WIN WITH YOUR WORKOUTS
If you workout on a regular basis and aren’t seeing results, don’t worry – you aren’t alone.
One of the most common explanations for difficulty losing weight is a ‘slow metabolism’. I.e. some people burn less calories on a daily basis without exercising than others.
While metabolism is partly genetic, there are ways that you can boost it and achieve better results from your hard work.
1. LIFT WEIGHTS
Weight training will help you build more lean muscle, meaning your metabolism will become faster. When you build more lean muscle your body burn more calories, even when you aren’t active. The ideal scenario for fat loss is to use more calories than you consume. By building more lean muscle, your body will burn more calories, even when you’re not working out. This helps you to maximise your efforts in the gym.
When lifting weights, focus on full-body, complex movements. This method will use more large muscle groups. By working large muscle groups, you are expending more energy during your workout and building a ‘calorie-burning furnace’ for when you are inactive.
Click here for 5 full-body, complex movements that will help you build lean muscle faster.
2. HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT)
Spending endless time on a treadmill is far less effective than short, intense bursts of activity with short rest periods in between.
The benefit of HIIT in terms of fat loss is that the intensity of exercise (along with the shorter recovery periods) causes you to breathe more heavily for longer than steady-state, low intensity exercise. When you breathe heavily, you must expend more energy to recover. This increases the energy expenditure of the your workout.
Further, your body will takes longer to recover from a HIIT session than when you workout at a steady state (i.e. on a treadmill or cross trainer). That warm feeling you get after you’ve left the gym on your way home is your body continuing to burn energy as you recover from your personal training. This means that you’ve extended the benefit of your session for longer, meaning additional energy expenditure.
3. STEP UP YOUR DAILY ACTIVITY LEVEL
Rita Mae Brown (not Albert Einstein, as I just found out) said ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results’.
If you are currently performing ‘x’ amount of exercise and not getting results, it’s time to step up your activity. This doesn’t mean, however, that you need to live at the gym.
Here are a few ways to increase your daily activity:
- Choose a new stop: if you use public transport, get off one-stop earlier on your way to and from work. Add in a brisk stroll on your way to work and then back home, and bump those steps up!
- Park farther away: do you drive? No problem – choose a place to park that forces you to walk more. By planning your journey in advance and increasing the distance between yoru parking place and your final destination, you can increase your activity levels without really noticing it.
- ‘Interval commuting’: when you are walking along the road, use the lampposts as a means to ‘interval walk’. Increasing activity can also mean higher intensity, not just volume.
Start by walking fast to one, then slowly to the next and repeat. If that’s easy, make it fast for two and then slow for one. You’ll get to your destination faster, and feel smug for getting additional activity in.
To learn more about effective exercise habits to achieve your fitness goals, contact James Staring, a leading personal trainer in Clapham, London.
ABOUT JAMES STARING
James Staring is a personal trainer based in Clapham, London. His methods have featured in publications such as Your Fitness, Hello, Healthy, Daily Mail, Closer, and many more. After giving up smoking and entering the fitness industry in 2009, James has focused on his passion to help others transform their health and fitness. However, James is convinced most people struggle so much more than they need to in an effort to improve their fitness. Through his company, Fit to Last, which he runs with his partner, Ali Page – James has helped hundreds of men and women make small adjustments in their daily habits to transform their fitness and to love how they look and feel.