Archive for the tag - Tips

6 Tips to Run Longer!

Hey Davey,

I’ve always loved running but I tire out quickly. How can I run longer distances (more than a mile) without slowing to take a break?

From,
John

Hey John,

As an avid runner myself, I do have some advice for you! Try these 6 tips to boost your running endurance.

  1. Create a goal. First things first, it’s helpful to set a goal. Since it sounds like your goal is distance-based, you may want to target something like 1.25 miles.
  2. Slow down. Reaching your goal may require that you slow down a bit. It’s very difficult to maintain a sprint pace, for example, but much easier to maintain a jog. So, if you’re overexerting yourself – it may be beneficial to take your pace down a few notches.
  3. Decrease breaks. Even after slowing the pace, you may still find that you need to take a break to catch your breath. That’s fine. But once you catch your breath, start running or jogging again. Get back up to your pace speed. Over time, slowly try to take shorter breaks – and eventually eliminated them altogether.
  4. Train regularly. Most importantly, you’ll need to stick with it. Running endurance can be built fairly quickly – but it also fads fast. Make running part of your routine, and you’ll notice that you’re able to build on your gains.
  5. Mix it up. Every now and then, switch up your distance-based cardio workout with something different – like interval training.
  6. Modify goal. Eventually – once you reach your distance goal of 1.25 miles – you may want to work on slowly increasing your pace. Or, you may want to extend the distance to 1.5 miles and go from there. Set a new goal for yourself.

If anyone else has any tips to run longer distances, I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

I hope that helps!

Love,
Davey

11 Tips to Stay Motivated at the Gym! [Video]

This morning, I received an email from a blog buddy named Gio. While Gio loves going to the gym, he said he wants some help to stay motivated. I decided to record my answer as a quick video on my Davey Wavey Fitness YouTube channel. Click below to watch:

Tips for Exercising Without Getting Huge!

Hey Davey,

I’m really on again off again about my fitness. It’s because I gain muscle SO quickly. I’ll work out really solidly for about 3 months and then start looking like a man and back off.

What should I do to prevent myself from turning into a body builder, but still keeping my muffin top on the shelf and off my tummy?

Thanks,
Sarah

Hey Sarah,

You’re not alone – and your desire to tone without looking like a bodybuilder is one that knows no gender. Many guys are in the same boat. The desire to be healthy and fit without becoming overly developed or huge is both common and achievable.

In general, I advise concerned clients to fear not – and that it actually takes a lot of deliberate and intense training to develop the muscular build of a bodybuilder. It doesn’t happen by accident, and it’s especially challenging for women due to hormonal differences.

In your email, you mentioned that you gain muscle quickly. To prevent this, you can simply change the way you train; your body will respond differently.

Training for muscle growth usually involves a low number of repetitions (10 or under) at high levels of resistance. The last repetition should result in muscle failure – that is, you’d be unable to do one more rep. Moreover, someone looking to build muscle would constantly progress to higher levels of resistance.

Since you don’t want muscle growth, modify your routine to train for definition and strength. Perform a high number of repetitions (10 or more – try 15!). Since you’re doing more reps, you’ll obviously need a lighter weight. If you’re satisfied with the amount of muscle on your body, then there is no need to progress to heavier weights or higher levels of resistance. And because you’ll be staying at one set level of resistance, you’ll probably find that you’re not reaching muscle failure on your last rep – and that’s fine.

You can also shift more of your workout to cardio, and/or spend a bit less time in the weight room.

So fear not! You can enjoy the benefits of exercise without worrying about bulking up.

I hope this helps!

Love,
Davey

Boost Your Workout: A Few Inches Can Make a Big Difference!

Going a few inches lower can yield big results...

I break my muscle groups into different days at the gym; today was a leg day. My leg workouts are relatively strong, but they feel like they’ve lost some intensity in recent months. I’ve slowly been increasing the amount of resistance that I use, but to little avail. My leg workouts haven’t been kicking my ass. Doing more of the same will get more of the same – so something needed to change.

Today, I decided to do something a little different. I do a variety of leg exercises that involve squatting or pressing with my legs. Instead of stopping where I normally stop (when my thighs are parallel to the floor or apparatus), I squatted or pressed down a few inches lower. And the difference was unbelievable. Tomorrow, I’m going to be walking bow-legged; I can feel the soreness creeping in already.

Try going a few inches lower if you feel like you’ve reached a results plateau. It’s a simple tip that doesn’t involve changing much at all – you can continue with your same program, doing your same routine. Just go a little lower, and feel the burn.

I know what you’re thinking: How did Davey Wavey manage to go this whole post about inches without the obligatory penis size mention? Ooo… well, there it is.

P.S. The general recommendation when squatting or pressing with your legs is that your thighs should be parallel to the floor or apparatus. Higher than that, and you’re losing some of the benefit to your quads. Go lower, and you can reap additional gains.

How a Sheet of Paper Can Change Your Workout.

As a personal trainer, I know a few tricks of the trade. One of the most powerful is a sheet of paper. It can help you get better results, faster. How?

It’s not magic.

When you go to the gym, you do any number of different exercises for any number of different repetitions for any number of different sets at any number of different weights. That’s a lot of numbers; I have a hard enough time remembering my social security number. Does your mind has room for all of that information? Not to mention, as your workout progresses, those numbers change.

It’s too much for your brain. But not too much for a workout journal.

It need not be fancy. Just pick up a cheap notepad and pencil from your local CVS, Rite Aid or Shoppers. Write down each exercise for each different day (i.e., leg day, back day, etc.). And then each time you perform that given exercise, quickly jot down the necessary information.

There are even fitness journals available for your smartphone.

If you’re looking to build muscle, you know that the weight you lift needs to increase over time. Keeping a journal enables you to track it. It helps you avoid plateaus or even peddling backwards.

It’s something that I advise to all my clients, and I think it could do wonders to change your workout and results, too.

How to Get Your Ass to the Gym: 10 Tips!

Did someone say ass? It looks like he has no problem getting his to the gym.

Having a gym membership isn’t the same thing as using it. Gym memberships aren’t cheap – but even the desire to get your money’s worth doesn’t work for everyone. Many people struggle with actually getting their ass to the gym.

So here are 10 of my tips:

  1. Evaluate your typical week and identify (or create) time slots wherein you can spend some time at the gym. Ideally, these time slots correspond to when you have the greatest amount of energy.
  2. Schedule it. Take out your calendar or planner or blackberry and actually schedule gym time into it. Treat it like a meeting that you can not miss.
  3. Remind yourself why you are working out. Remind yourself that you deserve a happier, healthier life – and that going to the gym is one step in getting there. You can even make the reminder or affirmation part of your morning phrase.
  4. Pack your bag the night before. If you workout in the morning, pack your bag the night before. Put your sneakers next to the door. Pack your lunch and stick it in the fridge. When you wake up, all you need to do is grab your stuff and go!
  5. View exercise as an investment. You are investing in a healthier future – it is not an expense of time.
  6. Make an appointment to meet a friend at the gym. If you skip, you’re cheating yourself and your friend.
  7. Remind yourself that you don’t have time to not exercise. Skipping the gym could set you up for increased likelihood of debilitating diseases. The opportunity cost of skipping the gym is very high.
  8. Know how good you will feel when your workout is complete. Don’t you love that feeling after you workout? Let that anticipated feeling drive you.
  9. Offer your trip to the gym as a gift for your body. Your body wants to move. Honor your body by getting your ass to the gym.
  10. Routinize it. Make it a habit – part of your routine. I hold exercise and brushing my teeth in the same regard. I don’t think twice about either.

Do you have trouble getting to the gym? Tell me about it in the comments below…

5 Tips to Improve the Quality of Your Workout!

Who says nothing good came out of the 90s?

In my (sometimes) humble opinion, life is about quality not quantity. I’d rather have 5 great friends than 500 so-so acquaintances.

The same goes for workouts.

Last year, my workout lasted a mind-blowing 2 hours. 2 hours a day, 6 days a week. No workout needs to last that long.

Through a little hard work and effort, I was able to decrease my workout routine by 30 minutes while simultaneously boosting its effectiveness. Of course, not everyone is willing to commit an hour and a half to exercise. I understand that. And chances are, unless you’re hoping to look like Marky Mark, you can achieve your goals with 30 – 60 minutes of exercise a few times a week.

Here’s how to make the most out of your routine:

  1. Turn up the intensity. I cut my cardio time in half by making it a whole lot harder. For me, that meant ditching the elliptical or long distance jogs for interval training. It feels like twice the exercise in half the time. Instead of being leisurely about your cardio, get ready to push yourself hard and SWEAT!
  2. Switch during rests. You’ve seen my workout routine. I like to combine muscle groups (i.e., forearms and back on the same day). Let’s say I’m doing a great back exercise. During my rest time, I’ll switch to the other muscle group and immediately do a forearm exercise. You can practically cut your strength training time in half with this simple tip.
  3. Exercise at the right time. You know when you have the most energy. For me, it’s early morning. If you can find a way to schedule your workouts at the time when your energy levels are highest, it will be easier to power through the workout and you’ll be less likely to daydream.
  4. Time your rests. If you do take true rests (instead of switching to another muscle group), time them! It’s easy for a 60 second rest to linger for 90 seconds. Watch the clock.
  5. Less time and heavier weights. If you’re looking to build muscle, this tip is crucial for you. Up the weight your are lifting and decrease the number of reps and sets. For example, I could easily curl 4 sets of 10 reps of 35 lbs. Instead, it’s more efficient (and much more in line with a goal of building bicep muscles) to do 2 or 3 sets of 6 – 8 reps of 45 or 50 lbs.

With these simple tips, you should be able to get the most bang for your workout buck. It’s yet another reason why everyone has time for fitness!

Do you have any tips for saving time at the gym? Share them in the comments below!

6 Tips: Spice Up Your Workout for Better Results!

Are you in a workout rut? Need some ass-kicking? I recorded this video with six tips for spicing things up:

Workout Tip: Be a Tortoise, Not a Hare.

Being a tortoise, not a hare, makes sense on two different levels: sustainability and pace.

Throughout the years, I’ve seen a lot of people embark on aggressive and intense workout schedules without easing into their new fitness schedule. The problem is, working out needs to become part of your routine – it needs to be a sustainable commitment. Spending time at the gym needs to become a habit. Going from 0 hours at the gym to 10 hours a week isn’t conducive to sustainability. It is, on the other hand conducive to burnout.

If you’ve never worked out, ease into things. Start with 2 to 3 days per week, 30 to 45 minutes a day – or whatever works for you. If that’s not enough to achieve your fitness goals, ease up from there. Think of it this way: Integrating fitness into your daily routine is a lot like running a marathon. If you sprint at the beginning, there’s no way you’ll make it to the finish line. Key takeaway: Make a sustainable gym commitment.

When it comes to pace, one of my biggest pet peeves is seeing people rush through their strength training exercises. Whether you’re doing free weights or machines, it’s a good idea to slow down the speed of your repetitions. Yes, you are probably trying to cram a number of exercises into a small amount of time – but rushing through your repetitions decreases the benefits of each exercise – and it dramatically increases the likelihood of injury. Key takeaway: One slow set is better than 2 or 3 rushed sets.

Being a tortoise will help you make a sustainable fitness commitment and help you get more bang for your workout buck. Easy does it. Just like your mother said.

4 Common Workout Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

Almost all of us have room for improvement when it comes to our workouts – but here are four of the most common fitness mistakes and how to fix them!

  1. Mistake: Talking while working out. If you’re having a conversation with another person, then chances are you’re not working to your maximum potential. If you’re socializing between sets, then you’re probably resting too long in between.
    Solution: Don’t be a social butterfly at the gym.
  2. Mistake: Working the same muscle groups over and over again. Variety is the spice of life – and it’s an essential ingredient in any successful workout plan. Many people do the same thing each time they work out, whether they work out 5x a week or once a week.
    Solution: Muscles need time to recover – so if you go to the gym often, you should rotate between different muscle groups (i.e., legs one day, arms one day, chest one day, etc.,). If you don’t exercise frequently, muscle recovery isn’t an issue; however, you’ll still want to focus in on a different muscle group each time to make sure you’re working your entire body.
  3. Mistake: Starving yourself. A calorie deficit is the only way to release weight – but if you cut too many calories, your body won’t have the fuel it needs to keep you healthy and strong.
    Solution: Any calorie deficit should be small, and weight should be lost in small amounts over time.
  4. Mistake: Skipping the post-workout protein. After you strength train, your muscles have broken down and are in need of repair. Numerous studies have concluded that skipping a high-protein snack or meal after your workout is highly detrimental. It robs your muscles of the building blocks they desperately need.
    Solution: Buy protein bars or protein powdered mixes and make your post-workout snack part of your routine.