GymBug

I've caught it. Fortunately, it's not treatable.

Archive for the tag “control”

Slow or Fast; who wins this weights race?

Hi there!

Another weight training session today and I tried a slightly different technique based on some research I’d done. I got curious as to whether it was best to do fast repetitions or slow ones, so I researched it and tried out a slower routine today than normal.

Women’s Health Mag has discussed that both can have great benefits for the body. The key is the point in your training you’re at. If you’re a beginner, going fast will likely lead to injury. Going slow is also great if you’re looking to build strength. What you want to do is really focus on slowing down on the “release” stage of the lift. For example, doing a bicep curl, really focus on slowing the rate on the way down rather than on the way up.  By going too fast, too soon you risk injury to muscles and joints, especially if your technique isn’t quite on form. However, when performing the repetitions it’s best that you slow it down on the ‘release’ phase. I tried it today and I could definitely feel more of a burn, particularly with my abs. By doing the repetitions slower (for example, with a bicycle crunch) I could really feel my abs working hard.

Men’s Fitness also discuss this and state that lifting slow will see you develop more muscle mass. Again, it’s all about going slow on the ‘release’ phase of the repetition, this way you’re really working the muscles hard and developing more strength. Don’t worry ladies though, going slow won’t mean walking out the gym one day a bodybuilder, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it takes more than just lifting to get those types of muscles. Females lack testosterone, which is what’s needed to give you those bulging muscles. Always remember female bodybuilders or very muscular females are probably taking supplements to enable that type of muscle growth!

But does that mean fast isn’t beneficial? Not at all, however, it’s only wise to use faster repetitions when you’ve got the overall technique nailed down. This will help prevent injury. It’s also pertinent you’ve got muscle strength to maintain a safe technique whilst going through the more intense workout. By going faster you improve power and burn more calories but you need to be physically capable of maintaining a proper technique when more fatigued. By forcing the weight to move faster you’re using more energy, so you will notice you’re more tired, sweaty and out of breath by following this technique.  Be careful though!  Jerky, poor controlled movements will cause injury. You must remain in control of the weights to reap the rewards!

Here are a couple of exercises you can do both fast and slow;

  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Bicep Curls
  • Squats (maybe not too fast if you’re using a bar)
  • Push Ups
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • Tricep Dips

I’m going to do a session of 10 slow repetitions of different exercises, then next session try 15 repetitions in the same time frame for the same exercises. This way I’ll get to experience both! Hopefully it’s a new way to mix up my workouts. You should give it a try too!

Almost Friday. Keep going!

Gym Bug

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Christmas Temptations…

Hi there!

It’s almost time! The countdown is now on; advent calendar has been busted open. It is December 1st. So, Christmas sweets and treats may already be circulating your house or office or social circles. What to do!? Resist and sit grumpily as everyone else tucks into delicious Quality Streets, Celebrations or Christmas cake? Pass on that glass of Champagne? No! Don’t be silly. I have no intention of doing that this Christmas. I just plan on trying to make good choices. The question is how? Here are a few tips I’ll be keeping in mind;

  • Have water nearby at all times. Keep sipping it regularly, especially if sweets/treats are lying around. Have a couple, enjoy them, and savour them and then stop. Use the water to fill yourself up a bit more before eating them so you don’t go crazy and end up finishing the box in one sitting.
  • Keep exercising. Don’t let the cold stop you in your tracks. Even going for a walk every day is great. Just keep moving throughout the holidays.
  • Don’t stress. This is Christmas. A time to relax, be merry and spend time with loved ones. So enjoy it. Don’t worry about putting on some weight. Accept you might, but don’t go crazy and un-do everything you’ve done.
  • Everything in moderation. Golden rule. Live by it.
  • Dark chocolate is better than milk or white. So when the chocolate box is cracked open, try get in for the dark chocolate.
  • Red wine is actually beneficial in moderation, as is white.
  • Alternate between an alcoholic drink and water. Follow a ratio of 1:1. 1 alcoholic beverage, 1 glass of water. It will slow you down, keep you clear(er) and might stop a food binge later on or the morning after!
  • If you’re at a Christmas buffet, don’t stand at the table and try everything. Select what you really want, put it on your plate and go and sit down and enjoy it.
  • Savour your treats. Make them an event. Having some Christmas cake? Have it with a cup of tea and enjoy it. Watch a film, chat with family, and make it special.
  • The most important point; have a great Christmas and don’t worry. You can go hard in January to lose any weight you put on. You don’t want to come away from this special holiday with regrets because you stressed!

25 days! Yippee!

Gym Bug

Cravings

Hi there!

Today’s post shall about something I’m sure we’ve all experienced. CRAVINGS. Horrible, potentially mood ruining thoughts in our mind that can cause us to scoff a whole chocolate bar within seconds. It can leave us feeling full, sick, frustrated, guilty or just downright sad. I’ve been there, sometimes it’s not even on bad food. Last night for example I was stuffing my face with oats and cornflakes, which aren’t super unhealthy. It was the fact I just didn’t control it that annoyed me so much, plus I felt sick. However, there are ways to combat cravings, because the actual craving itself is typically short-lived, so it can be overcome. Here’s a few tips I’ve come across either through talking to people, reading or my own learning.

  • Drink water. If you start craving an extra line of the chocolate bar or third helping at dinner take a big, long drink of water first. This will fill you up and hopefully keep your brain reminded that it is fully and does not want that food.
  • Walk away. If you’re near whatever you’re craving just walk away for a little bit and do something else. It can be anything, watch a film or video, listen to music, talk to someone, read a book, do some squats. Just distract yourself until you’re back in control.
  • Don’t tell yourself “I can’t have that” or “No”, you’ll want it even more. A great tip I’ve learned from the excellent documentary “Foodmatters” is to say to yourself “I can have it, but I don’t want it”. It sounds stupid, but it actually works. I recommend getting your hands on a copy of the film. It’s excellent.
  • Have a little bit. If you’re really craving it and it’s not passed, then cut a piece off, take a spoonful, whatever. Just portion it out, walk away from the main source and sit down and enjoy it. Then don’t go back until you’re sure you won’t have more.
  • Consider why you might be feeling the way you do. It sounds silly but seriously consider are you hungry, upset, angry, thirsty, stressed? Is there something else going on causing you to crave that entire cheesecake? (been there).
  • Don’t let yourself get too hungry. You’re then more likely to lose control later on when you do eat and give in or not properly control portions.
  • Be aware they might mean something else. The infographic below sums it up perfectly. I have pinned it on Pinterest also if you use it.

Cravings

My final point will be it’s okay if you’ve given in. Whilst it’s not great to give in every single time. The occasional slip will not ruin your long term goals. Best thing to do? Shake it off. Accept it happened and move on. This is something I’m terrible at however and most definitely need to work. Cravings are a nasty thing to deal with and can be so frustrating. But sometimes we have set-backs. It’s not the end of the world.

Rejoice! It’s Friday. Weekend has arrived! Have a good one.

Gym Bug

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