These 3 Principles Will Hep Kick-Start Your Fitness Regime
Getting the results you want in the gym isn't always easy. Anyone stuck in the endless cycle of starting over with new diets and exercise routines that never deliver results will know this.
You go round in circles and can’t see a way out. You may even convince yourself that you can’t change how you look, that somehow your body is different.
While there are no magic pills when it comes to fitness there are some simple guidelines you can follow that will help you to burn calories, get stronger, and feel better.
In order to do this you need to be consistent with your exercise, nutrition, & mindset. This isn’t rocket science. You’re not going to lose weight if your evenings are spent lying on the sofa eating cookies and fantasising about the great workout you could be doing!
So get yourself in gear, stay consistent with the 3 principles below, and you’ll soon begin to see a positive change in your body.
Focus on resistance training. While steady state cardio does have its place, lifting weights and/or bodyweight exercises are where it’s at. This type of training builds lean muscle which will increase your metabolism and help turn your body into a fat burning machine!
Allocate 80-90% of your workout to Compound Exercises and 10% to Isolation Exercises. Compound exercises are those that use more than 1 muscle group. No-one wants to spend hours in the gym so these are recommended for the most time efficient workouts. You will stimulate all the major muscles in the shortest time possible. It’s a double win.
Examples of compound moves are squats, deadlifts, lunges, barbell bench press, press ups, lateral pulldowns, shoulder press etc.
An example of an Isolation exercise would be a bicep curl or tricep pushdown. Always do isolation moves after the compound moves are complete, to finish off your workout.
Get intense. Are you pushing yourself hard enough or are you going through the motions of the same old routine every time you workout? Test your limits. You'll be surprised at how much your body can take. Do this 3-4 times a week for an hour and you'll torch fat and add lean muscle.
You need to focus fully on the task at hand. You go to the gym to train, so train. No phone calls or texting. No checking social media or reading. Stop looking at the TV every 2 minutes. Give it your all for 50-60 minutes then get out and get on with your life.
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Apply the 80/20 rule to your diet. Consume whole foods 80% of the time and processed foods the remainder. Counting calories and macros, while effective, is time consuming and a pain. Focus on eating whole, nutritious, foods and you’ll soon see the inches drop from your waistline.
Cut down on biscuits, cakes, crisps, pastries, sugary cereals, highly processed meats, microwave meals, soft drinks etc. If you want even better results try 90% whole foods and 10% processed food.
In saying that, we are all human so treat yourself every now and again. Don’t ‘diet’ or deprive yourself of your favourite foods as you are just setting yourself up for an inevitable blowout. Then you’re back at square one feeling like crap. So indulge every now and again. Just don’t let a ‘treat meal’ become a ‘treat day’. We’ve all been there!
Keep hydrated. I bang on about this in most of my blogs but mainly because it gets overlooked so often. Aim to drink 3 litres of water a day. Start the morning with 2 or 3 glasses which will help fire up your metabolism. Water helps to reduce fatigue and is also a great appetite suppressant. If you’re feeling hungry between meals have a couple of glasses as you may just be thirsty.
Weight loss is not an overnight process. It does take time but be patient and consistent and you will see results. Get a routine going and stick to it.
Prepare in advance as much as possible. You don’t want to be lying in bed thinking of all the things you need to do first thing before you set off for work. Pack your gym bag. Have lunch made and in the fridge. The more you can go on autopilot on the morning the better prepared you are for the day ahead. Don’t give yourself an excuse to not workout or eat well.
What you measure you monitor, so track your results. Take monthly photos or body measurements to confirm your progress. If you can partner up with an ‘accountability buddy’ then even better. You will have someone to compete against and motivate you to keep at it during any setbacks.
Do not neglect rest. Our lives have never been busier so it’s important to give our bodies time to recover. This helps with weight loss just as much as the workouts themselves. Get plenty of sleep. Do yoga. Meditate. Do breathing exercises. Stretch. Have a massage. Whichever helps. The less stressed you feel, the more you will stick to your nutrition and exercise routine.
Setbacks will occur and that’s ok. It’s how you react that’s important. Assess why things didn’t go to plan but don’t dwell on it for too long. Keep sight of what you are trying to achieve and get back on track the very next day.
Start implementing these tips right away and over the coming days and weeks you’ll begin to look and feel better.
Aristotle: ”We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”
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