What are the benefits of Bodyweight Training?

You always hear me harping on about how good weight and resistance training is and why in my opinion everybody should be performing some variation on a weekly basis. However, I realise that access to a gym isn’t available to everybody and therefore they need to be able to put together workout routines which they can do at home or outside. This is where bodyweight training can come in handy.

bodyweight training

Bodyweight training does have its limitations, but there are also a lot of benefits!

#1 It can be done anywhere
You don’t need a fancy gym set up or any weights to do a bodyweight circuit. I especially like to do them whilst I am on holiday! If you are just getting into fitness and are intimidated by the gym setup, it can be a great starting point.

#2 It can be challenging for any fitness level
You can tailor workouts to suit anybody. From the absolute beginner right up to the super advanced, there is a way of putting together an effective workout routine.

#3 It’s free
You own your body, no need for a gym membership.

bodyweight training - the benefits

#4 It can vary up monotonous gym sessions
No gym session should be monotonous or boring, however if you are in a bit of a rut, throw in a 20 minute bodyweight circuit and reignite that fire!

#5 Certain bodyweight exercises will target multiple muscles at once
Bodyweight exercises force you to use your core for stability as you work out instead of relying on outside support such as machines and benches.

#6 Bodyweight exercises can combine both cardio and strength training
Think about how much your heart rate increases when you perform a simple burpee? This type of exercise can therefore be a more efficient way to workout.

HOWEVER, there are a few limitations.

> There are only so many reps of burpees and bodyweight squats you can do and in order to see results you need to be progressing over time, i.e. making things harder.

> Plyometrics are not for everyone. They are very high impact and the force through some peoples joints is just too much and will cause injuries.

> Not everyone has a safe place or area to work out at home. Plus, training outside in the winter isn’t the most fun…unless you live in LA.

> It can be hard to motivate yourself.

Here are a couple of routines from an upcoming project (wink wink) which I am working on for you to have a go at…

bodyweight training workout

bodyweight training workout

Give these a try and send me a snapshot!

Love Abi xxxx

My personal leg day workout routine consists of a variety of different exercises including heavy squats, straight leg deadlifts, leg curls, glute bridges etc, but some of my favourite exercises for a better bum don’t need any fancy equipment or machines. You can do these in the comfort of your own home, or in a quiet corner of the gym when you don’t want to venture off!

Here are 5 of my top exercises.

Pulse Squats
Reverse Lunge and Kick
Single Leg Glute Bridges
Donkey kick crossover
Curtsey lunges

I would recommend that you try and do 40 seconds of each exercise, with 20 seconds of rest and repeat x3 for beginners or x5 if you are more advanced!

Let me know if you would like to see more at home workouts, or different gym routines which you can do!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 24/31

I love a routine. I like knowing what I am doing every day. However, sometimes these routines can get us into a little bit of a rut. The key to reaching goals is progressive overload, consistency and adherence. If you aren’t achieving these then I am afraid you are just plateauing.

I see it so often at the gym, people coming in doing the exact same workout, using the exact same weights, lifting for the exact same number of repetitions and sets, week after week. Then they wonder why they are not waking up looking like Tom Hardy or Jessica Alba?

‘A goal without a plan is just a wish.’

hollywood hike sign

You do not need to change what you are doing every session or every week, there is absolutely no need to shock your muscles by doing something different. However there are times when a change is necessary. If any of these points ring a bell then maybe it is time you did something about it!

#1 Progress has stalled
Is your workout helping you get closer to your goals? If not then you need to reevaluate and think about getting a new plan that will. Your goal will depend on you, it could be muscle gain, fat loss, strength, running time, but if you are not getting any closer to achieving it something has to change.

#2 Boredom has set in
If you are going in to the gym doing whatever fitness activity of your choice, but you are bored then I think it is time to find something which excites you. Fitness should be fun. There is no point in doing something if you are not enjoying it. Boredom means you are probably more likely to skip a session, or two, which is a slippery slope to be on. Find something new which you enjoy, the possibilities are endless. Rope a friend in, sign up to a new class, ask somebody to write you up a new workout programme, but don’t get bored!!

Boredom will affect motivation which will affect adherence which will affect results.

#3 Your goals have changed
If your initial goal was fat loss, but now you are happy with your figure and want to start gaining some strength, it is time to change programme. A plan to improve your 10km run speed will not help you reach that 100kg deadlift that you are now after.

#4 Your workout no longer challenges you
Every time you enter the gym you should be aiming to do better than the previous occasion. This could be in terms of lifting more weight, doing more sets, trying harder exercises. In order to make progress, your programme needs to challenge you so that your body has to react and adapt. Don’t go in and do the same 3 sets of 12 reps at the same weight every single week, your body will adapt and progress will stall.

abi durrant personal trainer

#5 You have been doing the same routine for longer than 3 months
Like I mentioned, you do not need to ‘shock’ your muscles by changing it up every workout or even every week. To see some form of results you need to be on some sort of progressive plan for a certain period of time. But if you have been following the same plan, with the same exercises, weights and reps for longer than 3 months, it is probably time to find a new one.

#6 You are getting injuries and feel beat up all the time
It may be time to take a little bit of time out and give your body time to recover. This doesn’t mean that you need stop doing everything all together, but it may mean that you take a step back for a couple of weeks. Try incorporating some yoga and stretching; change up your rep scheme and exercise choice. Yes your muscles may hurt after a particularly tough gym session, but you shouldnt consistently feel like you have gone 10 rounds with Mike Tyson.

Your body is the most valuable asset you have, so look after it.

Make sure you are taking time to rest and recover. I do this by scheduling in a deload week every 4-6 weeks.

golds gym venice

#7 You don’t have any sort of plan at all
If you don’t have any sort of plan then it is time you got one. How do you think you are going to reach your end goal if you don’t know how to get there. If you are just going into the gym, hopping on whatever machine is available, lifting random weights and reps each time, and generally just feeling defeated and unmotivated once you have left, then it is time you got a little bit of structure.

Ask an instructor at your gym to help, it is what they are paid to do. Or failing that there are so many resources available online. I recommend www.bodybuilding.com if you want to find a routine. Youtube is great if you are unsure of how to perform exercises or just want some inspiration. But get a pen and paper, write something down, and have something to follow next time you enter the gym. You will feel much more accomplished afterwards.

If any of the above apply to you, then set aside a little bit of time to doing some research. Rather than just spinning your wheels and getting nowhere, freshen things up and jump back on that wagon!

If you are in need of any ideas or help then just drop me a comment or a message!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 21/31

It is time for another little workout inspiration for you! This week, we are looking at some abs and core exercises. We all know that ABS are are combination of good diet and exercise. Unless you lose fat overall, then your abs will not be visible, even if you do insist on doing 1000 crunches in your bedroom every night.

You cannot spot reduce fat!

Unfortunately, your body loses it from wherever it wants, in whatever order it wants.

But we can do some exercises focusing on the core and abs to help strengthen them and get that six pack to peak out a little bit when the time comes!

This week I have used a similar protocol with some of my clients, it is based on a tabata workout. Tabata workouts may look short, but they are intense. 20seconds rest then 10 seconds rest, and repeat 8 times through. So each round only lasts 4 minutes!!

I have come up with 3 separate tabata sets for you to try.

A1) Up and Down Plank
A2) Shoulder Taps

B1) Alternate Toe Taps
B2) Leg Lowers

C1) Full Crunches
C2) Scissor Crunches

So this workout should take you 12 minutes total!! But maybe take a minute rest in between each tabata set to catch your breath!

If you have a go let me know how you get on!!

If there are any types of workouts which you would like me to type up and film then just let me know!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 18/31

Barbell Complex

This is one of my favourite ways to get in a bit of cardio at the end of sessions, my clients also have a love/hate relationship with it!

A barbell complex is essentially doing a few exercises back to back without dropping the bar. The aim isn’t to go as heavy as possible, but rather to complete the circuit and get your heart rate up and bring about a cardio effect. I love it as it doesn’t feel l like you are performing ‘traditional’ cardio such as running or cycling.

Pick your weights, rep ranges and exercises wisely.

You want to make sure that you are able to perform all exercises (with good form) using the same weight. I know you can probably squat more than you can shoulder press, but for this complex choose the lightest weight which you can perform the hardest exercise at.

You can vary your reps within the circuit or just use the same for each exercise. Ie perform every exercise back to back for 10 reps, or you could, shoulder press x 8, row x 10, squat x12 for example.

I always choose exercises which flow on from one another in order to make the complex as efficient as possible. You don’t want to be back squatting, then performing a deadlift and then going back to lunges. Try and set it up so one exercise seamlessly jumps to the next.

You could set a timer and go for as many rounds as possible in 10  minutes, or you could set a number of rounds as a target to hit.

Rest as needed. Don’t go absolutely hell for leather and sacrifice form and therefore risk injury in the process, if you need to take time out then do so; but it should be hard so don’t use it as an excuse to wimp out!!

Here is one of my current favourites!

Set a timer for 10-15minutes and try and perform as many rounds as possible within that time. Choose a weight which you would be able to perform the hardest exercise at (here it is likely to be the shoulder press) and then go for it! Challenge a friend and see who triumphs!

Romanian Deadlift x 10
Bentover Barbell Row x 10
Front Squat x 10
Shoulder Press x 10
Back Squat x 10
Mountain Climbers x 10

 

Give this complex a whirl next time you are in the gym and see how you get on! Tag me and let me know!

Love Abi xxxx

January Blog a Day 11/31