With the rise of the internet, social media, and blogs, I have noticed that the amount of information about fitness has grown exponentially over the past five to 10 years. It seems all of the information has done nothing but confuse most people.
The typical question from a new client used to be, “What can I do to get in shape?”
Now it goes something like, “I want washboard abs in six weeks because magazine 'x' or blog 'y' says that it is achievable.”
People are trying insane dietary tactics and extremely complicated workout routines and they aren’t seeing results. Why?
Their minds and bodies don’t understand the core rationale behind what they are doing.
When you don’t really understand how a diet or a workout routine is designed to work, how can you understand if you are on the right track or if you are floundering? You can’t! You need to realize that the formula for you to achieve your fitness goals doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Here are the four simple things you need to do to succeed:
1. Understand why you are working out: If you take a random workout from a magazine and expect it to work without understanding the rationale behind it you are already behind the ball. Take a little time to break down the workout. What muscles does it hit? Why should it work? How can you tell if it is working? Do you increase weight if you get stronger or do you increase reps if your endurance gets better? Dig into it, it will help you stay on track or know when to scrap the workout in favor of something else.
2. Understand where you are at the beginning, middle, and end: I always use goals with my clients because goals help them realize when they are making progress. I also use baseline numbers with them to show them where they are at the beginning of their journey. Take a day, very early in your training, and see how strong you are on some exercises such as bench press, squats, or tricep extensions, and then see how strong your endurance is on the track, treadmill, or rower. You will be able to see when you make progress if you know where you are in the beginning.
3. As long as something is working stick with it: Too many people change exercises for the wrong reasons. I am big on changing exercises, but I have some exercises that I use for certain people that constantly pop into their workout sessions. I do this because I see these exercises continue to work. Whether it is helping you lose inches, pounds, or helping you increase your strength, speed, or flexibility, stick with it while it is showing you positive results.
4. Have fun with your workouts: I see people in the gym all of the time who seem like they absolutely hate what they are doing. If you want to succeed with a workout plan you need to find the pieces of it that you enjoy and repeat those things. Maybe you like to time yourself during a workout, maybe you like to incorporate dynamic jumping, and maybe you like to work out with a partner. Whatever it is you need to find it and use it to motivate you.
None of these bullet points are complicated nor are they difficult to introduce into your workouts, but I don’t see enough people thinking about them and they usually have trouble getting the results that they desire. Incorporate these points and you will have more success in the gym! Good luck.