Workouts have always been a popular way to let off steam and stay or get fit. Most habitual exercisers begin to enjoy the process as it becomes part of their everyday routine. Working out should be an enjoyable and refreshing experience, but most of us also focus on getting results. It can be frustrating, especially when you put in the time and effort to get fitter and stronger but somehow struggle to keep up with your goals.
Everyone sees visible progress in the first few days of working out, but over time the rate of improvement slows down naturally. But it can sometimes plateau, especially if you have the wrong workout technique. Sources claim that having an improper workout technique or not adequately warming up will not only slow your progress but can cause serious injury. While each workout goal has different workout and diet requirements, some common factors can keep you from reaching your goals. Below are six steps to get back on track to reach your fitness goals.
Focus on Your Workout Goal
Many people hit the gym with the intent to wear themselves out, and a common way to tell if a workout is effective is if they “feel the burn’. While that feeling signifies muscle stimulation, it does not mean your exercise effectively targets your fitness goal. While this seems like basic knowledge, many people don’t realize that their workout routine is not optimized for their specific goal.
If you want to build strength, you need heavy resistance. But if you plan to improve your running, you need a long workout with short, high-intensity weightlifting. Confusing your routines can be redundant and, in worse cases, even counter-productive. Rethink your sessions with these three important variables for a workout program.
Warm Up Properly
Many beginner fitness enthusiasts make the mistake of skimming through their warm-up and rushing toward the workout. Being psyched and excited about your training is natural, especially when you see progress. But doing so is counter-productive, as your body will not reap the full benefits of your workout. This does not mean your warm-up should be as intense as your workout.
A warm-up activates your muscles and pumps blood more effectively throughout the body. But as important as it is to focus your workout on achieving your goal, your warm-up should be centered around the workout routine you plan for the day. Here are three steps to a good warm-up;
Increase Your Heart Rate
Gradually get the blood flowing and increase your heart rate with light jogging, rowing, burpees and other light exercises.
Mobilize Your Muscles
This should be a precursor to your workout. If you plan to do cardio, focus on moving and stretching your calf and posterior muscles.
Practice Your Workout
Just like you would practice your throws and game before an important match, get your head in the workout before you start. This does not mean going in full intensity; lightly practice the movements before you start working out.
There is tons of nutrition advice on the internet, especially regarding working out. Having access to all that data can confuse you about the time and type of meal you should have. This tip, too, comes in a similar pattern to the previous advice in this article. What you should eat and when you should eat is individual to each person and their workout goals. The best advice you could follow online is to try something for a while, monitor your results and adjust to an eating schedule that works best for you.
A tricky situation can arise if you combine a diet plan with a workout routine. One of the most confusing ones is intermittent fasting and working out and whether it is even possible. If you structure it correctly, based on your workout and individual metabolism, you may even be able to build muscle and fast simultaneously. The key to a workout routine, diet and progress simultaneously is in research and how well your body adapts to your routine.
Focus More on Recovery
A body gains muscle over the repeated training cycle to damage the muscle tissue for it to repair itself, stronger so you can adapt to the increased stress. as the muscle heals, it grows in size, and your body gets stronger. This cycle shows that your recovery period is imperative to getting progressive workout results. 24-48 hours after your workout, your body works hard and uses the protein you intake to repair the damaged tissue and return to its resting state.
It would be best to consider multiple factors when your body recovers after a workout. The two essential factors in effective recovery are sleep and nutrition. As you sleep, your body works on several physiological systems. Your Immune system is triggered, and it secretes hormones and androgens that augment the healing of your muscles and bones. You can follow seven practical steps to optimal recovery to get the most out of your workout.
Diversify Your Workouts
While this may come as a complete 180-degree turn from the first tip, this does not mean mixing up your goals. Adding variations in your workouts means targeting different exercise routines rather than different goals altogether. If you repeat a similar workout routine every day, you will quickly flatten your progress curve and may even lose motivation. For your body to gain muscle and strength, it needs progressive stimuli to improve different areas with each workout session.
A study by East Tennessee State University showed that a combination of deep and full squats builds more muscle than only doing deep squats.
Even if you build muscle, a steady amount of cardio will reap its benefits. A strong cardiovascular system is essential to provide your muscles with nutrients and oxygen. You can add variations to your workout routine by varying intensity, duration, muscle groups and weight. Keep changing your weekly or monthly workout routine to keep your body stimulated to keep improving.