Duck Lunge | BENJAMIN SIONG

Duck Lunge | BENJAMIN SIONG
Mar 20, 2018
by ASP Admin

Anyone who’s tried this lunge variation will probably attest to the deep burn in the VMOs that accumulates through the set … and I love it!

The duck lunge, appropriately named, is a one of my go-to lunge movements because this exercise emphasises several training attributes other lunge variations may not:

1) Having to keep my torso upright through the movement means reinforcing ankle, calf and hip flexors flexibility as well as mobility strength. This builds me up for a safe and strong deep squatting position.

2) The close stance in my movement also emphasises lumbo-pelvic stability and rhythm. While this should be innate, given how babies develop their walking and running patterns, our hip movements nowadays often tend to be disrupted and made faulty due to poor habits from our current activities (or rather lack of current activity).

3) The emphasis on just the deep bottom ranges of the lunge is crucial in the development of the muscles and tendons that stabilise the knee, especially the lower fibres of the VMO.

This is a more advanced exercise. If you’re thinking of giving this a go today, begin just with bodyweight, keeping upright posture and focusing on a smooth motion through the exercise.

Benjamin Siong
Founder & Strength Coach

Contact us today at www.trainasp.com.au/contact-us/ or call (03) 9038 8008 to book a consult with one of our trainers!

Hip Hinge: The Fundamental Movement | GEORGE MENELAOU

Hip Hinge: The Fundamental Movement | GEORGE MENELAOU
Mar 13, 2018
by ASP Admin

7 MAIN MOVEMENTS required per week to round out your program in ALL the fundamental movements of life.
1. Hinge
2. Squat
3. Lunge
4. Push
5. Pull
6. Carry
7. Gait

WHAT IS A HIP HINGE?
The Hip Hinge or Hinge Movement is a fundamental movement pattern involved in flexion and extension of the hip, this involves what we call the “Posterior Chain” muscles to act in unison in order to extend the hip. The muscles that are involved in a Hip Hinge, though not limited to this, are the erector spinae, lattissimus dorsi, trapezius muscles, quadratus lomborum, glute muscles, hamstring muscles, calves, rear deltoids, and rotator cuff. 

HIP HINGE EXERCISE VARIATIONS:
– Clean Grip BB Deadlift
– Snatch Grip BB Deadlift
– Sumo BB Deadlift
– Romanian Barbell Deadlift
– Deficit Deadlifts
– Rack Pulls
– Block Deadlifts
– Chain Deadlifts
– Resistance Band Deadlifts

– Deadlift Isometrics
– Sumo Stance Romanian Barbell Deadlift
– Romanian Dumbbell Deadlift
– Hex Bar Deadlifts
– Good Mornings
– Back Extensions
– Reverse Hypers
– Snatch Variations
– Clean Variations
– Kettlebell Swings

Just look at all of these exercises variations! These can all be easily manipulated with things like tempo, pauses, range adjustments, and 1 and 1/2 or 1 and 1/4 reps. A Bodybuilding Deadlift is very different to a Weightlifting Deadlift and THAT is also very different to a Powerlifting Deadlift.

The position for the first 3 deadlifts varies depending on a person’s goal, program, size, and levers. This will dictate start, mid and end position. How these exercises are used in programs is dependent on the client and their needs. Are they hypertrophy based, performance based or strength based?

MY TWO CENTS ON THE HIP HINGE:
a) It taxes the nervous system more than any other movement
b) It is normally done poorly due to weakness usually through hamstring muscles
c) Unlocking your hip flexors, activating your glutes and mobilising your spine will improve your lifts

Get to work!

Is going all in stopping your results? | PATRICK HAMMES

Is going all in stopping your results? | PATRICK HAMMES
Mar 4, 2018
by ASP Admin

When it comes to striving for a health, fitness or lifestyle goal, there’s one type of mindset that consistently stops people from achieving what they want: the all or nothing mindset. As the name suggests, you have two options: 1) you go all out and do everything you’re supposed to do, or 2) you don’t do any of it. There’s no grey area. Before I continue I want to say that sometimes, an all or nothing mindset can be beneficial. For example, if you’re an athlete or fitness competitor preparing for a competition you may need to go all out for a short period of time. Or, you may have an event (e.g. reunion, wedding, Stereosonic) and being stricter on your goals is necessary. But for the person looking for long term, sustainable health, and being happy with their body, then all or nothing thinking can keep you stuck where you don’t want to be.

All or nothing thinkers tend to pile on their to-do list and go 100% all out and remain 100% perfect for the entire duration. They will overhaul their entire diets, their routine, hit the gym X number of days a week, and make sure that this plan is executed to a T.

But what happens if an all or nothing thinker slips up? Well, for an all or nothing thinker, one slip up usually means game over. For the next few meals, day, or even days, it’s a free for all of pizza, chocolate, crisps, cake and some beverage that’s pretty good at cleaning coins. The thinking behind it is generally “well, I already messed up, so what’s the point?”

For some the thinking gets a little more extreme. I’ve come across individuals who refused to make ANY lifestyle changes (no matter how small) until their life circumstances (work, home life, etc.) allowed them to go all out. Of course, this never happens.

As you can probably imagine, all or nothing thinking has a pretty high failure rate, but only because it sets you up for failure from the start. Firstly, by tackling too many changes, it opens up a lot of room for error. If there’s one thing we know about habits, it’s that they can be extremely difficult to change. One habit alone can be a monumental task that requires long term diligence to break or recreate. Secondly, because all or nothing thinking demands perfection, and because no one can be perfect all the time, eventually you will slip up somewhere. It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when, and when it happens it’s usually wrought with feelings of guilt, stress and self-criticism.

In my experience, the people who succeed in the long term are people who understand that it’s not about doing everything perfectly, it’s about doing better. Better doesn’t mean better in a big way (at least not right away); it can mean being better by even the smallest step. For some people, the first step might be ‘get to the gym X number of times a week’. Forget about nutrition at this stage, it’s too much to handle right now. Once they achieve getting to the gym regularly then they can focus on something new. Maybe preparing home cooked dinners 3 times a week, instead of having takeaway. Once they master that, they could step it up to 5 or more nights a week. The point here is that the changes can be small and happen one at a time. There is no change that is too small as long the change is for the better. It is also much easier to succeed with a habit change when the change is small and easily achievable… and it’s empowering when you master the change and move on to a new one.

Probably the most important thing to remember for anyone looking to form healthy nutrition and lifestyle habits is that if you stray from the path once in a while, it’s okay! Focus on getting back on track as quickly as possible. However, if you do find yourself going off track too frequently, then maybe it’s time to re-evaluate the change. Perhaps choose another change or dumb down the current one (e.g. instead of “I will stretch every day” change it to “I will stretch 3 times a week). You’d be surprised, some changes will require other changes along the way. For example, doing more meal prepping may mean having to plan more grocery runs. That’s TWO changes in one!

If you think you’re an all or nothing thinker, it’s important to catch yourself out when you’re doing it. Changing a mindset is not always easy but being aware of how you think and the steps your mind takes can be half the battle won. At the end of the day, the main thing to remember is that perfection doesn’t exist, and trying to strive for it only breeds stress, anxiety and, in some cases, depression. As long as you are striving to do better—step by step—you will always know that you are heading in the right direction.

Patrick Hammes
ASP Coach

Contact us today at www.trainasp.com.au/contact-us/ or call (03) 9038 8008 to book a consult with one of our trainers!

Top 4 supplements for getting lean | MITCH MCKENZIE

Top 4 supplements for getting lean | MITCH MCKENZIE
Feb 27, 2018
by ASP Admin

One common question I get asked time and time again from friends and clients is which supplement is most important for fat loss and do I really need to supplement if I eat a healthy diet full of protein, fruits and vegetables?

Firstly, it must be understood that supplements are named so due to that fact that they are designed to ‘supplement’ not replace a nutritious diet. This means that you cannot expect a supplement to work effectively if you have not first managed factors such as total calorie intake and macronutrients (i.e you definitely cannot out-supplement a poor diet).

Although the following supplements will assist most of the general population to improve their body composition, the focus should always be primarily on structured eating and a well-designed fat loss training program.

Do you really need to supplement if you follow a healthy diet?

In today’s society, even with a diet full of whole foods, there are still nutrients that we probably lack. This is due to commercial farming methods of animals, fruits, and veg, increased pollution, and poor soil quality which in turn reduces the levels of vitamins and minerals in our food.

MAGNESIUM

Magnesium is a mineral that affects over 300 processes in the body and a deficiency can lead to an array of problems such as poor sleep, metabolic problems and stress.

  • Magnesium reduces the effects of cortisol by boosting the hormone DHEA
  • Magnesium reduces inflammation by boosting the immune system
  • Magnesium has a calming effect on the nervous system. If taken before bed, can improve sleep quality which will enhance recovery
  • Magnesium increases insulin sensitivity which is the key hormone involved in fat loss

FISH OIL (OMEGA 3)

Fish oil is an extremely anabolic supplement and is used by the body for many different health benefits. Since this article is strictly focused on fat loss, we will focus on those.

  • High intake of Omega 3s has been studied to show improvements in body composition by turning on fat burning genes in the body and turning off fat storing ones.
  • Omega 3s work to increase testosterone-cortisol ratio in the body which helps fight stress
  • Fish oil has potent anti-inflammatory effects on the body as inflammation is associated with fat gain and obesity.

VITAMIN D

Research shows that if you have low vitamin D, you will be more likely to be overweight and have less muscle mass.

  • Low Vitamin D levels lead to fat storage and increased inflammation in the body
  • Low Vitamin D levels influence insulin sensitivity in the body which increases risk of not only gaining weight but also risk of diabetes.
  • Research shows that men with adequate levels of vitamin D have higher levels of testosterone

ZINC

  • Zinc is critical for optimal hormone production, increasing healthy levels of testosterone and growth hormone, which help promote the development of muscle mass
  • Zinc also helps increase the muscle sensitivity to insulin
  • Zinc has super antioxidant effects, protecting the body against free radical damage which causes inflammation

Mitch McKenzie
ASP Coach

Contact us today at www.trainasp.com.au/contact-us/ or call (03) 9038 8008 to book a consult with one of our trainers!

Why you should never stop learning | KATHERINE GOFF

Why you should never stop learning | KATHERINE GOFF
Feb 22, 2018
by ASP Admin

University and tertiary education is no longer the be all and end all when it comes to being an industry leader. A qualification does not guarantee expertise, and experience is becoming much more valuable across all sectors.

Perhaps you are a personal trainer. You completed the basic courses to become certified and now you take short courses to keep your certification.

Constant learning is key, but more importantly, it’s important to understand who you are learning from, and whether they are teaching you quality content that has seen proven results. Why would you want to learn from a personal trainer or educator who does not walk the walk or has no experience? There are many courses available that are certified, but are you getting your money’s worth? At the end of the day, finding a quality company or educator with a wealth of knowledge and experience is worth the extra research, when you consider the impact on your own training, your business, and your client’s wellbeing.

Perhaps you are a client. You never knew that your personal trainer spends thousands of dollars every year to remain qualified and keep up with current research to ensure your progress and success.

Invest in a personal trainer who will invest in themselves. A winning bodybuilding competitor is not always going to know more or know how to apply knowledge more. Having said that, it is important to find someone who has applied and understands their own training methods. When finding someone who you trust with your health and fitness goals, you should be confident that they have had results with their clients and want the same for you. It may also be worthwhile educating yourself so that you have a solid foundation to keep you on track. There are plenty of courses available for the general population, and may even give you a foot in the door of the fitness industry…

Entry level personal training courses teach basic fitness instruction. If you want to go beyond and have a deeper understanding, studying exercise, nutrition, psychology, health, and business from industry leaders is key. If you are looking for courses in 2018, Australian Strength Performance has released the dates for the next few months of courses worldwide, and we are excited to be speaking at many conferences this year. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Instagram for updates!

Katherine Goff
Marketing & Content Manager

Contact us today at www.trainasp.com.au or call us at (03) 9038 8008 to book a consult with one of our trainers!

5 Healthy Eating Guidelines For Beginners | SHARON LEE

5 Healthy Eating Guidelines For Beginners | SHARON LEE

Feb 11, 2018
by ASP Admin

 

 

When it comes to getting optimal results for yourself or for clients, specificity to training and nutrition always breeds the best results. That is, training and nutrition should always be specific to the person. But with everyone being their own individual person with individual needs it can be confusing to know what will work for one person and not another person. How many carbs can you have? Do you carb cycle? Will intermittent fasting work for you or will it mess up your hormones? What about if it fits your macros (IIFYM)? What macro portions should you have? Will taking fish oil help you lose fat like it did for person X?

You can ask a hundred questions and depending on what your goals are, there can be a hundred questions that you could look at. A professional athlete or a physique competitor will often need an expert to give them nutrition and lifestyle advice, but for most people, nutrition doesn’t need to be overly complicated. At the end of the day, nutrition is often quite simple for most people; it’s the daily habits and routines that complicate things.

Having said that, I do understand that not everyone aims to compete in a physique competition or join a sporting event. Some of you may have just decided to start your healthy lifestyle and are simply looking to hit the gym and clean up your food.

If you are a beginner just hopping on the fitness wagon and aren’t too sure where to start your nutrition, here are 5 healthy eating guidelines you can follow to make sure all your hard work in the gym pays off.

1. Don’t get caught up in what worked for someone else.

The first thing you should understand when it comes to healthy eating, is that no one diet is going to work for everyone. The diet that the fitness model on Instagram model raved about for months may not work for you. Track your diet and then make changes based on what works and what doesn’t work. Track and experiment until you find something that works for YOU.

2. Eat whole, natural foods.

Whether or not you believe in eating meat, dairy or grains, your diet needs to revolve around whole, natural foods. The more local and organically produced you eat, the better (but not completely necessary, cost can be a factor). Cut out processed food and foods with a hundred different ingredients that you can’t even pronounce. Cook as much as you can with whole foods.

3. Don’t fall for labels.

Just because something says “All-Natural,” “Low Fat,” or “Gluten-Free,” doesn’t mean it is healthy or good for you. Do not fall for labels that are just meant to sell you a product. Stick with whole, natural foods as much as you can and read the ingredient list to determine for yourself if something is healthy.

4. Keep it simple!

All too often we overcomplicate our diets. We get stuck on tons of small details when we don’t even have the main pillars of our diet set. Start with the basics. Then worry about the details. When we get bogged down in the details, we get overwhelmed and generally give up on our diet. Pick out a few healthy foods you enjoy and build your diet around them. Pick out recipes around these foods. Try to pick recipes that require many of the same ingredients so your grocery list is short and simple. Keep it simple but also learn to add in a little variety every once in a while to prevent you from falling into a rut with your diet.

5. Preparation is key.

When we aren’t prepared, we give ourselves an excuse to deviate from what we know we SHOULD be doing. Meal prep and planning are extremely important especially when starting a new healthy diet. The easiest way to be prepared is to cook meals that make more than one serving so that you have leftovers for later that week. Preparation is also key for when you travel and even plan to eat out. Decide ahead of time how you are going to eat. Are you going to “cheat?” Or are you going to stick to your diet? If you make up your mind ahead of time, you will have an easier time not deviating from your plan. A great way to prep for trips or meals out with friends is to look at the menus or at least know what your basic healthy options are when you dine out. The more you can prepare yourself for different situations, the better off you will be. Being happy with your decision is also key even if you aren’t completely prepared. If you do end up cheating, don’t regret it. Enjoy and get right back on track the next meal!

 

Sharon Lee
Operations Manager

 

Contact us today at www.trainasp.com.au or call us at (03) 9038 8008 to book in a consult with one of our trainers!