Get a jump start on your New Years’s goals right now.
No more waiting. No more putting off something you’ve been wanting to do since last year. Now is the time to start.
Even during the holidays, you can and should be able to enjoy yourself while making progress.
In today’s article, I’ve got 5 workout tips to help you beat the bulge, burn fat, and have fun all while getting better fat loss results.
Include Total Body Workouts
There are many ways to design your workout plan.
One of the best ways to structure your training, especially during the busy holiday season, is to include total body workouts for some if not all of your gym sessions.
Total body sessions are a prime choice for the holidays because many people won’t be able to commit 5+ days to the gym to train various body parts or to have an ‘arm day.’
With total body workouts, you can train all the major muscle groups with enough frequency and intensity to continue making progress.
This means you’ll burn more calories and body fat with fewer exercises. Sounds good to me.
When designing your total body split, I’d recommend performing at least 2 compound exercises each session.
Compound in this scenario can include any exercise that involves multiple muscle groups. For example, a leg press isn’t technically considered a compound lift by guru’s definitions, however, it would be a perfectly acceptable exercise because it will involve a good portion of muscles in the legs.
With 3 or so lifting sessions per week on a total body routine, you want to make sure your ‘total body’ workout isn’t simply a mix of leg extensions, triceps pushdowns, DB curls and calf raises. While these are all fine exercises, with the reduced training frequency, it’s best to include lifts that incorporate more muscle activation such as squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, bench presses, barbell rows, rdl’s and lunges for example.
You can certainly include a little bit more of the ‘pump’ work at the end of your workouts, but you want to make sure you’ve covered the major muscle groups first with a couple of the compound exercises.
Sprinkle in Metabolic Conditioning
You don’t want Santa to be in better shape than you, right?
I didn’t think so. Although, eating all those cookies and guzzling down milk doesn’t sound too bad to me.
Since the holidays tend to be a busy time of year, getting in quick workouts can be a real game changer. To help save you time while still making progress, losing fat, and feeling good, perform some metabolic conditioning circuits on your days off from the gym.
The best part is, you can even do them at home so you don’t spend time driving to and from the gym just to do a short workout.
Even though these circuits below are short, they’re also highly effective for burning hundreds of calories and packing a ton of intensity into a short time frame.
Here are two circuits you can do at home.
A1) Bodyweight Squat x 12
A2) Pushup x 12
A3) Alternating Split Squat Jumps x 10/side
A4) Straight Leg Sit-Up x 12
Perform A1-A4 as many times as possible in 10-12 minutes. Feel free to rest as needed but stay moving.
A1) Bodyweight Reverse Lunge x 10/leg
A2) Inchworms x 6
A3) Eccentric Pushup x 10 (lower 3 seconds)
A4) Reverse Crunch x 10
A5) Mountain Climbers x 10/side
A6) Constant Tension Squats x 15
Complete as many round as you can in 20 minutes.
Both of these circuits will give you quick and effective workouts that will save you time this holiday season. Consider adding them into your holiday routine to help keep the pounds off.
Add Some ‘Fun’ to Your Workouts
Let’s be clear, having fun during your workouts doesn’t mean doing things that are stupid or dangerous. I’m talking about adding a little spice to your training.
By utilizing various intensity techniques like supersets, drop sets, and timed exercises.
Supersets can add zest if you’re used to doing straight working sets with your lifting routine.
Some of my favorite supersets include horizontal presses with horizontal pulls. So something like an Incline Bench Press paired with a Barbell Row will pack a mean punch.
For the legs, a pump-inducing superset that I really like is pairing leg presses with walking lunges. Be careful, though, there will be blood filling every nook and cranny of your legs.
You may also have trouble walking once you’re done with them.
Another effective, yet simple technique to turn things up a notch in the gym is to utilize drop sets.
A drop set basically means performing a certain number of repetitions, reducing the load, performing more reps, reducing the load and performing more reps.
You can think of it as an extended set where each drop you decrease the weight to continue the set.
Some of my favorite exercises to use drop sets include leg presses, Bulgarian split squats, cable exercises and pin loaded machines etc.
Here’s a quick example of how you’d perform a drop set on the leg press.
Final working set 360lbs x10
Drop 1–270 x10
Drop 2–180 x 15-20
Give that one a shot if you’re up for a challenge.
Ever time your rest periods?
I’ve been using this technique a little more lately, especially on shoulder exercises and the results and burn have been fantastic.
I really like using timed rest periods on exercises such as lateral raises but you can really use this method on a variety of exercises.
The next time you are finishing an upper body workout, or any workout really, throw in some timed lateral raises at the end.
Start repping the dumbbells until failure. Rest 15 seconds then go again. Repeat this technique for 4-6 minutes. This will add up to a lot of volume so be sure to pick weights that are light enough to endure the ridiculous pump you’ll soon be feeling.
Try New Exercises
If you’re typically a pretty straightlaced lifter, then consider adding in some variation to your workouts.
You can still train the big lifts but you might want to think about performing a new variation to help keep yourself more engaged during the busy holiday season.
Try some of the traditional lifts with a bit of a twist.
Instead of conventional deadlifts you might do trap bar deadlifts or snatch grip deadlifts.
Or you could do sumo stance Romanian deadlifts in place of normal rdls.
As long as you’re not doing circus tricks in the gym, it’s perfectly ok to stray from the traditional lifts and throw some variety into your routine.
This might be just what you need to spur new motivation and fat loss during the holidays.
Do Your Workouts First Thing
Getting your workouts done first thing in the day can be a huge help for many people.
The holiday season is not only packed with delicious foods and parties, but it also tends to be colder, at least here in the northeast.
Colder weather generally means we feel like moving less. Cuddling up and watch re-runs of Boy Meets World never sounded so good. That is one of my all-time favorite shows so I wouldn’t blame you for going that route.
However, if you’re someone who wants to keep things in check this holiday season finding time after a busy day to workout can be challenging, to say the least.
Get up. Have a cup of coffee (or 12) and a small protein shake or light breakfast, and then hit the gym.
Working out first will do several things.
One, it’ll ensure you don’t skip workouts, which we all know is way too easy to do at the end of a long workday. Distractions, excuses, other commitments. Don’t fall into the trap of missing workouts, just knock em’ out in the earlier part of your day.
And two, it’ll set the tone for the rest of that day. Look at it as something positive and start your day off on the right foot.
Better consistency during the holidays will have more of an impact on your results than you might realize.
Free Holiday Workouts
In addition to these tips, I also wanted to give you a free workout program that’ll be perfect this holiday season.
To grab a copy of my ‘Advanced Glutes’ program join my exclusive VIP area by plugging in your email below.
Along with the free program, I’ll be sending you my best fat loss tips and tricks and more strategies to help you dominate the holidays from a fat loss perspective.