SigFit Blog

TOP 5 WAYS TO STAY LEAN ON HOLIDAY

Top 5 ways to stay lean and healthy when you travel, the keys to fun and discipline.

I recently went back to the USA for my 10 year high school reunion. I had a great time but found myself in a country that is carb crazy and has a real lack of healthy options when you can’t cook for yourself. I was gone for 10 days and 3 of those days would be in the fun, fried food filled world of Disney Land. I am a big believer in moderation of good and bad foods when on holiday, because no one remembers that great salad you had at Disney, it is always that great burger or ice cream. How do you make smart choices while still having fun? The name of the game is risk mitigation! So here are my 5 top tips to staying lean and healthy on holiday.

Top Tip number 1 to staying lean on holiday – Realistic expectations 

If you go into a holiday thinking to yourself that you will be perfect with your eating you are setting yourself up to fail. Holidays are there to relax, eat food and have fun. They key is to limit the foods that will do the most damage to your health and physique.

For example knowing what you are intolerant to and avoiding those foods is key. Food sensitivities are a major role in weight gain. When the stomach is inflamed then you cannot effectively absorb nutrients. This leads to the body holding onto everything and makes weight gain very easy. This will also lead to gut aches and other side effects that you may make it hard to leave the hotel room.

Top Tip number 2 to staying lean on holiday – Use the hotel gym!

Training when on holiday is a great idea and only takes 20 – 45 min of your time. If you do it in the morning it will set you up for an energetic day of site seeing. Weight training is the most effective may to keep the chub at bay and increases insulin sensitivity which fights back that mid section fat.

To do an effective travel workout you don’t need a lot of equipment, remember you are looking to maintain not make any great gains. Here is an example of a great hotel gym workout that in my travels would work in most gyms around the world.

A1 – DB or any weighted squats  12 reps  3 sets 45 sec rest

A2 – Chin ups or any vertical pull down   12 reps 3 sets  45 sec rest

A3 – Push ups or DB press  12 reps 3 sets 45 sec rest

A4 – DB or BB or cable Romanian dead lift  12 reps 3 sets 45 sec rest

This is an all over body program that has different loading options. The idea is to work the major moving patterns in minimal time and maximal output. This workout should take about 30 – 40 min, but you can add or take away sets depending on time.

Top Tip number 3 to staying lean on holiday – Alcohol….

What to do about alcohol. I am not a big drinker however when I go on holiday i like to have a couple drinks so I am not going to tell you not to drink when you travel because that would be ridiculous. The key is moderation and drink choice.

A gym in California has a drink called the Norcal Margarita it is a drink that is designed to maximise the effect of limited alcohol while keeping the drink low carb and gluten free.

The Norcal Margarita is Tequila, soda water and the juice of a whole lime. Let me explain how this works.

  1. Tequila is gluten free, gluten is a massive irritant to the gut and in my opinion should be avoided by everyone.
  2. The soda water allows the alcohol to break the blood brain barrier faster which means that you dont need to drink as much to the same effect.
  3. The juice of the lime counters the insulin spike from the sugars in the alcohol which makes the effect of physique far less.

This drink is a great option if you feel the need to drink, but remember to always drink responsibly : ). So the risk of weight gain through alcohol is minimised by smart choices.

Top Tip number 4 to staying lean on holiday – Walk don’t drive

If you are staying in a centrally located hotel and things are within walking distance, and that doesn’t mean less than 100meters, then use that opportunity to get in some incidental exercise. Cabs are expensive and in most cases you can walk to major attractions, the calorie burn and endorphin kick from a good walk can help to keep the holiday flab at bay.

Top Tip number 5 to staying lean on holiday – Sleep!

Sleep is a major factor to weight loss and weight gain. If you are not sleeping right it is very hard to loose or even maintain your physique. That first night sets up the whole trip, jet lag  can be a killer so the key is to fight the naps the first day and try to get a good night sleep and wake up at a good time so that you are used to that time zone as fast as possible.

Sleep and the stress hormone Cortisol are linked and that hormone plays a key role in the storage of belly fat. So having a good night sleep is key staying lean and healthy while on holiday.

These are my top tips to staying lean and healthy when traveling. Holidays are there to have fun so don’t restrict yourself too much, have fun, drink and be merry as they say but make smart choices and fit in a training session every couple days and all should be well when you return.

Photo Credit: Sammi Boon, SigFit Coach

HOW TO LOSE UNWANTED ABDOMINAL FAT

Belly fat, or abdominal fat… how do I rid myself of it? Belly fat is one of the most popular topics researched on the Internet. If I had a dollar for every time I have heard how do I lose this abdominal fat?” I could retire now!

The target area we are speaking of is the fatty tissue around the umbilicus. To learn how to rid yourself of this unwanted fat, you need to understand what is causing it and what are the solutions to eliminating it.

Cortisol, What Is It?

So lets start with what is causing fat to be stored around the abdominal area. Cortisol is a stress related hormone that is secreted by the Adrenal gland. Cortisol begins synthesis of glucose, fats or proteins to be utilised as energy for a time of need. It could be acquired when playing a sport or under a stressful situation in your workplace. Cortisol has a purpose to help with energy, although on the flip side, it can also promote fat storage around the umbilicus area.

What Are The Triggers To Abdominal Fat Storage?

  • Workplace stress
  • Relationship stress
  • Food Allergy Stress

These are the common three causes I see every day, although there are more! So the stresses you are looking for are either internal (body) or external (environment) in nature. Either of these three, when out of balance, causes fat storage around the umbilicus area.

LOWER Stress Levels

Workplace and Relationship stress are the bodies external or environmental stresses. There are many effective ways to reduce stress, although I think many aspects of stress could be reduced by simple activities like;

  • Yoga or Martial arts
  • Walking in the outdoors
  • Participating in Recreational sports
  • Enlist the help of a counsellor or life coach
  • Meditation

Food Allergy Stresses

Food allergies act as a stress on the body and are a common occurrence. They will help promote fat storage to the belly which is the bad news! The good news is you 100% totally control this stress because you decide what you EAT!

There are some common foods like wheat, nuts, gluten, yeast, eggs and dairy to name just a few which are quite common causes of food allergy stress. A simple way to remove common food allergy stresses is to begin the Palaeolithic eating plan. The Paleo diet plan removes the common food allergy problems by removing dairy, grains, refined sugars and salts as well as saturated fats!

Simple & Effective Training Methods to Reduce Abdominal Fat

  1. Resistance Training – One of the fastest ways to reduce body fat is through resistance training at least three times per week. Select a Hypertrophy (lean mass gaining) model. Which simply means your workout should consist of at least 30-45 sets in total and a rest period between sets of 60 seconds maximum. Perform at least 8-12 reps and   3-4 sets of a particular exercise.
  2. Full body exercises – (FORGET PERFORMING THE AB CRUNCH) do not waste your time on 20 minute abdominal programs when body fat percentage is the real key for an exposed abdominal wall, or body fat of 13% maximum. Select exercises like the squat, dead lift, chin up, bench press and dip to truly get a growth hormone response to metabolise fat.
  3. Interval Training – Interval training or sprint training is far superior to LSD (Long Slow Distance Training) as Interval training promotes Lactic Acid build up (the feeling of tiredness during training.)The body is forced to secrete growth hormone to buffer      the blood circulating the body which in turn metabolises the bodies fat stores.

 

Supplements That Make A Difference

  1. Phosphatidyl Serine – PS is a supplement designed to block production of Cortisol which is a stress related hormone. To be taken 15-30 minutes after a workout. This prevents muscle breakdown.
  2. Liquorice Supreme – Liquorice Supreme helps extend the life of Cortisol which promotes a lesser amount in the body.The bodies daily energy curve will be improved with higher Cortisol levels in the morning. High levels of Cortisol is designed to wake you up in the morning and lower in the evening when the body should be calming down and getting ready for a healthy sleeping pattern.
  3. Serenity 2.0 -Serenity is one of the fastest ways to get the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis to calm down. Some formulas block Cortisol after its been made; Serenity 2.0 is an upstream approach by decreasing the bodies signals that tell us to make all that Cortisol in the first place.

Conclusion

Belly fat, or Abdominal fat, is an area where fat is stored purely through life’s stressors, both internal and external. Simply control these stresses through correct exercise prescription and holistic stress relieving methods such as supplementation and stress relieving lifestyle practices. Signature Fitness utilises the Bio Signature method to monitor the umbilicus site and produce amazing results of a lean looking stomach.

Top 3 Tips To Get Toned Abs

January 26, 2016

Abs   Blog  

Top 3 tips to getting toned abs by summer

Summer is just around the corner and it seems that people are scrambling to try and get some tone and definition around the mid section. So here it is, the top tips to getting abs by summer!

  1. Weight training using large compound exercises. Weight training is by far the best way to lose fat and get muscle tone. Tone is simply a lack of body fat. You cannot spot reduce, so when trying to get toned abs you need to work the whole body and use exercises that will cause a good hormonal spike and calorie burn. At SigFit we do weight training that looks something like this to ensure that our members get the best opportunity to get the abs they want.
    1. Squat with a Barbell or Dumbbell, 10 reps 5 sets
    2. Chin up or variation of chin up, 10 reps 5 sets
    3. Bench Press BB or DB, 10 reps 5 sets
    4. Romanian dead lift BB, 10 reps 5 sets

This program hits all the major body parts and is better than any run, pump class or bootcamp because it is using a very effective rep range for fat loss.

2.  Eating for your goal. Eating for weight loss and eating for fat loss are different things. Eating for health and eating for fat loss are also different, not to say that eating for fat loss is not healthy. You need to make the distinction between eating for health and maintaining a healthy routine and eating for a goal. There are many different ways to eat for fat loss, the most common way that people tend to go after fat loss is a low carb intervention. At SigFit we tend to put most people on a 2 week low carb bootcamp that gets great results. The long story short is that we get people to eat about 10% of their daily calories as carbohydrate. Carbs are any fruit, veggie, sugar based or wheat based product. So the bulk of the food for the two weeks is meat and green veg. The big things to cut out are wheat, dairy, sugar, corn, legumes and alcohol. Now before you spit our your food it is only 14 days so just suck it up and get it done. We are a lot more personalised in the gym but for the sake of this blog you can give it a crack with the provided info. If you want to get the whole story just click the free trial button and we will give you all the info and 2 weeks free training to kick start your journey.

3.  Don’t tell anyone that you are on a diet or going to do a big transformation!

We have all heard the line that being positive attracts positive, but anyone that has seen a magnet knows that is total crap. When you are positive there will always be someone that tries to bring you down or those friends that tell you 1 drink wont matter.  I always tell our members that the reasons why they are doing this are their reasons alone, and no one needs to know that they are doing it or should have any input into you changing your mind.

If you think that you could use some help in either training, nutrition or both then please feel free to click the 28 day challenge link HERE All the best on your journey to get abs.

Matthew Boon

Founder of SigFit

Top Tips To Bigger Arms

January 26, 2016

arms   blog   weight training  

Arms seem to be a massive focus for a lot of guys out there. Which is understandable because your arms are on show far more than any other body part, so it does make sense to want to present them well. The problem that I see is that most guys go about getting massive pythons all wrong. Everyone is doing bicep curls and not many people have decent pipes. Here are my top tips to getting bigger arms.

Top Tip #1 – “The day ends in “Y” so therefore its arm day… FOR GODS SAKE DO A LEG DAY!

In order to put 1 inch on your arms you need to gain 5kg of overall body weight. The best way to put on overall size is to train your legs. The hormonal response to leg day will greatly increase the response you get from the almighty arm day. When trying to build a specific muscle group you need to program it regularly but you cannot neglect the rest of the body. Here is a great split to grow arms.

Monday – Back and Bi’s

Tuesday – Chest and Tri’s

Wednesday – REST

Thursday – Legs

Friday – Bi’s, Tri’s and Forearms

Sat – Shoulders and Calves

Sun – Rest

Top Tip #2 – Don’t train the joint, train the muscle

There is a massive difference between how a body builder does an arm curl and how you are currently doing an arm curl. Most people just go through the motions, feel the burn and are really just training the joint. When you train properly and you are training for size not strength then an arm day is equally as unpleasant as leg day. What I am talking about is intention training. Intention training is the hardest and most mentally demanding form of weight training, it also results in a massive whack to your ego bc you will have to almost half your weights. Next time you are staring at yourself in the mirror doing some curls, try this… Pick a weight that you can do 10 of without massive effort, then on each and EVERY rep do the following. Flex your bicep as hard as possible on the way up and flex your tricep as hard as you can on the way down until you reach full extension. It feel totally different to just doing a bicep curl. This will force more blood into the muscle, you get a much harder pump and the growth you get is far superior. You do the same on leg day and back day etc. Flex and squeeze the prime mover as hard as you can on every rep.

Top Tip #3 – If your abs are showin, you aint growin…

If you want to look big you need to eat big. In order to get significant results then you need to pick a goal and go for it. I hear guys tell me all the time they want to build muscle and drop body fat. I always say so which one is it. Don’t get me wrong you can get bigger and your body fat % can drop but that is only because you are heavier. The amount of fat in KG’s will stay the same but because you are heavier the relative % is lower. This is always confuse people. My advice is to drop body fat first until you are around 10 – 12% body fat and then work on size. Having the majority of your carbs around workouts and in the evening and making sure to the in a caloric surplus is the easiest way to gain size.

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