Macronutrients

 

Part 3- Carbohydrates

Carbs  (carbohydrates) are the final part in our trilogy of macronutrients articles

Who hasn’t heard “If you want to lose weight, go No-Carb” or “Carbs make you fat”?

These are just some of the myths and blanket statements we hear, and hopefully this blog will give you a deeper understanding of carbs and how you can include them as part of your nutritional regime.

We want to first address the negative stigma around good and bad. As discussed in our previous blog, “Why re feed or Cheat Meals are a thing of the past” there are no good or bad foods; food is food and this pertains to carbohydrates. There are a variety of different carbs – which we will discuss later in this blog – but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are good or bad. 

It’s also important to note that unlike protein and fats there are no essential Carbohydrates. We have essential amino acids (Protein) and essential fatty acids (Fats) but this isn’t the case for carbs. What does that mean? Essentially you could survive with carbohydrates excluded from your diet, something that we do not recommend or suggest. 

 

Why are carbs not classified “essential”?

We are perfectly capable of producing adequate glucose in the absence of dietary carbohydrates and sufficient calories to fuel essential tissue on a day to day basis BUT if you intend on doing anything else (exercise etc) carbohydrates become a fundamental requirement.

According to the British Nutrition Foundation, the Daily Reference Value (DRV) for Carbohydrates should be 50% of your daily food energy. When it comes to the general population we deal with – which includes you reading this article now – their protein requirements are higher and therefore this DRV is not a realistic amount. The Health Survey for England 2017 estimates that 28.7% of adults in England are obese and a further 35.6% are overweight but not obese, which largely equates the population being unable to exercise any portion control. In addition to that, much of the population have sedentary lifestyles and are not physically active. Looking at the general population we don’t believe that they should consume half of their daily intake from an energy source. And that is why the quantity needed becomes so  confusing. What we believe should be taken into consideration is individual goals, current activity levels & body composition to name a few.

 

Benefits of eating Carbs

Carbs are your body’s preferred energy source. They boost performance, strength and recovery allowing you train hard and more frequently and have shown to potentially improve sleep quality.

Low carb and low calorie diets can cause havoc to your hormones. It is not uncommon for female fitness athletes to stop getting their period  (bikini competitor syndrome). Carbs can help maintain a healthy metabolism and thyroid Function

 

Can help us achieve our goals but how much should you have?

This comes down to a whole host of factors; how lean you currently are, activity levels, goals, muscle mass and many more.

Here at The Cut, we recommend and suggest amounts that pertain to all these factors and then adapt depending on both subjective and objective findings from our clients such as…

How is your sleep?

Are you losing focus during the day?

Are you feeling good during sessions?

Are you having any cravings?

When putting together a nutrition programme for a new client or updating for an existing client we need to consider the factors mentioned above and figure out what is best for them, their sustainability and their goals.

Check out our other macronutrient articles on protein and fats

 

Written by Greg Burns

Personal Trainer London

Cable crossover

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Chest Supported Row

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Face Pull

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cable Lateral raise

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Dumbbell Lateral raise

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Dumbbell Shoulder Press

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Single arm row

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Carbs

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Straight arm pull down

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Pull Ups

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Seated Row

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Rfe split squat

Find yourself in a staggered stance approximately in front of a step which should be no greater than 6” high, place your toes on the step and your front foot should be flat. This would be your start and end position for every repetition.

You’re going to allow your rear knee to move towards the floor, whilst your front knee is moving in a motion forward towards your toes.

When your rear knee is close to touching the ground, pause then push through both legs to reverse the motion to the start position.

*If your front heel comes off the ground during your repetitions, adjust your stance.

Starting with bodyweight is appropriate for many on a RFE, or holding on to a squat stand to aid balance.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

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Lat Pull Down

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Push ups

Starting in a prone position, set your hand just outside shoulder width at a 45 degree angle relative to your torso.

Bring your knees and your hips off the ground, so that your body is in neutral (this is your start and end position for every rep).

Press into the ground until your arms are fully extended, then lower your body in a controlled manner towards the floor.

*Your body should be moving in a synchronised manner.

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Cable Press

Pick the handles and take a seat on your bench, your arms should be in a neutral position.

Extend your arms, so your fist is approximately the same height as your armpit but now rotate so that you’re in a pronated grip (this is your start and end position for every rep).

In a slow controlled manner, you’re going to move your upper arm towards the bench. The upper arm should be in approximately a 45 degree relative to your torso. When you’ve reached a point when your upper arm can move no further, press the handles in the opposite direction of the bench until your arm are fully extended.

*Your bench should be central of the cable station.

*Your handles should be should height

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Cable Fly

Pick the handles and take a seat on your bench, your arms should be in a neutral position.

Extend your arms, so your fist is approximately the same height as your armpit. Your elbow should also be slightly bent (this is your start and end position for every rep).

In a slow controlled manner, you’re going to move your upper arm in a circular movement towards the pulley, before returning to your start/end position.

*Your bench should be central of the cable station.

*Your handles should be shoulder height

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Incline Machine

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Dumbbell Chest Press

Sit on the edge of the bench, feet approximately shoulder-width with the dumbbells resting on your thighs then lie back so that you’re in a supine position on your bench.

Your dumbbells should be above your elbows, whilst your upper arm should be approximately 45 degrees to your torso (this is your start and end position for every rep), palms in the same direction of your feet.

Press the dumbbells towards the ceiling, until your arms are fully extended then lower the dumbbells in a slow controlled manner to your start position.

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Change This to exorcise title

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BarBell Chest Press

Sit on the edge of the bench, feet approximately shoulder-width, lie back so you’re in a supine position. Your eyes should be directly underneath the barbell.

Place your hands on the barbell with an overhand grip, approximately 1.5x shoulder width.

Extend your arms to un rack the bar, slowly set the bar to a position perpendicular of your shoulders (this is your start and end position for every rep).

Lower the barbell in a controlled manner towards your chest, your arms should be approximately 45 degrees to your torso. When you’ve reached a point when the barbell can get no lower press the barbell towards the ceiling, until your arms fully extended.

*If you’re training in a facility where you can set the hooks to your preferred height, choose a height in which when you’re un-racking the bar you’re not protracting/over extending to remove the bar.

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Can you spare us 2 minutes for some market research? If so we would like to offer you a weeks free training at the end

Y Raise

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Leg Extension

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Cable Extension

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Ham curl

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DUMBBELL TRICEP EXTENSION

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Reverse Curl

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Zotttman Curl

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Hammer Curl

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Cable Curl

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Preacher Curl

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Spider curl

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Seated DB curl

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Step Ups

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Split squat

Find yourself in a staggered stance approximately a step forward/back difference, the front foot should be flat and the rear foot should be on the toes (mobility permitting). This would be your start and end position for every repetition.

You’re going to allow your rear knee to move towards the floor, whilst your front knee is moving in a motion forward towards your toes.

When your rear knee is close to touching the ground, pause then push through both legs to reverse the motion to the start position.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

*If your front heel comes off the ground during your repetitions, adjust your stance.

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glute bridge

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Hip Bridge

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45 Back Extension

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RDL

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Trap bar deadlift

Stand in the middle of the hex/trap bar with your feet in approximately a shoulder width stance.

Maintaining a neutral spine, in a synchronised manner bring your hips towards your calves, whilst also allowing your knees to move in the same direction as your toes. You should be able to grab the handles of the bar, if you’re unable to, raise the bar by placing blocks underneath the plates. This is your start and end position

Take a tight grip of the handles and stand, reverse the movement by allowing your knees to move forward and hips down.

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Alternating lunges

With the dumbbell in your hands and to your sides, find yourself in a position where feet are approximately hip width apart

You’re going to take approximately a dynamic step forward, allowing your front knee to move forward whilst the rear knee moves towards the floor. Without pausing in the bottom position, push through the ground to return to a standing position. This is the start and end of every repetition.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

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Goblet squat

Hold the Dumbbell in a vertical manner just below your chin, your feet should be approximately shoulder width apart. This will be your start and end position for every repetition.

Start the movement by allowing your knees to move in the same direction of your toes, whilst your hip is moving towards the platform in a synchronised manner. Once you’ve reach the bottom, pause then push through your legs to return to your starting position.

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Hack Squat

Load the weight plates on to the machine, then place your shoulders underneath the pads whilst setting your feet on the platform approximately shoulder-width apart (this is your start and end position for every rep).

Your feet should be a in position which allows you to push through the centre of your feet.

Extend your knees, and take the hack squat off the lock setting. Start the movement by allowing your knees to move in the same direction of your toes, whilst your hip is moving towards the platform in a synchronised manner. Once you’ve reached the bottom, pause then press through the platform to return to your starting/end position.

Repeat for the stated reps in your program before switching sides.

*Focus on keeping your lower back on the back pad, if your back comes of the pad you’ve reached your end range-of-motion.

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back Squat

Have the bar behind your neck, resting on your shoulders.

Your feet should be approximately shoulder width apart. This will be your start and end position for every repetition.

Start the movement by allowing your knees to move in the same direction of your toes, whilst your hip is moving towards the platform in a synchronised manner. Once you’ve reach the bottom, pause then push through your legs to return to your starting position.

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