The new year has brought an influx of people to the gym and quite frankly I love it ! Getting fit and healthy is always a win for your health, appearance and happiness so if you are still working towards your fitness goals then good on you.One of the main focuses (mostly among women although this doesn’t exclude you guys!) is to lose weight and “tone up”.That’s great ladies,go for it – BUT be smart and do it properly.
Running on a treadmill non stop or becoming a complete “cardio bunny” – despite how much that phrase makes me wanna hurl – isn’t the end of the world.Sure your cardio fitness will be legendary ! Go run a marathon! But if you want to tone up , this is not the way to go .
The way forward is the correct combination of cardio and muscular endurance training.You can do this with the machines installed in the gym or with free weights. I love the machines as they are accessible for everyone.Most machines nowadays have clear diagrams and easy instructions on how to use them whilst showing you which muscle groups you’re targeting.
Muscular endurance entails doing an exercise e.g. shoulder press at 40-60 % of your 1RM (1RM =1 rep max, the highest weight you can do properly for one rep before failure) for 15-25 reps.Repeat this for 1-3 sets with 45 seconds rest in between sets.ONE KEY TIP : To truly engage muscular endurance training system use a tempo of 3 seconds per movement e.g. 3 secs lowering weight,hold,3 secs raising weight.
Now I aim this post at ladies as it is an area of fitness usually abandoned in a woman’s gym routine.Most women avoid weights or machinery compared to men ,usually due to some common myths:
“RESISTANCE/WEIGHTS WILL MAKE ME BULKY”
They won’t! Simple as! Muscular endurance doesn’t contribute to hypertrophy of muscles.You will bun fat ,yes.You will burn calories ,yes.You will be bikini ready – another phrase I disgust- yes! But as long as you are approaching it with the correct weights (40-60 %) you will tone up. Just think, body builders are massive for a reason, they use massive weights !
“USING WEIGHTS IS BAD FOR ME”
No! In fact it is worse for your health to avoid them! Endurance training increases bone density, making you less susceptible to injury or osteoporosis.More women suffer from problems such as these ,often needing treatment in the later stages from a medical professional.It also decreases your blood pressure and cholesterol levels giving you a healthier life long term.In addition to this if you want better posture and core balance then no surprises here – muscular endurance help this too !
So it’s simple as this : Perform muscular endurance exercises 2-3 times a week (with around 48 hours rest period in between) following the guidelines above.Voila !