Fitness resolutions are par for the course this time of year, but often tough to keep. As 2016 trudges on, it becomes easier to let your fitness goals fall by the wayside. If you’re really committed, though, you’ll be thankful you stuck it out once you start seeing the fruits of your labor. Looking to start achieving those results right now? Here are four ways to get shredded in 2016.
1. Focus on the big stuff
Ainslie MacEachran, an AAI/ISMA certified personal trainer, reminded us of the importance of concentrating on a wide range of movements while at the gym. “Your energies in the gym should be focused on big, compound movements that involve multiple groups,” MacEachran said. “Bigger, compound moves are shown to build more muscle, more rapidly. Additionally, more muscle mass is more metabolically expensive.” MacEachran recommends dead lifts, thrusters, or squats, completed in five sets of four to six reps, with 90 seconds of rest in between.
2. Circuit training
Getting your heart rate up is a major factor in any workout, and there’s no better way to do that than with high-intensity training. According to Patrick Sweeney, accomplished athlete and the first person to ever mountain bike to Everest Base Camp, the most effective way to cut body fat is to do a combination of circuit training consisting of 10 exercises for 90 seconds consecutively without stopping, and endurance work for 90 to 120 minutes, aiming to reach a heart rate above 140 beats per minute.
3. Work out in the sand
If you’ve ever tried running on the beach, you know just how difficult a challenge it can be. Take advantage of your natural surroundings and make use of what’s readily available to you. David Herskowitz, owner of Sandbox Fitness in Los Angeles, told us, “Working out in the sand burns 30% more calories than a hard surface. It helps improve your speed and agility, plus works out all the tiny muscles around your knees, ankles and core. If you want to shred quickly, try doing a short sprint on the beach for 20 seconds, then rest for 10. Repeat that 10 times and you will feel like you just ran a marathon.”
4. Swap the syrup for sustenance
While it’s a nice treat to enjoy the occasional mid-morning breakfast spread, starting your day off with food that could easily pass for dessert isn’t the best thing for your energy and sustainability for the rest of the day. Angelo Grinceri, FAFS, says, “Skip the big early morning breakfast. Substitute with a micro nutrient rich juice or smoothie (perfect for on the go). Save the big meal for lunch!”