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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

Fat Burners, Pre-Workout Powders and Protein Powder Supplements

IN a market saturated with supplement sand performance products promising the world it can be hard to determine which is right for you.
Every day we are bombarded with advertisements for the latest powders and pills. And the combination of a body-conscious society that is horribly under-informed makes the sell all too easy.

Let’s call a spade a spade. The vast majority of health and fitness supplements are a complete and utter waste of money. Thermogenic fat burners,
proprietary blend pre-and post workout concoctions, slimming meal replacement powders—all of them require you to put down a lot of bucks for very little bang. Companies knowpeople will fork out for anything that may save them some sweat so it’s important for you, as a consumer,to sift through the fodder and find what really works. Fat-burning supplements are certainly the most redundant,and yet one of the most prolific. They’re easy to spot; usually coming in small, pharmaceutical-style bottles, the label covered with pictures of abdominals bulging under a thin film of baby oil and the words‘‘Hydroxy’’, ‘‘Lipo’’, ‘‘Cut’’and‘‘Burn’’ plastered around them. You’ll notice a whole host of slick sounding ingredients: L-carnitine, camellia sinensis extract, guarana, tribulus, hordenine,HCL— the list goes on an dall are purported to increase your fat loss.However,even mainstays suc has
carnitine lack sufficient research to truly prove their effectiveness as fat burners, while the rest are just a novel peppering of natural ingredients
that can be found in greater supply (and fora much lower cost) in wholefoods. Burning fat is simple. Burn more calories than you consume—end of story. Your money would be better spent on maintaining a clean, high-protein diet complete with complex carbs and healthy fats. If you want toaddmoretoyour
fat-loss arsenal, find yourself a good-quality green tea,which has an enormous backlog of research to support it as a fat burner while
boasting oodles of antioxidants.

he latest trend involves pre-workout chemical complexes designed to take your workouts to the next level. The core ingredients are usually creatine, caffeine and the amino acid arginine, all of which are indeed integral to boosting the intensity and duration of a
workout.However,under the guise of the notorious term‘‘proprietary blend’’,companies can pick and choose how much of each element is included without disclosing it on the label. That means the majority of these overpriced powders have you forking out for minimal dosages of the good ingredients along with a whole lot of fluff and filler to go with them.The best idea for anyone looking to boost the intensity and duration of a workout is to grab
each essential ingredient in its purest form and create your own pre-workout potion. I would recommend a modest dose of arginine AAKG or alphaketoglutarate (which results in greater transportation of nutrients and glycogen to the muscles), creatine tri malate (an effective creatine compound,which is your muscles’ naturally occurring fuel source), branch chain amino acids and citrulline malate.
The final culprit is protein powder, the tried and- true supplement of fitness enthusiasts for almost a century. I am certainly a proponent of good-quality protein powder, but many people have the wrong idea about its use and its effects. A protein supplement should be used as
exactly that,a supplement. It should never usurp whole foods as a source of dietary protein and should certainly never constitute a full meal.For
the average trainer,a standard protein shake should be consumed upon waking(followed by a healthy breakfast) to replenish your body’s
nitrogen balance and feed your muscles,and within 20 to 30 minutes of your workout to channel amino acids to your damaged fibres.

Remember that supplements will not bridge the gap between the body you want and the body you have now.There is no miracle pill. Eat right,
train right and do the research before you buy.

Which Type Of Group Exercise Is Best For You?

Group exercise has become far and away the fastest-growing trend in Australia’s fitness industry, and it’s easy to see why.
You’re guaranteed intensity, variety, structure and the expertise of a qualified instructor to see you through your workout. But with so many
schools and styles of group exercise to choose from,how can you tell which is best suited for you? While all the purported benefits of group exercise may hold plenty of appeal, they could be doing you harm. Staple indoor group classes such as Pump and Step, while hugely popular, are certainly not
appropriate for everyone. Let’s ruffle some feathers and discuss why.

Pump classes, generally the most popular in any mainstream gym, are a concoction of super high-volume resistance training with a dash of body weight endurance training. On paper, Pump appears to be an ideal amalgamation of strength,
endurance, fat burning and muscular toning. The combination of multiple muscle group barbell exercises with upper and lower bodyweight movements makes for a great foundation of functional strength and calorie burning. However, while the principles of Pump are great, the reality is not so squeaky clean. Pump workouts generally incorporate a series of complex, compound weight training manoeuvres that even the most experienced weightlifters take years of practice to perform correctly. Barbell squats, deadlifts and clean and presses are perhaps the most frequent exercises performed inPump
classes and are seldom performed with efficient form, which can cause long-term strain to functional muscle groups and joints, namely the knees, neck and lower back. For those in the know, watching an average .Pump class is a cringe-worthy affair. I’ve seen countless participants squatting and deadlifting with a rounded spine, placing huge strain on their erector spinae (lower back) or shifting all their weight to the front of their body, forcing their knees forward and placing huge stress on the patella and the surrounding ligaments in the knee.
Instructors are usually forced to remain on stage, preventing them from being able to properly correct the form of each individual, especially in
larger classes. Nor is there specific guidance on which weights to choose for which exercise, which is extremely dangerous when it
comes to squats and other complex movements. Step and Body Attack classes are another big hit. They are great calorie burners and can really get the heart racing with a rather limited range of movements. However, doing too many Step classes can grate severely on the hip, knee and ankle joints.

The latest group exercise phenomemon is the new industry juggernaut known as Crossfit. Gaining notoriety after the pseudo-erotic action blockbuster 300 hit the screens in 2006, Crossfit became synonymous with speed, power, intensity and unorthodox exercises. While Crossfit is indeed a supreme method of metabolic conditioning, it is, once again, not without its weaknesses. The Crossfit mantra centres on maximum intensity through time-trial workouts; this means conquering your workouts as fast as possible. The obsession with speed comes at a great cost to technique and general safety, meaning strain on tendons, ligaments and muscles and, as always, greater risk of injury. Take pull-ups, for example: an awesomely productive exercise and a constant in
Crossfit training. Traditionally a pull-up would be performed by placing your hands at an even distance on an elevated bar and drawing yourself upward from a full extension, keeping your elbows in line and drawing in your shoulder blades and scapula as you close the angle of your arms towards the top of the movement to achieve a full muscular contraction in your back muscles. When performed like this, with a powerful and precise upward pull (the positive portion of the movement) and a slower and more controlled release (the negative portion), pull-ups are an amazing way to build strength and develop muscle in the upper body, and because so many muscles are being engaged and the central nervous system so taxed, they are also a great calorie burner. However, Crossfit’s obsession with speed means pull-ups can transform into a messy, lurching style (affectionately referred to as kipping) which allows for a greater number of reps in a shorter time. This places great wear and tear on muscles and joints (scapula, deltoid, rotator cuff, elbow, wrist) via the constant jolting and catching needed to effectively ‘‘kip’’ a pullup. So what style of group exercise is best for you? Boxing and circuit training are good. Aim to incorporate a balance of intensity, fun and variety. And always go with experienced and qualified trainers who will be able to get you the results through safe and scientific training. Train hard, but train safe.