Tag Archive | "fitness"

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How to make the most of beach circuits and boot camps

The benefits of outdoor training

“Circuit training is an excellent way to frame your workouts regardless of whether you are working to time (i.e. 30 seconds on, 10 seconds off) or reps (i.e. 8–12 reps),” says personal trainer and owner of Flow Athletic Ben Lucas.

“You can tailor a circuit workout to suit your needs whether you want to work on your heart rate and endurance, or a slower strength-based workout.”

Sand also adds to the resistance, which Lucas says is great for your core, thighs and glutes – hello, booty. The unusual surface also helps with stability and is lower impact than running and sprinting on regular ground. Plus, with an array of exercise and timing options, you won’t get bored. Win, win, win.

Once a form of military entry training, outdoor boot camps typically involve a mix of bodyweight exercises, interval training and strength training in a group fitness environment – a good way to cover all fitness goals. Outdoor boot camps also help you to continuously progress and see results due to the variety of exercises and intensities involved.

For beginners, bodyweight exercises will likely produce some muscle gains, but for the more advanced you can add equipment such as kettlebells and resistance bands to allow for heavier loads and progression.

Max Gains

Limitations to keep in mind

The potential to improve all areas of your fitness and physique skyrocket given your ability to adjust the workout to your goal: want to lose fat? Keep the cardio exercises at high intensity with limited rest. Want to gain muscle? Add moderately weighted resistance exercise into the mix and increase your rest times between movements. Think time under tension – slow and steady movements to ensure the muscles are under load for longer periods of time, maximising ‘tone’.

That said, the high intensity and fast-paced nature of circuits can cause injury – particularly if overtraining and poor technique are a factor, warns Ferstera. Recovery sessions and a balanced training regimen, again, are important.

“Mixing up the type of activities you do in your boot camps means you’re likely to continue to see improvements. Most people who are stuck in a plateau and then have a rest from their training often find their plateau ends after their rest,” says exercise physiologist and exercise scientist Naomi Ferstera.

“Plus, when you’re enjoying what you’re doing, you’re more likely to keep going and push yourself harder.”

Doing what you enjoy seems to be the best strategy for success when it comes to getting your recommended 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week. A study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise found that among two groups of people – one that did HIIT and the other longer moderate-intensity exercise – those who did moderate-intensity exercise compared to high-intensity reported greater pleasure and enjoyment, and felt more likely to keep it up.

If circuit training on the beach is your pick, Lucas recommends 3 to 4 workouts per week at 30 to 40 minutes in duration, supplemented with low-intensity steady-state cardio such as walking and yoga.

Try the following exercises, completing:

»10 reps

»Repeat for 3 rounds

»30 seconds’ rest between rounds

1. lateral lunges

2. squat jumps

3. push-ups

4. 20 metre shuttle sprints (use towels or cones as markers and set them out 20 metres apart)

“Training on the sand can cause lactic acid to build up in the legs, so you want to flush it out. Lighter exercise will ensure your muscles have a chance to recover, and will also keep your cortisol and inflammation levels in check,” he says.

Image: Elise Carver Surf Trainer.

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Train like an elite

Your goal doesn’t have to be to make it to the Olympics in order to get the most from your workouts.

Whether you’re training for a race or simply looking to stay active, why shouldn’t you at least be able to train like your favourite athletes? Fitness expert and coach Nick Grantham – who has worked with many top athletes and Olympians – thinks we should all be able to train to our full potential regardless of our individual goals.

His new book The Strength & Conditioning Bible: How to Train Like an Athlete is designed to give you everything you need to make it happen. ‘Anyone who wants to improve their fitness levels and is willing to invest some time and effort can optimise their training and performance,’ he says. ‘And that’s pretty much anyone!’

Gone are the days when you needed the most expensive training tools and elite trainers by your side to train smart. From guide books to online personal trainers, there are increasingly easy and effective ways to get training – but with Nick’s experience working in high-performance fitness and sport science, you can really count on The Strength & Conditioning Bible to not only explain what to do and how to do it, but also why you’re doing it.
‘As a coach I know the power of understanding,’ Nick says. ‘If you understand why you’re performing an activity, you’re far more likely to stick to the training programme.’

As well as giving you the chance to take exercises up or down a notch, it also preps you to continue your training confidently on your own. ‘It offers sample sessions, and appropriate progressions and regressions,’ he adds. ‘It also provides the reader with an understanding that will allow them to develop their own effective programmes.’

The workout over these pages, devised by Nick, will allow you to train your body from head to toe in a fuss-free, effective way. In Nick’s own words, no matter what your level or experience, ‘anyone can train like an athlete’.

Squat

Areas trained: glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves

Technique

Holding the barbell resting on your shoulder muscles,

stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 

Bend at your knees and hips to lower your body until the tops of your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Reverse the position, extending your hips and knees to return to the start position.

Perform 8-10 reps of each move one after the other in a circuit, resting between sets if you need to. Once a circuit is complete, return to the start and repeat. Keep going until you’ve reached the time recommended for your level

Press-up

Areas trained: chest, triceps, core

Technique

Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Tighten up through your core, ensuring your back is flat.

Bend your arms to lower your body until your chest is about 1cm from the floor.

Drive back up to the starting position where your arms are extended.

Romanian deadlift

Areas trained: hamstrings, lower back, glutes

Technique

Hold the bar with an overhand grip approximately shoulder-width (your thumbs should brush the outside of your thighs).

Place your feet approximately hip-width apart, with knees soft and your feet straight ahead.

Maintaining a flat back position, bend forward at the hips, lowering the bar towards the floor.

Reverse the position, extend your hips and return to the start position.

Alekna

Areas trained: core, stomach

Technique

Lie on your back with your hips and knees bent at a 90-degree angle with arms fully extended towards the ceiling.

Simultaneously lower your arms behind your head and your legs out fully until they are both close to the ground, without touching it.

Return to the start position and repeat.

Get-up

Areas trained: shoulders, core, glutes, sides

Technique

Lie on your back and hold a kettlebell in your right hand, straight above your shoulder, arm vertical. Position your left arm out to the side and bend your right leg so that your right foot is alongside your left knee.

Pushing off your right foot, roll onto your left hip and up onto your left elbow.

Push up onto your left hand and holding yourself up on your left hand and right foot, lift yourself up off the ground, then thread your left leg back to a kneeling position.

You will be in a kneeling position with your left knee on the floor, right foot on the floor and the kettlebell locked out overhead in your right hand.

From the kneeling position, move into a standing position.

Reverse the movements to come back down to the starting position on the floor.

Perform on the opposite side for the next rep.

Hip thrust

Areas trained: glutes, hamstrings, core

Technique

Set up in the position shown – your shoulder blades in line with the bench and holding a barbell to your hips.

Place your feet close to your bottom, so that at the top of the hip thrust, your calves are at 90 degrees to the floor.

Drive through your heels and focus on using your glutes to push your hips straight up. Finish with your hips as high as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.

Lower; repeat.

2-point dumbbell bent-over row

Areas trained: upper back, biceps

Technique

Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, start with your feet hip-width apart in an offset stance with your right foot slightly staggered behind the left.

Take up the same position as you would for a bent-over row (your knees slightly bent and your torso bent forwards at your hips at a 45-degree angle).

Row the dumbbell up to your ribcage and then return to the starting position.

Repeat all reps in the set and then switch sides.

Kettlebell swing

Areas trained: glutes, hamstrings, back, core

Technique

Hold a kettlebell with both hands and bend your knees so you are in an athletic position.

Bring the kettlebell through your legs, so your forearms are in contact with your inner thighs.

Swing the weight upward and out to eye level, using the extension of your hips to move
the load.

Return to the start position and go straight into another rep.

Buy the book

Packed with plenty more workouts just like this one, The Strength & Conditioning Bible: How to Train Like an Athlete by Nick Grantham is published by Bloomsbury (£18, bloomsbury.com). Get your copy now!

Train like an elite

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‘How I regained my health after bikini competitions

After getting in the best shape of my life, I didn’t know what to do next…

After four months of strict dieting, twice-a-day gym sessions six days a week, endless chicken breasts and egg whites, layers of fake tan and learning how to walk in six-inch heels; competition day arrives. All of the sacrifices and exhausting workouts lead to those 60 seconds on stage. I had shed 12kg and got my body fat down to 11 per cent. The day comes and goes. Now what?

‘I found myself feeling really low’

For me, that question lingered for a long time. I placed fourth and third in my competitions, bringing home two glorious trophies which still manage to pick me up if I am feeling sorry for myself. The highs of show day leave you feeling somewhat useless once it is all over. Every day for the past 16 weeks has been dedicated to reaching one goal, and during that time nothing else outside of the competition bubble has seemed important. Yeah, I know… it seems like a selfish sport.

After the photo shoots, congratulations and celebratory cheat meals (plural indeed), I found myself feeling really low. I struggled to get back into my normal eating habits, lacked enthusiasm and lost focus. On top of that, months of strict dieting and a gruelling exercise regime left my hormone levels awry.

Sports nutritionist and dietician Helen Phadnis explains, ‘Inadequate energy intake affects not just menstruation but also bone health, cardiovascular health, metabolic rate and immunity’. The stress hormone cortisol ‘causes the release of glucose into the blood stream and insulin resistance’. In the long term, continuously raised cortisol levels can ‘directly contribute to weight gain, increasing hunger and cravings for high fat food’. To say I could relate to this is an understatement. Pizza, anyone?

‘Constant overeating’

Feeling low and hormonal led to binge-eating, an emotional comfort. Takeaways followed by Krispy Kremes and late night cereal, constant overeating… we’ve all been there. Jennifer Low, dietitian and health writer, describes binge-eating as ‘a maladaptive coping mechanism that can really harm a person’s health – both physically and mentally. The person will have learned to not recognise negative feelings, they may binge as a way to cope with the feelings’.

After a week of indulging I gave up on trying to weigh my food and instead started to just eat sensibly, allowing myself a treat if I felt like it. The problem is I had no idea how many calories I was consuming, and as predicted, gave in to my sweet tooth whenever it called. Over the summer I partied, like any normal 22-year-old should if they want to (which always leads to the local kebab shop), and continued not to track my food.

‘My gut was irritated and I was extremely bloated’

The consequences? Five months post-show I felt awful about myself and was unable to find balance. I would eat well, binge, and then do extra cardio workouts to make up for it. More importantly, I was having gut health issues. I suffer from ulcerative colitis, a chronic irritable bowel disease, and after spending the summer consuming food that I wasn’t used to, such as dairy and alcohol, my condition flared up. My gut was irritated, I was extremely bloated and I had terrible fatigue (a common symptom of UC). A specialist put me on an eight-week steroid course to calm my symptoms – I was taking up to eight tablets per day.

Being an aspiring nutritionist, I wanted to use food as medicine where possible, too. I saw it as a push to get my eating habits back to normal, stop binging and feel healthy again. At the same time, I started an Access to Science course to study nutrition and also landed a magazine internship, which gave me a new motivation and focus.

‘Reverse dieting ensures your metabolism can adapt steadily’

The right thing to do straight after competing would have been to reverse diet. Jennifer Low explains that ‘calorie-restricted diets might reduce your basal metabolic rate (the amount of energy you expend)’. This in turn slows your metabolism, ‘so it is then a lot easier to gain body fat once you resume normal eating’. I had been on calories as low as 1100 for four months, so you can see why my body had a shock. Reverse dieting ensures that your calories increase gradually week by week, your metabolism can adapt steadily and that you can make some lean gains.

To get back on track I began a ‘gut restoration’ plan eliminating irritants like gluten, dairy, soy, eggs and alcohol; which commonly cause my ulcerative colitis flare-ups to worsen. My plan consists of five meals spread out over the day and includes sweet potato, chicken, white fish, green veg, white rice and gluten-free oats. Little and often is the key. I lift heavy weights four to five times a week and do four 10-minute HIIT sessions a week.

12 weeks after starting my new plan I felt better than ever. I reached a maintainable weight and built muscle, my digestion and gut health improved and I am now back in love with training. I don’t obsess over the scales but I have gone from 62kg to 57kg and can see my results through weekly progress pictures. I weigh my food to ensure I hit my macro goals every day and stay in control of what I am consuming. On the other hand, if a friend wants to go out for dinner, I will happily say yes without stressing that it won’t fit into my eating plan.

‘I haven’t binged for months’

That is the difference between prepping for a competition and prepping to feel healthy. I know that weighing my food and being on a plan can’t last forever, just as my competition couldn’t, but I am able to maintain it for now and it has given me a positive approach to food. I haven’t binged for months, my calories are high and I don’t schedule in huge cheat meals to go wild. I simply stay on plan, but if a social event comes up or I fancy something different, I’ll go with it.

A study published by Dr. Sherry of Dalhousie University, The Perfectionism Model of Binge Eating, states that ‘individuals with a high degree of perfectionism are often setting themselves up for a host of physical, emotional and mental problems– particularly related to binge eating’. Competing is all about bringing the perfect package to stage and you can become obsessed with achieving this image.

My aim is not to put you off competing entirely, because I gained so much confidence, experience, strength and friendships from mine. My aim is to help spread the importance of setting goals after the show, and to make people aware of the damage it can cause if you push yourself to these extremes. Dr. Sherry’s study looks at the mistaken belief that ‘perfectionism will ultimately produce achievement and social success’. My journey to the stage gave me a huge sense of self-achievement, but taught me that having abs isn’t the key to happiness after all.

Aimee Corry, 22, London

@aimeecorry

Sources/references:

 

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‘How I regained my health after bikini…

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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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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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Why you should train your glutes?

Covet strong glutes? We asked the Base Body Babes to share their advice when it comes to training your glutes.

We love having and creating well balanced, beautifully proportioned and functional bodies. Our programs are specifically designed to ensure the body is structurally balanced and moving correctly, with a focus on posture and creating feminine proportions. Generally speaking, women are lower body dominant (whereas men are upper body dominant), so when we design our programs we place a greater focus on the lower body movements to create or maintain these feminine proportions. In our experience, women love having a shapely booty and toned, lean legs.

As the glutes are the biggest muscle in the body, it’s important to specifically work and build muscle in this area: not only because we like the look of a well developed, perky behind, but because the glutes are important to the overall function of the body.

From a functional strength standpoint, it’s quite common for people to have lazy or underactive glutes. This can lead to lower back pain and injuries, as the glutes are primarily responsible for day-to-day tasks such as bending over and picking things up. If the glutes aren’t strong, more stress is placed on the lower back unnecessarily. In most instances, if someone suffers from lower back pain, strengthening the glutes is a great place to start.

It’s no secret that squats are the first exercise that people turn to when they want to build a booty. Although squats are our favourite movement and our programs are based around them, there is certainly more to booty gains than just the squat rack. Too many times we see women squatting without knowing how to correctly activate their glute muscles; without proper technique and activation, results cannot be achieved.

Getting the most out of your booty

1. Technique is everything. Correct technique is vital to keeping you free from injury, to allow you to lift the correct weight and to ensure you are working the exact muscles that you are targeting. If your body starts to fatigue and your technique breaks down, it’s time to stop the set. Many people like to train until failure and take the body beyond what it is capable of, but this only increases the risk of injury. Always remember: safety first!

2. Progression is key. The body must continuously be challenged in order for it to change and develop; if you keep doing what the body can already do, the body doesn’t need to adapt! Every week, aim to increase the amount of weight you are lifting by about two to four per cent. Challenge your body for best results!

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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.”

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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.

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The 7-minute workout

Sculpt in 7 Minutes!

Your best body in less than 10 minutes, you say? it can be done- Wahoo’s 7 Minute Workout app shows us how.

Whether you’e a full-time mum or busy office worker, we’re pretty sure a short and sweet workout  you can get done in under 10 minutes will sound appealing. Well good news, it can be done. If you’re prepared to go hard and give it your all, it is possible to have an effective workout in 7 minutes, and with Wahoo Fitness’ 7 Minute Workout, which combines aerobic and resistance training to work your heart as well as your mules, you don’t need to leave the house to make it happen. This high-intensity form of training is popular for a reason, but you need to work hard if you want to see results.

Try the workout here to reap serious rewards asap!

 

Perform each move for 30 seconds at a time with a 10 second rest in between each. Try to do as many as possible in 30 seconds. keep going for seven minutes in total.

Kit you’ll need: Chair/step

Squats, Areas trained: Bottom, Quads

Technique

Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips and your toes pointed slightly out.

Keeping your back straight, bend your knees and bend at the hips to lower until you are parallel with the floor.

Push back up to th orginial standing poisition and repeat.

Step-Ups {onto a chair), Areas trained: Bottom, Legs

Technique

Stand in front of the chair.

Step up onto the chair with one foot, followed by the other.

Pause and then step off with the opposite foot first.

Repeat, changing sdes with each rep.

 

Side Plank, Areas trained: Core, sides

Technique

Form a straight line with your body on its side, resting on one forearm with your feet stacked on top of each other.

Hold for 30 seconds.

 

High knees, Areas trained: Legs, Bottom, Core

Technique

Run on the spot lifting your knees as high as possible.

Swing your arms as if you were running normally.

 

Tricep Dips, Areas trained: Triceps

Technique

Sit on a chair with the heels of your hands on the edge.

Slide your bottom off the seat and support your weight with your hands.

Bend your elbows back and slowly lower your bum toward the floor while keeping your elbows tucked in.

Push back up to the start and repeat,

 

Lunge, Areas trained: Legs, Bottom

Technique

Stand with your shoulder back and relaxed, and your chin up.

Take a large stap forward with one foot.

Bend both knees to about 90-degree angle, with your back knee just about the floor.

Push back up to the starting position, then repeat on the opposite leg, alternating legs with each rep.

 

Jumping Jack, Areas trained: Bottom, Legs, Core

Technique

Start with your feet together and arms at your sides.

Slightly bend your knees and jump up in the air.

As you are jumping kick your legs out and bring your arms up and out to for a ‘star’ shape.

Land softly and repeat exercise.

 

Press-up Rotation, Areas trained: Chest, Triceps, Core, Sides

Technique

Starting in a plank poisition with your hands directly under your shoulders, bend your arms to lower your chest towards the ground.

Push back up to the start.

At the top, rotate your body into side-plank position with one arm on the ground and the other extending towards the celing.

Rotate back to plank position.

Repeat, this time rotating to the opposite side, continue to alternate with each rep.

 

The 7-minute workout

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muscle-gain-training

How to increase muscle gain

To increase lean muscle mass, progressive overload is essential – here’s how to build up your gains. Angelique Tagaroulias writes.

Progressive overload not only does it stimulate muscle hypertrophy by forcing the muscle to adapt to increased loads, it also aids in the development of stronger and denser bones, ligaments, tendons and cartilage.

“Progression is forcing a muscle to adapt to a tension that is more than it has experienced before. When a muscle is stressed, there’s an increase in blood flow to the region being exercised, stimulating more responsive nerve connections between the brain and muscle,” says personal trainer and owner of Fully Loaded Fitness, Ethan Hyde.
Hyde.

“I’m a firm believer in keeping things interesting. Your body gets used to what you do, as does your mind. Changing things frequently allows your body to work harder and not get used to it, and also allows your mind to stay entertained and not get complacent.”

Hyde says adding lean muscle mass requires increasing volume, frequency and resistance, and decreasing rest periods:

» Volume: increase the number of sets/reps per workout or over the course of a week.

» Frequency: train a body part more often.

» Resistance: increase weight on a weekly basis or as often as you can while keeping good form.

» Rest periods: you might be resting for 60 seconds but if you drop that to 30 seconds, this requires your body to become more metabolically efficient with anaerobic exercise.

Note: if you’re starting out, try manipulating just one of the variables at a time; if you’re more advanced, you can try more than one.

“Save a couple for when adaptation occurs. You can then bring out shorter rest periods or increase the volume to get the body growing again,” explains Hyde.

Frequency and rest periods are good variables to start with. “By increasing frequency, you increase your total volume across the week. This will focus on the major (weekly) goal, while manipulating rest periods will focus on the minor (daily) goal. Keep rest periods on larger lifts the same but shorten rest periods on isolation work – large compound movements require more energy thus demand more rest.”

As a general rule, more reps equals less rest and less reps equals longer rest.

While some trainers advise to alter programming every four weeks to allow your body to adapt, others will recommend changing it every week – or at least aiming for a slight strength progression on a weekly basis. Hyde believes one to two weeks is best depending on the program: it keeps your muscles guessing and your mind stimulated, while still allowing time for muscles to adapt.

“Everyone should be using a periodised program that allows constant change. And following a prescribed program forces you to change when you’re meant to – not just when you’re bored or feel like it,” says Hyde.

“I like to change my program often to avoid plateauing. If you plateau for two weeks then change it for another month and plateau again, you end up spending a lot of time not growing muscle.”

Source

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Personal Fitness Training, Training Methods, Weight TrainingComments (0)


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