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THE BENEFITS OF THE SQUAT

The Squat is known as the King of all exercises.

There is a vast array of benefits to squatting and as long as you are doing so with proper technique and with an appropriate load, you will get great results from them, whatever your goals.
Whether you want to be stronger, get your legs, thighs and butt in better shape, or add an exercise that has tremendous carryover for athletes, the squat is one you should have in your program.
The type of squat you do will depend on your current training age and on your own mechanics.
Some people are not able to squat comfortably with a bar on their back and that is fine, there are loads of alternatives for the squat starting with a basic bodyweight squat all the way up to the back squat.
But don’t let one version of the squat put you off them, some of the benefits of squatting are;

1. They give great shape to the legs and thighs
A common belief with lifting weights is that it will make you big and bulky, like a bodybuilder, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Squatting is one of the exercises that every A-list celebrity is now doing in order to improve the look of their legs.
Everyone from Kate Upton to Jessica Alba lifts weights and squatting is part of their routine. Clearly, these ladies do not look big or bulky.

2. They are great for building a better booty.
Forget about the celebrities with the implants in their asses. If you want a better booty, you have got to squat.
Jennifer Lopez in her prime was trained by Gunner Peterson, a Hollywood A list trainer. Gunner was heralded with helping J-lo get the original title of ‘world’s best butt’ and squatting was part of her routine.
3. They are a full body fat burning exercise.
Squatting is the original HIIT workout.
If you have ever tried doing 3-4 sets of 10-12 squats with a heavy weight on your back, you will know that it doesn’t take long before you are gasping for breath.
Try doing this at the start of your next training session and it will keep the metabolism elevated for hours after the training session is over.
The plus side to this is every other exercise is now making you work harder due to following the squat.

4. They are one of the most important exercises you can do.
Whether you like them or not the squat is one of the most important exercises you can do.
It is practically a full body exercise and has huge benefits for strength, muscle gain and fat loss.
Squats will help athletic people jump higher, sprint faster, and pick heavier stuff of the ground, and they’ll help the elderly stand from a seated position more efficiently while also improving balance and muscle tone.
So, with all those benefits, which version of the squat should you choose?
My top 3 variations are
• Goblet Squat
• Front Squat
• Back Squat

Here’s how to perform a perfect Goblet Squat:

goblet squat

1. To get the bell into position, start with a two-handed grip so that you’re holding the dumbbell or kettlebell by the horns against your chest.
2. Take a breath and slowly lower yourself down, using your elbows to push your knees out and open your hips. Only go as low as feels comfortable, and focus on improving your depth over time.
3. Pause for a second. Pressurize your abdomen and straighten out, pushing steadily through your heels as you ascend back to the top position.

 

Next is how to perform a perfect Front Squat:

front squat

1. To get the Barbell into position, start with a two-handed grip, so that you’re holding the Barbell on the front of your shoulders with hand crossed over the chest supporting the bar.

2. Take a breath, and slowly lower yourself down, sitting back into your hips as you lower yourself down. Keep your chest upright and torso tight. Only go as low as feels comfortable, and focus on improving your depth over time.

3. Pause for a second. Pressurize your abdomen, and straighten out, pushing steadily through your heels as you ascend back to the top position.

Finally, we come to the Back Squat:

back squat

1. To get the Barbell into position, start with a two-handed grip, so that you’re holding the Barbell on the back of your shoulders on your ‘shelf’ and keep it off your neck.

2. Take a breath, and slowly lower yourself down, sitting back into your hips as you lower yourself. Keep your chest upright and torso tight. Only go as low as feels comfortable, and focus on improving your depth over time.

3. Pause for a second. Pressurize your abdomen, and straighten out, pushing steadily through your heels as you ascend back to the top position.
For progressing through the squat variations, start with the goblet squat. Once you have reached the limit of what weight, you can hold in your hands you should progress onto the front squat. From there the final progression is onto the back squat.

All 3 are excellent exercises, once you find the suitable one for you, you will be on your way to a better body in no time.
#TrainSmart

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THE TOP 5 REASONS YOU CAN’T LOSE WEIGHT

Weight loss isn’t always easy.

The premise of it is easy.

Create a calorie deficit and you will lose weight.

The execution of this however, doesn’t always go according to plan.

There are people who try time and time again to lose weight but, somehow, always seem to fall short of their goal.

Sometimes the reason we are not losing the weight we would like, is because we have to adjust things in a way that doesn’t sit well with us.

You may have to adjust your diet in a way you didn’t expect.

You may have to train in a way you didn’t expect.

You may have to give up things you like in order to get to where you would like to be.

All of these things can have an effect on whether you reach your weight loss goals or not.

There are times where we might need a mirror held up in front of us, so we can finally see the things that are keeping us from reaching our goals.

The majority of the time the main thing stopping us, is us.

We are unwilling to make the changes we need to make in order to get to where we want to be.

Below I am going to list the top 5 reasons for failure to achieve weight loss that I have come across.

  • You are unwilling to actually start your diet.
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    This might seem like a silly statement, but one of the biggest obstacles that people face when starting out with weight loss, is actually starting.

    They are willing to train.
    They are willing to take supplements.
    They are willing to do endless burpees.

    Yet when you ask them how their diet is going, they suddenly become quiet.

    Starting your diet is the first hurdle you will meet when you start out with weight loss.

    You can’t keep eating the same foods that caused your weight gain and expect different results.

 

  • You think that training alone will get you where you need to be.
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    Training is a great way to burn calories.

    Whether it is weight training, cardio or a mixture of both, they all help to burn calories.

 

However, training alone, sometimes isn’t enough to create a large enough calorie deficit in order for you to lose weight.
It is very easy to take in more calories than you expend.

For some, they think that adding in more and more training will be the answer.
When you are in the right calorie deficit, you don’t need excessive amounts of training.

 

Excessive amounts of training won’t always help you to lose weight.

 

  • You eat ‘healthy’, but don’t count the snacks.

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To start with, “eating healthy” is a redundant statement when it comes to weight loss.
You are either eating for weight loss or you are not.

 

You can eat healthy all you want, but if you are not in a deficit, you will not lose weight.

 

We also have to take into account the snacks that you don’t register as food.

 

A biscuit here or there.
Finishing your kids chips before scraping the left overs into the bin.
The cakes, buns, sweets that are laying around work, that you don’t want, but can’t help indulging in every time you pass by.

 

These items are very calorie dense, they have a lot of calories for a small portion of food.

 

Even though you eat healthy at your main meals, you are not taking into account all the small things that add up and can send you over your daily calorie amount.

 

  • You drink too much alcohol.
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    This is a simple one.

    If you drink multiple times per week, you are more likely to be overweight.

    You have the alcohol calories, fluid retention, decrease fat burning due to the body having to excrete the alcohol.
    All these things will cause you to gain weight.

    ‘But I only have one glass of wine’

    Seriously?

Let’s be realistic here.
Who only has one glass of wine?

You at least have 2 glasses and they are not the usual measure of wine, it is more than half of a large glass each time and almost a bottle by the time you are finished.

If you are doing this multiple times per week, (does Thursday to Sunday sound familiar?) , you are more likely to be overweight.

 

  • Your weekends are a disaster.
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    The last scenario is people who do well when they are in a routine. They plan and prepare their food all week; at work, at home, after training.
    Once they hit the weekend however, everything changes.

    They are out of routine and snack on things they usually don’t snack on.

    They eat out more.
    They eat processed foods more.
    They drink more alcohol.
    They drink high calorie flavoured coffees.


It is extremely easy to mess up 5 days of good work through training and good nutrition in a single weekend.

What’s worse is you can go so far over on your calories that it will carry over into a day or 2 of the following week.

Do these things every weekend and over the course of a year you can see the pounds creeping on.

If you recognise one or more of these things and realise that they might be your downfall, maybe it’s time to change things up a bit.

It’s never nice to have our faults held up in front of us.

But sometimes it’s exactly what we need for us to realise that, this is what the problem is and to motivate us to finally change.
#TrainSmart

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HYDRATION AND FITNESS

The summer has finally arrived.

This last week has seen fantastic weather with temperatures reaching as high as 27 degrees in some parts of Donegal.

Long may it last.

With the improvement in weather come the increased desire to be active.

More and more people are getting the trainers on and hitting the roads and making the most of the sunshine, and who can blame them?

Walking, jogging, Running, cycling, fitness classes are being taken outside to get our yearly dose of vitamin D.

With the increase in temperature and activity also comes an increase in perspiration.

The importance of hydration shouldn’t be overlooked whenever you increase your activity levels.

Water is the most essential component of the human body as it provides an important role in the function of cells.

More than half of the human body is composed of water, and it is impossible to sustain life without it.

Exercise can lead to substantial water and electrolyte loss from sweat leading to dehydration. There can be huge differences in fluid loss ranging from person to person with regard to sweating.

The type of exercise, the intensity of the exercise, the duration of the exercise, the weight and fitness levels of the person involved in the exercise, all have an impact on the levels of perspiration and fluid loss.

If water and electrolytes are not replaced from these losses, the athlete will have a decrease in performance and perhaps an adverse effect on his or her overall health.

Thirst is a signal that your body is headed toward dehydration and it is important to drink before you feel thirsty and to drink throughout the day.

However, thirst is not a good indicator of hydration and should not be used to monitor hydration status.

One way to check your hydration status is to weigh yourself before and after exercise.

Comparing your body weight before and after exercise can be used to estimate your sweat loss and your fluid requirements.
Any weight loss is likely from fluid loss, so drinking enough to replenish these losses will maintain hydration.
The table below shows us that over a one percent loss in body weight indicates dehydration and over five percent indicates serious dehydration.

  • % Body Weight Change
  • Well Hydrated -1 to +1%
  • Minimal Dehydration -1 to -3%
  • Significant Dehydration -3 to -5%
  • Serious Dehydration > -5%

Another simple way to judge hydration is to use the urine colour test chart.

A large amount of light-coloured urine means you are well hydrated. The darker the colour, the more dehydrated you are.

urine colour test chart

HYDRATION BEFORE EXERCISE

Check your hydration status before exercise because there is a wide variability in fluid needs for each person.
Use the chart above to determine where you are in regards to your hydration levels.

Drink 250-350ml of water or sports beverage at least four hours before exercise to ensure hydration.

Drink 450-600ml of water 10-15 minutes before exercise starts.

HYDRATION DURING EXERCISE

Sip on 100-200ml of water every 15- 20 minutes when exercising for less than 60 minutes.

Sip on a further 100-200ml of a sports beverage (5-8 percent carbohydrate with electrolytes) every 15-20 minutes when exercising greater than 60 minutes.

Do not drink more than one litre/hour during exercise.

HYDRATION GUIDELINES AFTER EXERCISE

Obtain your body weight and check your urine to estimate your fluid losses.

The goal is to correct your losses within two hours after exercise.

Drink 600-700ml of water or sports beverage for every one pound lost.

While an ordinary workout may not require electrolytes post workout, those participating in longer and more intense periods of exertion, such as running a marathon or going through a particularly intense workout, will benefit from electrolytes.

Sports drinks, electrolyte tablets or powders, or coconut water can all provide a good source of electrolytes post workout.

Fruit and vegetables are another great way to help with your hydration levels.

They can be a good source of fluids along with your regular water intake and they also improve the vitamins and mineral content of your diet.

Bananas are a great source of potassium and are a great way to refuel during a long workout.

Finally, if you feel dizzy or lightheaded during your workout, it can be a sign of slight dehydration.

When there’s not enough water in the blood, both blood volume and blood pressure drop, resulting in dizziness.

If this happens, stop what you are doing and sip on water or a sports drink and it may be best to leave the session until another day when you are properly hydrated.

Keeping well hydrated is a great way to improve your training sessions and your performance.
With the summer on its way and the good weather hanging around for a while, if you are intending on getting more active, remember the tips above and you will be having a safe and hydrated workout.
#TrainSmart

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HOW TO TRAIN FOR A MUD RUN

Mud runs are becoming more and more popular.

Each county is opening their own versions of the larger events and more and more people are taking part in them.
With such huge variations in the type and length of these events, it has to be asked;

How exactly should you train for a mud run?

mud

 

There are a few considerations that you should take into account before you start training for one of these events.

  • Your experience
  • The type of the event
  • Are you in it to compete or just to complete it?
  • What is your current fitness level?
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  1. The first consideration and the one that most people tend to overlook is the actual length of the course and your Aerobic Capacity.
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Hell and Back is 8km (The Rushe Fitness crew will be competing as usual)

Tough Mudder is 20km.
(I have teamed up with Pat Divilly to take part in this event for charity in July. There is more info at the end of the article)

With such a difference in the length of both events, it wouldn’t make sense to train the same way for both.

Your aerobic foundation is hugely important in your ability to not only complete the event, but also to recover quickly after each obstacle.

If you are unsure how to go about this, HalHigdon.com has loads of free templates ranging from a beginners 5km all the way up to an advanced marathon training guide.

Head over there and select the right running template to suit your fitness level and the length of the event.

  1. The second consideration is your Strength Levels.
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With the wide range of obstacles throughout these events, you have to have a good base of strength.

  • Use bodyweight exercises
  • Compound lifts like squats, deadlifts, heavy presses, heavy pulls.
  • Functional work like prowler pushes, farmers walks, heavy sled drags, rope slams, tyre flips.
  • Grip strength for the dreaded monkey bars.
  1. The next consideration is your Speed and Agility work

I wouldn’t put as much emphasis on this as others, as most people who take part in these events are doing it for fun and just to complete the course.

Adding in some short sprints, cone drills and exercises like burpees etc., will be enough to see you through the event.

  1. The last consideration is your Mobility Work.
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The length of the course, the type of the terrain, mud, water, walls, crawling, running, walking and sprinting all take its toll on you over the length of the event.

Keeping yourself mobile and flexible will reduce the chances of injury and allow you to compete in the next event when it comes around.

Always remember the 5 P’s
Proper
Preparation
Prevents
Poor
Performance.
images (2)

There you have it; an outline to how you would plan out your mud run to help you to finish the course with ease.
#TrainSmart

If you would like to take part in one of these events, I regularly take groups to them and we have training geared towards this.

If you would like to team up with Pat Divilly and myself to compete in Tough Mudder and help 3 great charities through Project Impact, please contact me through the link below and I’ll send you on all the relevant information.
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REBUILDING THE CORE AND PELVIC FLOOR AFTER CHILDBIRTH

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to talk at the North West’s first baby fayre, ‘Bump and Beyond’.

My talk was on exercise post-pregnancy and had a huge emphasis on rebuilding the core and pelvic floor again after childbirth.

My wife had 2 C-sections with our daughters and wasn’t given any advice on proper training for the abdominal area.  The only thing she was told repeatedly was “Keep doing your kegels.”  While this is true, it’s not enough.

It seems to be a case of “Congratulations. Be careful now.  You have just had surgery.”

Let’s face it, if you had any other major operation in the abdominal region, you wouldn’t be allowed to pick up a cup for 4-6 weeks.

You do not get this luxury however after giving birth.

The abdominal area and the pelvic floor are extremely important.  Every woman wants them functioning properly after childbirth, but this is the area that is often the most difficult to regain control over.

The golden rule for exercise after any type of birth is to wait until after your 6 week check up with your doctor.

After that, the focus of your training should be on getting stronger and rebuilding the areas that were weakened during pregnancy.

Yes, weight loss is another goal to have, but it should not take precedence over getting yourself strong and healthy again.

Strength training should be your main focus after childbirth.

Using the right exercises will help strengthen your back and core is extremely important considering you will be lifting a baby that will get progressively heavier over the coming weeks.

You can use your own body weight, resistance bands, dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells depending on what you have at home, or what is available in your gym.

Home workouts may suit better at the start, as time is a luxury we don’t always have when we have a new baby in the house.

You can use anything in the 5-15 rep range for 2-3 sets and you should use proper form through all exercises.

So, if you were doing a squat for example, you would do 10 reps, take a short rest and repeat for 2-3 sets.

You can train the full body in each session, but you should have a focus on the posterior chain.

This involves the glutes (butt), hamstrings, and upper back muscles.

You have had all that extra weight on the front side of your body throughout your pregnancy and it can have an adverse effect on your lower back and your posture.

Exercises like Sumo Deadlifts, Squats, Reverse Lunges, Glute bridges, Hip Thrusts, Rows, and Pulling exercises for the upper pack should be your main focus.

They will help to strengthen the back and may prevent back pain!

When it comes to the core, the training you should be doing isn’t what you think.

Sit-ups are the last thing that you should do when trying to rebuild the core again.

Exercises like the ones listed below would be more suitable to what you need rather than sit ups.

Remember that the aim is to rebuild the area first, this should come before any thoughts of abs.

If Diastasis Recti is an issue, these 2 exercises below are a good way to start with some core training to help with this issue.

Problems with the pelvic floor can go on for years after childbirth if it is not strengthened properly.

Kegels (pelvic floor contractions) should be done daily.

Try and get in the habit of doing 1 or 2 sets of 10 repetitions when you can.

You can also progress these into your strength work, for example on the upward movement of a squat you can draw the pelvic floor up on each rep.

If you have problems with your pelvic floor, there are certain exercises that you may want to avoid.

Try to avoid jumping jacks, running, squat jumps and box jumps until your pelvic floor is rock solid and this could be many months postpartum, depending on your recovery.

Some women are capable of resuming physical activities within days of delivery depending if they were physically active before and during pregnancy.
In the absence of medical or surgical complications, rapid resumption of these activities has not been found to result in adverse effects.

Regular aerobic exercise in lactating women has been shown to improve maternal cardiovascular fitness without affecting milk production, or infant growth.
Nursing women should consider feeding their infants before exercising in order to avoid exercise discomfort.
Nursing women also should ensure adequate hydration before commencing physical activity.

If you are short on time, or have pelvic floor issues and you would like to get your strength and cardio training in, short mini circuits are a simple way to get them done.

10 reps each exercise on each side if applicable, 2-5 sets.

Whenever you choose to start back training again postpartum the most important consideration is starting slow and being safe.

If you have exercised before, consider your current fitness level. Do you have any injuries? Do you have any illnesses?  Always consult your doctor.

If you would like more information on training before, during or after pregnancy, check out this great resource here and you can also check out Jessie Mundell for great practical information also.
#TrainSmart

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ARE YOU WORRYING ABOUT EASTER EGGS AT EASTER?

This is going to be short and sweet today.

After all, it is a bank holiday and most of you are still in bed.

I am pre-empting an early morning strike by my 4-year-old which will scupper any chance of a lie in, but I usually get up at 5am, so 7am will be a bonus.

Over the last few days, in the build up to Easter, the fitness community started their usual nonsense.

Memes were being posted daily, telling people about the amount of calories that will be in the Easter eggs they might be thinking of consuming.

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The memes, like the picture in the header photo, usually state the item, the calories involved and the amount of exercise you would have to do in order to burn off whatever you were planning to eat.

Way to take the fun out of Easter ‘Fitness community’…Way to go.

images

Easter isn’t the time to be worrying about the amount of calories, carbs, and sugar that is in chocolate.

You have had all year to figure that out, and if you haven’t let it bother you up until now, there is no point in worrying about it over the one time of year where Creme Eggs are available and chocolate eggs and rabbits are plentiful.

We all know that over indulging in chocolate isn’t a good thing.

We all know that if you eat an inordinate amount of Easter eggs over a 12-hour period, chances are, we will have a week’s worth of calories to get rid of.

With the amount of free information that is on the internet, I would hazard a guess that none of you reading this didn’t eat your Easter eggs and think that you were sin, points or calorie free.

So why do these memes still clutter our news feeds any time we have a commercial holiday that revolves around eating?

It’s because some people think that they will make a difference.

I’m here to tell you that they won’t.

Not

One

Bit!

There are two ways that it will go if you are a gym, trainer, I.G ‘celebrity’ or fitness ‘motivator’ and you are trying to get your people to abstain from Easter. (This is excluding people prepping for competitions)

  1. Your followers will ignore you and eat the eggs anyway.
  2. Your followers will abstain, only to crack a few days later and gorge themselves in a binge and then have guilt related feelings after.

We have all year to stick to the plan and watch what we eat.

One day won’t mess things up.

Breeding guilt related feelings around food will however push you into a binge and purge type of eating pattern, which is worse for everyone.

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The take home message here for everyone is this;

Think about what you eat and the amounts that you are eating on all the other days of the year.

Have a diet that is sustainable, isn’t overly restrictive and allows for social occasions that you can enjoy with your family when they arise.

This might take a bit longer, but it will breed better habits and better relationships with food.

You will also get to enjoy occasions like Christmas and Easter without worrying about how many burpees you will have to do in order to burn off a crème egg.

Where’s the fun in that?

#TrainSmart

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SHOULD YOU FOLLOW CELEBRITY DIETS?

Zac Efron is currently filming the Baywatch movie, which is also starring The Rock.

The reboot sees Efron set to play Matt Brody, a character portrayed by David Charvet in the 90’s TV series, while Dwayne replaces David Hasselhoff as Mitch Buchannon.

Anyone who remembers the television series from the 90’s will remember it for 2 things;

  1. Extreme cheesiness
  2. A cast who were in extremely good shape. (and Pamela Anderson)

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If you spent the most of your day in a bikini or a pair of lifeguard shorts, you would probably make damned sure you were in great shape also.

Last week Efron tweeted a snap of what his diet consisted of for the movie.

“9 days of absolutely zero carbs & sugar. Only organic grass fed/free range protein and organic leafy greens.

Coming from some of the celebrity diets I have seen, it isn’t the worst of them.

A high protein and low carb diet, can help with weight loss and also help maintain muscle mass, but as with any diet, you have to know the full story.

However, he doesn’t give any context as to whether this was his entire diet throughout his training for the part.

If you have seen the photos that were released last week, he is in phenomenal shape, and is extremely lean.

But I would suspect that his ‘diet’ was more of a depletion for the shooting of the main scene where he is topless throughout completing a ‘Ninja Warrior’ style obstacle course.

For those of you that don’t know, a depletion is what bodybuilders have used for years to dump the remaining water and muscle glycogen, before stepping on stage.

It usually involves several days of something like what Efron posted with a refeed, increase in calories and carbs, the day before stepping on stage to fill the muscles again.

Efron also posted up a Cheat Meal that he consumed after the 9 days.

#Cheatday! Devoured a steak, 4 side potatoes/veggies, mac-n-cheese, 3 desserts, bread/butter, brick o cheese & caviar”

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After he posted these up last week, the media did what the media always do.

The released several articles revolving around his diet.

As usual, they labelled it as his sole diet and as I mentioned above, without the full context it is hard to say that this 128-character tweet was his sole diet for the entire shoot.

The cheat meal is something that can also cause some problems for those who do not understand them properly.

If you take what he is eating and you plug this model into a male who is overweight, you may get some initial weight loss.

However, it would be very foolish to think that they would end up with a physique like Efron’s.

It also could be counterproductive if not used correctly.

I used to use Cheat Meals when I first started out training people.

They were great for psychological and physiological breaks from dieting.

However, for some, the cheat meal ended up becoming an all you can eat binge, which ended up in the person taking in thousands of calories over the course of an evening.

The result of this was zero weight loss due to them cancelling out whatever calorie deficit they had created during the week.

Controlled refeeds or free meals can work, but they have to be controlled, both in calories and in macronutrients (Protein, Carbs and fats).

A binge simply doesn’t work.

On top of this, his tweet, gives zero context as to his training regime.

His diet and training was supposedly set out for him by The Rock.

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If you follow the Rocks Instagram account, he doesn’t do anything by halves.

He trains every day and sometimes twice per day depending on his role.

This is an important point when you are looking at how Efron ate as a whole.

If he was training Daily and twice per day on certain days, his calorie expenditure would be huge.

His cheat meals, wouldn’t have the same effect on his physique as they would to someone who was training 2-3 days per week and attempting the same diet plan.

The media loves to post about celebrity diets.

It garners attention, sells magazines and gets clicks on their websites.

The problem with this, is that for the majority of them, celebrity diets are extreme, irresponsible and excessive.

If we look at it as a whole, the celebrity is getting paid millions of dollars to look a certain way on screen.  They are willing to do whatever it takes to look the way the director wants them to look for those scenes.

We, however are not getting paid millions of dollars.

The way we want to look is not for a single scene in a movie or magazine cover, it is for day to day life.

Unfortunately, day to day life comes with day to day problems.

Trying to emulate a diet of a celebrity, who has nothing else to do but follow the plan, will be fruitless.

Their job relays on it, ours does not.

Theirs is for a certain scene.

Ours is for life.

While the diet Efron used may not be the worst one I have seen in regards to celebrity diets, using it for yourself without having it structured to you and your needs may not get you the results you are after.

It may not get you any results at all.

Setting up nutrition for someone is an individual process.

Please don’t get caught up in the hype surrounding the latest celebrity diet craze, they never live up to the hype.
#TrainSmart

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Recipes For Success

I know that for some of you, resolutions are a distant memory, but for those of you that are hanging onto your New Year’s goals by a thread, I am going to give you even more tips that will make it easier for you to stay on-track.

When it comes to food, the one thing that I try and get across to my Personal Training clients and to my Rushe Fitness class members, is that food should NOT be bland and boring.

It got to the point last summer where I went off and designed the Rushe Fitness Meal Planner for them to give them ideas on how to make good food more interesting and taste better.

It has 126 meal ideas in it ranging from breakfasts, lunches, dinners and even snacks and every one of them has loads of taste.

Why is this important you might ask?

That’s simple!

If your food does not look or taste appealing, you won’t want to eat it and therefore will be less likely to stick to your nutrition plan for any period of time.

After all, who actually enjoys eating bland and boring food?

I certainly don’t, and from training hundreds of people over the last few years, no-one else does either.
So, with that in mind, let’s give you some Recipes for Success.

All of these meals are low in calories and high in taste and exclusive to the Rushe Fitness Members!

Breakfast has been called the most important meal of the day, but for most people, a bowl of cereal is the most exciting option they can think of.

This recipe for Bacon and Egg muffins can be made the night before and simply heated the following morning.

Bacon and Egg Muffins.

INGREDIENTS
6 Eggs
2 rashers Bacon
1 small Onion, finely diced
1 tsp dried Oregano
½ tsp of Chilli Powder
1 tbsp. Donegal Rapeseed Oil

METHOD
1. Preheat oven to 180c (160f), 350f, Gas Mark 4.
Line a muffin tin with 4 paper cases.
2. In a bowl whisk the eggs & seasoning together.
3. In a small frying pan, using the Donegal Rapeseed oil, fry the bacon until crispy.
Allow to cool slightly and chop/crumble the bacon.
4. Add the bacon & onion to the egg mix. Beat well & divide between the 4 muffin cases.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until firm.
These savoury muffins can be eaten chilled & taken to work in lunchboxes and they are a great alternative to eating plain eggs which some don’t find appealing.

Lunch comes next.

Again, when it comes to lunch, the majority of ideas that I see are often based around soup, or a sandwich or a combination of the 2.

Those aren’t the most interesting lunches I can think of and I know we can do better.

BBQ Chicken and Bacon.

INGREDIENTS
4 skinless Chicken Breasts
4 rashers Bacon
Marinade
4 tbsp. Tomato Puree
1 tbsp. Fish Sauce
2-3 drops of Tabasco
2 tsp Honey
2 Garlic cloves, crushed

Method

1. Cut a few slashes into both side of the chicken breasts & place in a dish.
2. In a bowl mix together the marinade ingredients & pour over the chicken breasts. Make sure each breast is thoroughly covered in marinade.
3. Cover the dish & store in fridge for 4 hours or more.
4. Oil the bbq grill. Place chicken on the grill & cook for 8 minutes each side.
5. During last 4 minutes of cooking time. Grill bacon for 2 mins each side.
6. Serve chicken & bacon with fresh salad.
Chicken breast is something that people struggle with to flavour, this BBQ sauce is low in calories, carbs and fat and tastes great

Onto dinner.

For most people, this is something where most people actually do quite well, but it is easy after a long day to just order a takeaway and throw all your good work to the wayside.

I’m going to give you a takeaway with a difference.

This meal for 2 is really high in protein and super low in carbs, calories and fat.

Bombay Tiger Prawn Curry

INGREDIENTS

1kg Tiger Prawns, peeled & deveined
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tbsp. Curry Powder
1 tbsp. Tomato Puree
50ml Lime Juice
1 tbsp. Ginger, grated
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1 tsp Garlic, minced

Method

1 Onion, in chunks 2 tbsp Olive Oil.In a food processor, blend the ginger & garlic together. Next add the onion to make a paste.

2.In a large non-stick frying pan, heat oil over low heat & add the paste. Cook for 5 mins to release the flavours. Stir in the tomato puree & sauté for another minute.

3.Add the spices & continue to sauté for a further minute.

4.Add the lemon juice & bring to a simmer. Finally add the prawns & cook for 2-3 mins.

This is a great alternative to the local Indian curry that is loaded with calories and it tastes even better.

You can find similar recipes like these in my Free downloadable eBook, 40 Delicious Fat Burning Recipes, you canb find that here

If you would like to see more these recipes came from my New eBook, ‘Ditch The Diet’ and you can find that here

All these recipes have been tested by my clients and are awesome.

Try them out and let me know what you think.
#TrainSmart