Trim Trails

I've just moved house & right on my doorstep it a Trim Trail set out over 6K approx. Every 1k there is either monkey bars, parallel bars, pull up bars or sit up benches. Up until now I have just ran the track, ignoring the apparatus for fear of looking a complete tube. :?

However I have two courses coming up over the summer & I want to make an effort to complete the phys respectably. I have a good level of aerobic fitness but I need to improve on upper body strength.

Would utlising the trim trail be any good? If so can anybody recommend any decent sets/reps that might help improve upper body strength without leaving me looking like Fatima Whitbread? :D

Right, if the trim trail is on your door step, i'd definately use it. Its a great way to improve personal fitness as it includes cardio vascualar excercise as well as resistance training. You've already started running the route, how are you finding it? Are you completing the 6kms in one go, or resting after 1km at each piece of equipment? How many times a week are youb using the kit?

The trim trail will allow you to get the cardio vascular excercise, ie running, to increse your heart rate before you start on the resistance equipment. I'd start off with a basic set of eight to ten reps per piece of kit, allowing you to cover the 6kms aswell as excercising different muscle groups on the route, ie, abs, pecs, biceps etc. Once youre happy doing the route with the excercises, you can then either increase the reps on each piece or lower the reps to 6, have a break and repeat the set.

If youre doing the trail 3 times a week, your body will adapt to the excercises, so in order to build on your body strenght, you can then increase the set, reps to suit your level of fitness.

Let me know how you get on
I've only recently started running the trail and am averaging a steady 28mins for the 6k. I try to get in couple of runs (road running) per week on top of sport but it is so tedious, i've found running the trail much easier being off road & wooded.

Thanks for the info on the reps i will give it a bash, i wasnt sure how to approach them.

I know this has probably been answered on other threads but there are pull up bars round the trial. Im lucky if i can do 3 off the trot before dangling like a plum, doing 8 and i'd just be showing off!! Is it just a case of practice or can i be doing other excercises to help?
ok, on the heaves, if you can only manage 3, then each time you apraoach the bars, go for 3, after a few days, circuits, etc, start aiming for 4, because the body will have got used to the exercise, the muscles should hopefuly have started to adapt for that number of reps. To build/strenghten them, aim for one more. You could try the trail with your partner, asking them to support you at the waist to aid in the lift when you try for your 4th.

If you're just looking to strenghen the muscle, i'd just stick with the heaves, if you're looking to increase muscle mass, also try free weight curls aswell.
Running along trim trails and utilising the eqpt stations around the trail is one of the best ways of getting/increasing/maintaining fitness - much more interesting that just pounding the pavements for mile after mile.

Regarding pull ups - just keep doing them! Obviously, any other form of upper body exercise will increase your overall strength, thus making pull ups 'easier' (in quotations as they are never really easy, you just end up being able to do more of them). However, by training for pull ups by doing pull ups, you are letting your body benefit from an excellent exercise which works your shoulders, arms and back all at the same time, using your own body weight - so just keep on doing them!

And you won't end up looking like Fatima as you would need a significant increase in testosterone to enable this, and there are only 2 ways for a girl to get this - one is via a doctor, and the other via your bloke! By completing anerobic exercises (using weights, etc) you will simply activate your muscle fibre and gain strength but not size. An added bonus of this is that even when you are sat watching the tv, your muscles will require more energy to grow stronger, so you burn calories even while not doing anything.

All in all, a long winded way of saying - keep running, use the exercise stations, crack on with the pull ups and good luck!
One point i would make is that if you do wish to retain your feminine figure (MDN told me you had one :wink: ) make sure you work the opposite muscle in order to retain proper proportions.

ie if you were doing a bicep curl, you would then do as many tricep curls to keep both sides in propotion, otherwise you would end up with big biceps on top and kat slater bingo wings underneath 8O

Other than that, just try and increase your reps by one with each run you do. It will soo add up.

best of luck


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