Tag: workouts

How to Get Motivated to Work Out

When you look around at why so many people are out of shape and unhealthy these days, it’s not because they don’t know the importance of physical fitness. Of course they do, and of course they know that working out would fix many of their issues. The problem is they have no motivation to work out.

The most important part of working out isn’t the specific program you follow (or don’t). It’s not what leg exercises you do. It’s not whether you train with free weights, machines, or bodyweight. It’s not deciding between cardio, weight lifting, cycling, or running. It’s actually getting into the gym and doing the workout. The most important part of the workout question is being motivated to actually work out.

Because the best workout is the one you’ll do consistently. You can have all the knowledge in the world, access to all the best equipment, take all the supplements and protein powder, but if you can’t actually motivate yourself to work out, it will all be for nothing. If you have trouble getting yourself motivated to work out, keep reading for some tips and tricks for getting the motivation you need.

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What to Eat Before a Workout

Pre-workout nutrition is one of those areas where people love to lose themselves in the minutiae. They obsess over what to eat, when to eat it, and how much of it to eat. Instead of just getting into the gym or out into the world and getting active and lifting something heavy, they read blogs and watch videos for weeks, searching for the one pre-workout meal to rule them all. They end up avoiding the gym altogether because they can’t figure out the “perfect” pre-workout meal, or whether they should eat something at all.

Even when you figure out what to eat before a workout, you can go too far. You know the type of guy. This is the guy who travels with a suitcase full of powders, pills, and packaged foods. He’s so wedded to the pre-workout ritual that he can’t skip a day—even on vacation. If he doesn’t get his 40.5 grams of waxy maize, 30.2 grams of whey isolate, and preworkout blend of superfoods he can’t operate in the gym. He crumbles without the perfect, most optimal pre-workout nutrition.

Don’t be like this. Let me tell you what to do so you can stop stressing about what to eat before a workout. Let’s simplify things.

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How to Work Out with a BOSU Exercise Ball

You’ve probably seen a BOSU exercise ball at the gym. It’s that piece of equipment hanging out by the free weights that looks like half of an inflated beach ball about two feet in diameter attached to a flat disc. You know the one. But do you know what to do with it? Have you ever incorporated a BOSU ball into your workout?

The BOSU ball is actually one of the more versatile items in the gym. This one apparatus can train the upper body, lower body, core, balance and stability, and it even provides a great cardio option if you know how to use it to get your heart rate up. When you’re traveling, if all the meager hotel gym has is a BOSU ball and a mat, it’s easy to devise a total body workout that will have you sweating.

Get started with this list of 12 simple exercises you can do with just a BOSU ball and your body weight, plus variations to make them easier or more challenging according to your fitness level. As always, check with your physician if you have concerns about starting a new exercise program. Folks who struggle with their balance may want to ask a trainer or coach to help get them started.

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The 12-3-30 Workout: All Hype or Worth Trying?

In today’s Dear Mark, I’m tackling a reader’s question regarding a new workout that’s apparently all the rage on social media. I’m not much for hopping on viral fitness trends myself, but I’m always interested in keeping my finger on the pulse of what people are doing in the name of health, strength, and weight loss. You never know when the next truly great thing is going to come along, right?

Let’s get into it:

Dear Mark,
I’m seeing a new fitness trend all over my TikTok: “12-3-30.” Other users are claiming it changed their bodies in just a month, and I’m tempted to try it, but as far as I can tell it’s just… walking uphill? Is this trend too good to be true or worth trying? Do you think something like this could be considered “primal”?
Thanks for asking—and for thinking that I might be hip enough to already know about a TikTok trend! As a general rule, if a “get fit quick” scheme seems too good to be true, it probably is. However, let’s not discredit the actual value this trend might hold without examining it more closely.
What is the 12-3-30?
A quick dive into Google explains the “12-3-30,” aka the 12.3.30 treadmill routine, is walking at a 12 percent incline at 3mph on a treadmill for 30 minutes. Credited to influencer Lauren Giraldo, this workout’s short time frame and relative ease have piqued people’s interest. I’m sure the testimonials from people claiming to have made big physique gains in a short time don’t hurt either.

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How to Exercise While Fasting

Intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating have become popular strategies to lose weight, boost insulin sensitivity, improve blood sugar and blood lipids, and encourage ketosis. But there is still a lot of confusion about how to fasti correctly, avoiding possible pitfalls while maximizing the benefits. One recurring point of confusion is working out while fasting—how much to exercise, whether to stop high-intensity training, and so on.

Before I get into the meat of this post, let’s make one thing clear: You SHOULD continue to work out while fasting. Stay active, don’t just sit around. Yes, even during longer fasts (with some caveats that I’ll discuss below).

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Post-Workout Fasting

As I’ve mentioned many times before, the post-workout period is prime opportunity for protein synthesis. For that reason I usually do a high protein meal in the first 30-60 minutes to capitalize on that benefit, with some carbs if I’ve been going hard and really burned through glycogen (although not always). However, I also occasionally choose to fast after a workout to maximize another physiological benefit—the rise in human growth hormone (HGH), which critically influences everything from bone density to fat burning and muscle mass and organ reserve to general cell reproduction and healing in the body’s systems.

As I’ve mentioned before in relation to intermittent fasting (IF), fasting is known to significantly increase HGH secretion. This makes perfect sense, as ancestral wild humans needed to be able to remain efficient, preserve lean tissue, burn through fat stores, and maintain high activity levels when food was unavailable. If you’re hunting on an empty stomach, you need to be able to maintain the health and viability of your muscles, bones, organs, and cognitive function. If you can’t, you die, fail the hunt, or both.

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