How To Make Your Workouts Work: Five Simple Secrets

Like most Americans, the average firefighter's 'I'll-get-fit-by-summer' resolutions have long fallen by the wayside. It's not that you don't want to get in shape and reap the rewards of a properly executed fitness plan. You go through the motions as best you can, but it's just NOT working -- and you demand to know why! Five simple secrets can help.

SECRET # 1: Clearly Identify Goals

You can't expect to get anywhere fast if you don't know where you're going. Clearly identify specific fitness goals before you ever step foot in the gym. This will help you make better choices and avoid wasting time.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

Sit down with pen and paper and make a list. At least once a month, get out your list and update it by checking off the goals you've reached, and add any new goals. For example, if you clearly identify fat loss as your main goal, don't waste hours at the gym hoisting heavy barbells. Instead, focus on circuit training or traditional aerobic exercise as the best way to burn fat. When circuit training, modify the way you lift, doing high reps with light weight, while resting only briefly between each set.

SECRET # 2: Seek Proper Exercise Direction

You might have seen this guy at your local gym. He's been exercising for years, spends hours a day at the gym, yet never looks any different. He basically wanders from one station to the next, with little rhyme or reason for anything he does. Worse yet, some of the movements could actually have a negative effect, possibly leading to an over-use injury.

WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

Educate yourself. With all the time this poor guy spends training, he's never taken the time to learn HOW to train. If you don't know what to do, read a book, hire a trainer, or speak with a fitness professional before you start.

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