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Ladies!! 5 Lifts You NEED To Be Doing Right NOW!

I’ve seen it too many times… back when I worked at gyms and still now when I work out at my local commercial gym: alot (not all) of women are neglecting the big old compound exercises. The reasons could be many:

  • Lack of knowledge: not knowing how to correctly perform the exercise
  • Intimidation: some women feel intimidated walking into the free weights section because of all the testosterone around. I say OWN it.. do your thang girl!!
  • Have been misinformed: some women might still believe that these big lifts are just “too manly” for them, totally not the case.

giphy-hell-no

I could continue, but then this would turn into a looonnnggg rant.

Ok, so moving on… these lifts I like to refer to them as the “Build-A Body” group, because when implemented correctly can help ‘build’ your lady bumps and humps 😉  and who wouldn’t want that?!

  1. The Deadlift: A foundational lift. This exercise mimics everyday movements like bending and lifting (ex: picking up your little one). This one is my ultimate favourite lift. With so many different variations, I incorporate the deadlift in almost every one of my workouts. Muscles worked include:
    • entire posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, hips): equals a beautiful backside
    • engages your core musculature (internal girdle): a strong core increases overall strength, protects your back, and lets you wear those crop tops without thinking twice
    • biceps and forearms: develops your grip strength so you can lift more heavy SH*T!
      • Here’s a great article on deadlifting written by Tony Gentilcore (who is only the world’s deadlifting god) 
  2. The Squat: Another foundational lift as you do this movement every time you sit and stand. With many variations to choose from, you can never get bored of this one.
    • helps build and shape nice thighs
    • helps build glutes
    • builds overall strength
  3. The Hip Thrust: This one is a great glute builder/ isolator exercise. Remember that your glutes are pure muscle and in order to grow them you need to learn to fire the glutes  and stimulate them properly using heavier loads, varying rep ranges, etc. You can increase or decrease the intensity level by doing body weight hip thrusts, adding bands, doing singe leg variations.. possibilities are many.
  4. Pull-ups: This is the ultimate upper body exercise as it builds incredible strength. As a multi joint exercise:
    • works & strengthens entire back musculature, shoulders, biceps, grip strength
    • creates a tapered effect of the back making your waist look smaller
    • different hand positions target the muscles a little differently/ changes difficulty
  5. Vertical/ Horizontal Presses: These include push-ups & variations (horizontal press exercises); military press, push-press, shoulder press, etc (vertical press exercises). These exercises:
    • increase upper body strength (women have less muscle mass compared to their lower bodies.. we gotta work harder at it!)
    • work your chest, shoulders, triceps and core
    • Band assisted push-ups (beginners)
    • Awesome push-up variations (advanced)
    • Military Press helps build amazing shoulders
    • Push Press helps build raw strength. Improves shoulder stability. And can I just say it look badass when a woman does it!!

So here it is ladies.. a short list of some lifts to definitely include in your training. Don’t be intimidated or embarrassed of walking into that gym and grabbing some iron. Your body will thank you 😉

giphy-you-got-this

 

Happy Training 🙂

 

 

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Metabolic Workout: Kettlebell Complex

Before I get into what kettlebell complexes are and what purpose they serve I will quickly give some background info on metabolic conditioning for those that are new to the game. Metabolic conditioning workouts are structured patterns of work vs rest periods designed to elicit a specific response from the body. This response is usually maximizing the efficiency of a particular energy system. The body has several different ways in which it gets its energy. Different ratios of work to rest periods will utilize different energy systems and as a result cause specific adaptations in the body.These adaptations should be specific to the trainees desired outcomes and fitness level. For example, a sprinter would have a different work:rest ratio compared to someone who wants to get lean or put on muscle. Simply pairing difficult exercises together and going through a circuit without taking into account timing will not reap the same results.

 

What Are Kettlebell Complexes?

Kettlebell complexes are compound exercises performed successively and with no rest in between. (If you are unfamiliar with what compound exercises are: compound exercises require coordinated movements that recruit multiple muscle groups to move multiple joints through a range of motion simultaneously.)

Complexes can be performed with dumbbells, barbells or kettlebells. All are efficient training tools, however the kettlebell, because of its compact nature and offset center of gravity adds a unique twist complex training.

 

What You’ll Need: a kettlebell, skipping rope, timer, and willpower!

My Workout:

Warm-up: 5min

  • Kettlebell Complex 1min:
    •   5x kettlebell swing
    • 5x goblet squat
    • 2x single arm swing (R)
    • 1x clean & press (R)
    • 2x single arm swing (R)
    • 1x kettlebell snatch (R)
    • 2x single arm swing (L)
    • 1x clean & press (L)
    • 2x single arm swing (L)
    • 1x kettlebell snatch (L)
    • 3x kettlebell swing
    • 3x goblet squat
  • Skipping 30sec

Rest: 30sec

Repeat: for 8 rounds

Cooldown: 5-7min stretching

Total time: Under 40min

Here’s what it looked like

 

Happy Training 🙂

Went out with a bang!!

So today was my last day at the gym I work with. It’s been a hell of a 4 year ride. I’ve learned alot from all the different trainers, met some interesting people and made friendships that I will always remember. It was my home away from home… I can’t say I won’t miss it!! 😥

I THINK that my ‘morning sickness’ is slowly subsiding as I enter my second trimester. Some days I feel like a million bucks, others I barely have the energy to hold myself up. I’m crossing my fingers that by the next couple weeks I feel back to my old self again.

Today us trainers had our weekly training session. Today’s workout was Shaniquoa:

Jumping Pull-ups x20 reps
Push-ups x30 reps
Explosive sit-ups x40 reps
Weighted squats x50 reps x35pds

Rest 2min.. Total of 4 sets

I will admit that I was not able to do 20 pull-ups.. Regularly I can get in maybe 10-12. But good old carpal tunnel (a symptom of pregnancy) has messed with my grip. So I was only able to get 4-6 in, the rest of the time I would jump up to the bar and hold for 5 seconds before releasing.

Push-ups I struggled with.. Again wrists can’t take the pressure, so I paused alot. The rest of the exercises were easy as pie.

I proudly say that I kept up pretty good considering I’m preggo. I surprised myself.. As this was no walk in the park workout. I will pay for this tomorrow though. I already feel my chest shaky.. And the stiffness is slowly creeping in.

I will take a well deserved R&R these next 2 weeks. After that I don’t know what I will do without the gym😫. I will probably get by for a couple of weeks doing workouts at home, but eventually I will hunt for a good gym close to me and pay monthly like most people do :(.

Till next time.

Struggling to survive…

MISERABLE!!! Best word to describe me 98% of the time.

So it’s been about a month. I thought I had it bad then..pffftttt, that was nothing.
I get ‘evening sickness’ almost every damn evening.. My diet has been reduced to mostly bland foods or sweet ones. My energy levels are so bad that I’m lucky if I get 2 workouts in a week 😫. ( I struggle to get a decent nights sleep!)

Needless to say I have been in the gym mostly to train my clients then I usually go home to rest for a bit.

The days where I find I have a bit of energy I drag myself to a cardio machine for a warmup which honestly feels more like a marathon to me. Then I’ll do some weights.

4 more weeks and I should be clear of the miseries of the first trimester. I pray that my energy levels are better than now.

I must say though.. Last Friday we had a team training session. All the trainers did a crossfit workout.. And I survived through it. No one at work knows about my bun in the oven (though my boss has his suspicions) so I had no ‘excuse’ to not do the workout.
I had to take a few extra breaks but I managed to do pretty good..

That was the highlight of my week! 😁

Pushing through

So the past couple weeks have literally been a rollercoaster. One moment I’m feeling great and full of energy and ready for a killer workout, so I put my game face on and step into the iron jungle… BRING IT!!!
Next moment I’m feeling like I’ve been run over and reversed onto by a dump truck 😫. Needless to say these past couple weeks I have struggled through, especially with my workouts. I’m lucky if I get 3 workouts in a week.

The joys of pregnancy hit me in the late afternoon/ early evening, where I find myself feeling extremely nauseous and at times a bit dizzy. I have been feeling more irritated lately and will admit at losing my cool at times ( I’m hoping those who are at the receiving end of it remember that is not really me!!)

I find myself WOOSAHH- ing to try and calm myself down.

With regards to my clients.. I struggle through the hour with them.. Alot of times holding my breath or even mouth-breathing so as not to catch a whiff of them ( super-human sense of smell= not fun when you deal with sweaty people for an hour :(). I really hope I don’t look disgusted.. I’ve been told many times I’m not subtle when it comes to my facial expressions.

Today I can barely move. I might have overdone it with my leg workout yesterday. Thank god today is a quit day for me.. Only 3 clients to deal with.

Yesterday’s Leg Workout:

Barbell squats, ass to grass 4 sets x10reps x70pds
Kettlebell single leg deadlift 4sets x10reps x45pds superset with
Lying leg curl 4sets x12reps x70pds
Dumbbell rear crossover lunge 4sets x10reps x60pds
Seated calf extension 4sets x15reps x50pds
Seated leg extension 4 sets x10reps x90pds

I have a few more weeks till I’m done with the first trimester. I have hope for the second trimester as my nausea should subside (crossing my fingers!!) by then.

Ohh did I mention I have gained 5pds already :oops:.. Healthy weight gain is 4-6pds in the first trimester. I’m hoping I can keep to that.. 1 more month to go, we’ll see what happens.

Slowly getting back into it..

This week has been better in terms of my workouts.

Well mind you I’ve only done 2 weight training workouts & 2 cardio days.
I must say that DOMS is worse.. It’s the hormones (which one?!!), even though I’m giving myself at least one day rest between iron sessions. I’ve managed to keep my heart rate at a reasonable level, and I’m proud that although I’m going a bit lighter with weight I’m still pounding out the reps and reaching failure ( or a close to failure as my prego body will allow). I will shamefully admit that I tried to superset hammer strength chest press with push-ups, something I’ve done before. Result: almost fell flat on my face!

Friday’s workout:

Incline db chest press 6sets x10reps x 60pds

Flat db flyes 4sets x 12reps x40pds

Hammer strength chest press 4sets x10reps x 70pds
(Failed to superset with push-ups :()

Reverse grip tricep pull down 3sets x12 reps x20pds
Superset w/
Tricep dips 3sets x10reps

Db bicep curl 3sets x12reps x40pds

Single arm preacher curl 2sets x10reps x15pds
superset w/

Cable tricep pull down (rope attachment) 2 sets x15reps x25pds

Well here you have it.

Just because you have a bun in the oven does not mean that you can’t lift anything heavier than 10pds.

Many doctors (mine included) might say to stay under 20pds when using weight.
My opinion: bs!

If you are a veteran in the iron jungle then keep at it! Obviously you won’t be able to lift 80,90% of your max.. I tried and learned the hard way, read: felt like I was going to pass out.

Listen to your body, because like it or not your body will let you know. Your focus will now be on maintaining your current strength/ fitness level, not setting new records.

So ladies.. Just because you’re pregnant does not mean you are incapable of lifting weights 🙂

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