. NEAT stands for Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis and is basically anything you do consciously to be more active that isn’t classed as exercise. So a few examples would be parking the furthest car parking space away at ASDA so you have further to walk, standing up at your desk at work instead of sitting and walking to work instead of driving. These can be very small changes to how you live your life but because you are doing a few of these each day it can add up to a crazy amount of calories burnt over a week, a month and a year etc.
There’s a few things that contribute to how many calories you burn a day, your resting metabolic rate is about 60% of the calories you burn a day, the thermogenic effect of what you eat is about 10% (calories burnt to digest food) and the rest is down to how active you are (exercise and NEAT) so about 30% of your calorie burn. This can actually be even more (up to around 50%) if you are consciously active with exercise and your NEAT. So what I’m trying to say is half the calories you burn a day can be down to how active you are so NEAT is very important when it comes to fat loss. Increase your NEAT activity and you will lose weight, sometimes the little things make all the difference.
Finally as always I’d like to update you on Stephen Ellwood who’s going through some very advanced rehab after spinal surgery with myself here at Pulse… I’m not going to say much as all that needs to be said is this … Stephen was told the surgery would only stop his spine from getting worse and he wouldn’t see any improvements on his current physical state, which was struggling to walk, unable to run, unable to exercise, pain, discomfort, issues with balance etc etc. Well like myself Stephen didn’t accept this and now he’s performing advanced exercises that people without Stephen’s condition would struggle with, he’s stronger than he’s ever been, he’s building muscle that he’s never had before and a personal little goal of his is about to be accomplished…. He’s now running again. Stephen is the perfect example of why you don’t give up and is an example to everyone. I’m super proud of you mate.