training

How to Stay Positive and Achieve Your Fitness Goals

Staying active and positive can sometimes be a hard goal that people set for themselves. Unfortunately, we can’t always be happy and positive all the time, especially when we have that goal in mind. Sometimes we have bad days and that goal seems so far away it’s almost impossible!

Here at WAMH Fitness we want to ensure our clients have an enjoyable and sustainable health journey. Our health transformation begins within our minds and the attitude we have towards our fitness goals so, we have provided some great tips to help you keep your mind healthy and positive!

Set small and weekly goals, both for food and training

“If I train hard 3 times this week, I can go out to dinner and have a glass of wine”

Don’t compare yourself to others

The only person you should be comparing yourself to is the person you were yesterday, last week, last month, last year.

Get excited about the little wins

“I didn’t eat my usual packet of chips this week, I’m proud of myself!”

Stay off the scales

Progress and strengthening your body can take some time, don’t set yourself up for failure and set your weigh ins for every month, not every week.

Take before and after photos

Seeing a visualisation of your progress can motivate you to keep going that extra mile when things start to get tiring or tough.

Make sure you have a ‘why?’

“Why do I want to be healthier/stronger/fitter/skinnier?”

Visualise the outfit you want to look good in

Keep it out as a reminder and hang that outfit where you can see it daily.

Train in the morning

You want it to be the first on your to-do list and not leave it to last! If you have time in the evenings… train again!

It’s important to not be so hard on yourself as you work towards your fitness goals. As long as you keep on trying then you are not failing. WAMH Fitness will always encourage everyone to find their inner lion and give everything a go with all their heart.

 

 

What is Functional Training and Why It's the Best Thing For You To Do!

Watching my 11-year-old cousin running around the other day made me realise just how much of our fitness level we naturally lose as we get older.  Most adults just aren’t as fit as they were at age 11 when climbing the monkey bars, hanging off rope nets pretending to be the next Ninja Warrior and going non-stop all day was the norm; now we are prone to more injuries and little pains in our bodies which often occur when we exercise.

To help our clients avoid these aches and pains WAMH fitness uses Functional Training techniques as a great form of exercise in our Personal Training sessions!

Functional training attempts to mimic potential movements we do in everyday life such as squatting, twisting, reaching and jumping. It focuses on maintaining body strength and endurance which helps improve your movement ability making it safer for you to achieve your health goals.

As adults, we become busy in our daily work routines, which for some can limit us to sitting at a desk all day and we tend to restrict our bodies movements. This lack of movement becomes an issue when we try and to do intense workouts our bodies aren’t used to and can then lead to pains and injuries.

Functional training is a great form of exercise to do as it allows the body to be worked in all planes of movement such as frontal, sagittal and transverse. This allows the body to be more flexible by using core, back and posterior chain muscles.

The posterior chain is predominantly made up of the calf muscles, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi and the erector spinae muscles (see below). Training the posterior chain can benefit you in many ways, including, opening up your diaphragm by pulling your shoulders back, and keeping the joints stable, such as the knee, hips and spine. If these muscles are nice and strong, there is a decreased risk of you getting an injury during training or day-to-day activity.

Source: Anatomy Trains. Myers, T (2010)

Functional Training is a great form of exercise for those who are pregnant, injured or are training athletes but also for those of us who don’t belong to any of those categories and here is why!

  1. It implements low impact exercise

  2. Targets specific muscles which help improve balance and posture

  3. Helps with joint pain

  4. Mimics everyday life movements which makes moving in everyday life easier

  5. Allows our bodies to strengthen which helps reduce risk of injury.

These benefits of functional training will help us feel good, strong, fit and healthy as we go about our daily routine and live our lives. No matter what your fitness level or fitness goals are, functional training is an awesome form of exercise which allows us to move easier throughout the world! 

Can You Do An effective Workout Without Weights?

Whether or not you use weights in your workout routine, will ultimately depend on the fitness goals. 

  • Do you want to lose weight?
  • Are you aiming for fat loss?
  • Are you trying to build muscle mass?
  • Do you want to increase fitness or flexibility?
  • Are you trying to increase your functional movement?

So for a workout to be an ‘effective workout’ will depend on what you want to achieve. 

To lose weight effectively for example, you need to raise your resting metabolic rate (RMR) to burn calories.  By working out what your fat burning target heart rate is and working out in this zone, you will burn through the fat calories. 

Fat burning occurs at a much lower intensity than most people realise and is different for each individual.

Are you one of those people that loves looking at how many calories you have expended after your workout?  Your fitbit may show you that you have burnt more calories after doing an intense workout but it is important to know what sort of calories you are burning through.  Maintaining your heart rate in your fat burning zone will mean you are targeting where your body stores fat – this will give you real results if you are aiming for fat loss rather than just weight loss.

Working out with weights is often called strength training or anaerobic training.  There are numerous benefits offered by strength training for instance, you will not just lose fat but will also build and protect your muscles.  However, you don’t necessarily need to use actual weights (dumbells, barbells, kettlebells etc) in order to workout with weights.  Using your own body weight (squats, push-ups etc) can achieve similar results, however it may be a slightly slower process.

Using weights is one way to train, but there are many ways to train in order to get the results you are looking for. For a workout to be effective it really needs to be designed around your fitness goals, which is where an expert personal trainer fits in.  So be sure to have a chat to your trainer to ensure you achieve your fitness goals. 

What Workout Burns the Most Calories

If you are like most people who these days have a hectic schedule and don’t have a lot of time to workout, you’ll want to get the most out of your workout.

And if your fitness goal is to lose weight or lose body fat, you will probably be focused on finding a workout that burns the most calories.  But be careful as not all calories are equal! 

Your body burns calories or gets its energy from 2 places – fat or glycogen stores in the body. 

  1. Excess energy or calories we consume which are not needed immediately, is converted into glycogen (with the assistance of insulin) for the body to use later. This glycogen is stored in the liver and muscles.

  2. When there is enough glycogen stored in your liver and muscles, your body will convert the excess energy into fat and store this in the body to use later.

So when you are burning glycogen you are using up calories but not actually burning through fat stored in your body.  In order to burn through fat your body must first use up its stores of glycogen in the liver and muscles.

Some people think that by doing an intense workout and sweating it out will mean you are losing body fat.  However, this isn’t necessarily the case.  You could just be burning off the sandwich you had prior to your workout rather than shifting the body fat. 

Working out at high intensity will enable you to burn through calories during the workout, but with an added ‘after-burn’ benefit. 

The ‘after-burn’ effect basically means that your body will continue to burn calories after your workout as it works towards getting your body back to its normal resting levels.  So a high intensity workout can burn more calories as it continues to work long after you have finished training.

High intensity workouts will also increase muscle mass through the combinations of high intensity exercise followed by low intensity periods or complete rest or active rest.  These combos can be completed using weight equipment or your own body weight, thereby giving you a great aerobic and anaerobic workout. 

The more muscle mass you have in your body the higher your metabolism which increases calories burned.

It may seem like a simple question – what workout burns the most calories – but the answer is not so simple.  The best workout for you will depend on your current level of fitness, your fitness goals, what you have eaten prior to training, your age, and so on.  That is why it can be useful to talk to your personal trainer about what workouts will suit you best.

Is working out in the morning a good idea?

Working out at any time of the day is a good idea, but there is no doubt that doing a workout or bootcamp at different times of the day will produce different results.  And we can all do with a helping hand in getting the most out of our daily workout!

So which is better?

There are many benefits of working out in the morning besides the obvious one of time management – getting it done early in the morning means you don’t have to try and squeeze it in during your busy workday.  Ticking it off your list early can leave you free to focus on your day.

Some people say that a morning workout leaves them energised for the rest of the day which could be because of the increase in neurotransmitters training produces in your brain.  Exercise can also increase your serotonin levels – the “happy hormone” which can actually make it addictive in some people.  And speaking of hormones – for men their testosterone levels are higher in themorning, so working out early and doing weight training for example will build muscle faster by taking advantage of that.

Morning workouts kick start your metabolism too helping your body to burn more calories during the day.  This effect will go on throughout the day which means you actually burn the calories while you are awake and consuming food as opposed to the effect of doing a workout late in the evening.

Working out in the evening can also leave you feeling pumped and wide awake, which if done too late in the day can make it difficult to sleep.  However, this may be a generalisation as it really depends on the type of training you do in the evening as to the quality of your sleep.

Timing your workout is not the same for everyone.  It can depend on your gender, fitness and workout goals and your lifestyle.  In order to get the best impact have a chat with your trainer so they can personalise your exercise sessions and make sure you get the results you are looking for.