Most of us open up Instagram or Facebook on a nightly basis only to find the worlds most fit people strutting their stuff. This can be motivating to some but demotivate others. Instead of focusing on the other people in your life or online it’s time to take a step back and look at what you are doing in your workout and how you can take advantage of the opportunities you have in available to achieve your goals.
How can you put your best foot forward and successfully workout and stay healthy? Let me give you a few tips to better your workout routine and start to see gains where you want them.
1. Warm up
The only way to keep a successful workout routine is to stay healthy and happy. This is important for the beginner and the experienced lifter. Your body needs to warm up prior to lifting in order give your body the best chance to stay healthy and get the most out of your workouts. Even 5 minutes walking on a treadmill can make a huge difference in your health and your overall workout.
2. Stick with a routine
The one and the only way to see results is to stick with a routine. Whether it be two workouts a week or six a week make sure you are consistent in your habits both inside and outside of the gym. I recommend 3–5 workouts per week to account for time needed to recharge your body and mind. Rest is just as important to schedule as your workouts.
3. Focus on increasing weight over time
Have you ever been in week 5 of a workout plan and all the sudden you get bored and the bar with friends starts to seem a lot more attractive? Everyone has been there. It is usually because you get bored with what you’re doing. One easy way to avoid getting bored with the gym is to see results in by consistently increasing weight. Visual changes in weight can boost your self-esteem and keep you motivated to hit the gym each week.
4. Fuel your body intelligently
You are what you eat. It’s pretty simple. No matter how much you workout, if you eat poorly and don’t give your body the fuel it needs to make gains you won’t see them. Now, this is a double edge sword. A lot of the diets out there aren’t necessarily good for everyone. Don’t get me wrong they might be good for you but they might not be good for you neighbor. A lot of what I believe in regards to dieting is your diet is personal to you. Test, test, test, and test. You’ll never know what works for your body until you try it. Some folks need more protein, and some need more healthy fats. There is NOT a one size fits all answer.
5. Use those heavy weights
One of the myths of the fitness world is that heavy weights equal huge muscles. This is just not the case. Mixing in heavy weight is only part of that equation and shouldn’t be avoided in the effort to build a great physique. Heavy weights burn more calories and more fat both of which are important to a good physique.
6. Push yourself with music
Everyone has an iPhone these days. Why not take the time to download Spotify, Pandora, or Amazon Prime if you can swing it. They have some awesome playlists for workouts no matter what you are looking for in your music. What motivates you?
7. Change direction
Think you should go to the gym every day and do squats? Although necessary for a well-rounded routine. If they are done too often they can become bad. Your body is made of large muscles and small muscles it's not good enough to focus only on the big muscles. Lateral and horizontal movements are a great way to build a well-rounded physique and are important to an active and healthy lifestyle.
8. Work the big muscles
You can overwork the small muscles too. When first starting out you should perfect the major lifts such as squat, deadlift, and bench. It is so important to focus on form rather than weight when starting out. Once you perfect the form related to these lifts feel free to move on to more advanced lifts like the power clean.
9. Set realistic goals
If you have never lifted before and you are expecting to be “jacked” in 3 weeks, think again. It takes a solid workout routine and a great diet to get into great shape and that takes time. Avoid the get fit quick schemes. They might show quick results but are rarely sustainable long-term.
10. Supplement responsibly
Supplements tend to get a bad wrap. It is true that supplement companies are not federally regulated and there are definitely companies that take advantage of the process. If you choose your supplements carefully you can find brands that are reliable and well worth the money. I personally recommend Kaged Muscle (Local to Boise) and Optimum Nutrition Gold Standard Products.
It’s almost the new year, time to set those goals and follow through this time around. Whether you are a newbie or an experienced weightlifter these tips will help you stick to your game plan and get the most out of your training regimen in 2018.