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Training for Hypertrophy (increased size and muscle growth)

Training for increased size or ‘bulking’ is a common goal among most men; a few things to consider when training for hypertrophy are;

What is hypertrophy?

Hypertrophy is essentially the breaking down and tearing of muscle fibers. This stress caused by lifting weights prompts the muscles to repair themselves (with the help of quality nutrition) and increase in size in order to cope with the increased external loads of weight lifting.

Time Under tension.

If the aim of training for increased size is to tear muscle fibers then the longer time spent completing a lift, the more stress the muscle is under and the more it will tear. If a bicep curl is completed in 5 seconds total compared to 2, then the effects of hypertrophy are going to be much greater resulting in bigger growth!

Eccentric Reps.

Also known as negatives, this is the action of elongating the muscle and taking the muscle away from contraction. The muscle stretches during this phase and is where most of the damage associated with hypertrophy happens, the longer the eccentric contraction (or ‘stretch’) the more stress is put on the muscle.

Free weights vs. machines.

Should you train with free weights for hypertrophy or should you incorporate machines?

When using free weights your body is forced to stabilize the weights as well as move them (e.g. your shoulders and back help stabilize the bar on a bench press) where as a chest press machine is in a fixed movement and isolates the pectoral muscles. For maximal hypertrophy results it is best to use free weights for the majority of any workout and use machines for isolation work e.g. fly machine if shoulders fatigue while training the chest.

Nutrition and hypertrophy.

With an increased demand for recovery, extra nutrients are required by the body to aid recovery. Whey protein shakes after a workout to help muscle growth and recovery are an ideal supplement along with creatine to help strength development and mineral based supplements such as ZMA to help increase sleep and recovery.

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Written by:

Chris Blythe (TeamPPS)

BSc(hons) sport science
REPS level 3 qualified personal trainer



The importance of sleep


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Recreational gym users, athletes and most that lift up a dumbbell or go to a group exercise class are now well adverse in the importance of recovery with adequate protein, re-hydration and rest days. However, in most cases the importance of sleep for athletic performance, health and aesthetic goals seems to be either ignored or misunderstood. Many clients we deal with or have dealt with tend to assume that sitting up playing the PlayStation until 2am or only getting 4-5 hours’ sleep every night is enough for recovery… Unfortunately this is not the case and here’s why:

Sleep is crucial for all aspects of health, physical and cognitive performance. When we sleep it often takes 90-100 minutes before we enter the first REM sleep cycle. REM is the stage of sleep which is most beneficial for us as this is where the brain, body and endocrine system rest and recover. The initial REM phase doesn’t last very long, usually 10-15 minutes. However every cycle there after increases in duration. Therefore the longer we sleep the more accumulative time the body spends in either phase 3 of the NREM or the REM stage of sleep. Both these phases represent a deep sleep which is best for recovery. When sleep is cut short the body doesn’t have time to recover from the stress accumulated throughout the day and during training.


The national sleep recommendations are between 7 and 9 hours per night with 8 hours being optimal. Having said this, well renowned strength and conditioning coaches also recommend or even prescribe 20minute naps to their athletes to aid their recover between sessions. By not accumulating enough sleep there has been evidence of increased insulin resistance. Not only does this hamper the athlete’s ability to build lean muscle but also over time increase the potential of developing Diabetes Type II (Mesarwi et al., 2013). As well as this, Mesarwi et al., (2013) observed that individuals who experience less sleep on a regular basis tend to overeat and are therefore more likely to experience obesity or weight management difficulties.


This is somewhat supported by Omisade et al., (2010) who investigated the acute effect of reduced sleep on cortisol and leptin levels. They observed that the sleep deprived group reduced cortisol levels in the morning which are usually at their highest, however throughout the day cortisol levels increased and remained higher than usual. Cortisol levels continued to increase towards the latter end of the day. Cortisol is more commonly known as the stress hormone and although it has benefits, too much cortisol can increase visceral fat.

Whilst we are discussing sleep and its effect on hormones let’s look at the positive effects sleep has on body composition. During deep phases of sleep as outlined above, the body produces growth hormones which are vital for hypertrophy and recovery. Furthermore, sleep is strongly associated with testosterone which is also a vital hormone when looking to improve body composition. To summarise, adequate sleep can help improve the cortisol:testosterone ratio.


A reduction in sleep can also affect a client or athletes cognitive performance. According to Killgore and Weber (2013) sleep deprivation also affects memory by reducing encoding when it precedes learning and impairs consolidation of memory traces when it occurs after learning. To summarise, lack of sleep can affect one’s ability to complete tasks or skills which have been previously learnt and mastered as well as the ability to develop and learn new skills.

Now we’ve concluded that sleep is important and vital for performance, health and body composition orientated goals, here are our top 5 tips for a goodnight’s sleep:


#1. Switch off all electronic entertainment devices at least 1 hour before bed. These include smart phones, tablets, computers and even the TV. All these stimulants engage and heighten our nervous system, not what we want before bed.

#2. Read a book. Reading before bed is not only beneficial for our education and development but also helps your relax and reduce stress according to the University of Sussex. Ideal just before bed!

#3. Don’t lift weights less than 2 hours before bed. When we train we elevate out body temperature, this makes falling into a deep sleep more difficult and as outlined above we must fall into a deep sleep if we want to reap the full benefits sleep has to offer.

#4. Reduce and even remove all caffeine products 3-4 hours before bed.

#5. Supplement Magnesium. Magnesium is vital for the GABA receptor found in the brain, the GABA receptor is responsible for calming the brains activity levels and reduces the neural activity in a similar way which medication such as benzodiazepines do, which when trying to sleep is certainly useful. Furthermore, in a recent study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Magnesium was singled out as one of the most important minerals rivaling some of the more commonly discussed minerals such as Calcium. It was also suggested that Magnesium is just as important if not more important than Calcium for children in the development of healthy bones.






Written by: Richard Jones MA

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hardgain explained simply

Bodybuilder's Step-by-Step Transformation

The following phrases are as common placed as dodgy form in almost every gym you enter, “I’m a hard gainer”, “I can’t put on any weight”, “You WON’T BELIEVE the amount of food I eat and still can’t put on any weight”.  First off “WEIGHT” is not what you should be looking to gain in the gym. You’re there to build muscle.  So here goes, I need to get this off my chest, WEIGHING SCALES DO NOT WEIGH JUST MUSCLE. Believe me I’ve put on the infamous weight in the past and yes I looked big in a t-shirt, but when it came off, well lets just say I looked smoother than the gluteus maximus   of a baboon. Just because you weigh the same as Arnie, most certainly doesn’t mean you look like him. Do you really think people give a damn what weight you are if you look like something out of a superhero comic book, with more lumps and bumps of muscle on you that you look like an over inflated tyre.


Anyways lets get back to our “hard gainer”. Now I’ll be honest, I am guilty of using this phrase myself in the past. I know what ye are thinking, how could a mass monster like me be a hard gainer!!!! Little bit of sarcasm there, just to point out the obvious.  So I get the question time and time again, “What can I eat to help me put on weight? GRRRRRR there is that “weight “word again. Relax, deep breaths Jason, just let it go, be the bigger beard.  “What are you eating at the moment” I ask with a look of interest on my face, even though I know the answer already, as for years I nibbled on the same pigeon menu.

Drum roll please!!! First up is a protein shake upon waking. Nothing wrong there. Damn it, I think I may be wrong here, this guy has it well tuned in. But wait, here comes the breakfast, old faithful himself. Bowl of porridge and 3 whole eggs.

Next on the menu is the one, the only, please put your hands together for the ultimate in muscle building, the anabolic of the food world, the king of king. CHICKEN AND RICE, just plain old chicken and ½ a bag of rice (because that’s a lot of carbs right?) with no sauce or flavour because we don’t want to get fat now do we. There’s that sarcasm popping up again. The good old tuna sandwich is next on the list. On brown bread of course, got to make them gains. Gym session done and the race for the locker room are on, Usain Bolt wouldn’t get a look in, got to get that shake in or the famous anabolic window will be shut tightly and all your “hard work” in the gym is wasted. I will leave how hard most of these people actually train for another time, or we could be here all day. So its back home for more of that anabolic chicken and rice, and then a casein shake and spoon of peanut butter  before its time to lay your head down and dream about all the “weight” you have put on today. So we wake up the following morning, hop on the scales full of excitement and hope, only for it all to turn to the sadness you feel when you knock over your tube of protein. No change. AGAIN!!


Does all this sound pretty familiar, I’d say it isn’t too far off for the majority? I know it was for me. “I told you” they say, I eat loads and I eat super clean”. Lets start to do a little math here, just to roughly see how much food is in it. Now don’t quote me on these numbers they are just off the top of my red head.

First off, protein comes in around 170g, not bad , as our typical hard gainer probably weighs around 125 to 150, and I would recommend 1-1.5g of protein per pound of body mass.  I may have just wasted a whole article here. Hold on, the numbers are in for the carbs and fats, 160g carbs, 40g fat. And what does all this MASS amount of food come in at, 1680 calories (put away your calculators keyboard warriors, it’s a rough estimate). Yep, that’s even below the RDA for a woman. SHOCK, HORROR.

Protein intake would seem adequate  for the your typical hard gainer but having a fast metabolism means your body will burn up calories at a very fast rate for energy and being that the carbohydrates  are low for someone who has trouble putting on size, your body is actually going to start breaking down muscle protein through gluconeogenesis for energy. Therefore all your precious protein that you think is going to your muscle is in fact been converted for energy. Not what you want. So if we increase our carbs, we can let them do what they do best and give us energy, and let the protein get down and busy doing what it is supposed to. Build some muscle baby.  My favourite one comes next, it always makes me laugh, when I hear the hard gainers say they don’t want to eat fat because it will make them fat. I laugh because I used to have the very same mentality due to the bad reputation and miss education that has been pushed on us by the media over the years. FATS DON’T MAKE YOU FAT, SITTING ON YOUR POSTERIOR DOES. Fats are extremely important for hormones, such as that 1 that ye all love to hear about, TESTOSTERONE. Calorie wise 1g of fat = 9 kcal, which is more than double what you get from protein and carbs, 4kcal per 1g.

I am all too familiar with all the above and it wasn’t until I started to weigh my food and track it that I realised how little I was eating. Now I am no mass monster and never will be, I am a hard gainer through and through and at the end of the day genetics will place a massive part in bodybuilding and how much muscle mass you can achieve and my genetics for bodybuilding are about as good as a 20 stone 6ft 6” rugby players are to be a race jockey, but I did make improvements once I realised that I was eating like a pigeon with a sick tummy. If you are serious about making them gainzzzzz that all the kids talk about, I highly recommend getting food scales and tracking your food with apps like My Fitness Pal.  Look at more calorie dense foods to help you get your calories on the up for example, one whole bag of rice, which looks like a lot of food, you are only getting around 88g of carbs. You can get more than that from 2 bagels. Also pasta is a great form of carbs, potatoes also, and me being an Irish man you got to have those spuds. When it comes to porridge oats, why not throw them in a blender with some PPS Nutrition whey, milk, a banana and some peanut butter. Whey easier (see what I did there) to drink back a large amount of oats than eat them. PPS Nutrition also do great mass gainer stacks, such as Ano-mass that will hugely help you get in the extra calories if you find eating large amounts tough. Try making up 90% of your food intake with healthy micro rich food, and for the sake of the hard gainer gods don’t be afraid to eat the odd bit of “dirty” food. But lets not get carried away guys, there is a fine line between enough and too much. You need to eat as little as possible to get as big as possible!! Now I have really thrown some cortisol in the situation but think about what I have said. Something that is massively over looked is our digestive system and how we take care of it, we don’t want to over work our system and then there is insulin sensitivity, but we won’t get into all of that at this moment and time.  I recommend 0.5 to 1 pound weight gain per week. Building muscle takes time after you have made the newbie gains. Note I said muscle, not weight.

So to finish up, you aren’t eating enough. Tough to hear I know. Believe me I didn’t want to hear it myself and tried to convince myself that I was but I know different now.  And even tougher to hear is it doesn’t end just with the food. There is a serious lack of effort in what some people put into how they train, but will tell you they are a beast in the gym and then do nothing but complain about the lack of results they are seeing, but I will give that some red beard ranting next time around.

For now, lets finish on a positive my fellow hard gainers and that is to get stuck into that fridge and start raiding them cupboards guys. Food glorious food.

Created by Jason Morris PPS Ambassador





BCAA’s…The missing link?



So for the past couple of years we have seen an increase of people in gyms walking around with what looks like a fancy colored cocktail in their shaker bottles, that wouldn’t look out of place beside you at the pool while soaking up some vitamin D from the sun, or in my case hiding under an umbrella, trying not to get burnt.

So why are people drinking cocktails at the gym you wonder? Well in a way it is a cocktail alright, but not the type that leaves you with a sore head and regret.

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No it’s branched chain!

Branched chain amino acids have grown hugely in popularity in recent time, and with good reason, as studies have shown them to be an effective supplement. So what are these BCAA’S that I speak of? Firstly most of you have probably heard “Amino acids are the building blocks of protein” at some stage. If not, you have now. Basically they combine to form structures such as muscle tissue, enzymes and hormones. There are 20 amino acids muscle use for growth, 9 essential (must be supplied by diet) 6 non-essential (these can be produced by the body) and 5 conditionally essential (cannot be produced in certain situations and must therefore be consumed). For the purpose of this article we are only concentrating on the 3 that are the branched chained (refers to the molecular structure). These are Leucine, Valine and Isoleucine and are all essential amino acids. These 3 amino’s make up roughly a third of the amino’s within muscle tissue.

Beef, chicken, fish, pork, milk, cheese and protein’s such as whey, casein and egg are all high in essential amino acids, so contain the 3 BCAA’S  I refer to. So why do I need to be taking a BCAA’s supplement when I already get them from my food? That’s a good point. I always look at diet, training and recovery as been the foundations of your house, it needs to be solid and well built. BCAA’s are like the flat screen TV you buy after everything else is built on a solid base.

So now let’s look at the positives of adding a BCAA supplement like PPS Nutrition’s BCAA Matrix (), aka the flat screen, to your training regime. When we are training hard we are using up energy. BCAA’s are metabolized within muscle tissue in the form of ATP, which is the primary source of energy in weight training and muscle contraction. Train harder for longer? Sipping on BCAA’S around training is starting to sound pretty good already.

When we train hard, it has a catabolic effect on our bodies, resulting in muscle tissue starting to break down. As we know we have to break down muscle tissue in order to make it grow back bigger and stronger, but what we don’t want is to cause excessive break down. We just want to dig a little hole and get the nutrient into it after training, instead of digging a canyon, requiring days to try and recover, which isn’t ideal when training multiple times a week. Supplementing BCAA’s during your training sessions helps to prevent this and also helps to decrease muscle soreness post training.

Leucine also plays a very important role in muscle protein synthesis. The synthesis of protein is basically the method by which muscles are constructed. Our bodies are either in a catabolic or anabolic state, so when our body produces more synthesized protein than it is consuming, BANG, more muscle growth.

BCAA’S  can be great for someone who is in a calorie deficit as they help prevent against the body breaking down muscle as fuel, and let’s be honest, which took a lot of pain, sweat and tears to build it in the first place, so I wouldn’t  be in a rush to give it up  without a fight. As your amounts of protein will be down while’s dieting due to an overall reduction in calories, in-between meals is a great time to sip on BCAA’s also, as our body cannot make or store essential amino’s.

So to finish up, I think BCAA’S are a great little tool to add to your training toolbox. As I stated earlier you do get them from your diet, but you don’t want to be the person in the gym holding a chicken breast in 1 hand and a dumbbell in the other, plus the positive of the speed at which the BCAA can enter your system because it doesn’t need to be broken down like solid food.

Anyways guys hope you can take something away from this, as I say you should have a solid foundation in place first, and then BCAA’S supplement are just a welcome addition to your training regime, once you’re training hard enough to earn them.



Written by;

Jason Morris PPS Ambassador  CYQ Level 3 Personal trainer, Fetac level 5 Sports and recreation

The forgotten supplements…

By Richard Jones BSc (hons), MA.


When coaches and keen trainers discuss supplements their attention almost immediately turns to protein, mass gainers, creatine and pre workouts. There is no doubt that these supplements are vital for our clients depending on their goals and the type of trainer. However the likes of Magnesium and Zinc, both of which are vital for homeostasis, performance and health are often overlooked. Magnesium and Zinc are both trace minerals of which we are widely deficient in, within the UK.



I prescribe the supplementation of Magnesium to almost all my clients in various doses ranging from 600-800mg’s just before bed. Although taking Magnesium just before bed won’t guarantee you’ll sleep all night undisturbed, low magnesium levels will almost certainly contribute to a sleepless night. We are all well aware of the importance sleep has on performance and recovery, so for me it’s a no brainer. Also, Magnesium is vital for the GABA receptor found in the brain, the GABA receptor is responsible for calming the brains activity levels and reduces the neural activity in a similar way which medication such as benzodiazepines do, which when trying to sleep is certainly useful.

Furthermore, in a recent study by the American Academy of Paediatrics, Magnesium was singled out as one of the most important minerals rivalling the most commonly discussed mineral, Calcium. It was also suggested that Magnesium is just as important if not more important than Calcium for children in the development of healthy bones. As well as this, magnesium is required for over 300 biochemical reactions within the body and high levels of Magnesium improve the nervous system and can help with attention spans. According to the Strength Sensei Charles Poliquin, the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats to produce energy also requires ‘numerous magnesium-dependent chemical reactions’. Lastly but certainly not by any means least, according to Chemo Care and other credible sources, low Magnesium levels have also been associated with various cancers. In summary, Magnesium is vital for recovery and rest, bone development, the nervous system and overall health.


Zinc is widely associated with health benefits such as boosting the immune system, supporting the endocrine system and promoting homeostasis. Furthermore symptoms of a Zinc deficiency can include a poor immune system, chronic fatigue, low energy, low libidos and can result in fertility problems for both males and females. In addition to this, Zinc is needed for energy production and can influence protein synthesis. As a result if your client or you are looking to increase muscle mass then a deficiency in Zinc will hamper protein synthesis, recovery and in turn your results.

It is therefore in my opinion that the supplementation of Zinc and Magnesium is a no brainer. There are several supplements available but I highly recommend PPS Nutrition’s ZMA Recovery supplement available via this link http://www.ppsnutrition.com/product/zma-120/

PPS Nutrition Sponsor Yorkshires Strongest Man


Yorkshire prepares to host strongmen showdown

Legendary UK’s Strongest Man, Eddie Hall, is the star attraction at next month’s Yorkshire’s Strongest Man final as the fiercest competitors in the British strongman scene collide to battle for the title on Sunday 19th October at Frickley Athletic FC.

The event is set to be a veritable clash of champions as the current England Elite, Sheffield, and Wales event titleholders pit themselves against one another in a gruelling series of events designed to test both muscular endurance and physical power.

With Eddie Hall acting as Referee, the strongmen can expect tough but fair judging. Eddie’s wealth of experience competing against the crème de la crème of the sport is of huge benefit to the Yorkshire’s Strongest Man final and he is already looking forward to assessing the current crop.

“This year’s final has attracted a number of competitors who are performing at the top of their game. I’m proud to have been asked to referee Yorkshire’s Strongest Man and look forward to getting started.”

Six challenging disciplines are lined-up for the finalists beginning with the always entertaining Giant Hulks Log and culminating with the world famous Atlas Stones. A special event will also take place pitting Frickley Athletic football players against the strongmen themselves in a tug-of-war.

PPS Nutrition, sponsors of the event will be launching the Tom Shaw Stack. Currently working on improving his deadlift technique, Tom defies the traditional expectations of a dead lifter with such long legs. During the Britain’s Strongest Man in 2012, Tom pulled a 375kg lift, however was eclipsed by competing Terry Hollands and Laurence Shahlaei who set new British records at that event. Recently, in comparison the World Deadlift Championship went to Benedikt Magnusson breaking the world record with a staggering 461kg deadlift at the Europe’s Strongest Man 2014 – whilst this wasn’t the only highlight at the Europe’s, as Eddie Hall showcased an extreme exhibition of deadlifting, even interviewing whilst maintaining hold of his 435kg deadlift, and further achieving a 461kg deadlift.

Eddie Hall, refereeing the Yorkshire’s Strongest Man 2014 will be encouraging Tom to go for his 400kg deadlift, and with crowd support maybe Tom will push for his qualifying 420kg. Training around the country and at Hulks Strongman Division in South Yorkshire has certainly seen personal bests being reached in anticipation for the event. The rivalry has begun between the athletes and expectations are high for the day. Prize giving for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place is presented by Eddie Hall along with Xplosive Ape vouchers, who will also be promoting their popular sporting wears often modelled by Eddie Hall.

The Yorkshire’s Strongest Man final is the latest in a series of events being held in conjunction with Hulks Strongman Division. Its owner and former strongman Mark Anglesea has helped to spearhead a rise in participation and exposure for the sport of strongman competition both in Yorkshire and across Great Britain.

The event will take place at Frickley Athletic’s ground on Westfield Lane in South Elmsall, West Yorkshire on Sunday, October 19. The gates open at 11am and the competition starts at noon. Fans and newcomers alike are all-welcomed with the promise of a testosterone-fuelled spectacular that all the family can enjoy.

For further information, contact:

Nici Pickering – Marketing Manager

Hulks Strongman Division


Fat Loss Explained

Fat Loss for the Average Client:

Written by Richard Jones

Level 3 Personal Training, Advanced Nutrition Methods, Sports Nutrition BSc Hons, Master’s Degree (MA)

Don’t forget to follow on twitter @TL_Fitness or drop them a line to say hi, or for further info please contact direct on teamlean10@gmail.com

All supplied photo’s are Richards & Team Leans clients

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Before I progress with this article it’s important to stress that there is no right or wrong way to approach fat loss. However, in my opinion some methods are more fruitful than others in terms of promoting health at the same time. As a good coach or trainer this is critical as the health and wellbeing of your client should be the most important consideration.


Firstly I want to distinguish the difference between weight loss and fat loss. Unfortunately both terms are used interchangeably throughout the industry, even though they are two separate things altogether. Weight loss in my opinion is only useful when looking to provide an additional progression variable for a client who is either obese, or close to being obese. It can then be used a motivational tool. Fat loss however is by far a better measure of progress, as this ensures the weight lost is that of fat and not water, muscle or other variables. In most cases I urge my clients to bin their scales as I measure success on body fat, progress pictures and physical fitness tests.


As mentioned earlier there are several approaches you can take to initiate fat loss, I am however going to explain my approach which I call the common sense approach. The first thing I do with any client is screen them thoroughly analysing their lifestyle and food diary. From this I begin to design my plans based on their goals. With the majority of clients who come to me and are looking to shred some fat, build a little muscle and ‘tone up’ I generally don’t calculate their BMRs as in my opinion it’s unnecessary. If I evaluate their food diary accurately and in enough detail I already have a rough idea of their current calorie intake, which is far more accurate and specific to that client than a generic BMR calculating formula.


In my opinion to initiate fat loss with clients who have excess fat to lose, there is no need to adopt an extreme method such as the Ketosis diet, Carb Cycling or the ever popular 5:2 diet (which in my opinion is just nonsense…. The 5:2 diets originated to help breast cancer patients in remission and the suppression of oestrogen. As a by-product the patients lost weight – which when in a calorie deficit is inevitable and then became popular through media exploitation). I generally follow these key principles and in the majority of cases your clients will start to lose fat almost immediately:


– Increase water intake to a minimum of 0.5L per 50lbs of body weight. I also insist on bottled water as tap water in the UK is full of metals which contribute to our deficiencies in minerals such as zinc.

– Remove all dairy including lattes, cappuccinos, milk, cheese and cream. The qualities of dairy products in the UK are poor and can cause inflammation of the GI tract.

– Remove gluten and yeast based products. The reason for this is their inflammatory capabilities. Also, most people can’t digest yeast and until they remove it they don’t realise the bloating effect it can have.

– In most cases I also encourage the supplementation of Omega 3 fish oils as this will generally help with any inflammation of the GI tract / Gut and help with the general Omega 3 : Omega 6 imbalance.

– limit caffeine intake to just prior to training. Coffee in excess causes distress on the body which results in excess cortisol secretion (stress hormone). Not what we want for fat loss.

– Increase green vegetables to almost an uncapped amount, Green vegetables are packed with macro-minerals and are excellent for helping with cortisol and oestrogen suppression which in time will make fat loss easier and muscle gaining more efficient.

– As a rule of thumb (this can vary between clients) I usually set protein anywhere between 1.5-1.8grams per kg of body weight as a baseline. Also, there will be a source of complete protein at each meal.

– Over the years I have concluded from experience that most clients can’t handle carbohydrates. They have become insulin resistant and as a result their high carbohydrate diets over the years have resulted in poor cellular permeability resulting in consumed carbohydrates being stored as visceral fat. Therefore as a rule of thumb I reduce carbohydrates dramatically initially and increase their dietary fats (staying away from trans-fat) to ensure they are consuming enough total calories. This approach however can’t be adopted for long term use as a low carbohydrate diet over a long period of time will reduce testosterone which will make building muscle even harder. Therefore once they have become more insulin sensitive I gradually increase carbohydrates post training to help with recovery and muscle building.

– Build as much muscle as possible. Greater amounts of muscle result in a higher metabolism, increase insulin sensitivity and ‘turn over’ food quicker rather than storing it.


NB: it’s worth noting that although I remove dairy and gluten initially in the majority of cases, this is not a long term approach as the removal of any nutrient source from a diet long term is not beneficial or healthy for the client.


I’m a big believer in keeping things simple. There is no need to complicate things with the average client who just wants fat loss and to look good on the beach. However with more ‘advanced’ clients or clients who are aspiring to reach a sub 10% body fat composition I may introduce various methods as outlined above. My favourite methods are the Ketosis approach, Carb cycling and Carb back loading. In most cases I used a mixed method of carb cycling and carb back loading but that’s for a different article.


I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and that you manage to take something away from it. If anything, keep it simple guys, the more complicated you make it the more things that can go wrong.


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PPS Nutrition Hybrid All in One Protein & Effects on Recovery


Complete Guide to PPS Nutrition Hybrid All in One Protein





Written By Emily Kingston of Progressive Strength

BSc in Sports Strength and Conditioning, for further info please email @ progressivestrength@hotmail.com


The use of dietary supplements among adult population is widespread across many countries around the world. With reports showing nearly 90% of athletes currently using or has previously used supplements. The need for protein appears to be greater for the strength/power athletes compared to that of endurance-trained athlete or the sedentary population.



Protein is typically for the strength/power athlete, protein has a key role within protein synthesis and the increase in lean mass. It is recommended that athletes obtain their protein through whole foods, however the modern day athletes choose to supplement this with protein powders, meal replacement drinks, and protein bars. Whey protein contains an abundant supply of branched chain amino acids (including leucine), which in part explains its ability to consistently enhance protein synthesis.


Creatine is currently the gold standard among other nutritional sports supplements for strength and power athletes. Many researchers support the performance enhancing effects of creatine ingestion, for example, short term adaptations can be seen typically following 5 days of creatine ingestion. Creatine can help improve many aspects of anaerobic exercise performance, including strength, power, sprint performance, and work performed during multiple sets of maximal effort muscle contractions


Carbohydrate is an essential fuel for prolonged and strenuous exercise, although the carbohydrate stores of the body are limited. With carbohydrates being the primary source of energy for all body functions so why should it is different for exercise? The bodies primary source of carbohydrates occur in the form of simple sugars, starches and cellulose. All sugars and starches are converted by the body into simple sugars such as glucose or fructose which the body can then use as a source of energy. With the inclusion of carbohydrate supplementation into your diet the bodies carbohydrate stores can be substantially increased and exercise performance improved by supplementation before and during exercise.



As a supplement, the amino acid leucine supports the synthesis of new muscle. Because of this, it also supports increased muscle size, strength, and in turn reduces body fat. Not many supplements can boast such claims. H.M.B. has been seen to enhance recovery, increase muscle building capability as well as inhabits muscle breakdown. Supplementing with H.M.B. ensures that you have the needed substrate for cholesterol synthesis and maintenance of cell integrity. H.M.B. can decrease muscle breakdown, this could be an effective supplement to use if bulking, but greater results can be seen when cutting.



L-Glutamine is a naturally occurring nonessential neutral amino acid. It is important as a constituent of proteins and as a means of nitrogen transport between tissues. Glutamine is the most abundant free amino acid in human muscle and plasma. With recent research reporting Glutamine can not only help athletes prevent illness and prevent catabolism of the muscle tissue, but has been seen to increase growth hormone levels, glycogen stores, and hydrate muscle cells. Consuming Glutamine as a supplement is unlikely to make a significant difference in terms of fluid balance restoration after exercise, however there are some suggestions of a possible role for glutamine in stimulating anabolic processes, including muscle glycogen and protein synthesis.



Fats are just as important as your creatine, protein, and carbs. Widely misunderstood, fats play an important part in your daily diet as a source of energy. Fats can be found in whole foods such as salmon and tuna, however an easy and effective source of fat is Omega-3.


Timing & Recovery

 Knowing what time you should consume your shake can be confusing, now with the growing evidence showing appropriate timing of protein ingestion provides a distinct advantage in stimulating muscle protein synthesises rates and subsequent muscle development. Not only is protein intake required for skeletal muscle hypertrophy but protein is also needed to repair damaged cells and tissues that result from intense training, the higher protein pool is thought to enhance the recovery and remodelling processes of muscle fibres that have been damaged during exercise. It appears that a whole protein and carbohydrate supplement should be consumed immediately after or within an hour of an exercise session. Whey protein provides a greater immediate increase in the rate of protein synthesis, with 1 serving of HYBRID containing 31g of protein, 13g of carbohydrate along with L-Glutamine, H.M.B. and many more making HYBRID protein a great product to use as a recovery shake following your training for maximum adaptations.





British Strongman

PPS Nutrition have joined forces with the the British Strongman, please visit their website www.britishstrongman.co.uk For some great forums and all up to date news on the strongman and women scene.

PPS Navy State of origin

PPS are sponsoring the Navy Maroons playing v Navy Blues State of origin rugby league fixture at Headingley Stadium on Friday 19th July, if your in the area pop and watch game.