Let the Love In
Get the Look: Valentine’s Day Edition
By avoiding these 7 common mistakes and simply tweaking your training you will make the most of every sweaty session, and that’s what it’s all about.
When it comes to results, consistency is king. Without it, your efforts don’t translate into results. Whether your goal is to improve strength or fitness, a minimum of 2-3 sessions per week, every week, will get you there.
Having said that, be mindful that training every day often leads to burn out. Don’t fall into the common trap of believing that more exercise is better. The body needs time to recover and rebuild after each session. For best results, plan for a minimum of 1-2 rest days per week.
Not working hard enough
Our bodies are incredibly efficient. To create change in muscle tissue, the body needs to be faced with a stress that is outside what is comfortable. To gauge this, the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale is a useful tool. For changes related to the development of strength and anaerobic fitness, aim to have a RPE of 8 or above. This translates to a challenging intensity where it is difficult to talk during exercise. For resistance training, a RPE rating of 8 means that you finish your set with no more than 2 repetitions in reserve.
Not enough sleep
Skimping on sleep is a one way track to ineffective training sessions. Not only does sleep deprivation tend to kill motivation but it also limits the time in which the body can repair and rebuild muscle tissue overnight. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
A good training program without adequate nutrition is like fueling a high-performance car with the wrong fuel – practically useless. When performance is concerned, not any old fuel will do. If you want results then your training needs to be supported by premium nutrition. Stick to real foods (non-processed, non-packaged) that are high in protein and fibre, provide good fats and complex carbohydrates.
High levels of stress
Stress can present itself in many forms: a stressful relationship, work environment, family situation or even overtraining. It often leads to a plateau in results or even worse, a detraining effect where you will start to lose strength and fitness despite maintaining your regular sessions.
Stress leads to the release of adrenaline and cortisol, hormones that are responsible for getting us out of trouble when situations become tricky. While useful in small doses, when these hormones are elevated over long periods of time your results will be heavily effected.
Stress can have a negative impact upon sleep, nutrition and overall motivation. By reducing stress you can create a positive flow-on effect to other areas of your life. Meditation, yoga, exercise and time spent in nature are all found to be effective in reducing stress levels.
Training with incorrect form seems like an obvious mistake . However, it is a common one. A poorly performed movement will not be effective in developing strength while also increasing the risk of injury. Recovery from injury can create major setbacks in your training. Ask a Personal Trainer for help with your form before starting a new program.
This one is simple: You get what you train for. What is the main result you are looking to achieve? Your training program needs to relate specifically to your goal. You won’t improve your upper body strength through a running program. You won’t improve your running speed with yoga alone. If you have a general approach to your training, you will get a general result. By understanding the reason why you sweat, you will be on a much shorter path to achieving your goals.
Image by Werayuth Tes/Shutterstock