There are plenty of reasons to hit the gym. Tone up, feel better, get stronger, etc… but dare I say the most common reason why people put themselves through hours of working out is to drop a few pounds and look better. There’s nothing like the self-confidence that comes from setting a weight-loss goal and then chasing it down with all you’ve got. Accomplishment, success, and self-mastery are wonderful rewards for a job well-done.
However let’s say a better way exists? What if there were ways to not only shred pounds and inches but to also do it a lot faster? Today on Tone and Tighten I’m sharing my Top 20 Ways To Lose Fat FASTER than you currently are. Incorporate some of these into your regular training and watch as you not only approach your goal – you sprint after it, leap ferociously, tackle it to the ground and then do a victory dance on top of it.
1. Weight a minute: If you’re not already, you must be doing some sort of resisted strength training. Period. Weight training increases muscle activity and therefore increases metabolism. Your body actually burns more while resting than it would otherwise. Instead of hitting the elliptical trainer for 30 minutes cut that down to 15 and then hit 15 minutes of weights. The pounds fly off as you lift them. Here are a few of my favorite workouts with weights.
2. Sprint it out: No doubt that your body needs a balance of proper diet, weights, and cardio. Mixing sprinting into your cardio (especially at the end) is a great way to transfer muscle demand and increase muscle activity. The next time you’re on a treadmill for 20 minutes, consider sprinting intervals (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off) for the last 5 minutes. It will be like a whole new workout!
3. H.I.I.T and Intervals: Simply put – if you’re not taking part in some sort of interval training, you should. The alternating intensity from steady-state workouts generates just the right amount of “muscle confusion” to keep your body burning more calories longer. For some of my favorite H.I.I.T and Interval workouts click here.
4. CrossFit is where it’s at: If you’re looking for a total-body meltdown that’s nothing like any other workout you’ve ever done then look no further than CrossFit. H.I.I.T, cardio, weight training, resistance, body-weight… you name it and you’ll find it here. CrossFit gyms are sweeping the nation and I’m sure there’s one right by you. Most of them will even offer the first few sessions for free so you can try it out and see if you like it. If you’re looking for some great at-home CrossFit style workouts here are a few of my favorites!
5. Spot treatment only works in laundry: Here’s the deal – if you go to the gym with the goal of “making my arms look great” and that’s all you ever work on then you’re going to be sorely disappointed. The truth is “spot treating” rarely works. Sure it makes that are stronger, but you’re doing nothing to really burn calories or increase total-body strength. Switch to a more “global” approach (work your back and chest as a means to work your arms; make sure to combine with cardio) and then watch those “spots” come alive. Check out these total-body routines to get a feel for what I mean.
6. Here a selfie, there a selfie. Taking pics of yourself can actually be a really powerful motivator. As you watch your results taking form it becomes like an addiction. You start to lean out and tone up in places. With confidence you might even post them to some social media outlet where you start to get compliments like “you look amazing” and “wow- that hard work is paying off”. Four words – fuel for the fire.
7. Anyone for a game? Pick up a sport. Team sports including basketball, volleyball, football, soccer, etc are a great way to take your results to another level. They involve cutting, running, back-pedaling, etc to work muscles you never knew you had; but at the same time there’s something about the spirit of competition that lights a fire you never knew existed. It’s one thing to push two more treadmill minutes. It’s quite another to dig deep when the game is on the line!
8. There’s an app for that: Download a fitness app to track your meals and your activity throughout the day. Nothing will change you faster than owning exactly what you put into your body and confessing to yourself how much work you’re putting in. That piece of cake or delicious candy bar is a lot more difficult going down as you pull out your smart phone to enter those calories and fat you just consumed. Looking for a great app? Here’s my personal favorite.
9. Change up your workout order: Oh if I could share this one principle with you – you have to keep your body guessing. If Monday is leg day and every Monday you do the same 5 leg exercises and then go home then you will plateau in this journey and results will come to a grinding halt. You have to keep your body guessing. I don’t care if every Monday is leg day but I challenge you to find new exercises and new routines that will keep your body guessing. If it’s been a while since you were sore after Monday’s leg day then consider this your call to action. Click here to read more about changing things up.
10. Find a friend: The benefits to training with a partner are too many to name in one paragraph here. In short: they keep you honest – it’s a lot harder to “snooze” when you know someone is waiting for you. Spotters are going to help you get one more rep – great spotters will even force you into two more. Competitive edge will always come out when you’re both doing the same exercise – I’ve always lifted a lot more when lifting with someone stronger than me. And last I’ll mention the social interaction – it’s fun to laugh and joke around and share thoughts and interests with other people. Get a buddy and watch results skyrocket! Need a fun way to start a group fitness challenge? Our “Four Week Get Fit Challenge” is one of our most popular posts! Check it out.
Make it happen,
By Jared Beckstrand