By Marina Aagaard, MFE
Fitness strength training is super training for every one regardless of sex and age. Unfortunately many fitness exercisers are wasting their time.
And it takes so little to make fitness so much better.
Good fitness 1) improves metabolism and increases energy expenditure during exercise and rest, 2) prevents injuries and 3) improves sports and everyday performance.
Poor fitness 1) gives minimal to moderate results, 2) may overload the body and 3) take up too much of your precious time.
Avoid wasting your time, check out these super tips for optimal fitness in minimal time.
1. Work out with direction and goal: ‘Less is more‘: It is better to work out for 20 min. in a sweat, than 60 min. with low energy levels. Go for out!
A higher intensity means saving time and getting better results:
Warm op: Do a 5 min. warm-up, and increase your performance by 10 %.
Choose effective exercises: Do not waste your time with meaningless exercises.
Lift heavier weights: Lift ‘as heavy as you can’, meaning, that you are tired at the last lift. (1-3 sets of) 10 repetitions is a good number initially.
2. Minimize rest-pauses: Do not pause completely or rest for too long:
Optimize your workouts markedly by 1) timing your pauses; for general fitness 1-1½ minutes, for heavy weight lifting 3-5 minutes, and 2) having active rest-pauses, walk around instead of sitting down – or work other muscles during your pause (superset).
3. Quality vs. quantity. Do not lift more times or more weight than you are able to with correct technique. Better to do fewer (lighter) perfect repetitions.
Sloppy training is ‘memorized’ by the body, is stressful and very difficult to ‘undo’.
Quality training gives better results faster!
4. Train technically correct (in accordance with your goals): Only a few inches of deviation, means that the exercises work differently. Know what you are training, ensure that your body is in the right position and listen to your body – does it feel right?
Too many are pulling cables and weights in wrong directions and the effect is lost!
Note: Better workouts and results are facilitated by functional mobility, so do cool down with relevant stretches to keep the body mobile; this can improve your motor skills.
5. Train heavy and fast. Speed improves agility. Start by lifting in a moderate tempo; 2-4 sec. for the lift, 2-4 sec. to lower the weight.
Over time: Lift faster, lower with control, e.g. 1 second for the lift, 3 sec. to lower it.
Advanced; Lift, in select exercises, as fast as you can, explosively, lower with control.
6. Awaken your muscles! The muscles get accustomed to the training, so make them react again by unaccustomed training. Vary exercises, programs and methods.
E.g. multi-angular training: Squats with narrow, moderate and wide stance and push-ups with narrow, moderate and wide hand position.
7. Change program frequently, e.g. every 3.-6. week, to keep motivation and stimulate the muscles to respond and improve.
Alternate moderate and heavy training: 6 weeks with 3-4 sets x 8-12 repetitions (hypertrophy), and 3 weeks with 5 sets x 5-8 repetitions (strength, requires basic training).
Exception: If you still progress and are happy with your present program.
8. Test yourself every month. Fitness Testing is easy and fun. It helps goal-setting, makes programming easier and training much more motivating.
9. Set goals, put them in your calendar or training log. Divide the goal into smaller goals for each period, e.g. one for every 1-2 months.
Goal-setting should be SMART, Specific and Measurable, accepted, Realistic and Timed – be concrete, eg. from 30 to 40 lbs in 1 month.
10. Train with a partner. This improves intensity and compliance. A partner can help, pace and ‘spot’: check if you are lifting with proper form and assist, when you want to lift more (if you do not have a partner, use a trainingbook or -app for motivation).
Apart from the fitness training itself, a healthy diet and lifestyle is essential for optimal results – and it does not have to be difficult. Make gradual improves using a ‘small increment technique’.
If you want more and better exercises, lots of inspiration and motivation for your fitness resistance training, check out these two bestsellers, available from www.amazon.com: