OzSquad’s top strength training tips
In March we welcome Lynsay aboard at lots more OzSquad sessions. She is passionate about resistance training, which means that you now have Carly as your cardio bunny AND Lynsay as your strength Queen at the OzSquad helm. Lynsay will be sharing her knowledge and putting you through your paces (or rather reps!) at the new OzSquad Strength class at 6am on Thursday mornings at North Steyne – guys you already know that you’ll love it, girls, go try it, we promise you will too.
To get us in the mood, here our new Strength Queen gives us her top tips for effective Strength Training:
I’ve always lifted weights in some form or another from just being in the gym using machines or teaching body pump classes, but I really got into weights and resistance training two years ago when I competed in my first fitness competition. The comp required me to get serious about lifting and I spent a lot of time learning and finding out what worked best for me.
Everyone is different and you will each need to work out what suits you best and what you enjoy BUT… Girls don’t be put off by lifting, strength training is for you as well! Girls will not bulk up simply from lifting weights – there are many reasons why, but for a start girls don’t have the testosterone like guys do and you would have to to eat a very strict/precise diet aimed at building muscle to bulk up (and believe me it’s hard as a female to achieve huge muscle gains and it takes a very long time – I’m still trying ha!).
Read on for my top tips…
- It’s fine to do a fasted cardio workout but with weight training I would always advise eating before a session – In resistance training you want to protect your muscle, not use your muscles to fuel your workout. Therefore think about what you will eat before and after your work-out. As most of you train early your pre work-out fuel could be something like a banana or a shake. Afterwards, have protein and complex carbs.
- Drink plenty of water. Our muscles need to be hydrated – if we are de-hydrated even by the smallest amount it can reduce exercise performance and our recovery afterwards.
- Consider using BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids). I would recommend using this supplement as they help your muscles recover quicker and therefore optimise your training. There are lots of different brands and flavours out there so get sampling and see what you like. Just pop the powder in your water as you train and you get the added bonus that it makes your water taste good so you drink more and stay hydrated. Win win.
- Focus on your form (not the weight) to avoid injury and don’t create further imbalances in the body by always giving preference to your strongest side (for single sided work, always start on your weaker side and only match that number of reps/weight on your stronger side).
- Make sure you get variety in your strength training work-outs so that you don’t get stuck in a rut and plateau. Give all types of resistance training a go – try going heavy with fewer reps or using lighter weights with more reps, each has their own benefits.
- And finally rest days, have one! Rest is just as important as the working out – have at least one day off and do absolutely nothing – rest means rest!
Looking forward to seeing you bright and early every Thursday to get strong!