Getting fit outside, more and more parks, and even hotels offer outside fitness (this photo taken at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida). Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II
Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran, there is nothing more satisfying than reaching your training goals.
However, to do this, you must be training efficiently.
If you’re part of the population who are working out non-stop yet seeing little results, this article is for you.
First, begin every training session or workout with mobility and activation drills.
Warm-ups are typically done haphazardly, if at all.
More often, we see people wander into the gym, walk immediately up to a squat rack and start pumping out sets.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not only drastically increasing the risk of serious injury but are also not exercising to your fullest potential.
Conversely, those who do warm-up, may be doing some cardio and a few stretches, but current research suggests that including mobility and activation work within your warm-up is the way to get results.
Mobility and activation warm-ups include a range of exercises designed to increase the range of motion in your joints, as well as activating the muscles you are about to put under stress.
Next, do supersets!
Supersets are THE most commonly used training technique to boost intensity.
Supersets involve completing two exercises, one after the other, within a single set. Virtually any two exercises can be paired together.
When compared to other training techniques, supersets expend more energy per minute of exercise, which means less time in the gym and reaping greater returns from each workout.
Continue with compound exercises.
Compound exercises are exercises that involve muscles around multiple joints at one time.
The strongest and most powerful athletes in the world typically focus on compound movements such as squats, deadlifts and pushups, while traditional exercise techniques focus on isolation exercises such as bicep curls and tricep extensions.
For anyone looking to burn more calories, and use more muscles, you need to be thinking ‘compound’.
These exercises require movement over two or more joints, e.g. hip and knee joint in a squat, which allows you to target more muscles in less time.
In addition to these amazing benefits, compound exercises are also far more functional and therefore transfer well to athletic performance.
Finally, minimize rest periods.
Possibly one of the single greatest annoyances is watching someone sit at an exercise station (often on their mobile) waiting for their five-minute rest period to be up.
In a technical sense, the length of rest between sets is to be determined by your goals, e.g. to gain muscle power or increase strength you typically require more recovery than if your goals were to increase muscle mass or increase muscle endurance.
In saying this, the reason for rest periods is to recover, so listening to your body it the key.
If you are feeling fatigued, or off your A game, a longer rest may be required … but likely not an entire phone conversations worth. Train on!
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