Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Rich Palmer PT now training in Lichfield

Hi, i'm Rich Palmer PT and i'm pleased to announce that i will now be extending my Personal Training services into the Lichfield area - including my Free Consultation and Body MOT.

Health & fitness is my passion and I have been regularly training in gyms for over 15 years. I am now focusing on sharing all I’ve learnt over those years with like minded individuals who I can help avoid some of the ‘exercise pitfalls’ that are common amongst those who are starting out on a new fitness regime, from my first hand experience I know that doing it on your own can be a long, hard and often frustrating road.

“making your fitness goals a reality”

I too often hear about PT’s who spend an hour a week with their clients, put them through an unnecessarily rigorous hour of training and then say goodbye until next week. I truly believe that Personal Training is about more than that and I will make myself available to you 24/7, your goals are my goals and I will not leave you high and dry to make it on your own.

By choosing a Rich Palmer PT plan you will be getting:
  • -       A fun, friendly but focused Personal Trainer who puts your needs at the heart of your programme.
  • -       A FREE initial consultation where I will take the time to get to know about YOU and YOUR fitness goals.
  • -       A Body MOT which will measure your heart rate, weight, BMI, Body Fat and Measurements in order to set specific, measurable, timed and realistic goals. This will be visible to you and continuous throughout your plan so you can see the changes (other than the obvious physical ones) that you will be making to your body.
  • -       A Training plan that can be completed in your home, garage, garden, gym, local park... basically wherever and whenever is convenient to you and your lifestyle.
  • -       Help, guidance and advice on diet and nutrition. An important factor in all types of training is nutrition and together we will work to find the right balance of training and nutrition that suits your individual lifestyle.
  • -       Tips on how best to keep up your programme outside of your Rich Palmer PT session.
  • -       Regular updates to your training programme to ensure you continue to get results, as your body starts to change you will only continue to see results if your programme changes with it and I will work hard to ensure you never become bored with your programme or feel that your results are becoming stagnant.

But don't just take my word for it:
“I quite literally found Rich on Google so I didn’t have very high expectations but I did know that I needed someone to motivate me to get fit and tone up. After 10 sessions with Rich my body shape has changed, my fitness levels have improved beyond recognition and I can even run, quite happily - something I have never been able to do. I have now signed up for another block of 10 sessions and miraculously managed to make a fitness routine part of my life. Rich has set me realistic goals which I have managed to achieve, advised me on my diet and generally motivates me to become a healthier, fitter and much happier person.”
Charlotte – 30, Leicestershire

Whatever your fitness goals and needs I will help you achieve them, all I ask is if I’m putting in 100% you’re putting in 100%, together we can achieve the results you have always dreamed of.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions via phone, email, Facebook or twitter and I will be more than happy to help. By choosing me as your Personal Trainer I will offer you all the support and motivation you need in order to reach your goals.

I look forward to helping you make the first steps to a fitter and healthier lifestyle.

Rich Palmer PT
Personal Trainer Lichfield
“making your fitness goals a reality”

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Weight Training and Protein for Women

There is a lot of confusion about women lifting weights. The first thing that women think when they are introduced to weight training is that they will build big bulky muscles. The fact is weight training can be very productive for all women, especially those with fat loss goals. Also recent research has shown the importance of protein consumption when combining weight training and a fat loss programs.

Common Misconceptions

  • Women who lift weights and eat protein will get big bulky muscles.
  • Any hard muscle gained, will turn to floppy, flabby fat if you stop lifting weights.
  • Women should lift weights at high repetitions and low weight for ‘toning’.

Women who weight lift build huge muscles

Most women do not have the high levels of testosterone and HGH (human growth hormone) required to increase lean muscle mass dramatically. Strength training can replace muscle lost through ageing and probably add on a further couple of kilograms of lean muscle mass at best. More muscle means a faster metabolism, faster fat burning and a major slowdown of the ageing process. Research has shown that if we increase our lean muscle mass by 1.4kg we also increase our resting metabolism by 7% and our daily calorie requirements by 15%. This means that the more lean muscle you carry the more fat you will burn, which means that women can actually save on the time they spend in the gym.

So obviously you would like to know why women bodybuilders look so big? Simple, their use of anabolic steroids, loads of food, super genetics and very intense training programs can result in enhanced muscle growth. This will not happen to the average woman who lifts weights 2-3 times per week and follows a low calorie diet plan. So don't worry ladies, you won't look like this!

Hard muscle gained, will turn to floppy, flabby fat if you stop lifting weights

Muscle will not turn into fat, it is impossible! However, if you stop training and are still eating the same amount of food you were eating while you were training, you will naturally put on fat. This is because when you stop exercising you begin to ‘lose’ muscle and your metabolic rate falls causing a decrease in your daily energy requirements. Any excess calories, regardless of their source, is then stored as fat. That is why any of these fad diets that get you to avoid certain macro-nutrients are rubbish, its all about calorie control and a balanced diet in the long run! A personal trainer will help you get the right amount of balance of training and nutrition.

(N.B you would need to increase the amount of protein when weight training, as explained later)

Women should lift weights at high repetitions and low weight for ‘toning’

Well we understand why anaerobic (high intensity ie heavy lifting) exercise is necessary, aerobic exercise is also necessary for different reasons. However ‘muscle tone’ comes from having adequate amounts of muscle that can be seen under low levels of body-fat. In order to do this you need to lift weights so that you have enough muscle visible, however, lifting weights at high repetitions and low weight actually uses your aerobic system and trains your muscles for endurance instead of strength and hypertrophy (muscle gain). So to make your muscles tight and toned you need to build muscle and this can only happen if your muscles are placed under sufficient overload (lifting heavy weights). Overloading your muscles is done by regularly and progressively increasing the amount of weight that you lift. As your body adapts (gets stronger) to lifting a certain weight, you will need to lift more weight than before to create a sufficient stimulus for your body to change and to avoid plateauing. A personal trainer will make sure that your training programme is correct and is creating enough stimulus for you body to change using the correct weight and rep ranges!

How protein can help with weight loss

As we now know, one of the main reasons for weight loss is because protein helps preserve and increase muscle mass,and since muscle mass burns more calories than other types of mass, the additional calorie burn will result in a decrease in weight providing a calorie controlled and balanced diet is followed. 

When i talk about weight loss i am referring really to the loss of body fat as your actual overall mass may increase. Based on an equivalent size of muscle and fat, muscle weighs heavier. So muscle actually occupies less space than the equivalent weight of body fat, hence increasing your lean muscle mass will actually make you look thinner. 

You can also lose weight or body fat on a high-protein diet because your body spends more energy processing dietary protein than it does carbohydrates.

I hope you have found this blog useful and that it has given you a good understanding of weight training and protein as a women and how they can benefit you. Look out for my next blog: What you should be getting out of your Personal Trainer

Rich Palmer PT
“making your fitness goals a reality”

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

A Complete Guide to Protein

It used to be the case that getting extra protein involved eating loads of raw eggs like you saw in the Rocky film. Even if you could stomach doing this, there was always the chance of getting food poisoning. Nowadays proteins have become much safer, more convenient and much tastier. High protein foods and supplements are readily available all over the internet and health shops. Research shows that eating protein helps build muscle and also burn fat too. Today, protein supplements form part of the diet of athletes, bodybuilders, fitness models, weight loss clients and the average gym goer all over the world.

The Different Types

Whey Proteins

  • ·         A typical serving of whey contains the same amount of protein found in a chicken breast, but is also very low in both fat and carbohydrate. This means you get the protein you need for muscle building without the added calories.
  • ·         A naturally complete protein, whey is often referred to as a "fast" protein for its ability to provide rapid nourishment to muscles.
  • ·         Whey has a higher biological value than many foods, including fish, beef and soya. This means that more of the protein is actually used for muscle building by your body.
  • ·         Whey contains high levels of both the essential and branched chain amino acids, which researchers think could be the most important amino acids when it comes to triggering new muscle growth.

Casein Proteins

  • ·         Casein protein is a slow-digesting form of protein (unlike Whey Protein which is a fast-digesting protein). It makes up 80% of the total protein in milk.
  • ·         Casein protein helps to repair muscles during sleep. It is usually taken before bed to ensure maximum recovery overnight.
  • ·         Casein protein taken before bedtime dramatically reduces the chance of your muscles becoming catabolic (breaking down).
  • ·         Also useful to take during prolonged periods without eating.

Egg Proteins

  • ·         Made from egg white, it's fat-free, very high in protein, and is considered a perfect source for protein because of its complete makeup of essential amino acids and branch chain amino acids.
  • ·         Once egg protein is in your system, it is completely absorbed by your body. When other proteins are measured for quality and effectiveness, egg protein is at the top of the list and is considered to be the gold standard.

Blended Proteins

  • ·         Protein blends are a combination of several protein sources.
  • ·         The combination of two or more protein sources allows the user to benefit from sustained protein release, fast release protein, and a more complete amino acid profile.
  • ·         Protein blends can be used post workout, between meals and before bed.
  • ·         A more affordable way of buying all the different protein sources available.

Recovery Proteins

  • ·         Fast acting protein and carbohydrate combinations designed to be consumed immediately after workouts when nutrient needs are high.
  • ·         Can contain protein hydrolysates, BCAA’s and glutamine to aid the recovery and rebuilding process.
  • ·         May also include ingredients like creatine and micronized amino acids to assist muscle building goals.

When should you take your protein?

First thing in the morning: The period between when you go to bed and wake up on the morning is the longest your body will go without food. Opt for a faster –acting protein like whey for instant absorption to help break the fast.

Pre-Workout: Drinking a protein shake an hour before your workout will get the body ready for growth with amino acids. Whey and egg proteins are good as they are quickly ingested.

Post-Workout: The 30-60 minute timeframe after a workout is the most important time of the day to get protein. Your muscles will be receptive to nutrients as your body will want to repair, rebuild and replenish glycogen stores. A recovery protein containing whey, casein, egg and simple carbs will help you recharge.

Between meals: A protein shake in between meals helps synthesise muscles and keep body fat and weight in check. Proteins help stimulate the release of gut hormones that trigger a feeling of fullness. Whey, casein or a combination of both would be ideal.

Before bed: Prepare your body for the long fast ahead with a casein protein shake half an hour to an hour before you go to bed. Casein is digested at a much slower rate releasing its amino acids over several hours throughout the night while you sleep.

I hope you have found this blog useful and that it has given you a basic understanding of the different types of protein available and how they can benefit you. Look out for my next blog: Weight Training and Protein for Women

Rich Palmer PT
Personal Trainer Sutton Coldfield
“making your fitness goals a reality”

Monday, 7 January 2013

A Guide to Sports Supplements

What Are Sport Supplements?

Sport supplements are simply highly refined food derived from natural sources. They come in a variety of formats including powders, liquids, tablets, capsules and even snack bars. Because of this they offer athletes of all levels a quick and often convenient way to meet the bodies demanding nutritional needs while participating in any form of physical activity.

Without eating correctly and ensuring your body receives the required nutrients you are severely limiting your body’s ability to grow and develop through training.

Do I Need To Use Sport Supplements?

When you first start training whether it is for bodybuilding, general fitness, weight loss or any other sport using supplements is not compulsory for progress, the bodies basic nutritional needs can be achieved through ensuring a correct diet.

However using supplements can often offer a faster and more convenient way of ensuring your body receives all the necessary nutrients, especially if you live an active lifestyle and find it hard to eat enough in a day to cover your needs.

The use of supplements really comes down to personal preference and if you feel that your diet cannot provide you with an adequate supply of minerals to promote growth while you train.

Which Supplements Should I Use?

Browse through any supplement store and you will come across a wide range of sports nutritional supplements and aids, which will help with all types of training goals. Many or these are tailored towards professional and intermediate level athletes and are not necessary for beginners. The most popular supplements for beginners include the following:

Protein Powders

Protein is used by the body to build muscle and as a result remains one of the most popular bodybuilding supplements available today, and for good reason. There are various forms of protein available including Milk, Soy, Whey, Casein and blends (consisting of mixed proteins). Whey Protein remains the most popular type of protein. Whey Protein is a highly refined by-product from the Dairy Industry that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates and fat. Supplement manufacturers take this, add flavourings and process it, more often than not into a powder format for sale. You can then simply add milk or water to the powder to make a nutritious high protein shake very quickly.

Meal Replacements Products

(MRP's) are exactly what you would expect. A powdered supplement similar to protein shakes which are intended to replace your meal with a highly nutritious drink that is tailored towards aiding muscular growth and recovery. MRP's differ from Protein Shakes in that they often contain carbohydrates, fats and additional vitamins etc. MRP's usually come powdered in tubs, or in sachets.

Weight Gain Formulas

These are very similar to Meal Replacement Products but usually contain many more calories in the form of carbohydrates and good fats to help promote growth.


Creatine is a protein that is made naturally in the body, but can also be found in meat and fish or taken in higher doses as a supplement. It's available on its own, but you'll also sometimes see it in meal replacement shakes and other supplements. Creatine is like a back-up generator for your body and is ideal for those who lift weights or do other high intensity training.

Fat Burners

Fat burners are tablets or capsules that aim to help your body utilise more fat for fuel, thereby assisting the process of fat loss as part of a weight management plan. However, the ingredients in these formulations can vary wildly: from nutrients with good supporting evidence for their effectiveness, to those without, and even to substances that are banned from sport.

Which Brand Should I Buy?

Despite the numerous marketing claims from different supplement brands within the industry, Sport Supplements are largely the same from company to company. The brand of supplement you choose is really down to personal choice be it taste, price or just recommendations from friends.
However make sure you remember that supplements are called supplements for a reason, they are used to supplement your existing diet and should not be used to cover 100% of your body’s needs, and you will still need to fuel your body with a substantial whole food diet.
There are no quick answers in bodybuilding, weight training, fitness, weight loss or any other sport for that matter. Sport Supplements will help you if used correctly along with a carefully structured training and diet regime. It is important to remember that Sport Supplements are not the easy answer! You can take all the Weight Gain Formula in the world, but unless you put in sufficient effort in the gym, your muscles aren't going to be growing. Used correctly Sport Supplements can complement your training and accelerate your progress.
I hope you have found this blog useful and that it has given you a basic understanding of Sports Supplements. Look out for my next blog: A Complete Guide to Protein

“making your fitness goals a reality”