A group gym exercise method in which endurance exercises (those that increase endurance and stamina) are combined with strength exercises (those that develop the size and strength of skeletal muscles) is known as circuit training.

In circuit training, stations are positioned around the facility, with each one focusing on a different exercise – sit-ups, pushups, resistance training, weight training, and others. Participating individuals are assigned to each station for mini-workouts of 8-20 repetitions each, and rotate to the next station with little or no rest in between those 15-45 second turns.

This goes on until all stations have been tackled by a participant (one complete circuit) or until a pre-specified time period.

The program may consist of exercise machines, calisthenics, elastic resistance, hand-held weights, or a combination of any of these. Between each station, a 30-second to 3-minute aerobics workout is squeezed in to improve the participant’s cardiorespiratory endurance.

This program was developed in 1953 by G.T. Anderson and R.E. Morgan in London and originally comprised 9-12 stations. Today, any number of stations can be employed, according to the circuit’s design.

This type of workout is preferred by those who want to get an intensive strength and resistance training because the in-between rests are eliminated to take the participant to her maximum target heart rate as well as her maximum physical effort.
Others turn to circuit training simply for the variety.

If you’ve been solely on the treadmill for months, or have never tried anything other than the stepper, then circuit training can definitely keep you from getting bored with exercising.

Dr. Len Kravitz, a researcher at the University of Mexico and Program Coordinator of Exercise Science, believes that “variety” of the stimulus to muscle is important, and that if these stimuli are not regularly changed, the benefits gained in muscular or strength endurance will eventually plateau.

What are the advantages of circuit training?

  • Circuit training is flexible.If you’ve got time constraints, a total-body workout can be finished in roughly 10 minutes. If more time is available, you can finish up to four circuits, which would total about 45 minutes.
  • Circuit training is challenging and can be psychologically rewarding.A study on unfit female college students concluded that those who were involved in circuit training improved in several aspects of body image more than those who only trained aerobically (Anshel, et al., Journal of Sport Behavior, 2006).
  • Circuit training involves a very quick pace that is great for fat-burning.
  • Circuit training can be fashioned to whatever fitness level you’re in – whether you’re an expert or beginner, you can work out at an intensity that suits you.
  • Circuit training can be done either at your home or in the gym.

M. Jamal

P.S. Have you tried any form of circuit training before? What’s your thoughts on this compared to your current workout? Check out the below video for a quick demo of this technique…

Posted in Other at 5:46 pm | Comments (2)

Let’s talk about body image…
What’s your ideal body image and what is it influenced by?

Last year fashion cities like London, Madrid and Milan imposed bans on underweight (too thin) models. While top fashion magazines and shows keep pushing ultra-thin models… on the other side of the globe (well, sort of)… Africa seems to fancy curvyflat tummy lady models.

Take Nigeria for example, thin models typically have a 26-28 waist. Whereas in Europe it’s more like a 23 inch waist.

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“I’ve always believed in the African woman with all curves and shape, somebody that can bring out the curves and fit of a dress.”

says Lexi Mojo Eyes, Project Director, Nigerian Fashion Show (NFS). [source]

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How about Ghana?

They say curvy models stay home and skinny ones go international.

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“A lot of them want to go. But not everyone has the chance to go because of the size the Europeans want them to be,”

said Exopa’s Ghanaian director Sima Ibrahim. [source]

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True, some aspiring African models have to think through the opposing images of beauty: a western ideal size zero and the African well-rounded, curvy figure. (and this I simplifying the matter!).

But how about you? What’s your ideal image?

I mean, if you could have your dream body in 3 months time… what would it look like?



M. Jamal

P.S. It’s been believed that one of the factors super thin models bring to the table is that clothes look better on them! Would you say this is true?

Here’s an interesting take on this…

Back in September one study claimed that more women tend to be keen on ‘skinny models’. In fact, it goes on to say that women tend to find these ‘skinny models’ more interesting and elegant.

Two month later, another study at the University of Sussex in England said the opposite: “There’s no point in using skinny models in ads”. Well, because average-sized women work just as well when it comes to selling body care and even diet products.

This is just a small glimpse into this ongoing debate. What’s your thoughts on this? (click ‘comment’ and let us know)

Aqua aerobics, alternatively called hydro aerobics, aqua exercise, water aerobics, water exercise, or water workouts, provides a fantastic cardio workout without the attendant risks of injury of a normal workout at the gym.

Simply put, it’s the performance of aerobic exercises in water.

It is usually performed in shallow water and is often done to music. Aqua aerobics has been recommended for people of all ages and those recuperating from mild injuries and other health conditions due to water’s therapeutic effects.

Aqua aerobics provides an exhilarating workout for the heart and the lungs as well as tones and strengthens the muscles.

Because we tend to be lighter in water due to its buoyancy, even senior adults and extremely overweight individuals can move freely. In fact, one burns calories much more easily in water than on land.

Walking on land burns 135 calories in half
an hour hile walking in deep water (for the same
period) burns 264 calories

Pregnant women benefit most from aqua aerobics.aqua aerobic exercise girl

Since a lot of weight is gained during pregnancy, many women find it difficult to do even light workouts with the added load around their bellies. Even if they could, there is a high risk of injuring the back, the hips, or some other body part. In addition, they can’t get the cardio they need because they may tend to be too cautious.

In water, a 130-lb pregnant woman may feel like she only weighs 13 lbs. due to the buoyancy that water provides. As a result, women can perform movements that are otherwise difficult to do on land.

Aqua aerobics develops good circulation, slows down the heart rate, and puts very little stress on your bones, muscles, and joints.

Organizing an Aqua Aerobics Class:

If classes aren’t offered in your area, you can round up some of your friends and get your own instructor. All you’ll need as personal equipment are a swimsuit, swim caps, aqua shoes, and a foam kickboard (optional).

First, discuss your targets with the instructor.

For senior adults, a warm-up period must be included before diving into the more strenuous exercises. Methods that use flotation devices such as kickboards are effective. Also include exercises that would work both fine motor movements as well as the large muscles.

Your group can also include heart rate monitoring.

Music is necessary to keep the classes spirited and in sync. You can take turns choosing the type of music you prefer – pop, Broadway, country, Big Band – the possibilities are limitless.

It would also be more effective for the instructor to stay on the deck for the participants to get a better view of what he or she is doing. It will also give him or her a chance to see if everyone is on course.

All in all, an aqua aerobics class should be something that the women would look forward to each time they meet. Apart from the physical benefits they receive, there is also a great possibility that students will leave the class de-stressed and relaxed because of water’s legendary healing powers.

M. Jamal

P.S. So what’s your idea of Aqua Aerobics? Check out the 3 videos below… if you had a chance which would you rather try? (Let us know, simply hit ‘comment’ below)

A few days ago I came across an unusual exercise concept which can be summarized as the “Busy Woman” (or even “Lazy Man’s”) workout.

I’ll tell you about that in a moment, but first let’s proof the first part… “Hair Styled On A Bike”…

Here’s an interesting video I shot at a local beauty event. These pro hair stylist came all the way from Thailand. They were doing all kind of fancy things (the night before someone was doing hair cuts with succors and fire! Too bad I missed that).

Ok, here it is (the video isn’t top notch cuz I just pulled out my cell phone and starting shooting)…

So now you know you can actually get your hair styled on a Harley Davidson Bike! (Would you really try that ‘-)

So what’s this talk about the “Busy Woman” workout?

Well, it turns out there’s a certified personal trainer who believes you can really train (and make a difference to your body) while you’re stuck in traffic, sitting at your desk or even watching TV!

Sounds unusual yet?

Well, he goes on to say that he’ll show you a set of exercises to do just that in 12 minutes a day. He calls it…

The Shortcut to Looking and Feeling Great
With the World’s Easiest Workout Program!”

It’s worth having a look.

I’ve actually picked up my copy and will be putting up a review to fellow Fun Lady Fitness subscribers (if you’d like to hear about this you can subscribe by scrolling to the top and clicking the ‘Special Report’ image on the right).

Ah yes, you can check out the “Busy Woman” workout by clicking here.

M. Jamal

P.S. On the topic of being too busy to exercise… how much time do you dedicate to your workout per week? s it too much to fit into your busy lifestyle, or is it a nice escape from all those deadlines, and to-do lists?
Would love to hear your thoughts (scroll to the top of this post and click ‘comment’ to let us know)

When it comes to performing your workouts, there are always to two sides of the coin….

Some would say it’s a good motivator; others feel that it would interfere with your own pacing. Let’s examine the factors involved in working out with a partner and decide for yourself if you need one or not:


Advantages of having a partner:

  • Having someone run with you on chilly mornings or go through the circuits is always welcome, especially if it takes a lot to make you leave the house.
  • Researchers found that a whopping 50% of people
    who start exercising drop out ofwoman workout partner their programs
    within 3-6 months. When you’re exercising with someone, you’re less likely to drop out of a regimen.
  • You and your partner, especially if you’re working almost the same programs, would benefit from healthy competition. One’s progress would hopefully inspire the other to exert a little more effort to catch up.
  • If your partner happens to be your significant other, exercising together is a great time for bonding and spending time in each other’s company, especially if you’re both leading hectic lives.
  • Partners can assist you in selecting the proper weights, suggesting workout variations, and providing motivation while you’re on your last few legs.
  • Couples working out at the same time find being fit especially sexy and can thus give their sex lives a workout, too. Exercise allows you to experience physical as well as emotional intimacy and when you feel good about your bodies, you’ll be surprised at how your passion can get fired up.
  • If you’re working out with someone you’re living with, you’ll also have more harmony in the kitchen in terms of what to eat because of an increased health awareness in each one.

Disadvantages of having a partner:

  • Healthy competition can turn into a “fitness feud”. This happens when one tries so hard to out-run, out-ride, or out-lift her partner. What should be a relaxing activity, then, becomes a highly stressful preoccupation.
  • You’re sometimes forced to extend sessions to another hour or so of chatting or snacking. This isn’t really a bad thing, but it might create an awkwardness in the future, especially if one of you really doesn’t have that much time to spend.
  • As much as having an exercise mate can be motivating, it can also drag you down if your partner isn’t as focused as you are. It can be quite exhausting to always be the one to give the push!
  • Exercise schedules could sometimes go awry when one or the other isn’t available.

Whether you decide on exercising with a partner or going solo, make sure you enjoy the experience. Workouts can do wonders for your physical, emotional, social, and mental well-being, so give it as much importance as you would any worthwhile endeavor.

M. Jamal

P.S. What’s your view on this… would you rather have a workout partner or you’re better focused and motivated on your own? (You can click ‘comment’ at top of this post and let us know)

Can you think of something which you know is good for you… you know you’ll benefit from… yet for more than one reason you’ve been putting it off and giving it lower priority than it deserves?

For me it happened today…

Well, I just finished an hour long massage session!woman relaxing massage

Yep, I know it’s suppose to be good… and almost every time I’ve tried Thai Massage in the past (when done properly) I end up feeling great. (Some kind of release and ease of tension.)

So today I popped into this place which got a type of massage called “Sports Massage”! (It’s a type of Swedish massage in combination with Shiatsu which is said to improve blood circulation and muscle healing)

Aha, I’ll try that ‘-)

(Trust me, I needed this… especially with the changes to my workouts over the last 2 months which made it more intense).

OK, I laid on my back as the masseur starting working my head.

I always try to guess where the next pressure point will be in a massage session… but I couldn’t guess that he’d go from the top of my head to my toes!

Hmm… so I went with the flow, listening to classic music… my face covered with a towel… aha, I might as well try to relax (and probably take a nap if I could ‘-)

Now if traditional Thai massage is an 8 in terms of how hard it is and the kind of pressure applied… Then what I’ve experienced is close to a 4 or 5. You know, a massage session where you can actually relax a bit.

Well, that’s what I thought until the masseur started flexing my toes (go on try it, bend your toes to the side as if you’re doing some kind of toe-split! It feels kind of weird).

Next the guy was punching on my heal and sole of my feet!

I kept thinking, “It’ll probably feel much better once it’s all done.”

The masseur moved from my legs… to arms… back and so on. There was more punching on the front and back of my thighs! (Not Mike Tyson style… the gentle massaging kind).

Wanna know how it feels like?

Well, on the day when you workout your legs feel every repetition… focus on the muscle… as you’re done for that day stretch properly. Normally, your leg muscles will still feel tense afterwards.

Ok, give it 30 minutes then do some light massaging punches to the front of you legs (keep your legs straight).

Now stop. Well, at least that’s how you’ll feel like when you try it.

However, when done properly it can really ease the tension. Here’s what I mean…

At the end of that hour it left like I’ve been dealt brand new muscles with premium fuel.

My whole body felt relaxed, no muscle tension with the slightest move having some kind of fluid motion to it (a bit like coming out of the swimming pool and noticing how your arm moves freely with ease).

So do I recommend having a massage?

For sure. Starting with once a month won’t hurt.


To a relaxing experience to ease your workouts,

M. Jamal

P.S. have you had a massage recently? Can you recall the last one you’ve tried? Go on let us know (hit ‘comment’ at top of this post)… was it any good?

In case you’re interested in massage here’s a resource worth checking.

It was interesting to come across an article that goes against the usual CPR advice…

To summarize, it turns out the usual ‘mouth-to-mouth’ type CPR isn’t always the best choice especially when you consider that:

  • Chest compression (without the ‘mouth-to-mouth’ part) has an 8% edge over usually CPR in saving lives.
  • According to the article, up to five time of bystanders are more likely to help a stranger if didn’t involve mouth-to-mouth! (You can check it out here)

Now the 2nd part is what got my attention…

Think about it: you could be given a great tip, a great technique or strategy… yet if all you can think about is “how best to avoid it”, then it’s almost rendered useless.

Wouldn’t help if you had alternatives that make it easier to take on beneficial techniques and blend them into your life?
Let’s get into a simple example…

If you knew that flaxseed oil is a better source of healthy fat… yet you can hardly stand its taste (yes, I used to drink this stuff off the spoon… try it to know what I mean!!). So you know it’s good but you can hardly stomach the stuff!

Then one day you figure that fish is another great source of healthy fats… and it turns out you love Salmon.

Wouldn’t that be an easier choice for you?

At least it’s simple to blend into your lifestyle.

You can get into other scenarios as well…

Let’s say you find out that running on an incline burns more calories than your usual jogging. But hay, there’s hardly an incline around your neighborhood… and you hardly look forward to doing that on a treadmill!

Well, next you experiment with rope skipping and you figure it’s more interesting.
Why not?

You get the idea.

Lastly, I gotta say, it doesn’t always work out that what you prefer is the most effective workout choice.

Example, as you’re starting out it may seem that dumbbell exercises are harder so you opt for machines… yet, over the long run, those exercises you’re avoiding may be better in sculpting a great figure.

Just know this: as you take on a new workout or a new way of exercising it may seem uncomfortable at first. Don’t shy away from it too fast. Give it a chance. Notice how your body reacts and above all RESULTS.

M. Jamal

P.S. Are there any exercise you dislike?
Are there any parts of your workout routine that put you off and hardly excite you?
Let us know (click ‘comments’ at the top of this post)