How Hard Do You "REALLY" Train?

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Ask yourself this question (and answer it honestly!)How hard are you really pushing yourself while you workout? 

Do you workout enthusiastically, feeling the burn with a smile, pushing yourself to the limit? Or would you describe your exercise time more like a slow steady-pace jog? Coasting along, breaking a respectable sweat, doing the same old thing. 

Since you take the time to exercise and desire to have your body change into a slimmer, fitter, more athletic-looking version of yourself, then use my following tips to get more out of your exercise time. 

Focus your mental energy. It sounds simple, but often isn’t. If you’re lifting weights, focus on that specific muscle group. If you’re doing a fat-burning circuit, focus on getting your heart rate up and maintaining a consistently high intensity level throughout the whole workout. Researchers saw a significant increase in muscle activity when people focused on what they were doing, compared to thinking about unrelated topics.


Have an audience. Researchers saw a significant increase in strength and endurance in people who had an audience, compared to those training on their own. I know I get an extra jump in energy level from that butterfly-in-your-stomach feeling when people are watching me! A little pressure can be a good thing.


Get a caffeine boost. Caffeine has been shown to help burn fat and increase your endurance. The most effective amount seems to be around 200-300mg one hour prior to working out. Of course check with your doctor first. 

Pump up the volume. Listen to upbeat music while you exercise. Researchers found that personal music motivated weightlifters to complete two more repetitions on average than those who were not listening to music. It certainly pumps me up to not just get through, but DOMINATE my workout! Music is in fact my secret weapon, the tool I use as a pick-me-up to help me get focused and develop that tunnel-vision you need to maximize your effort level. Personally my music energy could be described as ‘Aggressive/High-Energy/Fury’, because that’s what gets me in the Zone …yours might be different. You might prefer Happy energy during your workouts, or Chill/rhythmic energy. Whatever works! Find that energy, and use the music to take you to a level of Focus you never thought you had.


Keep things fresh. Alter your routine often. This will help you to avoid plateaus and will continue to challenge your body. Try new exercises, new intensities and new environments. 

Stay nourished and hydrated. Pay attention to your food and your hydration levels. You’d be amazed how much being dehydrated can affect your performance even away from the gym. Energy-wise, the most common mistake I’ve noticed is not eating enough Protein before doing an intense exercise session. Yes the aim is to burn as many calories as possible (if your goal is fat loss) or to work the body as hard as possible (if your goal is muscle gain), however how do you expect to do either of these if your body doesn’t have the right fuel to complete these activities? No, a coffee and a banana or slice of toast doesn’t cut it. You need a decent serving of protein, around 30g-50g, an hour or two (depending on the source) before your training session if you want to get the most out of it.    

Find your magic time. Work out when your body is at its best. If you’re not a morning person, do not force the issue on your body. For example, I’ve found that my body responds best when I train in the early-middle part of my day, a few hours after I’ve woken up but before I start to feel the work day catch up to me. Other people prefer to train in the evening after they’ve had enough meals during the day to give them that energy boost to workout. Still more (a crazy few!) like to hit their session before the crack of dawn, at some ungodly hour like 5am lol. Find what works for you, and stick to it.

Wear clothes that you love. Not only will you be happy to put them on and show them off, but you will be able to focus completely on the task at hand, rather than stressing that your pants will split whenever you squat. And believe me, there’s just this uplifting feeling when you walk into the gym with a brand new pair of shoes, and high-quality workout gear or a cool tank top….you just know you’re going to smash that session!


Make sure the shoe fits. Can you imagine a tap dancer performing without tap shoes? Your shoes are just as important! With correctly fitted shoes for your workout or sport, you’ll keep your feet, ankles, knees, and back protected and healthy. Avoid wearing runners for heavy compound exercises like Squats or Deadlifts, as their soft soles create instability that could adversely affect your performance.  

Use a professional. If you don't already, have me design your workouts :P With my 5 years’ track record of torturi....I mean, Training clients to push towards and beyond their limits, this will ensure that you’re being challenged and receive the guidance you need to reach your fitness goals



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