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Saturday, 21 June 2008

Pay to Click

Hi guys, not a fitness tip this time, just wanted to mention a few words about Pay to Click. Many reading this will probably have already heard of PTC. For anyone who hasn’t, it involves clicking on ads for 30 seconds and getting paid to do so. Usually 1 cent per ad. Hey, it adds up over time. Get yourself some referrals and you could turn it into a real money making machine.

Now there are a few shady operators out there, so don’t go joining them without doing some research first. One site I would definitely recommend is Clixsense.com. They have a ton of ads, which means they are making money and are able to pay their customers. Probably the biggest and best PTC out there and the most sustainable.

I'll be honest, you would be doing me a favour by joining up through my referral link above, but at the end of the day its up to you. Just thought I’d share this opportunity with you.

What are you waiting for...Lets start earning!

All the best


Monday, 28 April 2008

Lose Pounds!!

I was scouring the net the other day, to see what weight loss resources are out there. I couldn’t believe some of the claims people were making. One guy was claiming he could should me how to lose 14 Lbs in 4 days. Another lady was telling us we’re fat because we have little critters living inside us. No point exercising then, as it’s all down to gremlins living inside our intestines. There are dozens of websites making all manner of outrageous claims. I wont post the websites here, as I don’t know if I’m allowed, but be creative and have a look for yourself. Just type ‘fast weight loss’ into Google.

I also visited weight loss forums to see if anybody was buying into this stuff. I was amazed at the amount of people who had actually parted cash for this rubbish. Mainly disappointed people warning others to avoid. It was too late for them though, as they had already been fleeced. I felt for them, being so desperate to lose weight that they were willing to believe these outlandish claims, from people with no morals. Most of these sites offer a money back guarantee, but it’s very rare to actually get your cash back. You may get lucky if you continually harass them.

I thought if I could reach just one person before they purchased any of these ridiculous e-books, then I would be happy.

Please guys; don’t fall for this kind of rubbish. It is impossible to burn more than 2-3 pounds of actual body fat in a whole week, let alone 14lbs in 4 days. The weight that comes off will mostly be muscle and water. You will almost certainly put the weight back on, plus a little extra as you anger your metabolism. Sensible diet, consisting of complex carbs, protein and essential fats, coupled with a good exercise regime is the only way to lose weight long term.

I know how desperate we can be for a quick fix, but I urge you not to waste your cash on gimmicks. To be honest, out of all the E-books out there, the only one I would recommend, without hesitation, is Tom Venuto's Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle. It is the bible of Fat Loss and Nutrition. You might not want to hear it, but it requires a lot of effort on your part. The e-book is over 300 pages long and he covers everything from goal setting to Macronutrient ratios. If you follow this book to the letter, you WILL get the body you want. Once you are a member, Tom will send out weekly newsletters with the latest developments in the fitness world. You can also mail him direct with any questions you may have.

I placed a link to it on my blog, as I know how frustrating fat loss can be and have no qualms about promoting it.

Do some research and review it first if you like, I’m sure you wont find one bad word on this book.

Avoid the scams and good luck guys.


P.S. If you are reading this and have been scammed. Please post a comment about your experience.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

More Gym Time = More Free Time

Another friend of mine. His thoughts..

Regular readers to Nick’s blog will already have read the rather inspiring tale of Paul, the chap who had back problems so decided to lose weight by running (though see below if you missed it). That’s what happens when you work hard and maintain your fitness programme regardless of how limited your free time is.

Paul’s home life is a lot different to mine. He has two children which obviously takes up a massive amount of his time. I have none, so with the right attitude, you’d expect me to have a lot more opportunity to pursue and stick to a fitness regime. Paul works for the government (so that means he doesn’t do much work ;) and has the option of flexible working hours. I work long hours in the private sector, in a busy office six days a week every other week. For the last few months, I’ve been using this as an excuse not to keep up the good work I started last year, but I do see that as just what it is – an excuse. Let me tell you my tale, and I’m sure there’ll be a lot of people who empathise with my situation.

For a long, long time, I was very overweight and didn’t do anything about it. It started gradually of course, pounds piling on silently over the years, a ‘cute’ little beer belly swelling with each fried breakfast, each bag of chips, each pint. Before I really realised just how bad things were, I was well over 16 and a half stone and rapidly approaching 30 years of age.

My job was a busy one, a regular 9-5 affair. I was overworked, had no time to eat properly throughout the day and I was suffering from a great deal of work related stress. I was catching the bus back and forth work, which meant my day started at 7.45am (quick army wash before work, no breakfast) and I’d get home around 6pm.

At home, I’d be so exhausted from work I had no energy to do anything constructive or do any kind of physical activity. I’d have my dinner, slouch in front of the TV, playstation or PC, to ‘relax’. I genuinely felt too exhausted to do anything else. This of course affected my home life, with things needing doing around the house being left unattended and my girlfriend unhappy that I was forever “sat in front of that machine”. I’d get angry because she didn’t understand how busy I was during the day and, looking back, I really do think I was nearing burnout (isn’t that just an oh so modern phrase?).

Then, one day in May 2007, Nick and I decided enough was enough and it was time to seriously do something about our health before it really was too late. We decided to sign up to a local gym and really fight the fat. I didn’t hold out much hope that we’d stick to the three sessions a week we planned, and I was already concerned that I just wouldn’t be able to find the time or energy for it. But we were both eager, both keen, and both in dire need of some fitness training. And more importantly, both of us didn’t want to be the one to say “I can’t do this!”

The gym sessions started well, as I thought they would. The adrenaline and serotonin rush, the feeling of accomplishment, the feeling that I had taken positive action in my life. I didn’t think it would last; I thought that one week an excuse would surface amongst either of us that we couldn’t make it that night, that we’d ‘have tonight off and go tomorrow’, that sort of thing. Don’t get me wrong, some sessions were missed, but for actual GENUINE genuine reasons.

The training we did was about 45 – 60 minutes weight training and 30+ minutes cardiovascular. I never got on the scales, I considered them my enemy, but I could see the difference the sessions were making. I wouldn’t get out of puff so quickly, my shoulders started to develop well, I could lift more and more weight, I could run faster for longer.

But the most important improvement, at least most important to me (and the point I’m trying to make with this little tale), is that I actually had MORE time to myself. Three 90 minute sessions a week - before I started I thought that was a massive amount of time out of my schedule. I didn’t realise what time I’d get back.

I would wake up at 7am and earlier. I felt fresh when I woke too, a feeling I hadn’t had for about 6 years, with a positive outlook towards the day. I’d get to sleep much later and not be a zombie in the morning. My work life improved; all of a sudden the insurmountable mass of work in my in-tray looked like just a bunch of papers that I’d get rid of in no time. I did get rid of them too, and I finally started to get up to date with my work. I’d do little odd jobs around the house that had needed doing for months, and even some bigger projects that my girlfriend hadn’t even nagged me about. My whole attitude changed, I almost became a different person, like a new and improved version of me. I started to look at the gym as a fun part of my life, not a hard-slog chore that I had to do as a price for years of neglect to my body. I had MORE free time because I had more energy and more hours in the day! And I was having more fun in my life to boot!

Then, in October 2007, I got offered a job with a rival firm as a manager of one of their offices. Did that have anything to do with my more positive attitude? Maybe it did! I jumped at the chance, handed in my notice and began my new job with my positive attitude and a real sense of achievement.

But my hours were much longer, my responsibilities greater, my schedule all changed. I had to quit the gym, because I was getting home so late. I thought that I’d just have a week or two off to adjust to my new timetable, then get back at it. It became obvious that my new timetable was difficult to adjust to using the bus, so I put off the gym until I learned to drive. Put offs, put offs, put offs. And my attitude slowly reverted to the bad old days.

Today, I’m back up to my original weight. I’m stressed at work, I’m tired at home. My life is so much more difficult now because I lost that attitude. You might think that my attitude wasn’t that good, my commitment to the gym not that strong, the gym not as much fun as I am making out. None of that is true.

I slacked off, lost my way, but instead of giving up and continually saying “ah well, when I’m driving I’ll get back to it”, I’m getting that attitude back NOW. I know that in just two weeks – yes, just TWO weeks, of regaining my training schedule, I’ll wonder just how the hell I stopped going to my celestial temple: the gym. And I know that little voice telling me to put it off until it’s more practical for me to make the gym, is a little Judas that needs to be ignored.

So, to summarise, you all know that if you’re looking to improve your life and your outlook on life: get running, get on the ski machine, do whatever you can to burn those calories and get that heart pumping. A good looking and stronger body is a very welcome by-product of it all. But what you might not have considered is if you want more free time in your life, the same advice applies: get running, get that heart pumping. You’ll see – you will sleep less and have more energy in your waking life.

Just don’t lose your way. Don’t give in to that little voice that says “I’ll go tomorrow”, because it always turns into “I’ll go next week”. But if you do, this is the most important thing to remember: you haven’t failed if you can see all your excuses are just that; excuses. Get back to the gym TODAY. Which is exactly what I’m going to do.

Just watch me.


Thursday, 28 February 2008

Running Man

I’m a big advocate of running. It isn’t for everyone I know, and like marmite, you either love it or hate it. In my opinion it’s right up there as one of the best forms of cardio you can perform. The amount of energy expended during running makes it the ultimate calorie burner, and it’s often the best way to break through the inevitable plateau.

As well as its superior fat burning potential, running brings a whole host of other benefits. It improves cardiovascular health and lowers blood pressure. Your arteries expand and contract when running and this helps prevents them from hardening, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. I also find it an excellent mood booster. I can go to the gym feeling quite low and after 20 minutes of running, my outlook on everything has completely changed. A natural high produced by the production of endorphins; this is often referred to as the ‘runner’s high’.

Running gets a lot of negative press because of its high impact nature. In reality you could actually help prevent conditions like osteoporosis, by forcing the bones to grow stronger as they react to the physical demands placed upon them from running. If you are worried about your joints I would suggest you find a decent pair of trainers with a cushioned heel. You could even go to a runners shop and get advice on what pair suits your running style. Don’t keep the same pair for years, either. Replace them every so often, depending on the amount of running you do. Marathon runners replace their trainers every few months! I’m not asking you to become a marathon runner though :)

There is also a concern by many bodybuilders that running will break down the muscle they have worked so hard to attain. While this is a possibility, it’s only likely if your carbohydrate intake isn’t adequate and you’re running really hard for long periods.

Worried about burning muscle for energy?

Ease up, run at a comfortable pace.
Keep your run under 30 minutes
Eat a decent level of complex quality carbs, (whole grain pasta, sweet potato) before you run.
If you’re a bodybuilder, your diet will already be good. If you start running, take on more carbs before a run. It’s that simple.

I’ve seen bodybuilders get out of puff lifting weights, as they have paid absolutely no attention to their cardiovascular fitness. What you’ve got to remember is a little bit of running will help you lift those weights easier. It will also help you get down to that single figure fat percentage.

A friend of mine started running last year, and I asked him to post a brief account of how it’s been going. Here’s what he had to say…

About 10 months ago I started to go to the gym, to try and lose a bit of weight as I was up to 107kg. Being of a lazy disposition, running was the last thing I wanted to do, but all the extra weight I was carrying was popping my back out of alignment on a regular basis. My osteopath told me that I needed to lose weight or I will be visiting him more and more often. This gave me the motivation I needed to get off my backside and do something about it.

The good thing about running is that you can see the improvements within the first couple of weeks. When I started running, a mile use to take me 11mins 26 sec, and I had to stop/slow down to a walking pace at least 2 - 3 times, just to catch my breath. Gradually I got better until a mile became easy.

It has been a slow process for me because my diet isn’t good; if I ate a balanced diet and kept away from then beer, I would have lost more weight than I already have. As it stands though, I have still managed to shed 20 kilos. I now run at least four miles, five days a week, which takes me approximately 29 minutes to complete, and without stopping. That’s quite an achievement for me. If I can do it, anyone can. Just start slowly and build yourself up.

Paul Huish

Paul talks about it being a slow process, but I think 20kilos in 10 months is pretty impressive, and without really changing his diet. I think this goes some way to proving my point about it being the ultimate fat burner. Improving the poor condition of his back was the main motivation behind his running, and that’s exactly what he as achieved.

So, if you’re in the higher body fat percentage, and looking to shed the pounds quickly - running may be the best option for you.

Be sensible, start slow and enjoy it.

Don’t forget to combine it with weight training.

Good luck


Sunday, 24 February 2008

Women and weight lifting

Weight training for fat loss is an absolute must these days. Many women seem afraid to do resistance training out of fear of becoming overly muscular, like the female body builders in the magazines. Let me tell you that it takes years of hard work to become like that. In fact you pretty much have to dedicate your life to it.

Strength training, 2-3 times a week, will not turn you into a female hulk! What it will do is give you the edge over your metabolism. Adding muscle to your body mass will help you burn extra calories all day long. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, which means your body has to burn calories just to sustain that muscle. So that’s extra calories burned just sitting down watching TV, or reading a book. Basically, more calories burned when you are resting.

Another thing that puts people off are the bathroom scales. They are the bane of any exercise programme. The truth is that these numbers mean very little when we consider the bigger picture, and there is no point obsessing over much you weigh. You may find that now your lifting weights, the number on the scale isn’t going down as fast. DON’T let that put you off! “My clothes feel looser, but my weight isn’t coming down?” It is perfectly normal, and at this point it’s best to focus on how your clothes fit, not the numbers on the scale. The scales aren’t moving because of the extra muscle you’re building. That doesn’t mean you have stopped burning fat.

Muscle and fat weigh about the same; it’s just that muscle is denser and takes up less room on your body. You’re aim isn’t to lose weight, its to lose fat and looked toned.

My tip would be to throw out your scales, or simply put them away until you’re more comfortable with how your body looks.

So, you’re burning extra calories doing nothing, around 50 for every extra pound of muscle. You’re looking more toned, have more energy and you’ve turbo charged your metabolism.

What are you waiting for? Get on those weights!

Sunday, 17 February 2008


I know everyone bangs on about us all not drinking enough water, but they really do have a point. Our bodies are made up of at least 70% water, and the body uses it in abundance to carry out many physiological and biological processes.

This would include tissue building for that precious muscle growth, improved circulation, healthy digestion, and it helps the kidneys keep flushing out the protein waste products. It really is a massively important nutrient.

As well as making internal organs function like well oiled machines; it’s also excellent for increased energy production. Your workouts will suffer without enough water to get maximum contractile strength, and you will find yourself giving up before the last few reps, or not being able to run that extra mile. It only takes mild dehydration to affect your resistance training by up to 10%. So if you find yourself struggling on occasions and your diet is good, lack of water could be your problem.

Tea, coffees and soft drinks don’t really count as part of your daily intake as they act as a diuretic. This means that the caffeine contained in them force water out of the body’s cells, and have a dehydrating effect. Alcohol is a diuretic at its most potent, which is why we have a headache the morning after a good night out.

Hangover = severe dehydration.

The rule of thumb is 8 glasses a day (64oz) but you may need ever more depending on your activity levels. Most of us are not even consuming that amount at present, so it’s a good place to start. Try and get your intake up to around this level, even if you aren’t thirsty! Do it gradually if you need too. It really will improve your energy levels, and also improve any exercise regime.

Thanks for reading.


Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Foods that Burn Fat

Good nutrition is a big part of any fitness endeavour. I prefer to use the term ‘Good Nutrition’ rather than the word ‘Diet.’ Diet just sounds like hassle to most people, hassle and pain, and to be honest it is. They also don’t work. The very definition of the word means, a severe restriction of calories that is temporary.
Diets are always temporary, so that means you have to come off them at some point, and that’s when the problems begin. You have triggered the body’s starvation response, because you have restricted your caloric intake. This evolutionary throwback, from a time when humans didn’t know where the next meal was coming from, was great for our ancestors, but not so great for today’s modern society, where food is fast, fat ladled and plentiful. These days it’s just a hindrance to any person trying to shed the pounds.

The key is not to limit the food you eat, but simply change it. I think everyone who has an interest in nutrition has heard of the 6 meals a day theory. Most people agree that it sounds like a good idea, but then very few actually give it a go. Personally, I think it’s a must for anyone wanting to lose weight.
Eating 5 or 6 small, balanced meals every day will get your metabolism burning calories like a furnace. It isnt always possible for some people, especially with work commitments, but just try eat something every 3-4 hours and you will be surprised at the results. Plan ahead!

So what should you eat then?
Well below is a list of foods that I believe you can’t go wrong with.

Carbohydrates (the good kind)
Brown Rice
Potatoes (especially sweet potato)
Whole Grain Cereals & breads.
Most Pasta - just look on the pack and make sure it says wholegrain!
Fresh fruit.
Anything with the whole grain is good for you
Green vegetables or fibrous veg.
Black eye peas
You can eat as much veg as you like.

Combining green veg with a good protein is like nature’s fat loss wonder drug!
All these complex carbs are great for energy

Good Protein
Egg Whites
Most Fish & Shellfish (they also contain the essential fats)
Lean cuts of steak
Cottage Cheese (non fat)
Dairy products are a good source of protein. Just try and get the low fat kind.
These foods are great for building muscle.

You can also get low fat ham & sausages. I wouldn’t class them as top grade protein, but they are fine for a bit of variation. The same goes for Beef and red meat. Eat it now and again for its nutritional benefits, like vitamin B-12 & iron, but try and find lean cuts, and keep portion sizes small.

I know the list isnt that big, but I’m just giving you the facts. If you want to lose weight and get lean - these are the foods that should be the building blocks of your diet. Throw in the odd indulgence day, maybe on the weekend. A day where you can eat anything you like! Just work twice as hard in the gym the next day ;)

Meal suggestions:

Meal 1
Chose from the dozens of whole grain cereals on the market
Scrambled eggs ( It is a good idea to remove the Yolkes)

Meal 2
Wholegrain Toast

Meal 3
Brown Rice
Veg (Green Beans)

Meal 4
Sweet Potato
More Veg. Plenty to choose from

Meal 5
Jacket Potato

If you can manage a 6th meal, try a combination of anything mentioned

It sounds a lot, but lower your portions and you should be fine. The idea is not to be bloated after any meal. Build up to it if you have to.
Obviously this isnt a comprehensive guide. It’s just my 2 penneth amidst all the confusion surrounding food these days. Combine this with visits to the gym and you will see dramatic results.

Good luck
Nicky Thomas