Let’s face it, for most of us exercise has been put on the back-burner for most of 2021. With months spent within a 5km radius from home (for most of Australia, at least), and a constant feeling of languishing plaguing our tired and exhausted brains, the reality is, getting in that daily—or even weekly—sweat session is, often, last on the priority list.
Ben Lucas, who founded Flow Athletic alongside one of Australia’s leading yoga instructors Kate Kendall, knows that with winter finally behind us and summer just around the corner, finding the motivation to get moving is going to ultimately come down to the workouts that make us “feel good.”
From HIIT and weight training to resistance bands and bodyweight exercises, the self-proclaimed fitness fanatic is an expert when it comes to training, so who are we not to give his advice our best shot.
With the warmer months fast approaching, we asked Lucas to provide a snapshot into the ways in which we can incorporate feel-good workouts into our routine.
For Lucas, one of his favourite ways to get clients moving is with classic HIIT.
“High-Intensity Interval Training, commonly referred to as HIIT has a cult following, and for a good reason,” the trainer says. “HIIT is one of the ‘easiest’ ways to get fit and lose weight fast.”
While he admits it’s not entirely easy, it is time effective—which is crucial for those not particularly excited about getting back into the groove.
Lucas adds that while HIIT is “healthy in moderation”, it can become addictive and like with any exercise, “overdoing it’s not healthy.”
“The body needs time to rest and recuperate especially when it undergoes stress as in HIIT. Consider practising HIIT no more than 3 times per week, allowing at least 24 hours between sessions to recover,” the trainer suggests.
Lucas notes that cycling, running and swimming are great cardio alternatives for rest days when we’re feeling all “HIIT-ed out”, as well as a gentle walk never going astray.
With gyms finally set to reopen, Lucas suggests getting back into weight training this season.
“Contrary to popular belief lifting weights will not make you instantly bulk out and ripped, as much as bodybuilders would love it if it did,” he says. “Weight training should be part of everybody’s workout because it is essential for a healthy and strong body, with Harvard Health quoting it can result in, ‘stronger, denser bones’.”
You don’t have to go all out either, with Lucas explaining that “more reps is not always better when it comes to weight training.”
Next up to try out is resistance training, which Lucas says is “similar to weight training”, but deemed safer as it uses lighter or no weights at all.
“Whilst weight training is typically undertaken specifically for the purposes of building muscle, resistance training also burns fat,” he says. “Think resistance bands, body weight squats or push-ups and gym equipment such as the row machine and chest press, in addition, to exercise performed on a reformer Pilates bed.”
Lucas notes there are “stacks of benefits” that come with resistance training, namely “improved posture and increased muscle strength and tone, as well as protecting your joints from injury.”
If you’re Sydney-based and looking to get back into a routine, check out some of Flow Athletics’ classes.
Image Credits: Bala