When most of us think of weight training, we imagine muscly men in the gym pumping iron double their weight with thighs the size of tree trunks. Many of us don’t associate weight training with weight loss because it seems counter intuitive to build muscle when we’re trying to slim down. In fact, the opposite is true – lifting weights is the single most effective way to burn fat. Unlike cardio, after each weight training workout your muscles need energy to repair; meaning that your body burns a greater percentage of calories from fat. Research shows that after a weight training workout, your metabolism can be boosted for up to 36 hours. So, after your morning workout for example, you’ll be burning more calories whilst sitting at your desk at work and whilst you’re sleeping that night – winning! Whilst cardio is of course a good form of exercise, it can lead to the loss of muscle and fat. Weight or resistance training on the other hand promotes lean muscle mass which allows your body to burn more calories at rest. Your BMR (base metabolic rate) is the calories your body burns just to keep itself running. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories are burned even if you do nothing but ‘Netflix and chill’ all day. To torch those calories and keep burning them the whole day, try this 45 minute workout below. I have also officially found the most stylish kettlebells out there – Heart Kettlebells (available in 4kg and 8kg). These are the perfect addition to your home gym and are versatile enough to use for a range of different exercises. The full body workout below consists of three sets made up of four exercises. Repeat each exercise for 45 seconds before taking a 15 second rest and moving on to the next exercise in the set. Each set has three rounds and between each round there is a one minute rest period. Set 1: Standing pull up - Stand with your feet apart. Start with the weight at the bottom with straight arms and both hands on the kettlebell. Then pull up with your elbows coming out to the side. Hold the kettlebell up towards your chest and keep your elbows just a bit more than 180 degrees. Lower the weight back to the starting position and repeat. Alternate lunges – Start with your left leg forward and your right leg backwards (this is the leg that will drop into the lunge.) Hold the kettlebell in your right hand and lunge, driving the weight of the kettlebell up through your lunge. After 20 seconds, swap sides and repeat for another 20 seconds. Bent over row - Stand with your legs hip-length apart. Bend over forwards and grab a hold of the handle of the kettlebell. Keeping your core tight and your back straight, stand up brining the kettlebell with you. Do not lift the kettlebell, simply hold onto it and feel the stretch in your quads. Mountain climbers - Place both kettlebells shoulder width apart. Hold onto the top of each and come into a raised plank position. Brace your core and bring one leg in as high as you can towards your chest, then the other and repeat for 45 seconds as fast, but controlled, as you can. Rest for 1 min, then repeat set until you have done this set three times. Set 2: Kettlebell swing – Use your hips in this movement and allow the weight of the kettlebell to drive the movement (don't lift the kettlebell with your arms.) Start with hips a bit wider than hip distance apart, with both palms down grab the handle of the kettlebell with both hands. Lower your body and swing the kettlebell from between your legs out in front of you. Repeat this swinging motion for 45 seconds. Bicep curl – Grab hold of the handle of the kettlebell with the palm of your hand facing you. Bring the kettlebell up from the side of your body into a bicep curl, stopping at 90 degrees. Goblet Squat – Hold the kettlebell in front of you with both hands, grabbing hold of each side of the handle and squat for 45 seconds. Side bend – Stand with your legs hip width apart. With the handle of a kettlebell in your right hand and facing towards the front, bend sideways towards your left almost like a standing side crunch. Repeat for 20 seconds and then change sides and repeat. Rest for 1 min, then repeat set until you have done this set three times. Set 3: Wall sit - Place your back against a wall with your feet shoulder width apart and a little way out in front from the wall. At all times your back should be flat against the wall and you should form two right angles – one at the hips and one at the knees. Hold the kettlebell with both hands above your knees for 45 seconds Two arm kettlebell row – Grab two kettlebells and place them in front of your feet with your knees bent slightly. Pull the kettlebells towards your stomach whilst keeping your elbows close to your body and your back straight. Kettlebell push up – This is a tough one! Place the two kettlebells shoulder width apart and come into a push-up position with each hand holding onto a handle of a kettlebell. Come down towards the kettlebells in a push-up position and then push up away from the floor. If you can, between reps at the top of the push-up, pull one kettlebell in towards your body and then carefully lower down again. If it’s a little too much, just do a normal push up either on your toes or your knees. Sit ups – Lie down and hold the bottom part of the kettlebell in two hands towards your chest. Sit up and bring the kettlebell with you. If this is too difficult just do normal sit ups. Rest for 1 min, then repeat set until you have done this set three times. This workout can be modified to a 30 minute version by doing each set twice instead of three times. Even though this is a short workout you will be burning calories throughout the day! Leave me a comment and let me know how it goes! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!
We’ve all had those mornings. We press snooze on our alarm clocks at least four times and convince ourselves through a series of excuses that we don’t have to/shouldn’t go to the gym or leave the warmth of our bed for anything other than breakfast. The thought of leaving your bed for an early morning workout to start the day isn’t everyone’s cup of tea…after all sleep is important, right? Thankfully FlexTV has solved the problem of ‘endless snooze button hitting’, allowing you to fit in a workout in the comfort and privacy of your own home. From Pilates to barre classes, HIIT to meditation, FlexTV gives you access to over three hundred live classes a day. There are even specialist sessions in pre & post-natal fitness so that pregnant and new moms don't have to worry about one more thing to juggle with their new addition. FlexTV is perfect for busy people who struggle to fit gym classes and workouts into their day to day lives. Classes are scheduled around the clock and range from ten-minute yoga classes to hour long cardio circuits, so you can tune in whenever you have a moment and from wherever you are. After logging into your account online, you can schedule classes to fit your daily routine. Tailoring your workout timetable means that you can plan your week in advance and you receive an email straight to your inbox to remind you of upcoming classes. A handy chat box also allows you to talk to the instructor, ask questions and engage with other class participants so you don’t miss out on the social aspect of fitness. My favourite classes are ‘Empowering Yoga with Lucia’, ‘Kundalini yoga for circulation and focused mind’ and ‘Kettle Bell Barre Fusion’. If you thought that a home workout couldn’t challenge you - think again! FlexTV is an inexpensive way to stick to your exercise routine, especially during the winter months when waking up at the crack of dawn in the dark is your idea of torture. It’s an easy way to fit in a workout – I usually just roll out my yoga mat and set up my iPad in front of me and the instructor talks you through the workout whilst doing the exercises with you. For more information visit www.joinflex.tv - there is even a 30-day free trial! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too!