Functional Training or Dysfunctional Training?

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Functional Training? ……….


The fitness industry on the whole is FULL of “buzzwords”

They often sound fancy, attractive in the hope that it leads you to buy their product or invest your money for their time.

BUT do these words actually represent anything in relation to training and performance.

A popular one at the minute is …… FUNCTIONAL TRAINING

The idea around functional training is that exercises are chosen that promote certain functions of joints and muscles. This is often many joints working in sync to produce a certain movement pattern.

For example, a back squat requires the hip, knee and ankle joint to work together to produce the lower body movement. There is also stabilization of the upper body and associated joints and muscles, but on a whole, it is a lower body exercise.

However, what is a DYSFUNCTIONAL exercise?

Surely all movement involves certain joints and muscles working together to produce a specific outcome?

So by definition ALL movements that require joints and muscles to work together to produce ANY movement is therefore functional.

Lets look at an example……..

If the sport you play / perform in requires a large degree of shoulder movement, having strong stabilizers around the rotator cuff and scapulae will in turn improve the function of the shoulder joint. If we look at one exercise such as the “face pull” many would not class this as functional.

The face pull will improve the stabilizers around the shoulder, improve the upper and lower traps which in turn will help to keep the shoulders back and avoid internal rotation. This will improve the function of the shoulder, so in turn is classed as functional training.

At weights 4 women, we think there is no better example of functional training than seeing a young attractive female lifting BIG weights! Read here – http://www.weights4women.com/cheryl-kelsall-2/

Protein supplements – which one should you buy?

weights4women weights 4 women protein shakes supplements

Carrying on from last week’s post in regards to the supplement industry, I am going to cover the use of protein supplements to increase overall protein consumption throughout the day. For those competing in sport, protein requirement can be hard to hit. For example, a competitive athlete as a rough guide should be aiming for at least 1.7g of protein per kg of bodyweight. This is on the lower scale and can rise to 2.3g+ per kg of bodyweight. Weights 4 Women has looked at a few of the popular supplements and summarized them……..

Below is a list of supplements you will find on the shelves of many stores.

1) Whey concentrate is the most basic form of protein that is found in many protein supplements on the market. People who are looking for an inexpensive protein supplement will find be able to source pure whey concentrate at a good price.

2) Whey Isolates are one of the quickest absorbing proteins on the supplement market, aside from specially manufactured proteins. Pure isolate proteins tend to be expensive compared to concentrate supplements. Often good value supplements can be found with a mix of isolates and concentrates.

3) Hydrolysate protein is the most expensive supplement you will find on the shelves of supplement stores and is the highest quality of protein available. The price can be double that of other supplements so maybe not the best option for those on a restricted budget. Hydrolysates provide highly absorbable protein peptides that can have a great anabolic effect, signalling cell hypertrophy.

4) Soy protein is not that popular compared to other protein sources due to its biological value being relatively low. However it is a good source of protein for those looking for a vegetarian source of protein.

5) Casein based products generally are referred to as slow release proteins. Casein has a major advantage over other sources of proteins that it has the ability to provide your body with a slow and steady release of amino acids over a few hours. This would generally not be ideal for post workout, but for other times of the day – Casein is a fantastic choice!

Depending on your budget and requirements be sure to compare different supplements on the market. One additional point I would like to make, be careful of the sugar content in some supplements. Many poor quality supplements can contain up to 40g of sugar per serving – this may be far from ideal depending on your specific goals.

Find out why Raspberry Ketones are taking your money, but offering you NO real benefit – http://www.weights4women.com/raspberry-ketones-great-for-your-pet-rat/

Raspberry Ketones – Great for your pet rat

The supplement industry is booming!

In an industry that is relatively unsupervised, hundreds of new products are released every year. Yet many fail to make the grade.

The industry on a whole is fueled by manipulating peoples emotions, often target at those looking to lose weight / body fat.

A popular supplement with women at the minute trying to lose some extra lbs, are raspberry ketones.

So what are they?

Raspberry ketones are natural compounds responsible for the typical smell of red raspberries. The natural quantity of ketones is extremely small, 1-5mg per kg of raspberries……

therefore, raspberry ketones are synthetically produced for the mass market.

And what do they do?

Raspberry ketone supplements claim to assist in fat loss by

• Increased lipolysis (the breakdown of fat in the body)
• Increased use of stored body fat as a primary fuel source (fat oxidation)

So the important question you want to ask, do they work?

Yes…… if you are a rat and take way above the recommended dose.

During research carried out on rats, they were given move than 100times the dose that any raspberry supplement contains.

Now to seal the deal! – There have been NO research undertaken with human participants. NONE what so ever!

So to conclude my Weights 4 Women readers – Save your money, unless you are a rat and you are willing to take over 100 times the recommended dose!

 

Improve Your Work Productivity

Do you have poor posture?………

This is aimed at those who work in a corporate environment and are sat at a desk for 7 hours plus on a daily basis. We are a nation of poor posture and mechanically move in such a way that doesn’t resemble a healthy muscular and skeletal structure.

For those of you in an office environment, poor posture is emphasized. You only have to glance over to your colleague and see hoe internally rotated their shoulders are (looks very similar to slouching, but their shoulders are pulled forward in this case). Over time you will notice individuals with a “hump back” which is lengthening the upper back. This can over-stress the lumbar spine which will stress discs the make up the cervical and thoracic regions of the spine.

Having poor posture at work will create small niggles that will decrease your productivity. Sitting all day with a sore back is not nice but will also see your productivity levels plummet. At Weights 4 Women we believe you should be happy in and out of the gym, as most of your time will be spent away from the free weights and cardio equipment.

All is not lost, I am going to give you 3 bits of advice to help you get your posture back in control.

1) I have mentioned this exercise in the past, the band pull apart. Thera bands can be picked up in many shops and I have also seen them in large supermarkets in the past.

Take hold of the band at arm’s length around shoulder width apart. Keeping your arms straight pull the band apart till it is stretched across your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together.

I like to use a fast (ish) concentric (pulling the band apart) and a very slow and controlled eccentric (taking the stretch away from the band and returning to the start position). After the concentric phase when you’re in a fully stretched position, hold the contraction for 2 seconds!

3-4 sets of 15 reps / 2-3 times a week

For a picture demonstration of the band pull apart, be sure to check out previous Weights 4 Women article here – http://www.weights4women.com/improve-your-posture-the-band-pull-apart/

2) If you train in the gym, for every chest movement you do, Include 2 back exercises. This well help to strengthen the weaker muscles in the upper back and the rear deltoids helping to pin your shoulder blades back.

3) Stretch your chest and shoulder muscles multiple times throughout the day. I like to use the door frame stretch for this. Stand in between a door frame, resting your arms at shoulder height at each side of the door frame. Keeping your arms in place, step forward till your arms are behind you. You should feel a strong stretch across your chest and shoulders.

Hold for 15-20 seconds, 3-4 times.

3 Tips for a Toned Look

The toned look – you need some muscle to begin with………

I am briefly going to go over some fundamental differences between male and female training. A large percentage of the clients I have worked with are female (hence why I started Weights 4 Women) and the mistakes I see are the same time after time. Achieving a toned look requires a slightly different approach than what a male counterpart would do. This has a lot to do with the hormonal differences between men and women, but for this article I am going to focus on 3 points you can start to implement straight away.

1) To achieve the toned look, you need some muscle to begin with

When trying to achieve a toned look, most women mean they want some shape to their body. This requires that you aren’t carrying excess body fat and you have some 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.


2) Heavy weight and lower reps should be prioritised for muscle tone

To achieve a “toned” look women have to use heavy weights and intentionally try to move the weight fast during the concentric phase (e.g the pressing stage of a bench press). This increases the amount of motor units recruited to perform the movement. Without heavy weights there is not enough mechanical stress for the body to recruit and utilise the motor units available. Without this recruitment you will very unlikely achieve a toned look. 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. Emphasis should be placed on using the correct technique for both beginners and advanced lifters.

3) Multi-jointed compound movement should make up the bulk of your training

Focusing on machines will not generally help you in your fight to losing body fat and achieving the look you want. There is still a consensus that if you train a muscle directly the body fat covering that area will also be targeted. This is largely a myth that has been hanging around a long time and won’t go away. Problem is with machines such as hip adduction and abduction is you are actually making the muscle bigger and not reducing the body fat in that specific region. This is the opposite in what you are trying to achieve. Instead focus on movement that work multiple joints and muscles at the same time. This will produce the most beneficial metabolic and hormonal response to reduce body fat.

Want help losing body fat? Read Weights 4 Women – 5 common fat loss mistakes here: http://www.weights4women.com/5-common-fat-loss-mistakes/