Now before you (especially us girls) run in random directions making funny noises and waving your hands because I said "heavy lifting", hear me out! For a long time women were told to use plastic covered, very bright, very little dumbbells with huge amounts of reps while jumping around "like we just don't care" (ok,  it got away from me a little...) Listen, I know it is tough, you walk into the gym, and that perfect little perky girl is doing something stupid like standing side crunches with a pink dumbbell in her hand. We think wow, this is what I should do to look like that. Hmm, no. She looks like that because (yes, I am going to say it) she is young and a little bit genetically gifted t look that way. I, on the other hand, am a little (ok, a lot) older, had a kid and do not have the natural ability to burn off the huge pizza I just ate so I have to work hard.

Oh, and smart. So let us be a little smart about our training. First, lets look at the stupid things we should stop doing. Number one. Get off the bloody eliptical trainer. How long do we spend on there a day? An hour? Who's got an hour to spend on an eliptical each and every day, and especially after some cake. Does it really work? Does it burn the fat? Maybe, but there are faster ways to do this.

In comes the heavies. The heavy kettlebell, the heavy dumbbells and yes, the barbell. Step away from the machines and look at the golden oldies. They have been around for so long for a reason. They work. They rev up the metabolic rate, hours after you've stopped training. Not so with the eliptical, or the bike or the treadmill. (unless you use the treadmill for intervals - a different blog, for another time)

Ok, so let us look at the golden oldies. Why are they so effective? You can put the ON switch onto your fat burning by setting these little (Ok, big) friends up in different ways. The main thing about training with these beauties are that you need oxygen to repair the muscles you've just gave a "little" workout. If you worked out "well", then your metabolic rate can be raised for more than 24 hours! Jip. Science is on our side with this one. So the question begs. Why do we not listen?

So let us load the barbell and set up the dumbbells and get into some lifting. You can start with simple supersets and later move on to circuit type training. An example of such a superset will be barbell squats paired with a barbell bench press. The aim of the superset is to do both exercises right after each other with very little or no rest between them. (a good substitute for the barbell bench press is dumbbell press, especially if your gym is a bit crowded), you can also pair deadlifts and bent over rows together for a great sweat.

You are not trying to go super heavy and do a powerlifter type workout. You are loading the bar with about 80% of your max (or if you are at a loss what this is, then a weight that you can do 10 reps with) A very important part of this is to log everything you do. Your sets, the weight that you used, how you felt before and after you did your workout and of course, the all-important part, what you eat.

A final bit of advice, they say everything works, for a little while. So try the heavier stuff for 4 weeks. Note everything you do, including weighing yourself, fat percentage and maybe that ugly photo (believe me, it really works) we call it the goodbye photo, because you are saying goodbye to a body we didn’t want. Use a journal, nothing fancy, just a normal little book from your local office supplier and start writing. This will be a goldmine for years to come if you are seeking out what works and what doesn’t. Actually, I can tell you what doesn’t. Those plastic, bright dumbbells? Them!