Welly Lifestyle: Fitness through Weights


With Easter soon upon us and lots of chocolate about to be scoffed, trimming down after the excesses of Christmas is top of a lot of people’s priorities. In this new fitness feature for Wellies & Wine I’d like to give everyone a few tips on how to get the most out of your training when it comes to getting leaner.

There are 2 bits of advice I give people that often surprise them. The first is that when you are doing cardiovascular exercise you actually burn most fat when your heart rate is at a medium level, so just jumping on a treadmill or cross trainer and going hell for leather won’t actually burn much fat…. Yes it will get you fitter and therefore improve your heart and lungs but visually it probably won’t give you the results you want. The answer is to train at about 60% – 70% of your maximum heart rate for maximum fat burning.  To work this out us this simple formula: take the number 220 and minus your age.  This is your 100%, then work out 60% – 70% of that number and this will give you a good idea of where your heart rate should be when using a heart rate monitor.

If you are someone though who loves to feel like they have really pushed themselves and you don’t enjoy just keeping your heart rate at a steady rate then why not try interval training? This enables you to kill 2 birds with one stone; you’ll burn fat and improve your fitness. Try something like this…. 1 minute very easy then 1 minute very hard on something like a bike or rowing machine and keep alternating this for about 12 minutes. It works by elevating your heart rate quite high in the difficult minute and therefore improving your fitness, then lowering your heart rate in the easy minute and burning fat.

The second surprise folks is that you actually burn more fat from of a resistance (weights) training session than you do a cardiovascular session! The reason for this is when you do cardio you burn fat there and then and as soon as your heart rate goes back to normal (usually within minutes) the fat burning stops but when you do resistance training you burn fat for days after due to an increase in metabolic rate.  This is where your body tries to repair muscle once the training stops. So if you don’t do any weight training you need to start. Weight training is as good for women as it is men; it burns lots of fat as discussed above, tones you up, reduces the chance of diseases such as osteoporosis and arthritis… and trust me you will not end up looking “manly” and like a “bodybuilder” ladies.

Exercises such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, lat pull down, low row, shoulder press and chest press all work multiple muscles so therefore encourage lots of muscles to tone up and repair, this as mentioned earlier means loads of fat being burnt. With weight training if you do about 10-12 repetitions then have 45 sec to 1minute rest then do it again about 3 or 4 times. To select the right weight make sure you are failing on the last few reps to lift it. So in conclusion you should be doing a mixture of weight training and cardio that favors weight training to burn lots of fat. Say you train for 1 hour in the gym, I’d recommend doing 20mins maximum of cardiovascular training and about 40 minutes weight training.

By resident Welly Fitness Guru & Contributor, Curtis Woodburn

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