Why its important to use the right shoes for fitness

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Well, most people just go out and buy a general trainer to exercise in or buy one for its aesthetic appearance rather than functionality. I decided to give a little insight to what shoes best suit the type of exercise training you do in your every day life.

There are many brands and styles of trainers out there on the market but that doesn’t alway help when it comes to choosing one, options can sometimes have a negative effect on your choice.

The way I break down what shoes I choose, is by thinking about the style/type of training I am going to be doing.
i.e running, functional training, general weights training, sporting activities (sports).

Generally, this helps making decisions as there is a different level of comfort & support you need for different movements along side durability and general functional purpose.

Take Nike’s Nike Metcon trainer and Reeboks Crossfit nano, these are both shoes I wear for functional training which consists of all different types of exercises such as strength conditioning body weight plyometric and many more. So for this type of training you generally want a firmer/ flatter heal with good ankle support for movements such as squatting, deadlifts overhead press, all movements that need a solid base from the ground with minimal movement through the sole of the shoe.

They also add good mobility to be able to run and also do plyometric jumping movements and body wight exercises, in saying this I generally wouldn’t use them as a sole running shoe, you can run in them but mostly in short bursts were it could be used in a tabata/circuit style workout that changes through various movements.

A good running shoe that I would wear to go for a long run would definitely be shoes such as Nike's new epic react flyknit, Nike air vapormax flyknit, under armour’s Speed form europa runner and also Asic’s Gel kayano 24’s and nimbus 20’s. All of which have great reviews regarding running.

They have a great design that enables the foot to move in a correct

running pattern and provides support and comfort that is needed for long runs.
These shoes generally have a lot more cushion through the heal which is why I generally use them for more plyometric jumping and running exercises.

A good all-around shoe that you could get away with doing both functional training and also running would be a shoe like Under armour’s new Hovr or even the Asic gel nimbus 20’s. Both these shoes are a good foundation in my opinion to get away with all styles of training.

If you are suffering from pain during or post exercising, it could be that you are not wearing the right shoes. I strongly recommend seeking professional advice from a podiatrist, physiotherapist, or even your local GP.

By- Nicholas Katsidis

UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS OF GOOD NUTRITION

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What is the definition of good nutrition? We refer best to nutrition as ‘food’!

Food is composed of nutrients, the most well-known are Macronutrients

PROTEIN

CARBOHYDRATES &

FATS

Food also contains micronutrients such as water, vitamins & minerals.  Each of these all contribute to our physiological function (the way our body works).  Once absorbed, we break these down into smaller units to become usable by our cells; we get amino acids from protein, glucose from carbohydrates and fatty acids from fats.  Although digestion and hormonal response can vary, once the subunits enter the general circulation, the actual food source doesn’t matter, as the body can’t differentiate what food it came from anyway.  

Although this is fact it doesn’t mean the quality of food we eat is unimportant for our health, performance and body composition.  Our bodies will physiologically respond better to a higher quality of food. Understanding the nutrients that make up our food is a fundamental part of understanding and learning nutrition especially what works best for your individual lifestyle and body composition.  When discussing good nutrition for your health and training goals it’s important to refer to what we know as whole foods, this is because whole foods are digested and absorbed more slowly due to a higher fibre content which results in less glucose appearing in the blood, less insulin being released and less chance of fat storage.  

The main sources for energy production are the macronutrients (listed above) and the amount of energy from these are referred to as calories.  The most basic and important criteria for all good nutrition for effective weight loss, weight maintenance and training goals include: 

 

  1. Good nutrition properly controls energy balance
  2. Good nutrition provides nutrient density (food containing large amounts of key nutrients)
  3. Good nutrition achieves health, body and performance goals
  4. Good nutrition is honest and outcome based
  5. Good nutrition is sustainable for us and the planet.

 

*disclosure: the above is general guide, opinion and recommendation only – it is advisable to seek out further information from a GP or physician if you have any medical/health conditions or concerns that could affect consuming these supplements.

By Gemma Rice

ACL Injuries & Function Training

 Coach Nicholas Katsidis training professional athlete Nathan Sim working on rehab for ACL. 

Coach Nicholas Katsidis training professional athlete Nathan Sim working on rehab for ACL. 

I am a long-time member of the ACL Club (not a club to join by choice). I gained my membership by having four knee reconstructions (YES FOUR!!). My last one was fixed by the amazing Mr. David Young, whom used a rather new procedure which saw him take a 30cm long strip of my iliotibial band (ITB), keeping it attached to its own blood supply and then wrapping it back through my knee to create a new ACL (pretty cool hey!). 

Ok, so let’s take a look at functional training and how it is absolutely beneficial and necessary for ACL reconstruction patients.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are  unfortunately amongst the most common injuries in sport and once ruptured, reconstructive surgery is required to get stability and functionality back. Post-surgery there is a period of intense rehabilitation with the goal of the rehab program being to regain mobility and muscle function and ultimately to return to sports participation. However, despite this rehabilitation, deficits in muscle function of the operated leg persist up to several years post-surgery and possibly for the rest of the life of the owner of the knee. 

There are several studies that have demonstrated moderate-to-strong associations between thigh muscle strength (primarily quadriceps strength) and knee function after ACL-reconstruction. People who have regained high levels of quadriceps strength after ACL-reconstruction are more likely to return early to their previous sports activity and at the same level as before the injury. Thus, it seems that quadriceps strength is an important determinant for satisfaction after the ACL-reconstruction. 

This is where high intensity functional training (HIFT) come into play, and what F45 does so well. High-intensity functional training sits between resistance training and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and gives you some of the benefits of both. Functional movement patterns replicate normal day to day movements, loading the body in the way that it was designed to. You then add to this a degree of resistance, in the form of weights, be it kettle bells, sleds, dumbbells or barbells, whilst performing these regular movements and what we see is an increase in muscular strength in all the right areas needs for a stable knee. 

Here are a few examples of these functional movements:

Farmers Walk - The Farmer’s Walk is a great move to strengthen your legs because you must take powerful strides while holding a load. And while working your legs you will also improve your posture, grip and core strength.

Step Ups/Step Downs – A safer way to strengthen your legs especially if you have knee pain, is the Step Up and variations of the move. Plus, it is a super functional move since many of us walk up stairs or have to use step stools or ladders in our everyday lives.

Kettlebell Swings - These explosive hip movement are needed to jump higher and even run faster. They develop coordination and mind-body connection, as well as the glute strength and power, things that everyone needs for everyday life.

Dumbbell Reverse Lunge with Rotation - The Reverse lunge with Rotation combines a lot of movement changes and challenges your balance, mobility and core stability all at the same time.

Sled Pushing/pulling - Sled pushing and pulling develops some solid strength in the glutes, calves, hamstrings, quads, and core.

Of  course, like any exercise there is danger of injury (but everyday life also offers this), however if performed with great technique, and by starting with light weights or even no weight, this risk decreases greatly. From my personal experience, functional training has helped with not only the physical development of my muscular movements and strength but also it has helped psychologically, which was actually the hardest part of the rehabilitation process. I give two big thumbs up to high intensity functional training and would love to hear your thoughts on this too.

 

*disclosure: the above is general guide, opinion and recommendation only – it is advisable to seek out further information from a GP or physician if you have any medical/health conditions or concerns.

By Clarita Farrugia

WHAT’S THE BEST SUPPLEMENT TO TAKE?

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WHAT’S THE BEST SUPPLEMENT TO TAKE?

One of the most common questions I hear is what’s a good supplement to take to burn fat? Or what should I take for my training?  Firstly, just like your diet it’s going to be dependent on your training and also what your body can handle as well as your budget. 

Personally I have quite a sensitive one so some of the ingredients in many of the shelf supplements irritate my gut and therefore I don’t actually take many if any at all.  Regardless of what the latest and greatest posts on instagram are promoting this is just as individualised as your eating and training so firstly you need to determine what result you are actually wishing to achieve and IF any supplements can support that. 

The reality is supplements are exactly that – they are designed to ‘supplement’ nutritional gaps to help your body achieve peak performance.  Alongside a quality diet and regular exercise your supplements should help improve your health, performance and physique, but before you go grabbing any old product off the shelf, or the latest #trending here I have covered the 5 most important supplements as well as the top 3 optional supplements to help improve and compliment your health and training.

  1. PROTEIN

Protein supplements are usually fast acting and can help reach your daily protein intake for times you are too busy to consume an actual meal. It is highly recommended for post workout consumption due to it’s faster absorbing ability.

Our daily caloric intake from protein should be between 20-30% sometimes even higher for hard training athletes or the sort.  The ultimate complete protein is through food – especially animal product, however supplementation is just as beneficial if this does not suit your lifestyle.  The types of protein available are:

Whey: this is a complete protein that is shown to promote lean muscle growth, fat loss as well as support your cardiovascular system and metabolism.  It is quickly absorbed and an inexpensive source.  However, as this is a by-product of turning milk into cheese it contains dairy which can be an allergen to some people or uncomfortable for digestion – but not to worry keep reading. 

Casein: with all the similar benefits as whey, apart from digesting over a long period of time, this is a great option for before bed or consuming as a smoothie with added fruits as a snack option.  As it is a slower release it’s not the best option for post workout as the body requires something more instant and again being a milk by-product won’t be suitable for those with lactose allergens or sensitive digestive issues.

Rice Protein: Brown rice protein is high in vitamin B and fiber as well as complex carbohydrate, this is also a very easily digestible protein and is hypoallergenic, meaning the body will use majority with little waste.  Rice protein is a great plant based alternative however, it not a complete protein and lacks in some essential amino acids.

Pea Protein: derived from the yellow split pea, this is also a great plant based alternative for vegans and vegetarians or those with allergens and digestive issues.  Like rice protein however, it does lack some amino acids, but depending on the brand can still be available as a complete protein so do your research.

*Ideally a combination rice and pea protein will give the full complete protein containing all the aminos required, similar to that delivered by whey.

  1. FISH OIL

Fish oil is renowned for containing high levels of Omega 3 – fatty acids which are considered “essential fatty acids” making them necessary for human growth and function but unfortunately are not produced by the body, making it necessary to be consumed through diet.  Oily fish, eggs, some nuts and grass fed beef are just a few dietary options that contain omega 3.  Whether you are wanting to build muscle, burn fat or just increase general health, fish oil is a great supplement to include daily and if that’s not enough here are some of the overall benefits that it can support:

  • Physiological function
  • Support immune system
  • Heart health
  • Healthy skin
  • Support eye and joint health
  1. BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids)

Branched chain amino acids or BCAA’s for short are a great supplement to include during training to prolong performance and promote recovery.  The aminos are leucine, isoleucine and valine and are naturally found in high protein foods and are usually already absorbed through our everyday diet.  For those who train regularly or are looking to promote muscle growth however, this supplement is encouraged to prevent muscle breakdown (catabolism) which in turn will see more potential muscle growth, as well as increase energy, boost strength and power and improve muscle building potential.

  1. GLUTAMINE

Glutamine is an amino acid found in protein which is the primary amino supporting skeletal muscle, immune health and overall wellbeing of the body.  Taking glutamine can help support building muscle mass as well as reducing muscle catabolism and supporting gut health.  It is best taken during or post workout to help restore muscle glycogen and glutamine levels that are lost while training without requiring the release of insulin (great for those on lower carb intake) 

  1. CREATINE

Creatine is a supplement with plenty of studies behind it and is designed to boost performance of high intensity activity, weightlifting and strength training allowing you to usually lift heavier and longer.  95% of creatine is stored in skeletal muscle while the remaining 5 is stored in the liver, kidney, brain and testes (for males)  The most reliable form of creatine available is creatine monohydrate as it has undergone and withstood the most testing to date.

OPTIONAL SUPPLEMENTS

As I mentioned above these top 3 supplements are something I find can help assist with your training and recovery.  They are not essential but again before grabbing the next HOT thing off the shelf, continue reading to see if they may suit your needs.

  1. CAFFEINE/PREWORKOUT

Caffeine is a naturally derived stimulant found in many products primarily coffee.  It has had a positive effect on energy metabolism, weight loss and body fat as well as being an aid in both endurance and short burst training (sprints) by decreasing fatigue and increasing mental alertness and concentration.  Most preworkouts will contain caffeine as well as amino acids, creatine, natural stimulants such as ginseng, guarana or green tea depending on your brand.  For some a cup of coffee may just do the trick.

  1. CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid)

Although there is not a great deal of evidence backing this product, studies have shown it is very effective in reducing fat mass and increasing lean muscle mass to help change the overall body composition.  If this is goal relatable to you, this product may well be worth adding to the stack for faster and quality results.

 

  1. ZMA (Zinc  Monomethionine Aspartate)

ZMA products are usually a combination of zinc, magnesium and B vitamins designed to enhance sleep quality and exercise recovery.  As it suggests this is great taken before bed to allow the body to utilise it overnight while it goes to work repairing your body from the day that was.  Magnesium supports your muscle health, sleep quality and metabolism while zinc is a great immune and muscle support.

At the end of the day supplementation will all depend on the individual’s needs and goals.  But by consuming a primarily intake of whole foods including plenty of green vegetables you should not find yourself lacking in deficiencies that should require supplementation.

*disclosure: the above is general guide, opinion and recommendation only – it is advisable to seek out further information from a GP or physician if you have any medical/health conditions or concerns that could affect consuming these supplements.

By Gemma Rice

 

The Hand Guid To A Perfect Meal Size

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Is that old saying and guide of a good size meal is the size of your hand really true?

I have always wondered if the old expression “a good proportion of food for every meal is in the size of your hand” Is this really true? 

Well, in most cases this is generally a guide for people to go by however, some professionals will agree that the serving suggestion in this expression will benefit your health and others will disagree adding that this has no overall impact in your health and wellbeing. 

This guide has always played a main role in my life and eating habits as it allows me to think about the content of food in every meal and make better choices. For example, when you think of the guide you generally think of Protein, Carbohydrates and Fat or Meat, Vegetables, Carbs. In my opinion by thinking about your choices in each serving you are making a positive step in doing the right thing for your diet and health in every meal. 

Now I know that not everyone is on the same diet or as I like to call it nutritional lifestyle plan as Vegans, Vegetarians and those who suffer from anaphylaxis and food intolerances will obviously have their own meal plans for ingredients that must be avoided and choices when using this guide. 

So, with all this being said, I feel the Hand Guide has always had significance to my eating habits and choices as I am conscious of what to eat, quantity of food ingredients in each category compared to other diet plans people have previously used there is no calorie counting or weighing your food and is a guide to a healthy and happy meal.

 

 

*disclosure: the above is general guide, opinion and recommendation only – it is advisable to seek out further information from a GP or physician if you have any medical/health conditions or concerns.

By Nicholas Katsidis

 

 

Is cycling the ultimate fat-burner?

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Cardio : is cycling the ultimate fat-burner?

- How hard do you think you could run on a treadmill for 45 minutes?
- How hard do you think you could smash the StairMaster for an hour?
- How many burpees do you think you could do before you pass out?

Spin classes have undoubtedly increased in popularity in gyms across the world over the last 15 years, but whilst the spin bike may look the same as an outdoor cycling or stationary bike, it is a much harder workout.

The benefits of spin classes stem from cycling’s low-impact joint movement. The biggest muscles in the body as part of the posterior chain include the gluteus maximus and the quadriceps, which are also the muscles the most used on the bike. The more you use them, the more energy you burn, with many clients reaching 600 calories an hour.
Consequently, spin is great for fat loss and can lower blood pressure and cholesterol, whilst the ease with which clients can adjust resistance d to alter the pace and intensity of their ride creates an atmosphere for people of all ages and fitness level to participate.

Weight-loss motivated clients often fall in love with spin as results from training mornings and nights come fairly fast, often within the first two weeks of training consistently. The client doesn’t feel like they’re overtraining due to the low-impact nature of the sport, unlike running which is increasingly hard on the joints and can often burn more muscle than fat.

Overall, cycling gives you can all the intensity of a treadmill or StairMaster without the impact and joint pain, but whilst it should be included in any fitness routine, spinning is not the be-all-and-end-all of fitness.

 

*disclosure: the above is general guide, opinion and recommendation only – it is advisable to seek out further information from a GP or physician if you have any medical/health conditions or concerns.

by Catherine Gilford 

Personal Training and Wellness

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On being a personal trainer

After teaching 3 ab classes, 2 HIIT trainings, a few F45 classes and keeping up with 11 clients, my week of work is done. This doesn't count the bike rides to and from work, the extra training I do for myself, and the hikes I get to on the weekends. 

If that type of lifestyle doesn't tire you out, I don't know what will. Sometimes I feel like I do more exercise in one week than certain people might do in a year... Good thing right? 

Lets introduce a term all fitness professionals are afraid of. BURN OUT. 

I'd be lying if I said I was unhappy in my job. Being a personal trainer allows me to have the flexibility to do what I love, and help others along the way. But, my one piece of advice to my clients, my friends and even myself, is this... 

Know the difference between WELLNESS and FITNESS. 

These are two very different things. 

I have some clients that train so hard, they never allow themselves to rest or recover. If they go away on holiday for a week, they make sure to work out everyday, and stay within their strict diet plan. This is contrary to the point of a vacation is it not? To give the body rest? 

The idea of rest, is something fitness professionals have to remember to incorporate into their daily lives, and it’s even harder for us, with a 4:30am wake up call and the need to always be ‘switched on’. So- rest, sleep, and a day lazing in the garden may be more beneficial to your health some weeks than a workout at 6:00am. 

Many people may disagree with me on this subject, as exercise is a MAJOR part of wellness. But when does it become too much? For fitness professionals, and individuals… 

I have tried to teach my clients the value of training, and training hard. This will give you results, and exercising regularly will increase your health and fitness levels. YAY! But, my other important lesson that I’ve learnt personally, is to remember that working out should not be about how many calories you've burned this session, or about the amount of hours you’ve made it to the gym this week. It should be about creating a stronger healthier you, so you can live your life to the best of your ability.  

So from one exercise lover to another, remember to rest, read, stretch, eat and always brush your teeth. Because fitness is only ONE component on your path towards wellness.

 

*disclosure: the above is general guide, opinion and recommendation only – it is advisable to seek out further information from a GP or physician if you have any medical/health conditions or concerns.

By Marissa Willcox

Staying motivated-Keep it Interesting!!

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Staying motivated to training and eating healthy.

In my opinion keeping it interesting is a key factor in staying motivated for both Nutrition and Training. 

Here are some of the best ways I have found to keep my training interesting. 

  • changing it up, do different styles of training. Theres nothing wrong Wirth giving something new a go every now and then.
  • Training at gyms that have a great environment with hi energy & good vibes definitely helps.
  • A training buddy can help keep you motivated in your training as it's a lifestyle that can be shared between friends, family and can even lead to meeting new people networking with others that have a similar interest in having a fit, healthy happy lifestyle.
  • Goal setting can also be a great way to keep yourself motivated, theres is no better feeling then achieving a goal previously set. 

When staying motivated to eating healthy I use the same concept of keeping it interesting. No one likes a boring meal so here are some tips I use to keep my nutrition Interesting.

  • Change up the styles and flavours to meals you already make.
  • Have a go at cuisines from all different parts of the world, introducing new flavours and style.
  • Reading books on traditional meals and on new enervative meals can inspire a different look and approach to eating healthy.

If you are struggling with staying motivated and can see one of these Tips helping, have a go and see if it can help keep you motivated to sustaining a fitter, healthier happier lifestyle. 

 

*disclosure: the above is general guide, opinion and recommendation only – it is advisable to seek out further information from a GP or physician if you have any medical/health conditions or concerns.

by Nicholas Katsidis.  

 

 

how to H.I.I.T your workout!

HIIT training has become one of the popular styles of training in the past couple of years and here's why. 

HIIT is an abbreviation for High Intensity Interval Training. Basically what that means is training really hard and fast in different time brackets with generally a short rest period. HIIT workouts are predominantly cardiovascular exercise movements to spike your heart rate during the workout interval. A lot of the time this is followed by a small recovery to keep your heart rate relatively high throughout the entire workout. 

HIIT workouts are a great way to burn though calories and are very common for people that want to lose weight and work on there fitness. I commonly recommend HIIT workouts to clients and anyone seeking advice for there training plan. HIIT workouts compliments Functional and Strength based training to create a well rounded workout week. 

Rather then doing a normal cardio session i.e running on a treadmill or sitting on a rowing machine for an hour, which I see many people do on a daily basis. Try Implementing a HIIT workout as a substitute from time to time. This can make a cardio day so to speak seem a little more interesting. 

Theres nothing wrong with going for a run on a treadmill for your cardio day, but if you are seeking something a little more challenging, different, fun or even want to improve your cardiovascular fitness give a HIIT workout a go.

 

*disclosure: the above is general guide, opinion and recommendation only – it is advisable to seek out further information from a GP or physician if you have any medical/health conditions or concerns.

 By Nicholas Katsidis.

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Don't eat like an Android!

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Many people ask me, what is a good diet? Firstly I believe calling it a diet only set you up for failure. Most people don't realise that relating the word Diet Automatically makes most people think limitations and restrictions to food which leads to urges.

This is what makes a diet hard to follow. You are restricting yourself from many meals, snacks and treats that at some point you will want to indulge in. So it leave this great temptation which in most cases wins, and sends that so called "Diet'' down the drain.  

I believe giving yourself the best chance at maintaining a healthy "Diet", is to change your outcome from having a diet to having a healthy lifestyle with a healthy food plan. If you allow yourself to eat these foods that many people call cheat meals or snacks and implement them moderately into your healthy food plan it will increase the chance of success. All in all a win win!  

In many cases I see people coming into the gym with the chicken breast, steamed veggies and steamed brown rice approach to there Nutrition. This I like to call the "eating like an android" diet.

The concept of weighing food, counting macro's (macronutrients) and cheat meals is not sustainable for the every day person.

If you are wanting to become a professional athlete or are training for a specific sporting event, body building competition, weighing in for a boxing match etc, then yes counting macro's and weighing food is needed. Having a specific nutrition plan like this is to improve athletics perforce.

If you are not training to become a professional Athlete the why should you eat like one?

Have realistic expectations with a reasonable approach to your day to day eating habits.  

 

*disclosure: the above is general guide, opinion and recommendation only – it is advisable to seek out further information from a GP or physician if you have any medical/health conditions or concerns.

By Nicholas Katsidis.   

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Breakfast- Why they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day!!

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Breakfast- Why they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day!!

Breakfast is commonly known as the most important meal of the day. Here are some good reasons why.

 

Breakfast meals generally have a good source of Carbohydrates, Protein and many other good nutrients such as Iron, vitamin B, vitamin C and Calcium. to provide you with a good energy source for what the day brings.

A lot of people generally forget that they have just spent the last 6-8 hours sleeping, so you would want to put back in what your body has been deprived of during your sleep. Yes people can say that you are not burning any fuel as your body is resting, but I believe that regardless if you are not burning as much fuel in a resting state, 6-8 hours is still a long time.

In today's day and age we are spending more time at work and with social outings and events. Because of this we are demanding more from our body which would mean a good source of energy is very important. As breakfast is the first meal of the day it provides you with a good head start to take the day head on. 

 

*disclosure: the above is general guide, opinion and recommendation only – it is advisable to seek out further information from a GP or physician if you have any medical/health conditions or concerns.

by Nicholas Katsidis. 

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