Without a doubt, resistance training with free weights is the best way to build muscle. The problem is lifting weights doesn’t burn that many calories and can make you bulky, especially if you’re not eating properly. You need to do cardio-vascular training to build stamina and burn calories, but you may sacrifice some muscle in the process. Did you know that there are effective, dynamic ways to combine weights and cardio to achieve maximum results? The following techniques will help you melt away fat, build muscle and rev-up your metabolism swiftly and efficiently!
Pay attention to what you are doing. Multi-tasking is helpful at work, but texting, e-mailing, chatting up friends, and watching TV while you’re performing cardio or lifting weights can detract from the intensity of the physical effort required for a successful workout. Unless your workout program is on your phone, put it away and pay attention to your breathing, heart rate, muscle contractions, stretching and most especially your proper form when lifting!
Once you give it your all, push a little harder. The more muscles you use, the more calories and oxygen you burn. Incorporate squats, dead-lifts, military presses and flat bench barbell or dumbbell chest presses into your routine. When you are power walking or on a cardio machine, grab some weights and do curls and shoulder raises. As you work lower body, move arms and torso and make them feel it, too. Let go of the rails on the elliptical or treadmill so that your core muscles must work harder to keep you stable and in motion.
Mix it up a little. Doing the same old thing all the time is boring and after a time, results will diminish. Gravity is a great calorie burner, when you walk, bike or run, do it at an incline. Mix up doing weights with some weight bearing exercises like push-ups, jump squats and dips. Jump rope, jog around the building, or hop on a cardio machine between sets to give an extra calorie burning jolt to ordinary weight training.
Drink more water, burn more calories! Besides refreshing and cooling you, hydrating with plenty of icy cold water can bump up your metabolism by about 5% as your body works to warm the fluid. Coffee is the best pre-workout drink. Besides revving up your metabolism, caffeine gives you a renewed sense of well-being.
Visualization is a proven technique whereby you picture the muscle group you are working in the mirror and in your head. Then with perfect form, execute each rep of each set focusing upon the muscle contractions and stretches. Besides visualization, many guys report achieving great results by training with a buddy or partner who is just a little fitter and stronger; that little bit of friendly competition can push you to work that much harder!