1. Set Goals which focus on what your body is capable of doing, not just what it looks like!
Even if your overall goal is to change the way your body looks, that will come too when you focus on goals which challenge and motivate you each time you train. They can be short term goals, for example completing one extra rep per set than you did last week when benching a particular weight, or longer term, for example increase your squat 1RM by 10kg in 10 weeks. Write it down, make it speciﬁc, timed and measurable and keep track of your progress!
2. Keep a Journal!
Before every session, make a plan for what you hope to achieve—aim high! At the end of every session, make a record of what you actually achieved. This will motivate you to work hard towards what you set out to achieve for the session, It will also be a great way to keep track of how well you are progressing towards your goals, so that you can determine if your training is working or if you need to re-evaluate and make some changes!
3. Focus on the effect that a workout can have on your body after the workout is complete, rather than only during the workout.
Shifting your focus in this way will have a huge impact on your fat loss results! Two types of training which have the greatest impact on your body AFTER the workout are resistance (weight) training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
As mentioned in my previous post, increasing muscle through resistance training will increase your resting metabolism. You will burn more calories 24 hours a day and yes, that includes while watching T.V. and even while you sleep!
High Intensity interval training involves short bursts of high intensity work interspersed with rest/recovery periods. It triggers your anaerobic metabolism and will have your body burning calories at an increased rate for up to 48 hours after the workout is done! Full body, functional movements which recruit the most muscle ﬁbres possible (the exhausting kind) will have the greatest effect on burning maximum calories. Tip—if you are time poor, check out the tabata protocol for HIIT, it only takes 4 minutes!
You simply cannot burn enough energy during an hour walk/jog to equate to the fat loss beneﬁts of increasing you metabolism through weight training, or the post workout increase in caloric expenditure that you get after a high intently interval training (HIIT) session.
4. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone!!
It can take as little as three weeks for your body to adapt to a particular workout routine, at which point you may begin to see a plateau in your results, not to mention get bored of doing the same thing! So, mix it up! Progress and change your workout regularly and challenge your body continuously! Always aim to do a little better, lift a little heavier, do one extra rep or decrease your rest time. Include a wide variety of functional movements to target your muscles from different angles. Switch up the weight of the load and/or the speed at which you perform each rep to recruit different types of muscle ﬁbres and make your body work in different ways. If your workouts are getting easier, you need to change it up and push yourself harder! Always be striving to be better then you were yesterday.
I hope this post has been helpful! Enjoy the motivating and empowering feeling that comes from improving your bodies capability to work, not just the way it looks (and I’m sure you will also love the aesthetic changes which will come as a by-product of improving you strength, ﬁtness and overall health).