Viewing entries tagged
muscle

How Thomas Gained Muscle and Unwavering Confidence

How Thomas Gained Muscle and Unwavering Confidence

"I learned quickly that no matter how hard I worked out, I would never get stronger [if I didn’t] fuel my body with enough calories and nutrients,” Thomas shared. “It took a lot of trial and error, but I feel like I truly figured out what worked for me and how to reap the most rewards through diet and exercise.” 

5 Running Workouts To Do the Impossible: Lose Fat And Gain Muscle

5 Running Workouts To Do the Impossible: Lose Fat And Gain Muscle

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There's a myth that cardio— in any way or form— is destructive for muscle-building. For this reason, some bodybuilders prefer to walk on an inclined treadmill rather than increasing their pace. On the other hand, those who want to lose weight (like me), tend to resort to slow and long jogs. Whatever your fitness goal is, high-intensity interval training might be the way to go. Recent research found that when you throw high-intensity workouts into the mix, physiological adaptations are greater.  It turns out that aerobic exercises and muscle-building are very far from being incompatible, and that high-intense interval training (HIIT) helps you build more muscle and lose more fat. With HIIT, it's possible to lose fat and gain muscle. Here are 5 running workouts to help you // The PumpUp Blog

But what exactly is high-intensity interval training?

PumpUp has covered its principles before, but in essence, HIIT is can be described as “short, high-intensity bouts of exercise followed by a short period of rest or low-intensity activity”. Believe it or not, you can make a fine workout for yourself in 4 minutes. It works because you’re able to incorporate lots of short vigorous exercises into your routine, all of which would be impossible to sustain for long periods of time if each individual exercise were to be performed on its own.

Research has suggested that the higher the intensity and shorter the duration of work and the rest period, the better.

How HIIT affects muscle building // The PumpUp Blog

HIIT and running are best friends

As far as running goes, higher intensity translates into a faster pace. You won't be able to maintain a fast pace for long because you’re gasping for air. This means you are near your maximum oxygen uptake and heart rate. If you're alarmed about higher intensity running workouts, check out the curative powers of HIIT: one study demonstrated that HIIT can play a role in preventing heart diseases.

Intense running workouts can improve your strength, muscle growth, metabolism (even after your workout), and build the endurance. But there are different forms of high intensity running workouts that can give you more results for less. Here’s how can you introduce High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into running with huge results, starting with moderate-intensity Fartlek and Tempo runs, and ending in style with the full-fledged high-intensity Interval Training, “All-out” Sprint-Interval Training and 400-meter sprints used by bodybuilders.

  1. Fartlek

Swedish “Fartlek” or speed-play, is a training method that became popular in the 1940s. Swedish runners almost broke the 4-minute mile record. It consists of randomly selecting visual landmarks that you accelerate to— the next tree or a house, for example— followed by a recovery period. You can do it alone or in a group, with each person taking turns to choose the landmark and the pace.

It’s a great way to get back in shape and test your limits, while having some fun.

  1. Tempo

Tempo runs consist of continuous high-intensity sprints that last for 20 to 40 minutes or over a predetermined length. Professional runners use “tempos” to build endurance and to mimic a slightly more rapid pace but close enough to their competition pace - a “comfortably fast” pace. Sprinkling a “tempo” in your workout develops your aerobic system, stamina and efficiency.

To prepare you for faster paces of serious HIIT (as you’ll see next), you can throw a “short” burst of super-maximal intensity, every 5 minutes.

  1. Intervals

This is the most popular type of training the running world. Like Fartlek, it involves bouts of running between easy and very hard paces. However, in this case, you determine how fast you run and for how long, as well as the duration of rest period and how many times you repeat your intervals. According to Jonathan Savage, owner of running resource Fellrnr, the right pace for your intervals (which greatly varies) is the fastest you can run in 6 minutes.

An example of an workout would be 30s-1 minute at your fast pace, followed by half of the time recovering, and repeat it 5 times. Intervals should not last more than 5 minutes (excluding the rest period).

You won’t be able to recover from each fast interval. This is done on purpose, to build up the aerobic stress in your system. Research indicates that active recovery contributes to superior performance because of metabolite washout and lactate utilization. If it's hard at first, don't worry. You’ll get stronger!

  1. “All-out” Sprint Interval Training or Wintab

Shorter and very intense intervals are the ones that perform better. You cannot get more a intense workout than the WinTab protocol. It involves 20 seconds of an “all out” running sprint followed by 10 seconds rest, for 8 repetitions. The results are remarkable:

A 2014 study tested this program for 6 weeks (3 times a week) on 15 active women. It resulted in an average body fat mass decrease of 8% and a waist circumference reduction of 4%, while increasing muscle mass by 1.3%, peak running speed by5% and maximum oxygen consumption (an endurance metric) by 9%. All of this happened without a change in the athletes' food intake.

  1. 400-meter Sprint Program

This is bodybuilder trainer Christian Thibaudeau’s favorite workout for fat loss. He says that it has a “high fat-burning potency.” He found that his athletes were getting leaner and stronger after this programme.

The workout consists of 400m sprint repetitions followed by at least 1 minute and half of rest. This exercise is so intense that he recommends doing just one time per week.

See his guideline table for a recommended 8 week plan that can be adjusted for different fitness levels.

After such high-intensity running workouts, you can rest assured that your post-workout cookie will hardly affect your system. After all, you deserved it.

Fastblr is a powerful running shoe finder which lets you compare prices among 13 online stores. If you don’t know which running shoe to pick, start with our shoe recommender - it gives you 5 best shoes based on your physical and performance characteristics. Keep in touch with us on Twitter and Facebook.

Gaining muscle is a great thing. Just ask Samantha - PumpUp Success Stories

Gaining muscle is a great thing. Just ask Samantha - PumpUp Success Stories

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If Netflix's deadly auto-play feature ever spawned far too many television-marathons for your liking, you're not alone. Samantha has been down that road before and emerged triumphant in the best possible way after joining the PumpUp community. "I was super lazy, always watching Netflix right after work," she recounted. "I would eat whatever I felt like eating and paid no attention to how much I was eating. I was extremely unhealthy and I wasn't confident with my body." Samantha has come a very long way from the "old" her. In fact, she constantly reflects upon her past as extra motivation to maintain an active lifestyle. "I don't want to be the old me or feel like the old me," she insisted. "I felt insecure all the time and I don't ever want to go back to that." There was also a time when Samantha abided by a diet that was far too restrictive. "I only allowed myself 900 calories a day and performed intense cardio," she recalled. "I was just under 120 lbs: that's very tiny for a 5'11" girl." Others began to comment on her weight— even strangers took notice. "It got to the point where my body became fragile and if somebody even so much as touched my shoulder, it would hurt because I had no meat on me," Samantha lamented. "I still wanted to lose weight because I felt like it was the only thing that I could control." It's important for Samantha to focus on non-scale victories and she keeps tabs on how she's gaining muscle in particular. "I'm at 164 lbs now and I could never imagine saying that I'd be happy with how little I weighed back then," she affirmed. "I'm so much thicker but in a positive and healthy way." 

gaining muscle transformation

Since Samantha made the transition to a healthy lifestyle with the help of PumpUp, she's been maintaining a rigorous schedule of regular workouts and balanced eating habits. She began to weight train and gained more muscle mass than she's ever had before.  "After day one of using PumpUp I was hooked," she insisted. "To me, PumpUp is a way to share my passion for fitness with others who share the same interests. It's really motivating." Now, you'll be hard-pressed to find a moment when Samantha isn't active. In addition to the fair amount of physical activity that she performs at her warehouse job, Samantha exercises 5-6 days a week, alternating between weightlifting, blogilates videos, or HIIT workouts. She also gleans PumpUp for healthy eating ideas.   "I love to look at other peoples' posts about healthy meals and I get excited to share mine as well," she enthused.  Beyond the digital sphere, Samantha benefits from the support of her friend Patty, who also strives to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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Best advice

Take it one day at a time, and don't beat yourself up over one bad day or one bad meal. Just remember your goals and start over the next day.  Focus on how you feel/look rather than the number on the scale!! I cannot exaggerate this enough.

Samantha's Meals

"My food usually consists of eggs and avocado on toast for breakfast, chicken and veggies for lunch, and a standard dinner. When I want a snack I'll have a protein bar, smoothie, fruit, etc. On weekends I tend to be more lenient and treat myself!"

Motivational Mantra

"Laziness fuels more laziness. Activity fuels more activity' and 'A year ago you will wish you had started today."

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Cheer Samantha on as she strives to reach her goals with the help of the PumpUp community @samanthagonsalves3.

Transformation Tuesday: Troy gained 20 lbs of muscle mass because of PumpUp

Transformation Tuesday: Troy gained 20 lbs of muscle mass because of PumpUp

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The wise C.S. Lewis was quoted saying that hardship prepares an ordinary person for an extraordinary destiny. PumpUp member @twoolf29 is certainly one of these people. After a devastating career ending injury that forced him to leave professional football, he lost a lot of mass without a personal trainer there to guide him. Now, he relies on PumpUp for support and workouts to help him recuperate that lost muscle mass and to get in better shape than ever before. With the help of the PumpUp community, Troy was inspired to adopt healthier eating habits as he gradually gained more muscle mass. He went from 182 lbs in September 2014 to around 200 lbs 4 months later. Keep him pumped! Have you ever had trouble gaining muscle mass? Experienced a hardship that you couldn't have ever foreseen? Comment below! We'd love to hear your thoughts!

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Stand tall and be proud of all you’ve achieved! According to a study by Ohio State University, posture may affect confidence in one’s own thoughts. When we think about our positive qualities, a confident posture makes us believe what we think more strongly and, therefore, feel better about ourselves. Here’s PumpUp member fitybuildy’s ThrowBACK Thursday progress! Keep her pumped!

Louise is training for her first bikini competition using her own research. Learn how - PumpUp Success Stories

When Louise began her journey on PumpUp, became inspired to tackle one of the biggest challenges she’s ever faced: to enter in her very first bikini competition using her own methods and research. Her truly admirable story and the dedication that she devotes to her craft never fails to inspire PumpUp’s million-member community on a very regular basis. 

Never one to be sedentary, Louise described herself as an intermittently active person throughout her whole life. One crucial obstacle was holding her back. “I had very little knowledge of nutrition and no goal in mind other than to stay healthy,” she mentioned. In an average day prior to PumpUp, she would eat very little and rarely breakfast—just cereal and the dinners that were available to her at home. Hydration was also the last thing on Louise’s busy mind. “I rarely drank enough…maybe a glass a day,” she admitted. “If I would have continued on that road there would have been major negative health repercussions in my later life.”  As a university student, Louise would practice cheerleading and dance once a week. Excessive drinking would, however, negate those workouts.

Since Louise was introduced to PumpUp in February 2014, she leveraged the community as a knowledge hub for health and fitness. “Everyone on PumpUp is very positive—there is a surge of energy that is very motivating,” she insisted. “I like that people ask questions and give support. I began my journey by answering peoples’ questions and adding photos with small facts. I like to spread knowledge.” The more engagement she received from the community, the more her thirst for knowledge about health and fitness intensified. “I found that many have been misled by fad diets from magazines and the media,” she continued. “I wanted to know facts.” 

Louise amassed an extensive collection of science-based books and  effectively placed herself at the center of her own ‘human trial’, experimenting with exercises, nutrition, and supplementation and using PumpUp to document everything. “Immediately I discovered that the body is a machine and if you fuel it efficiently, you will reap the benefits,” she concluded. “My energy levels were improving, I slept better, and my memory was almost at 90 percent—that’s not like me at all. I loved the feeling and that’s when wellness became a lifestyle choice.”

Over this period of time, Louise gathered a wealth of support from the PumpUp community and embraced the encouragement she received from her followers. Eventually, Louise became inspired to enter in her very first bikini fitness competition. “I came across a few people on PumpUp who competed in body building and fitness shows. I began researching and I knew straight away that it was what I wanted to do,” she recounted. “I picked the competition I wanted to enter and began to search for methods to achieve my goal.  Now I’m working backwards from my competition date.” Louise is completing the entire process without a coach, learning as she progresses. “It’s been physically, socially, and mentally challenging but my PumpUp followers have always been there to encourage me when I am feeling unmotivated or alone,” she said earnestly. “It might sound cliché, but they have pumped me up when I felt deflated (pun intended).”

A journey isn’t really a journey without obstacles or speed bumps. Louise is only human. “I have had times when I wanted to eat every sugar-contained item in my house,” she professed. “When I do, I raid the cupboard—and of course I feel guilty. I confessed about it on PumpUp and everyone was very supportive. My journey has not been straightforward; but rather like hiking up a mountain. I know that when I get to the top, I did everything I could to be my best. That will be my reward.” Her dedication to her goal is admirable in every way, and she keeps sane by calculating a healthy balance that works for her—even if it means waking up at the crack of dawn to exercise, or turning down a social event every now and then to make sure that she sticks to her training schedule.

She has succinct and wise words for others who are just beginning their fitness journey or learning to love themselves. “Everyone is different and different things work for different people: there are so many individual factors that can impact a ‘healthy lifestyle’,” she advised. “Big changes take time. Start small and then develop.”

After her competition, Louise hopes to communicate with others more on PumpUp and aspires to assist them on their journey. “I already obtain all of the support and encouragement I need from PumpUp,” she affirmed. “Whether it is prep for a competition or even just to improve their healthy lifestyles, I want to help others by spreading the knowledge that I obtained.  One day I may even become a sponsored athlete.”  

Biggest Motivation

“Michelle Lewin. She was the first bikini competitor I discovered. Her physique inspired my journey.”

Favourite eats

“ I adore banana and peanut butter protein pancakes.

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 scoop of your favourite flavoured protein powder (I use peanut butter Quest powder)

Use a non-stick pan on a low heat. Mix all the ingredients together, don’t mash the banana too much (because it’s nice when you taste a piece in the pancake). Then pan fry like a normal pancake, when the base is solid and moves around the pan it is ready to flip over.”

Motivational Mantra

“Every champion was once a contender that refused to give up”—Rocky Balboa

Favourite Exercise

I love to train my legs, the strength has developed so quickly. I strength-train four times a week. I love compound exercises, my favorites are Squats and Renegade rows. However, I do like to experiment with new exercises. Every session I try at least one new exercise, usually I feel it the next day. My last session I tried curtsy lunges with a barbell…great for the glutes.”

Fun Fact About Louise

“Although I do not use my qualification, I am actually a qualified fitness instructor.”

Follow Louise on PumpUp @louiseusa101 and keep her pumped as she strives to reach her goal!

Lifting myth: Once you stop training your muscles turn into fat

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This is part of a series of posts by Jennifer (@liftingfairy on PumpUp), a bikini competitor. Check out her blog here. 

You may or may not have been told that once you stop exercising, your muscles turn into fat. But is this actually true? Sure, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ronnie Coleman no longer have their former physiques, but are they really ‘fat’ 

I’ll admit that they don’t look that fit. Maybe a bit flabby. But it is scientifically impossible that their muscles turned into fat. Muscles and fat are two completely different substances. That’s like saying ’ I will turn my fat into muscles’ it just doesn’t work like that!

I will explain to you what actually happens.

Let’s take the example of a man who eats a lot of calories to his body the nutrients that it needs to build a certain amount of muscles. While he is still training, his muscles also allow him to burn more calories each day. This helps him to stay fairly lean. However, if he stops training— for whatever the reason might be—and maintains his former eating habits, his body will not only lose the extra calorie-burn from his workouts, but also the extra burn from his muscle mass.

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Now you can say that he is going to turn into a little fluffy ball because if he keeps eating the same way, he will lose muscles and gain fat. But he won’t be turning his muscles into fat. That’s what people keep misunderstanding.

Muscles are breaking down because they are no longer needed. Your body will, however, gain fat, if you have the same caloric intake as before. But you won’t turn into a flabby ball if you take a little break from your sports. If you stop training you will certainly lose muscle tissue, but if you also reduce your caloric intake you won’t gain fat. 

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According to a study, strength and muscle mass are generally maintained for up to 4 hours of no training. In my experience, I’ve seen drop-offs in my strength within seven days without training. However, I never experienced major muscle loss within two or even three weeks out of the gym.

If you are afraid of losing too much strength or muscle when you are on vacation, just do a full-body-core workout like push-ups, planks, pull-ups, squats, lunges or go for a run at the beach.

This is part of a series of posts by Jennifer, a bikini competitor from Luxembourg. Check out her blog and follow her on PumpUp @liftingfairy and on Instagram @lifting_fairy.

Spotlight Series: Stephen E.

We are super pumped to share with you this PumpUp Member’s awesome journey today on the blog! Today’s blog is all about Stephen. A 21 year-old Canadian guy who is always working, and always improving! Give the blog a read to see how Stephen turned exercising for injury prevention, into a full-blown love for fitness!

Stephen joined the PumpUp Family back in January 2014, so a whole 30 weeks ago – he’s a PumpUp veteran that’s for sure! He started using PumpUp because of how encouraging and motivating it is. He says, All of the PumpUp members create an awesome community that motivates every user, whether it’s your very first exercise or if you’re an seasoned athlete.”

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Even before joining PumpUp Stephen was already into fitness and made sure that it was part of his every day routine. Stephen would aim to go to the gym 5 days a week (Monday-Friday), but unfortunately he wouldn’t always be consistent. “I would sometimes workout 5 days and other times I would only workout 2 days a week.”

Now that Stephen is on PumpUp his consistency is on point! Stephen admits, “I find myself checking PumpUp more than any other social networking app! (YAY!) Everyone’s progress and their encouraging words make me motivated to get to the gym! Since I’ve signed up with PumpUp I find myself going to the gym at least five days a week! I always think to about how hard the users that post on #TransformationTuesday have worked to achieve their goals and I want to work hard too.”

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Stephen has quite a bit of motivation. To quote him he says he has a few thousand people who motivate him! They are his followers on PumpUp.

“Every member who follows me is a motivator! It shows me that they care about my progress and my posts. I like to think that if you are following me, then you want to see my progress and that I’m pushing myself. Each one is unique and inspires and motivates me in different ways. When I see a single Mom on PumpUp posting their workouts even though they have so much on their plate, it motivates me to push through my excuses. When I see someone who is posting his or her first workout, it makes me motivated to get up and get to the gym.” 

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Another big motivator for Stephen happens to be himself. He notes that there is nothing more motivating than seeing your own progress. “Once you see your progress you get hooked and all you think about is your next workout.” Some famous inspirations of Stephens include Steve Cook, and Christian Guzman.

The motivational saying that Stephen lives by is, “Proud but never satisfied,” and his fave workouts on PumpUp are, The ab circuits! They always make me feel it!” A big reason of why Stephen is so invested in PumpUp is because of the other members. Stephen tells us, “My favourite part about PumpUp is the community of uplifting members! No matter what you post, you will always have someone saying something nice or giving you advice.”

Fave Food:

For Stephen the answer to that question is easy, French Toast! He is aware that French Toast it is not all that, “nutrient rich,” but says, There is always ways to add a little protein to make it healthier and more macro friendly!” Guess what? He even has the French Toast recipe for everyone to try out:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 Cup (2 Ounces) Sugar Free Original Coconut Milk (or Regular Milk/other Milk Substitute)
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Scoop (30g) Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons (8g) Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup (61g) Unsweetened Apple Sauce
    4-6 Bread Slices

Calories in the WHOLE recipe (in just the mix):

Calories: 336
Fat: 12g
Saturated Fat: 4g
Sodium: 311mg
Carbs: 19g
Fiber: 2g
Sugar: 15g
Protein: 38g

Calories in the WHOLE recipe (w/ the bread):

Calories: 723
Fat: 15g
Saturated Fat: 4g
Sodium: 971mg
Carbs: 85g
Fiber: 14g
Sugar: 21g
Protein: 62g

What is Stephen’s advice for everyone else out there? Simple, take more before/progress pictures! Even if you aren’t all that pleased with how you look now, you are going to want them to compare how you are going to look a month from now! Stephen comments, “I regret not taking more pictures before I started getting into fitness. I didn’t take pictures because I was self-conscious about my body and worried about how people would judge me.” He tells us that PumpUp helps change that self-conscious view and mindset that you may have. “Every user on the app is very supportive so no one should be afraid to post pictures! Post every activity that you do so you can see how many calories you have burned, and wait for all the uplifting comments people have for you!”

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Stephen is super proud of the fact that he has leaned out and built some muscle, but he also has some awesome plans and goals moving forward, he says, “I will continue to build muscle and I would like to eventually compete in a Men’s Physique competition.”

A little bonus info about Stephen is the reason why he started his fitness adventure. He shares with us,  “I love to snowboard but I have knee problems. I dislocated my knee many times in each leg. In physiotherapy I was taught some exercises to do at the gym and it all started from there. Now I can snowboard every year and not have to be too concerned about my injuries. My fitness adventure started out as injury prevention and now it’s my world!”

Follow Stephen on PumpUp @stephenspump and on instagram @StephenErnstFitness, his goal is, “aspire to inspire” and he is always happy to answer any questions for have! We love seeing your progress on PumpUp Stephen, don’t stop working hard! 

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Our first photo of the day goes to our 1st fave #TransformationTuesday pic from yesterday. This picture is of PumpUp Member ahmadh443. He is actually a nutritionist and training counselor and says, “I had to make a change being unhealthy was ruining my life #WarOnFat.” Well he certainly made a HUGE change and the results are incredible, keep it up!

The Most Important 5 Minutes of Your Workout

warmupWhen you show up to the gym, what’s the first thing you do? Do you start with a few crunches? Pick up some dumbbells? Quickly scan for your crush and do what they’re doing? It’s really easy to forget the most important area of your workout - the warm-up!

Every good workout starts with a solid warm up. Why is warming up before you work out so important? Here are a few key reasons:

  1. Protects you against injury. Your warm-up loosens up your muscles and makes them ready for more strenuous work so they don’t snap under pressure.
  2. Improves your flexibility. It’s not hard to believe that moving your muscles makes them more flexible.
  3. Increases your heart rate. Remember, your heart is your most important muscle. It’s important to get it pumping before it needs to do hard work.
  4. Prepares your muscles for power. You got it - warming up your muscles gets them closer to the optimal temperature for performance.
  5. Decreases post-workout muscle pain. Warming up your body gives your muscles the extra room they need to rebuild after a workout and improves your blood flow to transfer the necessary nutrients to them.

There are two different kinds of warmups that are important to know.

General Warm-Up

Do 5 to 10 minutes of cardio of your choice (treadmill, bike, etc.). A very basic approach, but also very effective! End with a good stretch and make sure to keep your heart rate up.

Sport-Specific Warm-Up

Do 5 to 10 mintes of a warm-up that resembles the sport you’re playing. For example, if you’re a volleyball player, low intensity jumps and overhead shoulder stretches would be a great warm-up for the perfect spike.

Let’s be honest - all of this can be hard to remember… but don’t worry! When you use PumpUp to build a workout, you get an effective warm-up automatically targeted at the muscle groups you’ll be working. So remember, stay warm and pump up!

How Many Reps Should I Do?

You pack your gym bag, head over to the gym, get changed, and you’re all set to start your workout. You grab some dumbbells, get into your starting position, and then you realize you’re missing something… HOW MANY REPS SHOULD I DO???

If you don’t know what a ‘rep’ is, it’s just a single completion, or repetition, of an exercise movement. This week we’re going to dive into understanding what rep range (or number of reps) is best suited for you.

For Getting Toned → 12-15 reps: This kind of rep range is normally used to tonemuscles. With a higher rep range and lower weight, you develop muscle endurance. Your rest between sets should be 30 to 60 seconds.

For Building Muscle → 8-10 reps: This range is ideal for muscle hypertrophy (building muscle size). If you’re trying to bulk up and add muscle mass - this rep range is for you.  Your rest between sets should be 60 to 90 seconds.

For Gaining Strength  4-6 reps: With a low rep range you’re able to lift more weight. Because of this, you’ll be yielding your best strength gains. This rep range is generally used by serious weightlifters and athletes who need to be extremely strong but not necessarily big in size – as this rep range is not optimal for hypertrophy (as discussed above). If your main training goal is muscle growth - low reps won’t do it for you. However,adding low reps into your workout program will help you build some extra strength which can only help you improve in other areas of your workouts. Your rest between sets should be  2-3 minutes, because you need a fuller recovery in order to repeat such strenuous lifting.

Warning: Although a lower rep range enables you to lift more than you normally would, it is not recommended unless you are extremely confident in your ability and form. If you are just starting out or have only been working out for a couple of years, you should stick to higher rep ranges (and lower weight) until you can perform exercises perfectly. If you use poor form with higher weights, you are at a very high risk of injury.

Ultimately, the rep range you will be using during your workouts is going to largely depend on your training goal. The above information is to help you understand why there are different rep ranges and what they’re generally used for. Never be afraid to incorporate different strategies into your workouts - as long as you do so in a safe and controlled manner. As you become more experienced with working out and weightlifting, you’ll find what works best for you!

Dump the Scale

Although this might sound a bit extreme, too often people find themselves trapped to the number they see on the scale. For some people, the scale is a means of self-torture. How many times have you stepped on the scale first thing in the morning, and let the number determine how you feel for the rest of the day? In reality, the numbers on the scale don’t mean that much.

Firstly, we have hormones. For women, weight varies throughout the month based solely on hormone levels. Because our hormones change so frequently, it can be quite challenging to get an accurate scale reading.

Secondly, bloating is something that affects both men and women. Although men don’t experience hormonal changes on a monthly basis like women – both sexes can be equally affected by dietary factors. Take for example – sodium. When we ingest high amounts of sodium (in english terms – foods with a high salt content) our body has to try and balance itself with water. In order to dilute high levels of sodium, the body will retain fluids. This is a common cause of bloating and why you might see higher numbers on the scale.

Lastly – and frankly one of the most important points of all – scales tell you nothing about body composition. Muscle is approxmately 18% more dense than fat, so it weighs more. The same weight of muscle can take up half the amount of space as fat. That’s why we can lose inches and change our body shape but see almost no change on the scale. A much simpler way to judge “weight loss”, or more significantly, whether or not you are changing your body, is by how your clothing fits. If you find your jeans are less snug or your t-shirts feel looser then you know you are doing a good job!

Don’t live your life chained to a scale. Our weight naturally changes throughout the course of the day from simply eating and drinking. If you drink more water one day, you might be up 2 pounds. If you sweat a lot when you exercise, you can be down a pound. Focus on exercising and eating right and your body will settle itself to a natural point.