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The Running Company

At Emperor Fitness we know how crucial it is to own a good pair of shoes to train in. Time and time again we’ve observed recurring niggles, aches and pains in people that wear generic footwear, rather than something appropriate for their foot and ankle.
I’d personally love to wear “minimal” training shoes everytime I train, but I know that with my body I need a more stable and supportive shoe to run longer distances without pain.

If, like millions of others, you have any sort of irregularity with your foot, ankle, knee, hips or lower back, you need to be training in a shoe that is specifically designed to support you, a alleviate undue pain and stress on your joints, ligaments and muscles.
Training is pointless if you’re only slowly degrading your body to point where you won’t be able to run, jump, squat or even walk without discomfort.

Our friends at The Running Company will take the time to observe the tread of your foot and prescribe you a shoe that will give you the support you’ll need to train safely and effectively.
Check out their website and pop in to have a chat, they are an awesome team that are super passionate about what they do.

http://www.therunningcompany.com.au/

Help Us Raise Money and Awareness for LIVIN

Mental illness is something very close to us at Emperor Fitness and we really want to do something to help out and we need your help too.
We have teamed up with the charity LIVIN who are doing incredible work breaking down the stigma that surrounds mental health in Australia.
Over the month of April, Dave and myself will endeavour to deadlift an accumulated total of 100 tonnes of weight. To make it more challenging we are putting the restriction on it that we can’t count any lifts under 160kg. This is going to be a hard month of training but something we are really wanting to achieve.
We NEED your support in the form of donations for LIVIN so they can continue doing their wonderful work.
All donations can be given a receipt for tax purposes. No donation too small and certainly not too large.
Inbox us for details on how to donate.
Visit livin.org.au for more information on this hugely important initiative.

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Meal Tip of the Week: Spinach and Tomato Omelette

With all the constant talk in the media about super foods, it gets confusing to figure out what foods actually are that good. There’s one that stands to us as the ultimate food source. Eggs. They are packed full of goodness containing a long list of vitamins and minerals. They are high in protein and are also a great source of omega 3′s which protect against heart disease and autoimmune disorders.
There’s many ways to cook eggs but one of our favourites is in a very simple omelette with spinach and tomato.

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Ingredients
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped baby spinach
- 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes
- 1 Table spoon of water
- 1 Table spoon of butter
- Salt and pepper

- Put 2 eggs, water, and salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and lightly whisk until well combined.

- Using a non stick pan melt the butter on a medium heat until sizzling.

- Pour the eggs into the hot pan and tilt until the mixture covers the base. Using a spatula gently lift and stir the mixture until the base starts to set (the top should remain slightly runny).

- Once the base is golden, add the spinach and tomato with a pinch more salt and fold half the omelette over the other. Allow to cook for another 45 seconds or so then gently serve onto a plate.

The preparation time for this meal is about 5 minutes and cooking time about 3 minutes so it makes for a perfect hit of nutrients to start your day or any other meal you choose. Enjoy.

Why Girls Need To Lift

The words “I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to look like a body builder” are spoken far too often by females at training sessions everywhere.
To put it bluntly, this isn’t going to happen.
Being a female you are naturally short on the muscle building hormone, testosterone. The small amount that females produce makes it very hard to pack on muscle mass the way your male counterparts do.
Now you have this knowledge and assurance, you should be lifting weights no matter what your goal is. The benefits of resistance training run far and wide for females.

- Increased muscle mass promotes fat burning through a higher metabolic rate.

- You’ll increase your bone density lowering the risk of osteoperosis.

- Most importantly you’ll feel better about yourself.

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Don’t go lifting only light weights either, there’s absolutely no reason you can’t work up to lifting heavy loads on a gradual level of progression.
Aim for 10-12 reps with the last few being a real battle. Once that becomes easy, it’s time to increase the weight.
So here are the rules.
You want to lose weight? LIFT WEIGHTS!
You want more energy? LIFT WEIGHTS!
You want to be healthier? LIFT WEIGHTS!

If you need any advice or a personalised resistance program, head to our contact page and we’ll be more than happy to help out.

How to Squat

A lot of basic movements are not as “basic” as they may seem. A lot of bread and butter exercises that we regularly have our clients perform at Emperor Fitness group classes require a strict adherence to technique, which is precisely why we don’t like to rush through our workouts in a traditional CrossFit style. Many exercises that you see being done for speed are more effective when done a touch slower, with more focus on engagement of the target muscle groups as well as controlled and consistent engagement of areas like the core and scapula to protect your body and maintain your posture.
Today we want to talk about the Squat, one of the most important exercises (second only after the deadlift) and also one of the most difficult to perform safely and effectively.

Squats are one exercise that is still often performed incorrectly, even by trainers and athletes. It’s a simple movement at face value, but there is a host of technique points to keep in mind when performing a safe and effective squat.

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If you are using a barbell you have a choice of positioning the bar higher on the upper-back, at the base of the neck. This is the position favoured by bodybuilders because having the bar further away from the apex of the movement creates a slightly greater range of motion, which places the muscle fibres under tension for longer.
A weightlifter/powerlifter would usually opt for the lower bar position, sitting it on the upper back, using the posterior deltoids as a cradle. This position, while difficult to adjust to at first, grants you the potential for far more strength and power and, as we know, the more weight you can lift with good from and in great volume, the greater the response from the body. The low bar position requires a certain level of mobility too, which must be earned.

Hand placement is usually subjective, with some lifters opting to place their hands at the very ends of the bar. However, for core and posterior chain stability, placing your hands closer to your body helps you lock in your upper back, creating a more solid torso.

Foot placement is also dependant on your body type, your goal and any injury or immobility to you may have. For maximum range of motion, placing your feet just outside shoulder width, with your toes angled only very slightly outward will allow for maximum range. Placing your feet wider with the toes pointed out on a greater angle, also known as a Sumo stance, will place greater emphasis on the hamstrings and gluteals but will limit the range of motion, which can be more ideal for powerlifters.

When you begin the movement, whether you have a barbell on your back, or are holding a barbell, kettle bell or medball at the front you must stand with your hips locked and straight, chest high and eyes looking forward.
If you have barbell on your back, as in a traditional squat, force your elbows forward to raise your chest. If you are attempting a heavy weight, take a huge breath in, expand your ribcage and hold the breath.
Squeeze your core in as tight as you can.
As soon as you stick your butt out to unlock the hips you must begin your descent. Imagine you are moving to sit on a very low chair, sticking your butt out and placing a lot of weight on the heel of the foot. This will ensure your knees don’t travel too far forward over your toes and place undue pressure on the knees. Keeping your chest high and shoulders pinned back as you descend will ensure that your spine stays straight, and doesn’t round.

Descend until your hip has passed the heigh of your knees, keeping your head up, elbows forward and midsection locked in as tight as possible. Then apply force from the heel, up through your hamstrings and into your glutes and push upward. As you push up, apply force through your upper back, shoulders and arms too – remember the squat is a whole body movement, not just a leg exercise.
As you ascend force your knees outward slightly, this will help engage your glutes.

As you reach the top of the movement force your hips forward and lock them, squeezing your hamstrings and butt as tight as you can.

Be sure to not let the weight shift onto the toes, and when you push up avoid favouring the front of the foot. On top of knee stress this will also radically shift your weight forward, completely sabotaging the concentric part of the movement, and puts you at risk of losing balance completely.

Never let your eyes drop – if you look down, your head will soon follow and your shoulders after that. You must performing as squat like you are being held up by a puppeteer.

Mastering the squat is one of the most important things you can do, whether your goals are to lose weight, build muscle or just improve your strength and athletic ability. Mastering the mind-muscle connection during a squat will make it much easier to do on other movements and once you are truly engaging and isolating your target muscle groups during these compound movements your training and your physique will improve by leaps and bounds.

If it’s your first time squatting, start with little to no weight and perform the reps very slowly and in high volume. If you are an experienced exerciser, apply these points to your current squat and observe the improvement in the connection and engagement you have with you entire body.

For more information of training, nutrition and all things fitness, visit out homepage!

ARTICLES

MEMBER PROGRESS DIARY – SEEMA AND SUPRIYA

This week Seema and Supriya began their 4 week journey as our Members of the Month.
In the coming weeks these girls will be going through gruelling training sessions and diet revision to shed body fat for summer.
In our first session we did two tests: waist measurements and a timed 400 metre run. At the end of the month we will re-test both and see the results.

As these girls already do quite a lot of cardio and metabolic conditioning at our classes, the majority of our private training will revolve around barbell strength work.
I’m particularly excited about this month because it will be a great testament to the benefits of heavy strength training and hypertrophy.
We have always promoted resistance training as the absolute best way to lose weight, so this month the proof will be in the pudding!

Of course, food plays the biggest part in fat loss. So we are now in the process of counting macros and determining how much protein, carbs and fat the girls need to consume each day in order to lose body fat at a healthy rate.

In our first barbell session we focused on deep barbell squats and the push press, two of the best strength builders and fat burners. Both Seema and Supriya have great hip and shoulder mobility, core strength and overall power so they excelled at both movements.
It’s great having clients with strong foundations that they have built through smart and efficient training!

Stay tuned next week as the girls tackle their first ever barbell deadlifts – this workout will not be for the feint of heart!

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Member Progress Diary – Rochelle James #4

We’ve finally made it to Rochelle’s final diary entry. After 5 hard weeks that included a weekly PT session, indoor and outdoor group sessions and running her first ever City 2 Surf – a huge accomplishment in itself – she’s 5 weeks closer to the wedding day and eager to see how much she’s progressed.

Rochelle’s is a story that many can relate to, she’s been training on and off for years now, she’s had months of great progress coupled with months of relapse and weight gain. She knows better than anyone that consistency is the toughest part of changing your body. Plenty of people out there have been busting their hump and not getting where they want to be, so let Rochelle’s story be guiding light.

Rochelle’s number one obstacle was food. And not excessive consumption of it, but rather underconsumption and inconsistency. Rochelle wasn’t eating enough balanced macro nutrients, and thus her metabolism had slowed down. It’s not an easy thing to start eating MORE when you want to lose weight, but Rochelle new a change had to be made and she made it.

One other big change I noticed Rochelle make was to her already intense training sessions. The difference came when should reach the 8th,9th or even 10th rep of a 10 rep set. She would put the weight down, her muscles burning like crazy and swear pouring down her face. She knew that the effort she had already put in would suffice, but she decided to push that little bit extra. She’d break through the pain barrier, pick the weight back up and pump our 1, 2 sometimes 5 more reps even after completely reaching failure. This a level of constitution and determination you don’t see often. And to paraphrase the great Arnold Schwarzenegger: it’s the last few reps that count. If you can break through the pain barrier, you may get to become a champion. If you can’t, forget about it.

Today we remeasured Rochelle’s Shoulders, Chest, Waists and Hips and I’m thrilled to say
she’s cut a total 10.9 cm from her body. That’s amazing, especially for someone that essentially had to take it back to drawing board, painstakingly reboot her metabolism and start again AND for someone that already trains hard. Rochelle has also lost 5kg of bodyweight and gained some great shape and tone in her arms, legs and glutes from her weight training.

After training Rochelle for many years this is a really special moment for me, as I’ve witnessed her battles and watched her bust her backside so many times, going beyond the point where most people would give up. Now she not only has amazing improvements to show for it, but she’s doing it right RIGHT WAY – no crash diets, no starvation, no overtraining just consistency, balance and hard work, meaning she will have a much easier time keeping the weight off and continuing to get leaner and stronger.

It’s times like this that make our job the best job in the world. Nothing can beat seeing an amazing client and friend like Rochelle finally getting to where she wants to be.

Emperor Fitness is lucky to have someone so gutsy and determined in our ranks. Congratulations Rochelle! You earned it!

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Member Progress Diary – Rochelle James – Pt.3

We’re three weeks into her month in the spotlight and Rochelle is really smashing it! She’s doing PT once or twice a week, attending several classes and hitting the gym when she misses a session.

Our training has remained with a strong focus on weight training and metabolic conditioning, with an emphasis on bread and butter strength movements like the barbell squat, front barbell squat, deadlift, sumo deadlift and the clean and press.

Rochelle’s inherent strength and experience with weight training are of a great advantage to her: being strong means she can lift heavy weight, heavy weight means more calories, a greater nervous system response and a greater metabolic response too.
Plus, being strong means Rochelle can lift weight more effectively meaning she gets better engagement, isolation and contraction of the target muscles which will lead to better lean muscle development. And, as we all know, lean muscle is your number one weapon against body fat.

Rochelle’s biggest changes have been to her diet, however. For years she has been training hard, but her nutrition has been inconsistent at best. Now Rochelle’s number one priority has been eating balanced diet that will promote a healthy body, strong muscles and low body fat – rather than starving her system in an attempt to shed body mass. She’s upped her calories so can get her metabolism moving again, and is focusing on eating three healthy, hearty meals a day full of protein, carbs, fats, fibre and vitamins and minerals.

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Already Rochelle is looking leaner, her performance in sessions is stronger and longer-lasting and her general health is on the up and up.

I’m really excited for Rochelle’s final week in which we will retake her measurements and see how her month has been. Of course, as Rochelle’s main goal is to reignite her metabolism and get it back up to a constant, healthy speed we aren’t looking to be making drastic reductions in her body composition in just one month. Rather, we want to lay the foundations for her to steadily reduce her body fat a healthy and manageable rate, while maintaining her hard earned muscle tone.

MEMBER PROGRESS DIARY – ROCHELLE JAMES

Rochelle has always been one of my favourite clients to train for a lot of reasons. One is that she is super strong, another is that no matter how much she hates a drill or an exercise, or how fatigued she is, she will do it. And last week I had the chance to put her through two stellar workouts that really tested her mettle.

The first, on Monday, was the toughest. Rochelle and her training partner, Steph, tackled an intense weights session that would have definitely broken the average person.
The highlight was the very first drill, with each girl being given two exercise, both of which they had to do 12 reps of, then 10,8,6,4 and 2 with no rest in between as a superset. Then they had to swap with the other girl and repeat the rep scheme and then SWAP BACK to their original exercises and start at 2, working their way back up to 12. It was a battle but they got through it.
This was followed by a series lower body circuits involving deep barbell squats and heavy sled pulls across the park. It was the epitome of metabolic conditioning.

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Early on Friday morning Rochelle strapped on her gloves and got in her element – relentless boxing pad work. We worked through a number of advanced combos, with a lot of defence and movement. Rochelle throws absolute bombs when she boxes, mainly because she’s mastered the art of generating power with her hips and legs. Her punches look effortless, but the power behind the strikes is scary. Next time you’re in a boxing class with her, observe her hip movement and how relaxed she keeps her upper body.

Rochelle’s diet, however, is going to be her biggest challenge. Not because she now has to eat less, but because she actually has to eat MORE. As we have often said, your metabolism is the key to your fat loss and giving it nothing to do will slow it down. Rochelle has actually been eating too little and, like Claire when she was in the spotlight as Member of the Month, she’s having to eat a more hearty and balanced diet to get her metabolism back up to speed.
This means none of the sugar-phobia (or general carbo-phobia), no skipping meals, no reliance on meal replacement shakes or dodgy fat loss supplements like a lot of people choose to do, just a healthy, balanced macro-friendly diet full of protein, carbs and fats.
This isn’t quick fix, but come wedding time Rochelle will definitely see the difference.

Stay tuned for next week’s update on her super tough training sessions and the adjustments to her nutrition!