Importance Of Sleep For Muscle Retention

Jan 31, 2024

We know the importance of sleep when it comes to recovery, but did you know it also plays a role in body composition?

A common thing I hear amongst clients is that ‘they get enough sleep for them.’ Further questioning then indicates that this could look like 6 hours on average per night. Time and time again research has shown that humans need between 7-9 hours on average, with athletes requiring up to 9 due to the physical demands placed on their bodies.

Now, put someone in a calorie deficit who is low on sleep and it’s a sure recipe for disaster. When we’re low on sleep, we experience an increase in the hormone ghrelin and a reduction in leptin. Ghrelin is a hormone that is released from the stomach and signals to the brain that it’s time to eat. Leptin is produced by the body’s fat cells and regulates hunger through signalling to the brain that we’re satisfied/full. With a decrease in sleep comes a decrease in leptin and overall energy and...

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How To Avoid Holiday Weight Gain!

Dec 17, 2023

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, unless you’re on a fitness journey in which case this is a time fraught with temptation! Many a promising fitness routine has been disrupted over the holiday season, don’t let yourself be another! 

  1.       Set realistic expectations

The first step to preventing a full blown blow out over the holidays is to set realistic expectations for yourself during this period. This is key for routine especially. You know yourself, and you know what the holiday season usually looks like for you, let’s start there. The biggest mistake people make, is to set a plan that is dependant on everything running in a perfect world (6 gym sessions a week, meal prepping every day and no drinking) and more times than not, this never happens. Worst of all, once you set a strict plan and then break it, you’re much more likely to give up entirely and be another ‘next year’ person! So, let’s start by...

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Caffeine For Performance

Sep 30, 2023

When it comes to preparing for competition, I want my athletes to be as ready as they can be and this includes down to their preferred method of caffeine consumption (pending they are able to tolerate caffeine)

If unsure what their preferred approach is, I like to get my clients to test multiple methods around their training to help determine what works best for them.

Before we get into it, why would someone use caffeine to assist with performance? For starters, we experience the following benefits:

Physiological changes occurring following caffeine ingestion:

- Stimulation of areas of the brain and nervous system reducing tiredness and improving cognition
- Releases epinephrine, which is involved in increased performance and the fight or flight response
- Increased neuronal activity and excitability, improving motor performance and increasing the strength of muscle contractions


Some other potential benefits specific to performance and strength training:

- Improved...

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Setting Up Your Nutrition

Aug 31, 2023

Like everything else in the health and fitness industry, there's no one set way to identify your maintenance calories - which makes it confusing for someone who doesn't know where or how to start. 

Below, I'll go through the options we can draw on when trying to set ourselves up for a maintenance, deficit or surplus phase. 

The first thing we want to do is, identify the amount of energy we need to maintain our current body weight. There are a few ways we can do this which I’ll discuss below

  1. Tracking intake for 7 days to figure out your average daily energy intake:
    If you are familiar with tracking and have a general understanding of how to use applications and databases, you could track your natural intake for a week. The key thing to stress here is that you’re accurate and being honest with yourself when it comes to your regular eating patterns. At the end of the week, add up your calories for the entire seven day and divide by 7 to calculate your average daily...
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Why Should We Get Blood Tests?

Jun 29, 2023

Why should we get bloods done?

When we first onboard clients, we advise on getting a full comprehensive set of bloodwork done. (kidney + liver function, blood panel, lipid panel, hormones and fasting glucose)

First and foremost, as a duty of care to our clients and to ensure we’re identifying any potential abnormalities, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances or risks of developing certain conditions or diseases in the future. 

By having an overview of current health markers, we can apply appropriate nutrition and lifestyle interventions to improve overall health metrics and optimise the individual’s health overall. 

Blood-work doesn’t lie. Though we may feel fine and look physically healthy on the outside, our insides can often tell a different story. There's no point putting all of your efforts into getting big and strong if your insides are on the verge of combusting. 

What do we look for when getting bloods? ...

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Cardio for strength athletes

Nov 16, 2022

Conditioning for strength athletes 

Depending on who you ask - this can be a controversial topic. But in reality, it’s really simple. But before we get into exactly what you should, and shouldn’t be doing, let’s take a step back and consider the bigger picture. 

There’s a common misconception about what ‘conditioning’ actually is. Most people seem to think that it’s as simple as conditioning = cardio. For example, a strength and conditioning coach gets people strong and fit. This isn’t wrong, just incomplete.

Conditioning and fitness are not the same thing. 

Cardiovascular fitness is a health related component of physical fitness, and is characterised by our ability to deliver oxygen to working muscle, essentially it’s how well our heart can pump oxygenated blood to meet demands of exercise. Improving cardiovascular fitness is obviously advantageous for a lot of sports. But, is it directly advantageous for strength...

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How To Safely Weight Cut

Aug 25, 2020

The dreaded weight cuts. Something that causes any athlete more stress than what’s needed the week coming into a competition if done incorrectly. So before pursuing this article I want you to reflect on your last prep and ask yourself if you have done everything in your power to improve quality nutrition and safely drop some unneeded body fat? If you haven’t done that then you have already got the next step of improvement in your next phase.

The next thing I want you to ask yourself is why are you weight cutting in the first place? Are you looking at being extremely competitive in a high level competition or are you looking at setting a new all time record?
Even with these in mind how much impact to your performance are you willing to sacrifice to make weight? This may mean, not even putting up a total. I can almost guarantee you will never perform at your best and are now opening yourself to much greater injury risk.

In my honest opinion, most weight cuts are used as a...

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