Wednesday 29, August 2012
Heavier weights, lighter you
Personal trainer James Johnson writes exclusively for Quaysnews.net, offering tips and advice for a healthier lifestyle.
IF YOU want to lose weight, there’s only one right answer – run.
Run until you can’t feel your feet. Run until you have blisters the size of Snowdon. Run until the thought of banging your head against a wall becomes attractive. Run until you can’t hear your music past the sound of your heartbeat. Run until the local school children nickname you Forrest Gump. Run until your Nike + App says that you’ve finally burnt off all 300 calories you’ve devoured that lunchtime and then jump on the cross trainer for good measure.
Okay, so maybe that paragraph was slightly sarcastic, but I’m on a mission. I
want to change the belief that low Intensity, steady pace cardiovascular
exercise is the only way to burn fat, get lean and look damn sexy naked.
Now, I’m not hating on cardio and having a pop at people who like to run – if it’s your thing then by all means stick your running shoes back on and get out there and damage some tarmac – there is definitely merit to cardio based exercise, it’s just how we perform it that is key. For most people out there who have a goal based purely around vanity and getting back into their skinny jeans (or someone else’s), cardio might not even enter into the equation for you.
But why, everyone else is doing it?
Next time you’re on the treadmill, take a look around and ask yourself the serious question, ‘does the person next to me look how I want to?’. Chances are that unless you want to look red-faced, slightly podgy and have sore knee’s the answer is going to be no.
Have you ever noticed that a lot of amateur 10k runners, triathletes and marathoners all have that slightly soft look about them? Slightly too much waistline (but a cracking set of lungs)? That’s because cardio is an ineffective way of burning fat and will only really burn calories whilst you’re doing it. So, whilst burning that 200 calories for your 20 minute jog is a fantastic loss – as soon as you hit stop, it’s over. It was probably easier just to not eat that snickers after all eh?
So, what do I do instead?
Resistance training is about to become your new best friend. By resistance training we mean anything you do that is weighted for a certain amount of time or repetitions. Anything from bodyweight exercises such as press ups and planks to big heavy bench presses and deadlifts.
Resistance training allows us to create more of you (lean muscle), which allows us to burn fat at a higher rate even after you’ve left the gym – in some cases, even up to 72 hours after the session is over.
The bigger the exercise the better, try and get as many joints as you can involved for maximum effect. Squats, deadlifts, Press ups, chin ups/pull ups, inverted rows should all be the cornerstone of all your workouts. If you can’t do them just find an easier variation and build up from there – this goes for all the women as well!
Your weight selection should always be heavy, but heavy for the amount of reps you choose. If you decide to do three sets of 10, reps eight, nine and 10 should be damn hard. I’d honestly say to never really work over the 12-repetition mark, if you can do that amount of reps comfortably, you need to make the weights heavier or take the exercise to the next level.
Resistance sessions need only take 45 minutes – Just pick thee or four exercises and away you go! A sample workout might look something like this:
Monday – Deadlift 3x5 @ 90kg, Press Ups 3x 12 @ Bodyweight, Lunges 3x 8 (each) @ 10kg, Lat Pulldowns 3x 8 @ 45kg
Just make sure you pick the biggest exercises you can find, try and steer clear of resistance machines for 90% of your exercises choices and make sure your final reps are hard.
The formula is simple; big movements + heavy weights + lower reps = brand new sexy body. Strong is the new skinny and takes far less time and effort then your monotonous run on the treadmill.
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