So, healthy eating is back on track and we are hopefully blitzing our way through those extra Christmas pounds! The next piece of the puzzle we need to look at is exercise, and what we can do to make sure we are making the most of valuable workout time.
This is the bit that people who don’t have a coach seem to get wrong – usually it is with the best of intentions that hours are wasted plodding the streets running, or dying of boredom on the exercise bike, but it really doesn’t work. Here’s my prescription for the most effective exercise tips to get your body to change quicker than anything else.
Tip 1 – Half Your Time in the Gym…..
…And double your intensity. Many of my clients often comment that they don’t even break a sweat in the gym by themselves. If you’re working at the right intensity, this shouldn’t be the case. You don’t need 1 ½ hours in the gym for a good workout – if you’re doing weights, take less rest or up your weights. If you’re doing cardio, try and up the pace so that you have to concentrate to keep going. I say this because your body adapts quickly, and to keep progressing (or burning calories) you have to make your body work harder than it has before. In a a similar vein, frequency beats duration every time, so you are far better off with 5 workouts of 30 minutes each week than two of one and a quarter hours.
Tip 2 – Lift Heavy Things
Moving heavy objects around in the gym builds muscle, and I hate to say it again….but the argument you’ve probably resisted 1000 times is true! Muscle burns calories. Fat burns nothing. So, build muscle, and you will lose fat, it’s (almost) that simple. When I say lift ‘heavy’ things, this just means weights that are heavy relative to what you are used to – as long as there is progression over time, as long as the weight feels like a lot to you, then it’s probably right. Weight training is the best long term approach to weight loss, as it’ll shape your body – cardio training like running is very much a quick fix; if you stop running and eat the same, the weight will quickly come back.
Tip 3 – No Bicep Curls
Unless you are pretty lean already, exercises like curls, ab crunches and tricep presses have almost no place in your program! Why? Because they are tiny muscle groups, superficial muscles, and these exercises are simply for toning not burning calories. You should be looking to target big muscle groups as a priority because they will create a far bigger fat burning effect – in part from the immediate energy requirement for the exercises, but also down to the fuel you will burn to build additional muscle tissue. I’ve seen men spend almost an hour training biceps alone, and it’s a total waste of time! In that hour you could have done deadlifts, bench press, pull-ups and shoulder press and burned 16x the calories in the process!
Good luck with the mad rush in the gym this January… with these tips I hope your New Year gets off to a great start! I’m happy to answer any questions you may have at, get in touch with me [email protected].
To a successful 2015 🙂
Becs Cronshaw – Look out for more articles on training, nutrition and how to transform your body over the next few months. If you would like to ask specific questions, feel free to email me at [email protected] or visit our website www.salecca.co.uk where you can register for our blog.