We at SHREDZ get asked all the time – what switch-ups and shortcuts can I try at the gym that will get me better results sooner? Efficiency is the name of the game, and the SHREDZ diet and training pros have a few tricks up our sleeves.

Coaching and Training

 

While there's really no wrong way to work out (as long as you aren't hurting yourself), there are more effective ways to achieve those goals – fast. Read on for two simple switches you can start on TODAY that will exponentially speed up your results and really make your body explode.

 

HACK #1: Cut your reps to the 3-6 range.

 

Most women stick to the 10-15 reps range, maybe because they read it somewhere, someone told them to, or they are scared to bulk up. And truth be told, this range does work quite well to tone up and keep body fat down.

But if you really want to look cut and lean, keep this in mind: The last rep you do should be the last rep you can complete with good form. The series of reps before the last one are performed to fatigue the muscles and get you to that end point.

squat heavy

When you cut your reps down, you need to, of course, up the weight you’re using. This taxes your muscles in a relatively short time. This creates a metabolic reaction in your body that stimulates muscle building, which in turn burns more fat, creating a virtuous cycle that will melt away extra pounds. While fifteen reps will build endurance, teaching your muscles to work for a long time (15 reps take a while), muscular endurance does little to your body composition. To see serious results, lift heavier, fewer times.

Make sure your form is excellent to avoid injury, especially when moving heavier weights than you’re used to. For the first several sessions, consider working with a personal trainer or health coach. Seek a buddy at the gym who can spot you and make sure you’re performing the exercises safely and effectively.

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HACK #2: Cut out machines

 

Circuit machines have their time and place, but if they are the bulk of your routine, you’re selling yourself short. These machines are a comfortable and dependable option, but comfort is the enemy of any fitness routine, right?

Here’s the problem: Machines isolate one muscle group at a time and keep you in proper position with built-in stabilization. In this way, machines do a bunch of the work for you. When you force different sets of muscles to work together, like they need to in real life, you’re putting a higher demand on your body. Sitting on a machine, not only are you slowing yourself down by working one muscle group at a time, but you’re burning fewer calories because you’re recruiting fewer muscles, all while training them in a way that they don’t perform on their own.

Instead, opt for compound exercises. It’s okay to do several exercises that hit all the same muscle groups, but hit them all at once and force them to work and grow stronger together. Incorporate balance, stabilization, secondary muscle groups, and core activation. For real benefit, consider squats and deadlifts non-negotiables, and trade single muscle group exercises like curls, extensions, and kickbacks for bench presses, push-ups, and pull-ups.

Squat challenge

BONUS HACK!!! Do you really need to slim down fast? Maybe you have a wedding coming up or just want to rock that bikini on vacation? In addition to these workout switches, try this diet trick: straddle your workouts with protein. Have a protein shake (one 100-120 calorie scoop in water or 30-calorie unsweetened almond milk) pre and post workout. To keep things interesting, use different flavors, or mix and match flavors. This will feed your body with muscle-building protein as well as curb your appetite help you eat less all day.

by Dina Aronson, MS, RDN

Oct 21, 2016

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