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Don't take long breaks if you can during your workout. Try to move from one exercise to another with just enough rest to reset your breathing and heart rate. Taking extended breaks will make your workout last a lot longer and make it more inefficient overall. As soon as you feel rested enough, move onto your next exercise. If you keep moving throughout your workout it's also better for your metabolism, as studies have shown that your metabolism will increase for up to 48 hours after this type of workout. You might have to work your way up to it, but that's okay, just try to minimize your resting time as much as you possibly can.
Exercising on an empty stomach is a bad idea and it can actually reduce the efficiency of your workout. You don't want to hit the gym or exercise right after eating, but you can give yourself at least one or two hours or however long it takes for you to not feel nauseated when exercising. Everyone is different; some people can work out soon after eating and others have to wait longer. But don't exercise on an empty stomach no matter what you do because your muscles won't have enough glycogen to power you through your workout. You'll end up running out of fuel sooner than you should and it can dramatically affect the quality of your workout.
High intensity interval training is a great way to burn more calories without a lot of additional effort. You can burn a lot more calories with this type of workout than you would with regular exercises. This type of workout kick starts your metabolism and puts it into a fat burning mode for several hours after your workout is finished. The result is that you burn more fat than you would with your normal workout. Exercises like running or biking at a steady pace don't really match up to the effectiveness and the efficiency of high intensity interval training. You'll find that you lose weight a lot faster and gain muscle faster as well with high intensity interval training.
You can find plenty of information about different high intensity interval training exercises on the internet. You can also take any exercise that you are currently doing and turn it into a high intensity interval workout. Just do as many repetitions as you can, or sprint/run/swim/bicycle etc. as fast as you can for a period of time, about 10 to 15 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Exercise experts believe that this is approximately the ideal way to perform high intensity interval training. The short bursts of exercise are effective for reducing the amount of lactic acid that is produced. Rest periods of 30 seconds are more effective at providing a complete recovery of ATP, allowing you to continue exercising at a high intensity.
Important: be sure to contact your medical provider to get an approval for high intensity exercises before trying them.
Lower body weightlifting can help your body produce HGH, or human growth hormone. HGH production is necessary in order to be able to build muscle and burn fat. Exercises like squats, deadlifts, and other lower body workouts and back workouts can be highly effective at increasing your natural HGH production. However, of course, you have to be careful to avoid hurting yourself and be sure that you have the proper form. It can help to get a few lessons from a trainer, but even if you don't do any weightlifting, simply doing high intensity cardio workouts high uphill sprinting, cycling on a high difficult, or other cardio workouts can be just as effective.
Working out with other people can motivate you to accomplish more with your exercises. Group training and workouts like CrossFit or other bootcamp style workouts can be effective at helping you to stay motivated. Many of these workout classes are designed in a competitive format and they can push you to accomplish a lot more than what you would do on your own. A study by Oxford University found that when people work out in groups that they release twice the amount of endorphins than they would on their own, which results in a higher exercise tolerance and more calories burned per exercise session.
Be sure that you have a warm up routine before starting to work out. If you don't warm your muscles up you won't be as strong during your workouts. A study found that neglecting to warm up with stretches can reduce your squat strength by up to 8 percent. Stretching helps to increase blood flow to your muscles to prepare them for work and it generally helps you work out for a longer period of time and with more calories burned per exercise session. Try dynamic stretches like jogging or rowing along with your static stretches to improve the efficiency of your stretching. Also be sure that you are stretching the muscles that you are going to use during your workout, and alternate your stretches as well as your exercises to burn the maximum number of calories per exercise session.