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Why Women Don't Achieve Their Goals?

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Why Women Don't Achieve Their Goals?

We are going to explore today why women don’t achieve their goals when it come to fat loss. There are 3 major points that you can start with that will make a huge difference to you achieving your goals. Firstly, women need to change their way of thinking about weight loss to body fat loss. Secondly, you do not diet ever, this is something that has been a common theme long before the internet even came along, but will lead you down a path of disappointment and you won’t achieve the body you desire. So with all this information out there that you can find on Google, Instagram and Facebook, it is getting extremely hard to know what is right and what will work for you. So let’s get started.

  1. NEVER DIET - Diets Do Not Work

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You should never diet, period. Traditional diets are based on starving yourself. The cut of calories below the amount you need, may work initially but after 2-4 weeks you stop losing weight and undoubtedly get frustrated and go back to normal eating. What most women go through over the years and decades is the yo yo dieting. Without an understanding of basic human physiology, what you are doing is confusing your body’s metabolism. If your body’s food intake is cut, it freaks out and thinks you are starving it, which is what you are doing. As your body is a survival system, with any diet, it loses the ability to know when the next meal is coming, so it actually shuts down your metabolism.

Let’s get into the difference now between weight loss and body fat loss. Losing weight may sound great and we all have a number in our head that we want to be. However, do you care what the number on the scales say or if you can fit into that dress that you love or your favourite jeans? This is where it’s about body fat loss instead of weight loss, as you can lose weight and still be fat and flabby, as you are more likely have lost muscle mass. So if you are going to embark on a new nutrition plan, ensure you have your body fat measured and don’t worry about the number on the scales.

What we find at Energie4 is that because of years of yo yo dieting, women become conscious to eat. As I mentioned above starving the body and switching it to survival mode can cause so many hormonal and metabolism issues but when you feed it the correct nutrition and consistently it balances your body and the result of body fat loss will be achieved. It is imperative that you find a nutrition plan that works for your body. You must eat more in order to lose body fat, we know this sounds the reverse of what you are thinking, but we do it on a daily basis and once you change your mindset, you will notice the results immediately.

2. Strength Training

Another stereotype in the fitness world, is that women were sent to the cardio area and kept away from the strength area. Women have always been told that slow long cardio training was the best and only way to lose body fat. So further from the truth because when women diet and add cardio training, they become what we call skinny fat. Skinny fat means they lose muscle mass, they may look like they are skinnier but in reality they still have the body fat that they so desperately want to get rid of.

Strength training will not make women put on excessive muscle. For a start women do not have enough testosterone to be able to have a mass amount of muscle But for the women who do have a bigger amount of muscle usually are training multiple times per day and may also have some extra assistance. One of the big reasons that women struggle to get their bodies, is the loss of muscle mass as you age. Muscle mass will give you the muscle tone, that all women come in and ask for.

So get into the gym, try exercises that you wouldn’t normally do and step back and watch the magic happen.

3. Commitment

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You have to commit to a specific time frame, when it comes to a new lifestyle of nutrition and training. It isn’t a 4, 8 or 12 week challenge, your lifestyle shouldn’t have an end date ever. It is a lifestyle, where you promise yourself that you will train a certain number of days and ensuring your nutrition is on point every day. Once you commit and keep the promise you made to yourself, you will see the changes and with this your motivation will increase for you to keep on going.

At Energie4 we always start with a small commitment to your training, starting with two sessions a week is always advisable. When you start to feel comfortable with that then and only then will we allow you increase your sessions. Saying that if you add a session one week it becomes a bonus rather then if you have 5 sessions a week and you miss one, you then consider yourself as failing that week. With this negative association often women will then also give up on their nutrition, falling back to emotional eating, with the mindset of starting again the following week.

As adding training and nutrition is a lifestyle, you have to ensure that you have the mindset and also the time to complete what is required in order for you to reach your desired body. We like to set up women to succeed and not fail and not to put them down if they can’t make a session. Remember this is a lifestyle change and we are in the business of helping people change their lives for the positive. We all get busy and doing less to start with will be the key in being committed long term.

Are you going to be the same you in 2019?

Therefore, in order for you to achieve your body composition goals you need to understand your lifestyle and how it is all going to fit in. Changing your nutrition and mindset around eating for your body and not for starvation is something that may seem counterproductive but it’s the most effective long term changes. Lifting weights will not make you put on muscle and look bulky like a man, it just doesn’t happen that way. Once you commit to training that you know you can easily achieve, you will see the benefits and remember any extra sessions is a bonus. Who doesn’t love a bonus, especially if it makes you get closer to your desired body.

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Strength Training For Athletes

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Strength Training For Athletes

Strength training for athletes is not primarily used for improved strength and power, however for injury prevention. What they don’t realise is that you can not build strength and power without a body that is balanced left to right and trying to add heavy loads to an already faulty structure can lead to injuries. If an athlete is injured they can not train in the gym and even more importantly they can not train at their particular sport. If an athlete is not assessed after each season, their chances of injury get higher each season.

Cam Bolton’s - Germany World Cup Win - February 2019.

Cam Bolton’s - Germany World Cup Win - February 2019.

One thing that needs to be understood from the start, is that all sports have certain patterns that cause imbalances. Take basketball for instance, most basketballers will tend to jump from one leg and land on the other leg. This means that their jumping leg is always working very powerfully and their opposing leg is absorbing the landing, causing it to take a huge load and stress. Over the corse of even one season, this is always going to result in an imbalance between the jumping leg and landing leg. If we multiply that by many seasons, the imbalance becomes even more pronounced.

Firstly, the role of a strength coach is to ensure the athlete can perform training and games in an injury free state. If they get injured at any point of the pre season or season this is time away from their sport training, which will decrease their ability. It is very hard to be a value if you have to miss training each week, just in order to play each week. If an athlete is in a balanced state their likelihood for injury is much less. You only have to use professional sports as an easy example, the teams with the least amount of injuries are usually the ones in the finals and take out the ultimate prize. Any athlete that has played injured will understand that they can not perform to their full ability when they are injured.

Matt Targett & Hayden Stoeckel - 2012 Olympic Medalists

Matt Targett & Hayden Stoeckel - 2012 Olympic Medalists

At Energie4 we train athletes from junior levels all the way to the Olympic podium. All of these athletes do at least one if not two phases of structural balance work in a competition year. This is why we have had so much success at all levels of competitive sport. Energie4 athletes are educated and understand the importance of having are balanced body and notice it’s value to their strength, power and performance throughout the season of their sport.

To move into more detail about strength training for athletes, we first have to look at having a solid base/foundation from where we can build on. Athletes at Energie4 always start with unilateral work, meaning using single leg/arm exercises, like a split squat and dumbbells like a dumbbell bench press before they are progressed to barbell work like a barbell squat or barbell bench press. Any time you create balance between the legs or the arms and go back to a squat or bench press, the athlete has not got weaker, in fact they get stronger, even without doing the exercise the coach was concerned that they would lose strength.

The second major point when you consider the balance between left and right, is that power can’t be developed without first having strength. For example, any athlete who has had an ankle injury that has not been rehabilitated properly, they will have trouble pushing off the ground, effecting running, changing direction and jumping. As the body is extremely clever, it will look to other muscles to try and generate the strength and power it needs in order to perform at the level the athlete is use to. The result however, is that this compensation, causes the exact imbalances that we have been discussing, which can directly relate to an injury in another part of the body. This only frustrates the athlete, as they only want to train and play their sport. Athletes are generally very impatient, as is their competitive nature, so they need to be educated on the value of what you are trying to achieve, in addition to encouraging their patience, so they can be a bigger, stronger, faster athlete.

Thus, strength training for athletes is ALL about injury prevention. If the body is balanced, there is less chance of an injury to the athlete. If they strength train and build a solid, balanced base, they are able to train in the gym and also fully train for their sport. This already gives them a huge advantage over their team mates and competition. Finally, the more base and foundation they have the less time they have to work on structural balance and the more time they can use strength training to increase strength and power.


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Knees Over Your Toes, Please!

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Knees Over Your Toes, Please!

Should your knees go over your toes when you do any leg exercises like a squat or lunge? YES

Have you ever tried to walk up or down stairs keeping your shin vertical?

What about Olympic lifting competitors, who put their knees well over their toes, with maximum amount of weight on the barbell.

Knees all the way over the toes, very hard to be an effective lifter with straight shins.

Knees all the way over the toes, very hard to be an effective lifter with straight shins.

The knee is designed to go over your toes, full stop! The forces on the knee are actually less when it is flexed because of the co contraction of the hamstrings and quadriceps. This co contraction actually helps to counteract the force on the knee cap (patella). Studies have shown that Olympic lifters actually have the lowest rate of knee injuries.

This year alone we have had several clients come in and say, oh you want my knee over my toes? One client who had knee pain, was told by another allied health professional, who I should add doesn’t have any qualifications to design exercise programs. For some reason everyone has this perception they know better then someone who has spent their life learning about exercise and the correct techniques.

There are plenty of sporting situations apart from Olympic lifting, where the knees are over the toes, such as start for track sprints, swimmers, cyclist have their knees over their toes, one last example is a sport such as fencing, where they spend the entire event lunging forward at their opponent.

Tom & Laura showing two different versions of the split squat, both with their knees over their toes.

Tom & Laura showing two different versions of the split squat, both with their knees over their toes.

If you have knee pain, then you have to have it diagnosed by the correct healthcare practitioner. If you do have pain under or around the knee cap, there generally will be some sort of imbalance that needs to be corrected. The most common imbalance is the Vastus Medalis Oblique (VMO) is weak in comparison to the Vastus Lateralis. To strengthen the VMO there are certain exercises, the VMO is activated the most at the top 15% of knee flexion and bottom 15% of knee flexion.

Therefore, if you want to strength the VMO we often give clients exercises that use the top range, like a Poliquin Step Up or a more challenging one is the split squat with a quarter rep at the bottom, in addition to a full repetition.

So please when you squat, split squat, lunge, step up have your knees over your toes, this will not only help with your knee pain, but will strength the VMO and hamstrings at the same time. You will be surprised with the benefits of doing proper training of your legs.

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