My Secret Hidden Skill

What do you need to be happy & successful?
 
“I strongly suspect that his secret hidden skill that he doesn’t even know he has
 
is to take a client & figure out instinctively exactly what they need to be happy & successful and give it to them”
 
Lovely words from my awesome client (looking shredded)
 
It got me thinking though…
 
Are you getting exactly what you need from your training to get the results you want?
 
Getting into your ideal shape can go WAY beyond just gaining confidence & feeling good in and out of a t-shirt
 
It can impact your quality of life
 
from energy levels to enjoy the little things to having a more positive outlook on the crap life can throw at you
 
Many of my clients go from being in a low place and feeling like they’re ‘missing’ something in their life (this varies from person to person)
 
To feeling confident
 
feeling more desired from the opposite sex
 
Waking up feeling fit & healthy
 
Walking around and do things more effortlessly, without that mid day slump of energy
 
Finding they’re suddenly demanding more attention from peers & being taken more seriously
 
finding their relationships improve
 
Enjoying less aches and better posture
 
And most importantly
 
They find what is actually important for THEM to be happy & most of the time it isn’t just getting into a shape they’re happy with but something deeper than that
 
99% of us don’t know what we actually want and need to be happy & successful
 
We may THINK we know
 
we may think we want to get into great shape but really there is a deeper reason behind that
 
Once you find this achieving ANYTHING suddenly becomes a lot easier (not easy) but easier
Fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you & help you achieve the results you’re looking for

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What you actually need is not what you may think you need

You find all sorts of weird and wonderful things on the Internet

 

Pretty much everything is on the internet now…

 

You can even learn how to ‘play a carrot’ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/how-to-turn-your-carrot-into-a-flute_us_59440569e4b01eab7a2d4974?section=us_weird-news

 

That’s right kids ..

 

who needs a recorder lessons when you can just play a carrot…

 

There’s also dozens of ways of getting into shape on the internet

If you did some searching you could also find ways to bulletproof your mindset and spend better quality time with your family & friends

Even ways to have more fun and feel confident

But be honest here, if you had the inclination to use all that free information you would’ve done so by now you’d be walking around feeling awesome living your ideal life but that’s the main problem…

most of us aren’t anyone can find info on what to do But none of that gives you the ACCOUNTABILITY to actually do it (please never trust google though there is a lot of bad advice out there making it really hard for you to achieve results)

you see

when something is free

we place little value on it so it becomes easy to not take the action required

Being held accountable is one of the biggest game changers when it comes to getting results

And it’s exactly what my coaching programme is all about

Keeping you accountable to ensure results

Making sure you do what you say you will do

And it’s all done in a unique way that has a 100% success rate

Making transformations fun and enjoying the process keeping score to ensure incredible results

It works so well & I get so excited when I help someone new change their life around with small simple steps

Want to see how? 

Apply via the form below for a FREE online coaching call (£500 value!)

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Cardio for fat loss

Cardio is the most misunderstood exercise in the world.

Having a zero cardio approach can mean we have to eat low calories on days we aren’t strength training to still be in a calorie deficit for fat loss to occur. (fat loss happens when we burn more than we consume) and we all burn calories at rest..

But .. If you’re in a situation where you don’t move about much in your day.. you drive to work, sit on your butt all day then you’ll be burning a lot less calories throughout the day compared to someone who is relatively active but may not realise it!

Many of us are lucky to get a combined 30 minutes of walking per day. This results in very low energy expenditures. To even tap into a calorie deficit, we have to eat a small amount of food. (a deficit for the most will be roughly 12x your bodyweight in pounds)

I would always advise to increase movement to give your body 45-60 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, where you can burn 250-350 calories!

This of course, gives you more room in your diet to eat more calories while still being in a deficit for fat loss.

From my last 6 years of coaching I’ve also found this daily exercise helps with diet adherence… ever noticed you feel more positive, focused and more motivated after exercise? This is more likely to keep you on track with the food side. You’ll be much more satisfied as you’ll be able to consume more food and lose weight (win win)

This amount of cardio shouldn’t have impact on your appetite and hunger.

Alternatively if you really are too busy very short bursts of high intensity cardio can be a great way to burn fat. I’m talking 5-10 minutes. from 10s sprints (all out) with 1 minute rest between sets for 8 sets or even explosive squat jumps and mountain climbers on a tabata workout.

TOO MUCH CARDIO STOPPING YOUR FAT LOSS? .. Watch above where I explain why this may be the case for some of you…

Performing too much cardio can hurt your goals of fat loss… lets say you go on 1 hour 30 run.. you burn say 650 calories… you come back in and begin to feel hungry.. this is where it’s very easy to un-do a whole 1 hour 30 of your precious time & hard work! Which is the main reason why I preach to keep cardio to a minimum…

This is much more likely to happen from longer 1-2 hour cardio workouts.

These long cardio sessions tend to increase appetite… as said above it’s very easy to undo an entire cardio session with one meal or desert!

For me the main reason cardio gets such a bad rep is because it’s so easy to undo an entire cardio session if you’re not careful.

Let’s say that you did cardio for one hour and burned 400 calories. One serving of food can completely undo your hours hard work!!

This is why cardio alone is a bad strategy for fat loss. For the most part it’s a lot easier to not eat 400 calories than it is to burn it via cardio (and less soul destroying)

So to sum this up – pay close attention to your diet and to use cardio as a tool to burn more calories without it feeling like a ‘workout’

To change your body shape you should aim for 2-6 strength workouts per week (this depends totally on your lifestyle, time and so many other factors) All of my clients go from having stubborn belly fat, love handles and lack of time (90 hour work weeks) so can only train 1-2x per week but end up achieving amazing physiques, energy levels, sex lives, focus & promotions at work through the other benefits of putting themselves first.. so it can be done whatever your situation… but i would always advice 2+ strength workouts (plus getting strong is more fun than boring cardio!)

If you’re doing cardio to get lean then it’s a matter of burning calories while NOT overtraining and increasing hunger.

Also important to understand if you currently track the calories you burn during cardiowatch the above video!

So now I’m going into 4 of the best cardio protocols for FAT LOSS.

1. Just Walk

You’re probably thinking this is the worst form of cardio ever, but it works…. it works so well….

Simply finding opportunities to walk more is an amazing way to burn more calories without even thinking about it.

A 3 mile walk will burn roughly 5 calories per kg of bodyweight.

So if you’re 75kg (165 lbs) that’s 375 calories.

If you walk just an extra 40-50 minutes per day, that can add up very quickly in terms of calories burned

The main plus of walking as that it doesn’t feel like exercise and won’t impact your recovery to perform in your strength sessions (where the true transformation happens)

Walking is particularly good if DON’T enjoy high intensity cardio workouts like the cardio protocols below!

 

2. Play a sport with your friends

This is great, as you don’t think about it burning calories as you’re playing (and it’s fun)

Ever played 5 aside football with your friends? That is good cardio…. short sprints non stop for a good length of time.. boy that will burn a lot of calories.

Play badminton, tennis, squash? Awesome.. get your heart pumping and have FUN. This makes dropping fat easy 🙂

 

3. Sprints for fat loss 

Now sprinting is an amazing way to burn fat quickly and burn a lot of calories. This is very high intensity so i’d recommend to start only with 1x per week and build your way up! These can be done anywhere …

one of my favourites is to perform deadmill sprints (shown below) at the end of a leg workout. Aim for 4 sets of 10seconds as fast as you can with a good minute to recover between sets.

4. Metabolic Strength Workouts 

Metabolic workouts involve doing traditional exercises like squats, pull ups, rows but in a circuit fashion…

By doing this, you’re increasing your heart rate and working your cardiovascular system much more than simply lifting something heavy for 5-8 reps… This is very advanced and I’d always advice to lift carefully to avoid injury if lifting fatigued!

This is also very beneficial for your muscles and the shape of your body (if lifting heavy enough with sound technique)

So start slow with this (1x per week) and work your way up to 3x a week max for fat loss.

Here is an example of one I performed the other day

5 reps on the barbell shoulder press

10 reps on the barbell row

and 20 deadlifts with as little rest between sets repeated 3x round – follow along to the short intense workout below!

 

 

 

So to conclude

  1. Cardio shouldn’t be your main driver for fat loss. Use cardio to “supplement” your strength workouts and use your diet to create the calorie deficit 🙂
  2. Walking is an incredibly easy way of burning more calories without increasing your appitite to eat more.
  3. Sprints and metabolic circuits with weights (which are still heavy for the reps you’re lifting) are a very effective way to burn fat but due to their high intensity level BUT should be used sparingly to avoid burnout. Start with doing them 1x per week and work your way up to 3x MAX per week
  4. Go play a sport and do something fun outside!

 

 

 

Diet Hack

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Does food taste better in the evening? Or do you enjoy eating more before bed? If so, I have a huge diet hack for you right now…

Watch the video and see how me and many of my clients use this technique to drop bodyfat each week while enjoying food before bed!

Having a low body fat is the key to looking awesome and what many want to achieve.. However .. In order to reach a low body fat it is vital that you eat at a caloric deficit.
By consuming fewer calories than your body burns, it will be forced to use stored energy (body fat) for fuel.

This means you can eat your favourite foods and drop bodyfat … that’s right, bread doesn’t make you fat, chocolate doesn’t .. not even pizza.

However, this is much easier said than done. Current nutrition ‘wisdom’ makes it very difficult to eat at a caloric deficit.

My first tip would be to TRACK CALORIES!

You wouldn’t go into ASDA with only £10 and not add up the amount you’re spending as you shop.. as you wouldn’t save money without tracking your expenses. So why would you try to lose body fat without tracking your calorie intake?

You’ll be shocked if you weighed out what an actual serving of cereal is. I weighed out what I thought was a 45g serving of granola yesterday which would have been 194kcals….I went to weigh it and BAM, over 650 KCALS! This is how easy it can be to over eat! I love cereal but damn this sucks if you have to eat this little to keep calories low, the 45g serving is like 10% of my average bowl!!

 

Damn it granola .. just under 700 kcals! That’s not even a bowl full ;)!

When you have no idea how many calories you are taking in, losing body fat becomes much more difficult..

Therefore it is critical that you track your calorie intake if you’re serious about dropping fat consistently… at least until you know the foods and amounts you eat each week. If you think about it you probably stick to the same 40-60 foods each week, once you know the calories, protein and carbs in this then tracking is not needed.

The great thing about tracking is that adherence becomes much greater… you’re very aware of how much and what you’re eating.
You are much less likely to overeat because you know exactly how much to eat and when to stop!

With smart phones, it is absolutely effortless to track your calories now … I’d advise you to download Myfitnesspal or my personal get body confident app if a 1-1 or online coaching client.

With MyFitnesspal amongst other apps it makes tracking easy with pretty much every food on the data base. If you’re a personal client you can also use my own personal app to track your calories and food.

Do this one thing and you will begin seeing some great results.

Watch the video to find out how my clients enjoy huge meals before bed while consistently dropping bodyfat

Fat Loss Supplements & The exact amount of calories and protein YOU should be eating

If you’re taking fat loss supplements in hope they can make you leaner with a diet that isn’t hitting the right amount of calories and protein consistently you’re wasting your time. I like to compare it to trying to empty a swimming pool with a teaspoon .. while it’s chucking it down with rain. (Your body being the swimming pool, the rain/water being the bodyfat) 😉

How do I work out the amount of calories and protein I need to drop body fat consistently though?

 

Easy.

First though .. it’s important to know that every successful diet plan NEEDS to be simple and easy to follow.

 

If your diet is overly complicated, requires too much time cooking/preparing/cleaning and is expensive then you probably won’t stick with it!
However.. if your diet is simple, straightforward and convenient then it is much more likely you will see the diet all the way through. Resulting in looking pretty damn awesome 😉

You can expect to drop between 1-1.5 lbs of fat per week (0.5kgs) with what I’m about to share. THIS is the rate of fat loss that you will be able to stay satisfied, gain strength, maintain your muscle and possibly even gain some muscle size while consistently dropping bodyfat each week.

Those that try to lose 2 lbs or more per week on crash diets are the ones that lose strength and muscle and break their diets gaining all of the weight back.

Note
When you break under the 10% body fat range then fat loss should be much slower. 0.5-1 lb per week of fat loss is the maximum rate that I recommend.

Okay okay back to working out exactly how many calories YOU need as an individual to start dropping the right amount of bodyfat each week!

First – Determine Your Maintenance Level Calories

There are all sorts of complicated calculators and formulas to determine your maintenance level calories. However, most of these calculators seem to overestimate your daily energy expenditure quite severely.

The most accurate method I have found for determining your maintenance level calories is to take your bodyweight in pounds and multiply it by 15.

This is assuming you get an hour of exercise per day (one hour of walking or one hour of strength training).

This is just a starting point; it may require adjusting in the future depending on your rate of fat loss. For some people this number may underestimate their energy expenditure, and they may lose fat a little faster than expected.

This is completely fine, and you can simply add 200-300 calories to this number to keep fat loss in the 1-1.5 lbs per week range. If you’ve found you haven’t lost then just take out 200-300 calories.

Bodyweight in pounds x 15
170 lbs x 15 = 2550 calories burned per day

Second – Set Your Calorie Intake

Now that you know your maintenance level calories you can now set your calorie intake for fat loss.

I recommend using a 20% calorie deficit. The simplest thing would be to take your current bodyweight in pounds and multiply it by 12.
Bodyweight in pounds x 12

170 lbs x 12 = 2000 (550+ calorie deficit)

Third – Set Your Protein Intake

Protein should make up at least 40% of your total calories when eating at a deficit. This will keep you the most full and will optimise the retention of lean mass, while also leaving ample room for fats and carbs in your diet.

So if you’re eating 2000 calories per day then you’d multiply this number by 0.4. 2000 x 0.4 = 800 protein calories

There are 4 calories per gram of protein. Therefore you will need to divide protein calories by 4 to determine the number of grams of protein you should be eating per day.
800 divided by 4 = 200g of protein per day

Make up the rest of the calories with fats and carbs – so you have 1200 calories there to play with each day (of course a lot of protein sources have carbs and fats in with them too so be very careful when tracking!!)

Now onto the supplements that I take 🙂 take a listen to the video below if you’re interested.

 

 

 

 

5 Healthy Lifestyle Tips to Eat Healthy Year-Round — And 1 for Making Working Out Fun

5 Healthy Lifestyle Tips to Eat Healthy Year-Round — And 1 for Making Working Out Fun

 

Eating healthy is highly subjective and can vary greatly depending on you, your goals and your preferences. However, almost everyone can improve the nutrient density of their daily foods while leaving room for the occasional indulgence. Whether you need a complete overhaul on your diet or simply want to improve on what you already consider a pretty clean one, the little things add up. (Everyone has a “diet,” and it shouldn’t be considered a bad word. The quality of every diet is what matters.)

CA153A15-7C86-4055-AF2E-DE777ADF8549.jpg
Image source: Pixabay

Eating healthy is really a lifestyle change and shouldn’t be considered temporary or a quick fix. There will always be occasions where we want to look our best for a special event, and during those times you can certainly focus on your healthy eating lifestyle more so than at other times. However, here are a few approaches you can consider adopting for good for a healthier, happier you:

1. Eat mindfully. Don’t eat in front of a screen, and pay attention to the nourishment in front of you. A lot of people think they’re too busy, but it doesn’t take long to fully enjoy a healthy meal. Enjoy the textures, aromas and, of course, flavors. Chew with intention, not as just another part of your multi-tasking life.

2. Feed your body what it needs. Food guidelines are just that—guidelines and suggestions based on average population needs. While it’s true most people benefit from drinking as many ounces of water as they weigh in pounds daily, or aiming for just as many grams of protein as their body weight, there’s plenty of wiggle room. However, if you want to gain muscle mass, you need more protein and BCAAs. Consider your goals, including maintenance, and figure out what nutrition you need to achieve your goal.

3. Prep in advance. Everyone’s busy, and it’s unlikely you’ll be able to prepare even one healthy meal per day every day. Dedicate a window of time once per week for meal prepping for the next seven days. Start with just one meal per day if this is a big challenge, or go all out with numerous meals. When you have prepared, ready-to-eat homemade nourishment at your fingertips, it’s pretty easy to eat healthier.

4. Recruit your furry friend. Maybe your dog isn’t looking to overhaul his health routine, but it doesn’t mean he can’t be instrumental in yours! Simple activities, like playing chase in the local dog park with your pup, can help add steps to your day. You might also go for a run together, or even playing tug-of-war in your own backyard. Of course, it doesn’t have to be your own dog. If you don’t have a pet of your own, dog boarding gives you the chance to get the health benefits of spending time with animals without the full-time responsibility.

5. Learn to read nutritional labels. Unfortunately, most Americans lack this skill, but it’s one you can learn. Understanding the difference between saturated and unsaturated fats, the importance of dietary fiber, the calculations to figure out net carbs, and what red flags to watch out for on ingredients lists (like Red dye 40) are all key to understanding what you’re actually ingesting. Labels shouldn’t dictate what you eat, but they’re an informational tool that can be useful when making healthy eating decisions.

6. Supplement wisely. It’s nearly impossible to consume all of the nutrients your body needs from food alone without dramatically going over caloric guidelines. Basics like bit d3 and Omega-3 fatty acids can be easily enjoyed as a supplement. Talk with a dietician and your doctor about adding other options like turmeric, cinnamon and magnesium.

Eating healthy isn’t something anyone can master easily. Everyone can and should have days that are better than others, and that’s okay. That’s what makes life so delicious! However, being mindful of what you’re consuming and how is foundational for not just a healthier you, but for enjoying your food even more.

The Best Stretch You’ll Ever Do!

Here are some of the best stretches you can do for tight muscles around your body. 

Is magic real? If you struggle with tight hamstrings then YES. Try this quick stretch (below). You’ll be left with more relaxed feet with a new level of hamstring flexibility!

This works as when you massage the soles or your feet you begin to loosen up the point of a network of connective tissue that runs all the way up the back of the body

Try this stretch to become instantly more flexible in your hamstrings (amongst other areas) (you’ll need a tennis ball or golf ball)

 

The next stretch is the most amazing hip and back stretch? TRY THIS NOW. 

 

 

This is incredible for loosening up this area. If you’re feeling lower back pain…just try this and see how much more relaxed your body feels after!

The last stretch in this blog focuses on the ankle area which is extremely important for any squat motion. 

Finding that your body is tilting forward when you squat? Or have lower back pain? Try these ankle stretches

 

they could work wonders on your squat depth.

And if you aren’t including some form of squat in your workout programme you’re missing out. There should always be some form of squat, hip hinge type movement (deadlift), push (chest/shoulder press) (unless a form of shoulder injury) and pull (back exercises) for max body development and fat loss.

For all these stretches try them pre and post workout. Also before bed is a great time to stretch to get your body in a relaxed state to sleep. I’d always be very wary of doing too much static stretching before a workout as it can relax your muscles which isn’t great before lifting. But the right stretches like the ones above can do wonders for your lifts and get your body ready to lift by opening up the back, loosening the hips and stretching tight muscles like the hamstrings and ankle.

Stretching Routine

Follow along with this awesome intuitive stretching routine I like to do post workout or before bed.

 

I hate stretching, honestly.. and because I don’t do it enough.. in fact i’m very inflexible in certain areas.

 

Despite this making that time to stretch and do something you don’t enjoy is important for the benefits!

 

Stretch 1 & 2: The first couple of stretches lying on your front twisting and pushing your chest up help relieve pressure in the back, really good after a long day at work (see how much better your back feels after it!)
 
Stretch 2: The exercise after this is for quads (and a great foot stretch too) if you’re not used to stretching your feet back that way.

 

Stretch 3: After this i go into the ‘downward dog pose’ this stretch is brutal for the calves .. you may find these are tight.

 

Make sure you keep your legs straight and try and get your heels to the floor – if it’s too painful try pushing one heel down at a time like i am.
 
Stretch 4: I then show a hip stretch (the sexual one) where you open my legs wide and push the bum back, really good for fixing any kind of butt wink (if you squat or deadlift and your bum caves in at the bottom) – real good lower back saver this one.

 

Stretch 5: The stretch after is another good one for the bottom/hips – placing one foot on top of your knee and pushing the hips forward (you’ll feel it!)

 

Stretch 6: Then the ole pigeon pose. Great stretch if you’ve got tension in your back (believe it or not!) but particularly good for the glutes (bum cheeks) – aim for this is to push your hips forward and down into that front leg. You can also push your front leg further forward for a deeper stretch of the muscle.
 
Stretch 7: Next stretch is for the good old hamstrings (as mine are always extremely tight) and if you’ve got any lower back pain or work in an office chances are… yours are too!
Sit on the floor, legs straight – roll your hands up and legs and feel that stretch – then bring your legs out wide while seated (like a seated sumo wrestler if there is such a thing) and try the same from this position stretching out to each toe.

 

High Protein HEALTHY Flapjack Recipe

Try this healthy high protein flapjack recipe.

 

As a Personal Trainer & Nutritionist everyone expects me to eat ‘clean’ all the time. This is far from what I actually do… in fact, most evenings before bed I eat a large bowl of cereal. I love cereal…

Cereal.. that high calorie high carb processed food that you cover in milk.

Yep that’s right I eat a load of carbs before bed…. But doesn’t that result in fat gain as you aren’t burning it off I hear you say?

No.

It is the total amount of calories you eat throughout the day that will cause fat gain. It doesn’t matter when you eat them.

Breakfast is NOT the most important meal of the day when it comes to getting in amazing shape, PROTEIN AND CALORIES ARE. Get this right ad you’ll get an amazing body. For more help with this just send me a message. There is no need to eat ‘clean’ all the time. What even is clean? Do you wash your food before eating it?

You should aim to have 80-90% of your food intake from single ingredient foods like beef, broccoli, potatoes, carrots, chicken etc .. but having a little bit of something naughty won’t impact your body UNLESS you’re eating in a calorie surplus. (You can still put on fat eating healthy things like the above if in a calorie surplus too!!)

personal trainer cambridge recipe

Anyway..going off subject here, back to the healthy baking

 

The great thing about baking healthy is that you DON’T need exact amounts of ingredients like you do with traditional baking to make it taste good.. You can genuinely make it up as you go along and bung ingredients in there at any amounts .. And as long as it’s not too thick or too runny it’ll work! And even if it is too runny you can still make it work by baking if longer 😉 …

So have fun and experiment if wanting something sweat that is actually full of nutrients.

 

But be careful as you CAN and WILL gain fat if eating too many calories, it doesn’t matter if those foods come from chicken and broccoli or snickers bars.. Energy balance matters! 
For me I love it after I’ve baked and I have something like this to snack on for the next few days when I’m hungry.

Check out my recipe book which is out NOW which has over 100 recipes like this one (and loads of other cool information to make sure you succeed in any fitness goal!) send over a message for this.
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The Two Exercises That Will Get You Abs

 

Watch the video to find the TWO most important exercises to learn when looking to drop body fat, get abs and start slimming that waist down!!

 

All jokes and sarcasm aside, you will NOT get abs by doing millions of sit ups and planks. These exercises are useless, they may have space in a programme if that person is VERY lean, has a lots of time to kill working out and has already done their strength work.

Better ab exercises to try would be stir the pot (holding a plank on a stability ball and very slowly rolling arms round in a circle (the burn will be more, the exercise a lot more effective than a traditional plank)

 

Trx pike crunches – a lot more effective than a traditional crunch.

 

Cable machine crunches – the added resistance has extra benefit over tons of bodyweight reps.

 

Landmine rotations (with a barbell) holding the top part of one end of the barbell, the other end fixed into a landmine holder or pushed into the floor – then twisting it down to each side of your hips (a good one for the obliques)

 

Cable wood choppers – hold a cable handle and twist your torso fast to feel it down the obliques

 

and finally – the best for burning fat too and working the core – SLAMS.

 

Again all of these (bar maybe a few) won’t have effect unless you’re already lean enough or your abs to start popping out. Your strength work should always come first building a balanced physique working the bigger muscles. Glutes, Lats (back), Hamstrings, Chest etc. Master these muscles groups and your abs will be worked throughout the movement if done correctly.

 

Sometimes all that is needed is just 2-3 changes to your current diet to drop to the level of body fat needed to see abs. This can be done a lot more easier than people believe and yes, while you may have to give up having a beer everyday you’ll be getting something in return that will make you far more proud, happy, attractive, focused and overall a BETTER person. Let me re-assure you my clients still enjoy a good social life and balance.personal trainer cambridge steve taylor