Summer is wrapping up so it’s time to slack at the gym right? Hell naw. We have the holidays coming; aka ‘Spirits Season’ and there is no better time to go to the gym than when the alcohol and parties ramp up and the outdoors adventures slow their roll.
Lee Jimenez is the founder of Body Battle Fitness. Launched in August 2015 and inspired by his own weight loss and exercise experience, Jimenez is based in New York City and builds custom workouts for clients’ specific needs and goals.
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Lucky for us, Lee has laid out 10 proven workout and fitness tips to get healthy through diet and exercise:
- Establish your fitness goal
Creating a goal is always helpful in mapping out your overall plan to meet your fitness goals. Whether it is to keep off holiday pounds, build leaner muscle mass, or maintain your existing muscle mass, setting a goal will set you up for success.
- Focus on one thing at a time
Whenever starting a new fitness regimen it is easy to get overwhelmed quickly. Running to your local health food store or vitamin shopping to replace your entire pantry is not a realistic approach for consistency. In your diet, start asking, “what is the one thing on my plate (or glass) I can live without?” Gradually make a new habit into a permanent healthy routine. Same for adopting a new exercise routine, accepting that at first it will not be perfect. We all start somewhere, but through consistency, over time the body progresses and physical changes happen.
- Find your Motivation
This is probably the most important of all. Motivation was never something that was taught in elementary school. Some find it through group fitness, others through personal training, and many by having a gym buddy trying to reach similar fitness goals. Find what will motivate and excite you to exercise consistently in a way that you will not be bored.
- Put in the time
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will a single workout transform your body overnight. Recognize where you are today in your fitness journey and set a realistic timeline with check points. I Suggest a 3 week/6 weeks/10 week check up about how you feel, your weight loss, muscle gain, and progression of strength in your workouts.
- Avoiding Exercise Plateau
The body is an amazing instrument and quickly adapts to new physical exertions. The 10 pushups that you did at the start of your workout program are just not going to be as impactful 3 weeks later. Challenge your body by increasing number of reps, increasing duration of time, increasing exercise weights, or shortening recovery time between sets. Keep your body constantly guessing in order to avoid a physical plateau.
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- 90 % of your success is Diet
Diet and nutrition by far outweigh anything else in a successful exercise program. Working out like a beast, taking a million group fitness classes, and consistently hitting the gym will be all for nothing if your eating habits are less than healthy. The myth that everyone gets a cheat day is just that – a myth. One day a week of brunches, binge drinking, and overloading on sweets is still 52 days in a year that work against your fitness goals. Having a balanced diet plan that includes everything in moderation, fats, macros, carbs, calories, and most importantly daily protein in-take of grams equal to your ideal total body weight will be your formula for success.
- Sleep and Recovery Days
Sleep affects our physical and mental health tremendously, and many of us do not get enough. Lack of sleep affects metabolism, mood, concentration, stress hormones and cardiovascular health. Sleep allows the body to heal, repair and rejuvenate in a way it simply cannot when a person is awake. The idea of vigorous exercise seven days a week does nothing but constantly breakdown your muscle fibers and doesn’t allow for a rebuild phase. Ideally, you would pick two recovery days per week where you do not exercise at all. Your muscle tissue will repair and rebuild helping to reach the physical changes you want to see.
- Workout Smart
Do your homework and find a workout program that is proven to meet your specific fitness goals. A mixture of both cardio and strength conditioning benefits total body wellness. Specifically focusing solely on one without the other lends opportunity for either muscle atrophy or cardiovascular disease.
- Opposites Attract
So now you are in the gym ready to put in work, but where do you start? Rule of thumb, overworking one muscle group is ineffective in comparison to compound multi joint movements. The same is true for always doing a total body workout, hitting every single muscle group in your body. Pick 2-3 muscle groups per workout i.e., Legs/Shoulders, Chest/Back, Biceps/Triceps and always that third muscle group is your core. Our abdomen ties everything together, making sure it is always at its strongest.
- Goal met…now what?
How you got there is how you keep it. Continued consistency in both your exercise and nutrition program is now a part of you. Fitness is a lifestyle that you adopt all for the better. Beyond the visual physique you have achieved are the immense health benefits you have given your body. Staying focused and accepting the steps taken forward will help you not to take steps backward.