Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New Course Dates

We are pleased to announce forthcoming dates for the following courses...

"Inside the Core" a three hour dissection of the core area. March 15th 1.30 - 4.30p.m

"Inside the Leg and Foot" a dissection of the lower limb. April 30th 1.30 - 4.30p.m

Both workshops cost £90

Here is the synopsis for the "Inside the Core" day, for more information drop us an email at

Inside The Core – A journey beneath the skin

Inside the core offers you the fascinating opportunity to take a journey beneath the skin and view the anatomy of the human body close up.

This unique course, led by a Professor of Pathology, will broaden your appreciation of human movement and function and bring to life anatomy diagrams and books in a way simply not possible elsewhere.

Inside the Core is a three-hour dissection of a human cadaver, concentrating on the ‘core’ of the body. Principally you will get to view, touch, and ask questions about key abdominal and pelvic musculature such as the following:

Transversus Abdominis - see how small and thin this muscle actually is and how it could never be solely responsible for spinal stability

External and Internal Obliques – View the way these muscles criss-cross the abdomen providing structural cross-bridging and reinforcement to the torso.

Psoas – See this powerful muscle of the hip in close up and realise why it is so critical in spinal function.

Thoracolumbar Fascia – Feel first hand how tough connective tissue can be and why fascia is so key to understanding core stability.

This course will lift your appreciation of true core stability to a new level and will change the way you think about abdominal and core training. It is ideal for anyone who operates in improving or treating functional performance, whether in the clinical environment or the fitness industry. Previous attendees have been physiotherapists, personal trainers, chiropractors, pilates teachers, osteopaths, yoga teachers, sports masseuses, and bodywork therapists.

To book on, or for more information please contact

Course is 3 hours long and at a SW London hospital easily accessed by public transport.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Article - Fat Loss and Thermogenics

Here is a recent piece from Personal Training on the Net that was written with the help of our nutritional therapist Angela Trisoglio. Angela and Graeme give us some insights on the thermogenic benefits of food for a post-natal client - how important is it actually??? How can you speed up the metabolism safely and effectively? Find out below.

For those new to the issues we are going to cover, we should first review some basic principles connected to diet and weight gain, also those of thermogenics.
Whenever we eat, our body can either burn the energy, or store it. As well as through voluntary physical exertion, we also use energy to maintain our daily bodily functions (our metabolism or basal metabolic rate) and to process the food we eat (thermogenics).
Of the three main macronutrients in our diet – carbohydrate, protein, and fat – the one with the greatest thermic response is Protein, meaning that we will require more calories to process a protein heavy meal than a fat or carbohydrate based one.
What we eat also has other impacts. Insulin is a key hormone in the weight gain/loss situation and its presence in the body is greatly affected by diet. Too much insulin will cause large swings in blood sugar and cause a storing of fat. Excess amounts can also prevent existing fat stores from being broken down for energy.
There are two main ways to affect insulin release. We can either avoid foods with a high glycaemic index (quickly raising blood sugar and triggering a large insulin release in response) or we can mix higher GI foods with protein to slow their release into the body. Eating small meals regularly with a good protein source in each can help control blood sugar levels and has the added benefit of increasing metabolism.
There are many foods that are associated with an increased thermic effect aside from protein, and if you have ever been out for a hot curry then you will probably know a few. Many nutritionists would argue that when it comes to thermic foods, most people would be better served concentrating on getting their actual diet sorted before concentrating on the smaller details, but every little helps right? All your choices are known for being thermogenic in action, as are cider vinegar, guarana and cayenne pepper as well, though they are all a bit of acquired taste. Fennel is also a useful food choice for suppressing appetite and removes fat from the intestinal tract.

There are many hormonal and metabolic changes both during and after pregnancy. Thyroid function may well have been affected and if so this will have a significant effect on her ability to shift weight due to its effect on metabolism. Supplements typically used to address this are iodine and tyrosine. However, iodine can easily be toxic in excess and should be prescribed under the care of a nutritional therapist if thyroid problems are diagnosed.

Excess weight gain round the waist, or an inability to loose this, can be an indication of a cortisol imbalance. Ironically, many weight loss supplements that ramp up metabolism actually increase cortisol levels and should not be used excessively as long-term they will almost certainly be detrimental. Excess cortisol results in the typical ‘apple’ shape (rather than the ‘pear’ shape weight gain on hips and thighs usually indicative of oestrogen dominance). To verify levels, and imbalances, of the adrenal hormones such as cortisol – a simple saliva test can be carried out, called the Adrenal Stress Index, available through Nutritional therapists. There are many possible supplements available to help with this and for more guidance check out the book “The Cortisol Connection” by Shawn Talbot.

Other supplements you might consider are –

- Glutamine: Increases glucose to the brain and therefore may stave hunger.
- L-carnitine: Has the ability to break up fat deposits and transport fatty acids for energy production.
- Tyrosine: May depress cravings in addition to helping with thyroid function. It also has antidepressant qualities. Not to be supplemented with an MAO inhibitor drug.
- 5 HTP or 5 hydroxytryptophan may decrease hunger by increasing serotonin to the brain. Not to be used with antidepressants however.

Supplements CAN really help for weight loss by promoting the body to burn more calories, especially the B vitamins that are involved in metabolising food for energy production. Vitamin C, which is necessary for glandular function, Choline and Inositol (B vits) may also help the body to burn fat and are required for its breakdown in the liver.
As well as the above amino acids, consider the use of an Omega 3 essential fat that can tap into the fat burning power of essential fats that prevent water retention (through prostaglandin production) and increase metabolism.
Finally I would be inclined to add some protein to her mid-morning snack. Keep fruit intake focused on low GI sources such as berries, peaches, apricots while moderating those such as bananas and mango, always eating them with a protein source to control their effect on blood sugar, perhaps suggest something like nuts or plain yoghurt for this.

There are many ways to increase thermogenics although you are only likely to see any effect if everything else in the diet is spot-on. Focus on getting major points right first (such as mid-morning snacks), protein at every meal (to balance blood sugar, and reducing high glycaemic carbohydrates (fruits, sugars, sweets etc).
Consider the use of a mixed essential fatty acid as these are safe, effective, and carry a wide range of health benefits. Also, consider other supplementations to help with possible hormonal issues with thyroid function or possible excess cortisol and you should be well on your way! However, be aware that supplementation needs to be used with care and similar to training and diet, it should be individualised. For optimum results at Aegis Training, we encourage our clients to work with our nutritional therapist who can provide a more targeted and effective nutritional plan.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

News - Egoscue Workshop photos

Egoscue P3 Workshop - Pictures

Check out some of the fun and games from the recent workshop held at the Aegis City studios last month. Everyone who took part in "Posture, Pain, and Performance" had a great time and we all learnt some new stuff to take forwards and use with our clients.
The Egoscue workshop focuses on a system of exercises designed to restore optimal movement patterns to the body.

If you fancy signing up for the next one, scheduled for march then drop us a line!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Article - How many reps should I be doing?

Q – I’ve recently started doing some weight training as part of my exercise routine but am a bit confused about how many repetitions I should do of my exercises, does it make a difference?

A – Absolutely, in fact the amount of repetitions you do for any given exercise is probably one of the most important factors in the success of your training programme, even if you are relatively new to using weights.
One of the most common mistakes that people make with their weight training is failing to change their routine often enough to keep the body changing. This happens because our body adapts to the challenge of a particular routine and no longer needs to change to perform it. By varying the amount of repetitions and sets you do, you can greatly improve results and also keep your workout varied and more interesting.
When you first start out, virtually any repetition range you use will result in some results, it is usually after 3-4 months when people stop seeing any changes. This is way too long to work the same programme and while changing exercises helps with variety, it won’t have the same effect as varying your repetitions.
However, there is also another factor that can make a real difference to the effect of your weight training and that is the speed at which you do each repetition. If you have a look around your local gym you will no doubt see everyone lifting weights at the same sort of speed – quickly.
Doing repetitions too fast reduces the amount of time that the muscle is under tension and often leads to people using momentum to move heavier weights with bad technique. This is a favourite for the men in the gym who are more concerned with how much they lift rather than how they lift it. As well as reducing the results you get, it can also lead to injured joints and poor movement patterns.
By controlling the speed you will not only challenge the muscle to work harder, but also improve your technique. Try lowering the same weight you currently use on an exercise for a count of 4 and then pausing for a count of 1 before raising it, I promise you will notice a big difference.

Here are my top tips for anyone starting out with weight training.
• Start out with 1-2 sets of higher repetitions, I’d recommend between 15 – 20.
• Control the speed you do the exercise, particularly the lowering part. Try lowering the weight for a count of 4 and feel the difference.
• Work the whole body each time you train using exercises like squats, press ups, and rowing movements, instead of bicep and tricep exercises.
• If you already have been training for several months, try varying the repetitions each time you workout. For example if you do 3 sets of 10 on a Monday, then try doing 2 sets of 20 on a Wednesday instead.
• The more reps you do, the less sets of each exercise you need.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

News - Advanced Functional Training Course

We are delighted to welcome the guys from 'Faster Health and Fitness' to Aegis Training on the 24th and 25th of February where they will be delivering their two-day course in Advanced Functional Training.
The course is taught by Chris Fitzgerald and John Hardy, both accomplished and experienced fitness professionals. Here's what they have to say about the course below...

“Functional Training” is the latest hot topic in the health and fitness industry, but function is not a new concept, and there much misinformation and confusion surrounding this subject.

Using the latest scientific research and training methods, FASTER’s Advanced Functional Trainer (AFT) Course aims to dispel some of the myths surrounding functional training. The course is aimed at Personal Trainers, therapists, sports coaches who already have existing knowledge of functional training, and are looking to enhance their clients’ movement potential. Participants will gain not only theoretical knowledge, but also a practical application using the core principles of functional training and conditioning.

The AFT Course covers 8 fundamental principles of function, “big rock” assessments, muscle activation, as well as FASTER’s unique 3 stage programme design system.

By the end of the course, students will have a clear understanding of the principles and application of functional movement for personal training including:

• Functional biomechanics and muscle function.
• Muscle Activation – the role of proprioceptors.
• Defining and recording exercises.
• Designing assessments to match the client.
• Designing a functional exercise programme.
• Reactivate-Construct-Refine.
• Movement Practical – 1000’s of new exercises.
• Strategies for keeping clients injury-free.
• A unique way of motivating clients to enjoy and perform in training.

Full course notes are provided.

Cost £400 (individual)
Call 0870 042 1275 or e-mail for group bookings and corporate rates.