Over the past few weeks I have been looking at healthy eating and fitness through healthy recipes such as a low fat creamy korma, a sumptuous yet very healthy smoothie and I have looked at an example workout for the legs. Today I am sharing a workout for the chest and a recipe for healthy homemade chips.
Healthy eating: home-made chips
We had these chips yesterday evening with some fish for a lovely lazy meal. I know chips might not sound like the best recipe to share in a healthy eating series but stay with me. Most chips are deep or at least pan fried which means they are soaked in fatty oil and absorb a lot of it whilst cooking. I changed this by essentially roasting them in a thin coating of olive oil in the oven. This way they cook in a far healthier oil and end up absorbing a lot less. These chips end up being much less of a treat meal and something you can have more often. The best thing is that these homemade chips are quite easy to prepare making them a great alternative to frozen or chip shop chips.
Homemade chips recipe
Paprika to taste
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Peal and wash the potatoes, then slice into chips. Bring a pan of water to the boil and boil for 5 minutes then drain.
Whilst the potatoes are boiling, add the oil to a roasting dish along with some paprika. I add about 3tsp for us but adjust to taste. Pop in the oven at 180c to warm ready for the potatoes.
Drain the potatoes and add to the hot olive oil and paprika, making sure to toss the chips and get a good coating of oil on them. Return to the oven and bake for around 40-50 minutes, depending on the types of potatoes and thickness of your chips.
Check the chips after 20 minutes and turn over to get them evenly crispy and cooked through. Once ready they should be golden and crisp on the outside and fluffy and soft inside.
Turn out onto a plate with kitchen paper on it. This will absorb any oil on the chips. I go as far as to dab the tops with kitchen paper to and you’ll be amazed the difference it will make in removing oil/ fat.
Serve with a sprinkle of chips. Yummy!
When I first started hitting the gym years ago I got sucked it the same idea that many men before me do. Build up the chest and arms and gauge overall strength by the bench press. Any one who lifts will know the first question people ask is “how much can you bench?” It quickly became my favourite exercise to do and the chest was my favourite muscle group to exercise. After hitting it again and again for years I finally realised that I needed to get a more balanced program.
Today I still have the legacy of hitting the chest several times a week for years, namely a strong and quite bulky chest. Not the worst thing to have and it means these days I don’t need to concentrate too much on building it up.
This chest work out is designed to build strength and power as well as tone and shape the chest muscles. Basically the idea is to look strong and also be strong too (two things which don’t always go hand in hand).
I kick this workout off with the Hammer strength plate loaded bench press, not every gym has one of these so checkout this video to better see the exercise. I then move on through the incline bench press, dumbbell fly and finish up on the cable station for cable cross-overs. The workout out sounds like a lot, and it is. But as I said I worked chest hard when I started lifting and there is still a big hang over in strength and endurance so I have to push it hard to get something back.
Here is the work out and the rep ranges:
Hammer strength bench press, up the weight after each set working to your 1 rep max
15 reps, 12 reps, 8 reps, 5 reps, 4 reps, 4 reps, 2 reps, 1 rep, 1 rep, 1 rep, 1 rep, 7 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps
High incline bench press
10 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps
Incline dumbell fly
10 reps, 10 reps, 5 reps, 4 reps, 3 reps, 30 reps, 40 reps, 50 reps
Standing cable cross-overs
10 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps, 10 reps, 5 reps, 5 reps, 7 reps, 10 reps
These days I like to stick to just a few simple exercises and make sure I get quite a bit of volume. With the high rep sets you have to lower the weight a lot but you’ll get a great burn.
I hope you find both the homemade chips recipe and the chest workout useful. I’d really recommend the chips a a great cheat meal.
Healthy Eating and Fitness Series