By Swann Delarosa, IFBB Figure Pro, Top 5 in the world
Always give yourself room to make adjustments. That goes for your cardio as well as your diet.
There is no reason to go from 0 to 100 from one day to the next. Gradually increase the time of your session or the intensity.
If you have not done cardio in weeks or months, don't jump on the stair master every day and do 60 min, or even 40 min. Not only will you reduce your ability to be consistent but you are likely to hit a plateau sooner.
I would advise you start by doing 20-25min, maybe 5 days a week. Start on the bike or elliptical, some days get on a different cardio equipment which is harder for you.
Once you are back into your groove, increase your cardio to 6-7 days /week.
Then slowly increase the duration of your session or the intensity.
HITT cardio is also something you can get into when you hit a plateau. Start with 2 sessions a week. If that is working well for you, at some point, add an extra session of HITT during the week.
Plyometric circuits are also great for weight loss and they are fun to do. You can do those between your sets of weight lifting at the gym to increase your heart rate, or you can do then stand alone.
Give it some time though, you don’t necessarily have to make crazy adjustments every single week. Always think about your journey as something you are doing for yourself for the long run. Don’t be such in a rush to make physical changes, it will not happen overnight, just be patient and consistent.
By Josh Acton, Cancer survivor and Professional Trainer, founder of GoHardLife
1) Determine your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) to be sure you have your self in a calorie deficit. You must be burning more calories than you take in to lose weight (an online calorie calculator can help you).
2) Eating low glycemic foods will help keep insulin levels stable so that you use more of fat for fuel.
3)Zigzag your calories for periodic BMR (Basal metabolic rate) adjustments. This will help keep metabolism humming and also keep you from plateauing.
4) Aim for 4-6 meals a day to help keep your blood sugar stable.
5) Increasing your protein will help boost metabolism and improve satiety
1) Perform cardio either in a fasted state or immediately after resistance training. At these times we don't have readily available carbohydrates for fuel so your body is forced to use fat for energy.
2) High intensity interval training (HIIT) boosts metabolism and heart rate to burn fat hours after completed.
3)Lift heavy weight (strict form) with short rest periods with a rep range between 8-12 .
4) Add intensifier sets to your workout like - drop sets, forced reps, super sets, tri-sets and giant sets.
5) Active rest in-between sets to keep heart rate up. (ex- jump roping, jumping jacks)
By Darrell Butler, Vitamin Shoppe Health Enthusiast and Betancourt brand ambassador
Have you ever heard the popular fitness mantra that “abs are made in the kitchen” or that fitness is “80% nutrition and 20% exercise”? Well, those statements are more than just trainer clichés and catchphrases; they’re also 100 percent true! If your nutrition isn’t on point, you may never achieve the body that you desire. Sure it’s perfectly normal and encouraged to have an occasional cheat-meal, but you can’t scarf down donuts and potato chips every day and still expect to get ripped! You also can’t expect to have 6-pack abs if you also drink a 6-pack each day! If you want to see the results of your hard work in the gym, the majority of your meals will need to be disciplined with balanced nutrition and healthier choices. Download a food journal app or consult with a nutritionist to better understand how the foods you’re eating are affecting your body and how to best determine the optimal timing for your nutrient intake...including those cheat meals!
Did you know that high cortisol levels can seriously affect your body’s ability to burn fat and build muscle? Cortisol is a chemical that’s produced by your body when you’re stressed. That means that if you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, you’ll need to first get your stress levels in check.
Sleep also plays a vital role in your success. Not only does a lack of sleep affect your stress levels, it also causes your body to store more adrenal fluids and makes it harder for your body to make repairs to your system and build muscle.
Even the supplements that you choose could be robbing you of your hard earned results. As the host of our Betancourt Nutrition Product Education Series, I fully support doing your homework before putting something in your body. Some other supplement labels out there are very misleading and can actually cause you to gain weight or may not have the quality nutrients that you’re looking for.
A holistic approach to educating yourself on how the body works will save you a lot of time, effort and frustration.
If you gained weight over the course of 3 years, you can’t expect to lose it all after 2 Zumba classes! From high-speed internet to microwaves, we’re used to everything happening quickly and exactly when we want it. Unfortunately that’s not exactly how the body works. You can’t give up after a few weeks though, it’s going to take time and effort if you want sustained results. Of course, there are ways to speed things up a bit. Again, educate yourself on how the body works and seek help if you’re unsure how to devise a plan that best suits your lifestyle. Also make sure to track your progress so that you know how your body is responding to what you’re doing. You can absolutely do it, but you can’t do it overnight. But if you keep doing the right things consistently, it will definitely happen! The question is, "how bad do you want it?"
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