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10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Got Fit

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 –

How To Effectively Structure Your Workouts

Wondering how you should go about structuring your workout sessions? You know that you need to have two main types of exercise in your program – strength training and high-intensity cardio training.

But, how do you set them up? And more importantly, within those two types of workouts, how do you set up each exercise you’ll be doing?

Many people often find themselves confused when it comes to workout programming, so today we’re going to set the record straight.

How you structure the exercises you do in each session will influence the nature of the results you see, so it’s something to start paying closer attention to.

Let’s go over what you need to know.

And be sure to stick around after the video to learn:

  • The 60-Minute Time Block Is
  • How to Structure Your Strength Workouts
  • Why You Should Add HIIT Cardio to Your Routine
  • When You Should Focus on Abs

The ‘60’ Minute Time Block

So let’s say that you have 60 minutes to workout total. How much do you devote to strength and how much to cardio?

A good split that I would recommend is about 30-40 minutes to your strength work and the remaining 20-30 minutes to high-intensity interval cardio training.  Note that strength work must come first.

If you have a longer or shorter block of time, adjust these time frames respectively.  The key point to note is that strength training is the priority, gets the most time, and comes first in that session.

Structuring Your Strength Workouts

To best structure your strength workout, you’ll always want to do your multi-joint or complex exercises first.  These are your squats, your deadlifts, your bench presses, your bent over rows – if they utilize more than one muscle group, they are going to take more energy to perform.

As such, doing them first helps ensure you perform them without a problem.  After those exercises have been completed, then you can move into your isolated exercises such as bicep curls, triceps extensions, leg extensions, and so forth.

Adding Cardio Into The Mix to Increase Results

After your strength work is completed, now you need to add cardio to the mix. If you’re still doing that steady state cardio, going at it at one straight pace for 40-50 minutes at a time, you are missing out on results.

Those who participate in this form of training experience greater fat loss all over their body, as well as specifically from the trunk region, as was found in one study published in the International Journal of Obesity.

For instance, you can bike hard for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds. Or you can run uphill and walk back down.

Do whatever mode of cardio you prefer as long as you can do it intensely. Or, if you want another option, try my HIIT MAX™ program, found at insanefitnessanywhere.com.  You’ll see noticeable improvements in just a few short weeks doing this type of cardio.

⚡ Related: Learn How HIIT Can Gets You To Your Goals Fast

What About Abs?

Now you might be wondering when you should do abs?  Because abs will help to support your core throughout all the main strength moves, you want to make sure you’re doing any intense weight lifting moves requiring core support before abdominal training.

This means squats, deadlifts, lunges, rows, shoulder presses, and of the like. If you were just going to do an arm workout and you want to blast through abs first, that’s fine, but anything more intense on the strength side, abs come last.

So keep these points in mind as you go about structuring your workout protocol and you can be confident that you are going to head toward results.

⚡ Related: Can You Get Abs in Just 30 Days?

Cut Out the Confusion…

Now, this was one of my more “science” blog posts.

And I know I didn’t give you any real specific guidelines. But that’s because this is a rather complex topic, and reality, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to do things.

However, The way that I’ve found most effective?

The one that not only got me from 24% body fat to 8% body fat in a little over 3 months?

And the one that I’ve used with thousands of clients. (Over 60,000 to date, to be precise) is this one – HIIT MAX™

HIIT MAX™ takes the methodologies and guidelines we have here and lays everything out into one easily accessible, done-for-you training & nutrition program.

We give you a plan that’s easy to implement, takes no thought process, removes confusion, and guarantees to torch stubborn fat in record time.

Plus, you only need to commit 20 minutes, three times per week.

Reference:

Chisholm, D.J. et al. (2008). The effects of high-intensity intermittent exercise training on fat loss and fasting insulin levels of young women. International Journal of Obesity.  32, 684-691.

How To Decrease Your Body Fat Percentage (specific program)

The responses via Instagram have been great.

If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, then check out my profile here: instagram.com/morellifit‎

I’ve been asking for questions from my followers. And here’s the latest question from Nancy and Al.

“How to decrease body fat percentage: I incorporated cardio and weights, and my diet is pretty healthy in low-fat items, but my percentage stays at 20%. I’m stuck.”

That’s a great question everyone can benefit from. And, here I’ll share a few major points that can help.

In this blog and video, you’ll learn:

  • How to dial in your nutrition using whole foods
  • How to structure your meals and know how many calories to eat
  • How to train to lose more fat

Point #1: Dialing In Your Diet

Diet is always the first piece of the puzzle. Once you have your diet dialed in you can still get good results even if your training program is not perfect.

However, if you have everything perfect with your training program, but you’re eating the wrong diet, you will never see the results you want – and you will get very frustrated.

Nancy referenced low-fat items in her question. This was the first red flag that I spotted.

Healthy fats won’t make you fat. They are actually very good for you.

So, instead of focusing on low-fat items, you should begin to eliminate processed foods from your diet.

Remove processed foods, refined carbohydrates, and sugars from your diet.

Instead, focus on whole foods from as close to nature as possible:

Top Whole Foods 

  • Fish
  • Fowl
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Lean meats
  • Vegetables
  • Fruit (small amount)

If you just make these changes, you will quickly see a reduction in your body-fat levels.

Now that you know what to eat and what to avoid, let’s look at how to structure your meals throughout the day.

Point #2: Structuring Your Meals

I advise eating 5 to 6 meals per day, 2 to 3 hours apart.

Meal 1 – protein/fats/carbs (1/3 from each food group)

Meal 2 – protein/fats/carbs (1/3 from each food group)

Meal 3 – protein/fats/carbs (1/3 from each food group)

Meal 4 – protein/fats (2/3 from protein)

Meal 5 – protein (all calories from protein)

Calorie intake per meal

Meal 1 – 25% of your daily calories

Meal 2 – 25% of your daily calories

Meal 3 – 25% of your daily calories

Meal 4 – 18.75% of your daily calories

Meal 5 – 6.25% of your daily calories

You will need to work out your BMR (see my previous articles for details), in order to figure out your actual calorie numbers.

You Don’t Need to Count Calories

You don’t need to count each calorie that you consume. But, you should have a general idea of a number of calories from each food group. This is the reason that I use the pie charts, as a general way to measure.

⚡ Related: Learn How to Easily Calculate Your Calories

Point #3: Training 

Here are important training points to help you unstuck and burning fat.

  • Complete a dynamic warm-up (5 to 10 minutes)
  • Use heavy weights. Create a workout around one major lift, and then use a few smaller exercises (40 minutes)
  • Emphasize HIIT cardio training (20 minutes). I even have a program dedicated to implementing HIIT cardio as an effective way to lose body fat, called HIIT MAX™.
  • Stretch to cool down (5 minutes).

⚡ Related: Learn Why HIIT is the Best Cardio For Fat Loss

Summary

Use the tips and suggestions above and you will see a reduction in your body fat. If you just make the diet changes, you will start to see a big difference in your body composition. But when you combine the diet changes with the fitness program, you will be amazed at your transformation.

 

The Most Powerful Exercises For Fat Loss

the-most-powerful-exercises-for-fat-loss-banner

If you want to burn fat, then you need to work out with the best possible training system.

This will reduce your workout time, and bring you bigger gains.

There is one simple rule to remember – use compound movements over isolation movements.

Compound functional type movements are the most effective exercises for fat loss. Why?

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • Why fast and explosive movements are most effective
  • How you can burn more fat
  • The best compound functional exercises
  • How you can add more compound movements to your training

Fast & Explosive Movement

Because they are fast, more explosive, and work more muscle fibers during the movement. And, if the exercise involves a weight, that usually means the weight is traveling the furthest amount of distance possible (think of a snatch movement).

All in all, you will rapidly increase your gains if you switch over to compound movements.

Fire Up With More Muscle Fibers

Compounds movements call more muscle fibers into action. The more muscle fibers (fast & slow twitch) you fatigue during training, the more fat you’re going to burn during recovery.

Burn More Fat

This is known as the “after burn” effect. This refers to how many calories and fat your body can burn after you have completed the workout.

Science shows that even as you go about your day, your body can still burn calories if your workout was intense enough. This is hugely important for anyone who wants to maximize fat loss.

In order to ramp up this “after burn” effect, you need to train using compound movements, as they cause the greatest intensity.

kettlebell_swing_medium

Several Of The Best Compound Functional Exercises:

  • Burpees
  • Mountain climbers
  • Jump lunges
  • Kettlebell swings
  • Dumbbell snatch

There are lots of other exercises also, but those listed above are some of my favorites.

Add More Compound Movements Into Your Training

Increase the number of compound movements used during your workout. This will help you to get better fat loss results. You will also feel stronger and more powerful as a result.

Your training will be more intense and explosive, and you will feel the difference right away.

Start adding these movements into your training.

Sample Programs You Can Use

Here’s what I recommend…

Add a 2-3 compound movement circuit into your next training day with minimal rest periods.

For example:

1. Kettlebell Swing x 12

  • 30s Rest

2. Jump Lunge x 12

  • 30s Rest

3. Mountain Climber x 30

Repeat this circuit 3-4 times.

Summary

Use the simple concept of compound movements to increase your fat loss potential. You know why this works, and it can drastically increase your results.

You will also enjoy your workouts more, and see more muscle, and more definition as a result. If you have ever experienced a weight loss plateau, then this is may be an opportunity to get back on track. If you want more workouts that are challenging and are powerful for fat loss, take a look at HIIT MAX™, my training and nutrition guides based on high-intensity interval training.

⚡ Related: Learn If HIIT Can Help You Burn More Fat

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