Food – How much and when and tracking it (and stuff).

Hi and welcome to another week,

Amazing numbers in the gym last week.  It is incredible really – it seems that whenever a challenge kicks off the gym is packed to the rafters…makes our jobs a lot of fun I have to say and brings so much energy to the place.  What I need to discover is how to create the ‘psychology’ of a challenge 12-months of the year rather than running actual challenges every second month.  Firstly, it would save me a lot of work putting challenges together!  Secondly, we would get those ‘challenge week#1’ enthusiasm levels 52-weeks of the year when (and there is no doubting this) the energy/attitude in the gym is at its absolute highest.  I guess what I should be saying is ‘awesome work everyone, keep it going’ rather than trying to look for reasons why but, well, you have to admit it makes you think.

So I have been doing some ‘Food Matters’ work and general diet ‘stuff’ with more than a few people lately and I wanted to share a few of the things that I am learning about the ins and outs of what is working (and not working) for people.

The first one is around ‘frequency’ of meals – or more  simply, how many meals each day you eat.  Now, when you read diet plans and things online (as many people seem determined to do) many of them talk about having 4-meals per day, 5-meals per day, 6-meals per day, 3-meals per day…my advise to everyone is to not get caught up in this!  I continue to be convinced that what you are eating (and how much!) is more important than how often – and you need to have the flexibility in your day to eat according to the demands of your life.  If eating 3x per day works best for you, well, eat 3x per day.  If you want to eat 6x per day because that works for you, well, eat 6x per day.  The overall calories + macro breakdown of your day (fats/protein/carbs) is going to be the same however many meals you eat.  Don’t STRESS about it.  Just roll with the punches and be flexible.

The second one is all about snacks, shakes and relying on them to keep up your energy levels during the day.  Now, I know a lot of people want to have a post-workout shake after their session – and this is a great way to replace depleted glycogen levels and get a head start on your recovery – but like everything there is no doubt it works more effectively for some people than others.  If you love your post workout shake – have it.  If you don’t love it, well, don’t have it.  You aren’t going to shrivel up and see all your hard gained muscle ‘waste away’ because you didn’t have a shake.  Snacks are another thing entirely and we need to talk about them as such.  Planned snacks aren’t snacks – they are MEALS.  And those ‘meals’ really do need to fit in with your overall nutrition for the day – they cannot consist solely of fats or solely of carbs or solely of protein – they SHOULD be a balance (as much as possible) and they shouldn’t be used to ‘cover up’ short-comings in your overall nutrition plan.  For example, eating a snack at 3pm in the afternoon because you are tired on that day, well, that’s smart.  Eating a snack at 3pm EVERY day because you are ALWAYS tired at that time?  Well, that points to a deficiency in your nutrition earlier in the day that you probably need to address – and for the long term, addressing the planned meals is a MUCH better plan than depending on the snacks to fulfil your nutritional requirements.

The third one is a really simple one.  When it comes to protein, not all ‘meat’ is the same.  I am not going to talk here about red meat versus chicken because that doesn’t really phase me – you should eat what you like to eat.  But I am going to talk about red meat and chicken versus FISH.  Now – fish is amazing, it surely is.  BUT, 100g of red meat/chicken has approx. 20% more protein than 100g of fish.  So if you are depending on tinned tuna as your protein source at lunch time, well, make sure you are getting enough to hit your protein target for the day.

Now those three little tips are probably a bit rudimentary and I can see everyone scratching their heads and thinking to themselves, ‘Well, that’s great but what about if I am still struggling with what to eat and how much to eat…how does any of that help?’  I am going to set the ‘what’ aside for this article – we have been over and over the whole ‘fresh meat, fresh fish, fresh veggies + stay away from pretty much anything pre-packaged’ stuff 1000001 times already, but I will do a paragraph (or two) on the how much part.

So – how much of everything should you be eating?  Well, that is definitely where the rubber meets the road when it comes to food and lifestyle plays a big part – but a great place to start is using the calculators at the ‘Eat for Health’ site.  If you go through the calorie calculator AND the nutrition calculator, the things you need to record are your PROTEIN number (from the nutrition calculator) and your total kilojoules from the ENERGY calculator.  THEN, if you want to start getting on top of your food and diet, create yourself an account at ‘My Fitness Pal’ and start logging what you are eating – including how much – and seeing how you go versus the recommendations on ‘Eat for Health’.  Are you over?  Are you under?  How do you feel – tired?  How do you feel – energised?  Start tracking this stuff.  I can hear the groans from everyone – it is a pain in the bum, it is too hard, I don’t have the time (and on it goes) but truthfully if what you REALLY want to do is drop a couple of kilos and you aren’t tracking your food then you aren’t giving yourself the best chance of success.

When you are tracking your food, this is what you can do really easily.  If you are tracking your food and gaining weight – you know EXACTLY what you have been eating so can make changes to WHAT and HOW MUCH with a fair bit of certainty.  You can measure, change, re-measure, change, rinse and repeat over and over.  The same thing happens if you are always feeling tired or losing muscle (obviously body scan required to measure)…some of the adjustments might just be around food types, others will be about food quantities, others will be about timing – but ALL of the changes you make will be because you took the time to record the data in the first place.  And to be honest, the establishment and continuous review of a food log is the basis of the Food Matters program…

That’s kind of it.

See you all in the gym!

Michael.

Gym Update #1 – “All Class” Challenge is GO!

One week down and all is….well????

I know for me I have managed to get 6x classes in since Monday – which is not a bad effort as I was involved in running every class except the 1pm’er last Wednesday and between TANKS and football am pretty much never able to complete a session on Saturday.  It did mean doing back-to-back Boxing/No-Rules classes Thursday lunch time (FAR from ideal) but I made it through and no have to figure out how to do it all again next week…whilst also dealing with the Easter Holiday hours and the fact that wipes me out from doing classes on Friday, Sunday and Monday.  Hmmmmmmm.

Anyway, I hope all of you guys are pushing through/pushing ahead and getting it done.  It certainly is going to be an awesome achievement to get to the end of this one.

Gym Update #2 – Easter Opening Hours

It is hard to believe but Easter 2017 is already upon us.  And this is when we will be open:

Good Friday:  Boxing at 7:15am, Boxing at 8:15am, Body Work at 9:15am, close at 10:30am.

Saturday:  NORMAL HOURS.  Boxing at 7:15, Boxing at 8:15, Boxing at 9:15, Body Work at 10:15, Beginners at 11:15am.

Sunday:  Boxing at 7:15am, Boxing at 8:15am, No Rules at 9:15am, close at 10:30am.

Monday:  Boxing at 7:15am, Boxing at 8:15am, Body Work at 9:15am, close at 10:30am.

I hope all of that makes sense.  There are signs up all over the gym detailing these hours (so take a picture of one of the signs with your phone!!!).

Gym Update #3 – Adventure Racing and Other Stuff.

Hopefully everyone has seen the big ‘Calendar of Events’ on the wall as you walk inside the main gym area?  Well, if not, I promise it is there and it includes the dates and details of things like the HBF Run for a Reason, City to Surf, and now both the True Grit event AND the Southwest Mud Fest.

Now, our plan is to run a once per week running squad for the ‘City to Surf’ event – but that isn’t what this is about.  We have put up some ‘registration’ forms in the reception area for the Mud Fest and for True Grit.  Last year we had a heap of members compete in both, but most people didn’t know who else was doing it…the idea here is that you register, record your name and can see who else is involved – that way, if you are looking for people to share rides (and accommodation) and to be a race-day buddy you can quickly find out who else is ‘IN’.  If you don’t know the other names on the list, have a chat to the trainers and we will help connect you with the other participants.

Gym Update #4 – Phase 2 1%’er

We started this last week – a specific ‘cardio’ effort to be completed either before or after class for anyone wanting to improve their overall endurance/conditioning.  As with last week, there are two options – Rowers or Assault Bikes:

Rowing people:

Session 1:  750m row, rest 30 secs, 500m row, rest 30 seconds, 250m row.

Session 2:  2x 1km row with one minute rest in between.

Session 3:  500m warm-up effort followed by 1x 2000m row.  Be sure to record your time for the 2km.

Bike people:

Session 1:  10 minute ride.  Speeds alternate between 60-65-70-65-60 each minute for boys and 50-55-60-55-50 for girls.  You will complete 2x ‘circuits’ of the pyramid.

Session 2:  1x 2mile bike effort.

Session 3:  Complete the 20:10 tabata program at around 50-60% of maximum effort.  THEN complete a 3mile ride and be sure to record your time.

As noted last week, if your goal is strength rather than conditioning, that will be the focus of this new program in MAY!

Gym Update – Footy Tipping and Fantasy

Well, the less said about the results this week the better, right?  Well done to all the Dockers supporters out there – I am sort of happy you guys got a win but did it have to be about my boys???  Between that game and the upset wins by Gold Coast and Carlton, everyone’s tips turned a bit ugly since Saturday night.

On a positive note, someone did manage to be the sole winner of our tipping comp this week – ME.  So that’s good right?  Peter Brear has also skipped a point clear in the overall contest by one point from Chantelle and someone else calling themselves ‘Kentucky’!!!

Dream Team was another round of massive scores with more than a couple of teams topping the 2200 points mark.  Brian Smith (welcome back to the gym!) won the week with 2243 whilst Ash Bachman showed he will be up the top of the ladder (at least until the finals) with 2237!

Link of the Week

Yo Elliot – Why am I tired all the time:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH7iCGDKdq0

I haven’t linked to Strength Camp for a while but the content is always interesting!