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Monday, 30 March 2009

The deal with protein

When men were men and girls did cardio, protein was for those who sought nothing but arms big enough to get stuck in a cat flap.

However, times have changed and now girls do weights (if they have any sense) and cats themselves are fat enough to get stuck due to being fed the same rubbish their owners eat.



With this new found wave of girls with great, toned bodies and metrosexual men with crap hair cuts came the multi-billion dollar protein industry with everything from 'Red Carpet Body Shakes' to 'Maxi Bicep Pump Magic' with more colours than a Willy Wonka golden ticket bar.



I too got suckered into thinking more protein equals more muscle.

However, after reading Brad Pilon's Eat Stop Eat e-book which comes with 'How Much Protein?' my eyes were opened wide to some interesting truths.

1) Nearly all research confirming the need for 5-6 meals per day all containing protein, has been funded by supplement companies.

You can work that one out for yourself.

2) Having shovelled as much protein in as possible to build muscle, was I really that much bigger over a few years?

The answer is 'not really'.

Surely if muscle growth was directly correlated to protein intake I would have nearly twice as much muscle as I had when I ate three meals per day containing protein, compared to six.

Brad goes on to discuss how many of the guys we see guzzling shakes and bars as soon as they're off the gym floor rarely make noticeable progress unless they are on the 'magic juice'.

This would indicate it is actually something wrong in their training programs.

3) There is strong evidence that past eating 70-120g of protein per day, extra protein will not be used to build extra muscle. (Small females towards the lower end and big boys towards the top)

Annoyingly, these amounts are the same as what was first discovered around 1900.

That was 100 years well spent then.

Girls listen up - many of you (and some blokes) do not get ENOUGH protein. You should be aiming for 70g of lean quality protein each day if you want to add muscle and burn more fat for a curvy, lean body.

4) Much of the research 'proving' that protein intake above these amounts led to greater lean muscle tissue is actually flawed as they are based not on measuring lean muscle tissue but on positive nitrogen balance in the body.

Brad tells us that at this time, there is no way to accurately measure lean muscle tissue increase and no concrete evidence that positive nitrogen balance means a proportionate increase in lean muscle tissue.

5) There is little evidence to suggest we are able to put on more than 2-5lbs of pure lean muscle tissue (not including water) over about 8 weeks.

You really must see the review of the research that Brad provides to fully grasp these concepts!

Self-experiment

As always I had to experiment on myself before agreeing or disagreeing with any of this.

Along with the intermittent fasting of the Eat Stop Eat program (I did one 24h fast per week instead of two as I'm not looking to drop weight), I reduced my protein intake from around 170g per day to 100-110g.

Bear in mind I am doing this during a 12 week tough conditioning program which isn't focussed on heavy lifting. I'm focussed solely on improving endurance, stamina, and power-endurance during this program which includes one long run each week.

You would therefore expect a drop in muscle mass due to lower protein intake if what we thought we knew about protein was right.

However, in the last 4 weeks my weight has remained exactly the same at 79kg with my body fat reducing slightly as can be seen below.



The other benefits of using Pilon's program are four fold:

1) My food bill has gone down by 20 GBP per week (about $30).

2) It was nice to have a day without having to worry about eating times and I got a lot more done because I timed it with my busy Fridays.

3) It made me realise that a lot of my 'hunger' is merely because I and the crappy fitness magazines have programmed me to think I need food (including lots of protein) every 3 hours or I am going to waste away.

This has also been great for self-discipline.

4) It automatically creates a calorie deficit for fat loss without needing to measure portions or rule your life by food times.


Before you protein monsters dismiss this, listen up.

Anyone that knows me well enough knows that the concept of Jon Le Tocq going 24 hours with nothing but water is absurd. I am an eating machine capable of devouring obscene amounts of food when required in eating competitions.

Thoughts about doing this bounced around my head for a good ten days but I ALWAYS experiment if I think it will bring clients and readers better results when they have stuttered to a halt.

You will surprise yourself and could completely change your approach to food both for yourself and for clients if you are a trainer!

I strongly suggest you check out Brad's program as soon as possible to discover the truth about protein.

Failing that, just experiment on yourself for a few weeks - you'll surprise yourself and could save a packet!

PS Brad has some very interesting thoughts on protein supplements...

Eat Stop Eat

Saturday, 28 March 2009

The single leg squat

I have a love-hate relationship with this exercise!

I love the effects on leg strength and hip/knee stability.

I hate how much concentration it requires to avoid falling off a table with a kettlebell shaped hole in the head.

The single leg squat and its variations should be one of the first players on your team sheet when designing a workout if you are looking to develop leg strength and power for sport or just functional strength.

Performed properly it will do wonders for developing strength through full range of motion on one leg - something sadly neglected in a lot of strength programs when too much emphasis is put on size and the 'big three' of squats, deadlifts and bench press.

Sport is not performed on two legs or lying on a bench, so why train like that.

These exercises clearly have their place in a strength program but they are not the be-all and end-all unless you're a powerlifter.

It takes time to learn and will require patience and significant amounts of flexibility and mobility work - so don't be impatient.

Here's me wobbling through my best ever in terms of weight!

You'll see me doing it off a high table - this is a good move for tall people who may not be able to get optimal results from working on the floor. Due to lever problems from having legs like a giraffe it can become rather awkward!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

The evidence for intervals trumping aerobic cardio

Here's some evidence as to why interval training must be a regular, tough, sweat-fest of a session on your training timetable!

This really is just some of the piles of research I have next to me!

Let's look at some answers to sceptics, aerobics fans and those who 'don't have time'...



But I want to improve my stamina for running / cycling etc

Gibala et al (2006) compared low volume sprint training with high volume endurance (typical of running fanatics).

Both groups performed 6 sessions over 14 days.

The HIIT group performed 4-6 x 30 second intervals @ 250% of VO2 max (very hard!) with 4 min rest inbetween.

The endurance group performed 90-120 min cycling at 65% of VO2 max (moderate).

The HIIT group did 2.5 hours of training over 2 weeks whilst the endurance group did 10.5h.

The results?

Muscle oxidative capacity improvements was similar in both groups so muscle endurance capabilities will have improved at about the same rate, but the HIIT group spent 8 hours less doing it over 2 weeks!

Aerobic exercise burns fat so it's better for fat burning

5 well trained distance runners were tested at each of the following:

2 hours @ 24% of VO2 max (low intensity)
10 minutes @ 81% of VO2 max (relatively high intensity but continuous)
2 minutes on 2 minutes off @ 89% of VO2 max (high intensity intervals)

(Brockman et al, 1993)

After one hour of finishing the sessions, oxygen consumption was significantly higher following the intermittent exercise.

After just 40 minutes, oxygen consumption had returned to base level in the walking test. This means no more fat burning until you do mroe exercise.

This means metabolic rate was much higher - more calorie / fat burning whilst at rest!

I've heard you burn more calories at the time of aerobic exercise.

This MAY be true but check this study out!

A 20 week endurance program was compared with a 15 week High Intensity Interval Training program. (Tremblay et al, 1994)

Over those weeks, the endurance group burned 120mJ of energy during exercise whereas the HIIT group burned 57.9mJ.

Surely endurance wins then?

Not when you consider that the HIIT group showed more pronounced reduction in body fat!

So they trained for 5 weeks less but lost more fat - SHORTER TIME TO RESULTS!

When they adjusted the results to compare fat loss in proportion to the cost of energy of the exercise sessions, the HIIT group lost 9 TIMES as much fat.

It should be pretty clear now why I force home the point that how many calories you burn in a session is largely irrelevant - ignore calorie counters on cross-trainers etc!

Yeah lots of science but does it work for real people?

Testimonial shots from normal people following http://www.fatlossactionblueprint.com





http://www.fatlossactionblueprint.com

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The reason you're failing

I've seen this so many times, it's time to write an open and honest letter to those who are getting nowhere.

Look, I love you guys and I love the emails I get asking questions but sometimes we all need a slap to wake us up, so that's what I'm delivering today!



I have had personal training clients, mentor clients and FLAB followers say something very similar to this....

"Hi Jon, I've hit a plateau and not really losing any weight. Can you help explain it? I'm not sure this program is working"

The answers are invariably the same on all fronts.

1) You say you're following the nutrition guidelines then I find out from your food diary that you're.....

...still having 4-5 glasses of wine per week
...staying out late on weekend nights
...having high levels of carbs for breakfast when you're not training until that evening if at all
...not drinking nearly enough water
...having far too many treats
...still drinking coffee because you mistakenly believe it helps your energy levels
...you're still eating bread and milk because you like it

(Bonus tip - don't post photos of you getting pissed on facebook then act confused about lack of results...)

If I ask you to eliminate ALL processed foods and eat clean, healthy foods ALL the time, this is what you must do.

Doing it 80% of the time will get you nowhere.

You are either following guidelines or you are not.

Consequently you are either getting results or you're not! It's that simple.

If you are overweight, and then embark on following the Storm Force Nutrition Blueprint or any other clean eating plan, you WILL lose body fat unless you have some serious medical condition.

Even then it will more than likely still work very well.

Yes these changes may be difficult at first but that's the way it is.

Noticeable results require noticeable changes. You must accept this, immediately not in 4 weeks time.

2) Not MAKING time to get 4 or 5 intense metabolic weight training sessions done each week.

Doing one, even if it is personal training is not NEARLY enough and won't make the slightest bit of difference.

Don't think that by having taken the step to get a trainer or mentor you are about to discover some magical method which brings results.

Yes it is a huge step but only if you do EXACTLY what you are told.

I don't waste time with people by giving out exercises like bicep curls and tricep extensions for fat loss.

Everything you are told to do is for a specific reason so if you don't do it regularly, as a priority and with intensity which leaves you needing you recovery time, only mediocre results will follow if at all.

Even when I train myself I doubt whether I can get through some sessions but I am so focussed on my goals that I push my limits as much as I can.

This FORCES your body to change - it literally has no choice.

And no pilates, yoga, golf and taking the dog for a walk do not count WHATSOEVER.



These may be done in addition to prescribed programs but DO NOT replace what you should be doing for your fat loss / muscle building training.

3) You keep altering your program because of social events or not having enough time.

You need to start making time to get all of the required training in every single week.

Chopping the intervals in half because you had to meet your friend is going to chop your fat loss results in half if not more.

If you want life-changing results, you need to start living the lifestyle required, not just do it for 2 weeks whilst motivation is still high.

You need to develop mental strength through solid goal setting so that you can do it day in, day out.

You need to learn to turn down social invitations if you are too weak to avoid alcohol when you're there.

Also, blaming your work schedule is not productive. Yes I'm sure you do have lots of appointments but if you want results you need to MAKE time.

Many people have done this with great results and they are busier than you!

If you're not willing to do this, please don't blame the program.

It is your fault and YES, you DO have a choice you are just not willing to make it.


Every moment is a chance to start again.

If you messed up last week don't dwell on it but take the necessary steps to stop it from happening again!

So have a think and be honest with yourself whether you're on one of my programs or someone elses.

Are you REALLY doing it 100%?

Jon

PS If food boredom is killing you get the Storm Force cookbook

Monday, 23 March 2009

How to structure a training week

This post is no doubt going to leave me open to those who disagree and tell me that you should have a clear linear periodisation plan that first builds strength then converts it to power etc.

Put your toys back in the pram and your periodisation textbook back on the shelf. Science is great, real world results are better.

Just to prove how powerful this can be, I yesterday ran 8.25 miles in 58 minutes which included 8 x 50m STEEP hill climbs up and down on grass at half way and a fairly steep road hill at about 7 miles.

Whilst this is not anything that special to a 'runner' I run once per week because I have to get ready for an endurance event I am doing in July.

I hadn't run until February.

I have also maintained my muscle and kept body fat at about 7% rather than ending up like a stick thin Sunday Shuffler / Pavement Pounder.



I can also...

- Deadlift 2.5 times my bodyweight
- Squat 2 x my bodyweight
- Perform a single leg squat with a 32kg kettlebell
- Perform 15-20 single arm push ups

This isn't a brag and there are many people who could outperform that, however the point is that people tend to believe that you can only have good endurance OR be strong OR maintain muscle.

Consider that I also have kind of bodytype which qualifies me for the Grasshopper Olympics and has had me labelled 'lanky streak of ****' by my Grandad and 'gangly' in local newspaper sports reports.

If you want to be the BEST at any of the above, then no this training isn't ideal, but the vast majority of us out there want to be capable of many things all at once - it makes life much more enjoyable and gives us much more potential!

My training philosophy is to build lean athletic bodies which, whilst they won't win bodybuilding competitions nor half-marathons, are capable of holding their own in ANY competition.

They are capable of sprinting faster than most, running 10k faster than most and looking better than most.

Clearly the need for such abilities will fluctuate but the point is you have a great base of everything so that you can be ready to specialise for any event as required.

So what does a training week look like for me at the moment?:

Monday - Anaerobic Conditioning

A challenge such as 5 rounds as fast as possible of:

30 extreme kettlebell swings
15 burpee-pull ups
10 kettlebell jerks
10 sprints across my studio
No rest

Repeat until 5 rounds are complete

Tuesday - Strength

Dumbell snatch
4 x 5 reps 45 sec rest

Superset of 1 leg squat with 2 kettlebell press
4 x 5 each side 60 sec rest after press

Superset of 1 arm push up with pull up (using weighted vest)
4 sets stoppping 1 rep short of failure

Wednesday - Anaerobic conditioning

Hill 'sprintervals'

Treadmill on steep incline (or find a nice hill outside - I live in the city centre!)

8 rounds of 45 seconds at high speed - 90 seconds rest between each interval

15 minutes steady run at 75-80%



Thursday - Rest

Mobility and flexibility work )e.g foam rolling and developmental stretching

Friday - Strength

1 arm dumbbell clean and press

Superset of barbell front squat with weighted pull up
4 x 5 reps - 60 seconds rest after pull up

Superset of 1 arm dumbbell chest press with single arm row
4 x 5 reps each side - 60 seconds rest after pull up

Glute-ham raise
4 sets to 1 short of failure

Saturday - Rest

Mobility and flexibility

Sunday

Long run (at the moment due to requirements for Tough Guy event)

*****************************************

This is just one week.

4 times per week is core work using varied sets, reps and exercises.

Each week certain variables will change.

I might do one arm pull up strength practice or side-to-side pullups.

I might do kettlebell snatches instead of dumbbells.

I might use isometrics and complex training (not complexes) to increase strength and power.

Sometimes I'll do more strength and less conditioning.

Please do not take this as a 6 week program or anything like that, it is purely to demonstrate how to mould strength training with conditioning without burning out.

What if I can't train that much?

If you only have time to train three times per week you might do 15 mins heavy strength work at the start of a session followed by 20 minutes conditioning.

There is no set way of training so don't get caught up in performing the same sessions every week just so you 'get better at it'.

If it hurts, makes you sweat, is balanced in terms of muscles used and gives certain energy systems enough recovery time, it will work.

And don't forget to eat well!


Jon

Friday, 20 March 2009

Best fat burning exercises or best exercises for burning fat?

I often get asked what are the best fat burning exercises.

It's a good question!

We all want to know how we can get the most from our time and burn the most fat without having to spend hours in the gym.



The truth is there is a big distinction between these two questions:

What are the best fat burning exercises?

What are the best exercises for burning fat?


Sound the same?

They're not!

Fat burning occurs from the following actions:

1) Creating an oxygen debt in your training.

In other words your training must cause significant increases in body heat and lactic acid so that a much higher intake of oxygen than usual is required to help remove the lactic acid (a toxin) and cool your body down to it's preferred temperature.

The result is a greatly elevated metabolic rate as these processes occur as fast as possible to return your body to homeostasis ('the norm' - the level at which your body is comfortable and doesn't feel threatened in anyway)

2) Building lean muscle or at least maintaining a good level of lean muscle.

Muscle burns calories, so more muscle burns more calories.

3) Consuming less calories than you burn

We all know that to lose fat you must eat and drink less than you burn through your base metabolic rate (what you burn just to keep your vital organs working), daily activities and exercise.

Most people grossly overestimate what they burn in the gym and what they eat at meals. Half the time they actually forget all the little things they nibbled on.

This can be very frustrating if youw ork hard at the gym and see no results but it's VERY common.

Those three points are the simple truths behind fat loss.

The problem is that everyone focusses on what happens in their training and so ask the question "What are the best fat burning exercises?"

The answers are not squats, deadlifts, thrusters or anything else because if you are not performing them with high intensity they STILL won't have an effect because you have not created an oxygen by working hard enough!

So the best exercises for fat burning are in fact:

1) Train with a partner or team who will push you beyond your mental limits and get you much closer to your physical limits. This will create huge levels of oxygen debt and ramp up your metabolic rate for anything up to 36 hours after your training session.

Yes these exercises should be based around squats, deadlifts, lunges, pull ups, chin ups, push ups, burpees, sprints, kettlebell swings, kettlebells snatches, dumbbell swings, dumbbell snatches and bent over rows.

However, if you are not working at at least 80-90% when performing them and getting very hot and uncomfortable, your results will be severely limited!

Use supersets, circuits, timed challenges and anything else which maximises work rate and physical stress and minmises rest time.

This must be done 4-5 times per week for at least 20 minutes each time.

2) Write out a food diary for just one week and count the calories consumed - you'll be shocked.

Then make sure 95% of your diet comes from lean protein, vegetables and small doses of health fats.

Combined with Point 1) this will create a calorie deficit.



3)Ensure you also perform heavy strength training to build or at least maintain lean muscle tissue.

This will not burn fat as you perform it but it WILL elevate your metabolic rate for a good while after and give you a better body shape.

There you have it!

The best exercises for burning fat.

Jon

Don't forget today is the last day to get the Storm Force Fitness fat loss cookbook at 40% off

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

5 reasons to love metabolic weight training

I used to be one of those kids who blindly bundled into the local leisure centre gym with a list like this from Page 19 of Men's Health Issue 116.

Squat (with bad technique) 3 x 10
Leg press - hamstring curl 3 x 10 superset
Dumbell press 3 x 10 with small dumbbells
Bent over row (with bent back to contribute to spine fracture) 3 x 10 or until lower back hurts
Bicep curls 3 x 10 supersetted with tricep extension 3 x 10

You get the message....

This was before a 30 minute 'fat burning' run on the treadmill in front of 'A Question of Sport' on the TV.

Needless to stay I stayed skinny and never really saw any improvements in ANYTHING!

All I got was overuse injuries, boredom and flack from my Mum for taking so long at the gym that I was late for tea.

10 years on I am the world's biggest fan of metabolic weight training.

Why?

1) It involves weight training



Weight training which goes beyond pink dumbbells and aerobic-style step up and press manouevres, builds lean muscle tissue.

Lean muscle tissue burns calories so the more you have the more you burn!

2) It is also based around interval training



This not only causes a release of growth hormone to help with muscle growth but when done for short, near maximal bursts of 20 seconds, it uses mainly fast twitch muscle fibres which grow thicker and faster than the slow twitch fibres which domintate in steady state cardio.

Again this means more muscle and a greater metabolic rate at rest.

Also the anaerobic nature of well-performed interval training creates an oxygen debt. In other words, your metabolic rate will increase in order to haul in more oxygen for all the necessary repair processes including cooling your body down and removing lactic acid from your muscles.

It can take around 24 hours for full restoration to occur. String three of four such sessions together over a week and you have a recipe for a permanently elevated metabolism!

The beauty of intense, anaerobic interval based training, either in traditional cardio style or using weights (I love kettlebells!), is that if you work hard enough during the intense burst, your heart rate will fall between intervals but still be high enough to be within the 'aerobic zone' as people like to call it.

So you can see how anaerobic training can improve aerobic performance but NOT the other way around.

3) It is exciting and can be based around time challenges, repetition challenges etc

This means every sessions can and should be different - the key is intensity!

The variety means you are much more likely to stick to such a program.

4) You can perform such sessions anywhere and with any equipment.



Again the focus is on intensity rather than the monotonous repetition of having to perform 3 x 10 barbell back squats with 5kg more than last time, every week for 8 weeks.

5) You are more likely to develop different elements of fitness by combining power and strength work with anaerobic endurance thus becoming more athletic than the guy who may have big thick muscles but can't jump over a stray cat due to poor agility.


You may not become a specialist in any of them but you will have low body fat (if you're nutrition is right) and be a much healthier and athletic individual!

You'll also find that your aerobic endurance capacity gets ramped up at the same time with no real focus on it!

If you want to be a champion 10k runner you need to do long runs - fact.

Those who want a lean, atheltic body need metabolic weight training - fact!

What you thought you knew isn't working to have a think about opening your mind!

Monday, 16 March 2009

Cycling nutrition

Go to any gym and you'll find some know-it-all telling you about how he does 4 weeks on high repetitions, 4 weeks on 8-12 reps to build muscle and, 4 weeks on pure strength with reps of 3-5.

Now whilst that guy is well behind the times in terms of what works for building muscle and burning fat, Big Jimmy Four Chins has one thing going for him.



He understands that performing the same kind of training or worse, the same session, for more than a few weeks at a time will result in a plateau and no further progress.

This is an all too common site in gyms.

However, many people do understand (to varying degrees) that you need to mix things up on the gym floor to see results and keep your body, guessing, adapting and ultimately, changing.

This is great but what about nutrition.

Why do we all agree that training variety is required for change to take place, yet we all settle into a nutrition pattern and do it on auto pilot?

Before I go on, this does not mean that you ladies who start a new crash diet every time Heat magazine comes out with the latest 'baby seaweed cabbage soup hypo-caloric breast implant' sensation, are doing the right thing.



The message today is not to get into too many habits no matter how good or healthy you think they are.

Again, your body will adapt.

Eat a high carb diet because you are training for a long-distance event and your body will become more efficient at utilising carbs and therefore less fat will be burnt so don't expect any improvements in body fat for a long time should that become your focus.

Go on a high protein, low carb, low fat diet to lose fat and you will eventually become more efficient at utilising protein as a fuel source. Later attempts at building muscle are likely to take much longer as your body readapts to using other sources for fuel leaving the protein for muscle building purposes.

Your body will do whatever you ask of it, whether you know you're asking the questions or not.

The key to success is rotation of different PROVEN nutrition systems.

My favourite method for fat loss is to follow the lean, clean, 5-6 meals per day, complex carbs only after training plan I use in the Fat Loss Action Blueprint.

After 4-6 weeks, switch things around and be less strict on meal timings and regular protein doses and use Intermittent Fasting (24 hour periods of nothing but water)which helps increase insulin sensitivity.

It also helps easily create a calorie deficit over the week without having to worry about anything on 'normal' days.

So long as you are not overeating to begin with and you can get your head around it mentally, this is an easy way to drop body fat without worrying about carbs, protein, fat, calorie counting or any other annoying inconveniences!

The best resource I've found on this topic is Brad Pilon's EatStopEat program which also provides some shocking evidence about how much protein you should be eating.

(Boys it's no where near what you thought!)

Don't get stuck in your ways but keep challenging your body.

Results will follow!

Jon

Get on the FLAB

Read EatStopEat

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Programming the brain for results!

These seven concepts are adapted from an age-old mind-guidance system and help illustrate the conflicts which can arise between your conscious and subconscious mind.

They are all interlinked so you must understand them!

Every thought causes a physical reaction.

For instance, if being nervous or stressed causes you to reach for the biscuit tin, you must address the cause of the thoughts which make you need comfort food rather than simply trying to stop eating biscuits. You may need to take action to increase your self-confidence or relax yourself at the end of the day.

Your imagination is more powerful in determining your actions than any knowledge you have gained.

Any ideas which have emotional attachments are almost impossible to change through logic alone. For instance, if you constantly read magazines which fill your brain with images of ‘size zero’ models who seem to possess everything they could ever want, you begin to imagine yourself in that situation.

Unless you program your subconscious mind to realise that this is not the way to live, it doesn’t matter what you read elsewhere about how bad it is for you because your subconscious mind still attaches the perfect lifestyle to being a ‘size zero’ and will cause you to act accordingly.

Conflicting ideas can’t last for long – one will eventually come out on top.

For instance, you know that eating cakes is not good for your fat loss plan and yet every time it comes to decision time on the office cake round, you decide that one cake won’t hurt. Unless you get it crystal clear in your head that you cannot eat cake under any circumstances it will always be very difficult to resist.

If you allow emotions to rule for long enough, they will eventually cause real changes to occur.

For instance, your friend borrows your favourite shoes and ruins them in a night club. You pretend its okay but secretly you stay angry at them for a few months. Eventually this will become a physical reality in the form of an outburst related to some other event or another form of retaliation.

This is similar to the old saying “never let the sun go down on an argument”. It will only serve to make it worse because it becomes part of your subconscious being. The same applies to food. If you are unable to alter your emotional, subconscious state, you will soon get to a stage where the action of eating is the only way to solve the problem. You know the solution won’t last long but nevertheless you have brought the emotional build up into reality.

What you expect to happen tends to become reality.

We’ve all heard that we should practice ‘positive thinking’. This is because if we can convince ourselves something is going to happen and we genuinely believe it, the physical reality of the idea tends to take shape right in front of our eyes. Obviously, this can be a bad thing because if you keep telling yourself you’re going to fail, it’s more than likely to come true! For instance, if you keep telling yourself you are fat and you’re going to stay fat, guess what…..you will!

Once an idea is developed and accepted by the subconscious mind, it will remain there to guide your actions until a new idea replaces it and becomes the new guide for your actions.

This is why habits can be so hard to break. It doesn’t help to try and give up smoking by just trying not to open the packet. You must create a new ideal in your subconscious mind by visualising what your smoke-free life would be like. Going back to our biscuit example, if you can’t find an alternative to eating biscuits to reduce stress levels, your subconscious mind is going to remain programmed to demand biscuits to cope with the problem.

Each thought which you act on makes it much easier to act on future thoughts of a similar nature.

For instance, you may have to really force yourself to say no to dessert when out with friends, but once you have done it once and you realise your social world will not crumble as a result, it will become easier and easier to do it in future. Again, this is because you spend less time thinking about doing it and just let your subconscious mind take over – “Would you like dessert?” “No thank you.” End of story.


Now you should realise that it is crucial to program your subconscious mind to be on exactly the same wavelength as your conscious mind if you are going to prevent yourself going around in circles and never really making progress.

The key is to keep talking to yourself and those around you about how you are achieving your goals.

"I am losing a stone because...."

"I'm on target to run under 40 minutes in the London 10k race"

"I'm hitting single digit body fat by the start of May"

This constant talk will program your brain to see that as reality and consequently you'll find yourself taking whatever actions are required to get you there even when you aren't actively thinking about it!

It's not magic but it works really well so make sure you do this on a daily basis!

Monday, 9 March 2009

Focus on anything but fat loss to lose fat!

We've all done it.

We set ourselves a fat loss goal and commit everything to achieving it.

Well, most people don't even do that - they think some half-arse effort at eating like a rabbit for 4 days before the next office cake round will do the trick.

If that doesn't, the 20 minutes spent watching Eastenders whilst on the cross-trainer will do it.

It would have been 30 but Sarah from Accounts just arrived so they had to have a natter about the conversation they never finished 45 minutes ago on leaving the office.

Anyway, that aside, focussing solely on fat loss rarely brings the desired result.

The reason is because despite what you might THINK, fat loss isn't really your ultimate goal.

You ultimate goal is more likely to be one of the following:

- You want to lose 2 stone so that you can finally run 10km without stopping.
- You want to get to 5% body fat so you have a rippling six pack to impress the girls on the beach in Marbella
- You want to get down to a Size 10 so that your confidence levels shoot up and you can wear what you want with your head held high.
- You want to lose 3 stones because you still remember the bullying when you were 16 and it hasn't got much better, there's just no bog flushing at the office.
- You want to improve your appearance so that you present a better image to prospective employers or clients.

I could go on all day.

The point is that you need to do some real soul-searching to find the EXACT reason you want to achieve that fat loss goal.

If you then train and eat to achieve THAT goal, the fat loss will literally take care of itself.

The reason this happens is that when you can place a deep emotional reason on a particular goal and keep talking about that goal to anyone who will listen, your brain is much more easily programmed and will make you act in ways that take you towards that goal.

The same process applies to earning money.

Everyone says they want to earn more but few really know why.

Once you can place an experience based goal above the goal of earning say $75,000 per year, every action you take suddenly has a much greater purpose and meaning to it and you will find yourself naturally gravitating towards the goal.

This doesn't mean it simply becomes easy but you will be much more inclined to say no to the things / people that move you further away from your goals and push you to take the actions you must to be who and what you want to be.

Shift your focus and you'll soon shift up a few gears in the goal-getting race!

Jon

http://www.fatlossactionblueprint.com
http://www.fatlosscookbook.com

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Sample recipes from my new cook book

In the next 2 weeks I'll be releasing my new fat loss cook book!

I'm getting a bit bored of the old chicken and rice with spinach and olive oil and decided something needed to be done!

So as usual I wrote a book!

This will bring you 150 recipes which whilst still fitting in with the principles of the Fat Loss Action Blueprint, are very tasty!

Here's some samples for you lifted straight from the book!

Garden Frittata - breakfast




Makes 1 serving

1 tablespoon olive oil
30 grams mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon minced jalapeno pepper
30 grams chopped roasted red bell pepper
1 green onion, sliced
2 teaspoons fresh chopped cilantro
3 eggs, beaten
Pepper

In a medium nonstick sauté pan over medium high heat, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms, jalapeño, bell pepper, green onions and cilantro and sauté until soft. Add the eggs and season with pepper. Cook the mixture, stirring and lifting the eggs to help them cook evenly, until they begin to set. Continue cooking until nearly firm in the center.

Calories: 300 per serving

Pear and Chicken Hash - For the meat eaters!



Makes 4 servings

2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
100 grams chopped onion
2 medium pears, peeled, cored, and finely chopped
1 large sweet potato, baked, peeled and cubed
200 grams chopped skinless, boneless boiled chicken breast
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and pears; sauté 7 minutes or until mixture begins to brown. Spoon into a large bowl, add potato and remaining ingredients. Toss well to combine.

Heat remaining oil in pan over medium heat. Add pear mixture, and pat into an even layer in pan. Cook, without stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir gently; cook an additional 2 minutes or until potato begins to brown. Serve immediately.

Calories: 226 per serving


Potato and Parsnip Bake - lots of recipes for the veggies!



Makes 4 servings

1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
750 grams sweet potatoes, sliced
350 grams parsnips, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C.

Combine chili powder, mustard seeds, and coriander seeds in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until seeds begin to pop, shaking pan occasionally. Remove from heat; let stand, covered, 1 minute. Stir in cumin and garam masala.

Combine spice mixture, olive oil, and next 3 ingredients in a roasting pan coated with cooking spray; toss to coat. Bake for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender, turning vegetables after 10 minutes. Sprinkle vegetable mixture with cilantro; toss.

Calories: 252 per serving

Friday, 6 March 2009

I'm getting so excited about this!!

I get so annoyed about people saying you can't enjoy healthy food so I thought...

"Let's make a cookbook to go with the F.L.A.B!"

Here's a sneak preview of the photos of the contents - should be ready in a week or two!!



Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Are you in the Itchy Feet Brigade?

I have identified a breed of fitness enthusiasts which I have decided to name the Itchy Feet Brigade.

See if you fit this group.

The Itchy Feet Brigade are those fitness enthusiasts who invest a lot of time and money on fitness and all it's offshoots yet never seem to get anywhere as they are constantly running between different concepts and methods.

The IFB have bought most fat loss and nutrition programs on the internet such as Turbulence Training, Fit Yummy Mummy, the Elimination Diet and my own Fat Loss Action Blueprint.

However, each time they are not quite satisfied and email the creator of the aforementioned programs asking how they can fit in with the other aforementioned programs.

This is why they do not get results or take much longer than others.

They don't realise that the best programs are designed in a set way for a specific reason.

Combining them often results in cancellation of the positives leaving you with little but a sore head from scratching it trying to figure out why the hell they're still fat!

They are the internet version of the suckers who have tried combining Weight Watchers, Slimming World, thermogenic fat loss pills, eating 5-6 meals per day, no fat nutrition and low calorie diets all at once because they got attracted by sales pitch after sales pitch.

I will stand by my Fat Loss Action Blueprint every time because everyone who has followed it 100% and ignored all other 'advice' has lost shed loads of body fat with the photos to prove it.



However, that is not to say the other programs don't work - they do.

The point is that you need to find a decent program by assessing...

1) Does the trainer practice what they preach?

2) Are they even a real-life trainer or an internet marketing genius?

3) Do they have proven results?

4) Do they use the style of training you like?

5) Does it fit into your weekly schedule or will you have to change this and change that meaning you are in fact no longer on that program but making up your own?

6) Do they offer ongoing support as on my free community (you can join and follow that even if you don't buy the Fat Loss Action Blueprint


Once you find this program, commit to it. 100%

Don't be a prat and try to create your own super-dooper-all conquering program - that's why we get paid to do this and you don't!

My FLAB came about from experience in my own training and nutrition which I then road-tested on real life, busy people (kids, jobs, travel etc) in my real life PT studio in Nottingham, England.

I then road-tested further on people I had no contact with other than by email and it still produced clear, obvious results with photographic evidence.

(It's a tough life having to marvel at girls in their bikinis after stripping off the wings and muffin tops, knowing you helped create the new them but I'm going to battle on! The blokes pictures get reviewed with admiration too....)

I now sell it, safe in the knowledge that those who follow the Nutrition Blueprint, Training Blueprint and all the encompassing goal setting and accountability advice, will get results.

Importantly they are longer be a member of the Itchy Feet Brigade but part of the Storm Force Unit and continue to progres even after the official 6 week program - that is because this program changees your mindset and lifestyle not just temporary changes in your love handles!

Ask Jason...



If you want to leave the Itchy Feet Brigade and join my growing army of FLAB'ers then go get it the Fat Loss Action Blueprint

Body fat down....energy levels up!

If not then PLEASE just stick to one of the other programs!

Jon

Sunday, 1 March 2009

How to get your glutes working (most trainers don't know this)

This video has brought some really positive feedback from trainers, clients and friends alike!

You see lots of people are into this 'functional training' idea which is great in theory.

However, what does functional mean?

Surely it means that the exercise being performed does the job you want it to?

Does it build the muscle you want? No? NOT FUNCTIONAL

Does it help burn more fat? No? NOT FUNCTIONAL

Does it use the right muscles or are you compensating for weak muscles by using others? No?

DEFINITELY NOT FUNCTIONAL!

This is the key to this video about exercises designed to work / tone / strengthen / build the glute muscles (your bum!)

As explained, most peoples' glutes don't even work!

This means that no matter how many squats and lunges you do, all you will do is work your legs more making the imbalance even worse.

Consequently, you will NEVER see improvements in your glutes - how annoying is that going to get after 6 months of performingthe 'functional' exercises?

Here's some secrets most trainers don't know....

Please post your comments below!