This is the time of the year when your fitness goals start to losing their significance. The first few months are key to locking in training practices and developing good habits. This article is based purely on my observations over my 15 years working in the fitness industry. What we can do is help you establish good training routines and set you up for long-term success.
Training without a purpose cannot produce results. Why? Without a goal you are merely going through the motions.
With clear direction you know why you are doing it, you are focused on the task at hand and you are less likely to skip sessions or cut corners.
S.M.A.R.T (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely) goal setting is important. This should be worked out with your coach at the beginning of your involvement and re-assessed regularly as when one goal is reached, another needs to be set. Remember that goal setting doesn’t need to be big, it just needs to be relevant and attainable.
Plan of attack –
Having a program designed specifically for you is key. A progressive overload program will ensure your workload is attainable. There is no point either maxing out your weights everyday or on the opposite side, just doing light to medium weights. A well thought out program will have a goal in mind and over the weeks prepare you for that. It could be testing your strength personal bests, it could be body fat percentage or it could be for competition. Whatever it is, the program has direction and you should achieve results.
Mediocre training gives mediocre results. Too often people are happy to compromise with themselves. Exercise shouldn’t be one of those times. The effort you put in during exercise will have an impact on what you get out of a training session/program block.
Now that doesn’t mean every moment of every session should be 100% hard and fast, a well designed program will tell you when to go hard, in what format to push yourself and when to back off. When it comes to reaching your goals, you will need to work outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself.
Pre and post workout nutrition is overlooked by many. Without the adequate fuel, a training program cannot be utilised to get its best results. Under-eat coming into training, expect to lose energy mid session. Don’t re-fuel your body after, expect to not recover and over eat later on in the day.
My recommendations? Speak to a professional. University qualified sports nutritionists are here to take the guess work out. Their knowledge is valuable and you can reduce your body fat and increase your lean muscle significantly easier.
Support group –
Being held accountable to training partners, team mates and coaches. Too many people fail to consistently train when left to their own devices. Having a support network is key to keeping on track. It starts at home with supported loved ones encouraging them and keeping spirits high. Having a training partner will keep them motivated at the gym. Training with someone daily will create a bond and instill discipline so that when you have to train by yourself you will continue to show up and put in your best. If team sports is more your thing then the camaraderie within your squad will get you through the darkest of unmotivated times.
Finally, working with a coach. It’s the same as going to a nutritionist or seeing a physiotherapist – why not seek the most qualified person to get you results? This world is full of professionals, each one dedicating their lives to their passion. Working with a coach will bring you direction, will give you someone who can produce results and progress you over time to be the best you can and hopefully reduce the risk of injuries. I am very bias on this subject but I believe that the key to success is surrounding yourself with the right people. Why not surround yourself with specialists?
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