Exciting times! We are about to embark upon the next 8-week challenge in the StrongFitWomen online program. Yes, we are approaching Christmas, but this is a GOOD thing because if you can nail training during this manic time, then you can nail it ANYTIME! And you will. I'm here helping you as are the other women in the group. Success breeds success and you are all in it together – you’ll be amazed at the support you get.
So here’s the low down on the type of training we are about to delve into.
NUMBER OF SESSIONS AND TRAINING GOAL The StrongFitWomen program offers 4 workouts per week. These workouts are progressive over the course of a month and new exercises are introduced every 4 weeks to ensure your body stays stimulated.
The focus of this training plan is fat loss, strength and fitness – yep you can do ALL of that at once if you train smart. There are two metabolic conditioning sessions and two cardio sessions. If you’re short on time I recommend you go for the two metabolic conditioning sessions as your minimum. If you plan to add one more to make 3 sessions each week then alternate between the two cardio. If you plan to complete all 4, then they will be scheduled in your calendar for you. No thinking needed! WHAT IS METABOLIC CONDITIONING?
This is a type of training designed to increase your metabolism while maintaining and building strength. It uses techniques such as ‘Complexes’ and ‘Big Circuits’. A complex is the use of one bit of kit (eg kettlebell or dumbbell) for a number of exercises in succession so that you flow smoothly from one exercise to the next without resting. This builds fitness. Generally you perform lower reps which builds strength and helps to maintain the intensity….aka raising your metabolism! It is THE most effective way to do that.
A Big Circuit is a series of compound movements (movements that work across two joints), that work your large muscle groups and performed one after the other. In our case we also alternate upper and lower body moves to help you keep the intensity up while still allowing your muscles to recover between sets. It’s a really time-efficient way to train.
You should choose a weight for the complexes according to your weakest exercise. If this feels too light on some of the other movements, then just add a couple of reps for those to maintain the intensity.
BEGINNERS VS. ADVANCED
BEGINNERS VS. ADVANCEDWe’ve got a variety of fitness and skill levels in the group so I’ve made sure there is a beginners and advanced version or the training plan. The basic formats are the same, but because those new to this type of training may need to allow more time to adapt, there is slightly less volume in the beginners version to reduce the risk of overtraining and muscle soreness. The exercise selection has also be adapted to help beginners learn the techniques and build up complexity over the months. THE CARDIO ELEMENT One session is a muscular endurance circuit. You pretty much don’t stop for 25-30 min. The heart rate should go up to around 70-80% max (where heart rate max is 220-age) and then stay in that zone throughout. This will help improve your muscles ability to performed repeated contractions and sustained effort...ie improve endurance. It’s also a great technique for helping with muscle ‘tone’ and will help with recovery from the other two workouts.
The HIIT session is great if you’re time-poor. You must work at a higher intensity – 85-95% max heart rate, which can feel uncomfortable so you’ll need to knuckle down and stay committed in this session. However, because it’s higher intensity, you don’t need to train for as long! Short and sharp is the key here. This session is great for improving your cardio fitness, burning fat and increasing your anaerobic threshold – that is the point at which your body goes anaerobic. Raising your anaerobic threshold means that, over time, you’ll be able to sustain effort for longer and at higher intensities so you'll be able to work harder as you get fitter and burn off more calories!
So what are you waiting for? Click here to get started!