Getting that beach body needs more than running
Something interesting happened over the weekend or should I say I witnessed something interesting. While coaching a large group of people, I noticed most had given in to stress and pain of the workout and they were on the floor with jaded looks on their faces. This prompted me to stop the music and launch into 10 minute rant about leaving your comfort zone.
What made it interesting was the response. They dragged themselves up and slowly started to push. I started hearing grunts and cheers of motivation that sounded like battle cries. It was quite an experience. I doubt it was my rant that got them up but rather, it was the collective agreement that this lifestyle affects every area of your life. For real progress and change, you need to take things to the next level.
With less than a month to go till the world gets ‘summer fever’, now is the perfect time to kick your workout routines into high gear and actually make some significant progress toward reaching your goals.
We know that you want to get rid of that last layer of fat to uncover that body you’ve got hidden underneath. If you could get to transform your body overnight, would you pump up your shoulders, get a huge chest or a go for a serious six-pack? The answer? None of the above: Over half of my clients just want an “overall fat-free physique” rather than a single bigger or better body part. The reality is that you will have to work extremely hard for every pound and calorie and you will have to learn to push yourself.
Here some suggestions for a few applications of the lifestyle changes I am talking about:
High Intensity Interval Training
Ah, good old interval and high-intensity training. I’m sure you have heard all about the numerous benefits of HIIT and for a good reason: it works. If you’re looking for a surefire way to burn fat faster and lose some pounds in the process, HIIT is a solid way to go. HIIT is more time efficient in burning fat than a traditional cardio workout. Not only will your body burn more calories but you will also continue to burn more calories and fat in the 24 hours after your workout.
If you think that hitting the weights is the only thing you have to do to lose fat faster, you’re wrong. You need a solid balance of weight training, cardio and diet. The body will burn primarily carbohydrates during the first twenty minutes of cardiovascular exercise. Right about minute twenty, the body shifts over and starts to burn stored body fat as the primary source of energy.
You need a combination of both weight training and cardio to get fat off your body. Cardio alone will only train one type of muscle fiber and you’ll only be building one part of your fat-burning furnace. Many people do tons of cardio every day and don’t lift weights. They never change the way they look. I know a lot of people that lift weights that realize their limitations once challenged in different ways.
Hit The Weights
If you’re not already hitting the gym and racking up the weights, now’s the time if fat loss is your goal. Even if you start small and work your way up to heavier weights, gaining muscle is going to put you on the fast track to hitting that goal. When it comes to exercise, you have to train with weights to increase lean mass. Fat is burned inside of your muscle cells.
The bigger and more plentiful your muscle cells, the bigger your fat-burning furnace. Adding muscle basically increases the size of the fat-burning furnace. Dieting incorrectly or exercising incorrectly decreases your fat-burning furnace. This is often why when a male-female couple embarks on a good exercise and nutrition plan, the male drops more weight more quickly than the female. He has more muscle tissue and a much bigger furnace. He can burn food at a much faster rate than the female who has less muscle and a much smaller furnace.
Pick Up A Sport
Picking up a sport is a great way to burn extra calories, trim fat and still have a lot of fun doing it. Playing a sport involves cardio and lots of non-linear movement (jumping, back pedaling, side stepping etc), making it healthier than straight jogging. Plus you are having fun without getting bored.
You don’t have to be the next Michael Jordan to go down to your fitness facility. Just hop on the basketball court, and look for a game. Most people are happy to have another player. Just make sure you know the rules (how to dribble). I only mention basketball because that’s my sport of choice. Maybe squash is your thing, maybe its soccer, maybe its even tennis!
Reduce Stress With Yoga
Breathe deep. Relax. Breathe deeper. Feel better? Feel healthier? Well, keep doing it because it’s helping you stay fit and lose fat. Stress has been known to contribute to abdominal fat and a whole host of other health issues. Grabbing your Yoga mat and heading out for a little relaxation will go a long way towards helping you reach your fitness goals. Besides, who couldn’t use a little less stress and a little more relaxation, right?
More Home Cooked Meals… Less Eating Out
Unless you’ve been plugging away at a healthy lifestyle for a long time, going out to eat at restaurants can be a daunting task. Most menus don’t provide very good details and calorie counts on all their meals so knowing what to order can often be an exercise in futility. The more home-cooked meals you eat, the more likely you’re able to maintain that healthy lifestyle. It’s much easier to control portion, ingredients, and quality of the food when you’re cooking it yourself.
Look at for my next article where I’ll continue with these tips, till then, try to make little changes and turn them into habits. Good luck