Hello and welcome to Elite Health and Fitness’s blog page. My name is Michael and I am a personal trainer and nutritionist.
I have been in the fitness industry now for several years, and I have built up a lot of knowledge and experience on health and wellbeing, including fitness and nutrition.
Through this blog I will be sharing with you everything I have learned, studied and practised along the way, to help me and my clients get the results that we desire.
My vision is to share my experiences and knowledge to help inspire, motivate and guide others into becoming a healthier, fitter and all-round better person. There is no point having tons of knowledge and experience if you are just going to keep it all to yourself and the people around you.
This platform is my way of reaching out to others outside of my circle, to help educate them on the subjects that, in my eyes, are the most important for leading a healthy, happy life.
Nutrition will be the main topic I will be covering as, in my opinion, it is the most important and valuable subject to gain knowledge in. After all, it doesn’t matter how many times you go to the gym, whether you are trying to build muscle or lose weight, if your nutrition/diet isn’t right not a lot is going to happen.
But more importantly, it is vital for our health and ensures our bodies and minds function correctly.
I have always wondered why we aren’t educated on nutrition in school. The lack of knowledge we have on this subject as a society is shocking.
Imagine all the health issues that could be solved and prevented if we learnt about what to put in our bodies at an early age.
It is down to you as an individual to educate yourself properly on the right way to take care of your body, and hopefully this blog will help you on that journey. It was only through my desire to improve my fitness and get in better shape that I started to study nutrition.
That’s when I developed a passion for studying and researching anything related with diet, health and exercise.
Over the years I have tried just about every diet going. But, since October 2017, I have been following a plant-based (vegan) diet. I am not going to lie, my initial reason for switching to this diet was basically because I got sick of eating tasteless chicken and rice out of Tupperware.
I had never tried a meat free diet in my life, so I wasn’t very optimistic. Especially when all I’ve learnt and been told over the years is that meat and dairy are what we need to build lean muscle and strength.
We live in a society dominated by the meat and dairy industries. We have been brainwashed into thinking that these products are healthy for us, that they are what we need to sustain and build a strong, muscular physique.
Let me tell you something, I’ve spent countless hours doing research on scientific studies and literature, all backed by credible sources, since I started following this way of eating. And in fact, meat and dairy are not as healthy as you think.
Also, since cutting out these foods and following the plant-based diet my strength, fitness, muscle mass and overall recovery from hard training sessions have all improved tenfold.
If it wasn’t for me getting fed up of eating meat all the time I would never have stumbled across the books and journals that I have read.
You could say that these sources of information are getting held back from society to a certain degree. I wonder why?
I won’t go into too much detail on this topic, as it could turn into a very long blog. Instead, I will save It for the blogs I will be posting over the coming months.
“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates
Obviously, training is a major factor in leading a healthy lifestyle and creating the body that you desire. There are so many different training methods to develop your fitness and strength levels, and I have been fortunate enough to have experienced numerous of these methods over the years.
As a child, I remember my father taking me along to the local boxing club every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. I remember dreading the sessions, but afterwards feeling great, like I was on top of the world.
Obviously, that was my endorphins being spiked through the roof.
That is when I got hooked on exercising and pushing my body out of its comfort zones. That feeling will always be hard to beat. You will always crave it once you have experienced it.
When I got into my late teens, I decided to join the army, and I can honestly say I wasn’t very fit or in great shape at all. I had let the boxing training slip over the past couple of years.
Going through army basic training re-ignited my enthusiasm for training and pushing my body again. That rush you get after hard sessions was back and I loved it.
By the end of basic training my fitness levels had improved massively. I joined my regiment in great shape ready to take on any physical challenge that came my way.
After a couple of years of being in my regiment my Sergeant Major could see that I was a fit lad, that I had a massive passion for training. So, he decided to enrol me onto the Physical Training Instructors course.
Now they don’t send anyone on this course, only the fittest lads on camp. After all, you’re the one who will be taking the rest of the soldiers out on PT, so you must be the fittest, and at the front leading by example.
This is where I developed and mastered my leadership skills and my ability to work with people, getting the best out of them both physically and mentally.
That’s the beauty of training hard and pushing your body to its limits, you not only develop the body but also the mind.
The mental aspect of training hard to get results is very important. Once you begin to master your mind you start to go beyond what you think your body is capable of.
The mind will always play tricks on you, wanting to give up when it starts to feel pain and discomfort. But I guarantee you, you will always have something left in the tank.
“Every time I suffer, I’m a better man because of it.” – Lance Armstrong
Lifestyle and wellbeing
The lifestyle we live is also a major component in leading a healthy, happy life. This also includes rest and recovery.
The other components, exercise and nutrition, each make up what I call the health triangle. Imagine each component is an edge of the triangle, with nutrition at the top. Because, as I mentioned earlier, I believe nutrition is the most important factor when it comes to living a healthy life.
Now, imagine if one of the pieces of the triangle is removed, what will happen?
The triangle would collapse. Without all three components, your health will not be at its optimum level, and an optimum level is required to achieve the best results when it comes to our fitness levels and our overall wellbeing.
Live to work, or work to live?
Which one would you class yourself as doing?
In my opinion, I think we need to do both. Living to work, having that drive, motivation and passion to succeed and do well at your chosen profession isn’t a bad thing.
But then we have that double-edged sword coming into play if you’re not careful; mental burn out, high stress levels, and losing the drive to do something can easily kick in if your work/life balance is off kilter.
I am guilty of this myself. But, working seven days a week, spending all your time at work or thinking about it just isn’t sustainable.
Not only will it lead to the negative side effects I’ve just mentioned, it will also be detrimental to your family and social life.
If all you do is work, work, work, when are you going to spend time with your family and friends? Finding that balance is key.
Take one day off a week at least, we all have interest’s and hobbies so start doing something you enjoy on your days off with a friend. If you have a family spend time with them relaxing, doing fun stuff, not thinking about work.
Try to go on at least one or two holidays a year, ideally a summer and a winter break. This will split up the calendar year and give you something to look forward to. Even better though, it will give you extra motivation to stay in shape and stick to a healthy diet year-round! Everyone wants to hit the beach looking good!
Rest and recovery
Now let’s talk about rest and recovery.
First of all, whatever your goals are you should always try to get the best results from the least amount of training, and the highest number of calories if cutting or the lowest amount if building muscle.
That way, when you reach the point that you have to make adjustments to keep making progress, you just simply add in some exercise, or decrease/increase your caloric intake. Monitoring your progress is also essential for achieving the greatest results.
I see it all the time at the gym, people keen and eager to get in shape so they go all out guns blazing, training six days a week and trying out crazy fad diets, starving themselves, or eating too much food gaining unnecessary bodyfat on top of the muscle.
Not only will this lead to burn out from doing too much of a certain thing, it will also be detrimental to achieving optimal results in the long run.
I have clients burning fat, building muscle, and seeing results from just three training sessions a week.
If you stick to your caloric needs, and your workouts are structured to make the right progress, three sessions a week is all you need, especially at a beginner level.
This gives you adequate time to rest and recover between sessions, and will help you find that perfect life balance, not having to spend all your time at the gym as well as work.
I will be going more in depth on this topic in future training blogs, giving you all the tips and advice, you need to make progress and achieve amazing results.
So, to sum up this blog, I have a vision now to get my knowledge and experience out to the masses.
I feel like I’ve earned the right to be able to do this from spending the past several years transforming my physique, and those of my clients, through diet and training.
I’ve spent hours upon hours researching anything and everything related to nutrition, health, training, and wellbeing.
I want to educate, inspire, and motivate people; teaching them how to train and eat correctly, and show them that achieving their goal physique is 100% possible, no matter what level they are at.
If you have the desire, will power and belief, you are on the right path to success, inside and outside of the gym.
Even if one person takes on my advice and achieves the results they desire, it will all be worthwhile.
I am doing this because I have been there myself, starting out with no clue what to eat or how to train properly.
I would have loved to have met someone who knew what they were talking about back then, then I wouldn’t have got it wrong for the first few years.
But I suppose I wouldn’t have become obsessed with it all like I did and be where I am today if that was the case.
That’s one of the reasons I became a personal trainer, to help educate people on the right way to get fit, setting them up to succeed from the start.
There is a lot of false information out there, but I am confident that all my methods work because I have practised and developed them on myself and clients for years now, always seeing results.
Look out for my blogs over the coming months. All this valuable information on health, nutrition, training and lifestyle, that has taken me many years to gain, is there for you guys for free.
Take advantage of it, learn from it, and make some progress.
Speak to you soon.