This is my first post for 4Ever Fitness and I’m very excited to be able to share my experiences and practices with you all. So my first post will address what I consider to be the top training tips for women!
There is so much to consider when embarking on a training programme. Your goals, your ability and your time frame and your chosen training methods are all vitally important and must be suited to you.
So choosing my top 4 training tips for women has been a tricky one but no matter what your criteria these top 4 tips will apply to all and will soon having you seeing those results you have been longing to see.
1. Lift Weights
I always put this at the top of any list simply because of the controversy surrounding women and lifting weights. I have seen it time and time again (and I’ve even lost clients because of it); women are afraid to lift and when they do lift, they don’t lift heavy enough. Step away from the pretty pink plastic dumbbells. The fear of ‘bulking’ or gaining size seems to outweigh the benefits and aside from that, women gaining size is quite simply a myth. Ok, so now you know it’s ok to lift let me share with you my top 2 exercises I’d like to see more women doing and why.
Firstly, start deadlifting. Get off the leg curl, adductor and leg extension machine and start using this one single move to get even better results. For some reason the deadlift is largely seen as a ‘guy move’ but it’s great for everyone and us girls need to do more (check out my picture above). They are by far the best exercise for overall strength and are great for improving and sculpting your physical appearance. Therefore, regardless of what your goals are, start to incorporate this movement a lot more. The thing about deadlifting is that is stimulates such a variety of muscles that not only will you start boosting your metabolism but you’ll be working towards building some really good quality muscle too. You get a buy 1 get 4 free offer when you deadlift. Rather than working one single muscle, you are working your upper and lower back, your core, your glutes and your hamstrings all in one single movement.
It is important to get the technique absolutely spot on so grab somebody who can help you and start benefiting from this fantastic exercise.
Secondly, girls need to persevere with those pull ups. We need to show the guys how it’s done. Start with assisted pull ups and slowing progress to jumping pull ups and in no time you’ll be knocking out a strict pull up with hardly any effort at all. The sense of achievement when you complete your first pull up is amazing. Three of my clients are now doing full unassisted pull ups and they love it every time they do it. It may only be 3 -4 reps but it just kicks ass!! Get going girls, all your left with is a beautifully defined back and tapered waist.
2. Avoid monotonous cardio
My second training tip has got be to avoid monotonous cardio. This is simply because I think more women are guilty of this than men. There are a variety of reasons why; sometimes it’s lack of knowledge, intimidation in the gym or again that fear of turning into a chunky body builder the second you pick up some weights. Whatever the reason, get off the treadmill, get off the cross trainer and walk away from the bike, you are wasting your time. Apart from being mind-numbingly boring, you will soon find that you are not getting the results you could be getting if you were to train with a little more intensity and with some added resistance. Long bouts of cardio lead to muscle loss and as a result; a slower metabolism and lots of wobbly bits. Don’t get me wrong, cardio is important but the usual gym routine of 10 minutes bike, 10 minutes cross trainer and 10 minutes running should be banned. Also, if you want a great total body blast, jump on the rower, it is great as it incorporates your upper body and core and not just your legs.
3. Train with intensity
Now we’ve got you lifting more weight and quitting the monotonous cardio lets focus on intensity. We need to train hard and we need to train smart. Your time in the gym needn’t be much more than 40 minutes but those 40 minutes need to be quality minutes. Create yourself a circuit that includes strength training and cardio. This’ll help you build muscle, burn fat and keep your heart rate high. Known as metabolic conditioning, it’s a really effective way to torch those calories, blitz the fat and sculpt those curves.
4. Eat Clean and Drink Plenty of Water
Lastly, along with an effective training routine, you need to make sure you are getting the best from your nutrition. Don’t be one of those people who rewards themselves with a treat because they have been to the gym. Results happen in and out of the gym so think about what passes your lips. Ditch the refined carbs, eat little and often and work on keeping your insulin levels stable. This is the surest way to curb cravings, steady your energy and combat those hunger pangs. Once your insulin levels are stable, your fat stores will be under control. Lose the bread, cookies, chocolate, white rice, cereal and sugar. ANYTHING ‘diet’ is bad news. Sweeteners etc will not make you skinny. Fill up on fruit, veg, meat and healthy fats and ditch the rest. A basic rule of thumb – if you can’t catch it, kill it or grow it, don’t eat it!
Lastly, our bodies are made up of 70% water, that’s a lot of water and we need to maintain it as a drop in hydration effect performance. If you’re thirsty, then drink water. If you don’t like it, tough, you need it. Squash/Concentrate just doesn’t cut it due to the high sugar intake. I have no time for clients who say they don’t like water. Pathetic. You need water and should be aiming for 35ml p/kg of body weight. If your struggling to get this amount of water into you make it more interesting, try adding green tea. Green tea is a natural fat burner and full of antioxidants. There are also lots of great flavours so pick a few (just check the sugar content if it’s mixed with fruit tea).