Besides good nutrition, I accredit my fitness progress to my very intense workout sessions. As I mentioned in past posts, it’s all about quality, not quantity of everything you put into your life. With three kids, a business, a husband and a household, it’s so important to maximize my time spent doing anything every day! So here are 30 of my workout tips, which hopefully can help you too!
1. I absolutely believe that in order for you to REALLY transform your body, you need to strength train. Nothing sculpts a body like muscle!
2. The goal in any weight loss program is to increase your metabolism. In order to do so, you must build muscle. Muscle is an active tissue in your body! (versus sedentary fat tissue)
3. If you weight train and DO NOT align that with a healthy diet and cardio routine you WILL get “thicker” (hence that’s where I will get ‘bulky’ stems from. People get bulky because they are building muscle but they aren’t burning fat)
4. A pound of muscle is three times smaller in size than a pound of fat. That means you can weigh the same but lose inches.
5. Always warm up. At least 5 minutes on a cardio machine, a jumprope or long repetitions via a strength exercise…it gets your blood flowing, your muscles limber and your focus ready.
6. I’ve made it a general rule not to train for longer than 1.5 hours. Ideally it’s 45 minutes strength training and 45 minutes cardio. Most often, I train for one hour splitting it 30/30 or I perform cardio in the morning and some weights later in the day.
7. I don’t rest for longer than 45sec-1min between sets.
8. I perform a minimum of 3 sets, an average of 4 sets for each exercise.
9. I often superset (combining another exercise immediately after finishing one: like pushups then pull-ups)
10. I often drop set (performing as much reps as I can with one exercise, then drop the weight and keep going until total fatigue)
11. I often perform an ab exercise as part of my superset
12. I don’t talk too much to other people (and often wear a baseball hat to combat this)
13. I drink a lot of water and never step into the gym without my water bottle (lots of ice and lemon), a small towel, my phone/earphones (which I only listen to music when I’m on cardio)
14. I check my heart rate often. I make sure my heart is constantly challenged at my target heart rate. Your maximum heart rate is usually measured as 220-age. (that’s 188 for me)…and your target heart rate is 50-85% of your max…which for me is somewhere between 120-160. I typically count how many times my heart is beating (on my neck pulse) for 15 seconds then times that number by 4.
15. I always draw my core in at all times.
16. I often stretch between sets.
17. I always try to focus on the last 2-3 reps I absolutely struggle with because THOSE are the reps that really count.
18. I stay focused when doing cardio and usually find the stairmaster, stairclimber and occasionally the upright bike (when my knees hurt) to be the most challenging machines. (sorry elliptical)
19. I don’t train with a partner UNLESS he/she is at the same fitness level as me. I do this only because I train ‘fast and furious’ and it’s hard for me to instruct while trying to get my workout done in less than an hour.
20. I often perform cardio on an empty stomach in the morning (within the hour I awake). If I don’t eat within the hour, I usually eat half a banana for energy.
21. I make it a rule to eat a protein and a carb within the hour of my strength workout to refuel my glycogen storage.
22. I don’t usually take a fat loss supplement, but if I do need ‘energy’ I will either drink some black coffee or take Endure DX(love them)
23. I live in workout clothes making it easier for me to drop by the gym or go running outside at the drop of a hat.
24. I used to be a ‘workout snob’ and only train during certain hours of the day (before 9am or after 4pm but not passed 7pm) but since having kids that has all went out the door. I do it when I can and it changes monthly. Right now, my steady workout time is 9-10/1030 (on good days).
25. I train with weights 4 times a week and right now break it off as glutes, back/biceps, shoulders/triceps, and glutes again!
26. I try to perform cardio 5-6 times a week. Most often, it’s on my treadmill at home. (if you guys do the math, it seems like a lot but it’s really a good hour a day! That’s just 6-7 hours a week)
27. My favorite group exercise classes are kickboxing , Zumba and spinning. Unfortunately, since I have to usually sign up an hour beforehand (because certain classes get so busy) I don’t take a lot of any classes at this current moment except for spinning.
28. I always wipe down my cardio machines after use.
29. I ALWAYS wash my hands with soap and water after training. I also splash some water on my face because there is usually some sweat residue (hopefully) that I want to clean off right away.
30. I never, ever regret a workout.