Wednesday, 23 February 2011


I used to be a personal trainer and the hardest thing to do was convince both men and women that weights won't turn you into Arnie over night. Men used to believe that after two weeks they should be seeing massive growth and women couldn't seem to get that the beanpoles walking around their local gym had been pumping iron for months and still looked like Nicholas Lyndhurst in the build department.

Weights are a great means to lose weight and get in shape. The rules for not bulking are about high repetitions with reasonably low weights just so you start to struggle to do the exercise between 10-12 repetitions. The other up side of weights is that they tone the muscle and pull the bits in and up that need to be. Opinions vary but for every kg of muscle built you burn an extra 60 - 70 calories a day. If your aim is only weight loss then this is perhaps not for you, but if you are more interested in a healthy bodyshape, health benefits, better posture, stronger bones, better balance and co-ordination then weights are for you; don't drop cardio but season it with weights. I didn't go out and join a gym, because frankly I don't have the money for it but I scouted around the garage and attic and found enough kit to carry out a decent work out.

Equipment needed:

1 x Stability Ball (bought at argos for my wife when she was pregnant)
1 x Barbell set (also bought at argos when I was younger but hanging around in the loft for a while)
1 x Dumbell set (bought as above)
1 x IPhone
1x Ipod dock

The Workout:

Bench press on the stability ball making sure that the weight of the bar is over my shoulder which are centred on the ball. 2 x 3 sets of 12 at around 30kg

Shoulder Press on ball, sitting square on the ball pushing upwards 3 sets of 12 at 20 kg

Concentration bicep curls sat on the ball 1 set at 10 kg

6 Burpees, 3 press ups with hands either side of the ball (this was mostly experimentation for the next session)

3 sets of 10 crunches on the stability ball.

Why use a stability ball? Straight answer because I don't have a bench but there are real benefits to using stability balls. The requirement to balance pulls all that tummy bit in and the stabilising muscles also work to keep you level burning more calories bringing more tone. Can't be bad can it.


Well the latest from Mike the Bike is that he has stepped up distances to a massive 32.13 see his route at mapometer - - This is a 30 percent increase in distance but he is going to need it if he is to make the 97 miler in June.

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