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  • Sugar – Sweet With a Bitter Aftertaste.

    1 November, 2013

    A Report from the Credit Suisse Research Institute.

    A couple of interesting points from the Credit Swiss Research Institute research paper that came with this video was.

    1. There is not one single bit of research that shows sugar is good for you.

    2. Ingesting a beverage did not change how many calories people ingested during the subsequent meal, or in the following 24 hours. When a solid food was given, the were lass calories consumed in the subsequent meal and in the following 24 hours. Suggesting that calories from liquid nutrition were somehow processed differently and therefore added on to the total calories consumed.

    3. Globally, 35% of adults are considered overweight and 12% of all adults are obese 6. The rates of obesity increased from 5% for men and 8% for women in 1980 to 10% of men and 14% of women in 2008. It is now estimated that 7 205 million men and 297 million women over the age of 20 are obese, or more than half a billion adults worldwide.

    4. The direct cost of managing obesity-related conditions has been estimated to be around USD 190 billion in the USA alone. There are also indirect costs related to issues such as increased absenteeism, increased disability and increased premature mortality that have been estimated to add as much as USD 66 billion in additional costs in the USA.

    5. The extensive lobbying power of the sugar industry is legendary (it is often referred to as the second most political commodity in the world – after oil). The industry is a huge employer across the globe (there are 15 million cane growers in China, and 350,000 beet growers in Europe). Politicians are very sensitive to protecting these businesses, and tailor regimes to do exactly that.

    6.Natural fruit juices and fruit juices derived from concentrate do not fare much better than full-calorie sodas when looking at this issue from a health perspective.

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  • Here we go…..

    3 October, 2013

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  • Why A Good Gym Is Important

    12 July, 2013

    In the current fitness world where better and bigger is better, from big logos, big brands and of course big claims, we as consumers get caught up in the marketing hype and are focuses on the wrong things. Everybody has the “best equipment”, “best trainers” and of course promotes the “best results”. We are bombarded with false images of what a gym can do. The buildings are big, equipment is in and a 24 hour access card on the door. With the message really being – good luck by yourself. No one speaks to you (unless you pay them too) and you are left with a poor program from a poorly educated fitness professional that when left to yourself does little to help you move towards your results.

    We need to change this as people deserve better. I want to create a model where the boss asks about the results the clients are getting and not about profit, believing if the members are looked after profits will take care of themselves. It is not about cutting corners at every expense. Surely it is about creating a level of service that should be expected. Where you are pushed at every level, personal training or not. Being pushed not just in the gym but also in your lifestyle, to make positive changes – making your choice gym a complete lifestyle overhall. No other gym has a gleaming proud red prowler (in the picture) and this really sets the tone of what we are creating here at Studio41 – Gym on Victoria St. A focused environment where you are pushed and for the first time a gym becomes what it should be – a life changing experience. We are not the cheapest, but you wouldn’t expect that. To have a capped membership, employed people to actively push you, more experienced owners than any other gym in New Zealand, the weekly cost is a little more and we are ok with that. Our first client has finished his first 4 weeks and he has lost 4.4% bodyfat and has put on 2 kg of muscle mass – Not many gyms can say that. Infact most gyms couldn’t say anything as they don’t measure. I am proud of the gym here on Victoria St as we have the opportunity to show the club owners who do not even exercise what a gym should be. We are not the biggest and don’t have the biggest brand, but we are the most passionate and experienced to bring you what the fitness industry is lacking – a gym with a focus on you.

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  • Why do we supply post workout shakes at Studio41?

    17 June, 2013

    “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day or is it”?

    The concept of liquid nutrition have been around for decades and was initially used within the medical field. However, over the years sport scientists, strength and conditioning coaches and sport medicine doctors have refined the concept to enhance athletic performance and alter body composition. Infact if you want to alter your body composition quickly, what you consume post workout is vitally important. I would like to say it is very complicated but its not. Here are the nuts and bolts of the cocktail.

    Not just Protein (PRO) but Whey Protein is the protein of choice as it enters the blood stream faster. This will allow it to enter the muscle and repair the damage induced by your training session. Tip: Don’t buy the big mixture tubs just buy the plain straight Whey Protein Isolate or Concentrate. The more it says on the tub the less it actually does.

    Carbohydrates (CHO) can come in powder form ie malto dextrin or dextrose which is basely a form of plain glucose. Fruits juices as in grape or berry juices can also provide quick and easy carbs. Tip: Sugar (in different forms) is not expensive, the best choice for a CHO product is called Vitargo.

    Glutamine: is an Amino Acid which has numerous functions is the body. One of which helps maintain your immune system and Gastrointestinal Tract. Tip: buy Glutamine in a plain tub and add it to your shakes in quantities specific to your needs rather than buying it included in a Protein/Carb wonder powder.

    The 10% Rule, my boss and mentor Charles Poliquin strongly believes CHO should not be include in post workout shakes until the athlete is sub 10% body fat. NB if you are wondering whether you are below 10%, chances are your not. If you can see your abs or the separation of your quads your probably there. However, if you are not is it a sign that you may not process sugar very well and in this cases no carbs are recommended but a higher glutamine shake would work best untill you shed the excess body fat.

    Guidelines: The recommendation of post workout shake can change pending the individual, the training goal and as previously stated the body fat %. However, generally the follow is a good start and %’s can change to suit tolerance and progress.

    If sub 10% CHO 1 gram per lb of bodyweight (this is the maltodextrin)

    PRO .25grams per lb of bodyweight

    ( 200lb man = 200gram of CHO and 50grams of PRO)

    If above 10% body fat PRO = .25 grams per lb of bodyweight,
    Glutamine = .25grams per lb of bodyweight
    ( 200lb man = 50 grams of glutamine and 50grams of PRO)

    N.B – Glutamine is not that easy to take in high dosages, so I recommend start with 5 grams and work up to the ratio above and within a short time you should be on to the sweet tasting CHO sub 10% shakes.

    If you find these values too high then simply reduce the dosage. Also if you are also doing a lot of aerobic work a case could be made to put CHO in your post workout shake even if you are above 10% bodyfat. Just remember to listen to your body, if you are still tired during the week due to your training, try putting the CHO in to see if it makes a difference. If you find Vitrago hard to find then Maltodextrin is an easy alternative.

    If you want to find maltodextrin in NZ, then go to We buy ours from here and is much cheaper than paying for Horleys to put it in for you.

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  • Low Carb Diets Lead to Low Energy……

    16 May, 2013

    Yeah Right…….

    At Studio41 we don’t use the traditional food pyramid (it doesnt work), however nor do we agree with paleo. We have Our own nutritional protocols that work on someones level of insulin sensitivity, For all those technical people out there, this explains nicely why some people can be initially tired on a low refined carb diet…..

    “Fats burn in the carbohydrate flame” – People typically suggest that CHO are necessary if we want to burn fat optimally. To a certain extent, they’re correct.

    The Krebs cycle is something that we use in the body to create ATP (energy). For this to function optimally, the first step in the process is the joining together of Acetyl-CoA to a compound called oxaloacetate. Without adequate oxaloacetate in the cells, acetyl-CoA doesn’t gain access to the Krebs cycle and the Krebs cycle doesn’t run properly – hence low energy. Since oxaloacetate is a by-product of CHO metabolism, without adequate CHO metabolism, oxaloacetate will be in scarce supply, acetyl-CoA will accumulate, and the Krebs cycle will slow down.

    Partly for this reason, many individuals feel more sluggish on a low-CHO diet, especially when they first decrease their CHO intake. They simply aren’t generating enough ATP through the Krebs cycle to meet their energy demands.

    Further, the liver doesn’t have enough stored glucose to ship it out to the brain and RBC’s. Everything from brain function to physical activity slow down to match this new, reduced nutrient and energy availability.

    However, this doesn’t mean that one must follow a high CHO diet, if fat supplies are abundant in the body and fat intake adequate, the body will compensate after 7-14 days to this new intake with an increased production of ketone bodies as well as an increase in Krebs cycle enzymes. As CHO intake drops off and CHO metabolism dwindles, the liver initiates a process that takes the extra acetyl-CoA that’s not being run through the Krebs cycle and converts it into ketone bodies.

    These are then shipped out to tissues such as muscles, the brain etc where they are used for energy. This adaptation is commonly referred to as ‘fat adaptation’.

    The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition – Precision Nutrition

    If you are trying a low carb diet, it is absolutely normal to be initially tired and you have to give it time (2 weeks at least). Your energy does come up but make sure you supplement with a good quality fish oil and increase your fat intake. At studio41 we find that people consume refined carbs without a thought process behind it or even logic. Often it is being disorganised or miseducation that leads to this but after a few months with us here at Studio41 our clients learn what is an adequate amount to be healthy and as lean as they want to be (unfortunately it is often a lot less than what they are consuming currently).

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  • Stopping the silliness!

    6 April, 2013

    Getting real results from the gym

    I have walked into a gym too many times here in Wellington and seen people working on those ‘problem areas’ such as the back of the arms (often using tricep kickbacks) or endless sit-ups to somehow reduce the stomach. Lets break the myth now: sit-ups do not lower body fat on the stomach and tricep kickbacks will not tone your arms, and do not contribute to a good weight loss programme.
    At Studio41 personal training studio we know that burning body fat is about keeping the heart rate high and burning calories (fat) through demanding exercises recruiting large muscle groups. Sit-ups, conversely, are a relatively easy exercise with a low heart rate. Done properly you will be strengthening your abdominals, but don’t confuse strength with body fat. The amount of body fat covering a muscle is not directly correlated to the strength of that muscle. So although there maybe a case for doing sit ups, losing bodyfat on your stomach is not one of them.
    For a fat loss programme, the maximum rest you should have is 60 seconds between exercises (I know this may be hard in a busy commercial club). The logistics of leaving your piece of equipment for another only to come back 2 minutes later to find someone sitting on it are hard. But it has to be done. Believe it or not, the difference between 60 and 75 seconds rest is significant, so make sure you are starting the next exercise promptly, not still sipping water and 30 seconds away from the next exercise. This means you are actually moving quickly with minimal time to rest (or chat to your personal trainer about your weekend) – after all you are there for results. This is one thing we pride our selves on here at Studio41. All trainers have stop watches and will stop you from talking if it means you want start your next set on time. If your personal trainer here in Wellington does not use a watch while training you come down and we will happily show you what having a trainer should be like.
    When you are lean, though, these exercises actually make sense. Now you want to show off what has been underneath all that fat all along. But if you can’t manage 10 bodyweight dips or pull-ups you don’t need to do arm exercises. You will get enough benefit from keeping your exercises on a general push and pull level, which still works the arms but uses more muscle groups and of course keeps the heart rate higher. Use the following programme and when done with the correct rest times, it is an incredibly hard workout. Note that there is a stomach exercise included, but only one in amongst all that hard work. Note – the A1 is done with the A2 and then back to the A1 again until 3 sets is done. Then the same is repeated with the B exercises and 3 exercises are done in a row for the C exercises before repeating with the C1 again.

    A1 Back squats (3 Sets of 15 – then 45 second rest)
    A2 Pull-ups using neutral grip (3 Sets of 15 – then 45 second rest)
    B1 Lying leg curls with feet neutral (3 Sets of 12 – then 45 second rest)
    B2 Flat bench presses (3 Sets of 15 – then 45 second rest)
    C1 Dips (3 Sets of 15 – then 30 second rest)
    C2 Reverse crunches (3 Sets of 20 – then 30 second rest)
    C3 Leg presses – (3 Sets of 20 – then 60 second rest before back to C1)

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  • One Of the Most Powerful Antioxidants Around….

    27 March, 2013

    ….The Sun

    At Studio41 we appreciate one of the powerful supplements you can take is Vitamin D. With the long days of sunshine almost behind us, understanding Vitamin D and its affect to our long term health is crucial.

    Vitamin D is made from exposure to the sun and from eating certain foods such as Salmon, Mackeral and tuna. However even during beautiful summer days, we can still be severely Vitamin D deficient due to spending long days in front of a computer under flourescent lighting, or by piling on the sunscreen in an over protective manner.

    Supplementation of Cod Liver oil, fish oil or even Vitamin D will help. Take note of the Vitamin D supplement you buy though. You should take 35000 IU (International Units) twice per week. So buying a Vitamin D supplement that is only 1000 IU will not get you very far. Buy in either 5000 IU or 10000 IU.

    Reasons why you need Vitamin D.

    Low levels of Vitamin D can lead to osteoporosis and bone fractures. Research has also shown that reduced levels Vitamin D can lead to muscle weakness and abnormalities in the muscle being able to contract and relax.

    Vitamin D deficiency can also contribute to an increased level of bodyfat. A study from 2010 has shown that those with a Vitamin D levels of less than 29 ng/ml had a 24% greater fat infiltration into the muscle than those who had Vitamin D levels higher than 29 ng/ml.

    At Studio41 we are big on improving insulin sensitivity as this helps your body to cope with all the glucose from eating sugary and/or refined foods. New zealand research has shown taking 4000 IU of Vitamin D per day increases your sensitivity to insulin and can help to keep your body fat in check.

    If you are pregnant, Vitamin D is essential. It has been concluded that pregnant women who are Vitamin D deficient during pregnancy may have fetuses who are born with development impairment. According to Charles Poliquin, research has also shown that the offspring of mothers who are Vitamin D deficient are more susceptible to schizophrenia, bone disorders and the development of diabetes.

    Make sure you follow the following tips to make sure you get your share of Vitamin D

    1. You cant absorb Vitamin D through glass. So although it feels great to lie inside you are missing out on your Vitamin D for the day.

    Sunblock, blocks Vitamin D absorption by 95%. So do not put sunblock on straight away. Allow some important Vitamin D absorption time before putting sunblock on. (Make sure you apply sunblock or cover up before burning)

    3. Diet alone is too hard. So you have to rely on a good supplement and sensible exposure to the sun.

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  • Why cross-trainers make me cross

    6 March, 2013

    A standard 20 minutes on a cross-trainer seems to be the way many gym-goers spend their time these days. No thought is put into it, just the belief that it must be doing them some good. When weight training, because we have the ability to apply systematic overload, we know that after four to six weeks there is minimal benefit in doing the same exercise routine over and over again. So we change. It’s pretty simple really: work hard and measure your results; when the results stop, change your exercise (we don’t pretend to be clever).
    Too many people, however, are doing 20 minutes on the cross-trainer as if it is a religious edict. Surely we exercise to become better, faster, stronger, leaner… to become something else. To achieve results, you can’t keep doing the same old, same old – something has to change. Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone, and for a start get off the cross-trainer!

    Cross-trainer mistake #1: doing cardio before weights. It is common among gym-goers to use a cross-trainer before doing weights. I don’t know where this comes from but it really doesn’t make sense. To lift the maximum weight possible for the number of repetitions you have chosen, you need your full concentration. It doesn’t matter if it is six or 15 repetitions – you still need to be at your peak. Doing your cross-training before this will make you more tired, meaning less concentration and less strength. So, lift heavy first to become stronger and leaner (and no, women, you will not add bulk when you get stronger), and then if you insist on using the cross-trainer leave it to the end when you don’t need to concentrate.

    Cross-trainer mistake #2: not applying overload. To become better, you must apply overload. Cross-trainers are not great in this respect, as those who use them tend to sit at the same level for the same amount of time each week. At the very least, you must up the intensity level each week until you can improve no more, at which point you should change equipment – to what it doesnt matter, as long as it stresses you in new and different ways.

    Cross-trainer mistake #3: assuming that long periods of cardio exercise are good for fat loss. To become leaner you need to burn calories, and the best way to achieve this is through weight training due to the metabolism being raised for 48 – 72 hours after a weight session but only for 45 mins after a run. However, if you don’t have much experience lifting weights, then I would argue that you should do weight training via a circuit training plan. Long, continuous aerobic activity reduces muscle mass, so will not benefit you in the long run due to lowering your metabolic rate, as Doug McGuff and John Little state in their book Body by Science (2009): “Long continuous activity may improve your ability to perform that chosen activity, but because of its catabolic nature, it may not contribute to your health.”

    At Studio41 we do not have cross-trainers but our members average 3–6 kilograms of fat loss within two weeks of joining the gym. People train hard here, but there is no continuous cardio, just intense interval training that very few people can complete. And guess what? If someone is not getting results, we change the programme and their nutrition. It’s quite simple really.

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  • The Healthy Way to Start Your Day

    8 January, 2013

    They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I believe firmly that what you eat for breakfast affects you for the rest of the day, either positively or negatively.  One quick walk down the cereal aisle, you will see that cereal companies do not have your best interests at heart. With sugar being the second ingredient in most breakfast cereals, I take the belief that breakfast cereals are something that should be had once a week as a treat and not as our stable food that builds a generation (maybe that could be part of the reason why as a generation we are getting fatter). Eating any sugary food sets the body up to not only be storing bodyfat but to rely on that next sugar hit as the energy levels are sent into a roller coster ride. This sets up dangerous sugar spiking peaks and then troughs which sends you looking for that mid morning coffee or snack to lift you when your blood sugar levels drop (it is not uncommon for people to say that “I always need my pick me up coffee in the morning). People live day to day moving from one sugar hit to the next relying on more coffee and more sugar over the years while the whole time their bodyfat is increasing.

    When you wake up in the morning you want to turn on your digestive system and have a low sugar food causing the body to turn on its natural bodyfat burning hormones. So this is where I am looking for protein and healthy fats to start the day. Protein forces the digestive system to work harder to break it down than the refined sugary cereal option and therefore wakes you up more, so eggs or meat in the morning are the best options, with a handful of nuts.

    So if you want to trim up and also have the side effect of getting healthy, throw your breakfast cereals out and start eating protein in the form of eggs, beef, chicken or fish. Add some greens and a handful of nuts and you really are off to a good start. Eggs are a great source of protein but buy organic eggs from hens allowed to feed on insects and green plants as they can contain omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in the beneficial ratio of approximately one-to-one; but commercial supermarket eggs can contain as much as nineteen times more omega-6 than omega-3.

    Remember to also relax when you eat breakfast. When you are relaxed your digestive system works best. However when you are rushing and your flight or fight mode is on (sympathetic nervous system) your digestive system is slowed down and you will not digest your food well. Find the time in the morning to take 5 – 10 minutes to sit down and relax to eat your breakfast. Do not eat it on the run, otherwise even your good choices are not fully reached.  So the healthy way to start your day – eat protein, create the time to relax and who knows, maybe one day you wont have to reach for that coffee.


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  • It All Begins At The Beginning…

    31 December, 2012

    Goal Setting on 3 Levels

    People set out to achieve goals for one of two reasons, they see it as moving themselves towards something they desire (I want to earn more money), or they see it moving away from something they no longer want (I want to get fit as I hate feeling tired and sluggish). You are embarking on this 12 week behaviour change program either because you want to achieve something or are sick of living in a state of fitness and health that you are not happy with – either way your motivation can be traced to either pleasure or pain.

    The first level of goal setting is understanding the bigger picture. I call it the VISION. This is your long term goal, the thing that will drive all other behaviours. This is the thing that you have to decide first. What is it that you want after 12 weeks. Do not concentrate on what you don’t want (I want to lose that 5 pounds, I don’t want to be out of breath, I don’t want to have this fat etc.). Focus on what you do want – I want to be 60 kg, I want to be able to run and feel breathless, I want to be 18% body-fat). Then make it quantifiable. Making a goal of “I want to feel fitter” is not specific enough. People dislike making goals specific due to the fact that they increase their potential risk of failure. However if you live your life trying to avoid failure you might also find yourself avoiding success as a by product. So…..get that vision specific and within a time frame (in this case 12 weeks) and write it down – writing anything down makes it more serious.

    “By Aug the 13th I will be 53kg and able to run 10km in under 50 mins”

    …..concentrate on it, see it, in-vision it. How do you look, feel, act when you have achieved it. Once you have got this, ask yourself why you want it. And whatever your answer is, ask yourself why you want that? Do this at least 3 – 4 times. You are discovering your “values”, what really drives you to do the things you do. Often people do not just want to lose weight. But want the things that losing the weight will give them (self esteem, increased confidence etc.). Identifying these core drivers or “values” is what will keep you going when things get difficult. Understand your vision, and why you are truly trying to achieve that vision, are your strongest allies in moving forward and achieving great success.

    Once you have this Vision in your mind – concentrate on your first OUTCOME.

    Outcomes are things you have to achieve on the way to achieving your vision. You can think of it as breaking the vision down into smaller chunks. Often thinking of something 12 weeks away is too far, think about what you need to achieve in 3 or 4 weeks is easier to  concentrate on. If you want to lose 6 kg in your 12 week program, then it would make sense that after 4 week you have lost 2 kg. This would be your first “outcome”. If you do not achieve this first outcome you have a choice

    1. Change the goal to what you now know is more realistic
    2. Change your weekly commitment to achieving the goal

    Once you break your vision down into outcomes, you only need to concentrate on your first outcome. You have to ask yourself what you have to do this week to achieve your first outcome. These are called your WEEKLY ACTIONS. Concentrate on just achieving your weekly actions should lead to achieving your first outcome. Then this will put you on track to achieving your vision.  By doing the small things you will achieve the large things. One final point to remember – even though you  are concentrating on achieving your weekly actions, keep in mind both your Outcomes and most importantly your Vision. Your Vision is the ‘why’ behind what you are doing and is what ultimately drives you, and gives you the reason for working so hard on your weekly actions.

    So the essence of goal setting is to put in your mind exactly what you want to have, break it down into workable chunks and then go out and start achieving. One important principle to understand is the concept of NO FAILURE ONLY FEEDBACK. To understand this is to understand that you cannot fail at anything. Workout a goal, put your outcomes in-place and work on your weekly actions. If you do not achieve your weekly actions and therefore do not reach your first outcome, a lot of people give up at this point believing that they have failed. Just take this as feedback, remember when this happens you have 2 choices,

    1. Change the goal to what you now know is more realistic
    2. Change your weekly commitment to achieving the goal

    So….change something and go again, and again, and again until you finally experience success. People put a lot of pressure on themselves to get it right the first time. This is unrealistic if you are doing something without ever having done it before. True failure is giving up in pursuit of your goal.

    So good-luck, set your goal and don’t look back until you have achieved it.










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