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5 equipment free exercises to tone your upper body

Choose your appropriate option for the clap push-up depending on your fitness and strength ability. These can be done on either your toes, knees or eliminate the clap altogether and just keep it a simple push-up.

Start in a plank position and use your arms to lower your chest towards to floor – a nice deep push-up will get great results. Push your chest back up as you would with a normal push-up but with more force, springing off the ground for a clap. Land with soft elbows to prevent injury and do your next rep.

Chair dip

Face away from the chair.

Place your hands behind you on the edge of the seat, shoulder-width apart. With your hands securely in place, step a foot or two away, and straighten your legs and keep heels in contact with the floor. Straighten your arms so that your body is lifted. This is your starting position.

Bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows are 90 degrees, hold, and re-straighten back to the starting position. Repeat.

Plank to palms 

Not only works your abs but targets your shoulders and triceps.

Get into a prone position on the floor, supporting your weight on your toes and your forearms. Your arms are bent and directly below the shoulder.

Leading with one arm, push upwards while keeping your core on tight and have your other arm follow the lead.

Reverse the action with the leading arm to take you back to the starting plank position.

Repeat 5 reps with one leading arm before swapping to the opposite arm to lead.

Keep your body straight at all times.

Repeat this exercise for 5 reps (each side) and 3 sets.

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5 equipment free exercises to tone your upper body

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Get your best body ever with Pilates exercises

Get your best body ever with these Pilate moves tailored to your natural shape

While there no specific exercises that should or shouldn’t be performed depending on whether you have a apple, pear, hourglass or atheltic figure, there certainly are some that can help to make your workouts more effective.

Pilates can really help you to focus on specific exercises in order to enhance your particular shape, says Nadine McCann, instructor at Bootcamp Pilates (bootcamppilates.com) ‘All bodies are different and it pays to know what works for you’. Certain moves can add definition to your body and everyone can benefit from postural power of pilates. ‘Pilates is great for sculpting the body and stabilising muscles deep in the body’.

The workout is suitable for all body types, but if your short of time, just pick the exercises for your body type.

1) Toe taps (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass)

Technique:

  • Start lying on your back with legs lifted and knees bent above your hips, shins parallel to the floor and arms relaxed at your sides, palms down. Keep your lower abs engaged and your back flat on the mat.
  • Inhale, then exhale as you hinge at your hip, lowering your right leg toward the mat.
  • Inhale to return the leg to start position and change sides.
  • Alternate legs repeat 10-12 reps pm each sides, bring feet to the floor to rest.
  • Repeat for 2 sets

2) Criss- cross (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass, athletic) 

Technique:

  • Lying on your back, interlace your hands behind your head to support your head. Lift your knees and feet off the ground with your knees bent at 90 degrees.
  • Inhale as you twist your ribcage to the left and extend your right leg forward.
  • Exhale as you take your body through the centre, twisting your ribcage to the right while extending your left leg to complete the exercise on the opposite side.
  • Do 6 twists alternating sides. Do 3 sets in total.

3) Glute bridge (Best for: hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  •  Lie on your back, with your knees bent. Place your feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart, with your arms at your side.
  • Exhale as you lift your hips off the floor until your ribcage is in line with yur hips and knees. Press down evenly through both feet.
  • Inhale as you squeeze your glutes for three seconds and then exhale as you lower your hips slowly back down to the mat.
  • Do 15-20 reps, the rest pulling your knees to your chest, then repeat once more.

4) Side plank twists (Best for: apple, hourglass)

Technique:

  • Starting in a side plank poisition, with one hand directly under your shoulder, place your top hand behind your head, with yur elbow pointing straight up.
  • Inhale and twist your chest upward.
  • Exhale and rotate your chest toward the floor.
  • Do 5-8 reps per side and rest before repeating on the other side.

5) Side reach (Best for: apple, pear, hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  • Sit with your knees bent and legs tucked behind you to the right,  supporting your weight with your left hand and keeping your arm straight,
  • Inhale to prepare. Exhale you lift your hip away from the mat, extending your top legs as your top arm reaches overhead. You’re aiming to lift your side up toward the ceiling.
  • Inhale to return to the start position.
  • Do 6-8 reps on each side and rest, before repeating the whole thing once more.

6) Swimming (Best for: apple, pear)

Technique:

  • Lie on your stomach with your forehead down and arms extended out in front. Extend your legs with your toes pointed out.
  • Focus on pressing your pelvis into the mat  while drawing your belly button away from the mat. Squeeze your inner thighs and lift your arms, legs, chest and head from the mat.
  • Inhale and exhale as normally as possible as you alternate lifting opposite arm and leg without touching the mat.
  • Count down from 10 to one then relax onto the mat to rest

7) Side-lying leg tap (Best for: hourglass, athletic)

Technique:

  • In a side plank, place your top hand on your top hip to help stabilise you. Pull in your abs and lift your waist off the mat.
  • Dip your top big toe down in front of your body to tap the floor then move the foot backward over your bottom leg and tap the floor behind you.
  • Repeat for 12-15 reps each side then rest. Repeat again.

 

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Pilates exercises

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Basic boxing guide

 

Basic boxing guide Boxing can be integrated into various exercise genres including cardio, HIIT, plyometric, reflex training and stamina training. Reap the benefits of this all-rounder with Tiffanee Cook, Boxing Trainer from Fightfit Boxing Centre’s boxing basics.

It is important that before starting a boxing workout, your body, joints and muscles are nice and warm. The best way to do this is a boxing-specific warm-up: e.g. shadow-boxing.When shadow-boxing, make sure you move around, keeping your boxing stance with light feet; remember to “float like a butterfly”.

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Basic boxing guide

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Resistance band bent over row

Resistance band bent over row Focus on your back muscles with this bent over row workout.Targets: Lats, Rear Delts, Erector SpinaePerks: Builds a strong, toned back and reinforces proper hip flexion. The bent-over row requires flexion at the hips and not the waist. This is often a strange and difficult position to get into for a beginner, but with practice and constant form checks the position will become second nature.

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Resistance band bent over row

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Resistance band curl to press

Resistance band curl to press Sculpt your biceps with this resistance band workout.Targets: Biceps, DeltsPerks: This compound movement allows multiple muscle groups to be worked with one exercise, making it time efficient and adding to the difficulty of your workout. Sculpt the arms with this two-in-one exercise.Move: Stand with both feet on top of the band, about hip-width apart.(Fit Tip: You can control how easy or hard the exercise is by where you stand on the band to create more or less tension.) Start with both arms straight and begin to curl the arms up and towards the chest. Keep your elbows locked at your side.

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Resistance band curl to press

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Train like an Olympian!

London 2012 – remember that? Of course you do! As a nation we were swept up in two weeks of sporting triumphs and patriotism like never before and, two-and-a-half years on, it is those triumphs and star performances that still keep so many of us motivated to hit the gym or head out for a run. And now, thanks to Fitness First and its discovery that the desire to train like an Olympian was so prominent during the Games, its legacy looks likely to live on long into 2015 and beyond, too. The nationwide gym and health club chain has recently opened its doors to a brand new branch in London’s Bishopsgate with an athletic slant firmly in mind.

This amazing, state-of-the-art club boasts three new fitness programmes devised by Team GB athletes and coaches, and its new track, interactive Move studio and ceiling-mounted coaching camera are ideal for gym-goers who continue to be inspired by the athletes of 2012. The club even had its opening ribbons cut by three of Britain’s best young sports stars: Nicola Adams, the world’s first female boxing Olympic gold medallist; Ed Clancy, Olympic track cycling gold and bronze medallist; and Max Whitlock, Olympic gymnastics bronze medallist. 

But, of course, you don’t have to work out in the gym to train like an athlete (though if you live in London we definitely recommend a visit to the Bishopsgate club), so Fitness First has devised this fantastic workout that’ll boost your speed, power, agility and athleticism. You’ll be running faster than Usain Bolt in no time! (OK, we can’t quite promise that, but a girl can dream…)

How to do it

Perform the first move continuously for the time period allotted for your level. Rest for 15-30 seconds depending on your fitness level before moving on to the next. Once a full set of each move is complete, go back to the start to begin the next set, following the same structure.

Beginner: 5 x 30 seconds
Intermediate: 5 x 45 seconds
Advanced: 5 x 1 minute

Treadmills

Areas trained: hips, legs, core

Technique
-From plank position, bring your right foot up to the outside of your right hand, letting the hips drop. Keep your left leg straight and right leg bent.
-Jump to switch sides so that your right leg is straight and your left leg is bent with your left foot outside of your left hand.
-Continue to alternate for the allotted time for your level. 

Safety tip
Keep your head in a neutral position

Fast arms

Area trained: shoulders

Technique
-Stand in a stable position with legs slightly bent and back neutral.
-Position your arms as if you were to begin a sprint, with one slightly in front of the body and one behind, both bent.
-Switch positions so that the opposite arm is now in front instead.
-Repeat this as fast as you can continuously.

Safety tip
Keep your shoulders back and gaze forwards 

Lateral move + T press-up

Areas trained: Core, sides, chest, rear upper arms 

Technique
-Lie face down on the floor with arms extended out to the sides.
-Bring your hands to your sides under your shoulders, palms flat on the floor.
-Keeping your core tight and body in a straight line, push your body off the floor to complete a press-up.
-Rotate your torso to the side to bring one arm up to the ceiling, taking your gaze with it.
-Bring it back to the floor and bend your arms to lower yourself back to the ground to repeat, switching sides for the next rep. 

Safety tip
Don’t let your hips drop lower than the rest of your body 

Plyometric lunge

Areas trained: legs, bottom

Technique
-Take a large step forwards and bend both knees to about 90 degrees with your back knee just above the floor.
-Generate as much momentum as possible to jump as high as you can, switching the position of your legs mid-air to land with the opposite leg in front.
-Repeat fluidly. 

Safety tip
Keep your torso upright throughout

Isometric squat hold

Areas trained: thighs, bottom

Technique
-With your back resting against a wall, lower yourself until your knees are at a 90-degree angle, keeping feet flat on the floor.
-Hold. 

Safety tip
Keep your knees in line with your toes 

Press-up holds

Areas trained: core, chest, rear upper arms

Technique
-Start in plank position on your hands.
-Bend your arms to lower your chest to the floor, keeping your body in a straight line throughout.
-Push back up to the start.
-Without tilting your body, tap your left shoulder with your right hand.
-Lower, your hand back to the floor, then tap your right shoulder with your left hand.
-Return to the start and repeat.

Safety tip Keep your hips square throughout 

Sprinters

Areas trained: hips, legs

Technique
-Run on the spot as fast as you can, driving your knees high, for the allotted time for your level.

Safety tip Keep your back straight and shoulders back

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Train like an Olympian!

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<div id="DPG" webReader="176.596635183"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-18"><div class="c12"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/abby-huot-stat-box.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c13">Vital Stats</h3><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/Abster82/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/bodyspace-social-icon.png" class="c14"/></a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/abbyhuot.fitness" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/facebook-social-icon.png" class="c15"/><a href="https://twitter.com/AbbyHuotAthlete" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"></a><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/twitter-social-icon.png" class="c15"/><p><strong>Name:</strong> Abby Huot<br /><strong>Location:</strong> Minneapolis, MN<br /><strong>Education:</strong> St. Mary's University of Minnesota (2004)<br /><strong>Occupation:</strong> Athlete, writer, fitness model, bikini/figure competitor</p></div><p>Quick, do a digit check. Are all your fingers and toes accounted for, or have a few succumbed to the cold? I can tell you that this has been a brutally chilly winter for most of the upper Midwest, and my region isn't alone. Records have been shattered all across the United States for cold, ice cover, and snow totals. Right now it seems impossible to imagine warmer days.</p><p>But, make no mistake, summer is coming. Soon it will be time to crawl out of our cozy hibernation nests, peel off the polar fleece we've been donning like battle gear, and reveal our pasty, dry skin to the warm basking glow of a spring sun. Finally, Vitamin D in its glorious, non-supplement form! You can almost feel it.</p><p>So what's your game plan? Hot chocolate and blankets are just what the doctor ordered for frigid nights, but if you've gotten used to skipping the gym and hoarding comfort food, it's time to change things up. Reignite your fire for fitness and get your head back in the game.</p><p>Here are a few reminders about why you should get going with your training and diet again. After all, spring and summer are going to be here in the blink of an eye.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c16">1 Wedding Season's Upon Us</h3>
</p><p>June is a major month of note. Not only does it signal the first day of summer, Father's Day, and the oh-so-notable Flag Day, but it's also the most popular month for weddings. If you're among those getting laced up in white, hitting a training program now will help you head down the aisle with extra confidence and, depending on your goals, an extra layer of lean muscle.</p><img src="images/2014/shape-up-for-summer-graphic-1.jpg" width="560" height="384" border="0"/><p>"Try a new lifting routine or kick up your cardio with high intensity interval training on a Stairmill."</p><p>Use that save-the-date stuck to your fridge to inspire you to push forward, even if your new fit body is not for your own wedding. Try a new lifting routine or kick up your cardio with high intensity interval training on a Stairmill. Start with one minute at level 8, or 30-45 seconds at level 10, followed by brief rest periods for a total of 20 minutes. Shock your system into growth by trying German Volume Training (GVT), which pushes you to do 10 sets of 10 reps on one exercise. The more you ramp up your training routine now, the faster you'll see results.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c16">2 Smaller Clothes Are Coming</h3>
</p><img class="float-right" src="images/2014/shape-up-for-summer-graphic-2.jpg" width="265" height="368" border="0"/><p>"Picture yourself running in shorts and a tank top. How does that make you feel?"</p><p>I promise I'm not poking fun at your winter weight. With warm weather around the corner, it's just a matter of time until layers start coming off. Whether you're ready for it or not, the time for that teeny-weenie bikini is fast approaching.</p><p>As you look out your window at the snow-covered ground, sunbathing on the beach might sound like a far-off dream. So take a step back. Picture yourself running in shorts and a tank top. How does that make you feel? Awesome, or anxious? If you're not feeling great, remember that winter is the perfect time to get in gear. You might be more apt to don a cute new sports bra or running shorts when you're feeling fit. Be the first one in your town to hit the ground running and looking mid-summer awesome when it's only April.</p><p>Set a concrete goal. Sign up for a local event, 5K, 10K, or an obstacle race. Start training for strength and endurance now. Alternatively, have you ever thought about competing in a physique competition? Start taking a peek at local and regional competitions that are happening this year. Competitions that are 16 or 20 weeks out will give you a hard deadline while putting extra training gas in your tank.</p><p>If you've never felt comfortable wearing shorts, work hard so that this is the year to feel great in them. If you're self-conscious about your skinny arms, make this the year of the muscle shirt. Plan jogs outside or go rollerblading for the first time in years. Grab some friends to set a pace for yourself and make it a cardio get-together. The more positive people you have around you to cheer you on, the more successful you'll be.</p><p>2014 should be your year to shine, not cover up!</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c16">3 Spring Break Is Upon Us</h3>
</p><p>Got a winter getaway trip planned? Time to get your butt in gear! You don't want to have to worry about the pounds you've packed on while you pack luggage. If you're planning on site-seeing, start now with 30-minute walks on the treadmill and tinker with the incline to mimic being outside. If you're planning on snorkeling, get in the pool at your gym three days each week and push yourself for a calorie-burning, lap-swimming workout. Changing your cardio workout styles can not only lean you out, it can also prepare you for the vacation activities you've spent so much time saving up for. Don't let it go to waste, and don't forget the sunscreen!</p><img src="images/2014/shape-up-for-summer-graphic-3.jpg" width="560" height="422" border="0"/><p>"Get in the pool at your gym three days each week and push yourself for a calorie-burning, lap-swimming workout."</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c16">4 Spring Is The Season Of Love</h3>
</p><p>Are you single? Why not utilize your time now to find your best and most confident version of yourself? Nothing is more attractive than someone who is strong, confident, disciplined, and goal-oriented. Put your best foot forward by buckling down on your training and diet routine. Already got someone special? Plan couples workouts and get to the gym together. Not only can you push each other, you can get in and out of the gym in a blink by supersetting exercises. One person can do sets of squats while the other person does kettlebell swings, then you can switch. Low-rest, high-intensity workouts will strengthen your bodies and the health of your relationship.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c16">5 Your Friends Need You</h3>
</p><p>Many people have already fallen off the wagon for their 2014 goals in your life. Why not give them a boost by leading the way?</p><p>Working in groups or having someone to keep you accountable for your goals often creates a solid emotional boost to the recommitment of goals. Be the catalyst in the lives of people around you by electrifying your social group with your enthusiasm to get back on the wagon.</p><img src="images/2014/shape-up-for-summer-graphic-4.jpg" width="560" height="310" border="0"/><p>"Working in groups or having someone to keep you accountable for your goals often creates a solid emotional boost to the recommitment of goals."</p><p>Try a hip-hop dance class with your friends if you've always been curious. Find a training program online, or hire a trainer to bring you through a group workout. Set up a circuit routine the gets everyone involved—think biceps curls, planks, step-ups, and Swiss ball hamstring curls. Follow it with 5-10 minutes of hard incline cardio. If you're a competitor, get together with a friend who shares your passion, and increase accountability by practicing posing and stage routines.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c16">6 You Owe It To Yourself</h3>
</p><img class="float-right" src="images/2014/shape-up-for-summer-graphic-5.jpg" width="321" height="293" border="0"/><p>Yes, winter can be brutal and can make the idea of training debilitating. When it's 0-15 degrees outside, you don't care much to venture outside the house. I get it. I live in Minnesota, where 2014 brought 44 nights below zero already, twice as many as we normally get in a year! Even so, you owe it to yourself to follow through on the goals you set—no matter the weather.</p><p>Give yourself the power and momentum to push forward and start your spring and summer seasons with the body and health you've always dreamed of having. Find <a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/member-search" target="_blank">inspirational members</a> on BodySpace and ask them questions about how they got to where they are. Go to a big fitness expo or competition and talk to the people in the world of fitness. How do they keep their own fire aflame?</p><p>Follow your favorite athletes through social media and read inspirational books like <a href="http://jensincero.com/" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">"You Are a Badass," by Jen Sincero</a>, which is one of my personal favorites. Education and inspiration are crucial to your success. The motivation to keep going is available everywhere when you look for it and are open to it.</p><p>You're just as worthy of your efforts now as you ever were. 2014 has barely started. It's way too soon to give up on yourself. Start now or start again and make it the best year of your life!</p><br class="c18"/><h3 class="article-title">Recommended For You</h3><div class="c21" webReader="6.32530120482"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/5-steps-to-overcoming-fear-good-bad-and-honest.html"><img src="images/2013/5-steps-to-overcoming-fear-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c20" webReader="8.43373493976"><h4 class="c19"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/5-steps-to-overcoming-fear-good-bad-and-honest.html">5 STEPS TO OVERCOMING FEAR</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
Fear is a normal emotion, but it doesn't have to hold you back. In fact, it can fuel your goals. Take the reins and use fear as motivation.</p></div></div><div class="c21" webReader="5.92307692308"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/6-ways-to-fire-up-your-workout-motivation.html"><img src="images/2013/6-motivation-jumpstarts-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c20" webReader="7.61538461538"><h4 class="c19"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/6-ways-to-fire-up-your-workout-motivation.html">6 MOTIVATION JUMP-STARTS</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
It's easy for motivation to ebb and flow, and even hit an all-time low. Skip the mea culpas and learn how to max out on motivation.</p></div></div><div class="c21" webReader="5.11333333333"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/the-social-media-monster-4-safeguards-for-your-fitness-sanity.html"><img src="images/2013/4-social-media-sanity-safeguards-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c20" webReader="6.29333333333"><h4 class="c19"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/the-social-media-monster-4-safeguards-for-your-fitness-sanity.html">4 SOCIAL MEDIA SANITY SAFEGUARDS</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
The grass isn't always greener on the other side. Resist the urge to let online personas define your real life worth.</p></div></div></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="42.1866666667"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="6.85714285714"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/abby-huot.html">Abby Huot</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/abby-huot.html">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">Abby has experienced a variety of events that led her to embrace an underdog role. She hopes to offer a different perspective on health and fitness.</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/abby-huot.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/writer-abby-huot-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/abby-huot.html#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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6 Reasons To Shape Up For Summer

Quick, do a digit check. Are all your fingers and toes accounted for, or have a few succumbed to the cold? I can tell you that this has been a brutally chilly winter for most of the upper Midwest, and my region isn’t alone. Records have been shattered all across the United States for cold, ice cover, and snow totals. Right now it seems impossible to imagine warmer days.

But, make no mistake, summer is coming. Soon it will be time to crawl out of our cozy hibernation nests, peel off the polar fleece we’ve been donning like battle gear, and reveal our pasty, dry skin to the warm basking glow of a spring sun. Finally, Vitamin D in its glorious, non-supplement form! You can almost feel it.

So what’s your game plan? Hot chocolate and blankets are just what the doctor ordered for frigid nights, but if you’ve gotten used to skipping the gym and hoarding comfort food, it’s time to change things up. Reignite your fire for fitness and get your head back in the game.

Here are a few reminders about why you should get going with your training and diet again. After all, spring and summer are going to be here in the blink of an eye.

1 Wedding Season’s Upon Us

June is a major month of note. Not only does it signal the first day of summer, Father’s Day, and the oh-so-notable Flag Day, but it’s also the most popular month for weddings. If you’re among those getting laced up in white, hitting a training program now will help you head down the aisle with extra confidence and, depending on your goals, an extra layer of lean muscle.

“Try a new lifting routine or kick up your cardio with high intensity interval training on a Stairmill.”

Use that save-the-date stuck to your fridge to inspire you to push forward, even if your new fit body is not for your own wedding. Try a new lifting routine or kick up your cardio with high intensity interval training on a Stairmill. Start with one minute at level 8, or 30-45 seconds at level 10, followed by brief rest periods for a total of 20 minutes. Shock your system into growth by trying German Volume Training (GVT), which pushes you to do 10 sets of 10 reps on one exercise. The more you ramp up your training routine now, the faster you’ll see results.

2 Smaller Clothes Are Coming

“Picture yourself running in shorts and a tank top. How does that make you feel?”

I promise I’m not poking fun at your winter weight. With warm weather around the corner, it’s just a matter of time until layers start coming off. Whether you’re ready for it or not, the time for that teeny-weenie bikini is fast approaching.

As you look out your window at the snow-covered ground, sunbathing on the beach might sound like a far-off dream. So take a step back. Picture yourself running in shorts and a tank top. How does that make you feel? Awesome, or anxious? If you’re not feeling great, remember that winter is the perfect time to get in gear. You might be more apt to don a cute new sports bra or running shorts when you’re feeling fit. Be the first one in your town to hit the ground running and looking mid-summer awesome when it’s only April.

Set a concrete goal. Sign up for a local event, 5K, 10K, or an obstacle race. Start training for strength and endurance now. Alternatively, have you ever thought about competing in a physique competition? Start taking a peek at local and regional competitions that are happening this year. Competitions that are 16 or 20 weeks out will give you a hard deadline while putting extra training gas in your tank.

If you’ve never felt comfortable wearing shorts, work hard so that this is the year to feel great in them. If you’re self-conscious about your skinny arms, make this the year of the muscle shirt. Plan jogs outside or go rollerblading for the first time in years. Grab some friends to set a pace for yourself and make it a cardio get-together. The more positive people you have around you to cheer you on, the more successful you’ll be.

2014 should be your year to shine, not cover up!

3 Spring Break Is Upon Us

Got a winter getaway trip planned? Time to get your butt in gear! You don’t want to have to worry about the pounds you’ve packed on while you pack luggage. If you’re planning on site-seeing, start now with 30-minute walks on the treadmill and tinker with the incline to mimic being outside. If you’re planning on snorkeling, get in the pool at your gym three days each week and push yourself for a calorie-burning, lap-swimming workout. Changing your cardio workout styles can not only lean you out, it can also prepare you for the vacation activities you’ve spent so much time saving up for. Don’t let it go to waste, and don’t forget the sunscreen!

“Get in the pool at your gym three days each week and push yourself for a calorie-burning, lap-swimming workout.”

4 Spring Is The Season Of Love

Are you single? Why not utilize your time now to find your best and most confident version of yourself? Nothing is more attractive than someone who is strong, confident, disciplined, and goal-oriented. Put your best foot forward by buckling down on your training and diet routine. Already got someone special? Plan couples workouts and get to the gym together. Not only can you push each other, you can get in and out of the gym in a blink by supersetting exercises. One person can do sets of squats while the other person does kettlebell swings, then you can switch. Low-rest, high-intensity workouts will strengthen your bodies and the health of your relationship.

5 Your Friends Need You

Many people have already fallen off the wagon for their 2014 goals in your life. Why not give them a boost by leading the way?

Working in groups or having someone to keep you accountable for your goals often creates a solid emotional boost to the recommitment of goals. Be the catalyst in the lives of people around you by electrifying your social group with your enthusiasm to get back on the wagon.

“Working in groups or having someone to keep you accountable for your goals often creates a solid emotional boost to the recommitment of goals.”

Try a hip-hop dance class with your friends if you’ve always been curious. Find a training program online, or hire a trainer to bring you through a group workout. Set up a circuit routine the gets everyone involved—think biceps curls, planks, step-ups, and Swiss ball hamstring curls. Follow it with 5-10 minutes of hard incline cardio. If you’re a competitor, get together with a friend who shares your passion, and increase accountability by practicing posing and stage routines.

6 You Owe It To Yourself

Yes, winter can be brutal and can make the idea of training debilitating. When it’s 0-15 degrees outside, you don’t care much to venture outside the house. I get it. I live in Minnesota, where 2014 brought 44 nights below zero already, twice as many as we normally get in a year! Even so, you owe it to yourself to follow through on the goals you set—no matter the weather.

Give yourself the power and momentum to push forward and start your spring and summer seasons with the body and health you’ve always dreamed of having. Find inspirational members on BodySpace and ask them questions about how they got to where they are. Go to a big fitness expo or competition and talk to the people in the world of fitness. How do they keep their own fire aflame?

Follow your favorite athletes through social media and read inspirational books like “You Are a Badass,” by Jen Sincero, which is one of my personal favorites. Education and inspiration are crucial to your success. The motivation to keep going is available everywhere when you look for it and are open to it.

You’re just as worthy of your efforts now as you ever were. 2014 has barely started. It’s way too soon to give up on yourself. Start now or start again and make it the best year of your life!


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About The Author

Abby has experienced a variety of events that led her to embrace an underdog role. She hopes to offer a different perspective on health and fitness.

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6 Reasons To Shape Up For Summer

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Paige Hathaway

2 days 3 hours ago

All these ropes yet I still can't tie you down.... #amiright 🤚🏼😂 #cricketcricket #illbehereallnight #bts

Paige Hathaway

1 week 1 day ago

Roses are red, Pizza sauce is too.
I just ordered a large and none of its for you... 😬

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