10 Things You Can Do To Amp Up Your Exercise

-Don’t overestimate your intensity. We often times think we are working at a higher percentage of capacity than we really are, usually because it’s what we always do. We start a lifting program with the same weights we always do, or accept the same number of reps. Amp it up! For example, if you normally run on a treadmill flat at 6 mph, increase your speed, or the incline, without decreasing your time. Add more weight to your resistance training. Your body can likely handle more than you are asking it to.

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-Focus on tempo and control when lifting. Allowing gravity, body weight or momentum to help complete lifts detracts from the overall benefit, and moves the focus away from the target muscle or muscles

-Time your nutritional intake to your workout. For most, eating too close or too far from your workout time has an adverse impact. Too close and your body is trying to digest while also trying to exercise, taking away from your intensity level. Too long since food intake and you run out of energy, costing you intensity, and benefits from your efforts.

-Try to lift later in the day, when you’ve had enough meals to have your body well fueled. Lifting early in the morning can lose some benefits from the lack of proper food intake.

-Use creative and unconventional alternatives (while maintaining safety) to keep progress at a high level, and to avoid hitting an exercise plateau. Pause reps, deadmills, plyo exercises, slow tempo reps, alternate grips and foot positions, HIITs, super sets, drop sets, and others can all serve to stimulate your muscles from different angles, and keep you getting stronger and more fit. Drop us a line if you’d like to know more

-Concentrate the bulk of your efforts on large muscle groups. They have the greatest impact on your metabolism, and often include the smaller muscles in the movement. For example, look at the sheer mass of the glutes and quads, versus the biceps, and you’ll easily see the difference in effect of squats and other leg exercises versus that of curls.

-Avoid doing too much steady state cardio. It is time consuming, and has less impact than higher intensity training. Instead of running three miles on a treadmill at 7 mph, for example, run four miles at 1 minute on, one minute off, 7 mph. You’ll get more respiratory work, burn more calories and jump start your body.

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-Keep your abs engaged throughout your exercise routine. You’ll strengthen your core, burn more calories, plus end up looking better at the beach!

-Mix up heavy and light days in your lifting. Ladies often fear “bulking up” so they are afraid of lifting heavier weights, but the reality is that no one is going to put on mass as a rapid rate. If that were the case, there would be many more body builders and competitors. A professional could spend a year trying to add five pounds of muscle, so don’t think that a few heavier lifts will make you look masculine. Guys as well, add lighter weight, high rep days into your routines and see your progress amp up.

-Avoid constantly switching things up as a results of reading about “the latest trend”. Last year, two of the hot “new” trends in fitness were battle ropes and kettlebells, both which have been around for hundreds of years. Smart resistance training routines, done safely, combined with good, solid nutrition and intense cardio programs will get you there.

Remember, safety is always the number one concern. If you haven’t been in a regular exercise program, it’s wise to consult your physician before beginning one.

Jim Harris