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Shattered dreams of a guilt free ice cream addict

After people getting their knickers in a twist because I told them their favourite high protein low calorie ice cream has 10 teaspoons of sugar per tub i thought id do a post on nutrition and the hidden ingredients in a lot of foods because if people are getting touchy over some facts about ice cream and its contents, it means people are eating whole tubs thinking its 340 calories and quote one person who messaged me, “I could burn that off in an hour” and people should know that’s not really the case.

Now, firstly, who doesn’t like ice cream (its grown on me recently). I also love chocolate, cake, donuts, biscuits and crisps so when someone gets defensive about me mentioning the ingrediants of an icecream which is 340 calories per tub its because they probably eat one a week not knowing what else is in there. Again, there is nothing wrong with eating a whole tub of icecream…as long as you currently aren’t aiming to be on a ‘diet’ or trying to achieve fat loss. Now again, even when trying to lose bodyfat you can eat a whole tub and more as long as you manage that into your daily and weekly nutrition. Problem is, if you dont know what is in foods then you can’t manage this so you might think you are dieting or eating well, but really you probably aren’t.
I’m seeing it pop up regularly on my Instagram the amount of people eating protein bars like apples. This comes under the same bracket as the ice cream. It says on the front of the bar in bold high protein, low fat but if you look a little more carefully some will contain around 8g of sugar per 100g. Some are better than others, granted; grab a Grenade bar and get 0g of sugar, some saturated fat but generally a lot better, but you need to understand this before jumping in for the alternatives.
The vast majority of people want to achieve fat loss, and if this is you and you are snacking on protein bars, low calorie ice cream and whatever else similar, just understand what you are eating and how much a little better. This way you can plan your ice cream or whatever into your weekly eating and still achieve goals. Its when you don’t educate yourself then feel betrayed because you read the packet and it says 340 calories per whole tub but it also has a lot of sugar which will convert to fat a lot quicker in the body and be a lot harder to remove.
The sooner you understand food, labels, portions you should be eating, the quicker you will get to results and not have to worry about ‘dieting’ anymore.


www.marcbennettcoaching.com


Change diet plans help understand food more, change habits and portions and give you the basis to take forward into your life so you know how much food to eat to lose bodyfat, add weight or maintain your current weight.

Drop me an email marcbennettcoaching@gmail.com or DM me on Instagram if you’d like to share thoughts, ask any questions or for anything else.

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No Shortcuts

Did you know:

1 pound of fat = 3500 calories
1 stone = 14 pounds
28 pounds – 2 stone
2 stone = 98000 calories
To lose 98000 calories which is 2 stone of fat you need to be in a calorie deficit of 500 calories everyday for 196 days. 

Don’t take any shortcuts to losing body fat. You can do this, just be consistent and commit. Those are the two biggest influences to fat loss. There is no exercise to do or ab programme.

  • Eat loads of protein
  • Limit fats
  • Vary your training and exercise
  • Avoid processed sugar
  • Learn what is in your food
  • Be consistent
  • Commit to the process

My Top Tips to Being The Fittest You

Health & Fitness to me is not just about one or two things anymore. There are so many facets to it and I believe you need to bring all of these together to ensure you maximise results.

Now, that isn’t the same for everyone. People are great at one or two things and are still incredible athletes, but for me personally, especially as I’ve got older, different facets have come into play and now I only wish I’d started them sooner.

I’d say the majority of people know what to do, but it’s about executing what you know, that is a different animal all together.

Here’s my top tips to ensuring you try

  1. Vary your workouts. If you go to a class whether it be Tabata, HIIT, Spin or similar all the time, you won’t develop and you will plateau.
  2. You don’t have to eat boiled chicken and broccoli to have a good diet. You do however need to know what is in your food and how much you can eat. Educate yourself.
  3. Health & Fitness has different levels for everyone. Don’t compare yourself to others, perform at your best.
  4. Complete movements properly, with correct form. If you use bad form continuously you wont improve.
  5. Find yourself something you enjoy. It makes a huge difference to want to train rather than making yourself.
  6. Sleep well. 7-9 hours a night. Don’t neglect this.
  7. Think about taking some ‘me’ time. Mindset and recovery is not all mumbo jumbo.
  8. If you want to get stronger, more flexible and fitter. Take hotpod yoga or a good yoga class.
  9. Not every calorie is equal. This is a big talking point, but in my mind they are not equal so know your food better. If you don’t know what you are putting in, how do you know what works for you.
  10. Remove ego in exercise. As soon as you do that, you’ll become a better athlete.

If you’d like to discuss any of the above head to my Instagram @marcbenjones and drop me a DM, love a chat.

http://www.marcbennettcoaching.com 3 month training and diet plans available to all abilities

#noshortcuts

MBC new home

MBC has moved away from social media and will keep the content coming on here. A website. Old school I know, but I like the old school.

All MBC members still have access to True Coach and all its functionality and its now even easier to have an open communication stream if you have any questions.

There will be recipes, tips and tricks, training plan previews and much more and you can always get all the information you need by joining Marc Bennett Coaching and getting access to the True Coach app where you can have your training programmes sent to you daily, ‘Change’ diet plans where you can learn about your macro-nutrients, what you are putting in your body to reach your goals, mobility, mindset and lots more.

I want to better serve all MBC members and by doing that I want the information they receive to more exclusive.

Social media is dead. Long live teletext.

Seek help. Ironically, it helps

“Son, your ego is writing cheques your body can’t cash”

Topgun, probably the best film ever made. Bold statement. Don’t care, it is. I even love Tom Cruise and one thing myself and Tom Cruise have in common is we both had ego’s our bodies couldn’t cash.

In other words I was taking on too much without knowing what I was doing.

If any of the below are you then read on;

  • You’re not motivated to go to the gym
  • You only go to gym classes
  • Your interested in weight lifting but only know the basics
  • You want to get fitter but don’t really know how
  • You want to be more gymnastic
  • You find yourself not knowing what to do in the gym
  • You friend has a programme and you follow it as well

I’ve spoken before about the start of my training life i’d wander into the gym and not really know what I was doing. Perhaps i’d run 5km as fast as I could today, or then tomorrow i’ll follow someone else’s programme because it looked fun but then it hurt so much and I don’t understand the movements I probably won’t train for 3 days now.

Now let’s get one thing straight it’s BRILLIANT you’re in the gym and keeping active and doing anything at all. It’s not you guys that need to be concerned it’s the people that have read the bullet points above and obviously want that little bit of extra help from somewhere or someone.

If this post is starting to sound very typically PTish. “Oh come to me I know what I’m talking about and I can see you don’t really” but honestly it’s not like that. Sometimes it’s a genuine concern for safety – the amount of people compound lifting – squat, front squat, deadlift and Olympic lifting – snatching, clean & jerk and so on with no clue what they are doing is pretty eye opening.

It’s more prevalent in squats and deadlift I find where form goes out the window enabling the person in question to lift more in front of the mirror because they’ve seen someone else doing it. Don’t even pretend you don’t see this in the gym all the time!

What is happening now though with the Instagram accounts out there is, girls especially are straight leg deadlifting they are doing barbell hip thrusts, back squatting with absolutely no clue why.

Again, it’s great your active but you are not getting yourself anywhere. If anything you might be hindering your own development.

It’s not just girls though. Guys, you are performing a 500kg leg press yea? With no extension at the knee…hmm…or walking round the gym with a weights belt on. Your weights belt is very useful…for weights above 80% of your maximum, otherwise you really shouldn’t be lifting those weights if you need that belt. Did you know that? I didn’t think so.

It’s not your fault. You’ve seen people doing it, makes you look stacked. There is nothing wrong with that but why not ask or seek help from someone.

Then there’s gym classes. I’m such a big fan of a class, but now and again. That spin class you do 5 times a week is not shredding you. That body attack class is not shredding you and that hiit class is definitely not shredding you. This is becoming so common now with people thinking just doing endless classes will help hit their goals. If their goal is to start moving more and getting used to weights and movements they may not have experienced before then gym classes are for you. If you have a specific goal in mind or want to see body recomposition gym classes will not do the job i’m afraid.

SHOCK NEWS: Every single person who just does gym classes and does not concentrate on conditioning or body building (don’t be scared by that word, it’s just weights) is in the same shape as when they started doing gym classes 2 years ago. These people who attend classes will have undoubtedly seen a change in weight but highly unlikely they will see the change in body shape they want. That’s where asking for that extra help you can’t get in a class of 20 comes in handy.

Why are you asked to do a full minute on the assault bike as hard as you can in the middle of a class? Not doable
Why are you performing Olympic lifts with no guidance? You shouldn’t be

If you want to turn up and sweat in a class they are fantastic but a means to an end.

I have been lucky enough to have learnt from some great people throughout my training life and self learning along the way with a mixture of studying and just talking to people so writing a programme for myself, whatever my goal was never a problem but I personally like to get other people’s insight and knowledge and add that to the pool. Someone else will have different methods that suit my goals and lifestyle which is great for me. No longer was I looking at other people’s programmes and picking bits out I was good at and ignoring the rest.

Having a programme to follow tailored to my goals has been priceless to my training. If I said I was going to train once a week, that session is there for me, if it was 8 times per week, all those sessions are laid out for me. The motivation aspect then became huge. I knew exactly what I would be training every time I went to the gym or worked out at home.

People’s individual programmes should be tailored to them and their specific goals and I specifically set out to do that on MBC. This whole platform was build from the experience I had above. I wanted to provide a service to people which was affordable (because I know not everyone can afford a PT) but to give everyone a structure they can stick too and I think I am doing that.

Don’t let your ego get in the way of asking for some help. Honestly it’s hugely helpful being given not only the motivation to go and train by receiving a programme you can just follow but having those specifics to focus on so your training can develop and you can finally start to meet your goals.

This post is not there for people to spend money on a programme. Just ask for help. I’m not going to charge anyone for asking questions so feel free, anytime. If you then decide you do want to start training with a purpose and know what you’re doing and why, ask for a programme. You won’t regret it.

My Philosophy on training

My philosophy on training is really simple, but it hasn’t always been this way.

I think experimenting with how you workout, what you do, what you eat and what you believe in is part of the journey but I wish it had been simpler.

My first experience of training was in a football environment as a youngster. Basically as simple as can be, just play football everyday basically for hours. This went on throughout my younger teenage life up until the age of 15 when I signed a professional contract with Swansea City FC. Training stepped up a notch with pool sessions, yoga sessions and a lot more football but still I hadn’t set foot in a gym.

At around 17 I quit football (too much too young) and started playing rugby with all my mates. I was lucky I was fast because I was pretty small in weight and height. Rugby was going well by the time I hit 18 captaining my youth team to the then Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and moving into senior rugby but I still wasn’t going to the gym but I did start to take a bit more notice as the boys around me were all ‘doing guns’ on a Friday.

Moving into senior rugby was the change and I started going to the gym. Clueless, doing curls or stacking the leg press as heavy as possible and seeing if I could do it but unfortunately getting beginners gains even though I had no structure to anything I was doing.

Going to uni the gym stopped but then signing semi-pro at 20 years old (4 years after starting playing rugby) gave me the kick to get in the gym. Still I basically wandered around the gym but I was a bit more clued in to super setting exercises or doing hypertrophy because I heard that’s how muscles grow.

No coloration between diet and training though and this continued for a number of years as I battled with being a little chubby but being pretty thick set, broad and fit.

It’s literally now, my mid-thirties that i’d consider myself in tune with my body. I no longer worry that much about what i’m eating because I now know how to scratch that off by balancing out my week. I no longer beat myself up if I don’t train for two days. I’m much more tuned in to what works and what doesn’t and that’s not just for me but in general. The health & fitness industry is rife with bullshit, people and companies complicating the process to make money and you can’t blame them with the diet industry being the second most profitable industry in the world behind pharmaceuticals.

Now I find myself in the gym probably 8 or 9 times a week completing functional training programmes that I enjoy. I now no longer concern myself with if I can lift heavy or run faster than someone (I just keep that competitive edge in my head) I just enjoy training and that change in mindset has helped me become much more functionally fit for purpose. Yes I want to be the fittest I can be and strongest  I can be, but for me, not for anyone else. I’d recommend this mindset to anyone. 

My nutrition now is the same nutrition advice I give to any clients on MBC. Life is too short to turn down that burger or that brownie. Just don’t go over the top and you can eat everything you want in moderation. Just balance our your energy in (food) and energy out (exercise) it really is that simple! Food is there to be enjoyed.

My philosophy to round-up is a simple one. Start to move more, don’t be constricted by a standard fitness programme. Just start to consciously move more, learn how to hold your body weight and how to move it efficiently. Try different sports and activities, lift weights, run, jump, sprint, throw down.

Your nutrition, stay in a calorie deficit to your training (find out yours by taking a programme with me here)  food is there to be enjoyed, just make better decisions with your food and educate yourself a little. If you want to lose some body fat or build muscle you will need to consume more protein. You don’t have to stop eating bread, or give up ice cream, there is ways and means to reach your goals and they are not in line with fads, gimmicks and short cuts.

You can literally follow my philosophy by joining MBC today and get the most from your training without giving up anything. You just need a bit of guidance.

”The best plan is one you stick to”

Mindset and Recovery

A load of bollocks

That’s honestly what I used to think of mindset, meditation, yoga, stretching, active recovery, sleep. Until I started reading and learning more about it and finding out how interesting these components were to not just life but all aspects of training.

I am a complete novice when it comes to all these elements but I am learning more and more and the huge benefits of these.

I’ll tell you something, playing rugby for years does absolutely nothing for your mobility and flexibility.

When I started Hotpod yoga about 2 years ago it was embarrassing how un-mobile I was. Believe me as well, I’d be at home thinking I was flexible before I stated going to Hotpod but it opened my eyes to how strong these individuals were (I will never ever call them yogi’s – I mean, fuck off). Not just strong though, flexible, mobile, relaxed – I was impressed (and hooked)

My strength was increasing week by week just from doing yoga, something i’d never considered. An hour of Hotpod and I was burning (according to my Garmin H/R watch) > 500 calories and I felt it. Some of the poses and stretches were really challenging but I was loving it. Funnily enough although sessions were difficult, by the end of the session when we wind down I felt so relaxed it literally changed my day. If I could, and yoga was more accessible I’ve found it so effective i’d give up 2 weights sessions a week to go to a yoga class and I’m convinced my strength would improve and not decline.

This was the inspiration to start exploring other methods of relaxation, mindset and recovery.

I began using ‘Headspace’ meditation app and loved it but moved to another app ‘Calm’ purely for expense – It was a quarter of the price. For beginners i’d say ‘Calm’ is fine but I  ‘Headspace’ is just brilliant and worth the eventual £75 a year membership. Just to take 10 minutes to myself and meditate daily actually makes my day a lot more positive in all areas. Something to think about perhaps?

When I began looking at mindset before training, meditation came into it as well. When I say meditation its as basic as breathing exercises and concentration. It doesn’t mean floating on a magic carpet.

Visualising the workout and relaxing before going into the gym has helped my training hugely. I used to give up halfway through anything challenging but changing my mindset before training has actually helped me during the session. Now if I have a tough session coming up, I will visualise myself crushing that workout whilst performing simple breathing exercises – two seconds breathing in, two seconds breathing out and concentrating on my breath so I stay focused.

When it came to workouts I was never one to recover well enough. I very rarely stretch after working out and it is so important for everyone if they want to perform to a good standard. Only recently I have started taking my recovery seriously and now I ensure I take at least 15 minutes at the end of a session to foam roll and stretch.

My Daily mobility

Stretching – post workout (2 min per stretch per side)

Pigeon strethch
Couch stretch
Chest/shoulder stretch
Banded lat stretch

Foam rolling (1 min per area per side)

ITB
VMO
Glutes
Lats

(YouTube the stretches)

I have also began taking my sleeping a lot more serious. Over the past few months now I have experimented and I now know I need 7.5/8 hours and I’m really going at my day being positive and productive. I used to sleep a lot less, accepted 5/6 hours a night and never really considered this was impacting my training and productivity but it without a doubt was. Sleeping less I found I wouldn’t train in the morning, then I would struggle to go in the evening but getting the right sleeping plan and using ‘Headspace’ to do this has definitely helped my training.

I will definitely be continuing my journey to learn more and research more in this pillar of training. Nutrition is one pillar, exercise and health another pillar and then there is recovery and sleep. I’d imagine the third pillar is easily the most overlooked by everyone but perhaps as I learn more the most undervalued by far.