women

If you want to be all-round fitness star, you need more than just endurance or strength on your side. Here’s how to power up your performance to reach your true peak

If you’ve ever tackled a really tough fitness challenge such as training for a triathlon or running your first marathon, you’ll know what it takes to dedicate yourself to an intense challenge.

Fitness can mean different things to everyone, but if you exercise for the thrill of striving to reach your maximum potential you’re probably always on a bit of a self-improvement mission, whether it’s a quest to cycle from London to Paris, smash your half-marathon PB or push the heaviest weights in the gym.

Description: Are You Totally Fit?

Are You Totally Fit?

You might be focused on building strength or endurance, but to really hit your peak, there are five key factors you need to concentrate on: cardiovascular fitness, muscular strength, muscular en durance, flexibility and your body composition. Work on these areas and you’ll be onto a winning formula.

1.    Boost your cardio fitness

Cardio fitness – the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to your working muscles during exercise can be improved through specific aerobic training. Variety is the spice of like, so vary your cardio workouts from time to time. As with any exercise, your body adapts to cardio stress so after a while, the same kind of workout will start to have less effect. Alternate phases of running, rowing, cycling and cross-training and try interval workouts to really ramp up your cardio power. As little as 20 minutes of high-intensity sprint training three to five times a week will do absolute wonders for fitness in a short time.

2.    Build your muscular strength

Muscular strength refers to the amount of force a muscle group can produce against resistance in a single effort. It’s important to develop this for many reasons, including decreased risk of osteoporosis and injury during sport, and increased muscle mass. Here at WF, we’re always banging on about the importance of muscle mass! We tend to lose muscle as we age so the earlier you start doing strength training, the better. Think about everyday movements that tend to get more difficult with age, such as getting out of a chair, walking up the stairs and lifting boxes – these are all made easier with muscular strength.

Mix up your training with compound movements, core exercises, barbells, dumbbells and resistance bands and keep your reps low (one to five reps), using the highest weight you can manage while maintaining perfect form. Remember: the more muscle mass you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate, which translates to more fat your body will be able to burn at rest.

Description: Mix up your training with compound movements, core exercises, barbells, dumbbells and resistance bands and keep your reps low

Mix up your training with compound movements, core exercises, barbells, dumbbells and resistance bands and keep your reps low

3.    Hone your muscular endurance

Want to be stronger and go for longer? Muscular endurance – the ability to use your muscles repeatedly over a longer time frame is affected by slow-twitch muscle fibres, which use oxygen to generate more energy for continuous muscle contractions. This particularly important for swimming, football and yoga, but it’s key for everyone as it allows you to go about day-to-day activities with better from (Think good posture and less back pain and injuries) and less fatigue. You can work on this area by decreasing the weights you’re lifting while increasing the number of reps you perform. Aim for three sets of 15 to 20 reps and shorten the rest between sets. Yoga classes where poses are held are also a great way to increase muscular endurance.

‘Pay attention to these areas and you’ll be onto a winning formula’

4.    Fine-tune your flexibility

Flexibility, or how much a certain muscle will lengthen, is probably the most undervalued aspect of fitness even though it can affect your health and sporting performance in lost of ways. Most people stretch after a workout, but mainly to lower their chances of developing aches and pains. Focus on increasing your flexibility instead and you’ll see some huge body benefits, such as decreased risk of injury, a boost in your athleticism and better coordination and posture.

So how do you supercharge your suppleness? Warming up with a gentle jog and some dynamic stretches, such as arm circles and leg swings, will help to prepare your body for exercise. Cool down post-workout with a set of stretches held for 30 seconds each to held you dodge injury and lengthen muscle fibres. And if you’re serious about making a real change to your flexibility, try adding a yoga class to your usual training programme, too.

Description: And if you’re serious about making a real change to your flexibility, try adding a yoga class to your usual training programme, too.

And if you’re serious about making a real change to your flexibility, try adding a yoga class to your usual training programme

5.    Know your body composition

Throw out the scales! The amount of lean muscle and fat you have is a far more important indicator of health and fitness than your weight.

Using tools such as callipers and body composition monitors helps to assess the percentage of body weight that’s attributed to fat. This is a valuable statistic, since too much body fat leads to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, joint problems and respiratory issues. Watching the numbers on the scales can be deceptive: different shapes and health. Lean body mass such as muscles and bones are more dense that fat, so someone who’s in great shape may actually weigh more than someone’s who unfit or overweight. Smart training and a balanced, tailored nutrition plan will help your body burn its fat stores and increase your lean body mass.

How to be a real all-rounder

Ready to get started? Here’s our top tips for pudding your peak fitness plan into action

Building a base of muscular endurance before you try strength training will ensure your muscles are prepared for the heavy lifting you expect from them, so you’ll have better form, less chance of injury and superior results.

Don’t just stick to cardio exercise in fear of bulking up form weight training. Women don’t have enough testosterone to build muscle like men, so lift away!

Make sure you drink plenty of water, whatever exercise you’re doing. Hydration is key to any kind of training whether it’s cardio or strength, and it also helps to keep your bodily functions in check.

Top search
women
- 6 Ways To Have a Natural Miscarriage
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- Grape Is Pregnant Women’s Friend
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Some Drinks Pregnant Women Should Say No With
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Stomachache When Eating?
- Top Foods That Pregnant Women Should Be Careful Of
- 6 Kinds Of Vegetable That Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
Other
women
- 10 Ways To… Tune Up Your Health
- The Folate Conundrum
- The Saliva Test
- The Fibroid Fact File
- Look Good And Feel Great…For Less!
- Boost Your Metabolism : Spicing Up Your Life (part 2)
- Boost Your Metabolism : Spicing Up Your Life (part 1)
- Sculpt A Killer Figure! – The Body-Con Workout
- Antibiotics That Pregnant Women Must Stay Away From
- Your Inner Symphony
 
women
Top keywords
women
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Women
Top 5
women
- Cinnamon: A natural treatment for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome?
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain