Image source – active.com
The 4 exercise method is actually really simple; you pick 4 exercises, each will work different parts of your body.
1. Upper Body – Any exercise for your upper body. My faves – Press Ups, Standing Shoulder Press, Seated Row, Upright Row.
2. Lower Body – Any exercise for your lower body. My faves – Front Squats, Romanian Deadlifts, Jump Squats.
3. Core – Any core exercise. My Faves – Commandos, Reverse Crunches, Dynamic Plank.
4. Pulse Raiser – Any cardio exercise – My Faves – Rowing machine, Step ups, Jumping Jacks.
Pick two of each exercise and then do them in order. (It is best to pick apposing muscle groups for 2 cycles. Eg Cycle 1 Upper Body – Press Ups, Cycle 2 Upper Body – Seated Row).
So an example workout would look like this –
The next thing you need to know is how many reps, sets and for how long should you do each exercise. Again, it is really simple.
Upper Body – 2 Sets – To failure, however if you can do more 16 reps then you need more weight. But still take the set to failure – if you end up doing 67 reps you will just need to adjust next time.
Lower Body – 2 Sets – To failure, however if you can do more 16 reps then you need more weight. But still take the set to failure – if you end up doing 67 reps you will just need to adjust next time.
Core – 2 Sets – To failure, keep going till you cant do any more. Simples.
Pulse Raiser – 2 minutes FLAT OUT! I really mean flat out as fast as you can. This workout has a total of 4 minutes cardio, make it count.
Rules – For all exercises (excluding Pulse Raiser), the lowering part should take 4 seconds on every rep.
That’s it, run through a workout like this and you will achieve incredible results.
Warm up – 10 minutes cardio machine.
Image curtissy of fitfunfruits.com
Some say the king of all exercises. We can all agree that squats can be part of every fitness programme for almost any goal.
But there are so many variations that you can use to help you with your specific goal. I am going to run through 13 of my favourites.
The undisputed heavyweight champion! The back squat is what most people think of when you hear ‘Squat’. Generally a back squat will enable you handle more weight than other squats. In my opinion unless you have an injury that stops you doing them, these should be a part of pretty much every programme. Used for high reps they are a great cardio workout too.
My recommendation – Pyramid them. Do 20 reps, add some weight, do 16 reps, add some weight do 12 reps, add some weight and do 8 reps. Then work your way back up.
If the back squat is the king then the front squat is the queen. Featuring in most Olympic lifts the front squat is a real power builder. You may not be able to handle quite as much weight as a back squat but the more vertical back angle helps put a huge emphasis on your quads (front of thigh) without much strain on your lower back.
Greater core strength is needed for a correct front squat as well as some mobility in the shoulders and wrists. However the strength gains you can make from front squats are awesome!
You may also find it easier to squat to depth.
My recommendation – Slightly less reps than the back squat due to the harder to hold bar position (when getting used to the lift). Warm up and then do 3 solid sets of 10 reps.
For me, one of the most under rated but most effective squats their is. Awesome for conditioning, building muscle and more importantly it is an unbelievably useful exercise for teaching good squat technique. It teaches you to drive your knees outwards and maintain correct spinal alignment. Love them!
My recommendation – use them near the end of your workout for 3 sets of 25 reps. Oh the burn!
You rarely see jump squats in a gym and I can’t understand why. They are a fantastic exercise for developing explosive power. They will get your heart racing and can be used to great effect with any fat loss programme.
My Recommendation – Do 3 Sets of 45 seconds with 45 seconds rest.
The one criticism of squats is that they are a bilateral exercise meaning that you use both legs at the same time. With upper body, you will often use dumbbells to work each arm individually. A split stance squat will allow you to put the majority of the load on one leg at a time. A fantastic way to build strength, balance and muscle.
My recommendation – 3 Sets of 10 reps on each leg towards the end of your workout. (watch your balance though)
Box Squats are another fantastic tool for teaching correct form. In a squat it is important to sit back. A box squat allows you do this with no fear of falling backwards. It is also deceptively hard. To prove this, sit in a chair right now…. now without using your hands to help, stand up and sit down again 10 times.
I know right! Box squats are awesome.
They are also really useful for developing explosive strength as you have no ‘bounce’ at the bottom of the squat.
My Recommendation – 3 Sets of 12 reps (make sure you pause on the box (or step/bench) before standing again.
Half squats do not mean half results. With these squats your legs will be burning like crazy. Squat all the way down but only come up half way, the reason for this is to extend the time under tension in the hardest part of the movement. This can result in better muscle development. I love using these at the end of a workout or in the middle of a cardio workout.
My Recommendation – 3 Sets of 20 Reps
Similar to box squats, paused squats (where you pause in the bottom position for a second or more) take the ‘bounce’ out of the squat. This makes it harder to stand up, encourages better technique and can increase strength. It will also increase your time under tension. Overall if you do any variation of paused squats you will notice a huge difference in difficulty (and how much you ache). But over the weeks you will also notice some fantastic progress.
My Recommendation – 3 sets of 10 reps with a 3 second pause.
Explosive exercises like long jump squats require a lot of effort, making them huge calorie burners! It is also a great measure of power. Using these in a fat loss programme will help you achieve some great results, not just in shaping your legs but torching body fat.
My Recommendation – 5 Sets of 30 Seconds with 30 Seconds Rest.
So things are getting pretty serious now, these have all the benefits of squat long jumps but adding a 180 degree rotation really take sit up a level.
My Recommendation – 6 Sets of 30 Seconds with 30 Seconds Rest. Swapping your rotation direction on each set.
A classic! A regular body weight squat is another one you rarely see in the gym. The thing is, despite it being the simplest version of the exercise, it is still really challenging and useful.
As part of a strength programme it can be used as a conditioning tool. It also should have a place in any fat loss programme.
The funny thing is, you see it done wrong more often than right. The problem with this is, if you can’t do an air squat why would you squat with a bar on your back. It is a fundamental movement that should be learned before moving on to more complicated variations. If you are someone who struggles with these then try the goblet and box squats first. Usually the part people struggle with is getting low enough, they get so far and then just lean forward.
My Recommendation – Learn how to do one – Perfectly! Then do loads of them.
You don’t always have to be moving to be working. Squat down and then just stay there, give if a few seconds and it will burn, a few more and your legs will shake. This is a great exercise to finish your legs off after a workout.
My Recommendation – Do it once, set a time. Rest and then try and beat it. Keep doing it till you cant beat the time.
It’s like sitting in a chair that doesn’t have a seat. It’s really hard work. Very similar to the isometric squat only you are using a wall for some back support. If you find them easy try placing a weight plate on your legs.
My Recommendation – Mix these with Dumbbell Jump Squats – 30 Seconds of each without rest for 3 minutes.
Image courtesy of www.muscleandstrength.com
We all know how important it is to drink plenty of water, but many of us will be guilty of not drinking enough. One of the hardest aspects of this is to measure your intake.
If you simply carry a water bottle with you, you can track your intake. I for example have a 1 litre bottle. So I just make sure I drink 3 of them every day.
I always have it with me and excluding the regular need to urinate (unavoidable) it has made it a lot easier for me.
So the big question is, “How much should drink?”
I would suggest starting with 2 litres a day and see how you get on.
Give it two weeks and I guarantee you will feel an improvement in your general self.
Why, why, why do people go on extreme diets! Well I do know why, because people want extreme results. But honestly, it doesn’t really work that way.
Granted if you go on the cabbage soup diet you will lose weight very quickly. However you will go back to real food at some point and the weight will go back on, Fast!
So instead of using a fad diet to lose 7 lbs in a week and then regain 9 lbs in the following week. Why not just start eating making better choices, drinking more water and watching portion sizes. You may only lose 1 lb a week. But you can lose a lb week after week, after week, after week.
Similar to fad diets, not eating enough food will give you a quick result, but it wont last for long.
If your holiday suitcase is too heavy, what do you do?
You don’t take out as much as possible so you have one tee shirt, one pair of shorts and one sock. That would be ridiculous, you won’t have everything you need.
What you would actually do is look at what you have packed and take out the things you don’t really need like your 6th pair of trainers and that sombrero you wont wear.
Your diet should be the same. Look at what you currently eat and remove some of the excess. Extra cheese on pasta, garlic bread with meals and other small adjustments can really add up.
Let me get straight to the point. If I knew of a magic fat loss supplement, pill, juice or tea I would not be writing this. I would be on my private yacht in the Bahamas.
It doesn’t exist so don’t waste your time and hard earned money looking for it.
Some supplements are useful and can help you. But there is no replacement for healthy food and exercise. Time spent looking is time wasted.
BBC TV presenter Angellica Bell has started her own swimming journey at her local Virgin Active centre. She explains why she decided to start swimming and what it was like to take her first plunge into the water with an adult swimming lesson…
Water is my nemesis. Always has been. Our relationship was doomed from the start. No one in my family swam and no one wanted to.
When I was a small child I hated getting my frizzy afro wet and the one time I do remember going to a swimming lesson (it was sort of compulsory at school but I managed to always get out of it), I had clumsily stepped in dog poo on the way there and had dripping wet hair for most of the day.
You see, it didn’t begin well.
Then there was the time I nearly drowned while on holiday with my family.
My young sister was on a lilo in the sea then all of a sudden the weather turned and we were dragged out by the current.
It’s always difficult to learn a skill for the first time, especially when you’re a little older, wiser and you can almost taste fear!
Luckily, two men, who did incredible impersonations of fish, swam out and rescued us. That was the first time my life actually flashed by me and I thought that was it.
Let’s be honest, it’s always difficult to try something new or learn a skill for the first time; especially when you’re a little older, wiser and you can almost taste fear!
Yes, I feared water. Its power as an element is a force to be reckoned with and therefore I decided to leave it well alone.
But there was always that niggle that it was something I hadn’t conquered. When I started seeing my other half and he boasted he used to swim for his county, I felt a little embarrassed.
Then to make matters worse, my two adorable children, who are so inquisitive and ‘fearless’, wanted to go swimming more and I quite frankly didn’t want to miss out on all the fun!
So today was the day of reckoning. I officially had my first official swimming lesson ever.
I didn’t sleep well last night and I’m not ashamed to admit that, as I wasn’t sure what to expect or if I’d be any good, I nearly backed out and abandoned the whole thing!
Luckily I didn’t and my Virgin Active swim instructor Sharon was just brilliant and somehow managed to get me to breathe underwater, make my legs move like flippers and move through almost 10 metres of water. It was brilliant!
So this is where my swimming journey begins and I’m so excited.
Thank you to the ASA and Virgin Active.
Article source – Swimming.org – Click here to see more
Motiv8 Sports has teamed up with the Tesco Charity Partnership and the Let’s Do This campaign to invite families to join in with our BIG FAMILY BIKE RIDE on August Bank Holiday Monday, 29th August. Fun starts at 10.30am with a group warm up, with ride starting from 11am. The ride is just under 5K and starts and finishes from the Palm Bay Cafe in Cliftonville. It is a fun event and not a race. All families who complete the course will receive a goody bag and everyone will receive a medal.
The event is free to enter, although there will be a collection on the day for the Tesco Charity Partnership.
Spaces for this event are limited, therefore to avoid disapointment, you should book asap, online booking closes 25th August. Registration on the day will be open from 9.30am to 10.30am.
You only need to order one family ticket, per family and not per person. Individuals are also welcome to participate. Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.
More information about the Let’s Do This campaign can be found at https://lets-dothis.org.uk/
Who can enter the event?
The event is open to anyone able to ride a bike confidently. Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult during the event.
What facilities are there?
Parking is available on the surrounding roads. Toilet and refreshments will be available from the Palm Bay Cafe.
What can/can’t I bring to the event?
Please bring along your printed Eventbrite ticket for us to scan. Please wear appropriate clothing suitable for cycling and the weather. We encourage all participants to wear helmets and ensure their bikes are in good condition and fit for use. We recommend you apply sun cream in the event of sunny weather and bring plenty of water.
Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?
Please email email@example.com or call 0333 7720162 for further details.
Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
We will require all members of your group to complete a medical form before the event commences, which we will email to you beforehand – please could you email this back to us before the day no later than 5pm on Friday 26th August.
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The wheelchairs will be available during summer 2016 on 7 of Thanet’s sandy beaches, but you can also call us to chat about use away from the beach.
They are free to loan to anybody who has a mobility impairment, providing you can bring along some I.D to prove who you are and complete a simple form for our records.
There is no charge for using the wheelchair but beach within reach are a charity run entirely by volunteers and would appreciate any donation you are willing to give.
They need to raise £40,000+ in order to replace all of our existing chairs and ensure that we can provide all terrain wheelchairs to Thanet for the next 10 years.
The easiest way to donate is via our TextGiving number, you can donate by texting BINR14 £2 to 70070
Or if you wish to donate more you can text BINR14 £5 or BINR14 £10 to 70070
If you require any further information please call or text: 07432 648275
You can also contact them via their facebook page
The all terrain wheelchairs can be found on the following beaches during the 2016 summer season:
The chairs are available free of charge to individuals on a first come, first served basis.
The wheelchairs are available from the Bay Inspectors at each of the above mentioned beaches. Please be aware that the lifeguards have no access to the wheelchairs at any time.