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Lean Body Mass Calculator

lean body mass calculator

It’s important to know how to use a lean body mass calculator, and body fat calculator to work out your lean body tissue and fat levels.  You can then continue to track them to ensure that you are losing fat, and not lean body mass, when following a diet and training program.

If you are losing lean body mass, and not fat, then you will end up with the dreaded skinny fat body, and you will be less healthy than when you started.  This can occur if your nutrition plan is not worked out properly, and / or you are doing too much steady rate cardio, and not enough strength training, leading to muscle wasting.

Nobody wants to be skinny fat, better to be lean and strong!

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Over training is a trap that fitness fanatics can easily fall into as well, which will lead to muscle waste, and therefore a decline in lean body mass.

Methods to calculate lean body mass

Bearing in mind that the body structures of males and females are different, there are four main methods used by a lean body mass calculator to estimate lean body mass.  These formulas are as follow;

Boer Formula:

For Men:

0.407 × weight[kg] + 0.267 × height[cm] – 19.2

For Women:

0.252 × weight[kg] + 0.473 × height[cm] – 48.3

James Formula:

For Men:

1.1 × weight[kg] – 128 × ( weight[kg] / height[cm] ) 2

For Women:

1.07 × weight[kg] – 148 × ( weight[kg] / height[cm] ) 2

Hume Formula:

For Men:

0.32810 × weight[kg] + 0.33929 × height[cm] – 29.5336

For Women:

0.29569 × weight[kg] + 0.41813 × height[cm] – 43.2933

Peters Formula:

The peters equation is used to calclate LBM of children (up to 13-14 years old) and this equation is based on an estimated extracellular volume (eECV) as given:

eECV = 0.0215·W0.6469·H0.7236

eLBM = 3.8·eECV

You can select any of these formulas in the lean body mass calculator below;

The most accurate way to calculate your lean body mass however, is to first measure and calculate your body fat percentage.

Once you know your body fat percentage, it’s easy to calculate lean body mass accurately using the following simple formula;

Body fat % divided by 100 x total body weight = answer – total body weight = lean body mass

Eg; If I weigh 69kg with 18% body fat the formula would be;

18 / 100 x 69 = 12.42 – 69 = 56.58kg lean body mass.

The important key to obtaining an accurate lean body mass measurement is to first have an accurate body fat measurement.

This has all been included in the lean body mass calculator and body fat percentage calculator below.

The body fat percentage calculator enables you to select any of the nine methods of calculating body fat, therefore you will be able to obtain accurate data, based on the measurement methods readily available to you.

Methods of measuring body fat percentage

So, to calculate your body fat percentage and therefore how lean are you, the following methods, as included in the calculator above, will help you to get the result.

Also, following the description of these methods, you will find a diagram to help you with the skinfold or points to be measured on the body, as referred to in these methods.

(YMCA) Method

This method uses the formula developed by the YMCA that aims to evaluate the body fat of an individual, although this approach is not reliable as a water displacement test. This methodology only works within 1-3% accuracy for most people.

The steps to apply this test are using a tape measure to get the measurements of your waist. The waist is located between the belly button and below the rib cage. After having the waist measurement, the formula will consider the gender and current weight to generate the body fat result.

Modified YMCA Method

The difference between the body fat calculator YMCA and the modified YMCA Method is that in this method five different measurements are taken for the female group such as Forearm circumference, hips, waist, weight, and wrist. All five measurements are necessary to calculate the body fat for a female group, while for the male group the measures are only for waist and weight, the same as the body fat calculator YMCA.

This formula is more accurate for women with a pear body shape due to the measurements taken around the hips, while for man it is consistent with the body fat calculator YMCA.

Covert Bailey Formula

This is considered one of the most recent formulas to measure body fat and is done in imperial measurements. It consists in taking the size of four different parts of your body;

For a female group the measures are for the calf, hips, thigh and wrist, while for the male group the same measurements except for the calf which instead is the forearm circumference.

Jackson/Pollock 7 Calliper Formula

This method for measuring body fat was created by Dr Jackson and Dr Pollock as its name indicates. This formula measures seven parts of the subcutaneous fat of the body. The same locations for the measurements apply for both men and women.

For taking these measurements in the body you are going to need a skinfold calliper and use it in the right side of the body, pinching the middle of the skin. Experts recommend taking the measurements twice for increased accuracy of the results. If there are huge variations between the two results, then take a third measurement.

The seven locations of the body for the measurements are:  Abdominal, Chest, Midaxillary, Subscapular, Suprailiac, Triceps and Thighs

Jackson/Pollock 3 Calliper Formula

As mentioned in the previous formula this formula was created by Dr Jackson and Dr Pollock. This method measures three points of body, recommended to be the right side. The difference here is that the measurements for the group of women are different of the group of men.

For men the skinfold measurements are taken for abdomen, chest and thigh; While for the female gender measurements are taken for suprailiac crest, thigh and triceps.

For the best results it is important to take the measurement twice, if these measures are not consistent is recommend doing it for the third time for greater accuracy.

Jackson and Pollock 4 Calliper Formula

This formula provides the body fat percentage measured with only four skinfold measurements, a little simpler than the Jackson and Pollock 7 calliper formula and more accurate than the Jackson and Pollock 3 calliper formula.

The four points of measurement for the skinfold are the same for the group of women and men.

It is recommended to measure the right part of the body and doing each measurement twice for accuracy. Again, do a third measurement if your two results vary  too widely.

The four points are Abdominal, Suprailiac, thigh and triceps.

Parrillo Calliper Formula

This formula helps to provide a body fat percentage using a calliper as a tool and measures nine skinfolds points of the body for both men and women. The fact that this method does not differentiate between both genders makes it less accurate than other methods that do differentiate between genders.

The nine skinfold measurements are taken from the Abdominal, Bicep, Calf, Chest, Lower Back, Subscapular, Suprailiac, Tights and Triceps.

Durnin / Womersley Calliper Formula

This method for measuring body fat was created by Durbin and Womersley. This formula measures four skinfold points in the body, which are the same for the group of female and male including all the age ranges. Therefore, when this method is compared with other methods, the body fat percentage formula is not as accurate.

This formula works better on the average person, meanwhile for athletes or fit people it’s not the best one due to the core fundamental in the formula.

The skinfold measurements are taken for the Bicep, Subscapular, Suprailiac and Triceps.

Navy Tape Measure Formula

This method of measuring body fat is, as the name suggests, used in the U.S navy to estimate your body fat as one of the filters required to join the military service.

The tool for taking the dimension required for the result of the body fat % is a tape measure for getting the dimensions of the hip, neck, and waist. Those are combined with the gender and height.

Body Fat Measurement Locations

body fat measurement locations chart

Ideal body fat percentage chart

*From the American Council on Exercise

DESCRIPTION

MEN

WOMEN

Essential fat

2%-5%

10%-13%

Athletes

6%-13%

14%-20%

Fitness

14%-17%

21%-24%

Average

18%-24%

25%-31%

Obese

25%+

32%+

Understanding Lean Body Mass

The medical definition of lean body  mass according to William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR is “the mass of the body minus the fat”

Your lean body mass is basically all of your body composition including a small percentage of essential body fat, less any other body fat.  The essential body fat for men is 3% – 4% of total body mass in men and 5% - 7% of total body mass in women.

Lean body mass weighs more than fat. In fact, muscles are 79% of water meanwhile fat is only 5-10% water composition. Therefore, lean body mass is eight times more dense than the corresponding amount of fat.

For example, having two people of the same age and height, one of them can show a normal weight and have excess of fat, meanwhile, the other one can be heavier more than they should be according to the BMI tables, and without taking the body fat measurements of both, you can’t know their lean body mass, and therefore whether they are a “healthy” body composition or not.

Why is lean body mass different to body fat mass?

The reason for this is that lean body mass weighs much more than the fat, and it is the best indicator for determining when a person is within the range of healthy or unhealthy (obesity or malnourished), although the lean body mass varies within an average person, an athlete and between genders.

Two people of the same sex, height and body weight can look completely different, due to their different body composition.

For example, lean body mass for an athlete is lower than the average person. Men have less body fat than women as men tend to have more muscle mass than women and females hold more fat due to the way the body works for the role of the women to become a mum.

People who are leaner have a higher metabolic rate. This means, people with less body fat have a quick metabolism, therefore, they burn more calories.

Lean body tissue takes up less space than body fat tissue, so if you want to be smaller or “leaner” it makes sense to increase lean body tissue, thereby speeding up your metabolism and losing excess body fat.

Why is lean body mass different to muscle mass?

So, as we’ve outlined above, lean body mass is essentially the total weight of your body minus the excess or non-essential fat mass.

Muscle mass is therefore a part of your lean body mass. 

Given muscle is also 80% water, the amount of fluid you have in your body throughout the day will cause muscle mass to fluctuate, as therefore does your lean body mass.

A gain in lean body mass is therefore not always a gain in muscle mass.

Just drank 5 glasses of water, my lean muscle gains are off the charts!

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When people talk about ‘lean muscle’ it’s a bit misleading.  What they really should be referring to is lean body mass.

Skeletal muscles are the muscles which are developed through resistance training. It’s difficult to calculate accurately how much of a lean body mass gain is due to an increase in skeletal muscle, particularly given the fluctuation of water content within muscle, and lean body mass generally.

The In Body direct segmental multi frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis will give you a result that separates your skeletal muscle mass from your lean body mass. So, if you have access to one of these machines to monitor your body composition, then use the technology!

For the rest of us, it’s best to focus on what you can measure most accurately, so track your body fat and lean body mass.  From these you will get a good measure of how your body composition is changing.

You know the how and why of using a lean body mass calculator

I know this article will help you to find how lean your body mass is, and percentage of body fat you have, to help you stay on track to a fitter, healthier, leaner body.

Now it’s up to you to stay focused, be disciplined with your training and diet, and achieve your fitter, leaner, healthier physique!

These articles will help you achieve your lean body mass goals;

Sports nutrition for the body you wantSports nutrition isn't just for top athletes, because you deserve to have the best body you

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Diet plan for healthy weight loss; Maintain a healthy clean diet, and undertake regular exercise. That’s the simple truth.  It’s often made

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Disclaimer

This article and the lean body mass and body fat calculators provided are intended for informational purposes only, the results that you will get from this quality calculator are just estimations. Before making any decisions regarding diet, exercise or anything else relating to your health, you should consult with a medical expert.

Female Muscle Growth: Best Tips for a Lean, Athletic Body

female muscle growth

Female Muscle Growth: How to get a lean athletic body 

There has always been differing opinions about female muscle growth. But the bottom line is, women are realising in ever increasing numbers, that it is possible, and that a strong athletic appearance is sexy and healthy.

You may have different reasons for wanting to build muscle. In my experience, most women have more than one motive for exercising.

You could be pursuing female muscle growth to change your appearance or feel healthier, stronger, and more confident.

My muscles are my sexiest outfit

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Here is a closer look at some of the benefits of female muscle growth:

  • Building muscle boosts fat loss. Muscles increase your metabolism, causing your body to burn more fat.
  • Building muscle will make you feel more confident and enhance your mood.
  • Building muscle makes your body stronger and lowers your chances of injury, back pain, and arthritis.
  • Building muscle will make you more energetic and improve your athleticism.
  • Building muscle lowers your chances of getting diabetes or heart disease.

Now that we know just why building muscle is healthy, we can look deeper into the overall exercise and diet strategy.

Exercises and Exercise Strategy

When it comes to building muscle, you already have one of the best pieces of equipment to do the job: your body. You don't have to be too rigid or punishing to begin to see gains, especially if you haven’t done much training previously.

I suggest committing to routines and styles that you enjoy to start with. These workouts will be much easier to stick with in the long run. Also, you shouldn't think that one type of exercise is the only answer. You can mix weight lifting with high-intensity interval training, body weight exercises, and even yoga classes for increased flexibility.

Once your level of fitness and strength has progressed to a stage where you need more resistance to continue to make gains, then hitting the iron, with a focus on heavy compound movements will be the best strategy to continue to build muscle.

How many days a week should I work out to build muscle? It depends on your goals, but mixing exercises daily and keeping weight training to three days per week will help you build lean muscle.

Women do typically recover faster from weight training than men do, but you will still need to ensure adequate rest in between training sessions, to allow for recovery.  That’s actually when the muscle growth occurs.

Know that you have options

As I've just pointed out, pumping iron isn't the only way to pursue female muscle growth. Sure, you can try the gym, but there are other ways to do it, especially if you're on a tight budget.

 Simple exercises, such as squats, sit-ups, and others that rely on body weight, can give results just as lifting does.  You will just need to find ways to ensure progressive overload, as I explain in the post below;

According to Wikipedia, progressive overload is "the gradual increase of stress placed upon the body during exercise training. It was developed by

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Tips for reps

Whatever exercise you do, don't waste too much time trying to do the perfect rep. The trick is to repeat a move until you can do no more. And choose weights for each exercise which are going to challenge you and allow you to continue to achieve progressive overload. 

An important starting point is to know what your one rep max is, so that you can set the correct weight and reps for each  exercise.  Refer to the rep calculator below if you don’t already know what your one rep maximum is.

One Rep Max Calculator - Measure Your ProgressTo prepare accurate strength training programs, you need to measure your current strength. Use this simple

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Another thing to remember here is to have a mix of isotonic and isometric exercises to balance the stress on your joints.

Isotonic exercises include moves like push-ups, squats, crunches, triceps dips, and donkey kicks. Isometric exercises include moves like planks, wall sits, glute bridges, boat poses, and warrior poses.

Why should you have this mix? Isotonic exercises will be intense on your joints, so you should try mixing in isometric exercises as a different way to place load on the muscle without extra strain on joints..

You can hold isometric positions for at least 30 seconds when you're just starting, and then slowly increase the hold times as you grow stronger. Mixing these exercises can also help you develop the kind of lean muscle that you want, as a range of different stresses on your muscles will develop a more athletic musculature than say, just doing heavy weights all the time.

Do more compound exercises

I mentioned this briefly above, but it’s worth repeating here, because if you are really chasing significant muscle growth, you will need to embrace the major compound lifts..

When doing exercises for lean muscle growth, try to choose those that target as many muscle groups as possible. This approach will increase your exercise efficiency as well, meaning you’ll get better results from less time spent in the gym.

Also the big compound lifts engage the major muscles in your body, and allow you to engage maximum muscle fibers by lifting the heavy.  That allows the muscle to break down, and then rebuild stronger muscle fibers.  That produces what we refer to as “muscle growth”.

Side plank rotations, burpees, push up and mountain climbers are some examples of compound exercises using body weight. Bench  press, squats, dead lifts are examples of compound exercises using weights.

These exercises not only target multiple muscle groups but also get your heart beating faster and burning more calories in the process.

Diet Strategy for Female Muscle Growth

When it comes to diet, there are quite a few diet mistakes that most women make when trying to build muscle and lose fat.

These include the following:

  • Fad diets. Dieting has become a billion-dollar industry built on unrealistic promises and foods that aren't as healthy as advertised. Countless people stick to fad diets and still don't see any lasting results. A combination of under eating and over training is not only going to leave you feeling tired and overwhelmed, but it's also not going to help you grow any muscle.
  • Another common mistake is experiencing food guilt. Many women allow their slip-ups to define them and become their own greatest critics. As a result, they either fall into unhealthy exercise practices or give up altogether. Just because you enjoyed a cheeseburger doesn't mean that all your efforts get canceled out.
  • Many women also try to restrict fats and carbohydrates from their diet when exercising. Carbs and fats get blamed for weight gain. However, you cannot leave them out of your diet as they're still responsible for providing nutrients to help muscle growth.

So what should you do to come up with a better diet?

Prepackaged diet foods are usually not worth it

Fad diets are quite tempting, but the vast majority of them don't work. As for the ones that do, they are not sustainable in the long term.

It may be convenient to use shakes, health bars, and pre-made meals for a while, but these programs teach you nothing about maintaining proper nutrition or building lean muscle.

Fad diets also are rarely for female muscle growth. Instead, they are targeted for those looking to lose weight.

Don’t totally avoid carbs

While unhealthy carbs, such as white bread or french fries, are not the best options, carbs from whole grains, such as brown rice, can improve health, energy, and muscle growth.

Focus on growing your muscles

Rather than focusing on eating for fat loss, try to focus on eating for muscle gain. You can do this by eating lean protein, such as red meat, chicken, beans, tofu, and fish.

While there are variations of sports specific diets which may suit some individuals better than others, that level of specialisation is something which you should really only do under the guidance of an experienced sports nutritionist.

The primary diet type which the majority of people will find produces good results is a high protein diet.  This will typically contain a mix of macro nutrients in the range of;

  • Protein = 50%
  • Carbohydrates = 20%
  • Fats = 30%
weight training for muscle growth

What supplements do I really need?

There is a  massive supplements industry that spends massive amounts advertising their products to you.  This can naturally make you feel as though taking many different supplements is a necessary part of building muscle, if you want "the best results". 

The truth is, most of it is unnecessary and simply over hyped. 

All of the creatine, pre-workout drinks, post-workout drinks, Amino acids, glutamine, fat shredders etc, etc are simply not necessary for most people.  Unless you have received specific advice from a medical professional, or a qualified nutritionist then simply don't bother yourself with any of these. 

Our bodies contain the biochemistry required to perform, and unless you have ben properly tested and found to be lacking in a specific vitamin, amino acid or the like, adding extra in will not help, and can sometimes actually be harmful. 

Many of the strength training or body building sites which you may have seen who may be recommending a range of supplements, are usually either selling them directly, or receiving commissions when you buy them, so they have a vested interest in telling you that they work. 

The only supplement that I incorporate into my nutrition plan is protein.  And that's really only because when you are following a high protein diet, it can be hard to get as much protein as you need from only natural food. 

The best way to get your nutrition is from healthy natural foods.  I only supplement my diet with two protein shakes a day.  And that will usually be plenty for most people, who are training hard.  

To learn more about the major macro nutrients, and how to calculate them in your diet, along with how to work out the correct nutrition plan to achieve the body you want, read the posts below which explain this in detail.

What are macro nutrients?You might think that the question, what are macro nutrients is pretty boring, but you'd be wrong.  You really

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Sports nutrition for the body you wantSports nutrition isn't just for top athletes, because you deserve to have the best body you

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Remember that you are eating for muscle gain.  That’s your focus, not weight loss. 

If you are targeting weight loss, then you will usually create a calorie deficit, so the reverse is actually what you should be doing, to give your body the nutrients and energy it needs to make muscle growth.  Once you have worked out the daily caloric intake required to maintain your body (refer to the posts above) then I suggest you start with a diet that includes 120% of your maintenance requirement.

Don’t worry.  As long as you are eating the right mix of macro nutrients, and training hard, you won’t get fat, just build that lean athletic body you want.

A key thing to note there is, “and training hard”.  If you don’t push yourself and learn to love the burn from a truly hard training session, then you just won’t get the results. 

female muscle growth squats

There is no magic muscle fairy

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Do hormones dictate female muscle growth?

It's pretty widely accepted that men can gain muscle much easier than women, because they have far more testosterone, but is that really correct? 

While research does show that men typically produce about 15% to 20% more testosterone than women, that doesn't actually answer the question.  Yes, there are differences in male and female hormone levels, but is that really a determining factor in muscle growth. 

Studies that have focused directly on answering this question of muscle growth levels in response to strength training, have found that in fact there is little different in the ability of a male and female to gain muscle.

The reality is that men generally have a larger anatomy / bone structure, and start with about twice as much muscle as a woman.  So naturally, they generally look bigger. 

Men also have traditionally focused more on muscle growth for size than women do.  They focus on the things that lead to muscle growth, like eating excess calories, including high protein intake, and lifting heavy weights. You see, lifting heavy isn't all about their egos!

Given the studies actually show that women can develop muscle at almost the same level as men, hormones aren't really the excuse many view them as.  A woman can build muscle, if they follow the right nutrition and training plans with consistency.

Don't be too hard on yourself: Female muscle growth is hard work

Guilt cycles are a normal part of exercise and diet routines. However, don't let them affect your mindset. One unhealthy meal will not jeopardize your efforts.

The occasional vacation from your diet is an excellent way to reward yourself. Instead of feeling guilty afterward, though, focus on getting back to your workout and diet routine after your splurge.

It's Time To Start Building Muscle

These are some of the essential tips to implement for female muscle growth. As you can see, the essence of it is basically to do exercises you enjoy, eat healthily, have realistic expectations, and not to be too hard on yourself.

The most important thing to remember, however, is that consistency is just as important as intensity. By taking those small steps every day, you'll get so much farther ahead in a year than you might ever have imagined.

 Example Muscle Building Training Plan

*THIS PLAN DOES NOT PROVIDE PERSONAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical consultation, diagnosis or treatment. Nothing in this article is to be taken as personal advice.  Always consult your own personal medical physician prior to starting any new activity.

Exercise

Set 1

Set 2

Set 3 

Day 1

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Bench press

80 x 25

85 x 16

90 x 10

Pull downs

80 x 16

85 x 10

90 x 10

Dead lifts

125 x 10

145 x 10

165 x 10

Day 2

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Military press

60 x 20

70 x 14

75 x 8

Incline curl

30 x 16

30 x 25

35 x 16

Incline scull crushers

30 x 12

32 x 10

35 x 10

BB curl

50 x 10

50 x 10

55 x 10

Day 3

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Leg press

250 x 22

270 x 12

290 x 12

squat

70 x 16

80 x 10

90 x 10

Leg curl

35 x 16

40 x 12

45 x 8

Day 4

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Bench

90 x 10

95 x 5

60 x 20

Pull downs

85 x 12

90 x 10

100 x 8

Dead lifts

130 x 12

150 x 10

170 x 5

Day 5

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Military press

60 x 10

70 x 10

75 x 10

Incline curl

30 x 22

30 x 16

30 x 10

Incline scull crushers

30 x 16

32 x 14

35 x 10

Tricep push down

40 x 35

50 x 20

60 x 12

Day 6

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Leg press

265 x 20

280 x 15

300 x 10

Squat

75 x 16

85 x 10

85 x 10

Leg curl

50 x 12

60 x 10

60 x 10

Day 7

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Bench

100 x 10

105 x 10

40 x 40

Pull downs

90 x 10

100 x 6

110 x 6

Dead lifts

140 x 10

160 x 10

180 x 5

Day 8

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Military press

60 x 10

60 x 12

60 x 15

Incline curl

30 x 25

30 x 20

30 x 15

Incline scull crushers

35 x 20

35 x 16

35 x 10

BB curl

50 x 25

55 x 25

60 x 15

Day 9

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Leg press

280 x 20

295 x 15

315 x 10

Squat

80 x 20

90 x 10

60 x 12

Leg curl

50 x 12

60 x 10

60 x 10

Day 10

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Bench

100 x 10

120 x 5

120 x 8

Pull downs

100 x 10

110 x 8

120 x 8

Dead lifts

145 x 10

160 x 5

100 x 16

Day 11

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Military press

70 x 8

75 x 5

80 x 5

Incline curl

35 x 20

35 x 15

40 x 10

Incline scull crushers

35 x 15

35 x 12

40 x 10

Tricep push down

40 x 35

50 x 20

60 x 15

Day 12

weight x reps

weight x reps

weight x reps

Leg press

290 x 20

310 x 15

330 x 10

Squat

85 x 15

90 x 10

60 x 20

Leg curl

50 x 15

60 x 12

60 x 12

The weights used in the above example training plan, will obviously not be suitable for everyone reading this.  As a reminder, I mentioned above that you should calculate your one rep max, which will then allow you to set an appropriate weight for the reps you want to complete in each exercise. 

You can find the calculator, along with further explanation here.

This is the first cycle in the type of strength training plan that you should follow, with each following training cycle being adjusted to ensure progressive overload. 

Remember to schedule rest days between the training days to allow yourself adequate recovery. 

Note the inclusion of major compound exercises like bench, dead lifts and squats, along with leg press, which you can really load up with heavy weights.  Remember, strength training should focus on moving the maximum amount of weight, not chasing silly myths.

So, you've now got the tools and the know how to produce muscle growth for the lean athletic body of your dreams.  It's up to you to put it into practice, to build a stronger, healthier, sexier body.

Fitness Goals for Women

fitness goals for women

Fitness Goals for Women Who Want Results

Why fitness goals for women? Well, it’s so easy to forget that like anything else worth achieving in life, great fitness results need a plan. Random workouts or fitness classes just won’t cut it, if you’re chasing significant improvement.

Exercise helps to deal with hormonal mood swings, improves sleep, it's vital for brain health & memory, and keeps your weight in check. It also helps to prevent osteoporosis and bone loss in older women, so the range of benefits only increases as you age.

When setting your fitness goals, you should be completely honest with yourself. It's essential to set fitness goals you can follow through. You don't have to embark on an overly intense fitness plan; a much less complicated plan with achievable goals will make a significant difference.

It’s important to know that it doesn’t matter where you are on your fitness journey, whether you’re a mum whose never trained before, or a highly trained athlete, all of us need to have a sold plan, if we are going to continue to achieve more. 

Body goals motivate us to perform at our absolute best in every workout!

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Having fitness goals is the starting point to really commit to how you are going to take action to achieve your personal vision of whatever fitness goals means for you.

If you don’t have a plan, with properly structured goals, I’m sure that you will find your fitness stagnating, if not going backwards.

We don’t want that!

How to Set Fitness Goals as a Woman

Your goals should be long terms goals, for example, setting your fitness goals for the year 2020 or 2021. Your plan should go down to daily goals. Taking a step at a time is a sure way of achieving your objectives.

Before you go to sleep, you must be aware of what you shall be doing the next day. When this becomes a routine, it gives your day a structure and helps to increase happiness and keep you motivated as you achieve your micro goals every day.

It's also vital to avoid comparing yourself with others when setting your fitness goals. Remember, you're setting these goals for yourself and not for others. It also helps to keep track of your progress.

You'll agree with me you can feel extremely discouraged when you see your friends or family making remarkable achievements in their fitness journey, but take it at your pace. Slow progress is still progress, and you can keep improving each day and ultimately achieve your objectives. This happens when physical exercise and a healthy diet becomes a daily routine.

When embarking on a fitness journey, you can set your goals using either the SMART or the SCAMPI program. The SMART programs help you to set specific, measurable, achievable, and relevant and time-bound goals. Let's get a more in-depth look at the SCAMPI program since it's not as common as the former. SCAMPI stands for:

S: Specific

You must set specific goals if you want to realize meaningful achievements. For example, you can say, I want to lose 20kgs in three months to look great on my wedding dress. Looking at this goal, you know what you want and why.

C: Challenging

The goals should be not only specific but also challenging. If it isn't, then it's not worth pursuing. For example, why set a goal of losing 20kgs in three months, yet you can lose 30kgs in the same period with more effort?

A: Approach

When setting your fitness goals, your approach/mindset/attitude should be correct. For example, you should lose weight because you want to avoid chronic illness or to please your spouse, but not because you hate how you look.

M: Measurable

You should be able to monitor your progress in your fitness journey. For example, if you want to lose 30kgs in three months, you need to track your weight loss per week and month. This will help you in determining your progress.

P: Proximal

This means you need to break your big tasks/goals into smaller and more manageable targets. Accomplishing small goals works wonders in achieving your ultimate goals. Your fitness journey should be a daily routine. Again, when you achieve small goals, you're motivated to go for the entire program.

I: Inspirational

Finally, these goals should be in line with your ambitions and ideals; remember you're doing this for yourself.

Below is an example of some possible smart fitness goals for 2020

1. Working out for 30 minutes five time each week

In a bid to achieve this goal, I make sure I wake up 30 minutes earlier each day for workouts. Before going to bed, I set my alarm to awake at 5.00 am. My first task after waking up is exercise before settling for my daily devotion and meditation, which also takes another 30 minutes. Afterward, I take my shower, dress up, take my breakfast, and proceed with my daily work.

Fitness goals for women - military press

2. Doing yoga once a week

Each Saturday after work, I engage in yoga for at least 30 minutes. This helps to keep my spine, muscles, and joints flexible and open, besides preventing injuries. Additionally, it helps to release the stress and tension I have built up over the week leading to a more balanced mind and body.

fitness goals for women - yoga

3. A three-minutes plank each day

In my daily workouts, I have made it a routine to include a three-minute plank. This is next to impossible for most of us, but it's achievable. Initially, I started with a 20 second plank, but in six weeks, I will be able to hold a three minute plank.

fitness goals for women - plank

4. Building strength

Surprisingly you don't have to visit the gym for strength training; I do it at home. I have several weights that I use for these exercises. If you don't have funds to purchase weights, you can improvise by making weights out of every day objects.
fitness goals for women - weights


Common Fitness Goals for women

The following are some of the most common fitness goals for ladies.

  • Losing fat: If you want to lose fat, you must implement the right practices to achieve the goal. For example, you'll need to cut down on lousy carbs, build your muscle tissue, and eat better to stabilize blood sugar levels besides reducing your caloric intake.
  • Building muscles and getting stronger: Hard and progressive resistance training is one of the best ways of achieving this goal. You must also eat properly to provide your body with the right nutrients required for strength and growth.
  • Improving endurance: A daily 20-30 minutes of high-level progressive training using a stepper, rower, or similar devices will help to improve your endurance. Body-weight circuits and boot camp workouts will achieve the same results. Ensure the exercise you choose gets your heart rate up. Initially, you'll experience some discomfort.
  • Improving athletic skills: If you want to be a better sportsperson, say a tennis player, basketballer, or footballer, it's vital to improve your athletic abilities. This will come via consistent practice. Actively practicing a specific skill helps to improve it.
  • Increasing flexibility: Genetic endowments affect your joints flexibility. Your skeletal structure controls movements in your bones. Active stretches and static stretches help increase your flexibility
  • Sculpt, tone and firming up: Toning is about building muscles and losing fat. Firmness is related to toning since you can only "firm" muscles by losing fat and strength training.

Genetics determine muscle belly size. For example, some individuals have long muscle bellies while others have short muscle bellies. Strength training helps in sculpting muscles. Ladies can rely on squatting, cardio machines, and dead-lifting heavyweights to tone up and fix any soft spots.

Body goals for women

Some Realistic Fitness Goals

I’m always stressing the need for having fitness goals. But the most important thing isn't to just have goals but to set realistic fitness goals.

The first question your fitness trainer will ask you is what you want to achieve in your fitness journey. The answer helps them to develop a clear path that will take you to your destination.

If you're able to measure your progress, and the goals are realistic, the following are some of the realistic fitness goals that women can make.

  • Fitness as a Routine

If you aspire to keep fit, you must make fitness a routine. Although there's nothing wrong with shaping up for a specific event such as a wedding, bikini season, or a reunion, if you want to the best from your fitness journey, you should make it a routine.

A long-term approach should be your primary aim. It's possible to keep your gym goals, wake up in the morning for your workouts or schedule them in the evenings after work, and adhere to your calendar. Finding a workout partner is one of the best ways of making fitness a routine.

You must also be deliberate about your training and investing in a few workout devices besides a gym subscription. Your aim should be to establish your fitness goals and work each day towards them. By the time you're achieving them, you'll be completely hooked to them that you'll not consider abandoning them.

  • Master a skill

It's possible to master any skill provided you set realistic goals. For example, you can choose to learn to lift weights, Pilates, or boxing. In this case, you need to set specific goals, including a daily routine that will take you to the destination.

Writing down the goal helps to give the skill the much-needed boost. It's vital to set deadlines and milestones from your journey. If you've never been motivated about fitness, choose a specific skill, and direct your energies to master it.

It's possible to master any fitness skills as long as you're ready to pay the right price. Alternatively, you can work with an accountability partner; say your trainer or spouse, to motivate you in achieving your set fitness goals.

  • Lowering Body Fat

You'll hear most ladies saying they want to "lean out." This simply means they want to lose body fat. Your goal should be to lose body fat and gain muscle mass. Fat takes more space in your body compared to muscle fibers.

Talk to your trainer about how much fat you want to lose. You can determine your body fat composition via simple methods such as using a body-comp scale, or a skin-fold caliper. These methods will only give an estimate, which varies in accuracy depending how experienced you are at taking these measurements; accurate results come via lab tests, although they are more expensive.

Once you get your results, your gym trainer will help you in choosing the best workouts to help you achieve your goal. The main objectives are to shift your body composition by shedding extra fat and gaining muscle mass.

  • Getting stronger

As a woman, you may never bulk up if you don't consider getting stronger. It's easier to quantify getting more energetic compared to toning up. When ladies want to build muscles, they refer to this  as "toning up." You can measure strength by the number of push-ups you can do, the number of reps or the weight you can lift. A good starting point that will help you with this is our one rep max calculator.

Building strength should be the goal of any woman. How easy you lift that grocery bag, your suitcases, or buckets at home indicate your level of power. You can also check on your muscle definition in your mirror. Interestingly you can be strong but skinny.

  • Train for an event

Under some circumstances, you can shape up with a deadline, like when training for a fitness event. Some individuals are deadline-oriented; thus, a specific target may motivate them to work effortlessly and keep up with the training.

For example, you can sign up for a marathon and train to be the winner. Once the workout becomes a habit; chances are you'll continue exercising even after the event is over.

The role of diet in keeping fit

A healthy diet should be one of your main focuses in keeping fit. Eating right helps your body to access the right nutrients required to build muscles, lose fat, and reduce the risk of illness. Healthy eating is part of smart fitness goals. Healthy eating is an essential part of a good fitness program.

Eating right isn't choosing fruits over doughnuts; it means taking the right foods and at the right time. You must learn the importance of a healthy breakfast, meal plans, and workout snacks, if you have an issue with proper nutrition for fitness, you can seek the help of a nutritionist.

Although dietary intake for each individual differs, your meals should typically include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, adequate proteins, nuts and legumes, and sufficient water intake. For example, fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals, natural fiber, and other compounds required for a healthy body.

You should aim for the "super foods" or the nutrient-dense foods that are rich sources of mineral, vitamins, and antioxidants. Some super foods contain substances that aid in burning body fat. For example, red peppers contain capsaicin, compounds that are efficient in burning fat.

This article on healthline has some good pointers on a healthy balanced diet.

You can learn more about healthy eating, and creating the perfect diet for you, in the following posts;

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Over to you!

Keeping fit should be the goal of each woman. Your daily choices determine your health. Although you may not have everything under your control, some habits and approaches you take will make a significant difference in your fitness.

Personally, I get loads of satisfaction from being able to recognize that I’m achieving my fitness goals consistently, no matter what else is going on in my life.

Exercise and diet remain the two primary attributes that contribute to your fitness. Since you have control over these two, make the best use of them when setting your fitness goals.

The following will help you get these right;

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Home Workout Plan For Women

home workout plan for women

Home workout plan for women

You might think that following a home workout plan for women won't achieve as good a body as you would build if your workouts were gym based exercises. You'd be wrong!

A workout plan which allows you to create a variety of workouts will keep your body challenged, so whether you want to build muscle, increase strength, create weight loss or practically any other training goal a home workout plan is easily adaptable, and will keep you on track to get your fitness goals.

On the other hand, when you are training in the gym environment it is really easy to get stuck in the rut of doing the same thing over and over, and after a while your fitness gains will get smaller and harder to achieve.

COVID 19 has shown us all that you can't always rely on having a centre to train in, but hey we're all strong adaptable women, so we're not letting that hold us back. 

Why you should create a home workout plan

Can you do workouts at home?

Hell yes you can!

Don't let anyone make you think that you need a gym to build muscle and workout like a champion.

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Once you've got some basic equipment, it's free to train at home, and you'll also save time because you get to train at a time that suites you without needing any travel. The upside is great, so don't let anything hold you back.

But just training free style, without having any type of planned program will make it hard to ensure you are doing the right type of progressive exercises, getting enough rest and staying motivated.

The biggest benefit you will find from taking the time to plan properly before you start is that you are far more likely to see significant results. 

home workout for body goals

How to create an effective home workout plan

What is the best home workout routine?

That is a pretty common question, so surely someone has already answered it for you. I've just googled it, and received about 195,000,000 answers. I've looked through the first five pages, and everyone has a different suggestion. My head's spinning, it's so confusing;

  • 28 best home workouts...
  • 10 of the best...
  • workouts without equipment...
  • exercise with equipment...
  • etc, etc, etc.
  • With that many choices and different variables, where everyone seems to have a different opinion it can make it really hard to decide on a fitness plan which is right for you. It's easy to waste lots of time and energy trying to workout without being able to get the results you desire.

    I'm not making negative comment about any of these programs, just pointing out that you will be far better off if you learn how to create your own, the right way.

    It's far better to take some time and decide on some fitness goals you want to achieve, then you will be able to narrow the choices down to target the right workout which you can get done at home to produce the most effective results. 

    benefits of home workout plan for women

    First step;

    You need to work out your fitness goals.

    Each goal should be smart;

    S = specific

    M = measurable

    A = achievable

    R = Realistic

    T = Timely

    So, one example goal could be; My workout will need to burn at least 600 calories and will take me no longer than one hour.

    Another example goal could be; my current body weight is 70kg's and by week 10 of my workout program my body weight should be 65kg.

    You should work out smart goals for each aspect of your workout program which is important to you including things like;

  • body weight goals
  • body fat % goals
  • strength goals
  • required training time
  • rest periods both while training and for recovery
  • cardiovascular fitness
  • Remember to make your goals focus on things that are achievable for you, as every time you reach your goal, it will help to motivate you to set new goals and continue progressing every day.

    Second step;

    How to record your workout and progress.

    Given each of your goals above will be measurable it's important to be able to record the results of each workout.

    That will enable you to track your progress to ensure you achieve the set goal. It's particularly important to record what weight you are using in each workout together with the number of reps completed, so that you ensure the program is creating a progressive overload. You can read more about that, and why it's important here.

    You will find a good selection of fitness tracking apps here I suggest that you look to use different options that are free to start with, until you have a better feel for what type of functionality and features are the right one for you.

    A program like my fitness pal is a popular one which will allow you to track your nutrition as well which is something that you really will need to do to reach your body goals. 

    Third step;

    Choose which exercises to include in your program, to produce results you'll love.

    You will need to assess what exercise equipment and resources are available to use, including things like;

    • a dumbbell set;
    • bands;
    • medicine ball;
    • kettle bells;
    • barbell with weights;
    • bike either stationary or mobile;
    • any other portable gym gear.

    Once you have assessed your equipment and resources that will narrow down the range of exercises to include in your workouts.

    Remember that it's important to choose activities which you will enjoy doing, so that you actually feel like doing them regularly as part of your workout.

    Obviously you will be tracking the calories burned during each different workout, and so will be able to refine your program as you need to, but to get started you can use reference sources to estimate how many calories each workout will burn. 

    This handy calculator will give you a starting guide;

    Example six week workout plan for women

    Can you get in shape in six weeks?

    Well, that depends on your starting point, and what you actually consider "in shape" means.

    If you are already a reasonably fit and healthy women and you commit to follow your program consistently then it's probably possible for you to achieve a body image which would generally be considered to be in shape.

    The following is an example six week program of workouts using bodyweight, dumbbells, kettlebells and a skipping rope. The program is completed as a circuit moving from one exercise to the next, and back to the beginning to run through all exercises again until the required number of sets is completed.

    It will be a good workout program to increase strength, lose some weight and if you keep the pace up get some cardiovascular benefits as well.

    We're going to do a set workout three times per week, with a day in between each. You can also add in some extra cardio on alternate days in between, by going for a run or biking. You will be exercising between five and six days in each cycle depending on your starting level of fitness and how much rest your body needs to recover.

    You will find images of each workout exercise following right below the program

    Weeks one and two training program
    session 1
    • 3 minutes skipping x 2 sets
    • body weight squats 10 reps x 3 sets
    • stiff leg deadlift with kettle bell 10 reps x 3 sets
    • Wall sit 30 seconds x 3 sets
    • Dumbbell lunges 10 reps each leg x 3 sets
    • Plank for 30 seconds (make sure you keep a straight back)
    • Push ups 10 reps x 3 sets
    session 2
    • 3 minutes skipping x 2 sets
    • Bicep curls 10 reps x 3 sets
    • Triceps curls 10 reps x 3 sets
    • kettlebell swings 10 reps x 3 sets
    • push ups 10 reps x 3 sets
    • Plank for 30 seconds (make sure you keep a straight back)
    • leg raises 10 reps x 3 sets
    Session 3
    • 3 minutes skipping x 2 sets
    • push ups 10 reps x 3 sets
    • burpees 10 reps x 3 sets
    • Chin ups 5 reps x 3 sets
    • Plank for 30 seconds (make sure you keep a straight back)
    • Sit ups 10 reps x 3 sets
    • Star jumps 10 reps x 3 sets
    Weeks three and four training program
    session 1
    • 3 minutes skipping x 3 sets
    • Flying lunges 10 reps x 3 sets
    • Single leg squat (pistol squat) 5 reps each leg x 3 sets
    • Donkey kicks 10 both legs x 3 sets
    • Dumbbell lunges 10 reps each leg x 3 sets
    • Plank for 60 seconds (make sure you keep a straight back)
    • Push ups 12 reps x 3 sets
    session 2
    • 3 minutes skipping x 3 sets
    • Bicep curls 12 reps x 3 sets
    • Triceps curls 12 reps x 3 sets
    • kettlebell swings 12 reps x 3 sets
    • push ups 12 reps x 3 sets
    • Plank for 60 seconds (make sure you keep a straight back)
    • leg raises 15 reps x 3 sets
    Session 3
    • 3 minutes skipping x 3 sets
    • push ups 12 reps x 3 sets
    • burpees 15 reps x 3 sets
    • Chin ups 7 reps x 3 sets
    • Plank for 60 seconds (make sure you keep a straight back)
    • Sit ups 15 reps x 3 sets
    • Star jumps 15 reps x 3 sets
    Weeks five and six training program
    session 1
    • 3 minutes skipping x 4 sets
    • body weight squats 10 reps x 4 sets
    • stiff leg deadlift with kettle bell 10 reps x 4 sets
    • Wall sit 30 seconds x 4 sets
    • Dumbbell lunges 10 reps each leg x 4 sets
    • Plank for 90 seconds (make sure you keep a straight back)
    • Push ups 10 reps x 4 sets
    session 2
    • 3 minutes skipping x 4 sets
    • Bicep curls 10 reps x 4 sets
    • Triceps curls 10 reps x 4 sets
    • kettlebell swings 10 reps x 4 sets
    • push ups 10 reps x 4 sets
    • Plank for 90 seconds (make sure you keep a straight back)
    • leg raises 10 reps x 4 sets
    Session 3
    • 3 minutes skipping x 4 sets
    • push ups 10 reps x 4 sets
    • burpees 10 reps x 4 sets
    • Chin ups 5 reps x 4 sets
    • Plank for 90 seconds (make sure you keep a straight back)
    • Sit ups 10 reps x 4 sets
    • Star jumps 10 reps x 4 sets
    home workout plan for women - skipping

    Skipping

    body weight squat

    Body weight squat

    stiff legged deadlift upright

    Stiff legged deadlift upright

    stiff legged deadlift - forward

    Stiff legged deadlift - forward

    home workout plan for women - wall sit

    Wall sit

    dumbbell lunges upright

    Dumbbell lunges upright

    dumbell lunges forward

    Dumbell lunges forward

    home workout plan for women - plank

    Plank

    home workout plan for women - push ups

    Push ups

    body goals - bicep curls

    Bicep curls

    body goals - tricep curls

    Tricep curls

    kettlebell swings

    Kettlebell swings

    leg raises

    leg raises

    burpees

    Burpees

    Chin ups

    Chin ups

    sit ups

    Sit ups

    star jumps

    Star jumps

    body goals - flying lunges

    Flying lunges

    pistol squat

    Pistol squat

    donkey kick

    Donkey kick

    Conclusion

    You are now armed with the knowledge to design your own optimum workout, which can be done at home with minimal equipment.

    Remember to always allow your body to recover between workouts, as it is important to have sufficient rest so that you recover and can power back and perform well in your next workout.

    All women who workout and build increased strength, also build increased confidence.

    Strong really is the new black!

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    Most Frequently asked Questions

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    Can you get in shape in 30 days?

    How can I lose tummy fat fast? 

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    Losing Weight Without Cardio

    losing weight without cardio

    Losing weight without cardio, because you should enjoy your weight loss journey

    If the thought of the hours you might need to spend running, biking, or puffing your way through endless sessions on the elliptical machine to lose weight are enough to put you off even getting started, then don’t despair, because losing weight without cardio is totally doable.

    There is a stereotype that you need to make laps in the park as often as possible or to spend hours on a treadmill in the nearest fitness center to lose weight. But here's the thing: running is not a $100 bill, so not everyone likes this activity, or any other long boring cardio for that matter.

    If you never used to run or you don't love that type of training, that’s not really a problem when it comes to losing weight, as there has always been plenty of debate about the pros and cons of both cardio and strength training, when it comes to losing weight.

    Worried if you can still do strength training, or is running your only option without access to the gym?  I know that all of us around the world have been affected by the gym closures caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus.  

    But there are plenty of alternative ways to incorporate strength training at home, in a park or even your own back yard, and I’ll cover some of them here.

    Don't let anything hold you back, not even a COVID-19. You've got this!

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    It is quite possible to build a beautiful body and lose weight without cardio. How? Let's find out.

    Cardio Training

    Lets take a look at a few pros and cons.

    Pros

    • Aerobic training has been shown to be good for brain health in some research.
    • Getting even a small daily dose of aerobic exercise can improve your sleep.
    • Putting your cardiovascular system under stress through aerobic training will improve it, reducing your risk of heart disease.
    • You don't need much equipment to do cardio training.  A good set of running shoes, and some performance active wear and you're ready.

    Cons

    • When your body is in a calorie deficit state it can burn muscle as a source of energy, causing muscle loss.
    • The many hours of cardio needed to sustain weight loss can lead to over-training, and injury through repetitive use of the same joints and muscles.
    • You burn calories while you are training, but that stops as soon as the training does.  So it's pretty inefficient compared to strength training.
    • As your body adapts to the cardio training, you will need to do more and more to increase the intensity to continue producing a progressive overload to sustain weight loss.  That can lead to decreased muscle mass, over-training, lower metabolism and fat retention
    • You can become skinny fat.  Because you will be losing muscle mass, your body can become skinny but still be holding onto fat, which will give you the appearance of being skinny fat.
    • Longer workouts are needed to burn the same amount of  calories as strength training.  While their can be a good calorie burn from doing HIT cardio, the fact that doing strength training will continue to burn calories after your workout is finished, and increase your metabolism as well makes it much more efficient.

    Conclusion:

    While there are obviously some benefits to cardio exercise, there can be quite a few cons as well.  It really comes down to establishing your fitness goals, and then working out a training program which will help you achieve them over the long term, in the most efficient way possible.

    Cardio doesn't mean losing weight

    You may have heard about efficient fat burning during cardio training. But the main objective of such training is to strengthen the cardiovascular system while burning excess fat is secondary. Unlike strength training, the effect of running when it comes to burning calories only impacts your body during your activity. And resistance training accelerates metabolism for a long time, even after you’ve finished a workout.

    Running does not lead to weight loss on its own, without endurance exercise and a proper diet. Even after running the heroic 10 kilometers (that can kill beginner's knees), not a single ounce of body fat will leave your waist or hips. Physiologically, it is not possible.

    During any physical activity, the body feeds on resources that circulate through the bloodstream or those stored in muscle tissue. But when this torture finally stops, you need to replenish that lack of nutrients.

    And it rarely comes from your fat reservoirs. If you like to eat a lot, then your fat storage remains untouched. There will be enough proteins, fats, and carbohydrates from the food you’ve just eaten.

    beef pasta

    But is it possible to lose weight doing cardio?

    Debates among trainers and nutritionists about the secret of successful weight loss will last forever. Now, among reputable trainers, there are both ardent defenders of cardio training and those who consider it useless, or even harmful. Let's consider some of the facts and  you can conclude if this kind of training is efficient.

    Cardio Facts

    Without a doubt, moderate cardiac loads have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system and endurance.

    1. The principal source of energy is fat.

    During cardio training, aerobic energy consumption process starts. It causes the active use of fat inside the muscles. This fact created an opinion that such training is the best way to lose weight. Cardio includes activity like running, cycling, aerobics, dancing, and many people do not like any of those things.

    2. However, fat is used only during exercise.

    After cardio training, the process of intramuscular fat burning stops. And only if you don’t eat for several hours, the excess fat from your body will move to replenish the muscles.

    3. Cardio can make you gain weight.

    There is a high likelihood of "Super-compensation" of calories spent by eating after exercise. However, even if you limit your nutrition, the body will seek to stock up at the earliest opportunity.

    4. Long-term cardio leads to a decrease in muscle mass.

    To start the weight loss process, you need to reduce caloric intake. However, it will also decrease the percentage of muscle tissue. Moreover, it leads to an unaesthetic appearance and possibly bad body image. You will also have to keep a low-calorie diet. The body will go into the energy-saving mode and will spend fewer calories.

    As you see, you can chain yourself to a treadmill, but if you consume more calories than your body burns, then you will quite successfully gain weight. The total calorie content controls everything.

    box jumps

    So why even consider cardio training?

    Cardio is just one of many ways to increase the body’s calorie consumption. And it allows doing it very quickly. It is suitable for those who love running or who are always in a hurry. During a 45-minute run, you can spend the same amount of calories as in 2-3 hours of a pleasant walk in the park. For weight loss, in general, there is no difference. It still comes down to calorie burn versus consumption.

    The task is to choose for yourself the type of activity that, on the one hand, you enjoy and will look forward to, and on the other hand, allows you to burn more calories.

    It can be Nordic walking, sports dancing, all kinds of group exercises in fitness centers, resistance training with barbells, and aerobic exercises in the backyard. The only essential things are the training intensity and the amount of energy spent.  If you don’t find something you enjoy doing, then it’s very unlikely that you will stick to it in the long term, and your weight loss goals will be lost.

    How much do you need to exercise per week?

    Let's see the generalized recommendations of physiology specialists for adults who do not have noticeable health problems. The frequency of training is 3-5 times a week.

    The intensity is in the range of 60-80% of the maximum heart rate (the maximum heart rate can be easily calculated using the '220 - age' formula. For example, if you are 35 years old, then the maximum heart rate will be 220-35 = 185. If you are new to sports, then focus on the lower limit of the recommended range - 60%. In our case, this will be 185x0.60 = 111 beats per minute).

    The duration of the training, if we are talking about continuous exercises, like swimming, running, skiing, skating, cycling, and so on, should be from 20 minutes to an hour. The higher the intensity (pulse), the shorter the duration.

    By the way, all these types of physical activity do not eliminate the need to walk regularly. Are you sure you want to lose weight?

    Then find a pedometer in your smartphone and gradually increase the number of steps every day to 10-12 thousand. Believe me, if you get off the bus three stops before your destination, and leave the car in the farthest corner of the parking lot, then it's not difficult to achieve these numbers.

    skipping cardio

    Benefits of resistance training

    Weight training is the most effective and useful exercise, not only for those who want to gain muscle mass but also for losing weight.

    Let’s look at some facts in favour of strength training.

    1. Strength training helps speed up your metabolism.

    The bigger the muscle mass in the body, the metabolism of any person is more active,. Strength training causes micro-traumas of the muscles and thus increases the energy consumption for their recovery, which continues for hours after training. Thus you lose weight (burn more calories) for several more hours after you have finished strength training.

    Also, it has been proven that resistance training increases insulin sensitivity, which is often reduced in obese people. Of course, it does not mean that you can eat anything after training. Do not forget that for weight loss you need to consume fewer calories than you expend.

    2. It helps maintain your muscle mass during a diet.

    As I have said above, to get rid of hated fat, you need to create a calorie deficit (spend more energy than you get with food). But in this case, your diet will be catabolic, and not only fat can burn, but also muscles.

    Your body decides that it is easier to reduce muscle mass, which is one of the principal consumers of energy than to burn fat. And the main way to maintain muscle mass is strength training. It sends a signal to your body that muscles are a priority for you because you use them actively and regularly.

    The body knows that it needs to maintain a certain amount of muscle mass to get you through your day’s usual activity, which is why using progressive overload in strength training will cause the greatest muscle gain.  You can read more about that here.

    3. The more muscle in the body, the more you can eat.

    Muscles need a lot of energy for normal work. That is why the more muscle you have, the more you can eat, without the risk of gaining weight. Muscle cells spend more energy than fat cells, increasing your daily normative value (usage) of calories.

    Also, the good sensitivity to insulin that strength training provides allows gaining less fat in case of overeating. Excess carbohydrates will move not to the fat reservoirs, but the muscles.

    Not to mention that developed muscles makes your body beautiful and healthy. Strong really is the new sexy!

    bodybuilding without cardio

    What strength exercises should I choose?

    Barbell, Body-weight and Dumbbell Exercises

    The barbell does not sound feminine and can be frightening, but doing exercises with good form and with a weight that you feel comfortable with until you are strong enough and confident handling heavier weights, you will achieve good results with either barbells or dumbbells.

    With really very little equipment you can design a strength training workout plan that you can do anywhere.  During this COVID-19 coronavirus period, I've re-purposed part of the garage at home to still get a good workout done.

    During this period it's so good for your mental health as well as your physical conditioning.

    You can try doing relatively simple exercises like the following:

    • Dumbbell lunges. Choose the suitable weight for you and hold a dumbbell in each hand. As you inhale, take a step forward and keep your back straight;
    strength training lunges
    • Dumbbell overhead press. Hold the dumbbells at your shoulders height, with hands at a comfortable 90 degrees, then press up till your arms are extended.
    losing weight without cardio shoulder press
    • Bicep curl. Hold the bar (either a straight barbell or an easy-curl bar) with your knuckles facing your thighs, then curl upwards bending at the elbow while keeping your upper arm still and close against your body.
    bicep curls
    • Tricep curl. Hold the bar (either a straight barbell or an easy-curl bar) with your knuckles facing away from your thighs, then curl upwards bending at the elbow while keeping your upper arm still and close to your body.
    losing weight without cardio tricep curls

    It’s good to do tricep curls after bicep curls, as it helps to prevent shortening of the bicep muscles, along with the fact that your tricep is actually a larger muscle.

    Pull-ups

    If you can’t do any to start with, then start by doing negatives.  Start in the up position with your chin above your hands, and then lower yourself as slowly as you can.  That’s one rep, then repeat for as many reps as you have scheduled for the set.

    Pull-ups are a compound exercise and are considered one of the more difficult strength training exercises as it requires quite strong muscles and endurance. But this exercise is highly efficient. You can improve your back muscles and arms at the same time.

    I always find my abs are feeling nice and tight after pull-ups as well.  You can make your abs work harder by lifting your feet up in front of you, with your legs kept straight while completing the pull-ups.

    Don’t be discouraged if you’re just starting out, and find doing many pull-ups hard.  Just do as many as you can, and keep adding one more rep each time. You’ll be doing sets of 10 in no time, followed by sets of 20, and then you’ll feel like superwoman.

    legs raised chin ups
    chin ups

    Dumbbell Squats

     Squats are known as one of the most effective exercises for muscle gain, and are a compound exercise that works many of the major muscle groups. While body weight squats are great, adding some weight like dumbbells to them, will make them a much better exercise for weight loss. 


    Try holding a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height, squat down, and then stand up straight and do a shoulder press by straightening your arms overhead.


    losing weight without cardio squats

    Push Ups

    Its great thing about push-ups is that you really can do them pretty much anytime, anywhere.  And remembering the principles of progressive overload you can focus on adding an extra rep every day that you do push-ups.

    strength training pushups

    What should I remember during resistance training?

    Breathe right

    Doing strength exercises, never hold your breath! It leads to increased blood pressure, dizziness, and even loss of consciousness in extreme cases. Don’t believe me? Then check out these classic fails;

    Choose the weight according to your abilities

    Properly selected weight for strength training is the key to the proper development of muscles and weight loss. Along with incorporating progressive overload (link above) into your training, you need to calculate your starting strength, and then continue to measure it to ensure progression.  The best way to do this is by establishing your one rep maximum. Find out more including a one rep max calculator here.

    Recovery

    This point is no less important than the training itself. Lack of rest after exercise slows down muscle development and can lead to overtraining syndrome.

    Therefore, after strength training, be sure to stretch, relax, and get enough sleep. Losing weight is impossible without a full recovery. This process of recovery occurs at night during sleep, when the most essential vital hormones, are produced.

    Eat right

    A woman engaged in strength training should remember that without proper nutrition, she will not be able to achieve the goal and lose weight. Try to follow the basic rules of a good sports diet. Know what your macro-nutrient intake should be, and stick to it.  I’ve written a post about the importance of knowing your macros where you can find out more here, and about ​​sports nutrition here.

    For maximum benefits to the body, the last meal before exercise should contain proteins and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are sources of energy, that increase the efficiency of the workout. And proteins strengthen muscles.

    After training, you need to eat something rich in proteins and fast carbohydrates, for example, cottage cheese and a slice of a banana, or an apple. For convenience, use whey or casein-based protein shakes.

    Proteins play an important role in bodybuilding. It is the principal building material for our muscles. In general, you need to eat a higher protein diet and limit the intake of simple carbohydrates and fats.

    protein for weight loss without cardio

    What to include in my diet for weight loss

    Animal products such as white (chicken or turkey breast) and red meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products are rich in protein and contain essential amino acids. You can also add beans to this list, as they are a vegetable source of protein. An added benefit of beans is that some recent studies have shown that people who eat a diet high in beans tend to live longer.  I’m not advocating swapping meat for beans, as animal protein is important in a good balanced diet, just try adding beans into your diet.

    Of the carbohydrates, the most useful are complex ones. They are excellent sources of energy. It can be various cereals (buckwheat, oatmeal).

    Example workout for losing weight without cardio

    1.

    Warm up by skipping - 3 x 2 min rounds with 30 seconds rest between each round.

    2.

    Dumbbell lunges  - 10 lunges with each leg alternating x 3 sets with 30 seconds rest between each set.

    3.

    Dumbbell overhead press - 12 reps x 3 sets with 30 seconds rest between each set.

    4.

    Bicep curls - 12 reps x 3 sets with 30 seconds rest between each set.

    5.

    Tricep curls - 12 reps x 3 sets with 30 seconds rest between each set.

    6.

    Push ups - 10 reps x 3 sets with 30 seconds rest between each set.

    You should be able to get through this workout in about 25 to 30 minutes.  It's designed without a lot of rest between sets to keep your heart rate up so you get a good workout. 

    You could also do this as a circuit workout, where you do one set of each exercise rotating through them all till you've done three sets of each. 

    If you are at a more advanced level of fitness, and don't find this challenging enough, or you just know you need to burn more calories, feel free to add in more exercises like chin ups dumbbell squats. 

    You could also add on another set to each exercise, doing 4 sets instead of 3. 

    Conclusion

    As you may see, losing weight without cardio is not so hard. Moreover, cardio training is not aimed at weight loss. Its primary goal is improving your cardiovascular system, so you do not have to run on a treadmill for hours to lose weight.

    And if you want to lose weight, you need to control your nutrition and do some form of resistance training regularly. Your principal goal should be creating a calorie deficit. So you need to burn more energy than you get from the food you are eating.

    Do this in a sensible planned manner, without trying to produce fast dramatic weight loss.  If you are losing about 500g to 1kg per week then you are doing just fine, and more than this may actually be unhealthy, depending on your starting body mass and fitness level.

    Also, plan your training menu, as eating healthy food combined with strength exercises speeds-up metabolism. And do not forget to rest and sleep. Continuous training without proper relaxation can exhaust you.

    A handy resource to find out the calories in your food is here.

    And a reference to how many calories you actually need, if you couldn’t be bothered to work it out more accurately is here.

    There are lots of common questions that people have about losing weight without cardio, and I've answered some of them below, which I hope helps clear up a few for you.

    Your questions about losing weight without cardio answered;

    Is lifting or cardio better for losing weight?

    Depending on the intensity of a cardio workout or a strength training workout one may burn more calories than the other however, your metabolism will stay elevated for longer after strength training than from cardio, and weight lifting is better for building muscle. Therefore, a good lifting program is likely to be better for losing weight than cardio.

    How many times a week should I do cardio to lose belly fat?

    If you want to include cardio, then thirty minutes of moderate intensity exercise on most days. Combine this with strength training to build muscle mass.

    How long do you have to do cardio to burn fat?

    The general guidelines suggest anywhere from twenty to sixty minutes of cardio to be healthy, but there are many variables including your current weight, level of fitness and the intensity level of the cardio which you are doing. It is also relative to your diet, and how many calories you have consumed, and therefore need to burn, before you will start burning fat.

    Can you lose weight by not eating?

    Skipping meals is potentially a good way to fire up your metabolism and start to lose weight.  Intermittent fasting has been gaining in popularity, and many people find success with this method of spacing out meals. You should always make sensible decisions about your diet, and don’t simply try to “starve” yourself to weight loss, or your body will just start fighting back against you.  You need to have the proper nutrition to fuel your training, and ensure your body is functioning properly and healthy.

    Can you lose weight by walking?

    Yes, walking is a moderate intensity exercise and provided you get enough steps in each day, combined with the right diet, you can lose weight.

    How many calories does 30 minutes of cardio burn?

    That will depend on what type of cardio you are doing, and the level of intensity with which you are doing it.  Harvard medical school provides this useful list of calories burned by different activities for different people in a thirty minute session. Here

    How often should you workout to lose weight?

    You should aim to do at least three workout sessions per week, combined with the right meal plan to lose weight.

    Is cardio good for fat loss?

    As I hope I’ve made clear above, you don’t need to do cardio for fat loss.  But you can if you wish to, and again it’s really down to calories in versus calories expended, so make sure you pair whatever cardio you choose to do with the right diet.

    How does fat leave your body when you lose weight?

    Through a series of metabolic processes, put simply though we could say, you pee it out, your breath it out and you sweat it out.  In my opinion the important thing is that, it’s going out!

    What exercise burns the most belly fat?

    You really can’t spot target fat on your body with exercise.  Our bodies lose fat all over, so the best thing to focus on is which exercise burns the most fat.  That comes down to intensity, duration and therefore calorie expenditure.  Some of the best would be heavy deadlifts and squats.

    Is 30 minutes of cardio enough?

    It depends on the intensity of the cardio which you are doing, and how regularly you are doing it.  For example, if you are doing an intensive HIT cardio for thirty minutes three times per week, combined with the right diet, then this would be enough to cause some weight loss.

    What is the best cardio for fat loss?

    HIT cardio, which stands for high intensity training, where you have periods of high intensity effort followed by short active recovery periods has been proven to be effective for weight loss, when considering different cardio options.

    Why do I weigh more after cardio?

    You will have an additional water intake when you are doing cardio, which will add some weight.  Also, your body will be converting glycogen (sugar) to energy for your muscles, and they glycogen binds together with water in that process, which adds some weight as well.

    Is running good for belly fat?

    As you can’t spot target fat in only one area of your body, you really need to just think about whether an exercise will be good for losing body fat, not specifically belly fat. While running can be good for losing body fat, when combined with the correct diet so that you are creating a calorie deficit, it should be combined with other types of exercise such as strength training to maintain or increase muscle mass as well.

    How much weight will I lose if I stop eating for 2 weeks?

    You will probably have quite a bit of weight loss, but I certainly don’t recommend that you try this.  The weight loss will be temporary, with a lot of it being water weight, and muscle loss, and once you start eating again, your body will try to hang onto any fat as a defense mechanism because it thinks you might be starving again soon. It is far better to follow a healthy diet and exercise plan, to lose weight in a way that can be maintained over the long term.  

    How much weight can you lose by drinking water for 3 days?

    I presume that when asking this question people mean that they will stop eating for three days. Again that is not a good idea, as while you will drop some weight in the short term, it will just come back again once you start eating.  The only reason that someone might really need to do something like this is if they are a professional athlete such as a boxer, who needs to reach a certain weight limit for an event, but even then, needing to do something drastic like this would mean that they probably didn’t have the right meal plan during their preparation to lose the weight progressively, and doing this will make them weak for their competition.

    Can you lose weight by not eating and just drinking water?

    As I’ve discussed in the last two questions, this is a bad way to try to lose weight.  If you do this for a few days it probably won’t do you too much harm, but it won’t produce a lasting benefit for you either.  You should focus on a diet and training plan which you can maintain over the long term, to meet your weight loss goals.

    How can I slim my waist fast?

    Eat a healthy diet containing proteins with the right mix of carbohydrates, and monitor your calorie intake versus calorie expenditure to make sure you have a reasonable deficit of about 500 calories per day.  Following a good exercise plan will help increase your calorie expenditure to meet this goal.  Doing some ab exercises can strengthen your ab and core muscles to help “hold your belly in” as well, while your fat loss continues.

    Does walking reduce thigh size?

    Yes, if you do enough walking regularly, combined with a sensible diet it will help to reduce your thigh size.  You should target doing more than 10,000 steps per day, which you can easily track with an app on your smart phone, or a fitness watch with a pedometer.

    How can I drop 20 pounds fast?

    Monitor your calorie intake versus calorie expenditure, while eating a high protein diet and following a good exercise plan including strength training and HIT exercise. Also make sure to drink plenty of water, have a high fiber intake and get plenty of sleep.

    How can I burn 1000 calories?

    There are multiple ways which you could do this through exercise, depending upon the intensity with which you are training.  HIT or high intensity training along with strength training would be two good options. This calculator by Harvard medical will help you to find different activities and the corresponding calorie burn

    Can too much cardio cause weight gain?

    Yes, doing too much cardio can cause you to overcompensate by eating too much so that you are not left feeling overly tired. It can also cause muscle break down which will lower your metabolism and make it harder for you to maintain a healthy weight.

    What exercise burn the most calories?

    Strength training causes your body to continue to burn calories while the muscles start recovery, and this effect can last for several hours after a strength training workout.  Therefore doing compound exercises such as deadlifts and squats would be likely to burn the most calories, though this would be subject to the duration and intensity of any exercise.

    How can I lose a lb a day?

    Losing water weight will give you a temporary weight loss, so often athletes who need to “make weight” will use steam rooms or sweat suites to lose water weight.  3,500 calories equates to about 1 pound of fat, so to lose 1 pound of fat you should create a calorie deficit of between 500 to 1,000 calories per day over a period of time to target weight loss of between one to two pounds a week.

    How can I lose face fat?

    You lose fat from your entire body, so to lose face fat you should follow a good diet and training plan, which creates a sensible calorie deficit that you can maintain over the long term to create sustained fat loss from your body.  As your body loses fat, your face will appear thinner as well.

    Is exercising everyday bad?

    Exercising every day can be very healthy, though you should take one day off for rest every week to allow your body to fully recover.  Also try to mix up the type of exercise you are doing as your body can become tired from overuse if you do the same things too repetitively.  Changing what you are doing will also have a greater impact on improving your strength and fitness, causing greater fat loss as well.  

    Does sweating burn fat?

    Sweating itself does not burn fat.  If you are doing some form of activity which is causing you to sweat, then the calories expended in doing the activity can burn fat.

    How can I lose 10 kgs in a month?

    Depending on your starting weight, losing 10kgs in a month might be an overly ambitious goal, but presuming that you may be very overweight, you should plan a good diet and training program so that you create a calorie deficit.  You should also keep your water intake high, make sure you are eating plenty of protein, take some extra fiber and get plenty of sleep.

    Do fat people burn more calories?

    Larger people need more calories throughout the normal course of their day, so yes they can burn more calories, but more calories than who?  What is the comparison?  Someone who has more muscle at the same body weight will burn more calories than a fat person for example.

    Do you poop out fat when losing weight?

    Most of the fat lost from your body is breathed out, with the balance turning to water which is excreted as sweat, urine, feces or pretty much any other moisture leaving the body.  This was the findings of a recent study the results of which you can find here

    You should note from this research article as well, how a relatively small amount of excess food can have a large impact on someone’s weight gain.  So think twice before you eat that muffin!

    Do you poop out fat when losing weight?

    Most of the fat lost from your body is breathed out, with the balance turning to water which is excreted as sweat, urine, feces or pretty much any other moisture leaving the body.  This was the findings of a recent study the results of which you can find here

    You should note from this research article as well, how a relatively small amount of excess food can have a large impact on someone’s weight gain.  So think twice before you eat that muffin!

    Do you poop out fat when losing weight?

    Most of the fat lost from your body is breathed out, with the balance turning to water which is excreted as sweat, urine, feces or pretty much any other moisture leaving the body.  This was the findings of a recent study the results of which you can find here

    You should note from this research article as well, how a relatively small amount of excess food can have a large impact on someone’s weight gain.  So think twice before you eat that muffin!

    6 Worst Glute Training Mistakes Exposed

    glute training mistakes

    Glute training mistakes result in disappointing flat bums!

    Why should something like what are the worst glute exercises be on your mind?

    Well, if there’s one body part that women are dying to improve these days, it’s the butt!

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    Sexy, curvy behinds are in, no-one wants a boring flat bum anymore, and the internet is packed with exercises supposedly to help you get those gorgeous glutes.

    However, not all of these exercises are as great as they may seem.

    Some glute training mistakes can actually derail your attempts to get a sexy backside, no matter how often you do them.

    So perhaps it’s best to start your journey to sexy glutes, by working out what not to waste your time on.

    And hey, I know some of these are going to be controversial, because I’m including some of the kings of compound exercises that strength gurus hail as positive for literally everything.  I love them too, I just believe there are more effective ways to target the glutes, and so including them in “glute workouts” is just lazy programming.

    Let’s take a look at some of the worst glute exercises.

    Glute training mistakes 1 - Squats

    This first item on the list may be surprising to many. Squats are often lorded as the exercise for people looking for a well-built booty.

    Unfortunately, squats are not as good as they seem.

    The main problem with using squats to target the glutes is that squats are a compound movement. They target a variety of muscles including the glutes, lower back, hamstrings, and quads. Compound strength-training exercises are great for losing weight, strengthening the legs, or getting ready for a more serious lifting regimen.

    However, if you’re focusing primarily on building your glutes, squats aren’t going to give you the results that you’re hoping for.

    There are a few ways to make squats more effective for glute activation: you can squeeze the glutes as you move and try to get yourself deeper into the squat to put more focus on your backside. However, you will still be working a multitude of muscles as well as putting your knees at risk if you aren’t careful.

    Squats are still one of my favourite exercises, and I would include them in most people’s training programs, but;

     If growing your glutes is the goal, you may want to skip the squats for the workouts where you are targeting glute development. Therefore, while we love squat day, they deserve a spot in the list of glute training mistakes.

    Squat

    Glute training mistakes 2 - Lunges

    Lunges are another great example of glute exercises that everyone adds to their workout. Unfortunately, lunges are also a compound exercise that will often do little for activating the glutes.

    When done properly, lunges activate the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and abs. While that all sounds great for someone trying to build a more general fitness routine or super strong legs, it isn’t going to do much for anyone trying to isolate their glutes.

    In fact, most people do lunges using a form that may not activate the glutes at all.

    The biggest mistake when performing lunges is taking too large of a step and leaning forward so that your knee bends out past your toes.

    This form does not force you to use your glutes at all. Instead, you’ll be putting all of the tension into your legs, forcing them to work while your glutes remain idle. Glutes only work when you make them, and lunges just don’t do it.

    Lunges will be more beneficial for the glutes if you use the proper form: take a small step forward and sink your back knee towards the ground instead of propelling your body forward. However, this move is still a compound exercise. If you really want to blast your glutes, you need to focus on exercises that specifically isolate that muscle.

    Glute training mistakes 3 - Abductor Raises

    Abductor raises were a staple in the iconic buns of steel workout, but recently, fitness gurus have been suggesting that they aren’t all their cracked up to be.

    They can actually be one of the worst glute training mistakes.

    There are some benefits to abductor raises. They are great for increasing the range of motion in your hips and, unlike squats and lunges, actually do serve to isolate the glutes and force them to do the work instead of your legs or core.

    However, the main problem with abductor raises is that the only resistance that you can use is your own body weight. To really get fit, toned glutes, you need to incorporate isolation exercises with a significant amount of resistance.

    That is the only way that you’ll be able to effectively build more muscle.

    There are some ways to make abductor raises work for you.

    One solution is to use a resistance band or ankle weights to increases the resistance that your glutes will be fighting against to complete the movement.

    However, an even better option is to use a hip abductor machine. This will allow you to pile on the resistance to really work those glutes, but I realise that not everyone will have access to one of these machines.

    Glute training mistakes 4 - Donkey Kicks

    Donkey kicks, also known as glute kickbacks, are another of the glute exercises that have a misleading reputation.

    There are actually several problems with this common workout move.

    One common problem is that the donkey kick is a compound exercise, While the glutes do work the hardest in this move, the back and hamstrings are also activated white performing this exercise.

    In addition, donkey kicks offer little in the way of resistance.

    As with abductor raises, the only real resistance that you get with a donkey kick is your own body weight. You can try adding a resistance band or using a glute kickback machine, but you’re still unlikely to get the results that you’re looking for if the glutes are your main focus.

    It is also difficult to get the form just right in a donkey kick, further decreasing the odds of hitting the glutes hard,

    Glute training mistakes 5 - Step Ups

    Step ups, while again in theory engaging the glutes, in reality it’s very rarely the case.

    It’s way too easy to cheat, by pushing off the ground with the other foot, and thereby making it easy on the glute.

    Another common mistake is to lean forward too much when stepping up, which again will ease the strain on the glute.

     It’s natural for people to find the “easiest” way to do an exercise, rather than keeping strict form, just as people do with most things in life.  


    Expecting anyone for whom you’ve set a program to keep strict form while completing their sets of step ups is just not going to work in reality. 

    Glute training mistakes 6 - Deadlifts

    Deadlifts are great for the back muscles, but many also use them for glute exercises. Unfortunately, deadlifts are not the ideal move for targeting the backside.

    Deadlifts are also a compound exercise, targeting the glutes, hamstrings and the back. In fact, when doing a proper deadlift, your back and hamstrings will be much more activated than your glutes.

    There is really no way to perform a traditional deadlift in a way that puts more tension into the glute muscles.

    Just like squats, Deadlifts are one of my personal favourite exercises, and would usually be included in any general strength program, however they simply are not the best for targeted glute exercises.

    glute training mistakes

    What glute training exercises to do instead?

    The bottom line is that if you want to make real progress on your backside, you have to choose exercises that specifically isolate the glute muscles and offer a high level of resistance.

    Good options include barbell hip thrusts, barbell glute bridges, retro step ups, single leg dead lifts and single leg foot elevated hip thrusts. If you isolate the muscles and pile on the resistance, soon your booty will be looking fine!

    Single leg exercises are great to really focus on the glutes, while also requiring balance, which recruits the smaller stabilizer muscles. Try some, and you’ll find that they are harder to complete than you first think.

    So what does the gluteus really do anyway?

    I mean, apart from looking spectacular in the right pair of tights!  Is there really more to it?

    The gluteus is made up of three main groups, the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius and gluteus minimus, which all function essentially to move the hip joint.

    The gluteus maximus is the most superficial but also the largest of the glute muscles, and therefore is what most people are thinking about when they refer to, the glutes.  Being the largest, it is also what is going to have the most impact on the shape of your hips.

    You’ve probably heard of these, but you might not have heard of the panniculus adiposus of the buttocks, which is the muscle which actually gives the butt it’s rounded shape, and therefore is a major contributor to a sexy bum.   The amount of fat stored generally in your body will impact the shape of the panniculus adiposus greatly.

    One of the main functions of the glutes, is in making it possible for you to stand upright, as apposed to other primates whose hips tend to be much flatter, and are unable to remain erect on two legs.

    So, if what the glutes are really doing is, moving the hip joint, to work them affectively we should be focussed on, any exercise which moves the hip joint, and doesn’t entail major engagement of other major muscle groups.

    Lifestyle factors

    Your general lifestyle can have a big impact on the shape of your butt as well.

    Obviously your level of activity will impact on overall fat levels, which will influence how defined your body is in any area including the glutes. 

    But think about the amount of time that an average office worker spends sitting on their butt, and the corresponding amount of flat bums that can be seen in any inner city lunch break period.

    So, the amount of time sitting that your job entails can have a massif impact on your glutes.  If that’s you, then you will really benefit from including some targeted glute exercises in your training program.

    There is a tendency for lower back pain to originate from having weak glutes as well.  If your glutes aren’t strong you will tend to overcompensate by using the lower back more when lifting, which can result in injury. 

    Also given the glutes play a major role in just standing erect, having weak glutes means that there is extra strain placed on your lower back just remaining upright throughout the day, which can cause injury over time.

    Given that it’s obvious you need to maintain a level of general health, your diet will impact this as well.  I’ve got some great suggestions here, for clean eating recipe’s that will help both fuel your workouts, and keep your body fat levels down.

    Eating the wrong foods can cause inflammation in the body as well, which can slow any progress in a training program, so you need to stay on top of a healthy clean eating diet.

    worst glute training mistakes

    Benefits of strong glutes

    Ok, we all know that they help us to look great, but what else?

    Better posture;

    Ever seen a sprinter, with their glorious glutes, and watched how they stand and move generally.  Given we’ve discussed how the glutes are important in helping us to stand upright, it’s easy to see how strong glutes will give you generally better posture and movement.

    Pain reduction and prevention of injury;

    Even if you’ve already got a painful lower back, you will generally find improvement once you’ve strengthened the glutes. 

    And a strong set of glutes will definitely help defend against back injuries and pain.

    Fat loss;

    Given that increased muscle mass will lead to increased calorie burn throughout the day, working your glutes should be a priority for anyone wanting fat loss, or maintenance.  The glutes are one of the largest muscles in the body, so working them will generate muscle growth and calorie burn, that leads to fat loss.

    Athletic performance;

    The gluteus is responsible for generating a massive amount of power through the lower body, and thereby contributes to athletic performance.

    You won’t see top level sprinters or strength athletes with flat bums.

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    To measure this for yourself, just try completing a focused glute workout twice a week for a period of four weeks, and measure your vertical jump at the start of the four week period, and at its conclusion, and see how much more lift you’ve developed.

    Conclusion

    So, I hope you can see, that it’s not all just about appearances, but having a great butt can bring a range of health benefits that make it generally easier to lead a healthy lifestyle.

    Whatever your reason for wanting to enhance the derriere, staying clear of these glute training mistakes is going to be positive for your training!

    Postpartum Fitness: What You Should Know

    Pregnancy can be a wonderful or wretched time for different women.

    Likewise, postpartum fitness can be easier for some than it is for others.

    Before you begin your postpartum workout regimen, there are some important things you should know. We will cover these, as well as the differences between exercising before and after baby, and bust some myths about postpartum fitness.

    What you Should Know About Postpartum Fitness

    Doctor's Approval

    You will typically visit your doctor six-weeks postpartum. He or she will examine how well you are healing and can give you the go-ahead to begin working out. It is important to wait until after this visit to avoid complications that can develop like postpartum hemorrhage.


    Every woman recovers from pregnancy at a different rate. The way you delivered your baby whether it was natural, with an epidural, or by C-section can have a large influence on this.

    Waiting six weeks will also give you time to adjust to the new demands of parenting such as lack of sleep. If you're anything like me, you're still adjusting to not sleeping seven years postpartum.

    Relaxin

    One of the most important things you should know is that relaxin stays in your body for up to one year postpartum, or for as long as you are breastfeeding.

    Relaxin is the hormone made by your body to help loosen ligaments and joints making childbirth easier on the body. This means that you may feel less stable, and you can feel achy in areas you never did before.

    You may also be more prone to injuries like sprains. It is very important to listen to your body. If something hurts or simply doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.

    Kegel Exercises          

    Kegel exercises are the contracting and releasing of the pelvic muscles. These can be done almost immediately following childbirth if you're so inclined.

    Kegel's can help to strengthen the now stretched out pelvic muscles, along with helping to prevent incontinence that sometimes follows childbirth. You can find more in-depth information on Kegel exercises and their benefits here.

    Postpartum Depression

    Exercising and setting goals for yourself after delivery can help prevent or alleviate symptoms of postpartum depression. About one in seven women will experience postpartum depression as their hormone levels begin to return to normal. 

    The catch is that if you are already suffering from postpartum depression, it can be hard to motivate yourself to workout. To learn more about postpartum depression and how to get help click here.

    The Differences in Exercising Before and After Pregnancy

    Baby

    There are some major differences between working out before and after having a baby. Most notable is the fact that you now have an extra person to consider.

    If you are planning on using a gym, finding one that has childcare is a bonus.

    There are many activities such as jogging with a jogging stroller, mommy-and-me groups, and hiking or walking with a hiking backpack. However, your baby usually needs to be at least six months old before you can utilize these devices with them.

    Not only will you need to consider packing your own hydration and snacks, but its essential to bring sustenance along for baby, too.

    Energy

    In order to workout, you need energy, and these days it seems to be in short supply. There are so many reasons for this and the biggest one is that you just spent the past nine months making and then delivering a tiny human.

    The simple adjustment to having a new baby and tending to its needs is another reason for lack of energy. Your baby wakes up two or three times in the middle of the night to feed, so you do, too.

    Long gone are the days of luxuriating in bed for hours on end. The thing about beginning your postpartum exercise regimen is that not only do you need the energy that sleep provides, you also require more sleep to recover from your workouts. It certainly can feel like working out is working against you.

    Ways to maintain your energy postpartum is to eat properly, continue taking your prenatal vitamins, maintain fluid intake, and sleep when you can. Eating a proper diet with a balance of macronutrients can help keep you going.

    You can find some great recipes for balanced meals here. Keeping yourself hydrated with water and electrolyte infused drinks low in calories is also a good idea. Sleeping when the baby sleeps can sometimes be difficult, especially if you have work or other chores to do, but it will help to enhance your overall energy in the long run.

    Seriously, vacuuming can wait.

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    Body Changes


    Another major difference between working out before and after baby has to do with the changes your body has undergone.

    As previously mentioned, having your six week postpartum check-up with your doctor is a must. For example, if you've had a C-section, you may have to restrict certain workouts.

    Excess weight gain during pregnancy is another bodily change that can affect working out postpartum. There is also a slight chance of postpartum hemorrhage simply because of all your body went through down there.

    Postpartum fitness

    Postpartum Fitness Workout Regimen Myths

    Getting Your Body Back

    Wait, where did it go? That's right, no where.

    While it's totally okay to feel however you do about your postpartum fitness body, it never really left you. You have undergone significant changes that brought you a miracle. Let's face it, most of us do not have the resources (i.e. in-home nanny, personal trainers, money) that most celebrities do. They seem to just "bounce back" immediately after baby, and we are left to think that we should be able to as well.

    Getting your body back will take time and dedication to a fitness regime that works for you. It can be done, but maybe not as quickly as we are lead to believe.

    Breastfeeding Drops the Pounds

    Unless you are like the millions of other women who did not reap the benefit of weight loss by breastfeeding, this myth is just silly, but it seems to persist.

    Every single one of us is completely different and though some may lose weight from breastfeeding, it isn't a guarantee for all


    Crunches Alone will get rid of the Baby Belly


    It sort of makes sense why women believe this, but it is not true.

    Crunches are more of a "surface" exercise that target abdominal muscles. However, they do very little to enhance the deep core muscles that are most affected by pregnancy.

    Consider doing planks alongside crunches or checking out a pilates class designed to specifically target core muscle groups.

    For the Quickest Results, Cardio is Key

    Cardio is important for a workout regimen but should not be considered the only way to workout.

    Cardio alone will burn calories, but you can actually burn more calories for longer periods of time by incorporating resistance training into your routine.

    Utilizing cardio along with resistance training will raise your resting metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories while at rest.

    You Must Work Out for Hours for the Best Results

    While it is true in theory that the longer you workout the more calories you will burn, marathon postpartum fitness sessions are simply unnecessary.

    Additionally, with a baby, they can be downright impossible.

    Try instead to break up your workouts into short segments. You could take the baby on a walk in its stroller for 15 minutes, and later, squeeze in a quick HIIT workout while baby is napping.

    HIIT workouts are great because they are quick and can be tailored to fit into any schedule. These small burst of elevated heart rates all count toward your daily exercise goal.

    You Can Do It

    If you are ready to begin your postpartum exercise regimen, there is no better time to start than now.

    You can find some excellent guidelines and workouts here. Always listen to your doctor and your body and aim for overall good health over weight loss.

    You will want to stick to a nutritious healthy diet to keep your energy levels up, and these 31 clean eating recipes will help you with that.

    You've got this!

    What do You Really Know About Fitness and Nutrition?

    fitness and nutrition quiz

    Fitness and nutrition are topics that create so many myths and misinformation.

    Everyone seems to have an idea that is the latest and greatest way to lose weight, build muscle and generally turn yourself into an amazonian woman. 

    But do you really even have a basic knowledge of fitness and nutrition? 

    Take this quick ten question quiz and find out how your knowledge rates.

    You might be surprised!

    If you passed this test, you should find out what your food personality is as well. 

    Click the image below and learn what it is;

    fruit basket

    Once you're finished here check out these super easy clean eating recipes, that you can mix and match to serve your food personality.

    Best Fitness Motivation Online

    fitness motivation

    Finding fitness motivation is a very important part of how a woman takes care of her body, and a lot of us feel the need to find places that will help us get on a diet, change out overall lifestyle, and improve how we look. 

    There are a lot of people who are writing and posting about fitness online, so you can get lost trawling through it all, and still not find anything of real value. 

    There are some blogs below that I like, that will help women get on a plan and stay on that plan.

    They are all a little bit different, but they all have something to offer you some new ideas to keep you motivated and on track. 

    Fitness Motivation with Carrots and Cake;

    fitness motivation with Tina

    Carrots and Cake by Tina, who wants people to have their cake and eat it too. She's a married mum, so she knows the challenges that so many women face balancing everything life throws your way. 

    Apart from having the most wonderful friendly smile, Tina will help make you feel better about including healthy cheat treats into your diet.

    Her blog was created to help women find a diet plan that would allow them to get their diet on track, learn how to exercise, and learn how to cook.

    Learn how to cheat on your diet in a good way, and you can see some comic relief on the site that makes it a much better place to be. ​

    Tina is also responsive to any questions left on her site, so I suggest you reach out to her for any personal tips that you might want.

    Fitness Motivation with Fit Bottomed Girls;

    fitness motivation with fit bottomed girls

    fit bottomed girls

    Fit Bottomed Girls is a blog that is dedicated to making women fit and strong, without any fad diets.

    Follow this site to see your curves change, and you will start to feel like what you are doing will work.

    There are many women who I think come to this site because they want to look their best. They can learn how to diet, and they can learn a lot of things about how they can lift and get strong.

    Plus, the name of the sit is a good play on a Queen title, and that's pretty cool in itself:).

    Fit Bottomed Girls is a place where women can come to learn something that they did not know about their bodies, and feel encouraged by seeing other regular women who are following a healthy lifestyle, without becoming obsessed with the latest fitness fad.

    Fitness Motivation with Blogilates;

    fitness motivation with blogalates

    blogilates

    Blogilates is the new yoga.

    Created by Cassey Ho, this site will introduce you to her own style of fitness blended with fun.

    Pilates is just one thing that you can do to get fit, but you will find that coming to this site will help you learn how the Pilates program will change your life, and you will feel like you can get the best tips for this.

    You have to do something that you can feel comfortable with, and you could learn some tips not just about the mat workouts but about the machines.

    The machines in Pilates could be very motivating, and you will find that you can use the blog as a way to pick up tips on the Pilates workout plan.

    Pilates can change a woman's whole life because it makes her feel young and look younger. 

    Fitness Motivation with Workout Mommy

    fitness motivation

    workoutmommy

    Workout Mommy has created a beautiful blog that chronicles all her adventures with food and dieting with children.

    As a single mum with four children, Lisa knows just how hard it can be, and her site is dedicated to helping you stay motivated and on task. 

    She is working hard on the diet that she has formulated, and she often explains how a woman could make her own food, change the way that they are managing their food, and help these women look amazing because they are also working out as part of their program. 

    Workout Mommy explains the workouts that she does, and she has a lot of motivational tips on the site that are useful to ladies when they need a little bit more help changing their lifestyle or their diet.

    Fitness Motivation with Nerd Fitness;

    fitness motivation

    nerdfitness

    Nerd Fitness is a place for people to go when they do not feel like they could actually start working out.

    Steve Kamb and his team at Nerd Fitness want to share their message, that fitness is for everyone.  

    I think that's a great mindset! 

    The women who come to this blog are probably working in sciences, office jobs or other areas that have never given them a chance to learn how to work out or get in shape, and they need assistance learning how to get started.

    These women need a boost of confidence in their workout plans because they do not know if they can do it. They go to nerd fitness because it talks to them in their language.

    You can have a chance to feel completely different about your body, and they will have many options for changing your workouts or overhauling your lifestyle. 

    Anyone who is afraid of starting out should remember that they can check our and join the Nerd Fitness team. 

    Fitness Motivation with Breaking Muscle;

    Breaking Muscle has done a great job of helping women understand that they can build muscle into their bodies just like anyone else.

    The site has a collection of contributed articles by expert fitness trainers and nutritionists, that cover a really broad range of topics, so there is likely to be something new to learn for any of us. 

    A woman who wants to get strong without being too muscular could use the site as a way to learn how you can be lean and trim.

    These women will start to feel like they have brand new bodies, and they can come back to the site for more tips and tricks.

    You will find that you can ask questions in the articles if you want to get more information about working out and changing your body. 

    Fitness Motivation with Fitness on Toast;

    fitness motivation

    Fitness on Toast

    Fitness On Toast was created by Faya Nilsson and shares her love of nutrition, fitness and fashion with you. 

    The site has a ​really interesting list of categories that will keep you browsing for hours. 

    Some of my favorites were the Fit Tech, where Faya shares details of all kinds of great new fitness gadgets to help keep you on track, and the Why To category, that has an interesting collection of articles on why to do things like, cook with spices, or drink coffee.  

    The mixture of fashion with fitness and healthy lifestyle that Faya has created here, really aligns with my own heart, and it is one of my favorite sites to go to in search of new fitness motivation.  

    Perhaps it will become one of your favorites too.

    Fitness Motivation with Hungry Runner Girl;

    fitness motivation

    Hungry Runner Girl

    Hungry Runner Girl is created by Janae who runs often and competitively. She is working very hard to get her body into shape with a run every day, and she has built up a diet around her runs and her lifestyle choices. 

    Having three children and a husband to care for as well, it's really motivational that she fits in so much training, and has achieved a sub 3hr marathon time to go with it.

    You will find a really useful collection of running workouts and diet tips, so for those who are attracted to running for fitness, this site rocks!

    Fitness motivation comes in all styles, and this style appeals to my own heart:).

    Fitness Motivation for You;

    If you really just need a quick hit of fitness motivation then check out this list of 101 motivational quotes, that's sure to have something that will give you a lift.

    The women who come to these websites are looking for the best motivation that they can find, searching for something that speaks to them personally, to find the extra motivation that keeps them going to reach their next goal.

    I hope that you will all find something on these sites that motivates you, as I have. 

    I find them all to be really genuine and gimmick free, which is a great starting point for me:) 

    If you've found another motivational site that has helped you with your fitness or healthy eating, please share it with us in the comments below, as I always love reading new content by people with a passion for health and fitness. 

    Beginner Yoga for Weight Loss

    yoga for weight loss

    Yoga for weight loss really works!

    Yoga for weight loss might not seem like the in thing to do, with all the new fancy fitness classes around now, but it is.

    Even if you are more the type who enjoys lifting weights and intense cardio sessions, you can gain a lot from incorporating yoga for weight loss into your training. 

    Yoga offers so many great benefits and yoga for weight loss is also a thing.

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    It turns out that yoga is actually a very effective way to torch calories and to help you to reach your weight loss goals without really feeling like you are trying super hard. 

    Yoga is quite enjoyable and also helps to stretch and lengthen your body.

    It is also a great way to relax and unwind after a long and stressful day or to start a busy and hectic day.

    Either way, it is a great way to give your mind and body an emotional and physical lift.

    Yoga helps to reduce cortisol levels which are associated with stress and stress can lead to "bad" actions such as overeating and thus, weight gain. By simply lowering your cortisol levels you will be able to lose weight naturally.

    Try a nice deep stretch to relax and unwind, with a pose like the extended side angle pose demonstrated in this video;

    Just like with anything that you apply yourself to, the more that you put into it, the more that you will get out of it.

    Yoga is all about challenging yourself and trying new things. Even if you do not consider yourself to be extremely fit or flexible, you can work your way to new levels of flexibility and strength as you work on yourself each time you do yoga.

    Many people think that they have to be moving at a fast pace and sweating all over the place in order to get a good workout and to lose weight but this a myth.


    Yoga for weight loss is a very efficient and effective way to shed access pounds, and it keeps your metabolism revving throughout the day, even after your yoga session.

    There are many different asanas or "poses" that you can try. "Asana" actually means "to be in a comfortable seated position."

    This type of yoga comes from Ashtanga yoga and refers to the physical exertion as well as the relaxation of your mental state. By practicing asanas, you will enjoy the great benefits of internal and external awareness.

    Most of the poses in yoga are repeated, and you will work the muscles on one side of the body at a time instead.

    Yoga Poses

    One good asana to start your routine with is the wide-legged forward bend, also known as the Prasarita Padottanasana.

    yoga for weight loss - wide legged forward bend

    For this pose, you will place your hands so that they are touching the floor before you. You can also stretch out your shoulders for an extra stretch. You will spread your feet about 3-4 feet apart and then bend forward at the hips.

    You want to keep your back nice and straight. You should feel your hamstrings stretch. Hold this position for about five breaths and then clasp your hands right behind your back before bringing them back up towards the ceiling.

    Another asana is the lunge where you stretch out your hips. If you sit for a long period so time this is a good way to stretch out those tight hips.

    yoga for weight loss - high lunge

    This pose will also help you to become more flexible. You can choose where you want your arms to be, but you will actually be stretching your muscles in the location that your hands are.

    For example, if you position your hands on your knee directly in front of you, you will not be stretching your hips as deep as if you were to place them up and tilted backward.

    No matter where you decide to put your hands you want to keep your knee at a steady 90-degree angle. Hold your pose for 30 seconds and repeat on your other side.

    There are many different asana poses that you can try and you'll want to try as many as you can so that you'll give your body different things to try and to challenge yourself to stretch a little further and to work out different muscle groups.

    It will also give you the opportunity to see how flexible you are and what poses are your very favorite.

    Some other asana poses to try to include the following;

    Yoga for weight loss, poses;

    • Standing Forward Bend; 
    yoga for weight loss - forward bend
    • Plank Pose; 
    yoga for weight loss - plank pose
    • Tree Pose; 
    yoga for weight loss - tree pose
    • Four Limbed Staff; 
    yoga for weight loss
    • Warrior I; 
    yoga for weight loss - warrior 1
    • Warrior II;
    yoga for weight loss - warrior 2
    • Cow Pose;
    yoga for weight loss
    • Warrior III pose; and,