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  1. Remember WHY you are here. When you go to a small group personal training session or a group fitness class remember the reason you started in the first place. It can be easy to become complacent, or run on autopilot, or go through the motions, especially if energy is low. Imagine if your boss dumped a bunch of work on you before you left for the gym! Set an intention for each workout. Relate this intention to your Why for starting in the first place. For example, say you signed up for a Spartan race and one of the obstacles is pulling yourself over a wall. Your intention that day might be to work on your pullups. Or maybe you are going on vacation and want to look smoking in your bikini. So your goal is fat loss and your intention might be to put in as much work as possible so you can be in fat burn mode the rest of the day.
  1. Go Heavy. No matter what your goal is - getting stronger, burning fat, preventing injury - focusing on getting stronger will help. Going heavier will get you stronger, this seems pretty obvious. If you are going heavier on weight your body and nervous system will adapt to handle the new demands. Using heavier loads also helps you tone muscle which will raise your resting metabolism. Also, doing heavier weights in the gym will elevate your metabolism higher and longer for the rest of the day, maybe next day, not to mention burn more calories. So using heavier weights works three-fold to burn lots of belly fat. Whats often not considered is the factor injury prevention. Being stronger makes you less susceptible to injuries in general; but what is the application of this in an actual workout? If you go too light and have bad form you may not even realize you are doing things wrong because the weight is so light, but the next day you can’t get out of bed. A heavier weight will let you self-regulate or self-limit what you are actually able to do. Many people are intimidated by heavier weights or think they’ll get injured. If proper technique and attention is paid to adding weight, the risk of injury can actually go down!
  1. Ask Questions and keep learning. Always learning is one of the core values written on the wall of my studio in Lincoln Park. It’s so important for progress to be a lifelong learner. I really believe that there is no staying the same. You are either getting better, stronger, and more knowledgable, or you’re getting worse. When you approach a training session with the intent of learning something every time you put on your Lululemon pants you will never get bored and you will always walk away better than when you started. It’s not about being the best or competing with someone else, the competition is within, and its about getting a little better - or a lot better - every day.
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