During this time of year, there is no shortage of tips and advice for getting fit and healthy. Although we're indulging in all the goodness that comes with the holidays (hello, eggnog and pumpkin pie), we can't help but think about the New Year's resolutions that are just around the corner.
The mistake that many people make with their resolutions, though, is that they don't give themselves specific ways to actually achieve these goals. But if you're looking to get fit and feel strong next year, you're in luck. Ridge Davis, personal trainer in West Hollywood, CA, has designed a plan for you to shape up and feel amazing in the gym, no matter what your fitness level may be!
Follow these four instructions from Ridge, and you'll be crushing your goals in no time.
Aim to Do Your Workouts Before 8 a.m.
"I highly suggest my clients perform their workouts and/or cardio before 8 a.m. if possible," Ridge told POPSUGAR. "Doing it first thing in the morning subconsciously makes one's health a priority and builds a habit toward a healthier lifestyle."
"I highly suggest my clients perform their workouts and/or cardio before 8 a.m. if possible."
If you're going to make one New Year's resolutions this year, Ridge strongly recommends committing to waking up 30 minutes earlier every day. This gives you the chance to accomplish so much more, from drinking a tall glass of water to squeezing in a workout before you head to work.
Working out in the morning also causes your metabolism to spike, so your body "has more time available in the day to burn fat," according to Ridge. All the endorphins you generate from sweating it out "give you great energy to start the day" as well. If you lock in this habit early on, you'll see your fitness level increase on a daily basis.
Do Less Cardio, Lift More Weights
Step off the treadmill and get going in the weight room if you want to build lean muscle and see your strength skyrocket. Ridge says he works on "moderately heavy weight with short rest periods" with his female clients who want to get lean and fit.
"The focus is to properly build your glutes and hamstrings, as this will enhance your shape on a physiological level and keep you burning fat on a metabolic level," he said. Although we like the idea of how booty gains look on our figures, it's about so much more than how voluptuous your butt gets. Your glutes are the biggest and strongest muscles in the body, so if you train them properly with weightlifting, you'll maximize your fat-burning abilities and get fitter much faster.
Incorporate These 7 Different Movement Patterns
According to Ridge, beginners "have a tendency to overtrain by working out every day with little to no rest."
"Many beginners have a tendency to exclusively use machines when working out because they feel it is safe and easy," Ridge said. "My biggest suggestion for beginners is to engage with all of their body's movement patterns and explore more free-weight and bodyweight movement exercises."
These are the seven movement patterns Ridge highly recommends working on:
- Vertical Push: dumbbell shoulder press
- Horizontal Push: push-ups and chest press
- Vertical Pulls: pull-ups
- Horizontal Pulls: seated cable row
- Squat: bodyweight squat or weighted
- Hinge: glute bridge and hip thrusts
- Core: planks and side planks
Ridge says you should perform each movement pattern for 12-15 reps for three sets. You don't have to do all of these every time you strength train; feel free to break them up into separate sessions, maybe doing the lower-body moves one day and the upper-body moves another day.
Don't Work Out Every Single Day
"A typical workout frequency for my beginner clients is three 45-minute sessions per week and one hour of cardio on the weekend."
According to Ridge, beginners "have a tendency to overtrain by working out everyday with little to no rest." As good as their intention may be, their bodies simply aren't ready for this many workouts in a row. The result? "This mismanagement of rest can lead to getting sick or injured, and this will you put you out of the gym even longer than just putting in that one day of resting!"
"A typical workout frequency for my beginner clients is three 45-minute sessions per week and one hour of cardio on the weekend," Ridge explained. "Rest is just as important, so I suggest having one day rest between workouts." Here's what a typical week of workouts should look like:
- Monday: Train
- Tuesday: Rest
- Wednesday: Train
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: Train
- Saturday: Cardio
- Sunday: Rest
Above all else, make sure you're giving your body enough rest, plenty of sleep, and a whole lot of good food. You can't expect to improve your fitness level if you aren't taking care of yourself on a holistic level. Try to have fun with it and enjoy the process!
Product Credit: Model Credit: @bymorgansimone