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How often is enough?

You know you should be keeping active. You’ve read about the seemingly endless benefits of exercise. But just how often do you really need to exercise?

Perhaps you’ve given yourself weight loss goals, or you want to bulk up. Or maybe you simply want to maintain your health and fitness for a good life.

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Everyone is different. But science can give us some general guidelines for physical activity:

A weekend warrior isn’t fit enough!

Training once or twice a week is better than nothing, but to reach or maintain the health benefits of exercise, 3 times a week is the minimum. 

If you are a busy career climber, try to supplement your weekend workouts with at least one more session during the week. The benefits escalate quickly when you do so.

Don’t weaken weekly schedules

If you’re a weekly trainer, make sure you stick to a regular habit of at least 3 days per week. The key is to keep it regular. 

If you skip one of those days in any week, you may think it doesn’t matter because you’ve already been to the gym at least once or twice. But your health benefits do notice.

Even beginners need the minimum

If you’re new to exercise, you may think staring slowly means once or twice a week. That really isn’t enough to kickstart your health. 

You can start with spending less time in each session and then building up gradually from there, but you will still need at least 3 days per week.

Building ideal fitness 

Of course, 4 or 5 days a week is even better than 3, especially if you’re already quite fit or if you have specific goals. 

Even so, remember to include a rest day between sessions if possible. Or switch between different types of exercises.

Planet Fitness has clubs across South Africa. Use the Club Locator to find your nearest, or click here to experience a week free trial if you’re not a member.

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HIIT – it’s all about rising to the next level​

HIIT - it's all about rising to the next level

High Intensity Interval Training is the next level of training, here is why…

Did you know, that increasing the overall intensity of your training ensures that your rest times are shortened, resulting in an intense workouts with quicker and more evident results? Assisting to boost calorie consumption, ensuring efficient and explosive training sessions. 

Here are some more great benefits of high intensity classes and workouts. 

Boosts cardiovascular and muscle strength 

Including a variety of exercises into your body conditioning workouts will not only ramp up your heart rate, but also amplify your muscle and strength development. 

Torches fat.

That’s right! Performing body conditioning exercises for just a few minutes elevates the heart rate and revs up your body’s metabolism as well. The more calories you torch, the more fat you burn.

Builds core strength. 

Did you know that at least 29 muscles form part of the human core? Body conditioning exercises and workouts are a great way to target all the muscles and help to build core strength for enhanced athletic performance and improved posture.

Enhances flexibility. 

Because body conditioning exercises generally require you to move through a full range of motion, they are an excellent means of stretching tight muscles and ensuring joints are moving freely. Flexibility makes it easier to perform everyday tasks and can even help prevent exercise related injury.

Improves balance. 

Bodyweight exercises require you to use stabiliser muscles to work against gravity and keep your body upright. A pistol squat, for example, requires you to lift your bodyweight while balancing on one leg. Not only does your quad, hammy and glute work but so does your entire core.  Super-functional exercises like this can help improve overall balance.

Prevents Injuries. 

Body conditioning exercises and workouts that follow a natural flow in movement are generally safer to perform and minimise the chance of injury, no matter your age, experience or fitness level. 

Achieves Real Results. 

Combine the above benefits and you’ll soon start to see results in both lean muscle gain and weight loss. 

 

Planet Fitness Sandton Gate and De Waterkant opening soon, introduces Africa’s first pumpHIITupstudio.

A whole new High Intensity Interval Training experience that brings science and tech together to create a fitness experience like no other. It’s not just about getting moving, it’s about taking it next level.



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Fitness in all shapes and sizes

Are you trying to fit into someone else’s jeans or genes? There is no reason to aim for any shape other than your own. What matters to your health is not so much about a figure on the scale, but about your own body composition. The aim is generally towards less fat and more lean muscle, but the perfect ratio could be wrapped up in a whole range of different shapes and sizes.

Everyone is different

Whether you are tall and thin, broad and short or anything in between, it’s all beautiful. Of course we should celebrate our curves, just as much as our elegance.  So if you’ve ever asked yourself if you’re fit enough to fit in, drop that thought and replace it with this one: what is your own best fit? Start your exercise journey for the sake of your entire body, because the benefits extend way beyond your appearance. 

Be comfortable in your own skin 

As a young woman, mature career woman, mother or grandmother – you can appreciate the following results of regular exercise:

Brain Fitexercise eases anxiety and reduces age related cognitive decline.

Heart Felt: it really does pump more effectively with exercise and over time reduces the risk of heart disease.

Shout it out: increase your lung capacity with exercise and reduce the risk of lung cancer.

Breast is best: yes, regular exercise can also reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.

Get into the stream: lower the ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol and raise the good (HDL) with regular exercise.

Bones and joints: preserve your bone mass with weight-bearing exercises, and increase your flexibility.

Stand your ground: strong muscles are good for your stability, balance and co-ordination.

The natural glow: sweating helps the body to excrete wastes via the skin’s surface, and exercise brings oxygen and nutrients to the skin.

Don’t overdo it, but do it.

At Planet Fitness, fun and innovative group classes are offered for every level of fitness. Use the Club Locator and look at the full range of class schedules near you.

 
Morning Vibes

MORNING VIBES

Are you feeling the energy this morning? If not, here’s how to kickstart your day and learn to love your mornings. 

See the light

Make the first step out of bed towards the light, outside. Or open the curtains and lift your eyes to the light. If its still dark outside, turn on the lights. Natural light is the best way to wake your brain, though, so if you do feel foggy in the morning and don’t have access to sunlight, consider investing in a sun lamp or light box.

Take a moment

When you first wake up, think about something you feel grateful for, or something you have planned for later that you’re looking forward to. It can be something small like a tasty meal you have in mind or a call with a friend. Any thought that is pleasant to you will make you feel less sleepy or grumpy and rouse your brain.

Start at the gym

After a good night’s sleep, most of us feel better. An early morning workout is one of the best ways to ensure you’ll get a good sleep later, when it’s bedtime.  A workout also gets your blood flowing and your nervous system revved up. Another option for a restful night’s sleep is to schedule in a yoga class during the day. 

Get into early morning workouts

In fact, an early morning workout is a good idea for many other reasons too.  It gets your metabolism going and helps you to burn more calories throughout your day. Follow your workout with a good, healthy breakfast. 

Studies also show that morning workouts help lower your blood pressure, and if you workout before eating breakfast, it helps to protect against type 2 diabetes by protecting you against insulin resistance and glucose intolerance.

When exercise becomes a part of your regular morning routine, you’ll boost your longevity, immunity and mood.

There’s no better way than to experience the energy for yourself. There are Planet Fitness and Just Gym clubs nationwide in South Africa. Click here to experience a 7 day free trial.

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Lean Muscle Food

The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. If you workout regularly, you’ll soon realise that going home to a fridge or cupboard full of unhealthy snacks isn’t the best way to support your active lifestyle.

You’ll want to shed fat while still keeping or gaining your lean muscle, and some types of food or snacks will support this goal better than others. Some of the top foods for gaining lean muscle include:

  • Eggs, cottage cheese, greek yoghurt.
  • Salmon, chicken breast, tuna, shrimp or lean beef. 
  • Soy beans, beans, peanuts, brown rice.

Healthy Breakfasts

Regular healthy breakfasts may include banana, muesli, fruit, honey, oatmeal, peanut butter and health bread, but if you’ve been to the gym for an early workout, you will probably want something a little more substantial afterwards.  

Egg breakfasts are a good option for those post-workout mornings, especially when combined with smoked salmon or avo, beans or spinach.  

Protein Meals 

Grilled chicken breast doesn’t have to be boring.  Mix and match these kind of ingredients:

  • Consider pairing chicken breasts with butternut, quinoa and baby spinach.
  • Make a meal of chicken breast, brown rice, yoghurt and coriander.
  • Add feta cubes, corn, broccoli and basil pesto for a different flavour.

In a similar way, you can choose tuna as your base and mix it up with lemon, peas and brown rice. Or add it to boiled egg with carrot strips or celery and some light mayo. Better yet, add kale, sweet potato or pumpkin seeds. 

Spice up any of your meals with turmeric, cayenne pepper, chillies or ginger according to your taste.

If you want to be even more creative, there are tons of recipes online. But you don’t have to be an expert cook or experienced chef to whip up a healthy meal for yourself.

If you haven’t had time to shop, some gyms will offer on-premise health food cafes or juice bars. 

Planet Fitness, for example, includes Planet Café at the Wanderers club

 

 
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Ramp up your workout for Spring

Ramp up your workout for Spring

Choosing the correct equipment and exercise routine plays a crucial role in reaching your dream physique. It’s important to keep in mind that various machines produce different results.  Choosing the right machine can enhance your workout results.

Not all gym equipment is the same, so it’s essential to determine what your goals are as well as your level of experience in weight training before deciding which type of equipment might be best. So let’s review the different types of gym equipment: 

Fixed Machines 

These machines are usually the ones you notice in the circuit training area. In most cases, they are specifically designed to target only one major muscle group at a time like shoulders, upper thighs or abs. 

The main benefit of this is that it removes unnecessary stress from other parts of the body – allowing you to isolate the movement and only focus on one muscle group at a time.  

This type of equipment is also perfect for beginners who are still unsure about their exercise form. Fixed machines can help lower the risk of injury while strengthening the specific muscle group you are trying to target. 

Free Weights

These are the barbells and dumbbells that are often stacked on a weight rack in front of the large mirrors you see on the one side of the gym. Free weights are very different from machines in the sense that they are not fixed to a specific axis. 

In most cases (depending on the movement) these weights target more than one muscle group at a time. These compound movements are an excellent way to strengthen your core and overall body strength. 

Cable Machines 

A cable machine is the perfect balance between free weights and fixed machines. They provide a bit of structure while allowing more free reign than a weight would. 

These machines are great for intermediate trainees who are not yet comfortable in moving over to free weights.

Smith Machines

The Smith Machine is what we call a “wanna be” fixed machine. It uses a free weight called the barbell in a fixed plane. The primary benefit is to help trainees improve muscle stability and balance while providing increased muscle isolation in a similar way to a fixed machine.

It’s a good replacement for exercises like the bench press, shoulder press, and squats. It’s also a bit safer for new members who are still fresh to weight training. 

A great health club incorporates of a wide range of gym equipment and a good mix of all four types of machines and weights mentioned above. 

Chat to us at Planet Fitness or simply click here to experience a FREE week on us. We can help you reach your health and fitness goals with affordable membership and world-class equipment.

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Strong like a woman

Strong like a woman

She is strong, she is fearless, she is fit and fierce…She is you!

This Women’s month, yes not only was it Women’s Day, but we have decided that this whole month will be dedicated to the strong and fierce women out there.

If you are all about women empowerment, here are a few female focused exercises, tips and motivational quotes that will have you walking like Wonder Woman this month.

Boss women exercises:

You can deadlift like a boss according to Fitness Magazine

  1. Stand over the barbell with your feet positioned slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grab the bar with an overhand grip, with your arms positioned either side of your torso.
  3. Bend your knees, push back with your hips and drop your glutes down to the floor.
  4. Stand up by extending your hips and knees simultaneously while pulling hard.
  5. Roll the bar over your knees and thighs until your legs are straight.
  6. Lock your knees and hips at the top.

The female supplement guide: 

Here are a few suggested supplement products suggested by USN   

1. B4-Burn Sherbet –A great pre-workout supplement for energizing your training session, with additional fat burners for trimming and toning.

2. ALL9 AMINO- All of your Essential Amino Acids in one supplement, needed for muscle recovery, toned muscle, hydration, vitality and overall health. SUGAR FREE.

3. CLA- A great stimulant-free toning agent supplement.

4. Diet Whey Isolean -A high protein, low carb supplement which is great for recovery and lean muscle growth.

The ultimate quote for all women: 

This month, whenever you need a bit of motivation before your workout, remember…girls run the world!  

Bootylicious workout classes at Planet Fitness: 

Burn it! Boost it! Sweat it! Get that booty blasted into shape. Exclusive to Planet Fitness, Brazilian Booty Blast™, group exercise class will have you coming back for more and seeing bootylicious results. 

Planet Fitness clubs also have a Feminique studio, exclusive for women to focus on their cardio and weight training. Check out on our Club finder, if your club has a Feminique studio, click here. 

workout myths

Workout myth busters

Busting common workout myths

 Sometimes, you might hear or read the information relating to your health and fitness that may or may not be based on facts.  Common sense isn’t always that common! Here are some simple truths that cut through the jargon.

Do you need to feel the burn?

If you’re new to exercise, there will be some muscle soreness, but generally the saying ‘no pain, no gain’ isn’t true when related to training. 

A bit of discomfort after you push yourself is natural, but if you’re experiencing actual pain, stop and evaluate. It’s not necessary and might indicate an injury.

A build-up of what?

On the other hand, that bit of muscle soreness that you experience a day or two after a good workout is normal, but it’s not caused by lactic acid build-up. 

That was once a common belief, but what’s happening is that exercise causes minuscule tears in your muscles. Don’t be alarmed by that. As your body repairs those tiny tears, it builds new, strong and healthy tissue.

You don’t have to live at the gym.

If you think you need to spend many hours every day in the gym to lose weight or gain health benefits, that’s another myth we can bust for you. 

Yes, you do need to do it regularly (there’s no magic potion that will do it overnight) but even 20 minutes to half an hour daily in the gym can be enough. The trick is to get in some high-intensity interval training at that time. Many group classes are designed to keep this tempo going for you.

Sometimes, water is enough!

Speaking of weight loss, remember that sports drinks contain a lot of sugar. You’ll need it, or preferably a good supplement, after a very long, high intensity session or marathon, but not before or after a half hour or regular workout. Water is the essential replenishment you need for that. 

Diets versus exercise

If weight loss is your goal, exercise won’t produce overnight results. If you think you’ll lose lots of weight quickly, think again. 

With exercise, weight loss benefits scale up over time, and it ultimately promotes long-term fat loss while maintaining muscle. Crash diets without exercise might show quicker results, but remember the rebound and endless cycle of weight regain!  And, of course, exercise delivers lots of health benefits beyond weight loss.

Speak to your trainer or healthcare provider if you have any doubts about your health. 

Planet Fitness has clubs across South Africa. Use the Club Locator to find one near to you or click here to experience one week free trial.

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NO EXCUSES

Are you stronger than your excuses? 

Let’s try all live out  “The Rock’s” motto: “If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don’t you’ll find an excuse.  

Travelling and can’t get to the gym? Or maybe you’re far away on vacation.

Here’s how to maintain your fitness until you get back to your gym routine.

If you’re travelling for business, squeezing in time for a workout may be the last thing on your mind, but you can stay fit in your hotel room. Don’t overthink it. 

If you do no exercise at all, it will be harder to regain your level when you get back to the gym. So something is better than nothing.

Just skip it!

No, we don’t mean avoid exercise. We literally mean: pack a skipping rope!

Obviously, when you’re travelling – especially if it’s for business – you’ll want to keep your luggage minimal.  Why not pack a lightweight gym skipping rope. If you don’t already have one, grab it at Planet Shop here

You can use this with some high intensity interval basics and it will push your calorie burning, especially since you’re probably indulging on the meals a bit while you’re on vacation or staying at a hotel.  

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Use your watch or phone as a timer.  Set it for 5 to 10 minutes, depending on your fitness. Then do standard jumps using the proper form for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat ‘til your timer sounds.  

If you’re more familiar with skipping and want to mix it up a bit, switch to right leg, left leg and high jumps between the standard skips using the same interval pattern.

Even without a rope, you can still do some jacks, squats and lunges in the same timeframe using the same intervals.

If you’re going to be on vacation for a long time or if you travel within the country frequently, consider maintaining your gym sessions instead with national membership. Planet Fitness has clubs across the country.  Use the Club Finder here.

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Goal Digger

Goal Digger

 

You may have dropped Olympic Gold from your wishlist, but there’s still plenty of room to enjoy a toned, fit and healthy athletic body.  If you’ve never played sports professionally, you can still start training for fun, local runs or triathlons. Tough obstacles courses can shift you out of your comfort zone, but it’s best to start with small goals, like a 5km run.  Here are some tips to become a goal digger! 

One step at a time

Nobody goes from the couch to a marathon overnight. A series of smaller goals will lead you there. Start training at least 3 days a week for about 15 minutes, then gradually increase the intensity and time.

Pace yourself

An indoor running track offers a safe, convenient way to get ready for outdoor fun runs. Try intervals of stepping up the pace for a few minutes and then slowing down for the next few. Sometimes, finding a running buddy at the gym helps to keep you motivated.

Mix it up

Remember that fitness isn’t just about running. You’ll want all your muscle groups to be working at optimum levels. Do a bit of strength training on the machines, indoor cycling or a group body conditioning class in-between your track sessions.

Fuel yourself

As you start exercising and burning calories, your metabolism will gradually speed up. Snack on fruit juice or yogurt before a workout and then replenish afterwards with a healthy protein snack. Stay hydrated, drink a bottle of water at least 2 hours before you exercise and then refresh every 20 minutes during exercise.

Setting goals and building your fitness delivers tons of benefits beyond just your body. It helps you in the workplace, in your life and your career. It builds your confidence and sparks your inner glow.

Use the Planet Fitness Club Locator to find an indoor running track near you, or click here to experience one week free and get started on the right track.