For our female clients, we get it. You don’t want to bulk up. You don’t want to be a fitness model or possess the guns of a body-builder swathed in baby oil.
Don’t worry. At GF Fitness that’s not our goal either.
Our objective is to help you get lean and mean. But that doesn’t mean doing an hour of cardio every time we see you. Because, quite frankly, while that has some benefits for your heart and your endurance, it’s not going to help you get toned and lose body fat.
It’s been proven time and again that an exercise regime involving weights helps to improve fitness, posture, change your body shape and, reduce the likelihood of injury. More crucially for women, doing weights helps to prevent osteoporosis (bone degeneration) which comes with the ageing process.
Also, a weights programme will help you burn more calories AFTER your workout. This is called “Thermogenesis” – the afterburn. (Unfortunately, no smart watch has the ability yet to calculate the calorie burn after a workout with weights).
Mix it up…
Weights involve different aspects: it’s about challenging different parts of your body: from legs, bum, arms, shoulders, abdominals and back. It’s about varying the intensity from high reps with light weights to low reps with heavy weights. It’s about doing exercises which will work big muscle groups – legs, glutes, shoulders, chest, back and the small muscle groups – triceps & biceps.
It’s about challenging your body, but not to the point where you’re in pain. Yes, it will be tough, but at GF Fitness, we like to call this Happy Pain. It’s about making sure that your body doesn’t get used to doing the same types of exercises all the time.
And, it’s about tailoring a weights programme. This is something we will say day in and day out. Everybody is different. What works for one person may not work for the next. Every two to four weeks we do a full body assessment, measuring weight, body fat percentage and measuring the circumference around the arms, chest, waist and hips.
And you’ll be surprised: your body fat will come down, you’ll feel stronger. BUT unless you’re eating like an elephant, you will not get bigger. You will be leaner, more toned and, you will look amazing.
This doesn’t mean that you have to ditch the cardio. It’s about incorporating weights at least twice a week.
Real life example….
Take one of our clients – Amna Boheim. She was a runner. Getting out and doing some cardio wasn’t her problem. No doubt, she was fit, she was slim, but she wasn’t as toned as she wanted to be. She had lower back issues, issues with her IT band and glutes. In addition to running and other cardio, she trained with GF Fitness twice a week. Within a few months of training with us, her aches and pains fell away. She’s not only fit, but she is stronger and leaner than she ever has been. She can even do unassisted pull-ups, less than 4% of the UK Population can! In short she looks athletic – her body shape has changed for the better. She never thought she’d say this, but if she misses a week of training with weights, she feels sluggish and out of sorts.
So let weights be your friends. Get familiar with the dumbbells. Make sure you do weights for all your muscles. Try to incorporate weights into your exercise plans at least twice a week for half an hour. Vary your workouts. Perhaps go one step further and let GF Fitness do the planning for you. After three months, you’ll be surprised by the results.
By Gerrard Finlayson – GF Fitness Owner