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5 Ways to Burn More Calories in the Gym

Whether you relish long hours working out in the gym, or you just want to get in and get out and do a good job, no doubt you want to make each moment count. The following techniques will help you melt away fat, build muscle and burn more calories swiftly and efficiently (Photo by Julia Larson).

Tune in to your workout, tune out distractions. Multi-tasking is helpful at work, but texting, e-mailing, and watching TV while you’re on the recumbent bike or lifting weights can take serious attention away from exercising. 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!

Give it your all; put everything you’ve got into it. The more muscles you use, the more calories and oxygen you burn. 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.

Challenge yourself and be creative. Doing the same old thing all the time is boring and after a spell, 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 heavily. Yes, but let me qualify that! 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 so that exercise will not seem so intimidating. Pre and post workout drinks generally contain too much sugar and other things you don’t need like NO2, creatine, and guarana.

Picture your intended results, dream big and work even harder. 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!

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