For years I worked out in vain. I would spend hours per week running on the treadmill at a steady pace and then do a few reps of weight training.
I would then go stop by the grocery store and buy my dinner for the night. My dinner usually consisted of high carb and sugary foods. Most of the food I ate at that time was highly processed as well.
Periodically, I would stand in the mirror dejected at my lack of progress. I spent hundreds of dollars on personal training with and got little results. I was mystified why I wasn’t losing weight and gaining muscle. Negative thoughts like I didn’t have the proper genes to create a lean muscular body ruled my life.
The pieces of the puzzle were not adding up. After a few years of this endless cycle of working out with no results and then stopping, I gave up for good.
It was not until I got super sick and hit my rock bottom I took full responsibility for my health. I got proper support and my body started to transform.
During my transformation (which continues to this day), I learned a few key ways to effectively workout and not have my efforts be in vain.
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will blast away unwanted fat.
One of the best ways to lose weight through exercise is to vary the type of exercise you do each day.
In addition to alleviating burnout and boredom, you give your body the opportunity to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. High-intensity interval training simply referred to as HIIT will help you meet this goal.
HIIT has a plethora of wonderful benefits.
These benefits include:
- If you are time-starved, HIIT is an excellent way to complete an effective workout in a relatively short period of time.
- HIIT improves your cardiovascular health and endurance.
- HIIT stimulates the human growth hormone and testosterone which is key for muscle growth.
- HIIT is fun and if done correctly will improve your overall mood.
In his article, HIIT Workouts Beat Conventional Cardio Dr. Axe talks about how HIIT is superior to long drawn out cardio.
Dr. Axe highlights the fact that people are drawn to HIIT because of the effects it has on your metabolism after you are done working out.
Your metabolism is boosted and you are able to burn more unwanted fat at a higher rate.
HIIT will also improve your cardiovascular health. Your V02 max (maximum oxygen uptake) is increased when you practice HIIT.
This is because instead of doing steady cardio you do burst movements that challenge you to the max.
Over time your heart muscle will become stronger allowing you to have more endurance.
HITT also balances your hormonal environment. Ghrelin which signals hunger and leptin which notifies your brain that you are full work in harmony reducing your desire to overeat.
Testosterone is also released at a higher rate which promotes weight loss.
One the best things about HIIT is that you can do it anywhere. If you travel a lot or don’t always have access to a gym skipping your workout is not a valid excuse.
All you need is a mat, towel, water, and your favorite HIIT YouTuber. In 30–45 minutes you complete an awesome workout that will burn fat for hours after you are done.
Compound and isolation movements provide muscle growth and core stability.
Compound and isolation movements will help you develop lean muscle and keep off unwanted weight.
While weight training and HIIT are combined at times (think boot camp), compound and isolation workouts alone can be a great addition to your workout routine.
Isolation movements include exercises like:
- Bicep curls
- Preacher curls
- Lat Raises
- Tricep extensions
Compound movements include exercises like:
- Pull Ups (one of my favorites)
- Renegade Rows
- Deadlift Squats
The article, Compound vs Isolation Exercises – Which is Best for Mass highlights the importance of both types of workouts.
With isolation movements, you can target specific muscles that need growth. You develop a mind-muscle connection which over time you will be able to develop weaker muscles to their maximum potential.
When you target muscles your overall strength will improve allowing you to experience more weight loss.
Compound movements employ more than one major muscle group. For instance, when you do a pull-up you work out biceps, back, and shoulders. You can put more focus on a muscle group depending on the type of pull up you do.
Compound movements allow you to lift more weight. The human growth hormone (HGH) and testosterone are released in greater amounts which allows you to build more muscle. Compound movements also improve overall coordination and flexibility.
Dance is a great way to perform compound movements if you don’t have access to weights. Plus it’s fun and uplifting.
Low impact exercise like walking and leisure biking clears the mind and improves mood.
Low impact movement is just as important as high impact. On your “rest” days movement still should be part of your day.
At first glance, you might think that walking doesn’t help you lose that much weight. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Mayo Clinic article, Walk your way to fitness highlights the benefits of walking.
These benefits include:
- Healthy weight maintenance.
- Disease prevention such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.
- Improved mood and better overall coordination and balance.
Recently, I have started to put walking more into my daily routine. I always feel refreshed after my walk and my body feels tighter despite the fact that I did a low impact workout.
You can also listen to a personal/business development podcast or audiobook as you walk. This way you improve your mind and body at the same time.
Consider a long leisure bike ride but without the headphones. Enjoy the nature around you instead as you fire your glutes and quads.
Make sure you are eating a whole foods diet.
In addition to weight loss through exercise, your diet is just as important as your workout routine.
You can do all the HIIT, weight lifting, and walking in the world but if your diet is filled with processed foods you won’t be able to reap the benefits of your workouts.
Like I mentioned earlier, a diet filled with processed foods will destroy all of your progress in your workouts.
A diet filled with foods like:
- Salmon, Wild Shrimp, Monkfish, Mussels, and Wild Catfish
- Wild Rice, Quinoa, Black Bean Pasta, and Sweet Potato
- Kale, Arugula, Spinach, and Watercress
- Garlic, Mushrooms, and Onion
- Honey, Maple Syrup, and Organic Dark Chocolate
Will help you develop the body type you most desire. Eating most meals prepared at home by you or someone you love is the best way to see fast results from your workouts.
You don’t have to stand in the mirror dejected any longer.
Fill out the form below. Discover more whole foods to eat after working out in the BreakFast Food Guide. Learn why these foods will help you get the body you want. You will also receive a PDF version of my Intermittent Fasting Guide which will help you accelerate weight loss and muscle growth.