You have likely heard of “life hacks” – tricks/tips that help increase efficiency or improve some aspect of your life and/or routine.Often such hacks apply to cleaning and organizing; however, we have found some “hacks” you can apply to your training!
- Try counting down: some people find that they can trick their brain into thinking an exercise takes less time than it actually does by counting down (i.e. 10, 9, 8, etc.) – for reps or timed circuits. Give it a try and let us know!
- Select fast-paced music: often, without thinking, many people tend to try and match the tempo of the music. Fast-paced music will help you run, row or cycle harder and faster than a slower song would, which is great for people on a tight schedule or who just want to work hard.
- Sneak in the veggies and fruit: while many people don’t eat enough fruits and veggies, most people love smoothies! Consider sneaking some extra veggies and fruits to ensure you hit the daily minimum requirements! It’s all about experimentation – try some of these great recipes from prevention.com.
It’s important to remember that when it comes to achieving lifelong health and fitness, there are no shortcuts you can take since making drastic changes to your physical routine or diet plan are unlikely to be maintained over a long period of time; however, there are ways you can take control to improve your health and fitness!
If you enjoy the way your body feels during and after a boxing session or during a high intensity interval training session, why not consider incorporating these into every one of your sessions? It’s important that you communicate to your trainer what exercises you enjoy and which ones you dislike – otherwise, what’s the point? For instance, if you want to be pushed hard but can’t stand doing exercises like box jumps or burpees (we don’t blame you!), talk to your trainer.
Your personal trainer will always encourage you to step outside of your comfort zone but will never make you do something you are uncomfortable (or dislike) doing.
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This exercise is designed to isolate the glutes; however, it also activates the quads, hamstrings and hip flexors.
All you need for this exercise is a mat and – to progress/increase intensity – a weight (i.e. dumbbell, sandbag or weighted bar). Anthony loves finishing off a leg session with single-leg glute bridges to help isolate the glutes!
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Answer: One great way to avoid a plateau is to simply increase your current exercises’ difficulty. This allows you to keep the same general program but has you modifying the exercises themselves. One option to increase difficulty is to reduce the weight being used while increasing the reps being performed (or vice versa).
Another option is to consider incorporating stability-challenging equipment, such as stability balls or suspension cables. The plank, as an example, can be performed using either piece of equipment and will force your body – particularly your core – to work much harder given the ‘instability’ of the equipment being used. In order to use new pieces of equipment properly and safely, it is important that you know how to properly activate your core so be sure to speak with your trainer before incorporating stability-challenging equipment into your workout!
While some people think resolutions are silly and pointless, many people believe in the ‘power’ of resolutions as they can be a great source of motivation for someone to make positive changes in their life and it isn’t too late to start them now!
Setting practical and realistic resolutions is the key to success. Following are some resolutions you may want to consider for giving a go this year:
- Start every day with a well-balanced breakfast. In addition to helping fuel your body for the day, a well-balanced breakfast can boost your brain power, help reduce your risk of chronic diseases and help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight.
- Commit to an activity. It is important to commit time and effort towards an activity. This can be as simple as daily walks or runs, or something like a few games of squash with a friend at the local community center.
- Prioritize good sleep. Not only is a good night’s rest important for your energy and ability to function properly (physically and mentally), but without sufficient sleep your body won’t be able to make the necessary repairs after a good workout.
- Set specific (SMART) short term goals. Setting short term goals allows you to see progress sooner than you would with a long-term goal, which – in the long run – helps keep you motivated and committed to pursuing your ultimate goal. SMART = specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely/.
- Track your journey with a health and fitness journal. Tracking what you eat and what you do for exercise helps to establish a routine and allows you to see progress that your body may not yet show (i.e. improvements in strength as you are able to perform more reps).