If you get in your car in Los Angeles to drive to New York, do you just pull out of your driveway and start down the road? Or do you get a map and plan your route? The answer is obvious – careful planning pays off. So if your goal is to become fit, lean and strong it’s important to know exactly whexerciseat you need to do to reach this goal.  Here are some valuable tips to include in any plan which will help you arrive at your goal safely and efficiently.

Tip #1: Be Alert For Opportunities All Day Long

Focus on becoming stronger because there are myriad opportunities throughout the day to strengthen your body. As simple an effort as walking up the stairs to the third floor, rather than taking an elevator, will eventually produce a noticeable effect. Yes, weights lifting, exercise machines and structured sessions are powerful – but so are simple activities carried out every day.

Tip #2: Rest Is Just As Important As Exercise

Make certain you value and allow rest and recovery time. Many believe that if an intense workout feels good and will build muscle quickly, then the smart thing to do is to exercise even more. Muscle builds when exercise tears the muscle down, because it recovers as newer, stronger muscle. Without that recovery time, your muscles absolutely cannot increase in size or strength. Beginners usually start with three workouts per week and the duration and frequency can increase as they grow in strength and power but your body will respond more quickly and more dramatically if allowed to rest during strenuous activities.

Tip #3: What’s “Best” Is What You Will Persist In Doing

There is a constant and ongoing war among fitness experts about whether free weights or weight machines are superior. As far as you are concerned, whatever works best for you is the right choice. If you love competing with the weights on a machine then by all means choose that option. If you despise machines, but eagerly grab that set of dumbbells, then go for it. There is no point whatsoever in choosing exercises that you hate and won’t stick with, no matter what the ‘experts’ say.

Tip #4: You Didn’t Arrive At Your Current Condition Overnight

If you’re flabby and overweight – in other words, totally dissatisfied with the condition of your body – always remember that you didn’t get there overnight. In other words, impatience is a huge mistake. It requires years of neglect and misuse to create problems in your body and it will take some time to repair them. Exercising for a week and then quitting because there are no visible changes is foolish and short sighted. Not only that, but more failure will further erode your confidence and increase the sad condition of your body. You can drastically shorten the time it takes to achieve superb conditioning by using wisdom and discipline but you won’t see changes by 5PM on the first day.

Tip #5: “Compound” Exercises Are More Efficient

Consider that “compound” exercises will get results faster than those exercises that use only one muscle or one muscle group at a time. Yes, your abs may be a disgrace but focusing only on an ab machine won’t pay the dividends of full body exercises. And always remember that exercises which work multiple muscle groups will build fitness much faster – and that’s what we all want, isn’t it?

Tip #6: Don’t Exercise Mindlessly

Don’t exercise of mindlessly. If you pay close attention to your muscles and your body while working out, your results will be much more powerful. On the surface, that doesn’t seem to make sense. But famous, skilled athletes and bodybuilders have stated time and again that they can literally direct their muscles as they see fit.

Tip #7: Natural Sleep = Health and A Fit Body

Get as much ‘natural’ sleep as possible, meaning that drugs and sleeping pills interfere with the natural repair of the body that occurs every night. When we sleep, growth hormone, or HGH. is released into our bodies. HGH stimulates healthy growth, cell repair and the regeneration which is necessary for muscle development. Growth hormone is naturally produced by the body and many athletic scandals have occurred because athletes were building their bodies with the use of artificial HGH. Synthetic growth hormone, even when legal and prescribed by a doctor, can have dangerous side effects. You want to maximize your production naturally and this is done while we’re asleep.

Tip #8: Pepperoni Pizza Is NOT The Perfect Diet Food (Sorry!)

The perfect diet for an athlete or body builder centers around proteins, certain fats that include essential fatty acids (EFAs) and complex carbohydrates like vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Most fitness experts recommend eating multiple small meals rather than three larger ones. This keeps the metabolism working constantly and is less likely to result in fat or overweight.

Tip #9: Water, Water and More Water

Drink lots and lots of water. Water keeps your muscles hydrated which makes them work more efficiently and helps them recover more rapidly. It’s important to know that soft drinks, tea and coffee generally dehydrate the body so don’t assume they are helping your muscles. They’re not.

Superlative fitness requires self-discipline and long term dedication to your goal. Anyone who is going to make this kind of serious commitment naturally wants to reach their goal as quickly as possible and to do this we must be efficient. Following these rules will speed you to your ideal body as quickly as possible.

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