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Fitness Tips

 

 

 

      
        - Not sure where to start?
        - How do I lose weight?
        - CARDIO training
        - STRENGTH training
        - Progression
        - Nutrition

 

 

 

Wanting to start exercising but not sure where to begin?
 
Setting realistic goals is an important part of any exercise program. Identifying what you want to achieve gives you a target to work towards, the motivation to keep working and the satisfaction gained from attaining your goals.
 
Why not try writing down a few points on what you want to achieve? Whether you have a target weight you want to reach, or maybe a sport you want to play, setting goals will give you the direction you need. You might surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
 
 
 

 

   

 

 

 ' Incorporating variety, such as using programs, is great for maintaining motivation... '

 

 

Know you need to exercise but struggle to stay motivated..
 
Training with a friend or even a group of people is a great way to stay motivated with your exercise. Besides providing great company you will find that you motivate each other to keep pushing on.
 
There are plenty of different forms of exercise that you can perform in pairs that are great fun. Boxing is just one example, used by the majority of personal trainers boxing is a fantastic cardio workout that will also help you improve muscular strength and defintion!
 
Incorporating variety into your exercise regime is another way of maintaining your  motivation. Including resistance work alongside your cardio is a way of mixing things up and keeping it interesting. Purchasing fitness equipment that has a number of set programs is a good way to add  variety to your exercise
 
   
How do I lose weight?
 
If you want to lose weight then you need to burn more calories than you consume. Exercising increases your daily caloric expenditure, and combined with a balanced diet, leads toward achieving your desired weight loss.
 
Research has proven that the best results are achieved when you incorporate both cardio and strength training into your exercise regime.
 
By increasing your heart rate during cardio based exercise you will expend more energy and thus burn more calories. As such it is very important to exercise in accordance with your heart rate and the appropriate heart rate training zone.
 
Did you know that there is a formula for accurately calculating what your heart rate should be during exercise? If you exercise at this ‘target heart rate’ you are more likely to achieve weight loss than someone who doesn’t monitor their heart rate.
 
As well as for losing weight, monitoring your heart rate is a great way to improve your general fitness levels. To find out how to use your own heart rate for training click here
 
Strength training is also critical as you will find that the stronger or bigger a muscle is the more energy they demand. If your muscles require more energy to perform at their best, you will find that you are burning more calories overall.
 
What do I do if I just want to lose weight from my stomach?
 
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as spot reduction. If you want to get rid of some excess fat around your mid section you need to lose the weight overall. Your waist line is one of the first places you put weight on and one of the last places you lose it from.
 
With a controlled diet and plenty of cardiovascular exercise combined with some resistance work, you will eventually lose the weight from those areas you want.
 

 

 

' for the best results include both cardio and strength training in your program '

 

 

 

 

 

   

How do I know if I am losing weight?
 
The first thing you need to note here is the difference between weight loss versus fat loss. Most people say they want to lose weight when in fact they want to lose body fat. Did you know that muscle weighs more than fat?
 
Therefore, measuring your percentage of body fat is the best way to monitor your progress. You will find that there are a number of scales available that offer this function. See accessories page
 
   
CARDIO TRAINING
 
Cardio training is a fantistic form of exercise to help you lose weight; strengthen your heart; feel like you have more energy; maintain or further your current fitness level.
 
There is plenty of equipment available; such as treadmills, ellipticals, bikes and rowers that provide you with an excellent cardiovascular work out in the comfort of your own home.
 
In terms of designing your own program to achieve your goals and maximise the benefits of your work outs, the best way to structure your cardio training is in accordance with the FITT principle. It is a basic set of guidelines that looks at the Frequency, Intensity, Time and Type of exercise.
 
FREQUENCY
 
3-4 times per week is ideal, however, anything is better than nothing.
 
INTENSITY
 
Is best determined in accordance to your heart rate. Your target heart rate training zone is determined in accordance with what goals you want to achieve with your training. For more information on the different training zones as well as how to accurately calculate the zones for you click here
 
TIME
 
20-60 minutes duration is recommended. However, this doesn’t all have to be done at once. You could break it up into, for example, two ten minute exercise sessions, and still receive the same benefits.
 
TYPE
 
Any exercise that increases your heart rate is good, however exercises that involve the use of large muscle groups, such as walking on a treadmill or using an elliptical lead to the greatest improvements.
 
WARM UP
 
A warm up consisting of around 5 minute of light exercise and stretches is very important. It will increase the blood flow to your muscles reducing the likelihood of injuries and ensuring you feel more comfortable throughout the workout.
 
WARM DOWN
 
The warm down is just as important as the warm up. It consists of the same format and can help restrict some of the muscular aches and pains associated with exercise.
 
PROGRESSION
 
With any cardio program you MUST ensure that you incorporate some form of progression.
 

 

 

 

 ' to ensure you achieve your goals you should use HEART RATE CONTROL '

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

' A home gym would provide you with everything you need to improve your strength '

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 STRENGTH
Strength or resistance training is very important in any exercise program. The resulting gains in strength and bone density are beneficial to everyone, particulary later on in life.
 
Increasing your strength will also help you achieve any weight loss goals. You will find that if your muscle are bigger and stronger they demand more energy. Thus, you will burn more calories throughout the day.
 
Will I bulk up if I start lifting weights?
 
It is a common fact that many women avoid doing weights, or resistance training, for fear of bulking up. As a general rule, it is extremely hard for women to put on large amounts of muscle mass.
 
Designing a Strength Training Program
A strength training program follows the same FITT principle as training for cardio.
 
FREQUENCY
 
3-4 times per week is ideal, however, anything is better than nothing.
 
INTENSITY
 
Strength training is almost entirely based around the performance of continuous repetitions. The number of sets and reps depends upon what you are looking to achieve from your resistance training. There are four main types of resistance training:
 
1. Muscular Endurance
 
Training for muscular endurance is ideal for those who are looking to tone up. It involves you performing a high number of repetitions at a relatively low weight. 
The ideal number of sets and reps to train for muscular endurance is:
Sets: 3 - 6
Repetitions: 15 - 30
 
2. Muscular Hypertrophy
 
This refers to those who are training to increase their muscle size, or ‘bulk up’. Increase in muscle size relates directly to the time under tension. It will take at least six weeks of appropriate training before you start to see any increases in size.
 
The ideal number of sets and reps to train for muscular endurance is:
 
Sets: 3 - 6
Repetitions: 8 - 12
 
3. Muscular Strength
 
Training specifically for muscular strength usually follows a period of training to increase your muscle size. It involves lifting a much heavy weight at a slower speed.
 
 The ideal number of sets and reps to train for muscular endurance is:
 
Sets: 2 - 5
Repetitions: 3 - 6
 
4. Muscular Power
 
This type of training should only be done by individuals who have a very sound platform of strength training as it is a very explosive movement. That is, they have been maintaining a resistance program for an extended period of time. If you do not have the strength or correct technique then power lifting can be very dangerous.
 
The ideal number of sets and reps to train for muscular endurance is:
 
Sets: 1 - 3
Repetitions: 1 - 5
 
TIME
However long it takes for you to complete the exercises you have set for yourself. If you had to put a time frame to it, you would want to allow any time greater than 20 minutes.
 
TYPE
 
What resistance exercises should I be doing?
 
There are many factors to consider when deciding which exercises you should incorporate into you training program. Following are a couple of pointers to help you out:
 
1. You should perform exercises that involve large muscle groups before smaller and more specific muscles. For example you should do your bench press before your bicep curls.
 
2. Ensure that when choosing your exercises you work both the back and front of your body. For example: if you are doing leg extensions, you should also include leg curls or; if doing bench press, you should also include an exercise such as lat pull downs.
 
PROGRESSION
 
Progression is an important part of any strength program. If you do not progress what you are doing you won't improve. For ideas on progression see below.
 
   
PROGRESSION
 
Progression is very important in any exercise program, strength or cardio based. If you fail to continually progress the time or intensity of your exercise you will find that your results will begin to plateau.
 
For cardio programs the easiest way to control your progression is by increasing the time you work out for or by using your heart rate. For example, if you were working at 140 beats per minutes and continued this for six months, you would find that you might be walking possibly 2km/h faster.
 
Progression with a strength program is also relatively simple. The easiest way is to follow the ‘two for two’ rule. This states that for every exercise, when you can perform two more repetitions on each set for a two exercise session you need to increase the load.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

NUTRITION
 
What you eat is one of the most important aspects of any form of exercise or training program. It provides you with the energy you need to get through your daily activities as well as being critical in controlling your weight.
 
The type and quantity of food you consume is directly related to achieving all of your fitness goals. It will also, to a certain degree, affect how long it takes you to achieve these goals. No matter how much exercise you perform, if you are consuming more calories than your body burns on a daily basis you will put on weight.

 
There are hundreds of different diets that have claimed to help people lose weight. However, in many cases, once you stop following that diet you put on more fat than you started with. The best way to lose weight and have the energy you need is to stick to a balanced diet.
 
A balanced diet should consist of certain portions of all your major food groups. To find out what these groups consist of, as well as the quantities that are recommended to consume, you should speak to a nutritionist.
 
   



 
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