Losing weight is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions, but how do you stay motivated and reach your fitness goals? As a personal trainer at Orangetheory Fitness Paradise Valley, a fitness studio that utilizes a one-of-a-kind, group personal training workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training, I have seen and experienced all of the fitness myths out there; here are a few tried-and-true fitness tips to help you stay motivated and see results:
- Ditch the numbers on the scale, focus on your body fat: One of the biggest mistakes you can make when staying motivated to lose weight is focusing on the number that you see on the scale. The scale is a misrepresentation of your results – it doesn’t take into consideration the muscle you are gaining and the body fat you are losing, plus it changes rapidly with your water weight. Start focusing on the pant sizes you drop, or measure your waist weekly to truly see your results.
- Monitor your heart rate: To truly see results, you need to spend 12- 20 minutes in your target heart rate zone, or your “orange zone,” which is 85% of your max heart rate. This will result in Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), which will continue to burn calories 36 hours post-workout. EPOC results in weight loss, visible toning, more energy and a faster metabolism.
- Combine cardio and strength training: The combination of cardio and strength training will push your body into EPOC at a faster rate. Combining high intensity interval workouts, which incorporates bursts of speed, and strength training is the best way to shed fat and gain muscle. High intensity interval training creates peaks and valleys in your heart rate, which will burn more calories in a shorter amount of time compared to running a distance at a consistent pace. During strength training workouts you also want to incorporate bursts of cardio to keep your heart rate up to burn more calories throughout your workout.
- Workout more than one muscle group at a time: Don’t just do reps of lunges; instead combine arm workouts, such as bicep curls, with your leg workout. The combination is more efficient and will keep you in your target heart rate zone.
- Mix up your workouts: Your body will hit a plateau if you don’t push it and don’t do various workout routines.