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In this episode, I wanted to share my best fitness tips. Each of these fitness tips build on each other. You really need to keep each of these in your programming to ensure you're getting the most out of your fitness program.
1. Warm up
This has to be everyone's #1 fitness tip. Like rubber, your muscles and connective tissue get stiff when they are cold. It is important for you to do a proper warm up to avoid injury. A warm up consists of slow and controlled movement to get the blood flowing through your body. Only after you've warmed up should you stretch or exercise.
2. Have purpose
Each time you go to “work out” you should know why you're there. I see so many people come into the gym and wander from place to place with no clear agenda. I'm not saying they're wasting their time, but they certainly are not getting the most out of those sessions.
Once you're in the gym, focus on why you're there. The only reason for you to have your phone out is to skip a song on your playlist or record your effort on a fitness app. Yes, you are on a rest, but without focus you're likely resting too long. See warm up above.
4. Use good form
This is another key fitness tip. Injuries will keep you from meeting your fitness goals. Just as a good warm up is important for injury prevention, you should use good form. I'd encourage you to listen to the episode with David Knox, author of Body School. If you don't know good form, ask a trainer. I'm even willing to help, just ask.
5. Have consistency
Consistency is key to reaching your goals. Our bodies adapt to the exercise when we work through a challenge, feed, rest cycle. Taking too many days off will stall your progress.
Using the same weight each time you work out will help you retain the strength you have, but you won't be getting any other benefit from it. When you exercise, push yourself. As I said above, you have to challenge, feed and rest to get results.
Another big part of the adaptation cycle, rest is imperative. This includes rest between sets, which should align with your purpose (shorter rests for endurance/mass and longer rests for strength). It also includes the rest between workouts. Don't think you can work the same muscles every day and see improvement. You have to allow the muscle to rebuild, which can take up to 72 hours.
Your muscle requires protein for rebuilding and some glycogen for fuel. Making sure you're getting enough food is important. If you're working while you're on a calorie restricted diet, you might find you don't have the energy to push. As a result, you're holding yourself back from seeing good results.
Hydration is key. You should make sure you're fully hydrated before you hit the gym. I like to take a sip of water between each set. This typically has me walking more during my workout and keeps me hydrated. And I'm not on my phone.
From time to time, you'll need to step back and see how you're progressing. This reevalution will help you avoid plateaus.
11. Educate yourself
Take the time to educate yourself. This goes with form, fuel, exercises, and reps/sets. You need to figure out what works for you.
I hope you enjoyed these fitness tips. Do you have any fitness tips you'd like to add to the list? If so, please comment below…