Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Simple Rules To Faster Fitness

If you’re like the average person who is interested in improving health, dropping fat, and getting stronger, following these guidelines will help you get the best results from your strength training workouts:   

Always begin a workout with a full warmup. A good dynamic warmup prepares the muscles for what’s to come and allows you to work harder and with less risk of injury. If you are short on time, cut back on your working sets, never on your warmup. 

Perform a total body workout 3 times a week with at least one day of rest in between. Unless you plan on competing as a bodybuilder, ditch the musclehead magazines and their body part routines. Muscles work in groups and trying to isolate them during a workout is a waste of time for most people. 

Spend more time using free weights and bodyweight exercises rather than sitting on machines. You’ll work more muscles, burn more calories, and you’ll do it more naturally and functionally.

Concentrate on compound exercises. Exercises like Squats, Rows, Lunges, Pushups, Deadlifts, Presses, Pulldowns, etc. work multiple muscles at the same time, are more functional, and burn more calories than isolation work.

Ignore the "low weight, high reps to tone" myth that’s still floating around out there. There are exceptions, of course, but for most exercises, you should challenge your muscles using a resistance you can only lift 6-10 times with good form.

Unless you are correcting a current imbalance, make sure your weight training program is balanced between opposing muscle groups. Don't ignore exercises you don't like or do extra sets just of those that you do like. Either scenario can cause muscle imbalances and lead to injury.

Ditch the long, steady state cardio and switch to hill sprints, cardio intervals, finishers, metabolic circuits, etc. (unless you’re training for a specific event - 5K, half marathon, long distance bike ride, etc.) They’re more efficient and effective.

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