Category Archives for "Fitness Training"

The latest fitness training information to keep your body in top condition

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;

Recipes & Food

Food Quiz: Food Preferences and Personality

Food Quiz; What do your preferences say about You?A food quiz can [...]

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Diet Plan, The Truth About How To Lose Weight

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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;

Fitness Training

13 Greatest Myths About Strength Training

Greatest myths about strength trainingMyths about strength training have been around since [...]

Recipes & Food

31 Easy Clean Eating Recipes

To help you plan a months worth of healthy meals, all with [...]

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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    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!

    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,
    yoga for weight loss
    • shoulder stand.
    yoga for weight loss - shoulder stand

    If you've done aerobic or other types of workout routines or followed along to a workout tape, you may find that some of these moves are incorporated into the workout routines so you'll already know some of these fat-blasting yoga moves.

    To do the Shoulder stand, you will actually hold your body upside down. It is considered to be an inversion, and you will lie on your back to begin. Then you will bend your knees slightly as you press your feet into the air.

    Put your hands on the ground and use them to slowly roll yourself backward and on your upper back slowly. You will want to bring your hands to the lower part of your back as you do this right above your hips in order to keep yourself upright and balanced. Extend your legs towards the sky and hold for about six breaths, Your goal will be to hold for 30 seconds, but it can take some practice to work up to that.

    The Child's Pose is a common stretch that is often done after a workout to help stretch out the muscles that have been worked.

    yoga for weight loss - childs pose

    It is very simple yet very effective. For this pose, you simply have to bend your knees and sit with your derriere resting on your heels.

    You should bend your knees quite wide and rest your head on the mat in front of you. You can rest your arms behind or in front of you.

    This pose is also an effective relaxation pose so you should not be tense or strained in any way. You need to simply breathe in and out for six breaths or for as long as you feel you need to.

    The Chair Pose is another common type of squat that you may have done in your legs of iron workout video.

    yoga for weight loss - chair pose

    It seems simple enough but will make your legs and arms burn in no time.

    All you do is squat but hold that position with arms raised. It is an effective weight loss move, and you will feel it in your muscles for sure.

    You'll also want to keep your feet together and squat as low as you can go. You should be able to see your feet before your knees but if you can't you're not doing it right, and your knees are bent forward too much.

    Your yoga for weight loss practice



    Yoga is not a new fad or a trend that is going to go away anytime soon. It has been shown to offer great benefits to the body as well as the mind and is all about balance.

    Yoga is all about the balance of mind and body and is a quiet way to energize your whole being so that you can face the many challenges that life throws your way.

    It is something that you can do anywhere and in a very small space. You do not need to buy any fancy equipment or even go to a gym class to do it.

    All you need is a mat, for extra comfort, and yourself. You don't even need to splurge on fancy training shoes. You don't even need socks. Yet it is very effective in helping you to reach your goals in life and to find the balance that you are seeking.

    Different yoga poses will offer different benefits to different parts of your body. Some poses will help to stretch out your muscles, some will help to elongate your entire body. Some will help to support the skeletal structure of your body, and still, others will help improve your circulation.

    You will also find that you can challenge yourself and as you get more familiar with the moves, you can even bind your poses to give yourself a deeper stretch.

    When you bind in yoga, you are basically linking your hands in order to rotate your torso as well as your shoulders.

    They are more challenging, so you may not be able to do it right away, but as you increase your flexibility, it is a great way to really up your yoga session and really give your body a good stretch.

    Binding requires a considerable amount of strength as well, and you will need to be able to touch your hands together. This is easier said than done but you can always work your way up to it.

    It also requires mental balance and concentration.

    No matter what your fitness level is or how much or how little you know about yoga, you have to start somewhere.

    The important thing is to stick to it. It's like anything, you need to build on what you already know and what you have already done so just spend some time on yourself every day Even if you can only squeeze in a couple of yoga moves into your busy schedule, it is better than nothing.

    You need to take time to breathe and to give something back to yourself.

    There is no excuse to skip out on your time or to neglect yourself.

    You need to be revived from time to time so that you can complete the tasks that you need to complete or to be able to give your family the happy self that you can truly be.

    In other words, you need a break, and you need to take it. Do something good for your body and your mind, and you'll be more productive as well.

    Your Fit Body Goals Understood

    body goals

    Body goals are creating your reality

    Why are body goals creating your reality?

    Whatever goals that you set as a vision for your body, will drive the creation of what it ultimately becomes.

    Not having any set body goals, leaves it totally to chance, whereas setting proper body goals gives you direction, and a sense of accomplishment when you've realised your goals.

    The tips, resources and advice I'm sharing with you here will help you to cut through all the noise and confusion that's around, and create your own body goals, to ensure that you get the great results, for the body that you want.

    Set your own body goals

    Just remember, always set your own goals.  Don't become obsessed with constantly comparing yourself with others.  We are all different, and people are all at different stages of training and development, so often comparing yourself to others is not giving you an accurate comparison. 

    The images portrayed by many celebrities or fitness models in the main stream media, or on social media, is not the reality of their 24/7 lives, rather it is either an artificially modified image, or a snap shot in a brief period where they have a peak physique, not something they maintain over a long period.  

    Lots of us measure our level of fitness by bluntly standing on a weighing scale. The rest of the story depends on what the scale tells us. But if we go a little deeper and analyze the correlation between our weight and fitness, we come to realize that there isn’t any.

    Consider a 70- kg female boxer in the heavy weight division and contrast her with an average office assistant who weighs only 50 kg. Can you determine who is more physically fit merely by looking at their weight? I don’t think so.

    There must be much more to fitness, and setting proper body goals than just analyzing one’s weight.

    How about height? Height is a good identifier when it is coupled with weight as it helps to determine how the weight is distributed around the body.

    So far we have two fitness identifiers, height and weight, but there is much more to fitness than just height and weight.

    I know a college teenager who was 5’ 9” and weighed only 55 kg. By most standards, she was underweight according to her height and weight. The astonishing thing about this girl was that she was actually underweight and fat.

    After some initial measurements, the college student underwent a detailed body composition test that discovered she had a fat percentage of over 30%, which technically made her obese even though she was underweight by all other standards.

    To analyze your fitness fully, you should undergo proper testing and measurement first, by getting yourself checked by professionals.

    This means checking for vitals (BP, rate of respiration, etc.) and going through the basic medical tests.

    Body composition test

    Second comes a body composition test. This is crucial for your fitness and body goals as it tells you exactly where you stand in terms of fitness and how far you are from your ideal body goals.

    A typical body composition test result would look like the table below:

    Body Type

    Athletic

    Gender

    Female

    Age

    30 Years

    Height

    175 cm

    Weight

    62.3 kg

    BMI

    22

    BMR

    1411 Kcal

    Impedance

    530 Ohm

    Fat%

    13.80%

    Fat Mass

    8.6 kg

    FFM

    52.7 kg

    TBW

    40 kg

    *Actual Result extracted from Tanita Body Composition Analyzer TBF 410

    While Tanita have a range of body composition monitors that are suited to most people as an in home solution, the In Body company provides equipment on a more industrial / fitness center level, to accurately measure body composition.

    If there is a fitness center near you that has one of the In Body monitors that you can use, I'd suggest taking a test, as you will get lot's of great data from which to formulate your body goals.

    In Body have a great web page on their site, which explains why focusing on body composition is much better than focusing on weight loss or gain alone, along with other great tips on setting body goals that are right for you. 

    I'd suggest that you check it out via this link. 

    Cardiovascular fitness

    Another good measure of how physically fit you are is to test your cardiovascular fitness. 

    This is your bodies ability to transport and use oxygen during exercise.

    The K. G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, put together a test to give yourself a measure of this, compared to a world wide average.  You can try it by going to their site below;

    body goals fitness world

    Your body goals change

    What are healthy body goals for you will change, depending on many factors, such as where you are in your training journey, how disciplined you are able to be with your diet, and realistically your basic genetic make up. 

    As your body ages, what are realistic body goals will change as well.

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    It's nice to believe that "age is just a number' and I'm  all for pushing yourself as hard as you can no matter what your age, but understanding how you need to adapt to your body's aging process is just a sensible thing to understand. 

    ERIBA science hall have built a really good resource, that helps explain what aging means for the human body.  I suggest no matter what your age, you'll find something of interest that improves your understanding of your body.  Check out the site below;

    body goals fitness

    Important terms for body goals

    Before going any further, let’s define some of the terms we’ll be discussing, and that you'll come across along with abbreviations used and some exercises referred to, which may be new to you.

    Fat Percentage: Percentage of fat in your body by mass.

    Fat % = (Fat Mass / Total Mass) x 100

    BMI: Body Mass Index indicates the amount of fat in a body by considering height and weight.

    BMI = Mass ( kg) / (Height (m)) ²

    The result of the BMI can be analyzed to deduce in which category you fall.

    BMI < 18.5

    Underweight

    18.5 < BMI < 25

    Normal

    25 < BMI < 30

    Overweight

    BMI > 30

    Obese

    BMR: Basal Metabolic Rate. This is the number of calories your body burns in a day if you do not move at all. BMR constitutes the calories consumed in bodily processes such as digestion, respiration, maintaining core temperature, etc.

    FFM: Fat Free Mass. This is the total weight of your body if we disregard the weight of the fat.

                FFM = Total Weight - Weight of Fat

    TBW: Total Body Water. This is the weight of water contained in the body.

    1RM: This is the maximum amount of weight you can lift if you were to perform a single repetition of a given exercise

    Repetitions performed until failure: This means that repetitions are continued until you cannot physically move the weight to complete a further repetition.

    I note that this is not just till you feel a bit tired during a set, or it’s getting really hard to move the weight.  It means that you physically cannot complete the repetition.

    Also, not to confuse the issue, I note that sometimes once completing full repetitions becomes impossible, you may still be able to complete partial repetitions, and this allows you to continue to work the muscles until you cannot move the weight at all.

    Training splits: Training splits, or split routines refers to a training methodology wherin workouts are structured so that exercises which work different body parts, or different types of training are programed  to occur during different workouts, or on different days. 

    For example, I might train lower body on one training day, and the next training day train upper body.  Or, I might train chest and biceps on one training day, and the next train back and triceps.

    Hypertrophy Stimulus: Is a term for activity causing muscle hypertrophy, such as resistance training through such things as body weight exercise or weight lifting.

    Muscle Hypertrophy: Is a term for the growth and increase of the size of muscle cells.

    Set: A set is the total number of repetitions / lifts that are completed in a row without rest.

    For example you might complete three sets, with 20 repetitions in the first 15 repetitions in the second and 5 repetitions in the third, which would commonly be shown as the weight lifted by the number of repetitions in the set. i.e 50 x 20, 80 x 15, 100 x 5.  The workout for that exercise would therefore have comprised of three sets.

    Super Setting: In a superset, multiple exercises are performed back-to-back without any rest period.

    Smith Machine: A piece of equipment commonly used in weight training, comprising a barbell fixed between two steel posts / rails, usually counterbalanced, allowing only vertical movement of the barbell.  Commonly used for exercises such as overhead pressing, or some variaitions of squatting.

    V02 Max: Is the maximum oxygen uptake or the maximum volume of oxygen that can be utilized in one minute during maximum exercise. It is measured as milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight. It is used as one factor to assist in determining an athlete’s capacity to perform sustained exercise, and is linked to aerobic endurance.

    Deadlift: An exercise in weightlifting in which the weight, being plates fixed to either end of a barbell is lifted from the floor to the level of the hips and then lowered by controlled effort to the floor.

    Squat: An exercise in weightlifting where you squat down as if you were sitting in a squat position with your bum touching your heels, then stand back up, with a weighted barbell across your upper back.

    DB Flyes: An exercise in which you lay flat on a bench holding a dumbell in both hands and extend your arms out to the side, then raise them up and continue to raise and lower as if flapping your wings, in a controlled motion.

    Stasis dermatitis: is an inflammatory skin condition that develops following fluid build-up, or blood pooling (stasis), just under the skin as a result of problematic circulation.

    Body goals and target setting

    What are your body goals? What do you want ultimately to achieve?

    weight training

    Realization, and visualisation of your goals is a very important step for the start of your program.

    Your goals need to be high enough to make you work hard, but also realistic so that you don’t give up trying.

    A sensible goal can make the difference between a well-motivated individual and a dejected person who gives up soon after she starts her quest for the ideal body.

    For example, my goal after spending many years behind an office desk was to reduce my body fat percentage from around 26% to 14%, with my weight staying relatively stable at around 62 kg to 65 kg.

    This meant that I needed to exchange fat mass for lean body mass. My strength (muscle) content had dropped off over the years and had been replaced by fat, and I needed to reverse that before it got worse in the interest of my health and general performance and enjoyment in all areas of life.

    Committing to and achieving measurable body goals like this gives you the confidence to realize that you can continue with the process and achieve further goals.

    Achieving your fitness goals will assist you in so many other areas of your life, I assure you.

    A further example of a realistic goal, especially for women, is a fat percentage of 16%, with a total body weight remaining unchanged.

    To achieve this goal, depending what condition your body is starting in, you may have to gain a considerable amount of lean mass while losing some body fat. 

    This goal would indicate someone who is likely to be starting at a better general fitness level, based on the lower body fat levels, but the significant gain in muscle mass combined with trimming down body fat levels will produce impressive results both in appearance and athletic performance.

    Generally speaking, women have a higher fat percentage than men.


    The bar is much stricter for men than it is for women. There are obvious physiological differences between men and women that cannot be overlooked, which is why I am writing this more specifically for women.

    Below is a fat percentage chart that will give you an idea where you stand in terms of body fat quantity.

    Women (Fat Percentage)

    Men (Fat Percentage)

    Essential Fat

    10-12%

    2-4%

    Athletes

    14-20%

    6-13%

    Healthy

    21-24%

    14-17%

    Slightly Overweight

    25-31%

    18-25%

    Obese

    Beyond 32%

    Beyond 25%

    Setting realistic body goals can be broken down into smaller, short-term goals as well.

    We are all guilty of setting goals and targets that cannot be tracked. This makes them non-ideal or unrealistic to start with.

    Targets and goals like, ‘I want to get into my old dresses,’ or, ‘I want six-pack abs,’ aren’t ideal goals to start with.

    A good idea is to translate these goals into something quantitative that can be measured throughout your fitness routine.

    A target such as, ‘I want to get into my old dresses,’ may be translated into, ‘I want to decrease my waist from 36’ to 30’ while attaining a BMI of 21’.

    This makes it measureable and realistic.

    A goal such as, ‘I want six packs’, after a bit of research, can be translated into ‘I want a fat percentage of 14% while keeping my ideal bodyweight of 62 kg.

    This will show me my six-packs!’

    • Specific
    • Measurable
    • Attainable
    • Realistic
    • Time-Framed

    Step 1. Setting up a SMART goal

    Everyone has different objectives, and everyone wants something different from their fitness regime.

    The examples above show you just a few of the goals for which you can aim.

    Just remember to break down your ultimate body goals into smaller milestones to keep you motivated as you go for the ultimate goal.

    Another important aspect is that your body goals should be time-framed.

    You should set aside a realistic date by which you want to attain your ideal body.

    This can be three months from now or three years from now depending on your current physical shape.

    The time frame should once again be realistic. If you want to lose 12 kg, you shouldn’t go for a time frame of one month.

    To time-frame your results, you need to calculate accurately how long it will take to achieve your fitness goal based on realistic expectations of body re-composition change caused by your planned diet and training regime.

    This is where proper programming becomes important, as I explain further here. And in this blog about proper training and the principles of progressive overload;

    leg workouts for women

    If you understand what effect an increase in strength generated from an increase in lean body mass (muscle) will have when combined with a correctly tailored diet, you can pre-determine what your changes in body composition will be.

    When you program your strength gains, you can accurately time-frame your fitness goals.

    This is where strength training becomes much more effective than other forms of exercise.

    Women, generally, have a tendency to shy away from everything related to weight training, but as you will soon discover, it is a very effective way of sculpting your body.

    Many fitness athletes have personalized goals that have nothing to do with their body.

    These may be something like, ‘Running 100 meters in 10 seconds,’ or, ‘Swimming a 50m butterfly under xyz seconds’.

    Fitness goals like these can also work for you. It is not necessary that your fitness goal is closely related to your body, as long as you have a smart goal, you have a good starting point.

    Your dream body—Facing the facts!

    If you’re looking for some motivational prep talk, now is the time to look away!

    Unlike all posts, books, programs and videos that tell you that body recomposition, weight loss, having legs and abs to die for and being fitness model material is a piece of cake, I’m going to tell you that it is one of the hardest things to do.

    Life doesn’t give you shortcuts. Sometimes you do get lucky when you win a lottery or something, but that doesn’t happen in physical training, weight loss and body recomposition.

    In my experience  involved in many different aspects of sport, I haven’t heard of anyone suddenly attaining the body she dreamed of when she was a kid.

    It’s a long, hard path, and each day you have to fight.

    You have to fight with yourself, physically and mentally. ’ 

    Every day you have to think, ‘Today I am better than yesterday, and no matter what happens tomorrow, I’ll be better than what I am today.’

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    Conviction and commitment are two words that you need to stick by if you want to be physically fit and look good at the same time.

    body goals

    Watching Tia Clair Toomey’s extraordinary performance winning a gold medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games was the easiest thing I had to do.

    I was sitting on my couch with my chocolate and coffee while she did things that common folks would never even try.

    I wondered about the effort, thinking, and the grueling hours of training that went into her preparation to complete the Olympic lifts.

    What about the proper type of nutrition that she had to consume to maintain strength and agility in her body? Just thinking about it made my head spin.

    Fitness, performance, and a great body come at a price.

    This price includes proper effort and time, but the rewards are worth it.

    Programs that promise six-packs in a week are a waste of time. Any program that offers a great shortcut is a clear scam.

    Any advertisement that tells of a wonder pill will either give a bucket full of side effects and/or have no effect on your body.

    The current consumer market is full of pills, wonder diets, supplements and equipment that give you false hope.

    What they do is manipulate people into buying these useless products.

    Supplements that are animal tested, pills that are placebo, equipment that makes no sense at all. the market is flooded with such things to attract the unwary. Not all of them are worthless, but, to keep a long story short, most of them are.

    A really good resource that I would suggest, which helps sort the facts from the fiction for you, is the site from Simple Science Fitness below; 

    Body Goals

    Their site has lots of great tools to help you understand the different terms and ways of measuring your fitness.  They help you to sort what is scientifically proven from what is just fiction, and how exercise truly benefits your body.

    Rather than searching for short cuts, you may want to consider working hard for your dream physique.

    This is how  athletes do it. Prepare and follow a program with discipline, a program that will ensure constant and measurable results, and your body will reward you.

    You must also consider time management.

    If you’re committed enough, you will surely find the odd hour to dedicate to your health and fitness out of your daily 24 hours.

    Excuses like, ‘I don’t have the time,’ and, ‘I’m too busy,’ mean you will fail.

    The art is to find time and make the most of it. If you can’t work out in the evening, start working out first thing in the morning. If you can’t wake up a bit earlier in the morning then you’re probably too soft to follow a program that guarantees you your ideal physique!

    There is always time, before going to work, in between your morning and evening lecture, before going to bed, or in your office lunch break.

    It is up to you how you find time to complete your physical training, and remember, the rest of your life will be better for it.

    The right nutrition for your body goals

    All the training in the world won't achieve great results, without the right nutrition plan to support your training and body goals.

    People will often debate what percentage of a great body is built in the gym versus the kitchen.  Even if it's 50-50, you should feel that's important enough to give it some focus in your goal setting and planning.

    This post on sports nutrition will explain in detail what you need to know to work out your own proper nutrition plan to support your body goals.

    Share your success

    I'd love to hear what body goals you've set for yourself, or even already achieved, so please don't be shy and share with me in the comments below, or send me an e-mail with your before and after selfies, and share your success!

    Abs Challenge – 30 Day Workout Plan to get Abs

    abs challenge

    Perfect abs in 30 days, if you complete the abs challenge

    Abs challenge may seem like an empty promise.

    But if you stick with it, and complete these ab workouts, one a day, for the next thirty days, you'll be surprised and pleased with just how much better your abs look and feel. 

    Well defined abs are recognised as the most desired measure of fitness, but it isn't easy to achieve.  This abs challenge is designed to gradually progress in intensity, firming and building strong abs that are functional and sexy.

    So get started, stay consistent, and in thirty days, hello abs!

    Abs challenge workouts

    Day 1

    15 second bicycle

    10 leg raises with hip thrust

    10 second plank

    Day 2

    20 second bicycle

    12 leg raises with hip thrust

    15 second plank

    Day 3

    25 second bicycle

    14 leg raises with hip thrust

    20 second plank

    Day 4

    30 second bicycle

    16 leg raises with hip thrust

    25 second plank

    Day 5

    35 second bicycle

    18 leg raises with hip thrust

    30 second plank

    Day 6

    40 second bicycle

    20 leg raises with hip thrust

    35 second plank

    Day 7

    45 second bicycle

    22 leg raises with hip thrust

    40 second plank

    Day 8

    50 second bicycle

    24 leg raises with hip thrust

    40 second plank

    Day 9

    55 second bicycle

    26 leg raises with hip thrust

    45 second plank

    Day 10

    60 second bicycle

    28 leg raises with hip thrust

    50 second plank

    Day 11

    65 second bicycle

    30 leg raises with hip thrust

    55 second plank

    Day 12

    70 second bicycle

    32 leg raises with hip thrust

    60 second plank

    Day 13

    75 second bicycle

    34 leg raises with hip thrust

    65 second plank

    Day 14

    80 second bicycle

    36 leg raises with hip thrust

    70 second plank

    Day 15

    85 second bicycle

    38 leg raises with hip thrust

    75 second plank

    Day 16

    90 second bicycle

    40 leg raises with hip thrust

    60 second plank

    Day 17

    95 second bicycle

    42 leg raises with hip thrust

    65 second plank

    Day 18

    100 second bicycle

    42 leg raises with hip thrust

    65 second plank

    Day 19

    105 second bicycle

    44 leg raises with hip thrust

    70 second plank

    Day 20

    110 second bicycle

    46 leg raises with hip thrust

    75 second plank

    Day 21

    115 second bicycle

    48 leg raises with hip thrust

    65 second plank

    Day 22

    120 second bicycle

    50 leg raises with hip thrust

    70 second plank

    Day 23

    125 second bicycle

    52 leg raises with hip thrust

    75 second plank

    Day 24

    130 second bicycle

    54 leg raises with hip thrust

    80 second plank

    Day 25

    135 second bicycle

    56 leg raises with hip thrust

    85 second plank

    Day 26

    140 second bicycle

    50 leg raises with hip thrust

    70 second plank

    Day 27

    145 second bicycle

    52 leg raises with hip thrust

    75 second plank

    Day 28

    150 second bicycle

    54 leg raises with hip thrust

    80 second plank

    Day 29

    155 second bicycle

    56 leg raises with hip thrust

    85 second plank

    Day 30

    160 second bicycle

    58 leg raises with hip thrust

    90 second plank

    Exercises explained;

    The three exercises included in this 30 day abs challenge are reasonably simple, but with daily repetition and the gradual increase in quantity, they are designed to target and tone your abs.

    If you're not familiar with these ab exercises, I've recorded a quick demonstration on each below.

    Bicycle

    The elbows to knees (otherwise known as the bicycle) works both the upper and lower abdominals.

    Lie on the ground / mat, with your hands behind your head supporting the neck.

    Pull your stomach muscles in toward the spine and lift your knees to a 90-degree angle.

    Twist bringing one elbow to meet the opposite knee as that knee is pulled further toward the chest. The opposite leg will straighten.

    From here, twist to the other side pulling the straight leg toward the chest and straightening the already bent leg, essentially making the legs mimic the motion made while riding a bicycle.

    It is important to keep your breath at a regular pace and to use your hands to support the head, not pull on it. It is not necessary that the elbows actually touch the knees as long as the twisting motion still occurs.

    Leg raises with hip thrust

    This exercise targets the lower and middle abdominals.

    Begin by lying on the floor with your hands resting along the sides of your body.

    Bend your knees and keep your feet raised about two inches off the floor.

    Slowly bring your knees up toward your chest, contracting your abdominals while raising the pelvis off the floor.

    Hold for a second, and then lower your pelvis and legs back to the starting position.

    The movements for this exercise should be done slowly and deliberately.

    Plank

    The plank is not only a great exercise for your upper, middle and lower abdominals; it is great for the entire body.

    Start in the push-up position.

    Next bend your elbows and lower down shifting weight from your hands to the forearms.

    Pull your stomach into the spine to keep the body in a straight line.

    Do not let your hips drop or your rear rise.

    Hold for the time noted in each days workout. If this is not possible, hold for as long as possible, then take a five second rest and repeat until the time held in the position reaches a minute, or longer as per that days workout.

    The plank is a strength move; the more it is done, the longer it will be possible to hold the position.

    Beginners may find it easier to drop the knees to the floor until the muscles have built up enough to hold the plank while resting only on the forearms and toes.

    Those more advanced might like to make the plank more challenging by extending an arm and the opposite leg in the air. Hold for a set time, and then change sides.

    Eating right for your abs challenge

    So now you've got the exercises down and dusted for the 30 day abs challenge, but if you really want people to see those defined abs, you need to get your diet right as well. 

    You can train as much as you like, but if your diet isn't good, your body will struggle to make any meaningful changes. 

    A good clean eating diet, with the correct amount of macro nutrients like protein, fats and carbohydrate, worked out to suite your personal body and goals, will ensure great results. 

    For a full guide on how to calculate your macro nutrients check out this post on sports nutrition.

    And for some easy clean eating meal ideas, try these 31 recipes.

    clean eating recipe, garlic chicken

    Garlic Chicken With Roasted Sweet Potato

    Wrapping up your abs challenge

    I'm sure you'll enjoy completing this 30 day abs challenge, and I invite you to keep going after you've finished your first thirty days. 

    Why stop there?

    Reset, and start another thirty day challenge.  Just select some different ab exercises so that your workouts will have some variety, and your body won't get used to the same training.

    Keep at it, and before you know it you'll be sharing #fitspo selfies to be proud of!

    13 Greatest Myths About Strength Training

    myths about strength training

    Greatest myths about strength training

    Myths about strength training have been around since people started training, there’s nothing new about that.

    But it seems to me, that there’s an imbalance, with most of the myths being about women and strength training, often mostly believed by women, who therefore avoid proper strength training.

    myths about strength training - fat guys

    If you’re a guy, you’re over the age of 18, and you believe more than five of these myths about strength training, well sorry, you’re just a lazy man, and the only part of your body likely to be described as large will be your belly

    You really should read on, and start lifting some serious weight.

    The status is starting to change, with more women understanding the true benefits of proper strength training, and getting involved.  

    But the topic of weight training has been blessed with a plethora of myths and misinformation.

    Click to Tweet

    Let’s debunk some of these myths and find the truth behind them.

    You can’t lose weight with strength training

    ‘Don’t bench press with so much weight! You’re already obese, if you lift weights the fat will become more solid and it will become even harder to lose’

    ‘You can’t lose weight with weight training. No one becomes thin while doing weight training; everyone gains weight.’

    These two statements bring back teenage memories when I had illiterate mentors! Now I can probably write a book on this single myth about strength training alone.

    The fact of the matter is that strength training is a form of exercise. You lift weights, you move your body and to do this, you need energy which is derived from the food you eat or from the fuel reserves (Fat) you have.

    Strength training can help you lose weight in the following ways:

    • Strength training increases lean mass which needs energy to maintain. As a result you end up using calories just maintaining your muscle mass! This inevitably results in increased metabolic rate.
    • Calories are burnt during a particular workout.
    • Calories are burnt during the process of muscle hypertrophy

    NEED MOTIVATION TO LOSE WEIGHT?

    Just eat in front of the mirror. Naked.

    You get really fat once you give up strength training

    ‘What happens is that once you give up weight training, the muscle mass you gained, starts to store excessive amounts of fat and you start to gain weight’

    Repeat this sentence in front of anyone who knows basic human anatomy and they will probably call you an idiot! 

    Muscle mass needs maintenance.

    Once you stop working out your muscles, the body feels no need to maintain the same amount of muscle mass so your body starts to lose excess muscle mass that is not required by your daily routine.

    The lean mass drop is very gradual.

    This decrease in muscle mass doesn’t mean that fat starts to rush into the so called empty spaces.

    Most weight trainers get fat because they give up weight training but they don’t give up their eating patterns which were designed to supplement their training routine.

    This becomes simple mathematics, they start to eat more than what they burn and as a result they start to become fat.

    You will ruin your spine!

    ‘If you lift weights daily, you will probably dislocate your spinal discs.’

    This would have to be one of the all time biggest myths about strength training.

    Really, you may or may not; it all depends on how safe you play.

    If you lift with proper form for each exercise and the weight you use is well within your control, chances are that your spine will be alright.

    The other thing to remember is that weight training actually strengthens your spine.

    I’ve known many people with reported back problems whom I suggested light dead lifts coupled with a few other back exercises and the results were very satisfying. Most of them reported that their pain had improved or disappeared altogether.

    When I stopped training for a number of years, and my muscles “relaxed” I developed bad back pain, both from previous sporting injury which became active because of the lack of muscle support and just the fact that I was spending hours sitting at a desk. 

    I developed bad problems in my lower back, which progressed to my upper back, and then the middle of my back.  I was in my late twenties and sometimes felt crippled by the pain.  I fixed that by weight training to increase my muscle strength.

    I told a champion power lifter, I don’t think I should do dead lifts because of my bad back. 

    He asked me;

    Are you crippled? Do you ever pick up your luggage, or the shopping? 

    I understood the point. 

    myths about strength training

    I refused to accept my fear of doing more injury to my back, which was a natural protective instinct, just the same as when you have bad back pain, you don’t want to brush your teeth or sit in the one spot for too long.  

    I started dead lifting, and never looked back. (No pun intended) Yes, sometimes I feel some weakness in my lower back.  Anyone training seriously with dead lifts usually will.  And I listen to my body and adjust my training sets to suite, but I always make sure that I’m working properly.  

    As a result, after a period of about six months, I didn't have any more back pain. It feels strong and stable, and I have stopped paying the physios and chiropractors for what used to be almost weekly visits.

    Yes, you will find lots of advice from physios and chiropractors, that will tell you to stay well away from moves such as the dead lift, and I’m not saying they’re always wrong. 

    But please use some of your own judgment as well, and even just try some gentler strengthening moves for your back first.  

    As you feel it improving, your confidence will also improve and you can continue to advance.

    As you do that, you will leave the back pain behind.  I’m sorry, but your back pain will be replaced by sore leg muscles if you are dead lifting, but I’m sure you’ll find that positively enjoyable, when you start to see the muscle gains that change your body.

    In fact, I have known a chiropractor who is a power lifting champion, who has set dead lifting records. 

    Yes, he handles extreme weight, and so puts his joints out from time to time, but I’m sure that he doesn’t advise people to stay away from weight training to protect their joints.

    The secret is that weight training improves muscle mass and bone density. Your spine is supported by multiple muscle groups and these muscle groups improve their muscle fiber density by virtue of strength training.

    Stronger and larger the muscle, the safer is your spine!

    This article by the Harvard medical school actually says that weight training increases the strength of bones in the hips, spine and wrists, which they also say are the points most likely to suffer fractures.

    You will start using steroids

    myths about strength training - steroids

    Unless you really want to - there’s no compulsion that you really have to get into steroids while you strength train.

    It’s a form of exercise, not a cult!

    You are solely responsible for the choices and decisions you make.

    Although steroids are strongly associated to body building (the same way rock n roll is associated with drugs.) there are a plenty of body builders, weight trainers, and fitness enthusiast who do it without steroids; some even do it without any supplements; there are a few who even do it without meat (Vegans)!

    Keeping this in mind, you will not start using steroids unless you really want to, and I certainly won’t recommend that you do.

    Strength training ruins flexibility

    There are countless athletes who have a considerable amount of muscle mass but they are equally flexible.

    There is no particular relation between lean body mass and flexibility.

    Watch a replay of Usane Bolt running the hundred meters, and see flexible muscle mass working like a fine symphony.

    Yoga being all about flexibility of the body; there are numerous Yoga instructors that are as flexible as Gumby but as buffed as He-man!

    Forgive my analogies but if there’s any relation between strength training and flexibility, it is that strength training actually improves flexibility.

    When you train, your joints go through a full range of motion. Your muscles contract & relax and these movements actually improve flexibility.

    Just don’t be lazy, and remember to incorporate a good stretching regime into your program.

    Strength training is good for building muscle but bad for the heart

    This one actually elevates my blood pressure whenever I hear it!

    Taking into account, eleven clinical trials that have been conducted on Cholesterol and strength training suggest that strength training helps in reduction of LDL Cholesterol.

    This kind of Cholesterol (The unhealthy kind) is responsible for clogging the arteries and increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. This is true for most anaerobic exercises.

    This evidence suggests that strength training is actually good for the heart.

    On the other hand, if we analyze aerobic exercise, we see that this kind of training additionally helps improve HDL cholesterol (Healthy kind).

    This isn’t true for anaerobic exercise. So we may conclude that aerobic exercise is healthier for the heart than its anaerobic counterpart but nevertheless anaerobic exercise like strength training improves the heart’s health.

    Another thing to consider is blood flow. Strength training helps reduce blood pressure.

    This is true for aerobic exercise as well.

    This article from Medical News Today lists some more hearth health benefits of strength training.

    Weight training is bad for your joints

    ‘If you do weight training you will end up with hollow joints!’

    I actually got this suggestion from a running coach; maybe he was trying to get me into his running team.

    Weight training involves controlled, non-impact movement which improves the health of your joints, ligaments and the muscles surrounding the joint.

    So yes, the myth is actually a myth.  

    Just a note of caution, some Olympic lifts can put incredible strain on your joints, but we aren’t talking about that type of training here.  

    Unless you are gifted, and training to compete in Olympic lifting competitions, you won’t encounter those problems.

    If you are, then you should already be aware of what the future holds for some of you.  If you’re not, ask your coach at your next session, and make an informed decision about how much you are prepared to sacrifice.  

    It’s a similar decision that most professional athletes will have to make in one way or another.

    Doing weights will make you bulky

    myths about strength training steroids

    ‘I don’t train with weights because I don’t want to get bulky!’

    This is one of the biggest myths that prevent women from engaging with proper strength training.

    If they’ve got a hang up with this belief, then at most you’ll find them using really light weights for higher reps, in the belief that this will help with “toning” and develop “thin muscles”

    Firstly, the way muscles are shaped on your body is largely as a result of your natural anatomy, not the type of weight training you’ve done. 

    Given two people of equal strength, one short in stature with short limbs, the other tall with long limbs, the shorter one will appear to have larger muscles.

    Due to the lack of testosterone, and the presence of estrogen, around 90% of women will never be physiologically able to build the amount of muscle that it takes to look bulky.

    So all you are doing by avoiding proper strength straining, is cheating your body out of the results that is could be achieving which would result in a feminine physique with curves in all the right places.

    Cardio burns more calories than strength training

    Women can often be seen spending hours at the gym running on tread mills, developing scrawny run down systems, sometimes to the extent that they end up suffering from overtraining.

    They are likely suffering from this myth.

    The truth is that your muscles continue burning calories for longer even after you’ve finished strength training, as apposed to a cardio session.

    And someone with a more muscular physique can burn up to an extra 50% more calories than that of a runner, just moving around throughout the day. 

     That can add up to a lot of extra calories used up, just by living, making strength training a really good option if it’s calorie’s out that you’re worried about

    Body weight exercises are as good as weight training

    weight training


    While I love body weight exercises, and it is true that you can build a really wonderful physique full of athletic strength and performance, you cannot achieve the same level of stresses placed on the body as training with heavy weights does. 

    And it is that additional stress that you are able to apply to the body through proper weight training, that will achieve the great results that I believe we should all aspire to.


    I really like incorporating calisthenics into my training routines, and think that disciplines like yoga and pilates have loads of benefits, but nothing can beat the shear bang for your buck that you get from time spent progressing a proper strength training program.

    You should be sore after every strength training workout

    Lots of people think that they should feel sore after every weights workout, and that if they don’t then it mustn’t have been a good workout.

    While beginners will almost always feel soreness because their muscles are not at all used to handling these types of stresses, as your body becomes more adapted, fitter and stronger, it’s recovery will become better as well.

    You will likely still feel soreness after you make changes to a workout routine, or add significant volume or intensity, but if your body is sore all the time, then you may need to allow more time for recovery. 

    It is during recovery that your body strengthens and grows new muscles fibers, so this is a critically important part of the process. 

    If you are not recovering properly, your progress will suffer.

    Instead of using a really bad arbitrary measure like, “how sore do I feel” to gauge how effective your workouts are, you should follow a proper program, and measure your results to ensure that you achieve progressive overload.

    Doing this will ensure consistent progress, and avoid improper over training, because you don't want to end up here;

    myths about strength training - sore muscles

    Women and men should train differently

    In most commercial gyms anywhere around the world, you will find trainers who are putting their male clients through workouts that include squats, deadlifts, military presses and bench pressing all with reasonably heavy weights. (most should go heavier)

    In those same gyms, and often with the same trainers, women are being “worked out” using light dumb bells, weight machines with only a few plates on the peg, and loads more cardio.

    This is rubbish.

    There is absolutely no reason that women cannot, and should not complete the same type of exercises that men can.

    In fact, training that way will give most women the best chance of obtaining the body which they really want.

    While a man may train with weights in a certain way, to grow bigger, a woman training in the same way will achieve the tight, toned look that most want.

    Strength training is only for young people

    That’s almost as bad as saying that sex is only for young people, and we all know that’s just not true, because we’re never intending to stop doing that.

    Do we ever really intend to stop doing the things we enjoy?

    myths about strength training

    Well, why would picking an age when it suddenly becomes unsafe to lift weights be any different?

     Unless your doctor has advised you, or told you outright to stop strength training, then it’s pretty safe to expect that you will still actually be achieving great benefits from it.

    Decreasing the risk of osteoporosis, better balance, weight loss and better mental health are all assisted by strength training, which makes it a great thing for older people to be doing.

    This article lists 13 benefits for people over the age of fifty achieved by strength training.

    Wrapping up our myths about strength training

    You might be able to find more myths about strength training if you go looking and really research it, but if you are motivated enough to do that, then the reality is that your commitment to being lazy and fat is just far too strong.

    Better to spend your time researching the benefits, or better yet, just go and start strength training.

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    If you are ready to get started, this post on leg workouts or this one about weight training for body sculpting will help.

    Weight Training Effectively for Body Sculpting

    weight training

    Weight Training for Women to Sculpt Your Body

    Weight training if the truth be told, and you really want to sculpt your body, is really the only way to get the results you need.

    The great thing about weight training and muscle mass is that you can tweak individual muscle groups and change the shape of your body, the way you like it.

    If you want to, you can work on your Gluteus (The butt as it is commonly known as!) while keeping the rest of your body pretty much the same. If you want to work on your abdominals without changing how your shoulders look; that can be done as well.

    It’s similar to working on a specific part of the painting while not touching the rest of the canvas.

    This can only be done through weight training and this is one cosmetic, or pure vanity reason why weight training is advantageous over other forms of exercise.

    Dave Barry

    "Albert Einstein discove