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    Tips for Beginning a Fitness Journey

    This article is an installment of The Everyday Warrior series, featuring advice, key interviews, and tips to live a life of impact, growth, and continual learning.As cliché as it might sound, you must approach things just one day, one meal, or one workout at a time. It’s the basis of the ATTA concept, an approach to living that inspires greatness and promotes balance, coined by retired U.S. Navy SEAL Mike Sarraille, host of the Men’s Journal Everyday Warrior podcast.
    When you first embark on a fitness journey, especially if you have a lot of weight to lose or have a long road ahead of you, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the bigger picture. Don’t let that discourage you as that often happens. Take the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, for example. I started training back in the fall of 2019 before COVID and the pandemic. I had no background in grappling or martial arts. Despite being somewhat athletic most of my life from playing sports I was like a fish out of water. It was hard to imagine after the first couple of classes how I would ever have any skill in the sport of BJJ.Fast forward to the present: I recently received my blue belt. Not that I’m all that skilled now but I just truly personified the one-day ATTA time approach. All I did was show up two to three times per week for classes, drilled a lot, and got just a little bit better over time. That’s the key: continuing to show up and being consistent. You must apply this same approach to your fitness goals.It seems overwhelming to lose 50 pounds when you’re just starting out. View it as a process goal versus just the outcome. What I mean here is you take that larger goal and break it down into smaller ones. Losing a substantial amount of weight is a daunting task, but losing the first 5 or 10 pounds isn’t as scary. Start by chunking things up into smaller, more manageable goals. More

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    Low-Volume HIIT Is the Best Way to Torch Fat in a Time Crunch

    Love boot-camp classes but in a time crunch? Good news: low-volume HIIT is just as effective. Less than 20 minutes of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can reap just as many benefits as the traditional 30 minutes a day recommended by the surgeon general, according to new research published in the Journal of Physiology. “In many cases, the low-volume variations of HIIT provide comparable and, at times, superior improvements for a variety of health outcomes when compared to longer but lower-intensity aerobic training interventions,” says study author Angelo Sabag, Ph.D., of Western Sydney University in Australia.

    Along with strong quads and a six-pack, perks of low-volume HIIT include a decrease in blood sugar levels and a stronger heart. “It improves the responsiveness of our muscles to insulin and allows us to better use blood glucose and fatty acids,” says Sabag. “HIIT also improves the heart’s ability to pump blood more effectively and circulate oxygen and nutrients to organs and muscles.”

    Looking to give low-volume HIIT a try? Sabag suggests this favorite routine: 10 x 60 seconds running or cycling at 80-90 percent of max effort, with 60 seconds of active recovery (i.e. walking) at 30 to 50 percent effort between intervals. “If you are relatively untrained, start with five intervals and progressively increase the number until you can achieve 10 per session,” Sabag.

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    Smart Home Gym Equipment to Level Up Your Fitness

    We want you to turn your living room into a hotbox. (No, we don’t mean the smoke-filled Camaro from your high school days.) We mean we want you to transform any spare space into your sweat gauntlet in lieu of a gym. As such, we’re putting the spotlight on five pieces of smart home gym equipment that provide personalized attention from virtual trainers, progressive challenges via artificial intelligence and detailed insight thanks to sensors. Best of all, no one will know if (read: when) you drag your dog-tired body into the bathroom and sit in the shower for 45 minutes post-workout. It’s your world. 1. Use AI for Gains: TonalSometimes lifting is all about quality, not quantity. Tonal has two extendable arms that generate up to 200 pounds of resistance, plus a motion-sensor camera hidden in its 42-inch screen to analyze form and offer cues to boost performance. An initial fitness assessment determines your baseline, then AI algorithms take over. “Spotter” mode drops weight if you struggle in the bottom of a chest press, while “Burnout” mode reduces weight one pound at a time at the end of a set of curls, so you can work your biceps to failure.[$2,995 plus $49/month membership;]Get it Courtesy Image2. Hire a Personal Trainer: MirrorThe full-length reflective surface of Mirror hides an LCD screen controlled by an iOS app. Try a class in morethan 50 disciplines, or connect with a personal trainer on-demand. Using the built-in two-way audio and video, your trainer provides expert feedback, form corrections, and encouragement in real time for $40 a pop—a fraction of what you’d pay for a trainer at the gym. You can even sweat to your own workout playlists via Apple Music.[$1,495 plus $39/month membership,]Get itCourtesy Image3. Buy One Weight That Does It All: JaxJoxA true total-body strength workout usually requires multiple sets of weights or a pricey squat rack. Notso with the space-saving JaxJox connected kettlebell. It adjusts from 12 to 42 pounds in seconds. While you’re swinging, motion sensors track reps, sets, weight, and power, so you can review your “Fitness IQ”—which measures strength progression—in the app. Users can also subscribe to on-demand workouts.[$229 plus optional $13/month membership,]Get itCourtesy Image4. Make Any Room a Weight Room: ArenaArena houses a multidirectional cable system and specialty attachments capable of more than 300 exercises, from hamstring curls to woodchops. The portable device uses opposing electro-magnetic fields to generate hundreds of pounds of resistance (same tech that powers electric cars). Motorized resistance technology safely recruits more muscle fibers than traditional strength training, so you get better results in less time.[$1,995 plus optional $20/month membership,]Get itCourtesy Image5. Get Real-Time Biofeedback: NurvvSolo neighborhood jogs. Treadmill intervals. All-out track sprints. With 32 sensors, Nurvv smart insoles capture all your running idiosyncrasies including cadence, step length, footstrike, pronation and balance. That might not mean much to you, but they indicate efficiency. The app provides tailored training tips and exercises to help fine-tune your technique and avoid injury. Looking to hit sub 7-minute miles? The Pace Coach feature provides target zones for your cadence and step length, with in-run alerts synced to your headphones like “shorten your stride” or “increase your cadence.”[$299.95;]Get itFor access to exclusive gear videos, celebrity interviews, and more, subscribe on YouTube! More

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    This Might Be the Hardest Dumbbell Workout You Ever Try

    Expert Tip: To up the intensity if you don’t have adjustable dumbbells, add a heavy band, do more reps, slow the movement down to create more time under tension, or hold the contracted position of the exercise.
    Directions: Add this dumbbell workout to your weekly regimen once per week; do it twice per week with cardio on opposing days if you need a new program. Complete the exercises in Part 1 for the prescribed number of reps, taking 20 to 30 seconds rest between moves, and 30 to 45 seconds between sets. Once you’ve completed all 3 sets in Part A, rest for 60 to 90 seconds, then complete the triset in Part 2. Complete the exercises for the prescribed number of reps, taking 20 to 30 seconds rest between moves, and 30 to 45 seconds between sets for 3 total sets. Beginners should use 20- to 25-pound dumbbells, intermediate lifters can do 30- to 40-pound dumbbells, and advanced can go 45 pounds and higher.

    The Most Effective Dumbbell Workout of All Time
    A. Single-Arm Eccentric Push Press
    Stand with feet at shoulder width, holding a dumbbell in right hand with a neutral grip at shoulder height, elbow bent at 90 degrees. Lower into a quarter-squat, then explode up, driving through legs to press the dumbbell overhead. Pause, then slowly lower to start position. Complete 4-5 reps, then switch sides.
    Single-Leg Renegade Row With Eccentric Isometrics Marius Bugge for Men’s Journal
    B. Single-Leg Renegade Row With Eccentric Isometrics More

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    Go Full McConaughey With the Actor's Favorite Unorthodox Workouts

    Struggling to get a consistent workout regimen at home? Matthew McConaughey’s workouts are anything but traditional, but they’ll boost your mood, health, and the monotony of isolation. Is it any surprise the actor’s got some unorthodox tricks up his sleeve to make movement a movement?
    1. Run From Home
    “Like any mammal, we’re always gonna make it back home. I like to run 20 minutes out, turn around, and drop and do 20 pushups 10 times during the run back.”
    2. Dance All Night
    “I could and should probably do it more often. It’s my favorite cardio. I don’t mind having a cocktail during some of my workouts.”

    3. Have Some Sex
    “The original exercise,” McConaughey writes in Greenlights. “It makes our companion see us in a more flattering light, which psychologically makes us feel like we look better.”

    4. Wrestle…or Not
    “I love it, but blew my ACL during a match. So now I spend a lot of time on the elliptical instead.”

    5. Just Schedule It
    “You don’t have to actually work out, just plan on it, that’s enough.”
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    How Hall of Fame Quarterback Troy Aikman Is Still Sharpening His Game

    Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and FOX Sports lead NFL analyst Troy Aikman may have retired 20 years ago, but he’s still finding ways to stay on top of his game. Here’s how.

    Adjust Your Plan
    I was still doing the same routines five years after retiring——bothered with back pain. I walked into a local gym and asked if someone could write me programs. Jason Harnden walked out, and I’’ve been training with him for 17 years. Now I hit the weights four days a week, for 30 minutes. We change it up every four  or five weeks, adding battle ropes, kettlebells, and slam balls. Keeping the training up these days meant getting a home gym together. I find the FreeMotion Dual Cable Cross Machine effective without straining the joints.
    Center Yourself
    Phil Jackson’s book Sacred Hoops got me intrigued about meditation and mindfulness. The light really came on when I picked up The Untethered Soul. It was hard at first. I had the whole ““monkey mind”” going, but eventually I was able to slow my thoughts. I meditate first thing in the morning to set me up for a good day. I like the apps Insight Timer and Calm. I also listen to the audiobook of Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now on walks.

    Keep It Clean
    I’’ve gotten better about eating vegetables in these later years. I get most of my protein from fish, avoid processed foods and dairy, and don’’t put excessive butter or oil on anything. I rarely eat red meat but, when I do, I grill it myself. I’’ve gotten into making smoothies before and after workouts. I use Dymatize Iso 100 Whey Protein Powder and Athletic Greens with spinach, collagen powder, banana, and almond milk.
    Take a Breather
    I’’m a prime example of someone who overtrains. I’ve always done something seven days a week. During my playing career, there was always an urgency to work as hard as I could. I never walked away thinking I didn’’t show up as strong as possible. That’’s followed me into retirement. I’’m starting to allow myself recovery days. I’’m not as sore and stiff and know maintaining this pace isn’’t sustainable. I need to pause and accept that life is good.

    Troy Aikman will share his insights as FOX Sports’ lead NFL analyst during the NFC Championship as Tom Brady and the Buccaneers take on Aaron Rodgers’ Packers at Lambeau Field on Sunday, Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. on FOX. 

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