Simplify your diet with Sam Smith

Sam Smith has been involved in the fitness industry since she was 16 and is passionate about working with clients at Gold’s Gym Fyshwick to help transform their lives, especially when it comes to their mindset around nutrition.

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Pros and Cons of Tracking Macros

An assortment of nutrient rich foods like Grains, Seeds, Fruits, and Spices
An assortment of nutrient rich foods like Grains, Seeds, Fruits, and Spices

Pros and Cons of Tracking Macros

Macronutrients, more commonly referred to as ‘macros’ are the three main components of food which include protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Tracking macros is a great way to keep a record of your nutrition and how the food you eat affects your body, however it’s also essential to consider the downside too.

Protein is essential for a number of reasons. It helps with muscle growth and repair, boosts immunity, and helps maintain healthy skin and hair. Your protein intake needs to be prioritised if you want to build muscle or lose fat.

The main function of carbohydrates is to provide fuel for the body. They can be classified into two categories: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates include sugars and refined starches, while complex carbohydrates include fibre, whole grains and starchy vegetables. They also help to maintain blood sugar levels, regulate moods and promote healthy digestion.

Fats are also a source of energy though have different properties. While fats have more calories per gram than carbs, they also provide essential fatty acids and are categorised into saturated or unsaturated.

Saturated fats are solid at room temperature and come mostly from animal sources like meat and butter. Unsaturated fats come from plant sources like oils and nuts, however some animal foods like fish also contain unsaturated fats.

A woman pouring a green smoothie into a glass

Tracking your macros allows you to understand your performance and body composition while recognising where those calories are coming from and how they might affect your body. It enables you to make informed decisions about your food intake according to your personal goals.

What’s not often discussed is the downside to tracking macros. Aside from being time-consuming to set up and maintain, it also requires a lot of discipline when it comes to following. One thing to be mindful of is holding a good relationship with food.

What might start out as a healthy goal, could turn into obsessive overthinking and creating unhealthy habits around reading food labels, and weighing food, all the way to the extreme of developing an eating disorder..

Bowls of salads and other macronutrient rich foods

As nutritionist Blake McKenzie explains:
“People need to understand that we need to strive for progress within ourselves, rather than perfection.”

It’s also easy to fall into the habit of letting tracking consume you when going out to eat or being social. Some people like to reserve or bank calories if they’re going out for dinner which could be the start of creating an unhealthy habit.

Everyone needs to have a social life, however it’s just about being consistent day in, day out with the food you consume. Make conscious choices instead or pre-plan by going to a venue that provides the breakdowns on their menus.

With so much nutrition information readily available, it can be quite overwhelming so be sure to speak to a coach to create a meal plan suited to your health, goals and lifestyle.

Collaboration with Coach & ISSN Sports Nutritionist Blake Mckenzie @coach_blake_lgtfitness

How Wearable Tech is Changing Fitness

Myzone App being used on iPhone
Myzone App being used on iPhone

How Wearable Tech is Revolutionising Training

Wearable technology is changing the way we live. It is revolutionising health and wellness by providing new insights into how we can live healthier lives. These insights are helping to generate self-awareness when it comes to training so we can understand our bodies better.

In the past, wearable tech was primarily used by athletes and fitness enthusiasts. Nowadays, it is becoming increasingly popular no matter where you are on your fitness journey, so we’ve partnered with Myzone to give you a run down on how you can optimise and track your training.

Myzone is a wearable fitness tracker and online social platform that shows and rewards effort when your work out. It displays real-time heart rate, calories and intensity. It has a simple rewards based metric called MEPs (Myzone Effort Points) that align with the World Health Organisation’s guidelines for physical activity.

Myzone breaks the percentage of estimated maximum heart rate into the five colour-coded zones so you can see how much effort you are putting into your workouts. Training in each of these zones will put different demands on your cardiovascular system.

Woman wearing Myzone fitness tracker

Generally speaking, the lower the intensity of your exercise, the longer you can keep going. The higher the intensity or the harder you’re working, the less time you can maintain that level of activity. The fitter you are, the longer you will be able to train at a certain intensity.

Endurance athletes typically train in the lower intensity zones for longer periods of time, while explosive power athletes train at a higher intensity for a shorter duration.

Myzone’s grey zone (50-59 per cent of your max heart rate) is very low intensity. Essentially this is light activity or recovery and something you can do all day.

The blue zone is moderate intensity (60-69% of max heart rate). Endurance athletes will stay in this zone for one to four hours at a time when training for long-distance races or events. If you’re new to exercise, you’ll quickly pass through the blue zone as your heart rate rises to adjust to the new activity. If you’ve been training for some time, you’ll have to put in more effort to get up to the higher intensity zones.

The green zone (70-79% of max heart rate) is a moderately high-intensity training zone and if you’re used to exercising, you can stay in this zone from 90 minutes to two hours. The green zone is considered the ideal zone for improving your fitness with a comfortable effort.

The yellow zone (80-89% of max heart rate) is a high-intensity zone which is race pace for most people. The bottom of the yellow zone is where muscle fatigue begins to set in from strength training exercises, while the upper end is where aerobic exercise begins to shift to anaerobic exercise. If you’re just starting out, you will spend most of your training session in the yellow zone, but you’ll really have to put in the extra effort to stay in this zone if you’ve been training for a while.

The red zone (90-100% of max heart rate) is the highest of Myzone’s five zones and you can only safely stay in this zone for a short time. When you’re in the red zone you will be working close to your maximum, so training in this zone intermittently during your workout will benefit you most.

Three people in gym wearing Myzone fitness trackers

Fatigue will set in more quickly when training at this intensity, so focus on technique to reduce the chance of injury. If you’re strength training, the red zone represents the tail end of an exercise or interval and should be very short in duration or for as long as you can hold your technique.

When it comes to endurance exercise, you can stay in the red zone for slightly longer because of the lower risk of endurance exercise movement patterns.
Wearable tech is a great tool to help raise the bar with your training, providing insights on how you are progressing towards your goal, as well as assisting with accountability and motivation. The future of wearable tech is limitless and we can expect to see more advancements in this field that complement a holistic approach to health and wellness.

Collaboration with Myzone –

myzone logo

Bodybuilding Post Comp

Body Building Journey: Post Comp Considerations

Competing in a bodybuilding competition regardless of how you placed, should make you feel extremely proud of your accomplishments. The focus should always be on your own journey and being process based as opposed to outcome based. During prep sometimes athletes get lost in the day in, day out. Having the mentality of ‘ticking the boxes’ is sometimes needed to find that balance of overcoming fatigue and exhaustion. Sometimes athletes might not achieve their desired placing or result and that can make you feel lost.

At the same time, you’re probably feeling hungry, emotional, and thoroughly worn down after stepping off the stage. In reality, bodybuilding competitions are always extremely exhausting for the competitors, even experienced professionals are accustomed to this type of exhaustion. Fortunately, it’s possible to quickly recover from your pre-contest preparations and the rigors of the competition itself by incorporating some basic post-contest concepts into your diet, exercise, supplementation, and rest routines. The post-contest stage of bodybuilding is all about recovery, replenishment, and rewarding yourself for the extremities of hard work you’ve invested for several months or even years in the lead-up. This is something your coach will work with you on, though keep in mind a full season doesn’t end on show day, it ends 4-8 weeks after the show.

Although this nourishment will help with your mentality, there needs to be other facets in place. There is more to life than getting 5-6 meals daily and training to look good on stage. If you are an athlete it requires a form of dedication all year round although the improvement (offseason) should encompass other facets of life too. This is the time to encourage love into other activities like spending time in nature, jumping out of planes or whatever it is that makes you light up not from infatuation, but moments that you feel internally grateful.

Structure and routine will be something that holds you together, but a new purpose needs to be created outside of setting the next show date. Finding purpose or falling back onto relationships including the one with yourself is the key to managing your mentality and most of all, fulfilment.

If you’re reading this now, during or before starting to prep, it is highly recommended to include growth in all facets outside of physical. Find a coach that draws out your inner energy & calls you out on toxic habits that will create disorders later on. Most importantly, find a coach that supports your emotional & spiritual growth. This isn’t measured on stage though is more so a measurement of success by you.

Most people recite they are doing a show in season A/B. Doing a show and competing in a show are two separate mindsets, with the biggest competition being yourself. You’re going to be hungry, sore and sleep-deprived. While it’s absolutely necessary to have a coach and support network, undeniably the effort needs to come for you. To successfully reverse post comp, it starts with setting non-negotiable outlets to migrate stress.

By having an understanding of post comp considerations, the most effective approach after needs to be personalised and sometimes a conversation needs to be had.

“If you’re unhappy with your life and circumstances before choosing to compete – you will most likely end up in a worse state after, without choice’’

If you’d like to know more please reach out!

Coach Bocky
Professional Body Builder, Online Coach & Fitness Director

Benefits of Exercise

It is a widely accepted fact that exercise, physical activity or movement in any form has a largely positive effect on our body and mind. Understanding the positive feedback loop of exercise is key to create habits that will build a strong foundation for when motivation wanes.

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