Do I have to do cardio?

To really be in shape the answer is yes!

If you really want to get into the shape you desire then cardio, love it or loathe it, is essential.

But that doesn’t mean you have to do three hour jogs around the park in all weathers four or five times a week, unless your specifically training for a marathon of course or an endurance event, there is very strong evidence to suggest that shorter bursts of interval training are actually better for increasing performance and fat loss and can increase the amount of oxygen, VO2 max (which is the amount of oxygen your body can use up) by as much as twice as traditional longer cardio sessions, or long slow distance work.

There are lots of variations you can do for shorter bursts to keep up your interest and spice things up a bit and if you don’t want to, or don’t like running there really is no need to do it.

Try skipping, tabata intervals (20 second bursts of exercise followed by ten seconds rest) with weights or pick up something heavy and walk with it.

All of this as will keep you conditioned in the fraction of the time that a long run would.

Cardio is essential but it doesn’t mean it can’t be enjoyable. Free up your mind and use your imagination, that’s what it’s there for.

If  you’d like a 10 x minute chat for FREE about anything to do with your training or nutrition please feel free to send me an email and arrange a no obligation appointment for an informal chat and let’s see if we can get you moving again!

Best wishes, Garth
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How often do I need to exercise?

Well if you look at government guidelines (and some people do) you’ll see it says you need to exercise five times a week for 30 x minutes at a time.

However it’s definition of exercise can also mean gardening and walking which unless you’re hugely overweight or incredibly lazy isn’t really going to get you anywhere.

I find it quite worrying that a major part of the population now believes that a brief stroll in the park with your dog in tow or a bit of grass cutting or weed pulling is enough to make them fit, healthy and well.

Chances are it’s FIDO who’s getting the exercise not you!

Numerous scientific studies in “Preventative Medicine” have actually shown that it requires much more vigorous exercise to increase fitness and help to prevent disease.

What you need exactly for health benefits is hotly debated and always will be I feel but for most reasonably healthy people with no injuries and who want o do something more vigorous I always feel that a full body routine three times a week or more than plenty.

Always try to do compound movements which in everyday parlance simply means big moves, so things like squats and lunges for your legs and bum, clean and press for the entire body and heart and lungs, press ups etc and always try and finish off with around 10 or 20 x minutes of high intensity interval training.

By doing the big exercises and working major body parts not only are you giving yourself a fantastic workout you’ll also be burning calories at a greater rate even while sitting there watching TV!

If you feel like going for a swim, playing tennis or even doing a bit of gardening as well, go for it!

Best wishes Garth
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Oh! Why don’t I have a six pack?

There could be two possible good reasons why you’re tummy is looking soft, either you aren’t eating right or like millions of peeps you’re doing the wrong exercises or you’re doing the right exercises the wrong way!

Let me explain.

Your abs should be trained just like any other muscle group, which means with relatively low reps and heavy weight or added resistance if required.

To put it into context you wouldn’t work your shoulders or your arms for example with a 3kg weight, do hundreds of repetitions and expect to see any kind of muscle growth or shaping…would you?

So why on earth do you think you have to do hundreds of reps of crunches or sit ups develop and tone your tummy muscles?

Even if you do all you do everything right to build and tone your ab muscles you’ll be completely wasting your time unless you strip away the layer of fat that’s covering them.

It’s time to make a decision and decide which you would prefer, admiring glances this Summer on the beach or booze and takeways, the choice is yours!

Remember, a hundred crunches cannot and will not, eradicate a night out on the beer or wine!

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If I train enough surely I can eat what I like?

There is a common myth that if you train hard and long and frequently enough, you can eat what you like and won’t gain any extra weight.

Wrong!

The idea that you can simply offset the amount of calories you eat by doing the equivalent amount of exercise is hugely attractive. Just because the likes of Olympic swimmers and tour de France cyclists can eat around 10,000 calories a day and pretty eat much eat anything doesn’t mean that you can.

Unless you’re a full time professional athlete it’s pretty unlikely that you can hope to do enough to burn off everything you eat and eating the wrong things will make it less likely that you’ll even make it as far as the gym.

Quick pick me ups like fizzy drinks will make undoubtedly make you tired and carb based meals like white pasta or rice will leave you feeling lethargic and unlikely to exercise.

Try to go for protein packed options such as chicken, fish or even omelettes, that will fill you up without slowing you down and if you feel the need for a carb fix go for rye bread or even oatcakes.

It’s always about the energy in versus the energy out so always keep that in mind.

Have a great weekend, best wishes Garth
Need some help and advice? Gimme a call

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