Archive | January, 2018

wf-dumbbells

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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Image 1109-kettlebell.jpg

The Workout Plan to Lose 15 Pounds

Plenty of people are perpetually unhappy with their weight.

Even these folks wouldn’t be considered obese, per se, they might just have enough extra pounds to be considered overweight.

But we have good news. Whether your spare tire is a result of holiday overeating or some long-term unhealthy habits, you can beat those last 15lbs by following a killer workout plan. We consulted with Andrew Borsellino, C.S.C.S., co-founder of Precision Sports Performance, and Thomas King, C.S.C.S., strength and conditioning coach with JK Conditioning, to build the ultimate workout routine to get you confident and shredded in two months.

But if you’ve been fit in the past and know the ropes around the gym and want to go it alone, our simple plan will help you get off on the right foot.

 “When getting started, make sure you start the right type of program,” says Borsellino. “If you get going on a program that is way too intense right off the bat, it may keep you from continuing and reaching your goals.”

Furthermore, if you’re unprepared for a high-intensity workout program, you could potentially be walking the path to injury. At the same time, starting a workout program that’s too easy or not stimulating could just lead to boredom—and boredom makes you more likely to quit.

King adds: “In my experience, the easiest way to sneak fat loss work into your routine is through the use of circuits and complexes. Nobody really wants to spend an hour running on a treadmill when you could be doing more engaging exercises like kettlebell swings, thrusters, and squats. I also like to include at least one more traditional strength training day per week. It allows for recovery from the demanding circuits and the lower reps will help preserve muscle tissue during the fat-loss stage.”

THE WORKOUT

The following workout program, which comes courtesy of King, incorporates three workouts per week: two days of circuit training and one day of strength training. Perform these workouts on nonconsecutive days for eight weeks. Before each session, do a light warmup that includes aerobic exercise (like walking on the treadmill for 5-10 minutes) and dynamic mobility work (like banded shoulder dislocations and rotational hip dislocations).

INSTRUCTIONS

Day 1 circuit: Perform one set of each exercise before resting. After you have completed one full round, rest for two minutes and start again. The goal is to complete five rounds as quickly as possible. For an added challenge, time yourself and see how you progress as you move through the eight-week program.

Day 2 strength workout: The strength day will stick to the basic lifts and pair two complementary movements as a superset. Perform exercises in the same superset (marked A and B), then rest 1½-2 minutes. Repeat for the prescribed number of sets.

Day 3 circuit: The second circuit incorporates a dumbbell complex. Choose a dumbbell weight you can use for all the exercises, and be sure to do each exercise without putting the dumbbells down. If that’s not difficult enough, after each complex, row 100 meters as quickly as possible. Complete five rounds of this circuit in as little time as possible. Time yourself and see how you progress over the next eight weeks.

EXERCISE 1

KETTLEBELL SWING You’ll need: KettlebellsHow to

Kettlebell Swing thumbnail
4sets
20reps
rest

EXERCISE 2

PLYOMETRIC PUSHUP

plyometric pushup thumbnail
5sets
10reps
rest

EXERCISE 3

SEATED CABLE ROW You’ll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle AttachmentHow to

Seated Cable Row thumbnail
5sets
10 repsreps
rest

EXERCISE 4

OVERHEAD BARBELL PRESS You’ll need: BarbellHow to

Overhead Barbell Press thumbnail
5sets
10 repsreps
rest

EXERCISE 5

AIRDYNE BIKEHow to

5sets
2 caloriesreps
rest

DAY 2 WORKOUTStrength

EXERCISE 1A.

ROMANIAN DEADLIFT You’ll need: BarbellHow to

Romanian Deadlift thumbnail
4sets
3reps
0 sec rest

EXERCISE 1B

BARBELL OVERHEAD PRESS

Overhead Press thumbnail
3sets
8reps
90-120rest

EXERCISE 2A.

BARBELL SQUAT You’ll need: BarbellHow to

Man Barbell Squat thumbnail
4sets
3reps
0 sec rest

EXERCISE 2B.

CHINUP You’ll need: Pullup BarHow to

Chinup thumbnail
3sets
8reps
90-120 secrest

EXERCISE 3A.

DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS You’ll need: Bench, DumbbellsHow to

Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
3sets
6reps
0 sec rest

EXERCISE 3B

30-DEGREE INCLINE DUMBBELL ROW You’ll need: BenchHow to

30-Degree Incline Dumbbell Row thumbnail
3sets
15reps
90-120 rest
Perform on incline bench

DAY 3 WORKOUTCircuit

EXERCISE 1

DUMBBELL FRONT SQUAT You’ll need: DumbbellsHow to

Dumbbell Front Squat thumbnail
5sets
10reps
0 sec rest

EXERCISE 2

DUMBBELL BENTOVER ROW You’ll need: DumbbellsHow to

Dumbbell Bentover Row thumbnail
5sets
10 (each arm)reps
0 secrest

EXERCISE 3

DUMBBELL THRUSTER You’ll need: DumbbellsHow to

Dumbbell Thruster thumbnail
5sets
10reps
0 secrest

EXERCISE 4

RENEGADE ROWYou’ll need: DumbbellsHow to

Renegade Row thumbnail
5sets
10 each arm reps
0 secrest

EXERCISE 5

ROWING MACHINEHow to

Rowing Machine thumbnail
5sets
100 meter sprint for timereps
0 sec rest

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Booty blast

Want to look good in your summer jeans? Look no further…

Struggling to lose those last few inches? Cheat! This routine slims your thighs and adds definition to your figure.

Women are pre-disposed to lay down fat on their lower body for fertility. The good news is, this fat is not as dangerous for your health as fat around your middle, and the even better news is there are plenty of great exercises to help reduce it.

The following exercises, combined with your cardiovascular workouts, will help lift your bottom, slim your hips and tone and define your thighs.

 

Booty blast

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Strength building core finisher workout

The core includes all of the abs (deep and superficial) in addition to the muscles of the hips and lower back. These four exercises are designed to target as much of the core as possible. When combined with the flexion, extension and rotation exercises in the DB Complex and HIIT workout, you have a very comprehensive workout plan.

Where possible, think of squeezing the inner thighs together and drawing the pelvic floor in and up (think holding your pee mid-flow) – this is the most surefire way to activate the midline and the ‘lazier’ lower and deep transverse abdominals.

We don’t just want a washboard stomach on the outside, we want a corset on the inside.

You can do the exercises in any order but I like to start with the lower abs (reverse crunches) and finish with a neutral spine (reinforcing correct posture for the day).

Reps: 20 of each

Progression:

Week 1: 1 set | Week 2: 2 sets

Week 3: 3 sets | Week 4: 4 sets

Reverse Crunch x 20

core-finisher-crunch.jpg

Lying on your back, lift your legs in the air with your knees slightly bent. Place your hands on the floor beside you. Without momentum, use your lower abs to slowly curl the hips off the floor as if you want to touch your toes to the ceiling. Slowly lower them back to the starting position. This is one rep.

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Sit down on the mat with your knees bent, your hands hugging your knees and lift your feet off the floor. Open your arms, extend your legs as long and as low as possible without arching your back. Lift your torso, bend your knees, and return to the starting position

core-finisher-wipers.jpg

Lie on your back and raise your legs 90 degrees. Spread your arms straight out to your sides for support. Rotate your legs to one side, stopping short of touching the floor. Rotate to the other side. Try and reach the top hip on the rotation while keeping the opposite shoulder on the ground to make sure you’re not only working the abs but getting a great stretch through the upper (thoracic spine). As you improve, bring your arms closer in to your body so they offer less stability

Plank-Ups x 12

 

core1-finisher-plank-ups.jpg

 

 

The goal is to maintain a solid plank position throughout the whole exercise and to not let your hips sway. Start on your elbows and toes. Keep your hips as still as possible, push up with one hand, then the other, until you are propped up in a push-up position. Lower back down to your elbows one arm at a time. Halfway through, change your leading arm so you strengthen the other shoulder as you press up to your hands. Note: hand placement should be where your elbows were – don’t cheat the movement by just trying to straighten your arm.

Models/Trainers: Alexa Towersey (@actionalexa) &
Jenna Douros (@jennalouise_jl)

Photographer: Jason Lee // @jasonminilee

Wearing: Douros – P.E. Nation // Towersey – Heroine Sport
(shoes by Athletic Propulsion Labs) via Stylerunner

 

Strength building core finisher workout

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Image shoulder-front-raise.jpg

Strengthening shoulder workout

For all the girls carrying the world on their shoulders, Karey Northington provides an epic upper body circuit designed to build strength and create some serious shape.

The why

This workout is a fantastically efficient time saver that hits the deltoid from multiple angles, creating beautifully sculpted shoulders. Using dumbbells, the body bar and the plate help vary the muscles used and make the workout convenient to do almost anywhere. With today’s busy schedules, it’s crucial to have at-home options that save a trip to the gym.

The do

Complete 12 reps of each exercise one after the other, with little to no rest in between. Begin with two rounds, working your way up to four rounds as you become stronger and fitter. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds between each round.

Start by holding the body bar with a pronated grip and hands shoulder width apart, elbows slightly bent. Raise bar to chin height engaging anterior deltoid. Control bar back to start position.

Dumbbell shoulder press

 shoulder-press-up.jpg

Lift dumbbells and rotate hands so palms are facing up. Start with dumbbells even with your ears and press overhead without letting the dumbbells touch. Return to start position and repeat.

shoulder-lateral-side-raise.jpg

Hold dumbbells at sides, palms facing your body and elbows slightly bent. Raise arms leading with your elbow and small finger to shoulder height. Lower slowly to starting position and repeat

shoulder-workout-bus-driver.jpg

Holding a plate on each side, raise to chin height and rotate plate from side to side. Lower and repeat.

Tip: challenge yourself by doing 12 front raises alone with the plate to pre-fatigue the muscles, and then holding the plate in the top position to complete reps rotating the plate.

shoulderworkout-last-image.jpg

Start in a low plank position on your forearms, with your feet shoulder width apart and your lower back flat. Push your body up into a high plank position, first onto your right hand then onto your left. Lower yourself back down to the low plank position one arm at a time.  Repeat, alternating which arm pushes up first.

Model/Workout: Karey Northington // northingtonfitnessandnutrition.com

Photography: James Patrick // jamespatrick.com

Strengthening shoulder workout

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The Ultimate Upper-body Workout Routine

Each and every one of us steps foot into the gym because we want to improve our physical selves.

While we all might have different goals, the same theme exists for all of us…progression. Now, there are a few guys out there that get to lift heavy weights for a living. Perhaps they’ve been lucky enough to gain major sponsorship or have lucrative contracts with a magazine and/or sports supplement manufacturer. These guys “get paid” to workout, so for them the gym is their office.

For most of us, however, we can’t afford to build our lives around the gym, but must fit the gym into our lives. Between work, family, friends, and errands, we’re lucky to find just 3-4 days per week to train for perhaps 60-90 minutes at a time. Thus, it’s important that every moment we spend fighting the resistance of dumbbells, barbells, cables, or machines be used with maximum efficiency. That means choosing the “best bang for your buck exercises” that yield optimal muscle-building results in a minimum amount of time.

Below (the exercises) are the two workouts that will help you craft a strong and sculpted upper body. Perform each one once a week for optimal results.

THE EXERCISES

Bench Press

  • Quick Tip: For maximum stimulation of the chest, position your torso on the bench with a slight arch in the lower back; the ribcage held high; and the shoulders shrugged back and downward.

Incline DB Press

  • Quick Tip: Vary the incline of the bench workout-to-workout or set-to-set from 30° to 45° to 60° to target different motor unit pools.

Wide-Grip Pullup

  • Quick Tip: Vary grip widths and the angle of the torso when pulling to effectively stimulate all areas of the back musculature.

Underhand Grip BB Bent Row

  • Quick Tip: Keep the torso bent at an angle of about 75° and pull the bar into the lower abdomen to best stimulate the belly of the lats.

Seated BB Military Press

  • Quick Tip: Use a bench with back support and keep your torso upright throughout the set (leaning back engages too much upper pecs). Bring the bar just below the chin before driving it back to the top.

Shoulder-Width Grip BB Upright Row

  • Quick Tip: Raise the bar to a level at which the upper arms are parallel to the floor. At the top, the hands should be lower than the elbows to best stimulate the shoulders.

Triceps Dip

  • Quick Tip: To keep chest activation to a minimum and target more triceps activation, make sure your torso remains upright throughout the set. Lower yourself to the point where your upper arms are parallel with the floor.

Partial Rack Deadlift

  • Quick Tip: For complete back development, vary the range-of-motion from just above knee-height to as low as the mid-shins. It is best to stick with one range-of-motion per workout.

One-Arm DB Row

  • Quick Tip: Keep your upper body parallel to the floor throughout the set. As you raise the DB, keep the elbow close to the body and do not allow the elbow to go higher than the height of your torso.

Incline BB Press

  • Quick Tip: Use the same torso position that was mentioned above for the bench press. Lower the bar to the top of the chest, just below the chin.

Chest Dip

  • Quick Tip: Keep your torso leaning forward throughout the set to more strongly engage the pecs. Lower yourself to a point where you can feel a slight stretch in the chest before pushing back to the top. To keep more tension on the pecs, do not lockout.

Seated DB Press

  • Quick Tip: To put the greatest emphasis on the anterior delts, press the DB’s with the palms facing each other. To work the anterior delts but also bring the lateral heads greatly into play, press with the elbows held back in line with the torso and palms facing forward.

Close-Grip BB Upright Row

  • Quick Tip: Take a grip on a BB with your hands spaced about 6″ apart. Raise the bar to about the height of your chin to bring the mid and upper traps into play along with the anterior delts.

Close-Grip Pullup

  • Quick Tip: Take a slightly less than shoulder-width grip on the pullup bar. Lift your body up to a point where you feel your biceps are fully contracted, while focusing on keeping lats activation to a minimum. Lower yourself to a point where there is still a slight bend in the elbows to keep tension on the biceps.

WORKOUT 1

EXERCISE 1

BARBELL BENCH PRESSYou’ll need: Barbell, BenchHow to

Barbell Bench Press thumbnail
4sets
14, 10, 8, 6reps
rest

EXERCISE 2

WARRIOR FIT INCLINE DUMBBELL BENCH PRESSYou’ll need: Bench, DumbbellsHow to

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
3sets
10, 8, 6reps
rest

EXERCISE 3

WIDE-GRIP PULLUPYou’ll need: Pullup BarHow to

Wide-Grip Pullup thumbnail
3sets
Maxreps
rest

EXERCISE 4

UNDERHAND-GRIP BARBELL BENT ROW

exercise image placeholder
3sets
12, 10, 8reps
rest

EXERCISE 5

SEATED BARBELL SHOULDER PRESSYou’ll need: Barbell, BenchHow to

Seated Barbell Shoulder Press thumbnail
3sets
10, 8, 6reps
rest
Perform seated.

EXERCISE 6

BARBELL UPRIGHT ROWYou’ll need: BarbellHow to

Barbell Upright Row thumbnail
2sets
10, 8reps
rest
Shoulder-width grip.

EXERCISE 7

BODYWEIGHT DIPYou’ll need: Dip StationHow to

Bodyweight Dip thumbnail
3sets
Max repsreps
rest

WORKOUT 2

EXERCISE 1

PARTIAL RACK DEADLIFT

4sets
14, 10, 8, 6reps
rest

EXERCISE 2

DUMBBELL BENTOVER ROWYou’ll need: DumbbellsHow to

Dumbbell Bentover Row thumbnail
3sets
10, 8, 6reps
rest

EXERCISE 3

INCLINE BARBELL BENCH PRESSYou’ll need: Barbell, BenchHow to

Incline Barbell Bench Press thumbnail
3sets
10, 8, 6reps
rest

EXERCISE 4

BODYWEIGHT DIPYou’ll need: Dip StationHow to

Bodyweight Dip thumbnail
3sets
Max repsreps
rest
Bodyweight chest dip.

EXERCISE 5

SEATED DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS

Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press thumbnail
3sets
10, 8, 6reps
rest

EXERCISE 6

BARBELL UPRIGHT ROWYou’ll need: BarbellHow to

Barbell Upright Row thumbnail
2sets
12, 10reps
rest
Close grip

EXERCISE 7

GENERAL PULLUPYou’ll need: Pullup BarHow to

Pullup thumbnail
3sets
Max repsreps
rest
Close-grip

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The Ultimate Upper-body Workout Routine

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Image Steve-Kuclo-Preacher-Biceps-Curl-Machine-1109.jpg

What it takes to become a professional bodybuilder, according to Steve Kuclo

Do you dream of getting paid to train and pose onstage? If so, you’ll want to heed IFBB pro Steve Kuclo’s advice.

As a kid growing up in St. Clair Shores, MI, Steve Kuclo would flip through the pages of FLEX and Muscle & Fitness magazines looking for workout programs and lifting tips to help him gain strength and size. “I’ve always loved competing, and I played a lot of sports growing up,” says Kuclo, who after two years of studying at the University of Michigan decided to change directions and become a full-time firefighter. About this time Kuclo also developed an itch to get onstage as a bodybuilder. After a few years of competing as an amateur, Kuclo, then 25, turned pro in 2011 at the NPC USAs. But he still had financial responsibilities, which meant he had to continue to juggle being a firefighter with his career as an IFBB pro—until last year.

 Like many top names in the industry, Kuclo uses the name recognition, income from sponsorships (he’s currently sponsored by AllMax Nutrition), and earnings from bodybuilding competitions as a platform to pursue other things. His biggest venture right now is a clothing company, Booty Queen Apparel, which he runs with his wife, IFBB bikini pro Amanda Latona-Kuclo. And being a body- builder, entrepreneur, and a dutiful husband means he “pretty much has three full-time jobs,” he says.

We’ll focus on one—being an IFBB pro bodybuilder. Think you have what it takes?

ON THE JOBThe lifestyle of an IFBB pro is a 24/7 grind—your training, nutrition, and sleep quality all have to be on point. Otherwise, your odds of flexing your way to glory are dismal at best. If you’re up for it, here’s what you can expect, according to Kuclo (Instagram: @stevekuclo).

THE DAILY GRIND“Monday through Friday, Amanda and I wake up early and take care of business for Booty Queen Apparel—answering emails, making sure we’re coming out with new products, and planning out appearances at expos. As for the gym, I’m lucky to have a training partner who is flexible, so I go either in the morning or at night for a couple of hours.”To remain nourished, Kuclo cooks at home and take his meals on the road with him.

BEST PART OF THE JOB“Meeting and greeting fans,” he says. “At the 2017 Mr. O expo, a guy said, ‘I had cancer, and watching your videos helped get me through some dark times.’ Meeting people like that is the most rewarding thing about what I do.”

WORST PART OF THE JOBAlong with the wear and tear of training, doing promotions for Booty Queen, and traveling to competitions, Kuclo says there’s another downside to the job: Your sex drive can plummet close to showtime. “If you put an apple pie and my wife in front of me, naked, two weeks out from a show, I know I’m in shape when I’d rather pick the apple pie…though I still may take my wife.”

Source:

What it Takes to Become a Professional…

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running-cardio

Best exercises for sport and cardio fitness

We take a look at top workouts and exercises for building up your sport and cardio fitness  think group fitness classes, running clubs, obstacle courses, hip-hop dance.

GOOD FOR

While not overly useful to the highly trained individual, low-key, entertainment-based group fitness classes or activities may provide a much needed push for the under-motivated.

“These types of workouts would be great for training for a five to ten kilometer fun run or obstacle course, but if your fitness levels are higher, you might find these exercises to be more of a fun sweat session,” says transformation coach and part-time athlete, Emilie Brabon-Hames.

THE TRIFECTA: BODY COMPOSITION, MUSCLE HYPERTROPHY, FITNESS

Military-style obstacle courses have become popular for improving cardio fitness, burning calories and creating positive functional movement patterns. Courses such as True Grit not only provide a physical challenge, but also test your mental resolve and stamina, ensuring compliance. Beyond the 10 to 12 kilometers of the actual obstacle course, they often require a decent training component in preperation for the event.

“These are a fun, effective and challenging way to get your cardio in. You’re working out in a team environment, creating an encouraging atmosphere for increased motivation. People often push themselves harder in this type of environment than they would at the gym or running on a treadmill,” says nutritionist, trainer and online coach Brooke Turner.

“It’s a full body workout, so while you’re doing cardio you’re also challenging your strength. You might surprise yourself with what you achieve.”

Cardio fitness and increasing your breathing and heart rate have important health benefits, beyond body composition. Plus – we might as well admit it – courses that take you out of your comfort zone make you feel just that little bit bad-ass.

“Heart disease is the biggest cause of death for women in the world, and the first step to prevention is keeping the heart healthy. So sweating and making sure you are out of breath four to five times per week is beneficial not just for healthy heart function, but for endorphins, PMT and self confidence,” says Turner.

“Who doesn’t love knowing they can run ten kilometers or punch their way through a boxing class?”

LIMITATIONS

Progression is obviously difficult without a structured plan and engaging in just one style of training will always allow your body to adapt or plateau. Whether you’re a gym junkie or group fitness fiend, Turner recommends varying your training routine.

TRY

Brabon-Hames agrees that you should mix it up and add some high intensity sessions into your workout routine.

“Short-term, you burn calories from any exercise. But if you really want to keep burning long after you finish that session, make sure it is of a higher-intensity to get that EPOC happening at a higher level and see continuous improvement,” she says.

“A mixture of resistance training, low-intensity steady-state cardio (LISS), cross-training and HIIT is your ultimate weapon to being fit.”

Source:

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Get fit on social media

Boost your summer workout motivation with these social media campaigns

If you’re among the one in four people who pay for a gym membership but hasn’t exercised for six months (go on, own up) or one of the 36 per cent who have recently cancelled their membership, it’s time to look beyond the gym for shape-up motivation. And this summer, you can find inspiration at your fingertips from a bounty of new social media fitness campaigns, guaranteed to get you moving. Already a great platform for exchanging workout tips and motivation, social media is now buzzing with more structured fitness campaigns tailored to your goals, whether you want to discover a new sport, up your running mileage or get off the couch and ready for the beach.

‘The great thing about online campaigns is that they’re here to inspire you whenever you’re ready to be inspired,’ says Chris Scott of London Sport, an organisation aiming to get one million Londoners more active by 2020, partly using social media campaigns. ‘They can be a way to fire you up to do more of what you’re already doing but they can also be the trigger to get you moving when you need a little nudge, perhaps while you’re crashed out on the sofa. Having a chance to be inspired into activity at those times is a great opportunity to shift you out of that passive mentality and into a process of getting active.’

So if you’re ready to be moved – and ready to move – here are the hottest, most inspiring campaigns to check out right now. On your marks, get set, google…

#LDNMOVESME

WHAT: #LDNMovesMe is a three-month digital initiative designed to inspire Londoners to celebrate and share the ways they get active, whether it’s an early-morning yoga class, a bike ride to the office, an after-work HIIT class or a weekend walk. It’s easy to join in and inspire other city-dwellers to get moving – just throw out a picture of your workout on social media and tag it with #LDNMovesMe. Then discover new ideas by checking what others are up to. ‘Whatever activity means to you, the #LDNMovesMe campaign is there to motivate you to do more of what you love,’ explains freerunning legend François ‘Forrest’ Mahop. The goal: ‘to build a community of Londoners who are healthier, happier, and more inspired to participate,’ explains Peter Fitzboydon, Chief Executive of London Sport. NEED TO KNOW: Make it a good post – the best content will be shared on the campaign’s microsite: ldnmovesme.com where you can also find more workout ideas.

#MAKE1KWET

WHAT: Runners – improve your stride by getting in the pool! This programme from Speedo aims to show you how swapping 5K on your feet for 1K in the water will help you become a fitter and stronger runner by reaping the benefits (improved endurance, core and upper-body strength) of a full-body workout through swimming. Designed by former ITU triathlete and duathlete Annie Emmerson, the MAKE 1K WET programme features 1K swim-training plans, from beginner to advanced, catering for people who are running anything from 5K to marathons. ‘Runners are mileage-driven, so it’s a great way to showcase that you can achieve as much through swimming as running,’ says Emmerson. Download a three-month plan from the Make1KWet hub at speedo.com to your smartphone. As you progress, share your results, tagging your tweets #Make1KWet. NEED TO KNOW: A recent international study of people who swim and run found that more than 85 per cent said swimming helps enhance their running performance.

#LETSRUNIT

WHAT: Short on shape-up time? Get fit on your way to work with this campaign designed to inspire you to switch your commute (by train, bus or car) with running or walking to work, helping you keep fit, save money and even get there faster. Enter your start and finish points and mode of transport of your commute on the landing page, which calculates the distance and time of the journey then creates a run/walk. Download the Racefully iphone app beforehand, and you can race against your commute. ‘It’s a fun and affordable way to add fitness into your life, plus helping the environment and saving money are big motivators,’ says Racefully co-founder David Naylor. Share your runs by using #LetsRunIt. NEED TO KNOW: You could also win a lightweight commuter’s backpack by iamrunbox worth £134. To be in with a chance, share your run to Facebook or Twitter and tag it #LetsRunIt.

#MADETOMOVE

WHAT: Sponsored by Lucozade Sport, this drive to get to get 1 million people moving more by 2020 kicked into action in October 2016 with Made to Move Sessions, a series of streamed workout classes hosted by influential sport and fitness ambassadors including IBF Heavyweight World Champion boxer Anthony Joshua and PT and social media influencer Emily Skye, available here. ‘This is a perfect platform to give everyone the access and knowledge they need to be fit and heathy,’ says Skye. NEED TO KNOW: Lucozade Sport has launched a Made to Move app as part of the campaign. Users can track their movement across a range of activities and are rewarded with giveaways and prize draws. ‘Just 5,000 steps could make you a prize winner,’ says Claire Higgins, Senior Brand Manager at Lucozade Sport. So, move more, win more!

#THISGIRLCAN

WHAT: Sport England’s famous campaign to help overcome the fear of judgement that stops many women and girls from doing sport has evolved for 2017. Having encouraged 2.8 million 14- to 40-year-old women to do some or more activity, the advertising campaign features real women participating in their sports. You can look for activities – from archery to Zumba – to try in your area and get advice on getting involved in sport hereNEED TO KNOW: Inspire other women by making your own This Girl Can poster using the app at app.thisgirlcan.co.uk/#register and uploading it to social media. This Girl Can Workplace Tour will be taking yoga yurts to workplaces in the west of England, while other areas will have individual hashtags to help their communities boost participation.

 

Get fit on social media

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Models, Weight loss0 Comments

ab-workout-fitness-tips

Top fitness tips for building strong abs

Try: Pre-workout muscle engagement

When you’re pushed for time, you want to get the most bang for your buck. Pre-workout muscle engagement is a technique that aims to engage more muscles throughout your workout, which burns more calories and creates a stable base.

How: Try adding the following core and glute activation exercises into your routine:

a.   Toe Taps – 20 reps
b.    Plank – 1 min
c.    Leg Raises – 10 reps each leg
d.    Clams – 20 reps each leg
e.    Body Rolls – 10 reps

Complete 2 rounds

Why: A strong core will ensure you engage the correct muscles during your training and allow you to build a well-shaped physique.

INSIDER’S TIP: Begin each workout with the routine above and you will be well on your way to a killer core!
Activating these muscles prior to your workout will promote a muscle/ mind connection. This increases muscle fibre activation, improving your lifts and decreasing your risk of injury.

Alternatively, if you are unable to effectively engage your core, try a Pilates class to ensure you have the correct technique to build your base.

Tips by Zana, trainer at Goodlife Health Clubs Prahran.

Source:

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Training Methods0 Comments


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