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Foresight Fitness Blog

What is interval training?

January 22nd, 2014

Over the past couple of years interval training has become very popular in all areas of the fitness industry, especially personal trainers.  I often get asked about interval training, what it is and what are the benefits of it for a wide variety of training goals.  I thought I would start off with a simple background to interval training and then in future articles move onto talking about some of the more advanced aspects of this interesting and highly effective training system.

What is interval training?

Interval training is a system that allows participants to improve the amount of work they can do over a period of time by using alternating rounds of higher intensity work with lower intensity recovery periods.  It has been promoted as a highly time efficient way of training that allows participants to make good cardiovascular gains in a relatively short period of time.

How does interval training work?

The basic idea is that during the high intensity periods the body starts to build up lactic acid, this makes this period difficult to maintain for a long time.  But then a lower intensity period allows for recovery and the body attempts to break down and remove the lactic acid formed.  You are basically alternating between anaerobic (faster paced, sustainable for a shorter duration) and aerobic (slower pace, sustainable for a longer duration) forms of exercise.   The stop start approach to activity is one of the interesting aspects of interval training as it allows the body to get used to recovering from high intensity activity at a increasingly rapid rate.

This method has been used to improve performance on a number of levels such as the improvement of lactate threshold and the ability to withstand training in that zone, the method also has a building effect on the cardiovascular system with a good cross over into may CV based sports and activities.  This means that many people who use interval training will be able to work cardiovascularly for a longer duration, at a faster rate than they would have been able to do without this form of training.

There is mounting amount of research that suggests that interval training may be as, if not more effective than more steady state exercise and returns the same benefits as longer durations of LSD style training.    The ACSM also suggest that in terms of calorific burn interval training burns more calories than equivalent work done at a more LSD type pace.

All in all this interesting style of training returns great results for those using it and is easy on that one thing that we all lack….time.

In my next blog post on this issue we will look at how to incorporate interval training into your current routine!

As always any question lease do let me know!

TOM

Review: Gym Boss Timer!

January 9th, 2014

 

Gym Boss Timer

I have recently been using a Gym Boss timer, not used one before and 08I have always gone with the propping up of the phone and watching the clock!  This clumsy method is now a thing of the past…  I have been getting so much use out of it that my personal training clients now groan when they see it come out and even my students on the personal training course I teach are sick of the sight of it!  The gym boss timer is an excellent way of  allowing you to set a timed interval (with set rest periods) and forget about watching the time.

The timer is designed to be used when you are doing interval training, which over the last few years has become a very popular method of training…. not to mention effective!  I will be doing an article of interval training in teh next few weeks so look out for that on the blog!

As a personal trainer I have seen that it allows me to move away from counting the clock and allows me to focus on motivating the client and ensuring good form!  The deign of the device makes it perfect for the trainer too as it can clip onto the belt or any other clothing and vibrate rather than beep, making it ultra discrete!

As a exerciser it has allowed me to focus in on my workout again without having to keep checking the time, this relatively simple thing has totally changed my workouts.

All in all I can not rate the Gym Boss timer highly enough! Great product and should definitely make it into every PTs and regular exercisers kit bag!

TOM

Happy New Year!

December 31st, 2013

Hi Guys,

Hope you are all having an awesome new year and that 2014 is a happy and healthy one for you and all your family!

Tom and the Foresight Team

Happy Christmas

December 25th, 2013

Hi Guys,

Just a quick post to say Happy Christmas, hope your all having an awesome day and looking forward to a fit, healthy and happy New Year!

Happy Christmas

Tom and all the Foresight Team!

Review: Clif Nutrition

December 6th, 2013

Clif Image

Recently while looking into energy gels I came across a website that I thought was amazing, it is so different to the usual sports nutrition brands that I ended up spending a hour or so looking round.  The site was the on-line home of the amazing Clif Nutrition, who have been making innovative sports nutrition products since 1992.  They are a  company that is built on the story of Gary the owner who after a long bike ride where him and a friend had been using another brand energy bar came to the conclusion that he could make better… so that is what he did and Clif was established.

 

As soon as I read this story I was immediately fascinated by the promise of a better range of energy products that would not only deliver on results but also on taste.  Lets face it, it is normally the second aspect that is the problem with a lot of sports nutrition products and in my experience especially energy gels!

I was lucky enough that the guys at Clif sent us a range of their products to road test and here is what I thought!

Clif Bar

 

The first thing I tried was the original Clif bar, this is the brands organic oat bar.  The bar is a good source of energy designed to be used n and around times of intense exercise.  It comes in a variety of flavours but by far my favourite was the Crunchy Peanut Butter.  The best thing about these bars in my opinion is that they taste real, not like many of the energy bars that you get on the market.  They are made with quality and well thought-out ingredients to give the user a quality and also effective energy boost.

 

 

Clif Builders Bar

I also tried the Builders Protein Bar, as opposed to the standard Clif energy bar this is designed to give a boost of protein when needed.  The bar itself contains a good serving of 20g of protein per bar it will help with the maintenance or growth of muscle.  Again one of the hey things I was blown away with by the Clif brand is the taste, these bars do really taste good.  They do not have the artificial taste that you find with a lot of protein bars on the market.   This is really the best protein bar I have tried in a long time!

Clif Shot Blocks

Next on my list from Clif was their Shot Blocks, these are jelly blocks used to boost energy levels during long duration exercise.   Initially when I tasted some of the blocks it took me back to my distant childhood eating jelly at parties!  They tasted fresh and sweet, they were really easy to have on you during an event and contain a good 33 calories per block.  This controlled calorie release was just right to keep your energy levels up during periods of extended exercise.

Clif Shot Gel

 

The Shot Gels are a extension of the theme of the Shot Blocks, they provide a quick release of energy in a easy to carry packet.  Rather than a solid Jelly type block it is more of a thick gel.  I enjoyed the shots but found the Chocolate flavour a bit too sickly for me.  The gels did help though to get my energy levels up and allowed me to keep up my energy levels.

All in all I have been very highly impressed with the Clif range of nutrition products, I would defiantly place Clif in my top 2 nutrition products of all time!  The branding is awesome, the taste is good and most of all the products are QUALITY!  So if you have not tried the Clif range yet… why not?

Review: Naked Ape

November 29th, 2013

For the past few months I have been hearing more and more about Biltong, I like many had heard the word many times form mainly the Paleo camp but had little idea what it was all about.  So as I usually do I went looking for some answers, and I came across an amazing UK based company called Naked Ape.  After a conversation with the guys I found all the answers I needed with regard to what Biltong is and what its benefits are.

Naked Ape - Review

So what is biltong? I found out it is a cured meat that originates in South Africa, it is produced from a range of meats including beef, ostrich, and other game.  It is very similar in nature to Jerky as it is a spiced dried meat, with key differences being the larger portion size and Biltong generally has a sweeter flavour.  These are a great source of protein, that are easy to store so need to be refrigerated and have an amazing 6 month shelf life!

The Naked Ape bran is awesome, they sent me a couple of their varieties including Coconut, Cherry and Mango.  When I had my first taste I had no comprehension of what I was about to experience, for some reason I felt the the flavour would not be enjoyable… but boy was I wrong.  I really enjoyed the interesting flavours that The Naked Ape have produced, and the fruit/meat combinations should really not work in my mind… but they do!

naked-ape-cherry-coco-220x220

So if your looking for a durable, lasting and easy to store source of protein I would definitely look deeper into the Naked Ape!

Review: SmartShaker

November 15th, 2013

I have been lusting after a SmartShaker for a good long while, it is one of those things that when you look at the you think ‘that is a cool idea’.  The guys over at Smart Shaker UK sent me a lovely one from their Neon range!  It has become one of those shakers that I actually care about, making sure I do not lose it!  In fact SmartShaker is probably one shaker of choice to be used on a daily basis!

SmartShaker Review

For those of you that are still in the dark ages and have not seen a SmartShaker the idea is a simple one and addresses a problem many supplement users face on a regular basis.  What happens if I want to carry enough protein to have more than one shake or I have tabs that I take?  The usual solution is to throw into your kit bag a collection of tupperware tubs containing your powders and tabs, those as we all know inevitably split open and cover everything in powder!  Well SmartShaker came up with a much simpler solution to the problem and they attached to the bottom of the shaker two screw on compartments that allow you to store whatever you wish.

The tubs that screw onto the bottom of the shaker are secure and hold a couple of shakes worth.  This compact design makes it much easier to transport and have on you all the supplements you need.

 

 

Review: Matrix ZMA

November 8th, 2013

Matrix ZMA

Over the years I have tried a wide range of ZMA blends, I have always found that it helps me recover post workout and gives me the best sleep ever!  For those of you that do not know what ZMA is, it is a mixture of Zinc, Magnesium and B6 the full name used is Zinc-Magnesium Aspartate.   The ZMA formula itself is claimed to boost testosterone levels within the body, which will have an anabolic effect (muscle building) and also boost post exercise recovery, strength and muscular mass.

There is also a strong link to the use of zinc in order to improve cell growth and production where as magnesium acts to reduce the levels of cortisol which is a catabolic hormone (muscle breakdown).

Recently I was sent a bottle of ZMA from Matrix Nutrition, the bottle contained 240 capsules so that is a massive 4month supply.  I have been using these instead of my normal brand for the past few weeks,  the Matrix blend has 120mg of ZMA formula, 120mg Zinc, 27mg Calcium, and 12mg B6.

The ZMA pills themselves are a lot smaller that the ones that I usually take allowing them to be swallowed much more easily.  I took them as usual just before bed , on an empty stomach and they had the effect of helping me drift off into a deep sleep.  They also helped recovery after those heavy gym days, and as we are all aware the better you recover the better the growth.

I have used a number of the Matrix products and always found them to be very high quality and most importantly they work!  If you have not tried ZMA before, give it a go, you will not be disappointed!

 

Review: Activate Nutrition Tribulus Terristris

November 1st, 2013

activate-nutrition-tribulus-terristris-supplement-120-tablets-17

I have been giving the Tribulus Terrestris a try over the last few weeks, as you get a little older you start to need a bit more of a boost in the testosterone department to help you develop and maintain lean muscle tissue.  This supplement that comes from the Tribulus plant, which is native to Bulgaria, is considered a natural testosterone booster.  The active ingredient in this product is a substance called steroidal saponins.  In average testosterone boosters you get a rate of about 45% steroidal saponins, in this very potent version from Activate has a rate of 95% giving you a real big bang for your buck.

Historically this plant was know as Ayurvedic herb or more commonly as the Puncture Vine.  For centuries it has been used to boost physical performance, with the side effect of a boosted sex drive (not sure if that is good or bad)!  This extract then helps to boost the levels of testosterone in the body.

The tub has 120 capsules that is enough for 30 days taking a couple in the morning followed by a couple at lunch giving you a 1400mg dose.  While I was using Activate Nutrition Tribulus Terrestris I found that this dose gave me a massive energy surge, and it helped to boost my performance and lean muscle tissue.

Video: Movember

October 28th, 2013