I've recently started designing exercise programs for clients and it's gotten me thinking: what's more important, exercise or diet? I've been thinking about my clients, as I want them to reach their goals. I don't want them to contact me in 4 weeks time and say, "Maddy, I look the same, why haven't I lost weight?" I know nutrition is really important, but I didn't stop to consider just HOW important it is.
I've been starting my day with Women's Best whey protein since last June, so in celebration of my 1 year anniversary I'll be providing my 3 favourite protein powder recipes. Before then, I was drinking these shakes specifically designed to help you lose weight, and was not receiving any of the benefits of consuming protein in the morning. When I was doing high intensity cardio I would have my shake post-workout, but now that I predominantly lift weights I have it pre-workout. I think it's much better this way as it gives me the energy to get through my workout. I just used to hate having a full stomach when I was busting out burpees! Or maybe I just hated the burpees?..
It seems simple but it’s actually super duper important for your body to rest. If you’re not giving your body significant time to rest, then your muscle growth will actually plateau or decrease and you won’t experience growth. In fact, research has found that your muscles can actually diminish if you are not giving them enough rest. According to research conducted by Stijn van Willigen, “train too frequently, and the muscle will actually decrease in functional size over time, because you constantly stimulate before the muscle has completed recovery and adaptation.”
I get heaps of messages from girls who are just looking to grow their booties, but they don’t want to grow their legs. Although this blog post is about growing your glutes over your quads and hamstrings, you can’t have 0% growth in your legs and 100% growth in your glutes. It will just look a bit weird.
Are you guys sick of hearing about my butt yet? Well too bad, I've become obsessed with all things glutes. Your glutes seem to be the most misunderstood part of all weight training. I'm going to attribute this to the fact that until recently weight training was left for the men, and not many men were too concerned with the state of their glutes. I think because of this, the glutes were severely overlooked in training programs and studies. Now that booty is all the rage, the glutes are finally getting the attention they deserve!
6 Ingredient Healthy Chocolate Ganache Brownies
I actually baked guys! I found this recipe on maker-of-all-things-gooey-and-delicious-looking @sarahlynnfitness's Instagram page. So freaking yummo! Here's what you'll need:
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Slash the sweet potatoes with a knife and pop in the microwave for 10 minutes. Cut both open down the middle and microwave for a further 5 minutes. Take them out once the insides are nice and soft. Scoop out the insides and mash the sweet potatoes in a bowl. Add to the blender. Add the yogurt and the coconut oil. Blend. Add the whey protein powder. Blend. Add the cocoa powder. Blend.
Pour half the blended batter into a greased 8x8 pan. Pop in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool then refrigerate overnight. This will be the brownies. Pour the remaining batter into another tray and refrigerate overnight as well. This will be the chocolate ganache.
The next morning, take out the pre-bake brownies and slice into 9 squares. Add the chocolate ganache in between each layer of brownie and make a 3 tier stack, adding a sprinkling of white choc drops. Heat up some peanut butter in the microwave for a yummy topping!
Love Maddy x
Having you been working out for 6-12 months and felt that your progress has begun to plateau? If you have, I feel you, I had the exact same issue last year, and it wasn’t until I started mixing things up in my workout that my body started to show rapid changes. The below image is after only 8 weeks of working out, from February 22nd to April 25th. I noticed the bigger changes because I changed and started including the following 3 variable.
You’ve probable heard that when performing an exercise at the gym you should use “slow and controlled movements”. But what does this mean? As a gym newbie, I was surprised to see so many people working out with rapid, fast movements. It can be tempting to go fast, the faster you are, the more reps you can do and the burn is definitely lessened. You can also smash out more sets, reps and exercises if you’re short on time. This is when it’s important to remember, quality over quantity.
Daily Food Diary + Recipes
You guys asked for it, so here it is, my revised food diary! I like to keep things simple so I have the same pre-work and breakfast meal every morning. It’s a great way for me to get my calories in and both taste so delicious. All my meals are super easy. You’ll notice most of my meals follow the method of “combine in bowl”. I don’t have time to cook and I don’t like it, so all these meals are great if you’re busy like me! I'm currently bulking (eating in a calorie surplus) and eating between 2,300 - 2,500 calories a day. I'm working on incorporating more fruit and veggies into my day as I've realised by doing this that I'm severely lacking! Keeping a food diary for a week is something I highly recommend, you never realise how much you're missing out on (or what you're eating too much of).
Pre-workout: Protein Smoothie
250ml oat milk
30g rolled oats
15g Women’s Best Whey Protein
1/2 frozen banana
1 tbsp peanut butter
Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend. Pour to serve.
Breakfast: Bircher Muesli
150g greek yogurt
70g rolled oats
1 grated apple
70g frozen mixed berries
1 tsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon
10g Women’s Best Whey Protein
Mix all together in a bowl and leave to soak overnight.
Snack: Carrots and Dip
15g cream cheese
pinch of salt and pepper
Dip: combine avocado, cream cheese and squeeze half a lemon into a bowl and blend with an electrical hand blender. Mix in salt and pepper. Chop carrots and serve with dip.
Lunch: Gnocchi Napoletana
*Gonna keep it real here, I very rarely eat lunch that I have made. My lunch consists of leftovers from UberEats (gnocchi napoletana or another low fat pasta option). Or I'll have left over Indian from Monday night dinner at my boyfriend's mums house. She's very healthy and doesn't use heavy creamy, oils or fats to cook her food. I also eat a lot of Youfoodz which is a healthy food delivery service in Australia.
2 slices of wholemeal toast with Nutlex, Peanut Butter and Nutella
Dinner: Cheese + Bean Quesadilla
1 wholemeal flat bread
80g refried beans
50g grated cheese
2 tbsp light sour cream
Salsa: 1/4 can of corn, 1/2 medium tomato, 15g red onion and a squeeze of lemon
Pre-heat oven to 180degrees. Prepare flat bread on a plate and spread the refried beans over the bread. Mix the salsa ingredients together and spread over one half of the bread. Spread the cheese over the other half of the bread. Transfer to a tray and pop in the oven. Take out when the cheese has melted (should be around 5-10 minutes). Spread sour cream on top of the salsa and fold bread in half. Use a spatula to remove from the tray and plate up. Cut into 4 triangle slices.
Snack: Tea and Chocolate
English Breakfast tea and a Tim Tam :)