It's inching closer to the end of the year and suddenly we're wondering where all the days went?! For many of us, fitness is tough to keep up all-year with a million things going on and we go through patches where we're either very disciplined and lean, or catch-up meals take precedence and our clothes feel a little tighter. But a fit, lean physique doesn't have to be a short-lived affair!
As we start to look toward next year, revise your code of fit living with these fitness rules to stay lean and ripped all year round! It's never too early to make a positive change, especially if it helps you achieve certain fitness goals you never thought you could.
Rep Out On Your Bodyweight
There's a time and a place to go heavy, but to look as strong as you are, incorporating old-school bodyweight moves done for plenty of reps is key. Push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, lunges, bodyweight squats—there are a million different ways to work different muscle groups to failure. And while it's somewhat obvious that high reps can produce a serious caloric burn, they can also help you add or keep muscle. A 2014 study compared the effects of training at 25-35 reps versus training with 6-8 reps. Both groups took their sets to failure. Surprisingly, both groups gained the same amount of lean muscle, even though the heavier training group gained more strength. So the lesson for you: Do your push-ups, but do them until you can't do any more!
WAKE EARLY, GET MORE DONE
For those prone to using 'not enough time' as an excuse to skip the gym, try waking up an hour earlier to get more done. An added benefit is of all the peak-hours in the gym, early mornings are the least packed! We understand that not everyone might be productive in the mornings, incorrigible night owls may find this difficult, so start small with half an hour, and slowly work your way up.
CHANGE UP YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE
The age-old phrase of, "if it works, why change it?" is one people often stick to when it comes to working out. Your body doesn't fully agree. Doing the same exercises without varying the reps or intensity will cause you to hit a plateau. Introduce new exercises, try out workout classes or vary the volume of your current workout plan to keep your muscles constantly alert, and always growing.
DON'T FORGET TO REWARD YOURSELF WITH A CHEAT MEAL
When you've gone through an intense workout, treat yourself to a cheat-worthy post-workout meal. Think legs day, where calories are smashed away due to the sheer intensity of working your largest muscle group. These are the days where eating a pizza shouldn't send you on a guilt trip. Just be sure to make it a once a week occasion, as the last thing you want is to spiral into constant indulgence and let your efforts go to waste.
MAKE PROTEIN THE FOCUS OF YOUR DIET
Said it once, said it a thousand times: protein is essential to building any sculpted physique. Eating one gram of protein per pound of body weight is always a good gauge to implement, even if you don't count your daily macros. This may sound like an easy change to make, but if you tend to eat out, it might be hard to fulfil your protein requirements when carbs and fats take centre stage for most dine-out meals.
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- November 10, 2016
- Beatrice Bowers