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This is the months program, give it a crack and enjoy. To get some more help click the link to get a 7 day FREE trial FREE TRIAL
Monday - quads and glutes
Tuesday - back and glutes
Wednesday - Shoulders and arms
Thursday Met-con
Friday is a heavy all over body day
Saturday - Met-con

TOP 10 MYTHS ABOUT TRAINING, FOOD AND SUPPLEMENTS – HOW AND WHY WE ALL GOT FOOLED. PART 1

There are so many myths about food, supplements and Training that I thought I would take the time to bust some of these common mis conceptions and explain where they came from and why they have stuck around.

Myth number 1 – Squatting below 90 degrees is bad for the knees

The study that has been dis-proved over and over and over again still gets spouted by many trainers, doctors and health professionals all over the world is one of the most ridiculous urban myths in the health and fitness arena.

Back in the early 1980s a study came out that squatting below 90 degrees puts huge strain on the AC Ligament inside the knee joint which makes squatting below 90 degrees bad for you. First lets look at the study itself, Studies are graded and have different parameters for a study to be effective it must meet certain criteria. When doing a study you must have a control group and the variables must be known and minimised. If you plan on doing a study on squatting you would need to take people with no previous injuries that effect the squatting pattern, the participants would need to have similar training ages. The participants would need the be competent in the movement and they would need to be of similar strengths so that all the variables are accounted for and then you can compare the control to the experimental participant and that is how you would get data. How that data is interpreted is a different story but that is a very simple explanation of what steps need to be taken. This study that has found its way into training folklore did none of those steps, making it totally useless. The data did show an increase in strain when squatting below 90 degrees but it has since been shown that that strain is just the ligament working and doing its job of stabilising the knee. If it was unhealthy to squat how would cave men have gone to the toilet or

Myth number 2 – Locking out your joints is bad for them

I have no idea why this myth came to be. It does not make much sense to me, if we are not meant to lock out our joints then why can we do it? The best way to work a muscle is to use the full range of motion.

The joint is safest and most stable at full flexion and full extension, in other words at the two extremes of movement. This is when the ligaments, tendons and other associated tissues are stabilising the joint best. In a squat the safest parts are at the very top and at the very bottom, so it is safer to go all the way down then it is to stop half way, 90 degrees. At 90 degrees the joint is at its most vulnerable so trying to change direction then is infinitely more dangerous then the arse to grass alternative.

Myth number 3 -Red Meat and Fat are bad for your heart, the cholesterol myth 

(Deep breath and control the anger) Well this is a great myth that filtered itself into the psyche of modern society. This myth came about from a study conducted by Ancel Keys,This is a funny look at the study, http://rawfoodsos.com/2011/12/22/the-truth-about-ancel-keys-weve-all-got-it-wrong . The study found that a diet high in dietary fat and cholesterol increased the risk of heart disease and cholesterol.

To get this over quick we can cut to the very same man 30 years later when he said,There’s no connection whatsoever between the cholesterol in food and cholesterol in the blood. And we’ve known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit. He was commissioned by wheat companies to conduct this study, He was coerced into throwing out the data that didn’t coincide and fudge the study to come up with the conclusion that dietary fat and cholesterol are evil. If you want to learn about the whole story read, Good calories, Bad calories by Gary Taubes.

Suffice to say there is literally no decent science that links dietary cholesterol and the consumption of natural fats from meats, dairy and nuts to increased risk of heart disease, yet the common answer to high cholesterol is eat grains and avoid fat. There are many things wrong with that statement, so many in fact that it would take 10 blogs to finish. Here is a link to a couple of FaceBook posts I made on the subject and a link to Chris Kresser that can answer all your questions.( http://highcholesterolplan.chriskresser.com )

Myth number 4 – Cardio is better for fat loss than weight training

This one is a quick one. What happens when you run for extended periods of time? You burn fat and muscle. If you want to look athletic and have the ability to stay lean then you need to maintain a decent level of muscle mass. Therefore doing anything that urns muscle is going to be counter productive in the long term.

This is the reason for the 6 week rule. People that do nothing but cardio loose weight in the first 6 weeks then plateau and usually quite and rebound very fast due to lack of muscle mass. People that do weights usually don’t loose any weight on the scale for the first 6 weeks, but they do loose body fat although it is hard to see changes unless you measure regularly. So that person quits after 6 weeks bc they aren’t loosing weight on the scale. The scales don’t tell the whole story! It is very hard to see yourself get lean, so when you start a weight program get your body-fat done and take photos that way when you think about quitting look and compare before you crack it and dive into a pool of chocolate.

Myth number 5 – Weight training will make you bulky and slow

This is a myth that is made worse by body builders and people that train purely to get absolutely massive. This form of training is not indicative of normal resistance training and realistically requires so much time and discipline that unless it is you job or passion you will never achieve those kind of results.

One of the most amusing things i hear is that people don’t want to get too big. The amount of effort it takes to get too big is hard to realise unless you have done or sen people do it. When weight training is done properly and with purpose it is the best way to become leaner, faster and quicker. The best ways to become a better sprinter is to increase range of motion, perfect form and make the hamstrings stronger. When the knee can flex harder it can flex faster which equates to more speed.

It has been shown that it takes about 8 hours of constant tension to lengthen a muscle. What that means is that stretching, yoga etc do not actually make your muscles longer, they can help with facial release which adds flexibility. Weight training uses your muscles through your full range of motion and allows you to have functional use of those muscles.

Part 2 will cover 

Myth number 6 – You cant absorb supplements

Myth number 7 –  Weight training is unsafe and causes injury

Myth number 8 – If you don’t eat carbs you wont have no energy

Myth number 9 – A high protein diet is bad for your kidneys

Myth number 10 – The food pyramid is the healthiest way to eat

I DON’T HAVE THE ENERGY, 5 TIPS TO A GREAT NIGHTS SLEEP!

Feeling tired all the time and struggling to wake up of a morning. This problem is common but by no means natural. The key to good energy levels throughout your day is a great nights sleep of 8 hours. All Anabolic (muscle repair) Hormones are produced during sleep and this is when the recovery takes place and the body regenerates.

Read my 5 tips to getting a great nights sleep every night and maintaining good energy throughout your day.

1. GET TO BED AT A DECENT HOUR 10PM, AT THE LATEST

The human body runs in cycles and not sleeping before 11pm and rising before 6am create unnatural rhythms.

2. SETUP YOUR SLEEPING SPACE

This means turning off all electrical equipment in your bedroom, NO TV,COMPUTERS,MOBILE PHONES OR SOUND SYSTEMS as these all create distractions whether they are audio or visual and keep you awake at night or trouble staying asleep.

3. TURNING OFF THE MIND & BODY

A Suitable way of turning off before bed time is reading in bed. Try reading material which is a escapism to your everyday life like short stories,magazine or uninteresting book which settles the mind into a calmness. Don’t read material you are currently studying or need to remember as this will only keep you awake.

4. NO STIMULANTS OR EXCESSIVE WATER AROUND BEDTIME

Try not having caffeine after 2pm during the day as this will have an adverse effect on your sleeping patterns and can also act as a diuretic. Limit your water intake to one glass of water with your evening meal as a preventative measure.This will decrease your chances of needing to get up in the middle of the night to use the toilet which will give you unbroken sleep. A full nights sleep required is 8 hours without waking up at all.

5. ROOM BLACKOUT

When you are fast asleep in a darkened room your body naturally produces the hormone Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the brain to keep you asleep at night. Once morning arrives and your bedroom becomes lighter the body stops producing this hormone. At this time the body naturally begins to start to wake up and ready itself for the morning activities. Start by blacking out all natural light getting into the room with curtains or drapes over the windows and a towel under the door jam to prevent light getting into the room. Turn off any digital alarm clocks as remember you want complete darkness, try using a battery powered alarm clock!

Conclusion

The Key to weight loss is a great nights sleep as recovery from exercise and life’s everyday stresses is vital to having your energy levels heightened throughout your day.

Lenny explains the elusive and magical world of the front squat!

Lenny Chadd

Watch this video with one of our founders Lenny, to get our top tips to eating to get those elusive abs!

Lenny Chadd

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 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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