Wednesday 18 July 2018

Siobhan Byrne: Focus on a leaner body

What do you want to achieve from strength training? Asks our fitness expert

Fitness expert Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Fitness expert Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Alternating superman 1
Alternating superman 2
Glute bridge on BOSU 1
Glute bridge on BOSU 2
Lunge and press 1
Lunge and press 2
Uni push-up 1
Uni push-up 2

Going to the gym for the first few times can be quite intimidating, especially when you are using weights and are not sure what to do, while everyone else seems to know what they are doing.

By following my simple steps in next week's column, on how to build and develop a programme, will help keep you on track and help make you feel more confident in the gym.

The most important thing to remember is that the form of your technique and your ability to understand what you are doing and why will play a major role in what you can achieve in terms of goals. Understanding what you want from going to the gym is key in this.

For most of my female clients the general goals at the beginning are for weight loss, while for the men it is weight loss and gaining a little more muscle.

These are standard ideals of what people want to achieve, but these ideals tend to be from people who don't really have an understanding or knowledge of what strength training can do for them.

When clients say 'weight loss', I define that as one of two things: losing body fat and gaining some muscle for one very simple reason, who would ever want just weight loss?

Specifying weight loss on its own could mean loss of body fat and muscle together or simply muscle while holding onto body fat, especially if you're someone who has yo-yoed their way through diets in the past with one quick fix option after another.

This is the reason why I say that hopping on the scales on a daily basis is not just a pointless exercise but is also very damaging to you achieving your goals.

You may find that after a big meal you are up a few kilos for a day or so, but then you may come down suddenly, so this is not true fat loss.

I have never met a woman who would not rather reduce body fat, with a slight increase in muscle to give that lean look and have a few inches off, so that all your clothes look and feel better.

To me this is true weight loss. Ditching those scales and focusing on a leaner body should be the way to go.

Introduction to the gym: Week 3 of 4

Lunge and press with barbell

1/ Start in a standing position, holding a barbell with both hands on your back at your shoulders.

2/ Drop into a lunge maintaining the barbell in the same position. Then extending your arms and push the barbell over your head. Push off the front leg to return to the start position and repeat on the opposite leg.

Glute bridge on BOSU

1/ Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on a BOSU, with your hands at either side of the body.

2/ Raise your hips, bringing them into a straight line from your knees through the body, hold and then return to start position.

Alternating Superman

1/ Lie face down with your abdomen on a BOSU, your legs straight and your arms outstretched overhead, then raise one arm and one leg straight up off the floor.

2/ Lower both leg and arm and repeat with the other arm and leg, keeping your arms and legs straight throughout.

Uni push-up

1/ Start in a push-up position on your toes, with one hand on the BOSU and the other on the floor.

2/ Lower your body to the floor, keeping your back flat throughout the exercise. Return to the start position and repeat all reps on one side. Then change hands and complete the same reps on the other side.

Tip: Try this exercise on your knees if you are a beginner.

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