Gym Lingo

One of the very first things I struggled with at the beginning of this journey was the terminology. Reading programs and getting advice from people just seemed like I was being spoken to in a foreign language. Even today there are still terms I come across which require a quick google define.

Rather than having to wait to come across words then remember to google their meaning, I have compiled a list of common Gym Lingo (below) which I have come across and feel may assist in your understanding and progression. 

The list is obviously not exhaustive and I absolutely will continue to update this post with any further terms that I feel you may benefit from knowing. 


DOMS – Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness

AMRAP – As Many Reps/Rounds As  Possible

Bulking – gaining muscle

Cutting – loosing fat to make muscle definition visible 

Shredz – same as ripped: to see muscle definition

Ripped – to see muscle definition 

Mirin – short for admiring

Progressive Overload : increasing the weight, usually each set 

Superset – one exercise coupled with another, no break between them. 

Pump – when all the blood flow is going to the working muscles making them appear larger than usual

Drop set – the opposite of progressive overload – decreasing the weight but upping the reps 

Spot me – to watch and support someone during an exercise and help prevent injury by spotting any mistakes in form and if it seems they are struggling with the weight, assist lifting the weight.

Rep – short form of “repetition” and refers to the amount of times an exercise is repeated

Set – the grouping of reps usually referring to the amount of reps completed before taking a rest. I.e 3 sets of 12 reps means break after 12 repetitions and complete 3 times.

Gainz – increase in ones size or muscle mass 

Ass to Grass – squatting down as low as possible.

 

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Any Time, Any Place HIIT

Last week, I had a bit of a dip in my confidence which resulted in me having an anxiety attack whilst at the gym (luckily this was at the end of my workout) but it did cause a loss of motivation to actually go the following evening.

Though I am a strong advocate for listneing to your body and taking time out when needed, skipping the gym is not something we want to develop a habbit of doing particularly when it is due to lack of motivation. Whether its at a gym, at home, at the park or in the middle of Asda squat jumping to the top shelf, we need to get our butts working out, protect those gains, release those endorphins and make everything sunshine and rainbows again.

So for the occassions where we have to skip the gym for one reason or another, I have created some work out programmes that can be completed pretty much anywhere you fancy so we can still get in a good session no matter what.

The workouts will be HIIT based, purely because they are simple, quick, effective and do not neccessarily require any equipment (if you want to know a bit more about the benefits of HIIT, they can be found here). Purposely, the programs have been kept short to avoid procrastination. Knowing that you will be engaged for less than 20 minutes means that, that washing pile which has appeared from nowhere or suddenly remembering the dog needs to be bathed etc. dont seem so pressing and can wait until the session is completed.

Also, in follow up to the last publishing 5 Tips For Getting Fit On Your Lunch Hour these workouts are perfect for a lunch hour session!

Quick Tip: the more reps you get done within the work time slot the more effective the session.

Three is the magic number

3 is a popular number within the fitness world and this workout is no exception. 3 rounds consisting of 3 sets of 3 exercises.

3 x 3 x 3.

Each exercise will be completed for a period of 30 seconds, there will be no rest between sets but a 30 second rest at the end of each round.

 Exercise  Work Time  Rest Time
 Jumping Knee Drives  0:30 0:00
 Sideways Suicides 0:30  0:00
 Press ups  0:30 0:00

Total Time: 18 minutes.

 


 

Ab – Fab

Oh, Darling you guessed it – this routine will give you Absolutely Fabulous Abs.

Each round to be completed 3 times with a 30 second rest in between.

Exercise  Work Time  Rest Time
 Hip Raises (feet in the air)  0:20  0:10
 Russian Twists  0:20  0:10
 Superman Plank  0:20  0:10
 Heel Touches  0:20  0:10

 

Total Time: 7:30


 

Definitely a 10.

A strong 10/10 – 10 exercises, 10 minutes.

 Exercise  Work Time
 Rest Time
 Standing Tuck Jumps  0:40  0:20
 Air Squats  0:40  0:20
 Sideways Suicides  0:40  0:20
 Press Ups  0:40  0:20
 Plank Rotations  0:40  0:20
Sideways Bunny hops  0:40  0:20
 Alternating Jump Lunges  0:40  0:20
 Seal Jack  0:40  0:20
 Crouch Walks  0:40  0:20
Dish  0:40  0:20

Total Time: 10 minutes.

There you have it, 3 variations of HIIT workouts that can be done any place, any time, and with no equipment. Ergo NO EXCUSES FOR NOT WORKING OUT!

 

5 Tips For Getting Fit On Your Lunch Hour.

Lunch breaks. The hour we spend all morning counting down to. We then spend the hour either running round trying to get all of our errands done or on the daily mail website.

At least that’s how it was for me. Until recently that is. I have come to realise that the most valuable thing we have in this life is time. No matter what we do we can never, ever, no matter how hard we try, get a refund on it (at least in the present day. Who knows what the future holds though). The realisation of this has imprinted on me that we should make the most of everything and not waste our precious time.  There is always time to be productive and lunch hours are no exception.

All to often lack of time is used as an excuse not to work out. Guess what guys, we all have the same 24 hours in a day – you, me, Beyoncé, Bill Gates, The Rock – yep, same 24 hour period per day! So make it count. The Rock’s days are so busy that he gets up at 4am for his workouts! Now I’m not suggesting you take it to that extreme unless it takes your fancy to do so but my point is, you definitely do have time to workout. Put your lunch hour to good use and fill that hour of nothingness with something meaningful.

Dont believe you have time to workout on your lunch hour? Read the 5 helpful tips below and go put them to the test. come and correct me if I’m wrong 😉

Tip Number 1:  Location

If your gym is a 5 minute walk away, winner! Obstacle one is complete! If however, your gym is a 15 minute drive away from your place of work, chances are that by the time you got there and changed it would be time to leave again. In this instance, you would simply have to find an alternative area to train be it a friends house, the local park or even an empty (spacious) boardroom. If you still cannot access one of these areas then there are always pathways where you can go for a power walk or run.

Tip number 2: Time Allocation

Obviously, a lunch hour does not equate to 1 hour in the gym. You have to allow for travel, changing, showering etc.

More than likely, a lunch hour translates to around 20 minutes of actual gym work.

My break down usually looks a little something like this:

image

 

Tip number 3: The Session

choosing an appropriate workout is vital. A full weight training session on legs in your lunchtime; Now that is getting a little over optimistic!

Eradicating as many outside variables as possible will assist in the smooth operation of your planned session. Make sure that you aren’t solely relying on specific pieces of equipment by planning back up exercises for use in the event that the machines you initially intended to optimise are already occupied. This will also save you from a bad mood! We’ve all been there and had sessions that haven’t gone to plan and we’ve left the gym in a big paddy. Not how you want to return to work for the afternoon!

If you intend to do a weight training session, choose a smaller muscle group to work on. Leave the bigger muscle groups to a day when you are not so restricted and you can allocate the appropriate time required. Trying to rush through a lengthy session in twenty minutes is more than likely, only going to result in injury.

Alternatively, opt for a different type of training session. Maybe HIIT or even better if you’re on more strict time contraints choose Tabata which is a 4 minute workout!

Additionally, if you are at a gym then chances are they have a class on which has taken into account that it is lunchtime and planned the session accordingly.

Tip Number 4: Prepare.

Session complete and you’ve stayed within the allotted time frame! Well done! Now, after such success in the main event the last thing you want is to be late back to work because of changing room faff nor do you want to return sticky, sweaty and wearing your top inside out!

To avoid this and continue the success of a lunch time workout make sure you have everything you need in your gym bag when packing it the night before. Also, take note of where everything is – wash bag is in the front section, towel in the main section etc.

Dry shampoo and a hair bobble ladies – we can work miracles with those 2 items alone! No need to panic about washing and blow drying your hair in 5 mins.

Quick rinse, dry off, spritz of body spray, get dressed, dab of powder to touch up the make up and we are good to go!

And last but definitely not least,

Tip number 5: Lunch

Now I know you didn’t think I was going to forget about the most vital part of the lunch break! Food! Glorious food.

I tend to eat at my desk but for many I know this isn’t an option. In this instance, you need to think quick, on the go type lunches. The most nutritious, especially post workout, is probably a protein shake with a handful of nuts and a price of fruit.  That would be my choice anyway.

So there you have them. Go forth and have a productive lunch hour workout! Let me know how you get on.

Summer Preppin’

Summer, summer, summer time…Time to sit back and unwind… Juuust kidding. Not quite time to sit back and unwind yet but summer is officially upon us (woop woop) and so begins our season of holiday prep. Bring on the shredz, it’s time to flaunt those winter gains!

This year my summer holiday will be taking place right at the very tail end of the summer… in October. Ok. Fall. My summer holiday takes place in fall. Silver lining – That’s all summer to get shredded.

October is also the month, which this year, holds the date that commemorates my 25th year of life and to mark the occasion (as well as serving as a distraction to avoid the quarter life crisis I feel heading my way) there are a couple of challenges I have set for myself. 

Challenge number 1: to have the body I have always dreamed of and rock a bikini at the beach. Apparently these are the best years of my life so I will be cellulite free and have abs pre turning a quarter of a century old!

Challenge number 2 is kind of a biggie – to learn to swim. Yes. Yes, I know. Almost 25 and cannot swim but worry no more because that is all about to change.

Lucky for me, we are headed to La Manga, Spain for our summer hols. The resort is a huge sports complex which provides the perfect opportunity for execution of the above challenges. 

Part of the reason I still cannot swim is because the embarrassment of going to the local swimming baths and splashing about while three year olds literally swim circles around you is just too much. Atleast on holiday, I’ll be with my boyfriend (who will be in charge of keeping me alive) in front of whom I have already perfectly performed many embarrassing moments to the point of no longer being embarrassed in front of him. As for everyone else, it’s unlikely that we will meet in the local Tesco at any point, so making a fool of myself doesn’t bother me so much.

Swimming definitely involves more cardio than I am used to and at the level I will be at, it definitely requires endurance over speed and power; therefore, LISS sessions will be incorporated to develop an increased level of fitness and thus endurance. 

As swimming is a full body movement it makes sense to train using methods which best mimic the exercise. In cardio form, cross-trainer programs are the most obvious and appropriate exercise option. 

As I also have a relatively moderate percentage of body fat that needs to disappear before challenge number 1 can be completed, there will also be an element of HIIT included in my training program. 

The above are not supplementary to the beloved weight training sessions which take place every week. The cardio elements will be added in alongside weight training. Obviously, I am expecting to loose a bit of muscle mass throughout the summer prep season but that is inevitable. Keeping up with weight training will ensure that such muscle loss is minimal.

True or False: 5 Fitness ‘Facts’

How many times have you been told a ‘fact’ about fitness and thought hang on a minute, that’s not right or even worse believed one (if you answer no to the last one, you are lying!) We’ve all fallen victim one way or another. Some of these false facts are more comical than others and some very serious. Below you will find a list of my top 5 False Fitness Facts.

1) I’m just working abs because I need to loose weight there. 

The falsity in this statement: YOU CAN’T SPOT PICK FAT LOSS.

Targeted fat loss is a myth. The fat contained in fat cells (Triglycerides) cannot be accessed by the muscles as a direct source of fuel. It must be broken down into Glycerol and free fatty acids by the appropriate form of Cardio. In this form, it can enter the blood stream and thus be used as a source of energy. The result of this process is that the broken down fatty acids could have come from anywhere in the body, not neccesarily from the desired target area. It is essential to weight train to aid in muscle growth and prevent potentially looking flat and saggy once the intended weight is lost.

2) I can eat what I want because I’m bulking.

The falsity here: THIS GUARANTEES FAT GAIN NOT MUSCLE MASS

As we are all aware, there is an ongoing debate concerning clean bulks and dirty bulks. A clean bulk involves a macro controlled, 500 calorie surplus everyday. A dirty bulk involves an uncontrolled calorie surplus. Doing a dirty bulk is a sure fire way of increasing weight quickly and it is accepted that there will be a substantially higher increase in fat with this method than with a clean bulk; a compromise for the slower gains made on a clean bulk. However,  the body is limited in the amount of muscle mass that can be created in specified amounts of time. Ergo the belief of more food equals more muscle mass is scientifically incorrect.

3) I lift weights but I only hit certain muscles so I don’t look masculine.

The falsity: WEIGHT LIFTING DOESN’T MAKE YOU LOOK MASCULINE.

Proportion is key in every element of aesthetics. When it comes to weight lifting it is important to ensure every muscle is worked, even if just for health and strength reasons. We have all been  witness to the guy that skips leg day with the aim of making his upper body appear bigger when it actually just looks ridiculously disproportionate (enter Jonny Bravo). Moreover, training all muscle groups appropriately is more likely to have the opposite effect. Weight training results in a change in body shape, more definition and alters the way light is reflected off of us creating more flattering shadows and highlights.

This false fact is one I personally fell victim too. My back muscles grow quicker than anywhere in my body, I guess it’s due to the fact that I don’t store too much fat there, so they appear more defined than anywhere else. Anyway this resulted in me not wanting to train the muscles for fear of looking too manly. Recently however,nI have discovered that to be quite the contrary; building of the Lat’s aids in creating the illusion of a smaller waist line, one of the most sought after goals of many women including myself. Ironic eh!

4) I really want to loose weight so I’m not eating any carbs, that’s what the supermodels do.

The falseness in this statement: WHERE TO BEGIN?!

Surprisingly, this is a statement I have heard hundreds of times. First and foremost, supermodels diets are renowned for being extremely unhealthy, I read somewhere that some models eat cotton wool to stop hunger pains but not gain any weight. Plus the majority of them look almost skeletal. Is this really where to take health, fitness and diet advice from?! Anyway I digress. In the fitness industry there is a very popular technique referred to as carb depleting or carb cycling. In no way do these methods completely irradiate the macro nutrient from diets. In fact, no macronutrients is banished in its entirety from any diet (unless for medical reasons) as the body has a need for each one. Completely removing carbs from diet in unhealthy and defeats the object, particularly as this is not sustainable in the long run and will adversely affect results achieved.

And finally,

5) Protein is protein.

The falsity: THIS STATEMENT IS ABOUT AS CORRECT AS SAYING FOUNDATION IS FOUNDATION (or to put that into perspective for the fella’s out there well, actually I  can’t think of a way to put it into perspective for you .. maybe .. hair gel is hair gel?)

To begin with there are many different sources of protein – Soy, Milk, Whey, and Meat to name a few. They all have different properties. There are many debates concerning protein sources which I will blog about at a later date. When we look to protein powders, there are so many different types on the shop shelves with prices at both ends of the scale. This is because they contain different ingredients, or don’t contain certain ingredients as the case may be. Very often you will find that some of the cheaper or better tasting powders are made using rather excessive amounts of sugar. Some proteins are higher in calories as they are intended for bulking purposes and some contain less calories due to their dieting purposes.

 

False