Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas

To all who celebrate Christmas I wish you all alot of love, luck, health and happiness for the coming New Year.

Remember that Christmas is a time to spend with family and a time of giving, but it is also a time to reflect on the good you have achieved on the year past and look forward to the happiness and goodwill of the future.

Today Christmas has lost some of its sparkle because of commercialisation, but dont let this distract you from what Christmas is all about, remembering the Lord and opening your heart to show your love to those around you.

Christmas Quotes

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen." ~ Attributed to a 7-year-old boy

"We hear the beating of wings over Bethlehem and a light that is not of the sun or of the stars shines in the midnight sky. Let the beauty of the story take away all narrowness, all thought of formal creeds. Let it be remembered as a story that has happened again and again, to men of many different races, that has been expressed through many religions, that has been called by many different names. Time and space and language lay no limitations upon human brotherhood." ~New York Times, 25 December 1937

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Weightlifting Gloves

Some people swear by weightlifting gloves while others feel they hinder rather than enhance their performance, one thing is for sure they certainly help some lifters on big lift such as the deadlift.

What are weightlifting gloves?

Weightlifting gloves are simply gloves that are specially designed to support a person who carries out weightlifting. They support by helping a weightlifter grip the bar because a sweaty palm can cause a persons grip to become compromised.

Weightlifting gloves also support by reducing, or almost removing the possibility of sores, blisters and most commonly calluses from the pressure of a heavy bar on the hands.

How do they work?

The gloves are made from neoprene, leather or nylon. The neoprene and leather allow the hands to breathe through the gloves where nylon does not; most gloves also have an open back to allow your hands to breathe more easily. The gloves also help soak up sweat making your hands less clammy and wet.

Most gloves are double stitched to reinforce the material, especially on stress points so they can take a lot of strain from the effort you exert when lifting. Weightlifting gloves tend to have an open back

A lot of gloves have special materials on the palm of the glove to add extra grip and strong elastic wrist wraps to give extra stability on the wrists while still allowing maximum movement.


When choosing a pair of weightlifting gloves it is important to refrain from going for aesthetic looks and rather go for comfort and support. Saying this many weightlifters tend to go for darker coloured weightlifting gloves because they hide dirt and sweat patches more easily than light coloured varieties.

While I personally do not like using weightlifting gloves many in the gyms I have used swear by them, this is because they feel the gloves really do support them in their training regimen.

Click on the link to find the best priced weightlifting gloves - - Information. Motivation. Supplementation.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Setting Goals For 2010

Its that time of year where many people put on a few pies over the festive season and make a resolution to get fit and look good for 2010.

Its normal to see the number of members in gyms throughout the world increase its member numbers in January of a new year, but its just as normal for around ninety percent of these new members to give up and cancel their membership in the first eight weeks.

The issue with new gym members, especially those who join post New Year is that they set themselves unrealistic goals so get disheartened when they don’t achieve what they want. This is where learning how setting goals can help you stay motivated rather than make you feel down.

Setting goals for 2010

Firstly whether you are new to the gym or you have been going for a while and got into a bit of a rut, the easiest way to stay motivated and achieve your goals is to set small goals. The idea is that by setting smaller goals you are setting goals that are achievable in a shorter period of time so you should be hitting goals and staying motivated.

The logic is that each small goal achieved is a stepping stone to what you wish to achieve overall, a fitter, stronger, physically improved you!

I have been training for a long time but have just had three months off through injury. I have come back to training and lost some of what I had achieved so I set myself different weekly goals such as:

  • Adding an extra 2.5 kgs to the amount I lift on my main exercises each week (even if I only achieve one rep)
  • Adding an extra rep on my last sets where I don’t achieve 8 or more reps
  • Adding a few minutes to my running on the treadmill
These are simple but achievable goals, imagine you are lifting 60kg on the bench press and you set a target of 120kg, you could be waiting a long time to achieve it so start feeling down about your achievements. Instead of this you set small goals like “Next week Ill lift 62.5kg” so when next week comes and you manage it you feel good and have managed a step closer to your ultimate goal.

2010 can be the year for many people to achieve what they want by having confidence in themselves as well as training correctly and setting goals that are achievable and will keep them motivated.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Big Ass Triceps

Anyone who wishes to build big arms should have a great Triceps workout. While the Biceps are the vanity muscle of the arm they only make up about a third of the muscle in the upper arm while the rest is made up of the larger Triceps.

It seems that even though the Triceps make up a larger portion of the arm the Biceps always get the training while the Triceps languish at the rear of the arm where it is neglected.

The best training option for the Triceps is to carry out your training as part of your chest workout, this means training your chest primarily then moving to the Triceps as your secondary muscle group. The reason for this is that when lifting weights targetting the chest you are actually utilising the Triceps in many of the exercises as a secondary muscle group.

One of the best methods of improving the size and strength of your Triceps is to complete six to nine sets on the Triceps at the end of your chest workout.

I usually start by carrying out the close grip bench press, this is your standard bench press but with your hands extremely close together holding the bar, this moves the emphasis from your chest muscles to your Triceps.

After the close grip benchpress I like to move to Skull Crushers where you lay down with an EZ bar and keeping strict form bring it down towards your forhead by bending at the elbow and with an overhand grip.

Last exercise I like to carry out is the Triceps pushdowns, this I use to literally kill off my Triceps to ensure they have achieved the ultimate workout as part of my chest session.

If you can work just as hard on your Triceps as your Biceps you will end up with a well balanced arm that is both large in size and very strong.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Reasons Women Should Weight Train

When it comes to losing weight women choose diet or exercise, exercise usually consists of running or cardio machines in the gym. It seems that women generally neglect the idea of resistance training for fat loss even though there is scientific evidence to show this is the best form of training to lose fat.

How does this work?

When you complete resistance training your lean muscle mass will increase, this doesn’t mean you will suddenly look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, it just means that your body will carry a few extra pounds of lean muscle.

A female carrying out weight training will not gain the size a male does from lifting weight because women carry on average twenty times less hormones than males that cause muscle size increase.

Interestingly science has shown that on average a woman who carries out resistance training three times a week for a month will gain a pound of lean muscle but actually lose 1.75 pounds of fat.

What happens is that the body burns extra calories every day to carry out its normal functions for every extra pound of muscle a person weighs. The typical value of calories burned for every extra pound of muscle is roughly 35 to 60 calories per day.

This extra calorific usage is caused by your resting metabolic rate increasing as your lean muscle does.

One of the reasons women do get put off from weight lifting is because when they weigh themselves they are not losing that much weight, this is because if you lose 1.75 pounds of fat but gain 1 pound of lean muscle the scales will only show a loss of under a pound.

To combat this the best way to monitor your weight loss performance is to measure your body parts monthly, as long as your body is reducing in size your on the right track to achieve your goals.

Measuring your success

Get a tape measure and once a month (same date and roughly same time) measure the following:

Waist (Just below the belly button)
Chest (Measure under arm pits and over fullest part of bust)
Arms (Measure shoulder to elbow and use the halfway point)
Thigh (Measure hip to the knee and use the halfway point)

Keep a log of the measurements and you should see the measurements reduce in size and your clothes start to feel more baggy or even become too big!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Pull Up Power

We have all heard of the pull up yet how many of you use this great exercise in your training regimen? Not as many as you would think is the answer and this tends to be because a lot of people find the pull up hard and cant carry out many reps.

The pull up is a compound exercise that requires upper body strength to lift your own weight. The pull up comes in many forms but the most common is with a pronated grip (palms facing away from the body) and the hands just wider than shoulder width apart.

Pull ups primarily work the Latissimus Dorsi (lats) muscles in the back but use many upper body muscles for assistance.

The interesting thing about the pull up is that is takes a lot of power to carry out and can really help build strength and size in the body through using the exercise in a workout.

When carrying out the pull up correctly you will start with your body hanging with straight arms and then pull yourself up till your head is above the bar and the bar approaches your chest. The pull up is carried out without using any jerking movements such as your legs etc to push your way up. Once you have achieved this you return to the hanging position.

I always finish a back workout with two or three sets of pull ups, carrying out the maximum reps I can on each set to give my back muscles that final push to fatigue.

If you carry out the pull up exercise on a regular basis as part of your training you are sure to see benefits after just a short amount of weeks. By carrying out the exercise at the end of the back workout, like me, and trying as many reps as you can you will see how well you improve.

Don’t be put off if you can only carry out one or two reps initially, the idea is to keep motivated and build up over time until you can carry out three sets of ten or more reps.

A mixture of pull up exercises

Sunday, 6 December 2009

HIT Training – High Intensity Training

Some of you may have heard the word HIT training banded around the gym by some of the big muscled types, but have you ever wondered what they mean by HIT training?

HIT training is an abbreviation for High Intensity Training and was the brain child of Authur Jones, the man who launched Nautilus training equipment on to the market in the 1970’s.

The ethos behind High Intensity Training is basically that you train to a very high intensity; this is achieved through the following:

  • Reducing rest times between reps and sets
  • Using the maximum weight you can lift for your reps/sets
  • Train using basic compound movements
A typical HIT training session consists of 4 to 6 exercises of around 3 to 4 sets on each for major muscle groups such as the chest and 2 to 3 exercises of around 3 to 4 sets each on smaller muscles such as the triceps. If you’re new to HIT training we suggest you start on the low of these volumes and build yourself up.

An example workout is below:


Barbell Bench press – 4 sets x 6 to 8 reps
Dumbbell Bench press – 4 sets x 6 to 8 reps
Incline Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets x 6 to 8 reps
Dumbbell incline flies – 4 sets x 6 to 8 reps


Skullcrushers – 4 sets x 6 to 10 reps
Triceps Extensions – 4 sets x 6 to 10 reps

By carrying out sessions with heavy weights with low resting times you will fatigue the muscle, which is the desired outcome of your workout as your body will repair your muscles bigger and stronger.

You could say that the HIT training method is a similar training method to the 5x5 workout; the difference is that HIT training tends to be used by bodybuilders rather than powerlifters and weight lifters.

The High Intensity Training is a great tool to use to boost your performance in the gym. The HIT training method does however need to be used with caution because you will need longer resting periods between sessions (of the same muscle group) and increased mental strength as this training can be grueling to the uninitiated.

Note: With any high intensity workout there needs to be a period of low intensity or total rest every now and again, a good way of achieving this is by taking a week break from the gym after 12 weeks of training (every 3 months).

Saturday, 5 December 2009

The Muscle Building Process

The muscle building process is complex and scientific but for those who want a basic run down on the muscle building process and how they can use it to their advantage to increase muscle gains it can be explained simply.

The muscle building process when combined actually fit into three simple phases; these are stimulation, recuperation and growth.

So now you know that the body has three phases in muscle building, but how do these phases work?


The stimulation phase is your training, when you lift weights you are stimulating the muscles of the body to act on the actions you are asking it to undertake.

The harder the action, the more stimulated your muscles become, an example is carrying out 5 sets of 5 reps on the bench press on the heaviest weight you can complete the reps/sets is going to stimulate your muscles more than lifting the yellow pages three or four times.


The recuperation phase is the time post workout where your body recovers from the stimulation of your workout. This means giving the muscle group trained time to recover from the workout session before training again so the muscles are refueled and replenished, ready for action.


After recuperation your muscles will over time starts increasing in size and strength, this is the bodies natural reaction to the amount of stimulation it has undergone so the bodies muscles can carry out what is being requested of it more easily.

During both the recuperation and growth stages the body, and importantly the muscles, need sustenance such as proteins, complex carbs and essential fatty acids EFA’s so it has the fuel and nutrients required to recover, repair and increase ready for the next workout.


Training doesn’t always have to be a scientific event, all you simply need to understand is the process your body goes through during and after training so you can make the most out of your workouts and feel the best inside.