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Hitting your fitness goals requires total-body attention.
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A fitness plateau, which is when your body adapts to your workouts and results become limited, can be frustrating. Whether you have reached this point or are simply looking for a way to amplify calorie burn during your workout, there are several strategies that can help you be successful in pushing your body to that next level and to burn even more calories.
Train in Intervals
A 2012 study by Kyle Kevits found that when strength exercises are designed as part of an interval program, they can burn as many as 200 calories per 2.5 minutes of concentrated training, supported by easy recovery periods. On the flipside, doing air squat exercises for 10 minutes straight will burn approximately 100 calories. Interval training, where you focus on mixing high intensity bouts with short rest, can help you make your workout more challenging for your muscles. If you are focusing on cardio exercises, you can create a sprint program, or use strength-training exercises like squats, pushups and pullups to perform high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
Add Weights and Exercise Variations
If you integrate body-weight exercises like squats and pushups into your routine, add weights to switch it up. For instance, you can hold a 20-pound kettlebell as you do squats to increase the calorie burn. Exercise variations can further challenge your muscles and help promote balance training. A pushup variation, for instance, would including lifting one leg off the ground as you lower your body to the ground, then push back up to starting position. Standard squats can be transformed into air squats be incorporating a jump as you move into standing position.
Experiment with New Exercises
Doing the same exercises over and over again can lead to boredom, but it can also lead to physical apathy. Make sure you are integrating new exercises into your workout routine to avoid these issues. If you consistently run, add variation to your workout routines by trying cycling or swimming. Variation can also come in the form of changing your pace to create a tempo run or a fartlek. In addition, experimenting with new equipment can help amplify calorie burn. Trying exercises using a bosu ball or kettlebells can further challenge your body and muscles.
Make Time for Recovery
Giving your body time to recover after working out is just as important as the time that you spend in the gym. After all, you can't challenge your body or get the most out of your workout if you are too tired or sore to exercise. Because of this, experts recommend that you alternate between high-, medium- and low-intensity workouts to ensure your body has enough time to recover and repair. In addition, make sure you focus on getting a good night's sleep. While your body is sleeping, your body focuses on repairing muscle tissue and building your overall strength.