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Image claudiaworkout-kettlebell.jpg

Fat burning upper body workout

Skip the queue for fat loss with this strategic workout by March 2017 cover model Claudia Jovanoski.dash on the track.

Words/workout: Claudia Jovanovski (pictured)

Photography: James Patrick

Time-poor gymmers are all too familiar with supersetting to save time. Pushing out two moves successively with little or no rest between is among the best fitness hacks going – especially for impatient types.

Tri-sets step things up again, running together three fatiguing moves, meaning the workout is performed at high intensity for a shorter duration than standard circuits.

According to a study at the Catholic University of Brasilia and the Eastern Illinois University, multiple sets (MS) and tri-sets (TS) were found to impact neuromuscular variables and body composition.

The results of the study indicate that a multi-set regimen burns more body fat than circuit-like training.

In tri-sets, the usual rest period between sets is used to complete a set of another move.

Research also shows that the hormonal response to such unrelenting exertion favours optimal muscle growth (which in the real world equals tone and a faster metabolism).

You can either pair exercises that are noncompeting (i.e. work opposing muscle groups), or you can pair exercises that target the same muscle group.

The downside of this fast, furious method is a power penalty, which reduces the amount of resistance you can use and hence limits potential for strength gains.

While some experts claim that staggering moves with opposing muscle group pairings circumvents this risk, the nervous system’s response to this training method necessarily inhibits power. Most experts maintain that classic training is best for strength goals.

For more advanced users, tri-sets can be combined with classic sets by incorporating one or two strength moves performed classically (with or without intervening moves that keep the body moving without inviting fatigue).

This workout uses sprints, so factor that in, whether you want to do a bike sprint in the gym or a dash on the track.

On your marks, get set…

claudiaworkout-kettlebell.jpg

Targets: quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, abs

Step 1- Stand with feet hip width apart and your toes slightly pointed away from the body. The kettlebell should be in the middle of your feet.

Step 2-Bend your hips back until the bell is between and behind your legs.

Step 3- Activate your glutes and drive through your hips to swing the kettlebell forward. Extend your hips and knee to get a thrust going.

Step 4-Make sure this is a repetitive movement to ensure you get a good rhythm going.

2. Bicep curl

claudiaworkout-bicepcurl.jpg

TARGETS: Biceps

Step 1- Set up position-  Stand up right with barbell at shoulder-width grip. Keep your elbows close to your body and your palms supinated.

Step 2. Keep your core activated as you curl the bar towards your shoulders. Your upper arms should remain stationary as the forearms move.

Step 3. Pause at the top with biceps contracted.

Step 4. As you release the barbell back to the original position make sure to keep your abs tight to stabilize the body

3. One-minute sprint 60 to 90-second recovery. Repeat.

4. Kettlebell squat

claudiaworkout-kettlebellsquat.jpg

Targets: quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, abs

Step 1- Set up position: feet should be slightly wider than your hips and  your feet should be turned out at a 45 degree angle. Keep your core engaged, your back straight and your eyes on the horizon. Hold the kettlebell infront of your body.

Step 2. Bend your knees and move your butt towards the ground as if you are about to sit on a chair. Your hips should move slightly back and the goal is to try get the kettlebell as close to the floor without actually touching it.

Return to the set up position by driving up through your heels. Remember to squeeze your glutes at the top.

Repeat 12 to 15 reps

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Fat burning upper body workout

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What’s your fitness age?

The researchers evaluated almost 5,000 Norwegians between the ages of 20 and 90, using mobile labs. They took about a dozen measurements, including height, body mass index, resting heart rate, HDL and total cholesterol levels. Each person also filled out a lengthy lifestyle questionnaire. Finally, each volunteer ran to the point of exhaustion on a treadmill to pinpoint his or her peak oxygen intake (VO2 max), or how well the body delivers oxygen to its cells. VO2 max has been shown in large-scale studies to closely correlate with significantly augmented life spans, even among the elderly or overweight. In other words, VO2 max can indicate fitness age.

In order to figure out how to estimate VO2 max without a treadmill, the scientists combed through the results to determine which of the data points were most useful. You might expect that the most taxing physical tests would yield the most reliable results. Instead, the researchers found that putting just five measurements — waist circumference; resting heart rate; frequency and intensity of exercise; age; and sex — into an algorithm allowed them to predict a person’s VO2 max with noteworthy accuracy, according to their study, published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

The researchers used the data set to tabulate the typical, desirable VO2 max for a healthy person at every age from 20 to 90, creating specific parameters for fitness age. The concept is simple enough, explains Ulrik Wisloff, the director of the K. G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine at the Norwegian University and the senior author of the study. “A 70-year-old man or woman who has the peak oxygen uptake of a 20-year-old has a fitness age of 20,” he says. He has seen just this combination during his research.

The researchers have used all of this data to create an online calculator that allows people to determine their VO2 max without going to a lab. You’ll need your waist measurement and your resting heart rate. To determine it, sit quietly for 10 minutes and check your pulse; count for 30 seconds, double the number and you have your resting heart rate. Plug these numbers, along with your age, sex and frequency and intensity of exercise, into the calculator, and you’ll learn your fitness age.

The results can be sobering. A 50-year-old man, for instance, who exercises moderately a few times a week, sports a 36-inch waist and a resting heart rate of 75 — not atypical values for healthy middle-aged men — will have a fitness age of 59. Thankfully, unwanted fitness years, unlike the chronological kind, can be erased, Dr. Wisloff says. Exercise more frequently or more intensely. Then replug your numbers and exult as your “age” declines. A youthful fitness age, Dr. Wisloff says, “is the single best predictor of current and future health.”

NY Times

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What’s your fitness age?

Posted in Aerobics, Bodybuilding, Exercises, Fitness Equipment, Personal Fitness Training, Sports nutrition, Training Methods, Weight loss, Weight TrainingComments Off on What’s your fitness age?

<div id="DPG" webReader="280.562259402"><p>It's the million-dollar question: How do the fit stay fit?</p><p>At Bodybuilding.com, we're uniquely qualified to know the constellation of factors which separate the successful from the unsuccessful when it comes to fitness. That's because we have <a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/">BodySpace</a>, which is more than just the largest social media site in the world dedicated to the fit-minded. It's also a vast data pool that amounts to the world's largest fitness study, a research effort that we refer to as the Strength in Numbers Study.</p><p>Our Strength in Numbers findings are based on BodySpace members who actively make progress toward their stated goal, whether it's weight gain or loss. If you move toward your goal on BodySpace, we consider that fitness success.</p><div class="c15" webReader="13"><h2 class="article-sub-header c13">WHAT IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS?</h2><p class="c14">The Strength in Numbers Study is based on data collected from our very own social fitness network, BodySpace. Our findings come from BodySpace members who successfully make progress toward a stated fitness goal, whether it's weight gain or loss. Every time members post to FitBoard or add a picture, they contribute to the study.</p></div><p>Every time you track a workout, post to <a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/fitboard/">FitBoard</a>, add progress pics, and engage in myriad BodySpace activities, you help the community at large. You help us understand the habits that generate fitness success. If you're an active BodySpace member, you contribute to the greater fitness good.</p><p>No matter how many numbers we crunch about crunches, no matter how much digits we slice and dice about getting sliced and diced, shaping up still requires one person to dig deep and make a commitment to become better.</p><div class="cool-fact" webReader="11"><h3>The Power of Progress</h3><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/coolfacts-bluebar.gif" class="c16"/><p>Did you know that BodySpace members altogether lost a total of <strong>1,977,631 pounds</strong> in the last year? The average user also lost<br /><strong>4 percent body fat</strong>. Give yourselves a huge pat on the back<br />for all your tremendous hard work!</p></div><p>New habits must be formed, changes must be made, and reproducible motivation must roar to life. Everyone walks their own path toward their goals, but simple daily habits that reinforce eating better, exercising regularly, and sleeping more still lay the groundwork for a fit life.</p><p>The majority of fit individuals don't spend hours in the gym, live on a diet of cabbage, or nit-pick the optimum amount of holy water to achieve immortality. Instead, fit people share a set of outrageously simple and positivity-reinforcing habits. These are the eight habits of highly successful fit people, according to the first major batch of our Strength in Numbers data.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">1 Highly Successful Fit People Track Their Workouts</h3>
</p><h3 class="article-title c19"></h3><p>Memory sure works in a funny way. If you've been relying on it to recollect the exact number of reps <em>and</em> the weight for each of the five (or was it six?) exercises you did two Tuesdays ago, the only exercise you'll be doing at the gym is frustrating yourself.</p><p>It's more than merely a matter of organization. Neglecting to track your workout via an online tool or a <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/printworklog.htm">journal</a> is a rookie mistake, one that can lead to unproductive workouts and a stark absence of recognizable progress. Simply writing down your workouts makes you more aware of what you may or may not be doing. You might be surprised to learn that you were, in fact, doing only 20 minutes of cardio rather than 30.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/fit-people-track-workouts_stat-circle.png" class="c20"/><p><img src="images/2014/8-habits-of-highly-successful-fit-people-graphics-2.jpg" width="560" height="332"/></p><p>Additionally, a visual record—especially one that other people can view—holds you accountable to completing your workout, gets you fired up about measurable progress, helps you avoid exercise plateaus, and could even engage you in some friendly competition among peers.</p><p>All of these serve to help the fit stay fit—or in some cases, get even fitter.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">2 Highly Successful Fit People Find a Plan And Stick It Out</h3>
</p><h3 class="article-title c19"></h3><p>There are literally hundreds of exercise plans out in the wild. It's not uncommon for a newcomer to struggle with finding the "perfect" exercise blueprint. When it comes to picking out a suitable workout program, the best method is to just go with one that fits your goal and difficulty level, and then feel out the program for at least six weeks. Why?</p><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/arnold-schwarzenegger-blueprint-trainer-main.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/8-habits-of-highly-successful-fit-people-graphics-3_01.jpg" width="186" height="323"/></a><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/erin-stern-elite-body-4-week-fitness-trainer.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/8-habits-of-highly-successful-fit-people-graphics-3_02.jpg" width="190" height="323"/></a><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/built-by-science-six-week-muscle-building-trainer.html"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/8-habits-of-highly-successful-fit-people-graphics-3_03.jpg" width="184" height="323"/></a><p>If you're new to exercise, your body undergoes major changes as it attempts to wire your motor units and brain to become better accustomed to new movement patterns. Typically, it takes 4-6 weeks for your body to adapt and for beastly gains to come out of hibernation.</p><p>It is for this reason that both sticking it out the first six weeks of the program and tracking your workout—the first habit we discussed (see the synergy?)—are so crucial. In doing so, you can make smart tweaks to turbocharge your program and view progress in numbers, even if they don't immediately make themselves apparent on your body.</p><p>Once you get over that initial adaptation phase, the transformation begins to take shape, making you more likely to dive further into the program. This brings us to the next point ...</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">3 Highly Successful Fit People Post Progress Pictures</h3>
</p><h3 class="article-title c19"></h3><p>You may laugh at the prospect of someone who poses in front of the bathroom mirror, arm outstretched, ready to snap a picture. Maybe you actually know someone who does this, but it turns out there may be something scientifically sound to the "selfie."</p><img src="images/2014/8-habits-of-highly-successful-fit-people-graphics-4.jpg" width="205" height="333" border="0" class="right-image c21"/><p>Progress photos can help you track your progress. Each snapshot in time showcases subtle changes that you might otherwise have never noticed ("Wow, my abs look like they could crush tomatoes here!") and incidentally lights up certain regions in your brain related to euphoria.</p><p>These visual milestones trigger a stronger and stronger release of dopamine, a feel-good brain chemical strongly linked to reward. As you ease the psychological tension between your desire to reach your fitness goal and the hard work needed to achieve it, you will uncover the drive necessary to keep pursuing your goal because you're closer than you were before.</p><p>It might feel a bit awkward at first to take photos of yourself, but these quick snaps can help keep you grounded and motivated.</p><p>When you advance, they allow you to identify weak points or lagging body parts and zero-in on what you need to improve.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">4 Highly Successful Fit People Seek and Share Motivation</h3>
</p><h3 class="article-title c19"></h3><p>When you first start your fitness journey, summoning motivation day-in and day-out can be likened to moving a hundred-ton hippo that won't budge an inch no matter how much you goad, hoot, and prod it. Is this genetics or laziness? <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23552494" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">Some studies</a> seem to think motivation is inherited, but the literature on motivation itself is <a href="http://her.oxfordjournals.org/content/15/6/695.full" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">still pretty unclear</a>. What <em>is</em> clear, however, is that intrinsic motivation doesn't always come easily, so it has to sprout elsewhere.</p><div class="galleryPhotosContainer"><div class="galleryPhotosRow"><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/photos/view-user-photo/38589152" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img class="galleryPhotosThumbnail" src="http://imagecdn.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2014/02/06/31107422/gallerypic/eRGLUjbDBPTCfkkzpkngBwtqEyiYyZVHXnsng.jpg"/></a><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/photos/view-user-photo/35652762" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img class="galleryPhotosThumbnail" src="http://imagecdn.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2014/01/05/31107422/gallerypic/WdkZCPlmDFmKurfWpkSRYLYCDMWUJGeGtSWfg.jpg"/></a><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/photos/view-user-photo/36643952" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img class="galleryPhotosThumbnail" src="http://imagecdn.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2014/01/15/31107422/gallerypic/RxOJtUuwIAqfssmcggnQlQHHspxgVDKOCtsIg.jpg"/></a><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/photos/view-user-photo/33908142" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img class="galleryPhotosThumbnail" src="http://imagecdn.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2013/11/17/31107422/gallerypic/boamlfKagrSKgcqpMLKeZdNmGuzZqzdZzNmjg.jpg"/></a><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/photos/view-user-photo/30375611" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img class="galleryPhotosThumbnail" src="http://imagecdn.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2013/08/14/31107422/gallerypic/FkTRTVZwBqliEwnsUTDedqglWmpIiUGDMCjwg.jpg"/></a></div><div class="galleryPhotosRow"><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/photos/view-user-photo/20229352" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img class="galleryPhotosThumbnail" src="http://imagecdn.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2013/01/22/31107422/gallerypic/TItGlYfsbUMRFRIdXmAqTeXLuHVuvCWyNtSwg.jpg"/></a><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/photos/view-user-photo/16359152" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img class="galleryPhotosThumbnail" src="http://imagecdn.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2012/10/16/31107422/gallerypic/fDWMFqAkPGddxEAtxLszStSYxxjLYtqKIltug.jpg"/></a><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/photos/view-user-photo/12706412" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img class="galleryPhotosThumbnail" src="http://imagecdn.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2012/07/18/31107422/gallerypic/qDRcgeEOLYZcSKvbrYlnGlPrJhDZuRnxIting.jpg"/></a><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/photos/view-user-photo/35468792" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img class="galleryPhotosThumbnail" src="http://imagecdn.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2014/01/02/31107422/gallerypic/aWGPFEgVLwKyBRAPUOGiJJKgwATaqddYCASeg.jpg"/></a><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/photos/view-user-photo/36643932" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img class="galleryPhotosThumbnail" src="http://imagecdn.bodybuilding.com/img/user_images/growable/2014/01/15/31107422/gallerypic/gaomLocnkCHXprabuRGSwmjNwretOMxbrscVg.jpg"/></a></div></div><p>Enter the Internet sub-genre of fitness motivational pictures and quotes, aka "fitspiration." Popular quotes range from "A one hour workout is only 4 percent of your day. No excuses!" to "Believe yourself and you are halfway there," to the more abrasive and succinct, "Shut up and train." These powerful quotes and images are staples on <a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/fitboard/">FitBoard</a>, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Just a cursory look through any of these places will hit you with enough extrinsic motivation to kick your arse in gear.</p><p>The best type of motivation, though, is realizing that you enjoy working out and can gain a sense of achievement from doing something awesome. For this reason, tracking your progress through workout logs, pictures, and even occasional medical checkups is incredibly important.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">5 Highly Successful Fit People Make Fitness Social</h3>
</p><h3 class="article-title c19"></h3><p>Few things are 100 percent enjoyable when done solo. For instance, the struggle of a 6 a.m. workout is instantly made better with a workout buddy (and a hit of caffeine, of course).</p><p><img src="images/2014/8-habits-of-highly-successful-fit-people-5.jpg" width="560" height="328"/></p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/fit-people-make-fitness-social_stat-circle.png" class="c23"/><p>Numerous studies reinforce the idea that social support helps create a positive feedback loop to spur on a person's positive self-perception and keep him or her exercising. A study that came out of the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention shows that social support specific to fitness kept people committed to exercise measurably better than just general support. It's no wonder that fitness conquests are likely more successful among groups which channel the same exercise mindset, like on BodySpace or group fitness classes.</p><p>Interestingly, a study conducted at Kansas State University found that it's better to buddy up with others who are fitter than you are. It sounds like counterintuitive advice, but hanging with someone stronger or fitter is the perfect motivator, because apparently motivation and harder bouts of effort often germinate from "feelings of inadequacy." These feelings can push you toward improvement.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">6 Highly Successful Fit People Constantly Learn</h3>
</p><h3 class="article-title c19"></h3><img src="images/2014/8-habits-of-highly-successful-fit-people-graphics-5.jpg" width="311" height="314" border="0" class="right-image c24"/><p>As mentioned before, attaining better fitness at the individual level isn't an exact science—at least not yet. New research on a variety of nutrition and fitness topics hits multiple scientific journals daily, nightly, and ever so quickly. Unless you consume content regularly, it's difficult to keep up with the latest skinny.</p><p>Of course, the Achilles' heel in all this is that such information amounts to the good, the bad, and the ugly.</p><p>You have to apply some critical thinking to separate the chaff from the wheat. Inevitably, you'll come across grand claims with pseudo-scientific backing and a lot plain old-fashioned bro-science, so an active mind and keen eye are essential.</p><p>Don't think you have to try every new program under the sun, either. Rather than implementing everything all at once, save certain tips and techniques for later. Consume quality content regularly, but always examine it through the lens of your own goals, body, and lifestyle.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">7 Highly Successful Fit People Regularly Visit Fitness<br /><span class="c25">Sites</span></h3>
</p><h3 class="article-title c19"></h3><p>Through our Strength in Numbers Study, we discovered that the most successfully fit people in the world start off by doing what you're doing right now: Being here and reading this. This habit goes hand-in-hand with Habit No. 6 and proves that you're on the prowl for information, education, and constant self-improvement.</p><p>Being engaged in such activities will help you stay committed to fitness for life. Whether you're looking for information, recipe ideas, or social support, you're in this for the long haul.</p><p>
<h3 class="article-title c17">8 Highly Successful Fit People Take These Supplements</h3>
</p><h3 class="article-title c19"></h3><div class="left-side-stripe"><ul class="dpg-list"><li class="c26"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/whey.html">Whey Protein</a></li>
<li class="c26"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/amino.html">Amino Acids</a>/<a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/bcaa.html">BCAAs</a></li>
<li class="c26"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/multi.html">Multivitamins</a></li>
<li class="c26"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/creatine-monohydrate.html">Creatine Monohydrate</a></li>
<li class="c26"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/mic.html">Micellar Casein Protein</a></li>
</ul></div><p>Granted, these supplements won't make or break your fitness progress. After all, fitness is based first and foremost on smart training and precision nutrition. To be effective, dietary supplements must stand upon a solid foundation of whole foods and consistent effort. Supplements augment and can enhance your hard work, but they won't do any of that work for you.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/fit-people-take-supplements_stat-circle.png" class="c20"/><p><img src="images/2014/8-habits-of-highly-successful-fit-people-graphics-6.jpg" width="560" height="342"/></p><p>In addition, if often isn't possible to get <em>all</em> the necessary nutrients exclusively from real foods. Some chalk it up to inconvenience—a wholesome meal may just be out of reach simply because of the environment or time constraints. Other times the problem might be more complex and further out of your control. Then there's the growing dearth of nutrients from food itself due to modern agricultural practices, soil depletion, long carbon footprints, and excessive processing.</p><p>The nutrients present in food today aren't in the same concentration as food grown 50 years ago, much less hundreds of years ago. Iceberg lettuce, for example, now has the same nutritional value as cardboard.</p><p>In these instances, supplements—in particular protein—provide the extra nutrients needed to support the fit life of exercising individuals, especially people with specific body composition or strength goals.</p><p>If you want to learn more about the popular supplements and see where they fit in your strategy, you can learn a thing or two from <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bbmainsupp.htm">our supplements page</a> or the category guides linked to the ingredients above.</p><h3 class="article-title">BodySpace, Your Space</h3><p>Are you already a BodySpace member or an active part of another online fitness community? Sound off in the comments below and let us know the habits which work for you. Don't forget to give yourself a hug for beginning or continuing your fitness journey with others like you!</p><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/2014-bodyspace-banner.jpg"/></a><h5>References</h5><ol class="dpg-list"><li>M. D. Roberts et al. Phenotypic and Molecular Differences Between Rats Selectively-Bred to Voluntarily Run High Versus Low Nightly Distances. AJP: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 2013; DOI:10.1152/ajpregu.00581.2012</li>
<li>Oka, RK et al. Sources of social support as predictors of exercise adherence in women and men ages 50 to 65 years. Women's Health. 1995 Summer;1(2):161-175</li>
<li>National Institute of Mental Health. "Brain signal boosts as monkey nears reward." NIMH. NIMH, 30 May, 2002.</li>
<li>4. Kansas State University. "Burning more calories is easier when working out with someone you perceive as better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2012.</li>
<li>Mark W. Howe et al. Prolonged dopamine signalling in striatum signals proximity and value of distant rewards. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038</li>
<li>Fan MS et al. Evidence of decreasing mineral density in wheat grain over the last 160 years. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. 2008;22(4):315-324</li>
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Strength In Numbers: The 8 Habits Of Highly Successful Fit People

It’s the million-dollar question: How do the fit stay fit?

At Bodybuilding.com, we’re uniquely qualified to know the constellation of factors which separate the successful from the unsuccessful when it comes to fitness. That’s because we have BodySpace, which is more than just the largest social media site in the world dedicated to the fit-minded. It’s also a vast data pool that amounts to the world’s largest fitness study, a research effort that we refer to as the Strength in Numbers Study.

Our Strength in Numbers findings are based on BodySpace members who actively make progress toward their stated goal, whether it’s weight gain or loss. If you move toward your goal on BodySpace, we consider that fitness success.

WHAT IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS?

The Strength in Numbers Study is based on data collected from our very own social fitness network, BodySpace. Our findings come from BodySpace members who successfully make progress toward a stated fitness goal, whether it’s weight gain or loss. Every time members post to FitBoard or add a picture, they contribute to the study.

Every time you track a workout, post to FitBoard, add progress pics, and engage in myriad BodySpace activities, you help the community at large. You help us understand the habits that generate fitness success. If you’re an active BodySpace member, you contribute to the greater fitness good.

No matter how many numbers we crunch about crunches, no matter how much digits we slice and dice about getting sliced and diced, shaping up still requires one person to dig deep and make a commitment to become better.

The Power of Progress

Did you know that BodySpace members altogether lost a total of 1,977,631 pounds in the last year? The average user also lost
4 percent body fat. Give yourselves a huge pat on the back
for all your tremendous hard work!

New habits must be formed, changes must be made, and reproducible motivation must roar to life. Everyone walks their own path toward their goals, but simple daily habits that reinforce eating better, exercising regularly, and sleeping more still lay the groundwork for a fit life.

The majority of fit individuals don’t spend hours in the gym, live on a diet of cabbage, or nit-pick the optimum amount of holy water to achieve immortality. Instead, fit people share a set of outrageously simple and positivity-reinforcing habits. These are the eight habits of highly successful fit people, according to the first major batch of our Strength in Numbers data.

1 Highly Successful Fit People Track Their Workouts

Memory sure works in a funny way. If you’ve been relying on it to recollect the exact number of reps and the weight for each of the five (or was it six?) exercises you did two Tuesdays ago, the only exercise you’ll be doing at the gym is frustrating yourself.

It’s more than merely a matter of organization. Neglecting to track your workout via an online tool or a journal is a rookie mistake, one that can lead to unproductive workouts and a stark absence of recognizable progress. Simply writing down your workouts makes you more aware of what you may or may not be doing. You might be surprised to learn that you were, in fact, doing only 20 minutes of cardio rather than 30.

Additionally, a visual record—especially one that other people can view—holds you accountable to completing your workout, gets you fired up about measurable progress, helps you avoid exercise plateaus, and could even engage you in some friendly competition among peers.

All of these serve to help the fit stay fit—or in some cases, get even fitter.

2 Highly Successful Fit People Find a Plan And Stick It Out

There are literally hundreds of exercise plans out in the wild. It’s not uncommon for a newcomer to struggle with finding the “perfect” exercise blueprint. When it comes to picking out a suitable workout program, the best method is to just go with one that fits your goal and difficulty level, and then feel out the program for at least six weeks. Why?

If you’re new to exercise, your body undergoes major changes as it attempts to wire your motor units and brain to become better accustomed to new movement patterns. Typically, it takes 4-6 weeks for your body to adapt and for beastly gains to come out of hibernation.

It is for this reason that both sticking it out the first six weeks of the program and tracking your workout—the first habit we discussed (see the synergy?)—are so crucial. In doing so, you can make smart tweaks to turbocharge your program and view progress in numbers, even if they don’t immediately make themselves apparent on your body.

Once you get over that initial adaptation phase, the transformation begins to take shape, making you more likely to dive further into the program. This brings us to the next point …

3 Highly Successful Fit People Post Progress Pictures

You may laugh at the prospect of someone who poses in front of the bathroom mirror, arm outstretched, ready to snap a picture. Maybe you actually know someone who does this, but it turns out there may be something scientifically sound to the “selfie.”

Progress photos can help you track your progress. Each snapshot in time showcases subtle changes that you might otherwise have never noticed (“Wow, my abs look like they could crush tomatoes here!”) and incidentally lights up certain regions in your brain related to euphoria.

These visual milestones trigger a stronger and stronger release of dopamine, a feel-good brain chemical strongly linked to reward. As you ease the psychological tension between your desire to reach your fitness goal and the hard work needed to achieve it, you will uncover the drive necessary to keep pursuing your goal because you’re closer than you were before.

It might feel a bit awkward at first to take photos of yourself, but these quick snaps can help keep you grounded and motivated.

When you advance, they allow you to identify weak points or lagging body parts and zero-in on what you need to improve.

4 Highly Successful Fit People Seek and Share Motivation

When you first start your fitness journey, summoning motivation day-in and day-out can be likened to moving a hundred-ton hippo that won’t budge an inch no matter how much you goad, hoot, and prod it. Is this genetics or laziness? Some studies seem to think motivation is inherited, but the literature on motivation itself is still pretty unclear. What is clear, however, is that intrinsic motivation doesn’t always come easily, so it has to sprout elsewhere.

Enter the Internet sub-genre of fitness motivational pictures and quotes, aka “fitspiration.” Popular quotes range from “A one hour workout is only 4 percent of your day. No excuses!” to “Believe yourself and you are halfway there,” to the more abrasive and succinct, “Shut up and train.” These powerful quotes and images are staples on FitBoard, Pinterest, and Tumblr. Just a cursory look through any of these places will hit you with enough extrinsic motivation to kick your arse in gear.

The best type of motivation, though, is realizing that you enjoy working out and can gain a sense of achievement from doing something awesome. For this reason, tracking your progress through workout logs, pictures, and even occasional medical checkups is incredibly important.

5 Highly Successful Fit People Make Fitness Social

Few things are 100 percent enjoyable when done solo. For instance, the struggle of a 6 a.m. workout is instantly made better with a workout buddy (and a hit of caffeine, of course).

Numerous studies reinforce the idea that social support helps create a positive feedback loop to spur on a person’s positive self-perception and keep him or her exercising. A study that came out of the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention shows that social support specific to fitness kept people committed to exercise measurably better than just general support. It’s no wonder that fitness conquests are likely more successful among groups which channel the same exercise mindset, like on BodySpace or group fitness classes.

Interestingly, a study conducted at Kansas State University found that it’s better to buddy up with others who are fitter than you are. It sounds like counterintuitive advice, but hanging with someone stronger or fitter is the perfect motivator, because apparently motivation and harder bouts of effort often germinate from “feelings of inadequacy.” These feelings can push you toward improvement.

6 Highly Successful Fit People Constantly Learn

As mentioned before, attaining better fitness at the individual level isn’t an exact science—at least not yet. New research on a variety of nutrition and fitness topics hits multiple scientific journals daily, nightly, and ever so quickly. Unless you consume content regularly, it’s difficult to keep up with the latest skinny.

Of course, the Achilles’ heel in all this is that such information amounts to the good, the bad, and the ugly.

You have to apply some critical thinking to separate the chaff from the wheat. Inevitably, you’ll come across grand claims with pseudo-scientific backing and a lot plain old-fashioned bro-science, so an active mind and keen eye are essential.

Don’t think you have to try every new program under the sun, either. Rather than implementing everything all at once, save certain tips and techniques for later. Consume quality content regularly, but always examine it through the lens of your own goals, body, and lifestyle.

7 Highly Successful Fit People Regularly Visit Fitness
Sites

Through our Strength in Numbers Study, we discovered that the most successfully fit people in the world start off by doing what you’re doing right now: Being here and reading this. This habit goes hand-in-hand with Habit No. 6 and proves that you’re on the prowl for information, education, and constant self-improvement.

Being engaged in such activities will help you stay committed to fitness for life. Whether you’re looking for information, recipe ideas, or social support, you’re in this for the long haul.

8 Highly Successful Fit People Take These Supplements

Granted, these supplements won’t make or break your fitness progress. After all, fitness is based first and foremost on smart training and precision nutrition. To be effective, dietary supplements must stand upon a solid foundation of whole foods and consistent effort. Supplements augment and can enhance your hard work, but they won’t do any of that work for you.

In addition, if often isn’t possible to get all the necessary nutrients exclusively from real foods. Some chalk it up to inconvenience—a wholesome meal may just be out of reach simply because of the environment or time constraints. Other times the problem might be more complex and further out of your control. Then there’s the growing dearth of nutrients from food itself due to modern agricultural practices, soil depletion, long carbon footprints, and excessive processing.

The nutrients present in food today aren’t in the same concentration as food grown 50 years ago, much less hundreds of years ago. Iceberg lettuce, for example, now has the same nutritional value as cardboard.

In these instances, supplements—in particular protein—provide the extra nutrients needed to support the fit life of exercising individuals, especially people with specific body composition or strength goals.

If you want to learn more about the popular supplements and see where they fit in your strategy, you can learn a thing or two from our supplements page or the category guides linked to the ingredients above.

BodySpace, Your Space

Are you already a BodySpace member or an active part of another online fitness community? Sound off in the comments below and let us know the habits which work for you. Don’t forget to give yourself a hug for beginning or continuing your fitness journey with others like you!

References
  1. M. D. Roberts et al. Phenotypic and Molecular Differences Between Rats Selectively-Bred to Voluntarily Run High Versus Low Nightly Distances. AJP: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology, 2013; DOI:10.1152/ajpregu.00581.2012
  2. Oka, RK et al. Sources of social support as predictors of exercise adherence in women and men ages 50 to 65 years. Women’s Health. 1995 Summer;1(2):161-175
  3. National Institute of Mental Health. “Brain signal boosts as monkey nears reward.” NIMH. NIMH, 30 May, 2002.
  4. 4. Kansas State University. “Burning more calories is easier when working out with someone you perceive as better.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 November 2012.
  5. Mark W. Howe et al. Prolonged dopamine signalling in striatum signals proximity and value of distant rewards. Nature, 2013; DOI: 10.1038
  6. Fan MS et al. Evidence of decreasing mineral density in wheat grain over the last 160 years. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology. 2008;22(4):315-324

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Strength In Numbers: The 8 Habits Of Highly Successful Fit People

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, NutritionComments Off on Strength In Numbers: The 8 Habits Of Highly Successful Fit People


Paige Hathaway

2 hours 32 minutes ago

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Paige Hathaway

6 hours 53 minutes ago

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