6 Tips to Tricking Yourself Into Exercising

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The best of us have all had moments when we desperately search for a way out of exercising.  Too cold outside.  Super busy and exhausted.  Maybe you are just being lazy today.  All are valid and real excuses.  So instead of attempting to motivate yourself, here are 6 simple ways to trick yourself into a workout.

  1. Commit to 1 Minute of Exercise.

Tell yourself you will do squats for 1 minute, no more, no less.  Now, here’s the magic, more times then not, that 1 minute creates momentum to get you to do a second minute, then a third, then ten.  Mentally committing to 1 minute of exercise may trick you to physically commit to more.


2.  Reward Your Kids.

We let ourselves “Off the Hook” way too easy when we lose our motivation.  Yet, committing to another person creates a higher level of accountability because we don’t let those people down.  If you are a parent, imagine making a promise to your kids that you will take them to the park on Saturday only if YOU stick to your exercise plan this week.  And if you don’t, then you will have to break the news that you can’t take them to the park; making for very disappointed kids.  As a matter of fact, those kids will become your biggest alley.  The same tactic can be modified and applied to your friends.


3.  Have a Dedicated Exercise Spot.

Creating a dedicated exercise spot at home or the office that is convenient could be the solution to tricking you into exercising.  Post a workout routine on the wall so you know exactly what to do when you step into your “gym”.  Another possibility is to hire a personal trainer to stop by and take you through a workout.


4.  Change Your Clothes.

Go ahead and dress up in the clothes you would workout in.  Having your workout wear already on will get you one step closer to jumping into the workout.  If this is not an option because of where you work, then bring a change of clothes with you to the office so you can go straight to the workout without going home.


5.  Happy Hour.

Instead of checking out the bar scene with your friends during happy hour, tell the group to meet you for a hike or exercise class.  Think of this as just being more efficient with your time, getting in your workout and socializing, all at the same time.


6.  Set an End Date.

Create a date to begin and complete your fitness journey.  I suggest you do not go beyond 30 days.  Yes, taking care of yourself should be a lifestyle and not end after 30 days, but we are talking about tricks to get you to commit.  Having a set time and end will create a greater commitment from you to take action during that time.  And when the 30 days have come to an end, you can always re-commit to another 30 days.


Now what?

You know what to do, now it’s time to execute.  I want to set you up with a plan to help you succeed.

Check out the 3 Minute Body Toner I’ve created to get you up and moving.

3 Minute Body Toner Program

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Cardio Before or After Weight Training?


What Most People Do

Most of us think to jump into cardio first thing, get a good sweat, burn some calories, then we are ready to hit the weights.  But is this the best idea to lose weight or even gain muscle?  Well, like most things, it’s not as simple as a YES or NO answer.  There are a couple key factors that play a role in whether cardio at the beginning or end is best for you.


What Factors Make the Difference

#1 Body types. There are 3 body types, ectomorph, mesomorph, and endomorph; depending on your body type will determine when to add cardio into your workout.

#2 Muscle Gain.  If you are building muscle mass, you want to conserve as much glycogen, muscle fuel, as you can for the resistant training to allow yourself to push through each set.

#3 Weight Loss.  If you are on a weight loss program, you would want to emphasize increasing your heart rate more then the amount of weight you can push.


What Does The Science Tell Us

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning 2008 tells us that integrating cardio and resistant training through out the workout showed much higher levels of both fat burning and muscle increase.  An example would be performing 3 sets x 12 reps of chest press then follow that with 60 seconds of intense cardio on the treadmill.  High Intense Interval Training is the modality of workout I am referring to, also know as H.I.I.T.

Fluctuating the heart rate up and down throughout the duration of the workout puts the body into ‘FAT BURNING’ mode; which is what we want to accomplish.  Intense cardio for a long duration of time will release cortisol, the stress hormone, which will prevent the body from burning fat; which we want to avoid.


Bottom Line

The good news is we don’t have to spend hours on the cardio machine to accomplish our goals.  Integrating the cardio throughout the workout, thus fluctuating the heart rate, will create a more efficient way of burning fat and increase muscle.  I want to add, I still believe that body type plays a role.  If you are an endomorph, looking to lose weight, then you are a prime candidate for high interval training.  If you are an ectomorph, then keep your cardio to the end.  A mesomorph can play it both ways, so listen to your body and see which method brings the best results.

Finally, with all this said, the #1 take away is JUST BE CONSISTENT with your exercises.  Cardio before, after, or during won’t make much of a difference if you exercise every once in a while.


Be healthy, my friends!

-Scott Elliott

Kool Body Personal Training


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