Monday, 1 July 2013

How to get a body like Candice Swanepoel

In the gym, in a bar, at a party, it doesn't matter where I may be, as soon as a I tell a girl I'm a personal trainer you can pretty much guarantee they reel of a pre-prepared speech of questions like...

(Takes deep breath)

"How can I tone the insides of my legs and loose fat from my tummy and shape the back of my arms and develop a really nice bum and make my legs look longer and tighten up my abdominal muscles and lose fat off my back?"

(Looks and me with excited eyes and a big smile)

At first I don't normally give a direct answer, I usually want to find out what their currently doing and why it's not working for them. They're responses usually always involve:

Cardio (lots of it)
Bicep curls (with weights equivalent of a baked bean tin)
Zumba class

Sound familiar? It's great, your doing some exercise, but it will only get you so far! Obviously diet plays a huge roll in getting that Candice Swanepoel figure, its also worth noting that you are tied to your genetic limitations when it comes to sculpting your perfect body. Your bone structure will always be the same, your height will always be the same etc. Candice has a slim, lean, muscular body, defined abs and definition in her arms,legs and shoulders. She looks strong yet sexy and feminine. In other terms - Perfect!

Here's 5 things you should be doing in the gym to achieve a similar look:

Sprint intervals
Sprint training is a great fat burning and metabolism revving tool. You can get more work done in a shorter period of time and its more exciting than a 30 minute jog. Check out this blog post for more info on sprint training

Focus on money exercises
What are money exercises? These are the ones that give you the most bang for your buck aka compound exercises. Compound exercises use more than one muscle group, burn plenty of calories and rev your metabolism. Examples are - squat, chest press, lunge, romanian deadlift, kettlebell swings and burpees.

Shorter rest periods between sets
Because females generally have less overall muscle than males they are generally weaker. This means they can recover faster between sets. The effort can usually be repeated in as little as 30 seconds. A faster paced workout will also burn more calories...bonus!

Lift heavier
The ideal rep range for females is 8-15, so pick a load that is ideal for that amount of repetitions. You need to challenge yourself and give your body stimulus to change. Baked bean tin bicep curls ain't going to cut it! High reps (20+) do not help burn fat or improve definition, lifting heavy will burn far more calories and keep your metabolism revved for hours after your workout.

Keep sessions short an intense
An ideal workout should be quick and intense. The ideal time is 45-60 minutes, not 3 hours of nonsense. Long workouts will either put you in so much of a calorie deficit you look fatigued, thin and wiry or the exact opposite and raise your cortisol levels up which will hold fat around your middle. Neither one of them is the look we're going for.