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 –

Protein supplements – which one should you buy?

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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 –

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:

WBFF Figure Pro Tania Clark – Weights 4 Women Interview

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Weights 4 Women introduces WBFF athlete…….

Welcome to Weights 4 Women Tania! Introduce yourself and give us a bit of background information on how you was introduced to weight training?

A little bit about myself. I am a Figure Pro Diva model and athlete with the WBFF.   My biggest job is a mom, wife of 19 years, accountant and Paleo nutritionist all rolled up into one.   I have been studying Paleo for over 3 years and absolutely love it! I love sharing recipes so below is one of my favorites at my house. My passion is to empower others to eat healthy for a lifelong success no matter the fitness level.

What is your favourite food / recipe?

Paleo Banana Pancakes

3 very ripe bananas

3 eggs

½ cup almond or cashew butter

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbsp chopped walnuts (Optional)

Coconut or Ghee for frying

Take all ingredients (except nuts) and place in food processor or blender and mix until batter consistency. Next fold in nuts if you want to include them. Pour into hot skillet with coconut oil or ghee and cook about 3-4 minutes each side on medium-low heat. Cooking tip: I usually take an ice cream scooper or you can take a measuring scooper as well to measure out the pancakes to make them close to same size especially if you are counting macros and want the exact servings.   These make around 6-8 pancakes. No syrup needed for this recipe and serve with some organic turkey or beef bacon for some added protein. Enjoy!

Who inspires you?

My true inspiration comes from by mom. She is a driven individual that taught me determination and drive to go after your goals. I am so much like her and so thankful. She amazes me at age 82 still works full time with children and walks every morning.   My superhero!!

What`s your favourite exercise?

Wow that’s a hard one! I have many that are my favorite! If I had to pick one it would be shoulders. I usually train them twice a week with one session focusing on more presses and front delts and the other session on lateral raises and rear delts. Also for fat burning fun I enjoy circuit training classes, plyometrics or HIIT either on my hill at home or treadmill at the gym a couple of times a week. I enjoy outside biking for recreational fun.

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


I have three key elements for training:   Consistency, Patience and Passion

Consistency – Staying consistent in your training is extremely important if you want to see results. I am talking months and years when I say being consistent. Remember this is a lifetime journey that should be included in your day to day lifestyle. Results do not happen overnight which leads into my next key element.

Patience – Being patient is what I emphasize the most to people that ask me how you achieve your fitness goals. You have to be patient with the training, nutrition and the plan you have set in place for yourself. You can’t just stop after a month if it’s not working. You have to give it time. Everyone responds differently, so some may take longer for one person than the other so don’t give up!!

Passion- Be passionate about your training! When you get up each day do you look forward to training? If not, then that will slow your progress down drastically. You have to enjoy what you are doing first and foremost to have the longevity of success. Also you have to set goals in your training. Never stay stagnant. Progression is key to change. Regardless of what your fitness goals are, just always remember enjoy the journey. Find what you love to do and go out and smash it!!

What does the future hold for you, any future goals you would like to share?

I have so many goals I want to accomplish. Competing has given me so much and open doors that I am truly thankful to experience in my lifetime. Currently I am 48 and so happy to be able to compete at this age and my plans are to compete at least 2 more years and end with a big bang at 50!   Also I am currently working on a Paleo cookbook called “Paleo Fit Chick Healthy Eating” that I hope to have out in a year.

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

Last, I just want to add that I am very passionate about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and hope to help and encourage others that everyone can achieve a fitness goal and all you have to do set a plan in action and start! You don’t have to compete to achieve a level of great fitness and health.

I would like to give a shout out to the brilliant VP (Healthy Vision Photography) at Red Rock Canyon in Las Vegas! Thank you!

If any of the Weights 4 Women readers would like to find out more about you, wheres the best place for them to go?


I want to thank Weights 4 Women for allowing me to share my story and if you would like to follow me on social media for my nutrition and health tips see below links:   Now go get’em!!

Sponsored: Elite Figure and Fitness/Greg Hasberry Coach


Instagram: @tclarkwbffproathlete

Twitter: tclarkwbffproathlete