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Archives for March 2015

So you’re stuck in a plateau?

You feel like you’re working hard, putting in the effort, and sticking to your diet, but nothing’s happening?

Well, that’s actually very common.

In fact, it’s the main reason why so many people get results in the beginning, and feel motivated, invigorated and pumped up, yet gradually become disheartened and fall back into old habits.

We all get stuck in plateaus – heck, I plateaued for about a decade!

But that was before I found out about the 2 tricks that guarantee you can break through any plateau.

Read on to find out what these are, how you can implement them into your training, and get back on track with blasting stubborn fat, building lean muscle and getting the body of your dreams.

“Man, I’m so Sore”

Are you sore after your workouts?

You should be.

I’m not talking “not able to walk up the stairs” kind of sore, but your muscles should be fatigued and tired the day of (or the day after) your sessions.

Soreness is a sign that you’ve worked hard, pushed yourself and had an effective workout. So if you’re not feeling at least a little sore, chances are you’re in one of these plateaus we’re talking about.

I explain a little more in the video.

Be sure to continue reading after the video to read more on…

  • Ways you can increase your training
  • How to increase your workout density
  • How to combine your workouts

How to Break Through Your Plateau and Feel Sore

  • Turn Up the Volume

Volume is perhaps the most crucial factor in any training plan, whether your goal is to burn fat, build muscle, or both!

Volume simply refers to how much work you do.

While I firmly believe that a tough 20 or 30-minute workout will always beat an easy, steady, hour-long workout and that it is possible to get a highly-effective workout done in a short space of time, sometimes, you do need to train for longer.

A longer workout, provided you still train with intensity and effort, will amp up your calorie burn, create more overload and stress on your muscles and cardiovascular system, and ultimately get you results faster.

To increase volume, try –

  1. Extending your workout time
  2. Doing more sets on each exercise
  3. Adding extra exercises
  • Getting Dense

Density is the amount of work you do in a given time.

Say, for instance, you’re currently in the gym for 45 minutes per workout.

In that time, you might do 6 different exercises, each for 4 sets, and take a minute of rest between everything.

Well, to get a higher density workout, you’d still do your 6 exercises for 4 sets, but instead of giving yourself 60 seconds rest, you’d reduce this to 30 or 45 seconds, or even pair exercises back to back, so that you get the same workout done, but in less time.

This is a sure-fire way to give yourself a huge challenge, improve aerobic capacity and muscular endurance and reignite that soreness.

  • A Killer Combo 

Here’s a bonus for you.

Instead of increasing volume OR density, why not try both simultaneously?

There’s no way on earth that any stubborn fat loss plateau would have the nerve to stick around were you to do this.

The first step here is taking your current workout, and condensing it into a shorter time period so that you’re boosting workout density.

So you might go from a 40-minute workout to a 30 minute one.

Then, take that 10 minutes you’ve saved, and add extra exercises.

Here’s a practical example for you –

Original workout –
  • Jump lunges – 4 sets of 15 reps
  • Dumbbell Clean and presses – 4 sets of 8 reps
  • Pull-ups (bodyweight or assisted) – 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Mountain Climbers – 5 sets of 40 seconds
  • Plank – 3 maximum holds

Total time – 40 minutes

Revamped workout –
  • Jump lunges superset with dumbbell clean and presses – 4 sets of 15 and 8 reps respectively
  • The circuit of 5 pull-ups, 40 seconds of mountain climbers and a maximum plank for 5 rounds.
  • KettleBell swings super-set with V-ups for 3 sets of 20 reps each
  • Tri-set of barbell curls, close grip pushups, and lateral raises, each for 2 sets until failure.

Total time – 40 minutes

That first workout?

It’d be relatively tough for a newbie, but after a couple of weeks, your body would adapt very easily.

The second, though?

Holy smokes – that’d be enough to make anyone sweaty, sore and breathing heavily!

So try it – how can you revamp your workout to bust through a stubborn plateau?

⚡ Related: Learn my 3 Top Tips for Busting Through Your Plateau

The Take Home

Above all, the message here is –

“If you train the same, you stay the same.”

Remember, to keep progressing, keep losing fat, and keep building lean muscle mass, you have to constantly push yourself, and make things challenging.

The 2 best ways to do that are by adding volume and increasing density.

Watch the video for more tips –

For more workouts that will challenge you and help you push through your plateau, check out HIIT MAX™ or our Custom Training Program, where we will customize a training plan according to your needs.

If you’ve spent any amount of time in the fat loss and nutrition industry, you’ve very likely heard before that the best way to get leaner is to avoid all carbs.

Basically, the lower carb you can go, the better. Or so you’ve come to believe.

Well, I’m here to tell you this isn’t exactly accurate. Sure, if you eat bad carbs, bad results will come.  But eat good carbs and you’ll feel better for your workouts, sustain better nutrition, and lead a more balanced diet.

One thing that you should note however is that carbohydrates are the only non-essential nutrient in the diet. While you could never survive without protein or dietary fats, you can survive without carbs.  That doesn’t mean it’s optimal, however.

The trick to understand which carbs to eat and which to avoid.

Let me clear up your confusion.

What Are Bad Carbs 

Let’s start with the bad.  It’s true, there are carbs that when you eat them, they’ll set you up for both fat gain and disease.

People in today’s world do not eat how people in the past have eaten and that’s one big reason we see the outbreak of disease we do.  The carbs people feast on today are heavily processed, stripped of their nutrients, and can actually reduce your immune system defense, leaving it easy for disease to walk right in.

For instance, when you eat the processed carbs of today, your body doesn’t have the right mechanisms to digest those gains as it should and as such, this leaves open the tight junctions to the stomach, which is what then leaves your immune system open to attack.

This can then go on to cause metabolic conditions as well as a number of life-threatening diseases.

All the heavily refined bread-like products you eat, including wheat bread, will set you up for this.  In addition to that, snack foods, sugar, and alcohol are all bad carbs that will lead to unwanted insulin spikes, weight gain, and poor health and energy levels.

These are the ones you want to avoid.

What Are Good Carbs

On the good carbs side of things, you have active carbs and inactive carbs.

Inactive carbs are your vegetables. You can virtually eat as many of these as you like each day and they won’t make much of a difference in your calorie intake or energy to get through your workouts. For that, you need active carbs.  You should be eating plenty of vegetables however as they are some of the most nutrient dense carbs you can eat.

Then apart for that, for energy purposes, sweet potatoes are an excellent choice. This tuber is low on the GI index and completely clean for your body.

You may also want to try white rice. Now, I know many of you will be thinking, white rice?! Shouldn’t it be brown rice?

No, it should not. The problem with brown rice is that it still has the bran on it and this means it can be more easily oxidized in the body and could end up going rancid. Opt for white rice instead and you get around this problem.

Quinoa is also an excellent choice as are steel cuts oats if you respond well to them.  Be careful with these, however, after recently adding them back into my diet after some time away, I felt constantly run down and like I was getting a cold.  As such, I’ve eliminated them for the most part.  As you devise your diet, pay attention to how your body is reacting. It’s the best way to learn what foods work optimally for you.

What works for one person may not necessarily have another feeling their best.

So there you have the facts about carbs. Don’t be led to believe that all carbs are bad.  Bad carbs are bad, but good carbs can really help you out as you go about reaching your fitness goals.

For more information on all of this, keep an eye out for my carb cycling book coming soon. This will be the most compressive book to date on carbohydrate information, so a must-read for any of you who feel confused or want to learn the most possible about this nutrient.

If you need help implementing the rights carbs into your diet so that they are beneficial, check out our Custom Meal Plans, where we will create a nutrition program specifically designed for your needs!

Are you ready for the challenge of your life?  If you’ve been on workout program after workout program without the results to show, it’s time that you hopped onto what may just be the most insane workout program you’ll ever try.

Are you ready for the challenge?

You’ve seen home workout DVDs before.  Insanity, P90X, Turbo Jam – you might have even tried one or two of these before.

But I promise you that Speed Shred 60 is going to completely blow these programs out of the water and revitalize the way you see fitness.

What is this program?

Glad you asked.

The Speed Shred 60 Total Body Training System 

I get asked so frequently how to burn fat, build muscle and achieve insane levels of fitness that I wanted to create my very own program, built upon my training philosophies.

I will warn you, though, this program is not for those who don’t want to work.  You will be put to the test with this 8-week program that is broken down into 4 different phases, each phase lasting two weeks.

Each phase builds upon the last so you’ll see steady and ongoing progress as you progress through the 60-day program.

Within each workout, you’ll perform a series of different movements.  The first is a pure strength exercise designed to build muscle and boost strength.  Next, you’ll move into an isometric movement, which will catapult your muscular endurance to levels you’ve never seen before.

From there, you’ll move into a core phase, which will help flatten those abs, while giving you the strength you need to execute every other exercise in this program.

Finally, you’ll finish off with a dynamic phase, designed to build real-life strength that you’ll feel in every lifestyle activity you do.

Trust me, if you can get through to the end of the dynamic activity, you will be seeing unbelievable fitness improvements and fat loss like you’ve never known before.

The even better news is that all you need to complete this program is one single pair of dumbbells and an open space.

This makes it absolutely ideal for doing in your home or wherever you choose to workout.

What’s Included…

When you pick up the Speed Shred 60 Total Body Training System, you’ll receive:

  • 60 days worth of unique workouts, each designed to challenge your body in a new manner
  • A six-pack ab guide to help you discover how to flatten your midsection
  • Dozens of the most effective ab exercises on the planet
  • A full nutrition prescription – never question again what you should be eating for optimal fat burning
  • A grocery list so that you know precisely what to purchase when you head to the grocery store
  • A full exercise library that contains step by step videos of how to do each and every exercise – it will feel like I’m right there by your side
  • An exercise journal so you can track your progress
  • A macro list to make following the nutrition program easier than ever
  • A BMR calculator so you can easily enter your stats and know precisely what your target is for your fat loss diet plan

All of this will be yours when you make the commitment to work on your body for 60 days with this program.

Is it as good as all the other programs out there?

Let me tell you, it’s better.

And I’m not just saying that because I created it.  I’m saying it because I believe it.

Try it for yourself and see. If after the 60 day period, you don’t believe you’ve seen the results you wanted to or you don’t feel satisfied with the purchase, simply email me and I’ll give you a full refund – no questions asked.

I am that confident that you are going to love what this program has to offer.

So ask yourself, are you up to the challenge?

You can either keep going as you currently are with your workout program – and continue to see the results you’ve been seeing.

Or, you can wake up 60 days from today with a brand new body.

The choice is yours.

What will your future hold?

 

 

Perhaps one of the most common emails I get coming is from someone who’s stuck with their fat loss.  They feel frustrated. They feel angry. They might even feel like giving up.

The email typically goes like this:

‘I’ve been doing everything right for so long – I run 5-6 miles a day, I eat properly, and I get enough sleep. But still, I cannot seem to lose any fat!  What am I doing wrong?’

The answer is to stop doing all that cardio.

What?!? You might be thinking, but cardio burns fat, right?

No, cardio does not burn fat.  A far superior method is 30-40 minutes of strength training, utilizing short rest periods in between.  Do that and the fat will practically fall off – provided your diet stays on track.

Why is this? Why is cardio ineffective but strength training is?

Here’s what you should know.

Optimal Fat Loss Occurs With A Higher Metabolic Rate

What you need to remember is that the best way to burn up body fat is to increase your basal metabolic rate, which stands for how many calories you burn at rest. Do this and you will basically burn more calories 24/7.  You’ll literally become a fat burning machine.

Doesn’t that sound ideal?  Hopefully, it does.

And what’s the best way to boost your BMR? The most optimal strategy is through increasing your overall lean muscle mass.  Since muscle is highly metabolically active, it will torch more calories at rest every minute of the day.

Strength training will help do this, while all that steady state cardio training may actually decrease your lean muscle mass and lead to a slower metabolic rate.

This isn’t to say that all cardio training is bad. There is a time and a place for steady state cardio training such as if you were training to run a marathon or entering a triathlon event.  When fat loss is not the goal and something else is, that form of cardio may be superior.

But if fat loss is the priority, steady state cardio is not the way to go.

Superior Options to Cardio

So what is? The best option is putting together a high-intensity interval training program involving weight lifting exercises.  A weightlifting workout that utilizes a challenging weight with short rest periods will be ideal for boosting your metabolism and reshaping your body.

To get a better idea how to structure these workouts, check out HIIT MAX™ and you’ll see some HIIT programs I’ve developed myself.

⚡ Related: Learn if HIIT is Right For You

Likewise, you can also do interval sprint training such as hill sprints or spin bike sprints. Both will be superior to the steady state, one pace training.

So don’t let yourself stay frustrated any longer.  If you want to lose fat, you must stop doing all that cardio training. It hasn’t delivered your results yet and it’s not going to deliver results anytime in the coming future either.

Switch it up, try something new, and prepare to be amazed at the success that comes your way.

 

 

If you want to get lean, keep fit, and ultimately, live longer, you have to stick to a clean diet 90% of the time.

The trouble is, most people associate eating clean with boredom, monotony and having to follow some kind of drastically restrictive, boring, and energy-sapping meal plan.

In effect, people think eating clean = insanity!

This is not the case whatsoever.

In fact, switching to a clean diet is incredibly easy.

With the tips, hacks, and shortcuts in this blog, you’ll learn exactly how to –

  • Make the switch to eating clean while enjoying all your food
  • Structure weekly goals so you hit your nutrition targets with no stress at all
  • Lose fat faster than ever before, just with small diet tweaks

And above all, clean up your diet without going insane.

Step 1 – Focus on 1 Thing at a Time

It potentially took years to build up bad habits, so they’re not going to change overnight.
No-Soda-150x150

Pick just one thing per week, and aim to improve that. It could be –

  • Cutting out soda
  • Dropping from two candy bars per day to one
  • Halving the amount of sugar you have in your coffee

Plus, where these changes are so minor, you won’t even notice them, meaning they become habits, and you never feel the need to go back to old ways.

Step 2 – Make Switches

Getting rid of processed and high-calorie foods is a great start, but we’re all human, and simply ditching these without replacing them can make us feel deprived.

darkchocolate-300x199
Therefore, it’s essential you have something to substitute them with.

Personally, I’m a fiend for good coffee and Skittles, as I have a serious sweet tooth. So instead of these, I have a little dark chocolate every single day. This acts as a great replacement for high-sugar candy and keeps me on track with my plan, without going insane.

Step 3 – Clean Out Your Cupboards

No matter how strong your willpower, it’s always finite.

670px-Clean-out-and-Tidy-a-Cupboard-Step-6-150x150

If you have temptations around you, at some point you’ll cave. We’re human after all, and the lure of junk food can be so incredible that even the most diligent of dieters can succumb at some stage.

Now, this is definitely tougher if you live with others, or particularly if you have kids, but it can be doable.

Want to know how I managed it with my family and my kids?

Check out the video –

Make it a Lifestyle

In this world of rapid physique transformations, and radical 6-week diets, it’s normal to expect huge results in a very short space of time.

But the cold, hard truth is that these transformations rarely last.

Sure, you might lose 10 pounds in a month, but often, the tactics you have to employ to do so are so extreme that it’s virtually impossible to stick to them. This means that none of the changes you make become habitual, and as soon as you crack, you’re back into old ways.

And a further four or five weeks down the line, you’re right back where you started, or worse – in even worse shape, and even more unhealthy.

I don’t want that for you.

This is why it’s imperative that you see cleaning up your diet as a steady, gradual process.

You don’t need any “secrets” – you just need to focus on improving things day by day. Taking it slow is not a weak option.

Remember my motto – “be patient, and stay the course.”

THAT is the key to creating your dream body and keeping it for life.

Take a look at the video for even more tips –

We make it even easier to clean up your diet by doing the work for you with Custom Meal Plans. Each plan is designed for each individual’s need and will help you get on track to a cleaner, healthier lifestyle.

3 years ago, I thought I knew it all when it came to health, fitness, and nutrition.

I was sold on the idea of low-carb and low-calorie diets, thought cardio was the answer to my fat loss prayers and tried every single extreme trick in the book.

Well, through trial and (a lot of!) error, I realized that these weren’t the way to achieve my goals.

And through my own journey, and working with others, I found out the truth and put together the 10 things I wish I knew before I got fit.

Check out the video or read on to find out what lies, myths and misconceptions I fell prey to, so you can avoid making the same mistakes.

1. Muscle Burns Fat

Back in the day when I was 180 pounds and 24 + % body fat, I didn’t realize the importance of muscle.

I thought muscle was only for bodybuilders, and that if you wanted to get lean and drop pounds, you had to do cardio, cardio, cardio. All day, every day.

What a mistake that was.

I started weight training, built some lean muscle and the fat just fell off me.

Muscle increases your metabolic rate, meaning you burn more calories 24/7 –even while you’re sleeping!

2. Carbs Don’t Make You Fat

Good quality carbs are essential if you’re training hard and want to build a fit, strong, ripped physique.

It’s refined carbs –your white bread, your soda, and your candy –that make you fat.

You never have to completely cut your carbs –you simply have to pick the right types of carbs and cycle them.

⚡ Related: Learn the Difference Between Good and Bad Carbs

3. The More Water the Better 

This is so simple to do but so effective.

My general rule of thumb is ½ oz of water per pound of bodyweight, but more is better.

⚡ Related: Learn How Much Water Your Body Needs Daily

4. Metabolism Adapts

If you eat more, you burn more.

If you eat less, you burn less.

That’s because your metabolism adapts to what you give it, and is the reason why ultra-low calorie diets end up failing every time.

Your body has nothing to use for energy, and so tries to store everything that you eat, meaning your fat loss plateaus and becomes stagnate.

5. Cardio Isn’t the Most Effective Exercise for Fat Loss

Are you still pounding away on the treadmill for hours and hours in an effort to lose stubborn fat?

Are you making steady state cardio the mainstay of your routine?

I can guarantee that this is one of the reasons why you’re not making progress and getting the results you want.

Everybody (regardless of age, experience, and ability) is better served to make weight training or HIIT the focus of their program when it comes to getting lean, fit, and healthy.

⚡ Related: Learn if HIIT Cardio is Right For You

6. Weight Training is Essential

Strength training is so incredibly underrated when it comes to changing your body.

Weight training absolutely has to be the foundation of your workouts. You don’t have to do bodybuilding-style workouts, but you should be striving to get stronger, be that with free-weights, incorporating weights and bodyweight moves into your HIIT workouts, or even with machines.

A good analogy of this is a sprinter vs. a marathon runner.

The sprinter does virtually no steady state work, and focuses on power, yet is jacked, ripped and lean.

The marathon runner only does cardio, and is skinny, weak and still, has some stubborn fat.

7. Fats Don’t Make You Fat

While the name might imply the opposite, fat isn’t the enemy.

Low-fat foods are actually a huge roadblock to your success, as they’re highly processed, contain nasty ingredients your body doesn’t like, and can seriously wreck your results.

Stick with natural fats like avocados, almonds and olive oil.

⚡ Related: Learn the Difference Between Good vs Bad Fat

8. Consistency is Key

Don’t try to go all out, straight from the start.

Just pick a goal you can easily achieve, and stick with it from day one.

Even if that means you only commit to two 15-minute workouts each week, you’re far better off doing that, and making it a habit, then declaring you’re going to do an hour every day, then completely falling off the wagon by the start of your second week.

9. Goals 

“A goal without a date is merely a wish.”

People never achieve anything without set, time-defined goals –so start making them.

Like point #8, making it attainable is crucial, so goals like –

  • Make sure I get all my workouts in this week
  • Avoid alcohol for the next 7 days
  • Have 4 servings of vegetables every day for the next month

⚡ Related: Learn How to Set Goals for Faster Fat Loss

Work like a charm.

Even better are 30-day goals, such as –

  • Lose 8 pounds
  • Drop an inch from my waist
  • Fit into my favorite suit again

10. Be Patient, Stay the Course and Let’s Get Fit Together

I cannot stress how important this is.

Patience is a virtue, and never more so than in fitness.

If it took you 5 years to put on excess weight, it won’t come off overnight. Sure, you can make quick progress, but try to keep the big picture in mind.

This runs into staying the course –nothing worth having comes easy, so be prepared to put the work in, enjoy the highs and ride out the lows.

And as for getting fit together?

Are you surrounding yourself with like-minded people who are also goal-driven?

Are you making fitness part of your life?

You know that I’m in your corner, cheering you on, but have you got these kinds of people around you too?

A great social support network can be the difference between failure and success. If you need extra support, head over to become an ELITE member, where you will find a community of people just like you who are there to support you, not to mention support directly from me and my team, with updated workout videos that are updated constantly, new recipes every month, complete training guides and much more!

For a more in-depth look at the 10 things I wish I knew before I got fit, check out the video –

Getting results with your training isn’t all about sets and reps.

It doesn’t just have to do with exercise selection.

And, surprisingly, it isn’t even about how much intensity you put in.

These factors do all undoubtedly matter – particularly the final one – but there’s something that you’re overlooking by focusing on these alone.

It’s something many people don’t even consider when planning their routines and setting their fat loss goals.

And that’s the time you train.

Because this really can make a difference in your success.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • What science says about training…
  • The BEST time to train
  • Hack the timing for your workout

What “Science” Says is Best

The first thing we need to address is what science and theory tell us are the best time to train.

In a perfect world, this is when we have the most energy, and due to our genetics, and our development since the days of our ancient ancestors, that is when the sun is at its highest – i.e. the middle of the day.

I know what you’re thinking –

“But Michael, the time of day I have most energy is straight after I’ve downed an energy drink, or I’m on my seventh coffee of the morning! Does that mean I should train then!?”

I hear you.

But here, though, we’re talking about the best scenario if we took all that caffeine and all those stimulants out of the equation, and focused on what our bodies do naturally – working in tandem with the sun.

Therefore, 12 pm is probably the best time to train.

This whole theory works on a bell curve system.

You can see exactly what that means in the video –

We Are Not Cavemen!

As great as it would be to be able to train at this peak time every single day without fail, and make the most of our bodies’ increased natural energy levels, it just doesn’t always happen.

In this crazy modern world you have a job, a family, kids, and so many distractions that training doesn’t always come top of your priorities list.

And that’s absolutely fine.

You can still get great results training at other times.

The “Real” Best Time to Train …

Is when you can fit training in.

It certainly isn’t a case of training being worthless, or a waste of time if it’s done mid-morning, late at night, 3:57 am – the real best time to train is whenever it fits your schedule the best.

Therefore, if that means the only time you can get to the gym, or even crush a workout at home is first thing before work, as soon as you get home from the office, or even last thing at night, then that’s when you should train.

Don’t be dictated to by theories if it means having to turn your life upside down just to get your session in during this “optimal” mid-day window.

3 Quick Hacks for Timing Your Workouts

To take away the stress of workout timings, and ensure you get your workouts done, I’ll share my top 3 tips for scheduling sessions with you –

  1. Plan

First and foremost, you need accountability, and you need to know in advance when you’re going to train.

So grab your diary, flick through the next few weeks, and write down the days and times you’re going to train … and stick to them.

  1. Have a Working Lunch

Or should that be a “working out” lunch?

Training during your lunch hour has three huge advantages.

Firstly, it means you are training at the optimal time.

Secondly, by only having an hour to change, work out and shower again afterward, it forces you to push yourself, and make the most of every minute.

And finally, getting your exercise done during the working day makes you more productive for the afternoon, and doesn’t detract from family time (the most important).

  1. Get Habitual

The key to having productive, successful workouts is to get into a groove, and become accustomed to the time that you train, so your body gets used to having to work hard at set times.

Therefore, it’s a great idea to find a time you can train every day, and stick to it.

The Moral of the Story

If you can train between 12 pm and 1 pm, you absolutely should.

But if that just isn’t an option, don’t worry.

You can still have a successful, productive workout that takes you closer to your fat loss goals, provided you get your session in, work hard, and don’t make excuses.

Finding the time to train and workout can be difficult, and even more so if you don’t have a plan of attack. Let us take the guesswork out of what workouts you should be doing by creating a Custom Training Plan just for you and your goals.

For more detail, tips and tricks, have a watch of the video:

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