Monique Newton kindly shares her amazing story with Weights 4 Women

Welcome to WEIGHTS 4 WOMEN Monique! Introduce yourself and give us a bit of background information on how you was introduced to weight training?

I was introduced to weight training in 2010 after a brief bout of depression, I decided that I needed to channel my energy into something positive and I figured that weight training was a really good way to get stronger not just physically but mentally too. 4 months in to my training, I found myself doing my first powerlifting competition and I haven’t looked back since.

What`s your greatest achievement to date?

For me weight training has opened so many doors and given me the platform to pursue things I wouldn’t have normally had the opportunity or the confidence to pursue. In 2012 I was part of an Adidas campaign showcasing talent from young people across London in the run up to the Olympics. I appeared on a few billboards across London and had a short feature done following my powerlifting journey. Powerlifting rarely gets much media attention so to be recognised by such a main stream brand was very rewarding and hopefully I was able to inspire other young people and females to take up lifting weights.

monique 2

Who inspires Monique?

I feel really inspired by anyone who has overcome great adversity to get to where they want to be. I have so much respect for people who aren’t afraid to be their own person and do their own thing.

What`s your favourite gym lift?

Deadlifts for sure!!

If you could give the females reading this one bit of training advice, what would it be?

Never take your eye of that end goal. When you feel like giving up remember the reasons you started in the first place. Surround yourself with positive and like minded people who motivate you and inspire you to be the best you can be. Most importantly believe in yourself and never underestimate what you can do.

What does the future hold for you?

I’ve recently become self employed which has allowed me to be a lot more flexible and focus on everything that’s important to me. I hope to continue to train and compete, pushing my body and my mind beyond it’s limits. I’ve also set up my own charity organisation and hope to continue to expand and help as many people as I can.

monique 3

Thank you for your time Monique, is there anything you would like to add?

My decision to pick up weights has been one of the best decisions I have made in my life and I just hope everyone is able to get as much from it as I have. I’d also like to say thanks to my coach Dave Beattie who has helped me get to where I am and introduced me to a whole new world!

If anyone wants to find out more about what you do, what’s the best way to get hold of you?

You can find me on twitter “XMoniqueAmyX” or on Facebook “Monique Amy Newton”. Social media is great and it’s fantastic to be able to connect with like minded people.

Women and Weight Training – Part 1

When trying to advise women to weight train, 70% will look at you as though you have just grown an extra head and pushed their grandma in front of an on coming bus!

There is a wide spread belief that if a female picks a set of dumbbells then within weeks they are going to resemble a professional bodybuilder. I must say this idea is actually decreasing through various channels and there are a lot of great trainers out there doing there best to dispel this myth. A good friend of mine Tania George (Check her page out at Nodumbelles Personal Training ) is doing this day in day out! The amount of females she has introduced and reintroduced back into weight training is phenomenal and is fantastic for the industry as a whole.

article 2

If I surveyed one of the gyms I currently work at and asked what is your goal right now, half would say there looking to lose weight (they mean fat but I understand) and half would say they want to be “toned”. Now the problem with this is that muscle tone has nothing to do with how your muscles actually look, muscle tone in its real form refers back to medical terminology and the continuous and partial contraction of the muscles. What they really want is some shape to their body, this requires that you aren’t carrying excess body fat and you have some muscle! Yes you NEED muscle!

Now to achieve this “desired shape” you first need some muscle and muscular definition. There are many women who come from dancing and gymnastic background who have a very solid base of muscle, it’s just usually covered by body fat. We have two options for most women, decrease body fat or increase lean muscle tissue and sometimes a combination of both. Don’t be afraid, you will not wake up with huge biceps – I can promise you this! BUT I will not lie to you, there are at times women who can build muscle a lot easier to due to heightened testosterone levels. I would estimate this at a very very low % and if this applies to you, you will know at a very young age! Not in your mid thirties to 40s as the majority of my clients are.

article 3

Now a touchy subject – CROSSFIT. There are certain aspects of cross fit that i do not agree with. The sport was basically unorganised organised chaos BUT where there is money involved (HUGE AMOUNTS) you have to clean your act up! And it has! What I have to take my hat off to cross fit for is that they have introduced thousands of women into weightlifting and weight training. There are females in and out of the sport who know what a snatch and clean and jerk is, I will repeat that again – THEY KNOW WHAT A SNATCH AND CLEAN AND JERKS IS – MADNESS! Crossfit has introduced the sport of weightlifting to women and made is attractive! There are more and more females involved with Olympic weightlifting due to cross fit, many will drop out of cross fit and take up Olympic weightlifting as their sport. It’s a natural progression as many don’t have the lungs for the anaerobic capacity work which is involved within the sport, but love throwing barbells around! – I promise that within 2-3 years local Olympic weightlifting competitions will be A LOT busier due to this!

Lift weight ladies and enjoy it!

Suspension Training for the over 50`s

As we get older our bodies naturally change, with age results in a variety of complex metabolic and hormonal changes in which effects the way our bodies behave. This includes muscle atrophy (wasting and loss of lean muscle tissue), extended recovery times after bouts of exercise, loss of elasticity in tendons, ligaments and associated connective tissue, balance impairments and increased storage of adipose tissue (fat tissue) due to hormonal changes that occur within the body.

What is suspension training?

Suspension exercises (most notably known as TRX) is a very popular way to get fit for many people, the TRX is a fitness apparatus that attaches to a single anchor point that supports both the hands and feet and allows both linear and multidirectional movements patterns. The primary benefit of utilizing the TRX is that the users can very easily modify body positions, base of support and work through multi jointed exercises that targets the whole musculature of the body. The TRX allows the user to use simple movement patterns while unloading the body through the exercise and providing external support to allow the user to balance and carry out the movement without the fear of falling over. This is extremely beneficial to those over 50 who aren’t as confident using free weights and are unable to fully stabilise themselves and carry out the movements effectively and safely. The users can dictate the speed, range of motion and training volume specific to their desired goals, this makes the TRX very usual for the older adult, those rehabilitating from musculoskeletal injuries and those with limit flexibility around certain joints.

Benefits to the over 50`s

Over 30% of Adults ages 65 and over fall at least once and up to 20% fall twice or more (G Periera and Caspersen, 2000). Research in the USA states that falling contributes to 90% of hip fractures (Carter et al., 2001). The risk of falling increases with age due to conditioning related disorders, these can include Joint mobility issues, limited reaction time, gait impairments, balance impairments, postural issues and decreased static and dynamic strength (especially the lower extremities in the over 50`s). The conditions and risk factors are all physiological characteristics meaning they can be reversed and improved through the use of a well designed exercise regime based around the TRX.

The use of the TRX for the 50`s boasts many benefits, it can be very effective in reducing the symptoms of Chronic conditions, this includes:-

 

  • Back Pain
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Arthritis

Health benefits include:-

 

  • Improved Muscular Strength
  • Improved Glucose Control (insulin sensitivity)
  • Improved Body composition (increase in lean muscle tissue, decrease in fat tissue)
  • Improved join stability
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Strengthening of bone

 

National Tranpolinist to International Powerlifter – Clare Patterson

Welcome to WEIGHTS 4 WOMEN Clare! Introduce yourself and give us a bit of background information on how you was introduced to weight training and how did you come about starting powerlifting??

Hi! I’m a former national level trampolinist and have always been competitive. However, I started going to a bootcamp when I felt overweight and topped 12 stone. My instructor was brilliant and I started going to more gym classes which used weights. Through bootcamp, I met my fiend TJ Harrop who took me under his week and taught me a bit of powerlifting. A few years later I told my friend what I could lift and apparently it was decent enough to qualify for BDFPA nationals. My PT told me he would disappointed if I didn’t try so I entered for my first competition. My friend Scott had kindly decided to coach me but i had to change coaches and Dominic Kinsey took over my training. I competed for the first time in September 2013. I qualified British nationals then decided I really wanted to compete for Ireland. So I did IDFPA single lift nationals in January, winning bench, 2nd squat and 3rd deadlift, qualifying all 3 for WDFPF worlds in June. I competed in IDFPA full power nationals in April and came 2nd, qualifying for WFPF worlds in November. In June, I won bench and came 2nd in squat and deadlift. Last week I competed for Ireland again in the BDFPA 4 nations competition.

clare 3

How do you stay motivated?

I want to win. I hate losing. My coach Dominic Kinsey (iron warrior fitness) motivates me by pushing me and giving me brilliant work outs. Also competing, I need goals to work towards. I love when my coach gives me my new programmes and I see what the end goal is! I also have a national bench ranking to defend and I don’t want anyone taking it from me. I do lose motivation though and sometimes you just have to recognise not every session will be brilliant.

What is your favourite food / recipe?

I love steak and poached eggs, nice and simple and tasty. Cant beat sweet potato brownies as well.

What are your 3 favourite exercises? If you could give the females reading this one bit of training advice, what would it be?

I love bench, its my favourite lift. I also love the fact I can do pull ups! Front squats are pretty sweet too best training advice is find something you enjoy, not everyone wants to deadlift or squat, if you want to run or to row or to bench, DO IT!

clare 2

What does the future hold for you, more competitions?

Im competing at the WDFPF European single lifts in Ireland in September. Ive qualified all 3 lifts (squat/bench/deadlift) but am just competing bench and deadlift. Then I have the WDFPF full power worlds in November.

If any of the readers would like to find out more about you and what you do, where’s the best place for them to go?

The free weights aren’t just for guys! Don’t be afraid to lift weights, you will not look like a man. You will feel more confident and it will help you lose weight! I tweet about my training a lot so follow me @powerpuff_fairy

clare 5

Thanks for your time Clare, from everyone at Weights 4 Women we wish you the best of luck in your lifting career!

Teen Superstar Shachar Head kindly speaks to Weights 4 Women

Welcome to WEIGHTS 4 WOMEN Shachar! Introduce yourself and give us a bit of background information on how you was introduced to weight training?

I’m 18 years of age and have been powerlifting for a couple of years now, I love it and wouldn’t change it for the world. It truly has changed who I am and the gym and the fitness lifestyle has changed who I am for the better. Due to being bullied a lot throughout my school years I became very unconfident and unhappy with myself, however now I am happier and more comfortable in my own skin. I still suffer with low self esteem but not as bad as it used to be!!

Throughout my childhood I have always been interested in sport, and tried a number of events ranging from trampolining to shot put and discus. In order to build strength for the discus I was taken to the gym. It was there that my natural aptitude for power sports became evident, even in my first session I was leg pressing the whole stack. My natural strength was spotted by the gym owners and they suggested I try powerlifting.

Since then I have won 3 powerlifting world titles, broken all of the T1 T2 AND T3 world records in my weight category and also won a colleges weightlifting title after only 2 months of training.

shachar 5

With being young, im sure there are many distractions. How do you stay motivated?

There are many distractions, all my friends are out most weekends and I’m just trying to catch some Zzz’s to rest and recover! I stay motivated because I know how much achieving my goals means to me and how proud it makes my family. I have gone as far as I can go however I use the motto ‘better never stops’ to keep my head and heart in the right place.

What are your short term and long term goals Shachar?

My short term goal at the moment is to keep on improving and overcoming my recent illness of glandular fever, and keeping on top of it!! This includes making sure I listen to my body and not over doing it so I don’t get sick again. Long term is to continue improving in olympic weightlifting and possibly make it to a games. Also, long term I would like to lower my body fat % to be a leaner and healthier individual. Another long term goal for me would be to get my degree and have a successful career.

shachar 4

Who inspires you?

My main inspirational figure would be my granfer without a doubt.

What are your 3 favourite exercises?

Hmm, that’s a toughie for an all-round kind of girl! However my top 3 would have to be squat, deadlift and you can’t beat some bench press. As a power lifter it would be wrong to say any other exercise 😉

If you could give the females reading this one bit of training advice, what would it be?

My main piece of advice would be don’t be afraid of the weights area. Many women these days think that it is all about the cardio to lose weight when infact having a good weights and body weight exercise routine works best to help trim and tone up. Of course cardio should be included but vary it. Use a good variation of steady state cardio and interval training/HIIT which is great for blasting the fat away and increasing metabolic rate.

shachar 2

What does the future hold for you?

I hope it holds a lot for me. I would like it to hold more successes within powerlifting both as a competitor and coach. I’d love to see powerlifting make it into the Olympic Games also. I want my future to be a happy and healthy one.

Thank you for your time Shachar, is there anything you would like to add?

Thank you also! One thing I would like to say is a massive thank you to everyone who has supported me so far on my journey. I have given a lot to powerlifting and I have so much more to give on top. And ladies (and gentlemen) please, next time you’re in the gym or when you begin training, give powerlifting a go. It changed my life… I hope it can do the same for you.

shachar 3

If any of the readers would like to find out more about you and what you do, where’s the best place for them to go?

Okay so I have;

Facebook athlete page – Shachar Head Powerlifting – (there shouldn’t be too many of those haha)

Twitter – @shacharheadGB

Instagram – shacksmashHD

Or email me – shachar.head66@gmail.com

Thankyou for your time Shachar, Having achieved so much at a young age in incredible! From everyone at Weights 4 Women we really wish you the best of luck for the future!