Let’s take a look at how to maximise your efforts in the gym, whilst minimising your time investment, so you can get on with more important things – like living your life!
You’re going to perform resistance exercises in the gym (so that means training your muscles with resistance machines or free weights). Again cutting out the scientific jargon, and skipping directly to the results orientated principles (called GIVE ME THE SKINNY), here’s what you want to do.
Aim to perform resistance exercise for your entire body … that’s every muscle group in your body once per week. Here’s how you elicit maximal muscle tone, and stimulate maximum response from your resistance exercise. If it’s different than what you’ve been told, ask yourself again – “is what I’m currently doing eliciting the responses I desire?”
Chose one piece of resistance exercise for each muscle group in the body. For example here’s a workout below:-
Start by performing 5 minutes or so of gently warming up such as jogging on the treadmill – your aim being to get the blood pumping around your body, raise your heart rate, and most importantly … begin lubricating your joints and raise your temperature. Why are you doing this? To prevent injury. Nothing more. There is no magic to warming up, it isn’t for weight loss. But it is important.
Now move to your first exercise – in this example, it’s the leg press. Perform 30 or so reps in a slow controlled manner. So chose a weight that lets you achieve around 30 reps, that is uncomfortable, but achievable and so if you were pressed and pushed into it, you could continue maybe to 40 or so reps. So it’s not an all out effort. And then stop when you get to 30. It’s not a magic number, you’re simply getting your body ready to perform the work you want it to do.
Here’s where you perform your work. Now imagine, muscle stimulation is like switching a light switch. Once you have pressed the switch, you don’t have to continue pressing it on many times to have the light activated. Once is the trigger. The switch has performed the stimulus. You triggered the response. So here you go. Mentally prepare yourself for your ONE set of your exercise to stimulate your muscular stimulation. This is where you are going to perform all out maximal effort. There will be not other sets. No other chances. No other attempts to stimulate your muscles in that movement until the same time next week. So make it a good one. And push yourself to your true maximal effort. And it is in this challenge you are probably pushing yourself to your psychological limits, as physically, you can quite simply do it.
Choose a weight you believe you can handle around 6 reps with. This being the suggestion, if someone was to hold a gun to your head and scream at you to perform another rep, you simply could not do it. That is all out maximum muscular effort and what elicits the kind of results you want.
So pick your weight and perform the maximum number of reps you can achieve (aim for 6) but if you honestly (think of the above scenario) believe you could do another (say 7, or even 8 reps) you keep going until you physically cannot perform a single rep more. You are pushing yourself to the absolute limit.
**CRITICAL – raise the weight very slowly at around 4 seconds to raise the weight, and around 5 seconds to lower the weight to the starting position. The speed is critical. Stay slow, and push yourself. Do not speed up. Do not swing. Do not cheat the weight into movement with momentum – USE YOUR MUSCLES.
Once you have completed your reps with maximum effort have a rest. Think to yourself and be completely honest. Could you do the same thing again?? If you can, then you did not work hard enough, and you should attempt this maximum effort again. If you think to yourself that you maybe could, but only manage 2 or 3 reps, you need to work harder next week. If, honestly, you truly believe you cannot do a single more rep again, then you’re done and good to move onto the next exercise.
The whole workout should take no more than around 20 – 30 minutes. Once you’re done, you’re done. That’s muscle stimulation completed for the week, and take a week off of resistance training until the same time next week. When you return to the gym, you should be able to perform either more weight for the same reps, or more reps with the same weight as you did in the last gym session – this is called progression and a key indicator that you are making progress with your training.
Now, in terms of cardiovascular training for health, I recommend swimming as your all time number one best exercise for maximum stimulus in the shortest amount of time. Why swimming, well, swimming has multiple benefits. First off, it exercises your entire body from head to foot, which causes your heart to work at maximum capacity pumping blood to every muscle in your body. This maximises both your muscle tone, fitness levels and your improves your cardiovascular health. Perform swimming 2 – 3 times a week for half an hour or so. Swimming has the added benefit that you are plunging your body into cold water. Your body is warm blooded, so guess what happens? Correct, a chemical reaction. Your body has to work harder than with any other form of exercise to raise your body temperature back to correct levels. This thermic response is why swimming enables you to burn far more calories during the performance of the exercise than any other form of cardiovascular exercise. But if you can’t swim, or don’t have access to a swimming pool on a regular basis, don’t sweat it. Just pick another exercise and perform around 2 – 3 sessions of 30 minutes or so cardiovascular exercise (running, cycling, dancing etc.) and you’re good.
…That’s your exercise complete.
The rest is entirely diet and nutrition, and here on protein for women blog is a rule book on precisely how to achieve maximum and rapid fat loss. The rest is entirely diet and nutrition, and here on protein for women blog is a rule book on precisely how to achieve maximum and rapid fat loss.
Food is classified by the Glycaemic Index by how high and for how long it raises the blood glucose levels. White bread is normally used as the reference point and is given a 100 rating. Any food that gets digested quickly and raises the glucose levels instantly, have a high GI. The foods that take longer to digest and by extent, slowly raise the blood glucose levels have a low GI.
It was a common belief that sugars rate higher on the GI than starches; however potatoes and rice rank higher than sugar. Many factors including, the processing, cooking methods, amount, time of day, ripeness, etc. all influence the GI of food.
Trainers in the industry have been referring their clients to dieticians who specialize in Low GI eating plans for quite some time as it is easily maintainable and doesn’t limit you from eating the things you like, but encourages you to choose wisely.
Moving over to a Low GI Diet really is as easy as substituting the things you love with a healthier option:
Many lists of Low GI foods are readily available by just the click of a button. Incorporating this into your lifestyle with a good exercise program will have you shedding weight in no time!
The choice, like the fork, is in your hands
Well, interesting question. Is female bodybuilding a sport, an endeavour, a lifestyle? What is it? And is it natural in any shape or form. We would like to suggest, that in some ways YES and in some ways NO – depending on your moralistic outlook.
For anyone, male or female, bodybuilding can be defined as the pursuit, and art form, of striving to build a better body – that can be from internal health, mental and emotional state, through to the absolute best performance of fitness physically. That all taken into account my gym bunnies – if you are striving to develop a great level of physical fitness, combined with maximum health, and with that comes looking physically aesthetic and attractive … then surely most people would be hard pressed to disagree that bodybuilding is actually a superbly positive pursuit or endeavor.
Especially since the devotion to an exercise and nutrition plan that supports and nourishes the mind and body for optimal functioning and output, developing structure and routine to life it is, most would agree, actually hugely beneficial. In fact most successful business people, and popular icons, work out and ‘bodybuild’ to some degree because they are given a daily and weekly schedule or structure, along with a set routine that supports a healthy goal setting mentality.
Female bodybuilding is so much more popular in the mainstream these days. Take for example famous glamour model from the UK Ms Jodie Marsh, who competed in two natural amateur bodybuilding contests in 2011. No longer do people believe the common misconception that weights are for boys, and cardio is for girls. That’s simply physiologically complete nonsense. Resistance exercise is in fact probably just as important to women, as it is to men, if not more so. Not that bodybuilding for women is entirely resistance exercise only – far from it. Bodybuilding is a lose and generic term that typically encompasses ‘getting in great physical shape‘ and includes being toned and increasing muscular strength at the same time.
Strength and weight training (resistance training) for women holds so many benefits and rewards. Those being immediate and long term, and none of these benefits should be overlooked when analyzing, or even denouncing female bodybuilding in the press and media. You could write an entire book about the many benefits of resistance and weight training for women, though we shall save that for another time and summarize the key critical benefits to resistance training, alongside your cardiovascular training when it comes to female bodybuilding.
So here are just a few outlined benefits of female bodybuilding. So why the turn off? Why the bad press? Well, simply put, the world of professional bodybuilding one thinks of that comes to mind when we hear the phrase female bodybuilding, is usually one of muscle bound freakish women who are often twice the size of the typical average male and golden brown more than bronze itself. What are we dealing with here? Is this what fate is going to befall any woman who turns their hand to resistance training and adding weights routines to their cardiovascular exercise?
Simply put – no. Not it is not. Not unless you begin extremist tactics and often making use of illegal pharmaceutical cocktails – such as anabolic steroids and growth hormones. Women who weight train can enjoy the many physcial and natural hormonal benefits of positive resistance exercise. When it comes to competitive bodybuilding, the coin is often flipped onto the reverse and the female bodybuilder is more often than not subject to an onslaught of terrible negative attack on their physical, emotional and mental state through damaging exercise routines, nutrient deficient dieting and an anabolic cocktail of black market drugs.
So you can rest assured, if you add resistance exercise to your routine, unless you are going to be dabbling in the dark side of competitive bodybuilding, you are very much unlikely to encounter unsightly muscle growth, or a sudden chiseled eight pack looking like it has been forged from steel, and carrying veins like a roadmap.
Famous glamour model Jodie Marsh (32) has shot to a new level of celebrity fitness fame, by proving conclusively that not only slimming and weight loss is possible, but if you choose to put your mind to it and work hard, you really can achieve almost anything with your body. And Ms Marsh has done just that by going from famed big boobed (32E surgically enhanced whoppers) glamour model to professional female bodybuilder. Following Jodie on Twitter (@JodieMarsh) she sounds happier, healthier and more positive than she has ever done, proving that an active fitness lifestyle fills you with energy and optimism.
Already quite slim and busty Jodie Marsh was rumoured to be typical skinny fat, with an average bodyfat percentage of around 30%. This is quite normal in the typical chicklet amongest us – being slim, but not necessarily toned and muscular. What Ms Marsh achieved is a very rapid body transformation – in that she dropped not only 2 dress sizes, and more amazingly – slashed her bodyfat level to a stage bikini worthy 10%! – Now that’s lean as you can see in Jodie’s unbelievable six pack abs.
In 2011 Jodie Marsh competed in two professional drug tested bodybuilding competitions (the Natural Physique Association (NPA) Mike Williams Classic and Pro-Am Bodybuilding Championships), after working closely with personal trainer and friend Tim Sharp. Jodie dropped the two dress sizes and took her bodyfat right down to low levels, with the dedication of a low carbohydrate, high protein, low fat diet that was heavily supplemented with nutritional supplements. The dramatic physical changes to Jodie’s body are rumored to have only taken 8 weeks of solid dedication to exercise and a careful diet plan. Now whether she used slimming pills we don’t believe has ever been announced or confirmed, and Ms Marsh doesn’t seem to be endorsing any particular sports nutrition brand or product inassociation with her new sexy, slim, toned body.
Some people have commented that Jodie Marsh has gone too far with her extremely well muscled physique, however, to drop bodyfat to the degree she has done in order to compete in female bodybuilding shows is not maintainable after a competition for long at all. Within a few days a more healthy, natural and normal appearance has returned to her very active, and attractive slim body.
We believe that Jodie Marsh is leading the way as a fine example for other women to see what is possible with some dedication and a solid weight loss plan, as well as the benefits of resistance training on health, vitality and general mood and well being.
“I feel proud of myself. I’ve always been confident, but I’ve had moments where I haven’t wanted people to see me naked.” – Jodie Marsh on body building
We’ve scoured the internet and discovered there’s all kinds of nonesense and rubbish being touted in the press and trashy magazines about what Jodie ate to achieve her amazing body beneath the fat. So we cut to the chase and eliminated the garbage, just as Jodie did from her diet. The exceptional nutrition plan is the brainchlild of celebrity trainer and ex competitive athlete Tim Sharp himself.
The most dramatic change that Jodie made immediately was to cut out junk foods and booze entirely. That’s right, no more alchohol for Ms Marsh. Although she admits openly that she still enjoys her 20 cigarettes a day and chocolate habit!! You can’t deny that you’d expect this to be true, but, Ms Marsh also attributes a huge amount of weight loss to her very active and exotic sex life with new boyfriend.
Jodie was tweeting that on top of her nutrition plan, although she does not endorse any particular brand, nor is she sponsored by any particular brand – she did make heavy use of PHD Diet Whey throughout the day. Diet Whey is a high protein meal replacement product, that has added ingredients specifically tailored to asssit you burn bodyfat.
BREAKFAST: Jodie loves blueberries, and a common breakfast in the morning is a protein shake for women, just with some added handful of blueberries.
DINNER: Keeping it skinny and lean. Huge portion of steamed vegetables, tinned tomatoes, and garlic. This is typically a big portion and you can eat as many vegetables as you wish.
SNACKS: Jodie highly recommends that you stick to fruits like Blueberries and in small portions throughout the day. Other favourites for Jodie are low glycaemic rice cakes, sometimes with a little pure organic Almond Butter added.
AFTER TRAINING: Following a one hour training session, depending on the time of day Jodie usually has wholemeal toast with scrambled eggs – ideal for replenishing carbohydrates and proteins right after training. A high protein diet designed to build muscle helps boost the metabolism, raising the basal metabolic rate, so Jodie can burn more calories each and every single day making it easier to stay toned and lean.
Jodie Marsh also drinks copious amount of plain water every single day – usually upto 6 litres. And that makes a huge difference and a massive impact to her energy and body appearance.
We think you look skinny marvellous Jodie Marsh and if anyone wants to learn more about protein for women then feel free to check out our main site for women.
Well done Jodie Marsh – what a slimming sensation! We’ll have to get you in for an interview to get the real skinny on skinny on how you actually achieved such stunning results.