Ok disclaimer here. I am not a Mum. In fact... I am not even a female!
So you might be wondering what on earth I am doing writing about fitness training for busy Mums! And you might have a point. I certainly don't have all the answers here.
However, a good number of my personal training clients are busy mums. So I do have a good insight into what can be done to help a busy mum to stick to her fitness training programme.
At the top of my list of recommendations would be to commit to training for shorter periods of time.
I often find that Mums will have several pockets of time during the day which they could use for their fitness training. However, these time periods are all usually very short. So the standard model of personal training sessions lasting for a full hour might not work for you. Instead, try and commit to much shorter, but more intense workouts. You would be surprised how productive a training session lasting just 15-20 minutes can be if you ramp up the intensity and really cram the work in.
Instead of having a weekly personal training session with me, lasting a full hour. A number of Mums that I train will split the session into two, seeing me twice per week for half an hour at a time. If that sounds like something that would work well for you, then please leave me a message using the Chorlton Personal Training Contact Form.
My second tip is to be flexible. As a Mum of young children, you may frequently find yourself to be tired, having not had as much sleep as you would have liked. In these situations, a heavy weights session or a high intensity interval training session may not be wise. Try not to make that an excuse not to train at all though. Fitness training is a consistency game. So if you keep making excuses not to train, then all those missed workouts will begin to add up. Instead, you need to recognise how you are feeling, and select a mode of exercise that fits the circumstance. This may be a brisk long walk, or it may be a little jog, or perhaps a Yoga session would be the tonic you need.
My third tip, is to, occasionally, ignore my second tip!
A key principle of fitness training is the principle of overload. So if you are continually reasoning with yourself that you feel tired and you are always selecting easy exercise sessions that are within your comfort zone... then you will not be adhering to the principle of overload... and you will not make much progress with your fitness training.
At least once a week, and preferably two or three times a week. Make sure you are pushing yourself and making yourself work hard. Of course it is best to try and perform these hard workouts when you are not feeling so tired and run down. So try and monitor your mood and energy levels to see if there is a trend as to when you tend to feel more energetic and when you tend to feel more tired and run down.
If you can manage to spot a trend in terms of times in the day or times in the week when you have more energy, it would make great sense to schedule in a workout with your personal trainer during these times. These are the times when you want to really push on with your training, and your personal trainer will be able to really motivate you to get the most out of yourself during these key training sessions.
I hope these tips help you on your fitness training journey. Of course, I am not a Mum. These are just some of the things that I have found some of my personal training clients that are Mums. So for all the Mums out there, do leave a comment with any other tips that have helped you achieve your fitness training goals.
As a large percentage of my personal training clients are female, I thought I would reflect this fact in my writing on my blog posts. So I am planning to start writing a series of articles geared towards fitness training for females.
So please, if you are a female interested in fitness, please leave a comment or get in touch to let me know your training concerns. You can help me to shape this blog. We're in this together!
For now, as a general thought on fitness training for ladies, I am going to leave you with this quote from the wonderful ladies at Girls Gone Strong.
We envision a world full of women who strive to be more, not less.
I fully agree with the sentiments of Girls Gone Strong. So in keeping with the above spirit, here's to the next chapter of the Chorlton Personal Training Blog! A chapter full of information on strength training for females, women's health, fat loss, and other topics such as mindset, nutrition and more!
Until next time :)
My previous post on what training I doing right now has inspired me to perhaps write a regular column specifically on my own training. Perhaps I can call it Chorlton Personal Trainer Diaries!
In my previous post I talked about how I was incorporating chains into my strength training routine. I went into a little detail about the purpose and benefits of strength training with chains as well. So if I have captured your interest here, then do check out the Strength Training with Chains article.
For today, I am going to talk about how my overall strength training routine is looking right now.
Previously I have written about different ways of 'splitting' your weight training programme. This may involve body part splits, or push/pull/legs splits, full body workouts, or some kind of combination of these options.
If you want to learn more about this, then make sure you check out my article on Body Part Splits.
Right now though, I am not performing any of the suggested options in my Body Part Splits article. I am currently pushing on with a combination of high frequency training and high volume workouts. I am aiming to train each body part at least three times a week - so traditional training splits are out, since they wont allow for this. But I am also aiming to train each body part with more volume per session than is possible with a full body workout - so some kind of training split is still needed!
So in essence... I am training hard right now!
But the point of todays article is to explain how I am organising my training week in order to achieve this.
It's actually quite simple really. I am splitting my routine into two separate workouts, each performed three days per week. I simply alternate between the two workouts so that each training session is performed on alternate days.
Currently I would describe my training split as an anterior / posterior training split. So I target the muscle on the front side of my body in one workout, and I target the muscles on the back side of my body in the other workout. It doesn't work out exactly like that - but it's a close enough description of how I am arranging my training.
In practical terms, this means on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I am training the Chest, Triceps, Anterior Deltoids, Quadriceps and Glutes. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday I am training the Back, Biceps, Hamstrings, Calves and Posterior Deltoids.
For me right now, this way of organising my training offers me the best mix for total training volume, training volume per muscle group per workout, and training frequency (how often I can train each muscle group). I wouldn't recommend this training split for a lot of people. It is a fairly demanding way to train and is something to build up to after a long period of strength training.
If you need advice on what training split is best for you, send me a message using the Chorlton Personal Training Contact Form.
As a Personal Trainer, it may come as no surprise to you that, in addition to personal training clients, I like to keep in shape myself. With this in mind, I thought it may be of interest to the Chorlton Personal Training blog readers, to find out a little bit about what I am getting up to in my training.
With this in mind, today I want to talk about using chains in your strength training workouts.
Right now, I am Very much enjoying incorporating the use of chains into my workouts. It makes for a nice change in the programme and adds variety, without deviating from the key movement patterns and exercises I want to work on. The main selling point for using chains is that they provide accommodating resistance, since the load is reduced at the bottom of the movement and increased at the top. I have certainly noticed that there is no real sticking point for me when using chains on the bench press - all portions of the movement seem equally difficult.
How does it work?
Well, as you can see from the photo above, some of the links on the chain are resting on the floor. As you lower the weight, more of those chain links are resting on the floor. As you lift the weight, less of the chain links are resting on the floor. This means, as you lower the bar, the weight is decreasing and as you lift the bar, the weight is increasing. This is what is meant by accommodating resistance. Using chains therefore works very well with exercises that are normally more difficult at the bottom and less difficult at the top.
If you want to learn more about how to include advanced strength training methods such as this into your training programme, then give me a shout using the Chorlton Personal Training Contact Form.
Just a quick post today to point you in the direction of a very interesting and insightful video of one of my Chorlton Sports Massage clients.
The video is of Jamal Walters, a young sprinter at Trafford Athletics Club. Jamal has had a fantastic season, being crowned English Schools 200m Champion and North of England 100m Champion. He is also one of the fastest U15 athletes in Britain over 300m, so has great versatility.
The video provides a great insight into the coach / athlete relationship between Iheani Idehiwa (Coach) and Jamal himself.
I can be seen performing Sports Massage on Jamal in the clip, and this was just less than a week to go before the National Championships, as Jamal was struggling with Hamstring trouble following the North of England Athletics Championships. In the end, Jamal went on to run a personal best time in the National Championships and remain injury free.
Jamal Walters is certainly a sprint talent to keep an eye out for. Watch out for his name!
And if you are in need of our Chorlton Sports Massage service, then please leave us a message on the Chorlton Personal Training Contact Form.
I have now written extensively on the Chorlton Personal Training blog about how to structure training programmes designed for muscle building. This is the big picture. The overall outlook on how a training week or a month of training or even a year will look. However, as important as the big picture is, as a personal trainer, I also need to consider the finer detail of how to structure an individual workout.
So todays' article on the Chorlton Personal Training blog will tackle exactly that... the anatomy of a muscle building workout!
Now of course, the structure of of your muscle building workout could vary enormously, depending on factors such as:
This is to name just a few of the possible factors that could influence how you structure your muscle building workouts. So of course, everything that follows in this article is going to be dependant on a number of assumptions. If you are looking to receive a truly personalised and effective muscle building plan, then contact me on the Chorlton Personal Training Contact form, and I will be more than happy to work with you to make sure you start getting some great results.
For now, lets make the assumption that you are following a full body routine three days per week and are in your first year of training and working out in the gym.
In this situation, the following Muscle Building Workout might well be a great fit for you.
As you are using full body workouts, you need to create balance within each session. The above example session utilises the following template to ensure balance:
Of course, there is potential to change up some of the exercises whilst still adhering to the same template. For example, you might decide to perform Hip Thrusts instead of Hyperextensions as your Hip Dominant Lower Body Exercise. Or you might prefer to perform Bench Pulls instead of Bent Over Row for your Horizontal Pulling Exercise.
You may change the exercises as you see fit. But if you are performing full body workouts three times per week, then you will not go too far wrong if you make sure to adhere to the above template.
You will have noticed in the example full body training session above, the bench press and bent over row exercises have been listed as exercise 2a) and exercise 2b) respectively. This is because these two exercises are to be paired up so that in between each set of bench press, a set of bent over rows are performed. Similarly, in between each set of pull ups a set of overhead presses are performed. This is done because the exercises that are paired with each other are working opposing muscle groups. This is a time efficient way of training, since you are able to recover from one exercise whilst you are working hard on the other exercise.
Arnold Schwarzenegger made this style of training popular by pairing chest and back exercises together in the same workout. Give it a try, you may just find your productivity in the gym goes through the roof!
Happy lifting folks.