Want to burn more fat and build more muscle during your workouts? This article will help you find out what are the most efficient and easy tricks to use during your exercise routine! The good thing is that it doesn’t matter whether you exercise at the gym or outside in the nature – this article will cover both situations.
Before we proceed, I would like to stress the importance of REGULAR workouts! Going on and off over the weeks and hoping to see results wouldn’t work for you – don’t even try. The good news is that if you exercise on a regular basis and keep your diet, you will see results already after the first month.
I hope I don’t have to explain how important it is to have the right equipment for your workouts! Go get some running shoes or training shoes and don’t try to do it in your regular snickers – you can hurt your back and your knees! Don’t do it! If you’re a beginner and you don’t have specialized training clothes, just wear something tight and comfy without having anything dangling around.
At the gym
If you’re at the gym, I strongly recommend starting with a stretching warm-up. It helps heating up your muscles and will prevent you from pulling a muscle or having pain in your knees, feet or ankles – this is very important.
After you’re done with stretching you can hop on the treadmill or the bike. Now here is the important thing: DON’T start pushing straight away. Fast running or biking straight away after you’ve started your workout will only exhaust you at the end and wouldn’t be efficient at all. You will feel like you have a lot of power in the beginning, but it will fade quickly. Your muscles are retaining energy when they rest, and this energy is spent very quickly if you push straight away into your workout. If you’re on a treadmill I recommend starting with fast walking (7-8km/h) and increasing the speed by 1 km every 4 minutes. This will give you strength and resistance – your aim is to train harder and thus burn more fat – so use your energy wisely!
The same applies to the bike. Start slow and then start increasing your speed and the difficulty. After 7 min you can stand up on your bike and push harder. This is a very good workout for your legs and definitely fat-burning.
Stretching is vital for a running workout for health reasons and efficiency reasons. Start slow and keep increasing your speed. Your speed shouldn’t vary too much during running since that exhausts your body faster. Slowly increase your speed until you reach your comfortable speed and then retain it for the rest of your training.
THE HIGH INTENSITY
High intensity workouts, especially cardios (running and biking for instance) are the most efficient fat-burning workouts ever ! This ESPECIALLY applies for those of you who have already started their workout routine some time ago. High intensity workouts are those that involve intense sets of exercises combined with slower (easier) exercises in order to have a minute to breathe and recollect. The number one rule of intensity workouts: DON’T STOP! Keep moving even if you feel like dying!
At the gym
For those of you who don’t like experimenting, just hit the HIT (High Intensity Training) button on your treadmill and you’ll get an automatic program. However, it was quite exhausting for me at the beginning, so here is what worked best for me:
– warm up (7-8 km/h fast walking for 4 min)
– increase your running speed by 1km every 4 min
– when you found your comfortable running speed (say: 9km /h) run at that speed for 10 min
– after 10 min change the difficulty level (raise your treadmill) by 5 points
– after another 8 min raise your difficulty level up to 10 points
– after 8 minutes decrease the difficulty level down to 1 (BREATHE but don’t stop)
– after 5 minutes increase the speed of your treadmill up to 12-13 km/h
– after 3-4 minutes decrease your speed down to 7-8 km – rest and breathe for another 5 min.
The basic concept: don’t stop whatever it takes. You can increase the difficulty by more or less points and the same applies to your speed – you should feel for yourself what is too heavy for you and what is doable! Don’t take it too easy though – it is a workout and you’re aiming to progress – push yourself, but don’t harm yourself!
As I am a fan of running outside, I will give you an example of my running workout and what works well for me:
– stretch for 3-4 minutes
– start running, increase my speed slowly until I reach my comfortable speed
– run for 20 min at that speed until I warm up properly
– after 20 min I start my high intensity exercises: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIW1th3CiWE (this is the link that I took the exercises from except the fact that I don’t have the dumbbells she’s holding in her hands – you can do it without it. I practiced it about 3 times at home until I memorized the moves until I could do it outside)
– I start running again at my comfortable speed for another 8 min and then I’m finished.
LOWER BODY AND UPPER BODY (LIFT LIGHT)
After you’re done with the treadmill, you can proceed to your Upper/Lower body exercises. One of the main fat burning tricks here is lifting LIGHT weights MANY times. Do 2-3 sets of 10 with light weights and this will trim and shape your muscles firmly besides burning more fat – we’re not aiming at a 40 cm biceps anyway, right?
Your muscles need to rest in order to grow, therefore for higher efficiency: do your lower body the 1st day, upper body the 2nd day, and then have a day off (do the treadmill or the bike only). Pushing too hard on your entire body won’t give you results and most probably will make you feel too sore to exercise the next day!
If you want to get your abs done, I strongly recommend doing it on the floor mats in the gym rather than on a machine! The machine only trains a specific group of muscles while individual exercises with your own body are way more efficient and fat-burning. You will sweat more, you will develop a greater balance of your body and your muscles will shape better! I really recommend trying out this workout: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkKCVCZe474 . It only takes 8 mins of your time and it works damn well – I could see results after 1 month.
EMPTY STOMACH RULE
I know that this might sound insane and unhealthy, but in fact – it isn’t. Exercising on your empty stomach will burn 30% more fat than if you eat 1 or 2 hrs before your workout. The easiest way to catch this moment when your stomach is completely empty is THE DINNER TIME.
Besides the fact that the most efficient fat-burning workouts are between 4 to 6 pm, they allow you to cheat on your dinner without too much stress! It is 4 pm now and you start feeling hungry – THIS IS THE ALARM! Dress up and hit the gym! During your workout you will not feel hungry anymore since your body has better things to do, and you will burn 30% more fat than normally! Think about it, really.
I hope I have been informative enough! If you have any specific questions or comments – please ask! I am more than willing to assist you.
REMEMBER: IT WILL ALL WORK AS LONG AS YOU PUT PASSION IN IT! WORK HARD AND YOU’LL SEE THE RESULTS – I PROMISE!