I subscribe to Women’s Health and Shape magazine because I am obsessed with health. I love learning new things about health, whether it’s about fitness or general health facts. I’ve always been like this and I thank my mom for this – she’s even more of a health nut than I am. Looking at the recent Women’s Health issue, it had a great article about “Shape-Up Shortcuts” which featured 14 ways to make your workouts more effective. This intrigued me as I am definitely in need of some more effectiveness, especially after this oh so indulgent Spring Break, haha!
Enough cupcakes for now, I think. (although these cupcakes are HEALTHY and look amazing)
Although I am following a cut-out plan which requires me to work out 5 days a week, 3 out of which are weight training days, I think there are things I can probably do to increase the effectiveness of these exercises. I might slack off sometimes and not give in my full efforts on some days – everyone’s got those days where we just don’t want to work out but we do it anyway. Those are the days I usually don’t give it all I’ve got, I might slack a tiny bit. I did a quick internet search to find some more tips. Here are the ones I found most useful:
[image: Daily Mail]
How to make your workouts more effective:
- Short, explosive warm-up – before doing cardio, instead of the warm-up being slow and steady, do 20 jumping jacks. These simple and explosive movements will warm up your upper and lower body at the same time and raise your body temperature and heart rate quickly to prepare you for the workout. Another reason to avoid slow time-sucking warm ups – the lengthy warm-ups can fatigue you, compromising your true workout.
- Start strong– Pushing yourself harder during the first half of the workout and then easing up on the second half elicits greater fat oxidation while making the overall workout less stressful. Apparently, people who pushed themselves hard during the first half and then took it slower during the second half burned 23% more than people who did the opposite. [Women’s Health] I definitely have to incorporate this one into my routines, I’m one of those people that usually starts up slower and then goes intense. It’s time for a switch!
- Speed walk instead of jogging – Jogging is a natural movement and it’s fluid, making it easier on the body. Speed walking is awkward in nature and it therefore requires you to actually use your muscles. It targets your calves and glutes much more effectively than jogging and it burns more calories. Makes sense – everytime I do a speed walking routine, my calves KILL!
- HIIT – Instead of doing slow paced long duration cardio, a much more effective way to burn calories is doing HIIT – high-intensity interval training. You alternate high bursts of intense exercise and recovery breaks. This exercise saves you a lot of time. Instead of during regular 45 minute slow paced cardio, you can get more accomplished in a much shorter HIIT workout. Example: After warm-up, do a 30 second sprint at the fastest pace you can handle, followed by 90 seconds of easy, comfortable jogging. Repeat six times and cool down.
- Cheer yourself on – Although I follow a Beachbody exercise plan where the fitness video instructor constantly cheers me on and encourages me to keep going, actually cheering yourself on works really well as well. Saying “Come on!”, “Keep going!”, “You can do it!” silently or out loud actually helps you perform better during your workout.
- Lift slowly – I already do this because ChaLean Extreme is ALL about the slow lifting. However I see a lot of people in the gym doing the opposite – lifting the weights up and down, letting momentum do the work rather than using their muscles. Don’t let momentum do the work for you, that’s cheating. Lifting up and down should take 3-5 seconds each way. THEN you’ll feel the burn. Work against gravity and make your muscles do the work! And lift to failure. Heavier weights, less reps – to failure! That’s the way to build muscle (according to Chalean 🙂 I believe her!)
- Listen to music with a tempo of 125 to 140 bpm – Music with this tempo will keep you more motivated and help you keep your workout intense. Anything slower, will not get the job done the same way. This sucks for me because I mainly like to listen to slower music.
Some other tips:
- After the workout, drink some green tea, hot or iced. It can help your muscles recover faster after a workout. Green tea contains therapeutic antioxidants which protects your muscles from damage.
- Snack on fruit containing antioxidant quercetin, which occurs in red apples, berries, and grapes. It can boost your endurance and oxygen capacity, making your workouts more doable. Antioxidant quercetin can also apparently help with fatigue.
I’m definitely going to incorporate these into my future workout routines. It’s time to get in shape for the summer! About time! haha
FREE: Wanna implement these tips into action?
We’ve compiled a list of 15 of our favorite & MOST EFFECTIVE workouts from around the web that you can do at home & at the gym. It’s yours free! Get it here: