Posts Tagged ‘Canberra Gyms’

Do you Need Cardio?

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Do You Really Need “Cardio” Workouts?

What is more effective?? Doing cardio workouts or weight training for losing fat…
 
In this post I am hoping to get you thinking differently, and trying new things.

Do you really need cardio training to get lean and in great shape?

Most fitness trainers, weekend warriors, or anyone trying to get in shape or lose body fat, consider it a fact that they need “cardio” exercise to burn up their fat and attain their these goals. They would never even question it.

In fact, you may be surprised to know that some of the leanest people I know (men and women), NEVER do any type of normal or traditional cardio. And I’ve spent over 15 years working out in various gyms in Australia, and hanging out with athletes of all sorts, so I’ve seen it all.

I will say that there can be a place for low-moderate level cardio for really overweight or deconditioned people, but even in those cases, there can be more effective methods.

What do most see “Cardio” as?

Most people would consider cardio to be riding to knowhere on a bike, or running on a treadmill, or cruising on an elliptical strider, while watching the TV screen at their state of the art gym. This is what I call “traditional cardio”. No wonder the majority of people get bored with their workouts and give up after a couple months without seeing results. On Average about 70% of people that take out a gym membership never use it more than a dozen times in a year.

But, “cardio” exercise can be considered any type of exercise or activity that strengthens the cardiovascular system. To keep it simple, if it gets your heart pumping, and gets you huffing and puffing, it’s cardio. I don’t care if you’re holding dumbbells or a barbell and everyone calls it a weight training exercise…it’s still conditioning your heart.

Let’s take a look at a couple examples:

 Take a barbell  clean & press for example (of which many of you have seen me do plenty of), which involves lifting a barbell from the floor up to shoulders, then push pressing overhead. And listen up ladies, because even though this is usually seen as a manly exercise, it doesn’t matter if you’re not lifting 100kg; if 15kg is challenging to you, then you will still benefit just as much.

At first glance, most people think of the barbell C&P only as a weight training exercise or strength exercise. However, I challenge you to do a hard set of around 15-20 reps on the C&P. If you used a challenging enough weight, what you’ll find is that your heart rate is probably up to about 80-90% of your recommended max (get a HR monitor and try it), and you are huffing and puffing like you just ran a 100-meter sprint (which by the way, sprinting kicks the crap out of jogging any day if you want the easiest way to lose the flab).

Try the same thing for a set of 20 reps of one-arm swings with each arm with a kettlebell or dumbbell, and tell me your legs aren’t burning, heart racing, and you’re gasping for breath. How about trying 5 minutes straight of bodyweight squats, lunges, and pushups with no rest. Again, notice your heart pounding, sweat pouring off of you, and chest heaving for breaths!

Try and tell me you’re not conditioning your heart with this style of training!

Conventional trainers and thinking says that these are weight training or strength training exercises. However, they are fulfilling your cardio workout needs as well (saving you time!).

Not only do you save time, but you strengthen and condition almost every muscle in your entire body with these full body functional movements if you do them with enough intensity…some thing that can’t be said for that boring stationary bike ride or treadmill jaunt while reading or watching TV.

Gone are the days of the boring 90 minute gym sessions. Doing one set and talking to your mates for three minutes before you do your next set. If you can sit and talk you are not training hard enough!

Work hard, get in, get out and see the fat just melting off you..

So what do I recommend??

Group sessions like: Boot Camp, Crossfit, Boxing, or find a very experienced trainer in your area to help you out with a program.

For those in Canberra that have never tried a session, you can come for FREE to one of our Boot Camps and get a feel of what it is really like. For the month of August we have $50 off our Boot Camp program so why not make it NOW to make the change?

Simply go to the contact us section above and leave your email and location.

Scott Williams

Beginners Guide to Fitness

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

What to do when you are ready to get in shape?

So you are finally ready to turn from your couch potato ways, and trade your T.V. remote in for a dumbbell! Congratulations, and welcome to the wonderful world of fitness! I commend you on your resolve to lose weight and get into shape! Now where do you begin? These days there sure is a lot of talk about diet and fitness, whether it is a new diet pill or piece of exercise equipment. It is enough to make your head spin, and certainly enough to confuse the beginner. Take a deep breath, and follow these simple tips to go from being a fitness beginner to a pro!

TIP #1: GET MOVING

The first thing you need to do, as a fitness beginner, is to start moving! I mean this literally. Get up, and walk out your front door. Now walk down the street. Now turn the corner. Keep going! Do you get the picture? Start introducing your body to fitness by going on walks. These walks will probably start out slow and short, but before you know it they will be brisk and long. Try to work up a sweat as you tour the neighborhood. Make it a habit to wake up early to go on your walk, or consistently go on a walk before you go to bed. These walks will get you to start burning calories each day, and will also begin to build your cardiovascular endurance.

TIP #2: STRETCH

Once you become a pro at walking, you will need to add something new to your routine. Stretch before and after your walks. Start by reaching down to touch your toes and holding it for 30 seconds. You will feel tightness on the backs of your legs, in your hamstrings. Now place your palm against a wall at chest level and turn your body away from it. As you hold this for 30 seconds you will feel a stretch in your chest. Most inactive people have tight hamstring and chest muscles due to prolonged sitting, so it should be your priority to stretch these muscles out. You will be pleasantly surprised at what this will do for your posture!

TIP #3: CLEAN YOUR DIET

Fitness professionals like to claim that 80% of what your body looks like is directly related to what you eat. In other words, if you are eating burgers and fries and visiting the gym everyday, you are still going to look like you are eating burgers and fries! It is time to clean up your diet, so you can continue on your fast track to fitness.

  • Rule #1: No more fast food. Fast food is cheap, available, and quick, but it is far from healthy. You are better off avoiding it completely.
  • Rule #2: Eat 5 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables everyday. Your body needs the nutrients found in these foods, and they will fill you up without empty calories.
  • Rule #3: Eat 4-5 small meals a day, rather than 2 large ones. This will keep your metabolism high all day, and turn you into a calorie-burning machine!

TIP#4: FIND A GYM & PERSONAL TRAINER

After you have mastered walking, stretching, and have started to clean up your diet, you are ready to join a gym. Don’t be intimidated or scared of this concept, the gym is a friendly place where people go to burn calories and build muscle! Find a local gym that has a convenient location near your home or work place. The key to making your gym membership worth its monthly dues is to use it consistently. Go to the gym no less than three times a week. While you are there begin a resistance training program as well as a cardiovascular program.

TIP #5: FIND A BUDDY

There is no better motivator to get you to the gym than knowing that someone is there waiting for you. If you find yourself slacking off in your workouts, or skipping the gym, a workout buddy might be just what you need. Find a friend with whom you share similar fitness goals, and become workout buddies. Agree to meet three times a week at the gym, and encourage each other throughout your workout. You will find that this makes workouts motivating and fun.

There you have it, all you need to know to get yourself up off the coach and into a healthy, fit lifestyle! Making the decision to get into shape will be the best one you make in your life, and I wish you all the best.

Looking for a trainer in the Canberra area? Then look us up at: www.succeed.com.au and you will receive a FREE Personal Training session with one of our professional staff.