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How To Work Out Like A Superman

Updated on February 11, 2016

If chunky comedians can achieve amazing fitness targets, so can you. Be visionary and set yourself an audacious goal. Whether that’s to run a marathon or add 5 kg of muscle, your action plan should be the same: set up a “success plan” and break it down into several segments of key areas, such as fitness, technique, strength, stamina, weight loss, nutrition and kit. Rate where you are, from one to four, in each section and plan short, medium and long-term goals to get your score to four in each section.

Load Up On Fiber

The average American diet is loaded with enriched wheat flour, processed meat and sugary drinks. With all of that taking up space in our colons, we have little room left for fiber. Fiber rich foods like fresh fruits, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables are necessary for healthy digestion, good cholesterol and warding off inflammation. When you up your fiber to the recommended 28 grams a day (based on a 2000 calorie diet), you should experience less chronic pain, weight loss and notice improvements in your digestion.

Overload Muscles

For fast gains in strength and power, you need to switch the body’s musculoskeletal system to growth mode. The key is progressive overload. If you do the same routine every week, your body won’t adapt. If you increase the weights or reps each week, your body is forced to adapt to the stress through muscle hypertrophy (growth). Triggering a natural growth mechanism will lead to bigger muscles, denser bones and stronger ligaments.

Do Not Sit Much

Smoking and fast food chains are notorious for their reputation as slow moving killers, but sitting deserves a space on the top of that list as well. Scientists speculate that being seated for a prolonged period of time can increase the risk of death from most diseases by 50 percent— especially heart disease. Sitting for too long causes high blood pressure, poor cholesterol levels and chronic back problems. Try investing in a standing desk if you work in a sedentary environment or choose public transportation, walking or biking over driving. Your body will thank you for it.

Inject Intensity

Short workouts can lead to rapid boosts in fitness. There’s a difference between shortcuts and short workouts. Shortcuts don’t work, but a 40-minute workout is not a shortcut if you work hard. A high-intensity lunchtime spinning class or circuit-training session will keep your fat-burning metabolism firing hours after so you will still be feeling puffed and burning calories in the evening.

Double Your Gains

Push yourself harder with “brick” sessions in the gym: alternate activities like rowing, running, cross-training or cycling. If you do three minutes of one activity then three minutes of another for a total of 20 to 30 minutes, you redirect blood flow to different muscle groups so you can push yourself harder for longer and improve the quality of your workout.

Mix Up Your Proteins

If you want to pack on muscle, eat a range of protein. It is essential for muscle growth but a lot of people make the mistake of not getting enough variety. Each protein source provides different nutritional benefits: salmon is full of Omega-3 oils (which protect the heart), red meat contains iron and chicken is an incredibly lean protein that is low in fat.

Don't Ditch The Run

Dodging the treadmill makes you weaker in the weights room. “A lot of big-strength guys don’t realise they are limited by their cardio function, which isn’t strong enough to support lifting bigger weights so they require longer rests. Add intervention to your weekly training, like a high-intensity insanity workout, to boost top-end aerobic capacity and improve the quality of your strength sessions.

Eat Fat To Be Fit

Ditching far from your diet won’t make you a better athlete. Fats are fundamental for everything from brain function to energy and hormone production and cellular health. If you avoid them completely you will be ill. Consume fats in moderation and aim for healthier options like those found in olive oil, avocados, nuts and mackerel.

Maintain Stress Level

How many times have we heard stories of CEOs or politicians in demanding positions succumbing to cardiac arrest? Unmanaged stress can lead to a variety of complications including heart conditions, mental illness and autoimmune disease. Fortunately, there are several methods of handling it and they don’t all come in a prescription bottle. Many claim that meditation techniques and taking some quiet time to reflect each day calms their anxiety. Others use natural sedatives like chamomile, green tea and lavender to soothe their nerves.

Get Your Sleep

Time is a precious commodity and sometimes we’re willing to sacrifice our rest to put it to seemingly better use. But if you’re too exhausted to produce anything useful, what’s the point? Doctors recommend that the average adult get seven to nine hours of sleep a day. Anything less can result in negative effects such as premature aging, reduced mental clarity, depression and— as always— heart disease.

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