Tag Archives: Over Training

Teds Tips to Bigger Arms -Tri Harder

Teds Tips to Bigger Arms- Tri Harder

Let’s be honest we all envy that guy we see whose arms barely fit his t-shirt. Who can honestly say that they don’t want bigger arms.. ..The truth of the matter is arms are almost everyone’s favorite body part to train- when we talk about getting an insane pump it’s not usually referring to our calves or our back- its a pump in the arms- its that point where you can no longer touch your shoulders cause your arms are so filled with blood it hurts- this is what Arnie referred to as the ‘feeling that is better than sex’…. Now I might not go as far as to say that but yes we all love the pump..

bigger arms

Here in lies the problem- we all love training arms and whilst I can’t talk about Over-training a muscle group as i train everyday- the problem is too much emphasis falls on isolation moves for the arms  and the muscles that make up the arms (biceps and triceps) are overworked and are not allowed enough time to fully recover and grow before being worked again. What some people fail to realize is that whilst training other body parts the arm muscles will be playing a role (training chest or shoulders you are working your tricpes- whilst training your back your biceps will be working) in either stabilizing the weight or helping lift the weight- therefore too many programs are written that do not allow enough time for the arms to fully recover (when you lift weights you essentially tear the muscle fibres- if you do not allow enough time for them to recover they will just continue to be torn down without ever being able to grow back bigger and stronger… when you rest is when you grow)

Too much volume and emphasis is placed on arm training, considering the size of the biceps and triceps. To reduce the volume i would suggest doing 2 exercises for biceps and 2-3 for triceps- and only 3-4 sets of each exercise- i see programs that have 5 exercises for biceps and hundreds of sets and reps- this will be detrimental to your goals for bigger arms (assuming you are a natural lifter). Also try giving your arms at least 48 hours before training them again- Yes i train everyday but the way i split my training routine up allows me more than 48 hours before training arms again. If you are a natural lifter you might want to consider not training arms on their own day- stick to compound movements of larger muscle groups (bench press for chest- row for back-squats for legs) your arms will play a role in these compound lifts (even in squats) and as you get stronger in these main lifts your arms will get stronger as well-(stronger muscle usually leads to a bigger muscle) It will also lead to an overall increase in muscle size- and these compound lifts have been shown to help increase your natural testosterone levels – more testosterone in your body = bigger muscles .. Try training your arms at the end of the workout after completing your heavy compound lifts- they will already be warmed up – for example if you were going heavy on bench then your triceps will have been worked so they will only need one or two isolation exercises at the end to force growth in the muscle.


The other problem is the focus on the biceps- yes we all want a big bicep but in reality the triceps make up larger portion of the arm- think of it Bi=2 Tri=3. Therefore our main tip to getting bigger arms is to shift focus from training our biceps to training our triceps.


Try varying rep ranges and exercises as our genetics differ from person to person it is impossible to suggest the best rep range for everyone- what i will say is try the basic 8-12 rep range to start with but if you do not see progress (after 6-8 weeks) try going heavier and reduce the number of reps- or what i have found that works better for me is a slightly higher rep range of 15-20 reps.. but like i said it will differ from person to person..

Below is a great video of Steve Cook and Rob Riches taking you through some tricep exercises.. enjoy

Ted Talks- My rules: Training Abs

Training Abs: My Rules



4 Small Reasons Your Ab Training Isn’t Working

Taking nutrition completely out of the equation, training abs is about “feeling” the muscles being trained. You could have your diet nailed and already be practicing a list of your favorite training exercises, but if you’re simply going through the

Challenge Yourself With These Balance-Boosting Plank Exercises

It’s hard to underestimate the positive results from building core strength. Focusing on this important fitness component over the summer can improve your balance and stability and prevent injury. Using medicine balls or basketballs, perform the
training abs

Functional Ab Training for Bodybuilders

On top of those time and energy constraints, I don’t particularly enjoy training abs, and I hate doing cardio. So I do my ab training in a circuit fashion, which not only saves time but also creates an oxygen debt, which reduces the amount of cardio I

In Pursuit Of The 6-Pack: 8 Most Underrated Ab Tips …

The problem is that you need to unlearn that habit when training abs. Maintaining a flat or slightly arched back in the lumbar region in dynamic movements ensures the antagonist muscle—the abs—won’t be able to fully …
Training Abs: 

Ab Fab- 4 of the best exercises for abs

Ab Fab- 4 of the best exercises for abs   Abs or Abdominals- Probably the most talked about body part, the abdominals are the corner stone of all good physiques. There are a few misconceptions though that I would like to clear up before going through 4 exercises to help strengthen your core. Firstly …

Ted Talks 4- Intermittent fasting and Carb Back loading

Intermittent Fasting and Carb Back Loading – Diet advice

Intermittent Fasting: 

intermittent fasting

What is Intermittent Fasting? 

Intermittent fasting calls for one to consume all their daily calories during a restricted time period during the day, known as the “feeding window”. Once outside this allotted window  you must refrain from eating all together, this is know as the “Fasted window”. The theory is that all the time you are fasting your body will have no option but to use fat as fuel, thus resulting in lipolysis, the breakdown of fat and a decrease in body fat.

Having a small feeding window rather than grazing throughout the day should naturally result in a lower total intake of calories- if performed correctly..

This type of diet is useful for people with a busy schedule or for people who do not like eating small meals often. Remember try and find a diet that works for you- if intermittent fasting is easier for your day to day life and are more likely to stick to it then it is more likely that it will work for you..

As with all diets i would advice you keep the food as clean as possible.

Intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an umbrella term for various diets that cycle between a period of fasting and non-fasting. Intermittent fasting is one form

The pros and cons of intermittent fasting

Intermittent fasting is unlikely to cause anorexia or to pose other health risks for most people and is particularly recommended for those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, or other disorders linked to overeating.

10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern where you cycle between periods of eating and fasting. Numerous studies show that it can have powerful benefits for your body and brain. Here are 10 evidence-based health benefits of intermittent …

Intermittent Fasting 101 – The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide

This is a detailed guide to intermittent fasting (IF). Studies show that it can help you lose weight, improve health and perhaps even live longer.


Carb Back Loading: 

Carb Back Loading is a diet that i think will work for certain individuals but not for everyone. I was always taught to consume the majority of my carbs at the start of the day so that i can burn the carbs as energy throughout the day rather storing them as fat..

Carb Back Loading  is however a fast growing trend in the fitness industry that goes against this principle.

The idea is that you eat light in the morning and virtually no carbs throughout the day until you have exercised. Since exercise would usually be performed after work or in the evening the first carb intake would be after your exercise has finished in the afternoon. You then continue to consume carbs throughout the remainder of the evening.

Why consume your carbs in the evening ?  This diet takes advantage of your body’s natural daily fluctuations in insulin sensitivity in your muscle and fat cells, as well as the exercise induced increase in insulin sensitivity in your muscle cells.

By not eating carbs when your body is ready to store them as fat, (which happens to be earlier in the day), you instead consume carbohydrates when your body is starved of them (later in the day), and hence will be much more likely to store them as glycogen in the muscles.

After working out, your glycogen stores (‘reserve’ energy) will be depleted. This means insulin senitivity will be increased in your muscle cells, but will remain at a lower sensitivity in your fat cells. As a result, when you start eating carbs, they will instantly be utilised by your muscles, rather than being stored as fat.


  1. Less restrictive- being allowed to eat carbohydrates in the evening gives you a greater food choice when dinning out with friends and family and allows you to choose the foods you want guilt free
  2. A lot of people get food cravings in the evening and this is when diets are usually broken- due to the less restrictive nature of the diet you can enjoy some of your cravings when you want them (although i wouldn’t advise  giving into the cravings all the time)
  3. Cortisol levels (stress released hormone) are usually highest in the morning- by avoiding eating carbs in the morning your body should store less fat throughout the day
  4. Improved sleep- consuming carbs increases the production of melatonin and serotonin in the body which help improve the quality of sleep (however this is based on eating slow releasing carbohydrates rather than sugary foods) (i do not agree with this point but it is one to take into consideration)








referenced from



Ted Talks 3- Vlog: Why i use a prep coach

Why I use a Prep Coach

As i prep for my second show a few of my friends and clients have asked me the question why do i need a coach? Surely since i am a personal trainer i know how to diet and train myself .. Whilst this is correct- Yes i do know how to train myself but there is a lot more that goes into preparing for a competition than just regular training and dieting.

For competitions, competitors will get down to body fat levels that are fairly impressive however this level of conditioning is usually only a temporary state as it would be unhealthy to stay at such a low body fat level year round- the final stages of competition prep, whether it is water manipulation or carb depletion are tricks that are used by competitors during the final stages of their prep- these tricks are not taught to you as a personal trainer, this is one reason behind hiring a coach.

Another step to preparing for the competition is learning how to pose. Whilst that might sound ridiculous it is a very important part to the competition. Why get your body looking its best if you don’t know how to display it correctly….

Motivation: prepping for a show is not easy with the increase in cardio and the decrease in carbohydrates many competitors struggle with energy levels and can either loose focus and fall of their diet or miss training sessions. A good coach is able to keep you motivated and focused on your goal (which is hopefully bringing home a trophy).

prep coach

A prep coach is also useful for helping track your progress as the competition nears and can adjust your training or diet to compensate for what they feel is best for you- whilst i might be able to keep track of my own weight quite easily and whilst doing my usual posing in the mirror i can judge how my body looks- the truth is an extra pair of eyes that is trained to know what the judges are looking for and will give you honest feedback is priceless. You may not be able to see which parts of your body needs more focus on or if you are loosing too much muscle during the cut or not enough fat. Having someone who can help provide that outside and honest perspective is one of the most important reasons behind getting a prep coach (cause you know most of your friends will probably tell you what you want to hear and you sometimes see what you want when you look in the mirror)

Why I use a Prep Coach 


Ted Talks- Cardio HIIT or LISS

Cardio: HIIT or LISS ?

Is cardio part of your routine? What type do you choose? Do you choose High Intensity Interval Training.. or Low intensity Steady State ..

cardio HIIT or LISS

Both HIIT and LISS  training has its benefits.. so why not use both…?

FITNESSCOP: The Cardio Question: What Type Of Cardio Is …

The Cardio Question: What Type Of Cardio Is Best For Fat Loss? Unsure if HIIT or LISS is better for fat loss? Bodybuilder Cliff Wilson explains the science behind fat loss and helps you to get shredded. Cardio – HIIT or LISS?

Health Correlator: How to lose fat and gain muscle at the …

… diet and resistance training should be the foundation for changing body composition. Adding cardio (HIIT or LISS) is fine for burning extra calories, but resistance training is the most important as far as exercise strategies go.

Cardio HIIT or LISS 

Why Incline: The benefits of incline running

Why Incline: The benefits of incline running

Why Incline: The benefits of incline running

This morning I woke up and decided to hit the gym for my morning fasted cardio session – having trained legs the day before the thought of running fast on a treadmill became a more and more daunting task the closer i got to the gym. As i began the workout i started with a light jog; (wearing a heart rate monitor so that i can track my heart rate to maintain a level optimum for burning fat) Since my fitness levels have increased I was having to run at a speed that was quite frankly too fast for my DOM’s affected legs to maintain. So without thinking i just slowly started to increase the incline and decrease the speed- this immediately helped raise my heart rate to the required level whilst easing the stress on my legs. This got me thinking what are the benefits of incline running ?

after a little research i found a few articles that gave me the answers and i will now share them with you

Why Incline: The benefits of incline running 

Whist it has the same cardiovascular benefits as flat running …

1)  Incline running also increases your muscle strength and power. Hills can help you build greater aerobic capacity and builds a more efficient stride.
2) Running on inclines of more than 15 percent activates the leg muscles about three times as much as exercising on a flat roads. This means you build greater muscle strength and power when running on an incline so that when you run on a flat road, you can go faster more efficiently.
3) High speed incline walking is a lower impact alternative for you. Flat road running can also aggravate shin splints or knee pain. Running on an incline reduces that stress.
4)  Running up a five percent incline on a treadmill burns about 100 more calories than running on a flat road, says “Shape” magazine. (exact difference will depend on your speed, body weight and running fitness levels) – research also found that going slower up an incline utilizes a greater amount of fat. Running fast on a flat road still burns calories, but more of them come from carbohydrates.
(whilst incline running has its benefits it is also more taxing on the body so i would not advise using it for all your workouts, just mix it in to your workouts to see the benefits)
so next time you are thinking of going for a run don’t avoid those hills


Why Incline: The benefits of incline running 



Why Incline: The benefits of incline running 


Over-Training Boxing class

Over-Training Boxing Class

Learn to box- with our one on one boxing classes (or train together with a friend)

over training boxing class

Burn fat and build muscle – whilst having fun and getting rid of that work stress

Boxing is a great way of getting cardio into your routine without spending hours and hours slogging away on a treadmill- improving cardiovascular fitness has a whole list of health benefits.

It is also a great way of helping build muscle and improve muscle tone- which works to help burn more fat over time.

Boxing can also help improve coordination and reduce stress (which if you are like most people is usually quite high after a long day at work)

Boxing class – Puregym Lambeth – YouTube.

Over-Training Boxing class 

Back it up- Back workout for building mass

Back it up- Back workout for building mass

Below is a video of Mike O’Hearns power bodybuilding workout. I wanted to post this just so you get an idea that just following in the routine of 3 sets of 10- 12 reps doesn’t work for everyone. You need to switch up your workouts to keep your body guessing and continue improving.

A strong back is one of the most important features to building a great body. In order to build a strong back you need to master the basics first. Mike’s workout is great cause it sticks to three key exercises to help build a strong back.


What I love about this workout is that he starts with one of the best overall compound exercises, the dead lift. (i think he refers to them as the superman of all lifts). Dead lifts are the best exercise for adding overall mass to your back, so I would start with dead lifts when working back. There are lots of other exercises for back but none that I would add over dead lifts.Back it up- Back workout for building mass

In the workout Mike does a number of warm up sets before going into his working sets. Warm up sets are like dynamic stretches, it is a way of getting the body ready for the exercise and stimulation that follows (helping prevent injury). Warm up sets should be done with lightweight or no weight and should involve going through the motion of the exercise without eliciting a fatigue response. Warm up sets do not count as working sets so do not fatigue the muscle.

After dead lifts depending on how much strength and energy you have left you can add a number of different back exercises, to hit different areas of the back depending on whether you are trying to build width or add thickness to your back.
A wide tapered back or ‘V look’ is what most guys are aiming for so I would definitely add some wide grip pull downs, or wide grip pull ups to my routine.

(just remember before planning your back workout- your biceps will be involved in all pulling exercises)

Back it up- Back workout for building mass

That’s how we Role – Foam rolling benefits

That’s how we Role – Foam rolling benefits


Foam rollers- 

You may have seen them in your gym and wondered what they were for. They remind me of those ‘pool noodles’ you used to float around when playing about in the swimming pool. So what are they doing in the gym?

A Foam roller is a cylindrical piece of hard foam-  Essentially a tool for helping stretch the muscle and release any deep tissue pressure. By using your own bodyweight against the foam roller  you can perform what is referred to as Self-myofascial release. Imagine the benefits of a deep tissue massage without the cost

If like me you exercise regularly you will now and again have tight muscles and areas of discomfort. The foam roller is amazing at helping release those tight muscles and help increase your range of movement.

I have always had a slight problem with my lower back but after being introduced to foam rollers I can honestly say that has changed- the strength in my back has increased and the range of movement has increased. I couldn’t imagine not using foam rollers now.

I try to incorporate them into the cool down part of my workout. As a way of helping relieve any stress on the muscles and aid recovery.

There are a few different types of foam rollers out there- essentially they all do the same thing- I would try them all but i personally like the orange one (see picture below)

foam rolling benefits

That's how we Role - Foam rolling benefits

The Rumble Roller - YouTube

Below is a video that  helps demonstrate good technique for foam rolling.


That’s how we Role – Foam rolling benefits

Building big traps- Trap exercises

Building big traps- Trap exercises


What makes a strong physique?

When i was younger I used to watch a lot of strongman competitions (and wrestling occasionally) and although not all these athletes were in incredible shape they all had one thing in common and that was they all had giant trapezius muscles or Trapswrestler-bill-goldberg-neck-300x162. What these massive traps did was frame their physique and give the immediate appearance of strength.


So why do so many people neglect their traps or struggle to add mass to them?

Traps like calves are often missed in most peoples workouts, or are thrown in with three sets of a heavy shrug movement. Unless you are genetically gifted this will not be enough to get you shirt bulging traps. People neglect their traps as it is a muscle that many find difficult and unrewarding to train. It is also trained incorrectly like calves and therefore even if you are throwing in a trap exercise into your workout, you will not be producing enough stimulation to illicit a growth response.

Building big traps- Trap exercises

1) Shrugs-everyone’s favourite exercise when it comes to traps.  My advice is focus on the range of movement. Use a light weight and make sure you are letting your shoulder depress (go down) all the way and then elevate  them so that they are as high as they can go, try and touch your shoulders to your ears. (as with calves a lot of people use a weight that is too heavy and shorten the range of movement). I focus on the squeeze at the top of the movement, doing slow and steady repetitions focusing on the pump/burn rather than how much weight i can shift.

I like to pyramid up on shrugs and then do a drop set at the end, or i will superset shrugs with another trap exercise like upright rows. I will do anywhere between 10-20 reps each set and on shrugs may do 5-7 sets till my traps are burning. To cause growth in the muscle you need to stimulate the muscle enough to illicit a response.

Building big traps- Trap exercises

When I do shrugs I do them either behind me or I will hold the weight to my side. I don’t understand people who ONLY shrug with the weight in front of them. Ask yourself ‘Where are your traps‘.

2) Heavy compound exercises- 

A strong physique is based around the three main lifts- squats, deadlifts and bench press, and you can bet all the strongman athletes and wrestlers I used to watch were basing much of their training on these exercises. Your traps will be worked during heavy compound movements such as the bench and squat as you are retracting and squeezing them statically while they’re under heavy tension during the lift. You will build bigger traps if you make sure to focus on these compound movements.

3) Variety is key

Remember your body is an amazing machine that will adapt to stimulation over time. It is therefore important to alter the stimulation in order to avoid plateaus.

Building big traps- Trap exercises

Other exercises that hit your traps are:

Upright rowsuprightbbrow2s
Face pulls 681_2

Also change up your grip on the shrugs so do side shrugs, rear shrugs and front shrugs to keep your body guessing ..


Building big traps- Trap exercises