July Offer - Free Session With Harry

To welcome our newest member of the team Harry Johnson, we are offering a FREE SESSION with him throughout the rest of the month.

Harry Johnson

 

You can book an individual session and get one free or book a block of 10 sessions and get another 10 free!

If you are interested, please contact us via the form below:

 


Squats Vs Deadlifts

A question I get asked regularly is, 'what exercise is better, squats or deadlifts?'. Without any context that’s like asking whether swimming or running is better for your fitness. Both have their benefits but you pick the one to best suit your goals. Both the squat and deadlift are physically exhausting for the lower limbs and muscles around the spine so you don't want to do either of them while fatigued. It is difficult to fit both into an intense training programme simultaneously so what follows is some information on both exercises to aid you in the decision on which to include.
Firstly, because of the number of muscles recruited in each lift, it is fair to say that they are two of the best measures of raw strength. Both the squat and deadlift are two of the three lifts performed in powerlifting competitions (along with the bench press). They are known as 'compound exercises' which means that they are working more than once muscle group at a time, as opposed to 'an isolation exercise' which, as the name suggests, just isolates one part of the body.

The squat and the deadlift both intensely work the lower body. Although they follow the same movement pattern, the key differences between the two are that the squat puts the load on the top of the back above the centre of mass of the body and the deadlift puts the load in front of the hips below the centre of mass of the body. Both exercises work the muscles of the thigh but due to the deadlift requiring an exaggerated hip bend, it makes this exercise one of the best glute and hamstring developers.

Arnold Schwarzenegger himself was very adept at both exercises, posting massive numbers in competition and even just training in the gym. Arnold himself favoured the squat as one of the best quadriceps exercises as immense strain is put on them as you lower the bar eccentrically until you get your thighs to at least parallel with the floor. There will also be some glute and hamstring activation here but not as much as in the deadlift.

As far as calf development is concerned, the calves will not be challenged if you perform a deadlift correctly. This is because the weight and force is primarily directed through your heels. During a squat, however, the weight is spread more evenly across the foot which will involve the calves. You will know if you have tried to squat with tight calves or if you have short calf muscles, that it is almost impossible to squat without lifting your heels as the calves flex. (HINT: to overcome this try putting a plate or block under your heels when squatting).

What about core activation? The core is activated more during these exercises than most other 'abs' exercises. This is due to the muscles of the abdomen and spinal muscles engaging to stabilise the torso. Both exercises cause this effect but the deadlift more so due to the angle of the torso being more horizontal at the beginning of the lift. This is one of the reasons that the deadlift was Arnold's favourite lower back exercises.
Finally, we can examine how these exercises affect the upper body. The deadlift has the squat beat here because you have to grip the bar with both hands and engage the majority of the upper body muscles to maintain torso and core stability. To be honest, there aren't really any muscles that escape the deadlift, other than the chest and triceps, although if you go really heavy and keep perfect form, there won't be an area of you that isn't creaking.

In summary, if you want to really spend some time working on those breadstick legs and want to specifically target the thighs, by all means get squatting. If you're running a bit low on time and you want an exercise that is going to get the whole body working, with the main focus on the lower back, glutes and hamstrings, then the deadlift is the one for you. Make sure you get a spotter and that you have learned the correct techniques before lifting anything heavy!
Happy lifting!

Post By Lloyd Morgan MSc


Summer Bootcamp

We are pleased to announce our Summer Bootcamp Sessions across multiple locations including Merthyr Mawr Sand dunes, forestry trails & pen y fan.

The Small Training Bootcamps last for six weeks, with 12 sessions in total, costing just £120

You will also receive a training t shirt/vest & nutrition plan

Bootcamps will be Saturday's at 9am & Wednesday's at 7pm, meeting at One To One Gym.

Here’s what you need to do…

STEP 1:

Register your interest by filling out your details below

STEP 2:

I’ll be in contact to make arrangements for your consultation & first session

Many Thanks
Marvyn


Learn To Lift With Lloyd

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Do you look at other gym goers training and wonder what exercises they are doing, or that you wish you knew how to perform other exercises to fully utilise the gym that you are paying a membership for?

Have you always wanted to be shown how to perform exercises correctly by a trained specialist?

If you can relate to any of the above, help is on the way. Lloyd Morgan, MSc. is One to One Gym's resident strength and conditioning specialist and has developed a training series to help you 'learn to lift' safely and effectively.

Register your interest by 10th March by either contacting him directly on 07837207321 or by leaving a message below and he will endeavour to include you in this Level 1 style programme.

Only 10 spaces available and at £100 for 10 sessions over 5 weeks they will fill up fast!!


Eccentric Exercise: Pack On Muscle

Eccentric training has lots of perks—and it’s easy to work it into your routine. If you're the typical gym goer, there's a pretty good chance you've heard the term "eccentric exercise" tossed around. Sounds like a fancy term, but it's a simple concept: Simply put, eccentric exercise focuses on working muscles as they lengthen, rather than as they contract. Picture yourself doing a basic dumbbell curl. Typically, most people focus on doing work as the bicep contracts into the big cannonball everyone wants, and then relaxing the muscle as they lower the weight for the next rep. (That’s formally called concentric exercise.)

Eccentric training has lots of perks—and it’s easy to work it into your routine. If you're the typical gym goer, there's a pretty good chance you've heard the term "eccentric exercise" tossed around. Sounds like a fancy term, but it's a simple concept: Simply put, eccentric exercise focuses on working muscles as they lengthen, rather than as they contract. Picture yourself doing a basic dumbbell curl. Typically, most people focus on doing work as the bicep contracts into the big cannonball everyone wants, and then relaxing the muscle as they lower the weight for the next rep. (That’s formally called concentric exercise.)

The eccentric portion of the move happens as you slowly lower the dumbbell, feeling the burn as your muscles resist the weight while still extending. Eccentric movements also factor heavily in activities like walking down steps or running down a hill, where your muscles act as a sort of braking system. The Benefits of Eccentric Exercise Bottom line: Eccentric exercise puts muscles under tension for longer, stimulating more muscle growth. "The eccentric portion of a movement has been shown to have the greatest impact on muscle development," says Marvyn Bailey, "Eccentric training focuses on slowing down the elongated movement of the exercise in order to challenge the muscle for repair and growth."
Muscles can also support more weight in the eccentric phases of exercise than they can in concentric phases. When you reach failure in a bench press, for example, you may not be able to push the bar any higher, but you can still apply enough force to hold it above your body or slowly lower it back onto the rack. That makes eccentric exercise a great way to blast through a plateau—with help from a spotter, you can eccentrically train with a higher weight, thereby training your muscles to eventually move more weight in concentric exercise.

A 2013 LOUGHBOURGH study showed that full-body eccentric training causes muscles to burn more energy at rest for up to 72 hours after exercise—in both experienced weightlifters and untrained people How to Work Eccentric Exercise Into Your Routine You probably already incorporate eccentric exercise into your workout without even knowing it. (Just think back to that biceps curl example.) But, you can emphasize it even more to get more of the benefits. One simple (but challenging) method to work eccentric exercise into your routine is to slow down the phase of each rep when you’re extending a muscle. “If it takes you two seconds to do a bicep curl, you would want to pause in transition and then make sure it takes you at least 8 to 10 seconds to lower it down, Try this technique for any traditional move with free weights or on machines. Cable workouts are particularly good candidates for eccentric exercises, Marvyn Say's because they “allow for more natural ranges of movements.” Eccentric exercise forces your muscles to work at their most extended, which encourages muscle growth across a greater range of motion and helps prevent against injury.

Eccentric Workout Try this routine, created by Marvyn, that focuses on the eccentric movement of each exercise. You'll get all the strength perks of eccentric training. Move through the following exercises, resting as little as possible between each one.
>Push Ups (2 sets of 10) Lower for a count of ten/ one count on the rising phase
>Split Squats (2 sets of 10) Lower for a count of ten on the lowering phase/ one count on the rising phase
>Bent Over Rows (2 sets of 10) Count of one on the up phase/ count of five on the lowering phase >Leg Extensions (3 sets of 10) Count of one on the extension phase/ count of ten on the lowering phase
>Dumbbell Shoulder Presses (3 sets of 10) Count of ten on the lowering phase/ one count on the rising phase
>Standing Single Leg Curl with weight (3 sets of 10 on each side.) Count of one on the extension phase/ count of ten on the lowering phase