Craig Washington Personal Trainer - Get fit! Stay fit!
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Motivation
Time
Winter training
Getting started...
The role of fat in your diet

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Motivation

With summer approaching I'm encountering more and more people across Torbay who want to get 'in shape' for the holidays. Living in Torquay, I see lots of people come on their holiday here, but also see the locals who are either heading down to the beach or away on holiday themselves; and they too want to get in shape. It has meant I have recently had some conversations with my clients and also gym members about their individual motivations to become healthier or simply 'get in shape'. 

How many times have you decided you need to get in shape, had lots of plans and things you're going to do when you're in shape and then 2 months later; no change...? Usually in January after an excessive festive period or a month or two before a holiday...?
 
If you are one of these people (pretty much everyone at some point in their life), it all boils down to one thing; you don't want it enough! Sounds harsh I agree. But there will be deeper reasons as to why this is the case. In most occasions your targets are just too unrealistic and when you don't see instant results you give up!
 
You can plan for everything; the workouts you're going to do, the new 'fad' diet you want to follow, the dress size or trouser size you are going to fit into etc. However, you will often find you lose the motivation half way through your new workout regime or diet plan and regress to the same fitness level you were, or even worse you'll be in worse shape!
 
Essentially you have chosen either the wrong goals and targets or you generally don't want them enough. Try and visualise a reason you want to get in shape, whether it's to build muscle, lose body fat, gain in fitness levels or any other fitness target. Put a time frame in place that is long term, at least 2-3 months and set actual targets related to your goal. If it's muscle gain; how much? If it's losing body fat or weight; then how much? If you want to get fit for a certain event e.g. a 10km run how fast do you want to run it in?
 
Unless you set a clear 'end goal' you will not actually achieve anything. The important part is to then break those goals down into smaller manageable cycles like; what you want to achieve after the first 2 weeks, the first month etc of the 3 month overall goal. This way you can hold yourself accountable and track progress.
 
It's easier said than done saying 'you don't want it enough', but try and visualise targets and goals that actually mean something to you. Delve deeper into why you want to hit these targets. Once you have a reason and a driving force behind you, hold onto it. Remind yourself of it everyday or at least everytime you train, to help give you that added motivation.
 
In the end if you want something and put your mind to it and be the best you can be you will hit your fitness goals. Don't be that person who wants something for the wrong reasons and loses focus. Keep your focus and you will be amazed what you can acheive.
 
If you need any help in formulating realistic goals, putting them into a workable time frame and then breaking them down into smaller targets do not hesitate to contact me at fitness@craigwashington.co.uk You can also follow me on the following social media platforms for daily advice;

Twitter: @CWashingtonPT
Instagram: @CWashingtonPT
Facebook: @CWashingtonPT
 
Thanks for reading!
 
Craig Washington, Personal Trainer Torbay
 
 

Time

For my post this week I want to talk about time. Every one leads busy lives and often the most common excuse given to me by new clients is; 'I don't have enough time in the day to train'. It's easy for me to say, as I'm a Personal Trainer, but training in an ideal world should be a part of your life. It should be as normal as brushing your teeth, having a shower and going to the toilet. If it is a part of your daily routine you will always have time to fit in your training.

As a Personal Trainer in Torbay, I have many clients who I train on a weekly or even daily basis at the gym or wider community around Torquay, Paignton, Totnes and Newton Abbot. Managing all my clients' progress plus finding time to fit in my own workouts is certainly a challenge. This is before I take into consideration my commitments at home and personal life. 

One of my clients in Torquay said to me last week that they are finding it hard to get to the gym and workout due to work commitments. They can make the 2 appointments with me but the 1-2 times they come outside of our appointments are just too tough due to travel times etc from work. 

The answer to this is simple; you need to change something. Now I don't mean stop committing to your job, you need to change how you view the way you can workout. Sometimes life gets in the way; and if things do then you just need to change your approach. If you don't have time to get down to the gym or exercise class etc. you can use the one thing you always have with you; YOU!! Bodyweight exercise is the way you can fit in training outside of Personal Training sessions and exercise classes, in the 'comfort' of your own home or garden.

Clearly if your goals are to increase muscle mass and bulk up as a bodybuilder this won't really cut it for a long period of time. However, no matter what your goal is, bodyweight exercises are an excellent way to supplement your gym or Personal Trainer sessions and the best bit about it is you can do them at home! 

A good bodyweight workout can take as little as 20 or even as little as 10 minutes, if it is intense enough. It can target your entire body and is easy to fit into your lifestyle as you can do it as soon as you get up, as soon as you get home from work, or even at work on your lunch break. 

A simple circuit of plyometric squat jumps, press ups, dips and crunches repeated as many times as you can in 20 minutes will be all you need to do that day. Not only will it be a better workout than a 20 minute jog, it will burn up to twice as many calories and tone you along the way. It won't cut it over a long period but it is certainly a much better option than simply not exercising.

As there are genuinely hundreds of different bodyweight exercises to choose from and mix and match with, you are never going to get bored, and you can easily progress to harder techniques. It will also allow you to focus more on your gym workouts for things that are difficult to train in a bodyweight exercise and give you much more strength and endurance. 

Different bodyweight exercises are better suited for different goals but if you are looking to lose fat, tone up and increase fitness; they are the best place to start!

The important thing is to get your workouts in and stay committed to your goals. Whether it's doing extra workouts at home work or in the gym.  

If you need any advice on bodyweight exercise, or any other fitness questions, and live in Torbay or the surrounding area in Devon please get in touch at fitness@craigwashington.co.uk 

Thanks for reading! 

Craig Washington, Torquay Personal Trainer

Winter training

My name's Craig and I'm a Personal Trainer in Torquay, Devon. This week I'm going to write a little bit about seasonal training. Autumn and Winter is a time of change. With the nights drawing in and days getting shorter, it can be seen as a depressing time for some. It can be harder to get up in the morning and also hard to find motivation. 

The best way to combat that is through healthy eating and most importantly exercise. By keeping your diet clean and exercising 3-4 times a week you can help boost your metabolism and increase energy levels. Plus if you can manage those early morning workouts during this time of year with the often cold mornings; then spring and summer will be no problem at all!

Why start a new exercise regime in Autumn and Winter? The main reason is because I'm sure over the summer we all had holidays and 'relax' time. Exercising would have become something to 'fit in' as opposed to an essential part of your week, therefore you need to make it an essential part, no excuses. Lots of people feel at their 'fattest' or most out of shape leading up to and over the Winter months, so you can prevent this by starting a new exercise plan now.

Keep an end goal in mind. Although next summer seems like a long time away, the reality is people start getting in shape for their summer break much too late. Usually people come to me in January or February to train with a summer holiday in mind, and although with the right training it is possible; it is hard work. By starting your new workout plan for next summer now, it gives you a clear time frame and lots of time to get that ideal body you are looking for. 

I have started my own new workout plan for example in October and I'm just over a month in. My goal over the next 2 months is to reduce body fat and maintain lean muscle mass (Yes Personal Trainers have that type of goal too). To do this I'm still doing my weight training but I am mixing things up and increasing the number of sets and reps for each exercise, in turn decreasing some of the weight I lift. This is a test on my endurance and has helped keep my training interesting and most of all; a new challenge. I have also slightly upped the cardio levels to help with this and of course I'm keeping my diet clean.

You can do this too! Not necessarily by doing what I am, as we all have different end goals and targets. You can change your workouts to include different set types such as super sets, tri sets, giants sets, drop sets etc. Also by implementing new workouts that includes plyometric (explosive) exercise, Cross fit or functional training, weight training, interval cardio sessions etc. 

Of course you may be new to exercise altogether and need to start from scratch. Although daunting, there is nothing more fulfilling than setting a new workout goal and watching in the mirror each week as you start to realise the body/physique or new fitness level you are looking for. As a plus you will benefit from added energy in your everyday life as well as keep your mental health positive.

So don't wait until the new year to implement change in your exercise plan. If you change now and implement the correct training techniques for your goals, whether you are new to working out or experienced, you will achieve much better results. Also by next January, instead of starting from scratch, you can increase the intensity and develop what you are already doing. 

So how are you going to change this Autumn and Winter? Are you going to start taking your exercise and diet seriously or get left behind?

If you need any advice, assistance or would like a free Personal Trainer consultation if you live in Torquay, Torbay or the surrounding area in Devon, the please do not hesitate to contact me at fitness@craigwashington.co.uk You can also follow me on twitter at @CWashingtonPT

Thanks for reading,

Craig Washington, Personal Trainer

Getting started...

Hi, I'm Craig Washington; a Personal Trainer in Torquay, Devon. This week I'm going to write about taking the first steps into a new training routine. Getting started with training isn't an easy task. Whether it's just starting functional exercise around the home, in the park or at work. Or even choosing a gym and Personal Trainer to assist with your new fitness goals. The main thing you need to remember and remind yourself is; why you are doing it?
 
Set yourself distinct goals and targets that you can tick off along the way and make sure you are making progress towards them. Saying 'I want to get fit' doesn't count as a goal, and people who join the gym along with the millions worldwide in January to 'get fit' will never acheive anything. They will get jaded with their workouts and quit because they aren't making any progress. 
 
That's because they never had a specific target in sight. If you say, however; 'I want to lose a 2kg in 2 months', this gives you both a goal and timeframe to achieve it. Then you can break down your goal into manageable parts. Lets take this target of 'losing 2kg in 2 months' as an example. You will now need to commit to a certain number of workouts per week to hit this goal. I've chosen this example because it's a common one my clients aim to achieve with me. You can break it down to losing 1 kg a month, and broken down even more to 250g per week. Although setting these smaller goals is important to the overall goal, they are not the be all and end all. Some weeks you will lose more than the 250g, and some you may not lose that amount or even add weight. This is due to the reaction your body has to exercise, especially if it isn't used to training so much. That's why the bigger goals of 1kg a month and 2kg over 2 months is really what you want to focus on. Just use the smaller goals and targets to judge progress. This has to be 100% commitment, otherwise the goal isn't really important enough to you. 
 
So if you commit to going to the gym, exercising at home or with a Personal Trainer 3 times a week, that has to be set in stone as part of your life. Make it part of your life for those 2 months (8 weeks) and you will get results. Make the workouts a part of your daily routine, remember you do not have to be in a gym to exercise! Commiting to 45-60 minutes for a workout 3 times a week really isn't that much. It is a good starting point to develop your fitness and progress your goal once you have hit it. Alternatively, engaging in a 15-20 minute High Intensity workout every day is also another way of introducing training to your daily life, that can also have a great impact to your waistline and overall health and wellbeing. 
 
Do not make the mistake of doing too much too soon. I've seen so many people in gyms over the years who join up, go to the gym 5-6 days a week doing up to 2 hour workouts and get exhausted because their body can't handle the new strain being put on it. Set easier timeframes like; 3 times a week and space them out across the week. Before work and at lunchtime are great times to exercise because it doesn't really eat into your 'own' time in the evenings. Also weekends are a great time to set aside that 1 hour for a workout. 
 
But first things first; set a target for yourself and be strict about it! Set a realistic goal; overall weight, muscle size, waist size, an event (running 10km) and choose a timeframe to hit this target in. Look at the long term target (2 months or even a year) and break it down into smaller more manageable parts; weeks and days. 
 
I will cover these areas in more detail in future blogs and talk a whole lot more on nutrition, rest, and specific exercises in the coming weeks. If you have anything you would like me to focus on please get in touch at fitness@craigwashington.co.uk or contact me on social media on twitter at @CWashingtonPT
 
Thanks for reading and remember to get in touch if you have any questions regarding your own personal goals. If you need a Personal Trainer in Torquay or Torbay and the surrounding area in Devon, get in touch!!

Thanks,

Craig Washington, Personal Trainer

The role of fat in your diet

As a Personal Trainer I am often asked about various diets and the role that fat plays in them. People assume that as I work in fitness as a Personal Trainer that I don't consume fat, however, nothing could be further from the truth. We all need fat in our diet in order to function properly. This week I'll discuss the role of fat and what things to look out for, as well as avoid. 

Fat is often labelled as the bad guy when it comes to diet. Endless products stating they are 'fat free' and 'low fat' are forever looking to grab consumers attention. 

The trick is that they do it because we, as consumers, are educated to think this way. Fat free yoghurts are the prime example of where people are going wrong as it is their sugar content that does the damage. One on its own doesn't do much damage and can sometimes even contribute to your fruit intake, like some fruit based yoghurts. However, the 'fat free' leads to people thinking they are guilt free if they have 2, 3, or even more in one go. 

The key thing here is to embrace the good side of fats in the diet and not get put off  by the corporate marketing hate campaign against it. Fat is essential in your diet and you require around 30% of your diet to be made up of healthy fats if you want to have a balanced, healthy diet. Fat free diets will cause you harm in the long run so avoid them altogether!

The main function of fat in the diet is to provide the body with energy. Without fat in the diet protein will not be used for it's main purpose of repair and rebuilding muscle tissue. Protein will instead be used as an energy source and in turn take vital recuperation from the muscles you have exercised. 

Fat also helps with the really complex parts of cell production and maintanence. Fats help form the structure and body of the outer casing of cells which are vital to everyday life. 

Fat as an energy source is very high in energy levels, providing almost double the level of energy compared to carbs. However, like with everything fats need to be consumed as part of a balanced diet. There are 4 main categories for fats, 2 that are good for you and 2 that are not so good or seen as 'bad'. 

The good fats are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. These include fish, nuts, olive oil, seeds, olives and avocados to name a few. These help provide you with good energy and will help battle cholesterol and heart disease. They will also promote a healthy balanced diet. 

The bad fats are saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are better than trans fats. You will consume saturated fat through red meat, chicken with the skin on, butter, cheese, and milk to name a few, however, these are all ok in moderation. Saturated fat is not a risk if it is part of a balanced diet and consumed alongside more of the 'good fats' listed above to help counteract the effect of the saturated fats. Trans fats however, can be avoided altogether! These include pastries, crisps, pizzas, fast food and any fried food. You can live without trans fats, even though they are the 'cheat' foods of many people who apparently can't do without their takeaway every week. Instead of eating pastries; have fruit, instead of eating fried fast food or takeaways; make your own meals from fresh produce and meat at home without frying them. 

Fat is broken down and used over a longer period as an energy source, compared to carbs, and is also vital for bodily functions. This includes regulating fat soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D, E, and K. As fat takes much longer to break down into fatty acids and glycerol, it gives you the feeling of being full for much longer. Sugars on the other hand give you a sickly feeling (as the body cannot convert all the fast releasing energy) and in turn store this excess energy.

So fat is not the enemy, but it can be if you eat the wrong type of fat. Always ensure you are eating as part of a healthy balanced diet and partaking in regular exercise and you will see the health benefits. 

Do you live in Torquay and need a Personal Trainer? If you have any questions or would like advice on your fat intake or diet plan then please do not hesitate to get in touch at fitness@craigwashington.co.uk

Thanks for reading,

Craig Washington, Personal Trainer