April 28th, 2013 at 7:54 pm
I am often asked, ‘how do I improve X?’ where X is a movement or a desired quality in weight lifting, like squat depth, snatch technique or pressing strength.
Sometimes people are hoping I will reveal a secret ‘trick’ to improve their weight lifting that will solve the problem quickly and simply.
But all too often the answer is simply: do X more often. And be patient.
Let’s say you want to improve your squat depth. How often do you squat? Once a week? And you expect to improve by doing something for 30 minutes once every seven days?!
How about doing some kind of squat exercise every day? For six months?
Last year I desperately wanted to improve my jerk. I was trying different exercises but nothing was working particularly well.
So I ramped up the reps, doing 136 jerk variations a week. Finally, my jerk improved. It’s hard to do something 136 times a week and not get a bit better at it!
Very often, more is the answer. it’s not trendy in coaching circles to say this, as everyone wants to emphasis technical proficiency.
But in my experience we’ve gone too far in the direction of the ‘quest for perfect form’ and not far enough in the direction of ‘repeat 10,000 times’.
Note that I didn’t say I did 136 jerks, I did 136 jerk variations. You can do your ‘more’ in a structured way.
So here is my nuanced list of tactics to bring up a weakness:
1. Attack the problem from a few different angles. Use different tools. Even if what you want to improve is a specific movement, you can still change certain variables – from stance or grip width to number of reps or load. For example, to improve your pull up strength, try heavy bent over rows, weighted pull ups and wide grip pull ups.
2. Work on the weakness first in your workout. If you want to improve your squat, squat first. Give it your full energy and attention.
3. No need to put the world on hold while you sort out your problem. Incorporate ‘weakness’ work into every session but don’t let it dominate. It’s easy to get frustrated and blow it out of proportion.
4. Do the movement more often. If you have a poor press, do more pressing. Press every workout if need be. Doesn’t have to be heavy every time. (I owe this advice to Dan John.)
5. Don’t get discouraged after 1 or 2 sessions. Be patient, give it time. Aim for 4-6 weeks to see noticeable improvement and up to months or years to achieve your goal in full. Does ‘years’ sound like a long time? How long have you been training? How long to you intend to keep on training? A few years ain’t nothing.
6. Check your technique – there may be a more efficient way of doing the movement. Be prepared for this to feel difficult or weak at first, until you adapt to the new method. Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards.
7. Focus on one weakness at a time. If you try to solve too many issues at once, you won’t be able to give enough time and attention to each.
8. Sometimes there is a psychological issue. Look inside yourself and be honest – is this physical or mental, or a bit of both?
9. Don’t give up! Never stop believing that you can improve.
When is ‘more’ not better?
Avoid doing exactly the same thing day in, day out. Work on the problem but try not to do exactly the same movement two days running as you may suffer from overuse or repetitive strain.
One suggestion is to tackle one problem per training cycle (e.g. 4 weeks) and pick 3-4 variations. Do each variation once per week.
The long term view
How long did it take me to get a really good rock bottom squat? About six years. And people want to achieve the same thing in six weeks!
I don’t blame them – ‘faster’ is what the fitness industry sells. But that’s not how your body works.
People don’t want to know about ‘six years’, they want to know about ’six weeks’.
Here is the truth about six weeks: you can make improvements in six weeks, for sure, especially if you employ the tactics I have listed above. But that’s not the same thing as turning a weakness into a strength – or at least no longer a weakness. That’s a long term game.
But the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll be there!
April 21st, 2013 at 9:52 pm
Yesterday I attended a women’s health and lifestyle conference organised by wetrainmoms.com. All the presenters I saw were women, speaking on a variety of topics, from nutrition to hormones to fitness marketing.
It was inspiring to hear so much great information, practical advice and real life experiences from women in the health and fitness business. People like Jenny Burrell, Wendy Powell, Vicky Warr, Lucy Johnson, Dr Anu Arasu and Stephanie Ridley.
This industry is male-dominated and I work in a particularly male-dominated corner of it at the moment. It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that men have all the answers because they are more confident in putting out information, but oftentimes, women are the experts on women.
Men can be very knowledgable too, but women know what it’s like to be a woman and understand how women like to be informed and motivated.
I look forward to seeing more female experts on the platform.
March 24th, 2013 at 6:38 pm
Crossfit has done a lot of good for the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. Awareness of and participation in the sport has rocketed.
As an Olympic lifter and instructor I say ‘thanks Crossfit!’
I know that the demands of Crossfit are different from the demands of competitive weightlifting.
But Crossfitters can really benefit from learning the Olympic lifter’s way of weightlifting, and the best Crossfitters that I know have done just this.
Maximal olympic lifting is becoming more important in Crossfit
Samantha Briggs (pictured above) is a fan of olympic lifting as a sport. She is a force to be reckoned with on the UK weightlifting scene, being 2013 English Champion at 58kg – as well as being one of the world’s top Crossfitters.
It has become common in recent times for Crossfit competitions to include 1 rep max snatch and clean events, not just multiple rep workouts with light weights. All competitive Crossfitters therefore now need to be good at both!
We’ve all seen the video clips and heard the stories of terrible technique in some Crossfit gyms. I know that this isn’t representative of the community as a whole, but who wants to be a laughing stock or give the haters more ammunition?
I’m not gonna lie, I have an agenda here. I have an Olympic lifting beginners course that I am trying to promote.
But as well as myself, there is a growing number of decent Olympic lifting instructors in the UK with a competitive background in the sport, not just those who have done a two-day certification and never stepped on a competitive platform in their life.
If Crossfitters are embracing the challenge of Olympic lifting, they might as well benefit from the available expertise.
And if you have competitive ambitions, it helps to be coached by someone who understands the pressure and the unique demands of lifting in a competition.
So how can we help?
The common issues I see among Crossfitters performing the Olympic lifts are:
- Finding it difficult to go under the bar – always power snatching or power cleaning
- Technique limitations which mean they can perform multiple reps with light weights but have trouble pushing up 1 rep maxes
- Good levels of fitness but strength is lagging behind (this is very common in women, in my experience)
- Inexperience performing maximal lifts and the mental approach required
- Insufficient understanding of the double knee-bend mechanism, resulting in poor technique and a limit as to how much weight can be lifted.
Learning from a dedicated Olympic lifting instructor can address all of these issues because they are related to technique and mental aspects specific to the sport of Olympic lifting.
Crossfitters can also benefit from the approach that Olympic lifters take to lifting, especially to heavy attempts. If you have been brought up on the AMRAP principle then approaching heavy single attempts can be intimidating or simply tricky; why can’t I just rip it up?
As competitive Crossfitters you want to be building an arsenal of skills and approaches, since this is demanded at all levels of the sport. The best Crossfitters can bring to bear the focus and mental routine needed to execute a heavy single attempt, as well as throwing themselves into a long endurance WOD with all-out effort.
All athletes need to work on their weaknesses, and a period with an olympic lifting coach can be an important part of your yearly preparation. With so many skills required for Crossfit, it can be difficult to fit the necessary practise into a typical Crossfit class.
There are a growing number of Crossfit coaches who are good Olympic lifting instructors themselves. They have participated in the sport for a number of years and understand it. But not every box has access to this expertise, so you may need to look elsewhere.
Your local weightlifting club (see britishweightlifting.org) is a great place to start, or you can take a course like mine, which is aimed at beginners and improvers. You can also hire one of the handful of elite British weightlifters such as Giles Greenwood to run a workshop.
So find a good Olympic lifting instructor and watch your Olympic lifts fly up!
Do you agree? Have you benefitted from a weightlifter’s approach? How important is this to you as a Crossfitter?
Olympic Lifting for Beginners course
Ladies Who Lift weight training course
February 24th, 2013 at 6:15 pm
I’ve spent years training myself and other people, in groups and one-to-one. The majority of the time I am coaching people who are new to weight training or have very patchy experience of training.
I have therefore evolved my top four concepts that everyone should get their head around when getting into weight training. These are the concepts that I communicate in my beginners’ weight training courses, like Ladies Who Lift.
1. Progressive resistance
The body is incredibly good at adapting to exercise. This means that when you do something challenging, the body is initially forced to change in response to the stress - like getting stronger or dropping fat.
However, the body quickly adapts to this challenge and stops changing. This is why so many people find it hard to get results in the gym. They’ve adapted quickly to the initial training but don’t know how to progress it.
Progressive resistance is finding ways continually to increase the challenge of the exercise. This can be done in various fashions: you can add weight; you can add volume (sets and reps); you can slow the tempo of the movement; you can change the mechanics of the movement to make it more difficult or increase range of motion; and so on.
If people go away with only one concept from my courses, I hope it’s this one, as I believe this is the one that will make the biggest difference to achieving your goals.
2. Movements not muscles
Because of the influence of bodybuilding on general gym-going, people tend to think in terms of muscle groups, such as chest, arms, back. Naturally most people have ‘problem areas’ that they would like to tackle. For example, many women want to know what exercises they can do for their upper arms.
I believe that unless you are specifically bodybuilding, you will have more success thinking about fundamental movements such as push, pull, squat and hip hinge, rather than muscle groups or individual muscles.
This is because in the big, free weight movements such as squat, pull up, deadlift and so on, the whole body is working hard in the movement; in a squat, the legs are the prime movers but the whole trunk is actively engaged, particularly the lats and abdominal muscles, so calling it a ‘leg’ exercise – or even a ‘quad’ exercise is not doing the movement justice!
When planning a training programme where the goal is strength, performance or fat loss, it is good practise to think about the correct balance of movements.
Changing the tempo (timing) of a rep has a significant impact. Slowing a rep down or including pauses in the rep can really increase the intensity of the rep, making you work much harder even with a lower weight than you normally use.
I like utilising tempo for beginners because most people have a tendency to rush their reps; having a tempo to keep to means that the rep is performed in a controlled manner and allows time to focus on technique. It also keeps you ‘honest’, i.e. stops you from rushing the last few reps in a hard set!
Overall, quality of training is vastly increased when attention is paid to tempo, and this will yield benefits beyond simply banging out the reps until you are done.
4. High intensity weight training
How many times have you heard (or even thought) that weight training is boring and it doesn’t feel like you are ‘really working’? How many people do you know who gravitate to running or aerobics because they think that this is the best way to raise heartrate and burn fat?
A key message I get across in Ladies Who Lift is that weight training can raise your heart rate through the roof and make you collapse on the floor in a sweaty mess - if you are doing it right!
There are many ways to achieve greater intensity with weights, including manipulating rest periods and tempo, moving with weight (carries, sled pulls), the right exercise selection and so on.
How do I know it’s working?
Getting into weight training
Weight training is, in my opinion, the best way to get stronger and leaner – increasing fitness and confidence as a side benefit.
It is my mission to help people understand what real weight training is like. It doesn’t have to be boring, it isn’t unproductive and it is for the many not just the few!
So apply these four concepts to your weight training and see your results go through the roof!
Interested in learning more? Check out my weight training courses.
September 16th, 2012 at 2:38 pm
I often talk to clients and friends about the difficulties of maintaining a good diet in the workplace.
Is it acceptable to break open the tupperware box and start eating chicken during a board meeting?
Can you have a protein shake when everyone else is having coffee and cake?
Can you refuse to go to the team lunch because they are eating forbidden foods?
I know of people who pretend to have allergies or illnesses that prevent them eating certain foods, so that they have a socially acceptable excuse to give to colleagues.
Others just end up hardly eating at work at all, to avoid awkward situations and hostile comments.
One friend of mine found it so difficult to eat properly at work that he decided not to do it. He had a large breakfast at home in the morning and a large dinner at home in the evening, eating the majority of his daily calories at these times. Therefore during the day he could get away with minimal food intake.
This is a possible solution for someone trying to lose fat (it’s a version of intermittent fasting), although not so good for those wanting to put on muscle. However, it is a pity that it comes to this at all.
I empathise with all of these problems as, before I was a personal trainer, I worked in a variety of corporate environments and went through it all myself.
There’s no single answer, everyone needs to find their own solution.
The first thing is to make sure that this situation does not put you off. Understand that you are not alone; practically everyone who tries to clean up their diet has ‘challenging’ encounters in the workplace!
If your colleagues have a problem with what you are eating, that is their problem not yours. It is a pity that they take it out on you, but often the truth is that you are succeeding where they are not, and they resent it.
Try not to take umbrage or make the situation worse, since you’ve got to work with these people. Reassure yourself with the fact that you are pursuing your goals and seeing results.
At first people will ask why you’re doing it, but eventually after the hard work pays off, they will ask how you did it!
Preparation is key
Take your own food in to work so that you have complete control over what you eat. Take in your snacks and your lunch, and store some spares at work if you can, so you are never without a healthy option.
Have a back up
Scout out places where you can buy something in line with your diet for the days when you just haven’t had a chance to prepare your food. If you are going low carb, supermarkets are a good option: you can generally get cooked meat and salad.
Set an example by bringing in healthier options (yoghurt, fruit) as well as the obligatory cake for birthdays etc. If you like cooking, experiment with low sugar/gluten free cooking. You’ll find good stuff if you search for ‘paleo recipes’ online.
You don’t even have to tell people they are ‘paleo’ cakes, just bring them in and see what the reaction is!
Get an expert to help
Why not invite a nutrition expert in to give a talk? People will often accept what an outside expert says more easily than their peers. We have plenty of experts at http://upfitness.co.uk.
If all else fails…
If real food is too awkward to consume, make use of shakes – you can get an entire meal in a homemade shake, just make sure you have enough protein, carbohydrate and fat.
What cunning methods have you found to eat well at work? Have you been in any awkward situations and how did you deal with them? Do share your experiences in the comments!
Image courtesy of http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.co.uk
August 26th, 2012 at 7:46 pm
Many people ask me about stretching, especially post workout.
Walk into any gym and you will see personal training clients being intimately stretched by their trainers after a workout (it’s called proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation but often looks a bit saucy to me).
You might reasonably think that this is because stretching is a vital part of training but the truth is that clients just like being stretched. It does feel good after a tough workout.
That is not to say that there isn’t a role for PNF stretching, just that it is often used as a superfluous ‘service’ that people have come to expect, regardless of their mobility needs, and is taught as such on PT courses.
There is no need to be hugely flexible for weight training; in fact, being hyper-mobile, which is much more common in women than in men, is detrimental to joint stability.
In my experience, most women need to be stronger, not more flexible.
That said, people do get stiff and tight in particular areas, so some targeted stretching can be a good idea to improve mobility.
Remember, though, that training the full range of motion in a variety of movements will, over time, provide the requisite mobility without lots of additional static stretching.
For example, you can improve squat mobility by squatting, rather than stretching the relevant muscles individually.
I tend not to stretch my clients (or myself) post workout and yet we still improve our mobility. This is because we focus on the warm up, utilising muscle activation and light movements to get the body moving better. We also strengthen our postural muscles by doing full body weight training, so no single area gets tighter than another.
Your warm up should include dynamic stretching, which is another way of saying that you should move your joints through their full range of motion with no external load.
For example, air squats and lunges will warm up your legs and lower back nicely and will improve mobility in those movements over time.
Most people (and quite a lot of trainers) get this the wrong way round; they warm up on a cardio machine, moving through a limited range of motion, and then do lots of static stretching after their workout.
Pre workout is also the time to do activation of particular muscle groups, such as the glutes, which are often inhibited or ‘switched off’ in people who have sedentary lifestyles. I have all of my clients do glute activation exercises before training. I used to be quite sceptical about it – it was never something I did myself when I was learning to lift and I still got on ok! However it seems to help people, so nowadays I tend to include it.
If you know any yoga, you can utilise these movements in your warm up as yoga is essentially dynamic stretching.
If you are doing full range of motion movements in your training, there is no need to stretch everything after a workout as it will have been mobilised during the training session.
However, it can be a good idea after your workout to stretch anything that is unusually tight, or where you are habitually tight.
Common problem areas for women are: calves (from wearing high heels), hip flexors (from sedentary job) and shoulders (from bad posture associated with computers, TV etc).
The bench press and similar horizontal pressing movements are notorious for causing tightness around the shoulders and chest, so it is recommended that you stretch these areas after a pressing workout.
Another tactic is to do a pulling exercise straight after your pushing exercise in the same plane; for example, after bench pressing, do some horizontal rows. This will prevent you from getting too tight across the chest.
Does stretching prevent soreness?
No, neither pre nor post workout stretching relieves soreness (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness).
The most effective relief from DOMS is exercise, so a walk or other active rest is the best way to relieve soreness after a workout.
Does stretching prevent injury?
It used to be thought that static stretching before a workout prevented injury but we now know it doesn’t.
What has been found to help is a dynamic warm up – doing full range of motion movements with no or very light load.
Foam rolling and soft tissue release
Habitual tightness is often more effectively solved through soft tissue release techniques. This can range from a simple foam roller for performing your own myofascial release, to a therapist using massage, ART or other therapy to release tight areas.
If you are going to do foam rolling, it is best used pre workout, but can also be done at other times of day (e.g. while watching telly in the evening).
Personally I find that release techniques really come into their own when you are rehabbing an injury but I have not noticed a great difference at other times.
- The best way to improve general mobility is to perform full range of motion exercises. You don’t have to do any static stretching after your workout unless you have a particular area that is very tight or inflexible.
- You shouldn’t do any static stretching before your workout. Warm up using light full range of motion movements such as air squats, walking lunges and band pull aparts.
- Consider soft tissue release to work on very tight areas.
July 17th, 2012 at 10:48 am
There’s something magical about being able to chuck your own bodyweight or its equivalent around in a variety of ways!
It makes you feel strong, able, agile and athletic.
If you can push, pull and otherwise move your body around, you’re self sufficient in movement.
So if you are looking for a goal or you just want to know how you compare to other people, try working your way through this list!
(See below for more on the rationale behind the list.)
Ten bodyweight goals for women
1. Bodyweight deadlift
2. Press up
3. Bodyweight squat
4. Bodyweight floor to overhead
6. Pull up
7. Bodyweight bench press
8. Handstand press up
9. Muscle up
10. Bodyweight strict press
More about this list
Movements that are performed with external weight such as a barbell are noted as ‘bodyweight’, e.g. bodyweight deadlift means a barbell loaded with the equivalent of your bodyweight.
Movements that are performed just with your own body, like a pull up, are just named as usual. These would be performed strictly in their full versions with no momentum, kipping etc.
The list is roughly in order of difficulty. Of course, you can argue variations, such as bodyweight bench press should come before pull up, but it’s a rough guide. Your size, weight distribution, biomechanics, athletic background and training regime will hugely impact on what you achieve in what order.
The great thing about a bodyweight goal is that it is relative to you, not an arbitrary number. You can more easily compare yourself to someone of a completely different size, introducing a bit of friendly competition.
There’s a caveat to this: bodyweight goals are generally harder for heavier people. The upside is that if you are a heavier person and you achieve a bodyweight goal, you can be extra proud of yourself!
This list is also specific to women. A list for men would have many of the exercises in a different order, due to the different muscle mass distribution of a man.
Is the list achievable?
Well, I’m pretty sure that Samantha Briggs, top UK Crossfitter of Train Manchester can do them all, so yes, they are achievable.
The first five could, in my opinion, be achieved by most women during the first year or two of training, if you had access to a good trainer and a decent training facility.
The second five would take more work and focus. A couple of the movements are quite technical, such as floor to overhead (e.g. the clean and jerk or snatch) and the muscle up, and require specialist coaching.
I suspect that many women would be able to do all of these if they trained them consistently, but it doesn’t always happen in the real world. I don’t know many women who seriously train the strict press, for example. It doesn’t seem to capture the imagination for women in the way that getting a pull up or a muscle up do.
To be fair, although it is good to do some shoulder pressing, there’s some justification for not devoting your life to pressing your bodyweight if you’re a woman, as it’s not as useful for general health and fitness as, say, squats. However, if you fancy a challenge, I reckon far fewer women can press bodyweight than can muscle up. Just sayin’.
So what do you think of the list? Are you inspired to go out and work towards some of these goals? Would you change anything?
More from Gubernatrix
Bodyweight or bust!
Strength standards for women
How to deadlift
How to handstand push up
No more girly push ups!
July 14th, 2012 at 12:51 pm
This post was inspired by a friend of mine who wanted to know what he could usefully do on a crosstrainer apart from watching the news on its screen.
Interval training is the best way to use any cardio machine, whether it’s a treadmill, a crosstrainer or a rower, for improving fitness and losing fat.
You can also do interval training the traditional way, by running or cycling outdoors.
For fitness and fat loss, interval training is better than just steady state cardio, i.e. going for a run.
All you need to know to get started are a few simple principles and you have a lifetime’s worth of training sessions at your finger tips.
What is interval training?
Interval training is where you go as hard as you can for a given period of time, say, 30 seconds (the ‘work’ interval), and then go very easy to recover (the ‘rest’ interval).
The principle behind interval training is that by working at a high intensity for short bursts, you keep your heart rate higher than steady pace cardio, raise metabolism and burn more calories.
You also get much more post-exercise calorie burn than you do from steady cardio – your body continues to break down fat stores for up to 36 hours after intense exercise in order to recover.
So if you are wanting better fitness or more fat loss, or a combination of both, interval training will help you reach your goal – along with resistance training, of course, but that’s another post!
How is it done?
The key variable to manipulate is the work:rest ratio. For example:
1:1 - e.g. 2 mins work, 2 mins rest
1:2 - e.g. 1 mins work, 2 mins rest
1:3 - e.g. 30 secs work, 90 secs rest
If you rotated through these ratios, you would work all your energy systems (aerobic, anaerobic etc).
It’s important to note that you go as hard as you can during the work interval, so a 30 sec interval should be faster than a 2 min interval because you are going all out for only 30 secs.
The recovery period should be very easy, not just slightly less fast. We’re talking a very slow trot or even a walk. It is important to recover properly so that you can give it everything in the next interval, where the real work gets done.
The way to organise your interval training session is as follows:
- Warm up for 5-10 mins starting easy and getting progressively harder until your heart rate is moderately high (on a scale of 1-10, around 7).
- Perform 5-10 intervals at your chosen work:rest ratio, for example: 1 min work/2 mins rest x 6
- Cool down for 5 mins, starting reasonably hard and getting easier so that you bring your heart rate down in a controlled manner.
An interval session can be a standalone session or can be done after a resistance workout.
Choosing the right variables
As for how many intervals to do, start low at around 4-5 and increase every session or every week until you are up to around 10.
The shorter the intervals, the more you can fit into a session. Aim for around 20 mins of intervals to start with.
For example, if you chose to do 2 min/2min, that is a total of 4 mins per interval set. If you did that 5 times, the total work time would be 20 mins.
If you were doing 30 secs/90 secs, that is a total of 2 mins per interval set. So in 20 mins you could get twice as many intervals done. Due to the higher intensity and greater number of intervals, this session would be more demanding than a 2 min/2 min session.
I recommend starting with work intervals of 1-2 mins. As you get fitter you can try work intervals of 45 secs and then 30 secs.
The most demanding type of session is something like 30 secs/30 secs. Very short work period and very short rest period. It takes experience to be able to perform this effectively, i.e. to really push yourself hard for 30 secs, and then recover sufficiently to be able to perform the next interval at a high intensity. If you can do 10 of these, you’re hardcore!
My tip for short intervals of 30 secs or less is to avoid using a treadmill as it takes several seconds to speed up/slow down.
Better machines are the rower or the bike. If you want to run, simply run outside.
Make sure you progress over time by gradually increasing the speeds/levels at which you can perform each interval.
Progression is the key to results. Your body adapts to the stress you put on it, so you need to gradually increase the stressor to force the body to keep adapting – i.e. getting fitter and burning calories.
It’s a good idea to put a programme together for yourself, rather than waiting until you get to the gym to decide what to do. Sticking to a planned programme should yield better results.
Let’s say you go to the gym 3 times a week. You could do a different work:rest interval each day, for exmaple:
Monday: 2 min on/2 min off x 4
Wednesday: 1 min on/2 min off x 6
Friday: 30 secs on/90 secs off x 8
Then the following week you could either increase the number of intervals or keep the number of intervals the same but increase the speed/level at which you perform each one. Increase only one variable at a time.
My suggestion is to take a 3-4 week period (a training cycle) and pick one variable to change. For example, the number of intervals.
Using the example above, your training cycle might look like this:
Week 1 Monday – 4 intervals
Week 2 Monday – 5 intervals
Week 3 Monday – 6 intervals
When you had completed that cycle, you could then pick another variable for the next training cycle, such as speed. In that scenario, you would keep the number of intervals the same, but increase the speed/level each week. For example:
Week 1 Monday – 4 intervals @ 11 kph
Week 2 Monday – 4 intervals @ 11.5 kph
Week 3 Monday – 4 intervals @ 12 kph
Why not try putting together your own 12-week programme, using these principles? It doesn’t have to be perfect; you might find once you start doing it that you’ve been over-ambitious or under-ambitious – if so, tweak it. Following a programme is the best way to make progress.
There are so many ways to do interval training. What I’ve suggested here is a starting point, but there are many paths you can take to continue. Good luck!
More from gubernatrix
Indoor rowing training
Improve your running mile
June 12th, 2012 at 2:55 pm
Due to the great success of the first WonderBar women’s strength training workshop, we now have three more dates in the diary – and three different workshops for you to expand your strength skills!
For those of you who missed the last one, WonderBar is a joint venture between my Gubernatrix/Ladies Who Lift projects and Crossfit London.
Wonderbar! One – covers the basics of the squat, press, deadlift and pull-ups. Next workshop Saturday 7 July 2012.
Wonderbar! Two – expands on the content in One, and covers the front and overhead squats, the push press, kettlebell swing and gymnastics ring dips. Next workshop Saturday 15 September 2012.
Wonderbar! Three – covers the olympic lifts (the snatch & clean & jerk). Next workshop Saturday 20 October 2012.
Note that Wonderbar One and Two are standalone workshops requiring no previous experience on WonderBar.
However attendance on Wonderbar! Three requires you to have attended One and Two beforehand, as it builds on the skills you will cover in those sessions.
And don’t forget that if you want a more in-depth course, there is always my Ladies Who Lift 3-week course. As well as perfecting technique on the main lifts, we also learn about training for different goals (e.g. strength, fat loss, sports performance), nutrition and recovery strategies, gym etiquette and how to look like a pro in the weight room! You finish the course with the skills and knowledge to start weight training in your own gym.
Graduates of WonderBar One and Two will benefit from going on to Ladies Who Lift to consolidate technique and learn more about barbell training on an ongoing basis.
So a vertiable smorgasbord of strength training is coming up – take advantage and get booked in!
To book a Wonderbar! course, go to the Crossfit London site.
June 1st, 2012 at 1:04 pm