Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Private Fitness Sessions in London - Availability now limited

Due to a change in my schedule during my trip to England, my days that I am available for private training are now limited to just 5 days: January 4th - January 8th.
The gym that I will be training at is a newly remodeled, 35000 square foot, state of the art fitness centre. 

The address is:
Royal Leisure Park,
Great Western Way,
Park Royal,
London W3 OPA

Each session will last 90 minutes, and includes a full training session based on your needs.
If you would prefer to join me on one of my workouts then please note this when you purchase your time slot. There will be no cost to you to enter the gym, as this will be covered within the training price.

Below are the times that I currently have available for each day. When purchasing your session, please note which time slot you would like, as I will remove this from this link straight away.

Monday 4th January.

Time Slot 1: 8am - 9.30am
Time Slot 2: 10am - 11.30am
Time Slot 3: 11.30am - 1.00pm
Time Slot 4: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Time Slot 5: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Tuesday 5th January.

Time Slot 1: 8am - 9.30am
Time Slot 2: 10am - 11.30am
Time Slot 3: 12.00pm - 1.30pm
Time Slot 3: 2.00pm - 13.30pm
Time Slot 4: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Time Slot 5: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Wednesday 6th January.

Time Slot 1: 8am - 9.30am
Time Slot 2: 10am - 11.30am
Time Slot 3: 12.00pm - 1.30pm
Time Slot 3: 2.00pm - 13.30pm
Time Slot 4: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Time Slot 5: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Thursday 7th January.

Time Slot 1: 8am - 9.30am
Time Slot 2: 10am - 11.30am
Time Slot 3: 12.00pm - 1.30pm
Time Slot 3: 2.00pm - 13.30pm
Time Slot 4: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Time Slot 5: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Friday 8th January.

Time Slot 1: 8am - 9.30am
Time Slot 2: 10am - 11.30am
Time Slot 3: 12.00pm - 1.30pm
Time Slot 3: 2.00pm - 13.30pm
Time Slot 4: 4.00pm - 5.30pm
Time Slot 5: 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Time Slots must be purchased online prior to the session taking place.
To book a time slot, see the link below, and include the day and time slot that you would like.
Nutrition plans also available as an add-on package.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

First day back training hard: Rear Delts, Biceps & Forearms

Since winning the WBFF World Fitness Model Championships in canada a few months ago, I took some time away from the gym to not only give my body some time off, but to also get my motivation back. After all, during the 4 months I was training for the contest, I was in the gym pretty much every day, and when your putting your body through such an intense regime, it can start to feel less enjoyable, as it first did, and when that happens, you really have to give it everything you've got just to make it through the end of the workout! Taking some time off every now and then (just when you begin to lose that 'eye of the tiger' that we all first had when we first stepped into the gym, or started a new workout).
How do you know when it's time to get back into the gym? Well, when you find yourself getting excited again just thinking about going to the gym, then it's time. I took the best part of a month off from the gym, and because I ate fairly clean (Ok, so I had my fair share of cheat foods but that was part of my motivation when I was sweating it out in the gym for months during my pre-contest training, so I did feel like I deserved a little time off), when I did step back into the gym for a fully-focused workout (as opposed to going there because I felt as though I needed to keep some level of fitness up), my strength was still there. In many ways, I actually felt stronger because I had given my muscles adequate rest in which time they had fully recovered from all the stress they had received from months of hitting the weights hard.
I wanted to start back at the gym with a real enjoyable workout, and so decided to train rear delts (which had always given me an incredible pump in the past), Biceps (C'mon, who doesn't like working out their biceps), and Forearms (from reviewing the pictures of me on stage, I needed to work a little more on my lower legs and my forearms).
I went to my local gym in the valley close to where I live (Powerhouse). This is the workout that I did: (all weights in pounds)
Seated Military Press on Smith Machine (Behind the neck to top of ear line)
A great first exercise for warming up the shoulder complex. Good for building size too, especially if you want to work on the rear of the shoulders - which is most of us!
First two warm up sets: 15x50 / 15x70
First Workset: 8x90
Second Set: 8x100
Third Set: 7x105
Wide-Grip Cable Row (Using a Lat-Pull down bar)
Perform as you would with a seated row, except your grip is much wider, and performed with a limited range of movement. Only the 2nd half of the movement, keeping your elbows high, and pulling the bar up towards your upper chest.
First Set: 12x150
Second Set: 12x160
Third Set: 12x170
Incline-Facing Rear Flys (Dumbbells)
Set up a bench at a 35-degree incline, and keeping your knees on the lower-half of the bench with your chest on the upper part of the bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand and keeping the arms straight - raise the arms up towards the hips, rotating your knuckles outwards, pausing when the dumbbells are inline with your hips.
First Set: 12x20
Second Set: 12x20
Third Set: 12x20
Seated Rear Delt machine (Reverse Fly machine)
I only performed this exercise with a limited range of movement (the final part), thus keeping constant tension on the deltoids)
First Set: 12x120
Second Set: 10x150
Third Set: 10x165
Straight Bar Curl 
This is a great exercise for mass building as it places maximum stress on the muscle. If you feel a strain in the wrist, use an ez-bar, or stick with a preacher bench to isolate the bicep more. I stopped short of my thighs to keep constant train on the muscle, and squeezed hard at the top.
First Set: 12x80
Second Set: 10x90
Third Set: 10x90
Seated Preacher Curl (Alt. Arms w/Dumbbells. Single Sets)
A great exercise for peaking the bicep. I twist as I curl, rotating my thumb outwards as I curl, which places more stress on the inner part of the bicep. Great tip if your aiming to thicken out your biceps like a grapefruit!
First Set: 10x35
Second Set: 10x35
Third Set: 10x35
Seated Cable Preacher Curl (using straight bar)
Sit on a seated-row bench with your feet up on the bench, and position your elbows just below your knees. Keep this position fixed as you perform the exercise, curling the bar towards your chest.
First Set: 8x60
Second Set: 10x60
Third Set: 10x60
Performed as a tri-set x3
Each exercised performed once, then moving on to the next exercise without rest. Wait two minutes before repeating the tri-set.
Reverse EZ-bar curl
Perform like a standard curl, except use an overhand grip, and keep your thumbs over as well so that its more stress on the forearms 
Set: 12x50
Dumbbell Extension
Seated on a bench with your forearms resting on your knees.
Set: 12x50

D-Grip Squeeze
This is an old-skool piece of kit that's shaped like a large 'D', and really works on your grip and forearms.
Set: 15reps

after 3 complete sets of each exercise performed as a tri-set, I finished my workout with another tri-set - one the will really show out your endurance to the test, and a great gauge for if your comparing your workout to a previous one or that of your workout partners..

Here it is:

After only allowing a few minutes to recover from your last tri-set of forearms, perform these three exercises without any rest between each one, and executing each rep with a full range of movement.

Wide-grip chin-ups: 12
Dips: 37
Push-ups: 17

Give it a go and leave a comment on how you feel after!!

Good luck!

If your interested in having a personalized workout program or nutrition plan built for you, you can contact me at

Monday, December 14, 2009

Metabolic Meal

Meat Eater Type Meal

Since before the contest when I was on a very strict calorie restricted diet (somewhere between 1900 - 2300 calories a day), and consisting of a limited range of foods, I've decided to go back to the way I was eating before I started to diet hard, which was eating certain foods that fit my metabolism. That's to say that based on how my ancestors ate generations and generations ago, that these are the foods that my body has become able to digest and make use of best.

The fact is that nutrients not part of a persons cultural heritage are incompatible with that individuals biochemistry.

This has a lot to do with one's balance of blood ph between being acidic or alkaline.
Before I continue, let me first tell you about the nerves of the the autonomic nervous system, which extend from the brain through the spinal cord, and from there to the organs, are composed of two branches, the parasympathetic and the sympathetic, each regulating a different set of organ systems. 

The parasympathetic nerves ensure the survival of the internal body environment by accelerating the process of digestion and assimilation of food, and the repair and rebuilding of body cells.

The sympathetic nerves, on the other hand, protect the body from danger in the environment outside the body by speeding up the flow of hormones from the thyroid, adrenals, and pituitary. This makes the heart beat faster, the blood circulate more rapidly, and more oxygen to flow into the lungs, actions that speed up the thought processes and supply the body with bursts of energy needed in earlier times for fighting, hunting, and outmaneuvering enemies.

The sympathetic  and parasympathetic, however, not only speed up the functions of the organs over which each has control, but act as a brake on the other half of the autonomic nervous system by slowing it's actions.

I am a parasympathetic dominant individual (determined by answering a few short questions of which I'll come to a little later on), which means I am a fast oxidizer, and should eat foods such as beef, lamb, and venison because the body burns them up slowly, forcing the parasympathetic nerves to slow the rate at which they normally use up energy.

Now, I'm sure like I was at first, when reading this I was a little unclear as to how this impacted which foods I should be eating, and perhaps more importantly, which foods I shouldn't be eating, but with a little more research into the acid/alkaline diet, I soon uncovered a new level of understanding of how the body responds to certain foods, which will serve me well in continuing to build on my success as a natural athlete. And don't worry - I'll be making this all available for you to follow!

As a parasympathetic dominant individual, my body has large quantities of acid for the digestion of meat, and should limit my intake of of certain acidic nutrients such as Vitamin C, lemon juice, and vinegar so as not to speed up my already too rapid digestion of protein. An important factor to bare in mind when trying to build muscle because if your body is digesting protein too quickly, your body will be excreting higher levels of amino acids instead of your muscles uptaking much of what you think they are. Ask yourself this - Have you ever increased your protein intake whilst lifting heavy weights expecting to build muscle, when all you truly experience is a stronger smell to your urine, and perhaps even a little indigestion. 

In individual's with a slower digestion (sympathetic dominant individuals who are typically grain eaters, and usually blood type A), they are left with undigested food particles that turn into acidic waste. These find their way into the blood and lymph vessels that feed the insulin-producing glands in the pancreas. As these vessels become clogged with waste, they block the transport of insulin form the pancreas to the blood. Lack of insulin in the blood means that sugar doesn't get burned up, so that blood sugar levels become elevated and produce diabetic symptoms.

Ok, so back to the meal in the picture. This was a strip steak cooked on a George Foreman grill, and sprinkled with cayenne pepper, which stimulates good digestion, including the breakdown of fats. It's also a good overall body tonic. I cooked several root vegetables (bok choy, kale, and sprouting kale), in a closed pan with little heat, and instead of cooking in water, I used organic (no added salt) peeled tomatoes from a tin, so that much of the nutrients from the vegetables were not lost in the water when it was strained (unless you keep the water and drink it once cooled). Limiting my carbohydrate sources, I added a salad of organic endive leaves, romaine lettuce, green beans, plus spinach leaves - all of which provide an excellent source of roughage and rich in digestive enzymes. I added two tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which aside from increasing the flow of bile, olive oil assists in the breakdown of long-chained fatty acids.

Aside from water, there is more fat in the body than any other substance. Cellular membranes that surround the cytoplasm of each cell are made up of almost entirely of fatty acid (the form of fat into which the fat we eat is broken down), and the brain is more than 60% fatty acid. Moreover, fatty acids, along with protein (in the form of amino acids) play a vital role in the manufacture of energy. Transportation of oxygen by the red blood cells would not be possible without the fatty acid and protein membrane of the red blood cell through which oxygen gains entry into the cell.

I also added a handful of mixed berries (blueberries and blackberries), and mixed nuts (raw and natural almonds, cashew's, and walnuts), for added fiber and fats. (The combination of nuts and legumes - peas, ensure all the complete amino acids that the body cannot synthesize itself).

This is just a small glimpse of how I'm going to be changing my diet from now on, and I'll show you the results by posting my newly designed training program and progress pictures shortly on my website (which is also being rebuilt and launched early 2010).

If you are interested in having your own metabolic typing diet created for you, I have created a link of my store for only $99:

To keep up to date on all my workouts and meals, plus more on metabolic typing, make sure you sign up to follow my blogs.

Until next time - stay fit and strong, both in body and mind!

Rob Riches