Ready to take your exercise program to the next level? The following 10 exercise tips will help get you there…
Exercise Your Muscles, Not Your Ego
I can’t tell you how many people I see in the gym sacrificing form for the sake of putting more weight on the bar. From using a fraction of the proper range of motion to contorted bodies during a lift, I’ve seen people do some crazy things to boost their numbers.
I have a lot more respect for the person in the gym who uses very little weight with perfect form than the person who throws 6 plates on the bar and does a quarter squat while yelling at the top of their lungs. One person is working their muscle, while the other is working their ego.
Prioritize Strength Training Over Cardio
The cardio section is a popular section for the majority of beginner weight losers and people who seem to never change their physique. That’s not to say the cardio equipment isn’t effective.
The people you see on the cardio equipment with great physiques use cardio as a secondary tool for fat loss after they’ve done the necessary strength training to build and maintain lean body mass. Strength training is the ultimate game-changer.
Be Consistent With Your Routine
Consistency is a necessary habit for a successful fitness lifestyle, and your exercise routine needs this quality if you want to see consistent results. That means working out when you’re supposed to and not skipping days. That means consistently using progressive overload principles in your routine. Exercise needs to be a habit and not a one-off thing you do when you have time.
Write It All Down
What exercise and weights did you use for your last 10 workouts? If you don’t know, you should be writing this stuff down. An exercise journal provides valuable information for workout planning. Plus, it’s nice to be able to look back at your workouts to get ideas and to see your progress over time.
Focus on Compound Movements
Crunches, curls, tricep kickbacks, leg curls and extensions all have their place in an exercise program, but they shouldn’t be the focus. Compound exercises that recruit maximal muscle groups are the most efficient way to build muscle.
Great arms are built through heavy rowing and pressing movements. Great legs are built with squats. These exercises should form the foundation of your routine.
Use Exercise to Build Yourself Up, Not Tear Yourself Down
I see some exercise routines and I have to cringe. My joints and muscles ache just looking at them. It’s as if people think they have to torture themselves with abnormal levels of exercise to get results.
Exercise serves many purposes. Among the numerous benefits, it’s supposed to build up your body and mind. If you’re doing over an hour a day of intense exercise and you just feel run down all the time, it’s time to start rethinking your exercise program.
Put Quality Over Quantity
Less is more. That’s the philosophy I use for my workouts. A few short but intense workouts every week can be just as effective as working out every single day for an hour at a time.
The point of a workout is to stimulate muscle growth and burn some calories, among other things. It doesn’t take hours to accomplish that. I would venture that the majority of people could cut their workout times in half and get the same or better results. Doesn’t that sound good to you?
Boost Your Intensity Levels
Intensity is an important aspect of a quality workout. Intense workouts stimulate powerful muscle-building and fat loss hormones . Because of this, high-intensity exercise has a much better effect on body composition and fat loss .
There are numerous ways to increase your intensity levels. Many times this just means pushing beyond your preconceived mental limitations and going the extra mile, rep, or pound. It could also mean reducing your rest time between sets, or doing exercise protocols like supersets or dropsets.
Enjoy Your Exercise
Do you like the exercise you do? If you do, good for you. Unlike most people, you will likely stick with your exercise program. The majority of people do exercise they think is best for building muscle or losing fat, and then watch their motivation levels fizzle out over time.
What’s the point in doing this kind of activity if it doesn’t last? The best exercise to build muscle or lose weight is the one that you’ll be able to stick with and be consistent with for the long haul. Exercise should be fun and not forced.
Transition Into More Activity
If you’re just starting out exercising or you’re about to change to a routine that has more exercise volume, you need to transition into it. Going from no or little exercise into an hour a day or more of exercise sends a huge shock to your body.
Take it in steps. Start off with 1-2 workouts per week until those are habit. Once they are, you can add in another day until that becomes habit too. Your body will thank you as it has a chance to adapt to the increased energy and stress demands being placed on it.
Implement each of these 10 effective exercise tips into your fitness program and you’ll be well on your way to seeing new and exciting changes to the way you look, think, and feel.