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What Comes First, Weights or Cardio?

Weights or cardio… So you’ve started reading this article because you NEED to know the best way to set out your workout in order to get maximum results, am I right?

But what first? Do I lift first and compromise my running, or run first and compromise my strength training?

We’re here now to help you answer that burning question.

At this stage you know what you want, you want to be lean, you want to be fit, you want the benefits of cardio and strength training all rolled into one package, that package being your body. You know that to be fit and fast you need to get the ball rolling on cardio and you know that strength sessions can help build up your physical and mental endurance. However, when time comes into play, it’s hard too do these two things separately and you’ve thought to yourself, how do I lay out my session, if I want to roll cardio and strength training into one session?

Weights or Cardio

Weights or Cardio?… PUMP IT UP!

The answer friends, is strength training. There are multiple studies that have direct links to weights being more beneficial to you than cardio first.

Have you ever suffered painfully through a strength session after busting out a 5-10km run? It’s the most tedious, mind-numbingly painful thing.  You’re putting in little effort, your lifting shy of what you normally would and can’t bust out as many reps as you usually would. It. Is. Painful.

On the other side though, have you ever done a solid session of strength at the gym, and then found yourself energised and ready to knock some KM’s under your belt on the treadmill? I certainly have.

Weights or Cardio

What are the benefits? And why?

If you’re wanting to look ripped, is it going to be weights or cardio? you need to use your stored body fat as fuel for your work-out, this can only be done by utilising your glycogen store first – by strength training. Studies have found that there was more fat burned during a cardio session for the first 15 minutes if you did it AFTER your strength session, how great is that!

There is a definite increase in fat burning potential after a strength session, research has shown that energy is elevated for up to 24hrs after strength training which increases the percentage of fat being burned.

The increase in this energy expenditure is generally equal too or better than performing steady state aerobic exercise.

So there you have it, pump out some weights, THEN go for you run. Why not give it a go and leave us some feedback on how you think you performed?

weights or cardio

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Obesity and Weight Lifting, Is It Safe?

If you are obese you may begin to feel helpless, as if nothing will shed those extra kilos that have piled up. Dieting is hard, cardio is hard, weights are hard and you may begin to wonder if it’s even safe to perform these exercises with the amount of strain it seems to put on your body.

Actually weight training is not only safe it is very beneficial for anyone who may be obese. This article explains why.

obesity weight lifting safe

Safety first

If you are new to training with weights it may be best to consult with a trainer so they can keep a watchful eye on you, give you advice and prevent any injuries that could occur. It always a good idea to start of slow, especially when your body isn’t used to strenuous activity. But be assured that in a gym environment you are pretty safe and there are many experienced trainers and lifters that can help you if you have any issues.

Before starting any new training exercises it is also good to consult with your DR, they can give you the best advice on limitations and a pace to start at.

obesity weight lifting safe

Lose fat not muscle

When many of us think about losing weight we immediately assume diet and cardio is the key, but actually diet and weight training will activate your metabolism faster than cardio alone and will help your body to loose fat rather than muscle and bone. When we start a diet and cardio plan only about 60-75% of weight that we lose is actually fat, the rest is muscle and bone. This is where weight training becomes very important. Weight training can help to preserve muscle and bone so that 85% of what you lose is actually fat!

A key component to our slowing metabolisms is muscle wasting, which can begin from as early as our 20’s.  This means that the stronger our muscles are the faster we can actually burn calories. Weight training will also keep our metabolisms high for at least 12hours post training which burns further calories.

obesity weight lifting safe

Lower your risk

People who are obese either have or are at high risk for various diseases and health conditions that can be greatly lowered with weight loss. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnoea and asthma are among some of the issues that can arise with obesity. The safest way for an obese person to lose weight is through healthy eating and weight training. When an obese person starts to lose weight they will notice symptoms that they may have had before start to diminish as will their risk of the about health issues. Weight training will also prevent us from falling victim to injury, we not only grow stronger muscles with lifting, we also grow stronger bones.

obesity weight lifting safe

What about cardio?

Cardio involves a lot of high impact activity such as running, jogging, jumping and skipping. These exercises can cause injury to an obese person, especially in the knees and ankles. However cardio is good for your heart, lungs and can help with weight loss and therefore is still beneficial for an obese person. For an obese person low impact activities are best, try using an elliptical machine or even swimming.

obesity weight lifting safe

So lift!

With the benefits of weight loss, better physical appearance and lowered risk of disease, weight training is an excellent choice for obese people who are ready to start their weight loss journey.

It will be tough, it takes time but if you’re ready to put in the hard yards then getting to a safe and healthy weight is possible.

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Will Weights Make Women Bulky?

Women everywhere have asked this age old question “will weights make me bulky?”  The vast majority of women simply want to slim down and tone up so this question can play on many women’s minds. But calm down ladies I’m about to give you the ins and outs of weight training and why they WONT make you bulky!

So I guess the myth comes from women’s body building comps, females in little bikinis with huge biceps, 6-packs and hard-core muscular backs. These women train extremely hard to be able to achieve this look, it doesn’t happen overnight, for these women body building is a job that involves long hours, a lot of prep and hard-core training. For women in general weight training will allow your body to shred fat faster and tone up to create a sexy hourglass shape which most women lust after.

will weights make women bulky

What is weight training?

Weight training is basically using weights to tone and sculpt your muscles to give you a desirable figure. Weight training can be done by women to give you that perfectly toned body, there are free weights which are dumbbells and weighted bars with which you can perform a variety of repetitive exercises to build muscle, there are also weight machines that aid you when using weights. The best way for a woman to train is low reps and heavy weights. Basically go as heavy as you can to perform no more than 6 reps of a given exercise, this will stimulate muscle growth and tone you up nicely. It is possible for women to grow muscles like men do but this is extremely hard and a lot of time and effort is put into this.

will weights make women bulky

Because you’re a woman

Because we are women we simply cannot grow muscle easily like a man can. It all comes down to hormones. The hormones that actually builds muscle are growth hormone and testosterone which is floating around both male and female bodies but it’s the amount floating around that directly influences our muscle growth. Men have 10 times more testosterone then women do, meaning even if both parties performed the same weight training routine the man would grow muscle at a much faster and larger result then a women would.

will weights make women bulky

So… what does weight training do for women?

Training with heavy weights (meaning it takes no more than 6 reps to feel the burn) can really benefit women.

  • Heavy weights will allow your body to shred fat faster than doing cardio alone.
  • It will make you stronger.
  • Will sculpt your body to a gorgeous toned feminine look
  • Weight training will also give you a better outlook on life, fitness promotes the release of your happy hormones so not only will you be looking great you will be feeling it too!

#lift

You simply cannot finish a weight training session and become the Hulk! Especially not if you’re a women. So even though it is possible for women to bulk up, it is extremely hard and does not happen by accident. For a normal woman weights will make you happier, stronger and give you a toned up bod!

So get out there ladies and lift those weights!

will weights make women bulky

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Should Children Lift Weights?

Children Lift Weights

Children Lift Weights

Most parents would agree that children should engage in all kinds of aerobic activities like footy, soccer, dancing, martial arts and athletics and they also agree that these sports can be started at from young age. It’s when we ask parents if they think their children should engage in weight and strength training that we tend to receive a more negative response. I’m here to break through the controversy and find out if our children should be weight training and what would this involve.

Many paediatrician’s and fitness experts agree that strength training is actually good for children and is something that can be incorporated easily into a child’s exercise plan. It’s important to note that strength training works differently on a child compared to an adult, a child will increase strength and endurance but will not become big and bulky like an adult male would.

Children Lift Weights

Healthier kids

Government guidelines actually recommended strength training for children aged 5years and up for at least three days a week alongside aerobic sports. This doesn’t mean you should head out and buy a home gym for your child, strength training activities depend on age and ability and can include body weighty exercises, and weights should only be added once the child can perform the exercise correctly and safely. These recommendations come from the large amount of evidence that shows that stronger kids have a healthier heart, lower body fat, stronger bones and higher self-esteem. Starting strength training younger also allows for easier muscle development at a later age and a healthier outlook on life that will stick to children when entering adulthood.

Children Lift Weights

Where to start?

It’s a good idea to start with body weight exercises such as:

  • Pushups
  • Planks
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Mountain climbers
  • Bear crawls
  • Supermans
  • Crunches
  • Chin ups
  • Tug-A-War

children lift weights

When a child is old enough, and they have mastered the body weight exercises you can look at adding weights to the squats and lunges and then moving on to free weight exercises such as:

  • bicep curls
  • shoulder press
  • Tricep kickbacks

Please note that maximal weights carried to failure should NOT be performed by children until at least 16 years of age and only then with proper instruction from a professional trainer. Warmups and cooldowns are always recommended to prevent injury. Keep it fun!

children lift weights

Myths busted

#1 High injury risk

The risk of injury is high when a child engages in weight and strength training that is unsupervised. Just like adults children need to know the correct way to perform strength training exercises, and they should only be performing age appropriate training. When performed correctly the incidence of injury from strength training is actually lower than the risk of injury when playing football and other contact sports.

children lift weights

#2 lifting stunts growth

This myth is based on the belief that weight training damages growth plates. Growth plates ar4e the cartilage growing areas at the end of long bones in children, when children get older these harden into bone. While injuries to these growth plates are actually quite common it is not weight training that is to blame, the fact that they are soft just leaves them more susceptible to injury, which can happen from any activity. The baseline is that as long as the exercise is performed correctly and is age appropriate there is not risk of stunted growth.

Conclusion

Despite popular belief strength training is actually a healthy and important part of your child’s development and can create a fun bonding experience between you and you kids.

So work out a training plan and help your child to live a happier, healthier and stronger life!

children lift weights