How and Where to Start When You Want to Lift Weights

How and Where to Start When You Want to Lift Weights

With all the information out there regarding fitness regimes, it can be a daunting task gathering the motivation to begin working out, let alone understanding what exercises to do, how many to do in a single session, how much of each, and how often. Today’s article aims to give a good starting point for each of these criteria for a general needs type individual. This would resemble a fat loss/muscle gain program and should be used in conjunction with a solid dietary approach and healthy lifestyle choices. The first item that needs to be in place with an exercise program is the exercises themselves; without them, there is nothing but meaningless numbers for sets and reps. When starting out, it’s important to consider your experience level with a certain movement (such as a squat) and determine the appropriate progressions/regressions to ensure that the specific exercise being used is safe and effective. As such, we recommend to train 5 main movements at the beginning of one’s exercise career: squat, upper body push, upper body pull, hinge, and core. some examples of each are as follows: Squat: split squat, goblet squat, kettlebell front squat, barbell front squat, barbell back squat. UB Push: band assisted pushup, pushup, dumbbell bench press, barbell bench press, half kneeling dumbbell overhead press, landmine press, barbell overhead press. UB Pull: inverted row, chest supported dumbbell row, band assisted chin-up/pull-up, chin-up/pull-up, seated cable row, bent over barbell row. Hinge: dumbbell Romanian deadlift, kettlebell romanian deadlift, kettlebell deadlift, block pull, barbell deadlift, kettlebell swing. Core: planks, RKC planks, ab roller, Pallof press, Swiss ball roll-out, stir-the-pot. As you can see, there...
The 80/10/10 Rule

The 80/10/10 Rule

When I started training, I was a very emotional lifter – getting psyched up for my heavy weights and extremely mad whenever I had a sub-par workout or failed to acheieve a new best every time I went to the gym. While constantly striving for improvement is a good trait to have, it can also be to your detriment. By the time I had been lifting for a couple of years, I realized that not every session is the best session and sometimes you just need to go with the flow to a degree.   One concept that really helped me embrace this new mentality and overcome my overemotional state in the gym was something called the “80/10/10 rule”. I first read about this on Paul Carter’s blog while catching up on some reading. The reality of things is that bad sessions happen. If you’ve got most of your training program variables in place, then hopefully not often, but they still remain a reality. What you need to embrace is the fact that as your training age increases, a lot of your sessions will simply become “putting the work in/bread and butter” type sessions. This represents the 80%. The first 10 stands for the 10% of sessions that will be sub-par, whether it was because you’ve been under a lot of stress at work, your diet hasn’t been on point over the last few days, or even small things such as quality of sleep and recovery capacity (how much stress you can recover from, workout to workout, and still adapt). The final 10 is everyone’s favorite 10% – these are the days...
Every Woman Should Lift Heavy

Every Woman Should Lift Heavy

When I first started lifting weights about 6.5 years ago, I bought in to a lot of “bro-science” such as bodypart splits, only benching until my elbows hit 90 degrees, eating 10 meals a day, etc. Since then, I’ve done countless hours of research in the pursuit of consistently making myself not only a more informed and educated trainer, but also a smart lifter. One of the biggest myths I ran into was that “women shouldn’t lift weights because it will make them look like a man”. This statement is simply not true due to a variety of reasons including hormonal factors, genetic ceilings, and where males vs females store more muscle. First off, I’d like to preface this with the notion that we are talking exclusively about natural athletes here and not “enhanced” ones (i.e. Steroids/PEDs). One commonly known hormone in the context of resistance training is testosterone. One of its roles? To promote muscle growth. In men, this hormone’s presence is higher than in females making the act of muscle gain much quicker in males than in females. In fact, males new to training can expect about 0.7lbs of dry muscle gain every week provided they do everything right. Females can expect about half of this rate of gain. As you can see, becoming a 230lb hulk doesn’t happen overnight. The rate of muscle gain isn’t the only influencing factor here. Since females have lower testosterone levels (and testosterone : estrogen ratio as well), there is a lower threshold for how much muscle mass they can carry on their frame in comparison to males. Finally, there is...
Benefits of Full Body Training

Benefits of Full Body Training

Determining the appropriate program for your exercise needs can be a chore. Body part split, upper/lower, full body, 6 days a week, 2 days a week, the list goes on. Each of these methods has its pros and cons. The following are a few benefits to full body training (when all major muscle groups are trained in each training session). 1. Lower Time Commitment Many of us lead very busy lives. Working 5 days a week, recreational sports, taking care of the kids, it all adds up. Luckily, with full body training you only need to train 2-3 times a week, leaving you with more time for other obligations in your life. Some full body workouts may take slightly more time than a more segmented workout regime, but your overall weekly hour commitment will end up being lower due to less total days in the gym. 2. Increased Recovery Rates Many people can’t handle back to back workout days even though they may not be using the same muscles. The nervous system also plays a role in performance and if it is still fatigued, you will wind up with a lower performance. By giving yourself more time in between gym sessions, you will be coming in to the gym feeling fresh and ready to give it your all more often. 3. Ideal for Fat Loss Weight training is often avoided when people are looking to lose weight because of the common misconception that weights will make you get bulky and/or prevent fat loss. The fact of the matter is, you need to be doing weight training properly in order...
Why Everyone Should Have a Personal Trainer

Why Everyone Should Have a Personal Trainer

Working out by yourself can be fun at times, but running into plateaus or becoming bored is almost inevitable. A personal trainer can help you not only break through any plateaus you may be having but also aid in getting you off on the right foot if you are new to the gym. Here are the top 5 reasons to hire a personal trainer – regardless of your experience level. #5: Learning New Things Working with a personal trainer can help you by teaching you new exercises that you may be unfamiliar with or even correcting your form on ones that you’ve been doing for a while. Either way, they will make sure that you end up a little bit more “gym smart” by the end of every session. #4: They’re Sometimes Your Therapist Whether it was a long day at work or the stress of a breakup, getting a good workout in and seeing progress is one of the best ways to de-stress. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain (chemicals which help to battle depression and are the payoff of your body’s work-reward system) which also makes it a great way to fend off depression and overall feelings of malaise. #3: A Trainer is an Objective Eye There are many things that you may not feel (or even see in the mirror) while you’re exercising which may be potentially injurious. A personal trainer is not just an extra set of eyes, but rather, an informed set of eyes watching to make sure that your form is perfect so that you don’t risk in jury and maximise your results...