After many months’ of gyms across the world shutting their doors and leaving their weight machines and treadmills alone for a well-deserved rest, the time has come for them to reopen once again! Over 80% of gym members say they are eager to return, and with UK gyms reopening this Saturday, 25th July, it’s almost become the next ‘New Year’s resolution!’ Keen to make some fast improvements? Then read on for QUICK Short-Term Gains: 5 Exercises that Deliver!
1. Optimise Muscle Memory with Compounds
Muscle memory is your body’s ability to regain lost muscle mass in a shorter period of time than it took you to initially build. For short-term gains (which will last quite a while in any case) focus your workout routine on heavy compound barbell exercises such as back squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses and bent over rows. These intense exercises by themselves will help you to build a lot of strength and muscle in a matter of weeks.
I recommend following a workout such as the 5×5 or Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1. Both are great programs but for beginners, we’d recommend starting with the 5×5.
2. Use Kettlebells
As a personal trainer, I’ve become very fond of engaging my clients with kettlebell exercises. Kettlebell squats, swings, and snatches can get your body moving in ways it never has before! With this type of exercise, you will get the added benefit of training your core with each exercise you complete. A perfect win-win!
3. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Workouts
Looking for sharp fat loss? Look no further than HIIT exercise. With High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT for short), you complete bursts of intense exercise such as jumping squats for 15-60 seconds followed by a period of less intense exercise or rest for a brief period of time. This is the most convenient form of exercise because most of the time you only require your bodyweight and a small amount of space.
We recommend completing 20-45-minute workouts, 2-3 times per week for maximum results. Combine this with barbell compound exercises and you’ll be building muscle and burning body fat in no time.
4. Get into Yoga
Yoga is often overlooked because of its slow and focus-based nature. However, yoga is a form of exercise that has far more benefits than you may realise. Yoga can help you to lose weight, reduce stress and prevent you from getting injuries. It will also provide you with increased muscle tone and improved flexibility.
I’d recommend anyone and everyone to do 15 minutes of yoga in the morning.
Yes, I said walking. Many people perceive walking as non-essential and something you just do as part of day-to-day life. However, modern research has proved time and time again that walking is one of the most medically preventative exercises. People who walk on average 10,000 steps a day are less likely to suffer from heart disease, cancer and diabetes compared to those who don’t.
Often, a leisure walk is avoided as it is deemed a waste of time. We recommend finding an activity to do whilst walking. My two favourites are to listen to an audiobook or to call a friend. (Watch out for potholes while you’re chatting on the phone though!)