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The Best Exercises To Lose Belly Fat

If you’re finding some extra pounds seem to be sitting around your waist and you’re interested in shifting your belly fat through exercise, the gym is the perfect place to start. Before we give some examples of the best exercises to lose belly fat, there’s some things we think would be useful for you to know when it comes to achieving fat loss:

  • Focus on your whole body: It can be very difficult to target specific areas of your body when it comes to weight loss, but by working out your whole body regularly, you should see a positive difference across the board.
  • Make the most of compound movements: Make sure your workout includes compound movements such as squats, deadlifts and bench presses to work multiple muscle groups at one time. This will help to build overall strength and size as you focus on your belly.
  • Go beyond cardio: While it may be tempting to stick to cardio to burn calories, you should consider including strength-focused sessions to build and retain muscle mass as you lose weight.
  • Watch those calories: In order to lose any kind of weight or fat, your body needs to be in a calorie deficit. Look at your nutrition and diet as well as increasing your time at the gym. Our guide to beating the belly fat can tell you more.
  • Consider total lifestyle improvements: Don’t forget other aspects of your life that can affect fat loss beyond exercise and diet. How much sleep you’re getting, how stressed you are, the time of year and so much more can affect your weight loss journey.

So now for the exercises themselves – here are five of our top recommendations for battling belly fat and burning calories.

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How to Plan a Weight Training Program

A good weight training program can really help to focus your workouts and assist you in meeting your goals and objectives. But what is a weight training program and how can you plan one yourself? Read on for more… 

WHAT IS WEIGHT TRAINING? 

Weight training is a form of strength training that uses weights machines or handheld weights, such as dumbbells, kettlebells or barbells to add a greater challenge to workouts. It offers fantastic benefits such as improved strength and balance, as well as body shaping and weight control. 

Read our What is Weight Training and What Are The Benefits guide for more detail. 

WHAT IS A WEIGHT TRAINING PROGRAM? 

A weight training program is a plan you make to ensure you’re consistently challenging yourself and reaching for your goals as you work out. This can be as simple as written notes to show what types and size of weights you are starting with and how you intend to progress each week or month, or could be a spreadsheet or app on your phone. Ideally, you’ll have this with you in the gym to refer to as you exercise; which will also mean you can also mark up any differences between your plans and your actual achievements as you go.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO HAVE A WEIGHT TRAINING PROGRAM? 

Creating and sticking to a weight training program means you’re more likely to challenge and drive yourself as you lift, push or pull. You’ll be able to set and meet measurable goals and appreciate all the benefits from challenging yourself and your body in a targeted way. It also means you can easily track your progress and enjoy the successes you’ve achieved.

HOW TO PLAN A WEIGHT TRAINING PROGRAM

So much of creating a weight training program comes down to you – your starting point, your goals, your personal commitment. Whether you’re a complete beginner to weight training or have been working out with weights for some time, it’s important to have an idea of all of the below when creating your program. 

Once you’re comfortable that you’re ready to get started, you can start filling out your plan. Here’s a weight training program template that could serve as a useful starting point.

1. Understand your goals

Why are you focusing on weight training? Is it to build muscle, tone your body or lose weight? Perhaps you’d simply like to feel stronger? Maybe it’s to recover or strengthen your muscles after an injury? Or you’re keen to focus on strengthening and shaping one particular part of your body. It could be that you’re hoping to achieve several of these benefits as you train. Understanding your goals is the first step of creating a program, as this could change how you approach your training. For example, working with heavy weights will help to build muscle mass, while lighter weights over more reps is more likely to help build up endurance.

2. Set short and long term objectives

Once you know what you’re hoping to achieve, you can begin to set yourself challenging yet achievable goals to reach. Perhaps you’re hoping to lift a certain weight within 3 months, or would like to bulk up to a certain size. Note this down and aim to work backwards from here when planning your expected progress. It could be that you then realise your goal isn’t quite achievable in your time frame, so you can rework your program, or maybe you might be on track to meet it sooner than you’d thought. Mapping out your objectives will not only help you gain a better and more realistic picture of how and when you’re planning to meet your goals, but it will give you something specific to aim for and successes to celebrate as you achieve them. 

Remember, you won’t build muscle overnight; it might take some time to meet your objectives. Don’t rush yourself and instead enjoy seeing the improvements during your fitness journey.

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Weight Training: What Is It And What Are The Benefits?

WHAT IS WEIGHT TRAINING?

Weight training is a form of physical training, which uses weighted objects, like dumbbells and barbells, or weight machines, like plate-loaded kit, to primarily build muscle or improve strength. It can also help to boost power, muscular endurance, and improve overall health. Weight training causes tiny microscopic tears in your muscles, which are then repaired to build stronger, leaner muscle. Read on to find more about different types of weight training and its benefits. 

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF WEIGHT TRAINING EXERCISES?

There’s a huge variety of advantages to weight training, and many individuals find it benefits them in unique ways. These are just a few of our favourite reasons why you should include weight training in your workout plans:

  • Improved strength: With consistent training, you should be able to see great improvements to how much weight you can lift, push or raise. Not only is it satisfying to feel these improvements in the gym, but you’ll also see the benefit when it comes to your daily routines, as well as confidence in your own abilities and strength. To focus on building strength, aim to complete fewer reps with more weight.
  • Support everyday activities: Weight training in the gym can support your everyday life outside the gym, such as being able to carry heavy items (useful for carrying grocery shopping and perfect for moving house!), walking up stairs, or supporting improvements in other sports and activities, like running, football, rowing or tennis. 
  • Build muscle: Lifting weights consistently and over time can help to increase the size of your muscles, and in turn can help to improve strength and change the appearance of your body – which is why bodybuilders adapt this training method. With weight training, you’re able to target the muscles you want to build through exercise selection. We understand not everyone is training to change their appearance or body composition but if you’re looking to bulk up or tone areas of your body, weight training is necessary. 
  • Strengthen bones: After around the age of 30, you start to lose bone density. Putting force on your bones helps them stay strong and can help to reduce the chance of injuries.
  • Better posture: Regular weight training targeting the full body can help to strengthen areas such as the back, shoulders and core, which can help you to sit and stand more upright, improving your posture and stance.
  • Aid weight loss: When losing weight some of the weight lost can be muscle mass. As muscle helps to support and strengthen your body, you would probably want to retain as much as you can when losing weight so it’s a good idea to include weight training into your fitness routine. Plus, your muscle mass can influence your basal metabolic rate, which influences how many calories you naturally burn at rest. 
  • Improve balance: Keeping leg and core muscles strong helps prevent weak and wobbling limbs. Weight training can help keep us sturdier on our feet and less likely to experience falls as we get older. It can also help to address any muscular imbalances, so for example if one arm is stronger than the other, you can perform exercise on the weaker limb to strengthen it.
  • Reduce anxietyStudies have shown that weight training in particular can help lessen symptoms of depression. On top of the confidence boosting benefits of seeing visible improvements in your abilities and your body, weight training also helps provide mood-enhancing endorphins that can ease anxieties and improve your mental wellbeing.
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How to Prepare for Gyms Reopening

After almost four months of the gyms being closed, many of us are excited to finally jump back into a squat rack or onto an exercise bike. However, it’s important to start preparing now to gradually ease yourself back into working out and return to the gym safely.

Here, PureGym fitness expert, Beth Trueman, shares her top tips for returning to the gym.

Start to increase your daily activity now
After a long period of inactivity or training at a lesser intensity, it’s likely that you will experience some kind of muscle soreness (commonly known as DOMS) when you return to the gym. Many seasoned gym goers would have experienced it before, it’s simply our body adjusting to new stimuli. The soreness and tightness is generally temporary and gets less intense once your body adjusts to your new regime. If you’re itching to get back into the gym when it reopens, you should consider gradually increasing your daily activity now to help limit muscle soreness.

Try tempo training
A great way to ramp up your activity in the lead up to the gyms reopening is trying tempo training. Tempo training is simply controlling the speed at which you complete your reps and is a good option to make simple bodyweight exercises like squats more challenging. By slowing down your reps, particularly the eccentric phase (lowering the weight), or by adding in a pause to the movement pattern, you increase the amount of time your muscles are under tension. This makes the whole movement more demanding, making your muscles work harder to complete the reps, whilst also increasing muscle fibre recruitment.

Start stretching to prepare your body
Keeping your body mobile and flexible helps keep your muscles active and plays a huge role in injury prevention. The saying “use it or lose it” applies here, particularly when many of us will have found ourselves sat down a lot more than usual during lockdown. Try to include a couple of stretching and mobility sessions a week to reduce tension and tightness. Not only will this help you transition back into the gym and reduce your chance of injury but it can also help with exercise form and improve your range of motion.

Build up volume and intensity gradually
For many of us, lockdown has meant training at a lower intensity and making do with what we have, such as; squatting with tins of beans or curling bags of sugar. Therefore, it’s completely normal that your strength and stamina may have taken a little hit in the process.

Your body needs time to adapt in order to avoid injury. Be patient with your body and focus on gradually building up the intensity and volume of your training sessions again. If you’re lifting weights, look to reduce the amount of weight, the number of reps or both when you first come back to the gym, then increase it again gradually as you get back into your routine. For cardio, consider reducing both the intensity and length of your workouts and consider adding some gentle active recovery sessions into your weekly regime instead of going flat out.

Be patient when you return
Above all else, be patient with yourself and your training when you return. Remember, going in too hard or too fast will only slow down your progress in the long term, so strip back your workouts and don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re not working out at the same level as you were before lockdown. The most important thing is that you return to the gym safely and stay injury free.

Information on the changes PureGym are making to keep their members safe, along with FAQs and tips on keeping the gym a safe environment, can be found here:

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Back To The Gym: The PureGym Re-Induction

Welcome back! Since January 6th, we’ve missed our members and are so excited to have you returning back to our gyms across the country. Starting with England on April 12th and with our Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland gyms following, we’re ready to welcome you back into a COVID-safe environment, purpose built to help improve your health and reach whatever goals you have set for the rest of 2021.

However, we are mindful that it’s been a while since we last met, and have seen that Google searches in just the last two weeks for ‘how to get fit’ have rocketed by some 170%! So, to help you ease into life at the gym, whether you’re a new member or old, we’ve created a dedicated Re-Induction to help. From getting accustomed to the surroundings of the gym again, to dealing with nerves and getting started with some workouts – we’ve got you covered. Simply read on for returning to the gym!

Following the first lockdown in March 2020, we developed TrainSafe, a complete reconfiguration of all of our gyms to ensure an environment that is good for your health in every way. This includes socially distanced workout areas for everything from the treadmills to the free weights, in addition to extensive and frequent cleaning, self-cleaning stations and contactless entry via the free PureGym app. See for yourself as our Leeds City Centre North gym manager Josh talks you through what you can expect when entering one of our gyms for the first time (or at least the first time in a long time!)

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10 benefits of a group training at a gym

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Your individual training plan. High intensity workouts

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