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Exercise

How to do resistance exercise without getting big

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We´ve talked a lot about the importance of resistance exercise for optimal health, longevity and quality of life but you may be afraid of getting huge and big. If this is you, then continue reading.

If every time someone mention resistance training or weight lifting you think about bodybuilders or strongest men then the first point we need to talk about is that bodybuilders use drugs to get that big and they both eat a lot. For the rest of us is not possible to get that big because we´re not using drugs. Now, another point to consider is that it takes a lot of time to build lean muscle mass, fat loss is easier and quicker, but muscle growth takes a lot more time.

There are some points we need to make clear first, to get really big there need to be a lot of things going on and working together including the right type of training, frequency, volume and recovery, the amount and type of cardio also play an important role; then we also need to consider the diet, you need to be eating more and be really careful of the macros and calories if you want to gain muscle without gaining too much fat or if you want more freedom you can bulk which leads to fat and muscle gain.

In order to gain muscle you need to eat more, get the right amount of volume, resistance, frequency and recovery on your workout program. You can gain a considerably amount of muscle without using any drugs if all the variables are working in harmony, but it´s not necessary. Our goal is to improve body composition meaning having the right amount of muscle mass and body fat in most cases this is low body fat with a good amount of muscle mass which makes you look lean and toned but not big.

We need to mention that how hard or easy it is for you to gain muscle and get big also depends of your body, for some people it´s easier to gain muscle and start looking big than for others and some exercises can have a greater impact on your physique than others.

For most people who want to build that lean body and especially for girls lifting lighter weight for higher reps is the way to go, lifting heavy weight for low reps and adding more weight or reps every couple weeks which is called progressive overload lead to muscle gain so for most people who want to stay lean then lighter weights is the way to go. You can do squats, bench press, shoulder press, overhead triceps extensions, bicep curls all of them with lighter weights. You can also use resistance bands but stay with light resistance. Another point you need to consider is to not train to failure in any exercise, if you´ve gone to a gym you may have seen people training to failure which means they can´t do another rep, this is one technique for muscle growth so avoid it.

For cardio, boxing and kickboxing work great for most people who want to stay lean, they are great for toning your muscles. Some types of cardio like bicycle are not the best option for some people because they can end with bigger legs than what they´re looking for. Crossfit can also be a problem for some because it can make you big.

Now we can´t forget that to get big you need to eat more in most cases, there might be some exceptions but you need to keep in mind and also be really aware of any change in your body, if you´re getting big, are you gaining muscle or fat? Are you paying attention to your diet?

For most people especially girls lifting lighter weights for higher reps without going to failure will give them the results they want, a lean and toned body and adding some boxing or walking for cardio is also beneficial.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Do you really need resistance exercise?

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If you´ve tried to lose weight before I´m sure you´ve looked for programs or advice to find out the best way to do it and most of the focus on cardio so you started exercising doing some form of cardio like walking, running, aerobics and even when doing physical activity every day is key you do need to add some resistance exercises.

I know you don´t want to lift weight or do any type of resistance exercises because you don´t want to get huge, you don´t want to get big muscles and look like bodybuilder. I promise that this won´t happen, there are so many points that need to be working together in order to get a huge amount of muscle mass and you´ll get to a limit if you do it natural. You get to a point where you need drugs and steroids which I don´t recommend.

On the post about the benefits of resistance exercise we talked about why they are important (click here to read that post). There are 2 reasons why you need resistance exercises and those reasons are:

1.- Maintain muscle mass

2.- Maintaining strength

These 2 reasons are related, when you do resistance exercises the goal is to improve your strength, to get stronger so that you send the right signal and stimuli to your body to maintain muscle mass. Being strong and having enough lean muscle mass is key to maintain optimal health and reduce the risk of injuries. As we get older we start losing muscle mass and strength so you need to make sure that you stay strong and maintain as much muscle mass as possible (you don´t need to get big) so that you reduce the risk of injuries by maintaining healthy muscle tissue and joints.

Strength has also been related to longevity, there are anti-aging benefits to lifting weights. Strength helps you build muscle, makes it easier for you to burn fat and it´s easier to stay lean and maintain a healthy looking body, when you like the way you look and you feel great then confidence increases, all this helps you achieve bigger projects and live a better life.

When it comes to muscle and strength the old saying is true “use it or lose it”. When we´re young we are able to do so many physical stuff and as we get older we start losing all the strength, flexibility, mobility and this loss is the result of our lack of physical activity. The human body is design for physical activity to keep moving but nowadays there are so many ways we can avoid that physical movements. Things like elevators, cars, washing machines, tv, social media, e-commerce. Even when technology and all those inventions are great they´ve made us lazy.

As I´ve mentioned in other posts you don´t need to spend hours training at the gym doing so many different exercises. You can get a great workout in 30 to 45 minutes for you resistance training 4 days a week and you just need to be more active outside the gym.

For resistance workouts you can focus on bodyweight and compound movements, if your goal is only to lose weight once and for all, to maintain a healthy weight and optimal health you don´t need to complicate things, just keep it simple and stick to the basics, for this bodyweight and compound movements are all you need. The goal is first to learn the basics of each movement and learn proper form, then your goal is to get stronger on each exercise. We´ll talk on future posts about this.

For cardio I need to say that I hate to call it cardio because we don´t need to schedule one hour of our day, every day to do any type of cardio, what you need is to find ways to be more active throughout the day. For most of us is almost impossible to schedule a 30 or 45 minute for cardio plus another 30 or 45 minute for resistance training, but we can schedule 45 minutes 4 days a week for resistance training and we all have 10 to 15 minutes every morning and after dinner to go for a walk.

We´ll keep sharing information with you and some simple steps and tips you can follow to increase physical activity and develop healthy habits. If there´s something in particular you want to know leave a comment on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Benefits of bodyweight exercises

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For someone who is starting their fitness journey or for someone who has many years training, bodyweight exercises are always a staple.

One day I found out some videos on YouTube about calisthenics and all the guys looked amazing, lean and in really good shape, I finished watching the video and I stood up and tried to do some pushups, for my surprise I couldn´t do any… not even one. I felt so weak and angry and realized how could that happened if some years ago I could do 50 pushups?

I practiced Karate for about 11 years since I was 5 and I was able to do 50 pushups, squats, dips and bodyweight rows. Remembering this got me really angry, I wanted to be able to do that same amount of reps on each exercise and increase weight with weighted vest to go low rep.

Bodyweight exercises are one of the best exercises to get in amazing shape for many different reasons, there are variables for each exercise for any fitness level from the simple versions for beginners to more advance versions and we can do them anywhere.

Bodyweight exercises have so many benefits and they can reduce injuries when exercising, with any bodyweight exercise you are moving your body through space and it requires more strength and balance, but since they are compound movements or multi-joint exercises you are working several muscles at the same time and the range of motion is more natural which reduce stress on the joints and avoid injuries.

If you think about what type of exercise can get you in amazing shape and help you build an amazing physique it´s bodyweight, when you start you´ll find all exercises so hard to do and you may feel terrible, you may feel so weak and like failure but don´t give up, we never give up! When you start you know it will be hard and challenging even the most simple versions but that´s how we all begin, with time you start losing fat (if you´re following a right diet program) and you realize that as you lose weight and get stronger the easier all exercises get. As you lose fat and get in better shape, you weigh less so you need to push or carry less weight in the exercises, this is a great motivation to stay lean.

When you´re starting your fitness journey you´re are out of shape and you don´t want to go to the gym because you feel embarrassed so what you can do is start in your home with bodyweight exercises as resistance training and a couple of 10 to 15 minute walks every day for cardio, this helps lose fat and get in shape, with this our self-confidence increases and then you can go to the gym to add more exercises like compound movements and isolation.

We all need to be able to do bodyweight exercises and yoga which both take a lot of skills like strength and balance, when we can control our body and our mind we are able to achieve amazing things in life, it´s amazing the physique we can build just by working on getting stronger and progressing through all different variations of each exercise and we add some yoga poses we learn new skills that will also help us in our day to day.

We know that starting a weight loss journey is hard, you need to start doing physical activity at some point, usually 3 or 4 weeks after changing your diet so with exercise you need to start with small challenges, you do need to challenge yourself in order for it to change but this does not mean that you need to suffer or put yourself at risk of injuries. You can start by doing 10 pushups using a wall instead of the floor, and 10 squats using a chair to help you. Try this for a couple of weeks and let us know how you feel by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam

Exercise

Why resistance exercise is important

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Do you lift weight or do some type of resistance exercise or are you afraid that you will gain too much muscle and get big?

Many of us are afraid of lifting weights and doing resistance exercises because we will get big, especially girls, fortunately this is wrong we won´t get big (unless that´s your goal which we will talk about how to do it in other post) but we will look lean, and toned. We think too much about this that we forget all the benefits for overall health that resistance exercise has to offer.

We know that resistance exercise gives the stimulus our muscles need to grow and get stronger, if we want to build an amazing physique resistance exercise is key there´s no other way to achieve a physique that looks lean, toned and strong without giving our body and muscles the stimulus they need.

There are different variables and exercise techniques we can use to get the type of physique we want which we´re going to talk about in a future post. If you´ve to a gym and exercise with a trainer lifting weights you may have found that he made you do a lot of different exercises using dumbbells or machines or a lot of reps. Most fitness trainers use some of variables and techniques we will talk about in future posts but most of them only overcomplicate things. Your goal is to improve body composition which we talked about in another post (click here to read that post). So you don´t need to do all those different exercises and spend hours exercising.

As we get older we start losing muscle mass so we need to make sure that you build lean muscle and maintain it to avoid this loss as you age, it also increases bones mineral density which keeps your bones strong and improves physical performance on daily activities, it increases metabolism, improves body composition, helps you prevent injuries and chronic pains and as you see results, as you see your body changing and getting leaner it bust confidence, increases self-esteem and helps lower anxiety and depression, it also slows and even reverse aging factors.

As we get older we are more susceptible to accidents and injuries so resistance training is a way to make sure that we not only look strong but that we´re actually strong, as cardiovascular exercise has many amazing benefits beyond fat loss and weight management which includes our brain and heart, resistance training also has a lot of amazing benefits that go beyond looking lean which include strong bones.

Resistance training can get really complex if we talk about all the training variables and advance techniques you can use if you have a more advanced fitness goal, but if your goal is only to get in shape, sustain it to maintain optimal health you can keep your programs really simple what you need to consider is that both cardio and resistance have great benefits for health so if you can find ways to use them both not necessarily the same day that´s the way to go.

You don´t need to go to a gym if you don´t want, you can get a really good workout with bodyweight exercises and if you want to add more volume you can add compound exercises. Going to a gym when you´re out of shape or starting in fitness is very overwhelming, being in public and exercising around other people can make you feel uncomfortable because we know unfortunately some of them are not nice, you don´t feel good and don´t have the confidence so you can start at home with minimal equipment.

Making your programs based on resistance training is the best option, if you over-do it with cardio we can lose muscle and that´s not what you want so you need to create the resistance part of your program based on your goals first, then you add cardio to help you achieve your goals faster and also to get those benefits.

If your goal is health and living a better life then keeping things simple with just a few exercises done correctly with the right amount of intensity and effort is all you need, you can get a great workout in 45 minutes and you don´t need to do resistance exercises every day, and with two or three 10 to 15 minute walks every day you´ll get great results.

Let us know by leaving a comment down below and on Twitter if you´ve ever done resistance exercise or lift weights and what were your results. Also if you struggle with something, we´ll be glad to help.

If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them and don´t forget to follow us on Twitter.

Pam