Beginner Weight Training 101

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Now that you know all about cardio exercise and how great it is at helping you to burn fat and lose excess weight, it’s time to talk to you about weight training and its benefits.

As a personal trainer, I help people to get the balance right when it comes to combining cardio exercise with anaerobic exercise such as weight training.  As you know, there are many activities that come under the banner of anaerobic exercise, but for the purposes of today’s blog article, I’m focusing on weight training.

Put simply, weight training is a type of strength training.  It involves exercises that help us to increase our muscles and ultimately, our physical strength by using weights.  Although cardio exercise will burn more calories than weight training, by getting the muscles working as well as the heart and lungs, you will reach your weight loss goals faster – and improve your health in the process.

Here are a few things that always get people excited about weight training:

  • For every extra pound of muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50 calories every single day of the week:   The more muscle you gain through weight training, the more calories you will burn.
  • Regular weight training can increase your Basal Metabolic Rate by up to 15%:  If you were to burn 2500 calories per day, weight training on a regular basis can help you burn an extra 375 calories per day.  That’s more than a chocolate bar – every day!
  • Weight training has many health benefits:  Research has proven that weight training helps improve your resting metabolism, blood pressure, gastrointestinal transit time, reduces body fat and positively affects insulin resistance.  It also reduces the likelihood of you suffering from heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

In other words, the muscle will help you keep the weight off and keep you healthier.

To enjoy the benefits of weight training, I recommend just three 30 – 50 minute weight sessions per week.  This is in line with what ACE has found. 

If you are totally new to weight training, here are a few pointers:

  • Start slowly and gradually increase the level of difficulty
  • If you don’t have a weight machine, improvise with baked bean tins, telephone directories and even some moms use their children
  • Work all muscle groups, doing 8-12 repetitions (reps)
  • Determine a suitable weight to lift by ensuring the last rep feels like hard work or that you can only do 1 -2 more reps more
  • Don’t overdo things – leave a day or two between your weight training sessions and rest easy knowing that your muscles will grow even while you are resting

For more advice on how to introduce weight training into your week, feel free to drop me a line! Let us know what you think!

In it for the long haul!

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Just recently I read a really inspirational story about an ordinary lady by the name of Linda Pottinger.  Linda’s story featured on the USA Today website, and like you, she too is in the process of dropping weight.

Already she has gone from 178 pounds down to 158 pounds – and her approach has been simple.  She has made lifestyle changes, and she is dedicated to sticking to it.

In the past, like many people, Linda found that she just wasn’t getting anywhere in her mission to lose weight.  That’s because she expected immediate results.

Immediate results to drop the pounds is what the diet industry has promised decade after decade.  All of these promises of losing weight without having to make changes to diet and fitness is what the diet industry has churned out, in an effort to suck people in!  Everybody wants a quick fix without too much effort – and that’s why the diet industry makes such outrageous promises!

As a personal trainer, I know just how crazy this belief is.  There just isn’t a magic pill to losing weight loss and there never will be.  You have to put the effort in and change your lifestyle.  There’s just no other way to do it.

So how do you actually do it?

Linda does what I recommend my clients do, and this is all there is to it:

  • Create a calorie deficit:  You need to ensure that you burn more calories than you consume.  For weight loss, experts typically say 1500 calories per day is fine.  By exercising 30-45 minutes per day, doing exercise that gets you sweating will help you to drop about 0.5-1 pound per week.
  • Keep a food log:  Keep track of how many calories you consume per day by creating a food log.  Record what you eat and how many calories you consume in one day.
  • Keep active:  Do at least 30-45 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, to burn calories and create that calorie deficit.
  • Have a real purpose for weight loss:  Ask yourself why you want to lose weight and what it will mean for you to lose the weight.  Focus on the reasons first thing in the morning and the last thing you do before going to bed.  Keep your purposes fresh in your mind and remind yourself of them when you feel lacking in motivation.
  • Ensure you stick to your healthy schedule even when you’re away:  Linda travels a lot with her work, but she always ensures she fills her days with plenty of extra exercise walking around the airport and eating fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks.  It’s really not that hard to stick to this once you make the decision to lose the weight.

Remember, once you make the decision to lose weight you must stick to it.  There is no other way around it.  Make it fun and see the healthy diet and exercise as something to enjoy – not something to struggle and endure.  It’s all about lifestyle change and making the most of your downsizing experience.

As soon as you really understand and accept the fact that there is no quick fix to weight loss, you will set out to make changes to your lifestyle.  All it takes is 30 days for you to replace bad habits with healthy ones – and that goes for diet and exercise.

So if you get started today, in about one month’s time you should be well on track to achieving a healthy lifestyle for life!

The Only Key to Successful and Long-Term Weight Loss

The Only Key to Successful and Long-Term Weight LossIt’s true!  There really is only one way to lose weight if you want to keep it off for life.  It’s lifestyle change!

Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Ouch! I really don’t know if I’m up for a total lifestyle change to lose my weight.”  If that sounds like you, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I want to lose weight as a short term thing, or do I really want to keep it off for life?
  • What does it mean for me to not be carrying the excess weight?
  • Am I willing to do whatever it takes to feel better about myself?
  • Are the health benefits I will receive from weight loss really worth it?
  • Do I want to live to a ripe old age and have a good time doing so?

There are so many benefits to losing weight, and you will feel 100% if you do it!

So many people know this, yet throw their money at and pin all their hopes on fad diets, crazy workout routines, exercise equipment promising to make it easier and insane weight loss pills and shakes.  As a personal trainer, I know these people are chasing their tails and getting nowhere!

To lose weight for life, you need to change your lifestyle – there’s no other way!  A healthy weight is reflective of a healthy lifestyle, so start doing these things today:

  • Get active with others and have fun: By doing this with others, we’re going to have more fun and we’ll do it more often.  You’ll help your body burn fat and stay trim in the process!
  • Do the sort of exercise you like:  Fun activities like walking, jogging, kicking a soccer ball, swimming or inline skating – it’s up to you!  Do whatever you like with the intention of having fun, because you’ll do it more often if you’re having fun!
  • Drink plenty of water:  Your body craves it, and it’s your body that burns the fat for you and keeps you trim!  Water helps the body do this – and you will feel full for it.
  • Eat frequent, smaller meals:  Do this 5-6 times each day and help your metabolism, which burns all the energy you consume.
  • Enjoy your food:  Sit at the table with others when you eat.  You’ll be aware of that full feeling as soon as it hits.
  • Eat proteins first:  In other words, eat the meat and eggs – all that good stuff – first.  You’ll feel fuller, sooner.  And you’ll eat less.
  • Include vegetables in every meal:  They’re full of essential nutrients, vitamins and fiber – and they fill you without the calories!
  • Include wholegrains in your diet:  If you eat bread, make it grain bread.  Try to include rolled oats in your breakfast as well.  Wholegrains are full of nutrients and fiber as well, so you’ll stay regular and feel full.

It really isn’t that hard once you get into it.  Sure, change can be a little painful at first, but is the perceived pain of changing your lifestyle to that of a healthier one worth the pleasure you will get out of looking and feeling absolutely fabulous?  The pleasure outweighs the pain!

It takes 30 days to replace old habits with new, so start implementing the things I mentioned above and do it today!  You WILL feel much better for it, and 30 days isn’t really that long at all!