Tag Archive | "fitness"

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Train and gain! with this dumbbell workout

Here’s how strength training can get you a better bikini body…

More and more women are strength training when they hit the gym, but if you’re still not convinced, then you could be missing out on some serious benefits.

Whether you’re using the TRX, doing a kettlebell class or using a pair of dumbbells in your HIIT circuit – you are strength training! It’s not all about weightlifting belts, clouds of chalk and groaning as loud as you can – though, that’s all welcome, too! It is, however, about using weights that truly challenge you, promoting muscle growth that in turn elevates your fat burn. The result is a leaner you, with a higher metabolic rate throughout the day.

‘It’s estimated that for every half a kilo of lean muscle you gain, your body will burn 35-50 extra calories each day just to maintain it,’ explains John Shepherd, author of new book Strength Training for Women. ‘Regular cardio exercisers may lose weight but end up with a body that lacks tone and holds fat around key “problem” areas, such as the abdomen and hips.’ But those aren’t the only benefits you’ll experience – that’s just the beginning.

‘Resistance training will also boost your hormones,’ explains John. Basically, the more you pick up the weights, the more your levels of growth hormone are elevated. Why is this desirable? Well, along with playing a vital role in shedding fat, growth hormone also helps to slow the effects of ageing, according to John. Who wouldn’t want that? As we age we also experience a higher risk of osteoporosis, and strength training is an effective way of combating this. Not only do weights build muscle but they strengthen your bones, too, which is ideal for overall health as well as preventing injury.

Strength training also challenges your body in all different planes of motion, boosting its ability to master complex moves – especially ones that’ll help you in everyday life. We’re talking lifting, carrying, picking things up – that’s why it’s considered functional fitness.

Don’t know where to start? John’s book is a great place, but if you want a taster, check out this workout he put together. It’s suitable for all levels, targeting the whole body using compound exercises. ‘These moves work numerous joints,’ explains John, ‘making them more functional and calorie-burning.’ Always use weights that prove difficult in the final reps of each set without compromising form – but if you’re new to weights, start out light and focus on building strength and technique. Everyone should add weights each month to encourage progress.

HOW TO DO IT

Always warm up before and cool down after this workout. Do each of the two workouts once a week, leaving at least 48 hours between each.

Workout 1: Metabolic and hormonal booster

Perform 3 x 10 reps of each move. Take enough recovery to allow for each set to be completed optimally.

Workout 2: Pyramid with body shaping fast-twitch fibre emphasis

Perform 8 reps using a light weight, 6 using a medium weight, then 2 x 4 reps using a heavy weight.

Workout 1

 Rear foot elevated split squat

Areas trained: glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves

Technique

  1. Holding dumbbells by each side, stand in front of a bench and place the toes of your rear foot on it. Hop your standing leg forward and place your foot flat on the floor. This is your starting position.
  2. Keeping your trunk upright and looking straight ahead, bend your front leg to lower your body to the ground. Lower until your thigh is approximately  parallel to the ground. 
  3. Push back up strongly and repeat. Perform the allotted reps on one side, and then the other to complete a full set.

Seated shoulder press

Areas trained: shoulders, triceps

Technique

  1. Sit on a bench holding dumbbells in front of your shoulders.
  2. Press the dumbbells up to the ceiling, bringing them close together at the top of the movement.
  3. Lower under control and repeat.

Single-arm kettlebell swing

Areas trained: quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, back, shoulders

Technique

  1. Take hold of the kettlebell in one hand with your knuckles facing away from you. Stand with your feet just beyond shoulder-width apart. Let the kettlebell hang down at arm-length in front of your body and let it drop down and through your legs.
  2. Move with the fall of the kettlebell and let your bottom move backwards and torso incline forwards with knees soft. As the momentum of the weight begins to stall and go in the other direction, ‘snap’ your hips to impart more momentum onto the kettlebell to drive it up again.
  3. Let the weight fall back down and repeat. Perform the allotted reps on both sides to complete a set.

Plié squat

Areas trained: glutes, hips, hamstrings, quads, calves

Technique 

  1. Holding the dumbbells with your knuckles facing away from you in front of your hips, stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width and turned out, making sure that your feet and knees are similarly angled.
  2. Bend your legs to plié and then extend them to stand back up and repeat.

 

Workout 2

Clean

Areas trained: back, shoulders, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves

Technique

  1. Take hold of a barbell from the floor with your knuckles facing forwards and hands just further than shoulder-width apart. Keep your heels on the floor, arms extended and head up.
  2. Drive up to lift the bar from the floor, keeping your shoulders over it and your knees bent.
  3. As the bar approaches hip-level, drive your hips forwards and now pull on the bar with your arms. As you do this, switch your grip from overhand to underhand and ‘catch’ the bar in a racked position on the front of your shoulders.
  4. Keeping your back flat, control the bar down to the floor, bending your knees and folding forwards, first to your thighs and then to the floor.

Squat

Areas trained: glutes, quads, hamstrings, back

Technique

  1. Support a barbell across the fleshy rear part of your shoulders (avoiding contact with your top vertebrae). Pull the bar down onto your shoulders to
  2. fix it in place. Keep your head up and maintain the natural curve of your spine.
  3. Bend your knees to lower the weight as far as your flexibility allows. Keep your knees behind your toes as you go.
  4. Push through your heels to stand up and repeat.

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Flat tummy exercises for women

Want to rock a flat stomach but sick of your usual abs routine? Hula hooping is a fun way to tone the whole body while focusing on the abdominal and core muscles and cinching in that waist. It’s quick, easy and can be done anywhere from the park to your own home. So take yourself back to the days of the playground, de-stress and tone up that tum.

How to do it

Perform each exercise for the required amount of time for your level, doing as many reps with good form as possible. Repeat the workout two or three times a week to upbeat music for the best results.

Kit you’ll need

Adult hula hoop

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Flat tummy exercises for women

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Health and fitness talk with Elise Carver

On the road so far

I studied to be a master trainer through the Australian Institute of Fitness about nine years ago and worked part time at a gym in South Yarra with some fantastic mentors who showed me the value of quality training. Shortly after, I began to fall in love with surfing. When I decided to make the shift to Torquay, I was already on my way to changing my body shape to suit surfing and so the Surf Style Training method was born and developed organically. I soon realised the mainstream way of training wasn’t for me and I have now run a successful business out of my own studio for three years.

On body type

Your natural body shape is what you make it. I’ve been through so many variations of my ‘natural’ body shape in my lifetime – I just happen to love the one I have now. When I was a gymnast I was a young, skinny springy ball of energy. When I started rock climbing, I began to develop a very strong upper body, which explains my shoulder definition. There was dancing, which helped to develop my strong core and then, as I got older, I got stuck right into gym and stacked on a solid five to six kilos of muscle – this was probably my least favourite body shape. When I got into surfing, I turned my bulk into lean, pliable muscle fit for surfing and have never looked back.

On body love

I really like my core and posture! It’s the one thing that stays strong despite the fact that I have scoliosis. It’s switched on all the time – it’s like doing an ab workout while you breathe.

I’m trying to improve my body all the time! You can always be stronger, fitter, faster, more flexible or agile. I just work on a little bit every week. I also have injuries that I have to manage, such as my torn meniscus in my knee and my lumbar scoliosis.

On genetics 

I have my Dad’s ability to build strong muscles, but my relatively petite frame is courtesy of my mother. That said, my mother is overweight and my dad fluctuates depending on what he is eating or how much he is working. Genetics gives you the blank canvas you have to work with but you decide what the painting looks like.

On training

The best way to train your body and get results is to challenge it with something new as often as possible. I do three to four sessions a week and every workout I do is different. On a good week, I also surf three to five times, jump on a bike or the cross trainer three times, walk my dog on the beach every morning and stretch every day. 

On nutrition

I have chronic gastritis, so my stomach is very touchy, but it’s like a blessing because I now eat to support my digestive system. I avoid dairy, gluten, refined sugars, caffeine, legumes and meat after 3pm. It seems like a tough meal plan at first but it actually opened up a whole new way of being for me. I’m trialling the meal plan with my clients at the moment, and I’m hoping to release the plan and a recipe book soon. 

On body image

Everyone is hard on themselves at one time or another. You need to understand the difference between wanting to be better and beating yourself up. If we didn’t expect more from ourselves then we would all be slobs, so use that motivation to get off your ass! But if you’re beating yourself up, that’s just pointless.

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Health and fitness talk with Elise Carver

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Train like a dancer with Danielle Peazer

Want gorgeous tone and unbeatable fitness levels? Try this

Looking for something new this year? It’s time to train like a dancer with pro dancer Danielle Peazer’s brand new downloadable 12-Week Body Plan. Not only has Danielle graced the stage dancing with icons like Kylie, she’s also a global Reebok ambassador, Instagram star and now Women’s Fitness cover star, too!

Dancers are renowned (and envied!) for their incredibly toned figures, but it’s not all just dancing – they train hard in the gym, too. Danielle’s Body Plan combines ballet-inspired moves with hard-hitting cardio and strength moves to bring you closer to your goals, and you’ll never get bored of the combos. You don’t have to be a dancer, or know any more about dancing than throwing shapes at the weekend, but we promise you, training like a dancer really will boost your fitness and your body.

Not only is every week on her Plan different, making sure you’re constantly challenged; there’s also exclusive weekly motivational videos from Danielle to keep you on track. And if that wasn’t enough, you’ll join thousands of others all over the world who will be tracking their progress with you with weekly medals and badges to post to Instagram. #trainlikeadancer is going to be huge in 2017.

If you need healthy-eating inspo too, look no further. The 12-Week Plan is bursting with delicious recipes for you to get your teeth into – from virtuous (and DELICIOUS) brownies, to healthy mac ‘n’ cheese – your dancer’s body will be fuelled and replenished in the tastiest way possible!

Get £10 off Danielle’s Plan In this month’s issue (March 2017) there’s an exclusive workout based on her 12-Week Plan, so be sure to get your hands on a copy.

If you want the full 12-Week Body Plan, WF readers recieve £10 off! Just use the code ‘WFXDP’ at checkout. Check out more about her Plan and get your free 7-Day Starter Pack here.

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Train like a dancer with Danielle Peazer

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Fitness Tips-Make fitness a hobby

It is rare for me to make a blanket statement when describing my clients. Although many share similar goals, all of them come from different walks of life and encounter unique challenges. However, one thing that I can say every single one of my clients has struggled with is consistency.

It seems that everyone has a story to share about a time when they “were doing awesome,” or “felt amazing.” For every positive memory there is the corresponding down-swing that played out that they are less fond of recounting. I see it as my task as a coach to help my clients appreciate the power of carefully positioning their relationship with their fitness program so that it remains enjoyable and thus they stick with it.

Have you ever considered visualizing physical fitness and clean eating/dieting as a hobby? For many the answer is no. The funny thing is that people are far more likely to participate in something that they enjoy versus something that they don’t. Specialized hobbies such as weight training, running, and nutrition, for example, require a lot of work, but as with many hobbies you will become more and more proficient with time.

When a client begins my program I often explain to them that, like most hobbies, they won’t be great from the start. I explain that like any discipline they will get better with practice and learn to appreciate each and every meal/snack and workout more and more as they have time to discover their potential. Before long my clients are able to see that their relationship with clean eating and working out has moved from something that they “have to do” to something that they are “happy to do.”

Work, on the other hand, is often dull and rarely becomes more enjoyable as you get better at it. Work is something that we often try to avoid. It doesn’t take much to find a rational distraction that we can use to get away from it. Examples of excuses that I hear all of the time include: “I don’t have the time,” or “I can’t work out at night, that’s the only time that I have to see my husband,” or “work was hard today, I will go to the gym tomorrow.”

I don’t mean to sound negative here, but I can’t express just how many times I have seen a potential client fail to realize how much they are missing out on by skipping workouts and eating poorly. As I mentioned before hobbies are enjoyable. People don’t search for excuses to rationalize getting out of a fishing trip, a shopping spree at the crafts store, or going to a Pats game. Yes, skipping your workouts and failing to plan and/or prepare meals for the week may free up several hours, but at what cost?

Workouts and clean eating reduce stress and boost virtually every aspect of your being from your health to your attitude; they are hobbies that act as life-enhancers. By making a seemingly subtle mental adjustment from “I have to exercise and eat right,” to “I am going to make a hobby out of exercising and eating right,” you may notice yourself making less excuses and possibly, just possibly, start to enjoy them as your favorite and most essential hobbies.

Coach Chris McHugh is the fitness coach and manager at Get In Shape For Women in Westwood. Please send questions, suggestions, or topic ideas to ChrismcHugh@getinshapeforwomen.com.

 

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Fitness Tips-Make fitness a hobby

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What’s your fitness age?

The researchers evaluated almost 5,000 Norwegians between the ages of 20 and 90, using mobile labs. They took about a dozen measurements, including height, body mass index, resting heart rate, HDL and total cholesterol levels. Each person also filled out a lengthy lifestyle questionnaire. Finally, each volunteer ran to the point of exhaustion on a treadmill to pinpoint his or her peak oxygen intake (VO2 max), or how well the body delivers oxygen to its cells. VO2 max has been shown in large-scale studies to closely correlate with significantly augmented life spans, even among the elderly or overweight. In other words, VO2 max can indicate fitness age.

In order to figure out how to estimate VO2 max without a treadmill, the scientists combed through the results to determine which of the data points were most useful. You might expect that the most taxing physical tests would yield the most reliable results. Instead, the researchers found that putting just five measurements — waist circumference; resting heart rate; frequency and intensity of exercise; age; and sex — into an algorithm allowed them to predict a person’s VO2 max with noteworthy accuracy, according to their study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The researchers used the data set to tabulate the typical, desirable VO2 max for a healthy person at every age from 20 to 90, creating specific parameters for fitness age. The concept is simple enough, explains Ulrik Wisloff, the director of the K. G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine at the Norwegian University and the senior author of the study. “A 70-year-old man or woman who has the peak oxygen uptake of a 20-year-old has a fitness age of 20,” he says. He has seen just this combination during his research.

The researchers have used all of this data to create an online calculator that allows people to determine their VO2 max without going to a lab. You’ll need your waist measurement and your resting heart rate. To determine it, sit quietly for 10 minutes and check your pulse; count for 30 seconds, double the number and you have your resting heart rate. Plug these numbers, along with your age, sex and frequency and intensity of exercise, into the calculator, and you’ll learn your fitness age.

The results can be sobering. A 50-year-old man, for instance, who exercises moderately a few times a week, sports a 36-inch waist and a resting heart rate of 75 — not atypical values for healthy middle-aged men — will have a fitness age of 59. Thankfully, unwanted fitness years, unlike the chronological kind, can be erased, Dr. Wisloff says. Exercise more frequently or more intensely. Then replug your numbers and exult as your “age” declines. A youthful fitness age, Dr. Wisloff says, “is the single best predictor of current and future health.”

NY Times

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What’s your fitness age?

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Fitness fanatics warned of health risks

A Hamilton-based fitness expert has warned exercise fanatics may be risking their health, if not their lives, from their obsessions with working out.

Waikato University clinical psychologist Jo Thakker’s words of caution come just over a year after 17-year-old Joshua Tanuvasa died while working out at the Les Mills Gym in Hamilton.

While his death last year on September 24 is still before the coroner, Thakker said she was worried others might also come to his fate by taking their passion too far.

There are 31 gyms listed in the Yellow Pages in Hamilton – and this number continues to grow as people turn to exercise as a way to slim down or bulk up.

Thakker said some were taking exercise too far and displaying disorder-like behaviours. She had seen several cases where young men were using supplements and then exercising excessively, some to the point of hospitalisation.

“They’re willing to risk their lives to look a certain way.”

While excessive exercise was not a recognised diagnostic category, it was an aspect of a range of eating disorders, Thakker said.

Ali Alkadhi, 26, has just competed in the National Association of Body Builders New Zealand nationals.

His rigorous training regime had been “taxing” on both his body and his mind, he said. “Each week, the calories would be reduced and cardio would be added, and as you lose body fat, your mind starts to play tricks on you,” he said.

“I lost my desire for everything. All I could think of was food.”

Alkadhi said he believed all bodybuilders had some form of obsessive compulsive disorder, as they scrutinised every inch of their body to achieve perfection.

But the mental health factor is not the only problem facing keen gym-goers.

Over-exercising can lead to injury, fatigue and your results may even go backwards. Personal trainer and nutritionist Jake Campus said that in the 10 years he had been involved in the fitness industry, he had seen many cases of people pushing themselves too hard.

It was a case of excitement about training and striving too hard to reach their goals that saw most of them getting addicted, he said.

Campus believed about 20% of gym-goers would fall into the overtraining category. This became a problem when people’s bodies were not accustomed to their workouts, which led to overuse injuries and fatigue.

First Place Fitness personal trainer Michael Briggs also saw overtraining frequently.

Briggs said he believed almost everyone who trained went though a period where they pushed themselves too hard, and part of his job was reining them back in.

“You never tell yourself that you are overtraining; someone has to tell you.

“I think the health risks of not exercising are far greater than the risks of exercising. Exercise should be part of a balanced lifestyle,” he said.

While injury was the most common danger of training too much, there were more serious things such as the potentially fatal condition rhabdomyolysis. This is a serious renal condition which is characterised by muscle cell breakdown.

As a consequence myoglobin (an oxygen transport protein) leaks into the urine, which causes problems with the kidneys.

If you or someone you know needs help with an eating disorder, contact Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand on 09 522 2679.

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Fitness fanatics warned of health risks

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Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

Vital Stats

When I first picked up weights a few years ago, maximal lifting wasn’t even on my radar. I ran around in circles with my 10-pound dumbbells, completely unaware that I was missing out on an entire world of fitness.

In the world of 1RM strength, you set specific goals and work for weeks or months to inch closer to them. You push your body to its limits to achieve a triumph that only lasts a couple of seconds. But you also get rewarded with a rush unlike anything else. It’s a great world to be a part of, and it’s changed the entire way I view health and fitness.

I wouldn’t say I’m an expert on heavy lifting—yet. But I’ve still learned some important lessons along the way, and I’m confident you’ll find them just as helpful as I did. If you’re looking to find your numbers or move them up into uncharted territory, here are five rules you need to take to heart.

1 Train Systematically

If you’re currently training in the 10-20 rep range and have limited experience with anything less—think 3-8 difficult reps—then you aren’t ready for a 1RM test. Attempting a max test when you’re mentally and physically unprepared is a bad idea. You’re just setting yourself up for failure.

I highly suggest using a program that trains specifically for the kind of intensity you’ll find in a 1RM test. I used Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 system successfully for several months before getting a more personalized powerlifting training program from the Strength Guys. Trust me, proper programming makes all the difference both in terms of performance and safety. Squatting 3 reps at 85 percent 1RM is an entirely different ballgame than doing 15 reps on the leg press. Programs like 5/3/1, the Westside System, or Stronglifts 5×5 will prepare you for the intensity that lies ahead.

If you’re unsure of your max or haven’t yet had the chance to test it, I suggest using a 1RM calculator initially. Just enter your best lift, and it does the work for you. The heavier the weight and the lower the number of reps, the more accurate the calculator is. For example, 200 pounds for 5 reps is more accurate than 150 pounds for 9 reps. Nothing is as accurate as actually getting under the bar and testing your 1RM—preferably with some supervision from somebody who’s done it many times—but, these calculators can give you a sufficient idea of what your max should be. You’ll need that number in order for the percentage-based training of strength programs to be effective.

2 Learn How To Get in the Right Headspace

Testing your 1RM requires a serious amount of intensity and concentration. You won’t be frolicking in the land of unicorns, bunnies, and rainbows here. To be honest, testing your 1RM sucks. It usually hurts physically, and it always challenges your body’s idea of what is “possible.” Putting that kind of stress on your body is more than just a physical trial, though. It’s a mental one, too. Before you step up to a barbell to try for your max lift, you need to be a master of these three skills:

Focus

If you find your mind in 35 different places and none of them are at the gym with the bar, it’s not the day to test your max. There may be no such thing as the perfect day, but there are optimal conditions that give you a shot at hitting your best numbers. You want to be present and composed with mental clarity. Your focus should be on one thing and one thing only: moving that heavy weight.

Bench Press
Visualization

Visualize yourself easily pulling your deadlift max. Then see yourself adding some more weight and pulling again with ease. Picture your bench max going up without a hitch. Visualizing not only gives your confidence a much needed boost before you tackle your lift, but it can also actually improve motor performance, making your 1RM attempt a major success.

Jamming Out

Not everybody needs music in order to get into a PR headspace, but for many of us, it’s crucial. Listening to music during a training session has been proven to improve performance; it can also be a great boost of motivation when you’re aiming to venture into uncharted waters. Some people like screamo heavy metal to get their blood pumping, and others prefer electronic music, jazz, or film soundtracks to help calm their mind and set the scene for an epic triumph. Whatever works for you, do it!

3 Embrace The Routine

Everyone has their own way of getting ready for a max. Some people do a specific number of warm-up sets, and some people listen to a particular playlist or eat a particular meal. Find a routine that works for you and stick with it. For people who haven’t yet had the chance to take a 1RM, this is what I suggest the first time around:

Warm up

An extensive warm-up process is essential to get an accurate 1RM and prevent injury. I start with some basic mobility work, taking my joints through a full range of motion, and then I move to my warm-up sets.

Get heavy slowly

Opinions vary about which rep scheme to use as you work up to a heavy weight. Your program or coach might have a specific way of doing this; if so, follow it. Here’s the routine that I like to follow when testing my max or going for a PR.

  • Bar x 10
  • 50% x 5
  • 60% x 3
  • 70% x 2
  • 80% x 1
  • 90% x 1
  • 95% x 1
  • 1RM attempt

High reps don’t have a place on max day. I want to know that I can push or pull heavy weight, which is why I perform several sets of a single rep as I get closer to my max. Each of these reps boosts my confidence and prepares me mentally and physically for the pinnacle lift.

No matter how you choose to arrange your warm-up sets, they should fully prepare your muscles, joints, and central nervous system for the lift ahead. I always leave at least 2-3 minutes of rest between my warm-sets, and then I give myself an extra minute or two as I get closer to my max attempt.

“High reps don’t have a place on max day. I want to know that I can push or pull heavy weight.”

4 Find a spotter

I like to train alone. If you see me in the gym, my headphones are usually in, my hat is down low, and I have a leave-me-alone-until-I’m-done look on my face. On max day, it’s a different story. It’s crucial that you have someone spotting your bench max, unless getting pinned under a barbell sounds like your idea of a good time.

Utilizing a spotter on squat max testing isn’t always necessary, particularly if you squat in a rack with safety bars. If I’m testing my squat, I generally use the safety bars for warm-up sets and then grab the most experienced lifter I can find to spot me for my max attempt. Pulling a random spotter off the gym floor isn’t something that I mind doing, but if this is something you’re uncomfortable doing, bring a friend you trust to put your nerves at ease. And maybe have them read up on the rules of spotting first.

There’s no way to spot a deadlift physically, since you either pull the bar off the ground or you don’t. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invite a mental or emotional spotter along for the ride. If you feel like having someone yell “light weight!” in a Ronnie Coleman voice would help you move a heavy weight, then by all means make sure they’re there!

5 Make Your PR A Lift Like Any Other

The time has come. You’ve been training for this moment for months. You’ve done your warm-up sets, you’re focused and ready, and now it’s go time. All of your prior training has led you to this moment. Scary, right?

“I’m nervous, I’m pumped, I’m motivated, and I want to do something I’ve never done before.”

I’m always a mixed bag of emotions right before my lift, but I think that’s what carries me through and gives me the best possible lift. I’m nervous, I’m pumped, I’m motivated, and I want to do something I’ve never done before. Somewhere in that mess of emotions, I usually just say “Enough! I’m ready to do this,” and then I go for it.

Aside from this inevitable dialog, though, the mechanics of a max attempt should be the same as all the other lifts you practiced up until this point. This isn’t the time to do a quarter-rep or forget to engage your lats when you deadlift. As you visualize your lift, you should be taking note of form and remembering all your normal cues. A max lift where you injure yourself in the process doesn’t count in my book.

After your initial attempt is complete, step back and assess. How do you feel? How did the lift go? Are you ready for more, or did it take everything out of you? I like to keep going until I either miss a lift or know there’s no logical way I can get that weight back up. But many people will stop after one, and that’s fine.

If you feel like you’re ready to conquer another max attempt, I suggest giving yourself 7-10 minutes of rest before you step up to the bar again. Add no more than 5-10 pounds to the bar; don’t get greedy. Even if you leave that second or third max attempt unrealized, you should feel damn good about what you accomplish!

6 Don’t Overthink It

I’m often guilty of beating myself up after the fact. Did I eat too much? Too little? Could I have done another rep? Should I have done more weight? We all do it. When you’re completely invested in something—like so many of us in the world of health and fitness are—you want to be perfect.

But when you’re waging war against big numbers and percentages, there’s nothing to be gained by harboring regrets. Nagging doubts and questions can take over your brain and prevent you from improving, but just as importantly, they can keep you from enjoying an important victory.

The best possible advice I can give you is to let go. At no time is that more crucial than during and after your 1RM attempt. If you walk up to the bar wondering if you’re going to miss, or questioning your preparation, or revisiting the failed lifts of the past, you’ve already lost. You just have to go for it.

You’re ready. It’s time to believe in yourself. Pick up that weight and show the bar who’s boss.

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All About One-Repetition-Maximum Testing

This article will explain exactly how to conduct one-repetition-maximum testing and suggest ways in which test results can be applied across a range of training objectives.

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Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Warm up, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on Iron Is A Girl’s Best Friend

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Get your best body ever with Pilates exercises

Get your best body ever with these Pilate moves tailored to your natural shape

While there no specific exercises that should or shouldn’t be performed depending on whether you have a apple, pear, hourglass or atheltic figure, there certainly are some that can help to make your workouts more effective.

Pilates can really help you to focus on specific exercises in order to enhance your particular shape, says Nadine McCann, instructor at Bootcamp Pilates (bootcamppilates.com) ‘All bodies are different and it pays to know what works for you’. Certain moves can add definition to your body and everyone can benefit from postural power of pilates. ‘Pilates is great for sculpting the body and stabilising muscles deep in the body’.

The workout is suitable for all body types, but if your short of time, just pick the exercises for your body type.

1) Toe taps (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass)

Technique:

  • Start lying on your back with legs lifted and knees bent above your hips, shins parallel to the floor and arms relaxed at your sides, palms down. Keep your lower abs engaged and your back flat on the mat.
  • Inhale, then exhale as you hinge at your hip, lowering your right leg toward the mat.
  • Inhale to return the leg to start position and change sides.
  • Alternate legs repeat 10-12 reps pm each sides, bring feet to the floor to rest.
  • Repeat for 2 sets

2) Criss- cross (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass, athletic) 

Technique:

  • Lying on your back, interlace your hands behind your head to support your head. Lift your knees and feet off the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees.
  • Inhale as you twist your ribcage to the left and extend your right leg forward.
  • Exhale as you take your body through the centre, twisting your ribcage to the right while extending your left leg to complete the exercise on the opposite side.
  • Do 6 twists alternating sides. Do 3 sets in total.

3) Glute bridge (Best for: hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  •  Lie on your back, with your knees bent. Place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, with your arms at your side.
  • Exhale as you lift your hips off the floor until your ribcage is in line with yur hips and knees. Press down evenly through both feet.
  • Inhale as you squeeze your glutes for three seconds and then exhale as you lower your hips slowly back down to the mat.
  • Do 15-20 reps, the rest pulling your knees to your chest, then repeat once more.

4) Side plank twists (Best for: apple, hourglass)

Technique:

  • Starting in a side plank poisition, with one hand directly under your shoulder, place your top hand behind your head, with yur elbow pointing straight up.
  • Inhale and twist your chest upward.
  • Exhale and rotate your chest toward the floor.
  • Do 5-8 reps per side and rest before repeating on the other side.

5) Side reach (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  • Sit with your knees bent and legs tucked behind you to the right,  supporting your weight with your left hand and keeping your arm straight,
  • Inhale to prepare. Exhale you lift your hip away from the mat, extending your top legs as your top arm reaches overhead. You’re aiming to lift your side up toward the ceiling.
  • Inhale to return to the start position.
  • Do 6-8 reps on each side and rest, before repeating the whole thing once more.

6) Swimming (Best for: apple, pear)

Technique:

  • Lie on your stomach with your forehead down and arms extended out in front. Extend your legs with your toes pointed out.
  • Focus on pressing your pelvis into the mat  while drawing your belly button away from the mat. Squeeze your inner thighs and lift your arms, legs, chest and head from the mat.
  • Inhale and exhale as normally as possible as you alternate lifting opposite arm and leg without touching the mat.
  • Count down from 10 to one then relax onto the mat to rest

7) Side-lying leg tap (Best for: hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  • In a side plank, place your top hand on your top hip to help stabilise you. Pull in your abs and lift your waist off the mat.
  • Dip your top big toe down in front of your body to tap the floor then move the foot backward over your bottom leg and tap the floor behind you.
  • Repeat for 12-15 reps each side then rest. Repeat again.

 

Excerpt from:

Pilates exercises

Posted in Aerobics, Diets, Exercises, Health Issues, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Warm up, Weight lossComments Off on Get your best body ever with Pilates exercises

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Fitness model healthy food swaps

Fitness website founder and model  //  Sporteluxe.com and biancacheah.com.au

“I eat a high-protein, low-carb diet. I don’t eat dairy foods like milk, cheese and yoghurt. Chicken and fish are my top protein picks and with them I always eat plenty of fresh vegetables – particularly the vegies in season as they are grown more naturally. I eat very little sugar and minimise intake of carbs as they make me feel bloated and lethargic.

I avoid processed foods, which really make me feel hungover. Vegies are on high rotation in my diet; the fresher the meal, the better I feel. I feel good knowing I’ve nourished my body with a huge vitamin boost, but I also believe it’s really important to allow yourself treats in moderation, otherwise abstaining can lead to binge eating. I like to snack on chocolate-covered goji berries, which are full of antioxidants.”

Cow’s milk 

»

Lactose-free almond or soy milk

Green vegies 

»

Green juices (broccoli, broccolini, spinach, cucumber)

Sugar 

»

Honey

Dried fruit  

»

Fresh fruit

White carbs 

»

Quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato

Bland food 

»

Flavoursome food (spices)

Fruit juices

»

Water

Wine

»

Biodynamic and organic red wine

Pasta

»

Steamed broccolini

Milk chocolate

»

Chocolate-covered goji berries

 

Sophie Guidolin

sophie

fitness blogger  //  sophieguidolin.com.au

“I overhauled most of my habits, which meant I cut back on sugar, reduced my intake of carbs, started avoiding processed foods, reduced my intake of preservatives, colours and additives, added more lean protein, reduced my intake of dairy foods and ate a bigger variety of vegetables.”

Liquid kilojoules (cordial, soda, milk)

»

Water

Brownies

»

Protein brownies

Flour pancakes

»

Quinoa pancakes

Cake

»

Low-carb cake (e.g. coconut flour)

White rice

»

Couscous

 

Emily Skye 

emilyskye

Fitness model  //  emilyskye.com

Taken from –

Fitness model healthy food swaps

Posted in Bodybuilding, Health Issues, Nutrition, Personal Fitness Training, Sports nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on Fitness model healthy food swaps

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