You have to be careful when you add a new exercise routine when you are on the keto diet. Below are 7 proven exercises that I have added to my weekly routine to help me lose over 40 pounds in 4 months.
This exercise strategy is called “Optimized HIIT”. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The concept is pretty simple, really: Get the absolute maximum amount of long-term benefit in the shortest amount of time. We not only want to burn calories and get benefits from the immediate exercise, but we also want to have long-lasting gains in the form of an increased metabolism and an overall balancing of hormones.
Some forms of exercise can have short-term caloric burn, but actually harm your long-term health and weight loss results. We’re doing the opposite and we do that by a combination of compound strength training exercises designed to maximize your results in a 5- minute time window for each exercise.
An added bonus is that your body will respond to this form of exercise by releasing a variety of hormones (like human growth hormone). This reinforces the entire resets your body’s hormones and restores the proper hormone balance.
7 different types of exercises
I do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
You’ll start routine 1 by selecting a weight that you feel you’ll be able to do 10 times.
You’ll perform the exercise and repeat it 10 times.
Rest 20 seconds, increase the weight at least 20% and do a second set of 10 repetitions.
This set should feel like it was difficult to complete the final few repetitions.
Then rest 20 seconds again.
Then, for the third and final set, you’ll increase the weight again approximately 20% more and do another set of 10 repetitions.
However, you’re targeting to fail on this final set.
Ideally, if you’ve selected the amount of weight you’re lifting properly, the third and final set you will need to quit before hitting your 10th repetition.
Your muscles will actually fail, and you’ll physically feel as if you cannot do another repetition.
As an example, your first exercise might look a little something like this:
1. Start routine 1 with 10 pounds of weight and perform the exercise 10 times.
2. Rest 20 seconds
3. Increase the weight to at least a minimum of 12 pounds and perform the exercise 10 times. (this one should feel difficult to complete)
4. Rest 20 seconds.
5. Increase the weight to a minimum of 15 pounds and perform the exercise 10 times. (this time you should fail and be unable to complete the exercise somewhere between reps 7-10)
Your first few times performing these exercises it’s more important to get your body used to doing them. Don’t go crazy and overdo the amount of weight right out of the gate. Also, be sensible and don’t overexert yourself the first few times you exercise. It always goes without saying, if you’re currently under treatment for any illness or disease, consult your doctor to verify that you’re healthy enough for exercise.
You’ll want to finish your workout session tired and feeling generally “worn out” your first few times, but you don’t want to come away from your exercises wiped out and sore for a week. So ease into how aggressively you work out and the amount of weight you might lift.
As you get used to this strategy and these routines, definitely increase your weights and work harder. The whole point of this type of workout strategy is to push yourself hard. Choosing weights that let you hit your limit in the third set is a key part of the strategy. I often feel very tired after a workout and do get muscle soreness the next day, but that’s after using this workout routine for a while. I didn’t go crazy my first week and exhaust myself.
You should ideally strive to do this routine twice a week. If you can do it three times, even better, but the magic of this workout is that you can get great results with just two workouts a week.
I actually logged every workout I’ve done over the past year. It turns out I only worked out an average of once every five days! Which is surprising because I’ve had some pretty amazing results. This includes breaks for work trips, holidays, vacations and the like.
Disclaimer: I do not recommend you target working out once every five days, but it does go to show that, as long as you stay consistent, you can get great results with very little time investment.
Some general work out tips:
• Performing slow controlled motions is far more beneficial than jerky, aggressive motion. If you have to move around, arch your back, leverage your body weight, or swing yourself around in order to perform the exercise: you’re lifting too much weight. Slow, even movements get you far more gains for your efforts and your time. I find it amusing when I see someone at the gym grunting and groaning and moving all around so that they can lift a big impressive stack of weights. That’s because they’re getting very little benefit from the exercise, and worse, they’re far more likely to injure themselves.
• Focus on your posture and how you hold your body while doing your exercises. I found that if you force yourself to maintain good posture while exercising it will naturally extend to your day-to-day life. So a great way to improve your posture is to simply force yourself to have good posture while exercising. Plus, this engages more muscles and causes you to get more benefits from your workout.
• Focus attention on your abs and your core muscles while performing these exercises. You want to tighten them and sort of pull them together while you’re doing the exercise. If you can hold your core tight while also holding your posture straight this really while doing your work out, it increases the benefits you’ll get from the exercise. Plus, it also carries through to day-to-day life and you’ll find you have a more toned and flatter belly.
• Stay hydrated. I know it sounds like common sense, but it’s easy to forget just how much you need extra water while performing these exercises. Even if you don’t find yourself sweating profusely, you still need much more water than normal.
• Use vitamin and mineral supplements. When performing these exercises as I’ve laid out below, you’re really exerting your body and it needs more vitamins and minerals compared to when you’re not active. So be sure to take your BodyReboot supplements and a good multivitamin.
For each of the exercises below I’ll give you two variations of the exercise: one you can perform at the gym and on you can perform at home.
Exercise 1: Core and Abdominals
Hanging Knee Lifts:
Video Instructions for Hanging Knee Lifts:
1. On the vertical leg raise bench, position your body with your forearms resting on the pads next to your torso and your hands holding the handles. Your arms will be bent at a 90-degree angle.
2. Keep your torso straight with your lower back pressed against the pad of the machine and your legs extended, pointing at the floor. This is the starting position.
3. As you breathe out, raise your legs, keeping them extended. Continue this movement until your legs are straight out and roughly parallel to the floor. Hold the contraction for a second. This is meant to be a controlled motion, not using any swinging action to
develop momentum to lift your legs quickly;
force the muscles to do all the work.
4. Slowly lower your legs back to the starting position as you breathe in. Again, this is a controlled motion motivated by your muscles. Resist the temptation to just let your legs drop.
5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Leg Raises: This alternative exercise can be performed almost anywhere and doesn’t require gym equipment.
Video Instructions for leg Raises:
1. Lie on your back with your legs straight and together.
2. Rotating at the hip, but with your legs straight, raise your feet toward the ceiling until your legs are pointing straight up and your butt comes off the floor.
3. With a steady, controlled motion, lower your legs slowly back down till they’re just above the floor. Resist the urge to let your legs just swing back down. Hold this position with your legs just above the floor for a moment.
Alternatives: Sit ups, crunches, crunch
machines, prone plank, ab wheel roll-up
Exercise 2: Horizontal Pull
Seated Cable Row:
Video Instructions Seated cable Rows:
For this exercise you will need access to a low pulley- row machine with a v-bar.
The v-bar option enables you to maintain a neutral grip with your palms facing each other.
1. Begin seated on the machine and place your feet on the front platform or crossbar, ensuring your knees are slightly bent and not locked.
2. Lean forward, maintaining the natural alignment of your back and grab the v-bar handles.
3. To move into the starting position, pull back, keeping your arms extended until your torso reaches a 90-degree angle from your legs. Your back should be slightly arched, and your chest should be sticking out. You’ll feel a nice stretch on your lats as you hold the bar in front of you.
4. With your torso stationary, pull the handles smoothly back towards yourself, keeping your arms close to you until you touch your abdominals at the end of the stroke. Exhale as you perform that movement.
At that point you should be squeezing your back muscles hard. Hold the muscle contraction for a second and inhale as you slowly return to the original position.
5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Caution: Avoid swaying your torso back and forth during repetitions, or you can cause lower back injury by doing so.
Dumbbell Row: This alternative exercise works similar muscles, but requires just dumbbells to perform, so you don’t necessarily need to go to the gym.
1. With a dumbbell in each hand,bend forward at your hips and bend your knees, lowering your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor. Let the weights hang at arm’s length from your shoulders.
2. First, pull your shoulders down and back and hold that position. Then bring the weights up to the sides of your ribs by squeezing your shoulder blades toward your spine. Pause.
3. Smoothly lower the weights to the starting position and repeat. Don’t just let your arms down too quickly, the motion should be steady and controlled.
Alternatives: single arm dumbbell bent row, inverted row
Video Instructions for Single Arm Dumbell Bent Rows:
Exercise 3: Hips and Glutes
Video Instructions Deadlifts:
The “dead” in Deadlift stands for dead weight. That means every rep starts with the weight on the floor, from a dead stop. You don’t deadlift top-down like on the squat or bench press. Instead, start at the bottom, pull the weight up and then return it to the floor. Here are the steps:
1. Start at the bar.Stand with your feet about mid-way under the bar. Your shins shouldn’t touch it yet. With your heels positioned hip- width apart, point your toes out 15°.
2. Grab the bar. Bend over without bending your legs. Your grip should be relatively narrow, with your hands about shoulder- width apart. Your arms must be vertical when looking from the front.
3. Bend your knees. Drop into position by bending your knees until your shins are touching the bar. The bar should not roll or move out of line with your mid-foot. If the bar moves, realign and start from scratch with step one.
4. Lift your chest. Straighten your back by raising your chest. Do not change your position – keep the bar over your mid-foot. Keep your shins against the bar, and your hips where they are.
5. Pull. Inhale a big breath, hold it and stand up with the weight. Keep the bar in contact with your legs while you pull. Don’t shrug or lean back at the top. Lock your hips and knees.
6. Return the weight to the floor by unlocking your hips and knees first. Then lower the bar in a controlled fashion by moving your hips back while keeping your legs almost straight. Once the bar is past your knees, bend your
legs more. The bar will land over your mid-
foot, ready for your next rep.
7. Rest a second between reps. Stay in the setup position with your hands on the bar. Take another big breath, tighten up, and pull again. Every rep must start from a dead stop. Don’t bounce the weight off the floor or you’ll pull with bad form. Likewise, don’t just drop the weight; this can be dangerous and will also rob you of part of the value of the workout.
Lunges: This alternative exercise uses just dumbbells, so it can be done without necessarily being in a gym.
Video Instructions for Lunges:
1. Begin by standing with your torso upright. Hold one dumbbell in each hand, by your sides. This will be your starting position.
2. Step forward with your right leg about 2feet or so, leaving your left foot in place. Lower your upper body, as you lunge, keeping your torso upright and maintaining balance. Inhale as you descend.
-Note: Do not allow your knee to go forward beyond your toes as you come down, as this will put undue stress on the knee joint. Make sure that you keep your forward shin perpendicular to the ground.
3. Using mainly the heel of your front foot,push up and go back to the starting position as you exhale.
4. Repeat the movement for the recommended amount of repetitions and then switch legs to work your left leg, leaving the right foot behind. Caution:
This is a movement that requires a great deal of balance, so if you suffer from balance problems you may wish to either avoid it or just use your own bodyweight while holding on to a fixed object.
Alternatives: step-ups, reverse lunges
Video Instructions for Reverse Lunges:
Exercise 4: Vertical Pull
Video Instructions Lat Pull Downs:
Your lats are very large muscles that run down each side of your back, connecting from just below your shoulders down to the middle of your back. A lat pull-down machine is usually a long bar hanging by a cable from the center.
1. Keep your chest tall. Move your chest to the bar.
2. Keep your elbows pointed straight down.
3. Squeeze your lats.Think of pulling from your armpits.
4. Lower the bar to your chin or just below.
5. Grab just outside your shoulders or a little wider.
Pull Ups: An alternative to the lat pull-down is the pull up. Since you’re using your bodyweight as the resistance, this exercise is not as simple to fine-tune as adjusting weights on a lat pull-down machine, but it is an exercise you can do at home if you have a simple, but solid pull-up bar that can take your weight.
1. Grip the pull-up bar with your palms facing whichever direction you prefer.
2. Pull your body up until your chin is just barely above the bar.
3. Lower yourself slowly,until your arms are fully-extended.
4. Do another pull-up.
Alternatives: straight-arm lat pull-down, resistance band pull-down
Video Instruction for Straight-Arm Lat Pull Down:
Exercise 5: Vertical Push
Video Instructions Military Presses:
1. Sit on a Military Press Bench with a bar behind your head and either have a spotter give you the bar (this method is easier on your rotator cuff) or pick the bar up yourself carefully with a pronated grip (palms facing forward). Tip: Your grip should be wider than shoulder width. It should create a 90-degree angle between the forearm and the upper arm as the barbell goes down.
2. Once you pick up the barbell with the correct grip length, raise the bar over your head by locking your arms. Hold it at about shoulder level and slightly in front of your head. This is your starting position.
3. Inhale as you lower the bar down to the collarbone.
4. Exhale as you lift the bar back up to the starting position.
5. Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.
• This exercise can also be performed standing but those with lower back problems are better off performing the seated variation because it is easier to maintain balance under strain.
Dumbbell Military Press: This exercise is like the ordinary military press, but uses just dumbbells.
1. Sit or stand being sure to keep your back straight and grasp a dumbbell in each hand. If you are seated, carefully rest them on your knees.
2. From the seated position, if the weightis heavy, you may have to use your knees to help lift the weights into position.
3. Move the weight to shoulder level with your palms facing forward.
4. Press the weight vertically until your arms are extended in line with your shoulders, exhaling throughout the movement.
5. Slowly lower the weight to near the start position (horizontal with the floor), inhaling throughout the movement.
6. Repeat steps 4-5 until your reps are complete for the set.
Alternatives: upright rows, Bradford press
Video Instructions for Bradford Press:
Exercise 6: Horizontal Push
Video Instructions Standard Bench Press:
1. Begin by lying flat on the bench, with your body in a natural and relaxed position.
2. Be sure to have a spotter to help you whenever you lift a heavy weight. Pay particular attention on your final set, when your muscles will be tired and taxed the most.
3. Put your arms straight out to either side of you, then bend your elbows, bringing your hands up to touch the bar.
4. Lift the bar up,then slowly bring it down to just above your sternum.
5. Explode upward for one rep.
Dumbbell Press: This exercise is similar to the bench press, but can be done with only a pair of dumbbells, so it can potentially be done at home.
Video Instructions Dumbell Presses:
1. Lie on the bench with a dumbbell in each hand and your feet flat on the floor. A bench makes this exercise easier, but if you don’t have a bench to lie on, you can also perform this on the floor.
2. You can rest your feet upon the bench if it’s more comfortable.
3. Push the dumbbells up so that your arms are directly over your shoulders and your palms are up.
4. Pull your abdominals in, and tilt your chin toward your chest.
5. Lower the dumbbells steadily down and a little to the side until your elbows are slightly below your shoulders.
6. Roll your shoulder blades back and down, like you’re pinching them together and accentuating your chest.
7. Push the weights steadily back up, taking care not to lock your elbows or allow your shoulder blades to rise off the bench.
Alternatives: dumbbell squeeze press, upright resistance band chest press, chest dips
Exercise 7: Quads
Quads is an abbreviation for quadriceps femoris (Latin for ‘four-headed’ muscle of the femur), also called quadriceps and quadriceps extensor. They are large muscles on top of the legs located in the thigh region.
Video Instructions Leg Presses:
1. Sit down on a leg press machine with your legs on the platform directly in front of you at a medium (shoulder width) foot stance.
2. Lower the safety bars holding the weighted platform in place and press the platform all
the way up until your legs are fully extended in front of you. Tip: Do not lock your knees. Your torso and legs should make a perfect 90-degree angle. This will be your starting position.
3. Inhale as you slowly lower the platform until your upper and lower legs make a 90-degree angle.
4. Exhale as you push the platform back to the starting position, using mainly the heels of your feet and using the quadriceps.
5. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions and ensure to lock the safety pins properly when complete.
Video Instructions Dumbbell Squats:
1. Stand up straight while holding a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing inward).
2. Position your legs in a shoulder-width medium stance with your toes slightly pointed outward. Keep your head up at all times to help you maintain balance. Also maintain a straight back. This will be the starting position.
3. Slowly lower your torso by bending your knees as you maintain a straight posture with your head up. Continue lowering until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Tip: If you performed the exercise correctly, the front of your knees should make an imaginary vertical line with your toes. If your knees are past that imaginary line (if they are ahead of your toes) then you are placing undue stress on your knees and the exercise has been performed incorrectly.
4. Next, exhale as you raise your torso by pushing the floor with the heel of your foot mainly. Straighten your legs again and return to the starting position.
5. Repeat for the recommended numbe rof repetitions.
Caution: Be careful with the weight used. If in doubt, use less weight rather than more. The squat is a very safe exercise if performed properly.
Alternatives: goblet squat
Video Instructions the Goblet Squat:
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