Tag Archive | "sports nutrition"

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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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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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Upgrade your lunch break workout

Forget clocking extra office hours – lunchtime is the perfect time to burn calories!

 Making it to the end of the working day is so much harder if you don’t take a break. A study in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports shows that even a 30-minute lunchtime stroll can significantly boost a person’s ability to handle stress at work. But why not ramp up the intensity of your workout and amplify results? ‘It sounds obvious, but don’t use the time to just go through the motions,’ says Georgia Gray, Fitness First personal trainer. ‘Be focused. Get the most out of every rep. Don’t text during your rest periods. Basically, just work hard.’ Heading to the gym this lunch hour? Follow these smart strategies to get more from your session.

GET WITH THE PROGRAMME

Guilty of wandering around the gym aimlessly? What you need is a game plan for workout success. ‘Know exactly what you’re going to the gym to do,’ advises Gray. ‘Not only will you be more motivated to beat your weight or rep targets, but you’ll also save the time you’d normally spend thinking about what bit of kit to use next.’ If you’re not sure what sort of plan you should be following, speak to one of the gym instructors and ask if you can book a gym induction, during which they should provide you with an exercise plan. Get in there and just do it. Got it?

WORKOUT WITH LESS

Modern gyms may be fitness-lovers’ playgrounds – with battle ropes, tyres, sleds and plenty of exciting new-fangled kit – but it’s important not to simply ‘play around’ with the latest equipment. In fact, New Balance ambassador Shona Vertue thinks it’s best to use as little equipment as possible. ‘There’s nothing worse than getting to a packed gym only to spend half your time waiting for kit. Standing in line won’t burn calories! If you’re using the gym at a peak time, such as during the lunch hour, find an empty corner, grab a kettlebell or resistance band and do a circuit. That way, you’ll spend your lunch hour working out rather than waiting it out,’ she says.

MAXIMISE ON MOVES

When time is short, compound exercises that work multiple muscles at once are the key to strength rewards. ‘Revolve your session around big, compound moves such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, chest presses, bent-over rows, chin-ups and dips,’ says Gray. ‘These moves require oodles of energy and are great for fat loss. A lot of my clients love the adductor (inner-thigh) machine, but a squat will work the adductors, rest of the lower body, core and lower back.’ In short, these moves offer more bang for your exercise buck.

GIVE IT A REST

Sure, rest periods are important. They give your body a chance to restore, recover and replenish, meaning you can hit the next set just as hard as the last one. But, by cleverly selecting exercises that work different muscle groups, you can skimp on rest, give worked muscles a chance to recoup and keep up the intensity. ‘Switch between upper- and lower-body movements,’ says Vertue. ‘For example, perform 10 squats, then immediately [without rest] do 10 push-ups. By going from a lower- to an upper-body exercise, your body is quickly shunting blood from the legs (from the squat) to the arms (for the push-up). This takes quite a bit of energy and will burn lots of calories.’

CURB THE CARDIO

Love spending the entire hour on the treadmill? Bad news – unless you’re training for an endurance event, spending that long on a cardio machine isn’t the best use of your time. What you need to do is to up the intensity and decrease the time of your aerobic session to supercharge cardiovascular results. ‘There are lots of ways to increase the intensity of your workout,’ says Allyn Condon, personal trainer at The Gym Bristol. ‘You could vary the sets [try doing hill intervals, for example] or increase the speed of your movements to improve your overall performance and get more from your workout.’ Do this and you’ll free up time to spend using the other kit as well.

DROP IT LOW

If you’re still plugging through the 3 x 12 reps session that the gym instructor gave you a year ago, it’s time to mix up your weights workout. ‘Your body needs progressive overload to make progress,’ says Gray. And this means taxing your muscles more this week than you did last week. ‘If you’re coming in and going through the motions, you’ll struggle to see results. Try doing dropsets, which involves completing an exercise at a certain weight before dropping the weight slightly and performing the same exercise. This is a great way to push the body to failure [when it can’t physically do that move anymore, which leads to strength gains].’

TRACK YOUR TIME

If you’re motivated by competition, one of the most effective ways to gain strength and improve your fitness results is to compete with yourself by tracking your workouts. ‘When you’re not sticking to a plan, you really will struggle to see results,’ warns Gray. ‘To get the most out of any workout – whether it’s long or short – you need to be recording what you’re doing and aiming to improve on that [by running a bit faster, lifting more weight or clocking more reps, for example] week-on-week.’ Yes, it’s time to invest in that workout diary you’ve been promising yourself.

 

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Rowing machine workout

Rowing machine workout

Hands up if you find the rowing machine a little daunting?

We don’t blame you. On a treadmill, you run. On an exercise bike, you cycle. Perfect rowing technique, however, can seem far less straightforward, which means many people are steering clear of this effective piece of gym kit – and missing out on its big-time benefits.

But, master the moves for this machine and you can expect weight loss, better fitness and increased upper and lower-body strength – all without the harsh impact that some cardio exercise can have on joints.

‘Indoor rowing is a complete form of exercise,’ explains Olympic rowing coach and Concept2 fitness expert Terry O’Neill (concept2.co.uk). ‘Rowing is a combination of cardiovascular and strength conditioning, making it a great addition to any fitness regime or training programme – for people of all ages with a wide variety of goals.’

Whether you’re a beginner or an Olympian, there’s a way to make rowing a key player in your workouts.

Full-body workout

One of the main reasons that people opt for a workout on the rower to get their cardio fix is because – unlike the treadmill, stepper and stationary bike – it offers plenty of added value. Using correct technique harnesses the power of both the upper and lower body, so your bum, thighs and calves will get a real push as well as your arms and shoulders. Rowing also requires solid activation from your core and back to maintain good form (particularly in the upper back) with each and every stroke, which means that a good session on the rower can hit almost every muscle, offering total-body conditioning. Plus, the cardiovascular movement of rowing gives your heart and lungs a great workout, too.

‘Indoor rowing is great for toning up, as it involves more muscle groups over a wide range of movement, with little pressure on the joints,’ says Terry. ‘No matter why you choose to row, the rowing machine will offer just the right level of resistance for your goals, as well as an infinite variety of workouts.’

Fuss-free intensity

If you think rowing is just for steady-state fitness, think again – the machine is great for both endurance and interval training. ‘Because the rowing machine activates a large muscle mass, it helps you achieve better cardio results in less time,’ Terry explains. ‘It can also provide excellent anaerobic workouts complementary to explosive power sport training. Plus, indoor rowing is a great endurance exercise that really helps to boost both your heart and lung functions.’

If you’ve ever tried high-intensity interval sprints on the treadmill, you’ll know how annoying it is having to repeatedly press buttons while you’re trying to run to adjust the speed of the belt. One of the great things about the rowing machine is that – although the resistance can be tricky to adjust once you’ve got going – you can control the speed simply by increasing or decreasing your own work rate. So, while some people enjoy longer, steady-state sessions on the rower, those looking for a heart-pumping interval session
can get on with focusing on their technique, instead of pushing buttons.

Of course, the crucial element here is technique – the better your form, the more efficient your workout. Use the steps below to perfect your stroke and practise rowing at a comfortable pace until you’re ready to up your speed.

The rowing masterclass


Use these simple step-by-step instructions to get to grips with perfect rowing technique. Remember to avoid letting your shoulders round or your lower back arch beyond its neutral position. Ready, set, row!

• Keeping your legs straight, lean back slightly with the handle close to your body and your forearms parallel to the floor.
• Extend your arms fully, rocking your body forward slightly and keeping your arms extended.

• Slide your lower body forward from the hips until your knees are above your feet, keeping your arms extended.

• Push down on your feet to drive your body back, straightening your legs and leaning your body back slightly as you do so.

• Pull the handle back past your knees towards your body to return to the starting position. Repeat.

 

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Are you addicted to exercise?

Exercise is great for the mind, body and soul, right? But what happens when it starts to take over your life?

PT Marisa Branscombe ponders the dangerous effects of too much exercise

Exercise is generally accepted as a positive behaviour associated with enhanced physical and psychological wellbeing. But is it possible to do too much exercise? So much that it takes over your life?

This may sound strange, but lately I’ve come across several women who seem to be controlled by eating and exercise. I have to admit, for a few years I was in that headspace too and every now and then I have to keep myself in check. There really is a fine line between exercising enough and becoming obsessed about it. Read on to find out how exercise addiction may be affecting you or someone you know.

Exercise addiction: positive vs. negative

“Addiction occurs when adaptive changes in the brain cause symptoms of tolerance, sensitisation, dependence and withdrawal,” (Leuenberger, 2006).

Positive Addiction, written by William Glaser (1976), first addressed positive and negative addiction to exercise. He refers to positive addiction as “involving a love of the activity that is characterised by controllability, an ability to integrate exercise into everyday activities, and an ability to miss exercisesessions when it is necessary”. People with a positive dependence schedule exercise carefully around other aspects of their life, so their exercise schedule is not detrimental to their wellbeing in these areas. They feel increased feelings of control, competence, physical and psychological wellbeing. Negative addiction to exercise, on the other hand, “involves a compulsive desire or need to exercise that overrides a person’s considerations about their health, relationships and career”. When these people have to miss an exercise session they experience feelings of loss, guilt, physical and psychological discomfort. Large amounts of time are dedicated to training, leading to many ‘negative addicts’ giving up other important aspects of their life.

Health risks of too much exercise

Exercise, like anything, can be carried too far. Overexercising stresses the body to the point of weakening the immune system, making people more prone to illness. Pushing yourself beyond your limits can lead to sore muscles, loss of appetite, headaches and trouble sleeping. More serious effects include joint pain and injuries, anaemia, weakening of the bones and the hormonal cycle shutting down (Cline, 2007).

Yes, exercise is good for you, but when it reaches the point of excess it can indeed make you sick. A study of Harvard Alumni by Stanford University’s Ralph Paffenbarger found death rates were lower for men who were involved in regular physical activity. But then death rates began to go up in those who burnt more than 3000 calories per week. His 10-year study also found that mood disturbances such as tension, depression, anger, confusion and anxiety were found to rise significantly as training loads increased.

Dr Kenneth Cooper, author of Aerobics, believes excessive exercise also produces unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals that cause harm to the body. These have been linked to health problems such as premature ageing, heart disease and cancer.

Why the addiction?

Psychological and physiological factors

There is still a great debate happening on the ‘why’ of exercise addiction. Some believe it’s associated with certain personality traits, including obsessive compulsive disorder, high-pain tolerance, high self-imposed expectations and narcissism.

Others propose it may be a result of low self-esteem, where exercise is used to improve this, or that endorphins released in the body during exercise, lead to a psychological state called ‘runners high’, which creates a relaxed state of being that people thrive to achieve over and over again. Some also say there are physiological causes, where the exerciser relies on exercise to increase their arousal to an optimal level.
Participants in sports that focus on body size and shape, such as dance, figure skating, ballet, gymnastics, distance running, body building, wrestling and boxing may be at higher risk.

Are you at risk?

Does all of this sound a little too familiar? Or perhaps alarm bells are ringing around one of your friends or family members? Well here are some of the typical symptoms of someone who is letting exercise take over their life:

  • Withdrawal

They will experience anxiety, fatigue and other similar symptoms if they don’t exercise. Or will have to exercise to relieve these.

  • Intention effects

The amount of exercise or length of exercise sessions is longer than originally intended.

  • Loss of control

A persistent desire to train or make unsuccessful attempts to reduce the amount of exercise they do.

  • Time

Large amounts of time are spent exercising and conflict with other areas of their life.

  • Continuance

Will continue to exercise even with persistent physical or psychological issues that are made worse from exercising, such as a recurring injury.

Other warnings signs are a fixation on weight loss, whereby they will talk about exercising to burn off a meal or treat. Compulsive exercisers will also try to lose weight in order to improve their exercise performance.  They often exercise alone and avoid interaction and exercise assessments, and will usually have a rigid routine.

However, as Amy Gleason, senior nutritionist from the McLean Hospital in the United States says, “unhealthy uses of exercise are not necessarily obvious. Exercisers won’t complain or bring their potential problems to anyone’s attention. Asking why a person is training or what their goals are is a great way to find out more.”

If you still feel like you can’t break the chains of obsessive exercise, consider talking to an expert, who can help you let go of it gradually.  A great book to check out is Appearance Obsession: Learning to Love the way you look, by Joni E. Johnston. This contains quizzes than can help you assess whether your exercise habit is becoming an unhealthy one. It also offers helpful suggestions, in addition to the ones I have given you.

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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:

 

Source:

‘How I regained my health after bikini…

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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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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.

 

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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.”

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hindust1

Do you postpone hitting the gym?

Here are 5 ways you can find motivation to work out

Sometimes, it’s tough to take the first step and sign up for a gym membership. Other times, it’s hard to get back to your routine after a break. We round up five ways to get back into the swing of things and hopefully keep your fitness regime going.

1. Find a friend

Pairing up with a workout buddy is one way to keep going with your fitness schedule. Making plans to work out together will make it harder to cancel, and make you both more accountable. Exercising with a friend or partner can also help you both stay motivated by congratulating each other on a workout well done and any goals reached. You could also make exercise more of a fun, social event by organising to grab a post-workout brunch or smoothie together.

2. Update your workout wardrobe

If you’re struggling to get back to the gym, buying some new sportswear to show off might help. Alternatively make a new purchase a well-deserved treat for hitting your exercise goals, it will help give you something to work towards.

Shutterstock (Get a friend to work out with you so you can support each other.)

3. Try a new class

Not only will a new sport or workout give your fitness regime a shake-up, but it could also teach you some new skills and help you make some new friends. If you’re always running why not try a Body Pump class for some resistance training? Already love resistance training? Stretch it out with some yoga. If you always swim breast stroke, book in with an instructor to teach you front crawl. The possibilities are endless!

4. Set a new goal

If you’ve taken a break from the gym, you might be feeling back to square one. Setting a new goal now that you’re back is one way to get yourself more motivated to start again, and to push yourself further. Try signing up for a run or sponsored swim, set yourself a new amount of steps to walk each week, or increase your workouts from 3 per week to 4. It doesn’t have to be too far or too much to start with, just something that is a challenge but also fun for you. Once you’ve achieved this goal, you can push yourself even further with another!


5. Keep track of your progress

Even if you’re not working towards a goal, keeping a track of your workouts will show you how far you have progressed and help keep you going. Invest in a fitness tracker as part of your back to the gym kit, a bit like updating your stationery for school, and make sure you’re wearing it daily to track all your activity as well as other important factors such as sleep. Alternatively, schedule workouts into your diary to keep a track of how many you make it to and what you achieved.

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