Back down at your own risk – ways to increase your fitness in less time

Posted: December 15, 2009 in fitness
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The old story goes like this. “Too busy, no time.” No, this is not for last minute Christmas shopping or going out with friends for a session of bonding and some drinking. This phrase will always refer to training and working out. Isn’t it just amazing that we will always put our health last? We will go and eat too much, drink too much and party way too much but we will never train too much. In all fairness, we do have little time in this busy lives of us. We have to rearrange our schedules all the time to fit everything in and yes, we do leave exercise as an afterthought. Let us not look at the problem at hand, but look at the solution. Pressed for time? Then let’s compress your workout because if you look at it this way, you can either do nothing and get really depressed and unhealthy or you can do a little bit everyday and still feel great about yourself and your health. Love cardio but hate the fact that it takes an hour a day to do? Ask yourself this:”Why must it take an hour a day to do?” It doesn’t. You can do a cardio session on any of your favourite machines in 20 minutes tops! All you need to do is crank up the intensity you are using while training. Think of it this way. If you run a little faster or put that incline on the treadmill up a little steeper, you will get more tired in less time. This equates to more calories burnt due to the fact that you are working harder and because your metabolic rate is now revved up, it will be in that state for much longer than if you did an hour of steady pace cardio. Long boring cardio problem fixed! When doing weight training, focus on full body movements. By doing this, you will use more muscles in one single move than just by doing a simple bicep curl that will only use the bicep. By doing full body movements, you use more muscles, you will get tired quicker due to all the muscles that are working harder to complete the move and thus you will burn more calories in less time. Think of exercises like burpees, lunges, squats, push ups, thrusters, slamballs. The list goes on but the focus must be on moves that incorporate more than one muscle group and also body weight exercises. You can complete a full body workout in 15 minutes and be out of breath and all muscles burning. Long single muscle workout problem fixed! Combine your cardio and weight training session. This is not unheard of and is actually very popular not just with time strapped individuals but with all fitness enthusiasts that would like to see quick results in their training programs. You can either combine your weight session with your cardio session by doing the following: Run/cycle/row a certain distance at a medium to high intensity, followed by either a set of squats, lunges, push ups, pull ups or burpees. Alternate this for a couple of rounds. We need to be realistic as well, some of us train in peak times when the facility we use is packed and we cannot use a cardio machine for 5 minutes, leave it for five and come back expecting it to still be empty for us to jump on and go. So use the following alternative. Put a step next to your weight station and run up and down the step for your minute of cardio. Invest in a skipping rope and jump rope for your cardio segment or just run in place. By doing this type of workout, you will get your cardio and weight training done in 25 minutes or less! Enough time to hit the showers and meet that special person for supper. It is not impossible to get your workouts done and enjoy your life. We must just shift our mindsets that we need an hour minimum to train to reach our elusive goals. Get in, work hard and get out. It is all those lazy chats between the bicep and triceps station that wastes our precious time. All the needless sets we are doing when focussing on single muscle groups at a time when we can do one full body move in less than five minutes and look better than we ever have! Change the way you think and spice up your workouts with these ideas. Along with a sensible eating plan, you will feel much better about spending time training and feeling good about your body and health.

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