Archive Monthly Archives: May 2016

How an attitude change finally could get you results

People say they want to change, train this many times, be strict with their eating habits, not drinking any alcohol and the list grows long. However when it comes down to it, they’re not always ready to give up the comfort of their current lives.

As a trainer I’m here to educate and push you to become a stronger, healthier and more confident person. I’m responsible for the training results you get when you follow the plan. I’m here to give you the tools and guide you. I’m more than happy to change your lifestyle, if you are willing to change yourself. It all starts with the attitude change.

Below are a few attributes to adopt if you want results:

Be open for change; open to do things you haven’t done before to get results you’ve never gotten before.

Listen carefully to what the trainer says; by listening you will understand the process of how things will be run, which will make you more confident in the process.

Ask questions; be keen to know the “why” and the “how” of what’s in front of you!

Be willing to do what it takes; you know that if you honestly put in your best effort you will progress.

If you’re honestly open to change, to listen, to ask questions and willing to make a change and follow the plan you will be half way there. The good old saying “You are your own worst enemy” is so true in this situation. If there is a part of you saying “I’m not sure about this, I’m sure I don’t have to put THAT much effort into it, I wouldn’t do it this way, I wonder if it’s better if I…” then you either need to drop the ego of thinking you know how to do this, because you obviously don’t considering you’re asking for help OR you need to find a trainer that will agree to do the things your way.

In my work the plan itself is never “my way or the high way”, it can be adjusted if needed, however when it comes to the attitude and effort it will be all or nothing.

Change your attitude and you will get better results.

- Fanny

The journey of the end goal

Have you also come to realise that there is no “end goal”?

I talk a lot about my gymnastics training (with lack of a better word I use gymnastics, but it’s actually a bit of a hybrid program that includes strength and mobility exercises that will improve my body to move better) and it’s because I feel it’s given me more than a training regime to follow. For me gymnastics is a great way of describing that there’s no end goal, your whole training life will be a journey where you reach goals and keep reaching for new ones. You are never done. There won’t ever be a time where you can sit back and say “Yep, I’ve learnt it all, I’m a master of this type of training”.

In training there’s all these different exercises to master and when you’ve mastered them all you’ll find new ones, variations or different programming that will allow you to keep progressing. It’s not only that we have access to a lot of knowledge about training and that this is what you “can” do. When you find something that you really enjoy, training will transform into this inner drive focusing on continued learning and progression.

It’s the continued learning and progression that many people would say is the end goal; others would call it “the journey”.

I think this is quite important to understand because training often comes down to integrity. With a high work ethic and integrity in training you will not be satisfied with a half good squat, you will train till you perfect it. You are honest with yourself and you won’t settle for less than extraordinary. This won’t make your journey longer because it’s a never-ending journey but it’ll make it harder and more rewarding.

If you haven’t yet found what you like to train or practice, you won’t have the integrity or see training as a journey, all you can see is the end goal. Why would your work ethic be high if you don’t enjoy what you’re doing? It’s like your typical job right! If you use a type of training you don’t enjoy to reach your goal all you care about is the end goal and how to get there as fast and with as little effort as possible.

What I would like you to take away from this article is; when you find the type of training you enjoy you will train with high work ethics and integrity and this will be more rewarding than the goal you set before you started, you will understand what it means when people say “It’s all about the journey”

Boring training --> Low work ethic --> Integrity --> Cheating/Lazy --> End goal

Enjoyable training --> High work ethic + Integrity --> Results --> Journey

Find what you love training and let the journey begin! 🙂 

- Fanny​

Muscle soreness: what causes it, and how to get rid of it

Everyone who gets into weight training will recognise the associated soreness in the days after. Usually it’ll be at its worst 2-3 days after your training, and can persist for over a week in particularly bad cases!

The technical name for this soreness is DOMS - Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. There are many claims regarding how to get rid of DOMS, and what actually causes it in the first place, so that’s what we’re going to look at today.

DOMS is essentially the product of metabolite accumulation in response to exercise. In other words, there are a bunch of chemicals that are released as part of the muscle contraction, damage and repair process that causes us to sense pain in that area.


Whenever we cause damage or put the musculature under stress, there is a huge amount of signalling between cells that goes on in the local area. As a result, inflammatory processes, immune system activation, pain signalling substances and chemicals involved in the remodelling process are all present and involved in causing DOMS.


One substance that is unlikely to be a direct cause of DOMS is lactic acid. The common perception is that the burning sensation caused by acid accumulation causes muscle soreness - but according to research this is not the case.


Usually muscle soreness is accompanied by workouts that cause a large amount of lactic acid production because those training sessions simply have a harder/higher workload. It doesn’t mean that the lactic acid is actually responsible for the pain sensation in the following days.


OK - I’m not sure anyone cares THAT much what metabolites are involved with DOMS - you’re probably more concerned with the pain management side of things!


Firstly I’m going to address what definitely doesn’t work - and this might come as a surprise.


Current research is pretty clear that static stretching does not reduce DOMS. The associated movement during a stretching session is probably what gives you relief, if anything. And particularly if you’re doing some light exercise/dynamic stretching combined with the static stretches, you’re likely to see some benefit - however, static stretching by itself is not an effective way to reduce muscle soreness!


Massage is another method, as is contrast baths (e.g. alternating between very cold and very hot water in the shower). The contrast bath method seems to work pretty well, but has had some mixed results and probably suffers just as much from anecdote as static stretching (ie people just take it for granted as common knowledge, and see sports stars doing it in the locker room so they assume it works).


My hot tip for reducing DOMS is to eat properly around your training. It’s been shown that having a dose of BCAAs around training will reduce DOMS in the days following.


Note that I’m not advocating supplementing with them, as I believe BCAAs to be one of the least cost-effective supplements on the market, but rather ensuring enough high quality protein before and after training.


Add to this some lighter training and generally moving around instead of sitting or lying down the rest of the day, and you’re well on your way to mitigating muscle soreness.


At the end of the day you still just have to cop it, though. Wear it as a badge of honour! You’ll find that soreness is bad the first couple of times you train or perform a new exercise, but it quickly subsides after that.

Lastly - do you need to get sore to know you're progressing in the gym?

My answer is: it depends! A body-builder or powerlifter looking to cause a serious degree of muscle damage to promote growth probably should get at least a little sore after most training sessions.​ But everyone has different goals and different needs, and your training should reflect that.

You need to be able to use other outcomes to determine if you're progressing or not - it's pretty straightforward to make yourself ridiculously sore, but this isn't an intelligent way to approach training unless it's a byproduct of proper periodisation and programming.


References

Cairns SP "Lactic acid and exercise performance : culprit or friend?" Sports Med. (2006)

Herbert RD, de Noronha M, Kamper SJ "Stretching to prevent or reduce muscle soreness after exercise." Cochrane Database Syst Rev. (2011)

Shimomura Y, et al "Branched-chain amino acid supplementation before squat exercise and delayed-onset muscle soreness." Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2010)

Zainuddin Z, et al "Effects of massage on delayed-onset muscle soreness, swelling, and recovery of muscle function." J Athl Train. (2005)

Zainuddin Z, et al "Light concentric exercise has a temporarily analgesic effect on delayed-onset muscle soreness, but no effect on recovery from eccentric exercise." Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. (2006)


Happy & Healthy relationships; The story about Fanny

Not one time have I focused on losing fat the last 6 months and still, I’ve lost 4 kg and 2% BF. Not one time these past 6 months have I stressed about losing fat. But this hasn’t been the case always. You want to know my story? Keep reading…

Fanny 2008

Body building show 2010

As I’m looking back at photos from 2008 when I went on my first “diet” I feel grateful for the experiences I gained but when we get into 2011 I feel sad. I fooled myself to believe that I looked good and that it was all a part of “bulking” which is what I was doing at the time. The truth is, I couldn’t even bring myself to actually look closer at those photos. I was embarrassed. So embarrassed that when mum insinuated that I should back off this bulking I got angry and tried to justify being fat.

For years I tried to lose fat and become “lean”. I looked at the endless photos of female fitness competitors and thought that that is what I want to look like. I had already been on stage in 2010 and loved it (I was the only one in my class, it was a beginners show) but I had heard you needed to stay on the same weight roughly for 18 months to reset your metabolism on your new weight so that was my goal. In the beginning it was easy, I could eat some shit and get away with it. I was in great shape 8 and even 10 months after my show and the amount of food I thought I could get away with slowly increased to the point where I looked like this...

Fanny 2011

Fanny 2012

What you think is Your “ideal you” is like what you think having unlimited money is like- You’ll be happy! … Finally.

Nah, it's not really like that is it?

Yes being fat or poor might trigger you to do something about your current miserable situation but reaching that “end” goal (Does an “end goal” exist anyway?? To be discussed in another post…), The "ideal you" won’t bring you endless happiness. Enjoying life here and now with fun training, diverse healthy food and nurturing your life's many relationships, will.

In my previous life (I call it my previous life because it’s so different from how I live today) I was bored. I was bored, I felt stuck in relationships, jobs, training and in the city where I lived. Before I had recognized that I was bored and my life was going down a path that I wasn’t ready for, I was fat. There is one good thing with being fat and miserable; you wake up and start doing something about it! For me that meant go travelling, move to another country to work, study and learn my profession better but it wasn’t until my life's relationships became happy and healthy that I started to see the real results.

Let me tell you what a happy and healthy relationship is to me. My relationship with training when I was focused on losing fat was detrimental; I was basically punishing myself every single time I was in the gym. The more pain I could endure the better it would be to lose fat, I thought. If I couldn’t finish or do the weight for a certain amount of set/reps I was a loser, which is what I told myself. This type of training made my self-esteem low and I had no self-respect, it was all slowly going down the drain and it was my own fault.

Fanny 2013

About a year ago I switched my training over completely to gymnastic strength and movement training after realising how tiring it has been with fat loss written on my forehead for the past 4-5 years. When I do this type of training I focus on skills that I’m yet to master and the challenge is so exciting and makes me very competitive! I feel like I’m in my element. As an old wrestler on high level in Sweden I love competing and it brings me joy to master exercises and skills that I’ve never been able to do before. Gymnastics strength and movement training builds my self-esteem and my self-respect and this is for me a happy and healthy relationship!

Fanny 2014

The more you can enjoy the ride the better reaching your goal will feel. You might even get MORE out of the journey than you thought, Like I have, I never ones thought of going into gymnastics with the fat loss agenda.

But my relationship to training wasn’t the only thing that made me the person I am today. I’ve also worked on my relationship with food for many years after dieting as a wrestler and from being a stressed out PT who barely ate or at other times stuffed my face in whipped cream and berries. I still cook from scratch but I now reach for options that has less fat (which was what I used to eat a lot of, not much nuts these days) and in general eating more vegetables, amongst other things. There's always tweaks to be made to your food depending on what's going on in your life. How to change it and when is something you learn with years of practice.

Fanny 2015

Then it’s the relationship I have with Luke. It is one particularly happy and healthy relationship that is also supportive and filled with unconditional love. That’s why I’m marring the man!! Considering these circumstances I totally get why fat loss has been a byproduct of my gymnastics training.

Looking in the back mirror I left a person with low self-esteem and low self-respect in Oslo. I’ve grown into a person with happy and healthy relationships and as a byproduct I’m now more self-confident and leaner!

Fanny 2016

Fanny 2016

Nurture your relationships and become happy and healthy <3

- Fanny