Active4Less News & Blog

New photo gallery added to the website.

Posted on April 28th, 2015 by Active4Less | Category: Club News > Stevenage | Permalink

We are pleased to advise that we have recetly had a photographer at the club taking some new shots of our new and improved fitness club in Stevenage.

We are delighted with the results, let us know what you think.

Our gallery can be found here: http://stevenage.active4less.com/gallery/

Keep fit, see you at the club soon. Active4less Stevenage.

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Benefits of Protein Shakes After a Workout?

Posted on December 30th, 2014 by Active4Less | Category: Articles > Club News > Luton > Club News > Stevenage | Permalink

During a training session, whether it may be resistance or cardiovascular your muscles fibers tear and break down. The repairing and rebuilding process is done with amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. These amino acids encourage a healthy recovery and muscular growth, leading to increased strength, endurance and therefore fitness levels. Protein is an essential nutrient responsible for body functions such as building of muscle tissues and cells.

The recovery process of your workout is just as, if not MORE important than the workout itself.

Protein shakes are a great way to refuel after a workout. All good protein drinks including the ones given out free on our Premier Membership give a lot of nutrition for the rebuilding process with a small amount of calories (134 to be exact). As stated above after exercise, your body needs protein nutrients (amino acids) to recover and rebuild. One thing to note is that if you are taking a protein shake just to assist with the recovery process you should always check the calories in the shake you are taking doesn’t overtake the amount of calories burnt to cause an ineffective workout this does not apply if you are ‘bulking’ (a form of training/supplementation to put on weight).

A rough ideal amount of protein to have per day would be 2x your body weight in KG in grams of protein. Meaning that on training days if you weigh 80kg you should be having a minimum of 160grams of protein just for the recovery process. If you are ‘bulking’ you probably want to consider having something in the region of 3x your body weight in grams of protein.

Many gym users have their own opinion but if I had to suggest one protein shake to Active4less members it would be a 100% whey protein shake with low sugar content. A whey protein contains high levels of the essential amino acids: arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryphtophan, valine. The 100% whey protein would have ideally 25grams of protein per serving and a decent amount of complexed carbohydrates.

If you would like any more info on the above or information on which protein shake is best suited to you feel free to reply.

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Are You Making These 3 Mistakes?

Posted on October 2nd, 2014 by Active4Less | Category: Articles > Club News > Burnham > Club News > Club News > Luton > Club News > Uxbridge | Permalink

There’s a lot more to toning up than just heaving those free weights, being a cardio animal, and pushing yourself to the limit. You’ve got to know specifically what to focus on, what to adjust, and what to plan for.

Avoid these biggest mistakes and watch your body tone up, slim down and thank you later:

1. Not Focusing On Recovery

In trying to tone up, your focus should be on recovery. It’s the last, most important step in the entire process of your fitness regime. Think of it as a business.

What do you think is the most important – product creation, financial planning, or marketing and selling? In business, nothing ever happens until a sale is made.

Nothing also ever happens until your body has time to repair. I don’t how much you’ve bench pressed, how long you worked your cardio or how many group fitness classes you did today. It doesn’t matter. What matters first and foremost is how you’ll be able to recover afterwards.

So if you’re trying to be macho doing 40+ sets for 5 times a week while cross-training in other sports, good luck. The guy or gal who just spends 30 minutes doing a complete workout, 3 times a week will earn my respect a lot more.

You can train all you want. But can you recover from all of that?

2. Not Adjusting Your Diet

I think for most people, sleep is a given constant – 7 to 8 hours a day. Count yourself lucky if you can afford even this basic requirement.

When it comes to diet however, yours could look drastically different from the person next to you. That’s because you need to adjust your food intake to the level of activity you’ve done, you’re doing, and going to do in the next couple of hours. And that’s a lot to take into consideration.

The ones who constantly adjust their diet experience the biggest gains compared to those who eat as constantly as they work out. Don’t get me wrong. You need to be consistent with your protein, carb, and fat intake. But it’s their proportion you need to scale.

In general, mornings are best for high-carb intake while evenings are better for high-protein meals.

3. Not Planning Your Training

If you think your nutrition is the only the thing you need to vary, you’re in for a surprise. Your workouts need to be re-cycled as well.

The good news is that it doesn’t have to be as immediate and day-to-day as your diet. Changing your training routines usually happen every 6-12 weeks. Most people still don’t get the reason for this. For them, if a program works great, why change it at all? That’s very logical. However, your mind and body is smarter than that. Once you’ve adjusted well to the exercises, weights, and repetitions you impose on yourself, the program slowly becomes more and more ineffective.

Think about the first time you ever drank coffee. The ‘buzz’ from that instant brew will always be the most intense. Same with your workouts. So to keep your body (and mind) challenged and growing, adjust your workouts – even if it means simply re-ordering your exercises.

Want more great ideas and ways to improve how you look and feel? Stop in and meet with a member of our fitness team, they would be glad to help you develop a specific plan to meet your goals!

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Low Intensity Workout Tips

Posted on September 18th, 2014 by Active4Less | Category: Articles > Club News > Burnham > Club News > Club News > Luton > Club News > Uxbridge | Permalink

Every workout routine on the market isn’t right for every person. When you begin a workout after a long hiatus or if you’ve never exercised in your life, you shouldn’t go all out on your first day of training. The best approach is to participate in a low intensity workout for at least 40 minutes. This is to ensure that you don’t overwork your muscles and become a victim of mental burnout.

Low intensity doesn’t mean that you should coast through your workouts. Your heart rate should reach 40% – 60% of the maximum rate. If your heart rate is lower than 40%, you are not getting the most out of your workout. If your heart rate is more than 60% you are doing too much too soon, and your body will feel it.

That’s one of the reasons people quit working out early on in their training. They are so gung-ho about the process that they put in more effort than their body is ready for. In turn, the body reacts negatively and before you know it, they’re back to the couch with a salty bag of chips. Don’t let this happen to you.

There are several low intensity workout routines you can participate in, including walking, cycling or jogging. These old standbys never go out of style, probably because the exercises are easy to do. To get the most out of your routines, make sure to walk, cycle, or run at least four days a week. Also make sure to vary your routines. If you’re on equipment, increase the intensity from time to time. Monitor your heart rate to ensure you are within your zone.

Why You Should Mix it Up

It’s not a great idea to do the same workout everyday as that can lead to both over-training and repetitive stress injuries. You also shouldn’t do intense and difficult workouts every day of the week, since that will also eventually cause problems. If you want to exercise every day, go for it. Just make sure you schedule low-intensity workouts as well. For example, if you usually treadmill and bike every day, try to take a couple of days to go for a walk or do a light swim. These ‘recovery’ workouts will help you stay fresh and the cross-training will help you avoid injuries.

Doing too much too soon can also lead to overtraining and injuries. If you’re a beginner, don’t attempt to lift too much your first time out. Start with a beginners exercise program and slowly build up your training time each week. For lifting weights, you want to progress each week, but you don’t want to add so much weight that your body can’t handle it.

Grab one of our trainers for some great tips and ideas to get the most out of your membership and your workouts!

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Exercising After 50

Posted on August 28th, 2014 by Active4Less | Category: Articles > Club News > Burnham > Club News > Club News > Luton > Club News > Uxbridge | Permalink

Fitness for Baby Boomers

Men and women need to be aware of the importance of the five phases of a successful cardiovascular exercise session. We have seen many people start an exercise program with great intentions and then suddenly quit. Usually, they quit because of pain and injury. Sometimes, they quit because they don’t see any results.

When people over 50 exercise in a proper way, you burn calories and increase fitness. But when you exercise in an improper way, you risk injuries. You risk burning away the protein stored in your muscles and vital organs and the carbohydrates (sugar) which you need to supply nourishment to your nervous system and brain. But what is proper exercise? Of the course the best thing to do is to speak with a member of our professional staff to assist you in developing a program that fits your needs and goals. However, we can share with you five basic steps to be followed at each exercise session. These basic parameters have proven to give optimal results and minimize the chance of injury during exercise.

1. WARM UP
Function: To prepare and “‘alert” our body for the upcoming physical activity. A warm up at the beginning of an exercise session is one of the best ways to prevent pain and injury. Despite its importance, this step is often ignored by exercisers – even experienced athletes.

How To: For a proper warm up, simply perform the exercise at a slow pace for about 5 minutes (or until your pulse count is above 100 beats per minute-bpm). For example, start your brisk walk with a slow 5 minute stroll or be at your aerobics class at the beginning of the session (a good instructor will always start the class with a warm up).

2. PRE-EXERCISE STRETCH
Function: Relaxes and lengthens our muscles.

How To: Once we have warmed up our body (our pulse count is over 100 bpm), it is time to stretch the muscles we are about to use. The leg stretches and upper body Static Stretches, relax the muscles that are used for walking a track or riding a bicycle. Relaxed muscles tend to improve our efficiency and our performance as well as reducing our risk of injury.

3. EXERCISE
Function: To improve cardiovascular fitness and/or burn body fat.

How to: An aerobic activity such as walking, biking, swimming and Walkaerobics should increase our pulse count to 40% – 60% of our maximum heart rate. The activity should be done for 12 – 30 minutes, not more than 60 minutes per session. The Heart Rate Chart based on your resting heart rate and age determines your exercise heart rate.

4. COOL DOWN
Function: To gradually return to resting state.

If we stop short after exercising, it takes time for our body to regain homeostasis. Meanwhile, our heart is still pumping at an accelerated pace and blood pools in our extremities. We get swollen fingers and feet. This causes dizziness because no blood, and therefore no oxygen, is getting to our brain.

How To: The cool down is the same as the warm up, but in reverse. Just do the exercise or previous activity at a slow, temperate pace for about 5 minutes or until your heart rate has gone down below 100 bpm.

5. POST-EXERCISE STRETCH
Function: Prevents soreness and increases flexibility.

How To: This is the optimal time to static stretch. Your body is warm and your blood is pumping at a moderate pace so you can stretch further without causing an injury. Besides increasing your flexibility, stretching at this point squeezes out the excess waste products that have built up in your muscles during exercise. If you do not stretch at this time, the waste buildup causes muscle soreness and fatigue.

These five phases of an cardio exercise session are condensed from proven scientific studies and the American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines ACSM. When followed at each workout they will give optimal results and minimize the chance of injury during exercise.

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