Welcome back readers, lets assume you have began your journey and have committed to a regular workout regime that would
make Mr. Motivator proud.
I am gonna let you into a few little secrets that (I hope) will kick you into the next gear, although . . . I can totally understand why what I am about to say could be a massive turn off rather then a turn on. Bear with me, this information is purely advice meant to ensure that you lot are getting better, and seeing results . . .
One of the most important things to get results is to understand this rule:
IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING BETTER YOU ARE GETTING WORSE.
Basically our bodies are amazing things, totally, amazing.
Let’s talk about Sally. Sally is great girl, her biggest problem is her weight. She wants to loose weight and gain muscle. Let’s imagine she has worked hard to learn the basic techniques that she needs: squats, lunges, deadlifts, planks and she is confident with her dumb-bells. Good for Sally! Hurrah!
Sally gets into a nice routine of cardio/strength work three times a week and she is sticking to it religiously. After a couple of months she is loosing weight, her exercises are feeling easier and she is on top of the world. She continues . . . . .
Same weights, same amount of each move (reps) and the same amount of times she does those reps (sets) After six months Sally reaches a plateau. She starts to feel her exercises are too easy. By the nine month mark Sally has started to gain weight again, she is stronger for sure, but her calorie burn in declining. She is mysteriously gaining fat again! GASP!
Unfortunately for our gal, if a new demand isn’t placed upon her body her muscles will start to adapt or ‘regress’. Instead of getting stronger and burning more body fat – the muscles start to replicate the same movement with as little energy as possible, a.k.a less calorie burn.
It’s sad but true that our body’s priority is to survive and so if it can do 10 squats with a 10 Kg. dumb-bell, its gonna find away to do it and save energy in case a tiger chases us later. Grrrrrrr.
So yes – it’s true – if you don’t keep making the demands on the body harder and just carry on doing the same old thing – results will not be great.
Keys to avoid this:
- Your technique must come first. You must ensure you know what you are feeling for, maintaining excellent posture and breathing properly. It would be so dangerous to start piling on the work load if you are not confident you are performing the exercises safely. ‘But how will i ever know?’ you cry. Be calm. Best tips to check your technique: use the mirrors, ask a gym instructor or PT for help, ask a friend (everyone knows a fitness buff).
- Change it up. Its great to get a routine for sure but lets keep it adapting all the time: sets, reps, new moves ect. If you take classes regularly – chances are your instructors are varying the workouts for you so you can just enjoy it. If you are training yourself in the gym why not try a new move each week to mix in with your normal routine to surprise your body.
- IT NEEDS TO BE HARD. I know it is tempting to get comfortable, if you are getting to the end of your workout without breaking a sweat I bet your are not doing yourself justice. Grab that heavier dumb-bell, go faster, add some incline. If your technique is good you should be fine. Your body is amazing, it will do what you ask it too, so start asking!
Heres a few ways to make your classes or training harder for yourself!
|Levels of Hardness||
Push it real good!
|Spin Class||Try to stay with your instructor to the letter. Add resistance, loose resistance. If you are finding that you are getting through the class without wanting to throw up under their instruction then thats a huge high five from me!||Not getting the thrashing you think you need? The key is more resistance and more speed. If you are offered a break – don’t take it – if you are offered an active rest or slow section – don’t take it.|
|Zumba Class||Jump Around.
Some of the zumba moves can be made into skips or jumps or hops to increase the cardio effect. If you are offered a break, don’t take it, if you are offered a way to make it faster or slow take it. Don’t be shy, work at the highest level you can.
|Hold dumb-bells or use wrist/ankle weights.
You can pick some up from most sports shops. I like TKmax for sports kit, they usually have wrist and ankle weights that strap on.
|Body Pump/Sculpt/Weighted||Work to your failure. Maybe keep a note of what weight you are choosing to lift for each bit and the amount of reps you do of each thing. Next time you can try and lift more.||FAIL! Work to failure. The best people in the class are not the ones who do it all flawlessly. NO WAY! My favourite people in class are those who overload their bar and half way through the sequence are bright red, swearing at me or taking a break in the middle..|
|Squats||Siting on a bench and standing again. Sitting on bench and standing with one leg off the floor the whole time. Sitting on a bench and standing with a dumb-bell held at chest level.||Use more weight. Pop on of your feet on a step. Travel your squats. JUMP your squats|
|Tredmil||Choose one variable to stay the same and try to improve the other. E.g. I will run for 20 mins. Now try and get further in that 20 mins. each time. Could you get to 5K? 7K?||Try looking up treadmill workouts. Do some sprints, some high climbs. I love HIIT Treadmill workouts on pinterest. Could you carry two light dumb-bells in your hands?|
|Ab Work||Long, harder. Plank with one hand or foot off the floor them swap. Try and get to 100 sit ups. Use a heavy Dumb-bell with those Russian Twists.||Slam Balls (youtube it). Wood Cutters (youtube it). Swiss ball (youtube misskatelindley). TRX (youtube it). ITS ALL OUT THERE WAITING FOR YOU!|
|Circuit Training||Really keep to timings, no short cuts.
Go FLAT OUT, the very best you can at each thing and then enjoy your little breaks
|If something is easy for you – be brave and do something else. Your instructor won’t mind if you do more burpees instead of star jumps. You will probably get a shout out|
Now go get sweaty you lovely lot! xxx