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Thread: Fitness For The Female...

  1. #1

    Default Fitness For The Female...

    Hi all, yes another of my articles here, which i thought was more than appropriate to post here. I just read a post by Fabio's Filly and it made me refer to my article, as it is a very common myth which is explained below (doing a silly amount of stomach crunches)... Hope it is useful...

    Fitness for females.

    By Gareth Ramsden (BSc Hons).

    Gyms can often be daunting places for individuals who are new to a gym, females in particular. Weight areas, people looking at you, oh yes, and males. There fore-mentioned are examples of reasons why certain female individuals, find it difficult to go to the gym, and essentially, see it as a hinder to their progress.

    You have to think past that, yes, it can be difficult, but try to narrow your thoughts. Have tunnel vision, you go to the gym to achieve the change in body composition you desire. People will look at you; you are in the public eye. Additionally, yes, men will possibly see you as a reason to add an extra 30 seconds onto their rest periods, but who cares, reduce your self consciousness, and turn more heads as you progress over the weeks and months.

    I haven’t a clue what I do?

    You have made a great decision, by reading this article. This article will hopefully stand you in good stead as to what you can implement into a routine in order to exercise at the gym. More importantly, feel good, and positive about yourself, whilst you do so.

    It is important to start off steady. Don’t go from doing very little, to suddenly doing 7 days per week at the gym. You possibly get annoyed with the frequency, start thinking that it is taking over your life, start to hate it rather than enjoy it, and you will then be back at square 1. Thus, doing very little and opening the cupboard door and looking for that dreaded ‘Special K’ box.

    Well what frequency would you recommend to begin with?

    Start off with 3-4 days per week. This way, it isn’t too little, but it isn’t too much. You are not looking at your diary, dreading the thought of having to go to the gym again. Hopefully, those little chemicals called Endorphins will be high, so you are looking forward to going to the gym the next time.

    Well, what about duration?

    Again, start off with a moderate time to begin with. 45-60 minutes is a decent time frame to look at spending in the gym, when starting out. Aim for the lower end of that scale, 45 minutes when you first commence your fitness plan, and more or less, split the time between cardio and weights.

    But there is 103 weight training machines and 16 different cardiovascular machines at the gym, how long do I spend on each one?

    You don’t have to use every bit of equipment that is in your gym. Have a look around the gym on your induction and highlight the ones which you think you will enjoy, or potentially more importantly, what your body and joints can handle. Some machines will be easier on the joints than others, when performing cardiovascular exercise. For example, running on the treadmill will place greater demands on the ankle, knee and hip joints, in comparison to performing a similar action on the Cross Trainer.

    In regards to using weight training machines, don’t just think “well, that machine looks good, I will use that”, or “I can hide behind the side of this machine and no-one will see me”. Get a trainer member of staff to help you with a routine. You could work your legs on one day, chest on another, arms on another, shoulders and abs on another day, for example. It all provides a more ‘structured’ program for you to follow, and eliminates randomness.


    What shall I start with?

    Begin with weight training exercises. You can do them in a circuit style or you can have structured rest periods in between your sets. If you perform them in a circuit style, you will be looking to go from one machine to the next, and perform anywhere from 7-10 different exercise, and then rest.

    Well what weight do I select on the machine?

    Don’t do something which is too easy, conversely, don’t utilise a weight on the selector, which is too difficult. Progression is the key; you don’t want to be stuck on ‘Number 6’ weight on the machine for 3 months. Find a weight which is challenging, and as you progress, then you can increase the amount of weight you lift.

    How many sets and reps do I need to perform?

    If you are going to perform your weight training machines in a circuit, then 7-10 different machines, for 1 set of 12-15 repetitions each circuit, 2 circuits. That should take you roughly 15-20 minutes to perform. If you prefer to have a rest in between each machine, then, utilise less machines (4 or 5 machines), perform more sets (2 or 3) on each machine, and again aim for 12-15 repetitions. Rest 45-60 seconds between each set, and then perform your next set.

    Then what do I do when I have finished with the weight machines?

    You can then have a couple of minutes to recover, and then walk over to the Cardiovascular exercise equipment. Cardiovascular exercise can be defined as “any exercise that raises your heart rate to a level where you can still talk, but you start to sweat a little”.

    http://www.texasheart.org

    Choose your equipment that you enjoy. Spend 20-25 minutes on the equipment and exercise somewhere between 60-75% of your Maximum Heart Rate. Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) is often calculated by subtracting your age from 220. Those silver looking strips, which interestingly enough, aren’t there to make the equipment look pretty, are heart rate sensors, from which you can attain your heart rate, in Beats Per Minute.

    Once you have performed your cardiovascular exercise, you can then end with a cool down (3-5 minutes on the equipment, at a slower pace, to bring your heart rate down to a more ‘sedentary’ level. Finish off with some stretching, go for a shower, sauna, swim, etc… to relax, and go home.

    I’d like to try using the free weights but as a female, wont I get big?

    It really isn’t that simple. You simply cannot pick up a weight and then get big, it simply doesn’t work like that. Yes, think of the manager off the Nationwide advert “Doesn’t work like that”, it doesn’t. There are many processes involved in building muscle, and it is a lot more difficult for females to build muscle, in comparison to males. Testosterone is a hormone within the body that builds muscle. Females often have a very low testosterone count, therefore, it is very difficult for a female to add lean muscle mass. Additionally, to build muscle, you have to ingest more calories than you burn per day, so if you are trying to lose weight and consume less calories than you burn during a day, that will be an additional reason why lean muscle mass gains, will be limited.

    Use the free weight section of the gym, you have paid your gym subscription/fee, therefore you have as much right to be in the weights area, as anyone else. Free weights allow you to bring more muscles into work, as part of the muscle helps to stabilise the weight, which is often minimised when using weight training machines.

    What can I do to ‘tone’ my midsection?

    Toning has to be the one word in the industry that I simply cannot stand. You cannot tone a muscle, or area, the muscle either gets bigger, and looks more pronounced, or you lose fat from that area which allows for more definition to be seen. If you wish for your midsection to become flatter, then you need to continue to perform abdominal exercises but perform more exercise in order to lose fat from that area.

    But I do 1000 sit-ups before I go to bed every night, that’ll tone it up wont it?

    No, as above, the sit-ups will target the abdominal section, but it won’t make you lose fat from that area. You cannot spot reduce, i.e. from performing sit-ups it wont magically make you lose fat from your midsection. Also, performing 1000 sit-ups is too much and is un-necessary, instead, aim for 997 or 998. Seriously speaking, there is no real need to perform stupidly high numbers of sit-ups, treat them like any other muscle.


    When you become fitter and progress over the weeks and months, then you can start to increase the time at the gym, i.e. from 45 minutes to 50 minutes, and also increase the intensity of your exercise. If you have been performing cardiovascular exercise for 25 minutes at 60% of your MHR, then increase that to 65% for the same period of time.


    I hope you have found this article informative and helpful, if you have any more questions, then please start a thread in the relevant forum, and the members here will be more than happy to help.

  2. #2
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    Wow Fabulous Gaz another great article!!

    Could the mods please sticky this so we can keep it near the top and not lose it???

    Nikki xxxx

    Listen, smile, agree and then do whatever the hell you were going to do anyway.

  3. #3
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    Thankyou for this Gaz I can't wait to move house and join a gym, at the moment all I can do is run and I'm getting blisters and my calves hurt

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nik+Kia+Eowyn View Post
    Could the mods please sticky this so we can keep it near the top and not lose it???
    Your wish is my command!
    Couch to 5k - week 4 day 2 done
    Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred - day 4 done
    Zumba - week 1 done

    Feeling: achey!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Est View Post
    Your wish is my command!
    MUCH MUCH MUCH appreciated Est!!! Arent you moddy people really handy lol!!!

    Nikki xxxx

    Listen, smile, agree and then do whatever the hell you were going to do anyway.

  6. #6

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    Horses are for life not just for riding

  7. #7
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    Ok - so my problem is........................ i'm not a member of a gym - trying to fit making a trip there most days a week would be a nightmare. I work at different offices so going to one at lunch time is out - i used to work somewhere who paid gym membership for me and it was next door so went in my lunch hour - no such luck now, that was for a good company in B'ham and i now work for a cr@ppy company in Lincolnshire!!! Depending which office i'm at depends when i'm home. Most days i'm out at 7.30am and can be back anytime between 4-5.30. I then ride 2 horses most nights. So, looks like i'm destined not to be nice and defined!! Although i'm gonna start the running, as that will shift my few holiday pounds!!!

    I really need something to be able to do at home that will tone (sorry Gaz - build muscle and lose fat! ) my stomach, legs and hips. My arms are fine as grooming sorts them out!! I'm also debating buying a WII fit - but not sure if they're actually any good or just gimicky?!!

    Oh - i'm now wondering if its even worth giving up drinking if i'm not gonna acheive what i want anyway!!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fabio's filly! View Post
    Ok - so my problem is........................ i'm not a member of a gym - trying to fit making a trip there most days a week would be a nightmare. I work at different offices so going to one at lunch time is out - i used to work somewhere who paid gym membership for me and it was next door so went in my lunch hour - no such luck now, that was for a good company in B'ham and i now work for a cr@ppy company in Lincolnshire!!! Depending which office i'm at depends when i'm home. Most days i'm out at 7.30am and can be back anytime between 4-5.30. I then ride 2 horses most nights. So, looks like i'm destined not to be nice and defined!! Although i'm gonna start the running, as that will shift my few holiday pounds!!!

    I really need something to be able to do at home that will tone (sorry Gaz - build muscle and lose fat! ) my stomach, legs and hips. My arms are fine as grooming sorts them out!! I'm also debating buying a WII fit - but not sure if they're actually any good or just gimicky?!!

    Oh - i'm now wondering if its even worth giving up drinking if i'm not gonna acheive what i want anyway!!
    From what i have seen, the Wii fit is a massive gimmick, but then again, what else would a gaming console do? ? ?

    You cant build muscle and lose fat at the same time unless you are generally using banned substances, which we wont even go into.

    You dont have to exercise yourself into the ground, exercise compliments an excellent nutritional approach, get your diet sorted and the rest will fall into place.

  9. #9

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    Yes the Wii fit is a bit of a gimick but i've found that it stops me snacking! Instead of sitting watching rubbish tv at night i'll maybe play it for 30min-1hr. I don't expect to loose any weight or tone any mouslces by using it but its not bad and i've lost a couple of pounds since i'm not snacking on rubbish all the time

    I've also started running and my stomach is actually a bit flatter since i've started.

  10. #10
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    Right this is gonna be a complete ramble so bare with me, i've tried to read it through but i don't think i'm ever gonna make sense so i'll just try.

    This is in NO way a dig at you Gaz, i know you have far more knowledge on all of this then i do but i'm just giving across my own personal views.

    I've lost a stone and a half in a couple of months. I didn't need to, nor was i trying. It happened because my exercise has been upped and my food intake has gone down.

    Having Locki means that every night i'm doing something after work, whether its riding or just general yard chores. I don't go home and snack, i get home so late i'm not even hungry. If i bother with dinner i'll have something really small. I make sure i eat a decent sized lunch though and have at least something for breakfast. Today i woke up at midday (heavy night!) and spent 5 hours at the yard, when i got home i was just shattered and not particularly hungry but forced myself to eat something so i was confident i wouldn't drop down dead!

    I'm not saying people should do as i do, its clearly wrong, but it just proves that less food + more exercise works, however, I despise gyms, i've been there, done that, it did nothing, i felt bad about myself all the time and i find exercising in front of people to be really embarrasing. One personal trainer said i was overweight, then another one said i had a perfect figure (weirdo....) I don't find gyms to be nice places!!

    So i think my ramble just brings me to this, I think joining a gym won't help with anything but making you feel worse about yourself.

    I personally couldn't go to a gym that had men like Gaz there (this is a compliment to you Mr not an insult!) it would make me feel awful about myself, just standing next to you makes me feel inferior (not because i know you could pick me up and throw me over a wall or something at your will! ) but because you've trained for years, you have an amazing body and i know i would never feel the way about my body as you do about yours. The women who read this aren't going to be those lovely skinny women who have been training for years and only go to the gym to keep it up, they're going to be the ones who have weight to lose.

    You don't need a gym to exercise. There are a lot cheaper and a lot nicer ways to lose weight.

    Can you tell i'm anti Gym!?!
    ♥Locki ♥ My love for you is everlasting ♥

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