Being healthy, staying in shape, and hitting those workout goals… wow so many reads on this subject it’s gotten cliché. BUT! That’s because working out and eating healthy has surpassed the trends as so many have jumped on board and created habits rooted in a healthy lifestyle! So… what the heck are we talking about today? Though we’re saturated with so many new diets and articles telling us how to be healthy, let’s take a look at what exercises you can do to hit your specific goals; whether you’re looking to lose weight, get bulky, or trim some fat – we’re going to explore how to work out!
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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone aims to burn fat? The often dreaded cardio. Aerobic exercise is traditionally the first place to start when it comes to losing weight and cutting down mass. However! Some great news for those of us who aren’t fans of running on a treadmill, strength training and weight lifting have been shown to be more effective in burning fat than aerobic exercise alone.
When aiming to burn fat, the greatest way to do so is by pairing weight lifting AND aerobic exercise. Many professional athletes – from NBA and NFL players, to wrestlers and boxers – do so through circuit training and super sets. What the heck is that GYMberish? These two forms of exercises essentially mean cramming multiple workouts into one. For instance, instead of just doing three sets of bench press, do three sets of bench press, dumbbell flies, and dumbbell bench press all in one. See below for images of these workouts:
Bench Press Dumbbell Fly Dumbbell Bench Press
Another common misconception about cardio and fat-burning is the idea that just jogging for a half hour will get rid of that belly fat. Although it’s not going to hurt, this could actually train the body to store fat. Cardio and aerobic exercise aim to train the heart and lungs. If someone hates lifting weights and wants to burn fat, the best way to do so involves getting that heart rate up high, then low, then HIGH, then LOW. This can be done through interval runs. For example, sprinting 100 yards, jogging 150 yards, sprinting 200 yards, jogging 250 yards – fluctuating that heart rate will yield great results in burning that belly.
“Summer bodies are made in the winter!” sits enthusiastically inscribed on the shirts of those muscle dudes we see at the gym while we think, “Why’re they here? They’re done, they did it.” Well joining these ranks is more feasible than one may think. What these guys understand is the value of consistency. They often tell stories of how skinny or overweight they once were – and unless they employ a personal trainer, most learn by trial and error and know that sticking with it and getting their sculpted booties to the gym gets those gains. So what’re the most effective workouts to pack on those gains?
Again, circuit training and supersets prove effective when bulking up. And although it may be surprising, using lower weight and doing more repetitions (the term: low weight high rep) has proven successful when adding muscle on at a quicker rate as opposed to doing lots of weight only a few times. For example, again with bench press, instead of sticking 45-pound plates on each side and pushing that bar up and down 10 times, throw some 25-pounders on and go 25 times. This is a great way to not only get bigger but build lean muscle in the process.
Another concept of working out involves grouping certain muscle groups together. Now, it depends who’s answering the question, but studies have shown that separating push and pull workouts operates more effectively when packing on muscle. This means, for instance, doing workouts that primarily involve pushing together, and workouts that primarily involve pulling together: Push workouts exercise chest, triceps, and shoulders; Pull workouts exercise back and biceps. So, do some pull ups and bicep curls together and see the gains!
BENEFITS OF TYPES OF EXERCISES
Here’s a bonus. With all these types of workouts like yoga, Pilates, HIIT, weight-lifting, what’re the benefits of each and what the heck is the point?
Yoga’s foundation lies upon the harmonizing of mind, body, and environment. In a nutshell yoga works as a form of meditation as teacher and student stretch the body into poses that strengthen the body and mind. Yoga improves flexibility, strength, and posture as this exercise requires the body to be held in difficult positions for extended periods of time in repetition. Yoga has proven to: reduce stress, increase energy, burn fat through an increased metabolism, improve concentration, and breathe better (more effectively).
What is that guy doing on that weird machine? It’s Pilates! And it’s one of the most rigorous workouts known to man. Pilates operates as a low-impact muscular strength and endurance workout. The primary focus: strengthen your core (abs, back, hips, and booty). Pilates will tighten the body, improve flexibility, test your ability for bodyweight exercising, and improve posture. Pilates is inspired by yoga; the key distinction: yoga challenges the body in a variety of static positions, Pilates puts the body in unstable positions and requires small movements in these difficult stances.
High-Intensity-Interval-Training (HIIT) puts the body through workouts consisting of high bursts of energy with quick resting periods. This aims to spike the heart rate and even burn energy long after the workout ends. HIIT workouts last around a half hour and work effectively in burning fat and calories. This is an anaerobic system which deprives the body of oxygen and supplements lactic acid (that stuff that gives the burning sensation in your muscles) causing fat burn and muscle buildup. Following the bursts of 100% effort and minimal rest, the body enters “rebuilding mode” after being deprived of oxygen. Ultimately, this leads to the metabolism working hard even hours after the workout to replace those nutrients used up.
Generally, exercise is hard! However, a multitude of options exist, enabling an array of interests to be peaked. There’s no one right answer on how to get to your goal – there’s a MULTITUDE of right answers! Trial and error is key – find what you like, experiment with what you don’t like, and be consistent with your niche!