Luxury Editor /
Whatever your approach to keeping fit, it shouldn’t feel like a chore. Unfortunately for many, spending what feels like ample time in the gym doesn’t produce the desired results. We’ve put together a list of fitness hacks, which, if you use them correctly, will make sure you’re getting the most out of your training and diet, helping you to reach your goals quicker.
A whole universe of diet schemes, meal plans, and so-called superfoods exists out there. Claims are made that each of these possesses the secret to achieving your weight loss goals. But what every successful weight loss plan has in common without fail is that they create a calorie deficit. Quite simply, if you burn fewer calories than you consume, you will lose weight. You can choose to do this by working out more or eating less.
For many, the daunting task of cutting out foods they enjoy altogether or going hungry every day is the undoing of their diet goals. You can get around this by using a technique known as intermittent fasting. The idea is simple. Sharply reduce your calories for some of the time (one or two days of the week, or every day before noon and after 8pm, for example) and eat as you normally would the rest of the time. By doing this you create the same calorie deficit, while only requiring the willpower to resist eating in short bursts.
There are right and wrong ways of practising intermittent fasting, and we suggest you check with medical professionals before committing to any kind of diet plan to ensure your safety. But there’s promising evidence, and plenty of people who attest to the efficacy and the sustainability of this method, and crucially, it leaves room to enjoy the foods you love. Besides losing weight, many have reported the benefits of reduced food cravings, higher energy levels, and improved concentration.
Whenever you cut calories, it’s really important to make sure you’re still getting the right level of nutrients. The easiest way to do this is with nutritional supplements. There’s a huge range of supplements that ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need every day.
Training with a lack of direction is an extremely common problem. Lots of people turn to the gym without a clear idea of what they want to achieve beyond looking and feeling a little better and frankly, we see nothing wrong with that.
While we always suggest training with a clear goal, not everyone who sets foot in a gym wants to look like a monster. If you turn to the gym just wanting to look a little better, and you’ve got your basic strength to a respectable level, try targeting areas with a mind to improving your
To do this involves first making an honest appraisal of your body shape, and identifying the areas that you want to develop. For most men the aim should be towards an X-shape, with developed shoulders, arms and legs, and a narrow tapered waist.
As well as focusing on developing certain areas, be prepared to reduce the attention you give to others. It is possible to develop too much in areas such as the chest or thighs, for example. When you’re neither a competitive bodybuilder, athlete, nor swimwear model, you should be considering what you look like in clothes first, as this is how most people will be looking at you.
Your progress in pretty much every kind of exercise is instantly hindered by not using your body in the most efficient way. A poor understanding of the best way to perform a movement will lead to sloppy form. This in turn will lead to slow development and in the worst case, injuries.
What can seem like small changes to the way you perform a movement can have drastic effects on how they’re executed. Being conscious of raising your little finger as high as possible when performing a lateral raise, for example, will recruit more muscle fibres in your deltoids. Understanding how to position and engage your feet when you squat and deadlift will make sure your glutes are fully activated. This will protect your back and knees, and you’ll get stronger much quicker.
Staying fit and strong isn’t just about the time you put in at the gym. Changing your day to day habits while not at the gym can have just as big of an impact. Some of the things you can do to achieve this will be obvious – walking instead of driving, taking the stairs instead of the lift, and so on. But you’ll also see huge benefits in terms of strength, stability, and your appearance by merely focusing on your posture throughout the day. Sit taller, keep your shoulders down and back, and focus on breathing deeply while keeping your core strong. If you sit down a lot at work, take every opportunity you can to get on your feet, as well.
When it comes both to diet and fitness, making solid and long lasting changes to your habits is much smarter than chasing immediate results. The classic example of getting this wrong would be the crash diet. Even when crash diets are successful in making you lose weight, there’s little preventing you from yo-yoing back to more or less where you were before after you come off it. Choosing instead to make incremental changes in your diet will not only bring you closer to your goals but set you up to stay on track longer term.
Exactly the same thing applies when it comes to exercise. Don’t look for quick fixes, instead look to create sustainable exercise habits that will allow you to develop over time.
As we covered earlier, calorie control is important to losing weight. But one day of overindulgence isn’t anything to panic about. In about 99% of cases, the weight you put on in a week can also be lost in a week.
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