Author Archives: Luke Scott

Exercise Myth Busters: Exercise is useless for weight loss

Well, this blog post has been inspired by the recent article on The Age website titled : The exercise myth that I have had brought to my attention yesterday.

The article is goes on to talk about exercise and weight loss and new book which claims that exercise is useless for weight loss. The article then shares a number of great points from David Driscoll an exercise physiologist and sports dietitian.

My summary of this would be that as many of you may have found when you exercise you can have an increased appetite.  Keep this in check and you will go a long way to dropping the kilos and improving more than just your weigh, as we all know exercise has vast and important benefits that are far greater than weight loss or even weight maintenance.

Another thing thing mentioned to be mindful of is the fact that many of us want to reward our hard work with a larger serving size at our meals or a treat after dinner because of how very hard we have worked! However the fact is that sometimes these rewards can actually throw us back over our calorie budget and we can many times end up doing more harm that good in the overall scheme of things. Being over our daily calorie budget we can end up actually putting on weight if we do this consistently.

So the moral of the story… Exercise can certainly help us with more than just losing weight but don’t lose sight of the simple fact that what is going into your body is key when you are watching your weight. It will determine how much out put you need to achieve to bring your body to a point of calorie deficit and therefor weight loss.

Snack Attack

Snack AttackSo here we are, back again with another nutritional post to help you with your eating. A big thank you to those of you who got involved and asked question here on the blog, over on our twitter or even on our facebook page. Remember the more you get involved the more we know about what you need help on. And that leads us onto today’s post.

Since our last nutritional post we have had a lot of our clients asking us about the best snack choices.

So that is the theme of this weeks nutritional post.

You might be thinking that snacks are what you need to stay away from if you are trying to look after yourself. However they are crucial in helping you achieve long term health and weight control.

Whether you are after muscle gain, increased performance or weight loss, ensuring you have adequate fuel through out the day and a consistent blood sugar level will prevent you from getting overly hungry. When we are hungry and haven’t planned adequately we tend to snack on the wrong types of foods to give ourselves a quick kick of energy. This is what we are trying to avoid.

So what are the best things for us to snack on?

Well particularly for body fat loss, as that is what most people want to know about, protein is one of the best options to help you ward off hunger. But it is important to remember what we brought up in our last nutritional post. Relying on supplements and foods that are artificially produced is not the best option. Look for unprocessed whole food sources of protein first! Portein bars and powders definitely have their place, especially when we are talking about rapid uptake post exercise. However as a general rule you need to focus on real food when snacking just as much as at your main meals.

Now we need don’t want to get stuck on just eating protein when snacking. It is not a magic bullet. We need to address the other macronutrients as well (macronutrients are your grouped nutrients of carbohydrates, fats and protein). Would your dinner consist entirely of protein? A steak or chicken breast on it’s own is no one’s idea of a complete meal option (and if it is that’s got to change pretty quickly), so why should your snacks be any different. Snacks should have a little from each macro nutrient group.

Remember carbohydrates are not the enemy. Your body wants and needs to run on it. But as we mentioned last week in “Eat real food and your body will see real benefits” you need to make your body work for the energy it is to get. Your snacks need to be viewed in the same way. Go for things with as little human intervention as possible. Things your body needs to work at to unlock the energy.

It is also important to remember all of your snacks need to be just as controlled in their portion size as your main meals are. Get carried away and you will be fighting an up hill battle and may end up putting on body fat.

If you are someone who is not currently eating snacks and you want to add them into your diet something will have to give. It is not enough just to add a morning and afternoon snack into your day or you are just eating more each day. You will need to cut back the size of your breakfast, lunch and dinner. The plan is that you will be able to do this without getting hungry as you will be stabilising your blood sugar level across the day and avoiding a big drop off in energy.

Remember we want you to combine carbohydrates, proteins and fats for the ideal snack options.

Now that all of that is said and done here is my list of snacks that get my tick of approval:

  • Fruit
  • Fruit salad (always a better option as variety will help, but watch your portions)
  • Dried fruit
  • Fruit balls
  • Berries
  • Olives
  • Naturally fermented pickles
  • Tuna
  • Sashimi
  • Smoked salmon
  • Shredded turkey
  • Shredded chicken
  • Lean ham
  • Nuts (unsalted!)
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Simple omelette
  • Seaweed salad
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Trail mix
  • Avocado
  • High quality natural full fat yoghurt (yes full fat, not low fat and full of refined sugars)

Remember to watch your portion size with all of these as it is easy to get carried away. Take your snacks to work with you daily in tupperware containers so as you take only as much as you need for morning or afternoon. Otherwise you might end up polishing off a whole packet of almonds or something similar.

Suggestions for the list?

Questions about things I have included? Let’s hear em!

How I lost 80kgs and changed my life!

Hi, my name is Connie and I am one of the very first clients of Revolution Personal Training.

This is my story about the transition that I undertook to change my life.

Well… Where do I start… I have been a big person for most of my life. From at least the age of 10 onwards I have always struggled with my weight…

I’ll cut the story a little short or we would be here forever. Let’s just say I had tried everything under the sun when it comes to weight loss. You name it and I tell you, I have done it.

Upstream Challenge

Saturday the 19th of November was an awesome day for staying indoors, dry and warm, not leaving your house for the entire day. Maybe watching a few DVD’s. If you wanted to train it wasn’t a day for a sunny outdoors run enjoying the fresh air, maybe a gym day or even a swim (in the huge puddle at your local park).

So what did the members of Team Revolution do… Walked 50 km’s! The Upstream Challenge is a 50km walk from Docklands to Donvale raising money for Camp Quality, Disability Sport and Recreation, Entrust Foundation and Leprosy Mission Australia.

We kicked off at 7:00am from the Docklands. The walked started with the rain staying at bay – but at about 10km’s the heavens opened and we got saturated. From then on the day just got more wet with no opportunity to dry out. The walk was a really great experience but also a mentally exhausting challenge.

After our clothes dried out, and our body and blisters recovered we had forgotten the rain and remembered how fun the 50km walk was. Next year Team Revolution will be doing it again with the goal to beat this year’s placing finishing as the 9th team, completing the walk in 8 hours flat. We will also aim to beat our fundraising effort next time around.

Thank you to all of our supporters: fundraisers, support crew along the way and a Team members mum picking us up at the end! Team Revolution raised $460.00 and finished the walk in 9th Place! So next year join Team Revolution and be part of something great for charities that need our help!

Yoga – The Beginner’s Guide

Corporate Yoga ClassesYoga… put your hand up if you’re not sure where to start. For anyone exploring yoga it can be daunting trying to work out which style of class to attend. If you don’t know your Ashtanga from your Iyengar don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Whether you are looking to stretch and lengthen tense muscles, or increase physical strength and endurance, a yoga class will be available to suit you and your needs.

The amazing physical and emotional benefits of yoga include:

Lowering stress levels

Improving concentration & focus

Reducing pain

Increasing strength & mobility

Combating fatigue

Boosting energy levels

Lessening sickness

Building the immune system

To make it easier to find a yoga style that suits you, first work out what you are hoping to gain from your yoga practice. It might be worth looking at other factors in your life. If you participate in a lot of physical or sporting activities you may prefer a more relaxed, gentle yoga session.

On the other hand, if you spend many hours of the day stagnant at your desk you may need a more invigorating practice to get your blood pumping and body moving. In all styles of yoga you will also experience an incredible link to your breath and a feeling of balance and clarity.

You may see ‘Hatha’ used to describe many yoga classes as it is broadly recognised. ‘Hatha’ is a generic term that is used to describe any style of yoga that combines physical poses (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama) and meditation. In the western world if a class is described as Hatha style, it should give you a good understanding of the basic yoga postures and run at a gentle pace.

If you are attracted to a gentle practice that follows a slow, relaxed pace you many also like to explore Yin, Satyananda or Restorative yoga classes. These classes will be more calming for the body and mind and provide a soothing experience to leave you feeling stress-free bliss.

If you are at the other end of the scale looking for a strong physical practice try Power Vinyasa, Ashtanga or Hot Yoga. These styles are practiced in a warm or hot room to help detoxify the body and allow a deeper range of movement. These practices will weave through a fiery asana flow to build strength and mobility as well as boost energy levels.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many more styles of yoga waiting for you to discover and enjoy. Find a class close by to try, or get in touch if you’d like us to bring a yoga program to you. Whatever yoga you choose – get ready for transformation. Your body and mind will thank you!

Kacey Bennett is the Director of Kula Yoga – proud to be partnering with Revolution Personal Training. Kula Yoga delivers corporate yoga programs throughout Melbourne boosting the health and wellbeing of business employees.

Barefoot Running your ass off!

I’m sure many of you are reading this thinking “What the hell! I would never run in bare feet. That’s impossible!”. And maybe you should stick to that theory, but maybe not…

Firstly, just to get you thinking do you think they ran before there were shoes? Or did Gronk wait until shoes were invented before he ran away from the Sabre Tooth Tiger?

Ok, now that we have cleared that up, let’s get to it.

Barefoot running is a hot topic in the fitness industry at the moment. There is heated debate on both sides of the spectrum as to wether it is a valuable training alternative, a sometimes activity that can be beneficial or for the very passionate the only way to run!

Well what is it all about and should you consider barefoot running or barefoot training yourself?

My short answer for you is: No… Not unless you prepare your body, and your feet for it! And for gods sake choose the right surface.

Firstly what are the benefits of training in your bear feet?

Well the theory is that for a long time now our running and training shoes have been getting better and better. More technology, research and money has been getting spent to try to capture a slice of the extremely lucrative trainer/runner/sneaker market. As these shoes have gotten better, more supportive and have had better cushioning our feet have gotten lazier. They are having to do less to support themselves and as a result have gotten weaker.

As a result the muscles that support our arch lack the strength to do so. Our foot is constantly held into alignment when we exercise but high destiny rubber and arch supports. Our foot is becoming like much the rest of the western world, slack and maybe even a little flabby!

It is also suggested that wearing running shoes changes our natural biomechanics. The structure of the lower leg and arch of the foot is very good as absorbing shock and transferring this into forward propulsion. This is something that is limited when wearing shoes. The natural gate is altered when wearing shoes. It is not achievable to land with your heel first when running barefoot. Just thinking about hitting the pad of your heel down onto a hard surface like a concrete or gravel path is a little painful. However with a highly cushioned supportive shoe this becomes easily achievable. Through running barefoot, or in a shoe like the ‘five fingers’ (see below) we gain a more to a more traditional striking pattern of the foot, thus using more of the natural reactive properties of the foot.

So this is where barefoot training can come to our aid. I am not suggesting for one minute that you throw away your shoes and hit the pavement tomorrow, it would end up like a scene out of Die Hard far too quickly for anyone’s liking. A stubbed toe is painful!

asics 33

So what is a viable alternative? There are a lot of ways your can start to build up these muscles of your foot and lower leg before hitting the running track barefoot. This building up of the muscles of your lower leg and foot may also have other positive benefits for areas other areas of your performance. My advice on the first place to start would be to try one of a heap of the new range of ‘free fitting’ or minimalist training shoes such as the nike free or asics 33. Another barefoot inspired running shoe is the Saucony Kinvara, which as with the other two brands mentioned uses a sole with reduced cushioning and greater flexibility to encourage a more natural foot strike with the ground.

These shoes are all light weight and great for wearing whilst weight training. Be mindful not to hit it with a 10 km run first up though. Just wearing these shoes throughout your day to day activities or whilst cross training will put a lot more strain on your feet and lower leg than wearing your normal supportive running shoes. So build up to it. Don’t hit the running track in these minimalist shoes straight away.

These shoes are designed to provide less support and have your foot work that little bit harder however if you want to take this one step further then you’ll want to check out something like the Vibram 5 Fingers. They go that little further to make your feet work that little bit harder. They might make you look a little weird when your in the gym like you are going to try to peel your post work out banana with your feet, but hey the benefits may be huge for you. A client of mine has noticed a huge improvement in the tightness of her lower leg when she built up to her shorter runs whilst wearing these.

I have recently gotten myself some Vibram KSO’s so as to be able to provide a well rounded option here and I am pleasantly impressed. I have used nike free’s for my weight training for quite some time and after building up I am finding the feedback the Vibram’s are giving me through the soles of my feet another benefit which I had not expected. They are helping me to balanced better with single legged activities such as pistol squats and the like.

vibram five fingers

My recommendation if you are looking to get a bit of an edge by going barefoot, or if you are looking to add some barefoot training into your program to complement what you are currently doing in a well rounded approach, start in the gym. There are not many gyms that will allow you in there barefoot, with good reason (dropping a 20kg plate on your toe and leaving it behind might leave a mess and be a little off putting for fellow gym users). So my advice would be to use one of the multitude of shoes out there to help enhance foot strength whilst you are weight training.

If you are wanting to progress to wearing these less supportive shoes whilst running start with short distances to build up the strength of the supporting structures and muscles before going all out. Just as you would deadlift before you start snatching you need to build up the support system before tackling anything too long distance barefoot, or even in these stripped back shoes. Just remember if you do progress to total barefoot running rather than using a minimalist shoe chose your locations wisely. Run on grass and survey the area you are to be running on first. A puncture wound to your foot will really put the brakes on your training.

As far as being subjective and allowing people to make their own assessment on controversial matters such as this I think is a great idea. Now I could be considered a fence sitter here and possibly I am. I can feel the splinters now! So I have decided to provide two links to some great blogs on both the for and against arguments on barefoot running.

Weight Training in Vibrams

Running Barefoot Is Bad – Name gives you the idea of which angle this blog comes from.

The Running Barefoot – Coming from the other side of the argument.

So my advice… as I slowly and gingerly climb off the fence. Don’t become a crazy person turning up to fun run, or marathon barefoot, but do consider adding some barefoot or minimalist style shoe training into your overall program to aid it in a well rounded way. If you are finding you are getting a lot of lower leg injuries with your current foot wear, but up to minimalist shoe for your shorter runs. I would still say to look for something reasonably supportive for anything longer than 10km’s though, even if you are well trained and used to a minimalist shoe. If it is however part your sport that that certain footwear is required such as football, then try to do as much of your running as is achievable in the footwear you will compete in. Reserve the minimalist shoes for your time in the gym. Cross training or weight training in the gym in minimalist shoes would be my recommendation as part of a well rounded program to give you an edge.