2013 Resolutions: 3 Top Tips

​2013 Resolutions: 3 Tips for getting the most out of your workouts

So January has come and gone - have you all been sticking to your new-year resolutions and starting to feel the benefits from the healthy lifestyle changes you have made?  Hopefully some of you took the advice in my January article to not take on too much at once!  Remember small steps towards a better you!!  Whatever the strategy, whether you have started to eat better or move a little more you have taken a step in the right direction and are already doing better than you did yesterday so feel free to take a moment of quiet self praise, little pat on the back, short victory lap around the office...whatever works for you!! Well done!

So what’s next as we settle into 2013?  I recently got an email from a friend of mine (who I should add is relatively new to the world of training) detailing their planned 2013 exercise routine and wanting a little advice on the do’s and don’ts.  As I looked through it I quickly realised it was littered with the same old mistakes so many new trainees make so I thought it would be a good idea to shed some light on where the most common training misunderstandings lie and hopefully steer a few more of you along the right path to maintaining your fitness targets in 2013. 

So here goes - My TOP 3 TRAINING TIPS to ensure the best results possible.

1.   WARM UP!

Time and time again I see people arrive into the gym and get stuck straight in to heavy lifting or impact sprints!  It doesn’t matter how many times I tell them NO they continue to do it.  And more often than not these are the members that will pick up injury after injury.  If you want to train smart and make sure you avoid injuring your body then you need to adopt a thorough warm up.  Just elevating your body temperature by walking on a treadmill or spending 15 minutes on an x-trainer is not sufficient.  The key is to get each part of your body moving by performing a functional warm up.  What’s a functional warm up I hear you ask?  A functional warm-up is a combination of dynamic movements or total body movements like pogo hops, body weight squats, side lunges, leg swings, jumping jacks etc.  This ensures that your upper body, core and lower body are ready for action.  Another added bonus to a great warm up like this is the great opportunity to add some postural work and activation work, which are essential with todays adult lifestyle.

2.   WORK LARGER MUSCLE GROUPS FIRST 

Everyone loves to do arm exercises!! I’m not sure if it’s because every woman wants the arms of Jennifer Anniston and every guy wants the guns of Jason Statham or if it’s just because everyone knows how to do them. 

Whatever the reason this is not allowing you to work to your best potential, you should be saving them for the end of your conditioning schedule.  If you want to lose body fat you must hit the larger muscle groups first and do exercises that are multi-joint exercises, i.e. working the upper and lower body together.  By performing these exercises first you will elevate your metabolism and kick-start your fat burning furnace, giving you faster and more effective results.  Take advice from the trainers at your gym and allow them to design a personal workout with this in mind or hire a personal trainer to educate you through your workout and keep you on track.

3.   DO FULL-BODY WORKOUTS

There has been a trend in the fitness industry over the last 10 years to split your workout schedule between upper and lower body; for example, legs on a Monday, chest and triceps on a Wednesday and back and biceps on a Friday.  This is an inefficient way to train if your goal is to lose body fat.  Perform workouts that have a leg movement, a pull, a press and core work every time you train.  By incorporating the whole body you will not only ensure you hit all the important areas, but it will also give you a better overall workout and in the end better results as it will help you burn more fat by releasing gut-busting hormones in your body.

It’s great to be taking action and moving towards your goal and I hope that my articles are providing you with a little motivation to KEEP GOING!  I always say the best fitness program is the one you stick to!  However if you take away anything from reading these fitness pieces let it be the importance to understand what you are doing.  It’s easy to get caught up and do too much which more often than not leads to injury, poor results or burn out.  Number one priority should always be safety - being healthy is a lifestyle so you don’t need to sprint toward fitness.  Take your time and gradually make the changes necessary to get healthy and you’ll arrive at your goal with a healthy body and mind. 

Say it with me...”BE BETTER TODAY THAN YOU WERE YESTERDAY”.

If you are interested in implementing a structured exercise program to help you achieve your individual fitness goals or would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this article you can find out further information on my website www.skyefitness.co.uk or contact me directly by emailing gary@skyefitness.co.uk 

2013 Resolutions: 3 Top Tips

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