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Athletics

The #1 Female Fitness Myth

 

Today we will be diving into a subject that has moved many women (as well as coaches and gym owners) for years. In this article we shed a light on the myths and misconceptions that frecuently exist, clogging way too many female brains with fear and doubt.

1. Does weight training makes a woman look “blocky” and muscular?

Let´s first explain the concept of weight training. Weight training is a physical training concept that involves lifting weights. This is usually done as part of a training program for improving or maintaining overall fitness, strength, or endurance. If we apply this concept to women´s training, we get a frequently used term called: female fitness.

When we talk about female fitness, we talk about two things.

  1. Female, which means something targets or affects only women and not men.
  2. Fitness, which means building a stronger, leaner, fitter and healthier body by means of training and diet. A fitness program usually results in less body fat, better muscle tone, better skin tone, more vitality etc.!

Combine the two and you get: training and dietary habits that target women to achieve a stronger, leaner, fitter and healthier body. I won’t go into sleeping habits, stress or hormonal episodes (that´s for another article). However what I do want to address is a very common misconception related to the aforementioned question, as the question your female customer is really asking  is:

2. Does lifting weights make me lose my female features?

As female features are considered part of femininity this question is very different from the previous one, right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The answer on the 1st question is: probably not. It is a long road for women to bulk up, get more muscular and blocky.

The answer on the 2nd question is: absolutely not!!!

Here´s why…

1. First of all the concept of femininity is yours and yours alone. So if you find yourself feminine with a bit more muscle tone or not, so be it. You decide. There are loads of women who are muscular and haven´t lost even a tiny bit of their femininity. A woman should be able to feel strong, fit and healthy (and attractive). She and she alone decides how that looks (and feels) like.

2. By nature women possess higher fat levels than men do. This because of the obvious biological reason that women give birth to babies. For a woman to get the same “ripped / cut” appearance as men do they will have to reduce bodyfat to sub 10-15% levels. It takes long periods of hard training, dieting and sacrifice to lose that fat. If you are in that category, you don’t mind about question 1 in the first place.

3. It is not easy for a woman to become more muscular. Women have a fraction of the testosterone and HGH levels that men have. Unless you use performance enhancing drugs (i.e. steroids, testosterone), have some kind of rare genetical disorder or hormonal disease for which you take medication, you will never lose your feminine features from a strength training program which involves lifting weights.

4. The confusion between the two questions posted in this article still rules everyday life for many female gym-goers and exercisers, and sad enough drives them away from reaching their fitness goals. Adopting training programs solely based on endurance cardio and endurance resistance training (20+ reps with very little resistance) doesn’t get you very far and can even be counterproductive if done in excess (which is often the case because of lacking results).

Summary:

- If it’s proper fat loss, muscle tone, fitness and vitality you are looking for, you might need to jump the training fence for a while. And by doing so you will be doing yourself a great favour. When you reach your ideal shape, you change the program to maintain your perfect physique.

- Can you get that muscular look men have: yes, but probably not. Only after prolonged periods of continuous weight lifting combined with dietary sacrifice will you look more ripped and muscular. For women this is not easy to achieve.

- You will not lose your femininity and female features by adopting any type of weight training program. You stop and change the program once you have attained the results you had in mind. Only by prolonged PED or some rare disease or condition use might compromise your femininity. Stop worrying and start training.

Here is a 4 week routine you could use.

WEEK I

(DAY I and III)

Exercise                  Reps                     Weight                                 Sets       Rest between sets

· Back squat            8 – 12                    70% 1RM                             4             60 seconds
· Chest press           8 – 12                    70% 1RM                             4             60 seconds
· Bulgarian Lunges 8 – 12                    70% 1RM                             4             60 seconds
· Pull ups (assisted) 8                             Assisted Bodyweight           4             60 seconds
· Military Press        8 – 12                    70% 1RM                             4             60 seconds
· Triceps Dips          8                             Assisted Bodyweight          4             60 seconds

Fat-burn finisher exercises (choose 1):

Exercise               Reps                     Weight                                 Sets       Rest

· Rope skipping    100                        N/A                                      4             45 seconds
· Burpees                15                        Body weights                       4             45 seconds
· 1000 meter row as fast as you can

(DAY II and IV)

Exercise            Reps                     Weight                                Sets       Rest between sets

· Deadlift          8 – 12                    75% 1RM                             4             60 seconds
· Leg Press        8 – 12                    75% 1RM                            4             60 seconds
· Snatch             8 – 12                    75% 1RM                            4             60 seconds
· Seated Row     8 – 12                    75% 1 RM                           4             60 seconds

Fat-burn finisher exercises (choose 2):

Exercise            Reps                     Weight                                 Sets       Rest between sets

· Rope skipping  100                        N/A                                       4             45 seconds
· Burpees              15                        Body weights                        4             45 seconds
· 1000 meter row as fast as you can

WEEK II

(DAY I and III)

Exercise           Reps                     Weight                                Sets       Rest between sets

· Back squat      8 – 12                    75% 1RM                           4             60 seconds
· Chest press     8 – 12                    75% 1RM                           4             60 seconds
· Bulgarian Lunges  8 – 12             75% 1RM                           4             60 seconds
· Pull ups (assisted)  8                    Assisted Bodyweight          4             60 seconds
· Military Press   8 – 12                  75% 1RM                           4             60 seconds
· Triceps Dips     8                          Assisted Bodyweight          4             60 seconds

Fat-burn finisher exercises (choose 1):

Exercise            Reps                     Weight                                 Sets       Rest between sets

· Rope skipping  100                        N/A                                       4             45 seconds
· Burpees              15                        Body weights                        4             45 seconds
· 1000 meter row as fast as you can

(DAY II and IV)

Exercise          Reps                     Weight                                Sets       Rest between sets

· Deadlift         8 – 12                    80% 1RM                             4             60 seconds
· Leg Press       8 – 12                    80% 1RM                            4             60 seconds
· Snatch            8 – 12                    80% 1RM                            4             60 seconds
· Seated Row    8 – 12                    80% 1 RM                           4             60 seconds

Fat-burn finisher exercises (choose 2):

Exercise            Reps                     Weight                                 Sets       Rest between sets

· Rope skipping    100                        N/A                                   4             45 seconds
· Burpees               15                         Body weights                    4             45 seconds
· 1000 meter row as fast as you can

WEEK III

(DAY I and III)

Exercise            Reps                     Weight                                Sets       Rest between sets

· Back squat      8 – 12                    85% 1RM                           4             60 seconds
· Chest press     8 – 12                    85% 1RM                            4             60 seconds
· Bulgarian Lunges  8 – 12             85% 1RM                            4             60 seconds
· Pull ups (assisted)  8                    Assisted Bodyweight           4             60 seconds
· Military Press  8 – 12                    85% 1RM                           4             60 seconds
· Triceps Dips     8                          Assisted Bodyweight           4             60 seconds

Fat-burn finisher exercises (choose 1):

Exercise          Reps                     Weight                                 Sets       Rest between sets

· Rope skipping  100                        N/A                                    4             45 seconds
· Burpees             15                         Body weights                     4             45 seconds
· 1000 meter row as fast as you can

(DAY II and IV)

Exercise          Reps                     Weight                                Sets       Rest between sets

· Deadlift         8 – 12                    90% 1RM                             4             60 seconds
· Leg Press       8 – 12                    90% 1RM                            4             60 seconds
· Snatch            8 – 12                    90% 1RM                            4             60 seconds
· Seated Row    8 – 12                    90% 1 RM                           4             60 seconds

Fat-burn finisher exercises (choose 2):
· Rope skipping  100                        N/A                                     4             45 seconds
· Burpees             15                         Body weights                      4             45 seconds
· 1000 meter row as fast as you can

WEEK IV

(DAY I and III)

Exercise            Reps                     Weight                                Sets       Rest between sets

· Back squat      8 – 12                    88% 1RM                             4             60
· Chest press     8 – 12                    85% 1RM                             4             60
· Bulgarian Lunges 8 – 12              85% 1RM                             4             60
· Pull ups (assisted) 8                     Assisted Bodyweight            4             60
· Military Press  8 – 12                   85% 1RM                             4             60
· Triceps Dips    8                           Assisted Bodyweight            4             60

Fat-burn finisher exercises (choose 1):

Exercise          Reps                     Weight                                 Sets       Rest between sets

· 1000 meter row as fast as you can
· Rope skipping  100                           N/A                                   5             45 seconds
· Burpees              15                           Body weight                     5             45 seconds

(DAY II and IV)

Exercise             Reps                     Weight                                Sets       Rest between sets

· Deadlift            8 – 12                    90% 1RM                             4             60
· Leg Press          8 – 12                    90% 1RM                            4             60
· Snatch               8 – 12                    90% 1RM                            4             60
· Seated Row       8 – 12                    90% 1 RM                           4             60

Fat-burn finisher exercises (choose 2):

· Rope skipping     100                           N/A                                   6             45
· Burpees                 15                           Body weights                    6             45
· 1000 meter row as fast as you can

NOTES:

-          Rest time between exercises not more than 120 seconds.
-          Take measurements (waist in cm, weight) and photos before, during and after
-          On the days you are not lifting (W), max 20 minutes of moderate cardio (C)
-          Make sure to plan the days well i.e. W – W – C – W – C – W – C
-          If your diet doesn’t match your exercise efforts, results will be suboptimal
-          Rest well, keep stress to a minimum.
-          If you feel anaemic, don’t train.
-          Always check with your physician before commencing this or any other fitness or exercise program.

Sascha is a much sought after strength coach. He has trained and coached teams, athletes and talents in disciplines such as tennis, soccer, basketball and extreme sports. He is regular contributor to sports & fitness blogs and magazines.

Sascha Rado is a much sought after strength and fitness coach. He has trained and coached professional teams and athletes as well as talents in disciplines such as tennis, soccer, basketball and extreme sports. He is regular contributor to sports & fitness blogs and magazines.

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Athletics

the 8 minute workout

Do you use bodyweight exercises in your training program?

- The answer is no – You are leaving an important training method out of your workout routine, one that could help you increase your gains, make you leaner and help you strengthen tendons, ligaments and cartilage.

- The answer is exclusively – Chances are you are fitter than many people lifting at the gym. If you would combine bodyweight exercises with a weight lifting program, you would probably already outlift some gym-goers by far.

Here´s the good news.

- A diet of squats, pull-ups and push-ups will help you hit some pretty amazing numbers in the gym.

- The strongest athletes have daily workout habits based on high-rep bodyweight exercises, sprints and other conditioning work.

- Such routines build proper endurance which in return will help you tolerate more frequent and more intense training at the gym.

The 8 minute workout

Some of the most famous athletes and bodybuilders seek refuge in small bodyweight workouts for conditioning.

One of our customers, a professional tennis player in the autumn of his career, relies on daily bodyweight training routines to stay on top of his game. We are talking about nothing less than 500-600 sit-ups, 400-500 push-ups and 300-400 jump squats divided into 2 daily 8 minute workouts. The result: leaner and stronger muscles, and 0 injuries last season (compared to 2 injuries the season before) and a higher ranking. No excuses and every day rituals keeps him at the highest level.

Prisoner Squat

High-rep training. 

So you probably now remember the gym instructor’s advice.

1 – 5 reps for muscle strength
6 – 12 reps for muscle hypertrophy
15+ reps for muscle resistance / endurance

So how can high-rep get me stronger or more muscular? Well let me first remind you of the guys hitting the bars (street workout) easily dishing out 10 muscle ups, 20+ pull-ups, and 80 push-ups without blinking an eye. Look at their physique. Are they muscular? YES. Are they lean? DEFINITELY. Are the strong? VERY MUCH SO

The good  news. All of these people were beginners too at some point. I remember training one of my dear friends. She could do: 0 pull-ups, 0 regular push-ups and around 25 squats. She is now one of the most promising street workout athletes. Her secret: consistently working on improving her reps every single day, sore or not sore. She is lean, strong and has one of the greatest physiques in town.

Here a some easy to start with 8 minute bodyweight workout programs. You can do them more than once a day as you get stronger (an leaner). During each of these programs, rest as you need. Being consistant means going steady over a prolonged period of time (and not to rush).

Day I:

A: Prisoner Squats. 6 minutes
B: Regular Push-ups. 2 minutes
Day II:

A: Regular Push-ups. 3 minutes
B: Dynamic Alternate Leg Lunges. 3 minutes
C: Squats. 2 minutes

Day III:

A: Pull-ups 2 minutes (if you cannot do pull ups, you do situps)
B: Bulgarian lunges. 2 minutes per leg
C: Regular Push ups. 1 minute
D: Mountain climbers. 3 minutes

Day IV:

A: Prisoner Squats. 6 minutes
B: Regular Push-ups. 2 minutes

Day V:

A: Plyometric Push-ups (i.e. clap hands). 2 minutes.
B: Jump lunges. 2 minutes
C: Situps. 4 minutes

Day VI:

A: Situps. 2 minutes
B: Dynamic Alternate Leg Lunges. 4 minutes
C: Situps. 2 minutes.

Day VII:

A: As many push-ups as you can – 1 attempt
B: As many prisoner squats as you can – 1 attempt
C: As many situps as you can – 1 attempt.

IMPORTANT: 

- On days I – VI, rest as you need. Over the next 4 weeks, try to reduce rest time progressively (this will be easy as you are getting stronger and metabolicly fitter anyway).

- Log the numbers you hit on day VII, and compare them each weak to calculate your progress in absolute and relative numbers. On day VII you should apply the rest needed between exercises A – B and C, which might extend the length of your routine slightly.

- If you feel dizzy stop the routine. In case you feel light-headed you should probably increase the rest times. Always consult a physician before starting any workout program after a period of abstence of exercise.

Now go, move and improve.

Sascha Rado is a much sought after strength coach. He has trained and coached professional teams and athletes as well as talents in disciplines such as tennis, soccer, basketball and extreme sports. He is regular contributor to sports & fitness blogs and magazines.

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personal trainer barcelona

The power of getting started

Getting started with a new project or activity can bring some unexpected challenges to our lives. One of those challenges arises when we say we want to get fitter and healthier. As a personal trainer I find that many trainees are often a bit scary at first. How much time and effort does it take to accomplish my new goals? What if I fail? What if I injure myself?

There are still many misconceptions and fears regarding fitness which in turn create barriers to getting started. My task as your fitness coach is to take away those barriers and fears over the next weeks. But how can you know what works and what doesn’t without trying first? There are many people who did not accomplished their exact fitness goals, but also many that did. What both groups have in common though, is that they got started.

The point I am trying to make is the power of getting started. It´s like a young child learning how to swim? Scary at first, but once you found out the water could actually carry you, the fear slowly subsided and made place for joy eventually. Whether you are an Olympic gold medallist or a lousy swimmer doesn’t matter. You both made the start.

So you made the decision to sign up for a fitness program. Now jump in and learn the traits while you are discovering your way to getting fitter and healthier. I am here to answer any question or doubt you might still have.

Kindest regards,

Sascha

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