1. Find Your WHY (Burning Desire)
Do you know your reason why? It’s your reason why that spurs you to action and keeps you from quitting.
If your reason why isn’t big enough, you’ll stay on the couch, or at least go back to it after a few weeks. Find a big enough reason why and you’ll push through to success. Do you know your reason why? Well figure it out!
2. Forgive Yourself
Life is about mistakes. We all make them. All the freaking time! It’s not whether or not you make a mistake, it’s how you react to it that counts.
Don’t let a mistake like missing a few workouts, or binging in front of the television one night completely throw you off your game and cause you to quit.
Acknowledge you slipped, and start fresh in the morning. Don’t let it fester and become a big thing so that before you know it, you’ve been eating Krispy Kreme for three months and haven’t worked out, either!
You can’t change yesterday. Focus on now!
3. Eliminate Negativity (Yeah, People, Too!)
Sadly, some of the biggest obstacles to overcome when trying to make positive changes in your life are your friends and family.
They have many reasons, I’m sure, from trying to “protect” you or your self-esteem to trying to sabotage you out of fear because if you make all these positive changes you might just leave them behind as they still go to happy hour (for hours), party late into the morning and sleep half the day, and while away the hours in front of the television.
Whew! That was a long sentence!
You need to make very clear what your goals are and that you need their support. If they can’t support you, they can’t be around you. Sure, that sounds harsh but sometimes necessary.
4. Turn Off The Freaking TV!
You heard me! Don’t look at me like that! Everybody is too freaking busy for this and that and the other thing, yet they spend 10 plus hours a week watching television.
Here’s a shocking news alert for you. 99.99% of what is on TV is complete crap! Turn it off!
5. (Re) Cycle
I’m as big a believer in hard, intense workouts as anyone. But there’s a difference between training hard (and smart) and just beating up and wearing down your body.
You need recovery days and periods of lower intensity as well so your body can recover, repair, adapt and improve.
This means easing off the gas pedal every once in a while. This can be done a few different ways.
You could take a full week off out of the gym every 8 to 12 weeks or so (and if you must do something, take easy bike rides or walks). If you think that will mess you up and get you out of the habit of exercising, then just dial things back for a week.
Go to a full body weight training workout using regular old straight sets (no metabolic resistance training, circuit training, supersets or any intensity techniques) and don’t go near failure.
If you can bench 150 for 3 sets of 10, try 150 for 3 sets of 5 or lower the weight to 120 for sets of 8 or 10.
Another version of cycling is to improve your lifts, especially when you get stuck and can’t seem to move up your numbers.
Once this is accomplished, you back off and then perform another training cycle, working up to a poundage that is slightly higher than your previous best.
You don’t want to peak with a 1 rep max lift. You want to increase your training poundage that you use for 6 to 20 reps.
Here’s an example of a 12 week cycle using the squat.
Let’s say you can squat 260 pounds for six reps. Start the program with 75 percent of this amount (roughly 200 pounds) and do two sets of 10 reps each.
Yes, you could most likely do more but we are building momentum.
Remember, cycling is to help you avoid burnout and sort of trick your body into new territory.
Your 12 week intensity cycling routine might look like this:
Monday – 200 x 2 x 10
Friday – 205 x 2 x 10
Monday – 210 x 2 x 10
Friday – 215 x 2 x 10
Monday – 220 x 2 x 10
Friday – 225 x 2 x 10
Monday – 230 x 2 x 10
Friday – 235 x 2 x 10
The intensity is ramping up. Time to drop the second set.
Monday – 240 x 10
Friday – 245 x 10
Reduce the frequency to three workouts every two weeks.
Monday – 250 x 10
Friday – 255 x 10
Wednesday – 260 x 10
Monday – 265 x 9
Friday – 270 x 9
Wednesday – 275 x 9
Monday – 280 x 8
Friday – 285 x 8
Wednesday – 290 x 7
Reduce the training frequency to once per week.
Wednesday – 295 x 6
Wednesday – 300 x 6
Wednesday – 305 x 5
End of cycle! Great work!
At this point, you can take a week to ten days off from the gym to rest and recover and then start another training program or a different type of cycle.
Keep in mind, there are endless variations of this idea and you may want to experiment with different one’s.
6. Warm Up Don’t Burn Out (Exercise Specific)
A warm up is to keep you from getting injured while also priming your body to perform at its best.
A warm muscle contracts better than a cold muscle. But you don’t want to wear yourself out on your exercise specific warm up and hurt your true work sets.
So keep the reps on your warm up sets low (say 5 or less). If you need to, do an extra set or two with slightly more weight, as opposed to doing harder sets and higher reps.
7. Sleep More
We look at a lot of things when it comes to fat loss. We try and put together the best workout program for boosting our metabolism. We change our nutrition and even try and eat specific foods and food combinations that are supposed to help burn fat. And these are obviously crucial to your body transformation. If you want to shed fat and build some lean muscle, while feeling better, too, you need to eat right and exercise.
But one of the most important things we can do, and you almost never see it recommended, is just getting more sleep each night! Most of us don’t get nearly enough sleep. This can not only affect your fat loss or muscle building efforts but your overall health as well. Stop staying up late to watch crappy television!
A lack of sleep raises cortisol levels. Cortisol is a hormone that increases when stress levels increase, one of the causes being a lack of sleep. Cortisol causes a break down of body tissue (think muscle). Combine this with dieting, which also raises cortisol levels and you have a problem with the potential loss of muscle mass.
Losing muscle mass is the opposite of what you want to happen when training for fat loss. Losing muscle makes everything worse – how you look, how you feel; it slows down your metabolism which makes it harder to lose fat. On top of that, it brings about a loss of strength which makes your training as well as everyday activities more difficult.
A study that appeared in the journal Laboratory of Physiology in Belgium, showed that those who were not getting enough sleep, had higher cortisol levels in the afternoon and early evening, when compared to those that were getting enough sleep.
Ever crave carbohydrates after a night of tossing and turning? It seems a lack of sleep has an impact on hormone release and levels as well as on the metabolism, one of which is an increase in appetite, according to a Chicago study.
Two hormonal issues with sleep restriction that can become a big problem are insulin sensitivity and a decrease in glucose sensitivity as well. These are extremely important factors when it come to diabetes as well as how full you feel after a meal.
You might want to reconsider how much damage that extra hour of television each night is doing to your health and your fitness.
8. Perform Interval Training
In its simplest definition, interval training is alternating bouts of high intensity with bouts of lower intensity. One example would be hill sprints. Sprint up the hill, walk down, and repeat. There are many ways to incorporate interval training into your program.
What is probably the most well known interval, thanks to a study done by Dr. Tabata is the 20/10 interval where you do an all out bout of exercise for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest before repeating.
But there are many, many effective interval ranges you can perform, with an almost endless variety of exercises. You can do intervals while running, or on a stationary bike or treadmill, which is what most people do. But you can also perform intervals using resistance training, such as with barbells, kettlebells, dumbbells, sandbags or even body weight exercises.
You don’t have to complicate things. If you’re doing some sort of cardio training with your intervals, you can use longer intervals, like 60 seconds hard, followed by 30 seconds or 60 seconds easy and go for 20 to 30 minutes.
With resistance training, you’ll most likely want to keep the intense portion of the interval between 10 and 40 seconds.
A great interval training workout could be as simple as 8 rounds of body weight squats in 20/10 style, followed by 8 rounds of push ups in 20/10 style, which makes an 8 minute workout.
Or you could alternate by doing one round of the body weight squats followed by one round of the push ups and repeat for 8 rounds.
However you do it, DO IT!
9. Eat More Protein
Eating more protein will help you twofold. It will help boost your metabolism and aid your fat loss efforts. Protein is also crucial for adding sexy, calorie burning muscle mass to your body.
Eating more protein to burn fat was confirmed in a study published in the American Journal of Physiology. One group was fed a high protein diet (just over one gram per pound of bodyweight per day) while the second group consumed a protein diet near equal to that of the RDA.
The group eating the high protein diet burned more fat than the group consuming protein near equal to the RDA.
10. Use A Green Drink
We don’t get nearly enough nutrition from our nutrition these days. Be absolutely sure you’re feeding your body what it needs. And don’t get some “green” drink that has a lot of filler in it or tastes so absolutely horrible that you stop taking it after a day or two. Check out something like Macro Greens on Amazon, which doesn’t have that nasty taste associated with most green drinks.
Another option is making your own green drinks, if you have the time and the inclination. You’ll definitely need a high quality juicer like the Breville BJE200XL Compact Juice Fountain 700 Watt Juice Extractor.
11. Include Body Weight Exercises In Your Routine
Adding body weight exercises to your fitness routine will work wonders for you. Body weight exercises allow you to workout any time, anywhere, so lack of time or space is no longer an excuse for missing a workout.
You can get an endless variety of workouts with body weight exercises.
You can do an interval workout, a challenge workout, an endurance workout or even a strength workout. Yes, really. Don’t believe me?
Give me twenty true single legged squats or one arm push ups or pull ups. With good form and no cheating. Yeah, that’s what I thought.
With body weight exercises you can get in a complete workout whether your goal is strength, fat loss or overall conditioning.
12. Perform A Comprehensive Warm Up Before Each Workout
You MUST warm up properly! Without a proper warm up your workout performance will suffer, you’ll increase the chance of injury, and you’ll develop aches and pains that nag you the rest of the day, or tomorrow. Instead of feeling great like you should, you’ll be hobbling along.
Be sure to use a variety of bodyweight exercises for your warm up, as well as a foam roller. Do NOT just ride the stationary bike for a few minutes. Warm up your entire body.
It can be as simple a warm up as the following:
5 minutes of foam rolling
Complete the following circuit once or twice.
Body weight squat – 10 reps
Push ups – 5 reps
Jumping Jacks – 20 reps
Mountain Climbers – 20 reps
Alternate Forward Lunges – 10 reps
Arm Rolls forward and backward – 10 reps each way
Leg Swings forward and backward – 10 reps each leg
13. Divide Your Meals Into Two Types, Carbs + Protein And Fat + Protein
This is the best way to keep your metabolism revving the way you want, as a highly efficient machine. High carb, high fat meals jack up your insulin levels like it’s shooting out of a firehouse,signaling your body to pile on the blubber so you look like the Michelin Tire Man in no time flat. And who wants that?
14. Hit The Big Compound Movements
Compound movements give you the most bang for your buck, whether you want to jack up your metabolism so you burn tons of calories and drop fat, or you want to add pounds of muscle mass and reshape your body.
This means stay away from the isolation work, whether it’s concentration curls with a dumbbell or pec deck flyes on a machine. Focus on the big movements.
Movements like the following:
All kinds of squats and lunges
Pull ups and chin ups
All kinds of push ups
Kettlebell or Dumbbell Swings
Turkish Get Up
Kettlebell or Dumbbell Snatches
All kinds of deadlifts
All kinds of rows
15. Quality Over Quantity
It’s not about how long you workout but about how smart you workout (and yeah, hard too, although you don’t want to go all out all the time, hence the smart).
Don’t just go into the gym and run yourself into the ground for two hours (or do something really crazy and stupid like pedal the stationary bike for two hours while reading a magazine without even breaking a sweat).
Utilize a properly designed workout routine as part of an overall program designed to get you the results you want according to your goals. You don’t need to workout for two hours per day. You really don’t even need to workout for a full hour. 45 minutes is more than enough time for an effective workout that will give you the results you want. It’s even possible to use workouts that last less than 10 minutes if you do it right and are willing to put in the work.
16. Train Like An Athlete
Sure, some of you are going for the big bodybuilder look, but most of you reading this want to look (and be) fit and healthy. Like sprinters, linebackers, hockey players, MMA fighters (not including heavyweights, although some of them look great, too), etc.
These athletes don’t training to look a certain way. They train for performance and the lean, ripped look is a byproduct of that training. Want to look like an athlete? Train like an athlete. This means a lot of the training mentioned above with full body exercises and body weight movements. Forget the machines that lock you into place. Move your body!
17. Train Unilaterally
What is unilateral training? It is simply working one side of your body at a time. This is not the same as, say, alternate dumbbell curls where you do a rep with the left arm, then a rep with the right, etc.
You do a complete set for one side before moving to the other. For example, do a set of 10 reps on the leg press with your right leg only and then do a set of 10 reps with your left leg only.
Unilateral training allows you to increase your focus on the muscle you are working by doing a better job of isolating the working muscle.
Your intensity increases because you increase the muscle involvement due to the bilateral deficit.
The bilateral deficit means the total weight you can lift by working one limb at a time is more than the total weight you can lift when working both limbs together.
This increase in focus and intensity will help your muscle building efforts while boosting your strength.
18. Skip The Ab Exercises
Forget the crunches or the silly circles you sit on and spin, those things will never get you the flat abs you want. The best core exercises are things like the farmer’s walk where you simply hold a heavy weight at your side and walk with it. It could be dumbbells or kettlebells. An uneven weight works fantastically for engaging the core. Try holding two dumbbells, one heavier than the other. Each set switch hands on the weights.
Exercises like squats burpees, deadlifts and push ups work the core very well.
19. Workout At Home
You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or a lot of space to get a killer effective workout and the results you want.
Working out at home also helps avoid the excuse of getting up off the coach and making the trek to the gym. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the right piece of equipment being used when you need it.
You can listen to the music you want, etc. Some people are motivated by working out in a gym setting and that’s fine, but don’t think you need a fancy gym to get great results.
In fact, a home gym with a few pieces of quality equipment and body weight exercises are really are you need. Even if you like to hit a gym, try a home workout now and then for a nice change of pace.
20. Superset, Superset, Superset
One of my absolute favorite techniques! A superset is simply doing two exercises back to back without rest between them.
You can do supersets using different exercises for the same body part (ex. Incline dumbbell curls and standing barbell curls), for opposing body parts (like back and chest) or for completely different body parts like squats and shoulder presses).
Supersets allow you to do more work in less time, jacking up the intensity and quality of your workouts. And they are great if you don’t have enough time to get in your full workout.
Here’s a sample:
1A. Deadlifts 5 x 5 (five sets of five reps each)
2A. Dumbbell Bench Press 5 x 5
Rest 1 to 2 minutes after each superset
21. For A Smaller Waist, Train Your Shoulders
It’s all about proportion. If you want to make your waist appear slimmer, work your shoulders (and your hips/glutes). This will give you that hourglass appearance. And guys, wider shoulders don’t get hidden under clothes in winter like your upper arms do. Ladies, well developed shoulders and upper back look awesome in a sleeveless dress!
22. Include HRA’s In Your Workout To Boost Your Metabolism And Burn More Fat
These go by different names, dynamic interrupts, dynamic finishers, metabolic accelerators, metabolic scorchers, Heart Rate Accelerators. These are exercises you throw into the middle of your workouts, or at the end, to boost your heart rate (metabolism).
For example, you might be doing circuits or supersets like this:
1A. Dumbbell Bench Press
1B. Barbell Bent Over Row
1C. Dumbbell Squat
After 3 circuits you go to your HSA. Some examples of an HSA could be:
Jump Rope – 2 minutes
Jumping Jacks – 100
Squat Thrusts – 25 reps or 45 seconds
You would only do one of those, not all three.
Sometimes your dynamic interrupt could be two exercises like:
Push Ups – AMRAP
Sit Ups – 25
Then you would hit your next circuit, like this one:
2A. Dumbbell Standing Press
2B. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
2C. Dumbbell Alternate Forward Lunges
23. Become A Photographer (Take Pictures)
You don’t ever need to show these pictures to anyone else but it’s a great way to keep motivated and actually SEE the progress you’ve made over time. When you see yourself every day it’s tough to see the results and so it’s easy to get frustrated.
But being able to look at pictures over time it’s much clearer to you. It’s easy to keep a photographic record with today’s technology. Try snapping a few pics every 4 weeks or so and keep them in a photo album.
24. Get SMART
The S stands for specific. Be specific about the goals you want to achieve. Forget things like, “I want to get in shape,” “I want to get big,” or “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to increase my bench press.”
Instead try things like “I want to run a 6 minute mile,” “I want to add 10 pounds of muscle,” “I want to lose 20 pounds of fat, or “I want to add 40 pounds to my best bench press.”
The M stands for measurable. This ties in well with specific. You can’t measure ‘getting in shape,” but you sure can measure ‘running a 6-minute mile’ or ‘bench 3 plates’.
In addition to specific and measurable, your goals must be A, or attainable. The R stands for realistic.
As I’ve said before, it’s important to set challenging goals. Challenging, but attainable, that is.
A goal of a 50-pound increase on your bench press max in 12 weeks would be a challenging goal, but also one that is possible.
However, setting a goal of bench pressing 300 pounds in 4 weeks when you currently bench press 75 pounds will do nothing but set you up for failure and frustration.
Same thing with weight loss. Don’t set a goal of losing 30 pounds in 30 days. You’ll only set yourself up for frustration. Challenging but realistic, remember? Make it tough but give yourself a chance. That way you’ll really battle for it but even if you fall short, you’ll still make great progress.
The T stands for Timely. If you do everything previously mentioned, it’s still not enough. You must give yourself a deadline to achieve your goal.
More importantly, if your goal is attainable and realistic, but also long term, break it up into smaller goals.
If you wish to lose 75 pounds, start with losing just 10 pounds in 2 months. Reaching that goal will motivate you further and before you know it, enough time has passed that you’ve lost the 75 pounds.
But if you focus solely on losing the 75 pounds, which could take a year or more to accomplish, your motivation and discipline could wane, and you could fail to follow through on what you need to do to make your goal a reality.
25. Extend Your Set
Most people’s set length is too short, which doesn’t give them the optimal training stimulus for muscle building or accelerating fat loss. Unless you’re specifically working pure strength, try and make each set last for at least 20 seconds and 30 to 40 is okay, too. This means either doing timed intervals, higher reps, or slowing down the speed of each rep.
26. Beware The Fitness Trend
Fitness trends come and go. Techniques that work stick around (and sadly sometimes get lost amongst the “new” stuff). Use REAL tools, like barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, TRX or Jungle Gym, sandbags, bodyweight, etc. You can’t sit and spin your way to great abs and you can’t squeeze a piece of plastic between your thighs for great legs. You’ll have to work. Be sure to work smart and use the correct tools.
27. Burp Your Way To Dropping Fat Fast
Burpees. If there isn’t a medical reason, such as an injury, that prevents you from any type of plyometric work, do these! If you have to, modify them. You can eliminate the jump at the end and just stand. Burpees are great for the core, too!
28. Vary Your Workouts
The body adapts. It’s efficient. If you’re constantly doing the same workout over time, the body will get better at it and your results will stagnate.
This doesn’t mean doing something completely different every single time you workout. If you do that, you’ll have no way of measuring your progress over time. You should vary your workouts within a longer term training program.
The exception to that is if you are at a period in your life where things are hectic and you are short on time and just squeezing in a short workout is a challenge. When that’s the case, just getting in some form of exercise in the form of body weight training is much better than nothing at all.
29. Keep The Same Workout
WTH?? Yeah, yeah, I know what number 28 says. But too many people change their workouts ALL THE TIME and don’t stick to a good program long enough to get results. In general try sticking to the same workout for at least 4 to 12 weeks and sometimes longer.
Understand that this doesn’t mean the same EXACT workout every day for six weeks or whatever. You may have three different workouts that are part of the same training plan that you do on different days. For example, for strength you might do the bench press on Mondays, the deadlift on Wednesdays and the squat are Fridays. It may be a different strength focus on those days but those individual workouts are still part of the same longer term workout plan.
You may also have certain progressions and changes that are made over time as you improve. That is variation within a specific longer term training plan and that’s a good thing!
30. Eat More Fat (For Muscle AND Fat Loss, Oh, And Better Health, Too!)
Yep, eat more fat. And I’m not talking a low carb diet for losing weight. Essential Fatty Acids are extremely anabolic and help you build muscle. But that’s not all.
EFA’s may also:
Help protect your heart
Improve your memory
Strengthen your immune system
Minimize the damage caused by free radicals
Reduce joint pain and PMS symptoms
Aid the fat loss process – yep, really.
31. Move Your Body
We don’t have an obesity epidemic solely because we eat too much (although we DO eat too much and, more specifically, too much junk) but just as much because we’re sedentary. Modern convenience has us much less active than our ancestors.
Instead of working hard all day from sun up to sun down, we sit at a desk or on a couch. We drive everywhere. We take elevators and escalators. We watch movies and play video games. We are gluttony and sloth. STOP THAT!
31. Find Support
Most people are much more likely to stick to something when they have the necessary support from others. Sadly many people in our lives are our worst enemies when we want to change ourselves and our lives for the better. Tell them to shut the F up and find real support.
Yes, even online works if you don’t have anyone in life that is supportive of the changes you are trying to make. Forums, blogs, email newsletters, social media, these can all be places
where you might find the support you need to stick with your lifestyle.
32. Use A Training Journal
It’s crucial to your success. A training diary or journal is indispensable for keeping you on track for training success.
No matter where you are now — 180-pound squat or 500, 13inch arms or 17, 135-pound bench press or 350, 10 pounds of fat to lose or 100 — the systematic organization and focus on achieving goals that a training journal enforces will help you to get bigger, stronger, leaner and sexier.
As simple as it is to use a training log, do not underestimate its vital role in helping you achieve your fitness goals.
Journals have feelings, too!
33. Incorporate Metabolic Training
Metabolic training will get you fitter and leaner and do it faster.
What is metabolic resistance training? It is, in its simplest form, the combination of intense strength training with aerobic conditioning.
Metabolic resistance training (also known as metabolic conditioning) trains three major biological systems, muskuloskeletal, circulatory and respiratory.
Most people perform their resistance training and their cardio, or aerobic workouts, separately.
But, for the most part, this isn’t how we function. And it’s definitely not how most athletes function, such as hockey players, football players, MMA fighters, basketball players, soccer players, lacrosse player and more.
Simply put, metabolic training is performing a sequence of activities with very brief rest or recovery periods. Metabolic training can be considered a form of interval training.
With metabolic training you can manipulate the following variables:
Number of exercises
Number of repetitions performed (or time)
Amount of recovery time between exercises and/or rounts
Number of rounds
With this type of metabolic resistance training you can improve your conditioning levels by improving on the following:
Increase the resistance of the exercise
Increase the number of reps (especially if you are using timed intervals instead of repetition numbers)
Shorten the recover periods
Increase the number of rounds performed
A combination of any of the above
34. Get Stronger
Even if your goal is to “tone up” (no such thing) or lose fat, you still need to get stronger. It makes everything easier. Strength is the starting point for everything you do in everyday life, not just in your workouts. If you want to get out of that chair you better have the thigh strength to do it. You can’t even press down the gas pedal without some level of strength.
When training, no matter your goals, don’t forget some strength training. You don’t need to become a powerlifter who can squat 800 pounds but you do need some strength. You can keep it simple and include one big compound movement once or twice a week to start your workout and perform three to five sets of three to five reps per set. You don’t need to go to failure on any of these sets.
35. Keep Workouts To 45 Minutes Or Less
You don’t have to (and should NOT) work out for hours every day, unless you are training for an endurance sport. 45 minutes of hard work is plenty if you are doing it right.
36. Be Better… (Than Yourself)
Yes, be better… than yourself. It doesn’t matter where other people are, or how far they’ve come. The only one to compare yourself to is you. You can always improve and be better in some way today than you were yesterday. And remember, nobody is perfect.
37. Jump, Jump, Jump Around
Jump up, jump up and get down. Be sure and include jumping exercises like burpees, jump squats, jump lunges, side hops, tuck jumps, etc., in your workouts from time to time.
Don’t overdo it and be sure and check with your doctor before doing any exercise.
If you have a lot of weight to lose, due to the stresses on your knees you’ll want to lose weight first before including explosive jump exercises in your routine.
38. Get Back Up (I Get Knocked Down!)
You’ll have obstacles. You’ll have times you don’t see results. You’ll backslide. You’ll feel like giving up. You’ll binge. You’ll quit working out for a week, or a month.
So what? Start again TODAY! You can’t change yesterday. As Rocky says, it’s not about how hard you it, it’s about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward.
39. Sprint, Sprint, Sprint
If you want to boost your metabolism, burn serious amounts of body fat, get fit and look freaking fantastic, you gotta use sprint workouts in your training! Period!
Safety tip: If you have a place to do it, consider running hill sprints. This can help reduce the potential for injury. Sprint the incline and walk the decline.
40. Just Say No… To 1 RM Training
While I personally believe you can test your one rep max in exercises like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses in relative safety, there is no need for most people to risk injury by doing so, unless you’re a powerlifter. Now, doing multiple heavy sets of single reps, like the 10 x 1 workouts is a different story. Go for it.
The 10 x 1 workout is a pretty cool way to strength train if you want more strength. You’ll be hitting 10 sets of 1 rep with the same weight so you aren’t using close to a one rep maximum. Over time, you add a little bit of weight and reduce the number of sets. If you really want to test a one rep max you can eventually go all the way down to one set of one rep. But you don’t have to. Go as low as your comfortable with, which may be 5 sets of 1 rep, or 3 sets of 1 rep (which will give you a pretty good idea of what your one rep max would be anyway).
But here’s what I REALLY hate about 1 RM training! It’s not doing a 1 rep max! It’s designing a program with workouts, sets and reps based on 1 RM numbers and calling it high or low intensity because of that! You’ve seen these workouts. They give you different training days (heavy, light, etc.) and give you workouts like:
Bench Press 4 x 8 with 80% of your 1 RM
Bench Press 5 x 12 with 60% of your 1 RM
The only problem is, based on muscle fiber makeup, limb length, leverage, etc. the intensity of those two workouts can vary wildly from one person to the next. I might be able to crank out 15 reps with 80% of my max while you can only get 7 reps with 80% of your RM. And it varies from body part to body part amongst individuals. STOP THE INSANITY! This means the intensity level of a workout based on a percentage of one rep max training, will vary wildly from individual to individual. It’s a silly way to train.
41. Enjoy The Benefits
As Zig Ziglar would say, you don’t pay the price, you enjoy the benefits.
Don’t think about making sacrifices when it comes to things like your favorite unhealthy foods.
Think of the benefits of being fit and healthy such as how much better you feel every day, all the things you can do now you couldn’t do before, etc.
It’s a much higher quality of life. What’s worse, a little bit of discipline now, or the pain of regret later?
42. Become A Prepper
Prep Time Saves Time (prepare meals ahead of time)
Eating healthy can be a pain when it comes to time. Healthy foods are not ready made in bags that you can tear off shelves. Consider making meals for the week on a Sunday, putting them in containers and freezing them, saving you time during the week.
43. Become A Minimalist
Every so often, go back to basics. For nutrition, forget calorie counting, low carb, no carb, etc., and just eat naturally. Buy naturally, I mean natural foods, not eat whatever you want!
Eat fruits, WHOLE grains, veggies, lean meats, etc. Get rid of all the chemical laden processed crap!
For your workouts, go back to basics. Forget complicated workouts with lots of exercises for different reps, rest times, etc.
Go with a few basic exercises (1 to 4 per workout), for a few sets (2 – 5 per exercise) for a straight rep number (5 – 12 per set) and take a minute or three of rest between sets.
Urgency creates tension. Tension gets results! Just wanting to “lose weight” or “get in shape” won’t get you anywhere!
Think of natural deadlines that get people off their butts, like a wedding, school reunion, or beach vacation!
Create your own deadlines to create urgency. Pick a date 12 weeks away as a deadline, set a reasonable but challenging goal and go for it!
If you’re the type that needs outside support or obstacles, tell all your friends about your goal or deadline. They won’t let you forget!
45. Get A Kettlebell
This goes hand in hand with being a minimalist. Kettlebells rock! That being said, no one piece of equipment is the be all end all of training equipment.
BUT, you can use just one to get amazing results! And it doesn’t have to be a kettlebell, it can also be a set of dumbbells, an Olympic Barbell set, a TRX or Jungle Gym suspension system (they also rock!), etc.
This gives you great tools to use, and allows you to add a lot of variety to your training programs which keeps you mentally fresh and motivated!
Tired of traditional weight machines? Go all free weights!
Tired of typical barbells and dumbbells? Go kettlebells only for a month or two.
Tired of equipment? Go bodyweight exercises only! You get the idea!
46. Make Sure Your Workouts Fit Your Goals
Sounds simple enough, right? If your goal is to add 20 pounds of muscle mass, don’t run five miles a day or play basketball for 2 hours, 5 times a week!
If you’re a weight class athlete like a wrestler or MMA fighter who wants to get stronger, don’t train for muscle mass, train for strength. Get it? Good.
47. Five By Five, B. (Yes, A Quote From Buffy The Vampire Slayer – Deal With It)
5 by 5 is a classic strength training protocol for a reason. It works! Even if your goal is fat loss, you’ll want to include some
strength training in your program, even if it’s just a few core compound exercises once per week.
Simply put, you do 5 sets of 5 reps of a compound movement like deadlifts, bench press, shoulder press, etc., resting 2 to 4 minutes between sets.
Always warm up properly first. You can either warm up and then do 5 x 5 with the same weight or include your top end warm ups in the first two sets of the 5 x 5.
All your sets should be hard but only the last one will possibly be to failure. When you can solidly get 5 reps on all 5 sets, add a little weight next workout.
48. The Battle Has Just Begun (Understand It’s Never Over)
Health and fitness is a life long commitment. Too many people sabotage their efforts because they think they are finished when they hit their weight loss goal.
Once they lose the weight they want, they go right back to their previous life style that caused the excess weight gain in the first place! NO! You’ve got to stick with it! And remember, it is easier to maintain once you reach your goal than it was to get there in the first place.
49. Eat To Live Don’t Live To Eat
We’ve really screwed ourselves up by shifting the idea of food to something emotional.
We eat for comfort, when we’re depressed, bored, and we center almost all social gatherings around food! Stop that!
Sure, these things are okay once in awhile, but not for the basis of looking AND feeling good! When you focus on eating to live, you’ll LIVE!
You’ll look better, feel better, have more energy, perform better and all in all have a higher quality of life.
And don’t let people fool you, you can make a huge variety of great tasting meals that are also good for you!
50. Be Fast (Intermittently)
Intermittent fasting will help you drop serious amounts of body fat without losing muscle and give you more energy.
Fat burning enzymes will increase NOT decrease and you’ll also jack up your fat burning growth hormone levels.
Now, understand I’m not talking about some crazy starvation diet, I’m talking about fasting at specific times to help accelerate your fat loss.
While there are many variations here is one of the simplest that I also think is the easiest for people to stick to. Go with the 16 and 8 plan. Eat in an eight hour window and fast for sixteen hours. The really good news is sleeping can be part of that sixteen hours. You could eat between noon and 8 pm and fast from 8 pm until noon the next day.
51. Soak Up The Sun (Be An Outsider)
Yes, that means get outside from time to time to exercise and out of that shiny, air conditioned, stale fitness center!
Go to a field or playground, bring along a dumbbell, kettlebell, sandbag, or your Jungle Gym XT – (if you have some place to attach it), include body weight and conditioning exercises (farmer’s walk, walking lunges, bear crawl, sprints, etc.) and get to work! You’ll love the change!
52. Train With Michael Jordan (Compete)
Don’t be a wuss! Don’t be part of the “we don’t keep score because someone might get sad, we should all get trophies” crowd!
Compete! Even if it’s only with yourself. Michael Jordan was a heck of a basketball player because he had tons of natural talent.
He became one of the greatest of all time (sorry, my choice is Wilt Chamberlain) because of his incredibly competitive nature. In this case, be like Mike! Just be careful of the gambling!
**Extra** Play Hard Have Fun Get Dirty
62 Fitness Hacks To Transform Your Body
6 words EVERYONE should use for life in general. And fitness, too! It’s not about any one thing. It’s about the whole thing. It’s Training, Nutrition AND Attitude (motivation, desire, persistence, whatever you want to call it). THAT will make you a success.
That’s it! 52 fitness secrets and hacks you can use to dramatically improve your health and fitness and get fantastic results you’ll love that can last a lifetime!
Knowledge isn’t Power. APPLIED Knowledge is Power
You could memorize all these tips and be able to recite them to anyone who asks, but if you never actually TAKE ACTION and USE them, you won’t change a darn thing.
63 Fitness Hacks To Transform Your Body
Here’s what you need to do RIGHT NOW! Implement ONE tip! Just one. Without delay! That will get you started in the right direction. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion so get some motion going right this very second! Build momentum!