My Top Workout Tips

20 May 2013

Do you get on the treadmill or cross trainer for an hour? Drive to the gym in order to jog for 30 minutes? Are you scared to lift weights because you think you’ll get bulky?

Don’t worry; I used to be the same. My gym routine was all about spending as much time as I could on a cross trainer, thinking I would get in better shape because of the all the calories I was burning. Longer time at the gym on a machine = more calories burned. Seems simple and totally effective to looking amazing, right?! WRONG.

If you follow me on Instagram (or view the pictures above), you’ll notice that I’m not bulky and rather have long, lean muscle, definition, and yes I have a 6-pack. So I’d like to share some of my top tips how to get the most from your workout.

  • Increase resistance training to 4x a week.

There are a few various ways to do weight training either by using low weight/high repetition, high weight/ low repetition, or your own body weight (no added weight). I personally like swapping out all of these to challenge my body so it doesn’t get used to any one way of training.

Low weight/high rep EX: 5kg dumbbells, 20 repetitions

High weight/ low rep EX: 12kg dumbells, 8-10 repetitions

Body weight EX: pushups/squats/lunges, go until fail (meaning you don’t count, rather keep going until your legs or arms feel like they will fall off)

Benfits: decreases your body fat, tightens skin, reduces cellulite, and increases metabolism.

  • Do yoga, Pilates and swimming.

I try to practice yoga 2x a week both for a physical AND mental workout. All three of these will make your mind sharper, increase your stability, and again, challenges your body in different ways. Don’t fret about doing 2 hours a day, 20 minutes is enough for your body (and mind) to see results.

Benefits: Gives you long, lean muscles, increases core strength, clears your mind, increases flexibility, relieves stress and tension (better sleep).

  • Do high intensity interval training (HIIT) instead of long sessions of cardio.

This is the hardest thing to convince people of, sadly. Somewhere along the line we’ve been taught to do so much cardio and while it’s great for aiding in fat loss, you will see far better results when you push yourself to the max for a shorter time instead of long sessions of moderate pace.

HIIT cardio EX: sprinting 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest. Repeat for 4 minutes.

Benefits: efficient workout for those with little time for the gym, burn more calories/fat after a workout (than if you do steady cardio), decreases fat not muscle.

  • Rest 1-2x per week, non consecutive.

This one is so important and we seem to think more time at the gym = better results. I now have seen the best results of my life from increasing my rest days up to 3 any given week. Your body needs time to repair the muscles, give your mind a rest, and you will come back replenished and ready to give it everything you have.

Benefits: prevents mental burnout, restores glycogen stores, builds your base, improves your endurance and increases blood volume.

My 4 favorite workouts (in picture format).

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I have been asked to share what a typical day in the gym looks like for me so here it is:

  • HIIT cardio for 20 minutes typically on the treadmill (as I love running). This will be 5 minutes warm up around 10.5km/hr. I then do tabata training, which is 5 minutes of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest. I pump up the speed to 16km/hr and run for 20 seconds then will jump off to the side. Jump on, off. 5 minutes, then 5 minutes at 10.5km/hr. The last 5 minutes I do the 20 seconds on/10 off again. (if you are just beginning, you want to go 100% of your max, which might only be at say 14km an hour… don’t compare yourself to others. I used to warm up at 8km an hour and sprint at 12km!)
  • I will then do the bottom left workout with jumping jacks, squat jumps, burpees, moutain climbers, tire jumps, knee highs, box jumps, side box jumps, and jump squats. This takes workout takes around 10 minutes but is killer! If I don’t do this sort of high intensity one, I will focus on using weights and typically do 4 sets with 10-15 repetitions.
  • I switch things up each time I go, so one day I will do more high intensity exercises and the next will be weights. I never go more than an hour (most sessions last around 45 minutes), and the high intensity workouts last 30 minutes.
  • I never follow specific routines, but I highly recommend the Nike Training application (from the app store) if you are just getting into working out or are lost for ideas.
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