The fitness industry is booming in the UK! All around the country, more Britons are lacing up their trainers and hitting the gym.
Are you one of them?
Have you in fact been considering a personal fitness program, going so far as to see how your schedule could be rearranged to accommodate a Pilates class, three times per week?
Are you hunting around for more specific, more intensive workouts? Perhaps hoping to train to competition level?
With Superprof’s online fitness trainers, you will rediscover your dream figure: a sculpted upper body, toned legs and arms to put a professional furniture mover to shame.
Tonight, I want you to meditate on the image of an iceberg. Because I am cool? – Hitch
Just like an iceberg, the upper part of our body is what gets noticed.
Perky pecs, six-pack abs, sexy shoulders and bulging biceps.
We are not describing the latest episode of Geordie Shore. We’re describing what you will look like, soon after starting your strength training and body sculpting program.
Push-ups are a traditional move to work your your pecs, abs and arms Source: Pixabay Credit: Tacofleur
If you have a gym membership, you have access to equipment that will tone specific muscle groups in your upper body.
Upon your first visit to the facility, a fitness professional will walk with you, briefly detailing the function of each machine and what part of your body would benefit from it.
If you are a beginner athlete looking to gain muscle mass, we urge you to consult with a personal trainer, who will conduct a fitness assessment, design a workout program and motivate you to achieve your goals.
For effective workouts, you should communicate your objectives clearly – merely saying toning up does not tell your coach very much.
Also, coordinating schedules would be a good idea; it wouldn’t do for you to appear, ready to work out and your trainer not be available.
Any training program targeted to your upper body will inevitably lead you to overall fitness and wellness.
What if there is no way for you to commit to regular training sessions: your schedule is just too crowded.
In that case, you have two options:
1. You forgo the chance to work with a fitness professional and wing your personal training program.
Somehow, you gain the knowledge of proper training procedure: warm ups, aerobics, stretch, build muscles, cool down and, through all of that, adopt good nutrition.
All while avoiding counter-productive work and preventing injury.
2. Instead of spending all that time on the Internet, trying to find the optimal workout – among all of the contradicting articles, you make slight adjustments to your schedule and find a personal trainer to work with you at home.
Nationally, in-home personal trainers are required to have achieved at least Level 3 certification, as well as First Aid Certification.
A personal trainer in the gym should have earned at least Level 2 certification.
If you opt for working out at home, you should clear a space dedicated to your fitness goals; one that affords you the room to move around as needed.
You may also want to invest in a bit of equipment: at least a quality mat, and perhaps some dumbbells.
If a specific aspect of athletics – say, crossfit training is your passion, you might consider dedicating an entire room to getting in shape for it.
You might consider buying a workout bench with weights, resistance bands, a pull-up bar – these are at the inexpensive end of the fitness equipment spectrum.
If you’re going all out, you could equip yourself with an elliptical trainer, a stationary bike and a rowing machine.
Target areas to build upper body strength are:
Don’t forget your back: if you spend any time on a rower, or even if you swim as a part of your fitness program, your back muscles can’t help but get toned.
Swimming is, incidentally, a great way to cool down after a strenuous workout.
In fact, athletes at intermediate level often forget to work their back muscles, unless they have a trainer to remind them.
Should you be among that number, inadvertently overlooking your dorsals, Lean It Up, a premier fitness magazine, lists thirteen exercises to chisel out back muscles.
Curling is the most well-known exercise for working biceps Source: Pixabay Credit:Jarmoluk
Working your arms in a gym, at home or even in your office is a relatively simple affair.
Do you have any dumbbells? That is all you need for biceps curls, the most renown arm muscle exercise.
For lack of a dumbbell, you could use resistance bands to work your arms.
Weights don’t get it for you? Installing a pull-up bar in your bedroom doorway is a simple act, and then you can use your whole body to work your arms (and pectorals).
You can find pull-up bars at the gym, too.
We concede: pull-ups require advanced body conditioning. Furthermore, several muscle groups besides your arms are involved, like: your stomach and back muscles.
If neither dumbbells, nor chin-ups suit your wallet or style, you could try a home-grown solution.
Use filled water bottles as weights, or even food tins.
Especially if you are just starting your training, these everyday products could fill the need for fitness while saving you money, until you decide that physical fitness training will be a permanent part of your active lifestyle.
Another equipment-less move you could incorporate into your workout routine is the push-up.
This classic move works your arms as well as your stomach, chest, and back.
And those dangly arm muscles so many of us middle and golden agers try to hide: the triceps, oft overlooked and under-worked!
A bench press is the best way to tone and condition that muscle. But, unless you have a home gym set-up, you are not likely to meet a bench press unless you go to the gym or fitness center.
If you are a member of a senior fitness group, you are already most likely doing exercises to tone and strengthen your arm muscles.
There are in fact several ways to work out without spending a pound on exercise equipment. Consulting with a Superprof fitness instructor could open up a world of exercise science and methods.
Generally, exercising your legs can lead to two, equally rewarding results:
1. Reduction of cellulite, loss of fat and overall toning and shaping.
2. Increased flexibility and muscle mass.
If the first result is what you are looking for, squats and lunges are the moves for you to focus on.
If you are ready to take your leg workout to the next level, address yourself to the machines designed for that purpose: the leg press and leg curl machines. Using free weights: the dead lift would be good, as well as…
Why not talk with a Superprof certified personal trainer about your optimal fitness plan to develop leg muscles?
Aqua jogging and aqua biking have seen a rise in popularity because of their low-impact properties.
You can run and ride in water, working the same muscle groups and getting the same cardiorespiratory effects, but with no danger of musculoskeletal injury.
If you are one of the estimated 2.3 million Briton battling obesity, aqua jogging may be the perfect way for you to get your cardio workout in a most refreshing manner.
Besides working your body, aqua biking and jogging burn a substantial amount of calories. So, if your goal is to lose weight, water fitness programs – after consulting with a health and fitness professional and a dietitian, may be just the ticket.
However, if the great outdoors calls to you, traditional biking is always an option.
Remember that giddy feeling you had as a child, when having a bike made you neighbourhood royalty?
You can recapture that glee when riding solo, or with a small group. You could even join a club! And, if you are so motivated, you could compete, either in races or on a dirt track.
If riding a bike seems daunting, if exercise programs for your legs don’t quite get it for you; if you’d rather not don spandex and dance around to a pumping aerobic beat, you could always enjoy:
Any of these cardiovascular workouts will go a long way to help tone and shape your legs.
Lunges are a classic way to work your thighs Source: Pixabay Credit: Silviarita
The cardinal rule of personal fitness training: hydration.
You will hear it from your personal fitness trainer, your gym instructor; from any fitness specialist whose knowledge you seek.
What you drink is as important as how often: before, during and after your workout, you must drink at least water, if not an electrolyte solution.
What you eat is important, too.
To close this article, we could simply write: eat healthy, but that wouldn’t tell you very much. And there is indeed much to say on the subject of nutrition for athletes!
This is as specific as we’ll get, for now:
Beyond that, if you are serious about building a healthy lifestyle, please consult with a nutritionist for an individualized diet plan.
Or, you could talk with your Superprof health fitness specialist, who is knowledgeable of your body composition. S/he would know the best foods for your body type and overall fitness goal.