Exercise: Keep it simple

What is the best exercise?  How do I get the most out of my exercise?  Often exercise is complicated to the point that people completely stop exercising because they fear they may be doing it wrong.  I am about to clear this up for you.

All exercise and physical activity have benefits.  However, there is only so much time any of us can and or want to spend in the gym.  

In order to maximize the time you are spending in the gym and to reap the benefits of fitness, I have seven proven suggestions to get you where you want to go.

Get a goal in mind and on paper. 

What are you trying to achieve by working out?  The fact is, taking the time to workout, experiencing muscle fatigue, sweating, heavy breathing is not watching Netflix and eating popcorn.  It takes time, intention, and some level of discipline. If you do not have a reason for why you are doing it and where you are wanting to go. you will fizzle out and not enjoy the benefits of a consistent exercise routine.

Use the biggest movements possible in your routine

Use the biggest movements possible in your routine, also known as compound exercises…these would be things like deadlifts, squats (front, back, goblet), lunges, thrusters, push-ups, pull-ups, clean and jerk, kettlebell swings, rows.

Skip sit-ups, bicep curls, tricep extensions, calf raises, until after you have completed the energy-intensive compound movements. 

When performing circuit training, use upper and lower body or push and pull paired sets.

  1. For example, deadlifts and bench press or push-ups and pull-ups together.
  2. Or biceps and triceps, back extensions and sit-ups
  3. We do this to help maintain structural balance.

If you are doing cardio exercise add higher intensity interval training into your weekly routine.

  1. Don’t do this every time because you will get worn down by the interval intensity and your nervous system will not be able to put full force into each session.
  2. An example of this would be 8 seconds of sprinting followed by 12 seconds of walking for 40-60 reps for your cardio session.

Change the tempo at which you exercise.

  1. Count for 3-4 seconds when going down and coming up or go down really slowly and then come up fast.
  2. Changing tempo is another way to vary the stimulus on your muscles and keep the body adapting which burns a lot more calories and helps stimulate growth hormone production.

Train to failure while maintaining excellent form and not injuring yourself.

If you are doing 10 reps of an exercise then reps 8, 9, 10 should be very difficult. Or maybe you know you can do 12 reps of an exercise but instead, you push it to 14 reps while maintaining excellent form.

Make sure you eat something after you workout within 30-40 minutes. 

  1. Preferably about 15-40 grams of protein to help decrease the cortisol response of exercise and increase growth hormone production.
    1. If food is not consumed and you just performed a high-intensity workout routine then you will end up with elevated cortisol levels for hours and potentially days after the routine

Let’s turn up that fitness!

What does your exercise routine look like? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

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