Tag Archives: strength training

What Your Fitness Regime Should Look Like

Hello!

We’re well into the THIRD month of the year. Where did time go?!

How is everyone doing?

I hope this post has helped you shape your fitness/physical/health/nutrition goals for 2017! What are they? DO SHARE!


Before we dive head in, we need to know the BASICS! Whatever your goals (running PBs, strength gains, yoga, cross fit, OCRs etc), we cannot run away from the fundamentals of fitness.

A well balanced fitness routine should have these components:

CARDIO

*my favourite component*

Your HEART is a vital organ. It beats to keep you alive. There are a million reasons why we need to preserve its function and strengthen it.

Even if you are not training for a run or a marathon, you cannot neglect this component. A strong heart pumps a greater volume of blood with each beat – more efficient (this means that your heart does not have to work as hard). For example, a strong heart may take 1 beat to pump X volume of blood whereas a weaker heart may take 4 beats to pump the same volume (this is not exactly how it works. I’m just SUPER simplying it. But you get the point)!

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Photo: Nathaniel Kelly

I know I’m getting stronger when my Garmin FR 235 reports a lower heart rate (compared to prev) at the same pace. 🙂

Why is that important?

EVERYTHING you do involves your heart. You are more able to walk, clean the house, run for the bus (that’s me), climb stairs (without huffing and puffing) etc with ease. It makes daily activities seem less of a chore. PLUS, it keeps many chronic/heart diseases at bay.

*For your heart to become stronger, you need to add a little stress. Only then, will it adapt.*

What to do: 30-60 minutes of running, jogging, swimming, cycling, dancing, boxing etc as long as you’re moving throughout! You can even throw in a few sprints to keep things interesting. Cleaning the house counts too (haha! :P). This should be done on most days (if not all) of the week!

Strength Training

Just like our heart, our muscles and joints need to be stressed too. With the right amount of stress, we are able to build/maintain lean muscle mass and strengthen our tendons, ligaments and bones. Again, these will help you with your day to day activities that involve lifting/carrying/pushing/pulling heavy objects.

IMG_3066Strenght training is important for everyone. Muscles help to increase the body’s metabolism (hello MORE FOOD. #jokes) as they need a lot of “food” for growth and maintanence. For older adults, you’ll tend to accumulate more fat and lose muscle mass more easily. You need a good amount of lean muscle mass to maintain metabolism and with stronger muscles and bones, you can prevent falls and broken bones!

What to do: You can start off with body weight exercises (decline push ups, squats, lunges etc) before adding weights. As you become stronger, you will need to add external loads to continue to GROW!

Stability and Mobility

This is the core of movement. We need to be able to MOVE within our full range of movement and maintain stability when we need to. If you lack this component, throwing in cardio and strength training will cause MORE problems such as lower back pain and unwanted injuries.

From the bottom up, our joints are arranged such that it is alternating between stable and mobile:

Foot – Stable

Ankle – Mobile

Knee – Stable

Hips – Mobile

Lumbar (Lower Back) – Stable

Thorax – Mobile

Scapula – Stable

Neck – Mobile

The lack of stability and mobility in any of the joints will affect your ability to move about comfortably. Even getting out of bed would be a chore!

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What to do: STRETCH every other day! Tight muscles hinder mobility! You can do it either when you wake up, post workout, while watching tv or just before bed! A little goes a long way. If you are pressed for time, hit the neck, chest, hips, hamstrings, glutes, calves and lower back. You can also do some balancing workouts to improve stability across your joints.

I always stretch for about 1 hour after my workouts while I’m reading articles/on social media. For me, it is a great way to CHILL! And then I plank for 2 mins front, left and right side!


With this in mind, I hope that you will be able to choose a program (or programs) that will cover all of the above.

With a well rounded fitness routine, you are more likely to maximise results while staying injury free! Go for the ones that YOU ENJOY and COMMIT to them. Everyone starts off as an amateur, not being “fit” or “good” enough (exactly WHY you shld get started, NOW!) is not an excuse!

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Believe in yourself. Have a little confidence. 🙂

HAVE FUN!

Full Body Workout Videos

As promised, here are the workout videos!

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Do you know exactly which muscle/s you are working each time you perform a move?

I have listed the muscle/s involved with each move below the video. Before you scroll all the way down, give yourself a little test (no peeking!)!

Bench Jumps

Muscles involved: Quadriceps (Rectus femoris), Gluteus maximus (Your butt), Hamstrings (Biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus), Calves (Gastrocnemius, soleus)

Tip: Activate your core and quads to maintain proper form when you land. Step down from the bench (not jump!).

Oblique Rotations

Muscles involved: Obliques (External obliques), Hips (Iliacus, Psoas major and minor)

Tip: Stabilize your hips and don’t let them sink.

Elevated Push Ups

Muscles involved: Chest (Pectoralis Major), Triceps brachii

Tip: Keep your arms close to your chest. Elbows should not be flaring out.

Split Squat Lunges

Muscles involved: Quadriceps (Rectus femoris), Gluteus maximus (Your butt), Hamstrings (Biceps femoris, semitendinosus, semimembranosus), Calves (Gastrocnemius, soleus)

Tip: Make sure your knee does not go over your second toe. If it does, take a bigger step forward. Your front thigh should be parallel to the ground.

Tricep Dips

Muscles involved: Triceps brachii

Tip: Keep your back straight and close to the bench.

Strength-focused Session:

-15 reps for each exercise (30 reps in total for single limb movements, ie: 15 reps for the left leg; 15 reps for the right leg)

-Repeat 5 times with 1 or 2 minutes break in between

-Perform each move SLOWLY

HIIT Session:

-12 reps for each move (24 reps in total for single limb movements, ie: 12 reps for the left leg; 12 reps for the right leg)

-Set the timer for 8 minutes and complete as many rounds of the full circuit as possible

-Rest for 2 minutes and REPEAT x3!

And there you have it, 30 minutes full body workout! BOOM!

These moves are the basic functional movements with some variation to challenge your stability, mobility and your core. It requires some level of balance and coordination. This is a simple example of using your own body weight to add some resistance to increase strength. If you are like me and you tend to shy away from lifting heavy weights, this is an alternative.

Remember to activate your core. Your core muscles should always be engaged when performing any exercise.

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Say Hello to a stronger YOU!

Try it out and let me know how it goes!