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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Know More About Women Weight Training

women-weight-trainingPowerlifting is great for women as it encourages them to weight train correctly, using the three compound lifts to build overall strength,’ says Evelyn, who works as a personal trainer when she’s not competing. ‘It allows us to gain tone yet still keep a feminine appearance by reducing body fat and increasing muscle mass, which is a good thing – a pound of muscle alone burns nine calories a day while fat only burns two.’

Don’t fight the power A nice side effect to building your muscles? Supreme confidence. ‘As a woman, I find powerlifting so empowering,’ Evelyn says. ‘Being strong makes everyday life easier, too. It also makes the weights room seem a little less intimidating! I feel confident knowing I can train with a structure and understanding of my goals – something that powerlifting taught me.’
When you notice yourself getting stronger, you might also start to care less about the number on the scales, and more about the number on the weights. Measuring your progress this way can really feel like a huge achievement. ‘You don’t have to train solely for your one rep max, but you can use powerlifting to structure you gym workout and inspire a long-term goal of increasing strength,’ says Evelyn.

Slim and strong The great thing about powerlifting is that the moves target every muscle group, including the core. There are no specific abdominal exercises, but each move switches on your core and uses your abs to accompany the major muscle groups, teaching them to work in conjunction with the rest of the body. Because this is how you use your body in everyday life, it’s a far more useful way to train your abs than isolating your mid-section.
Training all your muscle groups helps to rev up your fat burn, not just while you work out but for hours later, too, thanks to its effect on your metabolism. ‘As well as getting you in shape, powerlifting increases skeletal strength and helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis,’ adds Evelyn.

How to do it Olympic barbells used for powerlifting in a gym are usually 20kg, but you can often find adjustable bars that weigh much less if these are too heavy for you. Gradually increase the weight you lift until you can manage the barbell. Make one of the powerlifts – that’s either the squat, bench press or deadlift – your main move in each workout, using as heavy a weight as you can while maintaining good form. Then you can perform the remaining moves with slightly less resistance to make up the rest of your workout. Three workouts a week will target your whole body, burning fat and strengthening both your muscles and bones.

Your powerlifting workout Try these workouts by Evelyn Stevenson to kick off your new body. Separate your powerlifting workouts into three weekly sessions consisting of five different moves, including your main powerlifting move. These should challenge you, but not prove impossible to complete. Finish performing every set of each move before moving onto another exercise. Take 60 to 90 seconds’ rest between each set.

Day 1 Main lift: squat (as heavy as possible with good form)
Plus, the following moves at around 70% of the maximum weight you’d usually manage:
Bench press
Straight-leg deadlift
Barbell row
Step-up

Day 2 Main lift: bench press (as heavy as possible with good form)
Plus, the following moves at around 70% of the maximum weight you’d usually manage:
Squat
Overhead press
Straight-leg deadlift
Deadlift

Day 3 Main lift: deadlift (as heavy as possible with good form)
Plus, the following moves at around 70% of the maximum weight you’d usually manage:
Bench press
Barbell row
Step-up
Overhead press

Wanna Fit?, Follow These Tips

# Eat up

Make sure you’re properly fuelled up before you embark on a heavy cardio sesh. ‘You need enough energy to work hard,’ says Joslyn Thompson Rule, Nike Master Trainer and head PT at One Personal Training (onepersonaltraining.com). ‘You must be firing on all cylinders if you expect your body to be able to push itself.’

# Get fast ’n’ furious

Interval training can improve cardiovascular fitness by up to 13 per cent, according to a study by the University of Guelph. And the easiest way to get your sprint on is to follow the Tabata principle : 20 seconds of high intensity work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times. It’s over in a flash!

# Get on the wagon

That glass of red won’t up your cardio fitness. Alcohol leaves you dehydrated and nowhere near ready for a cardio workout, saysdrinkaware.co.uk.

# Be realistic

Don’t try to increase your time or distance by more than 10-20 per cent per week, or you may feel discouraged when the going gets tough – and risk injury. Set achievable goals to maintain your morale.

# Vary it

Mixing up your routine is key. ‘If you do the same thing all the time, your body gets used to it, reducing the training effect,’ says Joslyn. ‘Changing things up every three to six weeks will be enough stimulus to continue getting results from your training.’ So if you regularly run 5k, try cycling 10k instead – or give a combat sport like Muay Thai or kickboxing a go.

# Be consistent

One-off sessions won’t cut it, but don’t overdo it. ‘Try to do at least one intense cardio session a week, but no more than two, as your body needs to recover,’ says Joslyn. ‘Lighter cardio sessions – like a slow and steady run, bike or swim – once a week are good to balance out the more intense training.’

# Get high

Pushing your body to the limit at a higher altitude is fab for cardio fitness – and you don’t have to head to Kilimanjaro to reap the benefits. The Altitude Centre (altitudecentre.com) offers cycling and running classes in a specially designed altitude chamber, so you can push your limits without jetting halfway around the world.

# Weigh up

The weights room may not seem like the obvious place to work on your cardio. ‘People think you have to do one of the classic cardiovascular workouts, such as running, cycling or swimming, to increase cardio fitness,’ says Joslyn. ‘But exercises such as squat and press, lunges and step ups can all be taxing on the lungs.’

# Enjoy yourself

Slogging it out on the bike or treadmill may yield results, but it can be tough to push yourself to your max if you’re not enjoying it. Try boxing or sprinting against your friends in the park to raise the fun factor of your workouts.

# Take a break

‘There is too little emphasis on giving your body time to recover,’ observes Joslyn. ‘Your downtime is when your body reaps the rewards of your hard work. Taking the time to get sufficient sleep, eat well, stretch and do recovery sessions will pay big dividends.’

Women Gym Workouts

# Cardio

If you prefer using cardio machines but don’t fancy a spin class, why not combine various machines in one session to avoid getting bored? Try 15 minutes on the treadmill, 15 minutes on the bike and 15 minutes on the rowing machine. Interval training is a good option, but beginners can always start off with a steady pace.

# Tabata

From time-saving to fat burn, high-intensity exercise is one of the best ways to get more bang for your buck at the gym. And the fastest method? It’s got to be Tabata. Warm-up and cool-down aside, the workout lasts only four minutes including rest periods. There really are no cons to this no-frills, super-speedy method. Don’t forget to do some mobility exercises to warm up and stretches to cool down.

Perform 20 seconds of a resistance exercise such as squats, kettlebell swings or medicine ball slams, followed by 10 seconds complete rest. Repeat 8 times.

# Circuits

If you have a little more time, make use of the great equipment on offer at the gym. Good health clubs will have ViPRs, kettlebells and stability balls on offer, and you’d be a fool not to use them. Check out our Workout Routines for ways to work out using all kinds of gym equipment. Remember to keep rest periods short if your goal is to burn fat.