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Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

How hard do you need to train to get the body you want?

The internet is exploding at the minute with online workouts everywhere and I’m really enjoying taking mine.
 
We are offering our morning 7am Boot Camp Classes online and our CORE Kids PE sessions weekdays at 11am for free.
 
I’m also taking Northern Ireland U19s training online and doing work for charity groups. 
 
But how hard do you need to train to get the results you want?
 
Like most things in the health and fitness industry, it depends. But for today’s article let’s look at it from the perspective of 80 per-cent of the population who just want to look good naked – and be healthy of course. 
 
Let’s look at strategies we can put in place which will help you shed those few unwanted pounds, make you ‘life strong’ and increase your overall wellbeing.
 
Reduce stress
Before we even look at exercise routines let’s look at the biggest problem that could be holding you back – stress. Life stresses can be holding you back from weight loss or even weight gain. There are a number of ways the body reacts to stress which don’t work in your favour. Yes, you may lose weight but it’s not a healthy weight loss. You may also gain weight from trying to suppress your stress. 
 
Firstly, identify the areas in your life which bring on your stress and find solutions either on your own, with the help of friends, family or a professional. This could be the difference between having a six pack or opening another six pack.
 
Movement breaks 
Take mini-breaks throughout the day. Start the day off with a walk outside and set your circadian rhythm off on the right way to help you burn more fat throughout the day and sleep better at night.
 
If you find yourself working at home or stuck in front of a computer make sure you have set times where you go for a walk, perform a movement routine or a mini body weight circuit. This will not only help you physically, but will also increase your concentration and productivity. 
 
Another tip if you are working at home or at a desk is to work standing up. I placed one of my living room nest of tables on top of my office desk and I can now work standing up, in fact I’m currently using my new homemade stand-up desk writing this article. 
 
Smashing a one hour gym session my not be the best option 
Sometimes we feel that a one hour gym session or run where you push yourself hard is going to fix all the sitting and stress you accumulated throughout the day. Well it’s not, in fact you are going to put your body through even more stress by pushing it so hard. The stress we put our body through when we exercise is sometimes necessary to help us grow and reach our goals but not when we haven’t been moving all day. Move more throughout the day and you don’t have to push your body as hard during your training. 
 
Slow and heavy Strength training 
Rather the putting your body through a CrossFit style workout everyday replace it with two to three slow and heavy strength training sessions per week. This means lifting heavy weights with a slow tempo through different planes and ranges of motion, with correct form of course. 
 
Each session or your collective weekly sessions should include a lower body push, for example squat, lower body pull, like a deadlift, upper body push, like a bench press, upper body pull, like a bent over row or pull up. Add in some embracing or core work like side plank rotations and you’re done. No need to sweat too hard and take plenty of rest between sets.
 
High intensity one to two times per week 
Will still need to put the body through ‘healthy’ stress by working in high intensity zones like a sprint session. For example, sprint 15 seconds rest 45 seconds. Do this eight times. Or complete a Tabata style workout will help us work at a high intense level. 
 
A Tabata workout is a four minute workout where you pick a high intense movement like jumping jacks and perform them for 20 seconds, rest for ten seconds and repeat eight times, giving you four minutes. 
 
Active Recovery 
Following a programme similar to this means you could be working out five days a week. Even if some sessions are lasting only ten minutes you’re still working out. Take time to let the body recover. This doesn’t mean sitting at home on the sofa eating ice cream. Use this time wisely by doing some light yoga (make sure it’s light), going for a walk or gentle bike ride, sports massage or foam roll at home. Whatever recovery method works for you then add it into your weekly routine.
 
These are just some tips for training, once you have this nailed down you will need to consider your nutrition, sleeping and other lifestyle habits to get you looking awesome naked.

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