Going to the gym, running at the park, or buying a set of dumbbells are all great starts to improving your fitness, but actually making an effort that’s connected to your specific fitness goals will lead to a greater amount of success and satisfaction.
Before you can begin making strides toward your goal, you need to formally identify what your fitness goals are and the most efficient ways to reach them.
At the end of the day, you’ll only reach goals that you make an effort to actually reach.
This is probably the most common fitness goal in America given the soaring obesity rates and the development of unhealthy habits. It can also be one of the easiest goals to reach.
In order to lose weight, specifically fat, you need to participate in activities that promote the burning of calories. Realistically, any physical activity can help to burn calories, but some are obviously better than others.
The best way to burn fat is by entering into your target heart rate zone. To calculate the target heart rate zone for your age group, you need to subtract your age from 220 and then take 70% of that value.
By remaining in your target heart rate zone for at least 15 minutes at a time, you’ll be able to maximize the burning of calories and improve your cardiovascular health at the same time.
With that said, here is a list of activities that can help you enter your target heart rate zone.
● Participating in endurance sports
Building Muscle, Strength & Power
Attempting to build muscle, strength, and power is a bit more difficult because a lot of it is based on genetics and physical abilities. There are several types of muscle fibers, with some being more conducive to heavy resistance training while others are better for endurance exercises.
There is some evidence that you can help to alter some of your muscle fibers, but there’s only so much you can do. That means there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to build muscles like Arnold Schwarzenegger no matter how much time you spend in the gym.
For the most part, the ability to build muscle, strength, and power depends on the weight you’re lifting and the repetitions you’re performing. Here are some general guidelines to help you in the pursuit of your specific goals.
● Power: 85%+ of your 1RM for 1-6 repetitions
● Strength: 70-85% of your 1RM for 7-12 repetitions
● Endurance: 50-70% of your 1RM for 13+ repetitions
In order to gain the most benefits, you need to be applying the principle of progressive overload. This principle states that the only way to improve your exercise performance is consistently improving each workout.
That may mean increasing the weight you’re using or performing a greater number of repetitions for an exercise.
Though many people tend to hate running, improving your endurance can help boost your heart health and almost every other system within your body. You can improve your endurance by performing any exercise that increases your heart rate, as referenced in the first section of this article.
There are quite a few ways to improve your endurance, which ultimately allows you to design an exercise routine that fits your preferences. Here are a few ways you can do that.
● High-Intensity Interval Training: HIIT requires you to engage in periods of intense exercise as well as short periods of rest. For example, you might do a full out sprint for 30 seconds and then return to a walk or jog for 15 seconds. By participating in this type of routine, you can burn calories quicker, boost your endurance, and ultimately increase your ability to run consistently rather than in intervals.
● Continuous aerobic activity: This method is the most basic way to improve cardiovascular endurance. You might decide to go for a run for 30 minutes or set a goal of running two miles. In order to actually see any type of improvement in your cardiovascular endurance, you need to either extend the amount of time you participate in the activity or increase your pace during the activity.
For any fitness goal that you have, there are proven methods to help you eventually reach them. What’s consistent among all health goals is that you have to put in adequate time and effort in order to fully reach your goals. There are no quick fixes when it comes to fitness and you’ll get out of it exactly what you put into it.