There is a big discussion when it comes to what’s best for burning body fat, strength training or cardio.
As a qualified Personal Trainer, I can vouch for strength training (free weights) as I have seen better & quicker results working with my clients.
But leaving that to the side let’s see the advantages & disadvantages to both type of training:
Aerobic Training Advantages:
Aerobic training causes your lung to process more oxygen & your heart to pump more blood with less effort.
Combined with a proper, healthy diet help your weight loss
Regular aerobic helps reducing stress, depression & anxiety due to release of endorphins
Helps with getting your immune system stronger and more active, combating flu & colds
Increase stamina & reduce fatigue
Low impact & weight bearing exercises (e.g. walking) can reduce the risk of osteoporosis and can be done if you already suffer of arthritis because it doesn’t put too much stress on the joints.
Improves muscle health
Aerobic Training Disadvantages:
Stress fractures caused by poor shoe selection, hard surface & overuse. When you jump up and land on your feet, the weight that your joints takes at the time of impact is 7 times your body weight.
Plantar fasciitis: More prevalently known as arch pain, plantar fasciitis is often caused by frequent stress on the plantar aspect, or bottom of the foot, in an aerobics routine. When the plantar fascia, a supportive fibrous band of tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot, becomes inflamed, pain on the bottom of the foot results. Forefoot and rearfoot instability with excessive pronation may result in plantar fasciitis. Shoes with proper support in the arch often prevent plantar fasciitis; if not, see your podiatrist for a custom orthotic device or a recommendation for another shoe.
Achilles tendon & calf pain
Slow results & Expensive equipment
Strength Training (FREE WEIGHTS) Advantages
A large variety of exercises
Results are fast and noticeable
Free weights, suitable for everyone
Creates a natural movement vs. machines
Often good for rehabilitations of injuries
Builds muscles a lot quicker than aerobics which in turn raises the metabolic rate & burns more calories even when resting. For each pound of muscle, you’ll burn an extra 40 calories per day
Reduce the risk of sprains as more & stronger muscles are acquired (choose moves that work your core & forces you to use more joints at the same time – COMPOUND EXERCISES)
Prevents from getting intra-abdominal fat
Strength Training (FREE WEIGHTS) Disadvantages:
More supervision required
Certain exercises can be difficult to perform and require practices
Certain exercises requires a strong core & strong lower back muscles (can be trained and improved)
Requires a lot more attention to details in relation to safety & proper form
Very intimidating for a lot of people (maybe due to the BIG guys screaming and dropping weights, but if you can overcome that, you’ll be OK )
Now that you know the good & bad about them, you do the maths, but I suggest you try both type of training for a period of time (3-4 weeks) and let us know what you figured out yourself
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And to top it off, also qualified in THUMP Boxing Advance which includes:
- Basic Kickboxing and Self Defence Combinations
- Correct Pad Holding and instruction for Advanced Boxing Combinations
- Correct Punching technique and instruction for Advanced Boxing Combinations
- Structuring effective Boxing & basic Kickboxing combinations
- Interval Circuit Training Routines related to Boxing & basic Kickboxing for Fitness
- Safety and Injury Prevention related to Boxing & basic Kickboxing for Fitness
Just completed the THUMP Boxing Level 1 course where I have learned the following:
- How to organise & structure groups for boxing for fitness classes
- Correct Pad Holding technique & instruction
- Correct Punching technique & instruction
- Structuring effective Boxing Combinations
- Interval Circuit Training Routines related to Boxing For Fitness
- Safety & Injury Prevention related to Boxing For Fitness
What’s heavier? 5 lbs of FAT or 5 lbs of muscle?
We all heard this type of questions when kids (1Kg of feathers vs. 1Kg of nails)
The true is, both are equal in weight, but the real difference is in size & volume. Have a good look at the image above
What would you rather have? Of course will be the muscle, I mean, look at it, so much smaller in size
Did you know that 1 lbs of FAT = 3,500 calories?
So, in theory, to lose 1 lbs of FAT per week, all you have to do is burn 250 calories more per day & reduce your daily intake by 250 calories which in turn will equal 500 calories.
(250 + 250) * 7 days = 3,500 calories
Walnuts – Powerful enough to be a cancer drug?
- Packed with Omega-3
- Reduces blood pressure
- Lowers cholesterol
- Relieves IBS
- Soothes Arthritis
- Walnut help prevent cancer development
- All it takes is to eat 7 walnuts a day to enjoy a health benefit
- Over 90% of the benefits are found in the skins of the walnut (not the shell)
- In Roman times walnuts were reserved for royalty
First , lets have a look at the chest muscles & how they work. By understanding and knowing that, it will be easier to create a routine workout.
Looking at the attached picture, the chest muscles are divide into two parts:
1. Pectoralis (Peck) Major - this is a thick, fan-shaped muscle located at the chest part of your body.
2. Pectoralis (Peck) Minor - this is a thin, triangular-shaped muscle located underneath of the peck major
Their function is to control the movement of your arms towards to front of your body.
Which part of the pecks works most is based on the angle of your arms coming across to centre of the rib cage.
You may have heard in the gym or from your Personal Trainer about incline/decline/flat bench press and each one of these workouts will hit a certain part of your chest muscles.
Incline workout (not higher than 35 degree) will mostly hit the top part of your chest muscles, flat workout (lying on your back) will mostly hit the centre while the decline workout will hit the lower part of the chest muscle giving the bottom definition which separates the chest from the stomach muscles (abs).
The way this muscle is defined on your body, is mostly based on the type of workout you do. You can even tell by looking at a person what’s the most exercise he performs while working the chest.
The chest muscle should look almost flat and wide, creating a frontal trapeze having a separation line in the centre (sternum) and lifted at the bottom (abs).
Many gym goers, concentrate on the flat bench press, either using a bar-bell or dumb-bells creating a bulk in the centre of the chest above the nipple line, but ignore the other exercises as the incline or decline chest workouts giving them a less defined but bulky appearance.
Chest exercises can be done two way:
1. Single joint exercise – peck deck machine, dumb-bells flies.
These workouts tends to isolates the chest muscles but also using the front deltoid slightly to perform the workout.
2. Multiple joint exercise – Incline/Flat/Decline Bench press (dumb-bells or bar-bell), machine bench press.
These are basic workouts for the chest but also using the front deltoid and the triceps to perform the exercise (one of the reason is not recommended to work the triceps in the same day).
Saying that, each method has its impact on the chest definition listed below:
a. Dumb-Bell Flies (highly recommended by myself) gives the trapeze definition of the chest working mostly the outer part close to the arm (humerus)
b. Peck Deck Machine – works very well on the inner part of the chest (sternum) if the full range of motion is used (bringing the elbows very close together)
c. Cable Flies – same as the Dumb-Bells Flies but also hitting the inner part of the chest if the palms are brought very close together or even crossed in the front of the body. Al;so pay attention to the angle at which you are bringing the arms across the body (high angle -> top part, lower angle -> bottom part, etc…)
d. Bar-Bell / Dumb-Bells Press – myself, I prefer the dumb-bells as it gives a balance workout for both sides (arms & chest) but sometimes due to weight restriction, you may need to use the bar-bell , just make sure your body is not trying to cheat your workout (leaning on one side, one arm higher than the other, etc).
This exercise can be done in incline/flat/decline position and each one has its impact on the definition of your chest muscles. Most of the times, the weight you use in the flat bench position, can not be used for incline or decline bench workout. The reason is because, less muscle fibres are activated due to the angle the arms coming across to the front part of the body which in turn its a normal outcome
So, what’s the best way to work-out the chest muscles and how?
My advice is to perform each type of exercise when working the chest. Do not ignore the incline or decline workout, as many do.
Also, just because you might not like the machines, do not ignore the peck deck or the cable workouts.
The workout should be done either in one set (lower reps (3-8), more weight) or 3-4 sets (lower weight, more reps (8-12)). I prefer the second option due to equipment restriction in the gym, especially when busy. Break between sets should be anywhere between 30 seconds to 2 minutes, but not longer than 2 minutes. You are not there to socialise
But what about weight?
The weight should be based on the sets type you choose to do using the maximum count. The last 2 reps should require the most effort to be executed, keeping in mind the body shape and completing the full range of motion required.
The way I do, if I select the second set type and I get to 12 reps but I can still do more, I do not count it as a set. Instead, I select heavier weights, take a break for about 3-4 minutes, giving a chance to the muscle to recover and start again.
Yes, it requires discipline, but you don’t want just results, you want GREAT results and that’s what makes the difference between a chest workout and a proper chest workout, plus it takes a shorter time to get the definition you want.
How long and how many days should I workout the chest?
Any workout in the gym should not last more than 1 (one) hour. That doesn’t include the socialising or the jacuzzi :) and if your chest workout routine its done quicker, you can include some biceps exercises, but of course, leave it at the end as it’s a very small muscle and gets depleted of glycogen very fast.
As regarding days, 1 or 2 days per week should be more than enough, but make sure muscle sourness is already gone and you are giving 2-3 days recovery time in-between.
Should I take protein supplements?
That depends on your diet. Chest muscles are large and require a lot of proteins to maintain and help with recovery after a workout. Because our bodies does not store proteins as it does with carbs or fat, your diet should include enough to aid with recovery and maintenance of your muscles mass.
For strength & power I would recommend 1.4-1.8g per body weight or even higher and it’s mostly based on the individual.
Taking too much proteins is not harmful for the body but it has no advantages either as extra intake is not converted into muscles.
Having a low intake of proteins slows down muscles growth and even muscles loss so if you want to achieve GREAT results, do take that in consideration.
Hope this article answer some question you may have and don’t hesitate to ask if there is anything we haven’t covered.
Louie – 086 898 1808
Level 4 Personal Trainer
Let me give you an early hint (other than the one contained in the title of this article!):
If you wanted to get as fat as possible, you should eat one giant meal per day. Sounds ludicrous, but loads of people are following something very close to this type of eating schedule. The practice of skipping breakfast, eating a small lunch, and then eating an enormous dinner followed by dessert is far too common. This is an easy habit to fall into though, because of the nature of our lifestyles. With everything being so faced paced, who has time for breakfast?
Who has time for a healthy lunch? It’s a lot easier to hit the drive thru. And by the time you’re home from work you are starving! Now you’re really in trouble. If you get to the point in the day where you’re starving, it usually means you’ve waited too long before eating again.
When you wait too long between meals, you will overeat and crave the types of food you’re trying to avoid. In addition, your body can go into starvation mode. Through years of evolution, our bodies have learned that in times of famine or
lack of food supply, we should store our body fat for fuel, in case the famine continues. This is programmed into our bodies, and is a big reason why eating all of your food at one, two, or three meals is not a good idea for someone looking to get and stay lean.
Even if you stick with the standard 3 meals a day, your body will dip in and out of starvation mode periodically. Waiting 5-6 hours to eat again is too long. Our bodies perform much better on a more frequent feeding schedule. And eating large meals will provide large spikes in your blood sugar and insulin, which leads to more fat storage.
Instead of spreading our daily food intake over 3 meals, we should be shooting for 5-6 meals per day.
2 CUPS DICED CHICKEN
1 TEASPOON MINCED GARLIC
¼ TEASPOON GROUND RED HOT PEPPER
⅛ TEASPOON GROUND CUMIN
½ CUP FLOUR
¾ CUP CHICKEN BROTH
½ CUP FAT-FREE MILK
2 TABLESPOONS LOW-FAT SOUR CREAM
SALT AND PEPPER TO TASTE
4 6-INCH CORN TORTILLAS
½ CUP LIGHT RANCH DRESSING
1. Mix chicken, garlic, hot pepper, and cumin in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.
2. Stir in flour, chicken broth, milk, sour cream, and salt and pepper, mixing occasionally.
3. Heat oven to 350°F. Warm tortillas in the oven.
4. Wrap chicken mixture in warmed tortillas. Drizzle ranch dressing over tortillas and serve.
PER SERVING: Fat: 11 g Protein: 24 g Carbohydrates: 17 g Sugar: 4 g