High Intensity Training – Go Harder For Better Results

Have you hit a plateau in your training program? Not losing any more weight? Not seeing an improvement in muscle mass? Been doing the same workout for quite some time? If you have answered “Yes” to any of these, it is probably time to reassess your workout program. You may well be working at a lower intensity than is optimal for your goals. Try some of these tips for a more effective high intensity training.

* Add extra weight. Obvious, yes. But many people get stuck in a rut with their workouts and it doesn’t occur to them that they need to start lifting more. Your muscles get used to lifting certain weights and then after that they are just cruising on auto-pilot. Give your muscles a jolt.

* Alter the speed of the reps. If you cannot possibly lift heavier weights for whatever reason, try changing the speed of the repetitions to increase your workout intensity. For example, instead of letting gravity help on the way down, slow the negative part of the exercise right down. You will be in control of the weight, not gravity, and you will really feel a difference. This is one strategy that has endless variations to keep your muscles from getting complacent and lazy. When asking yourself  how to get a six pack, you will be much more effective at getting rid of the love handles if you play around with the speeds of your crunches.

* Change the exercise pattern. Your muscles get used to doing things in a certain order. Many people always workout in the same pattern. For those skeptics out there, just try reversing your whole workout routine and see how much harder it is. Your muscles will not be doing what they expected and will have to work harder. Try it and see. This is another strategy that has plenty of variation.

* Shorten your rest intervals.
Decreasing your rest periods means that your muscles will have to work harder. As an added bonus you will also be able to do more in the same workout time.

* No pain, no gain.
Cliched but true. If you are cruising through your workout you are definitely not going to progress. It should be hard and it should burn. Do a few more reps at the very least.

* Hire a trainer. Get a trainer to give you an assessment to see where you can improve. This can be invaluable for those people who have been doing the same old same old for a long time. Sports medicine techniques have changed and you could possibly benefit.

* How long is too long for a workout routine? A very fit person will need to increase their intensity every 3-4 weeks. Experts state that it takes about a minimum of 3 weeks for the body to reap the benefits of the change in routine. Beginners may take as long as 2-3 months before they hit their first plateau. This is because at the start it is all new and their muscles are getting it all together.

* Keep a journal.
This is pretty important when you are playing around with rest intervals, your speeds, your weights, and your routines. How can you possibly remember? If you can you are possibly doing too much of the same thing on a regular basis. Logging your progress will give you a better idea of how much stronger and fitter you are getting. Keeping a journal will also allow you to look back over time and see which tactics work best for you.

* Are you working hard enough?
If you are not out of breath or sweating then it goes without saying, you are not working yourself hard enough. You should be working at such a level that you are capable of short answers only. If you can carry on a whole conversation you need to be harder on yourself. If you feel faint or breathless you are overdoing it. Obviously, chest pain would mean stopping immediately and possibly a visit to the doctor.

Conclusion.

Pushing yourself harder in your workout will yield results. Those stuck on the scales or not seeing an improvement in the bathroom mirror will benefit from upping their workout ante to a higher intensity.

Why Would You Use Mirrors In The Gym?

Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the strongest of them all? Why would you use mirrors in the gym? There are quite a few good reasons to have some mirrors installed where you workout. No, it isn’t just to admire your great physique. Read on to see why gyms and health clubs have walls and wall of mirrors:

* Check form.
Probably the most important reason for having mirrors is to keep an eye on your from. This is especially important when you are training at home or on your own. It can be incredibly easy to slip into bad habits quickly when working out or lifting weights. Incorrect motions not only result in injuries, but are also pretty much a waste of time. There is no point lifting those weights if you are doing it all wrong.

Poor form can lead to long term and insidious injuries and weaknesses, as well as more noticeable short term injuries that can sideline you while you are recovering. Incorrect form will also mean that the muscle group you are trying to focus on will not tone up as fast as is optimal. The other disadvantage to poor form is that when you are using other muscles to help you with your workout, you will not be burning as many calories as fast as you would be if you were completing the motion correctly.

Mirrors also enable you to see the back half and both sides giving you an all round view of what you are doing. Another benefit of mirrors is that they assist you with your balance. You can easily see that your weight is evenly distributed and that your feet and shoulders are evenly spaced.

* Posture. Keeping your tummy tucked in is important for many workouts. Letting it all hang out is not usually considered an option. This is important when you are asking yourself how to get a six pack of abs, doing abdominal and core work, and the mirrors will come into their own. Correct alignment will ensure that there is no unnecessary pressure placed on crooked backs and necks.

* Cheaper than a trainer. Mirrors play a critical factor when there is no trainer or spotter present. Keep your eye on yourself literally and make sure those reps are being done right. No bending, no cheating, and no cutting corners. Any parts of you that are being lazy or slack are instantly demonstrated. This will prevent you from getting into bad habits that are then difficult to break.

* Determine progress.
Once you get into a workout or training routine you will be able see for yourself how much better you are going through the motions and how much stronger you are getting.

* Stay motivated.
Mirrors really allow you to see just how pumped you are getting. Sure, you can check yourself out in the bathroom mirror, but that is not the same as seeing those muscles bulging when you are doing the exercise correctly. The better the muscles start looking in the mirrors, the more you will be inspired to keep on going.

* Brighten room. Mirrors can also be an excellent way to brighten up a dark space and make it look bigger. Since many of us are working out in basements, or small spaces, this can be worthwhile on its own. A pleasant workout space is much more appealing and inviting, and you will be much more inclined to hang out there. No-one wants to work out in a dungeon.

* Mirrors on a budget.
Try your local hardware store for cheap mirrors that you can attach to the wall in sections. This can be much more cost effective than going to a fitness store. Don’t forget that there will also be bargains to be had on EBay, and possibly garage sales.

* How to use those mirrors.
How you view yourself, will depend on the exercise you are doing. Standing straight on can be great for many while others are best seen from the side. Care should be taken to not be trying to turn your neck around 90 degrees to peer into the mirror. This sort of activity will strain your neck very quickly. For this reason it can be a great idea to mount mirrors on a couple of walls at right angles to each other so you can easily see yourself from more than one angle at a time.

Conclusion.

There are plenty of good reasons for gyms to have those walls of mirrors. No, it isn’t so you can keep an eye on that hot body on the other side of the room. Mirrors in a home gym play a crucial component in keeping proper form. Mirrors are invaluable when trainers and spotters are not around. Being able to track your progress will also keep you motivated and feeling good about your workout program.

Work Out With Proper Form For Better Definition

Are you lifting those weights correctly? It is important to work out with proper from if you want to minimize injuries and maximize results. It really doesn’t matter how heavy that weight is if you are doing it all wrong. Guys tend to fall victim to poor form more often than the girls. The reason? Men tend to get a bit carried away with the amount of weight they are lifting.

What is good form?

Form is the quality with which you perform an exercise or routine. The better method you employ while performing a specific exercise, the better the workout for the targeted muscle group. So in other words, you are better off lifting a lighter weight perfectly and with good form than a heavier weight incorrectly, or with poor form.

Tips for good form.

There are three main components that determine your form when lifting weights or performing an exercise (like crunches).

* Control your speed. Slow measured and accurate movements are best. The faster the motion the less chance you are in control. The heavier the weight and the faster the motion the more chance that the weight is controlling you as opposed to you being in control. Don’t let gravity assist you with the downwards part of the motion. Stay in charge. Steady movements are best.

* Stability. The part of your body that you are exercising should be moving. The rest of your body should be still. It can be very easy to use other muscle groups to assist (or cheat) with the exercise, which only detracts from the effectiveness of the workout. Your body should not be rocking backwards or forwards.

* Full range of motion. The whole motion needs to be performed. Halfway is only half a workout. Go all the way through, and then all the way back.

Good form for the gals.

Females are generally not quite so guilty of working out with poor form as the men. Generally, women tend to not complete the full range of motion. It is important to complete the range, otherwise the exercise is pretty much a waste. Keep an eye on that mirror and ensure you are fully extending and flexing. If you are unsure get a trainer to watch you for one session to ensure you are doing it right.

Good form for the guys.

Men’s poor form pretty much stems from the fact they attempt to lift weights that are too heavy for their strength. As a direct result, many men rush their lifts. Another popular example of poor form is enlisting the aid of other muscle groups to help with the lift. You should only be using the specific and targeted muscles. If you can’t, lessen the weight and go back to the basics. Once you can lift the weight perfectly, then start upping the weight.

Rocking your body weight is poor form, as is ”jerking’, “bouncing” or “kicking” where the momentum of body weight is used to finish the lift and then the weight returns using gravity. These sorts of cheating movements are not only totally defeating the purpose, but are also high risk for joint strains.

How to achieve good form.

* Start out with light weights that you can manage until you have perfected the movement.
* Seek the advice of a professional when first starting out. Once you have the moves down you can go it alone.
* Use mirrors to keep your motions in check.
* Don’t train when you are injured or sick. In both instances you will be unable to give your all to the workout.
* Concentrate on the correct motions and isolate the muscle group you are working on. Taking your mind off the job can easily lead to sloppy workouts and injuries. For example, how to get a six pack? When doing crunches, really focus on those core muscles and abdominals, concentrate on your breathing and do not allow your neck muscles to take the pressure off.
* Breathe. Remember to keep breathing while you are doing your routine. Holding your breath will result in your muscles being deprived of oxygen faster.

Conclusion.

Proper form is essential to both lessen injuries and to define muscles. Lifting a lighter weight perfectly is far more effective than lifting a heavier weight with poor form.