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You’ve been noticing for a while that your general-purpose fitness isn’t quite where you’d want it to be, but it’s only when you’ve made a commitment to get involved in more physical pursuits and hobbies that you’ve actually noticed just how much your level of conditioning is holding you back.
Maybe you’ve started playing a regular game of tennis with some friends, or maybe you’ve joined a martial arts class, but have discovered in either case that you just can’t keep up and find your enjoyment of the activity severely diminished by the fact.
You know you want to get fit, but you don’t want to have to struggle through months of training before your conditioning improves. Is there any solution?
Luckily, yes. Here are things you can do to improve your athleticism in a hurry.
Focus on HIIT workouts
HIIT, short for High-Intensity Interval Training, is a form of exercise which emphasizes short bursts of activity done to absolute failure, followed by periods of rest, and then repeated for circuits.
Sprinting to one end of a field, walking back, then sprinting across again, is an example of a form of HIIT training.
Recent research has found that just a few minutes of HIIT — 10 minutes, or in some cases, considerably less — can be as, or more effective than traditional jogging done for much longer periods of time.
HIIT also seems to have positive effects in terms of boosting metabolism and protecting and promoting muscle growth, whereas more drawn-out, conventional forms of cardio typically lead to chronically elevated levels of stress hormones and reduced muscle mass.
There’s a reason, after all, why professional sprinters always appear much more muscular than competitive endurance runners.
By doing a couple of HIIT workouts a week, you can expect to see rapid boosts to your cardiovascular fitness. Though you may want to consider using a pair of insoles from biopods.com for added comfort.
Perform resistance exercises that demand serious exertion and endurance
It’s possible to weight train in such a way that your heart rate never really increases substantially.
This is likely to be the case if, for example, you do isolation exercises only and stay well clear of training to failure.
To boost your athleticism, however, you should ideally emphasize those resistance exercises that demand serious exertion and also endurance, so as to train both your muscular endurance, while also encouraging strength gains, and improving your cardiovascular conditioning.
Kettlebell swings and squats are good examples of such exercises.
Improve the way you’re fuelling your body
Sometimes, poor athletic performance is largely due to the fact that you just haven’t given your body the fuel it needs to operate at its peak.
If you eat at a caloric deficit, you will always have less energy and drive in the gym. If you eat a low-carb diet, you won’t have the glycogen stores available to power you through a full-force anaerobic workout, and are likely to hit the wall much sooner than you would otherwise.
Try eating significantly more food, and a wider variety of foods, for a week or so and see how your performance is affected.