“Before you set foot in the gym or tune into an online workout, ask yourself why you want to get fit. Is it for your health? Is it to lose weight? Is it for the mind? Or perhaps you want to build strength? There should always be a goal in mind. Once you’ve made this decision, you need to choose the type of exercise that will help you achieve this goal. If your goal is to build strength, then you need to lift weights. If you want to tone then you need to focus on weights, cardio and your nutrition. If you want to run a marathon, then you need to run and focus on cardio. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for the mental health benefits, then just choose the exercise that makes you happiest.” – Chelsea Labadini, PT
“You’ve heard it before, but strength training – whether in the form of using your own bodyweight, dumbbells, a kettlebell or resistance bands – is imperative for a strong, healthy body. Fitness is defined as the body being able to deal with the demands of the task in hand, and having a strong, toned body not only improves the efficacy of your muscles, but building more muscle also means you burn more calories throughout the day. This provides a greater calorie deficit and makes it easier for you to lose fat without tweaking your diet.” – Mitch Raynsford, strength & conditioning coach at P3RFORM
“If you want to tone up, you need to train for a minimum of three days every week. It all comes down to frequency – you need to work your muscles enough throughout the week and consistently for at least a couple of months to see progress. If you’re a beginner, aim for three full body workouts a week plus one cardio session (running, walking or spinning) with a couple of rest days, too. If you enjoy classes, make sure you aren’t doing too much of the same thing with not enough rest in between – this will set you back.” – Chelsea
“For the best results in the shortest possible time, focus on full-body workouts as opposed to upper or lower-body sessions. A full-body session will focus on all major muscle groups, resulting in an overall higher intensity and a greater calorie burn. Approach your week with a plan and don’t forget to factor in one day of active rest. This could be a light jog, long walk or some gentle cardio. The idea is to not put too much stress on the body but still stay active and burn calories.” – Ollie Thompson, PT
“Thinking about movement patterns can help you reach your goals more effectively. Any movement that involves pushing, pulling, hinging, squatting and lunging will be more effective. By using these movement patterns to perform compound multi-joint exercises you’ll be using more muscle tissue and building more strength, thus a greater energy demand and calorie burn. Think press-ups, chest presses, dumbbell rows, deadlifts, goblet squats and walking lunges.” – Ollie
“An effective way of getting the most from a workout, increasing your calorie burn and challenging your muscles, a superset is a push and pull exercise (think a shoulder press and a TRX row) paired together and performed back-to-back. To give you more bang for your buck, perform the upper body exercise followed the lower body exercise, then rest, then repeat. Working muscles requires both oxygen and nutrients. If you group exercises together in this way, your cardiovascular system has to rapidly move blood from the upper to the lower body to support the exercises. This will train the cardiovascular system and the muscular system simultaneously, ultimately helping you to achieve improved cardio fitness, calorie burn and muscle tone.” – Ollie
“If you are short on time, remember that something is better than nothing. Not everyone can and needs to spend two hours in the gym every day. If you only have 15 minutes, hit four movement patterns – squatting, hinging, lunging, a vertical push or pull, or a carry – and aim for three or four sets per movement, with six to ten reps per set. In your next session, chose a different set of movement patterns to keep the body challenged.” – Mitch
“NEAT stands for ‘non-exercise activity thermogenesis’ – it’s the energy we expend for everything we do when we are not sleeping or exercising. Surprisingly, NEAT contributes to a larger portion of your total daily energy expenditure when compared to structured exercise. If you want to see results quickly, fit in exercise wherever you can – whether it’s running errands, taking the stairs, parking further away from the shops, getting off the bus a stop early, or implementing a stand-up desk at work. Staying active outside of the gym makes all the difference.” – Mitch
“If you only have a month to get fit, planning your nutrition can make all the difference. If you are looking to tone up and lose a few pounds, aim for a slight calorie deficit eating all food groups, but with around 30% of your calories coming from lean protein sources. Ensure you are getting a source of lean protein at every meal. Protein helps your body build lean muscle and repair damaged tissues. If you eat meat, salmon, chicken, prawns and tofu are the best sources of protein. Don’t forget to include a portion of carbs at each meal, too, especially when exercising. Carbs are imperative for energy. If your goal is to lose weight and you think carbs are the devil, think again. It’s not carbs that make us gain weight, it’s too many calories in general.” – Chelsea
“Supplements should be seen as the icing on the cake when it comes to meeting health and fitness goals – paired with a strong training programme and balanced diet, they can be useful. The number one rule with supplements – especially in the fitness world – is to only use formulas backed by science. Supplements with the highest evidence to support training include creatine, which helps supply muscles with energy for short-term activity, which can ultimately lead to an increase in strength and power, helping you get more out of your workout; caffeine, which can temporarily reduce pain and enhance performance; and quality protein powder, which can optimise muscle recovery.” – Lily Chapman, nutritionist for P3RFORM
“Accountability and consistency play a significant role when it comes to fitness. Motivation and willpower will be a large factor in staying consistent; however, for many of us, using additional methods to stay accountable can be incredibly valuable for when the times get tough or you’re not feeling it. Having a person to stay accountable to such as a PT, a friend, family member or workout partner works well for some. Additionally, using a smartwatch can also help, giving you quantitative data and goals to achieve each week helping you stay on track.” – Ollie
For more information visit OllieThompsonHealth.com, ChelseaLabadini.com & P3RForm.co.uk.
DISCLAIMER: Features published by SheerLuxe are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. Always seek the advice of your GP or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programme.
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‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort