Discover more from Lou O'Reilly takes out the trash.
Booty bands might be the end of me and other cautionary tales
A listicle of handy fitness things for people just starting out.
Not all exercise needs to leave you in a sweaty puffy state.
It just doesn’t. Sweat is not a metric of whether you’ve had a good workout or not.
But also at the same time, sweating and puffing and being out of breath is normal during and after exercise
So don’t apologise for sweating at the gym. Clean up the sweat patch, and move on. It’s fine.
Doing the same exercises at the same weights will get you somewhere between nowhere and not very far.
Overloading the muscles is what we are usually aiming for to essentially rip tears in the muscles so they can rebuild stronger. It’s called Hypertrophy, but don’t worry about fancy terms for things. Progressive overload is all you need to remember. Are you overloading your muscles? Yes? Good. Carry on.
I like a good hip thrust, believe me.
However, when we’re doing glute bridges, let’s not go John Travolta / Jaime Lee Curtis in “Perfect” in order to do it. From the floor, tilt your hips back a bit so you engage your glutes (tense them up), and then lift your hips up away from the floor, squeezing your glutes as you go. This should be a slow and controlled movement, not a hip throw for lack of a better term. I’m going to write more about the glute bridge.. keep an eye out.
I don’t know who decided to call resistance bands booty bands but bloody hell it annoys the heck out of me. Resistance bands are very good for keeping your knees in the right position, for activating the hips, working hamstrings - lots of things. They aren’t just for “building your peach” and actually doing a repeat of glute kick back exercises with a “booty band” won’t do very much.
If you are working your biceps in a curl, tuck your elbows in and squeeze the muscle at the top of the move.
Slow and controlled. If you feel like you need to engage momentum to lift the dumbbell by swinging your body a bit to complete the move, drop your weight down. There’s no shame in lifting lower weights so you can do it correctly.
Don’t feel you have to train on very sore muscles.
If you’ve been working out and you are really quite sore, pushing through that soreness and training means there’s a chance you will screw up your form and potentially hurt yourself. Listening to your body is much better than listening to someone else tell you about your body. You can always go for a walk or take a yoga class if you really want to be active, otherwise, rest is good. What’s on Netflix?
If you are not ready for the gym, it’s quite ok.
And actually, there are a bunch of exercises you can do from home if you’re a beginner and starting from scratch. They are a body squat, a push up, and a lunge. You can try ten repetitions of each one and for three rounds, or you can do a few of each while you’re waiting for the kettle to boil. Your squat doesn’t need to be super low to the ground, your push up can be against the wall, and your lunge can be holding on to a chair or the wall if your balance isn’t quite there yet.
Always bring a sweat towel to the gym.
Use it to wipe up sweat off your face, or use it to sit on if you’re worried about people seeing your sweat patch. Use it to wipe up machines you’ve been using but always use a cleaning spray with it (better yet use the disposable towels for wiping up machines). Wrap it around your shoulders like a super hero cape if you like, but please remember to bring a towel with you. Please and thank you from someone who works in a gym.
There is no shame in sweat and puff and red faces.
If I had a dollar for every new to the gym person who has profusely apologised to me for sweating on the seat of a machine, or has felt out of breath after an exercise, well, I wouldn’t be a wealthy woman, but still. Stop apologising for the space you take up and for the sweat your body produces. Trainers are well used to sweat, and we can wait while you catch your breath.
There is a difference between injury pain, and tension from working your muscles.
Still, if you are uncomfortable or worried about what you’re feeling, tell your trainer. Or if you’re working on your own, stop the exercise. Do something else, or call it quits for the day and talk to your GP or a physio. There’s no point in pushing through exercise if you’re in pain. No point.
This part is how you get your results and inch closer to your goal. So you must rest. Match a rest day up with a day you’re in the gym. You can choose to be active through the rest, but don’t be silly about it.
This week’s exercise is: The thruster!
Typically, the thruster has a few different translations. From a barbell hip thrust, to a barbell thrust / clean and press - to what I’m talking about today. Grab a couple of dumbbells or a weighted plate that goes on the end of a barbell, or a kettle bell or even no weight at all - it’s not the rules to always be lifting a weight.
So, grab your weights or not, then lower into a deep squat if you can, but it’s no biggie if you’re not at that point yet. Then has you rise up to a standing position, lift your weight or just your arms high up above your head.
We’re four exercises deep and if you’re feeling it, try putting the exercises together to build a programme. Run through those four exercises for as many reps as you can up to about 10-12 and then run through that list of 10-12 reps, 3 times. Or just do whatever you can manage. It’s ok to get through one exercise a couple of times, or smash it completely with a full 3 sets. Whatever you can do is the right amount.
Till next time when I will have a bit of news to share with you.. Lou