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Monday, March 21, 2011

WEIGHT TRAINING: GET THE 411 (Workout videos included)

Hi there!
Half of Gabby has moved to a new kickass website! 

Read this article, in it’s updated version, HERE.
 The page that you are on right now (www.halfofgabby.blogspot.com) is no longer posting new articles and information. Half of Gabby has moved to www.halfofgabby.com and will continue to post new material regularly! In addition, all older articles have been updated on the new site!

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DON'T BELIEVE THAT CRAP ABOUT HOW WEIGHT TRAINING MAKES YOU ALL BULKY AND BIG! WEIGHT TRAINING CAN GIVE YOU A SLEEK, SEXY DEFINITION THAT IS 
MOLTEN LAVA HOT!


BELOW IS A PICTURE THAT COMES TO MIND WHEN SOME OF YOU THINK OF WEIGHT TRAINING. YOU CAN STOP THINKING YOU'LL LOOK LIKE THIS IF YOU LIFT WEIGHTS...


THIS IS EXTREMELY RARE AND TAKES A VERY SPECIFIC KIND OF TRAINING. WHEN IT COMES TO BODYBUILDING, YOU LIVE AND BREATHE LIFTING, YOU'RE EATING YOUR WEIGHT IN FOOD EACH DAY, AND YOU'RE BENCH PRESSING MINIVANS.  


      Okay people, this article is going to cover all the basic information you will need to start a weight training program for yourself.

 AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE, YOU WILL FIND 3 INSTRUCTIONAL WORKOUT VIDEOS WHERE I SHOW YOU EACH AND EVERY EXERCISE. ALL 3 WORKOUTS ARE WRITTEN OUT IN THEIR ENTIRETY FOR YOU!


     There will be no excuses after reading this article. No more sitting around thinking weight training isn't for you.

 No more thinking if you lift weights, you're gonna turn green and explode out of your damn clothes every time you get pissed off. 

It's time to put all the myths aside and get down and dirty with the truth.

Weight training is not as hard as you think. 

I promise. And it makes you feel soooo good. I promise. I'm full of promises today, aren't I? Well, I can't do the work for you, so if you want to experience this 'feel good' feeling I'm talkin' about, you gotta get off your ass and make a change. Once you read this article, I think you'll be a little less apprehensive about starting up something new. A little knowledge goes a long way. So let's start with why you should weight train.

Why Oh Why Should You Weight Train?

The benefits of weight training are endless. But I will name a few of the biggest sellers. First, we all want a faster metabolism, right? Well folks, there is nothing that will guarantee a faster metabolism than building lean muscle mass. Lean muscle mass burns calories for us all day long. Even while we are sitting around lounging or catching some zzz's. As these muscles burn all these extra calories, our metabolism is shot into hyper drive. 

It's a beautiful thing. Take advantage of it. 

Secondly, building muscle mass makes us physically stronger (duh), increases our muscle endurance, helps us become more coordinated & more balanced, elevates our mood, heightens our self-esteem & self-confidence, and gets us closer to a true fit & healthy state. Weight training also strengthens our bones, which is especially important for women and our high risk for osteoporosis. This thinning process happens to EVERYONE as you age, it's just much more progressed in those who have osteoporosis.

     Penn State researchers who were studying the effects of weight training discovered some jaw-dropping findings. They were able to make 95 year olds as strong as healthy and fit 55 year olds through weight training. MOREOVER, they were able to make 65 year olds as physically fit as healthy 30 year olds!! Um...seriously, that's some crazy business right there...straight up.


      Because weight training makes us stronger, we are more easily able to fend off the strains, pulls, and injuries that many people experience every day. Did you ever wake up and your back hurt for no apparent reason? Or were simply getting into your car and heard something pop? We are forever dealing with unexplained neck strains, back aches, and muscle soreness.


But guess what?...It's not really unexplained after all. 

The reason for all these aches and pains is NOT "Oh, it must be my new shoes" OR "Oh, I must have slept wrong." Slept wrong??? Are you friggin kidding me? Hey, I used to say that same shit ALL the time, so I get it. I mean, I guess the fact that I was heaving and hoisting an extra 120 pounds around had nothing to do with my aches and pains. Man... we will seriously tell ourselves anything to not have to get up off our ass and do the right thing. It's ridiculous. But, it's hard to face the truth. And the truth is, you are OUT OF SHAPE! 

Your muscles have atrophied and you are carrying around extra weight which further strains those weak muscles. Come on people! Slept wrong?? Let's get serious. And let me stop you before you say your muscles aren't atrophied. YES they ARE! If you don't use it, you lose it. It doesn't matter what your age, if you sit around and do nothing, you will become weaker and lose muscle mass. And the less muscle mass you have, the higher your fat percentage will be. And the higher your fat percentage is, the more unhealthy you become. See a pattern here?

Not to mention that when we do get older, we DO lose muscle mass. It's a fact. It's a physiological process. Unavoidable. And it starts in your twenties. Your muscles are not getting enough work and use from your everyday life which means you are losing even more muscle mass and bone density than the normal amount due to getting older. Everyday chores DO NOT give us what we need to prevent muscle and bone loss. I don't care how much you clean your house or pick your kids up. Nope. Not enough.

 But I'm going to end this benefits section with citing the most popular reason people weight train. And that is...it makes us look good. Ya, we all wanna be healthy. We all wanna be stronger. But let's get serious. More than anything...we wanna be hot & sexy. It's okay to admit it. We might as well lay it all out there. Well, if you wanna be hot & sexy, weight training will certainly help you with that. For reals. 

Weight training causes HUGE changes to happen to your body, inside and out. Nothing else will tighten you up, pull in your fat, and make you look smaller than weight training. NOTHING. It can actually change your body shape and tone & sculpt every inch of you. I honestly used to have a flat ass. Even when it was huge and wide, it was still flat. Now, my butt is rounded and lifted. It is simply amazing.

 Before I go further, I want to get one thing straight. I need to banish a long-standing misconception right here and now. 

MUSCLE AND FAT ARE TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS. ONE CANNOT BECOME THE OTHER.

You hear people say things all the time like "I need to turn some of my fat into muscle" OR "Oh, he let himself go, all his muscle turned into fat." Muscle cannot turn into fat and fat cannot turn into muscle. They have never and will never be the same thing. You must understand this so that you can understand the science behind losing weight and building muscle. 

Muscle is active tissue that is constantly burning calories all day long. However, fat is just stored energy. It just sits there and does nothing. So once you start weight training and see differences in your body such as more definition in your arms or tighter legs, that is not your fat that has hardened or tightened! That is muscle that you have toned and built.


Okay, I've convinced you. My words have resonated within you. You have never read such inspiring and compelling words before this and are ready to dive into the world of weight training. Ya ya, whatevs...throw me a bone, would ya? Alright, let's get to it. How do you start?


HOW DO YOU WANT TO WEIGHT TRAIN?

There are many forms of weight training. Free weights, weight machines, medicine balls, resistant bands, kettle bells, body resistance, etc. You need to figure out which one you want to try first. 

The absolute easiest forms to start with, in my opinion, are dumbbells and body resistance. This is why. First of all, they are the cheapest options. You would just need a set of 3 lb, 5 lb, and 8 lb dumbbells to start with. You could grab them individually or in a set at Wally World for dirt cheap. 

And as for body resistance exercises, well..uh, you're just using your body, so no cost at all there. That shiznit is completely free, so you can't argue with that! Secondly, they are the most straight forward and simplest forms of weight training.

The most popular or maybe I should say the most 'recognized' form of weight training is using a weight bench or gym equipment. The problem with this for beginners is 1. It's much more expensive and it's most likely you don't have this equipment at home already. 2. Most people who are out of shape and embarrassed of that fact, don't want to go to the local gym to weight train for all the world to witness the wiggly jiggly (not to mention the $ thing again, gym memberships can be pricey). 3. With a lot of exercises, you need a spotter. This makes quick and easy workouts more difficult if you have to rely on someone else to help you out. 4. This seems to be the most 'intimidating' form of weight training to many beginners.

SO OKAY, YOU'VE PICKED HOW YOU WANT TO WEIGHT TRAIN. NOW WHAT?

Well, let's move on. How often do you want to weight train? Weight training 3 days/wk is a good place to start. Once you get more acclimated, you can bump that up a little. But here's the thing...

YOU NEED TO WORK EACH MUSCLE GROUP 2-3 TIMES EACH WEEK. BUT YOU MUST NOT WORK THE SAME MUSCLE GROUP FOR 2 DAYS IN A ROW.

This is why. Rest days are JUST as important as workout days. It is in these periods of rest that the muscles grow. The days you are weight training, you are actually causing damage to the muscles (this is not a bad thing, just part of the process). And it is when the muscles repair and heal, that they grow stronger and bigger. This healing occurs on your rest days. If you over train, your muscles will stay in a state of disrepair and will not grow.


A lot of beginners will design one workout that targets ALL of the muscle groups and will perform this workout 3x/wk, perhaps on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This is a good strategy and a good place to start if you are a true beginner. As you get further into your weight training program, you will want to design more advanced workouts where each workout targets a specific muscle group. But start small and build from there.


HOW DO I KNOW WHICH EXERCISES TO DO?

Good question. Well, let's operate on the assumption that you are a true beginner and you will be following an all encompassing workout that hits all muscle groups. You will be doing this regimen 3x/week. Form your workout by including at least one exercise from each major muscle group. This will usually workout to be about 8-10 exercises. Your eight major muscle targets are: Chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, quadriceps, hamstrings, and abs. You can always add more, particularly to a muscle group you want to focus on. But keep it simple at first.

Once you have a list of 8-10 exercises, this is called a set. When you perform your workout once, the whole way through, you have completed one set. As a beginner, just start with doing one set. This is just until you get the feel of what you're doing. It will take a couple workouts to get the hang of things. It will be in these first workouts that you will be learning to master form, feeling out how much weight/resistance you need, and becoming more comfortable in general with weight training. You'll tweak it as you go, it won't take long. You will want to build up to three sets (going through your list of exercises 3 times). After the first week or so, add a second set, then add the third set a week or so after that. Go at your own pace, you'll know when you're ready to move forward.

Now, when you are performing each exercise, you will have to perform reps. For example, let's say your very first exercise in your workout is a chest fly. You will have to perform a certain number of chest flies in a row before you move on to your next exercise. These certain number of chest flies are your reps. Moreover, if you do 10 chest flies, you are doing 10 reps. So how many reps should you be doing for each exercise?

How many reps you perform depends on your goals. Here's how you decide:

*If your goal is to build muscular definition and look sculpted and toned, you will want to complete 12-15 reps per exercise. This is the most plausible option for people who want to lose the most amount of fat.

*If your goal is to build strength, you will want to perform 8-12 reps per exercise. This is the most plausible option for people who have lost most of their weight and now have a new goal of obtaining even more lean muscle mass and building true strength.


*If your goal is to build mega muscle and find more of 'the bulk' people associate with weight training, you will want to perform 6-8 reps per exercise. This is the most plausible option for people who do not want to lose weight and are interested in building serious muscle, the more 'bulky muscle'.



     The easiest way to think of how many reps you need is this:

LOWER REPS = STRENGTH BUILDING 
vs
HIGHER REPS = WEIGHT LOSS


**An important note in regards to reps
You will want to lift your weights until failure. In other words, you want to make it so that when you get to your last rep, it is physically the last rep you can perform. Yep folks, there's gonna be some grunting and groaning by the time you get to that last rep. It's okay... keep them neighbors guessing ;) Remember, you want to damage the muscle. You want to tax it until it is too fatigued to perform even one more rep. In your 'tweaking' stage, you will figure out which weight you need through trial and error.    

WEIGHT TRAINING TIPS: 
VERY IMPORTANT:

1. WARM UP: 

Do 3-5 minutes of some light cardio before you begin your workout. Perhaps jog in place while swinging arms. You can also do an ultra light set of your planned exercises. This will warm up every actual muscle that will be involved in the full strength version. Warming up prevents injury. You mustn't work cold muscles. You can't go from watching COPS one minute to banging out dead lifts the next. Give your body a little warning.

2. PROPER FORM: 

If you do not practice proper form, you will not only be risking injury but you will also run the risk of NOT targeting the intended muscles. Make sure to stand up straight AND to engage your abs in each and every exercise.

3. DON'T USE JERKY OR SWINGING MOVEMENTS: 

Weight training is all about slow, precise, and controlled movements. You should be lifting AND lowering the weights slowly. If you are distorting your body and have to look like you're having some sort of seizure to perform the exercise, that should be a heads up that you are doing it the wrong way. If you find you cannot perform an exercise with slow and controlled movements, chances are you're using too heavy of a weight.

4. DON'T HOLD YOUR BREATH: 

You need to breathe properly. Resist the urge to hold your breath. Exhale as you are performing the exertion part of the exercise. Inhale as you are performing the resistance part of the exercise. For example, if you are doing a bicep curl, you would exhale as you lift the weights up and inhale as you slowly drop the weights back down to starting position. Your body needs the oxygen.  Don't go turning blue and getting light-headed. And if you are about to die on rep #1 and feel like you can't breathe, um, well...slow down killer. Again, chances are you're using too heavy of a weight.

5. CONTINUE TO INCREASE YOUR WORKLOAD

As you get stronger, it is vital that you change the workout. You can do this by increasing the amount of weight, switching exercises, and/or changing the amount of reps/sets. Being consistent about changing things up will avoid plateaus. Reaching a plateau isn't actually a bad thing. It means your body has reached the state of Adaption, meaning it has become stronger and more efficient and has adapted to what you wanted it to do. It is your body telling you that you need more. This is to be expected and if you don't reach a plateau, something is wrong. I personally change my workouts once a month. I always want to keep my muscles guessing and growing. It sucks sometimes because when your workout gets easier, it's a nice change of pace. But you gotta buck up and be honest with yourself because an easy workout isn't doing anything for you. It's really just a big waste of your precious time.

HERE ARE 3 BEGINNER WEIGHT TRAINING WORKOUTS. EACH USES A DIFFERENT FORM OF RESISTANCE.

**I would like to remind all of you wonderful peeps that these were some of my very first YouTube videos back in the day so please forgive the grainy and extreme basic videography! I also had to rush through the vids so that I could get it all in. You will not want to rush through your workouts. Focus on each move and take your time with proper form. 


BODY WEIGHT RESISTANCE WORKOUT:

12-15 Reps for each exercise (for maximum weight loss)

1. SQUATS
2. LUNGES
3. PUSH-UPS (REGULAR)
4. BICEP PUSH-UPS
5. TRICEP DIPS
6. BICYCLE CRUNCHES
7. CALF RAISES



DUMBBELL WORKOUT:

12-15 Reps for each exercise (for maximum weight loss)

1. SQUATS
2. LUNGES
3. TWO-ARM CHEST FLY
4. ONE-ARM BENT OVER ROW
5. FRONT SHOULDER RAISE
6. TRICEP EXTENSION
7. BICEP CURLS
8. AB TWISTS



RESISTANT BAND WORKOUT:

12-15 Reps for each exercise (for maximum weight loss)

1. WATER SKI SQUATS
2. HAMSTRING CURLS
3. ONE-ARM CHEST FLY
4. BACK ROW
5. LATERAL RAISE
6. ONE-ARM PREACHER CURLS
7. TWO-ARM TRICEP KICKBACK
8. KNEELING AB CRUNCH
9. STANDING AB TWISTS
10. CALF RAISES

     You can do this! Weight training is NOT hard! It's so much easier than you think. Get started today! You won't believe how much better you feel in just a few weeks! Tighten up that bod and chase your 'sexy' down like a dirty dog!


" In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own.", Eleanor Roosevelt 


Related Links Below:
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/women-weight-training-metabolism.html
http://www.askmen.com/sports/bodybuilding/bodybuilding16.html
http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/strength-training/getting-started-beginners-strength-training.html
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-training/HQ01627
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/strength-training/HQ01710

*This information and any exercise routines shared are what worked for me. Please listen to your body and only do what you feel able to do. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen.  The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.

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*The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content in this article is for general information purposes only. I am not a doctor, nor am I a dietitian. Talk to your physician before making any changes in your diet or exercise regimen. The information found in this article is from various sources which include, but are not limited to, the sites listed above. I encourage you to do your own research and talk with your physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. What has worked for me may not work for you. This information in this article or on this website should never replace or serve as medical advice.

NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ON OR HAVE ACCESSED THROUGH THIS WEB SITE.







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