Body Toning Tips

» Secrets To A Buffer Body

Personal trainers get paid the big bucks to offer up small pointers that dramatically improve the results you get at the gym. In this article, you’ll learn some of the secrets trainers share to increase the efficiency of their clients’ work-outs and produce better muscle definition.

• Lift Heavy Weights.

People often fret that they’ll bulk up like a champion bodybuilder if they add more weight, but this is simply not true. Bodybuilders achieve their superhuman bodies through going on special diets, training more hours than most people can even imagine and, in some cases, using steroids. Lifting 60-70 percent of your one-rep max is a good weight. Or you can choose a weight where you can just barely do 8 reps, with the last one a real challenge.

• Lift First, Run After.

A common question is, “When should I lift – before or after cardio?” A Japanese study found that men who completed strength training before cardio burned twice as much fat as those who didn’t lift at all. Strength-training helps you burn more fat – not just during your workout – but for up to 24 hours after as well.

• Run Up Hills.

Uphill running uses 9 percent more muscle per stride than running on level ground. Using more muscle means better results. Also, increasing the incline grade 3 percent can reduce the shock on your knees by up to 24 percent.

• Warm-Up, Rather Than Stretch.

Stretching is most important after a work-out. Beforehand, just spend five minutes warming up with easy moves like lateral slides, push-ups, squats and lunges. This will prepare your body for exercise, elevate your heart rate and get your muscles warmed. By contrast, static stretching can actually increase your risk for injury and reduce your power output.

• Add Explosive Exercises To Your Routine.

Explosive exercises where you jump into the air or launch a ball toward your partner are ideal for increasing strength. One study found that men who added explosive chest exercises to their regimen were able to bench-press 5 percent more weight than those who did not include ballistic movements.

• Choose Active Recovery.

In the past, physicians recommended bed rest to heal sore muscles. Yet, modern day science says that active recovery is better, as the movement disperses pain-causing metabolites, increases blood flow to the aching muscles and speeds up recovery by up to 40 percent. The best thing to do the day after a workout is shoot some hoops, perform foam-rolling, or do calisthenics.