Tag Archive | "women’s fitness"

Vince DelMonte & Obi Obadike – Talk Fitness Modelling

Vince DelMonte & ultra-FIT cover model and columnist Obi Obadike talk fitness modelling

Posted in Misc, Nutrition, Personal Trainer, ultra-FIT TV, Videos, WorkoutsComments (0)

WoW – Monday’s Workout 25/02/2013

Leg thrasher!

Who DOESN’T want stronger, leaner and shapelier legs? This workout will improve your lower body conditioning and also burn a whole lot of calories – talk about workout efficiency!

Set a sturdy step to knee-height. Make sure it won’t tip over or wobble as you will be giving the step some serious stick in this workout. A park bench is ideal.

  1. Two footed box jump – jump up onto your step using both legs, step down and immediately jump up again.
  2. Squats – feet hip width apart, push your hips back, bend your knees and squat down to 90 degrees and the knee
  3. Lunges – big step out, bend your knees so that your back leg is 1″ off the ground, push back up and repeat with the other leg
  4. Step ups – alternate lead legs, making sure you stand tall on top of the step. Drive through your heels.

Perform 10/12/15/12/10 reps (5 sets) of each exercise with 60 seconds rest between sets. Reps for lunges and step ups are per leg.

Posted in Fitness, Workout of the Week (WOW)Comments (0)


Weight Training for Weight Loss

women-weight-trainingI know many women that are not over-weight…they may be a size 8 or 10, have a healthy Body Mass Index (carry the correct weight for their height – according to the government guidelines) and look slim. However they are still are unhappy with their bodies. The reason for this dissatisfaction is usually because the percentage of body fat they carry is higher than it should be resulting in wobbly bits, bingo wings, saggy tummies or fat thighs. This phenomenon is known in the media as “skinny fat” – looking slim whilst still having an high level of body fat and is considered as much as a health risk as being clinically obese. Regardless of your weight or size, you can change your body shape and lose inches by effective resistance training!



Why does weight (or resistance) training work?

1. Resistance training raises your metabolism. “Strength training increases the resting metabolic rate (RMR) – the rate at which your body burns calories – by increasing muscle mass” – The Complete Guide to Strength Training by Anita Bean. Muscle requires more fuel during exercise and at rest than fat tissue meaning that your calorie requirement will increase. This is good news if your trying to lose weight because you won’t feel as though you are denying yourself as many calories. Along with an exercise regime you should only need to reduce your calorie intake by 200-300 per day.

2. Resistance training keeps your metabolic rate elevated for hours after you have finished training. This means that you are going to burn more calories even after your workout than you would have done on a rest day. This phenomenon is called EPOC – Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption and can be though of as “after burn”.

3. Resistance training (lasting approximately an hour or less) does not require as much carbohydrate replacement as endurance or cardiovascular training. This usually results in you feeling less hungry for the rest of the day than you would if you had, for example, done a spin class. You will be less likely to crave foods rich in carbohydrates (sugars). However, this will not be the case if you do not refuel after your workout in a carbohydrate to protein ratio of 4:1. The sooner you refuel the better but leaving it much longer than 2 hours will result in reduced recovery time and the munchies!

4. “Resistance training helps preserve muscle as you lose weight ensuring that ‘you are shedding weight from fat stores rather than from muscle stores” –  Power Eating by Susan Kleiner. Losing any more than 2kg per week could mean that you are losing muscle mass, thus reducing your metabolic rate and increasing the likelihood of putting the weight back on again!

How should I weight train?

If you are a beginner, start light aiming for 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions and 2-3 training sessions per week.  

Always have a 5-10 minute warm-up on a piece of CV equipment before you start. 

Ensure correct technique to prevent injuries and maximise your exercise benefits. 

Mainly use free-weights and body weight exercises as they recruit more muscle fibres thus burning more calories.  

Chose compound exercises such as squats, chest presses and rows as these train larger muscle groups, again burning more calories.  

Do not dedicate too much time to isolation core exercises such as stomach crunches. You should be bracing your core for every exercise thus training the core throughout your training. Isolation core exercises burn few calories and the bigger exercises mentioned above will help reduce your body fat which should in turn help reveal your abs! 

Once you are intermediate aim for 3 sets of 10-15 repetitions. The last few repetitions should be chellenging, meaning that you are really having to push yourself to move the weight. You could also try using a variety of training methods such as pyramids, ladders, drops sets, and different repetition speeds.  

Once you have been resistance training for about 2 years or more, try a split routine such as chest and biceps – Monday, back and triceps – Wednesday and legs and shoulders – Friday. 1-2 cardio sessions per week should be sufficient.

But won’t I bulk up?

Women that claim weight-training makes them look ‘butch’ or ‘bulky,’ are not meeting their nutritional requirements to match their goals. Women do not have the levels of testosterone to build muscle like men. Female body-builders are usually taking a number of muscle-building supplements and eating more calories than they are expending in order to gain muscle. By eating clean and stayinh in a slight carlorie defeciet this is far less likely to happen

So next time your in the gym, look out for the cardio/weights area divide. Usually those picking up the free-weights are getting more visible results than those dedicating all their time to the cardio machines.

Written by Gabby Clarke – an Essex based personal trainer who can be contacted through her facebook page http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=261179536578&ref=ts or by email

Posted in Fat burning, Fitness, Resistance training, Understanding FitnessComments (0)


Women, weight & weight training part 3

LadyTrainingIn the final part of this 3 part series, Patrick Dale exposes some common myths associated with resistance training…

Myth number 6)
Strength training makes muscles short and bulky – I want long slender muscles like a dancer so I do yoga instead.

I’ve heard this one so many times now that if I had a pound for every time, I’d be a rich man indeed. I had a huge argument with an ex girlfriend about this very subject…needless to say I stuck to my guns and am now single! It always amazes me how common this misconception is.

Muscles are the shape they are because of where they are attached to your skeleton. These attachment sites are referred to as Origins and Insertions. A muscle is attached to the skeleton by tendons. The point at which the tendon meets the skeleton dictates if a muscle will appear long or short. These attachment sites will not move regardless of whether you engage in vigorous weight training or endless yoga and stretching. It’s just genetics, pure and simple. Some people are blessed with long muscle bellies and short tendons, giving an appearance of long, flowing muscles, whilst other people have shorter muscle bellies and longer tendons giving the appearance of short “bunchy” muscles. There are no special exercises that will magically change the length of a muscle belly. Don’t waste precious time doing weird and wonderful movements alleged to lengthen your muscles. We can make our muscles bigger, firmer and improve their condition, but their length is predetermined – if you don’t like the length of your muscles, blame your folks, not your weight training routine. Flexibility is a completely different matter of course and stretching, whilst having little impact of how a muscle looks will effect how well it functions so stretch for muscle health…

Myth number 7)
Strength training just takes too long and I have to go too often – I don’t have time!

When I here this one, it’s safe to make the assumption that this woman has trained with a man who fancies him self as a bit of a bodybuilder and has been exposed to the multi day split system of training. With the split training system, different muscles are trained on different days e.g. Monday is legs, Tuesday is chest, Wednesday is back, Thursday is shoulders, and Friday is arms (ready for a weekend out in town wearing a T shirt 2 sizes too small!). This type of training is fine for bodybuilders but for the majority of exercisers it requires way too much time in the gym.

The average exerciser should seldom adopt a split training programme and instead stick to whole body weight training sessions where the body is exercised as a single synergistic unit. Whole body training is time efficient, easy to plan and requires only 2-3 hours of gym time a week, leaving lots of time to do other things.

By using exercises which are deemed to be “compound” i.e. there is movement at more than on joint, we can work multiple muscle groups at the same time. By way of an example, to work the lower body effectively using isolation exercises (an exercise where movement is limited to one joint only) you would have to perform 6 exercises … leg extensions, leg curls, hip extensions, hip adductions, hip abductions and calf raises. Or, we could just do squats. Weight training really can be that simple and straight forward.

It is possible to train the entire body using just 6 exercises and still have time to perform some cardio or core work and be finished in an hour or less. Organise the 6 exercises into a circuit and you have an amazingly effective fat burning/cardio workout in the time it takes the average male trainer to do his guns workout!

So ladies, leave those split routines to the bodybuilders. Smart woman do whole body workouts.

Myth 8 )
I can’t strength train because I have back/knees/shoulder pain.

Which came first – the chicken or the egg? It’s the same for this myth. Is your back/knee/shoulder pain because you don’t weight train? Once a doctor has given the all clear and confirmed that any pain is not due to musculoskeletal or neurological injury, it’s not uncommon to find that after a few weeks of corrective weight training chronic aches and pains start to disappear. The body is an amazing machine – far more complex than any automobile. To run at optimum efficiency, it needs to have all its parts working in balance. By balance, I mean our muscles (which are generally arranged in opposing pairs on either side of a skeletal joint) need to be equally toned. If muscles on one side of a joint are stronger than those found on the opposite side, a dysfunctional joint will develop and pain may well be the result. Many of our day to day tasks are unidirectional requiring the use of muscles on one side of a joint only. This means that within a pair, one muscle maybe stronger than the muscle that opposes it.  

With prescribed weight training exercises, we can rebalance the muscles on either side of a joint and return that joint to full function. Strengthening the lower back can cure lower back pain, strengthening the muscles of the thigh (the quadriceps and hamstrings) can prevent knee pain, strengthening the muscles of the upper back can improve posture and prevent neck pain.

Some time ago, I had an email personal training client. The deal was I would write a programme and the client would take it to her local gym and the resident instructor would then teach her the exercises. This client was suffering from some lower back pain which had been attributed to muscle weakness so we agreed that she needed to improve the strength of her back and I prescribed dead lifts. The instructor, on hearing about the clients’ bad back removed the dead lifts from her programme and replaced this great exercise with the leg curl machine. Needless to say, when I heard about this I was aggrieved! What the instructor failed to realise was the client had 3 growing children who regularly needed to be picked up and carried and she needed to prepare her back for the rigours of this frequent occurrence and the fact the kids were getting heavier all the time! She NEEDED to dead lift! Weak muscles shouldn’t be favoured or ignored but challenged so that they cease to be weak.

I’m sure many more myths are still yet to be busted so if you know of any others please feel free to drop me a line so I can expose them to the world! I’m sure you can now see, weight training is an essential form of exercise suitable for almost everyone – young and old, male and female. The huge benefits that can be gained from lifting weights (improved strength, bone density, muscle tone, joint stability, posture, fitness etc) far out weight any perceived risks so I strongly urge you to take up weight training and reap the rewards. You body will thank you for it!

Patrick Dale

Part 1 of this series can be found here http://www.ultra-fitmagazine.co.uk/?p=1204
Part 2 of this series and be found here http://www.ultra-fitmagazine.co.uk/?p=1213

Posted in Fat burning, Fitness, Resistance training, Understanding Fitness, WorkoutsComments (0)


ultra-FIT model search

Fitness TV (Channel 282) will be screening the ultra-FIT fitness model workout. It features team members Audrey Kaipio, Caroline Pearce and Simon Howard. Look out for DvDs of the show available from Fitness TV and ultra-FIT. Click on this link  ultra-FIT fitness model TV showThe female finalists ulta-FIT model search 2010 to watch a sneak preview. You should soon be able to see what happened at the finals of the ultra-FIT model search – the picture shows the 11 short-listed females. The winner: Linn Hansen (centre in black). Look out for video on this site and others soon…….

Posted in Events, Fat burning, Fitness, MiscComments (7)


Vibration Training

Vibration_training_Lunge+to+Tap+Floor+V2Whole body vibration training is all the rage at the moment. It stimulates your muscles to contract by way of the frequencies created by the vibration of the machine. It is believed that this will tone and strengthen muscles – we say believe, as not all research is corroboratory with this claim. However, the ultra-FIT team feels that WBV training can be a useful adjunct to your training. Power Plate ® machines vibrate between 25 and 50 times a second, for example.

As well as creating potential muscle strength and tone, lower frequency settings can stretch muscles by turning off the stretch/reflex mechanism – allowing them to move beyond previous limits.  The stretch/reflex is designed to prevent a muscle from being overstretched. You’ll encounter it when trying to stretch a limb beyond its existing range of movement. Similar frequencies can also aid relaxation and clear the body of ‘waste’ products caused by exercise that could lead to soreness. We’ve used the machines to this end.

WBV training can be performed in a number of ways – you can hold a position on the machine, such as a squat, with thighs parallel to the ground (an isometric position), or perform an isotonic (moving exercise), such as squats, lunges or press-ups.

There are a number of focussed WBV workouts out there at the moment such as the Power Plate ® Booty Workout. Caroline Sandry went along to Harrods to try it.

“The workout is short and intense, it’s ideal to squeeze into your lunch break and the stretch and massage machine setting, really does the trick and re-lengthens those tired muscles. The exercises included lots of my favourites, such as squats and lunges, as well as a few alternatives, which really got a burn going in my hips, butt and thighs. The single leg squat series was really powerful and the beauty of the workout is that your abs and back also get a thorough workout, as your core has to stabilise in most of the exercises.

The following day I could definitely feel the effects – though I think the massage setting helped to prevent too much soreness.”

I would recommend WBV training as an adjunct to your other training. You still need to move your body with CV work to burn calories and increase fitness and perform body weight and free weights exercises to develop functional movement.

Posted in Fitness, Resistance trainingComments (1)


10 things you wanted to know about triathlon but were afraid to ask…

Triathlon isn’t a straightforward sport – not only are there three disciplines to prepare for, but there’s all the kit and equipment to get to grips with, the training regime to cope with plus all the headaches which races can present. Fear not, it’s not as complex as it first seems, and with our guide you’ll soon be wondering why you ever worried. Emma-Kate Lidbury answers 10 triathlon FAQs…



1.    “I’ve done a few marathons, but have little experience of swimming or cycling, should I even be thinking about doing a triathlon?”

Of course! Lots of novices take up triathlon having little to no experience of one or more of the sports and that’s all part of the fun. You’ll be amazed at how friendly and welcoming triathletes and triathlon clubs are and there’s nothing more an experienced athlete enjoys than introducing someone new to the sport.

 The beauty of triathlon is that the challenge is between you and the clock, so it doesn’t matter what standard you are, the test is the same for everyone. The fact you have experience of marathon running will stand you in great and will give you an advantage over many people who might only have experience of doing a few laps of the pool or commuting to and from work on their bike.

  2.    “Do I have to wear a wetsuit?”

If you are taking part in an open water race in the UK, the chances are that wetsuits will be compulsory under British Triathlon guidelines. Wetsuits are only forbidden when the water is above 22 degrees Celsius and open water swims are not permitted when the water is below 12.5c degrees Celsius.

A wetsuit can be a huge bonus for weak swimmers as they are made of neoprene, which improves buoyancy as well as your swim body position. It takes time getting used to swimming in a wetsuit though, so make sure you try it out before race day.

 3. “I’m scared, I can’t touch the bottom on the swim.”

It’s perfectly natural to feel apprehensive about swimming in open water, particularly if you’re a novice swimmer. However, with some open water swimming practice and some sound advice, you will soon overcome your fears and enjoy what can be the most exhilarating part of a triathlon.

If you want more advice, go along to an open water swimming venue. Staff there can give you advice on everything from which wetsuit to use through to one-on-one coaching sessions. Or there are scores of triathlon clubs that run their own open water sessions where there will be qualified coaches and experienced triathletes on hand to help you out.

 4. “Will someone swim over me on the swim?”

The opening metres of the swim in a triathlon can be frantic, but this largely depends on the size of the race and the standard of the field. In big races where competitors start in waves of 150+ things can be hectic and it is highly possible you may find someone swimming ‘over you, under you or even across you’. This usually happens because there are a large number of people in a small space all racing to the first buoy, which can sometimes be less than 200m away from the start line. Things usually calm down after the first 100m or so as the faster swimmers race off and the field evens out.

It is highly unlikely that you will encounter problems at smaller races as the majority of UK sprint-distance races have small fields where competitors start in waves of 100 or less. Nevertheless, do prepare yourself as even a sparsely populated wave could be full of swimmers who are so pumped up on adrenaline they fail to see competitors in their path.

 5. “Do I have to ride my bike in a pair of briefs?”

Tr-_girlAlthough you could ride your bike in your swimsuit, this certainly isn’t the most comfortable option! You could change in ‘T1’ (the first transition from swim to bike Ed) from your swimwear into your bike gear, but with the clock ticking as you do this, there are far less time-consuming options available.

Investing in a tri-suit (an all-in-one suit) that can be worn for all three disciplines is advisable. If you don’t fancy the all-in-one number, there are also two-piece triathlon tops and shorts, which do the job just as well. These are worn underneath your wetsuit and are made of quick-drying material.

This means that you can peel off your wetsuit post-swim, run to your bike in transition, put on your bike helmet and shoes set off and and save lots of time.

It is worth remembering that nudity in transition will lead to instant disqualification, so wearing a tri-suit rather than attempting embarrassing changes certainly has its benefits!

British Triathlon rules also state that all competitors must ensure their upper body, especially the chest area, is clothed during the bike and run.

 6. “Will my commuting bike embarrass me?”

Definitely not. In fact, it is very common to see commuting bikes being used at triathlons, which are popular with first-timers, such as the Blenheim Triathlon or the Eton Super Sprints. It makes sense to use your own tried-and-trusted bike before splashing out on an expensive triathlon bike, which you might only use once.

There are various steps you can take to ‘upgrade’ your commuting bike to make it more suitable for a race too. One of the most important changes you can make is to the tyres. Using slick road tyres (1-1.5inches) and inner tubes pumped to 100psi+ will certainly speed you up. You could also consider using clipless pedals and cycling shoes which are far more energy efficient than toe-clip pedals and trainers. They do take a bit of getting used to though, so make sure you practice with them if you decide you want to give them a go.

 7.    “What should I do if I get a puncture?”

Don’t attempt to continue cycling as you could damage your bike. You should always carry a saddlebag containing a few essentials so that in the event of a puncture or other mechanical problems, you have the basic kit needed to get you home or through a race.

The saddlebag, which fits neatly under your saddle, should contain spare inner tubes, tyre levers and a multi-tool. It is also wise to carry a small pump, which can usually be attached to your bike frame.-

8. “What is ‘drafting’ and how can I avoid it?”

Drafting is the name given to taking shelter behind or beside another competitor while on the bike. It is illegal in age-group racing and time penalties (usually two minutes) are given to any participant seen drafting. British Triathlon rules state that the ‘draft zone is viewed as a rectangle measuring seven metres long by three metres wide which surrounds every competitor on the bike course’.

The front edge of the front wheel defines the centre of the leading three-metre edge of the rectangle. A competitor may enter the draft zone to overtake and has a maximum of 15 seconds to do this. If an overtaking manoeuvre is not completed within 15 seconds, the overtaking cyclist must drop back.

However, in races where waves of 100+ people start just a few minutes apart, it can often become congested on the bike course and it can be difficult not to find yourself in another competitor’s draft zone. This often happens on fast, flat bike courses where there are no hilly sections to spread out the field. If you find yourself caught in a large bunch of cyclists, do all that you can to get out of the pack safely. This might mean slowing up and letting the pack pass or putting in a hard effort to break away. If you don’t, you will be penalised.

Drafting is considered cheating in age-group racing and you won’t make many friends if you deliberately set out to draft.

9.    “Should I get ‘tri bars’?”

If you are new to triathlon and not sure yet whether it is for you, there is no point spending money on a set of tri bars as they are not ‘absolute essentials’ as far as kit and equipment go. However, if you are already a self-confessed tri addict and are looking to save a few seconds every mile then it is definitely worth getting some.

Triathletes talk about ‘getting aero’, that’s riding in the most aerodynamic position possible and tri bars can help you create this time-saving position. The more upright you are, the more wind resistance and drag you create, which slows you down. Tri bars, if positioned correctly, will allow you to ride in a narrower, flatter and therefore more aerodynamic position, enabling you to ride faster for the same effort. Seek expert advice when fitting them and get used to them in training before attempting to race with them.

 10. “I’m pretty disorganised, how can I get through each transition successfully?”

The answer is simple: you have to be organised. Transition – the so-called ‘fourth sport’ – can make or break your race. You need to make sure you have everything set out simply and in the order in which you will need it. Remember: when you come into transition for the first time you’ll have just swum 400m/750m/1500m (depending on race distance) and will appreciate all the help possible in finding your kit.

When setting out your equipment look for landmarks or guides which will lead you back to your bike in T1. Although it might seem easy to find before the race, once the adrenaline is pumping and you are mid-race, things will be very different.

Set out your helmet, sunglasses and bike shoes. Alongside them put your run shoes and visor/hat if you are using one. Ensure your water bottle is on your bike, and anything you may want for the run is next to your run kit (energy drink or gels, for example).

Once you are happy that all of your equipment is ready, it is often useful to familiarise yourself with the layout of the transition: where will you be coming in to after the swim? Where is the bike exit? Where is the run exit? At large races, such as the Mazda London Triathlon there can often be hundreds of people in transition at any one time, so it pays to know where you are going.

John Shepherd.

Posted in TriathlonComments (0)

Fitness models

FAME 2010 – watch the highlights

FAME 2010

Posted in Events, Fat burning, FitnessComments (0)


Obi Obadike: Pro-Fitness Model

Obi Obadike and Natalie Muntean – cover models 20-2

Obi was also profiled in the issue and contributes to ultra-FIT. Look out for features and great workouts from Obi and Natalie.


In the video Obi shoots with fellow top model Lyzabeth Lopez

Posted in ProfilesComments (0)


Hollywood Brains & Beauty

Basheerah Ahmad – our issue no. 20-3 cover model and profiled in issue no 20-4


Basheerah is a former Miss Black America, holds two masters degrees and trains Holloywood celebs such as Jordin Sparks and Vivica Fox. See Basheerah in action in the clip below.

Find out more at:


Posted in Fat burning, Fitness, ProfilesComments (0)

Shopping Cart

Your trolley is empty

Join us online!