Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The 39 Best Fitness Tips the World Has Ever Known

rack of dumbbells

The 39 Best Fitness Tips

  1. You burn the highest % of calories from fat while at rest. Forget the fat burning zone & instead focus on total calories burned.
  2. Use seasonings on your food instead of sauces. The calories you save can translate into fat loss.
  3. Consistency is the key to success. A workout here or there is going to get you nowhere. Lay out a plan & execute it every single time.
  4. Cook your meals in advance. It makes it easier to stick to your diet plan when you only have to reheat and eat.
  5. Add lemon, lime, orange, or cucumber to your water. It adds flavor but keeps your drinks low calorie. 
  6. Learn to eat for fuel, not for pleasure. Food is meant to be nourishment for your body and mind. Find a more productive way to achieve gratification other than eating.
  7. There are 1000 reasons why you can’t start a fitness program. Put the excuses away, drop the word can’t, and start focusing on reasons for why you should.
  8. Don’t waste your calories on drinks. Drink water instead, and save your calories for nutrient dense foods. 
  9. No time to work out? Set your alarm to wake you up 30 minutes earlier. Make exercise a priority and part of your everyday routine.
  10. The best time to work out is at a time you will always do it. Whether it’s morning, afternoon or night, choose a time that will keep your workouts consistent.
  11. When you start a fitness program, the people around you will either support you or tear you down. Ignore their negativity. Remember that your goal is to be healthy. If someone has a problem with that, then that’s their own problem. 
  12. Don’t make excuses. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, can have the body they want – if they would just knock down the walls they’ve built around themselves.
  13. Don’t be afraid to eat carbs. They (glucose) are the brain’s primary source of fuel, and your body’s energy source for high-intensity exercise. Focus on eating low-glycemic carbs for a slow and steady release of glucose. 
  14. Set goals. Don’t just wing it. Decide on a realistic amount of weight to lose in a particular time (1-2 pounds per week, or better yet, .5-1% body fat per week). First, decide on a big goal (lose 25lbs in 4 months). Then, divide that up into several smaller goals (lose 8 pounds this month). Each time you reach your smaller goal, it gives you the motivation and confidence to continue on. Start small, and eventually the weight loss will add up.
  15. Your first meal after your workout is the most important. Make the most of it by giving your muscles all they need to rebuild bigger and stronger. For this meal, take advantage of your improved insulin sensitivity, and eat the majority of the day’s allotment of carbohydrates in order to replenish muscle glycogen stores. Also, try to get 1/4th of your lean body weight in protein grams. 
  16. For your workouts, start with your most difficult compound exercise first. A compound exercise recruits a high number of muscle fibers at one time, and should be a priority in every workout. Make sure you are doing at least one of them in every workout. Examples include – bench press, squats, deadlifts, rows, pull-ups, pushups, and variations thereof. 
  17. On food labels, look beyond the total calories, fat, carbohydrates, and protein of the food product. Start focusing a little further down on the area titled “ingredients”. If you start reading the ingredients and there’s a word in there you don’t know, don’t buy the product. Odds are, it’s a processed food. Make sure you know what you’re putting into your mouth.
  18. It doesn’t matter who’s faster or stronger than you are. This isn’t a competition. All that matters is that YOU are faster and stronger than the previous you. Don’t worry about other people.  Focus on setting and breaking your own records.
  19. Need a healthy snack idea? Try some protein balls. Ingredients: 2 tbsp natural crunchy peanut butter, 2 tbsp raw agave nectar, 1-2 tbsp cocoa powder, 1 scoop whey protein powder. Mix all ingredients together and form into 3 balls. They aren’t a replacement for a meal though, but they can be a great alternative for a snack when you go to see a move or go to a party.
  20. Avoid artificial sweeteners. Anything other than water that has 0 calories shouldn’t be put into your mouth.
  21. Losing weight is just as much of (if not more of) a mental challenge than a physical one. If you can take control of your mind and body, the weight loss will follow.
  22. Diet, exercise, and recovery are the 3 cornerstones to a well thought out fitness program. An equal importance should be placed on all 3 of them. 
  23. Eat as many meals as you can at home. Self preparation gives you complete control of everything that goes into your mouth.
  24. Start your diet today – not tomorrow, not Monday. Don’t rationalize your bad eating habits. Today is going to be a great day. Say goodbye to unhealthy food and start right now.
  25. Your workouts should take no more than 45 minutes to complete. The longer your workout goes, the greater the increase in negative side effects (injuries, hormones, etc). Use an interval timer to keep your rest time in check. 
  26. The majority of diets fail in the first 48 hours. If you can stick it out through the first couple of days, your success rate increases several fold.
  27. Put a handful of spinach in your protein shake. You can’t taste it, it’s packed with nutrients, and it gives you added fiber. Also, shred some up and put it in your omelet. It’ll have a similar consistency as cheese.
  28. The less experienced you are as a weight lifter, the fewer exercises you should be using. Isolation exercises should be kept to a minimum until you’ve built a solid muscular foundation.
  29. Choose fitness activities that you enjoy. Your heart knows no difference between basketball or running. It only knows perceived stress. Get your heart rate up any way you can.
  30. Your lifestyle is highly influenced by the people close to you. To be fit, surround yourself with fit people.
  31. Track your body fat percentage instead of your weight. Weight can fluctuate wildly and discourage you. Body fat percentages are much more consistent and accurate. I recommend this cheap body fat caliper/tape measure combo to accurately measure you fat loss progress.
  32. Change your workout routine every few months. Your nervous system adapts quickly to different stimuli. Always keep things new to continue progressing.
  33. You can either: (A) Binge eat – be happy now that you’re eating delicious food, but feel bad later after the guilt sets in. (B) Eat a healthy snack instead – be sad now (maybe) because you feel deprived, but feel happy about your good decision later. Either way, you are going to be both happy and sad about your decision. But if you choose option (B), you’re going to look better and be healthier tomorrow. Choose wisely.
  34. Buy a heart rate monitor. Use it when you work out. When you finish a set of an exercise, watch your heart rate. As it starts to come down, begin your next set at a predetermined heart rate (60% – 75% of your max heart rate). Begin all your sets at this same heart rate. Use this method for interval training instead of keeping time. It’s a good way to add consistency and variety to your workouts. Here is the reasonably priced heart rate monitor I personally use and recommend.
  35. Eat at predetermined meal times. Your body adapts to these times, and when it knows it will be getting food soon, it’s less likely to send you hunger signals.
  36. Keep your house empty of bad food. If you want to lose weight, don’t tempt fate by filling your pantry with unhealthy food. If you buy it, chances are you’ll eat it. Don’t buy it in the first place.
  37. Your body becomes its function. Do the activities you want your body to adapt to.  If you sprint, you’ll become a better sprinter by losing fat and gaining muscle. If you eat pizza and watch TV, you’ll become a better TV watching pizza eater.
  38. Don’t grocery shop on an empty stomach. You’ll be more likely to buy bad food. Unless you’re attempting the “see food diet”, get your groceries after eating a meal.
  39. Don’t start a diet that has an expiration date. Focus on forming a lifestyle that will last forever.

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