FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There is no magic pill or detox that will cause you to burn fat. The only way to drop body fat is to sit below your total daily energy expenditure in a calorie deficit.
We generally recommend to start with a 10-20% deficit.
Unless you’re reasonably lean (12-15% for males, 15 – 20% for females) you’re more than likely better off doing a shred to first drop all that stubborn body fat. Research has found that leaner individuals are more likely to gain more muscle while bulking when compared to individuals with higher body fat percentages. Due to this we generally recommend getting lean before you look to bulk.
Generally we suggest a 10 to 20% surplus and monitor your weight throughout the week. If you’re gaining more than 1% of your bodyweight in the week you’re probably also putting on body fat. While bulking, minimising fat gain should be a priority or you’re going to have to spend longer cutting at the end of your bulk.
Start! If you track your finance then tracking your food is no different. Once you start tracking your food, you will begin to understand how many calories are in specific foods and how to balance your macros to maximise body composition. The easiest way to do this is to start and know that you will make mistake to begin with. It’s ok, just like when you were learning to ride a bike, if you fell over, you got up and tried again. Tracking food is no different.
Once you have tracked your food accurately for a week or two you will start to understand where your maintenance set point is. For example, if you work out your weekly calories averaged out to 2500 calories a day and your weight is stable. We can make the assumption that your maintenance point is 2500 calories a day. Now we can drop 10% and go into a calorie deficit if we want to lose body fat.
In short, No. Carbohydrates are actually a great source of fuel when exercising, the problem occurs when you over consume carbohydrates tipping your calorie balance into a surplus. This surplus over time is what creates unwanted fat gain.
Definitely not, fats are the precursors to a large amount of hormones. Fat intake will aid in the production of cholesterol. Cholesterol (HDL) is the precursor to our sex hormones, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone. Which Omega-3 fat sources, will aid in the rebuilding of cells and stabilization of hormones. Due to this we recommend you consume 1g of fat per kilo of bodyweight.
Protein provides essential amino acids required to build muscle and maintain muscle mass during times of calorie deficit. Current literature suggests that any where from 1 – 2.2 grams per kilo of bodyweight is essential to aiding in muscle recovery. We like to recommend the higher figure (2.2g per kilo of body weight) as protein increases satiety allowing our clients to feel fuller for longer and avoid the bad stuff.
No these devices are generally really inaccurate and overestimate calorie expenditure. Generally if you calculate your calories correctly using one of the main 3 formulas (Mifflin-St Jeor , Katch-McArdle & Katch-McArdle formula) these will account for your activity already.
There are three formula’s we use, they are Mifflin-St Jeor and Katch-McArdle. If you include body fat percentage then use the accurate Katch-McArdle formula.
If you’ve recently increased your training volume and are doing more training sessions per week. We would encourage you to increase your calories and protein consumption. Due to the increased output from an increase in training volume your TDEE will increase. Make up the difference in more quality food.
We’d recommend tracking your calories, if you have the ability to manage your finances you have the ability to track your calories. It’s the most accurate way of doing it and yields results the fastest. If you’re really against tracking your calories you can used hand size portions to measure and track your macro nutrient intake. Check out the precision nutrition website for some really easy ways to track via hand measurements.
Plan ahead, look at menu in the morning and choose what you’re going to have. From there, enter your meal into your tracking app at the start fo the day so you know how much you room you’ve got to play with at the end of the day.
Leave it in the past, enjoy it for what it was and get right back on track with your nutrition and training. The fastest way to your goal is consistency so get right back on the gains train and forget about the banger of a weekend you just had.
Obviously if you have blow outs every weekend you’re going to struggle to hit your goals but one weekend here and there isn’t going to derail your performance.
Tempo is one of the ways we manipulate the intensity and speed of the movement. This allows us to manipulate the time under tension (TUT), TUT is one of the best ways to stimulate muscle growth and strength gains. We also use tempo to clearly communicate how fast or slow we want you to move during a movement, this can be beneficial if we’re looking to strength specific positions or movements.
Each number dictates how long you spend in the given movement.
First number (4) = Eccentric component of the movement = muscle lengthening & how long you should take to move through the phase of the movement
Second number (1) = Isometric component e.g the bottom position
Third number (1) = Concentric component = muscle contracting & how long you should take to move through the phase of the movement
Fourth number (2) = Isometric component e.g the bottom position
Strength should be viewed as a skill. To develop a skill, time must be taken to practice the skill with perfect execution first. As we further develop the skill we begin to express higher levels of coordination and strength.
This is how we like to view strength. Begin with learning how to move correctly then gradually load the movement to begin developing strength and coordination we generally do this by using heavier weights and lower repetitions which causes muscular and neural adaptations.
Just like strength, muscle growth occurs once we’ve fully mastered the coordination and skill of activating the muscle effectively to cause enough muscle damage to promote muscle growth.
There are 3 primary mechanisms needed to promote hypertrophy and muscle growth.
Mechanical tension, muscle damage and cellular swelling.
To effectively achieve these 3 things you need to perform an array of different reps and sets at different time domains to effectively stimulate them all.
Conditioning can be a great way at promoting fat-loss. However, we generally recommend that you dial your nutrition in first before adding in more conditioning work. We program enough conditioning work to stimulate aerobic adaptations within the squad training program. This means you don’t necessarily need to do more outside of class. Instead focus on sitting in a calorie deficit and the squad training will do the rest. If you hit a plateau.
To truly develop strength and build muscle we need to recover in-between sets to ensure our movement quality remains high. This rest periods also leads to better recovery, allowing us to move a higher load throughout the whole session which results in higher levels of mechanical tension leading to better results.
Periodisation is the process of breaking the year down into smaller time periods in order to structure the training program effectively.
We use periodisation because the body adapts to any stimulus placed upon it. After repeating a program or the same stimulus for a period of time we lack the adaptations we are chasing (this can be muscle gain, fat-loss, speed, conditioning). Due to this we use periodisation to change the stimulus ever 4-6 weeks.
Over training occurs when the intensity and volume of psychological and physical stress exceeds the recovery capacity of the athlete.
Signs & Symptoms of Overtraining
Persistent fatigue and lethargy.
Loss of appetite.
Extreme muscle soreness (inflammation).
Weight loss in cases where the aim is to avoid weight loss.
Dramatic drop in performance.
Swollen lymph nodes.
Increase in resting heart rate (8-10 bpm).
Constipation or diarrhea.
Increase in minor illness such as colds and headaches.
Amenorrhea (menstruation stops).
Over training reduces your gains, drives you into a recover debt and makes it harder to achieve your goals.
DOMs (delayed onset muscle soreness) is a normal part of the training. If your DOMs are so bad that you feel like you’re not able to make sessions the next day, back off the intensity next time and build to intensity up slowly.
The first thing you need to remember if you hurt your back is that it’s not the end of your training. Contrary to what most people think, you do not need to stop everything, start to focus on what you CAN do.
As your back starts to settle down, begin to slowly increase the volume on movements that do not cause pain. Then slowly start to reintroduce hinging patterns and begin to scale the volume and load.
The first thing you need to remember if you hurt your ankle is that it’s not the end of your training. Contrary to what most people think, you do not need to stop everything, start to focus on what you CAN do.
With ankle injuries we suggest you hold off on anything that causes pain, this will most likely be anything involving plyometrics and impact.
As your ankle starts to settle down, begin to slowly add in calve raises, skipping and small amounts of running. Then progress this volume as you become stronger.
The first thing you need to remember if you hurt your shoulder is that it’s not the end of your training. Contrary to what most people think, you do not need to stop everything, start to focus on what you CAN do.
With shoulder injuries we suggest you hold off on doing anything that causes pain, this will most likely be limited to a specific range of motion.
As your shoulder starts to settle down, begin to slowly add in movements that previously flared it up, if these do not cause you pain keep progressively loading these movements until you’re back to your baseline levels of strength.
The first thing you need to remember if you hurt your knee is that it’s not the end of your training. Contrary to what most people think, you do not need to stop everything, start to focus on what you CAN do.
With knee injuries we suggest you hold off on doing anything that causes pain, this will most likely be limited to a specific range of motion.
The knee is a hinge joint which often means it’s not the knee that causes the pain, it just end of the road which creates the pain. Some of the most basic fixes of knees is to address tight and weak hip flexors, weak and under active glutes and weak tibialis anterior muscles.
Flexibility is defined as “the range of motion available to a joint”. Mobility on the other hand relates the range of motion and strength available to a joint.
You’re just opening yourself up for injury as you’ll be unable to stabilise the joint in the new found range.
Mobility should be your main focus, you want to be strong through the largest range of motion possible.
Sure! Foam rolling is a great way to increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage to an area.
If you feel sore and tight, a foam roller can be a great tool at helping increase recovery.
Foam rollers won’t fix tight and weak muscles though, if you consistently have tightness in specific spot, using a foam roller for it is like a band aid. Use mobility and structural balance work to fix the underlying root cause.
Generally keep your static stretching towards the end of the sessions to calm your nervous systems and help with recovery.
Use active and dynamic movements at the start of a session to improve range of motion and prepare the body for exercise.
Not getting enough sleep is one of the fastest ways to stop you from not reaching your goals. Lack of sleep, reduces muscle gain, reduces fat-loss when in a calorie deficit, decreases your ability to handle carbohydrates, increases risk of injury and decreases cognitive ability.
Sleep is one of the first things you should dial in when embarking on a health & fitness journey.
Work on getting 7+ hours a night to make sure you’re operating at your peak.
NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis) – our metabolism is made up of many different components, one that is quite important when dieting is NEAT. Research has shown that as we diet and begin to lose body fat our metabolism “slows” down to ensure we don’t lose all our body fat in case of a famine.
Your metabolism “slowing” is actually a result of your NEAT output reducing.
This means that you twitch, move and fidget less to reduce how much energy you burn. This all happens at a subconscious level which makes it hard to account for. A way we prevent you from plateauing is to prescribe a step goal each day, this allows you to maintain your energy spending output and reach your fat-loss goal.
Vitamin D is crucial for your immune system and aiding in recovery. To ensure you get enough Vitamin D aim to get 15 minutes a day of direct sun light exposure to ensure optimal levels.