Set your fitness program off to an effective start, or make modifications on your existing regimen, to achieve the body you want with these five steps:
1. Know Your Goals
The first question you should ask yourself is, "Do I want to lose weight, or build muscle?" It's best to focus on just one at a time. You will gain muscle on a weight loss program and vice versa, but depending on your ultimate goal, factors such as food consumption, time spent in the gym, and workout intensity will change based on the goal. Training for both at the same time will give results, but nearly as quickly or efficiently as focusing in on one.
2. Don't Focus on Weight Amount
It's common to either worry you are lifting too much, and will "bulk up," or on the opposite end of the spectrum, becoming too obsessed with lifting heavier all of the time. Contrary to popular belief, lifting heavy won't give you bigger muscles! Muscles fibers are most effectively stimulated for growth at fatigue around 8-10 reps. Any lower than that, and you are training for explosive power. As for "bulking up," it takes a lot of food, hard work and genetics to get big muscles. Lift weights and don't worry about it!
3. Pick a Program Suitable to your Schedule
Don't go on a program that requires five days in the gym, if you know you're only good for two. It's great to be ambitious but without being realistic your dreams will never become reality. If you're short on time plan for an intense 30 or 45 minute workout. If you only have a pair of dumbbells, plan to use exercises that only focus on what you have available to you.
4. Remember that Nutrition is 50% (or more!) of Results
After I had lost weight I took on a real, "I can eat whatever I want because I work out," attitude. Sure, I maintained my weight but it wasn't until I took a more serious approach to what I was eating that I REALLY started to see results. I didn't just see physical changes like more toned muscles and shiny hair but I noticed mental results such as more energy, feeling more clear-headed, and being happier.
5. Hire a Personal Trainer
With safe and efficiently organized workouts, accountability and privacy, a personal trainer is the way to go for fast, long-lasting results.
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