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How To Reduce Muscle Soreness

October 22, 2019
brisbanebooty

We are officially into our final challenge of 2019 and if you’re doing this thing the right way, you’ve got some sore glutes, arms, legs and whole bunch of other muscles you didn’t know you had!

Muscle soreness is something that we’ve all experienced and deal with following a big weights session, but how much do you really know about it? And beyond that, do you know the best way to cope with it when you wake up in the morning and can barely lower your sore buns onto the toilet to pee?

I want you to have all of the tools you need to get through this challenge, and every future challenge, feeling your best! So keep reading to find out all about soreness, when it’s good and when it’s not, and how you can cope with it when it sneaks up on you!

Female bootcamp Brisbane

What The Heck Is It? 

First things first, “what really is soreness?” Well, there are two main types of muscle soreness. One is acute muscle soreness, which is that burning sensation that shows up during or immediately after your workout and is caused by a buildup of lactic acid. This type of soreness should resolve itself quickly.

The other type is delayed onset muscle soreness (otherwise known as DOMS), which is the pain and stiffness you feel 24-72 hours after your workout, and is due to inflammation and microtears in your muscles. These teeny itty bitty tears occur when you’ve pushed your body passed what it’s used to (level up, girl!), but these tears heal within days, and leave your muscles stronger than before!

Neither of these types of soreness are harmful, as long as they don’t affect your ability to function or last more than 7-10 days, at which point you should chat with your doctor to see if there might be more serious damage. If it only lasts a few days, you can be confident in the fact that your muscles are getting stronger and you’re only getting more capable to tackle your next sweat-sesh! 

 

How Do I Treat It? 

Now that we’re clear on what all of that pain and stiffness is, let’s talk about how to treat it! There’s not much that will take away your soreness completely, but there are several things you can do in the hours and days after your workout to help ease the pain of sore muscles, even just a little bit! 

After your workout, take a warm bath or sit in the hot tub for 20-30 minutes. If you want double the benefits, add some epsom salts to your bath for reduction of any inflammation in your muscles! 

After heat therapy, take an ice bath (if you’re brave enough!) or use ice packs on trouble spots to help reduce nerve activity and treat inflammation. 

Another handy tool is the arnica flower – it’s a fabulous little herb that’s been used to treat pain and swelling for centuries, and has been popular due to its supposed anti-inflammatory properties – sound amazing? That’s because it is! Try to find a cream with arnica in it to have on hand so you can massage it into extra sore muscles and all you have to do is sit back and let it work its magic!

This next tip may be a no-brainer for you, but it’s so sooo important. Foam rolling, or massages, can help break up the lactic acid building up in your muscles, reducing delayed onset soreness. Breaking down that acid plays a big roll in your ability to feel minimal pain from muscle soreness. 

Lastly, make sure that you cool down sufficiently after your workout. Continuing to move around will keep your muscles from becoming too stiff and will allow you to stay loose as you recover. 

What Do I Eat?

Fascinatingly enough, remedies for soreness carry over from the gym to the kitchen, and there are certain foods that you can eat or avoid to set your muscles up for pain-free success! Focus on foods rich in omega-3 and antioxidants, such as salmon, turmeric, blueberries, kale, and ginger. Coffee is another good thing to have both before and after your workout, as it delivers antioxidants to your body as well as caffeine, which can help reduce soreness as well – ahhhhmazing, right?! Likewise, be sure to avoid alcohol as it dehydrates your muscles and exacerbates your soreness, and steer clear of sugar as well as it can make inflammation worse, causing more pain. 

Can I Prevent It? 

Helping to prevent soreness also involves things like being consistent with your workouts so you’re not losing progress, staying extra hydrated so your muscles have everything they need to be pushed and recover, and making sure that you’re staying in tune with how hard you can push your body to promote growth without causing any damage that will keep you from hitting the gym. Make sure also to be stretching regularly to help prevent any injury while you’re gettin’ it! 

All in all, there are plenty of ways to prevent and treat soreness, but remember – unless it’s lasting a prolonged period of time, muscle soreness is a very good thing and is an indicator that your muscles are getting stronger and your fitness is reaching new levels! 

So now that you have all of this helpful info, get out there and kick some serious booty. I’m so excited to see how you use this final challenge of 2019 to level up on your goals and continue to push yourself to be better, and if you have your own tips and tricks for avoiding crazy sore muscles the day after a difficult sweat sesh, let us know!!

Why training outdoors with Brisfit is your perfect match.

August 23, 2019
brisbanebooty

 

Winter is almost over, the days are getting longer and the weather is warmer each day. There is no better time of year to get your fitness journey started. 

Brisfit Bootcamps Personal Training

Training outdoors with Brisfit Bootcamps will leave you feeling energised, refreshed and focus to take on your day. Training in a stale, lifeless gym doesn’t excite us. What gets us out of bed each day is the opportunity to interact with nature, surrounded by an amazing group of like-minded women who will be supporting you through each step of your journey. 

Brisfit Bootcamps Personal Training

Connecting with nature is so important for our overall health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, too many of us spend too much time indoors and not enough outdoors interacting with nature. At Brisfit, every session is outdoors so even those who are short on time can squeeze in some quality sunshine into their day.

Training outside has shown to contribute to decreased tension, confusion, and anger. After exercising outside with the fresh air and sunshine you can expect a decrease in your body’s stress hormone, cortisol, as well as adrenalin.

Female Personal Training Brisbane

Exposure to natural sunlight combined with physical activity is thought to increase serotonin levels in our bodies, which can improve feelings of wellbeing and happiness.

As we all get busier, taking on longer days at work and get swamped with non-stop errands we experience more stress and have less time to look after our own health with physical exercise. Brisfit allows you to tackle two problems in one go. By dedicating time each week to exercise outdoors you alleviate stress and improve your mental wellbeing and self-esteem.

With our small group classes you receive the personal touch you’d expect from a 1 on 1 personal training session, but for the price of a large group bootcamp.

Many of our ladies have previously tried gym workouts, but we often hear the same story, it became unmotivational with little accountability. In addition to the amazing benefits from training outdoors you will get daily contact from your trainer, fortnightly results check-ins and a group of wonderful ladies to keep you accountable.

Weight training bootcamp Brisbane

Summer is soon approaching

join our summer shred challenge and never look back!

 

Make this your summer!

ACHIEVING A CALORIE DEFICIT

June 26, 2019
brisbanebooty

This is the follow up from my latest blog postHow To Calculate Your Target Calories!

For those who read the last blog post, well done! You have now taken the first step by calculation your maintenance calories, and your target calories to reach your goals.

Now that you have these numbers, you may be wondering how do you actually achieve these numbers. If you’re trying to drop body fat in an effort to tone up you, you will need to reduce your daily calorie consumption, but that is easier said than done. So here are my tops tips to make reaching your target calories so you can reach your goals.

Trying to hit a set number of calories can be more difficult than expected. Just because the Instagram fit people yell at you through their stories telling you to just F**KING eat in a calorie deficit doesn’t mean you’re instantaneously going to understand how to actually make this happen. Below are the three main methods I recommend to my clients. Some people love counting calories while others hate it which is why I have outlined three strategies below. Everyone is now covered, no matter what your stance on calorie counting.

Strategy 1.

This first strategy is for those that love to track. You love the data, you want to know exactly what’s going in. Of all the strategies to successfully reach a calorie deficit, this is more than likely going to be the most successful. With this method, all the guesswork is taken out. You know exactly what you should be aiming for to reach your goals and you know exactly what you’re putting it to get there.

MyFitnessPal is one of the easiest and most popular apps out there to use for calorie counting. For those who haven’t used it before, it is simply an app you download to your phone that allowed you to enter food and drink you have consumed, or are planning to consume so you can easily keep track of your calories. If it’s a packaged food you simply scan barcodes. If you’ve made it yourself you can save the meals and recipes. If the item you’re looking for isn’t already in the massive database, you can quickly add it in so you can find it again next time.

As always, there is a trade-off. Of the three methods I mention in this article, tracking your calories each day via the MyFitnessPal app will require a larger time commitment than the following two strategies. This is where we start to distinguish each individual preferences for time and convenience. As humans, we make trade-offs every single day. In our minds, we run a simple cost-benefit analysis. Selecting the correct strategy for your preference is no difference. For some, the benefit of almost guaranteed results by analysing your daily calorie consumption will easily outweigh the cost of a few hours each week entering data into your app. For others, their preference may be flipped, they may value the timeliness and convenience higher than the person in my previous example.

There is no one strategy is best for everyone approach. Yes, Strategy one may yield the greatest results, but only if you stick to it. What if you find it too hard and fall of the band-wagon after 3 weeks? You may have been better off going for one of the other strategies. A bit of a tortoise vs hare situation. Assess your circumstances, evaluate the costs & benefits to you and stick to whatever you choose.

Strategy 2. 

Assuming you used the TDEE calculator that was in the previous blog post.  You now have a rough idea about how many calories you should be aiming for each day to be in a calorie deficit.

This second strategy requires you to use the MyFitnessPal app, but far less often than the strategy above. The first step is to track a standard day of your eating and drinking habits using the app. If you are a Monday-Friday worker pick a work day that closely represents what you would consume on an average day.  Each time you eat or drink something other than water you enter it in. We are attempting to get an idea of how many calories you consume on an average day to assess whether you consuming more than your maintenance calories, and by how much.

Now we know what an average day looks like for you we determined how many calories we need to cut out in order to get you into a calorie deficit each day. We will make a few small adjustments to your day-to-day eating habits by either take some items out or switching them for lower calorie options.

Once we have made the adjustments to your average daily consumption routine, we will try to replicate this as many days throughout the week as possible. This is your NEW average day. From the calculations we did when making the adjustments to your average day, we know this new daily plan we see you consume a calorie deficit each day, as long as we strictly stick to it.

This strategy works well for those who are able to eat the same things on a daily basis very consistently. The benefit of this strategy is you only need to track your calories on the app a few times. Once to calculate what you’re currently consuming, and once with our adjustments to ensure we are reaching our target calories. From here you only need to repeat the same eating patterns each day. You will only need to use the tracking app when you would like to make changes to your daily consumption patterns.

Strategy 3.

The time restricted consumption window. This is probably the easiest strategy as it can be done without any calorie tracking. It does however leave the biggest margin for error. If you would like to reduce this margin for error you can incorporate the technique from strategy 2 and merge it with the time restricted consumption window. You would decide on a time window that you believe will allow you to reach a calorie deficit then track your average daily consumption within this window. If you are still consuming more than your maintenance calories you may wish to shorten your window and re-track your calories until you find the window that allows you to consume a calorie deficit on an average day.

The idea of time restricted consumption window is very simple. We are attempting to block out a set number of hours that you are strictly not to consume anything other than water. This strategy is perfect for those who hate counting calories and are in the habit of constantly nibbling, even when they’re not hungry.

An example of this strategy would be a consumption window from 9am – 5pm each day. This gives you 8 hours to consume foods and drinks as you please, but outside of these hours, from 5pm to 9am you are not to consume anything other than water. Most people don’t realise how many extra calories they consume just through snacking after dinner or eating from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. By restricting this window we are capping the number of calories that you can consume without having to count calories.

9am-5pm was just an example, not by any means my recommendation or prescribed hours, the key take away from the example is the concept. The consumption window can be 8 hours of calorie consumption, or 9.5 or 11.25, it really doesn’t matter, just find the window that helps you reduce calories so you are in a deficit each day. This will take some trial and error but sooner or later you will find you struggle to eat in a calorie surplus within your restricted time period, and that time period depends on your personal eating habits.

The consumption window does not have to be in the middle of the day as my example was, it could be from 3am – 12pm if you really wanted it to be, the same principles apply. Make the window suit your circumstances and work commitments.

This 3rd strategy certainly has its limits and won’t always work. It is still possible to eat a surplus of calories each day within your window, even as you reduce it day by day. This can be from eating large amounts of calorie dense foods, usually, foods high in fats like fast foods. As fats contain over double the number of calories per gram when compared to carbs and protein (9 calories, 4 calories & 4 calories respectively).

The key to success when using this strategy is eating as clean as possible. Try to eliminate calorie dense deep-fried foods, limit alcohol and use your common knowledge of whats “healthy” and whats not.

Summary.

These are by no means the only options to achieve fat loss and reach your calorie targets. There are many ways to go about it. Other common dieting strategies include;

– keto diets, vegan diets (assuming the only reason for going vegan is calorie consumption factors only, not other personal reasons), no or low carb diets, juice diets and many more.

What the 3 strategies I mentioned above and the examples I just mentioned all have in common are that they all aim to get you into a calorie deficit. They will all work when done right consistently. They all work because of that one determining factor, you are in a calorie deficit. Achieving a calories deficit in the healthiest manner possible should be your number one priority, not cutting out a whole food group, villainising carbs or fats, or starving yourself for days on end.

Decide which methods suits you best, and give it a red hot crack. To have long term success and reach your goals, your program and diet must work with your life and commitments. If it is too hard or an absolute burden on your life the chances are it won’t last very long and you will soon fall back into old habits.

Here is a list of the MOST COMMON DIETING MISTAKES I see from current and past clients.

 

Hope this info helps you reach your goals.

Coach Parker.

CALCULATING YOUR TARGET CALORIES

June 23, 2019
brisbanebooty

We are almost at the halfway mark of our Australian winter. Many people are now starting to look ahead and realising the warmer summer months are creeping closer every day.

We have all done it, the last minute “oh Sh*t I need to get my summer shred on”. It happens, in winter we are all rugged up and covered by thick hoodies, no one will notice the few extra KG’s around the mid-section. But now with the warmer months looming, it’s time to start laying down the groundwork and planning your strategy for this year’s winter bounce-back.

Whether you’re trying to drop a few kilograms before summer or add a bit of lean muscle, there are a few things you will need to consider, and possibly one of the most important, your calories.

If losing weight is your primary goal, you will need to consume fewer calories each day than you burn each day, also known as a calorie deficit. If your goal is to increase your weight, your objective will be the exact opposite, you will want to aim for a daily calorie surplus.

HOW TO CALCULATE MY CALORIES?

There are a few methods you can use to calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and then your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), such as metabolic testing, activity trackers such as Fitbit’s, Garmins & smart watches but the method I am going to discuss today is the online calorie calculator. For most people without access to an activity tracker or body composition scanner, or maybe someone that doesn’t want to pay $30 for each scan the only calculator will give you a pretty good guide. It’s a quick and simple procedure which means you can re-calculate every few weeks without taking to much time out of your day.  

How does a calorie counter work? After you input data, it uses a formula called the Mifflin St. Jeor equation to calculate your BMR or sometimes referred to as your resting metabolic rate (RMR). This is the number of calories your body needs to function when it is at rest. These essential functions include things like breathing, circulating blood or basic brain functions.

Then, based on the personalised lifestyle information you entered, such as activity level, the calculator adds the number of calories you need to fuel your body for daily activity giving you your TDEE.

I have attached a link at the bottom of this article that will take you to an online calorie calculator.

How Many Calories Do I Burn Every Day?

Your TDEE is a combination of these different factors:

  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). Your resting metabolic rate is the amount of energy your body needs to maintain basic functions like breathing, circulating blood and building cells. Things like age, body size and gender affect your resting metabolic rate. Your RMR accounts for 60-75% of the total number of calories you burn each day.
  • Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) This is the amount of energy that your body uses to do daily activities like washing dishes, typing on your computer, or walking around your office. The number of calories you burn from NEAT varies greatly based on your activity level.
  • Calories Burned During Exercise. The actual number of calories you burn during your workouts will depend on the intensity and duration of each session. Calories burned through exercise and non-exercise physical activity account for roughly 15-30% of your TEE.
  • Thermic Effect of Food (TEF). Your body burns calories to chew, digest and store food. Each type of food (macronutrient) has a different TEF. Eating protein burns the most calories by a small margin. TEF accounts for about 10% of the total number of calories you burn each day.

The online calculator will take into account all of these factors when providing your final TDEE.

Reaching Your Goal Weight

When you complete the calorie calculator process, you’ll be presented with your TDEE. This is your maintenance calories. This is the number of calories you should eat each day to maintain your current weight.

If you are trying to lose weight, you will want to aim for a calorie deficit which means consuming below this maintenance goal each day. How much lower should you go?

The range I recommend for my clients is between 10% and 20%. A calorie deficit of 10% will provide a nice steady state of weight loss in a sustainable manner while allowing you to maintain a larger amount of your muscle tissue than a larger deficit. A 20% deficit, on the other hand, will generate a much greater rate of weight loss. This amount is normally reserved for my clients that have very short time frames in which they need to reach their goal weight. You are much more likely to see a larger reduction in muscle tissue following a 20% calorie deficit.

And for those wanting to increase weight, your situation is the opposite once again. You will want to aim for a 10%-20% surplus of your TDEE. A 10% surplus will see you steadily gain weight will keeping relatively lean, whereas a 20% surplus will most likely result in a larger amount of body fat being gained for most individuals as a result of gaining more weight in a shorter time period.

A calorie is just a source of energy, and to operate your body requires energy. A calorie deficit is simply an energy shortfall. When in a calorie deficit you’re restricting the inflow of energy, the fuel your body needs to function. So, your body burns stored fat (excess weight) for fuel instead. A calorie deficit occurs when you cut calories by eating less than your body needs or burn extra calories with physical activity. You can also combine diet and exercise to create a calorie deficit.

At first, this can all sound complicated? So let’s put it into an example to help explain.
Let’s say that you are a person who trains 3-5 times per week.
You’ve entered your details into the online calorie calculator and it has produced a TDEE of 2000 calories per day. This is your maintenance calories – how many you need to maintain the same weight. 
You are wanting to lose as much weight as you can before a special date in three months time, so you decide to aim for a 20% deficit.
Target calories = 2,000 x 0.8
Target calories = 1,600
Note: as your weight drops over time you will need to re-calculate your target calories.
eg. you are now 5kg’s lighter than when you started, your new TDEE is 1,925. You wish to maintain the same 20% deficit. This means your new target calories are:
Target calories @ 5kg’s lighter = 1,925 x 0.8
Target calories @ 5kg’s lighter = 1,540
In the example above I have made some very basic assumptions for the purpose of simplifying the example, such as muscle remaining the same and only body fat is reducing which is providing the weight loss.

 

In reality, you may find you increase lean muscle mass and drop body fat due to your young training age (training experience), and your weight has remained roughly the same.
If you are trying to gain weight, and you want to aim for a 20% surplus you will want to use the following approach to calculate your target calories:
Weight gain target calories = 2,000 x 1.2
Weight gain target calories = 2,400
And the same rules apply here. If after 12 months you have gained 10kg’s your new TDEE may be 2,500, therefore your 20% surplus will now be 3,000 calories per day. If you had continued to use the 2,400 calorie target you would have found you stopped gaining weight once your TDEE increase from 2,000 to 2,400 as you are now only consuming your maintenance calories due to changes in your body.
If you do not appropriately adjust your calories as you progress you may find your results slow down due to your daily requirements to reach your goals changing.

Increasing Your Daily Calorie Expenditure

To reach your negative energy balance and lose weight successfully, try to increase the amount of energy you use each day. Of course, there are some components of your TDEE that are hard to change. Increasing your resting metabolic rate, for example, is fairly difficult. And increasing the number of calories you burn when you eat food isn’t an effective way to reach your negative energy balance, either. But you can change your daily physical habits.

The most effective way to increase your TDEE is with exercise and NEAT.

Try to exercise as many times as possible each week, and try to remain as active as possible throughout the day, especially if you have an office job where you are sitting all day. If possible, get up and complete 15 body-weight squats every hour on the hour. Body-weight squats require relatively small amounts of space which means you can do them in the bathroom or around the corner if you don’t want anyone to see you. There are loads of exercises you can do, such as incline pushups on a bench or table, lunges, tricep dips, jumping jacks, torso twists or any movement that gets you up and moving.

Final Word

All calorie calculators and counters are estimates. If you are trying to change your weight, whether you’re trying to lose or gain weight, you will need to have patience and take time for trial and error before you find the sweet spot. This may require changing your calorie intake every few weeks until you find the right amount of calories that will help you reach your goals.

Here is my preference for online calorie calculators, it is simple and user-friendly. ONLINE CALORIE CALCULATOR

If you have any questions regarding your target calories or anything discussed in this article you can email me at brisfitbootcamps@gmail.com
At Brisfit Bootcamps we use body composition scanners which allow us to measure weight, body fat, muscle, metabolic age, TDEE and more.
If you live in Brisbane and are interested in trying something new, or just want to finally get your butt into gear, we would love to help you reach those goals. You will receive a 12-week nutrition guidelines program to ensure you never get bored and you are always on track to reach your goals. Plus our healthy lifestyle program which makes everything to do with exercise and dieting super easy to understand making sure your journey is as smooth and successful as possible.
Other useful articles:
Mitch Parker

IMPROVING YOUR MOOD

June 22, 2019
brisbanebooty

What Color Would your Mood Ring be?

Mental health, mindset, mentality, mood…all words commonly used today as the effects of nutrition and exercise become more popular as well as more scientifically studied; but did you ever own a mood ring? Do you still have one? What colour would it be most of the time based on your mood? Black for nervous? Green for relaxed? Violet for excited? Well, you can probably throw it away. They change colour based on temperature (hotter = darker). Hypothetically speaking, what colour would your ring be? Are you eating and training optimally as well as getting adequate sleep? Are you managing stress properly to ensure you feel your best?

Mental health has become a popular topic of discussion as of late. In this article, we’ll dive into nutrition & overall lifestyle and the effects they have on our mental health. Please note that some points are my own opinion (also not medical advice, you should still see a physician). We will discuss topics such as nutrition & supplementation, exercise, and sleep.

Nutrition & Mood

To those who do not believe nutrition affects our mood, you have never been “hangry” and have yet to experience the Jekyll and Hyde effect. To those that have experienced this, you know that eating can play a role in our mood. Now, what about the effects of actual nutrients? How can a nutrient deficiency affect our state of mind?

In my experience, I have seen clients make a complete turn-around from feeling depressed and having low energy to having feelings of happiness and vitality. What did these clients do? They started eating less “junk food,” more vegetables, lean proteins, started exercising and took beneficial supplements (relative to them) like vitamin D or various B vitamins.

Let’s take a look at multiple studied nutrients:

  • Folate- Deficiency of folate may be associated with depression and taking folate may actually help individuals with a mental illness.[1][2]
  • Omega 3 (EPA)- These fatty acids were shown to be effective against depression.[3]
  • Zinc- Not only can zinc potentially help with fighting depression, but it can also help with a reduction in feelings of anger.[4]

Exercise

Many see exercise as therapy. Just ask any local avid gym goer why they workout and how it makes them feel. We know that endorphins are released when exercise, which plays a positive role in how we feel, but exercise does multiple things for how we feel and function. Exercise itself:

  • Improves cognition and the ability to manage stress.[5]
  • And at any intensity, it improves mood in depression disorder.[6]

Two positive points that can be life-changing. improving cognition, which means increasing our conscious intellectual activity, as well as improving mood in individuals with depression. This raises the point: Perhaps exercise helps us retain information and makes us happier.

Seeing that exercise helps us feel better, we should all be doing it, but we’re not. A lot of people have busy schedules and may have difficulty creating time to train or exercise, so here are a few things one can incorporate (check with your doctor that you are healthy enough to do these) in their daily routine to help add in some movement for those “so busy I can’t make it to the gym” days:

  • Do 30 squats every hour on the hour
  • When making a phone call, pace
  • 30 minutes after the set of squats, do 20 push-ups every hour on the hour (yes, this means every 30 minutes you will either squat or do push-ups; do this until you hit a total of four sets for each exercise
  • On a lunch break or if the opportunity arises, go up and down 4 flights of stairs 5-8 times. If you can train or get a good high-intensity workout in, then make it happen. Those are almost always a sure fire way to feel better!

Sleep & Meditation

The last topic of discussion is one that many hold near & dear to their hearts and that is sleep. How many times have you heard “I can’t function if I don’t get at least eight hours” or something along those lines? Sleep is an important process for helping with the recuperation of the muscles and body. Not only is sleep vital for optimal human function, but it feels good to get rest. However, many of us do not get adequate sleep for multiple reasons such as being busy studying, working, can’t shut off the mind, etc. One study showed that stress & sleep deprivation had a negative effect on mood, physiological condition (immune system, autonomic nervous system), and cognitive performance in medical doctors working 24-hour shifts.

So what can we do to improve sleep? I doubt anyone would want sub-optimal performance and cognitive function, so consider the following:

  • Meditation; this alone can help with decreasing stress & anxiety. [8] Plus it can be quite relaxing to help catch some Z’s
  • Stay consistent with your exercise routine
  • Shut off the cell phone before going to bed

Conclusion

If you didn’t know, now you know: unmanaged stress can be taxing on the body and poor lifestyle habits can impact our mood and cognitive ability. We can see that nutrition, exercise, and sleep play important roles in helping us function & perform optimally. Some of it may seem quite straightforward, but the important part is to do it. All that being said, do you think your mood ring would change colours after reading this?

I hope so.

FIT & HEALTHY ALL WINTER

June 15, 2019
brisbanebooty

During the winter months it seems like everyone is constantly sick. You do what you can to dodge the chesty coffs and avoid close contact with people suffering a runny nose. But still, staying healthy during winter remains a struggle.

With cooler temperatures and less sunlight hours each day we tend to be less active and more reliable on comfort foods. We’ve all done it, swapped out the afternoon walk to clear the head for an early date with Netflix.

Kick the winter blues with some healthy tips, so you can stay fit, healthy and strong through the cold and flu season.

Start protecting your body BEFORE you get sick.

Start taking care of your body now so you can get the results later. A great way to start is by giving your body the nutrients and vitamins before the colder season hit.

Make sure you’re consuming a wide variety of fruits & vegetables in a all colours. Make sure each meal has a nice variety of colour from lots of different sources.

If your diet is on point and you’re still looking for that extra little boost, there are many vitamins and supplements that can help you keep your health in check.

Vitamins and mineral supplements are just that, SUPPLEMENTS to your diet. They can help you boost your daily intake but should not be relied upon for your entire intake.

I have two go-to products to keep my immune system functioning as optimally as possible.

  1. Glutamine
  2. Resilience by ATP science.

Drink plenty of water.

Dehydration can leave you more vulnerable to getting sick, so drinking plenty of water throughout the day is very important. One of the benefits of water is the removal of toxins out of the body, which will help to prevent the build-up of toxins. Water will also help to carry oxygen to body cells for properly functioning systems. 

Get enough sleep.

Having a restful night is essential for a healthy body and mind. When we have a good night sleep our body has the chance to recover physically and mentally. When our body is rested, we will have more energy to tackle on the day.

Your immune system is also affected by restless nights. When we don’t sleep well our body is more susceptible to getting sick including the common cold. This is because when we sleep our body releases cytokines, a type of protein which helps the body to fight infection by regulating the immune system.

Keep your body moving.

Unfortunately as the weather cools during the winter months our motivation to get up and train begins to dip. 

Keeping physically active has so many amazing benefits for the health of not just your body, but also your mental state. 

Regular exercise can help to keep inflammation and chronic diseases at bay. 

Exercise is always amazing for reducing built up stress, as well as accelerating the circulation of white blood cells which allows the body to fight infection an disease. 

ARE YOU STRUGGLING FOR MOTIVATION DURING THE COOLER MONTHS?

We specialise in female body transformations, and a spring challenge is set to start very soon!

Through our quarterly fitness challenges, Brisfit bootcamps has helped countless women reach their health and fitness goals. Since our humble beginnings in 2012 we’ve created a community of motivating and supportive women who are dedicated to living their best life. At Brisfit we understand women’s bodies and know how to get you the results that will leave you feeling confident, healthy and happy!

Brisfit is designed to help women of all fitness levels achieve their fitness goals in a fun and supportive environement. If you’re struggling for motivation, come down to a Brisfit session to see how amazing our wonderful ladies are. Be inspired by their amazing journeys and transformations.

Find out more

HARD CORE

June 5, 2019
brisbanebooty

Take your core workout to the next level!

Forget hitting 1000 sit-ups each day, that’s old school… Mike Tyson old school. Not to mention how bored you will get.

To strengthen your core, you need to mix it up with a range of exercises that target all the muscles in and around your trunk and pelvis.

A strong core is important in so many ways. From helping you complete daily tasks to nailing your performance on the sports field, strength in and around your middle will aid in balance and stability, help to prevent injuries, improve your posture and even protect your organs and nervous system from damage.

Yet core strength is about so much more than just your abs. While a six-pack might look impressive, you need to work all the muscles in and around your lower torso. This workout will help you do just that – with three sets of four exercises that you can easily tack on to another gym session.

Yes, it’s intense. And yes, it will hurt. But your core will thank you for it.

WOODCHOP LUNGE WITH CABLES
3 x 10 reps each side

Find a cable and set it up so that you can kneel comfortably on one knee with arms outstretched and the cable tight. This transverse rotational movement sees you twist and pull the cable away from its attachment, working your oblique abdominals.

Tip: Take a deep breath prior to twisting and contracting, and rotate from the pelvis (not the spine).  

ROMAN CHAIR SIT-UPS
3 x 20 secs of effort

Hop onto a roman chair with a medicine ball. Choose a weight that makes its presence felt, but isn’t too heavy to hold. You want to lean back while bracing your core, and hold that angle while you rotate from side to side. This one targets your transverse abdominis.

Tip: Lengthen your spine before you rotate.

PRONE TABLE HOLD
4 x 10 reps each leg

Think of the mountain climber. Think of a plank. Now combine the two in this carefully controlled exercise that targets your rectus abdominis.

Tip: Make sure your shoulders are over your wrist, and keep a neutral spine at all times.

DEAD BUG WITH FIT BALL
3 x 10 reps each side

This one targets the full anterior abdominal wall. Grab a fitball and lie flat on the floor. Arms and legs straight up in the air, your job is to balance the fitball while lowering an opposite arm and leg all the way down. Move slowly, maintain control, and really focus on your mind-to-muscle connection.

Tip: Keep your lower back flat to the floor (in other words, don’t arch).

Energy Boosting Foods

June 5, 2019
brisbanebooty

We all have those days where it’s a struggle to do anything. Staying focused is tedious and it feels like you’re running on nothing. Then there’s the added challenge of trying to train or exercise on these days.

When feeling like this, it’s easy to resort to junk food or sugary snacks as a quick pick-me-up. However, it is so much more helpful to turn to foods that can naturally boost your energy.

Of course, all food gives you energy because that’s what calories do. It’s the nature of this energy that differs depending on the type of food. Some foods (like caffeine, processed grains or refined sugars) give you an immediate energy burst followed by a crash.

Choosing the right food can have a substantial impact on the amount of energy you have and how it long it lasts. Certain foods can also boost focus, concentration and motivation too, meaning that you can put your effort to good use. If you’re consistently lacking in energy and focus, reconsidering your diet can be helpful. The following foods provide lasting sources of energy that help stabilise mood and increase motivation. Plus they’re full of other benefits and nutrients to help general health and wellbeing.

Fruit

Unlike refined sugars, the natural sugars found in fruit provide a sustainable source of energy. Fruit has fibre and nutrients that slow down digestion to ensure that the sugar isn’t absorbed in one hit. This means you don’t see an instant high followed by an energy crash. Fruit also contains less sugar than processed food, so the effects of that sugar isn’t comparable.

Most fruit will make a great energising snack. Citrus is excellent because it stimulates the brain whilst delivering energy. This means it doesn’t just give you physical energy but it also sharpens your focus and concentration to give you that extra edge. Bananas are easily digested so they give you a quick source of energy. They also contain potassium which helps with nerve and muscle function. Berries are great because they’re packed full of antioxidants and nutrients, ensuring that they help boost mental function and focus whilst also giving you energy.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbs are digested slowly, meaning that they give you a sustained slow release of energy to keep you going all day. Foods such as wholegrains, oats and fruit and veggies are packed with complex carbs, making them reliable energy sources.

Nuts

Nuts are an excellent energy source because they contain protein, vitamins and healthy fats. Nuts are high in calories, meaning that they provide a concentrated energy dose. They also contain magnesium, which is a mineral essential in energy production, muscle function and blood sugar regulation. Almonds are particularly high in magnesium, making them a great energy-rich snack.

Green Tea

You can get similar benefits from both matcha and green tea. However, matcha is a more concentrated form of green tea due to the way its produced, meaning that you may see enhanced benefits from it. Both contain a unique caffeine compound called theophylline. Unlike the caffeine in coffee, theophylline has a slower release which means it’s a longer lasting and more sustained source of energy. Both also contain an amino acid called L-Theanine which relaxes and calms the brain. It works with theophylline to ensure that you’re relaxed but still alert and focused. These benefits make green tea or matcha a great alternative to coffee to give you energy without a crash.

Water

It’s a bit ironic that water is so vital for energy given that it doesn’t contain any calories itself. It doesn’t actually give you energy, but it facilitates the processes that create energy. Water is necessary for all functions in the body. When you’re dehydrated, these functions slow down, leaving you feeling dull and tired. If you’re consistently feeling this way, make sure you’re drinking the recommended intake to ensure your body can function the way it’s supposed to.

Hormones Affecting Fat Loss

June 1, 2019
brisbanebooty

Different hormones can have a substantial impact on how the body works. Hormones are chemical signals that the body uses to control bodily functions, such as hunger, stress, reproduction, mood and emotions.

The balance of your hormones is influenced by both internal and external factors, ranging from age and gender to the food you eat and the environment you’re in. Ensuring that you have the right hormone balance can maximize how your body operates. Hormones also impact how the body stores and retain fat, meaning that correctly managing hormones can have a substantial impact on fat loss efforts.

Here are some general healthy habits for helping your hormones stay balanced:

  • Healthy Eating: Try to ensure that at least 80-90% of your diet comes from fresh, high-quality whole foods. Nutrient dense foods with a variety of different colours, spices and flavours fuel your body with the nutrients needed to operate.
  • Make sure you get enough sleep. It gives your body a chance to recover, relax and rebalance.
  • Reduce the amount of stress in your life. Easier said than done, but even small changes can have a substantial impact on the demand placed on your body.

The way the body produces hormones is complex and unique to each person but committing to these healthy habits can help your body function as it should. These are some of the specific hormones that can impact weight loss:

Cortisol

Cortisol is the stress hormone. It’s released as a response to any source of stress. This makes it one of the most difficult hormones to manage with all the different internal and external sources of stress.

A busy and stressful lifestyle can mean that your cortisol levels are constantly raised. Increased Cortisol can lead to increase stored body fat and water retention, in particular around your abdominal area. This is a survival response, done to help protect and guard our internal organs in the presence of potential life-threatening stress. Constantly elevated Cortisol will also facilitate the breakdown of muscle tissue for immediate energy while also shuttling triglycerides (fatty acids) into the bloodstream. Insulin resistance can also occur as a result of this; the end result, loss of muscle mass and an increase in body fat and fluid being held in areas you don’t want them.

Here are some basic tips for naturally managing cortisol levels:

  • Identify and reduce sources of stress in your life. Whilst this is easier said than done, it’s essential to be able to manage external sources of stress to help reduce your cortisol levels.
  • Implement some low-intensity exercise such as a daily walk to help de-stress and clear your mind
  • Reduce overall caffeine intake. This will allow your adrenal gland to re-balance its hormonal output.
  • Adaptogenic herbs can help normalize cortisol levels. They may help reduce the severity of internal stressed from toxic, immune and inflammatory triggers.

Ghrelin and Leptin 

Leptin and Ghrelin are the hormones that adjust appetite, with Leptin acting as an appetite suppressant and Ghrelin working to increase your appetite when you need food. Ghrelin also instructs your body to take in more calories and store the fat, which has been important for survival in the past by helping people maintain a healthy weight. However, if not properly managed it may contribute to weight gain as it prompts you to eat and store more calories. Some studies have found an increase of Ghrelin levels with stress, which explains why some might feel hungrier when feeling stressed. Another study also found that lack of sleep resulted in higher levels of Ghrelin which meant that participants wanted to eat more. This same study found that participants who consistently lacked enough sleep reduced fat loss by 55%.

Insulin

Insulin is a storage hormone in the body that is responsible for blood sugar regulation and nutrient partitioning. Insulin resistance is a state in which your body will no longer produce Insulin or enough of it when food (carbohydrates in particular) is consumed, leading to unmanaged blood sugar levels that will cause the calories you consume to be stored as body fat as appose to being burnt for energy.

Having excess levels of glucose and sugar in your bloodstream for extended periods will prompt your body to hold onto more stored body fat, as it is not needed as a source of fuel when glucose levels are elevated. Insulin resistance can often leave you feeling tired, lethargic and run down with a severe lack of energy to carry out day-to-day tasks.

Insulin resistance can be easily managed, preventing the development of more serious health issues down the track. Managing it can start with what you eat.

  • Reduce your intake of simple, processed sugars.
  • Choose whole food sources of Carbohydrates such as oats, rice, quinoa & veggies.
  • Select low GI carbohydrate sources predominantly- this won’t raise your blood sugar levels as much as high GI food choices.
  • Increase your exercise and incorporate some resistance training. This improves our body’s sensitivity to Insulin.
  • You don’t need to completely cut your favourite foods, just be mindful about your eating habits and make good food choices 80-90% of the time.

Estrogen

Estrogen is most commonly known as the female sex hormone, responsible for female development, reproductive processes and regulation of the menstrual cycle. However Estrogen is not female specific, men also have levels of estrogen just as females have small amounts of Testosterone; it is the balance and ratio of these two hormones that determine gender and the way our body works.

The important thing about Estrogen is that it can have prolific effects on fat loss and body composition. If our body doesn’t have the right amount or even the right type of Estrogen (both in males and females) then it becomes very difficult to achieve your weight loss goals, regardless of how hard you’re working for it.

Xenoestrogens are one of the biggest contributing factors to our body’s Estrogen imbalances; Xenoestrogens are toxic forms of Estrogen that enter our body through exposure to toxins such as petrochemicals, pesticides, plastics, pollutants, paints and much more. With so much exposure to these Xenoestrogens, it is easy to see how we can develop such imbalances in our hormonal profiles. Estrogen dominance and imbalances will lead to fat and fluid being held in certain areas such as the hips, thighs, back of arms, lower abdominals and breast. These distinct pockets of stored body fat, cellulite and fluid can become very difficult to shift and often hang around until our hormones are re-balanced. No matter how much we diet and exercise, they just won’t shift. The best way to reduce and resolve these issues is to be aware of our environment and be mindful of the things we do.

  • If and when possible, reduce your exposure to toxins such as petrochemicals, pesticides, plastics, pollutants and paints.
  • Wash your foods before consumption and ensure food preparation is done correctly- this means when possible, avoid heating and cooking with plastics.
  • Eat a good amount and a variety of cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale and bok choy to name a few, these veggies assist in the detoxification pathways that will help strip out Xenoestrogens.
  • Take care of your liver- detoxification pathways are managed by the liver and are far more efficient and effective when it’s in a healthy state.

From reading this, you should have an idea of how complex hormones are. There’s no simple way to ensure the perfect balance of hormones, but investing in healthy and sustainable practices can make a difference in health and wellbeing.

All of these hormones work together to keep your body operating, and whilst they’re not solely responsible for fat loss, they can have a drastic impact on your results.

KEEPING YOU MOTIVATED

November 19, 2018
brisbanebooty

We all need a little encouragement at some point during our fitness journey.

Maybe you’re struggling with motivation or you might feel as though you aren’t making progress as quickly as you would like. Sometimes you just need a little reminder that you’re doing your best.

To help motivate you through this week, I’ve put together some of my favourite quotes that will inspire you to keep pushing!

I hope these quotes help to encourage you to keep going with your fitness journey!

Be proud of yourself for how hard you’re trying. 

When starting out on a fitness journey, it is easy to focus solely on how far you have left to go. How much weight you still have to lose, how many more workouts you have to do this week or even how many minutes you still have during a session.

The problem with this is we often lose sight of what we’ve achieved so far. Take a moment at the end of a workout to celebrate you and every achievement you have made throughout your journey! Be proud of yourself for putting your health first and making a positive lifestyle change. After all, small changes lead to big results!

The distance between where you are and where you want to be is shorter than you think.

If you need a quote to keep you going next time you workout, think of this one!

When you’re working towards a goal, sometimes all you can see is each individual step laid out in front of you. It can feel overwhelming! Instead of thinking about how many steps you need to take, start looking at just the two steps in front of you. The gap from where you are now to that step is much smaller — so focus on reaching that second step. 

Once you reach it, focus on the next gap and achieving that milestone.

When you break your goals down into small steps, the distance doesn’t seem so great. Making even a small change now helps you to get closer to your long-term goals. Trust me, they come around faster than you might think!

Your body won’t go where your mind doesn’t push it.

Your mind has so much power! When you make the decision to do something beyond your comfort zone — whether that’s trying a new workout style or learning how to do a box jump — you’ll learn how it feels to achieve something because you really pushed yourself.

This quote can help you keep going when you want to give up and it can also help to motivate you to start!

Exercise is a blessing. Not a chore.

I’m sure pretty much all of us have complained about doing our workout at some point in our lives. I love that this quote reminds us how lucky we are to be able to move our bodies and to work on our health.

Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore. When you find something that you genuinely love doing, it will be so much easier to make exercise a part of your routine.

You get what you work for.

You might have seen people posting “I wish” posts all over social media, or in comments sections of their fitspo idols on Instagram. You have even done it when I post photos on the forum before a session.

We need to remember that wishing doesn’t bring us closer to what we want. When you work towards your goals, that’s when you have the power to achieve real things! Whether you want to get stronger, get fitter, or any goal — if you want to achieve it, make it happen for yourself!

The best view comes after the hardest climb.

You know those moments during one of our tougher workouts when your not sure you could go 2 more minutes, and your thinking you could just quit? Next time it happens, I want you to remember this quote. Even if finishing those last two minutes means you have to slow down to a walk, think of how good it will feel when you finish, knowing that you didn’t give up. It feels like an even bigger victory because you didn’t allow yourself to quit.

Make yourself a priority.

Hopefully by now its pretty clear that I’m a male, but over the last few years I’ve sent a lot of time around women, so I’m going to put myself in your shoes for a minute. I think often, as women, we can become used to putting everyone else first. We worry about our friends, family, partners, co-workers, pets — the list goes on.

I’ve often heard people say you need to be ‘selfish’ with your time. While I understand the intention, I don’t want people to associate negative terms or behaviour with their health. I want you to make your health a priority because that’s how you can ensure you are caring for YOURSELF. Regular exercise has so many benefits for your physical and mental health — so making time for a workout is really important!

Motivational quotes to keep going

If you wake up one day this week and feel tempted to skip your workout, I want you to come back and read these quotes.

Repeating these to yourself can help you develop a more determined mindset, helping you to commit to your fitness journey and to your health. I hope this email can help you out if you’re hitting a wall and struggling with the big change to your lifestyle.

I’m always a quick message or call away if you need a helping hand.

(I’ve also attached this week’s training timetable, the meal plan and the lifestyle guide in case you missed them in earlier emails.)

Coach Parker

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