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MEAL TIP OF THE WEEK – THE EMPEROR’S LOW CARB PROTEIN PANCAKES

HEALTHY RECIPE – THE EMPEROR’S LOW CARB PROTEIN PANCAKES

It’s time to hit the kitchen again with another original Emperor Fitness recipe. We don’t pretend to be masterchefs, so we like to keep things super simple. We believe that if you keep your cooking simple, you’re less likely to fob it off in favour of a faster, greasier option.
Personally, breakfast is my favourite meal of the day so I thought I’d share one of my top contenders for an easy, low-calorie option that’s high in protein and really delicious.
These pancakes are great for anyone wanting to lose weight or build muscle!

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INGREDIENTS

1 x Scoop Whey Protein Powder (Concentrate is best)
2 x tbsp almond meal flour
2 x tbsp coconut meal flour
250 g liquid egg whites (buy these from the frozen section in the supermarket)
50g Ricotta Cheese
Sugar-Free Maple Syrup

DIRECTIONS

Thoroughly mix ingredients into a bowl. Bathe a heated pan with coconut oil or canola spray. Pour contents in and fry until light brown. Spread ricotta cheese and drizzle maple syrup on the final product. Feel free to cut up some strawberries or banana for some extra flavour!

If you want to lose weight or build muscle – you need carbs.

When the health industry became bored of demonising fats over the last decade or two, it’s slowly shifted its focus to carbs. “Carbs are the enemy” is now a phrase commonly bandied around the gym, and the war on sugar has gained a scary amount of momentum the past few years.
The fitness industry just loves having something to pick on, because without an easy culprit we’d all just have to accept the reality that results come slowly.

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Despite what carbophobes will have you believe, carbs are an absolutely vital part of any athlete’s diet and starving yourself of them is not going to help you in the long run. Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or stay the same you need carbohydrates in your diet. Here’s why:

1. Carbohydrates are required for high-intensity exercise. At rest your body can tap into your fats for fuel, but when it comes to running, jumping, pulling and pushing your body requires carbs. Both High Intensity Interval Cardio and Resistance Training should be a regular endeavour for anyone looking to change their body composition, and both require carbs in order to be performed effectively.

2. Carbohydrates assist in the uptake and absorption of protein. Regardless of your mission, the repair and development of lean muscle tissue should be a primary goal and to do this your body needs to absorb and utilise amino acids to use in the construction and reconstruction of muscle tissue.

3. Starving yourself of carbs can upset your insulin levels. Completely depriving yourself of carbs can actually turn your system hyper-sensitive to insulin, meaning that when you do ingest carbs your insulin levels will soar, which will signal your body to store fat. You will see this time and time again in people that have mistakenly starved themselves to lose weight, or partaken in crock diets like the Dukan or Atkins diet.

4. Eating carbs prevents the breakdown of muscle tissue for fuel. This is the athlete’s worst nightmare, and it should be yours too if you’re goal is to lose weight or change your shape. Extensive high intensity training will burn a lot of calories, and churn your metabolism, but once your sugar stores are depleted your muscle mass can come into the firing line. Sacrificing muscle mass is a tragic affair, so performing high intensity exercise for long periods on low carbs is an utter mistake.

5. Eating carbs prevents Ketosis. Ketosis is the body’s function of utilising ketones in the blood for fuel, rather than glucose. While Ketosis is considered by some to be desirable for fat burning, it is certainly not a method that we condone, for simple reasons – Ketosis is not a maintainable state, and why partake in diet methods that are not maintainable? You should be striving to find a balanced diet that you can always eat without stress or duress Ketosis is also not an overly pleasant physical state to be in – common symptoms are headaches, fatigue, bad breathe and muscle aches. Putting your body into Ketosis is not a pre-requisite for fat loss, so why do it?

Do not avoid carbs, they are a nutrient like every other with important functions like every other. A healthy balance of protein, carbs and fats is essential for everyone, regardless of your aesthetic or performance goals.

For more information on nutrition, training and supplementation visit our home page!

Member Progress Diary #2 – Rachelle Lawler

Week one of tracking Rachelle’s progress towards a stronger upper body and increasing strength endurance in her legs is almost over. On Tuesday she undertook her first tests. We made the tests as specific to her goals as possible and they proved to be really challenging.
We did three upper body strength tests and one running trial.
The first strength was a 35kg clean & press. This is a great way to gauge absolute strength as it requires the use of multiple muscle groups. Rachelle got 3 reps on this and I think she’ll improve greatly on this when we next test.
The second was a dead hang from a chin up bar. This challenges grip strength and is a lot harder than it looks. She did really well with 32 seconds.
We finished strength testing with maximum push ups. The rules were she had to do them on her toes and her chest had to touch a drink bottle which was layed on its side to make sure each rep was deep enough. She smashed it with 20 hard reps.
We finished with two 400 metre soft sand runs with 30 seconds rest in between. The first took her 2.42 minutes and the second 3.05. This is incredibly tough to complete and she did really well.
We’ll run through these exact same tests in 4 weeks and see how Rachelle has progressed.
Stayed tuned next week for a basic run down on some of her sessions.

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Meal Tip of the Week – Cacao Protein Balls

The mid afternoon desire for something sweet is incredibly common and is often really hard to resist. We’re regularly asked what is the best thing to eat to avoid falling to temptation and we think the recipe below is just the thing. They taste incredible and are full of nutrient dense ingredients. Plus they only take about 10 minutes to prepare!!

CACAO PROTEIN BALLS

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Ingredients.
175g raw almonds
15 Medjool dates, pitted
2 tablespoons raw cacao
½ tablespoon natural vanilla extract
2 scoops protein powder
1 tablespoon black or white chia seeds
¼-1/2 cup water
1 cup desiccated coconut

How to make them.
Place almonds, cacao, and protein powder into the food processor.

Blend until the almonds are finely chopped and the mixture is crumbly.

Add in the dates & chia seeds blending again until all ingredients are binding together.

You might have to scrape down the sides to match sure all the ingredients are in together.

Slowly begin adding water until the mixture is able to be rolled into balls and sticking.

Once you have a good consistency, roll into small balls.

On a plate, evenly spread the desiccated coconut and roll the cacao balls until coated to your desired level.

Finding The Right Personal Trainer

The fitness industry, like any other, is filled with good and bad operators who will either give you great value for money, or be plain ripping you off.
We normally don’t pay too much attention to what others are doing but last week we saw something that stood out to us as a trainer blatantly wasting their clients time and money and it inspired us to write a list of the 5 most important things you should look for in your personal trainer or group exercise instructor.

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1. THEIR FOCUS HAS TO BE ON YOU.

During a session, one on one or group, your trainer should be 100% focused on you, not their phone, not staring into the distance, not having a chat to passers by. They’re being paid to motivate you, keep you safe, and most of all, assist you in progressing towards your fitness goals. They can’t do this if they’re staring at their phone.

2. THE TRAINING IS GEARED TOWARDS WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE.

Often we’ll hear of people who’ve gone to trainers to seek help with specific issues such as a weak mid section or the want for stronger legs and all their trainer has done is take them for the odd run and done a few crunches each session. When you meet your trainer, ask them how they are going to get you where you want to go. Ask if they’ve had experience with it in the past and most importantly do a bit of research on the subject yourself so you can be well positioned to know if they’re right for the job.

3. ADJUSTABILITY
As an exerciser, there’s inevitably going to be times when you can’t do specific movements in your training session due to any number of reasons including injury, energy levels, etc. A good trainer will be able to adapt the session to suit your needs. You should never have to push through the pain of an injury because your trainer hasn’t given you an alternate exercise. There are thousands of ways to train every muscle group, your trainer should know them.

4. THEY KNOW WHEN TO PUSH AND WHEN TO BACK OFF
“A smart man, a good trainer, he doesn’t break blokes. What he does is take blokes to a point where they think they’re going to go over the edge, but they hang on. “If he’s smart … he holds them there, he brings them back and next time they hold on a bit longer.”

This quote from strength and conditioning coach, Don Singe, pretty much sums up this point. Any trainer can hammer you into the ground but what is the point of the hammering?
If the idea of the session is to cause you pain, there’s many cheaper ways to accomplish that.
There needs to be a result from your hard work. More, more, more doesn’t mean better results.

5. THEY’RE NOT SUGGESTING YOU GO ON EVERY NEW FAD DIET AND EXERCISE STYLE
This is becoming more and more prevalent in today’s society. Every day there’s a new super diet and training style that claims to be better than the last. For some reason, trainers are often the biggest advocates of these. There are certain principles in diet and exercise that have worked for centuries and continue to do so. A good trainers style and beliefs will always evolve and change but will essentially be based around the known principles of effective training. If they’re always jumping from one thing to another it is a good indicator that they may not have a lot of belief in what they are doing.

Investing in your fitness is one of the best things you can do for yourself. There’s are so many good trainers out there doing wonderful things it’s not too hard to find one that will suit you. Ask some questions of them and even better ask some of their clients if possible. It’s important to get your money’s worth.

If you’re looking for a good personal trainer today, head to our contact page and send us an enquiry.
RH

ARTICLES

Clean Eating – Is It Really Improving Your Life?

If there’s one thing I’m tired of reading about in the fitness and health industry, it’s the term “clean eating.”

It’s getting thrown around in every Facebook post or blog by educated people, and people who have no idea what they’re talking about.

‘Eat clean, train mean’ is the war cry of many a personal trainer or fitness fanatic.

In my opinion, the whole clean eating fad is a recipe that creates eating disorders.

Labelling food types as good or bad puts so much stress on people and makes them feel guilty if they happen to eat some of these so called “bad” things. It completely removes the idea of balance and perspective.

Food should be looked at as something to love not fear.

There are foods you should eat a lot of (fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, whole grains) and foods you eat a little bit of if you want to (chocolate, chips etc).

If you want to eat a chocolate biscuit everyday, eat one. If you die tomorrow, I’m pretty sure you’re not going to regret that Tim Tam, unless of course choking on it is the cause of death.

Put food into perspective. If you eat a packet of biscuits everyday, you’re health will suffer, but if you eat one, it will make no difference.

I think as trainers we have a responsibility to create not just physically healthy humans, but also contribute to them becoming mentally healthy too. This can’t be done when the world is making them feel guilty about wanting to indulge in a bit of food.

3 Ways To Break Through A Training Plateau

So you’ve been training for a while and you have had some good results to date. You’re feeling stronger, moving better, maybe lost some excess kilograms, life is essentially better. You are officially in the exercise honeymoon period. As wonderful as this time is, it will always come to an end. Results will become far less frequent and progress will slow. The zest for getting out and training will dim and it will become more of a chore. This is a cycle that every exerciser will go through at one stage or another. Fear not though as there are a few highly successful ways to continue on your path without as many slow periods.

1. Progressive Overload

No matter your style of training, if you’re not increasing the load or intensity, your body will adapt to that level of effort and will no longer be forced to change to keep up. If you are regularly making your body work harder in small increments, it doesn’t have time to plateau as it’s always trying to improve so it can handle the rigours of your next workout.

New to Emperor Fitness? Get a month of FREE training on us!

2. Periodised Training

So many people give 110% everyday of every week for really long periods of time. While some people get away with it, most people will find they become lethargic and more often than not, injured. Putting timelines on your training can be highly effective. A simple example would be to train incredibly hard for 6 weeks then have 1 week of a lighter load. You don’t need to have an entire week of rest, just a week of lower intensity training.

3. Variation in Training

In the same way that progressively overloading your muscles works, varying what they are doing will shock your muscles and force them to try and adapt. It doesn’t have to be massive changes either. If you always run sprints of 100 metres, try lengthening them out to 150 metres for a while. Trick your body by changing things up regularly. If you always do the same thing you’ll never get a change.

Try any of these options if you feel you’ve hit a bit of a plateau and I’m sure they’ll go along way to getting you back in the direction you’re after.

New to Emperor Fitness? Get a month of FREE training on us!

The Simplest Guide to Weight Training for Beginners

Starting out at a gym or beginning a new exercise routine can be a daunting task for a lot of people. Some questions I’m frequently asked are:

  1. Where do I begin?
  2. What exercises should I be doing?
  3. How much weight should I be lifting?

These questions, plus a heap more, are very hard to answer for most people.

So let’s try and clear that up a little.

Where Do I Start As A Beginner To Weight Training?

First and foremost, the question you need to ask yourself is, “what do I want to get out of training?”

Are you looking to improve health? Increase strength? Lose weight?

These objectives will have an influence on what you need to be doing as you progress.

The other part of this stage is accessing what exercises your body/mobility will allow you to do. This is where a training session can be a good first step, as they can run you through some screening. Ultimately, this assists training to suit your body type and achieve results in a shorter period of time.

Find out if a training session is for you with our FREE 15 minute evaluation.

If you don’t go down the route of getting a trainer, it’s important to extensively research training techniques, and also to listen to what your body is telling you when you try an exercise.

Which Weight Exercises Should Beginners Do?

Assuming you’ve found you mobility to be extensive, the number one thing all beginners (and long term users, for that matter) to resistance training should be doing are compound movements. A compound movement is an exercise that recruits multiple muscle groups. Squats, overhead presses and bent over rows are examples of these.

Movements like these will give you far more bang for your buck than isolation exercises such as bicep curls, as you’re training more muscles in a shorter period of time. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to throw some isolation exercises in at the end of a workout, but the main focus should be compound movements.

The other thing to remember is to train what is hard, don’t avoid it. People tend to find an exercise they’re good at, and overtrain that muscle it as a result. This lets other areas slip behind. Train everything regularly.

How Much Weight Should Beginners Lift?

This is something that is completely different for everyone. Pay no attention to how much someone else can lift, because lifting too much too early can cause injury.

They best way to find your weight is to start light and work your way up.

I use the following steps when I’m working with people who are new to weight training:

  1. Start with a weight you can do an easy 15 reps on
  2. Next set, increase the weight and do 12, which should be a bit tougher.
  3. Then, go up slightly and aim for 10-12 reps with the last 4 being fairly intense.

Just remember, you DON’T have to be the strongest person in the gym on your first session. Start light and work your way up.

Find out if a training session is for you with our FREE 15 minute evaluation.

The Truth About Food

The world has gone mad with stress and disagreement over what foods you should be eating and what foods should be avoided.
Social media is filled with so called gurus who insist you should be eliminating certain nutrients as they poison you, and you should be following their specific diet plan that is the magic recipe to health and enlightenment.
When did intelligent people lose common sense? Why is it that people with high IQ’s and a good understanding of how the human body works can still get dragged into fad diets and the promise of fast weight loss?
I really wish I could answer these questions. It would save people plenty of money and time, but more importantly, it would have avoided the dangerous yo yo cycle of weight loss that so many people are on.

In over 11 years in the fitness industry I’ve witnessed people try pretty much every diet known to man. Some have had amazing results, some have had no effect whatsoever, but the one thing that stood out is the fact that when someone ate in a manner of completely cutting out an entire food group or macro nutrient, they have eventually put the weight back on. In a lot of cases they’ve got heavier than they were before they started. Of course there are exceptions to this but it certainly isn’t close to the majority.

More often than not these people have gone on the diets from the recommendations of friends or family who have told them wonderful stories of drastic weight loss or improvement in health. As much as these friends and family may have your best interests at heart, they are not professionals in nutrition and have had these wonderful stories of success passed on to them from other people with little knowledge of health.

The best pieces of advice I could give anyone wanting to lose weight would be as follows,

-Take in less energy than is being expelled. This is weight loss in it’s simplest form.
-Eat whole foods most of the time but allow yourself the flexibility to eat some foods that you thoroughly enjoy.

-Focus on health and strength instead of weight loss, losing kg’s will be a bi product of this.

-Don’t take your nutrition advice from memes on Facebook or Instagram. They are rarely factual.

-Seek out a trained expert in nutrition if you need guidance, these people spend their time studying the science that truly works for weight loss.

-Most importantly, don’t stress about food. Enjoy it for the blessing that it is.

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