Quote of the Week – 5 Jun

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Bill Gates, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr

Probably the most common excuse I hear preventing someone from exercising is they don’t have enough time to workout. In this quote, it’s brought up that we all have the same amount of hours in a day, but some people, such as the successful icons in this quote, still accomplished extraordinary feats. The same can be applied to everyday health and fitness. Any time you set a health goal and feel like you don’t have enough time, just remember there is someone out there that had the same goal and the same time constraints, but still managed to achieve it. Try to learn from the people who have already achieved the goal you want to achieve, because they too struggled in the beginning, but their mental toughness was too strong not to succeed. If they can do it, you can too.

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How To Stay Motivated


Create a vision board:
Dedicate a bulletin board or part of your refrigerator to posting your goals and progress. By seeing your goals and progress physically posted on the wall, you will never have an excuse to forget a workout. This board could also include recipes, meals for the week, and motivational quotes or pictures. It’s simply a space dedicated to your health! If physical boards aren’t your thing, try making a blog, or using social media. By posting your goals and progress online for your friends and family to see, you will become more motivated to show everyone how good of a job you’re doing.

Set SMART goals: Make sure your goals are SMART, which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. You want your goals to be more than “I want to lose weight.” Instead, it should sound something like “I want to lose 10 pounds in 2 months by running 3 days a week and going to yoga 2 days a week”. This is more specific, it’s measurable (you can weigh yourself), it’s attainable (2 months is plenty of time), it’s realistic if you’re willing to put in the work, and you set a time frame to complete it in. If you don’t set goals that are SMART, you won’t know when you hit your milestones, which may begin to demotivate you.

Take it one day at a time: Your goals should lay out a medium to long term plan for you, but your focus should be on the current day. Don’t get caught up and overwhelmed by everything you need to do over the coming months. When you wake up in the morning, have a plan for your day that will help reach your goals, and execute that plan with 100% effort. By taking it day to day, all you will every need to reach your goals is one more workout.

Recognize progress: Sometimes we work hard to reach a health goal and we appear to be going nowhere fast. If you wanted to lose 30 pounds in 6 months and you only lost 10, it can be a very demotivating experience. But the way I look at it is you lost 10 pounds and are making progress toward that 30 pound mark! Any progress is progress, and recognize that as long as you keep working hard you will keep making progress regardless of how slow. It’s all about your health, and if there is progress, keep it going!

Make it fun: To a lot of people exercising and eating healthy is a fate worse than death. It really doesn’t have to be painful, and should be a lot of fun! Becoming a healthier person doesn’t mean you need to go out and run for miles or eat tofu for every meal. One of the best ways to improve your health is to find a hobby you are passionate about that is a workout by itself. Then any time you go have fun, you are improving your body. Some fun and healthy hobbies are hiking, swimming, and most sports will make the list.

Keep the ‘why’ in mind: It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it. The ‘why’ is the core of intrinsic motivation. For some people, knowing why they want to get fit is an easy answer, for others, it’s a bit more difficult. An easy answer may be to look good for the summer. A more difficult answer may be they want to feel better, but ‘feeling better’ is hard to measure. So the ‘why’ should be SMART just like your other goals. Regardless of your reason for wanting to live a healthier life, hold onto it. Add it to your vision board and look at it every chance you get. It’s the people who never lose the sight of why they are exercising and eating healthy that will ultimately reach their goals.

Watch motivational videos: It’s amazing how much motivational videos can alter the way we think. They discuss the core of our desires and the difficult actions that it takes to get there. Every motivational video is different, but after watching any of them I always have the desire to reach my goals and start right after the video ends. Watching a motivation video before a workout will put you in a mindset of action to achieve your goals. You can click here to view the top motivational videos on YouTube.

Reward yourself : When you hit a goal, make sure you reward yourself. There are a lot of different ways to do this, and they range from small items such as being allowed to watch your favorite TV show after exercising, or large items such as once you lose 40 pounds you will go on a cruise in the Bahamas to show off your new body. Regardless of the method you choose, set rewards for yourself for each of your goals or milestones and don’t let yourself get the reward until you reach the milestone, no cheating. This will motivate you to keep working to perhaps eat some ice cream for dessert or go to the movies and get popcorn and soda as a reward.

Author: Scott Van Hoy – Click Here to view the author’s profile

10 Ways to Ensure Your Workouts will get Results

In a world that is flooded with information with regards to physical fitness, it is quite easy to get lost in different programs, gadgets, and movements that either cost way too much, or don’t necessarily work. But in order to live a healthy lifestyle, you don’t need any of this! All you need is the knowledge to create your own workout, and the persistence to stick with your own workouts consistently.

Using the next ten workout designs will ensure that you can create hundreds of your own workouts, all while being able to ensure the proper intensity so that you can see the results I know you want. These are the same designs I use personally and for my clients in order to ensure body changing results. Without further ado, here are ten workout designs that will give you the power to change your own life!

Circuit

Easily the most prevalent and basic workout style is a Circuit. A Circuit is when you perform a group of exercises (typically 3 or more) in back to back sets with little to no rest in between. Performing a circuit adds an intense cardio component to your workouts, and is extremely beneficial to losing weight as well as making your workouts more time efficient.

Let’s say that we were performing a chest, shoulder, and triceps workout. A sample circuit for a workout like this would be to perform a bench press (chest exercise), a shoulder press (shoulder exercise), and a tricep extension (tricep exercise) without any rest in between. You could perform this circuit several times until your total amount of sets adds up to 16/24, or change the moves in the circuit and continually do different circuits. You could also make the circuits longer by adding more moves to each circuit. An example of a circuit is below:

  • Circuit 1 (repeat 2 times) Push Ups, Shoulder Press, Triceps Dip
  • Circuit 2 (repeat 2 times) Bench Press, Upright Row, Tricep Pulldowns
  • Circuit 3 (repeat 2 times) Chest Flys, Shoulder Flys, Tricep Extensions
  • Total Sets: 18

Pyramid

Another prevalent workout style is a Pyramid. Pyramids are a challenging and efficient way to get a lot of repetitions into a workout. Let’s use push-ups as an example to demonstrate what a pyramid is. You would perform one push-up, and then stand up. Then, you would go back down into push up position, but this time do this two push-ups. You would repeat this until you reach your total goal of let’s say 8. Then after you reach 8, you would have to come back down. You would do 7 push-ups, then 6, then 5, then 4, all the way down to 1. Below is this example in a step by step format:

  • 1 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • 2 Push Up
  • Stand Ups
  • 3 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • …..
  • 8 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • 7 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • 6 Push Ups
  • Stand Up
  • …..
  • 1 Push Up
  • Stand Up

Drop Set

The third workout style is a Drop Set. Drop sets are also very challenging, and really get the muscle burn going. Let’s say we were doing a bicep workout. First, you need to curl a weight until you physically cannot lift it anymore (failure). After you reach this point, you are going to get a lighter weight (usually 5 pounds less), and then curl that weight until you physically cannot anymore. Do this for two more weight ranges, and I promise your muscles will be burning like never before! If you are a beginner and five pound increments are too much, don’t worry! As long as you decrease the weight after each set, and perform at least 4 sets total, the burn will be present. Below is a summary of what was just said:

  • Set 1: 20 lbs Shoulder Press until failure
  • Set 2 (After first sets’ failure): 15 lbs Shoulder Press until failure
  • Set 3 (After second sets’ failure): 10 lbs Shoulder Press until failure
  • Set 4 (After third sets’ failure): 5 lbs Shoulder Press until failure

Super Set

The fourth workout style is a Superset. A Superset is very similar to a circuit, except it intends to work the same muscle group, and it is only a group of 2 sets. How a superset works is that you would complete one movement that works a specific muscle group, and immediately following reaching failure on the first set, you would perform another exercise that targets that same muscle group. While it does not necessarily have to be the same muscle group to be a superset, it typically is used in this way. An example is listed below:

  • Exercise 1: Bicep Curl (perform until failure)
  • Exercise 2 (performed immediately after first sets’ failure): Hammer Curls

Group Set

Group Sets is another kind of workout style, and it is when you do several sets of the same exercise, with a rest period in between each set. In addition, you would not move on until you complete ALL sets for the specific muscle group. For example, a workout that uses the multiple set style would look like this:

  • 4 Sets of Bench Press (Break in between each set. Don’t Move on until all 4 sets are done)
  • 3 Sets of Shoulder Press (Break between each set. (Don’t Move on until all 3 sets are done)
  • 3 Sets of Triceps Extensions (Break in between each set)

Heartbreaker Sets

Heartbreaker Sets are another way to intensify weightlifting, and bring the burn to your muscles even quicker. How these sets work is that you must perform 2 high-intensity cardio moves for 30 seconds each, and then jump into your normal set. The combination of your heart pounding while lifting weights will bring the burn to your muscles quickly. An example is as follows:

  • Jumping Jacks (as fast as possible)
  • Line Jumps (as fast as possible)
  • Bicep Curl Set

Goal Sets

Goal Sets are another interesting workout style where you set a goal number of reps for an exercise that is unusually high, and try to perform these sets in as little sets as possible. You can break these sets up however you want, and that will make it easier. An example of these sets would be as follows:

  • 100 Push Ups
  • 100 Squats
  • 100 Sit Ups
  • 100 Lunges

An example of how you would perform this exercise is to do 10 sets of 10 push-ups, 10 squats, 10 sit-ups, and 10 lunges.

Compound Circuit

A Compound Circuit is a challenging combination of a circuit and a pyramid. How it works is you take one compound move (i.e a Bicep Curl into a Shoulder Press), and then move into a different compound move that works one of the muscle groups worked in the first movement (shoulders), and a different muscle group (triceps). The next compound movement would include the muscle that wasn’t chosen from the first compound movement (biceps), and the different muscle group worked in the second compound movement (triceps).  An example will illustrate this circuit more clearly below:

  • Bicep Curl into Shoulder Press
  • Shoulder Press into Tricep Extension
  • Tricep Extension into Bicep Curl

Station Workout

A Station Workout is a large circuit that is generally taken for time. How it works is you must establish five or more “stations”, and at each station you perform an exercise for a certain amount of time. Once this time is up, you will move onto to another station, and repeat this process. You can go around the station several times, and these workouts are excellent for total body and cardio work. An example is listed below:

  • Station 1 (1:00): Calf Raises
  • Station 2 (1:00): Squats
  • Station 3 (1:00): Bridges
  • Station 4 (1:00): Lunges
  • Station 5 (1:00): Fast Feet
  • Repeat 3 times

Progression Set

A Progression Set is an interesting twist to a circuit. How it works is that you will perform a circuit once, and the second time that you perform the set each move will be slightly intensified or complicated. An example is below:

  • Circuit 1: 15 Push Ups, 15 Squats. 15 second Plank
  • Circuit 2: 15 Push with shoulder taps, 15 Squat Jumps, 30 second Plank
  • Circuit 3: Plyometric Push Ups, 15 Squat Jump Thrusts, 60 second Plank

Well, that’s all ten! I want to stress that these are by no means the only ways to create your own workouts. I encourage you to further your research online, and adopt the ideas of other people in the fitness industry as well so that you can continue to challenge your body in different and creative ways! If you use and combine these ten designs, all while manipulating the information provided in my previous article “A Beginners Guide to Exercise Volume 1”, there is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to create a personalized workout that will get you the results you so desire!

This is a guest post by Alex Perelló, click here to view his bio and other articles!