The 12 Week Training Block

Our last coaching video, The Training Year, (review HERE) discussed how we look at physique sport athletes programming over the course of the year moving up and down the pyramid from Offseason to Inseason and the goals of each part of the year. Hopefully you completed the quiz and that prompted some healthy reflection about how you can maximize your current and upcoming phases as an athlete.

Next up we will discuss the 12 Week Training Block. All of the [Hidden Gym] Programs are divided up in 12 week “blocks” that consist of 3, 4 Week Phases. This video discusses why we do it this way. Notes for reference are included below.

To test and improve your application of these concepts we advise filling out this short quiz:

Why 12 Weeks

  • Enough time to obtain substantial results.
  • Allows for 3 phases of “Adaptation.”
  • Average amount of time before needing to consider a goal shift or deload
  • Allows for enough changes, but not too many changes
    • The more advanced you are, the LESS variety you need
    • The more advanced you are, the LESS variety you need
    • The more advanced you are, the LESS variety you need

What Should Happen During 4-week Phases

  • Week 1
    • Gain familiarity with exercises of that phase
    • Begin to learn strength levels at prescribed rep ranges
    • Ask questions about execution or unfamiliar techniques
  • Week 2
    • Better execution of exercises due to familiarity from week 1
    • Weight increases likely due to improved skill, more so than actual strength gain.
      • You likely got more efficient, not stronger already
  • Week 3
    • You are very effective at executing exercises.
    • You are really pushing yourself to beat numbers from week 2, much harder to progress here than it was from week 1-2
  • Week 4
    • You have mastered the movements in this phase
    • You know exactly what you are capable of and come prepared for each workout with intention to beat your previous performances.
    • Adaptation to the exercises are taking effect and you should be achieving true gains in strength
    • Beating your numbers from week 3 is a BATTLE

The Training Year

Today’s video is an explanation and depiction of how the [Hidden Gym] Training Staff looks at The Training Year. To create the best results in our clients it is important to have a long-term plan in place. We recommend all our clients understand these concepts and attempt to apply them to there own training.

To test and improve your application of these concepts we advise filling out this short quiz:

Time Frames

  • Offseason 3 – 12 months
  • Pre/Post Season 4-8 weeks
  • In Season 12-20 weeks

Training Blocks

Our Programming: 12 weeks blocks, 3 x 4 week phases per block

  • 1-3 blocks per offseason
  • 1 block pre/post season
  • 1 block in-season

Training Year Goals

Offseason Goals

  1. Make long term improvements (bringing up weak points)
  2. Sustainable/Lifestyle Programming
  3. Improved Metabolism

Pre/Post Season Goals

  1. Properly Transition to/from Prep
  2. Mental shift to/from prep
  3. Focus on recovery
    1. Either being recovered and fresh to start prep
    2. Or recovering from prep

Prep Goals

  1. Achieve your physiques optimal potential
  2. Prioritize program adherence and execution
  3. Don’t jeopardize long term results

HG Owner to Speak at Industry Conference

Hidden Gym’s owner, Greg McCoy, will be speaking at the Upcoming Club Solutions Magazine event: CS Connect! This is an annual event put on by Club Solutions Magazine to provide education and important discussions amongst health club and studio owners. Greg will be on a panel hosted by ABC Fitness Solutions CMO, Cristine Kao. Greg will be joined by Mark Harrington Jr, president at Healthworks Fitness and Republic Fitness and Landon Burningham, the owner and CEO at Physiq Fitness.

The session will be titled: Zero to 90: Digital Member Engagement at Scale and is being presented by ABC Fitness Solutions.

Description: Digital member engagement has become an important driver of loyalty and, for many clubs, income as members seek more holistic and personalized experiences. Clubs and gyms need to consider how to leverage technology to expand beyond traditional programs and create new and resilient revenue. Join Landon Burningham, the owner and CEO at Physiq Fitness, Mark Harrington Jr., president at Healthworks Fitness and Republic Fitness, Greg McCoy, owner at Hidden Gym and Cristine Kao, chief marketing officer at ABC Fitness Solutions, to learn how to deliver a total fitness experience that is profitable and engaging.

Register to Attend Here:

New Equipment on the Way!

Improving every day. Just like our members.

We are excited to add some upgrades and new equipment to the [Hidden Gym] Floor kicking off 2021. It’s our belief that a gym is not defined by it’s equipment alone, that the people that call the gym home are the most important part of what creates a great gym. That being said, having the right tools for the task at hand is very high on the list! We are proud to announce the following upgrades and additions:

Assault Runner x 2


Like running on air, but with a powerful punch. This treadmill is like nothing you’ve ever trained on before. Designed to simulate on-road running, the AssaultRunner burns more calories than an average motorized treadmill and is built with intense training in mind.

See it in action!

Precor 811 Treadmill x 2

The smooth-running TRM 811 is a premium Precor treadmill with a commercial warranty. Highlights of this popular club cardio trainer are a roomy track for runners, advanced shock absorption, a 4.0 horsepower motor, preset workout programs and wireless heart rate monitoring

Arsenal Strength Pendulum Squat

The Pendulum Squat offers an incredible way to work your legs. Small changes in foot position allows you to target various areas of quads / glutes and hamstrings. The movement replicates the squat but removes the pressure from the lower back and only a small amount of weight is needed to create a high level of resistance. This machine has an incredibly simple yet unbelievably effective design.

John Meadows “The MountainDog” Explains the Movement Here

BootyBuilder Platinum Plate Loaded Hip Thrust

Booty Builder® PLATINUM is our new and innovative plate loaded machine, which makes hip-thrusting safe, easy and fun, on a minimal footprint. Booty Builder Platinum provides the ultimate glute workout with its patented raised feet design allowing for a deeper range of movement and constant resistance for better results.The cushioned seatbelt design adds extra comfort so you can load up heavy weight. Linear bearing seat rollers makes Platinum easy to adjust to suit all sizes.

See it in action!

Client Case Study: Kaici Galvan


Written by: Greg McCoy, HG Owner and Personal Trainer

Starting Point

Kaici came to me about being interested in competing again. She was a Bikini Open Class Overall Winner in the past (2016) but had since had her first child. She was concerned about the state of her body and we had some decisions to make about her timeline to compete again and what her expectations should be. To briefly summarize her starting point, she was clearly an ecto-mesomorph; meaning she was naturally a thin girl but with the right program in place she was capable of putting on muscle. (True ectomorphs generally have a hard time putting on muscle no matter how good their programming is.) Her bodyfat was in a good place visually, but I was concerned about the state of her metabolism. She naturally has a low appetite, and her diet was inconsistent. Her training and cardio plans were also inconsistent at the time of our first meeting. She was fully aware of all of the above and was prepared to make a change. She was 1 year past her pregnancy, and ready to make her way back to the stage.

Weight: 132

Body Fat: 24.2%

Lean Tissue: 95.7

The Strategy

The strategy we used with Kaici is one that I use with many bikini clients. Our first phase of training is a strength-based training phase. During this phase we will prioritize strength gains over muscle building (hypertrophy). Hypertrophy normally does occur in this phase, but the real benefit is the strength gained during this phase will carry the athlete through their hypertrophy phase, and also help them maintain more of their lean muscle gains during the contest prep because they can handle bigger training loads. This worked perfectly with Kaici. She had her doubts about the workouts from time to time, but she was open about her questions, and always responded with trust and an open mind. She pushed herself week in and week out to beat her numbers in the gym and made significant strength improvements. She was diligent about tracking her weights and reps in our training app which helped us ensure she was achieving progressive overload. Her Initial diet, designed by Chris Prosser, was meant to create consistency, build her metabolism while maintaining/lowering her body fat, and support her strength gains. Her initial meal plan stats are listed below. One of the challenges of the initial meal plan was meeting her food preferences, especially for meal 1. As a naturally thin person we kept cardio to a minimum. We used 1 HIIT session per week that would help with her cardio performance, stimulate her metabolism, burn fat and wouldn’t jeopardize her strength gains. We only used 1 steady state session per week, which was just used to burn calories since her training frequency was low, and for a small base of aerobic fitness.

  • Focus on strength training first
  • Diet should build metabolism while lowering/maintaining body fat %
    • Calories: 1587
    • Carb: 140g
    • Protein 151g
    • Fat: 47g
    • 1 cheat meal per week, 1k calorie allowance
  • Cardio: 1 HIIT Session, 1 Steady State per week
  • Training: Review Trainerize, I believe it was 3x week
  • Results: Strength Increase, Lean Muscle Increase, Healthy Metabolism, Body Ready for Prep, Build Caloric intake before prep

Beginning of Prep

When it came to start prep we were in an excellent position. Body fat had decreased, strength and lean muscle had increased, and her metabolism was in a healthy spot. Her body responded perfectly to the program. She did have a distinct advantage over someone just starting out, in that she had a winning physique in the past, so we can definitely account for muscle memory as part of the recipe for success. Just prior to 12 weeks out we increased her calories to 1800, mainly using added carbohydrates. We waited until 9 weeks out to switch to a more high-volume approach to her training. Moving from the lower volume strength training program to a higher volume hypertrophy program.  This change in programming would build new muscle by using the new strength gains to use more weight but in a program with reps and sets aimed more at muscle gain. The added frequency and volume would also burn more calories and aid in our goal to drop body fat. Stress was certainly an obstacle for us during this time. Her work schedule was very demanding, and her role as a Mom was also very demanding. It was clear she was extremely driven, but time management was always a challenge.

  • Switch to High Volume, Hypertrophy split
  • Stress and Time Mgmt was an obstacle for us
  • Personality/Mindset Notes
    • Obviously very driven, high achiever personality
    • Laid back – she didn’t sweat the small stuff, and didn’t question her plans often
    • Responsible – always had photos and feedback forms in on time, managed the details of her plan well, and with a strenuous schedule was 95% adherence at least
    • Motivated by feedback that challenged her
    • Objective about bodyweight and progress

Midway point (6 Weeks out)

The first half of her prep went great. The switch to the higher volume approach to training really hit it’s stride in week 6. She was still hitting PR’s regularly, her motivation was high, she was consistently rating workouts 8,9 and 10 on our RPE Scale. We hit a rough patch around 4 weeks out from the contest, as life stress accumulated. The stress affected her results, her schedule and her mindset.

  • Was really hitting stride in the gym
  • Coaching cue was to push herself on strength – she responded great to the challenge
  • 3 steady state sessions and 1 HIIT per week
  • Life Stressors were accumulating

Final Stretch


The final weeks of this prep were very stressful for Kaici. It was difficult for me to differentiate from stress induced water retention and what her true results were. There was continued visual evidence of improvement but the scale was showing high numbers. It can be difficult for both coach and client to have a knee jerk reaction to a weight increase, but we really worked to trust our process and our eyes and not over react to the weight. We switched over from a steady diet to a carb rotational plan at this point, which is my favorite diet structure but for fat loss, but as a competitor nears a show the rotational plans help me gain a rhythm for their fullness. By low day 3 they are usually much “flatter” in appearance and after the high day they are fuller and tighter. When it comes time to peak having a pulse on this is very helpful, and each client is different in the way speed they clear glycogen. It also flushes out metabolic indicators. This worked well for Kaici as we lead into peak week. Her stress was mounting and her peak week was planned to consist of long work shifts. We were prepared to make the most of it despite a less than ideal schedule, but her work unexpectedly cleared up the final week and her peak week was probably the least stressful of the whole process which was very helpful.

  • Stress induced issues final few weeks
    • Removed HIIT 4 out to help with recovery
  • Switched to carb rotation diet 3 weeks out – 3 low, 1 high
  • Cardio topped at 5 x 35
  • Low days were 50g carbs, not counting veggies and no added fat (calories?)
  • High days were 200
  • Sleep was highly compromised

The Contest

Kaici brought an incredible look to the stage.  Her comeback after pregnancy was amazing, and the final product was something to be very proud of. We were both disappointed with her placing. We had one placement in mind, which was the #1 spot, but in the end our strategy wasn’t in line with what the judges wanted that day. Bikini is arguably the most subjective division, and it can be difficult to match the preferences of each judging panel. Regardless of outcome Kaici’s journey was remarkable, and her physique speaks for itself. She has Professional level potential, but time will tell if that’s the path she wants to follow. Our current plans at the time of writing are to reverse diet from the show, to find a sustain place for her to work on her offseason goals. We will be adding muscle mass to her physique, specifically in the glutes and hamstrings, while keep her body fat low, and her metabolism fast!

  • We made a decision to go with a fuller look. We could’ve pusher her conditioning harder, but we were worried about losing the newly earned muscle, and felt our best overall package would come from a fuller look, but still with good condition
  • We lost to thinner more conditioned athletes. So in the end it was a strategy issue. We likely would’ve placed better had we sacrificed some fullness and muscularity and prioritized her conditioning.




Hidden Gym Showcased in ABC Financial & Trainerize Acquisition

Hidden Gym was proud to showcased in the following video during the announcement period of ABC Financial’s acquisition of the online training platform Trainerize. Hidden Gym Owners, Greg and Tawna McCoy, have been long standing customers of both companies. Using ABC Financial for their member billing services for over a decade and working with Trainerize to deliver online fitness programs for more than 3 years.

The industry is buzzing with this new “Power Couple” and Hidden Gym is honored to serve as a case study for what the platforms can do together.

CEO of Trainerize, Sharad Mohan, and Owner of Hidden Gym, Tawna and Greg McCoy have been able to work closely together. As early adopters of the platform Tawna and Greg have showcased trainerize’s flexibility by utilizing it in several different ways.

Sharad Visiting Hidden Gym in 2019

Sharad, Greg and Tawna at the Trainerize Collective Event in Chicago in 2019

The Influencer Model

Tawna uses Trainerize to deliver low cost, scalable programs to a high quantity of clients. Pre designed programs are that are based off of Tawna’s own fitness experience give users a low cost way to work under the guidance of their fitness role model. Programs include instructional videos, LIVE Q & A calls, a comprehensive guide book to covers meal planning, cardio, supplements, recovery, gym accessories and more!

The Custom Programming Model

Greg used Trainerize to delivery high-end custom programming. Greg works with a much smaller base of clients (less than 50), but writes custom programs for them. From NPC/IFBB competitors to weight loss clients and everything in between – Trainerize offers the flexibility for Greg and his staff of 3 to deliver effective programs to a wide variety of clientele.

The Gym Model

One of the more exciting frontiers for online training is for gym provided online training. Gym’s can empower their trainers to deliver highly effective programs directly to their members, giving them more impact to their member’s results in and outside of the gym walls. The recent acquisition of Trainerize by ABC financial will ensure that this member experience is now seamlessly integrated with their membership experience. Greg and Tawna really began using the Trainerize app for Hidden Gym when forced to adapt during the COVID-19 Quarantine. Being able to deliver workouts to members while the gym was forced to shut down was a huge step in keeping their community engaged and healthy.

Features of Trainerize powered by ABC

With this platform we deliver a total fitness experience that is digitized and personalized.

  • We can create custom branded apps, branded workouts and programs that can be shared across locations.
  • We can offer custom personal training and nutrition planning packages using extensive exercise library and automation features.
  • We can provide next level engagement, using in-app group and individual messaging and inspirational videos.
  • We can deliver shared training programs, run challenges and classes online, and increase social motivation.
  • We can manage the business with our clients paperless. We can manage trainers and clients across locations, track clients performance, and set up recurring and one-time payments.
  • We can integrate with wearable devices and apps.
  • And much, much more!

The owner of the gym Greg McCoy, who is also a personal trainer, shares that working with this platform is a huge competitive advantage for the gym. He thinks that members feel more engaged, motivated and achieve better results with Trainerize.

Trainerize allows the coaches to track the total fitness journey of their clients, whether they are in the gym, or performing home workouts. Furthermore, the trainers are able to deliver their nutrition plans and workouts much faster and in a simpler way than ever.  Greg believes that these two companies working together takes the personal training business to a whole new level!

Are you curious to know more about the platform? You can read everything about it here, and here!

Do you live in Allen, Dallas or Plano? Do you want to work out at a fully equipped gym with professional coaches that use Trainerize powered by ABC? If yes, come visit us at Hidden Gym! We can’t wait to meet you and be part of your fitness journey!

Equipment Spotlight: Arsenal Strength Incline Fly

A great gym is not defined by its equipment alone, but more by the atmosphere and the people that fill it’s walls. That being said – great equipment never hurts! It’s important that our members have the right tools for the task at hand.

We believe that the quality of the equipment is just as important as its diversity.  This is why we trust Arsenal Strength.

Arsenal strength is a company that puts knowledge behind their products. Their equipment is exactly what a gym needs because the developers understand training..

Greg McCoy, who is a personal trainer and the owner of Hidden Gym says:

“I’ve been putting Arsenal equipment on my gym floors since 2014. It’s a differentiator for sure. Lifter’s know the brand, and you get instant bonus points in our demographic for having Arsenal Strength equipment.”

Arsenal Strength products continue to evolve and push boundaries, starving for perfection. Their latest unique piece of equipment, which you can find at Hidden Gym, is called Reloaded Incline Fly. But why is this product superior to other chest fly machines out there out there?

We all know that maintaining an arch while bench pressing has many upsides. If the spine is flat on the bench, the shoulders roll forward and this changes the angle of the press. Arching your back allows you to use your upper back muscles more effectively  and keep your shoulder blades into a stable position.

Furthermore, arching can also enhance your performance and help you nail a heavier bench because it reduces your range of motion. There is a reason for powerlifters to always arch their backs when they lay on the bench.

This lumbar curved bench helps to open up the chest through the movement, while supporting the shoulders. It is comfortable for all users, thanks to the rolating knurled handles and an easily adjustable seat. In order to ensure full ROM, the machine uses 25lb plates.

This is what Greg thinks about the product:

“The Arsenal Incline is what I call the People’s Choice purchase. When this piece came out, I don’t think I’ve ever received more members requesting and asking me to get this for the gym for any other new piece. “

The handmade process is a really important part of Arsenal Strength equipment. Professionals are working non-stop in order to deliver high quality products to the industry. There are 20+ colors you can choose from, when purchasing your Incline Fly.

You can take a look at the video below, if you want to learn more about how the product is fabricated and built.

Are you from Allen, Dallas, or Plano? Do you want to work out in a gym where the equipment meets the highest standards? If yes, come visit us at Hidden Gym! No matter what your level of fitness experience is, Hidden Gym is a place where you will discover your full potential and go beyond your limits!

10 Things to Look For in a Serious Powerlifting Gym

If you’re serious about improving your strength and conditioning, you need to join a powerlifting gym. This classic weightlifting discipline requires focus, technique, and dedication—but it also requires equipment that you won’t find at every gym, especially as you grow in strength and experience.

Once you decide to follow a powerlifting program, your first step is finding a gym with the right equipment and philosophy to fuel your success. Here are 10 unique pieces of equipment that will show you a gym is serious about their lifting culture:

  1. Proper Bars

    The entire sport of powerlifting revolves around the barbell, but not all bars are created equal. Bars have different thicknesses, different levels of flexibility, and different knurling (textured metal that aids your grip), all of which play a part in how your lifts will feel. There are also many different kinds of bars, ranging from standard squat/bench/deadlift bars to hex bars, cambered bars, swiss bars, and more. Great powerlifting gyms will have a wide selection of well cared-for bars, and employees should be able to help you find the best bar for the job.

  2. Chalk

    Sweaty palms? Failing grip strength? Most big box gyms have phased out chalk, and many weightlifters plateau simply because they can’t hold on to the weight their muscles are capable of lifting. A powerlifting gym should have a chalk tray available in the lifting area. If they don’t, its use should still be encouraged.

  3. Adjustable Benches

    The bench press is often mistaken as the simplest core lift, but there’s a TON of technique packed into this classic movement. The starting position of your bar is key to your success on a set or a max attempt, but many gyms only offer fixed height benches that don’t cater to the arm length of individual lifters. High-quality benches should always be adjustable, and should be one of the first things you look for in a new gym.

  4. Competition Plates

    Iron plates are great for most workouts, but the design of a plate can significantly change the feel of a lift. Competition plates, which can be easily identified by their colored design and metric labeling, are thinner and denser than their normal iron counterparts. If you aspire to compete in powerlifting, it’s essential to find a gym that allows you to train with these special plates.

  5. 100 lb. Plates

    Speaking of unusual plates, 100 lb. plates are a true rarity that are only found at truly elite powerlifting gyms. Beyond making bar math a little easier, these plates also change the balance of a bar and have wider contact with the floor, adding a degree of difficulty to lifts that you can’t get from any other plate.

  6. Deadlift Jack

    Once you start pulling big numbers with your deadlift, loading and unloading the bar can feel like half the workout. A deadlift jack suspends the bar off the floor while you load and unload plates without extra friction. Work smarter, not harder, and save your energy for the actual lift.

  7. Reverse Hyperextension Machine

    Powerlifters need strong lower backs, and the safest way to train this sensitive muscle group is with a reverse hyperextension machine. This unique tool utilizes your glutes and lower back muscles without putting unnecessary stress on your spine. You can’t get this movement from any other machine, and strengthening your core will make every lift safer.

  8. Bands & Chains

    Bands and chains are used by lifters to add variable amounts of resistance to lifts, helping them iron out flaws in technique or push certain phases of a lift to a new level of difficulty. Both bands and chains add resistance to the height of a movement, while bands also force a lifter to control their descent. Bands are also incredibly useful for warmups and accessory movements.

  9. GHR

    The glute ham raise is an incredible accessory movement for the posterior chain that strengthens and increases explosiveness in the glutes, hamstrings, and calves, but a quality GHR machine is rare, as most gyms aren’t willing to shell out for a good one. If you can find a gym with one of these, you can be sure they’re serious about setting lifters up for success.

  10. Monolift

    Sure, it looks like a torture device off the set of Game of Thrones, but the monolift is one of the most useful tools for advanced powerlifters. This unique and uncommon device eliminates the need for a walkout on heavy squat attempts or liftoff on bench attempts, making it great for strenuous lifts when you can’t afford to waste any energy.

Needless to say, a great powerlifting gym can be hard to find even in a large city. High-level powerlifting facilities require a strong culture, educated staff, and financially and mentally committed ownership. Luckily, [Hidden Gym] boasts all of the above, in addition to top of the line facilities for a wide variety of other training disciplines. Take an entirely new step in your fitness journey, and get started today!

5 Pieces of unique equipment you should be using

5 Pieces of unique equipment you should be using

5 Pieces of unique equipment you should be using

5 Pieces of unique equipment you should be using

People associate working out in a fitness gym with lifting weights, using machines and running on a treadmill. While all those things are great, it is always a good idea to spice up your workout with something different and more challenging. This is not too difficult, since the gym is usually fully stored with many interesting pieces of equipment. Unfortunately, some of them might be underrated because more popular exercises and machines get all the attention. However, if you are willing to try some different types of exercise, here is a list of 5 pieces of unique of equipment that will take your fitness game to the next level.

  1. Battle Rope – Boxers’ and Martial Artists’ favorite exercise. If you are looking for a way to develop more explosiveness, overall endurance, conditioning and stability, include battle rope exercises in your workout. You can do countless exercises with them like slams, half waves, upper cuts, squats and waves, jumping jacks, lateral waves and many others. If you are more advanced you can even do crazy things like battle rope slam push ups, jumping slam, alternate side lunge waves, etc. Exercises like these work on every muscle of your body, burn tons of calories, make you stronger, more focused, and are definitely never boring.
  2. Ski Erg – this amazing machine offers a full-body, low-impact workout, based on the sport of Nordic Skiing. The goal is to create smooth and continuous motion and when done properly, the Ski Erg hits the quads hamstrings, glutes, lower back, calves, lats, triceps, abdominals, pecs and biceps. The machine operates with a flywheel, which provides a lot of control over the resistance and intensity. The Ski Erg is also a nice workout itself that increases your speed and stamina, and helps you develop more power. Give it a try next time when you are up for a different type of cardio, use it as a warm up before a workout, or to burn out the back and arms after a weight training.
  3. Climbing rope – often seen as a game for children, rope climbing is one of the toughest full body exercises, which is also a great test for strength. This exercise helps you build an iron grip, improves stability, agility and coordination skills. Rope climbing is excellent for developing upper body strength and muscle endurance. It is definitely not easy, even for more advanced people. In the beginning, you can use techniques that also involve your feet, to make the exercise easier, and progressively start using them less. Climbing rope is a combination of cardio and strength training, which makes it a very effective total body workout.
  4. Prowler Sled – Sleds can be dragged forward, backward or laterally. This exercise builds insane speed and acceleration, works on your entire body and increases your heart rate, and metabolism. Sled trainings allow modifications (based on time, loading, intervals, etc), which makes it a perfect fit for many athletes. Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle, improve your conditioning and endurance, the prowler sled is surely something you want to include in your workout. Pushing the sled mimics the movement of running, but the resistance of the weight challenges the muscles in a different way and it does not stress the joints so much. When done at lower intensity, it is also a great way to increase blood flow to activate tissues for recovery purposes.
  5. Rowing Machine – One of the most complex machine exercises, where up to 85% of your muscles are involved! This makes it not only the perfect cardio training, but it also contributes to building strength, power and muscle size. Using the rower can benefit significantly your aerobic and anaerobic fitness, depending on the intensity you chose. Rowers usually have adjustable resistance. You can lower the resistance or row at a slower pace for a steady, aerobic workout, or you can do the opposite, for a killer anaerobic training. Rowing improves your endurance, stamina and speed and it is one of the most efficient machines for burning calories. It is also ideal for people with weak joints because it is a low-impact and non-weight training, performed while sitting down.

Fitness workouts are not meant to be the same every single time, neither should be boring. In order to be consistent with working out, your trainings must be challenging, interesting, fun and make you feel proud of yourself. Whether you prefer personal trainings, group trainings or working out with a friend, the time spent in the gym should be something you are looking forward to. Spice up your regular workouts with these unique pieces of equipment. Try out different things, experiment with the intensity and the length of your workout.  All of them could be used as “finishers” after a weight training, included in a HIIT routine, or performed separately.

Are you from Allen, Plano or Dallas? If yes, come visit us at [Hidden Gym]! Our fitness club has everything you need for a hard, intense and inspiring workout! Our professional trainers are willing to give you the best advice, in order to make you excited about working out and bring out the fittest version of you! Come alone to experience the benefits of personal training or bring a friend and join some of our group classes! At [Hidden Gym] you can find all kinds of different equipment, classes, services and much more!

Keywords: Allen, Plano, Dallas, Personal Training, Group Training, Hidden Gym, Fitness, Battle Rope, Ski Erg, Climbing Rope, Prowler Sled, Rower

Five reasons why women should lift weights

5 reasons why women should lift weights

Five reasons why women should lift weights

Five reasons why women should lift weights

Every woman wants to look good, be in shape, and to feel great about her body without having any insecurities. For some women this requires a lot of dedication and effort, while others might reach their appearance goals quite easily. There are many factors that influence the way we look, like genetics predispositions, nutrition, metabolic rate, age, stress level, frequency and degree of physical activity, and many others. This why everything is strongly individual when it comes to the “right” diet or training plan. There are thousands of plans with amazing workouts, which can be beneficial for reaching certain goals, but the question is: “What works best for you?” Finding the answer will probably take some time experimenting and getting to know your body better, but there is one single thing, which is true for every women, and it is a great starting point- no matter what your current measures are, every woman looks better when her shape is toned and fit. This is where weight trainings can play a big role.

Unfortunately, many women still believe that lifting weights will make them super muscular and they will look like men. It is true that men, who have no experience with weight trainings, will gain some muscle relatively fast when they first start lifting. It is also true that they will continue building muscle, if they keep up with the workouts, and if their diet is sufficient. But when it comes to women, things are a bit more different, because women produce times less testosterone than men. Shortly, testosterone is the key male sex hormone that regulates fertility, muscle mass, fat distribution, and red blood cell production. The nature of men is to be strong and muscular, and women can be too, just not to the same degree. The process of building muscle in women is a lot slower and more limited. (1) This does not mean that there are “exercises only for men” and “exercises only for women”, or that “women should not lift weights”. It means that men’s and women’s bodies change at a different pace and their looks differ. The women who are bodybuilders and are perceived  as “too muscular” by some people, did not get to this physic easily; being a bodybuilder is a priority to them and their workouts, nutrition, recovery and supplementations had been adjusted, in order to be able to transform their bodies in such a way. Becoming a bodybuilder takes a decent amount of time and dedication, so there is no danger for a woman to become very muscular from lifting, unless this is what she aims to be. “Not lifting weights because you are afraid of looking like a bodybuilder is like not driving your car because you fear becoming a Nascar driver.”

Weight trainings can be really beneficial for women who want to be able to shape their figures, feel confident, strong and good about themselves. No matter if you are a beginner, or you have experience, but want to try something different than cardio or bodyweight exercises, there are many reasons why you should try lifting some weights. Here are a few of them:

  1. Weight trainings increase excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC, or also called afterburn). EPOC is used in the process that restores the body to a resting state and adapts it to the exercise that was just performed. Lifting weights usually leads to a significant muscle breakdown, which means that the body continues to burn a lot more calories after a weight training, in order to recover. There are many studies on the topic and they all suggest that resistance workouts promote higher EPOC levels than an average cardio session. (2) (3)
  2. Weight trainings elevate the overall basal metabolic rate (BMR). The BMR is the minimum number of calories required for basic functions at rest. Higher metabolic rate means that your body needs more energy intake, just to accomplish these functions. This is essential for women who want to lose weight, and it also boosts the overall energy levels. A study conducted in 2018, looking at the effect of resistance training in women, found that weightlifting increases BMR for up to 48 hours. (4)
  3. Lifting weights promotes mental health benefits. Research studies support the conclusion that strength trainings reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression among healthy adults. (5) Weight training changes the brain chemistry, releasing endorphins, which leads to a better mood immediately after a workout. Indications like constant worry, muscle tension, feelings of hopelessness and restlessness, significantly decrease after only a few weeks of weight lifting exercises.
  4. Resistance trainings reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Osteoporosis weakens the bones, making them fragile and more likely to break. A study examined postmenstrual women who participated in a weight training program for one year. The results showed significant increases in their bone density in the spine and hips, areas affected most by osteoporosis in older women. (6)
  5. Lifting weights is the best way to shape your figure. The health and mental benefits of strength trainings, and working out in general, are amazing. But honestly, every healthy person who starts working out, first entered the gym because they wanted to look better. Yes, they probably continued with their trainings for the reasons mentioned above and for their overall improvement, but a fitter appearance is always the initial goal.

Weight trainings are a tool to build muscle, and the muscle growth can be promoted more (or less) in a specific area, because of the variety of exercises, which can focus only on a particular muscle. There is also a lot of freedom with choosing the weights’ heaviness and the number of reps per set, which influences how defined the muscles appear. Every form of physical activity helps us to lose fat, grow and tone our muscles, but only by lifting weights we have that much control over the process. This is why it is the best choice for people, who want to sculpture their bodies the way they want!

Weight trainings seem to be as beneficial and useful for women, as they are for men. When lifting weights, people must keep in mind that the right technique of performance always comes first. Weight exercises require strong focus and some knowledge. Nobody should trade their proper form for more repetitions in a set, or for a heavier weight. If you are from Plano or Allen, you can visit us at [Hidden Gym]. Our professional coaches can teach you everything you need to know about working out with weights the right way, while eliminating the risk of injuries. You can also join our fitness classes and group trainings, where you can meet new people and have a lot of fun!

Key words: Weight Training, Lifting Weights, Allen, Plano, [Hidden Gym], Fitness Class, Group training


  1. Sex differences in the response to resistance exercise training in older people (2016)
  2. “Effect of Exercise Intensity, Duration and Mode on Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption”. Sports Medicine. (2003)
  3. Lift weights to fight overweight (2014)
  4. Six Weeks of Moderate Functional Resistance Training Increases Basal Metabolic Rate in Sedentary Adult Women (2018)
  5. Mental Health Benefi ts of Strength Training in Adults (2009)
  6. Women and Weight Training for Osteoporosis