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Boost Your Workout

August 10, 2011

By Tara Zimliki

You have all seen the person who mopes around the gym and moves through their workout at a snail’s pace.  Just watching them makes you tired.  There is a lack of passion and energy in their fitness regimen.  Part of you may even want to pull them aside and motivate them to exercise harder and smarter.  But rationality kicks in and you realize you should probably look the other way to avoid insulting this person.

According to numerous recent studies by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, high-intensity training is twice as effective as normal exercise. And you will burn more calories in your one-hour workout.  What’s more, by boosting your workout you can improve your oxygen use, endurance, and strength, which is better for your heart and your mind!

As a personal trainer and fitness lover, I find myself constantly pushing my clients and myself to boost a workout to the next level.  There are days when my clients come to me tired from a long day and I push them, urge them to find their inner strength and boost their workout. In my personal fitness I have the same struggles. This morning I went for a 15-mile run, even though I was tired and my body wanted to slow down and I worried I might not be able to last the whole run.  Instead of giving in I pushed myself to work harder.  I ran harder up the hills and sprinted at every downhill.  I not only boosted my workout but I finished with a great sense of accomplishment.   You can utilize this training to meet and exceed your fitness and health goals.  You can always push your workouts to the next level.  You can work out stronger, harder, and more efficiently in a safe and effective way.

Here are five ways to increase the intensity of your workouts and reach your fitness goals:

1)      Do you want to burn more calories and eliminate fitness boredom?  Then integrate interval training into your fitness program.  Interval training in the past was mainly seen in elite athlete workout programs, but today people of all fitness levels are engaging in this technique.  The increase in interval training is because people have caught on to the benefits.  To give my clients an effective workout, I make interval training part of their every workout.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity. And the best part of interval training is that you will burn more calories. The more vigorously you exercise the more calories you’ll burn— even if you increase intensity for just a few minutes at a time.”  So go ahead and start adding intervals into your fitness program and with the quick results you will see you’ll be glad you did!

2)      Want to add a great exercise that will help you to burn more calories and challenge you?  Then consider including the burpee.  The burpee is a surefire exercise to work your whole body and get your heart pumping.  This exercise is used for strength training and is aerobic.  To perform this exercise: Begin in a standing position and lower your body into a squat position with hands on the ground. Kick your feet back while lowering yourself into a pushup. Return your feet to a squat position while raising your arms, then take a vertical leap with your hands above your head.  Few exercises combine as many muscle groups as the burpees. The power and explosion of this exercise makes it one of my favorites!

3)      What are your fitness and health goals?  Write down your goals in a visible place and reflect on those goals daily.  Set specific goals.  If you have a goal of losing 15 pounds, write it down and take it one day at a time.  If your goal is to run your first 5k, map out a training plan to help you achieve this. Whatever your fitness goals are, state them, set a plan, and you will be on your way to accomplishing your goals!

4)      Do you want to get even more out of your workouts?  Then focus on a mind-muscle connection when working out.  When performing diamond pushups, focus on the triceps and how this muscle feels when you are performing the diamond.  Do not think about your daily chores but focus on the muscles you are working.  The key is to keep this focus.  Likewise, when performing a sit up, focus on the rectus abdominus and feel the muscles engaging.  By using the mind-muscle connection you will become more in tune with your body and your workout will be more productive.

5)      Finish strong.  Finish every workout with extra effort and passion.  If you are out for a run, end with a sprint.  If you are in a workout class, finish the last 15 minutes with your eyes off the clock and your focus on fitness.  I make sure I finish every workout strong and push even harder for the last 15 minutes so I end my workouts feeling that I’ve accomplished something.  Finish your workout with a smile!  After all, you have just boosted your workout to the next level.  You are now well on your way to achieving and surpassing your fitness goals.

Remember to work out to your full fitness potential and increase the intensity of your fitness regimen by following the tips I provided.  If you follow these tips and eat a healthy, nutrient-dense diet you should be able to reach your goals and get a new lease on life.  You will become the person you deserve to be and have the energy you have always dreamed of.  There is only one person that stands in your way, so get off your bum and work your body strong!  You will be glad you did!

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