WE HAVE PUT TOGETHER THE TOP 10 WAYS TO GET IN AMAZING SHAPE, WITHOUT HAVING TO SPEND A FORTUNE OR STARVE TO DEATH.
#10 SHUT UP & DO IT!
Eventually, you are going to run out of excuses and then the decision to make a change will become an easy one for you. We are all guilty of making excuses and putting off the things we know we should do for another time. You can’t expect great things to happen without taking any action. If you want to make it easy, set the bar low and take baby steps towards your fitness goals. Set a reasonable goal that can be achieved and slowly build off of that forward momentum. If day 1 of your new workout plan merely involves just getting to the gym, then do it, get there and let the rest take care of itself. Overcome the obstacles and quit making the excuses by writing out “come backs” to those excuses.
For example, ” I don’t have time to workout today” can be met with
“There are 24 hours in a day, all I need is one.“
After writing these out and seeing these excuses be refuted with your own words will help you reach your goals.
#9 NO MORE SODA
Americans consume almost 50 Billion liters of soda per year. That’s Billions with a B! The average person can gain 15lbs of unwanted fat per year from consuming just 2 glasses of soda per day. One can of Coke contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. If you seriously want to lose weight and get in shape, pour that sweet stuff down the drain and drink water, natural fruit juices, coffee, tea and anything else than sodas and soft drinks.
That goes for you too Mr. Energy Drink guy. The number of people needing emergency room treatment for energy drink related incidents in the US has doubled since 2007. “A recent government survey indicates that from 2007 to 2011, the number of emergency department (ED) visits related to energy drink consumption nearly doubled, increasing from 10,068 to 20,783.” – medical news today
The marketing companies who design the ads for these energy drinks know you are not a professional athlete, but position the product beautifully amongst some of the best athletes in the world. I can assure you Kelly Slater doesn’t slam an energy drink before he rides the waves. Don’t fall for the marketing ploy and think that energy drinks are any better than soda, it’s the same thing. Ditch it!
#8 MEASURE EVERYTHING
You can not track your success if you don’t measure your performance. Keep an accurate journal and record of your meals & workouts. The more details, the better. If you know that your mile run time has improved by measuring your progress over the last few weeks, you are more likely to continue to workouts and will undoubtedly see more positive results. There a hundreds of apps for smart phones that will help you get in to amazing shape by simply keeping track of your progress. Use the most effective way for you to keep these records. Voice record your times, text or email your workouts to yourself or go old school and actually write it down in a journal with a pen and paper. Crazy, we know.
#7 REFUEL YOUR BODY
Protein supplements are not the be all, end all when it comes to refueling your body after a workout.
“Too many athletes are obsessed with rapidly refueling the minute they stop exercising. They are afraid they will miss the one-hour “window of opportunity” when glycogen replacement is fastest. They fail to understand that refueling still occurs for several hours, just at a slowing rate.” – USA Triathlon website
Unless you are a high level athlete who trains multiple times per day, you have got some time before the dreaded “muscles start eating themselves” myth. Given a steady influx of adequate carb-based meals and snacks, muscles can refuel within 24 hours. If you have a full day to recover before your next training session, or if you have done an easy (non-depleting) workout, you need not obsess about refueling immediately afterwards.
Here are some options:
•fruit smoothie (Greek yogurt + banana + berries)
•cereal + milk
•bagel + (decaf) latté
•pretzels + hummus
•baked potato + cottage cheese
•pasta + meatballs
#6 CHANGE IT UP
Not every workout needs to be a high intensity interval circuit or a cardio workout. Train specific muscle groups but be sure to incorporate some dynamic workouts for the entire body as well. If you can successfully incorporate Stamina (a.k.a Cardio), Strength, Endurance & Durability in to your workouts, you will effectively lose weight, sleep better, gain muscle and develop speed and agility while looking healthy.
#5 AB WORK AS A WARM UP
We have all seen “that guy” who obnoxiously does sit ups what seems like forever at the gym. Core workouts are great for stamina and stability, however for effective fitness training, you should try and use these ab workouts as a warm up. 10 to 15 minutes of ab work is plenty and a great way to get the heart rate up and get a light sweat before you start a workout. It’s not an effective workout by itself. Don’t be “that guy”.
#4 BUILD MUSCLE
OK, if this is the 1 & only thin you take away from this article, understand this:
LIFTING WEIGHTS WILL NOT MAKE YOU BULKY
Weight lifting is often seen as weird and difficult discipline for those who don’t know how to lift or are under the false impression that lifting weights will just make you stocky. Lifting weights with the appropriate amount of weight in the right work capacity will help you develop not only muscular endurance but also help you develop lean muscle that will act as armor to protect your bones and vital organs.
Lift light weights with lots of reps right? F**K NO!!!!
If that philosophy for developing muscle was accurate, we would be able to lift pencils and staplers to get ripped. Ditch it!
Your target for developing long lean muscles should be something like this:
- (@40 – 60% of your max)
- 5 to 7 sets
- no more than 12 reps
- super set (pyramid)
eg. 15 reps at 20lbs – 10 reps at 25lbs – 5 reps at 30lbs -10 reps at 25lbs – 15 reps at 20lbs
Train for strength by lifting medium to heavy weights:
(75% of your max) with low to medium increments (5 – 7 reps) with no more than 5 sets.
Simplify the lifts.
You are not training for the Olympics, no need to clean and jerk 95lbs a billion times as fast as you can. By the way, in case you can’t detect my sarcasm, Olympic lifters would never train that way. If you don’t know how to lift weights with a barbell, don’t attempt to perform the movements unless you have either been properly taught by a credited coach or under the safety and supervision of someone who is experienced. Don’t be that guy who watches Rich Froning on YouTube and tries to copy him, you will hurt yourself…horribly. He’s spent years developing and perfecting his technique, he definitely didn’t learn how to lift by watching other people on the internet.
#3 FIND (GOOD) WORKOUT PARTNERS
You can only do so much by working out alone. The best results you will see is when you are training in a group or team setting. That is why so many of us were in the best shape of our lives when we played team sports or did activities as a group. A team will hold you accountable, keep you motivated and eliminate the ability to quit without receiving a rash of teasing from your workout partners. The best workout partners are those who either share a common goal (weight loss, want to run a marathon etc.) and those who are 100% committed to training. Avoid choosing workout partners who are flaky, the will just drag you down.
#2 DEVELOP A HABIT
Experts say it usually takes 14 to 21 days to develop a habit. Commit to a training program for 30 days and stick with it, no matter what. If you haven’t seen results after that 30 days its either something you are doing or not doing that is negatively effecting your progress but at least, you have the satisfaction of knowing you can commit to training for 30 days. Within that first 30 days, you will be able to make the needed adjustments to your diet, sleeping patterns and workouts to optimize your performance.
#1 DO SOMETHING AMAZING
Run a marathon, take a MMA fight, Kayak across the state, do 1000 burpees. Do something amazing that is challenging. Setting a goal like this will help you stay focused and motivated to continue to train. Set a goal, pick the date and start training for it. Make a big announcement on your twitter or Facebook page so all your friends know, this will hold you accountable. By letting others know what you are working towards, will inspire them to do amazing things.