Sunday, 22nd December

There is a huge increase in most people’s eating and drinking this time of year, this is what most of you are experiencing right now with a couple of days left to christmas. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself either, as most of us are going to do it anyway!

As you get further into the holidays, the vast majority of people who train will always train less, most likely not at all, and train with less intensity when they do make it to training that is, and in general lose the enthusiasm they have had to be active all year. There is a direct link between stopping training and your enthusiasm to be active again almost disappearing.

This is why most people never get around to starting exercising again.

This “pause” usually turns into a 2-4 week slump that many never come out of. The start back becomes 100 times harder seemingly, and the new year resolution you are likely to make is 97% of the time never going to happen in reality (according to recent surveys).

In terms of exercising, surveys showed in 2013 that most people who promise to get fit in their new year resolution, actually saw that dream collapse on January 28th. So 3-4 weeks seems the average life-span of many people’s get fit plan each year.

Keeping your exercise plan, however short you want to make it, will often make the difference between you carrying on exercising, or becoming one of the statistics that often has a stab at exercise, but never carries it on due to the hammering their body takes over the Christmas holiday period.

Condensing your workouts into much shorter workout intervals always makes sense, it saves you time, you get to feel better because you have exercised, and it never crosses your mind to quit exercising completely!

More tomorrow on this.

Monday, 16th December

Your best memories of when you were in your best shape may seem long gone for some, but you need to start to use those memories to your advantage.

Your body always remembers where its been, when it was in shape, how well conditioned you really were, how fast you were, how strong you were, how tight your waist was, how much endurance you had, how good your muscle tone was, even the individual feats you were capable of.

This is all called “muscle memory”.

Muscle memory will be different in everyone, and everyone improved at different rates. This is why I always ask about your physical past.

It gives me clues on what to expect, what limitations you may have, and what exciting possibilities lay ahead!

Whatever condition you are in right now, you may be in your best ever condition right now, you may have got so far out of shape that you may not feel you can get back anywhere near your best, or you may be somewhere in between.

Whatever your situation, its entirely possible to get into that special physical condition you were once in, and to even improve on it.

Muscle memory isn’t everything of course, you’re going to need a lot of dedication, hard work and resilience.

Muscle memory will give you a head start though, so try and remember what life was like when you looked and felt your best, and focus your mind hard on getting back to those good days when your physical conditioning let you do anything you wanted to!

Wednesday, 11th December

It’s very easy to walk away from this programme, and even easier to never start it. It takes guts and determination to get through it and come out the other side a much fitter and healthier person. I’m getting some pretty inspiring stories through too, such as daughters and sons nagging their parents to keep on going right up to christmas, even when the parent is trying to find excuses a lot of the time.!

When questioned, the main reason the parent wasn’t going to exercise that night was due that old chestnut “I didn’t have time”! That’s my favourite one, or at least my favourite because its probably the most used excuse we have all used at times and most of us are sick of by now.

If you look at the training/workouts section of my blog (www.kerimckibbin.co.uk), some of those workouts are 15-20 minutes long JUST to fit in with those who have no time. I work on this theory and it’s heavily based on actual progress, and actual results. Anyone who has ever been through it will know exactly what I’m talking about. Some of my best workouts have been shorter ones when I had no time.

If you start off being able to do 4 press ups, then 6 weeks later you may be able to do 30, would you say you progressed?

Of course you have, if you did 20 squat thrusts to start with, and 6 weeks later you are up to 100, did you progress? It doesn’t take a genius to work that one out, so hopefully you are seeing you can actually do this thing!

Three sets of 5-6 exercises takes a maximum of 20 minutes including water breaks! So what exactly are you spending your time on? What do you exactly base “I haven’t got time on”?!!

Most people work so 8 hours there if you’re full time, let’s give you 8 hours a sleep night, family responsibilities I know are very challenging this time of year, but you have to find the minutes(not hours) to exercise! For some people, the extra hours go on watching neighbours, emmerdale, coronation street, and estenders, sorry I forgot holby city? And what about the trashy reality shows that are much worse again? Sorry, I forgot that life was supposed to be about all of those?!!

So even allowing for all of that, you probably have a couple of spare hours, yet you need just 15-20 minutes to turn your life around, and you can’t manage that? Compare that to driving to some gyms, 30 mins there and back, then a workout and that’s nearly 2 hours out of your night, same with the swimming pool?

So the question is again, is 15-20 minutes too much inconvenience in your schedule to get you into shape, sorry I forgot about the pub on the way home, the petrol station to get wine, the spar to get chocolates, and tesco to get your ready meals? There are more important things every day than your health, I apologise!!!

If you’re reading this for the first time, then you may think who this crazy person is, but I make no apology for stating the obvious!!! Many people, make that, most people have become very skilful at making excuses why they aren’t in the physical condition they want to be!

What would happen if you actually committed to the 20 minutes most days, and within 3 months, people started saying “wow, you’re looking great, what have you been doing?!!!”, would you like that? Would you like people saying that those clothes are hanging on you? You should buy a size that fits you?!! Would you like that or not? Would you like to be on the beach or certainly wearing less clothes, and people commentating on how amazing you look now and you look 10 years younger? THIS IS POSSIBLE AS LONG AS YOU QUIT MAKING YOUR EXCUSES NOT TO DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don’t fool yourself anymore, this IS possible I’m repeating myself and I want to know when you are going to give yourself the body and health you really deserve?!!!!! I’m excited anyway because I’m living this every day as I am helping others to achieve what they want. Nothing better when you see someone you are training and their clothes no longer fit, and they realise they are getting into their best ever shape, that’s a great feeling for all of us, so let’s pick up the pace and really hammer the final few day to Christmas!!!!

Tuesday, 10th December

If you are short of time due to the time of year, and most people usually are right now, then its vital that when you exercise, you REALLY make it count!

Going through the motions for an hour is not an option, challenging yourself to do the biggest “energy cost” exercises will be absolute key so you make the most of your valuable time.

Please don’t end up one of these individuals who spends endless hours of low intensity on the bike or treadmill. That type of exercise will do you good of course, but there’s a huge array of other options you need to get into that will deliver far better results for you.

For example, I always encourage people in the gym to stand up on the spin bike.

Simply starting by standing up for ten seconds in intervals, then sitting down for one minute, then, up for ten seconds again will put some intensity into the workout that you have never experienced before.

When you are able to stand up for 30 seconds, down for 30, up for 30 again etc, you know you will be doing very well and you will start hitting a very respectable level in spinning terms.

Plus this is far more fun than just cycling away endlessly using very little effort, and you will be far more likely to keep this activity up which is very important .

If you are weight training, don’t spend 5 minutes or so in between sets, try working on your lung capacity too and getting your heart rate up.

Weight training does not have to be just about strength. Weights can give you a much stronger heart and some added lung power, IF you cut down your rest in between sets.

Longer term targets for rest in between sets would be 45 seconds. You may have to reduce the weight you use initially, but you will eventually build that weight back up again as you progressively get fitter!

Monday, 9th December

Milk as a recovery drink post exercise

Milk is a near –perfect recovery drink, in terms of both glycogen and muscle replenishment and rehydration. In research, milk has been proven to produce a more favourable hormonal environment immediately following exercise compared to a carbohydrate sports drink. This they suggest encourages protein anabolism during recovery, in other words encourages muscle growth and repair.

Canadian researchers have found that when male weight trainers who were new to the sport consumed skimmed milk as part of a 12 week resistance programme, it promoted greater hypertrophy (muscle gain) than isoenergetic soy or carb drinks. Another study with females who were on a 12 week resistance exercise course found they reduced body fat levels , increased lean mass and strength after consuming skimmed milk post exercise.

It is thought that milk somehow changes the metabolism of proteins in muscle and so enhances muscle adaptations to exercise.

A post recovery drink should be drunk as soon as possible after exercise. There is a two hour ‘window’ post exercise when glycogen storage is faster than at any other time at a rate of 150% the normal rate. Therefore drinking the milk at this time speeds glycogen (blood sugar levels) and muscle recovery.

For harder, longer training sessions, extra carbs might be needed. Researchers have found that eating a bowl of wholegrain cereal with milk was as effective as sports drinks, but it also promoted greater muscle protein synthesis compared to the sport drink.