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Tips to Maximize Your Exercise

Xyngular: Tips to Maximize Your Exercise

In preparation for our upcoming Xyngular exercise programs, I wanted to provide a couple quick and simple tips to help all of the people looking to begin exercising with this new plan. Below are 5 easy tips to ensure you get the most out of your new exercise regimen or your current one.

1. Start small, but just make sure you start.

When it comes to exercise, the most important thing you can do is taking that crucial first step. Similar to nutrition and supplementation, exercise is an area where even a small amount can have a profound effect on your health and weight loss in the long term. One of my favorite beginner exercise suggestions to get yourself started exercising came from Stan Townsend, which is that you can just get out of the house and walk away for 10 minutes, then turn around and see how quickly you can make it back home. Remember, slow progress is still progress and each day you continue to exercise you will improve in some way.

2.  Find a partner to exercise with.

One of the most common issues with getting people out and exercising is the lack of accountability which leads them to stop before they really get started. I strongly recommend finding a friend or colleague to exercise with that is roughly at your same fitness level, not only to hold you accountable but to encourage competition and prevent the boredom some people associate with exercise. If you are not comfortable with a friend exercising with you, communicate your goals to as many people as possible so that they can aid in your success by reminding you to stick to your plans and keep shooting for your fitness goal, even when it is not convenient. A recent study showed 76% of people who shared their goals with friends and family actually achieved them whereas only 43% of those with no written goal were successful and 64% of those with written goals were successful. In addition to the value of friends, workout partners and family in helping you achieve your fitness goals, I strongly recommend consulting an experienced trainer with multiple credible certifications (NASM, ACSM, etc) if you are struggling in any area of your exercise related goals. I have worked with different trainers to aid me in my goals, regardless of my own experience and credentials because even the best athletes and competitors need a second opinion and a trained eye at some point. Keep all of this in mind when preparing to begin an exercise regimen and you will drastically increase your success rate.

3.  Focus on intensity, not duration.

Many people become disenfranchised with exercise after spending hours on the treadmill and not losing any weight. This is the absolute wrong approach if your goal is fat loss, or even just to maximize and modernize your lengthy exercise routine. As a general rule, I never recommend spending more than 30-45 minutes in the gym and never more than 15-20 minutes doing any form of cardiovascular training, and I only do both on the same day once or twice a week. The reason for these short times is that modern science tells us that intense, interval style training is of far more value for leaning up or staying lean than steady-state training. If your goal is to get ripped or just healthy and fit there are a lot of really good health benefits to focusing on intensity, but you also avoid the monotony of hours a week spend on the elliptical or treadmill.

Try my tried and true metabolism supercharging cardio:
2.5 minute warm-up jog–1 minute run at maximum intensity followed by 2 minutes jogging or walking (repeat 1-5x)–2.5 minute cool down.

4.  Incorporate as much variety as you can.

In the same way most people cannot eat chicken and broccoli every day for the rest of eternity nor would they want to, taking a traditional approach to exercise is often monotonous and downright ineffective. With exercise, as you continue your strategy of running 20 minutes every other day this routine will become less and less effective. The reason for this is that our bodies are remarkable pieces of engineering that will adjust and compensate for most physical stresses we place on them, and this process only takes a few short weeks. I am by no means saying your plan must be changed every day, but variety in exercise is fantastic and I typically rotate my exercise style every couple of months to ensure I continually challenge myself physically. In a practical sense this could be as small as switching your cardio routine from running to swimming, so no drastic changes are really necessary. Always ease into a change to prevent injury and overtraining.

5.  Don’t overdo it.

When it comes to athletes and non-athletes alike, overtraining is probably the most common cause of injury, fatigue, illness, long term non-compliance, etc. To avoid this scenario you have to take breaks and avoid over-doing your exercise in an effort to jump start your progress. Many a transformation have been derailed by overtraining so always be sure to work your way up to challenging activities and any time you incorporate something new into your plan (i.e. swimming), do not assume your fitness level carries over to this new activity. Any trainer, strength coach, etc will tell you that overdoing things will stall your progress and damage your results and personally, I believe in exercise minimalism, which is the strategy of doing as little as possible to produce the desired results. Exercise minimalism does not mean you can come up short on effort, variety or intensity, but it does mean sticking to basic tenants of exercise and ensuring that you are not doing too much, when you can do less and produce the same results. Remember, you don’t build muscle in the gym; you build muscle when you rest and recover.

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