First things first: The Physical.
Weights will change your physical shape from both skinny to toned and from fat to toned.
Because “toned” literally means, having lean muscle coupled with a low percentage of body fat.
Both of which are achieved most effectively with a weights based training program coupled with a nutrient dense diet.
“Why are weights better than cardio even though I feel ‘wrecked’ and burn more calories during a cardio session” you ask?
Simply put, constant cardio can be a beneficial short term solution to reduce overall size. However, not necessarily fat. It can be used as a complementary program to weights training, but if utilized on its own as a sole training regime, it will turn your body into a ‘muscle consuming machine’ and ultimately slow down your metabolism.
A slow metabolism is great news (if you are a bear going into hibernation and not planning on eating anything in the next few months).
But if you’re a mere mortal like the rest of us, I’d assume that you too like to enjoy a lavish lifestyle including the consumption of food. This is much better complimented with a body I like to refer as a ‘metabolizing machine’, directly influenced by total muscle mass and can only be achieved through progressive overload of weights based training.
Automatically a lot of us assume that we are too weak to start a weights based training program or that we will be required to lift really heavy weights. This is not the case.
Weights training only requires you to create a stimulus which is big enough to cause adaptation. So if you have a body like Olive-Oil from Pop-Eye, then a simple squat without weight could be all you need. However, if you are built more towards the other end of the spectrum and have muscles which require more force, then you will need to find a way to produce more force in order for your muscles to adapt.
I.e. Adding weights or adding more time under tension.
This is dependent on your history and physiological make up, not gender. Which is why some ladies need to lift more weights than others in order to avoid wasting time in the gym.
Here is a simple approach to start your weights training:
A1. Walking Lunges
A2. Push Ups
Complete 14 reps of A1 and then resting until the minute finishes. Next Minute, complete 8 reps of A2 and then rest. Each minute alternate the movement and complete quality reps.
5 sets of each movement will take 10 minutes in total.
B2. Pull Ups
If competent with the movement, complete 3 reps of B1 (with a heavy weight) and then rest as needed. (Beginners should stay lighter and focus on more reps until confident with heavier loads).
Complete 3 reps of B2 and then rest as needed
Complete 5 sets of each increasing the weight each set if possible until you find your heaviest weight.
Use a band or assistance for the pull ups if needed.
Brandon Hasick is a Sports Scientist, movement coach and owner of BodyByBrando, a group fitness studio in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs. Brando holds a passion for helping ordinary people achieve extraordinary results with their bodies with his ultimate goal to help as many people understand how they can build a better body that functions at optimal capacity day in and day out.
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