Exercises For Thoracic Mobility

For most of us, our daily practices involve sitting at a desk, looking down at our phones or slouching on the couch whilst watching television. Eventually, we may catch ourselves falling into poor posture or even worse, don't even realise it.

A poor static posture, more often than not, will result in movement dysfunctions and can be the major causes of shoulder, back, hip and neck pain.

What is the thoracic spine? 

When we refer to the thoracic spine, we are talking about the portion of the middle back that runs from T1-T12. This is an area where many people experience stiffness as the majority of the activities we do on a day to day basis, are very anterior dominant.

The problem with stiffness in this area is, it limits thoracic extension and the ability to get our arms up over head. In some cases where the range is restricted to this area, the body will take the path of least resistance and compensate above or below the joint.

Regardless of whether it is to improve function, reduce pain or increase physical performance, focusing on thoracic spine mobility is important.

Mobilisation of the thoracic spine is not commonly addressed because the anterior aspects of the torso are generally the only focus. While it may not be the sole cause of movement dysfunctions and pain, mobilisation of the thoracic spine certainly proves to be beneficial to each and every one of us.

Why is thoracic mobility important? 

A lot of the time shoulder pain can be prevented and overhead positional issues can be resolved by including thoracic mobility drills in  your warm up.

Adequate thoracic extension enables the scapula to sit in the correct position and function correctly.

To understand the importance of thoracic mobility we must first touch on the term Kyphosis. Kyphosis is a term to describe the forward rounding of the upper back.   

The best way to think about this is rolling your shoulders forward and hunching your upper back.  

A slight kyphotic curve in the upper back is normal, however a more severe curve will cause the scapula to tilt anteriorly. When this happens it cause the sub-acromial space to be reduced.

This often results in the bicep tendon becoming impinged and shoulder range of motion reduced dramatically. 

This will not only cause pain and irritation but will mean that moving weight overhead becomes unsafe.

How can you improve your thoracic mobility?

Like any postural corrections, change takes time and consistency. Our suggestion is a combination of mobility work and soft tissue treatment from a local therapist. The key areas to focus on will be pec minor, pec major, lats, teres major and anterior delts.

If you have poor thoracic mobility, we recommend performing thoracic mobility daily.

Below are a number of exercises that have proven effective in increasing thoracic extension and rotation.

1. Thoracic Extension w/ Roller & Bar

This is a great drill to improve thoracic extension. To begin, set up a bar and roller on the floor. Place the roller on your thoracic spine then reach your arms overhead to grab the bar. 

There are two hand positions for this drill. 

The first one is hands positioned close together which will focus more on stretching the lats and teres major. 

The second variation is to place the hands wide which will focus more on stretching the pecs. 

When doing this drill it is very important to remember to breathe. Deep inhalations and exhalations will help you relax into the stretch.

Aim to hold for 90 seconds for multiple sets.

2. Cat-Camel Drill

This exercise is a great way to improve flexion and extension of the thoracic spine.

Starting in the quadruped position, slowly move from a fully flexed position to a fully extended position. 

When doing this, it is important to inhale as you extend, and exhale as you flex. 

We recommend starting with 10-12 reps for multiple sets.

3. Deep Squat + Thoracic Rotation

The deep squat with thoracic rotation is a more advanced drill that is a pre requisite for the overhead squat. 

There are two variations of this one: The first one is done with no weight for reps, the second is done with a light DB  (2-3kgs) and held for a short time. 

The goal is to keep your hips in a deep squat position while you reach overhead with one arm. Start with 3 sets of 8 each side.

4. Spiderman w/ Thoracic Rotation

The spiderman with thoracic rotation is great for hip mobility and thoracic rotation.

To begin the movement, start in a push up position.

The first step is to bring one leg outside your hand. In this position you should feel a stretch on the hip flexors on the back leg and a stretch on the adductors on the front leg. 

The second step is to reach to the sky with the hand, ensuring your rotate through your thoracic spine. 

Hold the top postion for 3-5 seconds then swap sides. 

We recommend starting with 6-8 reps each side for multiple sets.

**Resource from Movement Enhanced.

9 Week Fitness Challenge - 29th April 2019

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GET FIRST FOUR WEEKS FREE!*

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Commencing Monday 29th April 2019 and concluding on Saturday 29th June 2019 we will be holding our Winter 9 Week Transformation Challenge.

I have booked MeasureUp to come and do Dexa Scans on Saturday 27th April 2019 with follow up scans on the Saturday 29th June 2019.

Nutritional Recommendations (optional)

24/7 Support via phone, email and SMS

Goal Setting Session - Setting realistic goals and tracking them correctly

Tracking your results via DEXA scans - why you should never rely on the scales

Fitness Testing - setting new benchmarks!

Double client reward points to Unlimited Weekly and Personal Training Memberships ONLY, not applicable to casual packs.

$1000 Prize to Overall Transformation Winner based on % of % change

What is a Dexa Scan?

A DEXA scan is the Gold Standard technology used to measure body composition which means it is the absolute best in the industry. The scan provides you with:

Total body bone mineral density (gives your risk of developing Osteoporosis later in life, especially important for women)

Body fat %

Total muscle and fat mass (kg)

Estimated resting metabolic rate

Where you store your fat and muscle so you can know your risk of developing certain diseases (Central abdominal fat measurement) and identify imbalances

A macronutrient breakdown according to your individual body composition, this means a tailored diet just for you, How many carbs, fats, proteins you should be eating per day to reach your goals quicker and easier.

Costs:

Individual scan: $70 with macronutrient report

Challenge (before and after scan): $120 altogether prepaid at first scan. ($60 per scan)

All scans are NO longer eligible to be claimed through your private health fund.

8 Week Transformation Challenge Details

Fitness Testing

In Week 1 and Week 9 of the Fitness Challenge we will be holding fitness testing sessions, we will be following a similar format to previous challenges.

Beep Test - this will be at select Sportif Classes (details to be advised closer to the date)

Strength and Conditioning Test - this will be at select Primal Classes (details to be advised closer to the date)

Goal Setting Sessions

Commencing Week 1 of the challenge you will be able to book into a 30min Goal Setting Session and then a follow up in Week 9. Your Goal Session will include:

- Set a Goal for the 8 Week Challenge

- Measurements

- Set Up of MyFitnessPal

- Before and After Photo (optional)

Overall Transformation Prize:

$250 Lululemon Voucher

1 Months Delivery from Organic Scarecrow ( Organic Fruit and Veg Delivery Box) Valued at $250.00

$250 Pace Athletic Voucher

3 x 1:1 45min PT Sessions

T&C's

GETTING STARTED:

All entrants must have a minimum of 1 group class or 1 PT session per week to be eligible to win prizes.

All entrants must have a DEXA Scan to obtain before and after results to be eligible to win Overall transformation.

You must signup for the entire 9 weeks, direct debit details must be provided to be eligible for the first 4 weeks free. 4 Weeks Free applies to Unlimited Group Memberships and PT Sessions.

4 Weeks Free not applicable to existing members.

Family members and partners of Sportif PT trainers can participate but are not eligible for the overall prize.

JUDGING:

The judging of the overall winner will take place by Sportif PT Owner Jessica Cross and will be finalised on Wednesday 3rd July 2019.

Feb Fast Partner Challenge

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There is no better way to kick start 2019! With holidays, Xmas, New Year and Australia Day out of the way, February is a great way to kickstart new habits that may have slipped throughout December and January especially not turning up to training and letting unhealthy nutrition habits creep in!

During "febfast" there are several simple changes that can be made to dramatically improve your health, both mentally and physically. 

Registrations are now open, so what is involved in the challenge?

1. Pick a partner! You don't have to be related, you can choose to pair up with any of the Sportif clients. You both must attend the same group classes during the challenge. Want to go solo - this is also fine. 
2. Give up something; Sugar, Caffeine or Alcohol. You and your partner don't have to give up the same thing.
3. Register your names on the chart by the 31st January 2019


How to win the challenge?


The pair with the highest group class attendance (Yoga is included) and compliance to what they are giving up will win. For a session to count you must both be booked into the same class and via the online booking portal. Please note that there is a cap of 1 x double session per week.
 

Whats the Prize?


1. Winning Pair = $150 Lululemon voucher each + 2 x 1:1 45min PT Sessions each
2. All Partners that complete on average 4 or more sessions in the month of February will get a Bare Blends Protein Bag
3. If current active members refer a new training partner for the challenge, the current member receives 1 Week Free.

REGISTER BELOW:

Name *
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A Simple Tool to Apply to Eating Out or Cooking at Home!

1 - Plants

You want to fill half your plate with non-starchy fruit and vegetables. These foods are packed with high density nutrients such as fibre, phyto-chemicals that our body need. This category there is really no rules on how much as you can eat as much as you like.

2 - Proteins

We want to include a quality serving of protein rich food such as seafood, meat, eggs, legumes, tofu or dairy. When we incorporate protein into our meals they help with our satiation after meals (Fullness). Spread your protein out throughout the day to help preserve and build lean muscle whilst burning body fat.

3 - Good Carbs 

A good carb is classified as being minimally processed, the body slowly absorbs the nutrients (low GI). These include whole-grains, legumes or a starchy vegetables they help keep you fuller for longer.

4 - Healthy Fats

We need good fats in our diet as they provide essential nutrients and help the body absorb certain antioxidants and reduce inflammation. Examples of healthy fats are found in avocado, nuts, seeds and olive oil. Try to avoid overly processed fatty foods.

Diet Talk: Flexible Dieting for Muscle Gain vs Fat Loss

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I have been a big believer in flexible dieting to achieve optimal results whether it is fat loss or muscle gain. So what is flexible dieting or IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) ? a form of food tracking based around macronutrients that meet your body composition, energy expenditure and fitness goals.

There are key aspects we need to consider and understand when it comes to flexible dieting:

  1. Macronutrients - carbohydrates, protein and fats are tailored to suit whether your goal may be a calorie deficit to lose body fat or calorie surplus to achieve muscle gain. The split you have between the 3 macronutrients with depend on your body type as we all respond differently some work better on carbohydrates and others on fat.

  2. Tracking - My favourite tool is MyFitnessPal as it allows us to keep track of our daily intake and macros/calories to ensure we are meeting our needs to achieve the desired outcome. It is a great tool as it keeps us honest about what we are consuming.

  3. If It Fits Your Macro’s - Eating whole foods high in micronutrients such as fruit, veggies and whole grains 80% of the time then 20% of the time eating food that fit your macros but may be considered “unhealthy”. Foods which may be low in micronutrients, highly processed and calorie dense are considered unhealthy foods. My 80/20 approach is 6 days of healthy meals and 1 meal out on the weekend, I find this most sustainable to my lifestyle, however find what works best for your lifestyle.

How to Stay on Track?

  1. Eat Foods that Give You More Bang for Your Buck - foods such as veggies are high in fibre and adding these to your meals is the key to staying full when dieting.

  2. Track Your Food - Being aware of your portions and calories you are consuming is very important and I would say the key to staying on track and achieving your desired result. Eating mindlessly or untracked cheat meals may end up putting us into an calorie surplus, leading to unused energy and ultimately storage of this energy as fat.

  3. Balance - Going out for events with your friends and families and eating foods you love is important in creating balance. Enjoying life is possible without sacrificing your health.

Top Reminders for Muscle Gain and Fat Loss Clients:

  • Have 1 goal to focus on! For example if you are running a marathon, it is going to be difficult to gain muscle. The important goal should be on maintaining your muscle mass whilst training for the marathon.

  • Not eating enough protein

  • No eating enough fat to help boost metabolism and regulate hormone function.

  • Eat carbs to fuel your muscles - This will also help regulate blood sugar levels. Consuming quality carbohydrates like veggies, fruits, and grains in proper portions is essential for muscle growth and reducing fat. Healthy carbs provide superior fuel for hard workouts and well-defined muscle. There is a difference between good and bad carbohydrates and nutrient dense carbs are recommended. Carbohydrate requirements will vary according to exercise demands. They have a very important job of restoring muscle glycogen (stored form of energy) after exhausting workouts.

  • Train with sufficient intensity and precision - To achieve our muscle maintenance (or enhancement) and fat loss goals, you have to have a clearly documented program and goals, and you have to apply it with precision, which means taking the time to apply each step accurately, logging those steps in a diary and recording energy inputs and outputs in the form of food and physical activity.

Summer Transformation Challenge - 8th October 2018

This Summer our usual challenge that is 9 Weeks will be cut to 8 weeks due to Xmas and Holidays!

Commencing Monday 8th October and concluding on Saturday 1st December 2018 we will be holding our Summer 8 Week Transformation Challenge.

I have booked MeasureUp to come and do Dexa Scans on Saturday 6th October 2018 with follow up scans on the Saturday 1st December 2018. Click here to book your DEXA Scan. Here is a snap shot on what to expect:

Nutritional Recommendations (plan will be based on The Primal Blueprint)(Optional)

24/7 Support via phone, email and SMS

Goal Setting Session - Setting realistic goals and tracking them correctly

Tracking your results via DEXA scans - why you should never rely on the scales

Fitness Testing - setting new benchmarks!

Double client reward points to Unlimited Weekly and Personal Training Memberships ONLY, not applicable to casual packs.

$600 Prize to Overall Transformation Winner based on % of % change

Goal Setting Sessions will be held week commencing 1st October please respond to this email/ or in person at your next session if you wish to take part in the challenge to organise a time to sit down 1:1 and set your goals for the challenge.

What is a Dexa Scan?

A DEXA scan is the Gold Standard technology used to measure body composition which means it is the absolute best in the industry. The scan provides you with:

Total body bone mineral density (gives your risk of developing Osteoporosis later in life, especially important for women)

Body fat %

Total muscle and fat mass (kg)

Estimated resting metabolic rate

Where you store your fat and muscle so you can know your risk of developing certain diseases (Central abdominal fat measurement) and identify imbalances

A macronutrient breakdown according to your individual body composition, this means a tailored diet just for you, How many carbs, fats, proteins you should be eating per day to reach your goals quicker and easier.

Costs:

Individual scan: $70 with macronutrient report

Challenge (before and after scan): $120 altogether prepaid at first scan. ($60 per scan)

All scans are NO longer eligible to be claimed through your private health fund.

Challenge commencement date Monday 8th October 2018

Initial DEXA Scan Date: Saturday 6th October at Rawson Oval

Follow-up Dexa Scan Date: Saturday 1st December 2018 at Rawson Oval

You do not need to be apart of the challenge to have the scan, and this is open to all family and friends of Sportif PT members. This is a great scan to do especially to all the new Sportif clients.

8 Week Transformation Challenge Details

Fitness Testing

In Week 1 and Week 8 of the Fitness Challenge we will be holding fitness testing sessions, we will be following a similar format to the April Challenge.

Beep Test - this will be at select Sportif Classes (details to be advised closer to the date)

Strength and Conditioning Test - this will be at select Primal Classes (details to be advised closer to the date)

*These same tests will be re-tested in week 8 to see improvements.

Goal Setting Sessions

Commencing Monday 1st October you will be able to book into a 30min Goal Setting Session and then a follow up on Saturday 1st December. Your Goal Session will include:

- Set a Goal for the 8 Week Challenge

- Measurements

- Set Up of MyFitnessPal

- Before and After Photo (optional)

Overall Transformation Prize:

$250 Lululemon Voucher

1 Months Delivery from Organic Scarecrow ( Organic Fruit and Veg Delivery Box) Valued at $260.00

$250 Pace Athletic Voucher

T&C's

GETTING STARTED:

All entrants must have a minimum of 1 group class or 1 PT session per week to be eligible to win prizes.

All entrants must have a DEXA Scan to obtain before and after results to be eligible to win Overall transformation.

Goal sessions commence Monday 1st October 2018 and conclude on Saturday 1st December 2018. The final Goal session must be completed no later than Saturday 1st December 2018.

Family members and partners of Sportif PT trainers can participate but are not eligible for the overall prize.

JUDGING:

The judging of the overall winner will take place by Sportif PT Owner Jessica Cross and will be finalised on Wednesday 5th December 2018.

Top Tips for City2Surf 2018

Photo by Kikovic/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Kikovic/iStock / Getty Images

Are you one of the 80,000 people running the City2Surf this weekend? Pre-race preparation is vital to avoiding injury or illness leading into the event. 

  1. Follow your Taper Plan: try to keep your mileage low this week but its important to keep moving. My advice is to go for a moderate paced street run, an easy hill/interval session (nothing to hilly) and a strength class/yoga session. Training should only be at 40-50% of your usual volume and capacity.
  2. Stick to Pre-Training Meals: This one’s important – race day is not the time for experimentation. No matter what’s usually on your plate, that exact meal is the “perfect” fuel for your run on City2Surf day. switching up your meals before one of the biggest races of the year might result in gut issues, or more toilet stops than usual. Go for foods you know your body can digest easily and keep it pretty light. A meal that contains a little carb and some protein are an ideal combination. 
  3. Stay Hydrated: Pre-competition hydration is incredibly important due to the fact that dehydration has been proven to negatively effect performance. Hydration should have been a component of your training regime. As someone who has suffered from cramps during endurance events, I always check that my urine is clear at all times regardless of whether it is race week or not to ensure I am adequately hydrated. Like our pre-training meals I advise not to mix your drinks leading into race week unless you have implemented a regime. I like to hydrate using Endura or Pure Coconut Water.
  4. Warm Up Properly: On race day, start your warm-up with a slow 5-10 minute jog and then move into a few dynamic stretching/movement (walking lunges, high knees, butt kicks, side-skips, knee kickouts) and finally, mark out 50-100m and run some speed builds. 
  5. Pace Yourself: Don’t go out too hard… the worst thing you can do is start the race at a sprint! Ideally, you want plenty left in the tank by the time you crest Heartbreak Hill. In basic terms, you want to go out a bit slower (don’t worry if loads of people are passing you), pick up your pace through the middle of the run and finish with your strongest/fastest leg of the race.
  6. Cool Down Properly: A few good quality stretches post race a vital, try to focus on your quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, calves and upper/lower back. Rug up, refuel and rehydrate! 

NUTRITION 101: ENDURANCE EVENT TRAINING

Photo by lzf/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by lzf/iStock / Getty Images

Regardless of whether you are a runner training for a half marathon, ultra marathon or just for fun, having a well balanced nutritional program for you will help you get the most out of your training and performance.

Carbohydrates and energy
Carbohydrates are any endurance athletes best friend when it comes to providing energy and getting the most out of your body. As an endurance athlete, carbohydrates should make up about 60 - 65% of your total calorie intake.  In long distance running (over 10km), our bodies rely predominately on glycogen as fuel. Glycogen is a carbohydrate that is stored in muscles and the liver. 

Protein
Protein rich foods are important for muscle replacement and recovery, maintaining energy requirements, blood sugar levels and boosting the immune system. Protein is an essential nutrient, protein keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which will help with heavy training loads and hunger. Protein should make up about 15% - 20% of your daily intake. It is important to include a serving of protein at every meal. Try to concentrate on protein foods that are low in fat and cholesterol such as lean cuts of meats, fish, nuts, eggs, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and beans.

Fats
While endurance athletes should try to follow a low fat diet, it is recommended to include ‘good fats’ into your diet as they help with physiological process such as growth and development, skin health, hair growth, metabolism, reproductive system health and cell membrane integrity. Foods such as nuts, oils, and cold-water fish provide essential ‘good fats’ called Omega 3’s. These omega 3’s help with delayed onset of muscle soreness, joint pain and repairing cartilage tissue damage.

Hydration
It is also very important that you are well hydrated during and after training sessions. For any event/session less than 45 minutes, water is adequate for your energy needs. However having a high intensity session, or during a heavy phase of your training (e.g. leading up to an event), you will benefit from either using sports drinks or a readily available source of carbohydrate such as gels, chews or lollies. Coconut water is a great drink post workout or event as it aids in rehydration and contains key electrolytes (calcium, magnesium, potassium & sodium). Did you know that coconut water contains the same amount of potassium as 1 banana or 15 sports drinks. 

How much should I consume, and how often?

  • Staying hydrated and keeping up your carbohydrate energy stores is extremely important for your race day strategy.  This is too often overlooked by competitors and it can result in poor performance, muscle cramping, dehydration and slow recovery times.
  • If you are competing in an event over 60min you must plan for proper nutrition.  To ensure you are comfortable and your body gets the required intake to perform at its best, aim to take 500-750ml of water per hour of running and combine it with the essential carbohydrates (options include an electrolyte sports drink, or plain water topped up with a gel/chew or suitable food).

How often should I drink or eat during my event?

  • Plan out your race.  Check how many aid stations are on course, and how frequently they are (usually every 2km or 5km).
  • Each aid station will have 150-200ml cups of water or sports drink available, so you should aim to drink 3 of these each hour that you run.  
  • If you need to top up your carbohydrates for energy, then you can consume your food or gel/chew as you run but make sure you keep an eye on your watch so you know if you're taking the correct amount of fuel for every hour that you're competing. 
  • Even if you aren't hungry, your muscles will thank you for the carbohydrates.  Don't wait until you are feeling fatigued, it will be too late to recover.  The key is to consume your hydration and fuel before you feel fatigue setting in.  So make sure you listen to your body and if you're feeling good, keep up with your nutrition strategy for the rest of the race.

GETTING READY FOR RACE DAY - QUICK TIPS FOR TRAINING NUTRITION

  Less than 1 hour If you're rolling out of bed, not starving, and only going for a few kilometres, you probably don't need anything more than water to help with your training. Additionally coffee can help, as it will not only help to stimulate your mind, but elevate your heart rate and therefore you may gain a better response from your training. If you are doing a high intensity short session (e.g. intervals) athletes should aim to maximize carbohydrate availability such as having easily digested carbohydrate rich snacks (e.g toast with honey or a banana) 30min before, or try consume carbohydrates (e.g. sports drink/gel) during the session. More than 1 hour If your session or race is upwards of one hour then you need to look at incorporating a nutrition strategy into the mix. This is where a varied approach can be taken by mixing up food choices depending on the session. During high intensity training session over 60 minutes or moderate intensity sessions over 90 minutes, the general rule of thumb is that we require between 30 – 60g of carbohydrate per hour. ‘Real’ food suggestions (containing around 50g of carbohydrates and are low fat, fibre and protein):

  • 2 x White or fruit bread, bagels or pikelets; with honey or jam type spreads
  • 2 x Muesli bars
  • 2 x banana
  • 75g of dried fruit

These are all easily digestible carbohydrates that will help with fast digestion. Be wary If you are susceptible to gastric problems (stomach pains) due to nerves or other factors. Additionally too much fatty food can give you gastric problems and this can last for a few days. Look at your ‘good fat’ options as an alternative. A great tip is to stick to what you know and to limit trying new foods before a race. Practise first in training to see if your body can tolerate it.

Recovery
Training/Competing will not only challenge the athletes carbohydrate stores, but also cause some damage to muscle fibres, which will delay recovery. Strategic intake of carbohydrate rich and quality protein foods soon after training/compeiting will enhance the rate of muscle glycogen depletion and make it easier for athletes to consume enough carbohydrate before their next training session. 

DRY JULY! BRING A FRIEND FREE

*** IMAGE FROM DRYJULY.COM 

*** IMAGE FROM DRYJULY.COM 

Are you up for the challenge? This July we will be doing a partner "Dry July" challenge, where you can bring a friend/partner or family member along to any of the group classes for FREE for the Month of July! What is involved in the challenge?

- Give up alcohol for 31days
- Exercise a minimum 45min everyday
- Grab a friend/family member to keep you accountable

- Prize to the overall WINNING PAIR of the 31  day challenge! Based on the highest group class attendance and compliance to DRY JULY! Prize includes 4 x 1:1 45min PT sessions.

*** Terms and conditions apply. Please contact Jess at sportifpersonaltraining@gmail.com for more information on how to register!

Sportif PT x pH Clinic Wellness Seminar - 7th May 2018 6.30pm

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Healthy Living Made Easy

Simple tips and tricks to help you create achievable and long lasting changes to the way you eat and live

Whether you are someone who is just starting out on your health journey, a mum trying to incorporate healthier options into her family’s meals or just someone looking for ideas on how to eat well with very little time, money and/or cooking experience - this workshop is for you. Laura shares realistic and achievable ways to give your lifestyle and kitchen pantry an overhaul, and kickstart you on your way to living a healthier and happier life with ease.

What to expect:

  • Learn the essentials to stock your fridge and pantry with
  • Get tips on how to save money on groceries
  • Label reading and what to look for when buying products
  • Meal prep and cooking advice

Details:

Date: Monday 7th May 2018

Time: 6.30pm

RSVP: Click the link here or Email: sportifpersonaltraining@gmail.com by Monday 30th April 2018

Location: Suite B, 38 Suakin Drive Mosman, NSW 2088

My Fool Proof Guide to Effective Fat Loss!

Photo by dulezidar/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by dulezidar/iStock / Getty Images

With the increasing number of so-called "wellness experts" plugging the latest pills, powders, cleanses, creams etc out there to help you lose fat it is hard to navigate what is fact and what is fiction. 

If you are serious about losing weight/fat plan on dieting for 10-12 weeks as this is a great period of time to fine tune your diet taking into consideration your activity level and food preferences.

Get Specific With Your Macros

It sounds easy, what this formula assumes is that you know what your calorie intake and what your expenditure is. You can estimate how many calories your body requires each day by using this simple calculation, click the link here, see an example below:

Total Daily Energy Expenditure: 2442cals per day, so if I wanted to lose 1.2lbs per week from my diet I would need to have a restriction of 600kcals per day. (You require 3500 calorie deficit per week to lose 1lbs of body fat)

2442cals - 600cals = 1842 calories required per day

Calories from Carboydrates: 50g x 4 (4 is the number of kcals per 1g of carbohydrate) = 200 kcals

Calories from Protein: 194g of Protein required p.d x 4 (4 is the number of kcal's per 1g of protein) = 777 kcal's

Calories from Fat: Add Total Kcals from Carbohydrates + Protein = 977

1842 - 977 = 865kcals from fat. ( Divide 865 by 9 number of kcal's per 1g of fat = 96g of fat per day is required. 

*** It is important to pick the level of activity that matches what you do each day on average, if you say you are more active than you really are you will most likely gain weight. For the moment chose your goal as maintenance. It is also really important to build a healthy diet around these numbers that you can sustain over that time for example, if you ate nothing but a McDonald's Big Mac for breakfast lunch and dinner and remained under your daily caloric requirement you will certainly lose weight, however factors to consider that will happen will be that you will lose muscle mass, decreased training performance and threaten your overall health. You want to

The Importance of Protein

To get maximum muscle-maintenance and appetite-management benefits from the protein, consume 20-25 grams of high-quality protein every few hours, rather than having one or two protein-rich meals a day.

In addition to giving your muscles the nutrients they need to grow and recover, protein also triggers the release of several appetite-suppressing hormones, primarily cholecystokinin. The more protein you eat, the more cholecystokinin your body produces, and the less hungry you feel.

Protein also has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates and fat combined. This means that your body must burn more calories to digest, absorb, and distribute nutrients from protein than it must to do the same with carbs and fats. Just by eating protein, you're helping your body lose weight!

Good protein sources include chicken and turkey breast (without skin), pork tenderloin, lean beef (filet mignon, steak sirloin, flank steak), lean ground meats (90/10 or leaner), eggs (yolks and whites), fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, tilapia, cod), seafood, low-fat dairy (Greek yogurt, milk, cheese), whey and casein protein, soy (tofu, edamame, seitan), beef, and vegetable protein powders.

The Importance of Carbohydrates

The number of carbs your body needs depends on how much energy you expend every day. If you work out on Monday and rest on Tuesday, you'll need more carbs on Monday.

  • On a non-exercise day, you need about 0.5 grams of carbs per pound of body weight.
  • If you exercise for 30-40 minutes a day, you need about 0.75 grams per pound of body weight.
  • If you exercise for 40-60 minutes a day, you need 0.75-1.0 grams per pound of body weight.
  • If you exercise for 60-90 minutes a day, you need 1.0-1.25 grams per pound of body weight.
  • If you exercise for 90-120 minutes a day, you need 1.25-1.75 grams per pound of body weight.

Good carbohydrate sources include brown and wild rice, quinoa, whole-grain pasta, bread and tortillas, oats, beans, legumes, lentils, peas, corn, popcorn, whole-grain cereals, fruits, and vegetables.

The Importance of Fat

Eating fat won't make you fat, so don't make the mistake of dropping your fat levels too low when leaning out. Extremely low-fat diets are a huge mistake. Not only do fats provide your body with energy, they also help transport vitamins through your bloodstream and absorb them into your body. Essential fatty acids—such as those found in whole grains, seeds, nuts, and some fish—have a hand in brain development and blood clotting. Balance your fat intake by eating saturated (butter, coconut oil) and unsaturated (olive oil, nuts, flaxseed) fats.

Now That I Know My Numbers, What Next:

This is where it gets tricky and where most people fail, hitting your targets consistently each day! If you have done this you should begin losing weight/fat. An ideal weightloss goal each week is to lose 0.5-1.0%of your bodyweight each week. If your weight stalls which the body generally does as it has learned how to function on fewer daily calories we need to reignite fat loss and reduce your current calorie intake. Dropping another 200-300 calories is a safe bet. When reducing calories its best to reduce from your fat intake as keeping your carbohydrates and protein consumption as high as possible as this will help maintain your energy. Tip: Don't let your fat intake drop 10% of your total daily calories. Having to low a fat intake can be detrimental to your performance, recovery, muscle maintenance and testosterone production. 

But I'm Still Hungry!

If you follow the steps outlined above, you'll be on your way to effective and sustainable fat loss, but you may start to feel hungry a lot and have less energy. To help you navigate this inevitable rise in hunger and fatigue, try these strategies:

  • Each day, drink your body weight in ounces of fluid. Filling your stomach with fluid sends satiety signals to your brain, which can help you feel less hungry. Toward the end of your diet, drink 12-16 ounces of fluid immediately before and after each meal to help keep your appetite from raging.
  • Choose high-fiber carbohydrates. Fiber slows down digestion, which helps keep your energy levels steady and your appetite in check.
  • Include vegetables with each meal. Vegetables are high in both fiber and water, each of which helps you better manage your appetite and energy.
  • Consume your carbohydrates before, during, and after your workouts. To avoid low-energy workouts and poor recovery, get 70-80 percent of your daily carbohydrates from your pre-, intra-, and post-workout meals.

References: he American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

9 Week Fitness Transformation Challenge

 

 

Commencing Monday 30th April and concluding on Saturday 30th June 2018 we will be holding a Winter 9 Week Fitness Transformation Challenge! 

I have booked MeasureUp to come and do Dexa Scans on Saturday 28th April 2018 with follow up scans on the Saturday 30th June 2018. Click here to book your DEXA Scan. Here is a snap shot on what to expect:
 

  • Nutritional Recommendations (plan will be based on The Primal Blueprint)(Optional)
  • 24/7 Support via phone, email and SMS
  • Goal Setting Session - Setting realistic goals and tracking them correctly
  • Tracking your results via DEXA scans - why you should never rely on the scales
  • Fitness Testing - setting new benchmarks!
  • Double client reward points to Unlimited Weekly and Personal Training Memberships ONLY, not applicable to casual packs.
  • $600 Prize to Overall Transformation Winner based on % of % change

Goal Setting Sessions will be held week commencing 23rd April please respond to this email/ or in person at your next session if you wish to take part in the challenge to organise a time to sit down 1:1 and set your goals for the challenge.

What is a Dexa Scan? 
A DEXA scan is the Gold Standard technology used to measure body composition which means it is the absolute best in the industry. The scan provides you with:

  • Total body bone mineral density (gives your risk of developing Osteoporosis later in life, especially important for women)
  • Body fat %
  • Total muscle and fat mass (kg)
  • Estimated resting metabolic rate
  • Where you store your fat and muscle so you can know your risk of developing certain diseases (Central abdominal fat measurement) and identify imbalances
  • A macronutrient breakdown according to your individual body composition, this means a tailored diet just for you, How many carbs, fats, proteins you should be eating per day to reach your goals quicker and easier.

Costs:
Individual scan: $90 with macronutrient report or $85 without macro report. 
Challenge (before and after scan): $150 altogether prepaid at first scan. ($75 per scan)

All scans are able to be claimed back from health insurers reducing the price even more.

Challenge commencement date Monday 30th April 2018
Initial DEXA Scan Date: Saturday 28th April at Rawson Oval
Follow-up Dexa Scan Date: Saturday 30th April 2018 at Rawson Oval


You do not need to be apart of the challenge to have the scan, and this is open to all family and friends of Sportif PT members. 

9 Week Fitness Transformation Challenge Details


Fitness Testing
In Week 1 and Week 9 of the Fitness Challenge we will be holding fitness testing sessions, we will be doing this a little bit differently this time. 

Beep Test - this will be at select Sportif Classes (details to be advised closer to the date)
Strength and Conditioning Test - this will be at select Primal Classes (details to be advised closer to the date)

*These same tests will be re-tested in week 9 to see improvements.

Goal Setting Sessions

Commencing Monday 23rd April you will be able to book into a 30min Goal Setting Session and then a follow up on Saturday 30th June. Your Goal Session will include:

- Set a Goal for the 9 Week Challenge
- Measurements
- Set Up of MyFitnessPal
- Before and After Photo (optional)

Overall Transformation Prize: $600 Prize

- $200 Lululemon Voucher
- $200 Pace Athletic Voucher
- $200 Massage/ Spa Voucher

T&C's
GETTING STARTED:

  1. All entrants must have a minimum of 1 group class or 1 PT session per week to be eligible to win prizes. 
  2. All entrants must have a DEXA Scan to obtain before and after results to be eligible to win Overall Male and Female transformation.
  3. Goal sessions commence Monday 23rd April 2018 and conclude on Saturday 28th April 2018. The final Goal session must be completed no later than Saturday 30th June 2018.
  4. Family members and partners of Sportif PT trainers can participate but are not eligible for the overall prize.

JUDGING:

  1. The judging of the overall winner will take place by Sportif PT Owner Jessica Cross and will be finalised on Wednesday 4th July 2018.


Sportif Events / Seminars:

- Balmoral Burn Sunday 27th May 2018. Join us at Awaba Street and wear your Sportif Singlet. Register Here . 
- Mini Mos, 5km and 10km Run Sunday 17th June 2018. Join us run as a team and wear your Sportif Singlet! Register Here
- Wellness Seminar - Details to be confirmed closer to the time

Register Here!

Food Combining

Photo by Elena_Danileiko/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by Elena_Danileiko/iStock / Getty Images

It can be so frustrating when you feel like you’re eating all the right foods, and still experiencing digestive issues. Today I look into Food Combining, a relatively new concept designed to help reduce digestive discomfort after eating.

How does it work?

Not many people are aware that the various food groups we eat are actually digested at different rates and also require different digestive enzymes to be broken down.

An example of this is protein vs. starchy carbohydrates. Protein requires an acidic environment and the enzyme pepsin to be broken down. Starchy carbohydrates require a more alkaline environment and the enzyme ptyalin. Eating something that combines the two, eg. a steak sandwich, can cause a bit of confusion for the body.

When you mix foods that are broken down at different speeds, this can affect digestion by signaling to the body to secrete various enzymes and slowing down the process. When digestion slows, it can cause food to ferment in the colon, which creates gases and this can cause symptoms like burping, gas, bloating, cramping and general discomfort in the abdomen.  

Food Combining is still a relatively new concept, that looks at eating certain food groups either together or apart, to help improve digestion by allowing things to be broken down effectively and at the right speeds.

Where do I start?

It can be overwhelming sometimes to try a new style of eating, but here is a simple guide for food combining that you can try:

1. Non-Starchy Vegetables Go With Everything

Non-starchy vegetables usually contain their own enzymes to help with digestion, and can be combined with any of your macronutrients without any issues. These are things like leafy greens, capsicums, zucchinis, snow peas, beans, cucumbers, tomatoes etc.  (Basically all your veggies that aren’t starches like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin).

2. Proteins with Non-Starchy Vegetables

Proteins are best digested when not combined with starchy carbohydrates or fats. An eg. of a meal that fits this is a salad topped with tuna or diced chicken. 

3. Starchy Carbs with Fats (and Non-Starchy Vegetables)

Your starchy carbohydrates include not only your starchy vegetables, but also your wholegrains like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, spelt and oats.  An example of some meals that fit this category would be: oats topped with peanut butter, quinoa and roasted sweet potato salad with greens, or a slice of spelt sourdough topped with avo, hemp seeds and dash of olive oil.

Is this a “one size fits all” approach?

Like with any dietary protocols, it’s never a one size fits all. (And if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re probably trying to sell you something!). But it is something that is relatively easy to incorporate into your daily life and has been shown to help a number of people who eat and live healthily, but still get digestive symptoms like bloating, gassiness and cramping after some meals. 

What if I still get digestive symptoms after trying this?

It’s always best to speak to a trusted practitioner if you are experiencing symptoms like these for a prolonged period of time. Digestive symptoms can be caused by something more serious, like inflammatory gut conditions (IBS, IBD, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s), leaky gut, food intolerances or dysbiosis.

Written by Laura Phongsavath

Laura is a qualified Nutritionist, registered with association ATMS. She is a firm believer of food as medicine, and has a passion for gut health and women’s health. You can find her, and other holistic therapists at pH Clinic Manly, a multi-modality health clinic that specialises in gut health and natural medicine.

 

The Best Protein Packed Snacks

Wholefoods

Wholefoods

The purpose of this blog post is to educate you into how to choose the best source of protein snacks rather than "marketed" protein snacks. Did you know that alot of the marketed "source of protein" foods to a consumer only has to contain at least 5g per serving to take that claim. Whereas a "Good Source" contains at least 10g per serving. First and foremost we need to look at why protein is so important to the body:

  • It is a component of every cell in your body. In fact, hair and nails are mostly made of protein.
  • Your body uses it to build and repair tissue.
  • You need it to make enzymes, hormones, and other body chemicals.
  • It is an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood.

Unlike Carbohydrates and Fat the body foes not store Protein, so the body has no reserved stores if the body is running on low. 

How Much Protein Should I Be Consuming Daily?

As a rough guide the RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for a female is 0.75g  per kilo of body weight. For example, a female who weighs 72kg would have an RDI of 54g (0.75 x 72). To provide context, a 200g steak has approximately 60g of protein. It is important to remember that protein requirements are higher for strength and endurance athletes, and are also influenced by other factors such as illness or physical injury. 

Protein Content in Wholefoods:

  • Chickpeas, drained and canned - 5.4g of protein per 75g serving 
  • Almonds - 5.9g of protein per 30g serving
  • Pumpkin Seeds - 7.3g of protein per 30g serving
  • Eggs, Hard Boiled - 8.8g of protein for 2 eggs
  • Milk - 12.2g of protein per 250ml serving
  • Yoghurt, plain, greek and high protein - 17.4g of protein per 200g serving
  • Tuna, canned and drained - 20.2g of protein per 85g serving

Tips

  • Take a moment to look at the overall nutritional value on the label. Check the nutrition label to see if the "source of protein" does indeed contain 5g of protein per serving, 5g is quite small. This isn't to say that the product isn't nutritious, it just shows that you could potentially make a better choice
  • Dont assume that foods with a protein claim are the best choice
  • Know that whole foods offer a great source of protein and provide other beneficial nutrients least 10g of protein per serve

***This blog post is for information purposes only. Independent advice suited to individual circumstances should be sought from relevant industry professionals prior to making any decisions.          

Sportif PT x pH Clinic - Gut Health Seminar

A huge thank you to everyone who attended last Wednesday's Wellness Seminar on Gut Health and made it a great success!

For those of you who missed the event here is a little re-cap on what we talked about!

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Our ENS (Enteric Nervous System) is like our second brain! The ENS stretches from our throat all the way to our large intestine and beyond and contains cells similar to the ones found in our brain. The ENS controls our digestion and influences hormone production and immune function. 

FUN FACT

Did you know that our Gut Microbiota weighs up to 2kg?? Deep within the intestines is an entire life system of various bacteria that are all living together. There is anywhere between 50 trillion to 1000 trillion different known micro-organisms! 

Where do the microbes come from?

  • No microbes in the womb, first exposure is at birth
  • Type of delivery directly affects the type of microbes we're exposed to (e.g. Vaginal Birth vs. C-Section)
  • Initial microbe exposures can still be traceable in your gut flora years on
  • Whether your breastfed or formula-fed also greatly affects what microbes flourish in your gut. Breastmilk provide you with both pre and pro-biotics, which helps to then build up more good bacteria in the gut
  • No two people's gut flora are exactly the same. It's unique to you as a fingerprint

Functions of the Gut Flora

  • Contribute to Liver Health
  • Regulate Immunity
  • Synthesize Vitamins and Enzymes
  • Regulate Appetite and Blood Sugars
  • Regulate Inflammation
  • Control Pathogens
  • Increase Mineral Bioavailability
  • Synthesize Nuerotransmitters
  • Regulate Hormone Metabolism

What Factors Directly Affect Gut Flora Diversity and Numbers?

  • Illness and Chronic Diseases
  • Diet
  • Environmental Factors
  • Lifestyle Factors (exercise, stress, smoking/drinnking etc..)
  • Antibiotic Use

An imbalance of gut flora can trigger an immune response, causing issues such as inflammation, allergies, leaky gut syndrome, auto-immune conditions and affect the overall absorption of essential nutrients and minerals needed for good health and immunity.

How to Bring the Balance Back

  • Diet - reducing processed food, refined sugars, alcohol and coffee. Increasing pre-biotics, resistance starch and fermented foods
  • Lifestyle - Reduce stress and get outside
  • Supplementation
  • Supportive Therapies - colonic hydrotherapy

We look forward to seeing you at the next seminar shortly! For more information on pH Clinic click here

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Bliss Ball Recipes

By demand please find below the recipe to Laura from pH Clinic's recipe for her delicious Bliss Balls.

Lemon Coconut Bliss Balls
Ingredients:
1 cup LSA (linseed, sunflower and almond meal)
1/4 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut (plus more for rolling)
1/3 cup tahini
1-2 tablespoons honey
Juice half a small lemon

Method:
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Tahini consistency is different between brands, so if the mixture is too dry to roll, add a spoonful of tahini until it's just right. If it's too sticky, add a spoonful of LSA until it's just right. 
2. Shape mixture into balls and roll in desiccated coconut.
3. Keep in fridge or freezer until ready to eat. 

Raw Snickers Bliss Balls
Ingredients:
8 medjool dates, pitted
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup raw cacao
2 tablespoons coconut oil

Method:
1. Place dates in a bowl and top with hot water. Leave to soak for at least 15mins.
2. In a food processor, pulse together cashews, peanuts, chia seeds and cacao until nuts are roughly chopped.
3. Drain the dates and add to food processor, along with the coconut oil. Blend until mixture is well combined.
4. Roll spoonfuls of mixture into balls and keep in the fridge or feeezer until ready to eat!

Tips to Quit Sugar During Feb Fast

Are you ready to quit sugar? Expert studies say that it takes 21-66 days to change a habit . Sugar is highly addictive and a hard habit to break, my advice? Pace yourself!

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Learn how to read food labels! To properly quit sugar, you need to be aware of hidden sugars, to ensure you're keeping to 6 teaspoons or less per day (Divide the sugar content by 4, to give you how many tablespoons). Make smart choices by comparing sugar content. On labels, where it says 'sugars', it's referring to all sugar - glucose, fructose and lactose. For example, table sugar is 50% glucose and 50% fructose, while the sugar in milk is lactose and contains no fructose. 

Here is an overall rule:

Eat products with LESS THAN 3-6g sugar per 100g or 100ml. In regards to dairy, the first 4.7g of sugar per 100ml listed will be lactose (no fructose). Anything on top of that is added sugar. Drink liquids that contain no sugar. A standard drink is around 330ml which means 'per 100g' figure must be multiplied by 3.5. More than this you'll find that your 'incidental' sugar intake is too high. 

Here are some label-reading guidelines:

  • If sugar is the first or second ingredient, there's a big issue. Labels always list things with the most ingredients used most, first. 
  • Look out for other sugars in the list: fruit pulp, fruit puree, agave, honey.
  • Scan over the 'per 100g' column and scroll down to 'sugar' If it lists 30g of sugar, this means that the product contains 30% - or a third - of sugar
  • Salt-free products often contain less sugar (which is added to salted products, ironically to counteract the salt).
  • Be careful of chai tea: it often comes with palm sugar or honey already added. Ask!
  1. Can you eat fruit when you quit sugar? The answer is YES! We know, fruit has sugar in it, but whole fresh fruit also has plenty of fibre and nutrients to help slow down the sugar dumpage on your liver. Our bodies are designed to metabolise the amount of fructose contained in 1–2 small pieces of fruit a day (i.e. around the recommended amount of sugar we should be eating). But if you’re also having other sources of added sugar, that’s when you might want to reconsider your fruit intake and up your veggies instead.
  2. Can I eat bread when I quit sugar? Generally speaking, breads are pretty low in sugar (except fruit breads and brioche). The best low sugar breads to chose from are sourdough, rye, wholemeal, spelt, sprouted or paleo breads. When buying store-bought bread look for loaves that have 4g/100g sugar or less.
  3. Can I drink alcohol and quit sugar? No. There are obviously some alcoholic beverages that are higher and lower in fructose than others. However my rule is that while your body is quitting sugar the liver is under strain as you allow the body to detox all the toxins out. Having a glass of wine at dinner will only tax the liver more.
  4. Can I have dairy and quit sugar? The whole foods argument comes into place here. When the fat is taken out, a lot of the enzymes that help breakdown lactose are taken out. I find that when swapping to full fat dairy, this eliminates any digestive problems. Or switch to having unsweetned almond milk or full fat greek yoghurt. A small tub of "diet' yoghurt can often contain up to 6 teaspoons of sugar, even the ones that say "NO ADDED SUGAR". Natural, full fat yoghurt is about 4.7g per 100g sugar. But the sugar is lactose, which is fructose free. Anything over 4.7g is added sugar.

*** Excerpts from Sarah Wilson's I Quit Sugar 8 Week Detox Program and Cookbook.