Tips and Tricks To Improve Your Workout Results
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”- Einstein
The Workout Plan Starts Out The Same For Everyone
We all have good intentions when we start exercising. We commit to working out three times a week, eating a healthier diet, and going for a hike with friends on the weekends.
The first week goes great. Most of us are sore because the only movement we’ve done in the last couple months is the move from the couch to the bed to the office chair. The next few weeks go by without any issue. Around the third week, the soreness has lessened, energy levels have increased, clothes are fitting a little looser, and people are starting to notice positive changes, both mentally and physically.
You think to yourself – I just need to maintain this consistent routine and the positive changes will continue. Results are happening. Life is good.
The Inevitable Workout Plateau
You are now 6 months into your healthier lifestyle. You miss a workout now and then but, for the most part, you’ve been getting your 3 workouts in every week. You lost weight and dropped a few inches around the waist. Sadly, when you step on the scale now, it seems to always be on the same number as the week prior. The compliments from family and friends have tailed off as well. You are working just as hard as you were in the beginning, but the strength gains and fat loss results have hit a wall.
This is a critical time for folks. Unfortunately, many get frustrated and revert back to their unhealthy lifestyle citing it’s too much work for such little progress. Others will continue to exercise but really just go through the motions and remain stuck in “plateau limbo.” The last group is the determined group. The mentally tough and focused group who will do whatever it takes to overcome this sticking point. The final group is the group that will find a solution to this all-too-common problem.
Solutions To Get Past The Workout Plateau
While consistency is crucial for success when it comes to fitness-related results, there must also be some variability and flexibility within the overall game plan. The human body is an amazing machine and, over time, it will adapt to the stimulus placed upon it.
In order to challenge the body in a healthy and positive way, and to continue to see results, consider these tips:
- Hire a trainer
- Warm up properly
- Lift heavy – don’t be afraid of “bulking”
- Keep the goal the goal and avoid training ADD
- Get comfortable being uncomfortable
- Change it up
- Eat real food
- Start at the finish
A qualified professional can help you with a program and check on your form and technique to ensure you are getting the most out of your routine.
A proper warm up will safeguard the body from injuries and make sure you are properly prepared for the workout to come. Less injuries means more time to train and reach your goals.
Getting stronger and developing muscle will increase your metabolism and help with fat loss.
This is where consistency is crucial. Stay focused on your primary objective. You can’t say you want to bench press 400 pounds, run a 4.2 40-yard dash, and lose 25 pounds… all by December 1st. Pick one measurable and obtainable goal, work hard to achieve it, and then move on to the next one.
This one is simple… but not easy. This honestly has more to do with your mindset than your physical ability. When the movement gets extremely challenging do you quit? Or do you stay focused, work hard, and persevere? Be the latter.
Sometimes even subtle changes can kick start progress. An example would be moving away from machines and switching to more bodyweight movements and bodyweight machines (like the Total Gym). Instead of the seated chest press machine, perform bodyweight pushups.
Generally speaking, eat more vegetables and fruit. Get your protein from wild and organically raised sources, consume healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, nuts & seeds), and obtain your carbohydrates from minimally processed sources.
One simple and effective rule is – the fewer ingredients the better. Example: a sweet potato has one ingredient whereas a piece of wheat bread may have 10-12 ingredients, many of which you cannot pronounce.
The majority of us don’t need to worry about supplements, pills & potions, or the latest pre-workout and post-workout meal. We need to look at the big picture rather than focusing on nutritional minutiae. Eat clean, minimally processed, real food most of the time, enjoy a “cheat” meal now and then, and drink plenty of water (try for ½ your bodyweight in fluid ounces).
In other words, have a plan. It’s critical to set goals, check in on them periodically, and make adjustments along the way.