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Eat, Feel and Perform Better – Instalment 10

Phil graham personal trainer ireland

1) Low Glycemic Carbs Are Best Right?

Generalised recommendations such as basing all your carbohydrate choices on ‘low GI Foods’ can lead to some highly nutritious choices being avoided, such as some fruits and vegetables.

Relying on low GI foods can make refuelling your body difficult and subsequently make it difficult to for you recover rapidly between training bouts. Long term this may limit your ability to progressively overload both the muscular and Central Nervous System in your training session – both of which are paramount in progressing the development of your physique and performance especially if your an athlete.

High Glycemic carbs are perfectly acceptable especially when consumed post training (when replenishment of stored carbohydrate are depleted). However, consumption must always be in line with your calorie goals – which ultimately should support your training (type, frequency and duration) and body composition goals (weight gain/weight loss).

So stop thinking every carb you eat needs to rate ultra low on on the glycemic index for you to look good and perform at your best!


 2) Are The Equations That Calculate Calories Accurate?

The practice of plugging, body weight, height and age into a formula and hitting the “=” button on your calculator to come up with the precise number of calories to eat on a daily basis to maintain body weight is not exactly the most accurate solution. Realise these values are merely and estimation not an exact measure.


3) The Same Goes For Food Calories

The calories you read on the back of a food packet are merely averages. Factors such as; where the food was grown, what season was, climate like and degree of processing can all effect the degree of calorie estimation (as much as 25% or even more)

Never take the labelled calorie content of food as absolute.

The same goes for the growing use of calorie counting apps like my fitness pal, which can often be way off when it comes to providing you the exact amount of calories in certain foods. Always double check the values before you plug them in. Seemingly my fitness pal relies on the manual input of food calorie data from its users (just like wikipedia). I’ve sometimes seen calorie values way off in respect to what is on the packet or also complete macros being left out – always double check!

Phil Graham nutrition

4) Personal Training Tip

Consider the type of client you work with. Are they an athlete who’s livelihood depends on how they perform or look? or are they an everyday Joe who leads a stressful job and wants to regularly enjoy tasty food and a buzzing social life?

) Not everyone is as motivated as you or your best athlete. This plays a huge role in how you approach your plan of attack. 

)Realise – Your plan will only work if its sustainable (stuck to long term, not short term). The athlete may not be bothered weighing out his/her food daily, training twice a day or missing out on important social events. On the other hand the average Joe will and without doubt is more than likely to crash and burn if left feeling restricted and deprived for too long.

) As a result, you MUST employ strategies in your plan that co-inside with your clients level of motivation. Be creative – some key examples include allocating a specific calorie allowance for treats or a day of from training every now and again – so be it. If they stick to it for longer, and at the same time enjoy the process – the results will come much more easily – trust me!

Phil Graham Personal Trainer

5) Why Hexagonal Weight Plates Suck!

Quite possibly one of my worst hates in any gym is hex plates. If you want the secret to screwing up a good dead lift – lift with hexes on the bar.

The angular shape of hex weight plates makes them incredibly awkward to lift with especially when they land on their edges during the lowering phase of the dead lift, throwing both you and the bar of balance. Not only does this increase your risk of injury but it can also hinder your ability to get the most out of the lift.


Quick Tip

A great way to avoid this is by placing a circular plate (even if its a larger weight such as a 25kg) on the inside of the bar and then place the adjacent hexes either side. In turn you will be able to avoid the annoying positions hex plates can put you in plus roll about freely.

Sounds simple but easily over looked!

6) More Great Client Results

Great result for my two female clients El Fegan and Sharon Clarke who placed 1st and 2nd in their respected fitness categories at the NABBA Northern Ireland held last Saturday 25th April.

When you combine successful diet and training with a motivated mindset the results speak for themselves!

Phil Graham Bikini Contest Prep - El Fegan - Female Fitness

El Fegan – Winner – Miss Athletic N.Ireland 2015

Phil Graham Contest Bikini Fitness prep

Sharon Clarke – 2nd – Miss Athletic N.Ireland