Nothing conveys a message better than a list. It’s simple and to the point.
David Letterman’s made a career out of using top ten lists. I’ll stick with a top five. Here are my top five tips to supercharge your routine. Always keep these principles in mind and you’ll optimize your body’s potential while preventing exercise from going stale.
1) Pump it up: While almost any form of exercise is beneficial, lifting weights is the most important activity you can perform. Not only does it produce a shapely, firm physique, but it also helps to reduce body fat. The reason has to do with the metabolic properties of muscle tissue. For each pound of muscle that you gain, your body burns up to fifty additional calories a day at rest. Thus, by putting on a mere five pounds of muscle (something that can be accomplished in just a few months time), you’ll burn an additional 250 calories a day, even while lying on your couch watching TV! Better yet, most of the resting energy is derived from fat, so you ultimately will tap into those hard-to-reduce areas.
2) Leave your comfort zone: If you want to maximize fat loss, you need to push yourself during exercise. Not only does an intense workout burn more calories during your workout, but it heightens a phenomenon called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC)—the amount of calories you burn after your workout is finished—which can amount to several hundred extra calories burned a day. Thus, when you lift weights, make sure the last few reps are a challenge to complete. With cardiovascular, perform interval training where you combine short bouts of high-intensity intervals (i.e. running) with bouts of lower-intensity intervals (i.e. walking). Bottom line: train harder and you’ll get an exponentially increase the number of calories you’ll burn.
3) Mix it up: They say variety is the spice of life—well it’s also the spice of exercise. The human body is a very adaptive organism and will stop responding if the same workout is performed over and over. What’s more, the repetitive stress to the same muscles and joints can lead to an increased incidence of injury. To avoid this trap, strive to do different things each time you work out. When you lift weights, perform different exercises and vary your repetition range. For cardio, cross train amongst several different modalities. Not only will you keep your workout fresh, but you’ll see better results and reduce your chance of getting injured.
4) Less is more: Not only isn’t it necessary to spend hours in the gym, it’s counterproductive. Here’s why: When you train, your body breaks down muscle tissue. If you don’t allow sufficient time for rest and recuperation, you ultimately become overtrained and results cease to exist. Provided you exercise properly, three hour-long sessions a week is all that’s needed to optimally develop your physique. Remember, it’s the quality—not the quantity—of exercise that produces results.
5) Follow your biorhythms: It has been postulated by some in the fitness industry that it’s best to work out in the morning because doing so accelerates fat burning. All too often, people get caught up in this “best time to train” syndrome and drag themselves out of bed to an early exercise session. The trouble is, not everyone functions well first thing in the morning. If you’re more of a night bird, chances are that you’ll sleepwalk through a morning workout. The net result is that fat burning will be impaired. The best advice is to train when you are at your best. If you are a morning person, go ahead and train early. But if you don’t really get going until you’ve been awake for several hours, by all means train later in the day. The most important thing is to get a good workout.
TAGS: Shapeover, exercise, fat burning, add muscle, cross train, top five list, tips