Fitness training can be confusing. After all, there is more advice about this stuff than there are people giving it. Here are some great fitness training tips to help you on your journey to a trimmer body and relaxed mind.
Fitness Training Tip 1 – Warm up and stretch before you begin any routine.
It will help prevent injury and make sure you can perform up to your potential, both of which are essential to make the fastest progress. But wait, there’s more! Stretching can actually help you increase your strength, and it has been scientifically proven to work.
Arnold Nelson, an associate professor of kinesiology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge recently performed a study testing the effectiveness of stretching on athletic performance. What he found was very revealing.
Stretching a previously warmed up muscle was shown to have a positive impact on strength and endurance, and not just by a small amount. Leg strength of the study participants increased an average of 32%, endurance 29% and vertical jump distance increased 7%.
There are 2 caveats to the study results, however. Number one is that the people were mostly a fairly sedentary lot. The second is that the stretching routines were downright diabolical, lasting up to 40 minutes. You could probably do quite a bit with far shorter routines.
Fitness Training Tip 2 – Do short, very intense workouts for maximum effectiveness in the shortest amount of time.
There are a number of proponents of high intensity raining. Probably the first to try and publicize it was pro body builder Mike Mentzer in the 1970’s. For me, it is perfect because time is of the essence, and it probably is with many other people too. While it’s great fun to hang around the gym for 2 hrs, I really have better things to do, like spend time with my family.
For maximum effectiveness you’ll want to have a workout partner, both to goad you into getting that “one more rep” and to provide an extra measure of safety in case you really are at the point of failure.
There have been studies that point to the effectiveness of the high intensity strategy for increasing both strength and muscular endurance. One such study was completed in 1998 at Canada’s McMaster University. Training periods of only 30 seconds followed by a 4 minute rest (cycle repeated 4 times) increased oxygen uptake by 9% in trained athletes.
A similar study at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sport with cyclists in 1997 found that performance increased 15% for a group that trained in 20 second intervals at 100% effort separated by 10 seconds of rest. This was almost twice the results achieved by a control group that worked at 70% effort for a solid hour.
Both groups trained 5 days a week. The interval group only had to train a total of 20 minutes to increase the aerobic fitness 15%. The other group trained 5 hours to achieve only 60% of the results. This is a great example of working smart vs. working hard.
The above studies encapsulate why I don’t subscribe so much to the “hour on the bike” school of fat loss and fitness. I would rather lift weights very intensely for 25 minutes, only 2 or 3 days a week.
Fitness Training Tip 3 – Don’t quit Here is a fitness tip we can all use. Stick with it. Persistence is the key to success, just as it is in many other aspects of life. Even if you’re not going to work like you’re in 2-a-days, it’s essential you do something.
Fitness Training Tip 4 – Make your daily activities a workout. I don’t mean tying a 5lb plate to your phone at work, or installing a treadmill to power your TV. What I do mean is to look for opportunities to add in extra activities to your daily routine. Park farther from the door at work or the store; Take the stairs more often; that sort of thing. The extra activity can go a long way to helping you drop fat and increase your fitness.
Fitness Training Tip 5 – Use more resistance training. By some reports a single pound of fat can power your body for 10 hours. Do you really want to work on the bike for 10 hours to lose a pound of fat? Resistance training can increase aerobic fitness, as the above studies demonstrate.
In addition, the gains in muscle mass will burn far more calories when you aren’t working out. That is important, because you spend far more time not exercising than exercising. Weights and other resistance training will increase your strength, fat loss, and aerobic fitness combined far more than an activity such as running. You are also probably less likely to get an overuse injury from repetitive movements.
Hopefully these fitness training tips will help you in your quest to lose your belly fat and increase your fitness.
Until next time……………lose your belly fat!