The gym is full of people around this time of the year who are trying to make good on their New Year’s resolutions. They come in like a blaze of glory, thinking a year’s worth of inactivity is made up for in an instant.
However, some of these people flame out in a week or two when they get dissatisfied with their lack of results and nobody notices how awesome their tight lycra pants are.
Instead of burning out like a meteor entering the earth’s atmosphere, use the following tips to make small changes to what you’re already doing or adding these changes when you’re starting out.
These tips can lead to big results, long after the crazy New Year’s crowd has gone. Good riddance, I say. There is now plenty of mirror room for my gun show now.
- While doing any exercise with your hands or elbows on the ground “push them into the floor.” You’ll engage more muscle and put your spine in a safer position.
- 2. The more tension you create when you lift weights, the stronger you are. Hold the dumbbell tighter, try to break the barbell in two, squeeze the muscles of your behind harder or brace your abdominals like you’re about to walk on the runway.
- 3. Change your stance while doing any standing upper body exercise. Try balancing on one leg, with one foot in front of the other or standing with a narrow stance. Reducing your base of support makes your body work harder.
- 4. Try aerobic intervals with any cardiovascular machine. Warm up for three minutes and then go “out of breath” fast for three minutes. Cool down at an easy pace for three minutes. Start with 3 intervals and try to add one per week.
- 5. Don’t worry about others think of you, worry about you. What you’ll notice at the gym is people looking at their phones, watching TV or staring at themselves while doing biceps curls. They’re totally focused on themselves and not you. Nobody cares whether you’re carrying a few extra pounds, or you’re dressed for an 80’s video clip. You’re way harder on yourself than any of those other people who don’t know you, so understand this and get to work.
- 6. Combine your cardio and core exercises. Do a high intensity(out of breath muscle burning) cardio interval (15 seconds-1 minute) then follow up with a core exercise for 30 seconds-one minutes. Repeat this for five-six rounds.
- Or you could do this cardio and core body weight training
- Instructions– Perform the body weight exercise as quickly as you can with good form for 20 seconds. During the 10 second rest period get into your plank position and hold for 20 seconds then rest for 10 seconds afterwards. Rest 2 minutes after each superset.
- Alternate between the two exercises for a total of 4 rounds of each. Complete all four supersets if you dare.
1B. Front plank
2B. Side plank
4A. Reverse lunge with kick *
4B. Side plank rotations *
- For the side planks and reverse lunges, one side = one round and alternate sides.
- 7. At the end of each repetition, “squeeze” your working muscles for an extra three seconds. This will increase your time under tension which will help build lean muscle, burn calories and get you stronger.
- 8. Challenge yourself with this tri set. A strength exercise eight-twelve reps, followed by a cardio interval for 30 seconds and then a core stability exercise for 30-45 seconds. Mix and match exercises and have some fun.
- 9. Treat every exercise repetition like it’s your one rep max. This ensures correct set up and good finish to every rep. This prevents injuries and keeps you more engaged. Yes, that means Facebook can wait for a moment. Because you can’t get better if you’re hurt.
- 10. Slow your roll. Take 3 seconds to lower the weight, hold for a second and then lift the weight as fast as you can. Increasing time under tension will help build muscle and burn calories. Lower the weight you lift when doing this. Trust me, it will be worth it.
- 11. Go slow. Do I need to rehash the story of the tortoise and the hare? The same applies to the exercise. There’s no need to hurry because when you do you’re more likely to make mistakes and get hurt and you don’t want that. Besides, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Don’t fall for this new year, new you crap. If you want to look better, feel better and be better, put your head down and go to work. These tips are a start, but the rest is up to you.
I know you can do it.