Harmony Blaze

Improving Wellbeing in Everyday Life

Monday, 7 December 2015

Let's Get Lifting

There’s more to the gym than just the treadmill and tummy trimming, something that I never really realised until a few months ago. Since then I have stopped trying to cram as much cardio as I can into each day and started to pay more attention to lifting...

Weight lifting isn't all about the shred and building bulging biceps. Weight lifting is the only sure fired way of achieving that athletic, lean and toned body we all long for, to build enough muscle strength and stamina to compete in that race you’re working towards and a brilliant way to lose fat. Yes you heard me right, building muscle will help you burn fat and keep burning long after your workout has finished.

I have never been one for lifting weights, don’t get me wrong I've done your Body Pump classes and sat on the leg extension machines and trundled along, but I've never really weight trained.

Having decided this was what I wanted to try out for a few months over the Winter, I gathered together a few online guides like the Fitness Fondue 12 Week Fat Loss Plan & also the Fit Affinity Lean & Sculpted guide and about 8 weeks ago I started to loosely follow them. Why only loosely? Because these guides are designed to be followed to the letter in order to maximise the results. However, the last quarter of the year is always the busiest, yes I’m aware that is just an excuse, but at the end of the day if I’m going to do it I’m going to do it right. Not just make a half arsed attempt and then grumble that I only lost a few pounds at the end.

At the moment I am trying to train at least 4 days a week and aiming for 5 when commitments allow me to and each training session consists of a 45 minute weight based session followed by a 30 minute HIIT cardio workout four days a week. Each of the weight based sessions focus on a different area of the body (back, chest, shoulders, arms & legs) and on the one day I don’t do cardio I do an abs workout instead. I find that weight training really relaxes me a lot more than just running and that I leave the gym feeling much happier that I used to do too. Maybe it’s the feeling that I am accomplishing something new?

We've all been preached to about the benefits of squatting and I’m sorry but I have become a pro squat convert over the past few weeks. Squats work much more than just your glutes, they work your quads and hamstrings too and also help strengthen your core and lower back muscles too. I do two variations of the squat on leg day, front & back with a barbell (I haven’t progressed onto the Smith Machine or Squat Rack just yet) and I really enjoy them and even the DOMs afterwards because I know they’re working. Just adding a few squats to your routine can make a massive difference, especially if you’re looking to improve your general strength.

I think there has long been a stigma that lifting weights will just make you look bulky and masculine which really isn't true, as women we don’t possess the hormones to look that way. It’s just not in our DNA and what happens when we lift is much more beautiful. We look healthier, happier and more honed in all the right places.

So next time you’re in the gym, grab a pair of dumbbells and try adding some weighted squats or lunges to your routine, who knows you might just enjoy it!

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