Talking steroids – again

In this video I explain why genetics play a big part in your training / athletic abilities. Let me know if you have any questions or you have a topic you’d like me to discuss: hello@tamaramakar.me

Training at home / getting back to training

Everyone has suffered some time away from the gym during the weeks of this pandemic. Some of us are blessed to be able to train in the gym again, others are still having to workout at home.

Most people don’t have any equipment at home, they can only use resistance bands or some light dumbbells/bars or trx.

First of all: I know for some of you it’s been a long period of time, some of you have certain goals to achieve - whether it’s weight loss, building muscle or competition preparation. Your diet is really the key thing here, and then your training.

If your diet is not right, it wouldn’t matter even if the gyms were open, so first and foremost pay attention to that.

Second thing is, if you’ve been training with bands and light weights / body weight, you have probably learned or are learning how to use the right technique to feel the exercise. Once you don’t have the heavy weights to throw around, you have to focus on the technique to feel it. It’s probably a positive for everyone. Perhaps it has helped you to achieve a better mind - muscle connection that you can use once the gyms reopen.

To be honest, I would’ve never thought about training with bands, but once I was forced to do that, I felt a big difference in my body - and in a good way. It was like an ‘active rest’ for my body. I was still training, but with less pressure on the joints, with a different technique: longer squeezes at the peak, so that I could get the most out of my workouts. A set could’ve lasted for 4-5 or sometimes even 10-15 mins when I was doing body weight squats and different lunges back to back to burn out my legs/quads.

But here’s what to watch out for when you can finally go back to the gym:

Don’t try and lift the same weights that you did before the lockdown.

Don’t get frustrated because you’ve lost some strength. You will gain it back quickly once you can continue going to the gym.

You will probably have to adjust your diet again when you can start lifting heavier weights.

?If you need any help with your current diet or training, drop me a line. I’m here to help you for free to adjust your diet or training plans, we can discuss different ideas.

?If you’d like a proper plan, I’m also available for online coaching.

Online coaching / training plans / meal plans

? get into shape

??‍♂️ build muscle

??‍♂️ lose fat

? contest prep

✉️ hello@tamaramakar.me

How to build your bootie

Glutes are just like any other muscles. There’s no secret to building up your glutes. Many people ask me to send them a workout routine for different body parts. The truth is: you can google it and get a workout online - as long as you only need a generic workout. It’s not WHAT exercises you do, but HOW you do the exercises. That’s is the reason why you need a coach: to show you how to activate the right muscles, how to have the mind-muscle connection. Anyone can tell you exercises, how many sets and reps to do, but if you’re not using the right technique, if you’re not activating the right muscles, the session will be a waste of time.

I’ve found while working with clients, that glutes are one of the most difficult muscles to activate. No matter what exercise we did, when you have weak glute muscles, some other muscles will take over. So my advice is: drop the weight, don’t go heavy, focus on muscle activation, and squeeze!

Online coaching / training plans / meal plans

? get into shape

??‍♂️ build muscle

??‍♂️ lose fat

? contest prep

✉️ hello@tamaramakar.me

My road to become an IFBB Pro

I thought I’d share my story with you guys, how I got here where I am now.

My prep actually started end of February. I was 79kg, and I was getting ready for the Nabba Worlds in June in Italy. I was very keen, had the passion burning inside me. I wanted to win! Last year I finished 2nd at the Nabba Worlds in Russia and I really wanted to prove myself this year. Athletes would know that a contest prep is not easy, but you can always step it up when you’re keen, so I went all in.

So June came, and I went to Italy to compete. Finished 2nd again - not gonna lie, I was pissed off. We planned another competition a couple of weeks after that, Portugal or Spain, but I said no. I knew what improvements I had to make and I needed a bit more time to make them happen.

So after my first comp mid June I went straight into prepping for the second one in November. First I wanted to go to Poland but then we learnt that the @ironrebelshow was gonna be organised again in November - and we went there with @abe.superman In May when he competed, so I changed my mind and I registered for Denmark.

I had to bring up my shoulders, especially my rear delts, so I started training them 3x a week. My glutes and hammies needed more shape, so that meant glutes and hammies 2x a week, and quads/full legs with glutes 1x a week. Are you keeping score? That meant Ꭵ hᎪᎠ ᏆᎾ ᏆᏒᎪᎥᏁ ᏆᎳᎥᏟᎬ Ꭺ ᎠᎪᎽ ᏆᎳᎥᏟᎬ Ꭺ ᎳᎬᎬᏦ... and this is exactly what I did for 6 months to get into the shape I needed for the @ironrebelshow in Denmark last weekend.

The first pic was taken 2 weeks into my prep in March. The second pic was 1 week before the second comp last weekend. I’m proud of this package, I’m proud of the improvements I’ve made and the condition I’ve got myself into. I know there’s more to come, but so far that was my best ever shape.

About HIIT cardio

The competition season is upon us, many of you guys do endless cardio to lose body fat. Sometimes we go through phases when the weight loss stops and it seems almost impossible to get it going again. The body is trying to hold on to that little bit of fat - it’s a normal survival mechanism.

When weight loss stops, it’s a sign that your body has adapted to your current training and diet, and you just need to change something to kick it off again.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to switch up your cardio from steady state to HIIT. Many bodybuilders are scared that HIIT training will make them lose muscle. If you use it wisely, that can be avoided.

First of all you don’t need to do it all the time. If you do cardio 1x or 2x a day, you shouldn’t do HIIT both times. Actually, doing HIIT increases your metabolic rate for the next 24 hours, so you could even do it only every other day and on the other sessions stick to steady state cardio. And don’t forget: your body adapts to HIIT cardio, too, so after some time (could be about 3-4 weeks) you can change back to normal cardio again.

Now let’s see how we do HIIT cardio:

The essential framework of high-intensity interval training is always the same: Brief, all-out work periods, separated by rest periods. The work-to-rest ratio can vary from 1:1 (for example, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off) to 1:4 or more, and the rounds can be just a few or 15 or more. Always try and gradually progress: either by reducing the rest periods, extending the work periods, adding one more round at the end or all these 3.

Don’t forget to supplement with BCAA before and after your cardio to minimise catabolism.

@wawannutrition WBCAA or Ronnie Coleman series Aminotone are a good choices for your BCAA supplementation

@wawanbahrain

http://www.tamaramakar.me/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/img_0033.trim_.mov

My message for beginners

A short video for those of you who contacted me on social media asking me questions about how to lose weight or get bigger.

The health benefits of foam rolling

The idea of foam rollers is simple: using your own bodyweight and agility you roll specific muscle groups against a firm foam roller to mimic a deep massage. You can control how much pressure you apply and you can locate and focus on problematic areas.

  • They improve blood circulation throughout your skin, muscles, fascia and even tendons and ligaments.
  • More efficient exchange of nutrients and waste products at a cellular level.
  • Lengthening of short, tight muscles, tendons and ligaments.
  • Better posture, stronger core.

When we experience pain or stiffness around weight-bearing joints (hips, knees and spinal joints) a very effective approach is to increase the blood circulation around the problematic area through deep pressure work and stretches.

Sometimes short and tight muscles and ligaments are the root cause of pain and stiffness in the joints.

Some foam rollers and softer, others harder. However it is always you, who controls the pressure that you put on a certain area.

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Benefits of stretching

Stretching is very important for flexibility, range of motion and injury prevention. Stretching also increases blood flow to the muscle.
There are 2 types of stretching:

  • dynamic stretching
  • static stretching

Dynamic stretching you do before you start your workout. The purpose of it is to prepare the muscles and your body – and also your mind - for the workout. It consists of putting your muscles through their full range of motion by way of mobilizing the joints they're attached to. Dynamic stretches will elevate the muscles' core temperature and ramp up the nervous system so that your body is ready to lift some heavy weights. It will help reduce the risk of injury and over time it improves your performance and maximizes your movements due to the increase of flexibility in your joints.
Static stretching you use during and after your workout. It helps cool down the muscles, prevents injury and makes sure you lengthen your muscles after contracting/shortening them during resistance training.

The benefits of HIIT training

The benefits of HIIT training

There's an ongoing debate about cardio: which one is more beneficial? HIIT or steady state cardio? It depends on your goal and even your bodytype. Some people can get away with the mind numbing steady state cardio – which is a lot more comfortable, let's be honest. However it doesn't work for everyone. If you have been doing that for quite some time it might have stopped working for you – because let's be honest, your body will get used to most things and will adapt in time. Then it might be a wise idea to step it up to HIIT cardio.

Anyone can benefit from HIIT cardio: elite athletes and everyday people who just want to lose a bit of weight.

So what are the benefits of HIIT?

#1 When you perform high intensity training, glycogen is your preferred fuel that is stored in your muscles. To do more high intensity workouts we need a bigger reserve of muscle glycogen stores. This will allow you to train harder for longer. In addition it will allow for a greater carbs tolerance which means you can eat more carbs and store them as refuel, instead of fat.

#2 Improved aerobic fitness: your body can take in more oxygen and deliver it to your muscles, enabling you to perform faster for longer.

#3 Greater fat burning: some time ago it was the 'fat burning zone' on the cardio machine. If you wanted to burn fat, you had to be in the fat burning zone. HIIT burns more fat, because the quicker you deplete your muscle glycogen stores, the sooner your body will tap into your stored fat for fuel. HIIT training depletes muscle glycogen stores because the main fuel for HIIT is glycogen.

#4 Improved capacity for exercise: if you're doing high intensity – or I could call it metabolic type – weight training, HIIT can increase your capacity for exercise. By increasing our aerobic capacity we can go harder for longer which can help you burn more calories = lose more weight.

#5 Improved insulin sensitivity: One major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes is reduced insulin sensitivity. If you have normal insulin sensitivity, then insulin can help you shuttle the carbs into your muscles, instead of your fat cells.

#6 You boost your metabolism and get an afterburn: Resistance training has a different effect on your body opposed to endurance training. Resistance training increases excess post exercise oxygen consumption (EPOS). EPOS describes the calories you burn immediately after the training session, also known as the 'afterburn' effect.

If you want to step up your training, want to lose weight or just need a change in your training routine, get in touch!

Bespoke metabolic type resistance training plans are available hello@tamaramakar.me

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How to train for weight loss

In my previous article I outlined a few points for a diet plan for weight loss. As you probably have heard this phrase a million times by now: abs are made in the kitchen. About 80% of your weight loss efforts will come down to your diet.You can estimate how much energy you burn during exercise, but the rule of thumb is that the more intense the exercise, the more calories are burnt.

For eg for a 150 lb person (69 kg) 30 mins of:

  • walking at 3 miles/hr burns 150 kcal
  • walking at 4.5 miles/hr burns 233 kcal
  • martial arts burn 401 kcal.

More often than not you see people in the gym, plodding away on the treadmill, crosstrainer or bike at a speed that allows them to play on their phones or talk to their friends.
Just to compare the calories and how much it takes to burn them off:
 A Krispy Kreme chocolate ice donut with Kreme filling is 360 Kcal. That equals to =

  • 94 mins walking
  • 41 mins jogging or
  • 48 mins cycling

A double cheese burger at McDonald's is 440 Kcal. That equals to =

  • 115 mins walking
  • 50 mins jogging or
  • 59 mins cycling

And usually when people go to McDonald's or Krispy Kreme they don't just have 1 donut or 1 burger.
So my point is: with a balanced diet it's easier to 'keep in shape' than doing a yo-yo diet.

If you want to maximise the exercise component in order to shed body fat, choose exercise modes that are physically demanding as they use more energy. So instead of walking on the treadmill at 3-4 mph for 45 mins, do a HIIT training for 20-25 mins. With this type of training – even though you're out of your 'fat burning zone', but you deplete your muscle glycogen stores and your body will be forced to tap into the adipose tissue for fuel. We have an almost unlimited supply of energy in the form of stored fat. Marathon runners fatigue due to glycogen depletion, not fat.
You will also burn more fat post workout, during your recovery, if you engage in high intensity training.
 And last but not least: strength train! Girls, boys, everyone. The more muscle you have the higher your metabolism is. Building muscle and strength is intense. Intense training depletes glycogen therefore more stored fat is used for energy. Makes sense, doesn't it?