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Exercise in a nutshell

Exercise is simple to do and if done correctly perhaps the most beneficial thing you can do for your mind and body.

The four areas of exercise

Exercise is a broad term. There are four distinct areas of exercise each of which brings specific benefits. You should be doing all four exercise areas to enjoy all of the benefits it has to offer.

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Cardiovascular (aerobic) training.

This refers to repetitive movements performed over an extended period of time, such as running, walking, rowing, and cycling. Such exercises cause an increase in heart and lung activity. The result is an improvement to your fitness levels. Aerobic exercise will increase not only your fitness levels but also your energy and overall health of your body.

The key element of aerobic exercise is ensuring your are getting at least slightly out of breath and varying the training programme to ensure you continue getting fitter. Performing aerobic exercise uses up calories and can positively aid fat loss, if done as part of a complete exercise and lifestyle programme.

Resistance training.

It can be described as performing a movement for between 1 – 20 repetitions so that fatigue is induced. These exercises can use body weight e.g. press-ups, squats, dumbbells and weights machines.

The benefit of such training is improved muscle tone in women, increased muscle size in men and positive effects on bone density. An unpublicized benefit is its long term effect on increasing your metabolic rate (the number of calories burnt per day). This corresponds to the amount of muscle tone you have.

The key area of resistance training is ensuring the weights you use induces fatigue (makes you stop) between 1 – 20 reps. To this you must also keep perfect technique In general women use too light a weight and men lose their technique. Finally you must rotate the number of reps you lift a weight for.

Flexibility training.

This refers to the different stretching and is a key element in both preventing and rehabilitation after injury. It also plays an important role in creating good health by removing toxins from the body. When you are flexible you are much more likely to want to be active. Flexibility comprises static stretching, the traditional holding movements as seen in yoga or when cooling down.

Active flexibility is a series controlled movements to loosen up the body and increase muscle length before exercise or the day ahead, e.g. arm circles, upper body twists, leg bends. This type of exercise is common place in Japan before they start work.

The key to static stretching is discovering which muscles are tight and focusing on them, rather than stretching just every muscle. Active stretching is reliant on it being performed regularly and doing it without forcing the movements.

Core training.

This is the strengthening of the muscles that support the spine. A type of resistance training, it is classified on it’s own due to its importance to your overall health. A strong core is the basis of strength within the body. It allows optimal movement patterns to be used which prevents injury and promotes well-being.

It is essential to ensure that the core muscles are both working correctly and then ensuring they are strong.

The key to core training is establishing a neutral spine (perfect posture) and learning to contract the core muscles correctly.
Perform all four areas to enjoy the full benefits of exercise.
To optimize your health you need to be doing all of these exercise types every week. It does not require vast amounts of time, nor much in the way of equipment.

Ask yourself how your exercise routine is set out at the moment. If you are just beginning on a routine, maybe start with one training type at a time and introduce the others as soon as possible.

Rotating your exercise – The reason people fail to get results

Rotating your exercise is the key to getting results. Even the best made training programme will become fairly obsolete after 3- 6 weeks of starting it because your body becomes bored and reaches a plateau.

The failure to change your programme is the main block preventing you getting the results you want from exercise. The way round this is using a theory called periodization

Periodization

Periodization is the key to exercise and is used by every professional athlete. Almost no one outside of this circle has heard of it however. The science of periodization was developed in the USSR and former eastern block countries as the system to design exercise and training programmes for their athletes.

The principles are based on the fundamental way that the body responds to exercise. As we all respond similarly the principles must be used for everyone’s training programmes and not just that of the elite athletes.

Periodization can be summed up as structured change to your training programme

How to use it – The simplest way.

The very simplest way to employ a low level of periodization is to change your programme every four weeks.

Another simple way is to change a certain element every few weeks, e.g. for weight training do 15 reps per exercise for three weeks, then change to 10 reps for 3 weeks afterwards followed by three more weeks at 5 reps. Return to the start and repeat. Each time the reps change increase the weight so fatigue is induced by the target rep number.

Using interval training the same can be applied to aerobic training while core training can be applied using similar process as for weights.
More advanced exercisers can use more advanced periodization techniques

All this is covered in much more detail with the short cuts to achieving the look and physique you desire within my very successful course

 


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