With these troubling times and normal life coming to a stand still, many of you will lose the chance to do one of the things you love to do - EXERCISE.
Keeping fit during this COVID-19 crisis will be one of the few things you can do to stay sane.
So, I have put together a very simple, all round home workout guide which includes the following:
Simple ideas for home exercise equipment.
These options are versatile, easy to pack away and can be used for an incredible number of workouts.
If you don't want a TRX Suspension training system you can get a cheaper version at DECATHLON.
I will be posting lots of home workouts over the next few weeks as more and more people work from home.
I would love you all to keep fit and healthy if you are stuck at home.
It will help immensely with your mental health as well as your physical health if you can maintain some sort of fitness routine over this time period.
You can get all this gear at Rebel, Amazon, Decathlon but you can also go to:
Exagym on Military Rd - Cremorne - Sydney.
Ask for Chris and tell him I sent you and you will get a great discount on all this stuff.
He provides the best help and customer service and has always done right by my clients.
I hope these ideas help.
Other equipment options that could be included but not essential are:
Secondly - here are 10 workouts that you can do if you are stuck at home and can only use your bodyweight.
Check out this page below.
Hopefully all of this will set you up for a successful fitness routine if you are required to stay indoors.
I will be continuing to upload different workouts to the website, youtube page and my social media pages so hopefully you will have enough to keep your going.
This weeks workout is a home bodyweight strength circuit that is quick but very tiring.
See the video below for exercise demonstrations.
You can perform the workout for a number of rounds with rest in between each round or you can set a timer for 15-30 minutes and complete as many rounds as you can.
Please ensure that you don't treat it like cardio.
Do the movements with good form.
Practise perfect technique.
If you cannot complete a certain number of reps with good form, take a pause and finish the exercise with proper technique.
It's not a race.
You will do more rounds as you get fit and strong.
Perform this workout 1-3 times per week on non-consecutive days if you are stuck at home.
Do one of my home cardio workouts on the days in between or simply rest.
Enjoy the workout.
Here Are Four Ways I Can Help You Get Fit And Lose Weight And Actually Keep it Off.
1. Here is our youtube channel which has over 100 videos including 55 workouts and other educational videos.
2. We now offer ONLINE 1-1 Personal Coaching.
Train with me from anywhere in the world at any time. I now offer fully bespoke 1-1 personal training via our TRUECOACH online platform.
Check it out here
3. Check out our small group coaching sessions (max 4-10 people)
Small Group Coaching.
4. 1-1 Personal Training at our Studio in North Sydney.
Our top level service. In-depth personalised training programs, nutrition coaching and weekly sessions at our boutique studio in North Sydney.
Check out our Personal Training Options here:
There is a good chance that many gyms will close over the next few months due to the Covid-19 Virus.
That doesn't mean you have to give up your fitness routine.
To help you stay fit, I have put together this collection of workouts for you to stay fit if your gym closes.
Good luck and email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are really stuck with certain exercises and I can suggest alternatives.
Before you view the workouts - here is how I would lay it out week to week.
Option 1: 5 Day Training Week:
You can flip that around and do three cardio and two weights. Pick your preference.
Option 2: 4 Day Training Week.
Option 3: 3 Day Training Week.
Flip it around and choose cardio instead or perform 2 strength and one cardio or 2 cardio and one strength session.
Personally, I would choose 3-4 workouts and stick with them for 2-4 weeks to see improvement and then change the workouts to mix it up and keep challenging yourself.
1. Home fitness and fat loss workout. (CIRCUIT)
It is a circuit style workout where you perform each exercise back to back.
Each exercise is performed for 40 seconds. You then take 20 secs rest after each exercise and keep going until you have completed the 5 exercises.
You then take a rest for 60-120 seconds depending on your fitness level and repeat the circuit.
Perform 3-5 rounds of the circuit.
It is fast, effective and can be tailored to any fitness level.
The video below shows you the beginner and advanced versions of each exercise. Choose what is suitable for you.
To warm up I suggest doing each exercise at an easy pace for 30 secs each. Then go into your workout.
2. Home bodyweight strength workout for muscle toning.
It is a simple program with 6 exercises divided into 3 pairs.
Perform each pair of exercises for the number of sets prescribed in the video below.
You can make this program harder by adding a backpack full of books to add extra weight to your body or you can add repetitions to each set of exercises.
It is tough to do back exercises without any equipment at home so the choices are limited.
I would encourage you to purchase a suspension trainer or set of resistance bands for future workouts.
You can warm up by performing each exercise for 10 repetitions for the upper and lower body exercises and for 15-20 secs each for the core exercises.
See the video below for the exercises and the program.
3. EMOM Home fitness workout. (CIRCUIT)
EMOM stands for Every Minute On The Minute.
Basically you perform a series of two to three exercises and whatever time you have left in the minute is your rest period.
You repeat that for the desired time range. In this workout, we have two rounds of ten minutes with three exercises in each round.
The Warm Up:
You can progress this workout by adding an extra minute to each 10 minute round.
Or you can perform more reps of each exercise. For example:
Give the workout a go and comment if you need exercise alternatives.
4. 100-10 Home Workout Challenge: (CIRCUIT).
The idea is to work downwards in numbers from 100-10.
Set a timer and see how long it takes and try to beat your time when you repeat the workout again.
You still have to perform the exercises with perfect technique regardless of how fast you go.
If you feel really fit you can work back up the numbers during the same workout.
See the video at the bottom for all the exercises and demonstrations.
The Warm Up.
The Cool down:
How To Progress This Workout.
You can progress this workout by performing it faster and trying to beat your time.
You can go down the reps and then back up the reps.
5. Home HIIT Workout
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Workout.
It means that each exercise is performed at a high level of intensity alternated with short periods of rest.
Think of yourself as working hard and then recovering and then going again.
There are only 5 bodyweight exercises.
This means that you can perform this workout anywhere.
You perform each exercise for 2 minutes, but within that 2 minutes you perform the exercise at a fast pace for 20 seconds and then you rest for 20 secs and you repeat that cycle 3 times.
Each full round takes 10 minutes.
You can then rest for 1-2 minutes and repeat the cycle 1-2 more times depending on the time you have available or your current level of fitness.
This is a great little workout to rapidly boost your fitness and the great thing is, it can be performed anywhere at any time. You do not need equipment and you can get a fantastic cardio workout.
Please see the video below for the exercise demonstrations.
Cool down with some stretching or light walking.
6. Quick And Effective Home Cardio Workout.
You can perform as many rounds as your fitness allows. I have programmed for 3-6 rounds with this option.
Warm up with 30 seconds of each exercise for two rounds to raise your body temperature, get your joints lubricated and the body prepared for what is coming.
Follow the instructions in the video to complete the workout.
7. Home Cardio Fitness Challenge.
Here is a short cardio fitness challenge that can be performed at home or in the hotel room when travelling for work.
It consists of 4 exercises performed back to back with no rest.
Then you rest for 60-120 seconds and repeat the exercises again.
Try and perform 2-4 rounds depending on your fitness levels.
It's a good little endorphin boosting sweaty workout.
See the video below for descriptions of the exercises.
8. Dynamic / Static Home Strength Workout.
For this workout I have decided to combine the dynamic and static versions of each exercise to challenge your strength, endurance and mental toughness.
There are 5 main exercises.
See the video below for demonstrations of each exercise.
Complete all 5 exercises before resting for 60-120 Seconds and then repeat 3-4 more times.
How do I progress this workout?
There are a few ways to progress this workout to ensure you are constantly getting fitter.
1. Perform the exercises for 30 seconds in week 1, 35 seconds in week 2, 40 seconds in week 3 and 45 seconds in week 4.
2. Perform more rounds. Week 1 could be 2 rounds, week 2 could be 3 rounds, week 3 could be 4 rounds and week 4 could be 5 rounds.
This should be enough to keep you challenged and motivated which is the key to getting results with your fitness.
9. Home Conditioning Workout.
This workout has four strength exercises and two quick conditioning exercises to get your heart rate elevated and work up a good sweat.
The video below has demonstrations of each exercise but here is how to perform the workout.
10. 20 Minute Full Body Home Workout
This is brilliant for working a lot of muscles and getting a whole body workout.
How to progress the workout.
I usually don't like to increase the speed of repetitions for strength workouts as it encourages inertia and momentum to perform the exercises and this leads to poor form and injury.
The best way to progress this home strength workout is to add in one extra exercise for 2-3 workouts and then potentially one more exercise.
Or, you could increase the length of time for the workout as you get fitter. For example 20 minutes for 2 weeks, 25 minutes for 2 weeks and 30 minutes for 2 weeks.
Hope you enjoy the workout.
Well, there you go.
That should be enough to keep you busy for 4-8 weeks.
I hope you enjoy the workouts. Feel free to reach out and let me know how you got on.
Feel free to share the link to this page and help people keep up their fitness routine during these crazy times.
If you are on a weight loss journey or you have tried to lose weight in the past, you will have faced the dreaded weight loss plateau.
It can be incredibly frustrating especially when you believe you are doing everything right but the scale is not moving in the right direction.
However, a weight loss plateau is a sign that you are moving in the right direction. You just need a little troubleshooting.
This ultimate beginners guide to weight loss plateaus and how to beat them will explain and help with the following.
A Little Background About Weight Loss.
When we look at the statistics for long term weight loss, they can be pretty grim reading.
Adherence to diets is Poor.
We have access to hundreds of diets, from low carb and low fat to fasting. Regardless of the type of diet we do, we know that adherence and sticking to a diet is difficult to do.
Weight loss is really hard and you should know that weight loss plateaus are a natural part of the weight loss journey.
Part of the goal of this article is to understand what weight loss plateaus are and why they are a natural part of the diet process and why your body fights weight loss so much.
Why Are Diets So Hard To Stick To?
We are creatures of habit. For millions of years we have been hardwired to survive and reproduce.
What does this have to do with weight loss plateaus John?
Are you going all anthropological on us?
No. But let me explain.
I bet you’ve heard of your metabolism.
Your metabolism is all the chemical reactions that happen inside your body to keep you alive.
Think about your breathing, the digestion of your food, the beating of your heart and your muscles contracting.
All of these things can happen with or without any thought on your part. Your body is responsible for millions of little chemical reactions every day without you even knowing. (Remember this for later - it’s kind of important).
In order to keep your metabolism running and keep you alive you need ENERGY (CALORIES).
This energy is taken from the food we eat and converted into energy to power your amazing body everyday.
The main thing we eat to get energy are our MACROS - Protein, Carbs and Fat.
Why Do We Require Calories?
When it comes to weight loss we are concerned with the Calories taken in and the Calories burned throughout the day.
For the calories out part we are concerned with your total daily energy expenditure (the total amount of calories that you burn every day through living and moving) and this is broken up into a few parts.
These are all ways that you burn calories everyday.
What Does The Human Body Do To Keep You Alive When There Is A Shortage Of Food?
Remember I mentioned earlier that we are hardwired to survive and reproduce.
Well, for millions of years we had to survive without a lot of food. But your body is clever. It has back ups.
You have fat and carbs that are stored away in your body and the primary energy source that we use when there is a shortage of energy in, is your FAT tissue.
When there is a calorie deficit (which we do in the modern era through trying to lose weight by eating less), the body starts to slow this weight loss and this is where we get into the meat of a weight loss plateau.
HERE ARE FIVE WAYS YOUR BODY FIGHTS WEIGHT LOSS AND CAUSES A WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAU.
1. Your BMR changes.
Remember, your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is the amount of calories we burn everyday just to stay alive. This BMR changes in direct relation to the amount of weight lost.
The more you weigh, the more calories you burn. The less you weigh, the less calories you burn. If you lose 5-10kg’s you are going to burn less calories to get you through your day.
There is also a greater decrease in BMR if you lose more muscle.
Your body will slow down many of the chemical processes in your body (remember our metabolism from earlier) because it wants to save energy and keep you alive. This results in less energy being burned on a daily basis by your body.
This decrease in BMR (the amount of calories you burn everyday to stay alive) is increased with severe and prolonged calorie deficits.
This is one of the reasons that we trainers promote slower weight loss, to offset this muscle loss.
2. Starvation Mode.
Starvation mode is a belief that by not eating enough, your metabolism STALLS and actually prevents weight loss.
Is this true?
Can you eat less than your body needs and not lose weight?
The best example to prove that this is not true was the Minnesota Experiment.
In November 1944, 36 men reported to the University of Minnesota as volunteers for a 13-month study under research scientist Ancel Keys. What became known as the Minnesota Starvation Experiment has long been cited as perhaps the most important study on the mental, physical, and social effects of food restriction.
Without going into too much detail, a group of soldiers were put through a year long program broken into phases.
During this study the soldiers decreased their BMR (the amount of calories that their bodies burned throughout the day) and they lost a lot of muscle tissue but it did not stop the weight loss.
It slowed the weight loss and it slowed their metabolisms but it did not HALT THE WEIGHT LOSS or DAMAGE THEIR METABOLISMS.
99% of the time, you are not losing weight because you are not eating enough or you are starving.
You are not losing weight because you are not in a calorie deficit.
What is the take home point here?
Weight loss stalls because your calorie deficit no longer exists, not because you have a messed up metabolism, you are starving or you are “not eating enough”.
3. Hormonal Changes During Weight Loss.
Yes, when you lose weight your body will induce some hormonal changes to conserve energy and drive you to eat.
For example, your body increases the amount of your hunger hormone, GHRELIN, to signal you to eat more because it wants more energy.
Remember, your body wants to stay alive. It wants to reproduce. This has been hardwired into our brains over millions of years.
You can also see decreases in thyroid hormones to reduce your BMR to save energy and preserve your weight.
Hormonal changes definitely occur when you try to lose weight.
4. Energy Cost Of Activity.
Fewer calories are burned when weight is lost during most movement due to carrying around less weight.
Remember how hard it was when you first tried to lift a weight or run 1km. It was tough.
But your body adapts and makes it easier to do the same workouts. Therefore you burn less energy to do the same workout.
This means you will have to adjust your workouts as you lose weight.
5. NEAT - Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
There is a lot of research around this now.
Remember, this is all the movement and calories burned aside from planned exercise.
This can range from fidgeting, walking, gardening, standing upright at work etc.
People who are chair bound may burn very few calories per day. A construction worker or labourer will burn 1,000 - 2,000 calories per day. Your job can have a huge impact on the amount of calories you burn every day.
The difference can be huge.
NEAT can drop significantly when you weigh less or eat less. Sometimes up to 400 calories per day. It is often subconscious and you won’t even realise it.
You will move slower. You won’t bop your head to your favourite music. You may sit around more.
Some people don’t reduce NEAT but many people do.
Unlike your BMR (the amount of calories you need just to exist day to day) - which cannot be changed as it is directly in proportion to your weight, you can change your NEAT.
This presents a huge opportunity for you to burn many more calories without actually exercising. I know you are busy and have little time but NEAT can really impact your results.
Just by adding more steps you can burn significant calories every day.
Now that we know the 5 major ways that the body fights weight loss, let’s look at the best practices to prevent a weight loss plateau.
Here is one of my clients Rachel, who came to see me after being on a weight loss plateau for several months. She was getting confused and frustrated and believed that her metabolism had stopped.
To get out of this weight loss plateau we simply added in:
1. More daily steps. Rachel walked home from work every night to add 1 hour of extra activity to her day.
2. We added more protein to her meals.
3. Rachel started weight training a few times per week.
4. We did more self monitoring.
12 months later, Rachel was 25kg's down and was very happy with her results.
BEST PRACTICES TO PREVENT A WEIGHT LOSS PLATEAU.
1. Set an appropriate weight loss goal.
A recommended rate of weight loss is roughly 0.5% - 1.0% of body weight per week.
If you are a 100kg male it would be 0.5kg - 1.0kg per week.
If you were a 70kg female it would roughly be 0.35kg - 0.7kg per week. This can change depending on your starting point but it is a good range to start with.
If you do a drastic weight cut, it signals the body to conserve, conserve, conserve. It wants to survive so it will slow down your metabolism as it wants to survive.
It is better to try and lose weight on as many calories as you can to prevent this weight loss plateau occurring quicker.
Quicker weight loss can also lead to the loss of more muscle tissue which we don’t want.
This loss of muscle tissue can impact your total daily energy burning as muscle is metabolically active tissue and can help to burn extra calories throughout your daily life.
I recommend the numbers above as it will keep you losing weight on a suitable schedule without hitting that weight loss plateau quickly.
2. Preserve Lean Body Mass through protein and resistance training.
When you lose weight it is important to minimise muscle loss and we can do this with regular weight training and prioritising protein in your diet.
Protein can help you feel full between meals and it can increase the Thermic effect of eating (TEF) as it takes more calories to digest protein than carbs or fats.
Experts recommend 0.7 to 1.0 grams per pound of body weight per day.
To keep this simple for clients I always recommend 1-2 palm sized portions of protein per meal.
This will ensure that you get your recommended daily protein intake.
This can be chicken, beef, fish, beans, legumes, eggs or whatever protein you like. You can readily find lists of high quality protein online.
3. Manage Hunger, Sleep And Stress.
To manage your hunger between meals you can focus on protein and fibre.
Women need around 25gms per day and males around 35-38gms per day.
Fibre intake is usually low in many people because they don’t eat fruits or vegetables which are naturally filling foods help to fight the hunger signals sent out by the body during weight loss.
High Fibre foods include:
Sleep can have a huge impact on your appetite regulation. People who are sleep deprived produce more GHRELIN (the hunger hormone) which can make you want to eat more.
This makes it harder to turn down convenience foods and treats as you are too tired to say no and you are facing these powerful hunger hormones telling you to eat more.
Prioritising self care to manage stress and minimise emotional eating. This is huge area and much too detailed for this article but it is worth looking at things like massage, spending time in nature or with friends, going on holidays, meditating or just taking a relaxing bath.
Solutions For Weight Loss Plateaus.
Our automatic solution to push through a weight loss plateau is to add in more intense exercise, especially cardio.
This can be very tough if you are eating fewer calories, not sleeping well or life is busy and full of stress.
1. A better solution is to start by adding NEAT.
You can save time and burn more calories throughout the day.
Remember NEAT from earlier. It is our daily movement that is not planned exercise.
Lots of research has been conducted on this subject by James Levine from the MAYO Clinic.
According to Dr. James Levine, the Mayo Clinic researcher who first described and continues to study this phenomenon, NEAT can vary between two people of similar size by up to 2,000 calories a day.
One study that measured NEAT in lean and obese people (all of whom were sedentary and had similar jobs) found that obese people sat an average of two-and-a-half hours more per day than lean people, while lean people stood or walked more than two hours longer each day than obese people.
Realistic NEAT strategies for you include:
Tracking daily steps and increasing incrementally.
Start by tracking your daily steps and if weight loss is not happening, increase your daily steps.
Higher step counts lead to greater weight loss.
The average daily step count is 3000-5000 steps per day. I try to get my online clients to get a minimum of 6000-10000 steps per day. On average, a person can burn roughly 80-100 calories per 2000-2500 steps. You can fit this in anywhere in your daily routine.
Take walking meetings. Walk during phone calls.
Choose active leisure activities. Instead of sitting on a digital device, cycle and walk while listening to your favourite podcast or audio book. Walk a dog. Be more active with friends and family.
2. Self Monitoring.
Most of you will think you are eating less but in a weight loss plateau you might be eating more than you think.
Self monitoring involves tracking food or tracking measurements. Dietician Kat Barefield states that Self Monitoring can cure “Calorie Amnesia”.
This can also be known as Mindless EATING.
Tracking your food intake for 3 days up to a week can ensure you are tracking everything that is going in and see where the potential extra calories are coming from.
Diet studies suggest that most of us underreport the calories we take in and this is not just normal people, it happens with professionally trained dieticians as well. We all do it. We don’t do it intentionally (well maybe sometimes) but it happens.
We naturally underestimate the calories in and overestimate the calories burned through exercise.
This makes self monitoring a very useful tool to see where the extra calories are coming from.
An important point to note here is that you shouldn’t judge yourself just because you had a bag of crisps or an extra glass of wine.
I tell my clients that it is just DATA, it is just a number. I am not there to judge them and won’t come down on them like a mean old judge when they slip up.
It is just a method of troubleshooting so that I can suggest approaches to beat the weight loss plateau.
Self Weighing is also very good to track and this is also associated with greater weight loss.
You can use the scales, tape measurements or even progress pictures and clothes to determine your success with this.
Here is another client of mine, Prasad. Prasad had a history of losing weight, stalling and then gaining it back again and he was sick of it.
Through self monitoring, accountability and regular support he managed to break his weight loss plateau and sustain his weight loss currently at over 2 years. This surpasses the grim diet figures we talked about earlier.
3. Swap Energy Dense Foods For Lower Calorie, Nutrient Dense Foods.
Jeez. That’s a mouthful Johnny boy. What does that mean?
Some scientists say that our human body isn’t really built to know the number of calories coming in but it is good at sensing the VOLUME of foods coming in.
We feel full with high volume foods rather than high energy dense foods.
It is much easier to eat 6 pieces of chocolate than a big salad with chicken.
Nutrient-dense foods have lots of nutrients, generally with fewer calories.
Energy-dense foods have more calories for the volume of food and generally fewer nutrients.
Nutrient Dense foods are usually the foods that do not need to be marketed all year long i.e. vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts, seeds, legumes, lentils, healthy grains. Other nutrient-dense super foods include salmon, tuna, trout, full fat dairy products, oatmeal and dry beans.
On the other hand, energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods include things that are high in sugar and fat such as refined white breads, pasta, pastries, processed lunch meats and cheeses, ice cream, candy, soda, potato chips and corn chips.
Where can you swap out Low Nutrient Dense High Calorie Foods for High Nutrient Dense Low Calorie foods?
These nutrient dense foods can help you feel full, fight hunger signals, lower calorie intake and decrease cravings.
4. Diet Breaks.
This term has popped up over the past few years. What does it mean?
You may have heard of it as cheat days or cheat meals.
Basically it means planning little diet breaks every once in a while. Periodically increase your calories for a few days or a week at a time.
Don’t over eat but keep the calories at roughly maintenance level.
The research suggests that it may reduce those metabolic adaptations that we talked about earlier that the body creates to close the calorie deficit.
Remember, it is tough to be eating fewer calories all of the time. It is not good physiologically or psychologically. It is good from a mental and physical standpoint to have these little diet breaks.
It may take longer to lose the weight but it will come off and it can help to keep your Basal Metabolic Rate up(the number of calories needed to stay alive each day).
All of these are ways to prevent or overcome weight loss plateaus.
To summarise briefly.
If you have made it to the end, congratulations.
This article was long but it needed to be to fully explain this topic.
Save the article and use it as a reference. Thanks for reading.