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Posing - Reality of Instagram

Progress Not Perfection.

One of the most common things we find with people training, is that the goal is generally centered around feeling good and looking good.

The problem is, that both factors affect the other synonymously. But unrealistic expectations and lack of understanding then results in negative feeling and assumption over a lack of achievement.

It’s important to understand that throughout the day, your body goes through a lot of changes. Understand that your body may feel bloated at times, especially after consuming food or water. This does NOT mean you are fat. This does NOT mean you aren’t making progress.

It’s natural, and should be embraced.

The other thing that we see a lot of; is women comparing themselves to ‘Instagram Celebs’ or ‘Fitness Models’ online…
Understand that a photo on someone’s Instagram is NEVER a reflection of how they look 24/7.

Whilst we love people sharing their physique and hard work gains, especially if it serves as good inspiration, it is important that it doesn't deflate your ego, or attitude towards your progress.

There are a number of factors that go into every photo, and lets face it, there aren’t many women out there that are going to post a photo ‘at their worst’ is there?!?!

So take the inspiration, but don’t compare yourself and feel inadequate or as if you aren’t making progress.

To illustrate our point further, our wonderful Gym Rat Zoe Lummis @MuscleBunny_Lummy has given us this perfect example.
Now Zoe is one of those Gym Rat’s that just always has abs. Her 6 pack is on display before and after a healthy serving of Chocolate Cake. She works incredibly hard for it, and we love the attitude she has towards her training. So we had her take 2 photos, one straight after the other.

Zoe Lummis Pose

This is such a good example, as this could easily be believed as a ‘Transformation” over weeks of hard work. The reality is, each photo was take 2 seconds apart.
Oh what a difference Tensing and Posing makes…
Add some lighting in there and she would have a 3rd image with even more definition and ‘development’.

We hope you are seeing the points we are trying to illustrate here. It transcends much deeper than the initial subject of viewing Instagram Images and understanding what you are really seeing.
It also shows that we all have a ‘good side’. We all have elements and things we can do to improve our ‘look’. This also hopefully explains why you see Gym Rat’s alike going to ‘posing coaches’ before they are about to hit the stage for competition. There is so much more to this than just hitting a few weights and dropping carbs…

Happy Training Gym Rats.

We love you.

Top exercises for the Booty

Barbell Hip Thrusts

Barbell Hip Thrusters

Cred: Zoe Caton @Zoe_Fitness_Caton

The Barbell Hip Thrust is a fantastic way to transform that backside! 
This exercise is a great way to strengthen glutes, building strength, speed and power.

There are many variations, but we love the barbell simplicity.

Cross Lunge Squats

Cross Lunge Squat

Cred: Leslie Munoz @LeslieMunoz

We love to target specific hard to reach muscle areas, and the cross over lunge squat is a great way to do just that!

PopSugar breaks down the technique in the following way:

  • Feet Shoulder Width apart.
  • Take a large step diagonally forward (11 o clock) with left foot, sinking down until thighs form right angles.
  • Extent legs, lift knee and bring towards chest. Step back with the left foot, this time lunging behind torso stepping diagonally back (8 o clock).
  • Sink down to complete first rep, then switch sides.

Dead Lifts

DeadLift

Cred: Jasmine Dawn @JasmineDawn91

There are many variations of the Deadlift. We recommend the Romanian DeadLift – Such a great Hamstring and glute blitz.

The Girls Gone Strong Blog is a great spot for tips and benefits of the DeadLift.

Essentially this is a hip hinging movement, and technique is absolutely crucial. Dead Lifts are a fantastic way to support the lose of body fat, gain muscle, get stronger, and become more athletic.

Squats

Squat for the Booty

Cred: Brittany Danyelle @BrittanyDanyelle0

Keep those feet flat, knees inline with the feet and a straight back. The squat is a fantastic booty worker!
Some of the top 10 benefits of the squat according to Beauty And Tips include:

  • Improve Circulation – bye bye cellulite.
  • Great for digestion – improves flow of nutrients and fluids.
  • Helps build muscle all over the body
  • Non-Impact exercise
  • Great to improve posture
  • Burn fat faster and lose weight
  • Tone your whole leg
  • Get that rounder, fuller booty.

Kettle Bell Sumo Squats

Sumo Squat

Cred: Zoe Lummis @MuscleBunny_Lummy

The Sumo Squat is a great exercise to get the Quads, Glutes and Hamstrings firing on all cylinders.

The wide stance allows us to focus on the pin point area on the inner thigh.
Some great tips according to Muscle & Fitness

  • Do not let your heels lose contact with the platform.
  • Do not let your knees cave inward.
  • Do not round your lower back as you squat.

 

 

Weighted Donkey Kicks

Donkey Kicks

Cred: Sally Miller @Sally_GymRatInc

With so many variations of the Donkey Kick, we love the resistance weighted technique, but know that you can certainly choose your variation of preference.

Lushious Lifts breaks down some fantastic information on this particular movement and it’s benefits to your gluteus maximus! But don't let that fool you, it will target all the supporting muscles too and really help bring that booty lifted shape.

Sled Runs

Sled Push

Cred: Elisha Thompson @Elisha_t22

The great thing with Weighted Sled Sprints is that it is a real compound workout that hits numerous muscle groups including our targeted area of the glutes, quads and hamstrings. Getting everything firing just the way we want!

According to Mens Fitness, optimal technique is “Arms Straight in front of you, head slightly down, and spine neutral”.

Reasons Why Sacrifice Isn't Always Necessary

Reasons Why Sacrifice Isn't Always Necessary

Everyone talks about counting calories being one the best ways to lose weight.
We've tried some of the popular apps, we've carried our note books around and tried to record every calorie that goes in. But counting calories can be tedious, time consuming and difficult.

But if you can understand Calorie Density, you quickly realize that there is a more effective methodology to achieving this result. - "The Best Part Is That You Don't Have To Starve Yourself For It To Work".

According to Calorie King ; Calorie Density is a 'measurement of the average calories per weight (gram or ounce) of that food'.
Essentially, certain foods contain more calories for less nutritional gain. So for food to have a high calorie density vs a low calorie density, you compare the amount of calories a food contains for its weight or volume.

Calorie Density

Credit: http://www.ForksOverKnives.com

Certain foods fill up your stomach more than others, even if you might be consuming the same amount of calories.

So if you have ever felt confused as to why you're hungry an hour after eating high fat foods such as a Big Mac, that will be explained by a poor Calorie Density ratio.

Low Calorie Foods

Low Calorie Density foods such as fruits & veg, allow you to safely eat fewer calories without sacrificing good nutrition. 
By eating these types of foods you'll be able to cut calories, allowing you to lose weight without feeling hungry, sluggish or tired.
It is important to understand that Low Calorie Density is not the same as a Low Calorie Diet of small portions. Infact, it is quite the contrary, you can fill your plate with low Calorie Density foods.

Another benefit of this method, is to help prevent you from over eating, as you will start to feel 'full' much faster.
Low Calorie Density foods are packed with fibre and water, which both cause your stomach to fill up faster.

Implementing such a plan

High Calorie Density foods are easy to spot since they tend to be excessively high in calories...

  • Donuts, Cakes, Cookies
  • Soda and high sugar drinks
  • Chips, Fries, Fast Food Burgers
  • Ice Cream and high fat dairy

By eating all of the above foods, you'll barely make a dent in the 'fullness' feeling in your stomach leaving you unsatisfied and wanting more just an hour later.

It is worth baring in mind that there is also a number of High Calorie Density foods which are good for you, but moderation should be exercised with.

  • Nuts
  • Healthy Oils
  • Goat Cheese
  • Avocados

Low Calorie Density foods loaded with fibre and water to fill you up include:

  • Fruits & Veg
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Brown Rice
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Low Fat Dairy
  • Lean Meat

As you can see, carbs are not off limits, it is simply a case of being 'smart' about those in which you choose to consume.

Healthy Food Options

 

The understanding here is of course finding something that is practical and feasible to incorporate into your personal lifestyle.

Consistency is the reigning key. Find balance, and maintain.
Article Inspiration Credit: Nutrition Secrets.