Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages


#BCKallum Q&A

It’s time for our weekly instalment of our Q&A with #BCKallum! If you want to submit any questions for next week’s Q&A contact us via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

1. What are BCAA’s and why do you need them?

BCAA’s are branched-chain amino acids and they are especially useful for maintaining muscle mass whilst on a calorie deficit diet and may be useful for gaining muscle (calorie surplus diet). BCAA’s can help to increase protein synthesis, reduce protein breakdown and improve workouts, all aiding the preservation of your muscles whilst dieting.

2. What is the best way to calculate calorie intake for building muscle?

First of all it is important to calculate your total daily energy expenditure. This is the amount of energy required to perform basic bodily functions at rest combined with energy used by activities (workouts, walking, cleaning). This can become quite complicated and a standard equation is used. However, there are a lot of good ‘Macro-calculators’ online that will do this for you by providing some basic information such as your sex, weight, height and activity level. I would recommend working out your TDEE and adding a surplus of 300kcals to build muscle (good quality calories).

3. What exercises would you recommend to grow your bum in the gym?

First and foremost, Squat. Focus on form rather than really heavy weight and squeeze your glutes. Hip abductions (machine), focus on time under tension when doing these and hold each rep for 5 seconds and control the movement on the way back. Hip extensions/Hip thrusts, often people use a barbell or a weight plate on your hips for extra resistance. Avoid going to heavy with these as it can keep the glutes from getting good contraction, its best to go a little lighter and bang out 15 reps with a 3-second hold at the top of each rep.

4. Do you have any advice for feeling confident/not intimidated in the gym?

My best advice here is to remember that everyone in the gym is there to better themselves. Everyone starts somewhere and every single person in that gym had to have their first workout too at some point. It’s always good to have a training partner as that helped me when I first starter. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for guidance if your unsure in the gym, the staff are there to help so don’t be scared to peck their brains. If your struggling with a routine, ask a friend that you know already goes and see if they’ll let you train with them for a week or two. Or failing that feel free to get in touch and I’m happy to help with a routine and exercises too!

5. What types of HIIT workouts would you recommend?

High intensity interval training has become very popular and is my go to form or cardio to burn fat. HIIT is a form of exercise in which you alternate between very intense periods of exercise and slower recovery periods. The work to rest ratio can vary but I always worked on a 1:1 (for example 30 seconds high intensity 30 seconds low intensity).

HIIT can be done with almost all cardio equipment and sprints such as: Treadmill, Stairmaster, cycle sprints and battle ropes.

My preferred HIIT workout whilst dieting for when I competed in bodybuilding was the Stairmaster in which I did 60 seconds increasing the levels to my near maximum effort and 60 seconds on a low level and repeated for 10 rounds. This can be replicated for almost all other methods of cardio such as the bike, treadmill and others mentioned earlier.

No gym? No worries, here’s and example workout you can do at home

Warm up – March in place (2 mins)

Circuit: perform 5 rounds

Sprint in place (12 secs)

March in place (18 secs)

Burpees (12 secs)

March in place (18 secs)

Jumping jacks (12 secs)

March in place (18 secs)

High knees (12 secs)

March in place (18 secs)

Rest (30 secs) Repeat

Cool down – March in place (2 mins)

6. What foods would you recommend to not get ill this winter?

I would aim for immune system boosting foods! Firstly Vitamin C helps to boost the immune system and some food sources include oranges, red and green bell peppers and spinach. Broccoli is a go to food source, packed with vitamin A, C and E! Vitamin E is key to a healthy immune system a good food source of this is nuts such as almonds.

7. What vitamins do people usually lack in and what are the best sources of them?

Where this usually dependent on the individual and their eating habits/lifestyle choices. Typical eating habits often lack several very important nutrients and evidence from the national diet and nutrition survey has shown deficiencies in certain nutrients and low levels of others. A few examples are:

Vitamin D: most people should be able to get Vitamin D they need from sunlight during the summer months however, during the autumn and winter months people should consider taking a daily supplement containing 10mcg of vitamin D. Vitamin D can also be found in a small amounts of foods such as red meats and oily fish however it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D from food alone.