Why the Scales are Bullsh*t

When was the last time you weighed yourself?

I feel We have been conditioned to place massive importance around the number on the scales.

And as a personal trainer / strength coach / Nutrition coach, there is always that voice telling me I should be lean!

**Reminder that we are all dealing with our own shit**

When I pushed ‘share’ on the below photo on Tuesday, I got butterflies.. putting myself out there is always a bit nerve racking but I feel this not only needs to be said but shown. 

If you missed it, the first ‘before’ photo was taken 7 years ago pre kids when I first moved to the Sunshine Coast.

This is what 68kg looked like.

My training was very inconsistent as we built the bones of StrengthCity.

I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror.

Since that photo, I have hit 58kg and have moved from 63-67kg.

We have been conditioned to place massive importance around the number on the scales.

Chloe KINGSFORD

The second photo was yesterday.

This is what 70kg looks like.

My training has been consistent for the last 2 years.

I am more at home with myself than I ever have been at this weight.

I have been slowly building in strength and cant remember the last time I ate in a calorie deficit.

And is the strongest I have ever been.

I wanted to post this for two reasons..

The first being that if your goal is strength and to lift heavier weights, its probably going to be more achievable if you are in maintenance or above. Its can be difficult to gain strength if your not eating to fuel both performance and recovery. Also, weight moves weight. At the moment, I am not interested in ‘cutting’ to be in a smaller weight category. I am however, interested in tearing it a new one and seeing how much weight I can lift.

Secondly, as you can see in the pictures, the number on the scales doesn’t tell the whole story. I have changed my body shape, centimetres and body composition, looking different from the first picture but weighing in 2kg heavier.

So this is a reminder that even though the scales might not be changing at the rate you think they should or get upset when they don’t, body composition changes could be occurring. Check in with other indicators of progress and keep up the work.

To your Growth,

Chloe


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Live to Train Another Day: Top 10 Exercise Recovery Strategies

Resistance training acts like an acute stressor and modulates physiological pathways that are associated with the stress response such as the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.

When we assist the recovery process and reduce the stress response, we can reduce the amount of time we experience soreness and can get back into the gym sooner to chase our goals.

#1 Protein

Protein can be obtained from a wide range of whole food sources such as fish, chicken, turkey, and beef, as well as non-animal sources such as quinoa, green peas, and tofu, but in much smaller amounts (and these are considered incomplete proteins). Protein can also be attained in supplement form, most commonly in powders such as whey protein powder, pea protein powder, or rice protein powder.

Building muscle mass essentially involves the process of lifting heavier weights, tearing the muscle fibres, and then rebuilding them stronger and bigger, and this is where regular protein intake comes in. Protein is the building block of muscles, and muscle protein synthesis is a naturally occurring process in which protein is produced to repair muscle damage caused by intense exercise.

For my weight loss nutrition clients, or anyone for that matter who wants to at best maintain if not build muscle mass, working off a 2g per kilogram of body weight is a good starting point.

#2 BCAA’s

BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids) have long been studied, showing benefits in reducing muscle soreness, faster recovery time, reduced creatine kinase (which is a good indicator of recovery), and better retention of maximum muscular force.

#3 Foam Rolling

Using a foam roller is considered a form of self-massage, and it can produce many of the same benefits. Popular thought is that foam rolling breaks up adhesions, reduces stiffness, decreases soreness, increases blood flow, and reduces tissue tension, leading to improved recovery and performance.

#4 Sleep

For the body to reboot and heal itself, it requires seven to ten hours of sleep, and these hours differ based on one’s exercise routine, lifestyle, chemical makeup, and workload. Wake up with the sun when possible, have a dark and well-ventilated room, and decrease screen time before bed for a better quality of sleep.

#4 Magnesium & Zinc

Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of electrolyte balance, energy production, and normal neuromuscular function. Zinc plays a central role in the regulation of cellular growth and tissue repair as well as maintenance of a healthy immune system. These two powerhouses are a great option for boosting general health, performance, and recovery.

Water

#5 Water

Water is the best way to hydrate. The simplest way to check if you are dehydrated is to look at the colour of your urine. The darker the colour, the more dehydrated you are. If you get sick of water, try putting a slice of lemon, lime, or orange in the water to give it some flavour without adding sugar/unwanted calories. There are a lot of different formulas out there, but this is what I tell my clients; if you are female, aim for a minimum of two litres per day, and men, aim for three litres. If you exercise, add at least another litre.

#6 Active Recovery

Active recovery is the engagement of low-intensity exercise after completing a heavy workout or a big week at the gym. As paradoxical as it may seem, the best way to recover from strenuous exercise or other sports competition is to exercise at a lower intensity rather than remaining still. Try going for a walk or a bike ride to flush out the sore muscles.

#7 Acupressure Mat

Although higher-quality research needs to be conducted to prove the efficacy of acupressure mats, I swear by my mine! The premise is that, after a few seconds of lying on it, the body encourages blood flow to the area. The area increases in temperature from the increased blood flow, which promotes the release of hormones that act as natural opioid painkillers for tissue repair. I try to clock up twenty minutes a day.

I am a proud ambassador of Tuska Mat. The Tuska Mat is made from high-quality recyclable ABS plastic, natural linen and coconut fibre inserts without dyes. They leave out all the extra packaging that usually ends up in the bin and provide a free carry strap with all their mats instead!
Use code CHLOE10 to get 10% off your order

#8 Have a Soak

Hot baths promote blood flow to the muscles by dilating blood vessels and thereby increasing circulation, which aids healing. Throw in some epsom salts, magnesium, and essential oils for extra healing benefits.

#9 Rehydrate with electrolytes

Electrolytes are electrically charged minerals essential for many physiological functions in the human body, making them a crucial component to both physical and mental performance. A good electrolyte contains the optimal balance of sodium, potassium, magnesium and carbohydrates to enhance hydration. Sodium is the key driver of hydration in the body and requires a small number of carbohydrates to cross over cell membranes with the help of specially-designed transporters, SGLTs (sodium-glucose linked transporters).

I personally recommend true ELECTROLYTE – grab yours here

#10 De-stress

We want to give our body the opportunity to move from the sympathetic nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system to assist in the recovery process. That means doing anything that promotes a state of calm. What do you like to do that helps you actively destress? I know for me it is mainly all of the above, but I also like to chill out with my kids, watch a good documentary, walk along the beach or take a dip in the ocean.


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Protein For Fat Loss

Eating protein helps with losing fat, for a few reasons.

When you eat more protein, you tend to feel fuller longer

Protein stimulates the release of satiety (stop-eating) hormones in the gut. So when you eat protein, you naturally tend to eat less, without feeling hungry. And when you are eating in a calorie deficit, feeling full can be the difference between achieving your goal or binging.

Protein makes your body work to digest it

Not all nutrients take the same energy to digest. Fat and carbohydrates are pretty easy for your body to digest and absorb, but protein takes more energy to digest and absorb. If you eat 100 calories of protein, you’ll only use about 70 calories of it. (This thermic, or heat-producing, effect of protein is why you sometimes get the “meat sweats” after a big protein-heavy meal.)

Protein also helps you hang on to lean mass while you’re losing fat

When you’re in a significant energy deficit (i.e. eating less than you burn), your body tries to throw out everything — fat, muscle, bone, hormones, etc. — all the stuff you need. It doesn’t tend to throw out just fat and keep muscle… unless you eat lots of protein.

When we are working so hard in the gym to build lean mass, the last thing we want is for it to be used as fuel through lack of protein consumption.

It is also neat to note that the more lean mass we have, the higher our fat metabolism (just a fancy way of saying that we burn fat more effortlessly when we have more lean muscle).

In Strength,

Chloe


The Daily Drop

Not really even an “email.” Think of this like a daily message from Rhys and Chloe – inspiration, training, a thought, questions in life, health and nutrition. A pick me up, a kick in the butt, or some support.


How to Keep Yourself Accountable

It can be really hard to ‘stay on track’. You have your goals set and your intentions are to stick to the plan.. Here are some tips on how you can keep yourself more accountable to your goals and the plan!

Strategy #1 – Write it Down!

Study of nearly 1,700 participants shows that keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss. The study found that the best predictors of weight loss were how frequently food diaries were kept and how many support sessions the participants attended. Those who kept daily food records lost twice as much weight as those who kept no records.

I get my clients to note down everything then update their spreadsheet at the end of the week! Doing this not only gives data which over weeks can show trends, but it helps reflect on the week and ask ‘what went well?’ or ‘what could I do better?’

Strategy #2 – Prime Your Environment

Get anything that is not part of your plan out of the house! And I don’t mean go and consume all the chocolate! But if it is in the house it will be consumed.

Set up your supplements where you can see them. Put out your workout clothes the night before. Charge your fitbit on your bedside table so it prompts you as soon as you wake up. Put up your goals where you can see them.

Strategy #3 – Set timers / Reminders

Keep forgetting to take your fish oil? Terrible are remembering to charge your fitbit? Set yourself reminders to help you follow through on your plan and goals.

I have my clients set reminders every night that prompts them to fill in their daily data collection sheet. Let’s not leave it up to chance, rather put systems in place to increase the likelihood of us following through with it!

Strategy #4 – Order Groceries Online!

The cheeky supermarkets are primed to suck you in – clever marketing. Big signs at the front of the isles, big yellow tags on the sale items and if you go there when you are hungry you are DOOMED!

Try online shopping and either pick it up yourself or get it delivered. I even have a fruit and veggie order delivered each week. In doing this you are not tempting your willpower as you can create preset lists and just order exactly what you need.

Which of these resonated with you the most?

In Strength,

Chloe


The Daily Drop

Not really even an “email.” Think of this like a daily message from Rhys and Chloe – inspiration, training, a thought, questions in life, health and nutrition. A pick me up, a kick in the butt, or some support.


10 Ways To Eat Healthy On The Go

We all lead busy lives and nutrition is one of the most complained about areas in which people struggle. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard though and today I am going to take you through an action plan on how you can stay healthy and true to your goals while out and about!

Eat a nutritious meal at home before you leave

This should include 1-2 palms of protein, 1-2 cupped hands of carbs, 1-2 fists of veggies and 1-2 thumbs of fats.

Pack a snack

There a few ‘go-to’ items I like to pack when heading out and these include a tin of tuna or salmon, nuts and seeds, Edamame beans, boiled eggs, a protein shake, veggie sticks with hummus, chicken breast slices, fresh fruit, beef jerky, yogurt or a high quality protein bar.

Aim for better not perfect

If you find you are in a situation where there is not a great deal to choose from, always try for the best option you have available to you. Bonus points if you can get veggies!

Consider booking a room with a kitchenette

That way you can stay on top of your goals and save your wallet by cooking nutritious meals at home. You can also ask for the mini fridge to be emptied so you can stock with your food.

Pre-plan for those longer trips

If you are heading away for a while you can pre-order groceries and research local restaurants

Be prepared

Make sure you pack any utensils you will need.

Make a conscious decision

Decided whether you are sticking to your meal plan or if you are going to take a temporary break. Either way is fine, just ensure you are making a conscious decision.

Remember hunger is not an emergency

It is ok to be hungry for a few hours if food choices are not ideal.

What are your ‘non-negotiables’?

For example, eat at least 1 serving of veggies a day or workout 3 times a week?

Applying the simple stuff

Eating slowly and mindfully until 80% full

So there you have it! Staying on top of your goals while out and about or away on holidays is totally achievable. These 10 ways to eat healthy on the go should give you confidence and a tangible action plan.

My Tips On Staying Lean All Year Round

Today I want to share with you, how I manage to stay lean all year around. It feels good to be fit and healthy, not just have a rocking bod for summer. So, this is an insight into what I do consistently, and remember, it is about consistency, you can’t get or stay lean from one salad, just like you wont build muscle after one training session.

I DON’T COOK EXTRAVAGANT RECIPES

I find a lot of people are looking for the perfect weight loss recipe. There is none and it is a waste of time. Ever heard acronym KISS? Keep it simple stupid? Thats what nutrition is all about. I eat eggs in some way for breakfast, I have some sort of protein with a salad or veggies for lunch and some form of protein with steamed or roasted veg for dinner. I will throw in some fats, carbs and fruit. That doesn’t mean it is boring – ill do a big omelette one day with bacon, my salad might have olives and I might have baked sweet potato for dinner. Basically I don’t get caught up in protein balls and frittatas and slices and muffins or a magical bowl. KEEP IT SIMPLE.

I MOVE MY BODY

Yes I workout 4-5 times a week but I am more so talking about what I do for the other 23 hours of the day. I am on my feet walking around. I am coaching in the gym, I walk to the beach or go to a park with my kids at least once a day, I am up and down the stairs in my house. I am basically moving from 430am until 8pm. We are also very active on the weekends. It is a priority for us to have an active life and show that to our kids.

I DON’T RESTRICT MYSELF

I follow the 80/20 rule. Clean 80% of the time and “naughty” 20% of the time. If I want some chocolate, Ill have some. If I want a wine, Ill have a wine. But 80% of the time, I eat clean, lean and love to nourish my body. Everyone has different goals but I have found this keeps me on track and focused when I know Im not “all or nothing”.

I HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

I don’ t “HAVE” to workout, I “GET” to workout. I don’t “HAVE” to eat that salad, I “GET” to eat that salad. I am lucky enough to be able to workout and to be able to eat healthy foods. A lot of people can’t and don’t have these opportunities. I focus on what I can change. And I forget about what I cant – which by the way, there is almost nothing that we cant change! I always hold myself responsible. If I put on weight, its my fault. If I skip a workout, its my fault. Not my busy schedule, not the whether. Attitude is everything.

These are all things you can start practising right now. Not next week. Not tomorrow. Right now. Remember “If nothing changes, nothing changes”.

Top 10 Recovery Tips

We have compiled 10 of the best recovery strategies that we use ourselves on a daily basis and promote to our members that the gym. When we assist the recovery process, we can reduce the amount of time we experience soreness and can get into the gym sooner so chase our goals.

Stretching / Yoga

stretching routine increases blood flow to your muscles. This, in turn, gives you two benefits that are: Reductions in post-athletic soreness and recovery time; and. Improvement of your overall health.

Protein

Protein can be attained from a wide range of whole food sources such as fish, chicken, and beef as well as non-animal sources such as quinoa, green peas and nuts. Protein can also be attained in supplement form, most commonly in powders such as whey protein powder, pea protein powder or rice protein powder.

Building muscle mass essentially involves the process of lifting heavier weights, tearing the muscle fibres and then rebuilding them stronger and bigger and this is where regular protein intake comes in. Protein is the building block of musclesMuscle protein synthesis is a naturally occurring process in which protein is produced to repair muscle damage caused by intense exercise.

BCAA’s

BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) have long been studied, showing benefits in reducing muscle soreness, faster recovery time, reduced creatine kinase (which is a good indicator of recovery) and a better retention of maximum muscular force.

Foam Rolling

Although not as luxurious, using a foam roller is considered a form of self-massage and can produce many of the same benefits. … Popular thought is that foam rolling breaks up adhesions, reduces stiffness, decreases soreness, increases blood flow and reduces tissue tension, leading to improved recovery and performance.

Sleep

For the body to re-boot itself it requires 7-10hrs of sleep, and these hours differ based on ones exercise routine,
lifestyle, chemical makeup and work. Wake up with the sun when possible and allow fresh air and cooler temps for a better quality of sleep.

ZMA

ZMA is a combination of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6, which provides numerous benefits to the body and its functionality. Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of electrolyte balance, energy production and normal neuromuscular function. Zinc plays a central role in the regulation of cellular growth and tissue repair as well as a maintenance of a healthy immune system. Vitamin B6 rounds off the bland by supporting metabolism and mental function. These wide ranging benefits make ZMA a great option for boosting general health performance and recovery.

Water

Water is the best way to hydrate. The simplest way to check if you are dehydrated is look at the colour of your urine (I know gross right!). The darker the colour the more dehydrated you are. If you get sick of water, try putting a slice of lemon, lime or orange in the water to give it some flavour without adding sugar/unwanted calories. The best formula to calculate how much water you need individually is: 0.033 Litres X Body Weight = Daily Water Consumption. Remember, for every caffeinated drink you consume, you must add 1 cup or 250ml of water to your daily total.

Active Recovery

Active recovery is the engagement of low-intensity exercise after completing a heavy workout or a big week at the gym. As paradoxical as it may seem, the best way to recover from a strenuous exercise or other sports competition is to exercise at a lower intensity rather than remaining still. Try going for a walk or a bike ride to flush out the sore muscles.

Acupressure Mat

Local blood flow is stimulated to the area. Similar to if you get a massage and afterwards the skin is redder, the tissue warmer etc. This can get help to boost healing and recovery, particularly after running or sports events. The other big way that acupressure mats, acupressure and acupuncture help is in their pain relieving ability. After 15-20 minutes of lying on an acupressure or shakti mat, our spinal cord and brainstem release natural opioid painkillers.

Bath

Hot baths, on the other hand, promote blood flow to the muscles by dilating blood vessels – this is not what you want immediately after exercise. However, in the days that follow, when any acute pain has receded, a hot bath is best to help increase circulation, which aids healing. Throw in some epsom salts and/or magnesium for extra healing benefits.

Master Your Emotional Health and Master Your Life

Emotional mastery is the key to living a life that you direct. The capacity to have absolute direct power over what you feel in every single moment—no matter what happens around you—is one of the most important skill sets you can have.

There are three forces in the world that determine what you feel. These forces are called the Triad. Together, these three patterns create any—and every—emotional state.

Whatever you feel, you’re not feeling it because you have to feel it. You’re feeling it because you’ve chosen from the Triad. In order to master your emotions and consciously choose the emotions you want to live in, you need to understand these three forces and how to use them to your advantage.

#1: Physiology

Emotion is created by motion. Whatever you’re feeling right now is directly related to how you’re using your body. If you slump your shoulders and lean your head forward, you’ll move toward a state of depression. However, the next time you find yourself in a negative state, stand up, throw your shoulders back and take a few deep breaths. You’ll find that you’re able to put yourself in a resourceful state. From this state, you can make stronger decisions and enjoy a sense of certainty that will keep you calm in the face of uncertainty.

#2: Language

Language comes in many forms, one of which includes the questions you ask yourself, either aloud or inside your head. If you ask, “Why does this always have to happen to me?” you’ll create a much different set of emotions than if you asked, “How can I benefit from this?” or “Where’s the gift in this?” or “What’s humorous about this?”

The language patterns you run play a significant role in the meaning you give a situation—and the emotion that situation creates in you. When you feel negative emotions taking over, look at the language surrounding your situation. How can you shift it to create a more empowering state?

#3: Focus

Where focus goes, energy flows. And where energy flows, whatever you’re focusing on grows. In other words, your life is controlled by what you focus on. That’s why you need to focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear. When you next find yourself in a state of uncertainty, resist your fear. Shift your focus toward where you want to go and your actions will take you in that direction.

Understanding—and influencing—your Triad is the first step toward emotional mastery. When you can influence your emotions using the Triad, you can choose to spend more time in positive, resourceful emotional states. From these states, you’ll make the decisions that will help you reach your highest potential and enjoy your life in every moment.