Leaner, toner and much more muscular is always the common goal. Some of us are blessed with high metabolism and can get there faster than others. We lift, we try to eat right, we juice and cleanse, we run, we take classes and do everything we can to accomplish that goal.
There are cardio junkies out there and then there are many that hate that cardiovascular section of the gym. Like all fitness goals, to get really cut requires a lifestyle change, and doing it without cardio is actually possible.
Cardio workouts can bring on that amazing runner’s endorphin high and burn calories like crazy. But the pounding on the machines takes a toll on your joints and can often lead to ankle, knee and hip injuries. Adding on, so many people just think it’s boring and it does not help you gain muscle.
You have to eat clean! Diet is everything. Stick to the right combinations of protein (chicken, fish and lean beef), fruits, vegetables, and good fats (avocado) and carbohydrates like oats and grained breads. Don’t load up on carbs like pasta and white bread. Always skip the junk food and ignore alcohol completely—or as much as is possible.
You also have to burn more than you eat, which is weight loss 101. Counting calories is a great way to get a general idea of how much you need to cut back. Depending on your size and what your daily caloric intake should actually be, cutting up to 500 calories a day can help you tremendously, and your body will start to burn fat. The cleaner your diet, the faster the results will show.
IF, known as intermittent fasting, is another way to get those muscles faster. It’s difficult to do and requires you to eat all of your calories within four to eight hours. Not so easy when you have dinner plans but need to fuel before your morning workout. Technically, you are fasting outside this window and consuming only water and low-calorie drinks like green tea.
As a result, insulin levels have been seen to drop, which of course then helps to take off those pounds. This method of eating also helps increase human growth hormones (HGH). These hormones are responsible for your youth, your energy and they help your body function. HGH also plays a huge role in adult metabolism.
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Fat burner supplements are another way to reach that single-digit fat percentage. Racing to cardio to help get us there and increase our metabolism isn’t necessarily the trick. If you are working hard at the gym and eating clean, adding these in can help you reach your goal, because they burn extra calories while lowering your body fat.
They increase your metabolism while decreasing your appetite and less snacking is an automatic given. Plus they give you energy so you are still able to kill it at the gym and you are not only eating clean, you are also now eating less! Sounds like a win-win!
Water, water and more water is another trick! We need to stay hydrated for our skin, for our health and to help us stay full. Often we go to snack when we are not hungry because we are dehydrated and think we need food. You should be drinking water all day long. Before, during and after your workouts is just the start.
It’s more than what you eat and drink. To get crazy cut, you also need to incorporate high reps over multiple sets at the gym to activate and recruit as many muscle fibers as possible. Exhaust the entire muscle so the weaker points kick in when the stronger parts get tired. You want a challenge, so try for at least five sets of 15 reps and aim to use a weight around 65% of your one-rep max.
Complex training is weight exercises grouped by muscles or joints. And strip set training is repeating the same exercise numbers of times without lowering the weight. Both of these training methods allow for high reps and keep you from getting bored. Throw in some abdominal reps to your routine, starting off with at least 20 and work your way up. Core strength is hugely important! And it’s always bathing suit it season somewhere.
If you like cardio, you’re lucky, so add it in! But if you don’t, incorporating these tricks into your lifestyle will absolutely you help your muscles get noticed without hitting the bike, treadmill or the Stairmaster!