Want those fitness gains everyone is talking about?
Are you constantly working out, but not seeing any gains? Are you trying every new fitness trend? All this, maybe negatively impacting those gains you so desperately want. Think of your goals as a recipe, your product won’t taste good if you don’t have the right ingredients. So why continue training the wrong way when you can be training the right way! There are many different ways to exercise but there are 5 ways you can negatively impact your gains and I will explain them here.
Number 1: Overtraining
Yes, there is such a concept called overtraining. Overtraining is when you have exceeded your body’s ability to recover after exercising. This can occur after just one intense exercise session or through multiple sessions without the necessary recovery time your body requires. You might be feeling this now if your muscles are sore or you have increased fatigue or even a decrease in your performance reflecting in your decreased gains. Now, we aren’t talking about a little soreness but the chronic in which you feel your body is never fully recovering.
If your body isn’t recovering between workout sessions then it won’t be able to gain any of the benefits of your workout sessions. To get those gains back on track, begin by listening to your body and getting the proper rest in between your workout sessions. Your body might be telling you that it needs a day or two of rest or that it needs a different training regimen and that’s okay! Listening to your body’s needs and taking some time off will only help you get closer to your goals.
Number 2: Exercise Specificity
Exercise specificity refers to the concept that our training must be specific to the goals or gains we want to achieve. This may seem like a no-brainer but when it comes to exercise, this is where your gains might be falling short. For example, if you were training a swimmer would you tell them to run? No, you would have them swim laps in the pool as that is specific to their sport. So why are you training the wrong way for what you want to gain?
First and foremost, you must determine goals before you can begin creating your training plan as your training plan needs to reflect what you are trying to achieve. If your goal is to gain muscle mass, maybe all that cardio you are doing isn’t what is going to get those big arms as it isn’t specific towards your goal.
When it comes to creating an exercise routine, be specific with what types of exercise you are including. If you want to lose weight you will want to include cardio as the predominant type of exercise. Whatever your goals might be, look at your training routine to determine what you have included is specific to those gains you want to achieve.
Number 3: Time Away from the Gym
Took some time off? We all been there, took a vacation, got busy, or just wasn’t feeling it but you step back in the gym ready to crush your workout to only find that the dumbbell weighs more than the 10lbs label. This is due to the ‘use it or lose it’ principle and it is hurting your gains. All those gains you spent months in the gym grinding for, the gym can be lost in just 2weeks of not training!
While you were relaxing and enjoying that vacation your body was saying it doesn’t need to be able to run a mile or squat 100lbs., so it decided to lose those gains you worked so hard on achieving. For some twisted way, it takes more time to get those gains than it is to lose them, how messed up is that?
This doesn’t mean that you should never take any vacations. But it does mean to be conscious of how your body responds physiologically when you take time off. The next time you go away or take time off, don’t be surprised if you find yourself struggling as you will have to work your way back into your training routine, again.
Number 4: 80-20 Rule
Have you heard the 80-20 rule? It states that 20% of what you do leads to 80% of your results. This equates to, 80% of our diet and 20% of our exercise. If you want those gains, you need to start focusing your time on your nutrition, as you are only as good as what you are putting into your body. Don’t be that ‘weekend warrior’ who spends the week not eating right or exercising, but then crams it all in on the weekends and expects results. Exercising is important but your nutrition is even more important, as one great exercise session doesn’t negate a week of unhealthy eating.
Start by taking a week to write down the foods you are eating and reflect on where you can make improvements such as limiting alcohol or soda consumption or not eating that bag of chips at lunch. Take a deep dive into changing your nutrition habits by reading, “A Simple Guide To Calculating Your Macros in 6 Steps”.
Number 5: Hydration
Did you know that 60% of our bodies are made of water? Water is the most important nutrient for our health as it has many functions within our body from getting rid of waste to muscular contractions. Your muscles are mostly made of water, if you become dehydrated this could be preventing your muscles from contracting efficiently which in turn does not help your gains.
Ever wondered why gym goers carry around gallon jugs around the gym? Water not only helps muscle contraction but helps the removal of lactic acid in the body which can be a difference in completing that extra rep in your set. Guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine recommend to consume 17 ounces of fluid two hours before exercise and to continue drinking fluids regularly during your workout. So, the next time you head to the gym, you will be carrying that jug of water.
There are many aspects to take into consideration when you are trying to reach your goals but take it one step at a time. Read over this list and determine what areas you are lacking in and begin to improve upon them. Remember your goals are like a recipe, including the right ingredients will get you to crush your goals. It is never too late to change your routine to reach the gains you want!