If you have spent any amount of time at any gym or fitness center, you must have noticed that some people don’t show any sign of progress in terms of weight or physique no matter how frequently you see them working out. It may seem a bit mysterious, but it is, in fact, simple: too many people aren’t sure how to optimize their approach to exercise for it to be effective.
Instead, they just show up. Starting a good workout routine can be a wonderful health resolution for this year, but it might become a waste of time, energy, and money if you don’t do it right. Here are a few ways you can make sure each training session is beneficial.
Eliminate distractions when you train
How often do you glance at your phone while you’re working out? Most likely, more times than you can count. This tiny little habit can be the key culprit behind poor exercise effectiveness and overall lack of results. Why? Because it’s so much more than checking your messages and notifications.
Spending too much time on your phone at the gym means you’re prolonging your rest periods beyond what’s optimal for your body. So you end up resting for five minutes instead of just one between each set. To make the most of your session, be sure to use a stopwatch to keep track of your rest periods and to keep your muscles warm and engaged for every exercise set.
Look for support and guidance
If you’re not well versed in sports, nutrition, or even basic exercise selection, you might find yourself at a loss when creating your own workout plan or choosing the best routine. Perhaps you end up training too hard or not hard enough to achieve your weight loss or overall health goals.
Ideally, you should join a program that pays equal attention to all aspects of your wellbeing, the way our Medical Weight Loss Program combines custom nutrition advice with optimal workouts for you. That way, a professional can make sure to help you make the best decisions instead of wasting your time on subpar programs. Plus, you should never
Revise and improve your exercise selection
If this isn’t your first fitness rodeo so to speak and you have had some success with workout plans in the past, remember – your body changes over time, and so do your workout needs. With that in mind, consider your first week or two a trial run for your long-term plan.
Test out a few different combinations or styles, as you might discover that yoga is better for your body than pilates, or that you’re going to enjoy resistance training mixed in with cardio. You can apply the same principle to your occasional revisions, and check in with a trainer or your fitness app every once in a while to see if your body might benefit from changing your plan. Such a strategy can help you build a long-term habit out of your workouts instead of abandoning them quickly.
Track your progress
Results are different for everyone. For most people, it’s difficult to notice any drastic changes immediately, which means you need to be patient, but you also need to keep track of those minor, yet equally relevant changes that happen as you start working out. Especially if your goal is to lose weight this year, tracking your progress with your training will be crucial.
You will be able to notice if you’re improving your running mileage, the weight you’re working with for each exercise, or your flexibility. You can also measure body circumference, which will show you exactly how your body is changing even if the number on the scale doesn’t seem all that different. And that alone can help you stay motivated and focused, or take a closer look at your workouts to make them more effective based on your goals.
Don’t skip your beauty sleep
Finally, some things that have nothing to do with training actually have such a powerful impact on the effectiveness of your workouts. One such thing is your sleep. Consistently going to bed and getting up at the same time and sleeping enough in a good, healthy environment will be a key factor in achieving your fitness results.
Your body “repairs” itself during sleep and enables your muscles and your central nervous system to recover from your previous workout. Deprived of good sleep, your body won’t be able to train as well or as hard the next time you hit the gym or your mat. Create a sleep plan for yourself and stick to it – your workouts will be forever grateful!
Working out is certainly not easy, especially if you’re new to a program, or if you’ve never been that keen on training. However, if you do tweak your approach to exercise to make each session more effective, you’ll see better results faster, and that alone will keep your motivation strong for the long haul. Just in case you need help adjusting your lifestyle to support your workout plan with the right eating and supplementation, don’t hesitate to set up a consultation with a functional medicine expert.