Beat Your Plateau In 5 Simple Steps

It happens to all of us at some point.

You have your workouts down pat, and your body is rapidly becoming leaner and more attractive. Friends and family notice and you feel fantastic.

And then it stops.

You are doing everything exactly the same as before except your body no longer responds.

You, my friend, have hit a plateau. It’s a frustrating place to be parked, so read the following 5 steps to get your body back into results mode.

Step #1: Reduce Sugar. A very effective way to restart your results is to reel in your sugar intake. Inspect all of your food for added sugars and eliminate items that contain high calorie sweeteners. This means no sugar, honey or maple syrup.

If you’ve already eliminated processed sugars from your diet, and have still hit a plateau, then it’s time to dig a little deeper by eliminating some of the natural sugars from your diet. Limit your intake of sweet fruits and eliminate dried fruits.

Step #2: Get More Sleep. We are supposed to get an average of eight hours of sleep each night. If you’re not getting adequate amounts of rest, you’re more likely to be hungry, overeat, and gain weight.

When you’re tired, you don’t feel like cooking a healthy meal, and you’re more likely to opt for fast (fattening) food. Then your lack of energy causes you to skip your workouts. And to make matter worse, sleep deprivation causes your metabolism to slow down, slowing or reversing your results. To beat your plateau, make sleep a priority.

Step #3: Drink Only Water. To restart your results you’ll need to make some changes. Sorry, but some of the changes aren’t going to be fun. If you’re one of the millions hooked on soft drink, alcohol, or other sweetened drinks, then your plateau will stay locked in place until you replace these drinks with water.

Keep in mind that your brain often confuses thirst with hunger. So at the first sign of hunger, don’t grab a snack or calorie-filled drinks. Instead, grab a glass of water.

Step #4: Eat Healthy Breakfast. But not just any breakfast. Your plateau-breaking breakfast should be low in carbs and high in protein. Try eggs, lean breakfast meats, a protein shake, or a mini-muffin made with almond flour.

Fitting breakfast into your busy morning may take some work, but research shows that the habit of eating a healthy breakfast is key to losing weight and keeping kilograms off. Set your alarm 15 minutes earlier to give yourself time to eat breakfast.

Step #5: Increase Exercise Intensity. It’s time to start taking your workouts more seriously. No more going through the motions, it’s all-out for you. If you want to get back on track with your body transformation, and to keep the fat melting away, then increase the amount and intensity of your exercise routine.

For most people, this is the most difficult lifestyle change of all, but the benefits are enormous. Try to get 30 to 60 minutes of intense exercise on most days of the week. When exercise is a normal part of your everyday routine, you’re more likely to stick with it, and your body will become slimmer and more toned.

The quickest and most permanent way to beat that plateau is through a combination of healthy eating and consistent, challenging workouts.

I’m here to help you meet your fitness and weight loss goals. You deserve that fit and attractive body—I can help you get it.

Call or email today and together we will overcome your fitness plateau.


Why Resistance Training Is Important

Body Transformations For Life combines resistance training and cardio workouts for a comprehensive fitness program that is designed to enhance the figure. Resistance training will help your body to work for you instead of against you. Sometimes referred to as strength training, these exercises target individual muscle groups with specific exercises.

Resistance exercises can be done in a gym but they can just as easily be done in your own home. A quality and varied program done 4-5 times a week is key to getting results. Any program should target major muscle groups with big compound movements such as squat variations, pull-up variations, press variations or deadlift variations. Do not focus on small target areas like your arms and nor should a workout be a set time limit of like 45 minutes. Remember in order to build and tone muscles to achieve muscular definition you need to work your muscle to the point of muscle fatigue.

It is common knowledge that women fear resistance training especially with weights. They are afraid they will develop bulky manly looking muscles. This is so far from the truth it is no longer funny. The exercises that we teach you are designed to accentuate your target area with sexy curves and tighten your core for the long lean look often seen in dancers. It is worthwhile remembering that not all women want the same thing hence why a personal trainer has a very important role to identify and implement the right course of action to allow you to reach your goal.

Resistance training can help to achieve muscle definition quickly but you need to start slowly, especially if you haven’t lifted weights in a while, or never done any weight lifting at all. Start with the major muscle groups and follow for a minimum of 4 weeks, after such time then vary up the program, get more targeted and start pushing yourself and your body, this way you can avoid early and frustrating injuries. After following your dedicated program of resistance training for a minimum of 6-12 weeks, your muscles will become stronger and more flexible and you will start to notice those beautiful curves created by your well-toned muscles! As well as this your measurements will show some fantastic results from when you first started.

Resistance training and building muscle has some fantastic hidden benefits. Each pound of muscle can burn 50 calories a day! You burn more fat with 30 minutes of resistance training than you do with a 30 minute run. The more muscular your body becomes the easier it is to burn calories. You’ll even burn calories when you sleep. It’s a proven fact that muscle burns fat even at rest.


Do this, Not that

5 tips to making your training more effective!

1.    Do: HIIT, Don’t: Steady-State Cardio:

  • For years the general public has been fed information by the mainstream media about having to do aerobic exercise for 45-60mins (otherwise known as steady-state cardio) as the best way to burn fat. But what good personal trainers and strength coaches have known is that interval training and strength training (or combinations of both – known as metabolic strength training) are the best ways to lose body fat.
  • This type of training is now also scientifically proven. Results of certain studies have been astounding; one in particular showed that interval training lost 900% more fat than an endurance training program. That’s 9 times the amount of subcutaneous fat.
  • Interval training has not only been shown to be an incredibly effective form of training, but it also allows you to stop performing the boring, mindless treadmill cardio sessions and actually begin to have fun while training!

2.    Do: Full body or Upper/Lower splits, Don’t: Bodypart Splits

  • Efficiency in your training should be a number one priority. Time is a precious commodity and nobody likes having their time wasted. Why, then, would you spend your entire training session performing arm curl variations or calf raises?
  • What’s going to be more effective at building more lean mass and losing more body fat – performing arm exercises for 45 minutes or training your whole body performing big compound movements like squat variations, pull-up variations, press variations or deadlift variations?
  • What’s going to recruit more muscle fibers? What’s going to burn more calories? If you want to get better results in less time, then perform full body training routines prioritising big compound movements.

3.     Do: Core stabilization movements, Don’t: Crunches or Sit-Ups

  • Performing endless repetitions of a hundred different variations of crunches and sit-ups is not the best way to lose that winter belly. It may even be doing more harm than good. Recent research has shown us that repetitive flexion movements (like crunches and sit-ups) are the exact recipe for spinal disc herniation.
  • The main function of the ‘abs’ is not trunk flexion, it is to resist movement. The core is not a producer of force, it is a transducer of force.
  • The final nail in the coffin is that crunches and sit-ups do nothing but reinforce poor posture by bringing the sternum closer to the pelvis. Thus giving you a Neanderthal like posture.
  • If you want to learn more on this topic, and alternative exercises please come and see me and I can show you some awesome new exercises you’ve probably never seen or heard of!

4.     Do: Low-Reps, Don’t: High-Reps

  • Performing endless repetitions of a weight you can lift upwards of 20 times isn’t doing your goals any favours. This promotes what is called a “skinny-fat” look.
  • You will lack good muscle tone, of which there are two types: myogenic and neurogenic. These are basically scientific words for muscle hardness: myogenic refers to how your muscles look at rest and neurogenic refers to when contraction takes place.
  • Lower repetition training leads to increased neurogenic tone, while myogenic tone is also improved by lifting heavier weights.

5.     Do: Stay on stable ground when you’re training, Don’t: Use a BOSU or Swiss ball for all your exercises

  • You will burn less calories. You won’t be able to use nearly as much weight on a BOSU ball as you would on a stable surface performing the same exercise. Burning calories (and hence, fat) is all about progressive resistance/overload (stressing the body, the hormonal response for a set of BOSU ball squats vs. BB/DB/KB squats would be enormously different). BOSU balls are inferior in this regard as they create much less of a metabolic disturbance.
  • You will actually make yourself weaker. Gaining strength is all about force production. By training on an unstable surface, you’re limiting the amount of force you can generate in any given exercise (you can’t fully recruit muscle fibres). For athletes in particular, this is crucial.
  • Unstable surface training has, though, been shown in research to be effective at the rehabilitation of ankle injuries.

Wrapping Up

There you have it, five ways to make your training more effective. If you would like to learn more about these techniques, or to apply them into your training to set you on the way to your goals contact me at

Body Weight Fluctuations

It is important to remember that we all fluctuate with our body weight. For many of us these fluctuations could be up to 2kg from one day to another.

There are many reasons why we fluctuate to such varying degrees:

  • We consume heavy meals.
  • Our portion sizes increase.
  • For women, they retain fluid around their menstrual cycle.
  • You retain fluid after resistance training.
  • Your body holds fluid after endurance events.
  • If you are stressed you will store fluid.
  • Not getting enough sleep… you guessed it… will cause you to store fluid.

What should we do:

  • Only weigh yourself once a week.
  • Make sure that the day you choose to weigh yourself is the same each week and at approximately the same time.
  • Do not rely on scales; take photos often as these can show the real changes.
  • Take measurements of your body on a weekly basis.
  • Remove the need and thought of weight and go by how you feel. If your clothes feel good and you feel good does it really matter that you weigh 500g more?
  • Get 6-8 hours of sleep a night.
  • Try relaxation techniques to reduce your stress.
  • Keep your portion sizes in check: palm size of protein, 2 fists of cruciferous carbs and 2 tablespoons of good fats.

At the end of the day common sense must prevail. Weighing yourself on a daily basis achieves nothing. For most it simply builds anxiety. Stop looking at yourself as though you’re on a diet and live life. Do the important things like eating healthy and exercising, while having the bad stuff in moderation, and things will be ok.







Why women should use weights

I am sure you have heard the adage, “Girls that lift weights get bulky.” I am sorry to tell you but this just isn’t going to happen, unless you are increasing your testosterone levels beyond your normal levels. Women just do not have the levels of testosterone that men do, so instead of bulking up, they are replacing fat with lean muscle mass.

The combination of resistance and cardiovascular workouts is designed to enhance a woman’s figure. The idea of resistance training is to help you replace fat with muscle, and we do this by working with your body, rather than against it. This is done through strength based training and by targeting specific muscle groups.

Many women fear resistance training, especially with weights. They are afraid that they will develop manly looking muscles. The exercises that we get our female clients to do are designed to meet their individual goals, whether that be for strength, in order to compete, or to enhance their figures. The exercises will also accentuate your curves and tighten your core, for the lean sexy look that most women desire.

Resistance exercises can be carried out at home or at a gym. Initially, you do not need a lot to add resistance. In fact, for some just using their bodyweight can achieve the desired result. You can also use everyday household items, such as water bottles filled with sand or cans of baked beans; the options are endless.

To get positive results you need to do a minimum of 30 minutes of resistance training. We recommend that you back it up with a Tabata HIIT workout to increase the amount of fat you are burning. Remember, in order to build and tone your muscles, to achieve muscular definition, you need to work your muscles to the point of muscle fatigue.

We have a range of programs that are specifically targeted towards women and they incorporate the use of weights, which tone the body and strip off fat and cellulite. These exercises are designed to build, strengthen and stretch your muscles, through a series of repetitions and a predefined number of sets. They will fatigue the muscles and encourage fat burning, as well as the building of lean muscle mass.

Resistance training can help you to achieve muscle definition quickly, but you need to start slowly or lighter if you have never lifted weights before, or you have not done so for a long time. You will notice, after a period of time, that your body becoming leaner and more defined. It should be noted that a well-balanced and clean diet is an essential part of any training program.

It is a proven fact that resistance training burns fat, and the more muscular your body the easier it is to burn the calories you intake. In addition, incorporating resistance training into your workout schedule will see you burn fat even while you sleep, since your body will be working hard to repair the muscles.

The Role Of Leptin In Weight Loss

Leptin is a hormone that is naturally produced by the fat cells in the body, also known as adipocytes. Leptin plays a major role in suppressing the appetite and regulating metabolism. When released into the bloodstream it acts on receptors in the brain, signalling that the body has had enough to eat. A feeling of fullness is experienced, which helps regulate our eating behaviour and helps control our energy balance. It is widely known that leptin helps the body utilise fat stores. Your leptin levels need to be high in order to burn fat, and when leptin levels decrease, your fat stores increase.

When people lose weight through food restriction alone, there is a subsequent reduction in metabolic rate because there is a loss of both fat and lean body tissue. Leptin levels decline and the metabolism slows down in response to receiving less food energy. However, leptin may play a role in sparing lean muscle mass when dieting, by causing weight to only be lost from fat deposits. Additionally, leptin does not decrease the metabolism, even when caloric intake is reduced.

Leptin and Obesity
Many obese people make attempts at weight loss but eventually gain the weight back. This is likely to be due to the fact that leptin production is reduced when weight is lost through dieting alone. Low leptin levels trigger fat storage rather than fat burning, as low food intake triggers the starvation mode. Leptin supplementation, when taken alongside a caloric-restricted diet, does not produce a decline in metabolism and is a more successful method in maintaining weight loss in the long-term.
Leptin Insensitivity
A leptin insensitivity is commonly considered the underlying cause of obesity in humans, predisposing affected individuals to easily gain weight. To naturally boost leptin levels, eat small meals that are evenly spread out throughout the day and consume adequate amounts of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and other nutritionally valuable foods. Maintaining proper metabolic function is the key to keeping hormones in balance and producing ideal levels of leptin for appetite regulation and weight management.

Fat Loss
When Leptin was first discovered it was considered the anti-obesity hormone. Through decreased food intake and increased energy expenditure, which results in rapid weight loss, lean muscle mass can be preserved.

Most people have noticed that a diet usually starts out quite easy, particularly if one is obese. However, as the duration of the diet is extended, cravings start to set in and they become more and more intense. We recommend that “cheat” days be employed to prevent this, as they reset hormonal levels and glycogen levels, but also for your mental wellbeing.

Decreases in leptin are strongly associated with increased sensations of hunger. The lower your leptin levels go, the more severe the sensations of hunger are.

Energy Expenditure
Like hunger control, fat loss is remarkably easier at the beginning of a diet. However, it invariably slows, and if appropriate steps are not taken, it stops. Low leptin levels are correlated with decreases in resting energy expenditure.

In dieters, it is a common practice that when they reach a plateau (leptin levels are low) they cut their calorie intake even further, while increasing their physical activity. Unfortunately, this is just going to decrease leptin levels even more, making things that much worse.

What you should be doing is the exact opposite. We do this by employing a cheat meal into our clients’ plans. The cheat meal is a planned ‘non calorie restricted’ refeed. These refeeds should be done before signs of low leptin levels become apparent. We recommend this be every 7 days, and it is usually followed by an intermittent fasting period.

The Refeed
The primary purpose of the refeed is to boost depleted glycogen levels and therefore your metabolism. There are arguments that any refeed should only be 50% higher in calorie intake than the diet you are on. We believe that restrictions on refeeds are not necessary, unless your leptin levels are drastically low, in which case you would refeed more regularly. With a high calorie refeed, usually in the form of quality carbohydrates, proteins and good fats, you can keep your metabolism firing and leptin levels at a more sustainable level.

Assuming we have not created drastically low leptin levels, our refeed will be 20-50% ABOVE maintenance, for 12-48 hours. The higher the calories, the shorter the refeed, and there are arguments in support of this. If they are drastically low, 5-7 days of 20% above maintenance, is recommended. In general, the lower you are below your natural body fat set point, and the longer or more drastic your diet, the more frequent the refeed.

Our primary macronutrient will be carbohydrate, which enters the blood as glucose. Insulin also potentiates glucose stimulated leptin production, therefore high GI carbs are most ideal. Protein should be 1g/lb, and a bit of fat and fructose from foods that you enjoy is acceptable, but the rest is non-fructose carbohydrates.

The Fed State
Leptin is responsible for the anabolic hormonal setting that is associated with the so-called “fed state”, and the lack thereof during underfeeding. Therefore, in addition to its high importance in our fat loss efforts, it is extremely important in increasing and maintaining muscle mass.

The reason we lose muscle mass when dieting, despite resistance training and adequate protein intake, is hormonal. Hormones are also the reason we cannot gain our maximum amount of muscle without over eating, which in turn leads to some fat gains. With the exception of insulin, leptin controls these anabolic hormones and both insulin and leptin are mediated by glucose, therefore they go hand in hand.

Increased leptin levels lead to preferential refilling of liver glycogen stores, which is a prime indicator of the fed state, as well as an increase in testosterone and human growth hormone. It also blunts ACTH, which signals cortisol secretion in the adrenals and inhibits cortisol synthesis directly.

Beyond Leptin
Though leptin is the master hormone, there are numerous other signals involved in adipostatic control — and this is where it REALLY gets complicated. Some of these signals are directly modulated by leptin (anorexic peptides are increased and orexigenic are decreased), while some are not. Some are redundant (meaning if they are taken out of the equation, something else takes over), while others are not. At last count, there were about 15 of them — cortisol, ghrelin, neuropeptide-Y, orexigen a & b, melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH), cotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), and agouti-related peptide (AgRP) are a few that come to mind — and there are almost certainly many more that we are not yet aware of.



Stop Making Excuses And You Will Get Results

I am frustrated today after having no one turn up to my group session, due to it raining. A little bit of rain is not going to hurt anyone, yet my group was more willing to part with their money rather than turn up and work on hitting their goals.

Every day I hear people make excuses about:

  • Why they cannot eat well
  • Why they ate at Maccas
  • Why they fell off the wagon
  • How peer pressure forced them to drink
  • Why they can’t train due to bad weather
  • Why they cannot lift as much weight as someone else
  • Why they don’t want to work certain muscle groups
  • How their finances are preventing them from training (yet they can afford to eat out every day, which indicates they do not have their priorities right)

Does this sound like you? Are you the person that knows all about fitness and yet you are 20kg overweight? We are all experts, yet many of us do nothing about it.

To be honest, it all gets a bit boring. Excuses, excuses and more excuses. Let me tell you something: I am the expert. I know how to train you to lose weight, since I have done it myself and helped many before you, and will continue to help people achieve their goals. I live and breathe this industry, and like many of my peers, I strive to make a difference.

Look, lets get serious now. If you want to change, you need to make changes. Thinking healthy and being healthy is all it takes. Do not make excuses for your actions. You ate chocolate because you did not have the willpower to say “No”; you ate at Maccas because you were too lazy to prepare a meal in advance, or simply go home and cook (it probably would have taken 20 minutes anyway).

People ask me, each and everyday, endless amounts of questions regarding fitness, and I will continue to answer them until I am blue in the face.

I get questions such as:

  • When do I train?
  • What times do I eat?
  • What do I eat?
  • How many carbs should I be eating?
  • What is the best way to count calories?
  • Why am I not losing weight when I trained 3 times this week?
  • How do I keep fit and maintain my ideal weight?
  • What’s your secret?

The list goes on…

I love the last one, “What’s your secret?” It’s simple really:

  • I make good decisions
  • I make good food and drink choices
  • I exercise everyday, even if only 20 minutes
  • I make good decisions that affect my lifestyle
  • I plan my week
  • I am consistent
  • I do not starve myself
  • I do not calorie count
  • I know what works for me

Lets put it simply… Life is about decisions.

Everyday you wake up and you start making decisions, we make hundreds everyday. Yet when it comes to our lifestyles, we seem to make excuses, and lots of them.

Now I am not some sort of fitness freak that never eats anything bad. I am happy to admit there are times I step outside my normal plan, but I make a positive decision, stand by it and move forward. As I teach my clients: you can have a cheat meal every week, just not everyday.

Now, you may have a personal trainer who says, “Count your protein, carbs and fats, and do everything to moderation.”

Whilst I agree with this, to a degree, it is not sustainable. You cannot count calories, proteins, carbs and fats (PCF) all the time. You need to live your life. You cannot look at every meal and wonder if it exceeds your PCF’s. Instead, look at it very simply: does the meal contain the right portions of protein, carbs and good fats?

Why not focus on being healthy instead. Eat clean food and don’t be fooled by a packet  with“Healthy”written on it. If it’s in a packet, it’s not healthy, in my opinion.

I hear people say all the time, “I went out for lunch/dinner with friends/family/colleagues, and I just ate what everyone else was eating, and I drank alcohol too.”

You know what, it’s a BS excuse. You know it, and I know it.

Why do you need to eat a rubbish meal when you go out for dinner?

  • You could replace chips with veggies
  • Get sauces/dressings on the side
  • Cook a meal for your friends instead
  • Replace wine with soda water & lime

Stop making excuses, it’s as simple as that. Yes, tomorrow is another day, but why not make today a good day.

People ask me, “How do you do it?” It’s simple: I plan. I plan my food; I plan when I will have a cheat meal; I plan what I will buy at the shops.  It’s all in the planning.

If you have a good PT, he or she should be able to help you with this, if not, you can do it on your own:

  • Grab a piece of paper and draw a table for 7 days, with 6 meals a day
  • Write down when you will exercise
  • Write down all your events, dinners etc.
  • Add your meals and snacks, making sure you are eating good food
  • Don’t forget to drink 3 liters of water per day

You have now, very simply, planned your week out. Best of all, it probably took less than 30 minutes to do.

Now you can create a shopping list. You can make food in advance and freeze it if you want.

Heed my best advice: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Well that’s it guys, I am pretty passionate about this stuff and I know you can do it. If you do need help look me up, since helping people is what I do for a living.


Benefits of high intensity interval training (HIIT)

High intensity interval training is any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest.

A great example is 20 seconds rowing with 10 seconds of rest for as many rounds as you can handle, another more beginner example is run for 1 minute and rest for 2 minutes.

HIIT workouts are so easy to do that you can smash out a workout in as little as 15 minutes during your lunch break. Research shows you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of interval training (done three times a week) than running on the treadmill for 1 hour. You burn far more fat during HIIT workouts, but the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body’s metabolism into hyperdrive. That means you burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you do after an hours worth of running.

HIIT workouts are also great for your heart because most people are not pushing into the anaerobic zone (that lovely place where you can’t breathe and you feel like your heart is trying to jump out of your chest). But with HIIT extreme training produces extreme results. Try this Test yourself on the bike by doing a HIIT workout. Complete the workout twice a week for 8 weeks, After 8 weeks you will be able to cycle twice as far maintaining the same pace.

One of the best things I love about HIIT workouts is that I do not need any equipment to have a great workout on top of this you can do them anywhere. If you do not have access to bikes, rowers or treadmills never fear, you can do simple exercises like squat jumps, high knees, fast feet, jumping lunges pretty much any exercise that gets your heart rate up fast. One I like is run 200 metres and then perform 10 pushups and 10 squats and repeat 10 times. This kind of workout allows me to maintain my muscle mass and lose weight, in fact HIIT workouts are known to increase weight lose whilst maintaining but more likely increase muscle tone. It does this by attacking fat stores rather than your muscles which is a winner in my book.

In addition to increased fat burning and more muscle preserved, HIIT stimulates production of your human growth hormone (HGH)by up to 450% over the 24 hours after you finish your workout. This is great news since HGH is not only responsible for increased caloric burn but also slows down the aging process, making you younger both inside and out!

Lastly, I find HIIT workouts o of my most challenging workouts, I often do them with a friend and for time to challenge myself and each other. I also love it because they are so short, don’t dominate my day and I see results quickly. So grab a friend and get challenging, whether this be in the local park or at out group sessions or personal training sessions. Push yourself, push each other and remember you may be in pain, you may be sucking wind, but you definitely won’t be bored and if balanced with a healthy diet you definitely will see results.