Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Quick Question - Requests

I've got plenty of blog ideas lined up to last a good while but I think a major part of blogging is interaction so I was thinking of doing a request post once per week. Basically that would consist of you commenting requests in a post (I'll add it as a footnote in the post before) and I would give some solutions/answers to you guys in the day or two after.

What do you guys think of this idea? Any current requests?

Edit - To those asking about ab exercises, check down a few posts.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Gym membership?

If you're looking to just get in shape, make some gains so you look good for the beach then I see no reason whatsoever to spend a lot of money on a gym membership. The only investment I'd advise would be some weights, dumbbells and a bar that you can add weights to yourself. It shouldn't set you back much and in a couple of months you'd make up what you'd have spent at a gym.

On the other hand if you're looking to become a bodybuilder or you're interested in picking up a martial art then I would indeed recommend a gym. It's got a large selection of equipment, most gyms tend to have fighting equipment (gloves, bracers, pads, punchbags) and you'll be able to find sparring partners.

Unless you're in a serious need for somebody to push you to your limit then I wouldn't bother chipping in for a personal trainer. A lot of them will just fill you with broscience and make you use all the machines that they lay their eyes on at that particular moment.

Hopefully you can take some of this advice on board and make some savings as well as achieve your fitness goals.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Basic Nutrition Tips

In response to the question I posed at the end of my previous post I wanted to give you guys an answer quickly because improving your nutrition is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It's not just important for losing weight (it is, very much so) but it's also important for building muscle and keeping your body overall healthy.

Water intake

You know the way it's a well known fact that you need 8 glasses of water a day? Well it's not a fact, it's wrong. 8 glasses of water in a day isn't bad for you but what you need is far less and a lot of it can be gained through food. Personally I drink the equivalent of about 4 or 5 glasses per day. Maybe more depending on the intensity at which I work out. If you find drinking water boring, go for some green tea. Green tea tastes good, hydrates you and boosts your metabolism.


Protein is necessary for muscle maintenance and if you're looking to build muscle it's crucial that you get enough. If you're looking to build muscle it's recommended that you consume 1-1.5g of protein for every pound of lean body mass you have. Good sources of protein are fish, white meats, nuts (almonds are good as you can easily add them to breakfast cereals such as oatmeal) and whey protein. If you're not looking to build a lot of muscle, you probably won't need to make a whey protein shake.

Replacing the crap with the goods

It's easy to make small changes in your diet in order to improve your overall health, here's a list of things you can do with little effort and minimal cost.

  • Replace white bread with wholegrain.
  • Instead of coffee, drink green tea.
  • Eat oatmeal for breakfast instead of sugary cereals, it can be sweetened by adding fruit.
  • Instead of eating chocolate for a snack, grab a handful of nuts and eat them over time.
  • If you're looking for a good breakfast and aren't fond of oats, bran flakes are a personal favourite of mine and they're pretty good for you.
  • To increase your vegetable intake, mix in some cauliflower to mashed potatoes. They have similar consistancy and taste so you might not even notice a difference.

Hopefully you'll find these tips useful and in future articles I'll go more into what each of the nutrients do and why you should take them.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Bodyweight Exercises

Personally, I think weights are overrated. Don't get me wrong, they're great but I've found that body weight exercises are just as good if you're looking for good, lean muscle. I've listed below a few common but nonetheless effective body weight exercises and which muscles they train.

Bodyweight Squat - Quadriceps
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your feet as parallel as possible facing the front (don't worry if they're a few degrees off).
  • Push your waist down whilst bending your knees. Think as if you're sitting in a chair, keep your butt down, don't lean forward.
  • Keep your core tight and push up to your starting position.

Push-up/Press-up - Chest and Triceps

Now there are a few different forms of push-ups which work the chest and triceps to different ratios. Some variations include close grip, wide grip, etc. I'm just going to cover the standard but let me know if you're interested in an article covering different types of push-ups.
  • From a lying position, place your hand on the floor shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your body straight and your feet fairly close together.
  • Use your arms, bending at the elbows to push yourself up and lower yourself down.
  • When moving downwards keep your body straight and make sure you're lowering your chest towards the ground, not moving your hips or head downwards.

Chin-ups - Biceps, forearms, lats and traps (a few others but these in particular)

As with the push-up, there are a few variations. I'll just cover the standard one here. Now some of you might not have an actual pull-up bar. I don't either so I make do with using the bar of a swing set outside.
  • Grab the bar at approximately shoulder width apart with your palms facing you.
  • Do NOT jump, pull yourself off the ground until your chin is over the bar
  • Lower yourself down without landing on the ground and repeat.

Well that covers a few simple but good bodyweight exercises, they might seem a challenge initially but after a few weeks you'll be noticing you can perform a lot more without a break in between.

Question: Is anybody interested in some basic nutrition posts?

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Ab exercise request

One of the comments on my previous post was asking about ab workouts. I'd recommend starting ab workouts after your body fat percentage has been cut down a bit. As for actual exercises, I'm not going to tell you to do hundreds of crunches and sit-ups because to be completely honest they're not all that effective for abs compared to others.

In a study done by the American Council on Exercise they found that the best exercises were as follows: the bicycle maneuveur, the vertical leg crunch and planks

The Bicycle Maneuveur - Don't rush it, form is key.
- Lie on the floor with your hands at the side of your head.
- Raise your legs and bend your knees at a 90 degree angle
- Lift your shoulders off the ground
- Straighten one leg out in front of you and bring the other to your chest
- You should twist your body so the opposite elbow meets the knee at your chest
- From this position you should mirror your current position to complete a rep.

Vertical leg crunch - Simple but you'll start to feel it.
- Lie on the floor and raise your legs 90 degrees in the hair
- Contract your core towards your legs

Planks - A good core stabilising exercise.
- Lie on your front on the floor using your elbows to support you
- Raise yourself off the ground leaving only your toes and elbows in contact with the ground
- Keep your back straight making sure not to round it or let it sag
- Hold for as long as you can

Hopefully these are of some use to you!

Note: I only included exercises that require no equipment

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Looking for that elusive six pack?

There's no big secrets to getting a six pack and anybody telling you that they have some secret shortcut is trying to scam you. There's three simple things you can do to aid you in your goal:

1. Lift weights. Despite what people tell you, lifting weights helps you burn calories.

2. Interval training cardio. Shorts intense bursts of cardio are going to do more for you than running at a moderate pace for an hour or so on a treadmill.

3. MOST IMPORTANTLY! Your diet, six packs are made in the kitchen so replace all the fatty, greasy foods and junk food with healthier foods. Don't forget that healthy can also be delicious.

With perseverance and a bit of effort, you'll be cutting down your body fat and starting to see a noticeable change. Once you have a body fat around 10% (not precise, everybody is different) you should start the ab workouts to really help with ab definition.

What is Fitness Results is about?

A few years back I was a bit overweight and not particularly happy with myself. Then I decided to get fit. I signed up to a gym, bought my own weights and studied up on nutrition. Along the way I made a lot of mistakes and hopefully you can benefit from my experience and skip all the broscience.

Over the next few days I'll post a few articles and then work on having an article at least once a week so stay tuned.