When it comes to getting in good physical shape, simultaneously losing excess fat and toning up is the ideal approach. It’s a common goal to have in mind when kick-starting a new fitness routine, and getting yourself motivated to start working out in a gym. It’s also common to want to be rewarded with immediate results, but the process of getting fit takes time, patience, and consistent effort. Stamina is essential to achieving your fitness goals, and involves both physical endurance and mental capacity.
Assess Your Baseline Fitness Level
Everyone, no matter what level of fitness they’re on, should have a baseline of where they land on the fitness spectrum and where they want to be. This will guide you in your strategy and approach to reaching your benchmark goals with regards to muscle growth. It’s not about admitting weakness, but about understanding your strength and being goal-oriented about where you specifically want to get stronger or see improvement.
Everyone is different in their physical composition, and where they accumulate fat tissue the most. For some people it’s around the middle section of the body, and that’s where they should focus on. Don’t neglect other muscle groups, though, since balance is key to burning fat and maximizing your muscle-toning routines.
Adjust Your Schedule
Don’t use a hectic and tight schedule as an excuse to miss regular workouts, as consistency is key to getting the results you want. Shuffle your schedule around to make time for going to the gym. You’ll enjoy the endorphins and sense of balance you’ll experience from getting workouts in between work and other daily obligations.
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Establish A Routine
A full-body approach to working out is a great way to achieve fat loss. Explore some sample workout routines to design your own, and get creative by changing it up throughout the week to keep it from getting monotonous and boring. Remember to alternate rest days with high-intensity training days and incorporate warm-up routines to give your muscles the time they need to recover and rebuild between workouts.
Here’s a sample weekly workout routine that can easily be modified:
- Monday: Full-body workout with weights
- Tuesday: Partial rest, with stretching and yoga exercises
- Wednesday: Cardio, such as running or cycling
- Thursday: High-intensity interval (HIIT) training
- Friday: Full-body workout with weights
- Saturday: Full day of rest
- Sunday: Light cardio and yoga
Best Exercises For Muscle Growth
There are unlimited variations of basic exercises you can do to build muscle and reduce fat:
- Planks and side planks
- Crunches and sit-ups
- Chin-ups and pull-ups
Any of the above can be done either in a gym setting or at home, and are open to modification.
Change Your Diet And Hydrate
Eating a healthy diet that’s high in protein and other foods that support muscle development and recovery is just as important as working out to get a more toned physique. Hydration is crucial, before, during, and after a gym session. Dehydration impedes physical performance, as well as weight loss. Some studies have also indicated that drinking adequate amounts of water throughout the day increases the hormone norepinephrine, which stimulates metabolism and triggers fat-burning efficiency. Other exercise-related hormones that impact fat loss are insulin, cortisol and testosterone. Hydration and diet are key factors in hormonal regulation and balance in the body.
Combine Cardio With Strength Training
Integrating cardio exercise with weight training is a secret weapon when it comes to burning fat effectively and efficiently at the gym. Cardio burns higher calories, which is conducive to weight loss, and lifting weights burns more fat tissue and replaces it with toned muscle mass. The result is increased energy, stamina and strength for optimized workouts.
Whatever your preferred workout style may be, challenge yourself but don’t overextend your efforts to the point where working out isn’t enjoyable, or becomes something you dread. Remember to set realistic goals for yourself, and don’t stress out about falling short of your expectations. Deregulated hormones caused by spiked levels of stress are counterproductive to losing weight and getting toned. Self-defeating thoughts and pessimism can hinder or even sabotage your progress and success, so push aside self-doubt and think positively about what you’re capable of. Getting in shape should not just be about looking great, but also feeling like you’re in your prime.