Ask a Nutrition & Training Coach Anything!



Thanks for the suggestions. Park run is a goal that I have, but keeps getting pushed back by 6 months.

As stupid as it sounds, I have the same hesitations that I assume you felt, but I really don’t want to turn up and be the last to finish. I want to be able run/jog most of it.

Can I ask how you started running, did you focus on speed or distance or a run/walk distance? I’ve heard a few strategies but at my weight currently the speed I can run at is slower than my walking pace, If I’m also meant to be able to hold a conversation at the same time!

I bought a treadmill 18 months ago to avoid being out but never managed to run for longer than about 8 mins without a walking break, even when 2 stone lighter than I am now.



Absolutely mate, no problem. I suppose you really have to go back to April 2016 where I was rocking 21 stone but finally plucked up the courage to join a gym. It was a 20 minute treadmill session, running for 30 seconds, walking for 2 minutes and repeating. At that time 30 seconds at a time was literally all I could manage without getting completely out of breath.

I would forget about speed completely. On the treadmill I focused on time and tried to lengthen the amount of time I ran (jogged) for. Although progress is slow, time goes quickly and it is amazing how fast you improve. Make your goal to run for longer and longer periods, even if it’s slow.

With Park Run, I would seriously recommend you dive in and give it a go, it’s great. People finish their own runs and stay behind to encourage and applaud slower runners as they come in. When I go I see women of all shapes and sizes, helping and supporting each other. Some get round in 20 minutes, others take a complete hour as they walk, but all thoroughly enjoy it. With blokes I observe different things - I mentioned to @admin last week that I think this is an area that us men can seriously improve on. You get your guys there that are really fit and fly round and you get a load in the 20-30 minute bracket. When I run there are usually not many men around me at the 35 minute mark but I am with lots of female runners. There is one guy that is usually a few seconds ahead of me, but he’s a fit as a flea 82 year old! I think many men are worried about the embarrassment factor, as I was before I got involved.


I have been reading about “kettlebell swings” and how useful they are as an exercise. I don’t own one and I want to know if you could the swing using a dumbbell.
Is that a stupid question?


I’ve invested in some kettlebells in 12k, 16k, 20k, 28k and 32k increments. Really good kit for a workout, but haven’t progressed much beyond the 12k and 16k so far. Can recommend a book by Pavel Tsatouline called simple and sinister.

Not sure about using a dumbbell, I’d be worried about losing grip on it and sending it through the wall.


Yeah defo you could mate, but dont blame me if you smash your windows lol


Thanks for the advice. I’ll hit the treadmill and focus less on the couch to 5 K apps. I’ll keep Parkrun as a goal (maybe for when it warms up a bit).


Thanks gents.


Hey @maxnas Here’s one for you. Apologies in advance as I don’t quite know what my question is. Just looking for more knowledge.

So I’ve been doing cycling for a few years now. Probably get in about 4 or 5 hours a week. Much of it on a turbo trainer at this time of year. Gradually the workouts have become more intense and my fitness level is probably okay for someone of my age. (FTP of 221 Watts). I mostly do mostly aerobic exercise (cycling).

In the past when I’e done exercise I’ve found that I have reached my limit due to different things. e.g. When people first start it may be the lungs that can get the air in and out fast enough, or the legs become weak fairly quickly. However what I’m finding my limit is is probably my heart rate. Unless I’ve been cycling fore over an hour my legs will be strong enough and not ache or feel pumped. My breathing might get heavy but I’m rarely gasping. i usually just see that my heart rate has maxed out (I wear a HR monitor).

So is this normal? Is it just a function of my training style? Is it just that I’m mostly aerobic stuff and not spending a long time in anaerobic zones? Should I be doing anything different?


Hi mate! Will jump on & dive into this tomorrow mate (as you probably know by now, I hate giving out on the fly half arsed advice/recommendations, If I’m going to give advice, I always want to make sure I’m doing it properly :slight_smile:


Almost finished on the brand new & fully updated version of the ‘The Complete Nutrition Guide For Fat Loss’, will be finished soon & will let you guys know

Lots more options for personal preferences & ease of use, with extra sections for alternative options other than using soley the science/math (for those who find it a headache or overwhelming) :slight_smile:

(then onto re-doing the video series to match the new written version)


“i usually just see that my heart rate has maxed out”

What do you mean by this exactly mate?


So pic below is a strava trace from last week. Not very clear but it shows me stats doing a 1 hour workout on the bike with fixed intervals at different power levels. Power and heart rate traces probably most relevant. Basically at no point in this workout was I “out of breath” I was breathing more heavily but never gasping. At no point were my legs aching or feeling pumped. However the heart rate reached a max of 174 (which is it for someone of my age). At 160 it feels fine but at 170 it doesn’t feel great. Not experiencing pain or anything, just a bit paranoid about reaching a maximum heart rate.


Got you, ok cool… so here’s the confusion

this is a generic one size fits all method/assumption (usually plastered all over most cardio machines)

So what we’re really talking about are the different ‘zones’ based on heart rates, which are based on age.

There’s so much wrong with these to be honest mate, it’s a random guess/assumption based on the theory that everyone of a certain age has the same heart rate.

It can even be dangerous for some.


Me, mid 30’s, resting HR is 50-55bpm

Average mid-30’s male has a resting HR of around 70-75bpm

Now let’s translate that to the ‘anaerobic zone’ (whatever that is)

To be in that zone, someone my age would have to raise their heartrate from 70-ish to 160-ish (or above)

Now, for me that would mean raising my HR from 50-ish to 160-ish (or above) big difference!

So realistically for me, my version of that 160 minimum threshold would be more like 140-ish

For me to get my heartrate to 160 & beyond could be potentially dangerous as it’s not equipped to work at that capacity.

Second part of this is that those zones are BS anyway,

fat burning, aerobic, anaerobic…… they all burn calories, which is what causes fat loss.

lower intensity tends to use more fat for fuel DURING the exercise (but stop immediately when you stop),

higher intensity tends to use more glycogen for fuel DURNING the exercise but create a bigger ‘epoc’ (oxygen deficit if you will, post exercise)

Now for fat loss calories over the course of the day, week, month etc are what matters… each session of exercise contributes a small effort top the overall energy deficit, so the whole ‘fat burning zone’ etc stuff is nonsense.

So are far as the recommended HR based on the charts go, ingnore them, they’re wrong… twice fold.

You’re much better using an RPE scale (rate of perceived exertion) as it’s personal to yourself.

1-10 RPE scale
1 – least effort
(fill in the rest accordingly)
10 – most effort

My personal version of the RPE:
0 – little to no effort (sleeping/sitting)
1 – light
2 – mid
3 – hard

As far as choosing ‘what’ to do, it’s down to your preference, time available & goals mate

Lower intensity = better recovery, meaning you can do it more often, but takes longer
Higher intensity = takes less time, but harder to recover, so can’t perform it as often

The larger question is – what’s the main goal of the sessions?


So this has changed over time. Whilst I’m still keen to burn calories I’m also keen at getting better at cycling. Still got lots of fat to loose which will help me climb hills but generally need to up the fitness level too. I’m not looking at competing but would be nice to go out with local club who do about 3 hour rides. I can cycle for 3 hour but I’m just not quite fast enough to keep up with them. I’m happy with the different workouts I need to do to get better just curious about the heart rate thing.

Interesting bit about the resting heart rate. Mine is generally in the mid 50s. I’d say I don’t get ‘anaerobic’ until >160 bpm. I have found the heart rate monitor useful though as initially it told me I was trying too hard and no wonder I didn’t like exercise. It also tells me when I’m slacking off and shouldn’t be. Will do some reading on the RPE scale.


I would add that the exercise gives a general feeling of well-being, the hard work in the session can add motivation to stay on track with the eating - so it becomes mutually reinforcing. Also, as an older gent (49) if I lay off for too long, I can get stiff laying on the couch.
I was holding off on exercising until I got my diet going but the weight kept creeping up so I said F?!& it and got back on the squash court and in the pool and am now wrestling with the diet so will keep you posted.


Woah, woah, woah!! That’s not old!


LOL. thanks for that!


ignore, was trying to share a link


Hi @maxnas, hoping you can give me some advice!

I have been using weightwatchers for a while now but i’m thinking it would be better to change to a calorie counting method as hopefully it will be a bit more sustainable. My question is this, on weightwatchers they allocate points based in the food you eat, if you don’t use all your points they carry over. If I was to calorie count, can you carry over any unused calories to the next day? Or even longer? If so, how many days would you say this would work for?

Thanks in advance!


Hi mate, yeah you could defo do that mate… I’d look at calories over the week, with a day to day target, but swapping some here & there isn’t an issue if they all tally up in the end :slight_smile:

There’s a section on this on in the ‘complete nutrition guide’ in 'bonus part 2 - other things to consider’