Workout Template

Time to Complete

Difficulty Level

A Third Point

Push Day

Bench Press | 5 Sets, 5 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Incline Dumbbell Press | 4 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets 

Pec Deck | 4 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Overhead Tricep Extension | 3 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets 

Tricep Pushdown | 3 Sets, 10 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Pull Day

Incline Dumbbell Press | 3 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Leg  Press | 3 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets 

Wide Grip Lat Pull Down | 3 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Leg Extension | 3 Sets, 10 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets 

Lying Hamstring Curl | 3 Sets, 10 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Dumbbell Lateral Raise | 3 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Standing Calf Raise | 3 Sets, 12 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Sit Ups | 3 Sets, 45 seconds, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Legs & Shoulders Day

Squat | 5 Sets, 5 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Overhead Press | 5 Sets, 5 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets 

Leg Extension | 4 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Lying Leg Curl | 4 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets 

Seated Calf Raise | 4 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets

Breaking through Plateaus

Breaking through Plateaus

WHY MAKE A PROGRAM?

You’ve heard that programs work, but why follow one? Following a program in the gym can have numerous benefits, including:

  • Preventing under/over training
  • Creating goals
  • Providing structure when you’re feeling un-motivated
  • Clearly tracking progress (which is the main driver of muscle growth)

And this is just to name a few.

 

HOW TO MAKE ONE THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all program, which is why you need to ask yourself some questions before creating one for yourself.

 

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?

You need to have a clear idea of what you’d like to achieve over the duration of your program. Your goals will inform how often you workout and what kind of exercises you do. If building muscle is your primary goal, you might reduce your training frequency and make your workouts longer.

 

HOW OFTEN WILL YOU TRAIN?

This is to determine your level of commitment that you’re willing to offer towards your training goals. Everyone has varying levels of lifestyle, work and family obligations that they need to consider which is why it’s important that you make an honest assessment of your personal situation and make a firm commitment to the minimum number of days per week that you can train. If you’re tossing up between four and five days, go with four. It’s better to make a program that will work given your minimum time availability.

 

Once you’ve decided how many days a week you commit to per week, you can start to organise your training split.

 

WHAT EXERCISES AND MOVEMENTS SHOULD YOU DO?

With so many different excercises that can be chosen, it can feel like an overwhelming decision to choose which ones to include in your program. The selection of exercises will depend on your goals. Assuming your goal is tobuild muscle, you definitely want to include compound movements as the basis for your training sessions.

Compound movements are the foundational exercises that use multiple joints and lots of muscle mass.  The main movement patterns are pushes (e.g. bench press), pulls (e.g. pullup), hinges (e.g. deadlift) and squats (e.g. barbell squat).

These exercises should consume the majority of your time and effort during your workouts.

If compound movements are the cake, then accessory movements are the icing. These are generally single-joint exercises such as bicep curls and leg extensions that you can do after your compound movements to add some extra stimulus.

 

HOW SHOULD I TRACK PROGRESSION
DURING MY PROGRAM?

Progression can be measured in the
following ways:

• Increasing the amount of weight
you’re lifting

• Completing more repetitions at a
given weight

• Improving the quality of your
repetitions

Keep in mind that it’s easier to progress
these facets while in a caloric surplus –
progress will be slower if you’re in a caloric
deficit for fat loss.

 

I FEEL LIKE I CAN HANDLE MORE – CAN I
ADD SOME EXTRA SETS?

You can absolutely increase the volume, as long as it doesn’t impede your ability to recover or harm the strength in your lifts. However, keep in mind that there’s a limit to how much extra volume is beneficial – if you’re consistently completing 20+ sets a week on a muscle you’re training twice per week, consider lowering the volume and increasing the frequency and intensity (eg. Instead doing 18 sets over three sessions with higher intensity).

HOW MUCH CARDIO SHOULD I DO?

This depends on your focus – cardio has a plethora of mental and physical benefits, but if your main goal is to gain muscle then cardio shouldn’t be emphasised. We’d suggest having one low-intensity steady state session (LISS) a week and one high-intensity interval session (HIIT). If you prefer to keep your food intake maximised, you can add in an extra 1 – 2 sessions of cardio as necessary. But if you don’t enjoy cardio and would rather have less sessions, make sure your food intake isn’t too high (if your goal is to lose fat). An example of a LISS session would be to perform a form of cardio at an intensity that gets your heart rate up to around 128 – 140 BPM until you’ve burned the desired number of calories. An example of a HIIT session would be as follows:

• 5 minute warmup
• 20 second sprint
• 40 second power walk
• Repeat the sprint and power walk one
after the other ten times
• 2-3 minute cool down jog
This is just a guideline – HIIT just needs to have
something with maximal intensity followed by
a cool-down exercise.

HOW DO I ORGANISE MY TRAINING
DAYS AND REST DAYS?

The organisation of your rest and training days are flexible – what’s important is that you consistently reach the weekly training volume of the program and get enough rest to maintain it. We’d advise to prioritise your weaker muscles at the start of your rotation – for example, in an upper/lower split, it’d be a good idea to start your rotation with a lower body session if that’s your weaker muscle group. In terms of rest days, if you’re a beginner or an intermediate it’s advised to have at least one whole day without any lifting or cardio.

 

HOW OFTEN SHOULD ABS BE TRAINED?

Abs recover quickly, so around three times a week is recommended. It’s a good idea to train abs on days that you have plenty of energy at the end of your workout.

HOW LONG SHOULD I FOLLOW MY PROGRAM?

Like with most programs – stick to it as long as you’re making progress. This will vary greatly from individual to individual, so monitor your progress and stick to it until you feel like you’re plateauing.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M ACTUALLY
MAKING PROGRESS?

The easiest way to know if you’re making progress is through the numbers in your logbook and the mirror. The scale is an important tool, but if your goal is fat-loss, the change is visual – so gauge both what you see on the scale and in the mirror. In a good caloric deficit, weight loss for men should be around 450-900 grams per week and 200-250 grams per week for women.

SHOULD I HAVE DELOAD WEEKS?

After weeks of consistent, heavy training, it’s common to experience a few consecutive days of feeling weak, exhausted and unmotivated. If this occurs, you can have a few days off, or take a deload week. Central nervous system recovery, reduced risk of injury and mental and physical recovery are the main benefits of a de-load. To do a de-load, simply follow the program as you were but with 50-60% less weight on each exercise and half the sets. You can alternatively just not train for a few days – but any more than 5-6 days without training isn’t advised. Generally speaking, de-loads are required more often when following a program during a caloric deficit. Monitor how you’re feeling and don’t push yourself too hard if you’re overly fatigued.

 

That’s a lot of information to digest – constructing and following your own program is a process that takes time to learn. You’ll make mistakes along the way and learn from them – the main thing is consistency. A poor program followed properly is better than a proper program followed poorly.

Happy training!

Workout Template

Bench Press | 5 Sets, 5 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets Incline Dumbbell Press | 4 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets  Pec Deck | 4 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets Overhead Tricep Extension | 3 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets ...

Breaking through Plateaus

Breaking through Plateaus

WHY MAKE A PROGRAM? You've heard that programs work, but why follow one? Following a program in the gym can have numerous benefits, including: Preventing under/over training Creating goals Providing structure when you're feeling un-motivated Clearly tracking progress...

Nutrition: The Cold, Hard Facts

Nutrition: The Cold, Hard Facts

INTRODUCTION To gain an overview and grasp the essential principles to a diet that will let you achieve your desired body composition goal, the basic fundamentals of nutrition will be laid out in this nutrition overview. As a diet can be set up in a variety of ways to...

Restrictions Update December 7th 2020

Restrictions Update 7th of December   Restrictions have been eased yet again! Here are the details.   What's Changing What's continuing You have 24/7 Access Again! While inside the gym, mask wearing is advised but not compulsory Overall club capacity has...

Dukes Gym Reopening on 9th Of November

Barbells are back! We cannot wait to see each and every one of you in our clubs. However, there are a few changes that we have to make in order for us to create a safe and fair space for all of you, while adhering to tighter restrictions on gyms this time round. So...

Specialty Bars

Specialty Bars

Dead-Lift Bar The dead-lift bar is only for dead-lifting! It is longer than your normal bars but is thinner in diameter, weighing in 20KG. Due to it being thin, you can wrap your whole palm around the bar, giving you a stronger grip. This bar is more flexible, which...

Nutrition: The Cold, Hard Facts

Nutrition: The Cold, Hard Facts

INTRODUCTION

To gain an overview and grasp the essential principles to a diet that will let you achieve your desired body composition goal, the basic fundamentals of nutrition will be laid out in this nutrition overview.

As a diet can be set up in a variety of ways to achieve different outcomes, the first thing you need to be clear on when planning and setting up a diet, is what your current desire of body composition is. Once you’ve gotten a grasp of the fundamentals, you’ll know how to set up a diet for fat loss whilst keeping muscle, gaining weight and building muscle, or maintaining your current weight and re-compositioning. 

To achieve any of the above in an effective and efficient manner, we need to consider the following principles, organised in order of importance:

  • Caloric Intake
  • Macronutrient Breakdown
  • Nutrient Timing and Meal Distribution
  • Food Sources

It is important to note that this hierarchy has been arranged with the goal of optimizing body composition rather than eating for health. While the 2 should be in perfect sync with one another and aren’t mutually exclusive, there is still a slight difference in their primary area of focus. 

Our goal here isn’t to provide you with cookie cutter answers, it is to set you up with a thorough understanding of the basic principles to allow you to calculate the correct amount based on your body and body composition goal. So even though it would be much easier for us to provide a magical black and white answer, which people are often after, we will be explaining the variety of factors which play into setting up the right diet for you. 

 

CALORIC INTAKE

Your primary goal, your current body composition and your level of training experience will all need to be factored in when determining what your total caloric intake should be. While not as important, you should also consider your body’s biofeedback. 

Moving on, we will be going through the fundamentals and key concepts of each of these factors: 

1. YOUR PRIMARY GOAL

 Ultimately, determining where you want to head with your body composition in the near future is going to be the key factor in setting up your total calorie intake. Of course everyone wants to be lean and muscular right away, but it is important to consider the long run here.

You should never go to either end of the extremes of too lean or too overweight as this can result in health ramifications and will inevitably impact the efficiency at which you’re going to reach your goal by. Hence current body composition will also need to be taken into account before moving forward.

Say for instance you are currently overweight, even though you want to be more muscular as well, it might be more important that you get leaner. 

Conversely, if you are already relatively lean, but feel lacking in muscularity you may decide that building muscle is more important to you right now even though you may also want to remain lean. You will need to prioritize which goal is more important to you at the point of setting up your diet. 

Perhaps one of the most common questions we get is what to do when you’re in the scenario of being “skinny fat”. This refers to having a very low level of muscularity but also having a relatively high body fat percentage. In this situation, your primary goal will be the determining factor. Is it more important to you to be to look leaner with very limited muscle mass, or to look bigger overall with additional muscle mass but also fat. 

 

Generally speaking, your diet should be set up with a moderate caloric surplus if your primary goal is to build muscle. On the other hand, if you mostly want to lose fat, then a moderate caloric deficit is best suited for your goal. You may also decide that both of these  objectives are equally important to you. In this case, eating at caloric maintenance will be your best option as, depending on your level of training experience, it will allow for both fat loss and muscle gain to occur at the same.

So you see that choosing your primary goal will be the cornerstone of any goal oriented diet set up. Without it, you will be left aimless. Likewise, your current body composition plays a role almost as important as your current goal. 

 2. CURRENT BODY COMPOSITION

This factor starts with objectively analysing your current body composition and levels of body fat.  Again, it is important not to stray too far to either end of being overweight or overly lean unless your immediate goal is to compete in a bodybuilding competition or a photoshoot.

Individuals with a higher starting body fat percentage should always set the primary goal of losing fat. People with a currently low body fat percentage should opt for gaining muscle. 

As simple as this may sound, your primary goal may not always be obvious to you. Hence we have separated these factors into separate categories. This will make the determination of your primary goal much easier.

 Individuals at neither extreme of the body fat range may still have differing goals. Take Jim, an individual at a current body fat level of 12 percent. He may be satisfied with his level of leanness and decide that building muscle is more important to him. However another individual Jason at the same level of body fat, may decide that he’d still rather lean down a bit. 

In this situation, Jim would want to set up a slight caloric surplus, while Jason would want to set up a slight caloric deficit, despite being at the same body fat percentage. 

Usually an individual with a current high percentage of body fat entering a caloric surplus would be detrimental to the goal of losing fat and even building muscle. In this case the ever increasing level of body fat can cause adverse health effects and throw other health markers important to the body’s ability to recover out of whack. This will stunt the rate at which muscle can be gained.

Contrastingly, individuals who possess an already lean physique, should opt for a caloric surplus, as this will lead to the most apparent progress. If they were to enter a caloric deficit or even stay at maintenance, they would drastically slow the ability to build muscle at an appropriate rate. This could in turn result in frustration in the individual due to the lack of apparent progress. 

 

3. TRAINING EXPERIENCE

The longer you train in a progressive manner, the closer you will be to reaching your genetic limit in your ability to accrue overall muscle mass. 

On the other hand, there are the fabled ‘newbie gains’ – referring to individuals who are still at the beginning stages of weight training. They will be able to gain lean muscle mass at a much faster and easier rate. This means that they can also effectively make use of slightly larger caloric surpluses than intermediate or advanced lifters. 

So in summary, you are more likely to accrue fat  rather than lean mass gain if you opt for a large caloric surplus as an advanced individual, due to the increased resistance to muscle gain. The less advanced you are, the more likely you are to effectively make use of a larger caloric surplus. 

 To avoid any guessing or confusion moving forward, it’s important we define beginner, intermediate and advanced trainee stages as follows:

Beginners

  • Generally 0-1 year of lifting (provided they’ve trained with decent knowledge in training and nutrition planning from the start)
  • Visual changes on a monthly basis
  • Can progressively overload by adding weight or reps or both to their lifts on a session by session or weekly basis

Intermediate:

  • Generally 1-5 years of listing
  • Can see visual changes bi-monthly
  • Progressive overload occurs on a monthly basis

Advanced:

  • 5+ Years of Lifting
  • Visual changes on a half yearly or yearly basis
  • Ability to progress lifts is much more difficult and requires intricate planning

 

4. Biofeedback

Letting your appetite dictate your total calorie intake is not always a great idea. Sure, you should listen to your body and avoid extremes as we’ve talked about previously, but frankly, your appetite doesn’t care about your goals. Monitoring your biofeedback can be a useful tool when it comes to adjusting your total calorie intake.

When implementing changes to your diet and figuring out the correct surplus, maintenance or deficit calories for you, it is important to pay close attention to your body’s biofeedback – its recovery and hunger signalling. If you increase your training demands through increased volume or intensity during this period, you may also require an increased amount of total calories to fuel performance and proper recovery.

 

Calculating your total daily caloric intake

 Alright with all these baseline principles understood, we can now move on to what most people will really be after. The magical black and white answer of a daily caloric intake number.

 All joking aside, there is no way for us to give a definite answer on the exact amount of calories YOU should be eating. Your body, your level of activity, your daily habits and metabolism are yours alone – so no calorie calculator will be able to give you an exact answer as there is a lot of inter individuality to consider here.

 Any calculation, no matter how scientifically backed will still be off the mark. A good calculation will fall near your actual maintenance intake, but due to the multitude of influencing factors outlined above, they will likely still be off by anywhere from 200-500 calories. This might not seem like much, but it can make the difference between your intake seeing you at a caloric maintenance, surplus or deficit and not achieve your desired body composition goal.

 We can however use a daily caloric intake calculating formula to establish a well estimated baseline and find the right caloric intake for your through a short period of trial and error.

As a general rule of thumb start with taking your bodyweight in kg, multiplying it by 22 and your level of daily activity. If your job or day has you being more sedentary use the lower end of the activity factor in the formula (more towards 1.2) and if you tend to be very active and on your feet all day, steer towards the higher end (1.9). A moderately active individual would be wise to aim for the middle ground here, at around 1.5.

 

The formula will look as follows:

Bodyweight(kg) x 22 x (1.2 – 1.9)

 Let’s use Jim as an example here again. Jim currently weighs 75 kg and works a desk job. His cardio is minimal and he tends to be sedentary even at home. Hence he would use the lower end of the activity factor in the formula (1.2). Jim’s daily caloric intake calculation would looks as follows:

75kg x 22 x 1.2 = 1980 calories.

So Jim’s maintenance calories would roughly hover around 1980calories. If Jim is a relatively lean, untrained individual with the goal with the goal of gaining muscle mass, he would be wise to enter a caloric surplus. As discussed earlier, untrained individuals can make efficient use of higher caloric surpluses. Let’s use a relatively large surplus of 25% here again:

1980 x 1.25 = 2475 calories.

So Jim’s goal oriented daily caloric intake would roughly be 2475 calories. It is important to keep in mind that this is only an estimate and not the ideal intake. Jim would be wise to spend about 2-4 weeks at this calorie mark, track his macronutrients and bodyweight each day, to get a weekly weight average. If the body weight average sees Jim slowly increasing, training performance and recovery seems on point, then Jim has probably found his ideal daily caloric intake.

If however, Jim is gaining weight far too quickly, feeling sluggish and full all the time with appetite plummeting, then he has probably overshot the mark and would be wise to reel back 200-300 calories and re-evaluate after another 2-4 weeks.

Conversely, If Jim’s body weight hasn’t increased or he has even lost some weight after the 2-4 week mark is up, his training performance and recovery seem impaired, then he has probably undershot and is currently sitting at maintenance or even at a deficit. As such, he’d be wise to increase his total daily caloric intake by 200-300 calories and re-evaluate after another trial period.

 

Let’s use another example of a more trained individual with a higher daily activity level, Joe. Joe is currently sitting at 80kg, has been training hard and seriously for a few years and wants to shed a bit of body fat to look good for the upcoming summer. He’s a tradesman and on his feet all day at work. He does daily cardio and lives an overall busy and active lifestyle outside of the gym. Hence he would use the high activity factor of 1.9 in the formula.

Joe’s daily maintenance caloric intake calculation estimate would look as follows:

90kg x 22 x 1.9  = 3344 calories

So Joe’s maintenance calories would be 3344 calories.

As Joe wants to shed a bid of body fat, he’d be wise to enter a small and adherable caloric deficit of 300-500 calories.

You’ll see a discrepancy of 200 calories here. The magnitude of the deficit will also depend on Joe’s recovery ability as well as his dieting experience. If this were Joe’s first time dieting, he would be wise to enter a rather small and well maintainable deficit of 300 calories.

Again, by tracking his macros and body weight each day and getting a weekly average after a 2-4 week period, Joe would check to see whether body weight is dropping at the desired rate. If it isn’t he feels like he’s recovering well and overall energy levels are good, he would decrease the calories by a further 200 and re-evaluate after a further 2-4 week period.

 

MACRONUTRIENT BREAKDOWN

 

Now that we have established a baseline caloric intake it is important to determine where those calories are coming from. The macronutrient ratio of your total daily caloric intake will again be subject to hinder individuality and the correct ration will play a vital role in increasing training performance, energy levels and overall well being.

The calories we consume in food are made up of three key macronutrients – protein, carbohydrates and fats. As the name MACRO nutrients suggests, these are the nutrients our bodies use in BIG amounts to function properly.

 

Protein:

Proteins play a huge role in recovery as well as energy production. Our bodies need protein from the foods we eat to build and maintain bones, muscles and skin. They are also the most satiating of all the macronutrients, meaning you will feel fuller for a given number of calories consumed. This essentially makes it the most important for both muscle gain and fat loss and hence, it is often the most talked about when it comes to a healthy well balanced diet. 1 gram of protein contains 4 calories. 

The process of repairing and building muscle sees protein as the most essential macronutrient. Protein is also the most thermogenic of all the macronutrients, meaning that it’s processing and digestion in the body leads to more caloric expenditure in and of itself as opposed to carbs or fats.

The amount of protein you need to optimize your recovery in the weight room and maintain or improve your body composition is a controversial topic and is constantly and continuously being researched and updated by scientists.

The most thrown around guideline in the fitness industry and ‘golden rule for optimal protein intake’ is 1 gram per pound of body weight. At Dukes, we believe that this guideline will be a good starting point for most individuals. 

It is not too much protein to cause any problems in the gut, as protein is quite a hard macronutrient for the body to digest. It’s also not too little for you to run into any recovery issues. 

If you feel the need to add more protein to your diet, you’re not finding any digestion problems such as bloating or gassiness, and your energy levels and progress in the gym aren’t impaired then go for it. 

Likewise, if you are overweight and have entered a caloric deficit with limited calories, we suggest going by an estimated lean body mass weight and using 1 g per pound of lean body mass. 

This will allow for more overall carbohydrate and fat intake, ensuring your energy levels throughout the diet don’t plummet. 

Fats:

Fats are essential for hormone production and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones. 1 gram of fat contains 9 calories. 

Your body definitely needs fats and once again, it is important to find out how you respond to them. Most people fare better, keeping their fats on the lower side and in turn upping their carbohydrate intake, as this will leave them feeling more energized and less lethargic. 

Generally speaking, most individuals feel the best and meet their essential fat intake by aiming for 0.5g per kg of bodyweight. Again, use this as a baseline and adjust from there based on your body’s biofeedback in terms of energy levels and recovery. 

Your total daily fat intake will add up quickly as there are lots of “trace fats” contained in most foods. 

Carbohydrates:

Carbohydrates are your body’s preferred source of energy. It is important you find out how your body responds to these. Some individuals can eat large amounts in a single sitting and be rewarded with a long burst of energy, while others are better off spreading their carbohydrates over their daily meals, as large amounts leave them feeling lethargic and tired. 1 gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories. 

Many myths surround carbohydrates and weight loss, such as the fabled no carbs after 6pm, sugar makes you fat, or you should only eat low glycemic index (GI) carbs. Most, if not all of these myths have been debunked in recent research and literature. 

As already stated, they are your body’s preferred source of energy. Hence cutting them out completely or limiting their intake will likely leave you lacking in:

  • Energy – both mental and physical
  • Performance in the weight room
  • Recovery
  • Mood may be impaired

Generally speaking, you should aim to keep your carbohydrate intake as high as possible while meeting the essential intake requirements for fats and protein as outlined above. 

This will ensure maximum performance levels and recovery, ultimately fast tracking your progress. 

NUTRIENT TIMING

 

A large amount of research and literature has been amounting over the years, to suggest that there are very real and important implications for when we eat – especially when body composition is our primary concern. 

Eating breakfast to boost your metabolism, eating carbohydrates after 6pm will lead to immediate fat gain, eating several smaller meals across the day is required to ensure a “fast metabolism”, consuming the right amount of protein and carbohydrates is vital for gaining the benefit of your training session. These are all soundbites we’ve probably heard, have been confused by throughout the years, or still believe in to this day. Just like with ideal macronutrient breakdown and consumption, there are a large number of myths surrounding ideal nutrient timing.

We will now break down meal timing into its fundamental components and explain the key principles to watch out for. Once you’ve grasped a good understanding of the nutrient timing overview, you’ll know what to watch out for – it’s really quite simple and often overcomplicated to sell magic programs or gimmicks. 

  1. Meal Frequency
  2. Circadian Rhythm and biofeedback
  3. Peri-workout Nutrition

Meal Frequency

 Meal Frequency is quite simple – it just refers to how many meals you’re consuming within any given day. There isn’t an ideal amount here, but some key factors which should be considered. 

Firstly, protein intake. You want to spread out your protein intake throughout the day with an average of 20-40g of protein per meal every 3-5 hours. This will ensure maximum protein synthesis stimulation and hence optimal recovery. This amount of protein will ensure there is enough leucine within the meal, which is the key amino acid in triggering the body’s process of muscle protein synthesis. This process spikes and drops back to baseline every 3-5 hours. 

Secondly, your appetite and eating ability. If you find that you’re constantly hungry, you should try having relatively smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. Conversely, if you’re lacking in appetite, you should try having fewer, but relatively larger meals throughout the day.

So going by these factors, your meal frequency could range anywhere from 4-6 meals, depending on your appetite, biofeedback and length of day. 

Breakfast

We’ve probably all heard of the saying ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. Again, there is no research or scientific evidence backing this statement. We do recommend eating breakfast if you’re looking to optimise your results, but it is by no means essential. 

 

The macronutrient breakdown and food choices of your breakfast will depend on you as an individual and how you respond to foods. Most individuals fare best with a protein and fat rich meal, keeping carbs on the lower side. You’ll want to opt for some high quality proteins and cholesterol / lipids at the beginning of your day such as eggs, meat or MCT oil. 

 

Doing so while blood glucose levels are low will allow for a greater dopamine and acetylcholine production. This will raise awareness and concentration levels in the morning and reduce that groggy and lethargic feeling you might get if you were to consume a large carbohydrate meal first thing in the morning. 

 

If you’re going to train first thing in the morning, you’ll not want this meal to be too large and your fat source should stay on the quickly digestible side – such as MCT oil. This will ensure not all of the blood will be in your gut helping aid in digestion while you’re training. 

Peri-Workout Nutrition

Peri-Workout Nutrition sounds complicated and is often the source of much confusion within the industry, but when broken down into its fundamentals, it’s really quite simple to understand. 

It refers to the food you ingest before, during and after your training. We will now examine each of these points in time individually:

  • Pre-workout Nutrition:

 

You generally always want a decent source of protein prior to your training session to minimise the muscle protein breakdown and spike muscle protein synthesis. Training in itself is a catabolic process – you’re breaking things down. So you want to ensure some level of protein is ingested 1-2 hours before your training session. Additionally, you also want some carbohydrates prior to your session which aren’t too heavy on the digestive system, but also aren’t too light to spike your blood sugar at the beginning of your session and then see it drop out throughout. This will only lead to a lack of energy throughout the latter part of your training. Some fats will also be essential to slow digestion and ensure stable energy levels throughout. 

  • Intra-Workout Nutrition:

 

Once again, many myths and misconceptions surround intra-workout nutrition. While it can certainly aid a longer and intense training session, it is by no means essential and could also come as a detriment to your session if done incorrectly.

You want an easily digestible protein and carb source here, along with some electrolytes. The protein should have as complete of an amino acid profile as possible, while still being easy and quick to digest. Essential amino acids can be a good option here. The same goes for carbohydrates. These should be easy to digest and not leave you feeling like all of your blood is rushing to your stomach to aid in digestion. 

  • Post-Workout Nutrition:

 

Probably the most talked about and most misunderstood part of nutrient timing is post-workout nutrition. We’ve all heard of the magical post-workout window, where your body is screaming for nutrients. It is made out to be this magical time where, if you nail it just right, your gains will increase tenfold – whereas the catabolic devil will come and steal all of your hard earned gains if you’re too slow and miss this magic time window. 

In reality however, there is no magic window. That’s right, read that again. There is no magic post-workout window. However, there are a few key points to consider if you do want to optimise things in this setting. 

First and most importantly, you’ll want to ensure that you’re in a rest and digest state as soon as possible after your training session. What does this mean and why is it important? Immediately after a hard training session, your goal should be to calm yourself and your nervous system down as much as you can. Effective tools to do this will depend on the individual and whatever works for them. Calming music, deep breathing, magnesium, l-theanine and taurine supplementation work for most, just to name a few. 

The reason we want to ensure that we’re in a rest and digest state before we eat anything post workout is because it’ll ensure we’re actually able to digest and make use of the nutrients we’ll be consuming. If you’re still huffing and puffing, with a highly elevated heart rate while forcing your post-workout meal down as fast as possible – you’re bound to upset your stomach and cause some indigestion. 

The timing of when you should consume your post-workout will thus depend on how long it takes you to reach that rest and digest state. This can mean anywhere from 15minutes to 1 hour depending on the individual and their circumstances. No, you won’t lose all of your muscle if you wait an hour, especially if you made use of some intra-workout nutrition. 

The macronutrient breakdown and food choices in your post-workout meal should again be easily digestible. Opt for a high quality protein source such as whey or some meat, as well as a carbohydrate source that doesn’t come with too much fibre, such as white rice. You’ll generally want this to be your highest carbohydrate meal of the day. 

The reason for staying away from too much fibre and fats is because these are a bit harder on the digestive system and will slow digestion. This is especially important in a post-workout setting, when we perhaps haven’t fully reached that rest and digest state. 

Pre-bed Meal

Be careful here, no carbs after 6PM or they’ll all turn into fat… We’re only joking of course. Quite the opposite is true actually, carbohydrates pre-bed could potentially aid in the quality of your sleep. Again, a lot of myths and false claims surround the optimal pre-bed meal nutrition. It’s a meal just like any other meal and your body will digest it and make use of all of the nutrients you consume, just like any other meal. 

The main difference between the pre-bed meal and other meals, is that you’re about to enter an, on average, 8-10 hour fast – depending on the length of your sleep of course. So choosing foods that will slow digestion and a steady flow of amino acids (proteins) throughout the night can be beneficial, even though the difference in results you’ll see from it won’t be significant. 

Opting for a slower digesting protein source, along with a bunch of fibre and fats will do the trick. Yoghurt, fish oil, olive oil, an abundance of vegetables and some meat, beans or legumes are all great options. It’s important to listen to your body’s feedback here and obviously not opt for anything that upsets your stomach, just because we’ve listed it as a decent option. So if yoghurt doesn’t agree with you, don’t have it!

If you’re having trouble falling asleep, you’re trying to gain weight, or you know you’ll be training first thing in the morning and don’t have time to digest a large carbohydrate meal in the morning – carbohydrates can be a great option in your pre-bed meal too. They’ll make you tired and lethargic, which can fast-track the time at which you fall asleep. Since they’ll be digesting slower and glycogen stores generally take up to 24 hours to completely replenish, these carbs can also be used in your morning workout. The strategy of placing them in your last meal of the day to make use of their energy first thing in the morning is also known as carb backloading. 

 

Antioxidant timing

Another often overlooked factor of nutrient timing is the time at which we consume large amounts of antioxidants. You generally want to have these as far away from your workout as possible. The process of training and tearing down muscle causes inflammation. Inflammation is often thought of as bad and that it should be avoided or dealt with as soon as possible. The inflammation caused by your weight training however, is inflammation that is vital in triggering an adaptive response.

We want this inflammation and oxidative stress in order for us to progress. If we were to immediately take highly concentrated amounts of antioxidants such as a huge bowl of broccoli or some vitamin C supplements post-workout, we would be negatively affecting the adaptive response we’re after in the pursuit of body recomposition. 

FOOD SOURCES

 

Good sources of protein:

  • Whey protein
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Peas
  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Fish

You’ll often hear people talking about high quality protein sources and prioritising animal protein to plant protein. But what does a high quality protein source actually mean? What criteria make a protein source “high quality”?

The key factor here is the amino acid profile of the protein you’re consuming. Generally speaking, most animal protein has a higher concentration of leucine. As we’ve talked about previously, leucine is the key amino acid in triggering the body’s process of muscle protein synthesis. You’ll want to meet a certain threshold of leucine within a single protein feeding to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis. This amount can range anywhere from 2-4g, depending on your lean body mass. 

So you’ll need less total protein from sources such as meat and yoghurt, compared to beans or legumes – but both sources will still work! You just have to make sure you meet or go above that leucine threshold. 

 

Good sources of fat:

  • Coconut oil
  • Fish oil
  • Krill OilNuts
  • Olive oil
  • seeds (pumpkin, sunflower etc.)
  • Milk

Quality of fats plays an important role as well. Steer clear of trans fats, as these are processed within the body in a way that is almost comparable to alcohol. Your body draws limited, if any energy from them and they are likely to be stored as straight body fat. Additionally, when consumed above moderation, they can also lead to an array of health ramifications. 

Stick to good quality fats such as omega 3, monounsaturated and saturated fats. Yes, you read that right, saturated fats are also essential to a healthy and goal oriented diet. 

Good sources of Carbohydrates: 

  • Rice, any sort of potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Fruits
  • oats.

Don’t be scared of wheat containing products if you feel it doesn’t mess with your digestion.

 Likewise, don’t worry too much about the glycemic index of the carbohydrates you consume, as long as you’re eating whole meals with all macronutrients and a bit of fibre – proteins, fats and carbohydrates. 

Assuming all of these are present in your meal, your body will digest the entire meal at a slower rate anyway. The glycemic index looks at carbohydrate digestion in isolation. 

SAMPLE MEALS

 

Breakfast:

4 whole Eggs

½ Avocado

5ml MCT Oil or coconut oil 

Calories: 438

Carbs: 5, Fats: 35, Protein: 25

Pre-Workout:

Raspberries 100g

30g Whey

30g 80% Dark Chocolate

Calories: 347

Carbohydrates: 22g, Fats: 16g, Protein: 27g

Intra-Workout:

20g Essential Amino Acids

40g dextrose Monohydrate

Calories: 232

Carbohydrates: 40g, Fats: 0g, Protein: 18g

Dinner – Chicken, Broccoli and Rice:

200g chicken breast (raw weight)

50g brown jasmine rice (raw weight)

250g Broccoli

Calories Total: 552

Carbohydrates: 53g, Fats: 8g, Protein: 69g

 

Pre- bed meal:
Salmon with Spinach, veggies and sweet potatoes:

170g Salmon

200g Spinach

5g Coconut oil

100g Capsicum

100g Zucchini

200g sweet potato

Calories Total: 494

Carbohydrates: 53g, Fats: 13 g, Protein: 45g

Programming: How to do it properly

WHY MAKE A PROGRAM?

You’ve heard that programs work, but why follow one? Following a program in the gym can have numerous benefits, including:

  • Preventing under/over training
  • Creating goals
  • Providing structure when you’re feeling un-motivated
  • Clearly tracking progress (which is the main driver of muscle growth)

And this is just to name a few.

 

HOW TO MAKE ONE THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU

There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all program, which is why you need to ask yourself some questions before creating one for yourself.

 

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?

You need to have a clear idea of what you’d like to achieve over the duration of your program. Your goals will inform how often you workout and what kind of exercises you do. If building muscle is your primary goal, you might reduce your training frequency and make your workouts longer.

 

HOW OFTEN WILL YOU TRAIN?

This is to determine your level of commitment that you’re willing to offer towards your training goals. Everyone has varying levels of lifestyle, work and family obligations that they need to consider which is why it’s important that you make an honest assessment of your personal situation and make a firm commitment to the minimum number of days per week that you can train. If you’re tossing up between four and five days, go with four. It’s better to make a program that will work given your minimum time availability.

 

Once you’ve decided how many days a week you commit to per week, you can start to organise your training split.

 

WHAT EXERCISES AND MOVEMENTS SHOULD YOU DO?

With so many different excercises that can be chosen, it can feel like an overwhelming decision to choose which ones to include in your program. The selection of exercises will depend on your goals. Assuming your goal is tobuild muscle, you definitely want to include compound movements as the basis for your training sessions.

Compound movements are the foundational exercises that use multiple joints and lots of muscle mass.  The main movement patterns are pushes (e.g. bench press), pulls (e.g. pullup), hinges (e.g. deadlift) and squats (e.g. barbell squat).

These exercises should consume the majority of your time and effort during your workouts.

If compound movements are the cake, then accessory movements are the icing. These are generally single-joint exercises such as bicep curls and leg extensions that you can do after your compound movements to add some extra stimulus.

 

HOW SHOULD I TRACK PROGRESSION
DURING MY PROGRAM?

Progression can be measured in the
following ways:

• Increasing the amount of weight
you’re lifting

• Completing more repetitions at a
given weight

• Improving the quality of your
repetitions

Keep in mind that it’s easier to progress
these facets while in a caloric surplus –
progress will be slower if you’re in a caloric
deficit for fat loss.

 

I FEEL LIKE I CAN HANDLE MORE – CAN I
ADD SOME EXTRA SETS?

You can absolutely increase the volume, as long as it doesn’t impede your ability to recover or harm the strength in your lifts. However, keep in mind that there’s a limit to how much extra volume is beneficial – if you’re consistently completing 20+ sets a week on a muscle you’re training twice per week, consider lowering the volume and increasing the frequency and intensity (eg. Instead doing 18 sets over three sessions with higher intensity).

HOW MUCH CARDIO SHOULD I DO?

This depends on your focus – cardio has a plethora of mental and physical benefits, but if your main goal is to gain muscle then cardio shouldn’t be emphasised. We’d suggest having one low-intensity steady state session (LISS) a week and one high-intensity interval session (HIIT). If you prefer to keep your food intake maximised, you can add in an extra 1 – 2 sessions of cardio as necessary. But if you don’t enjoy cardio and would rather have less sessions, make sure your food intake isn’t too high (if your goal is to lose fat). An example of a LISS session would be to perform a form of cardio at an intensity that gets your heart rate up to around 128 – 140 BPM until you’ve burned the desired number of calories. An example of a HIIT session would be as follows:

• 5 minute warmup
• 20 second sprint
• 40 second power walk
• Repeat the sprint and power walk one
after the other ten times
• 2-3 minute cool down jog
This is just a guideline – HIIT just needs to have
something with maximal intensity followed by
a cool-down exercise.

HOW DO I ORGANISE MY TRAINING
DAYS AND REST DAYS?

The organisation of your rest and training days are flexible – what’s important is that you consistently reach the weekly training volume of the program and get enough rest to maintain it. We’d advise to prioritise your weaker muscles at the start of your rotation – for example, in an upper/lower split, it’d be a good idea to start your rotation with a lower body session if that’s your weaker muscle group. In terms of rest days, if you’re a beginner or an intermediate it’s advised to have at least one whole day without any lifting or cardio.

 

HOW OFTEN SHOULD ABS BE TRAINED?

Abs recover quickly, so around three times a week is recommended. It’s a good idea to train abs on days that you have plenty of energy at the end of your workout.

HOW LONG SHOULD I FOLLOW MY PROGRAM?

Like with most programs – stick to it as long as you’re making progress. This will vary greatly from individual to individual, so monitor your progress and stick to it until you feel like you’re plateauing.

HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M ACTUALLY
MAKING PROGRESS?

The easiest way to know if you’re making progress is through the numbers in your logbook and the mirror. The scale is an important tool, but if your goal is fat-loss, the change is visual – so gauge both what you see on the scale and in the mirror. In a good caloric deficit, weight loss for men should be around 450-900 grams per week and 200-250 grams per week for women.

SHOULD I HAVE DELOAD WEEKS?

After weeks of consistent, heavy training, it’s common to experience a few consecutive days of feeling weak, exhausted and unmotivated. If this occurs, you can have a few days off, or take a deload week. Central nervous system recovery, reduced risk of injury and mental and physical recovery are the main benefits of a de-load. To do a de-load, simply follow the program as you were but with 50-60% less weight on each exercise and half the sets. You can alternatively just not train for a few days – but any more than 5-6 days without training isn’t advised. Generally speaking, de-loads are required more often when following a program during a caloric deficit. Monitor how you’re feeling and don’t push yourself too hard if you’re overly fatigued.

 

That’s a lot of information to digest – constructing and following your own program is a process that takes time to learn. You’ll make mistakes along the way and learn from them – the main thing is consistency. A poor program followed properly is better than a proper program followed poorly.

Happy training!

Workout Template

Bench Press | 5 Sets, 5 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets Incline Dumbbell Press | 4 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets  Pec Deck | 4 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets Overhead Tricep Extension | 3 Sets, 8 Reps, 60 Seconds Rest Inbetween Sets ...

Breaking through Plateaus

Breaking through Plateaus

WHY MAKE A PROGRAM? You've heard that programs work, but why follow one? Following a program in the gym can have numerous benefits, including: Preventing under/over training Creating goals Providing structure when you're feeling un-motivated Clearly tracking progress...

Nutrition: The Cold, Hard Facts

Nutrition: The Cold, Hard Facts

INTRODUCTION To gain an overview and grasp the essential principles to a diet that will let you achieve your desired body composition goal, the basic fundamentals of nutrition will be laid out in this nutrition overview. As a diet can be set up in a variety of ways to...

Restrictions Update December 7th 2020

Restrictions Update 7th of December   Restrictions have been eased yet again! Here are the details.   What's Changing What's continuing You have 24/7 Access Again! While inside the gym, mask wearing is advised but not compulsory Overall club capacity has...

Dukes Gym Reopening on 9th Of November

Barbells are back! We cannot wait to see each and every one of you in our clubs. However, there are a few changes that we have to make in order for us to create a safe and fair space for all of you, while adhering to tighter restrictions on gyms this time round. So...

Specialty Bars

Specialty Bars

Dead-Lift Bar The dead-lift bar is only for dead-lifting! It is longer than your normal bars but is thinner in diameter, weighing in 20KG. Due to it being thin, you can wrap your whole palm around the bar, giving you a stronger grip. This bar is more flexible, which...

Top 5 Reasons NY Fitness Resolutions Fall Through

It’s finally come to the end of this harrowing year and many of us are preparing to embark on our New Year’s resolutions. According to this survey, the second most common New Year’s resolution is fitness based.

 

Statistic: What are your 2018 resolutions? | Statista
Find more statistics at Statista

Ofcourse, New Year’s resolutions aren’t necessarily a bad thing, but short term motivation tends not to be enough for long-term goals. Here are some mistakes to avoid that make your fitness resolutions more likely to slip away.

1. Not having a training program

2. Not having a nutrition plan

3. Not meal prepping

4. Neglecting recovery

5. Treating a marathon like a sprint

 

 1. Not having a training program

 

This point especially pertains to you if you’re a complete beginner. You sign up to a gym, excited to make a change and ready to go.

Walking in for your first session, you look around the gym at all the machines and have no idea where to get started – so you get onto the treadmill and start doing a mild walk/jog.

After you’ve done that for a few minutes, you get off and wander around looking for something that looks doable. The leg extension catches your eye.

You get into the leg extension which was adjusted for the person before you, but you’re too embarrassed to ask the staff how to change it so you just deal with the slightly awkward settings and do some reps.

You walk around and get into a pec deck which is set up to go backwards and do a couple of awkward reps that make your shoulders feel weird.

Once that’s done, you walk off and finish up with your first session.

A big barrier to consistently coming in to the gym is having no idea what you’re supposed to do when you’re in the gym, let alone correct technique and execution.

It’s not difficult to see why repeating this pattern for a few weeks would lead to a drop-off.

 

A beginner’s training program is one of the best weapons you can arm yourself with against awkwardness of not knowing what to do when you’re in the gym.

When you come in with a plan, you know where to get started, what to do next and so forth. This empowers you with purpose – you’re coming into the gym to follow the steps already set out for you.

A program will tell you which exercises to do on which days for how many reps and sets, but it won’t tell you how to perform the exercises properly which is why having some initial sessions with a knowledgeable personal trainer is a highly intelligent investment.

An alternate route to personal training is to spend hours on the internet doing your own due diligence, but not have the resources or motivation to do that.

 

If you have a training program, you know that you’re going to warm up for five minutes on the treadmill, do three sets of 12 reps on the leg press, 3 sets of 12 reps on the cable row machine, 3 sets of 12 reps on the chest press and then do 5 minutes of core strength work.

Compare this to the previous scenario with no training program.

 

2. Not having a nutrition plan

 

If your New Year’s resolution is fitness based, you’re probably aiming to gain muscle, lose fat or both. These goals are heavily reliant on nutritional factors, especially caloric intake.

If you embark on your fitness journey without a clear plan of what you’re eating throughout the day, you’re inevitably fall back into your old eating patterns which led to you to want to make a change in the first place.

Have a simple, realistic nutrition plan to follow so that you know how much to eat each day for your specific goals.

 

3. Not Meal-Prepping

 

This point mainly pertains to those who have particularly busy schedules.

As mentioned earlier, knowing what/how much to eat is going to have a huge impact on your fitness goals. Consistently having cooking healthy meals all throughout the day is much easier said than done- that’s why meal prepping can make or break your fitness goals.

Once you have your meal plan and know how much of what foods to eat, it’s very smart to prepare them in advance. Some people cook their meals for the next day at night and keep them in containers in the fridge.

Meal prepping is intelligent effort that saves you from having to cook multiple times throughout the day and makes it much easier to stick to your plan.

It’s much easier to opt for the healthy option when it’s prepared in the fridge!

 

4. Neglecting Recovery

 

The topic of recovery is often glossed over – all the tips on getting muscular and lean are usually about what exercises are best or what the hottest fad diet is so it’s no surprise that most people aren’t aware of it’s importance!

Recovery is simply your body repairing itself after exercise. As you may or may not already know, muscle growth occurs during recovery, not exercise.

If you don’t recover properly from your training, you won’t be able to reap the benefits of your hard work in the gym.

If you’re a beginner, here are some things you can do to improve your recovery-

  • Do full-body workouts three times per week
  • Try to have some protein and carbohydrates after you workout
  • Finish your workouts with a cool-down (eg walking on the treadmill for 5-10 mins) and some gentle stretches

These points are on top of maintaining a healthy diet and adequate sleep. The main thing is to make sure you feel just as good or better when working out than the week before.

 

5. Treating a Marathon like a Sprint

 

Whether you like it or not – progress takes time. Depending on your consistency and level of effort, truly noticeable progress is probably going to take around a year. Sure, you might try keto and lose significant water weight in a couple of months, but that weight comes straight back on as soon as you start eating carbs again.

The point is, fitness is a long-term lifestyle choice and results aren’t going to come without persistence.

Whatever method/training program you use to make the change you want, you need to follow it as consistently as you can over the long term to see any results.

Don’t worry if you slip up here and there – that’s completely normal. What really makes a difference is your overall progress throughout the year.

Good things come to those who wait!

 

Conclusion

 

Whether you like it or not – progress takes time. Depending on your consistency and level of effort, truly noticable progress is probably going to take around a year. Sure, you might try keto and lose significant water weight in a couple of months, but that weight comes straight back on as soon as you start eating carbs again.

The point is, fitness is a long-term lifestyle choice and results aren’t going to come without persistance.

Whatever method/training program you use to make the change you want, you need to follow it as consistently as you can over the long term to see any results.

Don’t worry if you slip up here and there – that’s completely normal. What really makes a difference is your overall progress throughout the year.

Good things come to those who wait!

Restrictions Update December 7th 2020

Restrictions Update 7th of December

 

Restrictions have been eased yet again! Here are the details.

 

What’s Changing What’s continuing
  • You have 24/7 Access Again!
  • While inside the gym, mask wearing is advised but not compulsory
  • Overall club capacity has been further increased
  • Staffed hours are now Mon-Fri 11am-7pm, Saturday 10am-4pm
  • Dual Access memberships have been re-instated
  • Badging on is still essential
  • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms or have had contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 you must self isolate until you’ve received a negative test result
  • It’s still encouraged to train during off peak hours if you’re able to do so.

 

FAQs

 

 

What do I need to bring to the gym?

You must bring a sweat towel, a water bottle and a mask.

Do I need to wear a mask?

Masks are advised but not required.

Can I train with a friend?

Yes, you may train with a friend.

Can someone spot me while I’m training?

Yes, you can ask one of our staff or a fellow gym member to spot you while completing any heavy lifts. It is recommended that the spotter wear a facemask while doing so.

Do I need to book in to train?

No, we are back to 24/7 access and you come in to train whenever you’d like to.

3 Tips To Help Prevent Injuries When Heading Back To The Gym

We are thrilled to have you back in the gym and seeing your smiling faces again. For many of you it’s been months since training properly and while it’s great to get moving again, your also likely to experience a few niggles here and there. It’s super important to get on top of these before they turn into injuries and put you back out of action.

Before you jump straight back into your normal training routine, here are a few pointers from our team of friendly Osteopaths:

  1. Moderate your load – start off by lifting 60% of your usual weight, removing a few reps or performing one less set as you slowly work back up to your normal volume. Although it can be tempting to pick up right where you left off, aim to increase your load by no more than 10% each week. Slow and steady wins the race.
  2. Make sure you’re getting enough food and sleep! By putting nutritious food into your body you enable your cells to grow stronger. The body repairs itself while you’re asleep; without 7-8 hours you will find your recovery time is often longer and your performance less than optimal.
  3. An active recovery is key. Did you know that your muscles don’t get bigger DURING your workout session but AFTER. What you do outside of the gym will dictate the gains you see when you’re on the inside.

 

What to do if you notice that things start to tighten up?

  • Pre workout mobility work
  • Post working static stretching
  • Heat (think heat pack, hot bath or shower)
  • Fisiocrem for sore muscles

 

And if you do go a little crazy and end up with a bad case of DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), we’re here to help 😉

As always, to make sure you’re moving at your best book an appointment with the resident Osteopaths at DG Health (located at Level 1, Dukes Gym Richmond). With years of experience treating everyday athletes and gym goers just like you, they’ll be able to make sure you’re moving at your best.

You can book via their easy to use website by clicking the link below or giving the clinic a call on (03) 9052 4948.

 

The Team @ DG Health
E| 
info@dghealth.com.au
P| 9052 4948
A| Level 1, 99 Murphy St RICHMOND VIC 3121

Dukes Gym Reopening on 9th Of November

Barbells are back! We cannot wait to see each and every one of you in our clubs. However, there are a few changes that we have to make in order for us to create a safe and fair space for all of you, while adhering to tighter restrictions on gyms this time round.

So What’s Changing?

Reopening Date | 6am, 9th November

Member Access | M-F 6am to 9pm, S&S 8am to 4pm

Staffed Hours | As above, we are required to be staffed at all times*

Maximum Capacity Per Club | 20 members*

Club Usage Bookings | Bookings Strongly Encouraged 

* indicates a new restriction imposed by DHHS for the operations of indoor physical recreation facilities.

These changes are only temporary and will be in place for as long as the current level of restriction remains. These restrictions are in place across the whole of Victoria for all indoor physical recreation facilities. And we believe that this will provide a fair balance of accessibility to all members, like yourself. Click the link to view the current restrictions – DHHS Industry Restrictions Roadmap

Fingers-crossed, this will only be for the short term!

What Do I Need To Bring To The Gym?

  • Sweat Towel
  • Water Bottle
  • Face Mask

What’s happening with membership fees?

Our clubs will re-open from 6 am Monday 9 November 2020, and the first direct debit will commence from Thursday 12 November 2020.

In the coming days, a separate email will be sent to you to create a password for our booking system! So stay tuned to your inbox. 

We understand that the current arrangement may not suit everyone. If you wish to place your membership subscription on a complimentary hold until the current arrangement ends, please let us know by emailing your home club by 12 pm Wednesday 11 November 2020. Our email addresses are: 

Wait! I Have A Lot More Questions 🙋‍♂️🙋‍♀️

We’ve put together a comprehensive page outlining our reopening, FAQs and how bookings work. Click here to access it.

 

Just Let Me Book My Gym Session Already!!!

In order to book your first session you must generate a password for our online booking portal. You must use the email address provided to us when you signed up. It’s the same email address we use to send email notifications. If you’re having trouble contact you’re home club and we’ll be able to help you out 😊

Specialty Bars

Specialty Bars

Dead-Lift Bar

The dead-lift bar is only for dead-lifting! It is longer than your normal bars but is thinner in diameter, weighing in 20KG. Due to it being thin, you can wrap your whole palm around the bar, giving you a stronger grip. This bar is more flexible, which enables you to get into the optimal starting position by pulling the “slack” out of it. The flex in the bar will help with moving heavy loads off the ground faster and a shorter range of motion from floor to lockout. Given its name, please note that this bar should not be used for squatting or benching at any given time.

Squat Bar

The Squat bar is specialised for heavy squatting. It is longer in length and thicker in diameter. This allows the bar to stay rigid when there is a lot of weight loaded on it, preventing it from bending too much which can affect the quality of the squat. Be mindful when loading your weights as it weighs 25KG, which is heavier than your typical barbell.

Power Bar

The power bar is considered the universal bar. It is commonly used for squatting, benching and deadlifting in the sport of powerlifting. The bar weighs 20KG, it is rigid, stiff and can withstand a lot of weight on it.

Safety Squat Bar

When squatting with the safety squat bar, your spine position will be more vertical. It looks more like a front squat or a high-bar back squat. This positioning minimizes shear forces on the lower back and allows for improved range of motion through the hips, knees, and ankles. The Dukes safety squat bar weighs 16KG.

The Easy Way to Stay On Track This Holiday Season

The Easy Way to Stay On Track This Holiday Season

The holiday season is upon us, which means we should all focus on drinks, food and being merry! If there is one take away that you should get from this article, it is this – IT’S CHRISTMAS, HAVE FUN! In this article, we are going to focus on a few strategies and principles that will allow you to enjoy your Christmas feasts, rather than tracking every item and its’ calories.

FOOD

Strategy #1

Limit your Christmas lunch to just lunch. It’s easy to get into that mindset of indulging in three big meals which will be the cause of weight gain! Instead of having a big breakfast, lunch and dinner just because it’s Christmas it is important to pace yourself if you are expecting to consume a lot of food. Limit the blow out to one meal and you’ll thank yourself the next day.

Strategy #2

Load up on your vegetables! Not only are they delicious, they are also packed with nutrients and are high in volume, meaning you will feel fuller quicker, helping you avoid more calorie intensive foods like egg nog and stuffing.

PRO TIP –

It is not the one big Christmas lunch you have at Mums that is going to ruin your fitness routine. It is carrying that lunch into dinner and you eating badly for the next few days and getting off track with training! So keep it simple, enjoy the big meal but don’t delay getting back on track.

 

DRINKS

Strategy #1

When it comes to non-alcoholic drinks, it is best to not waste your calories on soft drinks as most of the calories come from sugar. Unless you’re planning to engage in some intense competitive sports after lunch, you’ll be storing all that sugar as excess fat. You’re better off eating real food which contains good nutritional content, rather than sugary drinks.

Strategy #2

If you’re planning to hit the town and have a few drinks, stick with vodka soda waters! If you need to add some flavour, add another shot of vodka or slice of lime. Clear spirits are less likely to leave you with a debilitating hangover the next day. By restricting yourself to soda water, you’re also saving your body from all the sugar and artificial sweeteners.

PRO TIP –

There are 970 calories in 10 vodka lime and sodas. A big mac meal contains 1155 calories (big mac – 565 cals, large fries 366 cals and large coke 224 cals). You can halve the number of calories in a night out just by skipping the late night binge!

 

Now go forth armed with this new found knowledge, and drink and be merry! 🎅🎅🎅

 

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