Benefits of Free Weights Training in the Gym

Free Weights Gym Zone - Dumbbell
Free Weights Gym Zone - Dumbbell

Use weights to smash your fitness goals at Xercise4Less Gyms

Lifting free weights in our gyms has a number of positives that will you to help you to get stronger not only in the gym but in daily life too. To move one step closer to those all-important fitness goals, start lifting weights in our free weights gym zones and you’ll soon notice the benefits! Using dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells will boost your workouts and your fitness to a whole new level.

All Xercise4Less gyms across the UK have a wide range of free weights equipment that you can use at your will to take your gym sessions up a notch. Whether you’re looking for a wide range of weighted dumbbells, want to use Olympic lifting platforms to train for your next powerlifting competition or want to practice your barbell squat form, our gyms can provide all the equipment you need.

Squats on Squat Rack

Regular weight training helps weight loss

Make the most of the free weights gym zones available to you as part of your great value membership with Xercise4Less Gyms. It provides you with all the equipment you need to smash your personal fitness goals. A big benefit of weight training is that it helps with weight loss.

By following a weight training routine, your heart rate will increase and you’ll start to burn calories at a quick rate. When people think of weight loss, they usually think of using cardio machines, but you can follow a cardio-style workout in the free weights zone to help you lose weight quicker. For example, kettlebell swings are a great cardio exercise and fat burning exercise. Dumbbell squat jumps and medicine balls slams are other exercises that require free weights equipment but really help with weight loss and fat burning. Once you’ve finished a free weights workout, your body will continue to burn calories for a longer period of time compared to a cardio machine workout. So, for weight loss free weights training seems like a no brainer, right? A combination of cardio training and free weight training is the perfect recipe for weight loss and to improve your body confidence

Woman using Cables, Bench, Weights

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Free weight exercises will improve strength

Most people use free weights equipment to build their muscle strength and increase their muscle size. Lifting, pushing and pulling free weights is by far the best way to build muscle and get stronger in your everyday life.

The best way to push your muscles and strength to the limit is to following a workout routine involving a number of compound movements. Compound movements are exercises such squats, deadlifts, pull-ups and bench presses. By doing compound exercises, you’ll be pushing numerous muscles at one time which will eventually result in them getting stronger and bigger. By working multiple muscles at one time, you’ll be improving your balance and coordination. Performing an exercise such as a barbell deadlift isn’t easy but once you get your form right, you’ll smash it and start improving the strength in your back, arms, legs and glutes.

Combining the main two benefits of free weights training – weight loss and muscle gain – will leave you with muscles that are much more defined and prominent. Whatever your level of weight training experience, using the free weights gym zone is something we encourage all Xercise4Less members to do. It’ll benefit your general physical health in daily life and also help to strengthen your mental health.

Barbells

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Become a part of the Xercise4Less community today and take those all important steps towards improving your fitness and reaching your fitness goals. Try strength training in our free weights gym zones or lift weights in our resistance machines zones – either way will help you to gain muscle and burn excess calories quickly. We provide members with the private ladies only gym zone too to help women workout with confidence. Don’t forget about our wide range of group exercise classes including the famous Les Mills workouts.

Whatever your fitness level; whether you’re an experience gym user or never used a gym before, join Xercise4Less Gyms today and start transforming your physical and mental health.

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Benefits of Squats in Your Training Workouts

Squats in Class
Squats in Class

Make Squats a Key Part of Your Strength Training

At Xercise4Less Gyms we know just how great of an exercise squats can be. In fact, some people swear by squats so much that they think it’s the one workout you should always include in your strength training programme. But what exactly is a squat?

A squat is a compound movement (uses more than one joint) for your lower body and which requires a lot of muscles to perform correctly, particularly using weights like barbells. Squats will build your leg muscles, strengthen your glutes, and tone many other muscles besides.

Ready to give squats a go and incorporate them into your next workout routine? Read on for all the benefits of squats, when you should do them during your workout week and what the best squat technique is for you. 

The Real Benefits of Squats in an Xercise4Less Gym

Squatting with a barbell on your shoulder really builds your main leg muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves but that’s just the start. Improved lower body strength through squats also improves your athletic performance and your everyday mobility and posture. Squats engage your ankle, knee and hip joints all at the same time strengthening them for normal daily activities like lifting or bending and help keep you mobile longer in life. Literally nothing is left out when you squat though; you work your back, your core, your shoulders, and your arms. By using so many muscle groups in a squat, your body burns a huge number of calories in the process. And, of course, most cardio and sports need a strong lower body so effective squats allow you to run faster and for longer thanks to your improved leg strength. Finally, there are loads of squat variations so you can change up your workouts and keep challenging your body.

Squat Rack

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When to Include Squats in Your Weightlifting Programme

You could squat 3 times a week but most people work out with squats no more than once or twice a week so their muscles can fully recover. Squats are usually included on either a leg day, lower body day, or push day.  

If you want an expert to check your squat form, our staff will help you to perform a proper squat. And that’s key because it’s important to get your form right to perform the exercise the most effective way possible. Once you have the right squat form, squats are hugely effective in building muscle and improving your body shape.

Read our brief guide as to the best form for squats below.

Squats on Squat Rack

The Best Technique for Gym Squats

Squats need to be done correctly for maximum effectiveness so this is how you should perform a squat:

  • Stand with the barbell on your back and a slightly wider than shoulder width stance
  • Bend at the knees, pushing the hips back but keeping your torso straight
  • Keep squatting until your thighs are parallel to the ground
  • Then squat back up to the starting position, keeping your knees in line with your shins and maintaining a straight torso

You can choose from many different forms of squats, but the most common type of barbell squats are the high bar back squat or Olympic squat, a low bar back squat, and a front squat. All of these use a barbell, but the placement is different in each type. As all our bodies are different, your squats won’t look exactly the same as other gym users but don’t worry!

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At Xercise4Less Gyms we want to empower you to find the right fitness programme for your fitness goals – and we think that squats are an important part of getting you into the best shape possible.

If you’re not already a member of Xercise4Less Gyms what are you waiting for? You could exercise at a great value gym which provides a non-intimidating, friendly and inclusive environment for members at every stage of their fitness journey. Whether you’re just getting started or want to start training for a marathon, you’ll be inspired to reach your fitness goals when you join Xercise4Less Gyms today.

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Calorie Deficit vs. Calorie Surplus

Cardio Training Feature Image
Sheffield Battle Ropes

How do you lose weight or gain weight easily?

We all train at the gym for different reasons and we all have personal fitness goals we want to achieve and at Xercise4Less Gyms, we want to help. Whether you’re ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or already an experienced gym user, it’s important to know how nutrition can impact your weight.

If your biggest fitness goal is to lose weight, you need to make sure that you burn more calories than you consume every day. This is called a calorie deficit.

A calorie deficit doesn’t mean you need to spend hours in the gym – you just need to be generally more active. This could even mean spending just 30 minutes in the gym doing a high intensity workout (weight training or cardio training) but also walking 10,000 steps a day and generally moving more. By keeping a track of your food intake on an app like MyFitnessPal, you’ll know exactly what you’re eating and how many calories you need to burn to make sure that you’re losing weight.

If your personal fitness goal is to gain weight, you need to be in a calorie surplus. This means that you’re eating more calories than you’re burning.

A calorie surplus doesn’t just mean eating more food and exercising less because it’s important that you maintain a regular workout routine and stay active and healthy. Whether you prefer to use weights or cardio in the gym, train in a way to suit you whilst making note of the food you’re eating.

Burning calories at Xercise4Less

Nutrition is an important part of your weight loss journey, so aim to find a good balance between your gym workouts and your diet. Establishing a gym routine alongside a healthy diet will only help you achieve goals quicker.

In Xercise4Less Gyms, we have a range of facilities to help with weight loss. Cardio zones encourage you to burn calories and transform your fitness with treadmills, rowers and steppers. Resistance machines and free weights also aid weight loss over a longer period of time. Don’t be afraid of using weights and doing strength training, it all helps to burn calories and add lean muscle.

We also run a wide range of exercise classes that will support your fitness journey. If you’re stuck for what to do in the gym or fancy something a little bit different, try a class. High intensity classes such as Zumba, Indoor Cycling and Power Pump will help you burn a high number of calories in a short period of time.

You could even sign up for one of our inclusive Transformation Camps that will help you transform your fitness and body to achieve your goals.

Men Cardio Cross Trainers

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Gaining weight and muscle using Xercise4Less

If your main goal is to generally gain muscle and weight, we have some great equipment at Xercise4Less Gyms that could help. Within your great value membership, you can do progressive weight training using free weights and resistance machines to support your fitness journey.

By using equipment like dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells and resistance machines such as the leg press, bench press and lat pulldown, you can build and maintain muscle. Our cardio zones can still be useful – to build your general fitness and stamina meaning that you can lift heavier weights and for longer. Generally, low intensity workouts are better suited to you and your weight gain goals though. 

Man Weight Lifting

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Don’t miss out on transforming your body into the shape that you’ve always wanted. Join Xercise4Less today whether you’re ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or already an experienced gym user. Our members find everything they need to reach their personal fitness goals from our friendly staff to dedicated Ladies Only gym zone, special Spin studio or group fitness classes including the famous Les Mills workouts.

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Strength Training Exercises For Losing Belly Fat

strength training - feature
strength training - feature

Effective strength training exercises for losing belly fat

When it comes to losing belly fat, your first thought might be running on a treadmill or taking on a stepper. And you wouldn’t be wrong about using cardio to lose fat but strength training along with a healthy diet is a key component of any successful weight loss plan. In fact, weight lifting is a very effective method of burning body fat including your love handles. To lose belly fat, you have to lose overall body fat. By increasing your muscle mass through lifting weights, you boost your metabolism and you burn more calories and more fat at rest. As a bonus, lifting weights heavy enough to challenge you but still allow you to finish full sets also burns plenty of calories.

Lose belly fat with squats

As far as weightlifting exercises for belly fat goes, Squats are the perfect way to start our strength training list. Squats are a compound movement that work your entire body, improving your leg strength and building a solid core. Add a dumbbell or barbell to your squats and you’ll shed stomach fat, ramp up your metabolism and improve your overall fitness even quicker than you could hope for.

strength training to lose belly fat - squats

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Deadlifts help reduce stomach fat

At Xercise4Less gyms we find Deadlifts a very efficient way of pushing your whole body. Using a barbell our gym members are able to add muscle and supercharge their metabolism to help burn stubborn belly fat. You’ll build strength in your lower body from your abs and thighs to your legs and lower back. Finally blitz your belly fat for good with a Deadlift compound movement.

strength training to lose belly fat - deadlifts

Forward lunge bicep curls for a flatter belly

Lose belly fat working out with the many free weights available in our Xercise4Less gyms. Step forward then a great way to max your belly fat–burning: the Forward Lunge Bicep Curl. This strength training exercise targets your quads, hamstrings, glutes and, of course, your biceps. Ideal as part of any effective fat loss workout, the Forward Lunge Bicep Curl combines a popular upper body exercise in the bicep curl with one of the best leg exercises in the forward lunge to give you a whole body workout that will really leave you furiously melting calories.

strength training to lose belly fat - dumbbell lunges

Melt that belly fat with some kettlebell swings

Grab a kettlebell in the large Xercise4Less free weights area and start swinging into belly fat burning mode. Explosive training moves like Kettlebell Swings are perfect if you’re looking to improve your strength and torch fat at the same time. You’ll develop your muscle endurance, build solid glutes, more flexible hips and eventually a toned core. Say hello to the Kettlebell Swing and wave by bye to belly fat.

strength training to lose belly fat - kettlebell swings

Continue burning fat with suitcase carries

Sounds simple doesn’t it? Hold a kettlebell on one side and walk for a short distance, engaging your core at the same time, just as if you were carrying a suitcase. Suitcase Carries are actually simply wonderful for helping get rid of belly fat! Don’t worry, do a few of these strength training exercises and you’ll soon feel the calories burn. An all-around weights exercise that raises your heart rate, builds your core strength and targets lots of major muscles from quads and shoulders to biceps and obliques. You even gain better posture but most importantly you lose body fat faster when you include Suitcase Carries in your Xercise4Less gym programme.

Strength training that blasts fat with Xercise4Less Gyms

Smash your weight loss targets with Xercise4Less Gyms. When you want strength training exercises that help you burn belly fat, you want the fantastic facilities available to Xercise4Less gym members. Strengthen your body more effectively in our large free weights area or weightlift privately in our Ladies Only Gym Zone. Whatever method of exercise you need to lose belly fat, from our inclusive fitness classes to a full-size boxing ring and spin studio, you’ll find what you want at your local Xercise4Less Gym.

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Full Body Weight Plates Workout Guide

weight plates-upper body workout guide
weight plates-upper body workout guide

Grab a weight plate to build muscle and shred fat with this total body workout from Xercise4Less Gyms. Weight plates exercise sessions should be included in your fitness programme whether you’re ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or already an experienced gym user. When you exercise at your local friendly Xercise4Less gym with this Weight Plates Workout Guides you’ll soon find yourself accelerating towards your fitness goals.

Weight plate exercises are just as useful for your whole body as a dumbbell session or a kettlebell workout, but you also work hard on your grip strength and core stability, ideal as part of your inclusive exercise plan. Let’s look a little closer at this Full Body Weight Plates Workout Guide.

Whole Body Weight Plate Exercises to Burn Fat and Add Muscle

Start to transform your body and see real results from this Xercise4Less Full Body Weight Plates Workout Guide with the following weight plate exercises:

 

Weight Plate Squat
Weight Plate Row
Weight Plate Pinch Carry
Weight Plate Halo
Weight Plate Crunch Reach

 

This weight plates workout has five lifting exercises. Do all the reps for each exercise, then rest for 60 seconds. Keep your abs, lower back and glutes engaged for every rep so your body remains stable and you improve the power transfer between your upper and lower body. If you’d prefer to focus on specific parts of your body, check out our Lower Body Weight Plates Workout Guide or the Xercise4Less Upper Body Weight Plates Workout Guide.

If you find you need help at any stage of this weight plates workout, just talk to our friendly Personal Trainers. Xercise4Less fitness staff are always available to advise or guide you when you need it. Get the full calorie-burn benefits of this workout session with the 4 sets of Olympic bumper plates and 1 Ladies Only Olympic bumper plate set available in your local Xercise4Less gym. Whatever exercise equipment you need to get fitter, Xercise4Less provides it.

Read on for more detailed instructions on how to perform these weight plates exercises correctly.

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Weight Plate Squat Full Body Exercises

Jack up your upper legs and hamstrings with this massive full body workout move, the Weight Plate Squat.

Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder width holding a weight plate. Place the weight plate between your legs and bend at your hips and knees with your chest up and your weight on your heels. Pause in the bottom position for one second, then squeeze your glutes to get back up.

Do 10-12 Weight Plate Squat full body reps and repeat in 4 sets. Rest for 60 seconds.

Weight Plate Row Full Body Workout

Improve your balance and target your middle back muscles with these Weight Plate Row exercises.

Stack the needed number of weight plates on top of a small weight plate on the ground, allowing you to easily grip the rims. Take a shoulder-width stance in front of the weight plates. Bend at the hip with your knees slightly bent, keeping your back flat. Grab the weight plates from the side and let them hang below your chest, arms extended. Maintain a flat back, pull the weight plates to your chest by flexing the elbows. Avoid jerking the weight plates. Return the plates to the starting position and repeat.

Do 10-12 Weight Plate Row full body reps and repeat in 4 sets. Rest for 60 seconds.

Weight Plate Pinch Carry for a Whole Body Session

Work your forearm muscles and benefit from these Weight Plate Pinch Carry exercises.

Hold a weight plate between your thumb and fingers and walk for 30 metres. Switch arms and repeat the distance. This is one set.

Do these Weight Plate Pinch Carry full body reps in 4 sets. Rest for 60 seconds.

Weight Plate Halo Full Body Exercises

Weight Plate Halo is great for building rotational strength and works your shoulders, biceps, triceps, and back.

Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a weight plate with an outside grip, arms extended overhead. Bend your elbows and rotate your arms to move the weight plate around your head in a circle and down the other side. Continue for 30 seconds. Switch direction; repeat.

Do 8-10 Weight Plate Halo full body reps and repeat in 4 sets. Rest for 60 seconds.

Weight Plate Crunch Reach Full Body Workout

Focus on your abs with this amazing Weight Plate Crunch Reach set.  

Lie on your back with your knees bent. Take the weight plate up over your head, then bring it back over. As you sit up, straighten your arms and push the weight plate up into the air as high as you can. Make sure you elevate your chest and straighten your back at the same time. Then bring the weight plate back into your chest as you lie back down to start again.

Do 8-10 Weight Plate Crunch full body reps and repeat in 4 sets. Rest for 60 seconds.

Join Xercise4Less Gyms for a Full Body Weight Plates Workout

We know how to get you fitter at Xercise4Less Gyms and that’s why we provide all the fitness equipment you need for your inclusive exercise programme including weight plates. Use this Full Body Weight Plates Workout Guide to start your fitness journey or jump start your progress if you’re stuck on an exercise plateau. If you’d prefer to split your workouts, try the Upper Body Weight Plates Workout Guide or the Xercise4Less Lower Body Weight Plates Workout Guide for effective ideas on building muscle and shedding real weight.

No matter what stage of the fitness journey you’re at, ready to join a gym, new to gyms, a casual gym goer or an experienced gym user, at the People’s Gym our friendly personal training experts will guide and motivate you towards the most ambitious fitness goals. Not only do you get the best value gym membership with Xercise4Less, you get a huge range of the latest gym equipment including 4 sets of Olympic bumper plates. You can also use our 1 Ladies Only Olympic bumper plate set in a dedicated Ladies Only gym zone if you want a more private space to exercise in. A Women Only fitness space is only part of our impressive fitness environment. Xercise4Less members get to use a special Spin studio, functional fitness area and a combat zone in all our gyms nationwide. Add in the impressive results of our Body Transformation Camps and Boot Camps, and inclusive group fitness classes including Les Mills workouts and you have all the ingredients needed to supercharge your fitness journey.

Join Xercise4Less Gyms today and work out an inclusive exercise plan including weight plate exercises with our friendly Personal Trainers. Why delay your body transformation, start your energising fitness journey right now!

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