It's one month 'til Christmas – the perfect amount of time for muscle adaptation and leaning up.
Change your workouts, and transform your "Body by Lawn Bowls" physique to looking sweet at the beach:
Get bulging biceps with Sevens
On your last set of bicep barbell curls, lower the weight by 20 per cent. Then, do seven repetitions of a full range of motion curl. Without stopping, perform seven reps of just the top portion of the movement, stopping each time at the halfway point before bringing the barbell back up to the shoulders. Last, perform seven reps of just the bottom half of the movement. Sevens (also known as 21's) fatigue the muscle while targeting the entire bicep.
Add some variety
If you're smashing the weights, also add cardio. And if you're "all run, no weights", make sure you're incorporating some load bearing movements. Jump out of the pool and get into Zumba, or give CrossFit a rest and jump into Spin. The body acclimates, so change it up and watch your fitness and form change over time.
Three sets of 10 in the weight room is an antiquated exercise program design. Supersets increase the load and efficiency of a training session by performing an exercise immediately after a different exercise. For example, jump straight off the flat bench press and superset with max-rep incline push ups. Or, perform pull-ups and superset with push-ups. There are countless superset variations that enhance a session while decreasing time at the gym.
Grab a partner
It's not surprising, but researchers from University of Aberdeen found people increased exercise frequency with a companion. Encouragement from a partner had an even greater effect than doing the actual exercise together.
You produce more force when you quickly follow the eccentric (muscle lengthening) contraction with a concentric (shortening) – plyometric movements training provides that increased force. Don't just bodyweight squat – do plyometric jump squats. Don't just push-up – do clap push-ups. And turn static lunges into alternating plyometric lunges. When your muscles are being tested to the max while your heart rate is up, you're toning and leaning up like a pro.
Most sports (and even viewing yourself in the mirror) promote forward dominant movements. Therefore, we do less training for the posterior (back) side of the body. If you're doing loads of chest, make sure to do back. Biceps and triceps. Quads and hamstrings, glutes. A balanced body is a better looking body...and a healthier one.
That distance running, day after day, after can be quite monotonous. Change it up with HIIT sessions on the treadmill or some soft sand sprints in the sun in the fresh air.
Grab the coffee and headphones
It's well documented that caffeine boosts performance in aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Music has an almost legal-steroid effect on training as well – enhancing mood and exercise tempo while decreasing boredom and the focus on arduous exercise.
If all of the above sounds like it's too much sweating and swearing, rest easy. All you have to do for a healthier you is:
Get involved with Hound Health. A study just released analysing 3.4 million people in Sweden saw a 33% reduction in mortality and 11% reduction in heart attack in those living alone. But with a dog. A bit of social support and movement with our furry friends is good for the mind, body, and soul.
Equally important, don't forget to add the nutrition. Consuming umpteen Silly Season beers and fried party foods is chasing your tail at the gym with abbreviated results. If all else fails, do more burpees.
If this column sounds a tad vain, so be it. Sometimes looking good is feeling good, and the journey in getting there, is a healthy one for your body when a quality exercise regime is paired with nutrition.
The result? A healthier Australia.
Passion for lifestyle change is the cornerstone for everything Michael Jarosky does. A Sydney-based personal trainer, he cajoled thousands of Executive Style readers to undertake his "Cut The BS" diet, and champions a charity weight-loss event, Droptober.