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Brooke Stacey’s total body workout

This total body workout is as much about balance and coordination training as it is about building strength. This means you not only train the whole body, but you also make your entire body a stronger and more cohesively functioning machine. Try to put as much power as you can behind each compound movement to get your heart pumping.

Words/workout: Brooke Stacey (pictured)

Photography: James Patrick

 Perform each exercise for 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps in each set (or on each leg).

Step-Up with overhead press

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1.Stand on the floor behind your step with weights held at your sides.

2. Step right foot on to bench and squeeze glute of back leg as it lifts behind you. While body is lifting up, press weights overhead.

3.  Step down to start position and lower weights back to sides. Switch feet and repeat.

 Walking lunge with bicep curl

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1. Stand upright, feet together, holding a dumbbell by your sides.

2. Take a controlled step forward with your left leg, keeping your elbows close to the body.  Lower hips toward the floor and bend both knees (almost at 90-degree angles). The back knee should come close but never touch the ground. Your front knee should be directly over the ankle, and the back knee should be pointing down toward the floor.

3. Push off with your right foot and bring it forward, raising your leg, curling the dumbbells to your shoulders, then lowering the dumbbells to your side. This completes 1 rep.

4. Next, step forward and repeat with the right leg.

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Brooke Stacey’s total body workout

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How to fast-track fat loss

To fast-track coveted progress such as greater fat loss, Tramontana says you need to get back to basics.

Cardio is not ‘hardio’

With a combination of higher intensity interval training (HIIT), low-intensity steady state (LISS) training, body weight training sessions and a nutritious diet, Tramontana ensures his clients are given the best formula for their body.

“My cardiovascular programming is based around a 75/25 split of LISS and HIIT. So based on the available amount of time for a client to add in cardio on top of resistance training would determine the amount of each they conducted,” he says.

Here’s what your cardio program could look like:

2 hours per week for cardio training = 30 minutes of HIIT over two to three days + 90 minutes of LISS over one to two sessions.

Be wary, if HIIT was all you did, you may encounter the downside of too much stress on your body, which can ironically turn HIIT into a fat retention tactic.

So what about weight training?

“For fat loss, I structure everything around two to three full bodyweight training sessions – two sessions based on linear periodisation macro cycle of 16-to-24 week programming, altered every four to six weeks,” he explains.

Translation? A program that begins by incorporating high-volume and low intensity weight training, and progressively moves into phases when the volume decreases and intensity increases.  Tramontana is a strong advocate for women to hit up the weights rack, “I find a lot of women are lifting nowhere near their capacity. Don’t be shy to lift heavy weights and test your ability regularly.”

The importance of rest

All this talk of intensity may have you thinking full pelt should be the only gear you work in, but without adequate recovery, you may be undermining your fat loss chances at the dumbbells. Both injury and overt fatigue can see you performing at less than 100 per cent over multiple sessions.

“Recovery begins with the post-workout meal. I advise at least 25 to 50 per cent of overall carbohydrates be included in this meal – either using complex carbohydrate sources or a combination of simple and complex carbs,” says Tramontana. “I also recommend at least one body therapy session per week.”

Think physiotherapy, massage, sauna, steam, floating, dry needling, sleep in, meditation, yoga, grounding – or something as simple as reading a book.

How to fuel your body with the right food

For Tramontana, eating for fat loss should focus on controlling hunger, which translates to better portion control and craving management.

“I ask that protein be included in every meal upon waking, generally an even or slightly escalating amount each meal depending again on habits and hunger patterns,” he says.

“For fat loss, I personally urge the exclusion of high-energy carbs even post workout – with the exception of competitors in the later stage of preparation.”

Supplementation may also give you an edge in the health and results stakes. Depending on your goals and needs, Tramontana advises the use of creatine, glutamine, vitamin C, branch chain amino acids, fish oils, whey protein, vitamin D, magnesium, zinc and a good-quality greens supplement to aid recovery, general wellbeing and lean muscle growth.

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How to fast-track fat loss

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Strike a balance with this Inner thigh exercise

Want to boost gym performance? It’s time to balance out your intense workouts with a good old dance-inspired stretch

Blocking out the time to really delve into a stretching session can seem hard to justify if your busy schedule already makes squeezing workouts in difficult.

But if you’ve found yourself hitting a wall when it comes to results, or you’re constantly plagued by niggling injuries, it might just be what the doctor ordered. US-based Lastics has taken inspo from the long, lean and limber bodies of dancers to come up with classes and online videos to help regular gym-goers get the most out of their workouts. ‘Dancers epitomise the balance between strength and flexibility to the extreme,’ says Lastics founder Donna Flagg. ‘Their bodies are graceful, sculpted and powerful.’

Rather than overhauling your entire workout routine to emulate that of a ballerina, Lastics instead allows you to simply take a leaf out of their book, providing stretching-focused classes to help you develop an improved range of motion. This is essential to anyone who’s looking to prevent injuries, boost conditioning and balance out strength training – as well as achieve a slender silhouette. ‘Lastics enhances all other activities, improves posture and circulation and gives you more freedom to move in your body,’ Donna adds. So if you’re intrigued by the slenderness and strength of a dancer but don’t necessarily have any goals to make it as one (bar the occasional tear-up on the dance floor on a Friday night), this is the perfect middle ground.

If you’re interested in subscribing to Lastics, trying out the DVD or even just having a taster of what it might be like, give this workout a go. Donna has devised it especially to supplement WF’s workouts, but it’s a wise and healthy addition to any active woman’s weekly routine. It can even be added to the end of a workout if you don’t want to dedicate an entire session to it.

How to do it

Breathe into the stretch and release when the body starts to resist. Then take a few breaths and release deeper into the stretch on each exhale. Repeat as desired.

Technique

Sit in a straddle and let your head hang between your legs, rounding your back. Release any tension you may be holding.

After you’ve been hanging there totally relaxed, reach your nose a little closer to the floor. Hold your upper body where it is and press the backs of your knees down into the floor.

Hold your body and knees in place and flex your feet, making sure your knees don’t pop back up.

Finally, hold all of that and lift your chin to flatten your back. Hold for a few seconds.

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Strike a balance with this Inner thigh exercise

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Your bikini body plan!

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Click Here!

The 12-week Body Plan will have you feeling and looking amazing this Summer.

PT and Instagram star @EmFurey has developed 12 weeks of awesome workouts that will get you in great shape and leave you feeling stronger, fitter and more confident and looking fierce. Combined with the seriously tasty and healthy mix and match eating plan from our nutritionist and foodie experts and you’ll be well on your way to the best summer ever!

So, if you want to feel amazing buy the plan now it’s a steal at only £24.99 for 12 weeks of hard-hitting workouts and delicious healthy recipes!

Below are just a few of the great comments we’ve received about the plan, plus a seriously fab review pitching the plan up there above Kayla’s. So, what are you waiting for – get your summer body started now and buy the plan here.

I honestly LOVE THIS PLAN. I used to feel so confused as what to do at the gym. Should I do HIIT? Should I lift heavy? I started to hate the gym (SO unlike me) and often left feeling like I shouldn’t have even bothered going. But Emily’s plans are amazing. They combine strength and HIIT training. It’s all planned out for you. She leaves space to CREATE YOUR OWN GOALS based on strength rather than aesthetics – IT’S SO POSITIVE! I love it!
10/10 Georgina

Super easy to download! Not too much information is thrown at you! EASY AND AFFORDABLE RECIPES that people can have time to cook and prepare! EASILY LAID OUT AND REALLY LIKE THE STYLE!
9/10 Saffron

I found it EASIER TO STICK TO THAN OTHER PROGRAMS
 BUT STILL TOUGH! It’s easy to t into your schedule and builds up strength progressively.
10/10 Sandrine

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Your bikini body plan!

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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.

See more here –

Train like a dancer with Danielle Peazer

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Booty-building with trainer Tahlia Seinor

Given the glutes’ lack of use during our day-to-day life, Seinor suggests working them every time you are in the gym – either in isolation or as part of your leg training or full body workout of that day.

“My girls are also instructed to complete sets of glute bridges every night before bed,” says Seinor. “If you don’t use it, you lose it. But also be sure to listen to your body and never overdo it.”

Seinor suggests varying your training to ensure all areas of the glute muscle are hit during exercise.

“There is no ideal training protocol for glute development, as they contain both fast- and slow-twitch muscle fibres. Developing both types requires a variety of training intensities, including low reps and heavier weights, and high repetitions with lighter weights,” says Seinor. “The glutes are a major muscle group in the body, so don’t be afraid to set the weight high.”

And on the ‘ass-to-grass’ debate, Seinor says to keep squatting low.

“Partial-range training has its benefits, but when it comes to gluteal development, you should perform exercises throughout a full range of motion,” she says.

“If exercises such as back squats, deadlifts, split squats and step-ups are executed with limited range, it could create structural imbalances that can adversely affect posture and athletic performance.”

 

Her sessions are all individual but her methods strongly follow that of Charles Poliquin. Feel free to add this to your training regime either as a whole program or worked in with your other exercises.

Rotate Day 1 and 2 throughout the week so you are completing it five to six times.

Tempo guideline:

keytempo

DAY 1

A) Wide Stance Squats

5 sets of 6 to 10 reps with a tempo of 4010. 3-minute rest between sets.

B) Reverse Hypers

3 sets of 10 to 12 reps with a tempo of 20X0. 2-minute rest between sets.

C) 45-degree back extension 

2 sets of 20 to 25 reps with a tempo of 10X0. 1-minute rest between sets.

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Booty-building with trainer Tahlia Seinor

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Warm upComments Off on Booty-building with trainer Tahlia Seinor

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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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Ryan Hughes’ Power Pecs Chest Workout

 

Back when I only had 135 pounds on my 6-foot-1 frame, I had to deal with the usual labels: ectomorph, hardgainer, skinny kid. I didn’t care for those words then, and I don’t like them any better now.

I used weights to change my physique. I love to train heavy, I love to move quickly, and I love the pump I get from high volume. I put all three of these elements into each workout I do, and I couldn’t ask for better results.

Today’s chest workout is no different. It combines a fast pace to keep your heart rate up, high volume for an insane pump, and heavy weights to make you stronger.

When you put each of these pieces together, you end up with a max-effort workout that will challenge all aspects of your fitness level.

Let’s get it done!

Power Pecs
Watch The Video – 11:11

One of the toughest aspects of this workout is the mental game. Your body will always have that extra rep, or that extra set, but you have to find the mental energy to get it done. I may not be the biggest or strongest guy in the gym, but I guarantee no one can outwork me.

If you’ve never done this type of training before, you might find it difficult. If you fail, put the weight down and give yourself a little break before you finish the set. You want the shortest rest periods possible, but do whatever you need to get the work done. Never give up on a set.

A lot of guys tell me that they want to build the best physique ever. I think that’s the wrong approach. Don’t focus on being the best ever, focus on building your best physique ever.

Max out what you can do. If you constantly compare yourself to everyone else, you’ll sell yourself short. Hit this workout with all you’ve got and reap the personal rewards.

Program Notes

Incline dumbbell press

I like to do a couple warm-up sets before starting the first heavy set. Don’t go too heavy on the warm-up because you’ll wear yourself out. Eighty total reps is a lot of reps, so you have to keep an eye on muscular endurance. This is a chest marathon.

I start with 75-pound dumbbells for the first warm-up set and then go up to 85 pounds for the second. When I start my working sets, I go up to 100 pounds. Don’t worry about what I’m doing, though. Pick a weight that’s challenging for you.

This style of training is mentally draining. Dig deep and do your best on those last couple sets. If you need to rest-pause to hit the total rep count, do it, but make sure you finish every single rep.

Hammer strength chest press

You can do these with whatever grip you prefer. Challenge yourself with the weight and then increase it every set. You might feel like you’ll never get those target reps, but trust me—I’ve been doing this long enough. One way or another, the reps will come.

Hammer Strength Chest Press

 

Reverse-grip barbell bench press

Use lighter weight for this exercise and focus on the contraction—squeeze on each and every rep. You want to push until you can’t go anymore. Crush the barbell with your grip and engage your mind-muscle connection.

If you fail on this exercise, don’t panic. Let the weight briefly sit on your chest, reverse your grip back to normal, and press the bar back up.

Pec deck

Make sure you don’t round your shoulders forward: Keep your chest high and maintain a good arch in your lower back. Focus entirely on the chest and squeeze.

Pec Deck

 

Incline dumbbell flye

Get as much as you can out of this exercise. Stretch nice and wide at the bottom of each rep, and squeeze at the top for a full contraction. Don’t go too heavy or you’ll round your shoulders forward. Keep the tension entirely on your upper chest.

High cable flyes

We’re doing 100 total reps, so do as many reps as you can per set and as many sets as you need to get to 100 reps. I usually do four sets of 25 reps.

High Cable Flyes

At the end of the workout, you’ll be exhausted. You may want to give up and walk out. But at the end of the day, you always have those extra reps and extra sets in you. Leave them in the gym.

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About The Author

Ryan Hughes was one of the first men to qualify as an IFBB Physique Pro. He works as a personal trainer and fitness model in New York City

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Ryan Hughes’ Power Pecs Chest Workout

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Uncategorized, Warm upComments Off on Ryan Hughes’ Power Pecs Chest Workout

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Follow these easy Bum Exercises #GluteGains

Buns of steel aren’t the only benefits of this workout from Insta-star Zanna van Dijk. Expect to radiate confidence, too

Looking at Zanna van Dijk’s Instagram feed, you’d think that she’s lived and breathed fitness her whole life. 

But what makes the health and fitness blogger, Instagrammer and all-round ‘influencer’ so relatable is that she really is just like the rest of us. ‘I actually hated exercise at school and would find any excuse to avoid PE,’ she reveals to WF in an exclusive interview. ‘I only started getting into it at university. I heard about the benefits of eating well and training and decided to give it a shot.’ And if you thought she took to it like a duck to water, think again. Like the rest of us, Zanna made mistakes along the way. Now? She’s a full-time fitness professional working as a personal trainer – not to mention one of the most popular health and fitness bloggers and Instagrammers out there, with 115,000 followers and counting. She puts her success down to passion, consistency and realness: ‘I have a no-nonsense approach to social media, fitness and life,’ she says. ‘There’s no smoke and mirrors and I’m very honest about my lifestyle.’

For anyone who’s kept their ear to the ground with fitness trends for a while now, it’s impossible not to have noticed the fast pace at which the industry has changed since the rise of social media.

Trends come and go – but it seems that bloggers and influencers are definitely having their time. Zanna is riding the wave better than any of them, proven by the launch of #GirlGains – an online community she co-founded with fellow social media influencers Tally Rye and Victoria Spence.

‘It’s for women who are interested in bettering themselves in all areas of their lives, not just fitness,’ explains Zanna. ‘We educate, empower and inspire women to be healthy, happy and confident, to look after themselves and to love themselves.’ And judging by the turnout at their events, the number of followers they have on Instagram and the use of their hashtag #GirlGains, they’re doing just that.

For someone as driven as Zanna, though, that’s still not enough.

‘We’d like to see #GirlGains spread across the world, to reach as many women as possible and to be able to have a positive impact on their self-worth, ambition and happiness.’

 

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Follow these easy Bum Exercises #GluteGains

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Weight lossComments Off on Follow these easy Bum Exercises #GluteGains

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The fit lifestyle with Cassey Ho

Tired of starting a diet every summer of every other Monday? We chat to blogger Cassey Ho about how she stays fit and healthy all year round. Take note.

Aim for balance with food: I allow myself a YOLO (you only live once) meal once or twice a week. But the rest of the time I eat clean, enjoying lots of plant foods, fresh produce, grass-fed meats, wholegrains and unsweetened beverages. I try to eat carbs, protein and healthy fats at every meal to keep me full and energised. The one thing I minimise is dairy – it makes my skin break out. I also avoid foods high in sodium, saturated or unhealthy fats, chemicals and preservatives, additives and colours.

Lose the rules: Going on diets or strict meal plans just doesn’t work for me. I always crave the foods I’m missing out on, and once that ‘diet’ is over, I want to binge on the foods I was restricting. Over time, I’ve learned to eat in a balanced way – that way I no longer have crazy cravings for junk food that cause me to binge and feel guilty.

Avoid extremes: When I was prepping for my bikini competition several years ago, I was put on this crazy diet of only eating about 1000-to-1200 calories (around 4, 200kJ) a day while I was working out for four hours a day! As a result I felt tired, irritable, angry and frustrated. My mind was foggy and I couldn’t concentrate. I was labelling food as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ and felt like I was trapped in food jail. For eight to 10 weeks I endured this crazy plan. I did the bikini competition with my new, lean body, and then I decided to go back to ‘normal-healthy’. But when I tried to introduce a variety of foods back into my diet, like brown rice, quinoa and different types of protein, my body did not like that at all. It acted like a sponge, soaking everything up. 

For the next three years, I gradually gained weight. And there was nothing I could do to stop it. During this time, I was still working out really hard for about one hour a day, but my body just didn’t respond. It rebelled. It was seriously frustrating because in my mind, I was doing everything right. Diet and exercise should equal weight loss or at least weight maintenance. But because of the damage and stress that I put my body under during that bikini prep, my hormones became unbalanced and I am still getting back to normal.

Aim for more sleep and less stress: I learned a lot from my bikini comp experience. Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases when you significantly lower your kilojoules, over-exercise and/or don’t have enough sleep. And cortisol plays a role in increasing abdominal fat, more specifically, lower-belly fat. This stress also decreases leptin, the hormone that controls your appetite. So you feel extra hungry all the time and it’s likely that you may crave those carbs and high-fat foods. That’s exactly what happened to me. Getting enough sleep, eating sufficient kilojoules and taking time to de-stress and relax are really important for your waistline and wellbeing.

Treat yourself: When you deprive yourself of cake or ice-cream, you start to think about them all the time and that leads to bingeing. Instead, I allow myself treats – in moderation. And because I know I can have them from time to time, I don’t crave them or eat more of them than I should.

Focus on health, not weight: I rarely step on the scales anymore because I know that my weight does not tell me how strong or fast I am. When I’m at my healthiest, I can tell by how I feel. When I am consistent with my diet and workouts, I am happy, motivated and energised. When I start to feel sluggish and drained, I know that my eating habits may be off and my workouts aren’t as routine – so I address that.

Use the seasons: What I love about the changing seasons is that they allow me to prepare myself for fresh beginnings four times a year. So with each season I see a chance to refocus and find a new rhythm and routine to optimise my health goals. I also try to rediscover delicious seasonal flavours to keep my clean-eating habits on track.

See the original article here –

The fit lifestyle with Cassey Ho

Posted in Bodybuilding, Diets, Exercises, Health Issues, Nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on The fit lifestyle with Cassey Ho

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