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If I have FIVE hours everyday dedicated to becoming more fit, what should I do?(r/Fitness)
*EDIT: I thought I’d leave this at the top incase people get bored before they reach the bottom.There are a lot of great replies from people to my comment worth reading with other useful information that also go into more depth about things I only touched on.
Also, I’ve received a huge amount of messages from people today asking about certain things in the comment or just general fitness/routine advice. I really didn’t expect any at all but it’s really cool and if anyone reading wants to get in touch please do. I’m a qualified personal trainer and I love my job so I really don’t mind spending some of my free time talking to others about fitness and health.*
Sorry for the long read in advance.
The first thing I want to say is that its great that you are willing to dedicate 5 hours of your day to improving yourself, thats awesome.
As for not lifting for more than an hour, yeah if you are only doing compound lifts (like a Starting Strength or Stronglifts routine) then yeah, anything over an hour is too much because you should be able to fit in the few different lifts you do in that time.
But there is no reason for you to only be doing a few basic lifts in your routine. Add a few dumbbell exercises, a few bodyweight exercises a few machine exercises. Doing this properly (I can help you with it, but a personal trainer that is actually at your gym and knows you, would be better informed on your situation to help) you can turn it into a 2 hour workout.
I’m guessing you are currently doing one day lifting then one day cardio? On your cardio days, look at never doing the same type of cardio each off day of the cycle.
For instance: DAY 1-LIFTING DAY2- Spinning DAY 3- LIFTING DAY 4- Swimming DAY 5- LIFTING DAY 6- Long Run (look at www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml) DAY 7 – REST
Ok, so you still have a lot of time each day, what do you do? Well as soon as you wake up in the morning on a lifting day you should do this warm up: www.youtube.com/watch?v=zD-3j2g9w9U. It may seem silly and I’m not really condoning the deeper spiritual layer to it BUT if you really let go, especially on the last exercise you’ll find yourself getting pretty pumped up for the gym and the rest of the day.
Then before you go to the gym or do any exercise for the day you should be stretching. You are gonna need a foam roller (www.amazon.com/Black-High-Density-Foam-Roller/dp/B…) and a massage ball (www.amazon.com/TriggerPoint-Self-Myofascial-Releas…). Then do this amazing routine: www.defrancostraining.com/ask-joe-test/44-flexibil…
This routine will help with flexibility and if you suffer from pretty bad soreness after workouts you can also do this routine afterwards as well as before.
The Limber 11 is only for your lower body, I’ve tried a lot of different routines for stretching my shoulders and arms out and the one that worked for me and a lot of people I work with is: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ppToA1N0CgE. But you can youtube and find one that might suit yourself and your needs better.
Ok, so your exercise and stretching/warmup is the meat of the meal. But you’ve got a big 5 hour plate you can fill up. Which is great because not many people get that. Heres where a lot of stuff really is going to be my personal preference, but at least its a base for you to go off and explore what you enjoy and what works for you.
First the fact that you are on a 1800 calorie deficit means that food and drink is quite important at the moment in your life. You can spend a decent portion of your free time looking at new foods, new recipes, new drink concoctions etc. Try and experiment, even find a new healthy/ organic grocery store in your area that might sell some weird stuff, talk to people there. Even find a cookery class for healthy eating, you never know there might be a cool one in your area that is at a good time for you. Turning it into something social will add a whole new layer of fun to food and dieting. Just don’t get sucked into any fads.
Now, I can’t recommend yoga enough. I’ve got no idea about the whole spiritual side or anything, I’m really not the kind of person that that stuff speaks to. But as for what it does to my body and how calm my mind feels afterwards, WOW. A lot of fitness and lifting is to do with how the mind and body feels. If you aren’t completely calm yet fired up, stretched yet coiled like a spring you aren’t gonna hit any PRs that session and you aren’t going to be able to push yourself to your limits. All this auxillary stuff is going to help with that and help with your daily life. Try and join a yoga class in your gym or a local class. If you want to try it out at home first, I used this video and it worked for me, I won’t lie i picked it cos it had pretty cool looking guys, which made me feel a bit better about trying it, but it worked so: www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbyHCkNEOKo
Reading is another thing you should be doing in your free time to better yourself, you are 18 so i’m guessing you are pretty fucking bored of reading at the moment, so make sure to keep it interesting for yourself. Mix up the fitness related stuff (try to go for the more science-based stuff and avoid the fad stuff) and the classic books. Some classics I read around your age that resonated with me and a lot of young men were: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and On the Road by Jack Kerouac.
Long walks are something you can do every day. Mix it up every day, find different routes, even drive out to somewhere nice and take your walk there sometimes. Some days listen to an audio book, some days listen to an album you love or even a classic album you’ve never heard before, other days just walk with no earphones in just soak it all in. If you can, some days go for a walk with a family member, friend or girlfriend and have a nice talk. It’ll make the time fly. Turn it into a hobby somehow, its a great way to collect your thoughts.
Another thing you can do is watch some great movies and documentaries, for instance Pumping Iron (youtube it, I don’t know if I’m allowed to link to it here) its about Arnold schwarzenegger . The first few Rocky films are pretty cool watches too. Anything kind of motivational, fitness related or sport related is cool. Maybe look at watching one movie or documentary a week?
I know these things aren’t all making you constantly lose weight and gain strength, but they are conditioning your body and mind for a permanent change in your life and lifestyle at what is also a pivotal age.
On top of everything don’t forget you are only 18 and make sure you enjoy yourself as well as trying to better yourself. Make sure you don’t forget other hobbies, friends etc.
Get in touch with me if anything I wrote interested you or you have any questions or anything.
EDIT: Learning a skill is a good idea too. You could look at DIY, electronics stuff, an instrument. Anything that piques your interest.
EDIT 2: Thanks for the Gold!