How to Start a Workout Habit

January is the month that most people decide that damn it, this is the year they’re finally going to get in shape.

So the gyms get really crowded with people trying to start a new habit and get their health on track once and for all.

The only problem is, most of those people are doing it all wrong.

They get an expensive gym membership, then proceed to go to the gym 3-4 times a week for the first two or three weeks. And they feel good, they feel like they’re making progress.

But then—something happens. Maybe they get discouraged that they haven’t made as much progress as they would have liked in that two weeks (haven’t lost two pant sizes, gained 5 pounds of muscle, etc.), or maybe life just gets in the way.

Whatever happens, by the end of the month, the gym is nice and quiet again, and those people who said they were finally going to start a workout habit give up until the next New Year rolls around.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are a few simple—and very doable—ways to start a workout habit that results in long-term success.

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10 Hacks to Boost Your Metabolism

10 hacks to boost your metabolism

If you feel you’re a victim of your slow metabolism, you’re hardly alone.

Most people believe that they’re brought into the world with a certain metabolism, and that as they age, it’s inevitably going to get slower—and there’s absolutely nothing they can do to stop it.

But what most people don’t realize is that while genes certainly come into play, you’re not actually stuck with your slow metabolism for life. In fact, there are several things you can do to speed up your metabolism now—even if you’re getting older (metabolism naturally starts to slow around age 30 partly due to muscle loss, but that’s mostly preventable).

First, let’s clear a few things up about what we’re actually talking about here when we talk about metabolism.

What is metabolism?

Metabolism refers to how much energy your body uses or how many calories you burn in a day. Boosting your metabolism means your body will produce extra heat and burn more calories for fuel during the day—without doing any additional exercise.

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Why You’re Not Getting Results

There’s no question about it: most people just aren’t motivated to exercise. I’ll even go as far as to say that most people hate to exercise.

In fact, if there really was a magic pill that would instantly make you lose weight, get stronger and get in incredible shape with no effort at all, the majority of people would take it, and be ecstatic at the thought of never having to exercise again (I hope this isn’t you).

That’s why people buy things like the Shake Weight, the Thigh Master, and the ‘Ace Power,’ a horseback riding-inspired tool (yes, this really exists)—because they’re marketed as an effortless way to exercise. But they’re effortless because they don’t actually work.

And I’m going to tell you a secret, one I’ve learned by personal experience over my years as an athlete, personal trainer, student and fitness blogger: there is no real shortcut to getting results.

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19 Really Good Excuses NOT To Work Out


Most people know they should be making working out a priority, but most people are also really good at making excuses not to work out.

I’m no stranger to this, either. I used to be too unmotivated, too busy, too tired/weak/stressed out to work out. I would come up with excuses, and though I’d feel a little guilty for doing so, I’d always tell myself my excuses were good enough to justify my lack of exercise.

But while it’s easy to come up with really good excuses not to work out, those excuses are never going to help you reach your fitness goals.

Because the only way to reach your goals is to put in the hard work. You have to push past your own mental limits. There are no shortcuts.

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi

So here are 19 incredibly reasonable excuses not to work out—and how to bust through them every time:

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Less is More: Why Short Workouts Are Better Than Long Ones


I’m not crazy. I’m totally aware that when I first tell people about workouts that take only 12 minutes or so to complete, they look at me like I’ve gone nuts.

And they get even more confused when I tell them that these 12 minute workouts are actually more effective than spending an hour or more working out in a gym.

“How the hell is working out for 12 minutes better than working out for an hour?” most people ask me, puzzled and unbelieving.

See, most people are used to equating exercise with long, boring gym sessions that last at least an hour or more. And I’m no stranger to this mindset—I used to be a part of this “long workouts are better camp” too, back in the days when I’d force myself to run for miles and miles, followed by 20 minutes or more of abs-focused training or something similar. I absolutely hated it, but I did it anyway because I thought that spending more time exercising was the only way to get into good shape.

But just because you’re used to something being one way doesn’t mean you should actually accept that’s how it has to be.

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How to Conquer (Or At Least Tame!) Your Sweet Tooth


Let’s face it: most people have at least something of a sweet tooth. I know I do.

And to be completely honest, I don’t fully trust anyone who never craves sweets at all.

Sugar, in all its various forms, is a fairly natural human craving. It comforts us. It helps us bond with others. And yes, it even satisfies us emotionally— since we tend to crave sugar when we’re feeling sad, lonely, or even bored.

And while indulging your sweet tooth every once in a while it completely acceptable, too much of a good thing can completely derail your fitness and weight loss goals, even if you work out on a near daily basis.

So while I’m not one to say you shouldn’t have any sugar at all (I’d be a hypocrite if I did!), I certainly can relate to the need to lessen your constant desire for sweet things and start living by the 80/20 rule.

Here’s how to tame your sweet tooth for good:

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Bodyweight Training: How to Get in Incredible Shape With Zero Equipment

bodyweight training

Most people think that the only way to get the fit, strong body they want is to work out with machines or heavy weights.

But most people are wrong.

Because here’s the thing: the popularity of training equipment mostly comes down to marketing. Fitness companies need to have something to sell you, so they sell you on machines, fancy gadgets, and complicated systems.

Sure, weights and a few pieces of uncomplicated equipment like plyometric boxes, kettlebells and medicine balls can be useful tools to propel you to the fitness level you want. But the truth is that you don’t need any of these to get into incredible shape.

Because the simplest and most effective way to develop strength, gain endurance and lose fat is to train using nothing more than your own body.

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Free eBook: HIIT on the Go Travel Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

HIIT on the go

I don’t know about you…

But I used to find it nearly impossible to stay in shape when I traveled.

I’d bring my workout gear with good intentions of actually using it, but it would inevitably never actually make it out of the bottom of my suitcase.

And while the 12 Minute Athlete workouts are perfect for traveling, sometimes you just don’t have access to any workout equipment—or even an internet connection to check out the newest workout on the site.

That’s why I created HIIT on the Go: 10 Quick and Insanely Effective Workouts You Can Do Anywhere.

Because traveling doesn’t have to mean getting out of shape.

Work out anywhere, anytime

HIIT on the Go is a resource filled with incredibly effective, insanely awesome workouts that you can do while traveling—whether all you have is a crappy cramped gym, a nearby park, or even just a tiny hotel room.

Get HIIT on the Go (40 pages), and you’ll get:

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Why Your Exercise and Weight Loss New Year's Resolutions Are Doomed to Fail

Every year, on New Year’s Eve, millions of people around the world make a list of New Year’s resolutions… commitments they make to better themselves in the year ahead.

Topping the list of the most common resolutions?

Exercise and weight loss.

In fact, nearly 50% of Americans make a New Year’s resolution to lose weight and get in shape in the upcoming year.

And 2013 will be no different.

After all, if you’re like the rest of us, in the last couple of weeks you’ve consumed gobs of Christmas cookies, candy canes, and holiday drinks.

You’re probably feeling that roll around your middle (you know, where you’d abs should be) more than ever right now.

And you’re finally ready to do something about it.

But it’s not that simple.

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Tabata Training: Your Ultimate Guide to 4-Minute Workouts

4-minute Tabata workouts

Do you assume you need to spend a good 60 to 90 minutes in the gym in order to get in a really good workout?

I’m not judging. I used to be the same way.

In fact, I used to spend ages on the treadmill and in the weight room until I discovered something amazing: it doesn’t take hours of exercise to get a good workout.

I talk a lot about 12 and 16 minute workouts here on the site, but honestly, it can be even less than that.

Because here’s a secret: you can get a good workout in just four minutes.

Yep, you read that right. Four minutes is all it takes to get your heart pumping, blood flowing, and fat disappearing.

It’s called Tabata Training, and here’s how you can use it to your advantage.

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