With summer officially here in London, perhaps the suns arrival has inspired you to enjoy the long days and you've decided to kick start your very own fitness regime. Or maybe you've got a holiday pencilled in and you're keen to shred a couple of pounds prior to going away. In any case, if you're keen to fine tune your health or body, here are some of my top tips.
1. Make your training challenging
People stop their training regime for usually just two reasons: 1) They don't achieve the results they want in the timeframe they set & 2) They become disengaged and bored of spending time going to the gym, when they could be doing other things they deem to be more fun. The anecdote to both these reasons is making your training regime challenging. Create an environment in the gym that pushes you every time you train. You can do this using various different methods: 1. Get a training partner to compete with. 2. Use a 'log book' that records previous weights lifted or distances covered in a set time. 3. Vary your training regime so you use different muscle groups and energy systems. Not only will this keep you focused with your training, but your results will be amplified as a result of the extra 10% you give in effort.
2. Use compound exercises
Compound lifting is a form of weight training that encapsulates multi-joint exercise against a form of resistance, examples of which would include military press, deadlifts and squats. The reason why compound exercises can be more beneficial than isolation exercises (such as bicep curls) is because they activate far more muscle fibres, as such your heart rate, testosterone and growth hormone are all elevated. All of these changes create an environment that enables the body to build lean tissue and boost the metabolism to burn fat. Using compound exercise is also incredibly time-efficient; you can get a gruelling workout in in just 20 minutes.
3. Adopt a healthy, but sustainable lifestyle
When most people set out on a new health kick, the initial ambition and will-power is overwhelming. This is often evident in their eating habits. Which initially are incredibly healthy and restrictive. Although the positivity for change is apparent early on, maintaining this can often be both the challenge and the secret to getting long term results. Start by committing to some small changes, such as incorporating 5 portions of fruit and vegetables into your diet. Then progress this further by factoring in 3 workout sessions per week. Staggering change out in this way means it's less of a shock to the system compared to changing 4 or 5 lifestyle factors at once. The best diet or workout regime is the one that you can stick to.
4. Be social
Accountability is a considerable factor for achieving the fitness results you want. On the days you're not motivated to go and train or if you're craving junk food it's very beneficial to have a support network around you to keep you focused on your end goal. An effective support network is people going through the same experience with a similar health and fitness goal to yours. If you don't have this within your existing social networks then branch out, take gym classes or join other form of fitness social groups.
5. Eat real food and don’t rely just on supplements
Supplements are useful if you're lacking that macro/micronutrient in your diet. For example if you've got a busy day and don't have the time to cook, then drinking a whey protein shake is a quick and convenient way to get 30g of protein into your diet for that day. However the healthy way to consume calories and nutrients is with real food, which contains valuable vitamins and minerals for daily bodily processes. Make meal preparation your focus and only use supplements if you're lacking in a specific area.