Thursday, January 29, 2009

Low Carb does it again...

Those of you who know us will know that we are not fans of either nutritional or training dogma. We don't particularly like those who come out with statements that start with "everyone should be...." or "nobody should be....." or those who are overly critical of others approaches. It just isn't us, we like positive and constructive information and happy stuff!

However, it has to be said, we are fans of low carb diet approaches and it is how we all tend to live our lives. Experience has shown that most people who come to us for weight loss tend to have diets high in refined poor quality carbohydrates and often deficient in protein - despite a lot of the modern nutritional literature that will state that protein deficiency is no longer the problem it was many years ago. I disagree - while protein may be freely available, many people don't eat sufficient amounts, mostly because they believe the hype and avoid many excellent high protein, muscle building, healthful foods in favour of high carb processed 'health foods'.

Seriously, how can anyone live on a bowl of Special K for breakfast and lunch? Get real.....

Anyway, here is an interesting, in fact, a fascinating blog post from Dr Michael Eades, the co-author of Protein Power. I'm a big fan of his and this post is one in the eye for those who always ask me "isn't a high protein, low carb diet really bad for you?"

It comments on the remarkable research work taking place in Germany where they are using Low-carb and ketogenic diets with cancer patients whose tumours proliferate on glucose....

Check it out.....HERE

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

We are back....

Yes after disappearing on you all for a couple of weeks, we are back in town and ready to go again with our blogging!!!

We have had a few people ask about workouts and training as well as the nutritional side of things, so will be making an extra effort to try and update our blog regularly with information and training stuff!!

As you know, we don't like to over-science these things, or to be overly dogmatic. Sure, we want to train safely and effectively. But we aren't training olympic athletes, nor are we hardcore bodybuilders. Mostly, we just want to look good with our kit off, keep ourselves healthy and fit, be lean and strong, and stay happy and, with a few exceptions we never say never and are not overly into those who think that intelligent blogging means being controversial or obnoxious in how you say what you got to say!

Keep your eyes peeled on the blog for training and nutrition tips that we not only teach at Aegis, but we also follow them ourselves!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Workout of the Day

Today we are back to interval training, this time using a different format to the previous interval sessions.....

Again today, pick a piece of kit or if you are training outside find an area to sprint in or a hill to sprint up. Try to use a different format to what you used in the last interval session to target different muscles and keep the variety there.

Today the work intervals are 60 seconds with a 90 second recovery interval.

Repeat this for 8-10 intervals. Be sure to warm up and cool down thoroughly.

Finish with stretching for any tight muscles, in particular we find that the following muscles can benefit from regular attention..

Hip Flexors, Piriformis, Calves, Chest, Latissimus, QL - Keep checking back for a stretch routine on how to best target these trouble areas.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Consider Alcohol:

Top tip for today is to consider alcohol, consider the alcohol units, consider the calories and then consider how many units you drink a day, a week. One glass of wine isn’t going to harm you. However, excessive alcohol consumption is not only bad for your health but it can also be disastrous for waistline.

14 units per week, is the medically recommended alcohol level for women. 21 units of alcohol is the maximum level of medically recommended units per week for men. 1 unit of alcohol is the equivalent of a small glass of wine that’s a 125ml glass, a shot of spirits and half a glass of beer.

In terms of calories for example, 1g of alcohol contains 7 calories while 1g of carbohydrate contains 4 calories. As a result alcohol can be very calorie dense with nearly no nutrient benefit. There are many added sugars in alcohol, cocktails are loaded with sugar, spirit mixers, both wine, cider and beer can contain some natural occurring sugar due to what it is made of.

Finally alcohol can disrupt the homeostasis in our body, disrupting hormone pathways, disrupting nutrient absorption which, can have a negative affect on how we metabolise some macronutrients encouraging them to stored as fat on our bodies.

Small changes such as drinking water with you meal instead of wine will help. When you are out drinking with friends consider alternating your drinks with water. You could also consider giving yourself a break, an alcohol free weekend and cleanse your liver.

Today is an active rest day. Let your body recuperate from the past workouts with a walk or hike in a nearby park or around your local borough.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Fat Loss Workout 2

Same principle as before with this workout. Do A1 first then A2, rest, then repeat it for the 3 sets.

A1 Dumbbell Step Ups 3 sets of 12-15 reps
A2 Dumbbell Chest Press on a Stability Ball 3 sets of 10-12 reps (this isn't a great demo video, but you get the idea.....)

Rest 60 seconds and repeat.

B1 Hyperextensions at 45 degrees 3 sets of 12-15 reps
B2 Pulldowns Wide Grip Pronated 3 sets of 10-12 reps (be sure to retract the shoulders fully on this, and rather than using lower back momentum as shown in the video, fix the torso in one position for the set)

C1 Dumbbell Swings 3 sets of 12-15 reps (no need to swing it as high as in the video)
C2 Stability Ball Rope Crunch 3 sets of 15-20 reps

D Seated External Dumbbell Rotations 3 sets of 12-15 each side.

Get yourself a protein shake, with NO carbs if you are trying to reduce bodyfat. Instead add some extra glutamine!

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Today our nutrition tip concentrates on protein.

Protein is not only essential for life, it is critical to get adequate amounts for building lean mass and preserving muscle if you are dieting.

so, how much is enough? Well opinions vary - the RDA (Recommended Daily Amount) is 0.8g per kg of bodyweight. We tend to think that like many RDA's that is a touch conservative and for those weight training with us we are inclined to advise nearer 1.5g per kg of desired bodyweight.

Of course, if you are (as we tend to) following a diet where carbohydrates are far more restricted, such as a ketogenic approach then protein requirements are even higher, to prevent muscle wasting. The amino acids are converted in the liver through a process called 'gluconeogenesis' (simply meaning the formation - genesis - of new - neo - glucose). So, if you are cutting carbs then you need plenty of protein!

Protein can come from both animal or vegetarian sources - for those who don't eat any meat, there are many excellent sources (ranging from and no excuse to be protein deficient! Although we advise you steer clear of all these highly processed soy products! My own favourite are lentils.....which are also high in fibre, but that's another tip for another day!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Workout of the Day

Today is again nice and simple for your workout.

3 minute interval training.

You can do this workout either running, cycling, swimming, or rowing. Choose whatever format you like.

You are going to be working for 3 minute intervals and using a 3 minute recovery between these. So, each interval will total 6 minutes. The aim is to complete 5 intervals in total, so that's 30 minutes of total work.

During the work intervals you should be working hard, but remember you have to go for a full 3 minutes so pick an intensity that allows you to complete the time without having to stop halfway through. Start out steady first couple of intervals so you can gauge your level. Working at a level of about 6-7 out of 10 is probably going to be about right.

Good Luck!

Nutrition Tip of the Day

Welcome and a happy monday to you all,

Today is a very simple tip, but one that a lot of people we see seem to really struggle with.

Eat breakfast every day.

You see the research has been pretty clear on this one. People who skip breakfast are the same people who have poor eating habits and tend to gain weight. Not eating in the morning starts the day badly, often leaving you starving by mid-morning and reaching for the junk snacks to ease the stress response and low blood sugar levels caused by depriving your body of food.

People who skip breakfast are also more likely to consume more calories over the course of the day, meaning that if you are looking to lose some weight after the seasonal indulgences then you are going to struggle without getting a good breakfast in to start.

So, what makes a good breakfast? Well here are some simple rules to follow....

1. Include some protein, it slows the energy release into the body and helps fill you up.

2. Fruit Juice is NOT a healthy breakfast, neither are Cornflakes.

3. Keep it varied, eggs are great, but omelettes every day soon gets boring!

4. Don't limit yourself to traditional breakfast choices of cereals and fruit, there is no reason why you can't eat meat, fish, avocado, or berries.

5. It needn't take long - boiling a couple of eggs with some sliced smoked salmon takes just a few minutes.

6. If you really struggle to eat something, start out with a smoothie - include something like Progreens and some whey protein to ensure it isn't just a big sugar hit from high sugar fruits such as bananas that often form the base of most smoothie recipes!

There you go! Good Luck!!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Fat Loss Workout 1.

If you are reading these workouts, there are some simple guidelines. Exercises are paired together in Supersets, indicated by letters and numbers therefore perform exercise A1 and follow straight after with A2, rest, then repeat for the number of sets. Once you have completed the sets, move on to exercise B1 etc etc. We have chosen simple exercises you can do with either bodyweight or a set of dumbbells. Perform each exercise with a slow and controlled lowering of weights and an accelerative pressing or pulling of the weight.

Workout A.

A1 Dumbbell Split Squats 3 sets of 12-15 reps. No rest go to A2
A2 Dumbbell Overhead Push Press 3 sets of 10-12 reps Rest 60 seconds.

B1 Dumbbell Straight Leg Deadlift 3 sets of 12-15 reps. No rest go to B2
B2 Chest Supported Dumbbell Rows 3 sets of 10-12 reps Rest 60 seconds.

C1 Reverse Crunches 3 sets of 20-25 reps
C2 Standing Weighted Side Bends 3 sets of 12-15 reps

D Prone Cobra 3 holds of 60 seconds with 60 seconds rest.

Today's Nutrition Tip

Following on from our fluid fantastic tip, why not try replacing those other drinks you are used to - especially the fruit juices or soft drinks - with a cup of Green Tea?

Check out our article HERE about the many benefits of drinking green tea.

Team Aegis

Friday, January 02, 2009


Take any piece of cardio equipment -Rower, Bike, or Treadmill.

Intervals, work from 8 intervals of 60 seconds long, with a 120 second recovery period.

Work intervals should be HARD - Rating on an 8 or 9 out of 10. While recovery intervals should be at a 3 to 4.

Remember to warm up and cool down thoroughly.


Nutrition Tip - Fluid Fantastic!

This is a simple and straightforward tip, drink more WATER! Water is essential for all bodily functions from digestion, to hydration, to joint lubrication, temperature control, appetite control. A general indicator that you need to drink more water is the colour of your urine, a deep yellow colour (in the absence of supplements) indicates you are not drinking enough. Aim to get 2 litres each day, this can be in the form of water or herbal teas. If you are not already a regular water consumer then, begin by buying yourself a new water bottle. Carry this water bottle with you everywhere you go and refill it throughout the day to ensure you get your 2 litres each day. It can even help with weight loss as recent studies showed increases in metabolic rate after drinking!

Good Luck!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Year - New You?

Well like it or not, for most of us the fun is over. No more reckless indulgence in chocolate or christmas pudding, well not for another few months at least. Yes, for most of us it is back to work, worry, and all if you are living here in London with us, the prospect of another 3 months of winter. Boo.

However, it needn't be all doom and gloom. Let's use this time ahead to refocus our efforts on our training and exercise programme. Now is a great time to redefine our own personal goals and maybe set ourselves some challenges for the new year, whether that is to run the marathon, to become a better dancer, drop a clothes size, or simply take some regular exercise! Remember, that goals are best when they are specific, easy to measure, achievable, realistic, and when you set a deadline.

Over the next 30 days we will be helping you by bringing you a daily nutrition tip and exercise routine. That's right, there will be something on our blog every day, so if you are full of enthusiasm but maybe lacking a bit of direction then you can use the blog as a reference to help keep your mind on the training programme through january.

Today's workout is simple. Do something active for 30 minutes. That could mean getting out and taking a walk or a cycle ride, it doesn't matter, just try not to spend the whole day in a coma on the sofa.

As you can imagine, most of our nutrition tips will be aimed at getting you back leaner and healthier so today's is a simple one. It is clear out time, time to go through the fridge and the pantry and get rid of the junk. As most of us know, if it is the house then chances are that at some point, in a moment of weakness or indulgence, you WILL eat it.

If you want to avoid having a physique like Homer Simpson then you best start by getting rid of that leftover Christmas junk!

Stay tuned for tomorrows tip and workout!