Personal Training Tips

Top 10 Nutrition Tips for Pre, During & Post Exercise

Many people attempt a diet at some stage of their lives. The majority of people in a gym will have weight loss as a specific goal. The primary principle of weight loss is simple, however we all look for that magic wand that will provide the answer we seek without recognising that regular exercise supported with a daily calorie balanced food plan is the way to get the shape you are looking for. There is only one kind of fad diet, that's a bad fad diet, a lifestyle change is what is needed. There is nothing wrong with take aways, food on the go & other foods providing they are not eaten every day. 80% of the results to weight loss will come via a healthier nutrition intake. Break up your week's food diary to include 80% of the week to be a healthy balance & aim for one day a week for a 'cheat' day. Not only will you benefit from it in healthier terms but you will also enjoy the other foods more.

There is a strong link between  a healthy daily food lifestyle & healthy body, there are also strong links between poor food lifestyles & several life threatening diseases. Nutrition can affect our hydration levels, concentration, physical performance, energy levels, cause headaches, boost or suppress immunity, effect sleeping patterns etc.  Our bodies are made up & maintained by the foods we eat. There are six main nutrient classes, every diet should contain a balance of the following nutrients: Carbohydrates (including fibre) Fats, Proteins, Vitamins, Minerals, Water. Each of which should be consumed in the correct amounts to get a balanced diet.

The energy in the food we eat comes from three energy nutrients, protein, fat & carbohydrate. We should all consume a balanced diet meaning we should consume a certain percentage of our total calorie intake from each food group. As a nation we consume too much fat, mainly saturated fat, protein, salt & sugar & insufficient levels of complex carbohydrate & fibre. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is

  • Carbohydrate   50%-60%
  • Fat                      25%-30%
  • Protein              10%-15% 
  • In the UK the actual percentage of each nutrient consumed daily is

  • Carbohydrate   35%-40%   
  • Fat                      40%-45%
  • Protein               20%-25%

Fun Runs have become a very popular way to raise money for a good cause & help get people outside to exercise. SM Fitness is supporting local fun runs this year, especially the Great Midlands Run, Wood End 10k Charity Fun Run in support of the British Heart Foundation & Tamworth's Historical 'The Gate Gallop' . If you are considering a Fun Run or similar events then a good pre, during & post exercise eating plan should include the following Tips listed below:

    Pre Run / Training

    Eat one of these 60 minutes before you run /  train

  1. Small bowl of organic Swiss Muesli & Full Fat Plain Yoghurt. The muesli & yoghurt are slow digesting & will offer a long lasting form of energy from carbohydrates, protein & fats
  2. 1 Banana, two to three handful of mixed nuts & raisins & a slice of malt loaf. The malt loaf & banana are packed full of carbohydrates and the raisins are an excellent source of natural energy.
  3. Fruit smoothie. 20g oats, 1 Banana, 20g pineapple, 30ml coconut milk, 15g whey protein isolate & 1 scoop of fruit sorbet. This will give you a combination of fast & slow digesting carbohydrates that will see you through a run of any distance without making you feel bloated and fully loaded.
  4. Mid Run energy Finder

    If you want to run more than 10k (6.4 Miles) try one of these in your water

  5. Apple juice Raw & freshly squeezed. It's rich in natural sugar, fructose which is quickly transported into energy that the body will use to keep on going without dipping.
  6. Protein & Carb Gel. These help increase endurance, in some cases by upto 13%
  7. Watermelon. It is high in water content & energy rich fructose levels will hydrate & give energy.
  8. Recovery Post Run / Training Meals

    Eat one of these meals directly after to assist the body to naturally re fuel

  9. Two boiled eggs alone for protein replacement, or blended mixed fruit in a smoothie. The smoothie replaces the fluids you will have used.
  10. Baked Potato with Tuna & an apple. To recover after exercise its good to eat a mix of antioxidants (apple) protein (tuna) & fast digesting carbohydrates (potato) to assist with energy replacement.
  11. Sushi rolls with rice, fresh salmon & avocado. The fish & avocado are rich in omega 3 fats to reduce inflammation caused by running & the rice will replace lost energy.

Ensure that you never EVER run on an empty stomach as your body will turn to your bodies own inner muscle tissue


Top 10 Hydration Tips Before, During & After Exercise:

Before Exercise

  1. Drink 450ml about half a litre, up to 2 hours before
  2. The Kidneys need 60-90 minutes to process excess liquid
  3. Too much fluid taken on board immediately before exercise may cause an uncomfortable  'glubbing' in the stomach
  4. Drink 200ml of water 5 mins before exercise as this will allow the body to replace the sweat loss the body will experience after during activity.

    During Exercise

  6. Water can travel from the stomach to the skin in 9-18 minutes after drinking, hydrate early from the start of your exercise programme
  7. Ideally, drink every 10-15 mins during activity

    After Exercise

  9. Continue to drink
  10. Salt loss (sodium) is not usually severe and additional salt shouldn't need to be replenished
  11. Most drinks are suitable for re-hydrating, however, water is still considered by many sources as the better option. Avoid drinks containing caffeine or alcohol to rehydrate
  12. Preferably choose decaffeinated products

Outdoor training 'The new home gym is outdoors!'


Outdoor training is a very effective way of challenging yourself. By choosing outdoor training the enjoyment of a session can be greatly improved & so will your results. In essence, your body's own weight will burn your bodies own fat percentage more effectively.


Top 10 Outdoor Training Tips

  1. First & Foremost, have consideration for your well being, select a suitable training area free from potential hazards i.e broken glass to ensure a smooth training plan. Now you have decided to train outdoors its paramount you keep yourself safe to continue your new exercise lifestyle.
  3. Suitable Clothing; there is no such thing as bad weather just inappropriate clothing! Extreme cold can constrict blood vessels and impede blood flow so muscles must be kept warm. When the surface area of the skin warms up, blood vessels open, which increases blood and oxygen flow to the muscles so they can function. By wearing appropriate clothing and modifying exercises, you can offset the effects of the cold and keep workouts safe and enjoyable.
  5. Suitable Footwear; a good cushioned training shoe will act as a suitable shock absorber for the the foot, ankle, knee, hips & spine. Do not attempt to do high impact / long intensity activity wearing flat soled footwear as this will offer limited protection to joints.
  7. Warming Up; this is essential and a longer warm up time maybe required in colder weather. Allow 5-10 minutes to gradually warm up with a brisk walk. Surrounding the joints is something called synovial fluid, when this fluid is cold it acts like a tar, when its warm it acts like an oil and helps lubricate the joint for easier range of movement.
  9. Pre-Work out Stretches; stretch each muscle gently & hold each stretch for 8-10 seconds, do not over stretch & avoid a bouncing motion. Take each stretch to a position of mild discomfort, avoid holding the breath & keep a regular deep breathing pattern throughout the stretch. Alternatively, try Dynamic Flexibility routines which help prepare the soft muscle tissue ready for exercise.
  11. Re Warm; spend the next 3-4 minutes gradually increasing your heart rate before entering into an intense workout. Gradually increase your heart rate as your beats per minute will have reduced whilst performing your stretching/flexibility routine.
  13. Respect Your Training Environment; leave it as tidy as you found it, however, it is good to take advantage of everyday obstacles such as , benches, kerbs, walls, railings, steps & inclines which can provide an excellent training area for press ups, bench dips, stomach crunches, leg lunges, squat exercises, jump ups, jump squats, plyometric workouts & core stability routines.
  15. Take Full Advantage Of Picturesque Training Areas; Outdoor training consists of free air conditioning with natural breezes & weather conditions. This can often help with relaxation and help release the anxiety that everyday life often throws at you.
  17.  Back To Basics; Everything in a gym environment is based off everyday life, i.e a treadmill replaces the pavement, static gym bikes replace the traditional road bike etc, however you will burn more calories & body fat walking outside or cycling than you will walking on a treadmill or a gym bike. A traditional road bike helps target & strengthen core stability muscles for balance.. on a tread mill all your doing in effect is keeping up with the speed of the treadmill, if your outdoors you are targeting more muscles by transporting your body weight from place to place.
  19. Cool Down & Post Training Stretches; do not stop exercising suddenly and sit down, always spend 3 - 5 mins walking to gradually allow your heart beat to decrease. As you have been working out your heart will have pumped many litres of blood around your body, gravity will have sent some of the excess blood to your lower legs, to avoid the risks of blood pooling (blood clotting) gradually allow your heart beat to slow down. Walking for 3-5 mins will dispel excess blood around the body. Always stretch the major muscles after your workout, spend between 15-20 seconds to stretch each muscle, avoid a bouncing motion & concentrate on deep breathing techniques.

NB - Always ensure you have a bottle of water & a phone so if you injure yourself you can keep hydrated & call for help. 


Enjoy your outdoor workout & have fun staying healthy.