In this modern world, many of us find we don't have time for everything we want to do and exercise is often neglected. We've got the answer if you want to workout but are short on time.
It may sound like a silly word to us English speakers, but Fartlek is the Swedish training style that everyone is talking about. A type of high intensity interval training, Fartlek takes things one step further by randomising the intervals so that your body can't adapt and you make bigger gains without hitting a training plateau.
The Swedish word 'Fartlek' translates as 'speed play' and that's exactly what you do - play around with the speeds of your intervals. This is done the most easily on a treadmill but you can do it outside too by using a stop watch or fitness watch to time your intervals.
The way to get best results is to change all of the variables - speed, gradient, and time. An example of a 5-minute Fartlek workout on a treadmill is as follows:
Speed Gradient Time 10km/h 5% 60 seconds 16km/h 0% 30 seconds 9km/h 0% 45 seconds 11km/h 10% 60 seconds 5km/h 0% 60 seconds 20km/h 0% 15 seconds 10km/h 1% 30 seconds
This workout incorporates rest into some of the intervals so that it's sustainable but includes some tough intervals so that you get great results. The point of Fartlek is that it's totally random, so you could make it up as you go along if you want to. Additionally, it is best if you don't repeat this exact workout again, instead doing a completely different set of intervals next time.
Due to its intensity and unpredictability, Fartlek training is perfect for those on limited time. You can get a great workout done in as little as 10 minutes which will test your fitness and increase your lung capacity and heart rate. Because you can make it up as you go along, it never gets boring or repetitive and you can have some fun with it.
Tabata training is a very popular type of interval training that works at a high intensity and is done in only 4 minutes. You can incorporate any exercises you want meaning you can target the parts of your body that need work or just use cardio exercises to improve your fitness.
The way Tabata works is 8 rounds of exercises, 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Due to the rest period being so short, your heart rate remains high throughout while still remaining realistic. It's a great way to get a good burn in a short time.
Read more: 10 minute Tabata workout
Read more: Tabata Workout
Many thanks to The Protein Ball Co for this article
Here at The Protein Ball Co, we like to think of ourselves as experts when it comes to protein. We know there are so many benefits of consuming protein in your diet, such as help with digestion, immunity, new tissue growth and tissue repair as well as providing your body with essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Personal trainers and fitness instructors will also tell you that getting enough protein into your diet is key to achieving your fitness goals. But is this really true?
What is protein?
Protein is a major part of the skin, muscles, organs and glands. Every cell in the human body contains protein, making up more than 50% of the dry weight. Protein defines what an organism is, what it looks like, and how it behaves, because the body is made of thousands of proteins. Clever little things!
Why do we need protein?
Protein is needed in the body to repair muscle after exercise - so if you exercise regularly you will need a higher protein diet. Your glycogen levels deplete after training and the best way to replenish that is through consuming carbohydrates and protein. Therefore it is best to eat a high protein, high carb snack or meal between 30 minutes to 1 hour after exercise. Simple enough, right?
But if you’re like the rest of us and have a super busy schedule with no time to stop and think about eating exactly 30 minutes to 1 hour after exercise, then you need to get into the protein ball craze!
How do protein balls aid fitness?
Protein balls are made with nuts, fruits and added protein powder. The fact that they are made with a few clean ingredients means they are great as an all-natural, healthy snack to replenish your body with protein and carbs after exercise. Due to the natural high sugars in protein balls, they can also be consumed as a pre-workout snack around 30 minutes before exercise to give you that energy boost you need to really achieve your fitness goals.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking to get stronger muscles, consuming protein 30 minutes to 1 hour after a weights workout is a great way to ensure your muscles repair quicker and stronger.
If you’re looking for a quick protein snack to eat after your gym session or fitness class, grab a packet of our delicious protein balls in our online shop. If you’re not sure which of our eight unique flavours you’d like, try our taster box which has at least one packet of each flavour!
Boxing can be a great workout and you don't need to be Floyd Mayweather to be able to do it. Try our boxing fitness workout that anyone can do and is sure to get your heart rate up and send your fitness level through the roof.
As always, doing a proper and thorough warm up is the key to following through with a great workout. Spend 30 seconds jogging on the spot, then do 30 seconds of fast feet (sprinting on the spot), and repeat this two or three times.
Next, do 10 arm circles on each arm - both forwards and backwards - to warm up your shoulders. Finally, do 10 torso twists to warm up your core and back.
For the main set of this workout, you will need a pair of boxing gloves and a punch bag. If you do not have this equipment available, you can punch the air.
Jab/cross as fast as you can for 30 seconds
Jab/jab/cross x 10 - rest 30 seconds - repeat
Jab/jab/cross/duck/jab x 10
Jab/cross as fast as you can for 45 seconds
Jab/cross/jab/duck/jab/cross/right hook/left hook
It is important to remember this is purely a fitness workout. You do not need to be a boxing expert or have any previous experience with boxing. These combos are not intended to reflect any real boxing technique.
Taking part in a group fitness class like spin, Insanity, or Body Pump is a great way to get fit. However, it can be easy to get lost in a big class, especially if it's your first time, and you won't have the full attention of the instructor like you would with a personal training session. Follow our guide to make the most of your classes so that you can get fit, make friends, and create memories!
Don't hide at the back if it's your first class
This is one that happens all the time, so you're not alone if you've done this! It's a common scenario: your friend talks you into doing a class, you're nervous, you're worried about how you'll look or making a fool of yourself, so you hide at the back and kind of do what you think the instructor is doing. But here's the problem: you can't see the instructor properly and they can't see you. What this means is that you won't make the most of the class because you won't be able to follow the movements and exercises properly and the instructor won't be able to correct you if you're doing it wrong.
For your first class, it's best to head for the second row. This means you won't feel like you're exposed at the front, but the instructor will still be able to see you and help you, as well as you being able to follow the movements better. Once you've been a few times, you'll learn the routine, so it won't matter as much if you can see the instructor or not.
Be honest with the instructor as much as possible
It can feel so intimidating going to a new class for the first time, especially on your own. Especially for high intensity classes like circuit training or HIIT, it's vital you tell the instructor that it's your first time so that they can give you any advice you may need to know and can keep an eye on you.
Additionally, it's crucial that you tell the instructor if you have any underlying injuries or anything that might affect your ability in the class. Be completely honest with the instructor so that they can make adjustments for you if necessary. As well as this, take breaks if you need and don't over-exert yourself just because everyone else in the class is bouncing off the walls and jumping like crazy! Don't be embarrassed or ashamed if you can't do all the moves perfectly the first time. It'll take time, and a lot of the other people in the class probably do it every single week so know the routine inside-out and have built up their stamina over time.
Don't try to show off
When working out with others, it can be easy to want to show off and go over the top. However, this is how injuries happen! Every group exercise class is very different and instructors will also be putting their own spin on the routine, too. Strength from powerlifting or CrossFit won't translate to a Body Pump class, and cycling fitness as a triathlete or duathlete won't translate to a spin class. Even if you feel like you're a pro or have good fitness, go into a new class with the view that you're still a beginner and take your time. You might be surprised!
Have fun and don't take it too seriously!
The whole point of group fitness is to make exercise fun. This is an opportunity to meet new friends who are like-minded individuals all doing the same thing. These people are all here for the same reason as you and you're all about to do the same class. If you can't master the dance routine in Zumba or the boxing combos in Body Combat, don't worry about it! Just have fun, follow the routines as much as possible, but most of all just enjoy yourself.
Finding the time to workout when you're a dad can be tough, so we've put together this easy Father's Day workout that will get you great results and help you turn that dad bod into a killer physique!
Fat Loss Muscle Building Workout For Men
This workout incorporates elements of cardio, HIIT, and weight training to give you a full body workout that will torch fat, build muscle, and leave you feeling like a god. Try doing this workout 2 or 3 times a week to really see results and get the physique you've always dreamed of.
Our workout begins with 4 minutes of boxing to get your heart rate up, get your lungs working, and warm up your muscles. Tabata is a type of training that uses short, sharp intervals of work to burn maximum calories and get the best results. Your boxing Tabata starter will consist of 8 rounds of 20 seconds work-10 seconds rest lasting a total of 4 minutes. You can either use a punchbag or just punch the air.
Simply punch the punchbag or the air as fast as possible, with good form of course, for 20 seconds. Then rest for 10 seconds. Then repeat for 8 rounds! Make sure your core is tight as you punch and keep your shoulders and ankles relaxed.
Most men will have tried deadlifts at the gym at one time or another and know what a great full-body exercise they are. But have you ever tried snatch grip deadlifts? If not, your world is about to be flipped upside down! Snatch grip is a wide grip used for the snatch movement of Olympic weightlifting, also found in CrossFit. By doing a deadlift with a wide grip, you change which muscles you are working and your arms and lats must work a lot harder to keep you balanced.
Hold the bar with your hands as wide as you can. Bend your knees and, keeping your back as straight as possible, pick the bar up off the floor. Keep your arms straight as you lift the bar and lift with your legs and glutes. This exercise will also test your grip so be warned!
Complete 3 sets of 6 reps at a fairly high weight for good results.
Back to our Tabata intervals. Your forearms will be torched after the deadlifts so this will be a real killer! Hit the rower for 8 rounds of 20 seconds work-10 seconds rest. Make sure that for the 20 seconds of work you are sprinting as hard as possible and working at almost 100% effort. Keep your back straight as you pull on the handles and keep your elbows high.
This is our finisher and will be harder the older/bigger your child! Get your son (or daughter) involved to finish off this Father's Day workout in style. Holding your child to your chest in front of you, start with your feet wider than hip width with your toes turned out. Drop into a squat as low as you can. Squeezing your glutes, push back up with your weight firmly in your heels. Complete 3 sets of 6-10 reps, depending on how heavy your child is!
If you have a toddler or a baby, you can make this exercise harder by holding the child away from your body with straight arms. This will really target your abs and shoulders as well as your legs. If the child is older and too big to hold in front of you, they can sit on your shoulders.