The Mindful Journal


Maximising Your Muscle


For many gym goers the aim of the fitness game is to build muscle efficiently and effectively. Unfortunately there is conflicting advice from the experts as to the best way to achieve this!


The discussion as to whether you should lift light or lift heavy is ongoing, with many strong opinions on either side. If you are trying to decide which is the best way for you to move forwards with your exercise regime then read on to discover the benefits and drawbacks of both methods!

The Benefits of Lifting Light

A study published last year* suggests that a person may enjoy the same benefits from lifting light weights as lifting heavy weights if the repetition amount is increased. Lifting weights in this way is great for building muscular endurance. Also, one of the best benefits of training in this way is that the impact on the joints is much less than when a person lifts heavy weights.

If you have an existing or past injury in an area of your body that you are trying to train through weightlifting, then sticking with lighter weights is a safer idea than pushing yourself to go heavier.

The Benefits of Lifting Heavy

Several experts discount the idea that lifting light weights can yield the same results as lifting heavy weights, even with an increased number of repetitions. One theory behind this is that when you lift weights that you consider to be heavy, signals are sent from the brain to the muscles to indicate that the body is under great strain, leading to an increased level of strength that is not achievable with lighter weights.

The Benefits of Lifting Light PAMA London

In addition to building muscular endurance when you lift heavy weights, you are also going to be enhancing your strength and your power.

If you are going to go heavy with your workout then it is a sensible idea to add this weight slowly. Don’t start at a weight that you know is going to push you too far beyond your capabilities. Find a weight that you are comfortable to lift five to six repetitions of before the amount starts to become a challenge. You can then build upon this gradually with each workout.

Consider Your Goals

There seems to be substantial evidence to support the claim that lifting heavy is an effective way to build muscle mass in a relatively short period of time*. However, huge gains are not necessarily the goal for everyone. If you want to build your muscle in order to tone your body for a lean physique then lifting light can be the best way to achieve this.

Making an effort to preserve the health of your joints as you age is another popular reason for engaging in weightlifting exercises. If this is your goal then light lifting is certainly the best option. If you are over the age of 40 then lifting light is going to be the best way to help keep your joints healthy and your body toned. Once you have enjoyed your 40th birthday your body will begin to be more at risk of injury – and injuries from working out too hard are no exception to this rule! Your muscles will naturally have a decreased level of elasticity, which means that they are less able to bounce back from damage.

The Conclusion

One truth that is agreed upon by experts around the world is that your body adapts when you are getting into weightlifting. This means that you will have to mix up your routine if you wish to continue progressing. So, if you want to maintain and build upon the muscle you already have then you will need to continue to increase the amount of weight that you are lifting, as well as switch up the exercises that you are doing.

If you know that you want to be your best when it comes to your weightlifting workouts but are struggling to find the enthusiasm then click here to read our top three tips for finding fitness motivation! 

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The Power Of Pilates


If you are a regular visitor to our blog then it would have been hard to miss that we are big yoga fans! We love to share the extensive benefits of this spiritual practice so that more people may be encouraged to give it a try!

Today we are going to talk about pilates and explore how incorporating this exercise into your workout routine can protect your health and boost your fitness efforts.

What is Pilates?

Pilates is similar to yoga in many respects, although there is a much stronger focus on developing core strength. Your abdomen, obliques, lower back and thighs will all be targeted during pilates, but your whole body will get a workout!

There is much more focus on holding the poses correctly rather than pushing yourself too far. You will notice that with a lot of the poses you will be engaging certain muscles to strengthen them, whilst other muscles get a good stretch at the same time!

Similarly to yoga there is an important emphasis placed on ensuring that you breathe properly as you move through the poses. Implementing the correct breathing techniques during pilates will help you to execute each pose with more power and precision. Paying attention to your breathing is also great for keeping your mind clear and your concentration on the session.

The Benefits of Pilates

Your body will benefit in many ways when you make pilates a regular feature in your life. You can expect:

  • Better posture
  • Increased strength
  • Improved flexibility
  • Enhanced coordination
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Strong core muscles
  • Spinal alignment

As you begin to experience all of the aforementioned benefits of practicing pilates, you will start to notice changes to your body and also to your mind. Furthermore, you will be better protected against injury as your balance, coordination, flexibility and strength improve, and you will be better equipped to maintain a positive outlook as your stress levels drop.

If you have specific fitness goals then it is a good idea to talk to a pilates instructor about how this type of exercise can compliment other workout activities. For example, if you are trying to lose weight then you may find that swapping one of your weekly gym sessions for a pilates lesson is an effective way to enhance your efforts. Similarly, if you participate in any kind of sport then your instructor will be able to advise you as to the best way to enhance your performance with the use of pilates.

A Quick History Lesson

This fantastic exercise option was created by Joseph Pilates. Having previously been a gymnast, Joseph was inspired to create a workout that would be suitable for dancers who are hindered by an injury. He took much of his inspiration for the moves from yoga, but claims to have also been inspired by the movements of certain animals, such as big cats and swans.

Ready to Give it a Try?

One of the fantastic things about pilates is that there are so many ways to shake things up that it is unlikely that you will tire of it any time soon! Also, because it’s not a high intensity exercise, your body isn’t going to dread going to a session if you have already had a long day.

There is a very low chance of experiencing an injury when you practice pilates. It is an incredibly gentle and low impact exercise, but one that can be extremely efficient at helping you to reach your fitness goals.

Regardless of where you live there are likely one or more local classes that you can choose from. So, get yourself signed up to a lesson and you will soon understand the power of pilates! Remember, you can check out our great rang of activewear so that your wardrobe matches your fitness intentions!

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Namaste Journal



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Follow Your Intentions

The first part of namaste comes from "namaha," a Sanskrit verb that originally meant "to bend." Bending is a sign of submission to authority or showing some respect to some superior entity." Over time, "namaha" went from meaning "to bend" to meaning "salutations" or "greetings." The "te" in namaste means "to you," Deshpande says. So all together, namaste literally means "greetings to you." In the Vedas, namaste mostly occurs as a salutation to a divinity.