Progress is key! Whether it be in business terms or personal terms. Sometimes we get caught up in the next big thing or the next goal and we forget to reflect on the past successes that have been made.

This week has been an amazing week! One of the busiest weeks I have ever had since I started and the feedback from clients has been great. Plus I have been knee deep on a side project that I want to have up and running by 2019!

The picture above is where I trained with a few mates and did a few PT sessions for friends on the side. Back then I didn’t know how much effort it took to be a personal trainer or what opportunities it could offer.

I was only doing it on the side because I thought I wanted to be a P.E. teacher but it didn’t work out. I can now honestly say that I’m glad it didn’t work out, I love this job!

Sunday is a great day to reflect on that busy week you have had and celebrate your success! I have made steady progress the last 2 and a half years but I am still nowhere near where I want to be.

Great day at the TrainerMind seminar. The knowledge you gain from these seminars is immense.

I have followed Jamie Alderton’s content for a number of years, the mixture between humour and no holds bar information is a skill in itself. Looking forward to trying new tips in the near future.

2 huge points I’ve learned is:

1) I need to start doing videos

2) I need a haircut

Things don’t always go according to plan in life. Sometimes we are fighting to squeeze a workout into our day. So here are 5 tips to get the best out of your short session:

1) Just like any session you should be going in with a plan of action (exercises, reps/sets & weights). I would suggest you have alternatives incase the machine you need is taken.

2) Aim to make the most out of your training by performing exercises with the biggest impact i.e. compound movements.

3) Modify the workout as much as required. One of my favourite ways to do this is to superset exercises.

4) Get the headphones on! You don’t need to have a conversation with everyone. Go in with tunnel vision and get the job done. If you want to avoid conversations the bigger the headphones the better!

5) If you have a choice between going in the morning or evening after work, go in the morning. The gym won’t be as busy and you will be more likely to stick with the plan.

So try these tips the next time you’re in a rush.

Bonus tips: Just because your time is cut short doesn’t mean you should go into a session with a bad mood. Life gets in the way sometimes but you just have to make the best of a bad situation.

I know I have already done a post in the past about the benefits of tracking foods but here are even more reasons to track food:

1) You gain knowledge and a better understanding of what nutrition is and what is considered a healthy diet in line with your goals.

2) You are creating your own diet. You might be adding food or removing food from your diet to stay in line with your calories and macronutrients. This can bring a willingness to stick to your own diet.

3) Habits are created from calorie counting. You can review what a good day/bad day is and how you can address the situation to have more good days than bad days. You may also spot patterns in behaviour e.g. Thursdays are always a bad day because you work late… solution is to prep food for the evening.

4) You will be more aware of what is in your food. Before buying food you should be checking the label. When you scan the item you should be able to easily read all the relative information and be able to make an educated decision on whether or not to eat it.

5) You will understand that with little effort it is not difficult to eat well. You will realise that the term healthy eating is very vague and you have endless possibilities to improve your diet.

We hear a lot about calories but what exactly is a calorie?

‘A calorie is a unit to measure heat.’ It is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree.

As you know I like to calorie count but it is not 100% accurate. Errors occur that are out of our control.

Calories can be measured in two ways:

1) Bomb calorimeter (measures calories in food)

2) Direct calorimeter (measures calories in humans)

Bomb calorimeter
Bomb calorimeter is a small oven-like box submerged in water. Food is placed in the oven and is electrified. While the food is burning up the heat of the water is increased and recorded.

This is not the most accurate test though for 2 reasons:

1) The human body doesn’t perform as consistently as the bomb calorimeter for a number of reasons. We could burn these calories slower or faster depending on our state i.e. Netflix and chill vs heavy resistance training.

2) Food companies are responsible for reporting how these foods perform. They report each individual component, and this is where the problem occurs – they don’t measure the calories directly but instead estimate them. All these small errors (estimates) can lead to bigger ones in total calories of the product.

Direct calorimeter
This testing involves a human inside the calorimeter rather than a food product (this calorimeter is about the size of a bedroom). The person could be in it from a few hours to a few days. The amount of heat produced from the body is measured directly.

This style of testing helps to create data which scientists use to formulate the average heat produced of a particular age, gender etc. while performing a particular test i.e. running, sleeping.

An issue with this though is that your metabolic rate could be different from the outside world compared to when you are in the calorimeter. This could be due to feeling anxious, nervous or tired, to name a few variables, which would effect results.

This is a very geeky post but it’s good to know what an actual calorie is and how foods get their calorie contents.

What’s the holdup?

Everyone has weaknesses. It can be ill health or some kind of injury. Some are more serious than others but nonetheless, some can affect our lives every day while other ones only affect us if we let it.

I work with a number of clients who have ill health or an old injury. If you saw them train though you probably couldn’t tell they had any issues. Why? Because the workouts are planned around these weaknesses, plus they have the right attitude. They could have an excuse not to do something but instead, they get the job done.

If you have an issue holding you back then you have to train smart. You might have to modify an exercise to suit you or maybe have to slow down at certain points during the session because of the issue playing up.

I have my own issues which I am prepared to deal with when I train. I have asthma and tendonitis in both my knees but thankfully these don’t really affect me. I have a plan in place to cope with these issues if they do arise and my training session can change depending on these issues, but it doesn’t affect the efficiency of the session.

The point of this post is that no one is perfect. We all have our own problems but usually, the excuses and your mindset hold you back more than the issue itself.