What is “Functional Training”?

Ever heard of it? Not sure what it’s all about? I’m here to set the record straight and give you some basic information on how it can help you reach your fitness goals!

Functional Training can be defined as any training modality that serves the purpose for which it was intended.

It is training aimed at improving functional capacity – that is; the ability to perform daily tasks, occupational or sports specific tasks, simple and/or complex motor activities with ease, efficiency, strength and control.

Functional Training has its origins from rehabilitation exercise. Physical therapists developed exercises that mimicked what patients did at home or work in order to return to their lives or jobs after an injury or surgery. So if a person’s job required repeatedly heavy lifting, rehab would be targeted towards helping them achieve that. Programs are designed after careful consideration of the patient’s condition, what he or she would like to achieve, and ensuring goals of treatment are realistic and achievable.

Such training mostly involves activities targeted at the core muscles (abdominal and obliques), and how you can use that strength to drive other movements e.g. Pushing or Pulling. It also helps in developing proprioceptive awareness (coordination) which challenges your body to become more conscious of where it is in space.

An example of good equipment to use for functional training is cable machines. They allow a person to recruit all major muscle groups while moving in multiple planes. Cable machines also provide a smooth, continuous action which reduces the need for momentum to start repetitions, provide a constant tension on the muscle, peak-contraction is possible at the top of each rep, a safe means of performing negative repetitions, and a variety of attachments that allow great flexibility in the exercises performed and body parts targeted.

As a trainer, I love functional training! IT allows me to give more exciting movements to my clients as well as knowing that they are gaining a whole range of benefits. If you haven’t incorporated some type of functional training into your workout, I would suggest you do so as soon as possible!

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Body Types – Which one are you?

BODY TYPES: Which one are you?

 bodytypes

Ectomorph

Ectomorphs are your typical skinny or lanky person. Ectomorphs have a light build with small joints and lean muscle. Usually ectomorph’s have long thin limbs with stringy muscles. Shoulders tend to be thin with little width. They may find it hard to gain weight and will usually have a super quick metabolism.

For men, you will generally need to intake a huge amount of calories to gain weight. Workouts should generally be short and intense with the focus being on big muscle groups. Having supplements are definitely recommended as well as eating just before you go to sleep to avoid muscle catabolism during the night. If weight loss is your goal, ectomorphs generally can lose fat very easily as they have a greater ability to build lean mass.

For women, ectomorphs often complain of looking ‘boyish’ and have a lanky appearance. These types of women may also find their weight effects them more later in life as their metabolism slows down they gain weight as they are not used to having to watch what they eat or their calorie intake. Ecto women should look to gain muscle mass to help give them an improved ‘shapely’ look. 

 

Endomorph

Endomorphs have a soft, curvy and round physique and display the opposite characteristics from ectomorphs. They have a sluggish metabolism, gain weight easily and have to work hard to lose body fat. Endomorphs often have a larger frame and tend to have wider hips than shoulders, creating a pear-shaped physique in women and a shorter ‘stockier’ build in men (thick arms and legs). Endomorphs will usually find they are naturally strong in leg exercises like the squat or deadlift.

For men, those looking to bulk up should have no issue only that they need to make sure they are gaining muscle and not fat. To aid with this, endomorphs should incorporate an element of cardio training to their programs (Cardio machines or even high intensity weight circuits).

For women, they will generally have a hard time losing weight. It doesn’t mean they can’t lose weight, it just means they will normally have to work harder and the process takes longer. This body type also won’t see as good results from clean eating as other body types, and needs to have a good exercise regime to go with a healthy diet. Endomorph women should try to do things to speed up their metabolism such as high protein low carb diets and avoid things like ‘quick fix’ dieting. It’s a sure fire way to make it even harder to lose weight.

Mesomorph

A mesomorph commonly has a large bone structure, large muscles, a naturally athletic physique and would often be referred to as ‘genetically gifted’ (Damn them! J). Mesomorphs are the best body type for body building and body transformations.  They find it quite easy to either gain or lose weight and are naturally strong which is the perfect platform for building muscle. Mesomorphs are natural born athletes and tend to be muscular without really trying (Double damn them!).

The mesomorph body type will generally respond best to weight training. Gains and changes will usually be seen very quickly, even in beginners, and they will often be seen lifting more than others. Although their diet doesn’t need to be super strict, they will gain fat slightly easier than ectomorphs, so they still need to be aware of what is going into their bodies. You will often see people with this body type lose weight and gain weight in a short space of time but still continually be able to get back into good shape.

As mesomorphs are so genetically gifted, they can often get caught out as they age and their metabolism slows down. It’s becomes important to still take your food intake seriously even if it doesn’t seem to be having much effect on your results.

Winter Paleo Breakfast!

Leading on from my previous articles, here is an awesome Paleo Breakfast that would be a great option for this time of year!         

 spicy stew paleo

Spicy Breakfast Stew (with the perfect poached egg)                            Serves: 3

Prep time: 5 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 20 mins

Ingredients

2 organic chorizo chicken sausages, finely chopped

4 pieces crispy bacon, chopped

1½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, sliced

1 can organic diced tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

½ cup organic chicken stock

1 tsp chili powder

1 garlic clove

Dash Himalayan sea salt

Dash freshly ground pepper

3 organic eggs

2 tsp vinegar

Optional: ½ tsp smoked paprika

Optional: ½ tsp red pepper flakes

Optional: 1 handful spinach

 

Instructions

For the Stew

1. Heat oil and garlic in a medium-sized pot

2. Add sliced onions and sauté for 5 minutes until translucent

3. Add in chopped sausage and cook, mixing often, until sausage is fully cooked

4. In a pan or in the microwave, cook bacon until crispy; pat and set aside

5. Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chicken stock, and spices into the pot and mix

6. Add spinach (if desired), reduce heat to a simmer

For the Poached Egg

1. Heat 3 cups water and add in a dash of vinegar

2. Crack 1 egg into a ramekin

3. Right before boiling, use a spoon and swirl the water

4. Drop the egg into the water (don’t freak, it’ll look a little crazy for a minute)

5. Carefully spoon out poached egg and serve over stew

Recipe by PaleOMG – Paleo Recipes at http://paleomg.com/spicy-breakfast-stew-with-the-perfect-poached-egg/

Food for Thought

paleodiet2

What is the Paleo Diet?

I recently read a great article on the “Paleo Diet” and thought I should share my views. In my mind, the “Paleo Diet” provides a solid base of a good healthy eating plan.

The Paleo diet is basically formed on what early man (Neanderthal) would have eaten back in the day. The basic concept of the diet is that if a caveman couldn’t eat it, neither can you.

As stated in Steve Kamb’s article ‘the beginners guide to the Paleo Diet’, the diet allows you to eat  “…anything we could hunt or find – meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds.” That also means that anything man-made – such as bread, pasta and cereal – have to go!

The reason I enjoy this healthy eating option is it encourages people to get away from counting calories (which I, like the writer of the article, both dislike) and gets you to focus more on eating high-quality nutrient dense proteins and vegetables.

The article also looks into why the Paleo Diet is good for us genetically. Although we have been producing farmed goods for a while now, are bodies don’t process these foods as well as they should. Kamb states “The problem is, our bodies never adjusted properly to eating all the grains that we we’re now farming. So, instead of loading up on meat, vegetables and seasonal fruits, we’ve become a species “dependent” upon grains – bread, pasta, rice, corn, and so on.  The government continues to recommend 6-11 servings of grains a day, and people continue to get fatter and fatter by the day.”

Being a Personal Trainer and trying to preach a healthy lifestyle to my clients, it becomes increasingly tougher when the healthy options are becoming more and more expensive, while the cheaper and less nutritional options are so much easier and affordable. It seems unfair that as a society we encourage people to eat healthy, but really aren’t giving them much of an option. Another valid point to consider in the article is that eating healthy now, might cost more, but that could be saving you thousands of dollars on medical bills later in life.

Ultimately if you are looking for results and are serious about a healthy future, the Paleo Diet might be a good option for you to consider in a new eating plan.  I don’t mean you have to live and die by it, but its general beliefs of what you should and shouldn’t eat, could keep you healthy and happier for the rest of your life.

Click here to read the full article

http://www.nerdfitness.com/blog/2010/10/04/the-beginners-guide-to-the-paleo-diet/