10 Fitness Tips to Get Stronger and Improve Faster

10 Fitness Tips to Get Stronger and Improve Faster

These 10 Fitness tips can help take your workout game to the next level. Get stronger, Improve faster, and crush new goals .

Note: This article contains affiliate links to products I believe in and use. They come at no additional cost to you.

Progress = Motivation

It’s undeniable that progress is the driving force that keeps us motivated to push ourselves forward.

There’s nothing better than seeing hard work result in real changes to our body and our abilities.

It’s critical, then, to make sure you’re doing the right things to keep progress rolling forward.

Sooner or later, we all reach a point where changes need to be made. We plateau, and many lose motivation or become complacent and just go through the motions, repeating the same routine for months or years with little results to show for it.

Here are 10 things you can do to take your workouts, your fitness and your life to the next level. You might just find something that can restart your motivation and get you moving forward to that best version of yourself, where you belong!

Tip #1: Keep a Workout Journal

fitness tips workout journal

Keeping a workout Journal will allow you to:

  • Track Progress over time
  • See what was working for you in the past when you run into problems in the present
  • “Compete” against yourself using past performances in any type of workout
  • Analyze exactly what you’re doing, and how much you’re doing, compared to the results you’re getting.

Great coaches and trainers will always have their clients keep a workout journal. Having access to past workouts can be invaluable.

There are plenty of free apps you can use. I use “Day One Journal.” It’s free and easy to use. It also allows you to place “tags” on all your workouts, so you can easily reference them when you need to.


You can dive a lot deeper into this, if you’re a more serious athlete.. You could be tracking things like your resting heart rate each morning and/or your heart rate variability. You could also have some specific workout “tests” you can repeat to measure progress.

Tip #2: Use a Heart Rate Monitor

improve fitness by using a heart rate monitor.
Example of a Training Session with a HR monitor

Using a heart rate monitor can change the way you work out completely.

You can be specific about what you’re trying to accomplish in your workout by using different heart rate zones for different outcomes.

For example, training for 30 minutes with your heart rate between 110-120 would be a low intensity cardio session, stimulating recovery.

30 minutes with the heart rate between 130-150 would be stimulating cardiac output.. training the heart to pump more blood per beat and enlarging the left ventricle, improving aerobic fitness. 

Training for 30 minutes with a HR at 155-170 would be training for aerobic power, and would be a much higher intensity session.

I highly recommend the Polar H10 heart rate monitor. Polar really can’t be beat in this department, and this model is both affordable and accurate. It’s also full of great features.

Read: How to Lower Your Resting Heart Rate: Specific Methods


If you’re more advanced, a heart rate monitor can be even more useful. You can track how long it takes your heart rate to recover after intense activity, with the goal of increasing your one minute heart rate recovery over time. You can also keep track of your resting heart rate by testing it first thing in the morning. A low resting heart rate is the surest sign of improving aerobic fitness.

Tip #3: Have a Clear Goal

fitness tips set goals

If you ask people in the gym what their goals are, you’d get all kinds of answers.

From experience as a trainer I can tell you, most people don’t really know exactly what they’re trying to accomplish. They say things like “I just want to gain muscle and lose weight,” or, “I want to get in shape.”

These are not clear, definite goals. A goal should be something like; “I want to lose 15lbs in the next 8 weeks,” or, “I want to gain 5lbs of muscle and be at 10% body fat by May 1st.”

Goals should be:  SMART

  • Specific – What exactly do you want to accomplish?
  • Measurable – Don’t just say “lose weight.” Say, I’m going to lose 10lbs.
  • Achievable – You aren’t going to add 100lbs to your bench press in 30 days. Remember, Progress = Motivation.. Set yourself up to achieve small goals that are attainable, and they will add up to big changes.
  • Relevant – If you’re training for a marathon, your goals should be relevant to that.. too many people have conflicting goals like, I want to get bigger, lose weight, get stronger, get leaner and run faster.
  • Timely – Goals should have a time-frame. If you want to add 50lbs to your bench press, say: “I’ll add 50lbs to my bench press in 6 months by doing _______.”

Have clear goals, and be able to express how you’re going to accomplish the goal. If you don’t know how, then that is why trainers have jobs, and there is plenty of information out there as well. It’s your goal, and your responsibility to go after it!

Tip #4: Use High Intensity Training Carefully

Too many people are obsessed with HIIT workouts.  And it’s true, HIIT can be a highly effective way to achieve a range of fitness goals. But HIIT training comes at a cost, as it takes considerable energy for your body to recover from a constant beat-down of high intensity effort.

A study by Les Mills Lab concluded that 40 minutes of HIIT training per week was optimal for most people, with added training being detrimental to fitness and performance.

High intensity training, or HIIT, should be utilized no more than twice per week. Even elite athletes rarely go above 3 days per week, and even then it is only for short training cycles.

your bodies simply cannot recover enough to adapt to that much high intensity effort, and so short term gains in performance will soon turn to a massive recovery debt, and your workouts and your well-being will suffer the consequences.

Fitness is best improved by using a variety of different intensities and methods. Keep the HIIT to 1-2 days per week and utilize other methods, low and moderate intensity training on the other days.

You can read my article on the dangers of HIIT right here:

Tip #5: Boost Your Workout Recovery

recover faster from workout.  recovery training is at the cutting edge of fitness.

There are several ways you can help speed boost your workout recovery. I’ll list a few here from my article: 10 Ways to Boost Workout Recovery:

  • Recovery Workouts: lower intensity workouts to stimulate blood flow and recovery the day after a high intensity workout.
  • Compression clothing: Compression can reduce muscle damage and soreness. Check out 2XU Compression Pants if you want real compression.
  • Pre Workout Protein and Carbs: Pre workout nutrition is often overlooked and has a big impact on recovery.


Massages and any other form of deep relaxation can be very beneficial.. as they help nudge the body into a parasympathetic recovery state. Studies have shown that massage can reduce Delayed onset muscle soreness by 30%.

Take care of yourself. Focus as much on recovery as you do on working out and training, and you will reap much greater rewards from your efforts and stay in the game a lot longer.

#6 Switch Up Your Training Every 6-10 Weeks

After 6-10 weeks of focusing on one aspect of your training (strength, endurance, size, etc..) your progress is sure to slow down and eventually come to a halt.

For this reason, smart athletes Periodize their training. This means they place more focus in one area for a period of time (usually 6-8 weeks), and then switch their focus. This allows for constant progress.

This doesn’t mean that you completely disregard other areas of fitness. You simply place less emphasis on them so you can focus a little more in another area. If you’re going to try to get stronger for 6-8 weeks, you can add an extra day or two of strength training, and do a little less cardio/endurance work during that time.

Periodizing your training will give you the best chance at continuous progress and is the best long term strategy to follow for optimal gains in fitness.

#7 Use The Right Supplements

If you walk into any supplement store, you are bombarded with literally thousands of different supplements all claiming to have incredible results.

It’s really important to understand that these supplement companies are not bound by the FDA, and can make all sorts of claims that aren’t necessarily true at all.

Keep it simple. There are supplements backed by a ton of research showing they work, and exactly how they work and what they DO.

Once you understand this, all you have to do is choose the right ones to help you with your goals. If your only goal is losing weight, creatine probably isn’t going to benefit you, regardless of what the label claims.

Supplements That Actually Work

Creatine-Increase Power/Power Endurance
-Increase Strength
-Increase size
-Use for heavy/max lifting, short sprinting, HIIT
L-Citrulline-Increase Nitric Oxide
-Vasodilator – Improved blood flow
-Gives a “pump” when lifting
-Use for higher volume lifting, strength/size, HIIT
-Tart Cherry, Turmeric, other similar products
-Reduce Inflammation
-Using frequently can hinder the body’s natural ability
to control inflammation from your training.
Caffeine-You know it works!
-Decreased perceived exertion/makes exercise feel easier
-Can train longer without feeling fatigue
-Increases motivation to work harder
-Regular use/tolerance diminishes effectiveness
Beta-Alanine-Decreases perceived exertion
-Can work at higher intensities for longer/delays fatigue
-Use for longer sessions, endurance training, HIIT
BCAA’s-Branched Chain Amino Acids
-Reduce muscle wasting during prolonged training
-Use during training if you havn’t eaten a pre-training meal or are training in a fasted state.
-Use for longer duration sessions to spare muscle tissue
Use supplements that are complimentary to your Goals and proven to work.

I prefer to buy my supplements from Bulk Supplements. It’s cheaper, you get more, and it’s the supplement in pure form, with no added fillers.

#8    Always Perform a Warm up

One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in the gym is going straight into a workout without warming up. 

The likelihood of getting injured can be reduced by performing a dynamic warm up;  raising body temperature, increasing elasticity of the muscles and pushing blood into the joints.. creating a “cushion” and readying the body for more intense work. 

Research has shown that performing a warm up can improve performance. Warming up properly can make you stronger and more powerful during your workout.

A Proper Warm-Up:

  • 5-10 minutes of light cardiovascular activity, slowly building up to higher intensities
  • dynamic stretching (not static stretching where you hold for 30 seconds), and mobility work.
  • Lower intensity movements similar to what you plan on doing in your workout, gradually building up to working sets. If you’re going to be bench pressing, start out with some light presses, warm up the shoulders, etc..

Making sure you warm up will result in less injuries, and will lead to better performances in your workouts.

Research also shows that warming up may reduce the amount of soreness you experience after your workout. Keep your body healthy… use the warm up as a way to focus on the upcoming session and get your mind focused and your body ready to push new limits.

#9    Always Perform a Cool Down

There is less research pointing to the benefits of a cool down versus warming up.

Studies have shown some conflicting results with respect to using a cool down as a means to faster recovery from training. However, there are absolutely some very good reasons to incorporate a cool-down into your training sessions.

According to one study in the Journal of Sports Medicine, an active cool down may help prevent immune system depression and promote faster recovery from intense training sessions.

How to Cool-Down Properly

  • Perform light cardiovascular activity for 5 minutes, gradually reducing your heart rate as low as possible.
  • Perform some light stretching, focus on relaxing
  • Foam rolling is a good idea, if you have the time and the means
  • Assume a recovery position, anything where you feel relaxed.
  • Focus on driving the heart rate down as close to resting as possible. Spend 3-5 minutes in this position.

A good cool-down can help speed up the process of the body going into a parasympathetic recovery mode. Walking out of the gym amped up with your heart rate rate still in the training zone isn’t a great idea.

#10 Never Neglect Your Aerobic Fitness.. Your Life May Depend on it.

fitness tips aerobic fitness

Regardless of what your goals are, having at least a base level of aerobic fitness is paramount to your overall health and longevity. There are very direct links to aerobic fitness and mortality risks.

A massive study of more than 122,000 people found that the higher your level of cardio-respiratory fitness, the less chance you have of dying from all causes.

The importance of this study cannot be overstated. Aerobic fitness reduces mortality risks across the board, with NO upper limit observed. The better your aerobic fitness, the less chance you have of dying, period!

This doesn’t mean you have to turn yourself into an endurance athlete. Training the aerobic system is simple and can be done with 3-5 sessions per week of low-moderate intensity cardiovascular sessions.

You can incorporate some extra cardio into almost any training program. Check out my article related to this Here.


I hope this was helpful for you. If you take your workouts and your goals seriously, there is no doubt that incorporating some, or all of the 10 ideas in this list can be of great benefit to you. They certainly have been for me, and I’ve been doing this for a long time!

Continue to improve and find that best version of yourself!

Let me know what you think with a comment, or email me at Contact@supastrong.net

Thanks for being here!!!

Mike (Supastrong)
Mike (Supastrong)

Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach and personal trainer. I’ve run boot camps and served as the wellness coordinator for a fortune 500 company. Currently a Federal Agent in San Diego, CA, and an Infantryman in the Army Reserve.

Heart Rate Variability Can Improve Your Health and Fitness

Heart Rate Variability Can Improve Your Health and Fitness

Heart Rate Variability (HRV) can be a game changer for you. 

With just a few minutes each day,  you can gain some incredibly important information about your health and fitness. 

Let’s first understand what HRV is. Then we can learn how to use it to improve our performance and health.

What is HRV?

In the simplest terms, HRV is a measure of your current state of resilience and adaptability.

More specifically, HRV is a measurement of the time intervals between heart beats, measured in milliseconds. 

The heart does not beat in perfect rhythm, but instead beats with tiny variations between each beat. 

When we’re under stress, these variations between beats become smaller and smaller, indicating that we’re in a sympathetic (fight or flight) stress state.

When you’re in a fully relaxed state, the variation between beats becomes larger, indicating a parasympathetic dominant state.

Thus, a higher HRV correlates to recovery and adaptability, and a lower HRV signifies a lack of recovery and stress.

How Do You Meausre Heart Rate Variability?

heart rate variability tracking

In order to analyze your own HRV, you must establish a baseline for yourself. This means taking daily measurements to establish that baseline so you have something to compare to.

There are several Apps that do this for you, such as Elite HRV (free) and Morpheus. All you need is 3 minutes of your time and a chest strap heart rate monitor.

I use the Polar H10, and it is fantastic and very accurate for both workouts and measuring heart rate variability.

Most importantly, you MUST take your daily measurement as soon as you wake up each day, and in the same position. It can be laying in bed, or sitting back in a chair… as long as you use the same position each time.

Taking the measurement right after sleeping is ideal, as you can get a snapshot into your current state, minus any new stress, caffeine or other outside influences. It’s okay to use the bathroom and drink some water first.

How Heart Rate Variability Can Improve Your Workouts.

heart rate variability for workouts

Several studies have looked at working out based on heart rate variability scores vs just following a training program.

The results indicate that decreasing workout intensity when HRV is low, and training with more intensity when HRV is high results in improved performance (improved adaptation to the training).

Trying to push your body when it’s in an over-stressed state is counterproductive. If you notice your HRV score is trending low, that means your body is struggling to deal with stress. You can then take a rest day, do some light cardio, or use relaxation techniques. That way, you can get your body back into an optimal state.

Heart Rate Variability and Your Health

Studies have linked Low HRV to several different diseases, including; depression, heart attacks, and increased risk of death. It’s important to realize that HRV is not the Cause of these issues. It is a symptom of underlying issues taking place in the body and mind.

Take control of your health by learning to better manage stress. Use tools such as meditation, cardiovascular workouts and HRV monitoring. This can have a dramatic impact on improving your overall health and resilience to stress.

Nutrition Affects HRV

nutrition and HRV

Studies have begun looking into how what we eat affects our heart rate variability and overall risk of disease over the course of our lives.

These studies are finding that what we eat has a very big impact on heart rate variability. That should tell you that your ability to handle stress and remain resilient has a lot to do with what you eat.

Stick to whole foods and natural ingredients. Eat fruits and vegetables and avoid the processed garbage on most shelves. This will allow your body to be more resilient in fighting off diseases like cancer and heart disease.

How Do You Improve Your Heart Rate Variability?

Studies have shown that while HRV is genetically influenced, it can be improved.

There are two primary ways you can go about increasing your heart rate variability:

1. Cardiovascular Training

cardio HRV

Light to moderate cardiovascular training can improve the strength, size, function and efficiency of your heart. This can result in a lower resting heart rate, which is itself a huge indicator of health and fitness.

Your heart will be stronger and under less stress. This means your body will be better able to deal with both physical demands and psychological stressors. The result being increased heart rate variability, improved energy and a host of other benefits.

The best way to get these adaptations in the heart is to perform cardiac output workouts, meaning:

  • 30 – 90 Minutes of Light to Moderate cardiovascular training.
  • Maintain a heart rate between 130-150.
  • Use jogging or any cardio machine, circuit training, anything that elevates your heart rate for at least 30 minutes.
  • perform 3-6 sessions per week, depending on your fitness level.

Yoga and other relaxation techniques

yoga improves heart rate variability

Yoga has been shown by research to lower resting heart rate. It does so by training the mind to relax, nudging the body into a parasympathetic state.

HRV is a measure of the health of your parasympathetic nervous system, and of the balance between stress and resilience.

Yoga can improve heart rate variability by teaching the body to be more resilient.

Practicing Yoga, or other relaxation methods regularly can reduce stress and help flip the switch from stress mode to recovery mode.

If you’re stuck at home, check out Yogadownload below for awesome yoga sessions you can do from anywhere.

Use Both Methods to Achieve Maximum Health and Fitness Benefits

The best way to improve HRV and give a huge boost to your health and fitness levels is to improve both your cardiovascular fitness AND your ability to relax and deal with stress.

This holistic approach will result in a stronger, more resilient body and mind. It will only naturally be reflected by improved HRV scores, which will tell you that you’re doing something right.

All About Stress

It’s really important to understand that “stress” can come at us from many angles. Stress is any stimulus that causes a sympathetic response from the nervous system.

Work stress, physical stress, relationship stress. Lack of sleep and poor nutrition. Any life stress we encounter can push the body into a sympathetic stress state.

Being in a constant state of stress, be it from too much high intensity training or from life stress, or both.. results in the overproduction of stress hormones by the body. This keeps us in a revved up state until the parasympathetic system can put the brakes on and nudge us into recovery and relaxation.

The trick is in being able to recognize this and take action to make it happen faster. That is the real value of tracking your Heart rate variability.

The True Value of Tracking Your Heart Rate Variability

The real value in keeping track of your HRV is in identifying trends in your data. After tracking your HRV for several weeks and months, you’ll notice that it is either:

  • Trending upwards, indicating improved fitness and ability to handle stress
  • Trending downwards, possibly indicating that you are over-training or just plain over-stressing.
  • Remaining consistent, indicating you may want to work out a little harder to stimulate cardiovascular improvements.


Using free apps that are readily available on your phone, such as Elite HRV, you can track your heart rate variability, sleep, weight, and other variables to get some really great insight into which way your health and fitness are trending.

Improving your cardiovascular fitness and learning to better deal with stress by practicing Yoga and other relaxation techniques can have a dramatic impact on your health. Take control of your health and fitness and give up 3 minutes every day to track your HRV.

It’s your body, your mind, your responsibility. The knowledge is out there, now it’s on you to make it happen.

As always, I hope this article helps you get a little closer to that best version of YOU!

*Note: This article contains affiliate links. Anything purchased comes at no additional cost to you.

Mike (Supastrong)
Mike (Supastrong)

Bioforce Certified Conditioning Coach and personal trainer. I’ve run boot camps and served as the wellness coordinator for a fortune 500 company. Currently a Federal Agent in San Diego, CA, and an Infantryman in the Army Reserve.