New leg training ideas

Here are three leg training machines that are a little different to ones I’ve used elsewhere. Filmed at Watson Gym Equipment stand at BodyPower, and many thanks to them. Here are my thoughts on the relative merits of each.

Check out the video: click here then select the first video on my video wall.

This particular 45° leg press has a feature I’ve not seen before in that the footplates can be joined together as is most common, or can be separated with different resistance on each side. This gives the chance to have differential resistance if one of your legs is weaker than the other. With footplates disconnected you can press both legs in sync or alternating. Using in sync gives you the ability to check if one leg has a greater range of movement then the other (then work on that one). Alternating enables you to put more mental focus in the press on just the one pressing leg. An excellent piece of equipment.

The Leverage Squat Machine is the closest machine I’ve found to reproducing the traditional back squat but adding some safety features, concepts that will enable some people to get far more benefit. For those with shoulder flexibility issues, the positioning of the hands on a part of the machine forward of the body is a big bonus. It’s far enough forward to be non-weight bearing so leg resistance isn’t reduced. And for those a little concerned with balance and stability, this movement gives all the benefits and feel of the back squat without the possibility of tilting or ultimately falling in any direction. As you can’t lean towards one side, any unwanted unequal forces down the spine and posterior chain are removed. Meaning you can go heavier and torture those quads, hams and glutes more!

Finally, the Vertical Press. The position of the lower body here is it’s unique feature. By pressing with the weight exactly vertically, the full resistance of the weight is borne by the legs especially the quads at all times – you are working with 100% of the gravity component. With the weight of the carriage known, the full force of the weight needs to be pressed giving maximum focus with precision on resistance amount with no lateral element. I found it works the legs in a direct way that isn’t fully possible in any other position.

I don’t think your upper leg training should be exclusively on any of these machines / but add them to your leg day mix to discover new and efficient ways of training those pins safely.

Remember to check out the video to see all three machines in action!

Club La Santa gym review

Club La Santa on Lanzarote is well known as a sunny training location for pro athletes, as well as being a fab holiday resort in beautiful sunshine.   We were there last week for a holiday with very much a fitness focus.

But how good is it as a destination for gym fans like me?  Take a look at my video review – with comments that are totally my own!

www.bitly.com/ChrisClubLaSanta

And if you also want to see more workouts, comments on equipment and other gyms, nutrition advice and more fitness information, see the full range of my videos on:

www.bitly.com/ChrisVideos

Subscribe on that page if you want to be sure to hear about new videos coming up!

 

Whole-body pre-contest workout

I sometimes get asked if there is just a single workout that I would recommend to work all the key muscles in just one workout.    And one that includes some cardio element as well as effort for the muscles.

The answer is that there is – and its the workout I specifically use for a few days before going on stage in a fitness model contest.  To me, this workout ticks both boxes – its a perfect whole-body workout – plus a great pre-show conditioning session that works everything to the level I need before that big day.

Take a look – its the first video on my video wall – www.bitly.com/ChrisVideos

I recorded it the day before appearing on stage in the Pure Elite Fitness Model Championship, so you can tell I was motivated to get it right.

And feel free to let me have any questions, of course.

New TV Documentary on Fitness for Over Fifties

A short TV documentary has recently been produced showing how fitness is becoming a growth trend for the over fifties.

In this documentary, my fitness activities are shown alongside others of the well-over 50 age group, showing how the trend for fat-down and fit-up – and keeping supple and stretchy – is growing in this age group.   Over 50% of UK adults are over 50, and its excellent that this group is both taking its own fitness more seriously, and being addressed by fitness suppliers with dedicated products too.  Something I’ve been promoting for years of course.

This made-for-TV documentary was filmed and broadcast earlier this year, and many thanks to director Alex Blakemore for permission to show on YouTube.

www.bitly.com/FitnessOverFiftyDocumentary2016

 

MaxiNutrition Promax Lean

maxinutrition-promax-leanI was pleased to receive a supply of  Promax Lean Bars from MaxiNutrition recently and I’m keen to give you my thoughts on them, both from a nutrition point of view and as a snack food.

The ones I have are the Dark Chocolate flavour, they are also available as Chocolate Orange or Chocolate Mint – I prefer the 100% chocolate flavour hit of the Dark Chocolate ones. Whichever flavour you choose, the nutrition information is the same – so flavour choice is purely down to taste preference. The bars are supplied individually as a 60g bar or in a box of 12.

Let’s look at the nutrition first. Each bar provides 206 calories of energy. The macronutrient breakdown is that these calories are sourced 44% from protein, 36% from carbs and 20% from fat. For me, that is pretty close to ideal as I like to have a 40:40:20 ratio. Of course, that is a target ratio for me across the whole of day, not per individual food item, but it’s excellent that this one item already hits the ratios pretty much on the nail.

The 23g of protein is a combination of whey protein concentrate and milk protein isolate (MPI). Whey protein concentrate is in fact the largest single ingredient of the bar – representing 17% of the weight of the bar – and is a variant of whey from which not all fat is removed. It’s a dairy product of course, as is the less commonly seen MPI, which forms the second largest ingredient. MPI is the dried substance once lactose and minerals are removed from skimmed (de-fatted) milk. I’m not a big fan of milk in its natural state, but I don’t have a problem with MPI. That 23g is a good chunk of the daily protein amount I’ve selected to help in my muscle-build and muscle-maintenance goals.

The 18.8g of carbs represent 36% of the calories, and a surprisingly large amount of that is sugar – 10.9g which provide 21% of the total calories. The sugars come from a few sources – including actual dark chocolate, which represents 14% of the 60g bar weight. It’s interesting to see real chocolate included, as many bars have synthetic choc-like substances as their coating and flavour. That’s not to say this is a fully additive-free product – for one thing, the degree of sweetness that makes it enjoyable to taste can’t come just from that chocolate – there’s several added sweeteners in there too which promote the sweet taste while adding fewer calories than extra sugar would.

I wondered what made this bar particularly identifiable as ‘Lean’ in its title. This would be the added ingredients which aren’t often found in bars of this type – such as caffeine and L-Carnitine. The caffeine content is quite high – at 125mg its not far off the amount you get in a large can of fizzy stimulant drink. The effects of caffeine are well known – increased focus, up-regulated heartbeat, and release of bodyfat to the bloodstream for use. The amino acid derivative L-Carnitine is less well known, but is seen by many as a bodyfat metabolizer over continued use; and the 2g provided in each bar is typical of the recommended daily dose in the supplement world.

So much for the ingredients and the nutrient numbers. When do I have a bar and why?
My daily diet includes a mid-morning snack and a mid-afternoon snack – the two smallest meals of my six meals a day – the others being a larger breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a post-workout protein and natural fast carb meal. And I like those two small snacks to be around 200-250 calories, with around 20-25g of protein. So these bars fit that perfectly. I usually have one of these bars, or something similar, for one of those two snacks per day. They are also my ‘emergency’ go-to snack food if I have an irresistible craving for breaking my daily calorie target of 2250.

MaxiNutrition recommend no more than two Promax Lean bars a day, and I agree with that. I like to keep my diet varied within my target numbers, so I wouldn’t exceed that anyway.

How do I think the product’s claims stack up with my own thoughts? On the box MaxiNutrition claims the product assists in lean muscle definition, energy metabolism and alertness. From my study of it, I reckon those are very fair claims – provided the bar is taken as part of diet that focusses on clean, healthy nutrition that maintains the macronutrient ratios along with undertaking significant resistance training and cardio-based exercise.

Thanks to the guys there – check out their full range on www.MaxiNutrition.com

Adidas Cloudfoam City from Brantano

I recently received some excellent trainers from the guys at Brantano. These are Adidas Cloudfoam City design and I have a lot to say about them – what’s good, where to wear them, design characteristics and foot support.

Take a look at my video which tells more on all these points by clicking here

And for more information on Brantano and their full range, click on Brantano

Is it a jailyard?

One of the world’s best gyms – probably the very best actually – is Gold’s in Venice Beach in Los Angeles. They have a good yard out the back for working out in the California sunshine – but one problem is they really don’t like filming taking place.

But when I was there with Dan Wynes we managed to sneak a friendly cameraman’s lens through a hole in the fence – giving a very paparazzi and illegal look to what already appears like a jailyard in the first place!

Take a look at the video, so if you agree…

http://bitly.com/ChrisVideo015