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Fit Glam Weekly Reading

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Tried to go chestnut brown with highlights around the face… my hairdresser clearly got a little overexcited with the highlighting. Follow me on Instagram!

There have been a lot of good articles on the web this week, well… new and just “new to me”. I’ve got a few new pieces just about ready to go myself. How has my week been? KICK ASS. Well, training-wise it’s been great. Very focused, eating right, knocking out workouts, my deadlift is coming back. I had a hair disaster! See above. Next week, the Christmas parties start, so it’s going to be a good test of my “1 or 2 glasses of wine*” only policy on social drinking. No more cocktails! I think cocktails are a fat loss (and wallet!) killer. BOO.

Now, one of the pieces I’m working on is about role models. It’ll likely be a multipart series. One of the fitness models I’ll include is Ava Cowan. I absolutely love this woman! What is cool about Ava Cowan is that she’s real. I think she’s the first, and maybe only big name fitness model I ever heard say in any real way that dieting for competition is hard and she isn’t perfect. Unfortunately, she had an accident earlier this year which resulted in a serious neck injury. During her recovery, she gained a lot of weight and she’s documenting her Journey Back to Strength. I’ve loved reading every instalment! I wish Ava all the very best and look forward to seeing her back on the pro figure stage.

I’ve always instilled in my clients how important it is to be strong, that it’s one of the most important indicators of physical resilience and longevity. This article by Dr Michael Joyner, puts together a lot of the research (and there is tons) – Why You Need To Be Doing Burpees.

And if you haven’t seen this yet, then you really should, because it never gets old, Howard Schatz’s images of female athletes. Throw away your scales. Fit, strong & awesome really comes in all shapes and sizes.

Lastly, an oldie, but a goodie – Nia Shanks on how to start lifting singles and triples if you have never done so before.

What have you been reading on the web this week?

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Go Hard or Go Home! Kettlebell Workout.

I love doing “met cons” for fat loss. In conjunction with a solid diet, doing rounds of relatively light, fast and sometimes ballistic resistance and bodyweight movements really gets the ball rolling in the right direction.

“Met Con” is just short for Metabolic Conditioning.

Metabolic conditioning can truthfully be almost anything, however it does take a bit of knowledge and know-how to design an effective one. You can use dumb bells, barbells, kettle bells, medicine balls, your trx, you can use bodyweight only, you can do sprints or other traditional cardio in between. Rests are other variables you can also play with.

Most people are talking about high intensity, interval, anaerobic work when they talk about doing “met cons”, but technically speaking, metabolic conditioning work is really about optimising performance within specific energy pathways. So while most people talk about doing  some type of a “metcon”, a “metabolic finisher” or just plain old HIIT with weights, they’re talking about doing a form of HIIT and they’ll tell you that DUH?!! I’m doing it for fat loss, dummy… why else? Another reason you may be doing some type of metabolic conditioning is to improve performance in a particular energy pathway of the body, whether its your short bursts of all out effort (the phosphagen pathway), intermediate (the glycolyctic pathway) or aerobic/oxidative pathways.

Metabolic conditioning work has a wide scope and versatility depending on how smart your program design is based on your objectives 🙂

Me? I do them primarily for fat loss and because sometimes they make me feel bad ass, haha. (In my opinion, if your workout doesn’t make you feel like you are awesome and can leap tall buildings in a single bound, then it’s no fun and probably not worth doing. This is why you’ll never catch me doing zumba, lol.) This type of training gives you a lot of bang for your buck, you’re finished in under 30 minutes and you get results fast. Adding metcons and HIIT to your program will get the fat off FAST AND GOOD… provided you are eating for fat loss. Remember, there is no fat loss workout without a fat loss DIET. You cannot outtrain a bad diet, EVER! Even with metcons. Metcons are not magic.

I try to program mine so I’m not doing any movements that interfere with my big lifts on subsequent days. So, for example, if the day after my metcon day I’m going to be doing deadlifts, then I’m not going to do glute-ham raises or heavy kettlebell swings the day before. I’ll keep everything a bit lighter and faster. It also may be prudent when writing a metcon circuit to alternate body parts, so if you’ve just done some lower body work, the next exercise you might want to choose would be for the upperbody, like push ups, for example.

Here is a kettlebell workout of mine from last week. I used a 16kg kettlebell and it kicked my butt. I did 3 rounds. This week, I did 4 rounds and also 5 cleans instead of 3 and 12 swings instead of 10.

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You always have to do just a little bit more so you can say that you are better than you were before. Always. That’s one of the workout rules I live by, whether I’m doing traditional lifting, metcons or going for a run outside. Be fundamentally, inarguably better than you were last week. And if I can’t manage even 1 more rep, then I’ll rest… and do a whole extra set.

I hope you try out my kettlebell workout, let me know how you go in the comments!