This summer we've been watching the amazing transformations on ABC's new reality TV show "Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition," where contestants have shed hundreds of pounds and changed their bodies and their lives.
Personal trainer Chris Powell, the man who has whipped the contestants into shape and motivated them to reclaim their lives, shares his tips and strategies for your fitness journey.
1. Make Fitness a Labor of Love
The key to making fitness a lifestyle is to find something you LOVE. Explore all modalities of fitness from weight lifting to cycling, basketball to badminton. Think about it like dating. There is some form of fitness out there that will be a match made in heaven for you!
2. To Avoid the Plateau, Follow the 'Rule of 6'
Did you know that your body adapts to everything? Even working out! It actually takes about six exposures to a specific workout for your body to experience all of its benefits. To experience increased fitness and weight loss benefits you need to change things up after every six workouts!
3. Use the FITT Principle
If you plateau, change ONE of the following variables to get your body losing again.
F - FREQUENCY - Increase the Frequency (Instead of swimming for 3 days per week, increase to 4 days per week)
I - INTENSITY - Increase the Intensity (Instead of jogging at 4.5 on the treadmill, jog at 5.0)
T - TIME - Increase the Time (Instead of playing soccer for 45 minutes, play for 60 minutes)
T - TYPE - Change to a different type of activity (Instead of rowing, try jumping rope or boxing)
4. Be Prepared
Invest in a cooler and plastic containers for food. When we leave the house some of our only food options come from convenience stores, fast food restaurants, and vending machines. Prepare your food at home and bring it with you. It will save you a ton of money, and we must have the right food at the right time to get the results we want!
5. Intervals, Intervals, Intervals
To maximize your calorie burn, use intervals. Basically, alternate between low and high intensity movements during your training sessions. This keeps the heart rate elevated, burns through stored carbohydrate in the muscles, and increases the post exercise metabolic afterburn (so you'll be burning calories for hours after exercise!)