68 Fitness Tips Part 2

Abdominal Exercises

This is part two of 68 Fitness Tips and Hacks to Skyrocket Your Results. Click the link to read part one if you haven’t already.

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13. Train Unilaterally

What is unilateral training? It is simply working one side of your body at a time. This is not the same as, say, alternate dumbbell curls where you do a rep with the left arm, then a rep with the right, etc.

You do a complete set for one side before moving to the other. For example, do a set of 10 reps on the leg press with your right leg only and then do a set of 10 reps with your left leg only.

If you’re using a speed ladder, you would be doing drills on one leg.

Unilateral training allows you to increase your focus on the muscle you are working by doing a better job of isolating the working muscle.

Your intensity increases because you increase the muscle involvement due to the bilateral deficit.

The bilateral deficit means the total weight you can lift by working one limb at a time is more than the total weight you can lift (per side) when working both limbs together.

This increase in focus and intensity will help your muscle building efforts while boosting your strength.

14. Skip the ab exercises

flat belly exercises

Forget the crunches or the silly circles you sit on and spin, those things will never get you the flat abs you want.

NOOOOOOOOOOO!

Don’t use those gadgets and don’t sit on the floor and do endless crunches, either! Use big, compound exercises, body weight exercises and unilateral exercises (see above).

Not sure how this helps? Perform the farmer’s walk but do it unilaterally, with a heavy weight. You’ll get the ab workout of your life!

Here are a number of farmers walk variations.

15. Workout at home

You don’t need a lot of fancy equipment or a lot of space to get a killer effective workout and the results you want.

Working out at home also helps avoid the excuse of getting up off the coach and making the trek to the gym. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the right piece of equipment being used when you need it.

You can listen to the music you want, etc. Some people are motivated by working out in a gym setting and that’s fine, but don’t think you need a fancy gym to get great results.

In fact, a home gym with a few pieces of quality equipment and body weight exercises are really are you need. Even if you like to hit a gym, try a home workout now and then for a nice change of pace.

16. Superset, superset, superset

One of my absolute favorite techniques! A superset is simply doing two exercises back to back without rest between them.

You can do supersets using different exercises for the same body part (ex. Incline dumbbell curls and standing barbell curls), for opposing body parts (like back and chest) or for completely different body parts like squats and shoulder presses).

Supersets allow you to do more work in less time, jacking up the intensity and quality of your workouts. And they are great if you don’t have enough time to get in your full workout.

16. For a smaller waist, train your shoulders

It’s all about proportion. If you want to make your waist appear slimmer, work your shoulders (and your hips/glutes). This will give you that hourglass appearance. And guys, wider shoulders don’t get hidden under clothes in winter like your upper arms do.

17. Eat more beans

Yes, really.

18. Include HRA’s in your workout to burn more fat

These go by different names, dynamic interrupts, dynamic finishers, metabolic accelerators, metabolic scorchers, Heart Rate Accelerators. These are exercises you throw into the middle of your workouts, or at the end, to boost your heart rate (metabolism).

For example, you might be doing circuits or supersets like this:

1A. Dumbbell Bench Press
1B. One Arm Dumbbell Bent Over Row
1C. Dumbbell Squat

After 3 circuits you go to your HSA. Some examples of an HSA could be:

Jump Rope – 2 minutes
Jumping Jacks – 100
Squat Thrusts – 25 reps or 45 seconds

You would only do one of those, not all three.

Sometimes your dynamic interrupt could be two exercises like:

Push Ups – AMRAP
X Body Mountain Climbers – 100 (50 per side)

19. Become a photographer (Take pictures)

You don’t ever need to show these pictures to anyone else but it’s a great way to keep motivated and actually SEE the progress you’ve made over time. When you see yourself every day it’s tough to see the results and so it’s easy to get frustrated.

But being able to look at pictures over time it’s much clearer to you. It’s easy to keep a photographic record with today’s technology. Try snapping a few pics every 4 weeks or so and keep them in a photo album.

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20. Get SMART

The S stands for specific. Be specific about the goals you want to achieve. Forget things like, “I want to get in shape,” “I want to get big,” or “I want to lose weight,” or “I want to increase my bench press.”

Instead try things like “I want to run a 6 minute mile,” “I want to add 10 pounds of muscle,” “I want to lose 20 pounds of fat,” or “I want to add 40 pounds to my best bench press.”

The M stands for measurable. This ties in well with specific. You can’t measure ‘getting in shape,” but you sure can measure ‘running a 6-minute mile’ or ‘bench 3 plates’.

In addition to specific and measurable, your goals must be A, or attainable.

The R stands for realistic.

As I’ve said before, it’s important to set challenging goals. Challenging, but attainable, that is.

A goal of a 50-pound increase on your bench press max in 12 weeks would be a challenging goal, but also one that is possible.

However, setting a goal of bench pressing 300 pounds in 4 weeks when you currently bench press 75 pounds will do nothing but set you up for failure and frustration.

The T stands for Timely. If you do everything previously mentioned, it’s still not enough. You must give yourself a deadline to achieve your goal.

More importantly, if your goal is attainable and realistic, but also long term, break it up into smaller goals.

If you wish to lose 75 pounds, start with losing just 10 pounds in 2 months. Reaching that goal will motivate you further and before you know it, enough time has passed that you’ve lost the 75 pounds.

But if you focus solely on losing the 75 pounds, which could take a year or more to accomplish, your motivation and discipline could wane, and you could fail to follow through on what you need to do to make your goal a reality.

21. Drink water BEFORE you eat

Be sure and drink 8 to 16 ounces of water 15 to 30 minutes before each meal. Doing so will help you feel full and reduce the number of calories you eat.

hot fitness model smiling
Nothing tastes as good when you’re truly thirsty!

22. Extend your set

Most people’s set length is too short, which doesn’t give them the optimal training stimulus for muscle building or accelerating fat loss. Unless you’re specifically working pure strength, try and make each set last for at least 30 seconds.

23. Beware the fitness trend

Fitness trends come and go. Techniques that work stick around (and sadly sometimes get lost amongst the “new” stuff). Use REAL tools, like barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, TRX or Jungle Gym, sandbags, body weight, etc.

You can’t sit and spin your way to great abs and you can’t squeeze a piece of plastic between your thighs for great legs. You’ll have to work. Be sure to work smart.

24. Go nuts

Nuts. Eat them. Walnuts, almonds. Get them natural, not with a bunch of crap added.

25. Burp your way to dropping fat fast

Burpees. Do them. What are they?

26. Vary your workouts

The body adapts. It’s efficient. If you’re constantly doing the same workout over time, the body will get better at it and your results will stagnate.

This doesn’t mean constantly change your workout or do something different EVERY time! And it shouldn’t be a random change, either.

It’s important to use workouts that are put together properly, from exercise selection to exercise order, volume, intensity and more.

27. Keep the same workout

Yeah, I know what I said in #26. Read on!

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Play Hard, Have Fun, Get Dirty!

Gregg Gillies is a Certified Metabolic Trainer and author of the 5 star rated book, Flat Belly Blueprint, available on Amazon. He’s written hundreds of health and fitness related articles that have appeared on sites like Bodybuilding.com while also being published in the print edition of Ironman Magazine, and contributing to programs like Underground Chest Training Connect with me on Google Plus

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