What are your top fitness tips and hacks?
My top fitness tips are:
- Keep your workouts under one hour. It is too easy to make excuses for not having enough time.
- When weightlifting do not rest too much between sets. Instead, try to make all sets part of a superset - switching exercises within the same muscle group or across different muscle groups.
- Exercise first thing in the morning. There are no excuses for missing a workout before work - no demands from friends or work or emergencies.
- Keep your body balanced. Never neglect any major muscle groups. The basic muscles are back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms, thighs, hamstrings, gluteus (butt), calves, tibialis (the muscle in the front of your shin bone). Reach your muscles from as many angles as possible.
- Free weights should be a part of every weightlifting routine. Only free weights can develop muscles in well functioning groups, reach them from multiple angles, and develop them in a balanced, coordinated manner.
- Avoid all sugar and refined carbohydrates. These are the enemy of fitness as they flood your body with calories it cannot use right away. Those excess calories get converted into fat.
- Make breakfast the biggest meal of the day and dinner the smallest. The same food consumed early in the day will be metabolized more efficiently than later in the day. When you eat too many calories too late in the day there is no opportunity to burn them off. Ideally, you should be done eating by 6:30 PM.
- The simplest measure of body fat is your belt. Intra-abdominal fat is what we need to avoid. Instead of weighing yourself or taking body composition tests just check your belt. If your belt is getting tighter then you know you need to cut back on food intake - starting with carbohydrates. Nothing could be easier.
- Look at yourself in the mirror daily. If you like what you see then consider it a reward to keep up the good work. If you do not like what you see then consider a call to action - to do something different with nutrition or exercise.
- Tailor your exercise to your body type. I never ceased to be confused when I see stocky, overweight guys in the gym do low repetition, high resistance exercises. Conversely, I am equally baffled when see thin, light built guys avoid weights and doing massive amounts of cardio exercise. If you are stocky then use lighter weights for more repetitions. Heavy weights burn few calories and stimulate appetite. If you have a light frame and low body fat then consider lifting heavier weights and cutting back on cardio.