WBFF Figure Pro Tania Clark – Weights 4 Women Interview

weights 4 women

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

Facebook:   www.facebook.com/tclarkwbffpro

Instagram: @tclarkwbffproathlete

Twitter: tclarkwbffproathlete

Email: tclarkpaleofit@yahoo.com

 

 

3 squat variations for you to try

dumbbell squat

Back Squat

The back squat is commonly known as the traditional squat. This is the exercise of choice for many looking to improve and shape their hamstrings, quadriceps and glutes. There are 2 variations utilised when it comes to the back squat,  low bar and high bar. This refers to the placement of the bar on the trapezius and upper back. The high bar is the most common bar placement that will you see in most commercial gyms.This is where the bar sits very high at the back of the neck, those with very little muscle density or body fat often find this very uncomfortable and it is not rare to see many individuals opting to place a towel around the barriers to improve comfort. The low bar squat is less common and as a whole will only be found in more sports specific and powerlifting gyms. The low bar as the name suggests sits much lower down on the upper back. Those with poor shoulder flexibility find this extremely uncomfortable as there is a great emphasis on improving shoulder mobility to avoid Injury for those individuals opting for this bar placement.  The low bar puts more of the emphasis on the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, lower back) as opposed to the quadriceps. The range of motion is vastly reduced in this movement for many which means once technique is perfected,  the individual can often lift more weight than they would with the high bar placement. This isn’t always the case as limb length plays a great role here but as a whole, it is usually the case.

Front Squat

The second most common squat variation is the front squat. This movement pattern is generally used as opposed to the back squat to directly target the quadriceps on the front of the leg. The bar sits across the top of the clavicles (collar bone) in front of the neck. Due to the bar positioning being more anterior in relation to the body, there is a great emphasis on the anterior muscles of the body. This means there is a greater emphasis on the abdominals to stabilise the upper body and keep the individual upright and not collapsing forward against the weight. Those with weak abdominals tend to struggle a little with this exercise to begin with and is usually very identifiable due to the body positioning on the upward (concentric) phase of the lift. Beginners and those not fully competent with the front squat should start nice a light to begin with and aim to overload and progress In a linear fashion over multiple weeks.

Dumbbell Squat

The dumbbell squat is a fantastic exercise for everybody whether you’re a beginner or advanced gym user. The added benefit of the dumbbell squat is that you only need minimum equipment to perform the exercise correctly. The barbell back and front squat both require a power rack or squat stands, bar and weight plates and for safety reasons a spotter is advisable. Contrast this to the dumbbell alternative, it can be done anywhere! Whether you’re at home, on holiday, working away and having to stay in hotel accommodation, the exercise can still be performed if you have a set of dumbbells. Due to the exercise demands requiring the individual to hold the dumbbells to the side of the body, this has the added benefit of reducing injury risk. The exercise requires no direct loading on the spine, so those suffering from neck and back problems can usually carry out the exercise safely if directed by a trained medical practitioner that it is safe to do so. For those wishing to emphasize the load on the quadriceps more, I advise elevating your heels very slightly with a spare weight plate or stable object, this will help to put more of an emphasis on the quadriceps in contrast to sitting back into the squat position and targeting more of the hamstrings

 

Running Safety

Before you read on I must state that I am not against running, at the right time incorporating running into a training program can accelerate fat loss significantly. However, I do believe that for some individuals it can be very dangerous and counterproductive to your goals.

Let me explain, when we run our lower extremities are exposed to impact forces. Research suggests that during each foot contact during the gait cycle the patella (knee) joint is exposed to 2-3 times the individual’s bodyweight. This is an extreme amount of force every step that an individual takes.

This is the exact reason I don’t encourage running for very overweight individuals. It’s not that it doesn’t help in fat loss, it’s the fact it exposes the body to forces that will most likely cause injury and inflammation which will then bring your fat loss goals to a standstill.

For example, take a 5 foot 4 person who weighs 100kg. Every foot contact causes up to 300kg of force through the knee joint, every 10 steps causes 3000kg of force and every 100 steps causes 30,000kg of force. If an individual was to run for 1 mile you can see that the knee joint would be under extreme pressures. This is the exact reason that many people who run on hard surfaces such as concrete complain about knee problems.

I always try to help people reach their goals, but intelligently get there in a safe way. It is no shock that those individuals who are extremely overweight are advised by health professionals to take up swimming. This is because swimming is extremely low impact on the joints so exercise can be performed safely. Those who have had lower leg injuries or surgery use swimming for those exact reasons, this includes animals as well.

Be intelligent with your training and make sure you reach your goals efficiently and safely.

Going On Holiday?

As many of you will be getting ready to go on holiday with schools breaking up this week, I am going to give you a few tips to help you stay in shape but at the same time enjoy your holiday. Over the last week I have had quite a few emails in regards to this with many believing that they are suddenly going to take ten steps backwards. It’s important to note that within a two week period, you will not lose much muscle mass at all. However, there is a good chance we will accumulate extra body fat.

1) Keep your protein intake high – many of us drop our protein intake considerably when on holiday, myself included. We favour nice and easy carbohydrate and fatty snacks. It’s natural for your appetite to drop in warm and humid conditions and easy and refreshing snacks become the norm over the holiday. If you can try to keep some protein into your diet this will help to preserve muscle tissue and keep you on track.

2) Walk – many resorts and holiday destinations have fantastic views, make the most of them. By walking you are still keeping your energy expenditure high. The problem many individuals have is that they think they have lost muscle tissue due to not training for the length of the holiday, this is generally not the case for most people. It is the added body fat that is the problem. We tend to over consume on fatty foods and alcohol while on holiday, add this to the fact we are not exercising, running around everywhere doing jobs and this is when the problems start. Due to there being a big drop in energy expenditure but an increase in caloric intake, we gain body fat. However, you are on holiday so enjoy!

3) Hotel facilities – make the most of the facilities and activities that your hotel offers. Use the swimming pool, swimming is a fantastic way of burning calories and topping up your tan. It is very low impact on joints and highly recommended for those who have a difficult time exercising on land due to joint problems. A lot of hotels offer pool activities such as water aerobics and volleyball. Join In and have fun, but at the same time you are still exercising without the full commitment of going to the gym.

4) Enjoy your holidays!

Back To Basics – Part 2 Push Ups

Part 2 of back to basics consists of press-ups, the exercise that is unfortunately missed out at times but single handily set you off on your fitness journey. As a child you was very unaware at school how much you were developing your chest, shoulders, triceps and upper back. When the teacher told you to give him 10 press-ups, that’s exactly what you was doing. You viewed it as a punishment, but in hindsight it has helped many of you to the point where you are today.

I will presume most people know how to perform a press-up, so I won’t waste your time on the boring details. However, I will tell you how to perform the exercise safely and efficiently.

The starting position of a press-up is very similar to that of the plank. This tells us that the abdominals are working hard to keep us in a nice tight position, helping to stabilise the lower back and spine. We often forget how muscles these basic movement utilise, and by slowing down the rep tempo of each press-up we can over emphasize this and use the exercise as a fantastic tool in our training programmes. Try counting 5 seconds on the way down and 3 seconds on the way up, this will totally change your mind set on how you have performed the exercise in the past.

Although push-ups are known for developing the pecs, shoulders, triceps and upper back muscles. It is important to note that the exercise is a full body move. Give specific attention to the glutes, keeping them tight will help to stabilise the lower back muscles and keep the back nice and straight. You want to avoid arching the back during the movement, focus on squeezing the glutes to help you stabilise this position.

One of the main positional problems I often see when people are performing the movement, is that there arms are out a 90 degree angle throughout the movement. Although you might feel this working your pecs better, it can cause havoc on the shoulders over time. Try to focus on tucking your elbows slightly as you lower yourself into position. You want to try and avoid looking like a “T” with your arms out wide.

There are many ways to advance the exercise depending on how competent you are at performing the exercise correctly. Methods to advance the press-up include using only one leg, this relies on the secondary muscles such as the abs to work harder as you have to stabilise yourself more with only having three points of contact with the floor rather than four. Other well-known methods include clap press-ups, medicine ball press-ups and an exercise many cross fitters use, handstand press-ups.