If you’ve started a new fitness workout programme, your training schedule is in place and you have planned it in properly, then you have a huge advantage. You’re wanting to stick it out. You’re training maybe three, four or five times a week – or even going the Beach Body Insanity workout, P90x or Body Beast route and bleeding sweat six days a week.
Whether your workout is in the gym, using a fitness DVD at home, doing a boot camp at the local park or running the streets, life is going to get in the way and somewhere along the line your workout schedule is going to take a gut punch and start to falter.
Here are five workout and exercise pitfalls that can grind your training sessions down. Identify them. Avoid them if you can. If they slam you down, deal with them and get back into training. Keep going and you’ll get the body that you deserve and the results that you want.
Here are the five common workout woes and how to avoid them
To make gains you need to keep going. It’s as simple as that. Do the right thing and keep on doing it. Make changes here are there, but keep on going. Dig deeper.
Avoid The No-Gainer Doubts!
When you first started your workouts, you could see the gains, feel the gains and really sense the gains just in the way that you walked differently, had more poise and just felt damn good.
You may get to point where you start to question your exercise programme: Am I still really making any gains?
Most people keep a workout diary that shows weights lifted, distance run and the like. That’s a given, but you have to also record something more.
You have to make sure you also record your general progress. Capture your gains every four weeks by:
- Taking photos
- Measuring your biceps, chest, waist, hips, thighs and calves
- Weighing yourself
- Doing a regular fit test. Set a timer for one minute on, one minute off, for each of these exercises and record how many reps you do:
- Moving Press Ups
- Plank Runs
- Squat Jacks
- Switch Kicks
And remember, stick with each programme for at least eight weeks unless it completely isn’t working for you. You need that amount of time for your body to shift up and shine.
There is nothing better than checking your progress and seeing results.
Avoid The Seven Common Sports Injuries!
If you’re pushing your body to the limit, you’re riding an injury knife edge. Seriously, an ankle sprain, groin pull, hamstring strain, shin splint, ACL knee injury, runner’s knee or tennis elbow could hit you at some point. These are the seven most common sports injuries and seven easy ways to blow a nice big hole in your fitness plans.
Get injured and no matter how much your brain wants you to train, you’re going to have to back off completely or work around it and risk damage elsewhere.
Seriously, whatever way you work out. Keep your body safe, here’s how:
- Warm up well, at least five minutes. At the end of the warm-up you should be sweating and you should have exercised all the body parts that you’re going to hit
- Stretch properly, at least three minutes
- Gradually increase the workout load
- Go for it, dig deeper and max your workout
- Stretch properly at the end, at least four minutes.
I cannot over-emphasize the value of the warm up and cool down. It’s going to take you a little longer to get through your workout, but it’s going to save you a whole world of hurt.
Do not skimp on the warm up and stretch. That is all.
Avoid The Avoiding!
Sometimes you just can’t be bothered to go to the gym, put in the workout DVD or go exercise in the park. This can lead to a longer term inertia. Don’t do it once and you’re going to find it easier not to do it the next time.
If you don’t feel like doing it, then the way to do it anyway is to create a pathway to tilt your body into it. Rather than thinking “I’ve got that 60 minute session to do”, break it down, just think about the next step. Live in the moment. If you’re going to exercise at the gym, just do it one step at a time:
- Pack your gym bag
- Drive to the gym
- Go inside the gym, sit at the juice bar
- Once you’re actually at the gym, things will get easier
- Get changed
- Start your warm up and stretch
- Do your favourite exercise
…once you’ve got this far you should be able to get through and hammer it. Stay in the moment.
Avoid Destroying Your Social Life!
Seriously, if there’s an important show, event or social that you really want to be at, but it falls on a workout night, you should go do it. Do not let your workout rule your life. You will slowly begin to resent it.
But, you should reschedule your workout rather than avoid doing it. Get up earlier and do a morning workout or use a rest day. Try to schedule it in and do it BEFORE the thing that made you ditch it.
Equally, if there’s somewhere that you need to be with work and you cannot exercise, reschedule your session, do not just throw it away.
You need the balance between schedule and flexibility, but make sure the workout schedule stays in place most of the time. And do not skip, reschedule instead.
Avoid The Boredom!
It happens to all of us. Boredom jumps up and drags us down into a morass, but do not let it attack you and defeat you, shake it off.
Here are a few simple things you can do to keep things interesting and switch it up:
- Gym not for you at the moment? There are thousands of other ways you can move your body and exercise. Many fitness places will offer loads of exercise classes that can suit your tastes.
- Join a boot camp at a local park. The camaraderie will help to keep you inspired and there is usually a coloured bib system that allows you to dial up the intensity as you progress.
- Jump in the pool. Do a month of swimming, a half hour session three days a week
- Cross train and mix it up on a regular basis with a strength and conditioning program consisting of aerobic exercise, gymnastics, body weight exercises and weight lifting.
- Go for a high energy dance class. Try some street dancing classes, flamenco or tango. Or even go for some Zumba!
- Three different sessions in a week: Jump on your bike one day, then hit the golf driving range or basketball court another day, then go for a park run to round the week off. Do this for three weeks to iron out your resolve.
…so, there are the five workout and exercise pitfalls that can grind your training sessions down. You know them now, so avoid them if you can. If they slam you down, deal with them and get back into training.
Keep going and you’ll get the body that you deserve and the results that you want! Stay hungry.
Let me know, what’s the worst thing that has slammed you and your exercise sessions into an abyss?