Is anyone physically where they want to be?
Look around any gym in the country, and the answer is pretty apparent. Everyone is working to better themselves, and you’re right there with them.
If you’re copying what everyone else is doing, however, you may be setting yourself up for failure.
Your success is defined by your own goals and the progress you make toward reaching them.
Read on to learn about how you can get a more effective workout through personalized exercise and nutrition tips.
Setting goals seems easy, but the truth is everyone has a different image of a healthy body.
For some, that means losing weight, where others may want to add strength.
The first step to getting healthier is defining what that means to you. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or increase your endurance, set a measurable goal to achieve.
The theory behind weight loss sounds simple enough. If you eat fewer calories than you will lose weight.
Your diet tracker may have a calorie calculator to help you set your goal calories.
Here is some math to get a general number as a guideline:
- Men: Weight (Pounds) x 11 – 500 = Caloric Intake Goal
- Women: Weight (Pounds) x 10 – 500 = Caloric Intake Goal
- Add an extra 200 calories if you lead an active lifestyle.
Eating for Weight Loss
You’ll want to choose foods that are both filling and high in lean protein, complex carbs, and nutrients to avoid feeling snackish.
Make sure you’re also drinking plenty of water, as it helps the body better process nutrients and can help you feel fuller at mealtimes.
Avoid sugary drinks like soda, fruit juice, and brightly colored beverages.
|Breakfast:||Cup of natural oatmeal sweetened with honey or fresh fruit.
-Hard boiled egg.
|Snack:||-Fruit, nuts, and greek yogurt for a sweeter treat that’s around 150 calories.|
|Lunch:||-4 oz. of boneless, skinless chicken – seasoned, but NOT slathered in sauce.
-Steamed veggies like broccoli, spinach, carrots.
-A half-cup of brown rice, boiled or steamed, with a pinch of salt and pepper.
|Snack:||Celery or apples with peanut butter for another 150 calories.|
|Dinner:|| -4-6 oz. of chicken or fish. Avoid skin or heavy sauces.
-Dinner salad seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon.
-Oven roasted potatoes with a touch of olive oil, rosemary, and garlic
Workouts For Weight Loss
For exercise, focus on workouts that help keep the heart pumping.Running and swimming are great.
If you have to, start with a walk and, as you can, add in brief spates of jogging.
Avoid lifting weights right now.
Later you can add in strength training, but initially, your body will have a hard time adding muscle while you’re cutting calories.
If you’re looking for something more interactive to get your heart pumping, group classes, like Zumba or Krav Maga, are fun and engaging.
If you’re looking for a more impressive gun show, just weight lifting isn’t going to help.
While you’ll gain some muscle bulk, it’s your whole lifestyle that adds muscle to your body.
To build muscle, you have to add calories. Specifically, you want to add more protein, the building blocks of muscle, with a smaller amount of complex carbs for energy.
Eating For Muscle Gain
Instead of subtracting 500 calories from the formula for weight loss, you need to add 250 to 500 calories a day.
Don’t worry about losing the battle of the bulge, you’ll be working those calories into muscle tissue.
Keep your diet similar to the weight loss one, but simply add more of the same types of food to increase your caloric intake.
In addition, within 30 minutes after a workout, you’ll need to consume some protein and carbohydrates.
The protein powders you see around the gym are fine, just choose a trusted name and follow the instructions closely.
Workouts For Muscle Gain
Workouts should focus on targeting muscle groups with progressive resistance.
Start with smaller weights to avoid injury.
Focus on maintaining good form and go slow. By keeping your movement slow, you lower the chance of injury while increasing the resistance your muscle works against.
Here are five basic exercises to start out:
- Matched pair of dumbbells
- A bench or narrow reclining chair
Goblet Squat – Cup a dumbbell vertically in both hands, just under your chin. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and complete a squat.
The weight of the dumbbell ensures you’re doing more than just a bodyweight exercise and works out your quads and glutes.
The Bench Press – Lie down on a bench or recline as far as possible in a narrow-backed chair.
Start with your dumbbells positioned at your shoulders, arms bent and elbows out.
Press the dumbbells up, hold for a few seconds, then return them to the starting position.
Planks – Both work the abdominals and give you a stronger core. For a plank, get in push-up position and hold the position by tightening your abdominal muscles.
Bicep Curls – Stand with your feet hip-width apart, arms by your side, and a dumbbell in each hand.
Choose whether you want to keep your palms facing up, down, or towards your body and you slowly bend your elbows to bring your hands to your shoulders.
The position you choose for your palms works a different part of your forearm in addition to your biceps.
Romanian Deadlift – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
Let your dumbbells hang in front of you. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees until the dumbbells are at your knees or slightly lower.
This is your starting position. Straighten your legs, keeping your back straight, squeezing your buttocks together, and pushing your hips forward.
While gaining muscle may be your primary focus, keeping your body limber is crucial. After each workout, stretch the areas where you chose to focus your exercises.
Maintaining your flexibility helps you avoid injury and keeps you mobile as your body gains mass.
Stretching is an essential part of working out for everyone from students in self defense classes in Los Angeles to bodybuilders in New York.
Run farther. Fight longer. Enter a Spartan race. Whatever you need to do, stamina ensures you keep going.
If you want to build endurance, there are some changes you can make to give your body what it needs.
Eating For Endurance
Nutritionally, you’ll want to eat a balanced diet with plenty of nutrients.
Lean protein, complex carbohydrates, veggies, and sensible fats (like avocados and nuts) should be your base.
While you may have heard that runners need to eat more carbs, the right kinds of carbs are important.
Avoid the pasta and donuts; these carbs should include brown rice, sweet potatoes, and oatmeal.
Complex carbs help your body store plenty of healthy energy to keep your muscles pumping.
Workouts For Endurance
Exercises for stamina should primarily be high-intensity interval training (HIIT). These exercises get the heart going with a high energy output, interspersed with longer times of lower effort.
This helps train your body to better use its energy stores while training your mind to push through the experience.
Running is one of the best forms of HIIT because it requires no equipment, only you. Begin with a nice jog to limber up.
Once you’re ready, run hard for 30 seconds, then slow back to a moderate pace.
Maintain that moderate pace for two and a half minutes, then another thirty seconds at your fast rate.
Follow this pattern through four more high-intensity bursts, then complete your jog with a cool down.
This style of workout can be easily adapted to other aerobic sports such as cycling or swimming, just keep the times the same, and you’ll see an increase in endurance.
If possible, it’s best to mix it up, giving yourself a variety of activities. On off days, you can work on weight training or regular running without overdoing it.
The Right Tool For The Right Job
Picking the right workout and diet for your fitness goals greatly improves your chance of success.
You are more likely to see the results you want and to stick with the program until you reach your goal. You’ve taken the first step in educating yourself.
Now it’s time to do it.
The article was written by Rene Daniel who is a freelance writer and fitness enthusiast based in Los Angeles, CA. He writes mostly about exercise and nutrition in an effort to help others find a healthier lifestyle. In his free time, he practices playing the piano.
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