Athletes and fitness enthusiasts are always looking for new and correct ways to build a strong, fit and lean body.
The health and fitness industry is big business and there is lots of useful and creditable information available to help us along our way to achieving such goals.
Here at foodandfitness.co.uk we get to spend time with and observe some of the greatest coaches and finest elite athletes in the UK and afar.
It is from these encounters and experiences that we have compiled some top tips and advice on how to achieve a strong, fit and lean body:
Master and perform compound exercises often:
Isolation exercises undoubtedly provide their own benefits (mainly correcting muscle imbalances or weakness after injury or during rehabilitation), but it is compound exercises that will ensure we truly become successful when aiming to achieve a strong, lean and complete functional body.
Compound exercises implement multi-joint movements and requires the work of several muscles or muscle groups at one time.
Using several muscles at one time provides lot’s of benefits: more calories will be used up during the activity, improved coordination, improved reaction time, improved balance, improved joint stability, improved muscle balance across joints, decreased risk of injury, improved cardiovascular system, improved fitness levels and larger amounts of acquired strength.
Compound exercises include deadlifts, squats, lunges, pull ups and push ups – just to name a few.
‘Women should not lift weights’ is complete nonsense:
Contrary to popular belief, lifting weights will not turn women into burly, masculine looking bodybuilders – women just do not have the genetics or hormonal structure to achieve this without some kind of stimulant i.e. steroids.
When women lift weights the results they can achieve are incredible – lean, toned and the figure most try to achieve via painful fad dieting.
You may need to change your workout routine:
You may have a workout that you really enjoy using and it may provide you with great results, but it is highly unlikely that these results will last forever.
Our bodies become accustomed to specific long term routine and progression grinds to a halt – or the dreaded plateau known and experienced by many.
It is good to equip ourselves with multiple routines or methods of exercise so we can change it up as often as necessary.
Do not neglect working out your lower body:
The lower body can often become a neglected part of a workout routine, are you one of these many people?
The legs contain some of the largest and strongest muscles in the body and training them provides the same benefits mentioned earlier with compound exercise.
Keep your body in balance to avoid poor posture and injuries.
Your diet plays a bigger role than you might believe:
You can spend hours in the gym or training in the great outdoors with great passion and determination, but if your diet is not up to scratch then you may well just be wasting your precious time.
Nutrition plays a bigger part in achieving successful health and fitness than actual exercise itself.
This isn’t to say exercise is not of significance, but rather a statement about just how important it is to obtain adequate and relevant amounts of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water.
Fat reduction is a total body process:
Forget about what you have heard before about spot reduction, it is not possible. You will not loose unwanted stomach fat by performing countless sit ups every day. Fat loss is a result of consistent and adequate cardiovascular exercise, which encourages fat loss from all areas of the body rather than just one specific area.
Remember this one if you want to stop wasting your time and achieve real results by performing compound exercises and cardiovascular work instead.
Do not neglect cardiovascular exercise:
Cardiovascular exercise is an essential ingredient to any fitness program, yet it is understandably a dreaded word for many. Why understandably? Because lots of people spend hours on the treadmill, exercise bike or elliptical trainer slogging away each week trying to burn that unwanted fat.
If it feels like a chore then you shouldn’t be doing it – it wont last and it will make you unhappy.
Seek out a suitable and favourable exercise that you can perform long term and that you will enjoy.
Cardiovascular exercise needs to be a comfortable part of your lifestyle rather than something you have a bad relationship with.
Short intense bouts of exercise (High Intensity Interval Training, aka – HIIT) have proven to be highly effective and are easy to build into the end of a training session – but HIIT isn’t suitable for everyone and should be approached with caution.
Getting fit is not just about attending a gym:
Not one for the gym environment? That’s no problem – you can achieve great results at home. Check out the benefits of exercising outdoors and the benefits of suspended body weight training. Body weight exercise, when applied correctly, should never be underestimated.