When it comes to getting in shape, people really go overboard with different workout routines, diets, magazines, meal programs, etc. and it’s really not all that complicated guys. In fact you only have 4 things to pay attention to. These 4 fitness tips will help you achieve your fitness goals no matter what they are! Let’s get started!
Tip #1: Nutrition Is One Of The Most Important Factors
Whether you want to gain muscle or lose fat it’s what you do the 23 hours that you’re not in the gym that really count.
It’s in those hours that you’ll either overeat or stay on track towards your goals.
For people who want to get into fitness I personally recommend around 1 gram of protein per pound of LEAN body weight. Meaning if you weigh 200 lbs. but you’re pretty sure 60 of those pounds are pure fat than you should eat around 160 grams of protein every day.
If you want to have a perfect diet than you have to start somewhere so don’t be discouraged by all of the diet advice that you’ll receive. Just start small, possibly start by cutting out drinks with calories at first.
Essentially the body takes a certain amount of food each day to do it’s daily tasks. Any more than that and it will be stored as fat. However, if you eat slightly less than what your body needs to get by than you will lose weight.
A rate of 1-2 lbs. of fat loss per week is healthy. Any more than that and you’ll be dropping muscle and water weight. When it comes to weight gain, just try to gain weight at a rate that minimizes fat gain.
Tip #2: Forget The Machines, Use Free Weights And Focus On These Main 6 Movements
When most people go to the gym they just mess around on the machines thinking that they are doing something. But not you, right?!?
You’re better than that, because you’re not a gym newbie. You know that the cornerstone to a great workout program is all of the major compound movements. Those are the:
- Bench Press
- Overhead Press
When you first begin working out you should probably focus on these major movements 3 times a week for a month.
As you progress you can group body parts according to their movements and form a “split”. For example you could do push, pull, legs where you do all pushing movements one day, pulling movements another day and legs on the final day.
The main movements are your bread and butter. However, as you get more advanced you can add more isolation movements and variations to the end of your workouts to really finish off your muscles. But in the beginning that’s not necessary.
Tip #3: Resting Is Allowed…In Fact It’s Mandatory!
Your workouts should be spaced out evenly depending on how long it takes for you to recover.
If you’re doing a 3 day split, you should optimally have a day in between each workout to recover. However, if you’re crunched for time in your schedule you can do them back to back.
It is when you rest that your muscles can grow so you should have at least 1 rest day each week where you at least tone back on the weights for a day. You can do other types of activities or training on these days if you wish to stay active.
Tip #4: Change Is Good
Basically, every training program just manipulates a few variables and utilizes the same exercises. Because of this, you can just manipulate the variables yourselves to create your own workout program as you go.
Those training variables include:
- Rest Time – Time between sets.
- Rep Range – 1-3 Reps = heavy weight. 4-7 Reps = moderately heavy. 8-12 Reps = decently heavy. 12+ Reps = high reps
- Rep Time – Slow & controlled or fast & powerful
- Supersets – Doing 2 different exercises back to back. Usually working opposing muscle groups.
- Drop Sets – Dropping a few pounds off the bar in the middle of a set to get in more reps.
- Pyramid Sets – Adding or dropping weights off the bar in between sets.
I personally always begin with workouts in the 8-12 rep range one week, then bump up the weights the following week, then have a heavy workout week. Followed by a workout where I do drop sets, super sets, and pyramid sets.
The change in the variables means that you can essentially get buff and shock your muscles with minimal equipment. I personally workout on a power rack in my basement with only free weights.
Changing the variables in the workout keeps things interesting. Most of the time I love to lift weights slowly and really feel the contraction. However, I sometimes get the urge to lift lighter weights faster and more aggressively. It activates different fibers and gives your muscles something they weren’t expecting sometimes!