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Eat, Feel and Perform Better – Instalment 9


1. Using Scientific Studies To Support Your Diet and Training

Scientific studies should act as a general guideline or a starting point when designing your nutrition and training. They should never be relied upon as an individual blue print.

Always consider context in their application….


2. The Importance Of Mobility

When it comes to working with clients of all shapes and sizes I can’t stress enough the importance of good mobility! Not only does it help keep you injury and strain free but it also allows you to get a lot more out of your training:

  • Increased range of motion during exercise (Increased stimulation – potential for better muscular development)
  • Limits potential sheer stresses and strain on other tissues (injury prevention)
  • Improved posture outside of the gym
  • and much more…

Each and every time I take on a new personal training client we conduct a movement screen to assess their level of mobility. The results are used to pin point overly tight and weak areas that need work.

Depending on the severity of the mobility issue good quality stretching, myofasical release techniques (including foam rolling), regular deep tissue massage, topical magnesium and the use of Ice baths can prove incredibly helpful in improving ones ability to move and feel better in and out of training.

Check out the video below of client Harry Orr, an ex rugby player who’s recently under gone Torn ACL surgery in his knee, works a desk job 9-5pm and who’s never done any mobility work in his life. Safe to say Harry’s intentions of training on the first day with me where forgotten about as our attention shifted toward fixing his terrible movement patterns especially in the over head squat.



Posted by Phil Graham – Health, Body Composition and Performance on Thursday, October 9, 2014


We spent around 35 mins foam rolling, stretching and doing some other various mobility moves, the specific issues Harry has are beyond the scope of this post. But the take home here is – Don’t neglect mobility! The end result of the work we conducted was awesome even though there was still a little room for improvement.

If your a personal trainer, I can’t stress enough, get to grasps with your clients biomechanics – see how they move – learn what’s off and why – try the best you can to fix it!


3. Personal Trainers – Don’t Be Ashamed To Learn

Seemingly a lot of personal trainers don’t like to say they’ve had a coach or mentor. Some see it as an embarrassment in fact. Truth be told if I was a client it would demonstrate your passion to learn and improve your service – heck the best athletes in the world have coaches – LEARN and EARN!


4. To Wear A Belt Or Not?

A belt will allow you to lift heavier loads – period. 

From the research and my experience a belt will allow you to lift heavier loads. It has a minimal effect on core activation and increases intra abdominal pressure which can lead to increased spinal stabilisation. The more stable you are the more force you can generate, meaning more fire power and the potential for a greater training effect!

The only thing worth noting from a health perspective is that the increase in intra abdominal pressure can spike blood pressure during training. This may be problematic for those suffering from underlying hypertension.


Take Home

If you’re comfortable wearing one, go for it, there is no research outlining that training with a belt negatively affects strength gains. A lot of people (including myself) have gotten strong without a belt, i personally don’t like the feel of it.

 5. My Views On Cross Fit

Without a shadow of doubt it’s brought the power of group dynamic exercise back to an industry, where it was seemingly lost forever.

However, like everything there are some incredibly good and incredibly bad coaches out there.

In my personal opinion the bar needs to be raised in terms of coaching certifications in an attempt to keep the morons from tarnishing the name or destroying peoples bodies.