Fitness

Workout of the Week: Legs

Ah, the joy of training legs! Big muscles, big effort, big pain – yet big satisfaction! No other workout makes me feel better then getting through a leg session.

  1. Superset:
    1. Single leg lying hamstring curl – 4 sets x12 reps each leg; temp: 3secs down, 1sec pause, explode up, 2secs pause (squeeze); rest 10 secs
    2. Lying hamstring curl – 4 sets x12 reps; tempo: 3secs down, 1sec pause, explode up, 2secs pause (squeeze); rest 60 secs
  2. 45 degree leg press (low and close foot placement) – 4 sets x15 reps; tempo: 4secs down, 2secs pause (bottom position), 4secs up; rest 60
  3. Superset:
    1. Glute kickback machine – 3 sets x15 reps; tempo: 3secs up, 2 secs pause (squeeze), 3secs down, 1sec pause; rest 10 secs
    2. Back Extension (Glute/ Hamstring focus) – 3 sets x10 reps; 3secs down, 1sec pause, explode up, 2secs pause (squeeze); rest 60; last set triple drop set till failure
Fitness

Workout of the Week: Triceps & Biceps

Women shouldn’t workout arms? Said who? If you want to be in the best shape ever, you can’t leave a single body part behind!

 

  1. Single Arm Cable Tricep Extension – 3 sets x15 reps each arm; tempo: 3secs up (release), 1sec pause, explosive pull down, 2secs squeeze.
  2. Superset:
    1. Barbell Tricep Press – 4 sets x8-10 reps; tempo: 4secs down, 2secs pause, 4secs up, 1sec pause.
    2. Overhead Tricep Rope Extension – 4 sets x10-12 reps; tempo: 3secs down (release), 3secs pause at the bottom, explosive pull up, 1sec pause.
  3. Standing Rope Pulldown – 3 sets x15-20 reps; tempo: 2secs up (release), 1sec pause, 2secs down, 2secs squeeze.
  4. Machine Preacher Curl (last set is drop set) – 4 sets x15 reps; tempo: 3secs down (release), 1sec pause, explode up, 3secs (squeeze).
  5. Superset:
    1. Standing Hammer Curl – 3 sets x20 reps; tempo: 2secs up, 1sec pause, 2secs down, 1sec pause.
    2. Rope Bicep Curl with External Supination – 3 sets x8-10 reps; tempo: 3secs down (release), 1sec pause, explode up, 3secs squeeze.
Fitness

Workout of the Week: Shoulders

“As an IFBB pro bikini athlete, I know the importance of a pair of stacked shoulder caps. They’re the key to any well-rounded physique and can make your shoulders appear wider, your waist smaller, and your hips narrower. Strong shoulders mean balance, symmetry, and proportion.” – IFBB bikini pro athlete Brittany Tacy.

  1. Seated Lateral Raise -2 sets x15-20 reps; tempo: 3secs down, 1sec pause, explode up, 2secs squeeze; 45 secs rest between sets
  2. Seated Front Raise – 2 sets x15-20 reps; tempo: 3secs down, 1sec pause, explode up, 2secs squeeze; 45 secs rest between sets
  3. Smith Machine Press from Dead Stop (Small increase of weight with each set and the final set is drop set) – 5 sets x12-15 reps; tempo: 3secs up, 1sec pause, 3 secs down, 1sec pause, 60secs rest between sets
  4. Reverse Shoulder Press – 3 sets reps till failure (can’t do no more!); tempo: alternating between a slow rep (3secs up and 3 secs down) and a fast rep (explosive movement), 60secs rest between sets
  5. Superset:
    1. Seated Lateral Raise – 3 sets x20-25 reps; tempo: 2secs down, 1sec pause, explode up, 1sec pause; 30 secs rest between exercises
    2. Seated Front Raise –  sets x20-25 reps; tempo: 2secs down, 1sec pause, explode up, 1sec pause; 60secs rest between sets
Motivation

Workout of the week: Back

As we are getting closer to my competition, I’ll be sharing with you the full workouts I do with my trainer.

Let’s start with one of my favourites 🙂 The back workout:

 

  1. Single Arm Cable Lat Pulldown – 3 sets x15 reps each arm; tempo: 3secs down, 1sec pause, 3 secs up, 1 sec pause.
  2. Hammer Low Row – 4 sets x15 reps; tempo: 4secs up (release), 1sec pause, explosive pull, 3secs pause (squeeze).
  3. Seated Cable Row (with rope) – 4 sets x15 reps; tempo: 4secs down (release), 1sec pause, explosive pull, 3secs pause (squeeze).
  4. Hammer Single Arm Supinated Pulldown – 4 sets x15 reps each arm; tempo: 3secs down, 1sec pause, explosive pull, 3secs pause (squeeze).
  5. Precor Machine Seated Row (neutral grip) – 3 sets x30 reps; tempo: 2secs down, 1sec pause, explosive pull, 2secs pause (squeeze).
Fitness

Exercise of the Week: Tire Flip

The tire flip is a part of strongman training (ak.a functional training). It improves strength, power development and conditioning.

The flip looks simple but don’t get fooled by the size of this tire – it is relatively heavy!!!
The movement should be generated from the lower body. Your arms should be slightly bent in a comfortable position, feet wide apart. Lower your bum similarly to a hack squat position, keep your chest lifted. Lock down your upper body and drive from the legs. When your hips, knees and ankles are extending flip the tire simultaneously upward and forward.

“The tire flip has become a fad exercise, unfortunately. You see coaches allowing people to flip tires using rounded backs and poor technique. The tire flip is an exercise one must earn.

What does that mean? First, you need to get strong in all areas of your body. You can approach this a number of ways, but you definitely need to be proficient at these exercises:

  • Deadlift (conventional, sumo, trap bar)
  • Clean and press (barbell, kettlebells, dumbbell, sandbag)
  • Pull-ups

Now, don’t let that list lead you to believe that you deadlift the tire to flip it, or that you use your biceps to curl it up. Neither approach will generate enough power to get a decent-sized tire up on its side. As I discuss in the video, a tire isn’t like other weights. You have to drive through it, not lift it.

Before you get excited and run outside to hunt down some rubber, understand that there are some dangers behind the tire flip. Your back and arms are at the greatest risk of injury, so keep these two tips in mind:

  • Relax your biceps to avoid curling the tire.
  • Keep your back tight to avoid rounding of the back, especially your lower back.”

From bodybuilding.com

 

Fitness

Exercise of the week: Walking Cable Squats

The walking squat will prepare your legs and core for a typical “leg routine”. This exercise is perfect for the start of your leg workout and a warm up for squats as well as a great finisher during a quad session. The idea here is to go heavy and stay low in the squat position making small steps back and forth. You should be feeling the burn in your quads!

Here’s how to do it:
1. Set up the cable machine waist high and hold the straight bar attachment with your arms extended in front.

2. Keeping your chest up, drop to a squat position (little more than 90 degrees)

3. Make a small steps back (staying in the squat position) 6-8 and repeat 3-5 times. Thats one set 😜

Fitness

Exercise of the week: Cable Reverse Flyes

The rear delts function like a back muscle – they help you pull your arms downwards and/or backwards.

They get quite involved in your back training but it’s important to add in at least one isolation exercise in your shoulder program to strengthen them.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Facing the pulley machine bend over until you are parallel to the floor.
  2. Hold each cable with the opposite hand.
  3. Create tension as you slightly pull your arms away from your side – about 30-45 degrees.
  4. Pause on the top and slowly bring your arms down to starting position.

Key points to remember:

  • Avoid retracting your shoulder blades so that you isolate the rear delt.
  • Make sure the pinky (outer palm) side of your hand is leading the way.
  • Keep elbows up high to avoid using your back muscles.
Motivation

Holiday Tips Part 1 – The No Gym Workout

On holiday? Don’t have access to a gym? Don’t worry, here’s what you can do (apart from the good ol’ body weight exercises!):

All you need is a few resistance bands (providing a resistance of 5-30 kg):

And an anchor… Literally!

Of course the sun & sea will give you an extra boost of motivation…

Yup, it’s time to throw all your excuses out!

Enjoy your holiday sun and burn some calories – why not?!

Fitness

Exercise of the week: Glute kickback

Following on from last week’s post on how to shape the glute-ham tie-in (or lower part of your bum 🙂 ), here’s another exercise to help you work those specific muscles. 

The glute kickback machine is a great way of targeting your butt muscles (the glutes) and also recruits the hamstrings as a secondary muscle. 

When you do this with proper technique it will give you the burn that not many other exercise can do. 

It is an isolation exercise and I like to use it at the beginning of the workout routine to pre fatigue the muscle and make sure it fires up properly leading into more compound exercises in the workout, such as leg presses & squats. It’s also a great way to finish the workouts to really exhaust the muscle as well.

  • Stand up straight facing the pad with sternum rested against it.
  • Place one foot agains the rear pedal.
  • Push your leg away straightening it by squeezing the glut and pressing your pelvis opposite way.
  • Hold for a second or two.
  • Bring the leg back with control.
Fitness

Exercise of the week: Underhand Grip Lat Pulldown

There’s pretty much no workout without a lat pull down variation. You can change your grip and angle and there are many bars you can choose from.

In the video below,  Miranda is doing the supinated ( underhand grip) straight bar variation, which allows her to involve more of the biceps. Usually it’s performed with a close grip but I find it easier on the wrists with a wider grip.

Your form & technique are essential to be able to isolate the muscle you are trying to work on and to properly stimulate it. Use the wrong technique and you will end up using your traps, rhomboids or lower back See-no-evil monkey

The results of this exercise may vary from person to person – it may give your back a wider look or add thickness to your muscles.

A key aspect for this lift is to go for a slightly lower weight and ensure a fully contracted lat muscle by using a controlled movement.

A few points to keep in mind when performing this exercise:
* Adjust the seat to fit under the pad
* Sit up straight
* Grab the bar palms down wider than shoulder width and engage your lats
* Traps and and shoulders down and blades together
* Chest slightly lifted
* Drive the elbows down pulling the weight slowly towards your clavicle
* Squeeze the lats harder at the bottom end of the movement
* And release slowly (keeping tension in the lats)
* Breathe out on exertion (pull down) and in on release ( way up)