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Five tips we've learnt from basic science that might just supercharge your results in the gym.
The stream of new micro exercise methods, from HIIT to Tim Ferriss’ tactic for cancelling out calories, attests to our appetite for more results with less effort. But few apparent miracles deliver the magic they promise, with many including impossible fine print – works only in sub-Saharan climates among persons aged under 24 and wearing sheepskin earmuffs. But in our quest for breaking new ground, we may have overlooked some basic science that can supercharge your results. That’s one giant leap for women with better things to do than sweat it out in the gym.
1. Jump Around
Plod through a 20-minute warm-up jog if you wish, but you could get better results in under a minute, suggests a study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, which found that the fatigue caused by lengthy warm-ups can compromise your workout. Try 20 explosive jumping jacks before launching into your circuit.
2. Start Strong
People who pushed themselves in the first half of a workout and eased up during the second half burned 23 per cent more fat than those who did the opposite, according to a study from the College of New Jersey.
3. Lose Your Balance
Do upper-body strength training like bicep curls and overhead presses on an unstable surface – think BOSU, a balance board, or a couch cushion. You’ll use your core to stabilise yourself, so you’ll strengthen and tone your midsection, with the ancillary benefit of honing other muscle groups.
4. Speed Lift
Slow and steady may win the race, but it doesn’t prevail in the realm of weight training for muscle tone. Researchers at Anderson and Ball State universities found that exercisers who performed a weight-lifting workout at a quick, explosive pace expended an average of 70 more calories than those who did the workout at a normal pace. Try syncing your reps to a count of one second up, one second down.
5. Pick Up Some Poles
No longer limited to the dehydrated cheesecake-eating, Kilimanjaro-climbing set, walking poles are set to make waves in weight loss fitness programs. Grab some pins and burn 20 to 25 per cent more calories than you would walking without them. You may also boost upper body endurance by up to 40 per cent.
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