Getting Breakfast right

Getting Breakfast right

- - Hi, guys.  today, it's all about breakfast. Hi, guys, so today I want to talk about breakfast. Breakfast is a meal a lot of people get wrong., before I start talking about the dos and do nots of breakfast, I just want to say that a lot of people overemphasize the importance of having breakfast. The moment you get up, yeah, you've must have breakfast, you've must have breakfast. me people just don't like having a meal the moment after they wake up. They like to sort of settle into their day. They might have or coffee or something but don't have it first thing.  don't stress if you're one of those people that you've suddenly must change your lifestyle.

Fit it in to what works for you. It's not hugely important the timing of when you have your breakfast.  please don't stress about that. Okay, now let's talk about common mistakes people make with breakfast and I think it's, probably comes from marketing campaign or just habits but people have traditionally for breakfast a few things, orange juice or fruit juice of some kind and then, and these are people that think they're having a healthy by the way and fruit juice, cereals or toast or maybe a fruit smoothie.

That's kind of what I get from most people in terms of when they talk about what they're having for breakfast. Traditionally, that's what you see in most people's breakfast diet., I've got a problem with a lot of that. Orange juice I'm going to start with. Orange juice is one of my pet peeves. It's sold as a super, super healthy drink and yes, there is vitamin C and some nutritional benefits from eating fruit and some of that is lost when you juice that fruit especially when it's commercially juiced but the big thing with fruit juice is the number of calories you get from sugar.  you get probably between 75 to 85% of the calories from sugar in fruit juices.  an average 100 millilitres of orange juice contain between eight to 10 grams of sugar. 100 millilitres of Coca-Cola contain 10 grams of sugar.

You probably wouldn't give that to your child or for yourself. Hopefully you're not. Seeing yourself drinking a can of Coke for breakfast.  don't pour a massive glass of orange juice in the morning if you're thinking of having a healthy breakfast because you're trying to avoid, what you want to avoid throughout the whole day because breakfast is another meal, so it should fit the same profile as every other meal in that day, we're trying to avoid massive spikes, okay, in your blood sugar and having just a high concentrate of sugar for breakfast is not ideal.  if you just like to sort of clear the palette with orange juice, that's fine but make sure you keep that portion small, okay? A small glass of orange juice is fine. Not a big old glass like that.

Cereal. Again, generally high starchy content. Quite a bit of sugar, a lot of carbs. Most cereals are around 70 out of 100 on the glycaemic index which is a higher end which means it's going to give you another spike in your blood sugar so it's going to be one of those where you get the energy quick and it dissipates so you feel hungry quite soon after your meal.  cereals generally and that includes the ones that are branded as healthy cereals especially things like granola and stuff because they're often mixed with loads of honey and sugar and they're generally quite sweet or there's a dry fruit in there, so they generally are even higher on that glycaemic index.  just be aware of that if you're having cereal for breakfast.  I'll talk about it later but cereal like granola can actually be used maybe as a topper rather than it's the main portion in your breakfasts.

Fruit smoothies. Where do I start? Well, generally, fruit smoothies are, you blend together all those frozen blackberries and blueberries and every other berry you can think of, shove it in there with a banana, some milk or you might buy the smoothie as well. Again, ridiculously high sugar content in those. I mean, I suppose you could say there's some fibre in there that'll help negate some of that but ridiculously high. I mean, again, drink a milkshake if you can do that. Go to McDonald's, get yourself a milkshake because it's going to be the same effect on you apart from you're going to get a few more nutrients in there in that amount of fruit.  breakfast smoothies, not great.

I know that you people are trying to strive to get their five a day or trying to get their vitamin C content but there's more vitamin C in green leafy veg per gram and in peppers, okay, bell peppers. Not as a thing you can have as breakfast but bell peppers per gram than there is in an orange.  don't obsess that you must have that to get vitamin C. You're not going to get scurvy, okay? You're going to still get vitamin C without eating 10 bottles of orange juice a week, okay?  think about what you're doing with your choices there.  take those out or if you're going to have them, again, tiny, tiny portions. That's like a treat really.  toast, well, toast.

When we talk about what we should have for breakfast, toast could be put into the good pile. Not white bread, okay? White bread, too high in starch so scrap that but some good quality bread is fine if we're balancing that out, okay?  toast and marmalade or something high sugar spread, no, that's a no go but toast with and what do we want in our breakfast, we want proteins, we want fats. I personally don't think we want too many carbohydrates. me people might have a different belief but from evidence I've seen with my clients and myself, too many carbohydrates aren’t going to help you first to sustain your appetite or keep your appetite sort of in check and it's not going to help if you're trying to make a change to your body composition.  if you're going to have breakfast with toast in it, make sure you've got a large portion of proteins and fats in there.  a very simple one would be one slice of toast, seeded toast maybe with some butter on top for your fats. Spread a bit of avocado on there as well and a couple of eggs and then you've got a fully balanced breakfast. If you want to put some green veg on the side, brilliant. That's how you're going to stick toast in there. You could mix that with peanut butter as long as it's organic and no added sugar peanut butter if you wanted to spread to put on there. That's probably going to be your healthiest option for that day.

Other options to have a good breakfast, omelettes. Anything in that omelette, peppers, spinach. You can put some meat in there as well. Omelettes are a great choice. My personal choice and I get up really early in the morning, so I must get to work, I must leave before six a.m. every morning to get to work and I'm not a get up really early spend time making really extravagant breakfasts so what I do is I get Greek yogurt, full fat Greek yogurt. I don't do the zero-fat stuff, okay? Normal real Greek yogurt because I want some fats in my diet and I chuck in again some organic natural peanut butter, chuck that in there. You could choose another nut butter if you want. That's going to give me some proteins and fats as well and just gobble that down. That's a nice easy breakfast.

That's my alternative to a bowl of cereal but if you wanted to put, say you had a Greek yogurt and you wanted to put some granola on top, just a little topping of that would be absolutely fine. Porridge. Porridge works. It's a lower glycaemic index than other cereals so that's probably the best choice in terms of cereals. Add a milk that's got some fat in there. Skim milk, I don't think it's great because there's not fat. You want to have some fats in there.  add some fatty milk whether that's almond milk or whether that's dairy milk. Not a dairy milk. Milk from a cow then that would be great too. Alternatively, you could always have last night's leftovers.

 If you've got a thing that breakfast has to be a certain type of meal, then obviously you won't do that, but you can have last night's leftovers as well. That works just as well because it's the same, if last night's leftovers were a healthy meal that is, not last night's Chinese but if it was a healthy meal, you can just have that in the morning. Again, it's just the same meal profile you're looking for so the fact that it's breakfast doesn't make it any different or if you wanted something to sort of take on a train, you could always get a wrap and put some healthy ingredients inside there, some kind of proteins and fat source in there as well.  there's your healthy choices for breakfast. Scrap the old thought on breakfast. Don't obsess about it having to be before work, first thing you get up in the morning if you're not that type of person. Make sure all of your breakfasts contain a mixture of protein and fats. If you want some carbs, they could be in there as well. I hope that helps, guys. If you've got any questions or anything, please put them in the comments below. Thanks for watching. Thanks again for watching, guys. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Stop wasting time at the gym.

Stop wasting time at the gym.

- - Hi guys, today's video is about why 90% of the space in your normal gym is wasted, and how you can get an effective workout anywhere. I get asked a lot why we don't use machines here at CrossFit Chiltern, and at our studio Limitless in Berkhamsted, and the main reason I don't use the machines is because most machines are useless for most people's needs.  you spend all day, if you've got an office job, sitting down, or most of the day.

You spend a lot of the day sitting down when you commute to work, and then you get home, and you're going to sit on the sofa.  what's the best thing to do when you get to the gym? Well, it's not going to be sitting down on the pec deck machine doing this. All right? That is not going to be of any physical benefit to you.

Machines are useful if you are trying to build hypertrophy and add volume of work into a training. In other words, you want to do more and more sets or target specific muscles.  when I start to talk about hypertrophy, I'm talking about people doing bodybuilding.  yes, those guys at the gym that want to just work on their mirror muscles, and they just want to build up their pecs, then yeah, they can obviously do alongside their other stuff, so alongside traditional barbell bench press and dumbbell bench press, they might stick some machine work in there as well. But for most people who are looking to get fitter, machines are pretty much a waste of your time.

You could be spending your time doing some much better stuff, okay? Here, we've only got a couple of machines. In the CrossFit gym, all we have is assault bikes and rowers, and then we have a couple of other bits of kit we use for accessory work, but most of the time, we're using free weights, and I think some people, when they go to the gym, they're scared about using free weights, which is why they resort to the machines. I mean, most people I talk to, when they're coming in for their consultation, either for personal training, or for membership here, when they talk about the gym, they talk about that they don't really know what to do. They're sort of unsure as to what machines to use, or what free weights to use, so that all they'll do is they'll do what I call, and

I've called it before, the 20/20/20 workout, where they're going to the gym and they'll spend 20 minutes on they elliptical machine, or the cross trainer, 20 minutes on the bike, and then 20 minutes on the treadmill, and that's their workout, done. It's not going to give you much bang for your buck. You're going to spend an hour in gym, and you're going to not really get a complete workout.

I'm going to give an example here of something you can do safely in the gym, no matter what your level of fitness is, and it should challenge you, and work all of your muscle groups. , those of you that have difficulties squatting, maybe have problems when you do squats, and you're a bit new to that, and you're a bit afraid of squatting, you're going to do an exercise where you're going to use the box here, okay?  you're going to do a box squat.  a box squat, I'm going to stand here, make sure I'm going to reach the box with my bottom, and I'm going to go down, sit down, and stand back up again. That's a box squat.  

The exercise that I'm going to do in this workout is called a thruster.  normally it would be a free squat pressing dumbbells overhead. On this occasion, I'm going to step up here, dumbbells on my shoulders, I'm going to sit down, and you're going to drive up. Sit down, press straight up. I'm keeping the dumbbells in a hammer position here, and it's just simpler to learn this way.  tuck in your shoulders, head of the dumbbells on your shoulders here, standing up, pressing straight up. Look straight ahead. Don't look up when you do this, because you'll extend your back and end up like this., drop down, press up. You're doing that, when you're holding anything up here, you're going to be working your midline stability. Also, you're going to be working your legs. Heavier the weight, the more your legs are working, and big time in the shoulders as well. It's a simple, pretty much an all-rounder, really.

 We're going to add in to that an exercise called a bent over row. We're going to use the same pair of dumbbells. Bow forward here. Back muscles are straight, shoulders in front of the hands. We're not in this position here. Shoulders just in front of our hands here. What you're going to do is row those dumbbells parallel to your thighs, squeeze shoulder blades together. Notice how I'm not moving the rest of my body a lot. Do I end up do this? I start jumping up. Stay nice and level, and just row up here. Try to feel when you're doing this, the squeeze in between your shoulder blades. That's a bent over row.  

The final one I'm going to do is a kettlebell swing.  people see this, and they think, oh it's explosive, a bit dangerous. Okay, if you do it correctly, it should be perfectly safe. Choose a light weight if you've never done it before and learn the technique.  get your feet wide enough that the kettlebell is going to fit between your legs. Keeping your back straight and neutral, you're going to hinge from your waist, and you're going to hitch that kettlebell just below your crotch, okay?  from there, you're going to use these muscles here, and you're going to drive your hips forward, and that kettlebell is going to swing up to shoulder height, okay? Some people might call this a Russian swing, for now, we'll just call it a kettlebell swing.  that exercise is working all your posterior chain, so midline stability, especially through the lower back area here. You should be using the glutes for a lot of the power source and you're using your hamstrings as well, and to some extent, your quadriceps as well, as you're getting that extension here.

Combine that with your bent over row, which is obviously working the middle back. Combine it with your thrusters, and you're going to be working shoulders, back of the arms, and legs.

We're going to add in to that either some rowing, some bike. We've got an assault bike here. Or if you've got no equipment, let's say, for example, you wanted to do this workout at home, you can just use a skipping rope., the choice is yours, and the workout today is going to be a 250-meter row, alternatively 500-meter bike ride, or 50 skips. That's the first part of the workout.  250 row, or 500 meter bike ride, or 50 skips. You're going to follow that with 10 thrusters, 10 bent over row, and 20 swings. You can repeat that three times, if you've got time. If you only got time for a quick, five-minute workout, then you can just do one round, because obviously, five minutes exercise is better than zero minutes exercise., give this a little go at home, or in the gym. It's going to be a quick, efficient workout. You're getting loads of bang for your buck, and you're not going to be spending the time in the gym just sitting on your ass. I'm going to give it a go. Have a little look, and any questions can be put in our comments below. Cheers, guys.  I hope you enjoyed that video, guys.

I'm always looking for more questions to answer, so if you've got anything you'd like answered on fitness, nutrition, or anything else, then please post in the comments below, or drop me an email.

Why we love Olympic Lifting

Why we love Olympic Lifting

- - Hi guys, I talk about why I love having Olympic lifting in my training and why you should learn to love it too. With CrossFit and with people I train I love to incorporate some of the Olympic lifts into what they do.  why? A lot of people ask why do we have Olympic lifting in our training because it's quite complicated, obviously, you must learn it, why can't we just do something simpler? Well there's a few reasons. We talk about CrossFit, well CrossFit is about getting fitter across a multitude of fitness domains.  


With Olympic lifting some of the stuff you're going to do in it are strength based, power, speed, coordination, balance is going to be in there as well, and you need good mobility.  you're getting at least six elements of fitness covered in one movement.  if you start doing these movements over and over you're also going to get some endurance in there as well.  

I love to have Olympic lifting in my training. A simple one to start with is a power clean, which is basically picking the bar up from the floor. I'll just demonstrate one for you here.

 My starting position is like that of a deadlift, okay? A little bit more up further than a traditional deadlift. Then from there I'm going to drive up. Up onto my shoulders there. That's probably the first movement we're going to teach people that start with Olympic lifting.   

Olympic lifting is something you need to be coached at before you just crack on with it. You can do some of the cleans, some of the other snatches, using dumbbells and kettlebells, and they can be a little bit simpler than with a barbell, but there's a more few benefits to doing Olympic lifting.

 The other thing is, this I think is important for people, is that it's a new skill for you to learn.  what happens to most people when they go to the gym and do the routine for a little while, they get bored and they quit. Well when you're learning Olympic lifting you must learn various positions, you must improve those positions, and you will see the results and you'll feel the results over time, and that gives you another goal to focus on besides that of just what's on the scales.  being as you're learning new skills, it's also great for the brain because you'll be training your brain to learn something new and there's a lot of benefit to doing that, to learning new things in your life.  

Having that satisfaction from learning a new skill, plus the benefit of all the elements of fitness you're going to train. Plus, Olympic lifts are very energy expensive. What I mean by that is that you're going to burn the most calories, you're going to get a lot of bang for your buck.  you're going to train all these elements without necessarily focusing on hypertrophy, so muscle size. Learned a little bit about that in the last video. I know that some people, some people don't want to get too massive, too big, too hench in Olympic lifting because of its nature, because it's multi joints, it's explosive.  because you're not going to do masses and masses of volume of it it's not going to cause you to get massively hench on its own.  

Therefore, you're going to train and you're going to get more toned, and you're going to get muscle definition but without size, without overdoing it on the size. Which I think is beneficial to a lot of people., Olympic lifting, a great skill to learn and a great element to use in the gym. Find a good coach, learn it, and I'm sure you'll love it.

Stop doing Kneeling Press Ups

Stop doing Kneeling Press Ups

For all you people that cannot do a strict press up, this is for you. And when I talk about strict press up, in previous videos I've shown this to you before. A strict press up is a press up in which you start, and I'm going to be going down to the plank position here.  if I start down in this plank position here, then what should happen is from this position I should go down with my spine alignment, my head aligned as well, all the way down to the floor, and then back up again. That is a strict press up.

A strict press up is not a half movement, it's not a movement where my head goes down to the floor, like this. It's not a movement where I worm down, okay? It's strictly just holding that plank position, so you've got good core stability in there, working. You work all the way down. Your elbows aren't going to flare up and out, they're going to work slightly down your body, down here like this, pressing up. If you cannot do a strict push up, an exercise that is not really going to help you get better at push ups is a kneeling push up. And it's not an exercise I would prescribe to people very often., why?  

a kneeling push up, first of all, there's not a lot of core work involved in kneeling push up. You're taking out a lot of the weight, as well as it makes it very easy, much easier exercise. The angles aren't quite correct on a kneeling push up, and, it's very, very, very, very easy to end up doing a kneeling push up, your bum going back and pushing like this. And I see this all the time, it's too easy to cheat a kneeling push up, okay? A strict kneeling pushes up, your body stays forward, your hips stay forward, and going down and up, is a bit better, okay? But still to me, too easy to get wrong and the angle you're working at, isn't desirable for the trainings that you're looking for to get closer to a press up.  you have two alternatives. The first alternative is a raised push up, on a box or on a bench, depending on how good or how far away from a floor push up you are.

  I always start people, on a high box like this. If you haven't got a box, you're in a gym and haven't got a box, then you can find a rig. Put a barbell across and set that at a height where you're going to do your press ups. Or you can do a Smith machine as well. There's one good use for a Smith machine, okay? And that is doing push ups with a Smith machine. The rest of the time, the Smith machine is pretty crap. You can basically leave those and not use them for anything else apart from maybe hanging a coat on and doing push ups. Or if you're pushing don't go too far but otherwise, don't bother with it. Into your press up position, holding a plank position, like so. The other good thing about this, is that you know when you're getting better because you can always measure touching your chest down to the box. Like so.

 If you can do that comfortably, then you can move down to a slightly lower box. Again, if you're doing it on the rig, you just move the rig down to a lower setting, maybe do one at a time. Sometimes on the rig, it's easier because it moves down in smaller increments, so you can gradually work your way down the rig each time.  the lower you get, the closer you are to a full press up. That would be the simplest way to work up to scaling a press up.

If you're in somewhere where you're just training on your own, and you want to get closer to a press up, a great variation of that, is to do a band assisted press up.  you'll need something to hang your band off, whether that's the top of a rack like so, or you'll probably find a machine where there's pull up bars if you're at a regular gym, there's always the cable machine with the pull up bar on it. You can even hang the band from that Smith machine I was talking about earlier, okay?

Another use for that Smith machine is to hang a band from so, there you go, we've already got three uses, to something that's not very useful., let's get this up here, I'm going to get the band underneath so it's sitting around my chest, like so. I'm going to come down on the floor, and then this band is going to help me. O

bviously at this point here, it's giving me some assistance already, but when I go down to the bottom of the press up, the bands at maximum stretch that's giving me maximum assistance and then I drive up. Now obviously you can get various assistance with the bands. You can get heavier bands, lighter bands. This is a red band which is one with the least amount of resistance, but even at the bottom I can feel comfortable, like it's really helping me out, and I can rep out loads. Great way of adding a bit of speed training, as well, because it feels it's fast driving up from there. Also, most people find that the hold, the part of the press up, the bottom position where you get the most help, and the easiest part is the top position because obviously you're slightly angled up as well.  it's a great way to build up to a full push up.  

Stop doing kneeling push ups if you can, try and do something on the box or on a rig or a Smith machine and I would say that would be your optimum to build up to that full push up. I think it should help guys. Any questions, if you'd like me to talk about any other exercises, or any other advice, then please leave it in the comments below. And I'll even make a video or give you an answer in those comments. Thanks for watching. Thanks guys. Please subscribe to YouTube channel and check me out on Facebook.