Here are top ten tips for fitness training and health success;
1. Cardio in Combination with Strength Training
If you need to combine your cardio with Strength training then do your Cardio AFTER your Resistance Training workout. You need that extra energy for the Hi Intensity Strength training and you also want to pump blood into your muscles after you have just broken them down from a heavy resistance training program... So pump it up first then do your Cardio.
2. Exercise in the Morning
A Recent Study showed that after one year, 75% of the morning exercisers stayed with their fitness and health program. Compared to only 25% of those that worked out in the evening. Exercising early gets you moving and energized as well not allowing yourself to find 1,000 excuses at the end of the day on why you can't work out.. "I am TOO Tired"... "I am TOO Busy"... "I am TOO far from the gym"... You know!
3. Exercise at Home
A Recent study by the University of Florida in Gainsville found that those that worked out at home lost more weight than those that trained at a gym. The reason? You are less likely to skip workouts when you do not have to travel to a place to workout. There are NO EXCUSES when the gym is at home.
4. Exercise Outdoors
Anything you do outside brings the elements into play. Wind, hills, and other variables... Plus changing scenary helps keep the boredom out of the workout. It's no fun just staring at the wall all the time. If you do train inside, I recommend changing machines often as well as your program settings to keep things FRESH.
5. Treadmill vs. Stationary Bike
Stick with the Treadmill. Weight Bearing machines always expend more energy than if you were sitting down. So stand tall and burn more calories.
6. Interval vs. Long Steady Cardio
Periodic bursts of Hi Intensity training followed by moderate recovery is the Answer! You will burn 1 1/2 times the calories during the same duration if you had done long and steady cardio. In addition, you will even burn 75-125 additional calories after the workout. Also keep in mind that long and steady helps enhance your metabolism. My recommendation is to do Intervals 75% of the time and mix it up with another 25% of Long and Steady to help mix it up and reduce your chance of injury by over training.
7. One Set or Three?
One set does NOT "get it done". I always recommend when first starting out to do one set, but after an adjustment period of learning proper form and technique, you need to rev it up by doing at least 2-3 sets of each exercise. A Study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that experienced exercisers who did multiple sets gained significantly more strength than those that just did one set. Three is better than one.
8. Pre-Stretch or Post Workout?
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research states that stretching may temporarily shut down nerve signals, which slows reaction time and reduces strength. Other studies have shown that stretching pre-workout does not reduce injury risk. The best time to stretch is during your weight training workout. Begin all routines with a 5 minute warm up to warm your muscles and get them flexible. It will increase blood flow and make your muscles more responsive. I recommend stretching in-between sets or after your workouts.
9. Free weight or Machines?
Free weights are the way to go. They will make you stronger, because they place more demand on your muscles, since you have to stabilize and balance your body. If you are a novice it might be good without the help of a trainer, to start out using machines, but the way to go for the best long term results for both strength and body toning, is to use dumbbells, barbells, and perform those exercises using a stability ball, standing or last but not least on a bench.
10. Coffee or Carbs?
Carbs are the best. You body is just like your car, in that it needs good quality fuel to run well. When you are training, you are revving your engine and your body needs fuel to keep it going. Caffeine does trigger your muscles to use fat as energy, but caffeine has soo many side effects like headaches, rapid heartbeat and shakiness. As well as some people have problems with acid reflux disease that does not bode well with caffeine in your system. Eat good quality carbs before your workout for energy and make sure you refuel after you train as well.
If you focus on these 10 fitness tips, you are well on your way to getting more fit and succeeding in your fitness training and health goals.