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What is Resistance Training?
Resistance Training’ is another name for exercising your muscles using an opposing force i.e. dumb bells or resistance bands.
In the old days it used to be called ‘Weight Training’, but this phrase invoked images of huge sweaty men with bulging biceps and wasn’t very popular with women. So the language has changed but the activity remains the same.
Resistance training, toning and weight training are one and the same activity; they require the use of resistance to increase muscle size and strength. The most well known equipment used for Resistance Training is ‘weights’, or more specifically dumb bells or barbells.
During resistance training exercise muscle fibres are broken down and in the days following the work-out the fibres repair and grow stronger to meet the demands that have been placed on it. Therefore rest days are as important as the exercise itself.
Benefits of Resistance Training?
Resistance Training can be used to achieve a variety of beneficial results and most individuals would benefit from 1 – 3 resistance workouts a week in conjunction with regular aerobic exercise. Assuming that the majority of readers aren’t competing in any body building events in the near future I will concentrate on the more functional benefits of resistance training.
Improved Body Shape
Firm, sculpted muscles are the highly sought after aim of men and women alike. Visible muscle tone is not only a sign of health and fitness; it has become recognised as an attractive attribute that we associate with the wealth and success of the rich and famous. Increased muscle tone is best achieved by completing a combination of resistance and aerobic workouts.
Increased muscle strength
As well as making your body look good, resistance training can be used to increase muscle strength for more functional reasons i.e. improved posture, digging the garden or carrying the shopping etc…
Increased muscle power
More advanced resistance training programmes that include performing exercises with increased momentum will improve muscle power. i.e. for throwing a netball or kicking a football or swinging a golf club.
Increased metabolic rate
Muscle tissue is metabolically active and the more of it you have the more calories you will burn – even at rest! Making losing and maintaining a healthy weight much easier.
Improved bone health
Regularly participating in resistance based exercise helps to maintain peak bone mass and avoid the onset of osteoporosis.
From the age of 30, bone mass starts to decline. Women have a greater risk of developing osteoporosis and from the age of 40 can expect to lose approximately 0.5 – 1% of their bone mass per year. Post menopause this increases to a 2% reduction in bone density per year. Resistance Training can help to maintain bone density and delay this degenerative process.
* Serious cardio without the boredom of the hamster wheel (treadmill)
*Functional strength without the monotony of isolated reps
* Flexibility without long poses
* Fun and varied, never boring
* One compact, portable device
* It’s safe — for any age, shape or size
* Combines “cardio” and “strength” training
* The solution for busy people
Busy people want the biggest bang for the buck. Kettlebells can be the solution to trying to squeeze cardio, strength AND flexibility training in an already overbooked schedule. Because of the intensive nature, the workout duration must be kept short. Best of all, they are so small and portable, training can take place in your bedroom.
* Greater fat loss
Fat gets the ol’ one-two-three punch. First, there is the extremely high metabolic cost of throwing the weight around. Second, it’s a strength training workout creating dense muscle mass, which burns calories from fat stores all day long while increasing your resting metabolism. Finally, combine that with the fat burning effects of human growth hormone that is stimulated by these kinds of whole-body, complex movements. There is no better way to burn fat. This is why sprinters have ripped muscles and marathon runners have a skinny look.
* Very different from dumbbells and barbells
Anyone who has picked up a kettlebell has felt the difference. The off entered weight of a KB recruits more stabilizer muscles and works the targeted muscles through a wider range of motion. It’s because of the off-centre design of the KB. Isolation exercises such as those done with dumbbells and barbells do not hit those stabilizing muscles to the same degree.
*Strengthens every muscle from head-to-toe
Kettlebell training consists of whole-body movement exercises. It’s well-known that compound, whole body movements typical of kettlebell exercises are superior to machines that isolate muscles for improving muscle tone, body composition, and strength. Further, kettlebells strengthen the tendons and ligaments, making the joints tougher and less-susceptible to injury.
* It’s not bodybuilding
Don’t confuse kettlebells with conventional weight training or bodybuilding. Kettlebell training focuses on (a) movements, not muscles, (b) whole-body, functional training, (c) strength as a function of mobility, and (d) cardio and strength combined.
* It’s fun!
KB exercises and movements are simple, fun, unique and you can combine it with other exercise modalities. You can make it as fun as you want it to be.
* Build a lean, muscular physique
Men see that coveted wedge shape emerge as the training creates broad shoulders, defines abdominals, builds up their arms and pares down their waists.
* Women won’t bulk up!
Women get the svelte, lean, firm shape that enhances the best of the female body. Think Sarah Connor in The Terminator, or Madonna — but in a fraction of the time those women spent chiseling out their bodies!
* Easy to learn
Movements are simple and you can start using them right away. No matter how old or out-of-shape you are, everyone can do it and should be doing it.
* Extremely versatile
KB’s can help you lose weight, build muscle, enhance sport performance or maintain fitness level, as well as improve quality of life as you age. All with one simple tool.
* Serious cardio
KB training will make you re-think what your max heart rate is! KBl training is perfect for the advantages popular with HIIT (high intensity interval training) as opposed to long-slow cardio. It is the most effective overall fitness regimen available.
Repetitive KB ballistic drills challenge more muscles — practically the entire body — for a total-body cardiovascular adaptation.
The ballistic, but non impact nature of KB work is the key. Instead, KB exercises actually strengthen your joints.
*Simplify your life
You don’t have to think about which exercise requires what size weight. You don’t have to figure out which days you do cardio and which days you do strength training because KBs combine cardio and strength training. You don’t need to worry about upper body and then lower body exercises. It’s all in one. What could be easier? One kettlebell, two times a week, several drills. You have enough to think about with work, children and running a household; let your workout be uncomplicated.
* Develop functional strength
Even if you are not an athlete, KB training uses fundamental movement patterns making everyday activities easier and injury less likely. You will stand taller, carry packages easier, climb stairs with less effort and have more energy. Kettlebell training offers the most functional training possible, because the parts of the body must work as a unit.
Stretching practitioners often develop high levels of muscular flexibility, but without developing joint stability or muscular strength. That is a prescription for injury! KB training provides all three: mobility, stability, and strength. A big part of this is the design of a KB with it’s off-centered weight.
* Never boring
They say if you get bored with KBs, you have no imagination. You can endlessly combine the basic drills to have a different workout each time. It’s amazing how many exercises you can come up with from a simple piece of iron just by changing your grip.
*Develop core strength
Kettlebells require you to engage the core in almost every lift. KB’s have a reputation for strengthening backs and abs like nothing else before.
*Unify your body
The solution to thinking of your body as a collection of “muscle groups” to be “isolated”. Every lift with the kettlebell engages the entire body. The kettlebell movement is never a single joint movement. Every swing, lift, or press engages many joints and muscle groups forcing the body to always work as a unified whole.
* More coordination
Since the brain knows movements and not “muscles” you become more coordinated with KB use. KB exercises train your body to work as a unit. This is also why athletes look different than bodybuilders.
* Increase mental focus
You can’t just pick it up and mindlessly muscle it up and throw it around. It’s the thinking persons workout. At each moment the lifter must be focused on the movement. The result is improved coordination and mental focus.
* It really works!
Everyone from top athletes to soccer moms is joining the kettlebell revolution for one reason: KB training works. If you’re like many others, you have a basement full of machines, equipment and DVDs collecting dust. All things you tried and that didn’t get results, either because they didn’t work or because they didn’t work fast enough to keep you interested. KBs are different. The results keep you going.
*Simplify your exercise
Just four basic exercises (the swing, clean, press and snatch and their variations in endless combinations) can be used two or three times per week to keep you lean, strong and functional for the rest of your life.
* Gentle rehabilitation
Those who are older and wiser benefit by healing their pain, gaining strength and energy and functionality of their body that they once lost. Exceptional core strengthening effects and easily modified drills tone and strengthen as mobility is restored. KB training is so simple and flexible that it merges well with physical therapy routines.
* Cures low back pain
I cured my low back pain with KB’s. Many others have too. The gluteus and all the hip muscles are strongly emphasized my KB training. Not only do they get much stronger, they wake up and start participating in your movement. Mechanically, if you’re not firing your gluteus when you lift or extend your hip, you are compensating by overusing your lower back muscles. The low back muscles were NOT intended to do the job of your gluteus, one of the largest muscles in your body. In other words, your body learns a more correct, much more powerful movement pattern that helps everything you do — and your low back stops complaining (pain).
* Fix up ‘trashed’ shoulders
Kettlebells are famous for curing bad shoulders, rehabilitating the three things a shoulder needs: mobility, stability, and strength. Just like they cured my bad back, athletes and martial artists with years of punishment to their shoulders are finding a renewed life with KB training. Their shoulders come back better than new.
* Better posture— the real thing
KB’s strengthen the entire posterior chain that is key not only to athletic performance, but for simply standing up straight and effortlessly.
* Heal aches and pains
Talk to kettlebellers and you’ll hear stories of shoulder and knee joints getting better, chronic lower back pain disappearing, stiffness relieved, and mobility increased. KB exercises reveal misalignments, compensations and weaknesses in the body and proceed to fix them. As the body returns to the aligned state, musculoskeletal pain is relieved.
* Strengthens joints
Repetitive ballistic loading of the KB swing and other quick lifts appears to be highly beneficial to your joints.
Joints subjected to heavy impact are relatively free of osteoarthritis in old age and those subjected to much lower loading experience a greater incidence of osteoarthritis .
* Develop dynamic resilience
The acceleration/deceleration of moving the KB strengthens the connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, cartilage) and increases mobility, strength and flexibility reducing the possibility of injury. You want tendon and ligament strength along with your muscular strength. The dynamic movements of KB training build more resiliency with less impact than even less dynamic activities like jogging.
* Better bracing for spinal stability
The RKC system teaches proper bracing of the abdominal cavity. Instead of sucking in your stomach, like some tell you to do to protect your back, you will learn to ‘brace’ your mid-section as if someone was about to punch you in the stomach. This internal pressure created by your breath and abdominal wall supports your back, makes you stronger. Again, your body learns a better movement pattern. In other words, you will naturally move and do things around the house in a way that protects your back and mid-section. This bracing is also why the KB swing is also a good ab or ‘core’ workout.
* Learn to absorb force more efficiently
For combat athletes and anyone else that likes it tough, the ballistic shock of KBs teaches you how to absorb shock efficiently which is critical for sports such as: wrestling, MMA, football, and Hockey. It is equally important for all of us. Impact happens when we least expect it. Be prepared for life’s little surprises.
* Develop incredible power
Perform the Olympic explosive lifts like the clean, jerk or snatch if you know how. But you can get almost the same benefits using KBs — with greater safety and simplicity.
* Builds strength/endurance
Often times it is not how strong you are when you are fresh but how strong you remain once you become winded and have expended a lot of energy that determines the outcome. In a martial arts or fighting context, “enduring strength” is a very important skill. Maximal strength is very important as well, but the well rounded fighter must be prepared to deliver multiple strikes in combinations. This requires tremendous strength/endurance. Kettlebell high repetition snatches, for example, develops a strong work capacity and anaerobic threshold.
* Develops strength at the extremes of your range of motion
Exercising this way creates the ability to better stabilize your joints, improves flexibility and enhances mobility. Because KB lifts require full-body integration, it is a much better tool for the martial artist than doing high repetition isolation movements with a barbell or dumbbell.
* Correct imbalances
Kettlebell training will quickly reveal the weaknesses and weak spots of your body. There is no escape! Since most kettlebell exercises are performed with a single limb, you cannot help but get both sides of your body equally functional. This is especially true because of the structure of the kettlebell, an off-centre weight.
*Improve your recovery
Recovery is a critical facet of athletic training, but training to failure once a week is inefficient and results in debilitating soreness. KB drills facilitate active recovery and provide exceptional conditioning.
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We all know or hear that we need carbohydrate in our diet, but why? A “zero carb diet” is actually very difficult to achieve, and it’s not very sustainable because it’s actually not great for our bodies.
Carbohydrate is a nutrient that our body needs. It is an organic compound made up of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Carbohydrates are the main energy source for our body– they are the energy that gets used first (before protein, fat and alcohol). It is recommended by most sources (including the Guideline Daily Amounts) that about 45-60% of our energy intake should come from carbohydrates.
They have important roles in our body including:
An energy source that gives us most the energy that our body needs;
Part of many proteins and fats (lipids) that our body needs for many bodily processes;
Providing nutrients for the good bacteria in our intestines that helps us digest our food; and
Protecting our muscles because carbohydrates are the first source of energy for our body, without it, protein from our muscles will be used meaning that our body will effectively eat its own muscles!
Clearly, carbohydrates are important for normal health, so don’t cut them out of your diet.
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Chances are at some time in your life you’ve made a New Year’s resolution — and then broken it. This year, stop the cycle of resolving to make change and then not following through. If your resolution is to take better care of yourself and get healthy, you will have a much better year if your resolution sticks. Here are 10 tips to help you get started.
1. Be Realistic
The surest way to fall short of your goal is to make your goal unattainable. For instance, resolving to NEVER eat your favorite food again is setting you up to fail. Instead, strive for a goal that is attainable, such as avoiding it more often than you do now.
2. Plan Ahead
Don’t make your resolution on New Year’s Eve. If you wait until the last minute, it will be based on your mindset that particular day. Instead, it should be planned well before December 31 arrives.
3. Outline Your Plan
Decide how you will deal with the temptation to skip that exercise class or have that piece of cake. This could include calling on a friend for help, practicing positive thinking and self-talk, or reminding yourself how your “bad” will affect your goal.
4. Make a “Pros” and “Cons” List
It may help to see a list of items on paper to keep your motivation strong. Develop this list over time, and ask others to contribute to it. Keep your list with you and refer to it when you need help keeping your resolve.
5. Talk About It
Don’t keep your resolution a secret. Tell friends and family members who will be there to support your resolve to change yourself for the better or improve your health. The best-case scenario is to find a buddy who shares your New Year’s resolution and motivate each other.
6. Reward Yourself
This doesn’t mean that you can eat an entire box of chocolates if your resolution is to eat a better diet. Instead, celebrate your success by treating yourself to something you enjoy that doesn’t contradict your resolution. If you have been sticking to your promise to eat better, for example, reward yourself with new fitness clothing or by going to a movie with a friend.
7. Track Your Progress
Keep track of each small success. Short-term goals are easier to keep, and each small accomplishment will help keep you motivated. Instead of focusing on losing 30 pounds, focus on losing the first five. Keep a food journal to help you stay on track, and reward yourself for each five pounds lost.
8. Don’t Beat Yourself Up
Obsessing over the occasional slip won’t help you achieve your goal. Do the best you can each day, and take one day at a time.
9. Stick to It
Experts say it takes about 21 days for a new activity to become a habit and six months for it to become part of your personality. It won’t happen overnight, so be persistent and patient!
10. Keep Trying
If you have totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolution by mid-February, don’t despair. Start over again! Recommit yourself for 24 hours. You can do anything for 24 hours. The 24-hour increments will soon build on each other and, before you know it, you will be back on track.
What are your 2015 goals? Share them in the comments section below, and start getting support now! Call Lilian 0402472643 or email
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1. Accountability – We have to be honest with ourselves, many us need help being held accountable for the choices we make on a daily basis. Personal Trainers are there to keep you accountable. He or She will review what you have eaten since the last time you met, and go over the progress you’ve made. For those that need help staying accountable, hiring a personal trainer is a great way to do it.
2.Motivation – Speaking of the Biggest Loser? Well, it’s not exactly like that unless you are going on a reality TV series. However, a good personal trainer knows how to motivate you in different ways, while working out, to get you moving in the right direction.
3.Personalized Fitness Plan – Everyone’s body is different and we all carry fat in different areas and hold water differently, so your personal trainer will start off by giving you a Biometric Screening to first understand your individual biology. Then, your personal trainer will design a customized fitness plan to help you achieve your overall goal.
4.Faster Results – Staying on a regimen and not deviating from it can be tough; that is why Personal trainers are really good at helping us do that (which is why we hire them). Staying consistent and working hard will give us the results we expect and it happens faster than you think.
5. Encouragement – We all face defeat and feel discouraged at times. Having someone there to encourage you when you need it the most, can have an incredible effect on your workout. Self-esteem and confidence boosters are the things we need to be successful.
6.Diversity in Routines – Ever stop working out because you get bored? When you do the same routine, not only do you get tired of it, but you also don’t get the desired results. Switching up your workout routine is key to delivering optimum results.
7.Knowledge – A “Certified” Personal Trainer means they have acquired the knowledge necessary to teach you how to understand your body better and how to best meet your individual needs. Knowledge is the first step to solving any problem areas.
8.Nutrition Plans – Don’t have time to look up recipes? Not to worry! Your Personal Trainer can help you with meal plans so that you eat right and don’t starve.
9.Challenge – Some of us just like a challenge, If that’s you, then hire a personal trainer. They will give you the challenge of a lifetime. Maybe you’re pretty fit already, but you’re still wanting that six pack.
10.Actively Monitoring Your Movements – Practice makes perfect, right? No, Perfect Practice Makes Perfect! There may not be such a thing as perfect practice, but we can get pretty close. Personal Trainers monitor our movements to make sure we are working out the proper way. This will keep us from sustaining injuries and help us get better results.
11.Learn Discipline– Sometimes you need the extra motivation to stay disciplined, but after sticking with it for a while, it becomes easier by yourself. Personal Trainers give us that extra push in the very beginning, but ultimately it’s up to us to stay on track.
12.Successful people hang around successful people. This saying holds true in the fitness world, as well. If you surround yourself with people who are passionate about fitness, you will be motivated and passionate about it too.
13.Learn New Skills– When you start working with a personal trainer, they will teach you routines, workouts, and facts about your body that you would have never known otherwise. Personal Trainers have a wealth of knowledge and it’s exciting to learn something new each time you meet with them.
14.Energy– If you feel like you aren’t getting everything you can out of life, you probably aren’t. Working out and being healthy will improve every aspect of your life. At work, at home, with your family and yes, even your love life, hiring a personal trainer can help you do that!
15.Get over your fears– Sometimes we can be our worst enemy and facing change isn’t easy. Having the extra support from a Personal Trainer to guide you and lean on can give you the confidence that you need.