Archive for February, 2011

Benefits of a Gym Membership On Your Life

This is a guest post done by some friends of mine across the pond in the UK, enjoy!

Joining a gym is a big commitment but when balanced against the benefits you will gain, the scales are firmly tipped towards the plus points. Many people do not take full advantage of their gym membership, but by understanding what is offered and how it can improve your life, you will stay motivated and keep going. 

Joining a gym in Brighton offers major advantages over going it alone. At home, it is easy to put off exercise and turn on the TV, but a motivating trainer can really aid your work out. Not only that, but your work-outs will be designed to suit you as an individual and help you progress in a safe and healthy way. Your trainer’s knowledge and experience will outweigh that fitness DVD any day! And remember at the gym there are several others just like you, who will be happy to partner up as exercise buddies. Working together with someone else in a Milton Keynes gym will keep you going back time and time again, especially as you develop new friendships.

Facilities are varied and up-to-date, ensuring you never get bored and you can exercise in a manner that suits you. The Brighton gym has its own pool, as well as the latest equipment and a relax room. You will also find a whole range of classes on offer, from Step to Yoga and Pilates. This is also true of the Milton Keynes gym and others around the country and the beauty is that you can access the pool at any time of the day, not just at set times.

Of course one of the major benefits is the improvement to your health. Going to the gym on a regular basis will help use up unwanted calories, burn fat, strengthen the heart and prevent cardiovascular disease. The other benefits that exercising regularly at a Milton Keynes gym gives are increased energy, stress relief, and a better night’s sleep which leads to a more fruitful day.

You may be looking to lose weight and attending the gym Chester offers two or three times a week will make this goal more achievable. Building muscle helps increase metabolism, which means that the effects of exercise are increased even when you have finished your session. Your body will continue to burn fat at a higher level for the next couple of hours. Taking classes, swimming, and attacking the cardio machines will all help use calories and tone your shape at the same time. Trainers will also be happy to advise you on your diet and will do their utmost to help you achieve your goals.

Being a member of a gym is a lifestyle change for the better so whatever your reason for joining, you will not be sorry you took the plunge. Be consistent, make sure you attend two to three times a week, and in a few months you will be amazed and delighted at the transformation.


You Can’t Buy Strength

I had an epiphany the other day as I was walking out of the gym.  When I tell you, at first you might think to yourself, “Yeah, I know that, so what?”  But, when I really thought about it for several days, I truly realized how profound it was…YOU CAN’T BUY STRENGTH, IT MUST BE EARNED!!!

Here is what prompted the revelation.  I was walking out of the gym and I almost got clipped by some jackass in a Jaguar while walking to my car.  As I looked to see who the person was who was enjoying their last seconds on Earth, I recognized the guy and started laughing so hard, the thought of bludgeoning him became a distant memory.  Come with me and I will tell you a story…

Last year I was training my back and needed to do Weighted Chin-Ups.  I waddled over to the Chin-Up Bar with a 45 LB plate hanging from me, trying to not have it bash into my knees.  I had to wait b/c there was a guy struggling to get his 4th and then 5th and final rep.  He had a full head of gray hair, looked to be in his late 40′s and had the muscle mass of a stick figure.  So, when he came down, I was pretty pissed when he looked at my 230LB frame and stared at the 45 LB plate hanging from me and uttered the following, “Wow, that’s pretty ambitious!!!”  It was in a very wise ass tone, like, “I can only do 5 and I am in great shape, but you will probably only bang out a couple at best.”  I got onto my tip toes and wrapped my hands around the bar…I DID 18 REPS!!!  When I came down, this clown’s jaw was dropped and I stared him right in the face as if I was ready to decapitate him with my bare hands and I walked away.

5 Chin-Ups? You talkin' to me?

In light of that experience, it was ironic that the same punk almost clipped me on the way to my car.  As he got out, he looked around Read the rest of this entry »


Caffeine and Performance – Part 2

In my last post (Caffeine and Performance – Part 1), I looked at the benefits that Caffeine provides in fat loss and burning calories as well as the best form of Caffeine for the greatest results (pill form is better than coffee).  In Part 2 of this 2 part series, I am going to look at how Caffeine impacts Cognitive Performance (Brain Function) and Endurance & Strength.  There are numerous studies which look at the combination of Caffeine & Creatine and Caffeine & Carbohydrates as it relates to Endurance and Strength, but I am focusing on Caffeine specifically so, for our purposes, these pieces of research are excluded from my analysis.

3) Cognitive Performance
Several studies have shown that Caffeine improves both cognitive performance and mood in the general population (1,2).  A study by McLellan et al. (3) showed that soldiers given Caffeine were able to complete a vigilance task with less errors and an obstacle course faster than their non-Caffeinated counterparts.  These tasks were performed in a sleep deprived state (4 hours of sleep) where Caffeine was supplemented 3 times at 200 mg per dose (600 mg total) with about 2.5 hours between doses.  The last dose was given 30 minutes before the testing.  The Caffeine was administered via a caffeinated gum.  The Vigilance task involved observing a building for 2 hours and recording any observations.  Within each 20 minute block, an activity lasting 5s was presented.   The Caffeine group had fewer errors than the placebo group.  There were 3 Obstacle Courses and the Caffeine group completed them faster and with fewer errors than that placebo group.  The study concluded that Caffeine “maintained both vigilance and physical performance during sustained operations that require periods of overnight wakefulness and restricted opportunities for daytime sleep.” (3)

Another study by Lieberman et al. (4) looked at cognitive performance of U.S. Navy Seals in a sleep deprived state when supplementing with Caffeine.   Participants were randomly assigned doses of either 100, 200 or 300 mg of Caffeine in capsule form.  One hour after consumption, participants performed a battery of tests related to vigilance, reaction time, working memory, motor learning and memory.  Caffeine had the most significant effects on tasks related to alertness.  Results were also significant for assessments related to vigilance & choice reaction time for those who received the Caffeine treatment.  What was really interesting was that there was no statistical advantage of taking 300 versus 200 mg (i.e. the 300 mg group did not perform better than the 200 mg group) though there was a significant improvement in performance of the 200 mg group versus the 100 mg group.  In fact, 100 mg was no more advantageous than a placebo! (4)

"Caffeine makes me more alert and helps me function better!" - Brain

These studies (3,4) demonstrate the effects of Caffeine on cognitive performance Read the rest of this entry »


Caffeine and Performance – Part 1

Go to any gym on the Planet early in the morning what do you see?  Alright wiseguy, fat people walking on treadmills was not the answer I was looking for!  Coffee, and lots of it, as far as the eye can see.  The majority of these folks are drinking it to make sure they don’t fall asleep and knock their front teeth out while walking on the treadmill.  Little do they know that caffeine can aid them in performance and their goal of fat loss, though drip coffee is not the most efficient nor effective method. 

In this 2 Part Series, I am going to look at:
1) The Best Form of Caffeine to consume (i.e. drip coffee vs. powder (caffeine anhydrous))
2) The effectiveness of supplementing Caffeine for Fat Loss (lipolysis)
3) The impact of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance (i.e. Brain Function)
4) The Ergogenic (performance-enhancing) effects of caffeine on Endurance and Strength

Here is a brief overview of caffeine:
- Caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive substance(1)
- In North America, 90% of adults consume caffeine daily(1)
- It is the most commonly utilized substance in “energy” drinks
- It stimulates the Central Nervous System (CNS), making us feel alert

1) BEST Form of Caffeine
When consuming caffeine for performance, the best form is to consume is caffeine anhydrous (caffeine powder in a capsule).  The reason for this is that it is a) cheaper and b) more effective than consuming coffee in liquid form (i.e. drip coffee).

WARNING: This is NOT the best way to get your caffeine!

a) Cheaper
I use NSI Caffeine Anhydrous which I purchase from  There are 240 capsules and each contains 200 mg of caffeine.  The whole bottle costs $7.  So, let’s do the math… Read the rest of this entry »

Fat Gripz