Opening Times:

6.00 AM - 21.00 PM

Call Us:

077699 02529

Should you track your nutritional intake?

Firstly, I would like to say if you’re serious about driving fat loss or muscle hypertrophy then absolutely yes you will have more chance of success in the initial phases at least if you are tracking your consumption. If you have long term success tracking calories and macronutrients, then you will know how effective it is in dialling in on your goals. However, from personal experience of managing my own and clients, nutrition, tracking calories and micronutrients day by day there can be some flaws to this method to help one stay on track with your nutrition.

 

The first, and main, reason I am not a supporter of tracking in the long term is that it requires a lot of time which many people often cannot fit into a busy schedule. For example, many people at work 9-5, have children to look after around that, as well as trying to make time for exercise and a healthy social life. If you are already stuck for time, the last thing you need is to be compelled to open up an app and make a diary entry every single time you eat.

 

Secondly, along with time, there are certain times where it’s simply inconvenient. If you are enjoying a few drinks at the weekend with your friends, not many people want to open MyFitnessPal every time someone gets another round in. Not only that, you’re probably going to forget to do so after the 6th!

 

Thirdly, it’s unnecessarily complex. Many apps will have you tracking calories, carbohydrates, protein and fats and lead you to believe that you need to hit each to the exact figure recommended. In reality, for anyone with body composition goals (building muscle and/or lose fat), carbohydrates and fats consumed do not significantly influence one’s results. As long as you hit your daily calorie target within 100kcal and have at least 2.2g protein per kg of bodyweight, then grams of carbohydrates and fats consumed simply does not matter (for body composition, for overall health it can but that’s a topic for a different blog).

 

These reasons are often the cause of many people giving up on tracking their nutrition. This in turn gives them a sense of failure and exhaustion towards making healthy nutritional choices, sending many back to previous bad habits

 

 

 

Aside from the impractical element of tracking, there’s the inaccuracy that often comes with it. Unless you are weighing every single food and drink that enters your body to the gram then you are not going to be 100% accurate. This is a big issue with more calorie dense foods. For instance, ‘A splash of olive oil’ is a subjective term. To some, this could mean 15ml and for some it could be 50ml. The difference in calories for this 123kcal vs 410kcal. This difference of almost 300kcal is enough to tip someone from a small calorie deficit back to their maintenance, without realising. Learning the skills of how to track and be accurate with is something that requires an element of coaching in itself and we have recently begun to provide out clients with guides on how to track using my fitness pal which is probably the most user-friendly app.

 

Lastly, another reason I do not like the tracking method is that it does not take into account micronutrients. These essential vitamins and minerals make a huge difference to overall health, helping you stay clear of chronic diseases. However, on tracking apps, 500kcal from a small pizza is the same as 500kcal from a chicken breast and vegetables.

 

So how do you ensure you’re making the correct nutritional choices for your goals?

 

Personally, I find that the most effective method for this is to plan ahead. Organising your nutrition on a Sunday for example, or whenever you get time, formulate yourself a meal plan for the week ahead. Plan out what you are going to eat and when, use tracking devices and labels to help you calculate protein and calories, forget about carbohydrates and fats if a change in body composition is your goal as a beginner if you are new to tracking keep it as simple as you can. Also, plan each day to have at least 5 different portions of fruit and vegetables to ensure you are consuming all the micronutrients you need.

 

If you keep note of how many calories and protein meals you often consume contains, then a few weeks in, you will have a menu of all of your meals with the portion sizes for each meal and you can continue adding meals to your plan for the week, as protein and calories will already by noted, saving you a lot of time in the long run. If you want to smash your goals this method of creating your menu based on your protein and calorie requirements will in the initial phases be a little bit of work and planning however after a good 4 weeks of doing so you will have all the tools required for you to keep your nutrition consistent which in the world of weight loss or building a physique is the most important driver in which will determine lasting success.

 

As for going out socialising, 100% accuracy cannot be achieved. However, knowing how many calories are in 1 glass of your chosen drink, and knowing roughly how much you drink will be much better than failing to track at all. If you know that you will be going out over the weekend you can then reduce calories in the week to make up for it. (Check out our blog on calorie banking for more on this).

 

Similar to training, planning ahead often yields much more effective results than being reactive day to day.

Resistance Training Benefits for Females

What is Resistance Training?

Resistance Training can be defined as a form of exercise, whereby external weights provide progressive overload to skeletal muscles in order to make them stronger and often result in hypertrophy (growth in overall size of muscle cells) (Alix-Fages et. al, 2022; Phillips and Winett, 2010), which can lead to several benefits.

Mental Health:

Firstly, Ramirez and Kravitz (2012) looked into the benefits of regular resistance training and found that it has been shown to improve numerous aspects of mental health including: lessened anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue, self-esteem, memory and cognition. The way in which resistance training helps achieve this is not yet clear, but the benefits to mental health could well be consequences of the physical benefits that resistance training provides. For example, when we start training regularly, our sleep may improve. In turn, we see a reduction in stress hormones (Maggio et. al, 2013), which then can have a positive effect on our level of anxiety.

Fat Loss:

When wanting to lose weight, we need to be in a calorie deficit. When in this calorie deficit, weight can be lost via losing body fat, water, and muscle tissue. Regular resistance training helps preserve muscle mass when in a calorie deficit (Miller et. al, 2018). This, in turn, results in more of the weight lost being from body fat tissue, as opposed to muscle tissue. It is important to note that protein intake and sleep must also be sufficient to maximise muscle preservation, and therefore fat loss, in a calorie deficit. (Nedeltcheva et. al, 2010; Stokes et. al, 2018)

Frailty and Functionality:

As we age past the age of 35, we experience a gradual loss of muscle mass of around 1-2% per year, this is known as sarcopenia (Cruz-Jentoft and Sayer, 2019). Once we reach our 60’s and older, sarcopenia may contribute to a loss of functionality in daily tasks such as climbing stairs with ease, or playing with grandchildren.

Resistance training in elderly populations has been shown to increase their ability to go from sitting to standing with less postural sway and more proprioception, which is linked to more functional ability and lower risk of falls. (Faigenbaum and Myer, 2010)

‘I Don’t Want to Look Bulky’:

This is a common worry with female clients. Fortunately, there is about as much chance as accidentally adding significant amounts of muscle mass accidentally as there is as taking driving lessons and accidentally ending up in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Putting on significant amounts of muscle mass requires consistent training on a hypertrophy focussed plan, being in a calorie surplus, and consumption of adequate protein for a number of months before noticeable increases are seen. Overall, resistance training can be used as an excellent tool to improve one’s quality of life, regardless of age or goals.

Reference List:

  • Alix-Fages, C., Del Vecchio, A., Baz-Valle, E., Santos-Concejero, J., & Balsalobre-Fernández, C. (2022). The role of the neural stimulus in regulating skeletal muscle hypertrophy. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 1-18.
  • Cruz-Jentoft, A. J., & Sayer, A. A. (2019). Sarcopenia. The Lancet393(10191), 2636-2646.
  • Faigenbaum, A. D., & Myer, G. D. (2010). Pediatric resistance training: benefits, concerns, and program design considerations. Current sports medicine reports9(3), 161-168.
  • Maggio, M., Colizzi, E., Fisichella, A., Valenti, G., Ceresini, G., Dall’Aglio, E., … & Ceda, G. P. (2013). Stress hormones, sleep deprivation and cognition in older adults. Maturitas76(1), 22-44.
  • Miller, T., Mull, S., Aragon, A. A., Krieger, J., & Schoenfeld, B. J. (2018). Resistance training combined with diet decreases body fat while preserving lean mass independent of resting metabolic rate: a randomized trial. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism28(1), 46-54.
  • Nedeltcheva, A. V., Kilkus, J. M., Imperial, J., Schoeller, D. A., & Penev, P. D. (2010). Insufficient sleep undermines dietary efforts to reduce adiposity. Annals of internal medicine153(7), 435–441. https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-153-7-201010050-00006
  • Phillips, S. M., & Winett, R. A. (2010). Uncomplicated resistance training and health-related outcomes: evidence for a public health mandate. Current sports medicine reports9(4), 208.
  • Ramirez, A., & Kravitz, L. (2012). Resistance training improves mental health. IDEA Fitness Journal9(1), 20-22.
  • Stokes, T., Hector, A. J., Morton, R. W., McGlory, C., & Phillips, S. M. (2018). Recent perspectives regarding the role of dietary protein for the promotion of muscle hypertrophy with resistance exercise training. Nutrients10(2), 180.

 

 

Upper Body Workout

Our personal trainers present your free upper body workout, please try it out. If you have any questions fire away!!!

LINK TO VIDEO:

https://youtube.com/shorts/Byg0w2gWT3s?feature=share

A1) Cable External Roatations @ 90 degrees

10 reps x 3 sets

B1) Half Kneeling Ipsilateral Pull Downs

8 reps x 3 sets

C1) Cable Chest Press

8-10 reps x 3 sets

D1) Single Arm Dumbell Row

6-8 reps x 3 sets

E1)Pronated Grip Upper Back Row

10 reps x 3 sets

F1) Lengthened Position Bicep Curl mechanical drop set into Mid Range Bicep Curl

8-12 reps x 8-12 reps x 3 sets

G1) Shortened Position Tricep Extension mechanical drop set into Mid Range Tricep Extension

8-12 reps x 8-12 reps x 3 sets

Do this for BIGGER TRICEPS!!!!!

Do this for BIGGER TRICEPS!!!

When training our arms we have to consider the anatomical carry angle of the individual. 99.9% of the time the little rope in the gym is not going to cut the mustard unless you have the shoulder width of a 3 year old girl.

Our coaches here at Soma Fitness take all of these things into account when programming sessions for our personal training clients. These fine details are what separate the average coaches in most facilities to the high level personal trainers that Soma Fitness provides. If we take you through an exercises we can explain to you the intent behind why we are doing it.

INSIDE SOMA FITNESS: Hale & Altrincham Based Private Personal Training Gym

What has been happening inside Soma Fitness while Corona Virus has been keeping our business closed for most of the past 12 months?

We have been updating our equipment and transforming our private gym facility into one of the best kitted out private personal training facilities in the area.

If you never heard about Soma Fitness and this is the first time visiting our site here is a little more insight about how we work:

Soma Fitness is a private personal training facility with dedicated coaches guiding you to reach your physique, fitness, health and performance goals.

We use a bespoke approach to your individual anatomy, lifestyle and genetics.

Contact us to reserve your complimentary consultation.

Minimal spaces available reserve your slot today. Soma Fitness is a private personal training facility with dedicated coaches guiding you to reach your physique, fitness, health and performance goals.

We use a bespoke approach to your individual anatomy, lifestyle and genetics.

Contact us to reserve your complimentary consultation.

Minimal spaces available reserve your slot today.

LEARN TO LIFT PROGRAM

Who is this program for ?

  • Are you new to weight training and want to understand how to get strong or get big?
  • Do you want to learn how to execute exercises correctly and be more efficient with your time in the gym?
  • Do you play a sport and want to improve your physical performance?
  • Receive 1-1 or small group coaching (more cost effective).

Why should you join?

  • Learn to lift correctly and safely.
  • Learn the foundations of strength training and muscle building.
  • Training programs tailored towards you and your goals.
  • Personal bespoke nutrition plans.
  • Get coached from an ex-professional athlete and current sports science student and personal trainer Tim Jeffers.
  • Train in clean and safe private gym.

RESERVE YOUR SLOT TODAY

Soma Fitness COVID 19 Virus Prevention Protocols

We cannot wait to welcome our clients back into our gym. The team have been working hard to produce protocols in order to keep the environment of the gym as safe as possible. Every month the team at Viroclean will be giving our gym a deep sanitation to keep Soma a virus free enviroment. As a private facility focusing on personal training we can manage and have control over making sure all surfaces and equipment are clean and sanitised before any of our clients use them.

Here are a few more protocols we will have in place:

  • We will be leaving 15 minutes in between clients to clean and sanitise equipment, handles and surface areas. We ask clients to please be slightly flexible with us so that we can keep this in place and to be on time for their sessions.
  • On entering the gym please make your way to one of the hand sanitising stations to sanitise your hands before you touch any equipment. Hand sanitising stations will be located at the front section of the gym and at the back section of the gym feel free to apply as often as you feel comfortable.
  • Cleaning procedures for every evening have been put in place 6 days per week after each operational day for sanitation. This will mean we cannot conduct any training sessions past 9.30 pm MON – FRI & 7 pm SAT.
  • Our coaches will be equipped with gloves and visors for any close contact spotting. We will give you a choice if you wish your coach to wear them for the whole session. Please contact your coach prior to let him know what you wish them to do so, we have all the PPE available on site.
  • We will not be performing any assisted stretches with clients that which will require contact, all stretching routines will be demonstrated by your coach with the coaching cues required. (so, there is no getting out of stretching off at the end of your session).
  • If a coach requires to demonstrate technique to you on a piece of apparatus or equipment, prior to the demonstration your coach will then sanitise the equipment before you go to perform the exercise for yourself.
  • Coaches will be washing their hands before, during the middle and end of every session if they are not wearing gloves, Gloves will be replaced after each session if they are required to wear them.
  • Your coach will allocate you to either the front or back entrance to enter the gym if in doubt just press the buzzer at the front of the gym your coach will let you know if to come in through the front or through the back.
  • We please urge if any clients are suffering from any symptoms please let your coach know and do not attend your session.

What can we do for you? – Video

Our personal training coaches here at Soma Fitness can help you overcome all the problems you need solving around your health and fitness goals. Our coaches can help take care of all the areas that require you to succeed:

– Structured training programs tailored toward your goals and your lifestyle.

– Bespoke nutritional plans to fit your requirements and your goals.

– Coaching of correct exercise execution, training is a skill it’s not just about throwing weights around, make your workouts more efficient and effective.

– Improve lifestyle habits that may be hindering your progress.

– Build confidence within your body.

– Feel stronger and healthier.

Contact us to book in your FREE consultation with one of our coaches

 

Quarantine Resistance Training Tips

 


“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

Not being able to go to the gym has forced us to use initiative and be adaptable. The more you’re able to adapt, the more you’re able to thrive.

I’ve enjoyed changing my usual workout routine, adapting a high volume, low intensity approach and getting creative with different exercises and workouts to stay healthy and in shape. I’m going to explain how you can do the same.

When deciding how to periodise a programme (depending on the clients’ goals) two main factors are taken into consideration; volume and intensity.
Volume refers to the amount of sets and reps performed in a workout and intensity refers to the load (weight) used and rest periods in the workout.
Volume and intensity have an inverse relationship. Meaning as one increases the other decreases or vice versa.
For example, if you are bench pressing a heavy weight, say 90% of your 1 rep max, the intensity is high. You can’t perform more than a few reps with this weight because it is so heavy and therefore the volume is low.

As gym equipment isn’t available to most, it is difficult to increase the load used, therefore we must increase volume.

Additionally to this, following the principles of progressive overload, will help to provide new stimuli and force the muscles to ADAPT. Progressive overload is the systematic increase in training frequency, volume and intensity in various combinations. This also helps to avoid the principle of diminishing returns, which suggests monotonous volumes and low frequency of exercise variation can leave an athlete stagnant.

Ways to vary your training:

Increase Reps
Exercise Tempo
Rest Periods
Take exercises to failure
Exercise variation
Uni-lateral exercises

Increase Reps:
As mentioned above, increasing reps increases the overall volume of a workout, essentially meaning we have done more. When looking to vary or increase the difficulty of your sessions, I would recommend to firstly increase the amount of reps you perform, before looking at other ways to change your workout.

Tempo:
Performing exercises at varying tempo’s is a good way of challenging the body and offering new stimuli. Firstly to understand why we vary tempo it is important to understand the different types of muscle contractions.

There are 3 types of muscle contraction:
Concentric phase (upward motion, where the muscle shortens)
Eccentric phase (lowering motion, where the muscle lengthens)
Isometric phase (a pause or hold at any point in the movement, where muscle length doesn’t change)

Manipulating the tempo at different stages of a movement, (for example a slow eccentric lowering of 4 seconds whilst performing a press up) creates time under tension (TUT). The greater a muscle’s TUT, the greater its potential growth stimulus is.

In contrast, more ballistic and explosive exercises (such as a broad jump) that implement the use of a rapid eccentric and concentric phase can potentiate power.

Rest Periods:
Shortening rest periods can be an effective way to increase intensity, however only if you can still perform the required number of reps. For example, if your target is to perform 12 reps of press ups over 4 sets and by the last set you can still comfortably reach 12 reps, then shortening rest periods in between sets can make this more difficult.

Recommended Rest Periods:
Training Goal              Goal Repetitions
Muscular Endurance   30s or less
Hypertrophy                  30-90s
Strength & Power         2-5mins

Taking Exercises to Failure:
This doesn’t mean taking the exercise to failure on the first set, as this will affect our ability to recover for the remaining sets and we won’t be able to perform as many reps overall. We can use what’s known as “reps in reserve” to judge this.

For example, if we are performing an exercise with a target of 12 reps over 4 sets, then the first two sets you might feel you could have completed another 2-3 reps in the set (reps in reserve). Then on the 3rd set you feel you could have only completed one more rep, then ideally we want to reach absolute failure on the last set, where you couldn’t have performed any more reps.

Exercise variation:
This involves changing an exercise for a given muscle group. For example, there are many variations of a squat that challenge the lower body:
Sissy squat
Sumo squat
Squat jumps
Narrow stance squat

It is recommended to vary exercises every 3-5 weeks depending on the individual.

Uni-Lateral Exercises:
Uni lateral exercises are single leg or single arm movements, such as lunges, single leg squats etc. Uni-lateral movements help to maintain a balance of strength between opposing muscle groups and right and left sides of the body, which reduces injury risk.

These are also a great option when performing bodyweight exercises as they are generally more taxing meaning less load needs to be used.

A final note to finish on is that while its not ideal gyms are closed, research has shown that we won’t lose as much “gains” as you may think.

One study has shown that resistance trained individuals (aged between 20-35) that trained 3 days per week, over 16 weeks and then were reduced to 1/9th of that over a 32 week period, retained the strength gained over the 16 weeks (with only a slight reduction at the final time point). And the muscle size gained was also retained.
Bickel, C. S., Cross, J. M., & Bamman, M. M. (2011). Exercise dosing to retain resistance training adaptations in young and older adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 43(7), 1177-1187.

We can take from this that maintaining size and strength doesn’t take much so quarantine shouldn’t affect your body composition too greatly!

If you’d like home resistance exercise and workouts ideas, then head over to the Soma Fitness YouTube channel, or contact me on:

Insta: tim_jeffers
Email: tim-jeffers@hotmail.co.uk

60+ Resistance Band Exercises (VIDEO)

Resistance bands are a great tool to increase the difficulty level of any exercise when you have the knowledge of application. Resistance bands are also portable and can be used anywhere, I personally take a bag of resistance bands with me whenever I go on holiday so I can get some physical activity done and really challenged my muscles without the need of weights or a gym .
Another great thing about resistance bands compared to a dumbell or a barbell is that the resistance increases as you stretch the resistance band this accommodates the tension throughout the whole movement allowing you to maximise the contractile ability off your muscle at the point where if using a dumbbell the tension would drop off.
resistance bands are easy to access and very affordable. I hope you enjoy the video and please if you do like the video please click like on the video and feel free to share with any family or friends.

RESISTANCE BAND EXERCISES

1. Squat
2. Front Squat
3. Band Behind the head squat
4. Zercher Squat
5. RDL – Hips
6. RDL – Hamstrings
7. Single leg RDL 1
8. Single leg RDL 2
9. Single leg RDL 3
10. Good morning
11. Zercher Good mornings
12. Banded Spilt Squats 1
13. Hip hinge with band on hips
14. Bulgarian Split Squats 1
15. Bulgarian Split Squats 2
16. Swings
17. Glute bridge
18. Single Leg Glute Bridge
19. Frog Bridge
20. Lateral walks
21. Resistance band press ups wide grip
22. Close grip press ups
23. Resistance band pec fly
24. Resistance Band Floor Press
25. Floor Press with broom
26. Single Arm External Rotations
27. Double Arm External Rotations
28. Lateral raise
29. 10 o’clock, 2 o’clock Frontal Raise
30. Frontal raise
31. Bent over single arm rear delt fly
32. Shoulder press
33. Single arm shoulder press
34. Punch press
35. Cuban Press
36. Upright row
37. Seated Row
38. Seated single arm row
39. Bent over row
40. Single Arm Pull Down
41. Single Arm Pakulski Row
42. Straight arm Pull down
43. Face Pull
44. Face Pull to Y Press
45. Pull Aparts
46. Supinated Pull Aparts
47. Single arm tricep extension
48. Double arm Tricep extension
49. Double arm bent over Tricep extension
50. Skull Crushers
51. Hammer Curls
52. Bicep Curls
53. Reverse curls
54. Concentration Curls
55. Preacher Curls
56. Pallof Press
57. Saxon Bend
58. Banded Dead Bugs
59. Kneeling abdominal crunch
60. Side Bends
61. Banded Chop
62. Banded Rotation

62 Resistance Band Exercises Video

If you feel like your training has become stagnant since the lockout a number of our clients have been keeping the momentum going by doing one on one virtual personal training sessions using Zoom or FaceTime. If you would like any help in getting an effective training schedule organised, please contact us.

Wishing you all a very happy Easter weekend, Stay strong, stay positive, keep active, and don’t eat too many Easter eggs.

Much Love,

Stelios