Fitness advice is always welcome, regardless if you’re a beginner or a veteran. Here are a few tips to make the most out of your training:
Go Slow and Full Range of Motion
The repetitive motions that we do during training can get boring fast. Often, this results in haphazard motions and exercising too fast. Half-reps, quarter-reps, speeding through exercises, or even losing track of the count, these all happen when we get too used to the same motions. However, it’s important to keep in mind that going slow is crucial in muscular development. Going through the full range of motion is how the muscles develop and strengthen. If you find yourself zoning out during exercises, try listening to music or have someone with you to remind you to exercise with proper form.
Try Counting Backwards
On the topic of losing the count of reps, consider counting backward. This not only reminds you of where you are, but it’s also easy to just count down and focus more on your form and execution since you know the remaining number of reps you need to do. It sounds like a simple tip, but it can make your workouts more efficient and effective.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
We know you’ve probably heard that you should drink a lot of water and stay hydrated. However, you might not realize that you’re not following this advice. It’s easy to think that you’re drinking enough water but when you feel like you can’t concentrate during exercises, or you feel it’s difficult to finish a set- it’s probably because of dehydration. It can affect us in more ways than one, and not realizing you need fluids is an easy mistake to make. Keep an electrolyte-rich drink of water nearby so you can immediately satisfy a thirst. There’s no need to skimp on hydration, so make sure you drink water as much as you can.
Track Your Progress
Being serious about fitness means owning your own scale. You need to have your own weighing scale, be it a bathroom scale, a mechanical scale, or even a floor scale. As long as you’re able to track your weight and record it, it will work. Track your strength as well. Follow a progressive overload training and keep a log of how heavy you’re lifting. This will help you understand your body and whether you’re becoming stronger or not. Logging your progress isn’t limited to your weight or how heavy you lift, it can also include your priorities. You can log your flexibility exercise (whether you can reach farther down your toes or not), keep track of how long you can run, or even observe how fast you can run on a treadmill versus on terrain.
Get Good Sleep
Do you ever find yourself yawning in between sets? Or feeling lethargic and finding it difficult to get in the groove of exercising? Perhaps it’s because you didn’t have a good night’s sleep. And a good night’s sleep doesn’t simply mean eight hours of sleep, no. Good quality sleep also involves other factors. Having your sleep interrupted can be a major factor in decreasing its restorative effects.
Follow a sleep schedule that allows for seven to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep. Create a routine around it so it is consistently followed. You’ll find that exercising after a good night’s rest will improve not just your mood, but your overall strength.
Don’t Neglect Your Cardio
While this might not be the case for most women, many men fall under the trap of doing only strength training. Many fitness advertisements and marketing campaigns targeting men focus on dumbbells, barbells, muscle development, and the like. This results in neglecting the cardiovascular aspect of exercises.
Even if your goal is strength training or muscle development, it’s also important to improve your cardiovascular health. This will balance out your fitness, making you healthier in a more complete sense, but also help you with strength training as it increases your body’s ability to send oxygen and blood to your muscles, making them stronger.
Mix It Up
At a certain point in your fitness journey, your body will show slower progress and your usual exercise will ‘stop working’. This is often called a ‘plateau’, a situation where you simply stopped improving. This doesn’t mean you should stop exercising, as it only means that your body has gotten used to your regular routine.
The body adapts to constant stress and pressure, and to keep your body improving and progressing, you need to change up your exercise routine. Consider trying a new form of exercise, such as high-intensity interval training (commonly referred to as HIIT). Or try a challenging sport like hiking or rock climbing. Try something new and challenging, and your body will begin working to improve itself again.