Tip of the Day: ‘Pumping Iron’

I’m a big believer in strength training, plus fortunately, I really enjoy it. I find this to be quite an underrated workout by women. Whether you’re training for a sport, wanting to lose weight, or to get healthy, cardio is not enough. Resistance training is good for strengthening important muscles and speeding up your metabolism.

Many women seem to be scared of weight training, as they think they will bulk up ‘like a man’. I would just like to dispel this myth. You need 3 things to bulk up: Very, very heavy weights, ALOT of protein, and certain levels of testosterone in your body. So you’re probably safe.

Here is an example of a full-body resistance workout (with and without weights):

With Weights:
2-3 sets, 15-20 reps for each exercise. Do it as a circuit with little rest time between each exercise.

Lower Body: Barbell squats, Romanian deadlifts, Barbell plie squats, Dumbbell lunges, Hamstring curls on a Swiss ball.

Upper Body: Press ups, Reverse Flies, Chest press, Shoulder press, Lateral raises.

Core: The plank, Side planks, ‘The frog’, ‘The deadbug’, Slow and fast bicycles.

Without Weights:
2-3 sets, 60 seconds of each exercise. Alternate lower body and upper body exercises to maximise the effect. This is called PHA (peripheral heart action) training, and will burn more calories.

Walking lunges, press ups, jump squats, tricep dips, plie squats or one-leg squats, the reverse plank.

Throw in some burpees or mountain climbers for extra intensity.

Check out Women’s Fitness magazine (http://www.womensfitness.co.uk/) for good training tips and Nike Women on Facebook have great instructional video clips of some of these exercises: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/nikewomen.