Weight training is here to stay and will never ever go away.

Never.

in fact, the more we stare at our screens and stay seated watching Netflix the more relevant weight training will become.

The only problem is the effort to train becomes more difficult as screens become more addictive and life becomes increasingly cosy.

Yet….

Every single athlete and adult should include weight training into their weekly routine.

I will repeat this again.

Every single athlete and adult should include weight training into their weekly routine.

Why?

Weight training is unique in that, done correctly, it immediately gives back. And the more you give, the more it gives back. This includes: increased muscle, fat loss, higher performance, better cardio, stronger bones, improved posture, constant feedback.

No other activity delivers like weight training which is why everyone should be doing.

I am a trainer and the next question is the important one because ultimately I want results for TLA clientele. How often should I lift for optimum results?

First of all, weight training is no different from any exercise and is a stress on the body.

An athlete who has multiple team training sessions and a game or event at weekends: one single lifting session will be perfect, while two sessions could easily be overboard and lead to fatigue. Meanwhile, an individual who is sleeping great, eating wonderfully and not experiencing much lifestyle stress then- regardless of age- can train multiple times per week. If you have heard someone older should train less than someone younger take with a grain of salt. In our experience how often someone trains is dependent on how experienced the trainee is, training intensity and how well they recover from each individual session.  Someone 25 could be recovering inadequately, with poor nutrition choices and lousy sleep while someone 55 could have great recovery methods, and as a result, would be able to train more consistently than the 25 year old.  Therefore, how often you lift, the intensity at which you lift, how busy you are in your day to day life, how well you eat and are you recovering properly from the intensity of the training session are relevant factors which must be considered.

However, here is a few general recommendations to get you started, based on training correctly.

 TLA general weight lifting recommendations for optimum results:

If you are just starting out: 1x per week with the objective of building a second session within 6-8 weeks.

If you are an in season athlete or weekend warrior: 1x per week training on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Research indicates injure rates will decrease by 50%.

If you want gains but in less of a rush to achieve them: 2x per week

If you have a demanding schedule: 2x per week

If you are under a lot of stress: 2- 3 short sessions per week w/a day of rest in between.

If you want the perfect weight training lifestyle and all the benefits this kind of training provides, including ample time to do other ‘life’ things in-between: 3x per week with a day of rest in between is wonderful.

If you are an off season athlete: 3-4x per week. For off season athletes we like:

2 days on/1 day off/ 2 days on/ 2 days off.

If you have time and want to challenge yourself in new ways or our prepping for something special(like a movie role for Marvel): 4-5x per week.

Fancy getting started? Give Train like an Athlete a try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are at a party and having a chat about so and so’s trainer. In that instance you may wonder “what exactly does a trainer do?”

I remember one client who asked me to bark orders at him and make him feel useless. That was fun! Getting to use insults on this particular individual was a delight. I kept thinking “I am getting paid to say all that?” It was very rude.

I had another client who paid me to meet him @ 5 am and 9 pm every two days for workouts as he had a goal. Looking back, I think the goal was to not sleep because after a few days I was knackered.

I had another client who came in talked. He could have been a dj he talked so much. Unfortunately his chat was not what I would describe as enlightening. -This was no Dali Lama. – He would badger on about toxins, ailments and his bedtime routine which involved no other exciting action except enjoying chamomile tea before the lights went out. I listened, watched the clock tick tock as each slow minute passing was making me lose the will to live.

I had a filthy rich client who would arrive at the studio in her swag convertible, smoking a joint and wanting to listen to Motown during every training session. After a while, I don’t care how much you are getting paid, even Barry White has it’s limits.

I am adding the fillers above as this was all unusual stuff, and not what trainers normally do.

Here is what trainers do. Or at least, good trainers do.

  1. We have relationships. I cannot think of any other occupation in the world where a client sees someone 1-3 x per week. Therefore, being good at relationships is important if you want this relationship to last.  After all who wants to be trained by someone weekly who they don’t like. Therefore, rule 1. We have to show up and be personable, otherwise the client will cheat on us with someone better. And do you know what, I don’t blame them if they do.
  2. We create motivating workouts that provide results faster than you will ever achieve on your own. Just think, if you have been working out 4x per week for 10 years that’s 800 workouts. We hit that number in 3-4 months with all kinds of body types and ages. Not to beat around the bush but we kinda know what works.
  3. We are waiting for you. Yep you. If you book and don’t show up we get angry. We have muscles so this motivates clients to show up and not get us angry.
  4. We make the training environment for one thing: training.  Everything is thought and laid out for a top notch session. Even a good selection of music. Just no Barry White.
  5. We coach you. Do you know how nice it is to get coached: It’s super nice. You get to listen to our voices and as we speak will likely swoon into an exercise trance as we provide the most exquisite instructions. (we think our voices sound like Morgan Freeman) and you will too/ha.
  6. We want our clients to succeed and perform like Olympians, look hot, and turn heads everywhere they go. That is the honest truth. And when we design the TLA training sessions, we do our damndest to make this truism happen.
  7. We correct form. Clients are always doing stuff wrong. Doing stuff wrong repeatedly can lead to injuries. Remember we want you to look and feel good.
  8. We take the thinking part away of what to do when you come into the studio. Instead, the only thinking required is implementing the optimum technique of the exercise you are engaged in.
  9. We create an environment where you are motivated to continue exercising. Is that a good thing? We believe so. Look at our previous post (if there was a pill/) to see the benefits of regular consistent exercise.  By being consistent, clients are giving themselves something truly wonderful. I firmly believe that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That made you feel good.

That strengthened every muscle in your body.

That made body fat disappear.

That increased your sex drive.

That reduced stress.

That allowed you to sleep better.

That gave you energy.

That made your muscles appear more sexy.

That made you move with athleticism.

That had you fit into clothes better.

That improved your balance.

That gave the future you feelings of positivity instead of uncertainty.

That made you eat more nutritionally.

That allowed you to enjoy treats without all that guilt nonsense.

That, if a woman, or a lass, made you feel more empowered. (aye, #liftmetoo)

That, if a man, or a lad, made you feel like a dude.

That improved your mood.

That increased creativity.

That increased body confidence.

That made you happier.

That was good for your bones.

That could reduce chronic disease and increase the strength of your immune system.

That would help brain health, including memory.

That gave you power.

That strengthened your core.

That would aid in relaxation.

Would you take it.

Just twice a week Training like an Athlete and the pill is yours.

 

 

 

 

PS: Get ready for our new release package. In other words, the best pill on the planet.

 

 

 

 

 

TLA wants each client to achieve the best of combo’s: results, feeling good day in day out+ leading an athletic lifestyle. Often this feel good factor can start with the types of food we eat. Though this post is long I would go as far as to say it is an essential read. Included is a couple of very recent studies to any client or would be TLA client interested in creating an athletic lifestyle and feeling fantastic.

Study 1

People who would like to become physically stronger should start with weight training and add protein to their diets, according to a comprehensive scientific review of research.

The review finds that eating more protein, well past the amounts currently recommended, can significantly augment the effects of lifting weights, especially for people past the age of 40. But there is an upper limit to the benefits of protein, the review cautions.

On the other hand, any form of protein is likely to be effective, it concludes, not merely high-protein shakes and supplements. Beef, chicken, yogurt and even protein from peas or quinoa could help us to build larger and stronger muscles.

It makes intuitive sense that protein in our diets should aid in bulking up muscles in our bodies, since muscles consist mostly of protein. When we lift weights, we stress the muscles and cause minute damage to muscle tissue, which then makes new proteins to heal. But muscles also will readily turn to and slurp up any bonus proteins floating around in the bloodstream.

Knowing this, bodybuilders have long swallowed large amounts of gloppy, protein-rich shakes after workouts in the expectation of adding greater bulk to their muscles than the lifting alone.

But the advantages of added dietary protein for the rest of us have been less clear. Past studies have indicated that, in general, people will gain more strength and muscle mass while weight training if they up their intake of protein than if they do not. But many of those studies have been relatively small or short-term and often have focused on only one kind of person, such as young men or older adults, or one kind of protein, such as whey shakes or soy.

Whether everyone, including women, benefits similarly from consuming added protein while weight training and just how much protein is ideal, as well as what that protein should consist of and when it should be eaten, are all open questions.

So for the review, which was published in the British Journal of Sport Medicine researchers from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, and other institutions decided to aggregate the results from the best past studies of weight training and protein.

Using databases of published research, they looked for experiments that had lasted at least six weeks, included a control group and carefully tracked participants’ protein intake as well as the eventual impacts on their muscle size and strength.

They wound up with 49 high-quality past experiments that had studied a total of 1,863 people, including men and women, young and old, and experienced weight trainers as well as novices. The sources of the protein in the different studies had varied, as had the amounts and the times of day when people had downed them.

To answer the simplest question of whether taking in more protein during weight training led to larger increases in muscle size and strength, the researchers added all of the results together.

And the answer was a resounding yes. Men and women who ate more protein while weight training did develop larger, stronger muscles than those who did not.

The impacts of this extra protein were not enormous. Almost everyone who started or continued weight training became stronger in these studies, whether they ate more protein or not.

But those who did ramp up their protein gained an extra 10 percent or so in strength and about 25 percent in muscle mass compared to the control groups.

The researchers also looked for the sweet spot for protein intake, which turned out to be about 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. In practical terms, that would amount to about 130 grams of protein a day for a 175-pound man. (A chicken breast has about 45 grams of protein.)

Beyond that point, more protein did not result in more muscle benefits.

That number is considerably higher, however, than the protein levels called for in the current federal recommendations, which suggest about 56 grams of protein a day for men and 46 grams a day for women.

“We think that, for the purposes of maximizing muscular strength and mass with resistance training, most people need more protein” than is advised in the recommendations, says Rob Morton, a doctoral student at McMaster who led the study.

That advice holds especially true for middle-aged and older weight trainers, he says, almost none of whom were getting the ideal amount of protein in these studies and who, presumably in consequence, tended to show much smaller gains in strength and muscle size than younger people.

On the other hand and conveniently, any type of and time for protein was fine. The gains were similar if people downed their protein immediately after a workout or in the hours earlier or later, and it made no difference if the protein was solid or liquid, soy, beef, vegan or any other.

“We obviously need more studies,” Mr. Morton says.

Source: NY Times/ Gretchen Reynolds/ Lift weights, eat more protein/ Feb 7 2018

 

Study 2 (for those hitting middle age and beyond)

You might be relieved to hear that the creeping weight gain of middle age – a pound or two (0.5 to 1 kilogram) a year starting in your 20s, on average – eventually grinds to a halt. By the time middle age hits, specifically around age 50 you’ll typically start slowly shedding weight.

Don’t celebrate yet, though. There’s a good chance that the weight you’re losing is muscleprecisely what you need to hang onto to stay metabolically healthy and independent. The scientific term for this age-related loss of muscle, strength and physical function is “sarcopenia,” a condition that’s often overshadowed by the more urgent battle against obesity – and that oversight, according to a new review paper by Canadian researchers, has potentially serious consequences.

The causes of sarcopenia are complex and multifactorial, but one key factor is that muscle cells in older adults no longer respond as strongly to the muscle-building signals triggered by exercise and protein intake, a phenomenon known as anabolic resistance. That means protein guidelines optimized for middle-aged adults may not be adequate as you get older.

In a forthcoming issue of the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, Oliveira and her colleague Carla Prado, along with Isabelle Dionne of the University of Sherbrooke, argue that current Canadian nutrition and exercise guidelines are inadequate for preventing sarcopenia and don’t reflect the latest research on the topic. Guidelines for protein intake were last updated in 2005, while physical-activity guidelines date from 2011.

Current guidelines call for a daily intake of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram for adults. Most Canadians hit that threshold with ease; for example, a Quebec study of older adults called Nutrition as a Determinant of Successful Aging (NuAge) found an average intake of 1.0 g/kg/day. But even that may not be enough, Oliveira says: In another similar study found that older adults eating 1.2 g/kg/day of protein lost 40 per cent less muscle over a three-year period than those eating the recommended 0.8 g/kg/day.

It’s not just how much you eat. There’s some evidence that spreading your protein across three meals triggers more muscle growth than just downing a massive steak at dinner. And protein quality matters too, with certain amino acids such as leucine playing an outsized role in muscle growth. That means animal proteins such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy tend to pack a bigger punch than plant proteins, although Oliveira emphasizes that variety is also important.

So what should revised guidelines recommend for older adults? Estimates in recent studies range from about 1.0 to 1.5 g/kg/day, but more research is needed to provide a reliable estimate, Oliveira and her colleagues argue. Crucially, any new guidelines should tailor advice for different groups: Older women, for example, lose muscle more rapidly after menopause and may have higher protein requirements than older men.

For physical activity, current guidelines for older adults focus on a goal of 150 minutes of moderate or vigorous aerobic activity every week, with a vague suggestion to do “muscle- and bone-strengthening activities” at least twice a week. Since resistance training plays such a crucial role in muscle maintenance, the researchers argue that guidelines should give more prominence to advice about exactly how much and what type of resistance training is needed.

The overall picture from existing research is that full-body resistance training with loads that get progressively harder over time, two to three times a week, is optimal for older adults. One study published in 2017 found that two harder workouts plus one easier one produced the best results, perhaps because older strength-trainers simply couldn’t recover quickly enough to do three hard workouts each week.

Source: Globe & Mail/ Alex Hutchinson “we need better guidelines to deal with age related muscle loss.” October 8 2018.

.Quick story.

The scenario: I went to my hometown of Port Glasgow in Scotland for a month. Within a throwing distance was a fish & chip shop, pubs, cake and pastry shops, butchers that sold meat pies containing more fat than a ducks bum and dessert shops that sold double thick cream. I was buying so much Double Thick Cream I started to ask for it by DTC. DTC would go perfectly with meringues,  ice cream topped with chocolate + caramel sauce, even my morning cereal. Oh yeah, on top of that there was the weekly scotch festivities and nightly drinks with the happy word of slainte being toasted every evening.

Wasn’t it Oscar Wilde who said “I can resist everything except temptation.” Decadent was in full force for that month and I did not hold back one bit when tempted.

When I came back, admittedly I was very happy, but in the process of all this happiness gained a lardy one pack and even a simple venture like going upstairs involved puffing.

This was not good: I was a trainer and needed to get back into shape more pronto than fast. A plan that made sense without sending my body and brain into shock had to implemented.

So the plan went something like this.

The first two weeks/

I would workout 1x per week and exercise 5x per week w/ one day of basically living like a sloth. Please note, and the point of this whole post is there is a difference between working out and exercising. Working out is like the first slider in our web page or image below. Working out changes your body composition literally as you are doing. In other words it creates a stress response that needs recovering from. Working out is tough, has potential to make your muscles shake and when the trainer says the magic words “session done” you utter in response “thank god for that.” Exercising on the other hand is not that hard and actually quite kind to the body. Exercise might be a simple bike ride to work, a long walk, a mini circuit involving bodyweight exercises, even a swim. In other words things you feel you can do every day as they add only limited stress to the body while establishing new good habits.

I also cut alcoholic intake to every other day instead of my Scottish habit which was every day starting at lunch time. Actually that’s a wee fib: several of the five dram tastings we went to in Islay started at 1030 am. The friendly Ileach’s know how to pour them.

Week 3

Added another workout day, cut an exercise day and removed alcohol to weekends only. Next step, started to dial in  breakfasts(making them healthier, instead of square sliced sausages and bacon rolls it was poached eggs or oatmeal)while increasing protein intake: which of course is an easy method to stay full longer. Potatoes at dinner were added as a staple to each evening meal to give that lovely feeling of satiety. With HP sauce/ Wow! Potatoes I will have you know is also a fabulous healthy carb.

Week 4

During this week added a third workout day and removed another exercise day.  I cut alcohol exclusively to scotch as my beverage of choice (tough life, eh) and sipped only on days I was not working. Also – even though it felt like I was back at school – created a routine where every day would make my own lunch. My newest snack, instead of chocolate wafers, was now apples.

By the end of the month

I was exercising 3x per week + working out out 3x per week, enjoying a great breakfast, making lunch 5 x per week, and eating a decent dinner. As a result, feeling smashing and well on the way to athleticism TLA style. The entire process was the opposite of a crash diet. Instead progress was gradual, sustainable and except for daily lunch making, didn’t feel too much of a struggle.

Remember, we are all athletes. When you have been out the exercise game and want to get back (regardless of your level) it just takes a plan of action to get there that does not involve a mentality of sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice and pain, pain, more pain. Instead coaching is key, so is a plan of gradual stress.

Mind you, after saying that I do miss all of the decadent treats sampled in the photographs above. Now, I am on the road to feeling fit I don’t want to be a total health nut square (as wisdom proves will only lead to a road of unhappiness) so will be on the hunt for DTC/ If you know of any place that sells it…

Fancying becoming a TLA client. Let me know.

Slainte Mhath! (cheers and to good health)