Only 10 more days until Tim and Deb get hitched, so I thought I’d follow up on last week’s nutrition tips for brides to be, and talk about the training part of the equation.
Let’s face it, if you are getting ready to walk down the aisle you don’t need one more thing to be stressed out about. Your fitness plan doesn’t need to be complicated or take a ton of time.
Remember last weeks (http://getfitnhbootcamp.com/what-can-you-learn-from-a-wedding/) article where we talked about nutrition?
Here is the key point from that article – EAT to Elevate Metabolism and Lose Fat (NOT Weight)
This week let’s – TRAIN to Elevate Metabolism and Lose Fat (NOT Weight)
Exercise Tip#1- Get Strong to Get Lean:
Strength training strengthens muscle and bone leading to increases in lean body mass that increases resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories your body requires to function on a daily basis regardless of activity. In other words, strength training will ramp up your metabolism so that you will be burning more stubborn fat 24-7. Who doesn’t want that?
Most people who strength train perform straight sets of the same exercise with super long rest periods in excess of 2-3 minutes. You can accelerate your fat burning and cut your training in half by performing alternating sets of non-competing exercises with short rest periods between sets.
For example, perform an upper body exercise, then a lower body exercise, and then a core exercise. This will allow for full recovery for each exercise, since you are resting your upper body while performing lower body and core exercises. Furthermore, short rest periods allow for both the completion of more total work at each training session and also create the optimal hormonal environment for fat loss.
Here’s an example of what we are discussing.
50-10 Interval Five Exercise Total Body Circuit- You will alternate between 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for each exercise in the following five-exercise circuit. Perform this 5-minute circuit up to four times for a 20-minute total body workout. Be sure to switch between the 2 exercise options within each category for best results:
||Squats OR Deadlifts
||Push-ups OR Dips
||Lunges OR Single Leg Hip Extensions
||Rows or Pull-ups
||Front OR Side Planks
Exercise Tip#2- Intervals Burn More Fat Than Ordinary Cardio:
With interval training, the focus is on the intensity of exercise (quality), rather than how long you are doing it (quantity). Intervals consist of alternating between shorts bouts of all out high-intensity effort and active recovery periods for a much quicker and focused amount of time. This approach is scientifically proven to burn nine times more fat AND lead to faster improvements in fitness than the aerobic alternative (going slow for long).
The Tabata study compared the effects of four minutes of high-intensity interval training (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off) with 45-60 minutes of low to moderate intensity cardio. The interval training group burned just as much fat as the endurance group and also had greater improvement in both anaerobic (think sprinters) and aerobic (think distance runners) fitness… in only four minutes!
Below is a sample Cardio Interval Training Workout:
20-10 Tabatas- You will alternate between 20 seconds of work and 10s of rest. You will perform this 30-second set up to 8x for 4 total minutes followed by a 1-minute rest and transition. Perform this 5-minute sequence up to 4x for 20 total minutes. You can perform this workout on your cardio machine of choice (airdyne or spin bike, running, etc.) or by alternating between body weight cardio exercises like stationary running, jumping jacks, squat thrusts, mountain climbers,etc.(my preferred way) for the ultimate fat burning workout.
Exercise Tip#3- Take Advantage of Non-Exercise Physical Activity (NEPA) In Your Daily Life:
What are you talking about – NEPA? NEPA is the activity you do outside the gym. For example, don’t fight for the spot closest to the grocery store door, fight for the one farthest away. It won’t be much of a fight I assure you. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If you golf, walk – don’t use a cart. I think you get the idea.
If you find yourself at a desk all day, I would suggest you make your own NEPA – take a 30-60 minute walk on your off days. You don’t need to do a bunch of extra intervals, or another day of lifting weights (see Tip#5), but a walk can do you good.
Exercise Tip#4- Use Total Body Exercises to Build Stunning Arms:
You don’t have to be a genius to know that most brides are really focused on working their arms and shoulders since these areas of the body are often highly exposed in wedding dresses. But, doing a bunch of single-joint, isolation exercises like curls and triceps extensions is not going to get the job done. Spot reduction is a myth- no number of triceps kickbacks will ever put a dent in the arm jiggle.
Rather, you should focus on performing compound, multi-joint movements that work as many muscles in your body as possible (including your arms and shoulders) for best results. Not only do compound exercises allow you to use heavier loads which stimulate maximal lean muscle gain (think push-ups over triceps extensions), but they also burn the most calories and create the optimal hormonal environment for burning the fat covering what you are working so hard for!
To take it to the next level, use total body exercises exclusively in your workouts. Whole body movements that work your upper body, lower body, and core at the same time will allow you to get lean all over in addition to ensuring that you are working your upper body during every moment so that you are ARM-ed and ready for the big day. For example, instead of doing presses, do squat to presses.
Exercise Tip#5- Recovery is Key:
Though this may be the least glamorous tip of all, I truly believe it is the most important. Recovery from exercise is where all of the beneficial changes from high-intensity training occur. Don’t forget, a tough workout actually causes small micro-tears in your muscles that stimulates growth and repair. If all you do is work hard and break your body down this can lead to overtraining issues that may results in you limping down the aisle on the big day – not good!
Do yourself a favor and invest in your own personal massage therapist in the form of a foam roller. It’s cheap and easy to use. Simply spend at least 5 minutes post-working performing 5-10 rolls on the most tender and sore areas of your body, with a specific emphasis on your hips and thighs and your upper/mid back area.
This corrective self-massage both lengthens your muscles and improves tissue quality, preventing nagging aches and pains in your joints that can leave you on injured reserve in your quest. Furthermore, self-massage brings blood flow and nutrients to your muscles which accelerate recovery and reduce soreness from high-intensity exercise.
If you don’t have access to a foam roller, you can also use a tennis or lacrosse ball to achieve the same effect.
Well, those are my top 5 workout tips to help you look your best on the biggest day of your life. When it comes to exercise, keep it simple and stay the course. And remember, it’s not about weight loss- it’s about being as visually stunning as possible via losing inches in all the right places.