Monday, 26 September 2011

Cardio only part of the fat loss equation.

So you are trying to lose a couple of inches around the middle, you go out for long runs three times a week, you have lost a little weight, but still the wobble remains, why?
When we run at a slow intensity over a long period of time, the body is primarily using fat stores, but due to the low intensity, when we have finished that run we stop burning the calories. There is however, ways to speed up the metabolism so when training has finished, the body carries on burning.

1. Use weight training
A lot of females will have their doubts straight away with this type of training, thinking that they will look muscular or manly, this is NOT the case. Due to lower levels of testosterone in females, they will not put on anywhere near as much muscle mass as men, but will feel much 'tighter', and more toned. Another up side of this training is that if you have slightly larger muscles, they need more energy to move (like a car engine, bigger engine, more fuel), so just doing your day to day jobs will burn more calories.
The men will have all the same benefits as the ladies but should put on a little more muscle mass (depending on the number of sessions per week), which is never a bad thing.

2. Use interval training
Interval training in simple terms is training at a higher intensity for shorter periods of time interspersed with periods of recovery.
For example, run for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, making sure that the period of work is at a much higher intensity than your slow jog.
Using this type of training may not burn as much fat whilst being performed, but due to the higher intensity, will speed up the metabolism, therefore burning more fat after the exercise is completed. 

In summary, the trick is to speed up your metabolism, therefore burning more calories day to day, and using these two types of training are your best bet.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Arm curls not the answer for big biceps!!

My first post has been inspired by my first visit to my new local gym. I was downstairs in the free weights room with 8 other men, and 6, that right, 6 of them were doing arm curls. Now don't get me wrong, at the end of a weights session it always feels good to do arm burnout, but to improve the size and strength of your arms, you need to do large, compound exercises (exercises that use multiple muscles). These exercises will ultimately be targeting other muscles but you will also need to use your arms indirectly to perform them.
Simple examples of exercises would be
Dumbbell bench press
Seated shoulder press
Chin ups (or lat pull downs if this is too difficult)
Bent over Row

Start with performing 3 sets of 10 on these exercises with a 1 minute rest between sets. You should be working hard enough for your muscles to 'fail' on about rep 8 of the 3rd set. If your muscles do not fail, you are not working hard enough and your body will not adapt and improve.
When you have completed this, feel free to do arm curls until you cannot lift your arms!!

Andy Reay