Beach season’s upon us! Instead of wasting time with a fad workout or quick-fix diet, we spoke with a fitness expert who shared tips for impressive long-lasting results!
If you find yourself scrambling to get bikini-ready spring after spring, these eye-opening tips may just be the motivation you need to make a doable fitness regime stick! After all, if it were easy to get abs like Kim Kardashian‘s, everyone would have them right? But while sculpting an enviable bod does take time — and hard work…and patience — there ARE things you can start doing now to yield feel-good results! Speaking with former United States Army soldier and fitness guru, Noah Galloway, HollywoodLife.com learned the most effective ways to reach your fitness goals, and better yet, how to make the most out of your time in the gym!
“There are two things people don’t do enough of… First, you can’t out-train a bad diet,” Noah, who’s also a member of The Vitamin Shoppe Wellness Council, told us. “Secondly, a mistake a lot of women make is not lifting heavy weights.” This is a pattern we’ve seen as well. Although cardio is great, if it’s your sole source of exercise, chances are, you won’t see the results you crave. “When you do an intense workout with weights, your body continues to burn calories hours later, unlike when you just do cardio,” Noah explained. “Women are constantly worrying about putting on muscle and bulking up, not realizing that they don’t have the testosterone levels that men do… it just doesn’t work that way!” Click here to see pics of celebs working out.
In fact, strength training is actually better at helping people lose belly fat compared with cardio, according to a recent study published in Obesity. While aerobic exercise burns both fat and muscle, weight lifting burns almost exclusively fat. “You have to shape your body by working all the different muscles while also incorporating a healthy diet,” Noah told us. “My favorite workout is HIIT [high-intensity interval training] because you get such a thorough full body workout. It also gets your heart rate up helping you to burn a lot of calories. Coming into summer, you want your body to look and feel your best.”
No one wants to spend endless time in the gym though — especially as the weather begins to warm up. But how often SHOULD you be hitting the weights? “It varies depending on your ultimate goals, your body type and what you’re doing in the workout. A good rule of thumb is aiming to get into the gym three days a week for at least 30-60 minutes,” Noah advised. The motivational speaker was quick to point out though that a rookie mistake is going too hard too fast. “If you’re a beginner, don’t burn yourself out by going to the extreme in the gym and in your diet. Too often people start out too quickly and end up burning themselves out… I believe everything in moderation and ease into it,” he said.
Noah continued, “Small steps can equal big gains, and that is something I love about working with The Vitamin Shoppe and their Victory is Yours Campaign. Health and wellness is accessible to everyone, and in gyms, most machines are lined up in a way where you can go through an entire set, and get in a full body workout. It’s a process and it can’t happen overnight.” If anyone has experience with taking things one step at a time, it’s Noah. After getting injured during the Iraq War and losing his left arm above the elbow and his left leg above the knee, the athlete had to relearn how to work out.
“The longest break I took was after I was injured… when I got back into fitness, I saw a difference in six weeks, but saw even more in six months and then even more in six years,” Noah told us. “You need to remember that the biggest component to fitness is patience.” Of course actually getting into the gym is half the battle, but if you’re pressed for time and have to settle for an at-home fitness regime, Noah has tips for that too!
“Some exercises you can do from home include squats, pushups, sit-ups, and planks. It’s also easy (and inexpensive!) to buy a pull-up bar to latch onto your doorframe. Every time you pass by it you can pull yourself up and just keep getting stronger and stronger,” Noah said. “When it comes to body weight exercises, you can work yourself up to getting more advanced (i.e. one armed pushups) by doing higher reps at a faster speed.”
But when you CAN make it to the gym, be sure to alternate between strength training and cardio for optimum results. “I know some people who strength train four days a week and then have only one designated day for cardio. And even then, they’re only running about two miles. I always try to do running AND strength training each workout session… I split it up 30, 30,” Noah said. “I’m constantly going through phases… sometimes I want to lift heavy and bulk up, but then there’s times I want to build up my endurance so I will start doing higher reps and running more. It all comes down to what your goals are and I want to encourage others to be their best selves and celebrate every single step of their wellness journey.”