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With PSI over -, the haze in Singapore has gotten from bad to worse. Our health isn’t just taking a toll from the increase in PM 2.5, it’s probably also deteriorating from the lack of exercise. Whilst strenuous outdoor activities like running, jogging and even swimming might not be ideal in this weather condition, indoor workouts aren’t! So don’t let the haze be an excuse for letting your beer belly out!
Performing strength based workouts in the gym for a change can be beneficial for your as well. Weight training isn’t just about building muscle, here are some surprising benefits of strength workouts:
Improved body composition
28 untrained slightly overweight men who performed a hypertrophy-style(growth-oriented) program 3 times a week for 8 weeks lost 3 kg of body fat! This equaled to a decrease in body fat percentage of 13 percent. They also gained 3 kg of lean muscle compared to a control group that had no changes in body composition. This means that strength training helps you get leaner, stronger and more toned at the same time.
Lose Fat and Keep It Off
Whilst most people think running and other cardio exercises are better for fat loss, this isn’t exactly true. In fact strength training is better.Muscle burns fat. So more muscle equals more calories burned at rest. Strength training leads to an average loss of 1.7 kg of fat in both normal and over-weight individuals, while preserving lean mass and metabolic rate. his effect tested what happens when you go on a diet and lift weights:
Twenty untrained obese women who did hypertrophy-style circuit training for 12 weeks lost 14.5 kg of body fat. They increased the amount of calories their bodies burned at rest by 63 calories so that they had a resting metabolic rate (RMR) of 1,800. The study also used showed what happens when you choose cardio on a restricted calorie diet: Those women lost 12.8 kg body fat and dropped 4 kg of muscle, which unfortunately reduced their RMR by 210 calories to a measly 1,358 a day! Yes, that is right, the aerobic work worsened their resting metabolic rate!
Increased bone health and muscle mass Once you’ve passed puberty, you start to lose an astonishing 1% of not just muscle but bone strength every year! According to Troy Tuttle, exercise physiologist at University of Texas Medical School in Houston, the best way to stop or prevent bone and muscle loss is the implementation of strength training in your training routines.
Strength training makes you stronger and fitter Strength training is also called resistance training because it involves strengthening and toning your muscles by contracting them against a resisting force. Strength training in particular builds fast twitch muscles that contribute to power and speed speed in ways aerobic exercise cannot!
Improved Heart Function
Weight training supercharges heart function. It has been shown to decrease blood pressure Across 8 trials, systolic blood pressure (SBP) decreased by an average 6.2 mmHg. This is clinically significant since it is more than double the benefit of the typical blood-pressure lowering medications.
Have access to a local gym? Try this full-body workout designed by personal fitness trainer Jeffrey Phooi to get you your desired superhero physique!
Barbell Squats (Quadriceps): 3 sets for 8-10 repetitions (2 min rest interval)
Leg Curls (Hamstrings): 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions (1 min rest interval)
Dumbbell Bench Press (Chest): 3 sets of 6-8 repetitions (2 min rest interval)
Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets of 8-10 repetitions (2 min rest interval)
Bicep curls (Arms – Biceps): 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions (1 min rest interval)
Tricep Pushdowns (Arms – Triceps): 2 sets of 10-12 repetitions (2 min rest interval)
No equipment, no worries. The benefits of strength training workouts can be reaped through bodyweight circuits that are all the rage nowadays. They are the perfect workouts responsible for creating the Spartan-Bod in “300”.
Local personal trainer Jeffrey Phooi suggests a workout similar to the one used by celebrities with to get lean.
Home Bodyweight Workout
Prisoner Squats – 15 reps
Jumping Jacks – 30 reps
Pushups – 15 reps (knee pushups if unable to perform regular pushups)
Mountain Climbers – 30 seconds
Plank – 30 seconds
Crunches – 15 reps
Glute Bridges – 15 reps
Perform exercises back to back without stopping and rest 2 minutes after each round for a total of 5 circuits. If you are not sweating it out and torching that fat yet, you are either Superman or probably doing it. To keep track of your heart rate, you can probably get a superb heart rate tracking device such as the TICKR X or even a fitness tracker like the Fitbit Charge HR to keep within your training zone.
So keep fit, stay strong and don’t let the haze keep you down!
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