Strength Training

November 12, 2018

 It is important in building lean muscle to help your body perform and look better.

Lifting weights is also a metabolism booster by building lean muscle you will burn more calories and add definition to your body.  The right strength training plan can prevent injury by improving your posture, building core strength, and helping with joint alignment.

Here is what you need to know regarding reps and load, if you are just starting to lift weights or have plateaued and want to start seeing more gains in building lean muscle.

The language ….

Reps (Repetitions) and Sets are the basis of most strength training programs.  Your reps are simply how many times you complete a movement.  Low reps range from 1 to about 6.  Mid-range reps are generally 8 to 12.  High range reps are more than 14 reps.  

Your sets are how many times you complete a rep scheme.  So, if a strength training program prescribes 3 x 5 at a certain weight, you are looking at 3 sets of 5 reps.  That means you’re going to complete that exercise 15 times, with a break between each set of 5.

How do muscles grow …. The science.

If you take a closer look at a slice of muscle tissue, you’d see that it’s made up of many smaller muscle fibres. Your muscles get bigger when these individual fibres become thicker, a process known as hypertrophy. These muscle fibres as they grow can produce more force (they are functional)

  • ·         Slow twitch muscle fibres respond to high rep ranges (higher than 8 reps) using lighter weight and fast twitch respond to higher weights and low rep ranges (less than 8 reps) or fast, powerful reps using lighter weight.
  • ·         If you are an endurance athlete wanting to enhance your performance, you will need to focus on slow twitch and high rep ranges.
  • ·         If you want to improve your strength and power, you will need to focus on fast twitch muscle fibres using low reps with heavy weights or fast movement.
  • ·         If you are a bodybuilder whose goal is to increase muscle size (ie, you want to look really BIG), you will need to focus on both, fast and slow twitch muscle fibres, to get the maximum growth in the entire muscle.

2.              There is also a fluid part of the muscle fibre, known as the sarcoplasm, in which the myofibrils are embedded. It’s filled with stuff – such as water, glycogen, and myoglobin – that doesn’t contribute directly to the production of muscle force. However, you can increase the amount of sarcoplasm and your muscles will get bigger (but not stronger) This is the PUMPED look you get when working the muscles.


So what’s the best advice? …. The options

Heavy Weight/Low Reps (1-6 Reps/set)

You will get stronger and build lean muscle

This is the type of strength training that we use to just get stronger and is usually the focus of athletes whose goal is to lift a heavy weight, such as Powerlifters and Olympic Weightlifters. Lifting heavy weight for low repetitions will increase the weight that you can lift 1 time. Because body size provides an advantage in lifting heavy weights, you might get bigger (especially if you support your lifting with extra calories).

 If your goal is simply to lift heavy things, you don’t need to do any other type of training.  If your goals are a leaner and more defined body, or you want to complement other athletic activities, you should look at other types of training, or complement heavy lifting with a more well-rounded program.

Moderate to Heavy Weight/Mid-range Reps (8-12 reps/set)

This is the type of strength training gives you the most visible results by promoting larger muscles, otherwise known as hypertrophy.

This is the type of strength training that is the best for building visible muscle.  For that reason, it’s typically used by Bodybuilders, alone or in combination with the Heavy Weight/Low Reps approach.  Whether your goal is toning or building lean muscle

Women often fear that lifting this way will make them too big.  In truth, that’s unlikely, especially if you’re watching your diet.  Most women have to lift (and eat) a lot to really build lean muscle.  This is even more true as we age.  If your goal is to tone up, a moderately heavy weight and a rep range of about 10-12 reps per set is a powerful addition to your cardio or lighter sets of weight training. Select your weight at a level that leaves you struggling to finish your final repetitions.

Low Weight and High Reps (more than 14 reps)

This rep scheme can also be useful for injury prevention and training of smaller stabilising muscles.

For exercisers who are new to lifting, lifting lower weights for longer is more manageable and will still lead to building lean muscle and improving performance

The other fun part about low weights, is the potential to introduce speed into a strength training workout.  Velocity training, which emphasises moving weights quickly, results in a higher power output.  This translates to improvement in performance in other athletic activities and strength training.  It also improves both endurance and lean muscle composition. 


Squash the benefits

July 22, 2018

is a fast-moving sport and is an excellent cardiovascular workout. It is a game that can be played at any age and is easy to learn. There are many modified game types and various equipment can be used to suit every size and skill level, enabling squash to played as either a leisure or competitive sport. Squash has even been recognized as the number one health and fitness sport.

Devlops agility – Leaping, spinning, stopping, bending, jumping, sprinting and running are just some of th...

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How to Overcome Obstacles and Make Permanent Changes in Your Life

July 2, 2018

Many people think that what you need is willpower, but nothing could be further from the truth. If you want to make any permanent change in your life, willpower won’t get you there.

Whether you want to get healthier, stop using social media so much, improve your relationships, lose weight, get fitter, be happier, write a book, — willpower won’t help you with any of these things.

If you’re required to exert willpower to do something, there is an obvious internal conflict. You w...

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Have you considered the benefits of cold-weather training??

June 21, 2018

Before you start to make excuses because of the cold and plan to pull over the blankets at 5.50am, you should consider the potential benefits of cold-weather training.

Aside from helping to ease the potential winter weight gain, exercising outdoors in colder weather has numerous health benefits. The average winter weight gain ranges from 2-10 kgs.


While many avoid the cold,  winter workouts are a great way to increase fitness.  If outside or even getting in and out at gym, the fresh air ...

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Snuggle in? or get out and get moving?

May 23, 2018

Winter Woe: Your body's chemical switch has flipped to storing more fat.

Get your motor running. University of Colorado researchers discovered that their production of ATLPL, a chemical that promotes fat storage, almost doubled during the winter and dropped during the summer. But you're not doomed to don fat pants all season, scientists say. Exercise may increase SMLPL, the muscle enzyme that promotes the burning of fat, to offset the sneaky winter gains and promote effects of ATLPL. "We found...

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April 15, 2018

Did you know that the human body is comprised of almost 70% water and more than 70% of the population is Dehydrated?


Here Are Some Signs Of Dehydration:

  • If you are thirsty, you are ALREADY dehydrated

  • Dry chapped lips

  • Foggy brain, headache, dizzy and lethargic

  • Muscle cramps anywhere in the body

  • Feelings of hunger (mistaken for thirst)

  • Cloudy and dark urine

  • Constipation

  • Achy joints

  • Moodiness

Here Are Some Benefits Of Being Hydrated:

  • Increases metabolism - metabolism can slow d...

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Chocolate the GOOD and the BAD ...

March 22, 2018
The good news 
Chocolate is rich in antioxidants which means that, as part of a balanced, varied diet, it can contribute to good health ...

Chocolate may lower cholesterol levels. Chocolate contains high levels of saturated fats, one of which is called stearic acid. Research shows that stearic acid does not raise blood cholesterol levels, while some studies have suggested that stearic acid may actually help the body break down cholesterol build up. 
Chocolate may make you live longer. A recent s...

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New years resolutions .... are they worth making?

January 14, 2018

The short answer is  YES .... researchers say that, despite the tough success rates, making a resolution is one of the best ways to actually make a change, particularly if realistic goals are set in the first place. Resolutions involve us moving our goals from mere contemplation to actions.

Want to know how to encourage yourself to keep going and peruse your New Year’s resolution of getting fitter and healthier? Check out these tips;

             Getting into the habit of exercise takes pra...

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Tips to stay on track over The Christmas Season

December 8, 2017

'There's a strong undercurrent of 'but it's Christmas' mentality that is rife amongst us all. And while we do need to let our hair down and have fun during this time of year, we also need to look after our bodies. And no, Christmas is not an excuse to abuse it,'

If your goal is to stay fit and healthy through the festive season, then small changes go a long way. Never go back for seconds, no matter how tasty the buffet is. Eat slowly and enjoy every mouthful. It's easier not to over eat when...

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Coconut water for recovery?

November 29, 2017

COCONUT WATER IS everywhere …. So what is the go with  The blue cartons have cropped up all over the place? (even at our gym)

The edge that coconut water has over traditional sports drinks is that it packs fifteen times more potassium—it contains about 470 milligrams per 8 ounces—than Gatorade or Powerade. To put things into perspective, a medium banana has 422 milligrams of potassium. Potassium is a key player in rehydration because, along with sodium, magnesium and calcium, the elect...

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