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Cardio & Endurance

Bikini Body Strength Workout

By | Cardio, Cardio & Endurance, Featured, Healthy Living, TRAINING & WORKOUT, Videos, Women's Interview | No Comments

Andrea guides you through the ultimate upper body workout.

Below is the full workout:
3 sets of 8 reps
A1 Deadlift
A2 Shoulder press

3 sets of 10 reps
B1 T Bar Row
B2 Cable Lateral Raises
B3 Glute Thrusters
B4 Upright Rows
B5 Rear Delt Flys

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The Importance Of ‘Post-race’ Nutrition

By | Cardio & Endurance, Lifestyle & sex, TRAINING & WORKOUT | No Comments

by Emma Esslemont

You finally did it….. you are a finisher… you can’t get that shiny medal around your neck fast enough…. and yes you will wear it (along with your race bib) around for the rest of the day, just so everyone knows….. that you did it. (that is totally me)

It’s a pretty good feeling crossing the finish line of a fitness challenge you have spent weeks training for. It’s relief, exhaustion and a whole lot of satisfaction all bundled into one.

You catch your breath, find your feet, collect your thoughts. Now what?

Well for me the first thing on my mind always is FOOD. Post-race nutrition is really important when it comes to how well your body will bounce back. Not only do your muscles need nutrients to help with repair and recovery BUT you sure as hell deserve to reward yourself with a little bit of a feast.

First… WATER. Re-hydration is one of the keys to post race recovery. Consciously drink at least 1 full bottle of water in the first 5-10 minutes of finishing. Almost as important is replenishing electrolytes which are lost via sweat. Some people choose sports drinks, I personally find these way too sweet so I prefer to add a little sea salt to my water and sip on that.

Second…FOOD. Following an intense exercise effort your body needs two main things; carbohydrates and protein. Carbs will replenish your energy stores while protein helps with repairing damaged muscle.

Carbohydrates are best consumed in the 30 minutes post exercise as this is when your muscles are most receptive to replenishing glycogen stores. Protein is essential for muscle repair, the best sources here are meat, fish or eggs Vegetarian options include legumes and beans.

If you struggle with the idea of solid food after exercise which I know a lot of people do, opt for a protein shake. This can kick start your recovery until you feel ready to stomach a proper meal. Protein shakes with berries, banana and coconut water is packed with all the right things! A pea protein is the best option if it’s available.

What happens if you don’t refuel effectively?

Are you human?!? Seriously, for me the 8 hours after a hard event my brain is programmed to eat… but I always try to eat well. I’m not necessarily reaching for a greasy burger & bowl of chips instead my go to is generally breakfast as it’s normally my first meal for the day. Think eggs & bacon, lots of bacon. I get my carbohydrates from something like sweet potato chips or a grain free bread such as sprouted quinoa bread. For the remainder of the day I try to always have a carb & protein source in every meal. I also ALWAYS have my favourite little treat…Coconut Rough. Chocolate & coconut all mixed into bite size pieces of heaven (I’ll have a whole bag please).

If you are craving something in particular EAT IT. Your body is telling you something and you have well and truly earned it.

If you don’t give your body adequate nutrients after an intense bout of exercise you will take longer than usual to recover, you will feel tired, run down & the likelihood of you falling sick is slightly higher.

 

About the Author

Em is a sports physiotherapist & personal trainer who loves just about anything related to fitness & food. Her website ‘Your Sports Physio’ has articles dedicated to health and wellbeing as well as information about common sports injuries, their management and how they can be prevented! Check it out at www.yoursportsphysioblog.com. You can also follow her on instagram @emesslemont

 

thumbnail photo credit: sheknows.com

Run a Marathon. Yes You Can.

By | Cardio & Endurance, GET LEAN, TRAINING & WORKOUT | No Comments

Many of us have had the fleeting thought as we see the Olympic marathon runners cross the finish line, that running a marathon is on our bucket list! Just as quickly we dismiss the idea that we could never do it. However, this dream is definitely achievable if you are willing to make the commitment.

Okay, you may not want to run a marathon but there may be something you really want to achieve. I hope my story and the suggestions made will encourage you to go for whatever you want.

I am now 56 years old and up until 5 years ago my fitness regime was erratic. I started running 6 years ago and had competed in my first half marathon when I turned 50. If you had said in the beginning that I would be able to run I would have laughed at the idea. I was working in an office with 5 women all much younger than me. The decision was made to run in a 10km fun run and at that time I couldn’t even run from one lamp post to the next.
Reluctantly I purchased some running shoes and donned the t-shirt and shorts and joined them for runs (or should I say a fast walk) after work a couple of times a week.

At first, I struggled as I was not fit. Running is defi- nitely a mind game that you play and I certainly didn’t want to play this game. However, I stuck at it and the short jogs became longer each week until I could run a distance without requiring paramedic assistance!

We achieved the first goal of starting and then con- tinued until we all completed the 10km Fun Run. Receiving the finishers’ medal was a great feeling even though every finisher received one.

I must have been delirious at the time, however, as I suggested to the girls that we aim for a half mara- thon and although they agreed that my mental state was not sound at the time, we set the goal for the following year. I would run a half marathon before I turned 50!

Once that goal was achieved (and of course another finishers’ medal to prove it), I thought I had achieved it all. But there was a voice that popped up every now and then asking why I didn’t try to achieve the final goal of a marathon.

I had joined a gym with my husband in September 2011. He joined for health reasons and it made it easier to go with someone else as you are more likely to stick with it because you don’t want to let the other person down.We love travelling and wanted to be healthy and fit to enjoy life to the full and the many wonders that the world has to offer.

During a Saturday morning social run with my friends in early 2012, I blurted out that I was going to run a marathon – 42.2kms! Well, that was it, I had spoken the words out loud to others and so my pride kicked in to ensure that I at least gave it a shot. My goal was to complete the marathon before my 55th birthday later that year. My husband was very supportive and encouraged me to ‘go for it’ and what was the worst that could happen?

And so began the many months of training and ed- ucation. Having never run a marathon before I re- searched training programs from the internet and found one that would be suitable.

I needed to educate myself on what foods to eat to provide me with enough energy during the training runs and also the marathon itself. To be totally fit you need to exercise and watch what you eat in or- der for your body to perform at its optimum level. Again, my husband was great and made sure I had everything I needed to keep up the energy levels.

Keeping focused and committed to my goal was im- portant and that meant not missing any training ses- sions. The gym was great as I had to fit in training sessions around work and home, sometimes going to the gym at 4:30am!! With the gym being open
24/7 I would always make a training session even if I couldn’t run outside. Improving core strength was important so I made sure that I did some gym work revolving around that. Exercises like the plank, tummy crunches, squats and light weights all helped to improve my overall strength in addition to the running.

It wasn’t easy to leave a nice warm bed on cold, dark mornings but it is so worth it in the end when you achieve your goal.

I managed to convince my friend who had been training me to enter the run and also a colleague from work. They were both just as nervous as I but were so elated when they had achieved the goal. It made my day when they both said that if it wasn’t for me they would not have done it. That was a special feeling for me to know I had inspired others.

The months flew by and suddenly the day had ar- rived. I felt good because I had put the work in. I felt relaxed because let’s face it I wasn’t going to be leading the pack so was content to run my own race. I achieved the time I wanted and ran the whole
42km. The feeling of achievement coming over that finish line is fantastic and now I had the finishers’ medal to prove it!!! Two weeks later I celebrated my
55th birthday.

Since then I have completed bootcamp 3 mornings a week and had two wonderful overseas holidays. I have now retired from full time work but haven’t re- tired from life! I try to surround myself with posi- tive people who can inspire me.

As I mentioned earlier, running a marathon may not be your thing but any goal you want to achieve has the same components to running a marathon.

Here are a few tips to help you get started:
Commit – Think about what you want to achieve and commit to that. Don’t just commit mentally but commit publicly. Share with your partner a few close friends what you want to achieve and you will be surprised at the support you receive. Remember though only you can achieve your goal – no-one can do it for you. Write your goal down and put it ina prominent place that you will see every day. This will be your mantra.
Set up a plan of action – it is one thing to say ‘yes I want to achieve this’ but totally another thing to do it. It won’t happen overnight and you need to have a plan of action to keep you on track. Write down the plan and set mini goals along the way. This way you can tick off the sub goals and the more ticks show the closer you are to achieving your ultimate goal.
Educate yourself – research the internet, talk to others have achieved what you want.
Start – once you committed and you have set your plan of action, START! ‘Walk the talk’ as they say and don’t procrastinate. You will feel great once you have taken that first step towards your goal.
Mind games – If the goal is important it may not be easy all the time and it does require effort on your part. But if you feel it is worth it then you can do it! Of course you will have days when you fall off track or the voice in your head is telling you that it is too hard. Don’t beat yourself up about it just get back on track as soon as you can. Don’t forget your support network either if you need extra encouragement. It is surprising how strong we can be mentally if we really want to achieve what we are working towards.
Motivation – It is not always easy to keep motivated however there are many tools you can utilise to keep that motivation going. Set up to receive daily motivational quotes through social media. Join a group of like-minded people. Reward yourself along the way you have achieved a milestone in the journey to your goal.
Keep the eye on the prize – Sometimes you need to be a little selfish to achieve your goal. Ask any athlete or successful business person and they will tell you that total commitment is required for success. This is where you need the support of your partner, family and friends. Once they realise you are serious they will be happy to support you and understand that you need to focus on the end goal.

Remember, You can do anything if you set your mind to it. Just believe in yourself and keep focused on your goal and you will achieve it

Be happy and healthy!

marathonArticleAuthor

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sue Loncaric – sue_loncaric@hotmail.com

LONG SLOW DISTANCE

By | Cardio & Endurance, featured : magazine, Tips, TRAINING & WORKOUT | No Comments

I don’t believe in Long Slow Distance (LSD).

Actually, let me clarify.  I don’t believe in LSD like I don’t believe in the Tooth Fairy.  I realize many athlete do lots of long, slow miles early in the season–supposedly to “lay the foundation” for fitness.  Coaches have been prescribing long, slow miles since the days of Pheidippides  (but look what happened to him).  So, yes, LSD does exist.  What I don’t believe is that LSD works very well, especially for athletes with limited time.  That is, unless the objective is to beslow over a long distance.  And if the goal is to be slow over a variety of distances, then I think this type of training is a raging success!  Hell, then LSD is the cross training activity of choice!

Train slow = Be slow.  

The SAID principle is illustrated quite nicely with LSD.  Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands is what those letters stand for.  And don’t ask me what’s with all the acronyms.  I’m an endurance athlete.  And like most endurance athletes, I’ve become a master of efficiency.  You may call it laziness.  But if I hand you your ass next time we race together, don’t automatically blame it on genetics.  The truth is, I don’t stand when I can sit.  And I don’t sit when I can lie down.  And when writing, I don’t spell it out if I don’t have to.  So if you don’t like it, please just STFU!  There’s a point to all these abbreviations.

But what’s the point of LSD?  Enhanced utilization of fatty acids for fuel?  Sure (though that’s not necessarily a good thing as I mention in other posts on this blog).  Improved glycogen storage?  Yep!  What about increased capillary density?  You got it.  And these adaptations all add up to increased endurance–no question.

But what about speed?

I’m gonna make a broad sweeping stroke with my stereotype brush and say that most athletes would like to go faster.  Yet endurance training inhibits strength and power while strength and power development actually enhance endurance.  This apparent paradox is explained in more detail in my book (http://triumphtraining.com/pages/holistic-strength-training-for-triathlon).  But to keep it brief, let’s just say it has to do with motor unit activation, the differences in muscle fibers recruited, neurological impulse intensities, and a whole bunch of other terms which only the Cliff Clavins of exercise physiology would have any interest in.

What I’m saying is that you can go long without going long.  More specifically (and, perhaps, more obviously), you can cover longer distances faster by going FASTER!  Who woulda thunk it?

Additionally, strength and power peak in the average male at the age of twenty-five.  Endurance, as its name suggests, takes more time to develop and, therefore, typically peaks when a man is in his thirties or later (and even later in females).  Thus, for the aging athlete–and all of us fall into that category until we’re dead–our time would be better spent working on what we lose as we get older if we don’t use as we get older

Train your weaknesses and race your strengths.    

 

post jan 24 b

An athlete can receive all of the aforementioned benefits of long, slow distance with my definition of LSD–Long, STEADY Distance.  The emphasis here is onsteady.  Slow is for recovery days.  And long and recovery just don’t mix very well.  Not for most endurance athletes, at least.  In fact, if I had to pick the most common training error I see when I analyze a person’s training log before they begin working with me, I’d say it’s not resting enough.  And if you don’t rest well, you can’t train well.  If you’re never fully recovered, you don’t have the reserves to train at the higher intensities necessary for peak performance.  Your training speeds have less variation as everything from your easy days to your hard days become middle of the road.  And your results inevitably reflect that mistake.

There’s a term used among some of my old cycling buddies: “Drew Slow”.  On my recovery days, I ride SLOW!  Like one of my coaches once told me, ride like you’re going to the bakery.  And I’m gluten free, now, so that tells you how slow I can go.  But that kind of rest makes it possible for me to go really fast when it matters.  In fact, variations in training speed are a good indication of how proficient you are in your sport of choice.  When I first started swimming, I had one speed–Don’t Drown.  Now, after years of working on my weakness in the water, I have a few more gears from which to choose (though they’re all built on that primary instinct). The more gears you have available for use, the better an athlete you are.  So make sure there’s no grey area between your rest days and your training days.

Back to my definition of LSD.
First let’s look at Long.  Specific to the individual and/or the event for which the athlete is training, long is really anything over about 45 minutes.  More than that is going to push most competitors into a sympathetic dominant state, requiring the athlete to have prepared properly for the session (which should happen before attempting the workout anyway).  Additionally, taking the appropriate measures during the workout to minimize the adverse consequences via specific protocol targeting thoughts, respiration, hydration, and nutrition will make the athlete more resilient to the stress of higher density training.  Cause let’s face it, most competitions go well over 45 minutes.  And though most of the benefit of actually going long may be mental, a successful competitor must develop beyond the physical.  After all, fatigue and pain are really just emotions.  Strictly speaking, the athlete with no limbic system is probably going to be faster.  But he’ll be incapable of enjoying his time on the podium…

Now let’s examine the second term: Steady.  Instead of slow, this definition is a bit more sport specific.  In events where the main competition is against the clock (i.e. time trials, triathlon, etc), the fastest times will usually be elicited by a flatter power profile.  So the key here is to go fast but with as little effort as possible.  This is true even when racing against a field of competitors as it’s not always the strongest who wins–it’s often the smartest who has more left in the tank when it matters most.  Higher cadences of 90+ with continual pedaling/running and heart rate parameters tightly controlled in zones 2-3 (the aerobic zones) are characteristic of this type of training.  For swims, the focus would be on a decreased yet consistent stroke count and smoothness.  Included on a weekly basis, these workouts allow the athlete to develop neuromuscular efficiency, a sense of pace, and maintenance of form under increasing levels of fatigue.  Even better, training “hangover” is minimized so that the arms and legs as well as the heart and lungs can perform during the next training session.  Indeed, if a workout leaves you so trashed you can’t train the next day, you’ve wasted both yourself and your training.

Finally, let’s define Distance.  The body doesn’t measure distance–only duration.  While it can tell whether you’re working at a high intensity or not, it doesn’t have a built in odometer.  And if you’re going up a hill at a certain effort level, you’re not going to cover the same amount of ground as you would with the same exertion across flat or downhill terrain.  Thus, my use of long refers to time rather than length (which also allows me to make certain boasts, if you know what I mean…).  So I guess my stands for Duration.

So, there you have it–LSDLong, Steady Duration.  And including the right dose at the right times in your program will make you a better athlete regardless of distance or discipline.  Save slow for your rest days.  I’m pretty confident that my definition of LSD will serve you better than the traditional one.  But if you still think good old LSD is the best way to enhance your performance, go for it.  Though I gotta say: you must be tripping!

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ABOUT THE WRITER:

Andrew Johnston Author of Holistic Strength Training for Triathlon, Andrew is a former professional cyclist, the first Leukemia Survivor to qualify for and finish the Hawaii Ironman World Championships, the first Leukemia Survivor to win an Iron Distance Triathlon, the creator of Daily Tips for Holistic Health for I-Phones, and twice voted One of
the Top Trainers in America by Men’s Health.   www.TriumphTraining.com

 

5 Cardio Workouts to get you SHREDDED

By | Cardio, Cardio & Endurance, featured : magazine, TRAINING & WORKOUT, Workout | No Comments

post jan 22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.   10-60 PLYOMETRICS

Modern day cardio can be done in so many different ways that the traditional hamster-on-a-wheel routine is now old news! Change up the way you perform your cardio by doing some interval plyometrics.

Plyometrics are not only great for improving power but also increasing your cardiovascular capacity.

Start by jumping off the ground and launching yourself onto a bench/platform. Ensure that you land on your heels with your knees soft whilst keeping your back straight and your chest tall. Step down and repeat for as many reps as you can for 10 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. The second round goes for 20 seconds with 20 seconds of rest. Work your way up to a minute, take a minute’s break then work yourself back down to 10 seconds. Do this 3 times over and you’ll be on your way to sweating, burning and shredding up!

 

2.    FULL BODY GIANT SETS

Resistance cardio is one of the most effective workouts for maintaining strength and muscle mass whilst burning fat. Not only is it physically challenging, it also stimulates the mind and keeps you engaged throughout the session.

As an alternative to steady state cardio, performing a weights program in the form of a giant set keeps your heart rate up whilst building lean muscle mass for ultimate fat burning. Pick 5-7 of your desired exercises (or even up to 10 if you’re fitter) and work between 10-15 reps of each exercise without a rest until all exercises have been completed. Aim for 3 to 5 sets of the circuit. My favourite circuit goes like

 

post jan 22 combined

 

1. 10 x Barbell Clean and Press

2. 15 x Push Ups

3. 10 x Kettlebell Squats

4. 15 x Kettlebell Swings

5. 10 x Single Arm Dumbbell Row

6. 15  x Box Jumps

7. 10 x Weighted Abdominal Twist (Use a weight plate)

The benefit of this type of training surpasses the temporary fat burning effects of steady state jogging/cycling as your metabolism will continue to rise overtime, steadily increasing your fat burning through the day, even up to hours long after the training session.

sled

3.   SLED/RESISTANCE RUNS

This version of running is not for the faint hearted. But if you can hold out until the end, props to you for burning twice as much fat as the guy who’s been jogging on the treadmill for the last 45 minutes!

This workout will work exceptionally well if you have access to a gym that has sleds or prowlers in its facility, or if you have a training buddy you can partner up with. Stack up some weights onto the sled/prowler. Ensure that the chosen weight is not too heavy as it will start focusing on building strength rather than on your cardiovascular system. Start with a light to moderate weight in which you are still able to run with. (If you can’t move faster than a walk, drop the weight!) Aim to work for 30 seconds non-stop, and rest for  20-30 seconds. Repeat 8 to 10 times.

post jan 22 stair spring4.   STAIR SPRINTS

One of the cheapest yet effective ways of burning fat. A flight of stairs? Check. A pair of legs? Check. Time for stair sprints!

Stair sprints is particularly good for increasing muscular endurance and building lean muscle tissue in the legs. Consider this: Would you like to have boney legs that are unflattering in a mini skirt and beach shorts or would you rather have shapely, defined legs and thighs? If it’s the latter, it’s time you ditch the old hour-long slow runs you do daily, for the stairs!

Find a flight of stairs, whether it’s in your apartment block or at work, and simply climb it. Depending on your fitness level, you can choose any interval sequence between 10 steps to 50 steps. The flight of stairs by the beach I personally like to use has about 20 steps. I allow myself a break only after I’ve climbed 100 steps.

 

A1. 5 sets of 20 steps climb

       Rest for 30 seconds

A2. 4 sets of 20 steps climb

       Rest for 30 seconds

A3. 3 sets of 20 steps climb

        Rest for 30 seconds

     ***Keep going until you’ve completed 20-30 minutes worth of stair sprints. 

 

post jan 22 ropes

5.   POWER ROPES

If you’re after full body conditioning, look no further than power ropes. Power rope training is highly effective in burning fat and losing weight and can even increase upper body strength and resistance, especially in your biceps, triceps, forearms and shoulders. What I personally love about rope training  is the diversity of what one can do with a set of ropes.

By working in some lower body exercises such as lunges, burpees and squats together with your power rope training, you’re sure to get maximum fat burning in your entire body. An example of a power rope workout:

A1. 30 seconds of Double Slams (Up and down)

B1. 30 seconds of Alternating Arm Slams (Up and down)

C1. 30 seconds of Wide Circles (Open arms outwards)

D1. 30 seconds of Side to Side Slams (Slam both ropes from left to right and vice versa)

E. 30 seconds of Double Slams with Lunges (Up and down)

Perform the 5 variations above with a 30 second rest in between and continue until 3-5 sets have been completed. This will not only leave your arms and legs burning but also blast that unwanted fat away. Definitely one of my most recommended cardio workouts!

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*** Article from Ultimate You Magazine, JULY 2013 issue by: Andrea Hui