Recent Mailings

23rd September 2010

Our new Ask the Trainer page launched today. Please send us any questions, tips or photos and join in our online debate. Click here to Ask your question.

Q: I have been weight lifting for about 3 years and lately I have had some trouble gaining any weight or strength and I eat right and everything else so I was wondering if you could recommend a supplement to help me achieve my goals. RON 48

25 September 2010

A: Hi Ron 48,

Many thanks for your question. I don't think that looking at supplements to get you over your current plateau is the answer. I would focus back on the fundamentals of your training and nutrition. In terms of nutrition I would look to increase the amount of protein in your diet - you may not be able to do this simply by food so you may have to look at protein shakes. Ensure that you take in regular amounts of protein throughout the day. Without knowing the full details of your training routine I would suggest that it is time for a change, it sounds like your body is 'comfortable' with what you are currently doing you don't need to adapt. You need to vary what you are doing in order to get the body to adapt - initially I would suggest that you look to vary the exercises that you are doing in order to get some sort of reaction e.g. instead of doing bench presses do dumbell presses etc. If you do want to add some supplements to your training I would initially suggest creatine. TT

28 September 2010

NEWS Total fitness now as a range of membership vouchers and gift cards.(Please ask at reception). Vouchers available - £10, £20, 1 Month, 3 Month, 6 month and 1 year.

28 September 2010

Q: I'm told that it's better to perform the aerobic exercise after weight training, approximately 15 - 30 minutes, to assist in bodyfat reduction. Does it matter whether or not the aerobic work is performed before or after the weight training - as far as getting leaner? C.P.

28 September 2010


Hi C.P,

Thanks for your question. This is a question that I get asked on a regular basis. I would suggest that if you want to optimise the results from both your weight training and your cardiovascular (aerobic) work I recommend that you do your weights session BEFORE your aerobic work. TT

28 September 2010

Q: What are the best forearm exercises? Don M

27 September 2010

A:Hi Don M,Are you training for something specific that requires you to have forearm strength or size? Not many people are so I don't really recommend any specific forearm training for my clients. The forearms get sufficient exercise from all the other exercises that you do e.g deadlifts, lat pull downs, bicep curls etc. all work the forearms. Is the rest of your body already so big and strong that you can afford to spend valuable training time on just your forearms ! TT

28 September 2010

Happy Birthday Keith

Keith Whitmore our brilliant day manager is 58 today. Happy birthday from everyone at Total Fitness.

29 September 2010

RE: Forearm exercise
Dr. Michael Yessis creator of the Yessis System says by building up your forearms and wrists - you will be able to lift more weight while performing other exercises. You'll be able to hold more weight in your hands, reducing the need for straps and cheating moves. is he wrong? Don M

2 October2010

A: I still maintain that your forearms get sufficient work from other exercises that you are doing. Also, many people have limited training time - it is better to spend time on other bigger bodyparts. I've seen many good bodybuilders who have never done any specific forearm training. Look at the routines of pro bodybuilders, they very rarely include forearm execises. TT

3 October 2010

Q: can you recommend a diet menu without the use of protein powder, it really disagrees with me. the plan will to have betwwen 5/6 meals per day .
Steve Harrop

2 October 2010

A: Protein powders are a great for getting the extra protein that your body needs and are extremely convenient. Have you tried using different brands of powders? Might be worth experimenting with a few as you may find one that you can use. If this fails you should add extra protein in between your main mails via food or snacks. You could for example have low fat cottage cheese mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Also there are now numerous convenient protein bars and flapjacks on the market that have large amounts of protein that you could try. Post training you could also try some of the new non-milk based protein drinks - for example there is a whey isolate drink produced by a company called Powerbeck that provides around 35g of whey protein in a 500ml drink. TT

3 October 2010

Q: I been advised to take creatine before and after training. i was also told to take whey protein after training but not to take them together how long after training do i take each supplement.Does creatine screw up your kidneys.

2 October 2010

A: When creatine first arrived on the marketplace there were concerns being voiced that it could cause kidney problems. It has now been in widespread use for many years and I am not aware of any scientific evidence or reports that show creatine has caused kidney problems. I don't think there are any problems with taking creatine and whey protein together - in fact there are products on the market that combine the 2 together! Your body only requires a few grams of creatine on a daily basis - I suggest that you take it once a day anytime before you train.TT

3 October 2010

Q: I was wondering if I could get some advice in regards to over-training. Over the past few months my muscle mass has decreased while my body fat has increased. In particular my chest has shrunk and the outer pec region has vanished.

I am in terrible shape. A shadow of my former self. I was very ripped and had decent muscle mass before. My diet is OK. One day I blasted my chest so hard that it has never felt the same again. Now I can't get the pump throughout it, whereas once I could get a great rush of blood to it.

I was wondering if I should take a few weeks off, do cardio to get rid of the excess body fat, and maybe do some ab crunches or something, then after a few weeks pick up the weights again and hope for the best. I'm really worried about this whole not responding situation, and in specific my chest. Vox

4 October 2010

A: Thanks for your question. Difficult to assess from what you have told me as to whether this is necessarily due to overtraining. It sounds like the routine/nutrition that you followed before the decline was obviously working for you as it enabled you to build 'decent muscle mass'. My suggestion would be for you to take a couple of weeks complete rest - not even abs or cadio. After this I would ease your way back in, start off with a beginners routine for up to a month and then slowly work your way back up to the routines that were working for you prior to your decline.

As part of the beginners routine I would try and work all body parts in a single workout and work to reps of 20. Do this routine 3 times a week and then gradually work back to where you were.

Good luck. TT

7 October 2010

Q: Hi I've been taking these high strength stacks of  Zma/ Tribulus terrestris for a couple of weeks now and been having really good results thinking of combing these with HMB, do you know anything about it or had any good resluts in the past?
Hardgainer mike

14 October 2010

A: Hi Mike, I don't have much experience of HMB, however, I've read quite a few studies about it and everything I have read is positive. The results of the studies indicate that not only does HMB promote muscle growth it also helps to reduce bodyfat. I'm also not aware of any major side effects. It is a naturally occuring substance so my view is that it is worth giving it a try.TT

17 October 2010

Q: Hi all, Just a quick question, I'm having hard time building size on my shoulders, so point 1:- any recommendation on best moves for big gains, and 2, I've been told the point where you inject actually causes that muscle to grow better and faster!!! Surely a myth but thought I would check with you guys, Regards airbus

14 October 2010

A: Hi Airbus, I think you may have the wrong forum! TT

17 October 2010