One of the most common questions our clients ask us is; "How can I speed up my results, and what more can I be doing to maximise my results?"
What we forget sometimes...
The purpose of why your body has to recover and rejuvenate after working out is. 'To be able to handle that stress load, next time.' Yes basically your body adapts by becoming stronger and actually more resilient to exercise each time you workout out, cool right?
When you exercise, you are working out the muscles fibres in your body. Every muscle is made up of thousands of muscle fibres, which work together and allow you to perform pretty much all movements workout related muscle actions. Just like anything; they have to repair themselves and take part of in a healing process, which is crucial to their long term health; and to build up tolerance to withstand exercise next time.
I guess you could say your muscles are armouring up! and they do this by using the protein, and the amino acids you give it from your diet. Your muscles are incredible intuitive and will constantly be adapting to what ever environment may be in. For example if you start cycling to work out of the ordinary, the muscles will have to adapt to moving gauging their energy differently and using power in a completely new way.
To ensure that you are constantly maximising your workouts and getting the best possible benefit from exercise each time. You always have to ensure you are pushing yourself; and taking you further each time. This apply's to any and all types of exercise, and works on the notion if you're not challenged, your body doesn't change.
Why is it important to always work harder?
Look at the science of it. During your training week at best; if you were to be exercising an average of 5 days per week. Thats only 5 workouts you're actually doing... doesn't seem like a lot does it? and when you look at lets say an athlete; who trains an average of twice per day, 6 days a week. Why do you think that is? Well, it's not because thats just expected for what they do; but rather what their body's require them to do; in order to keep progressing.
Within a very small space of time, your body builds up a pretty good tolerance to exercise. Most people are surprised at "how strong they've become" or "how much more they can push themselves."
Thats because our bodies work way better than we actually think. And by training regularly this only gets better. It's not just important you push your self, but essential every time you come back to training. Wether thats 5 days a week, or even 3. Your body changes, grows and develops only when it's challenged. So if you're only training 5 x times week, you have to ensure they count.
The most common type of training structure is 5 days on, 2 days off. In this regime the average person will train two muscle groups per session. This is a great way to cover all basis, as you will have plenty of time to workout all the muscle groups. But, because you do get to train all these essential muscles groups, they will of course adapt and get stronger each time you do. Meaning next time, you have to work harder; or take that workout further.
So one of the main secrets to taking your body further is to focus on only one workout at at time. Don't see the big picture, see the task at hand and focus on the reps and seconds a head of you. Bricks build walls, and walls build houses is a nice little analogy I like to throw in the mix sometimes... you get it?
How you are going to ensure you train your best every time?
Do you even F.I.T.T bro?
Stands for: frequency, intensity, time and type. These are the 4 main training variables required in every training regime to consistently achieve results.
Is simply the amount of times you go per week. Are you going 5 times, 12 times? or even if you're only going once or twice, you should increase that to three times and accordingly. Frequency is crucial factor in taking the next step with your training. Most people have busy lifestyles and may only have certain times available per week. But in our experience if you're serious about results, you've got to make that extra time.
Is very obvious, this is how hard are you working? Are you tired at the end of workouts. Could you have gone a little more heavy? Are you working too slow, or can you speed it up? This intensity variable may seem obvious, but most people get "a little comfy" and stick to a training format that suits them. My advice would be to complete more reps like; 50 rather than 30. And to complete your exercises faster.
How long are your exercise sessions? Are you doing longer 90 minutes sessions, or are you doing a 30 minute abs blast at lunch? Time is important in your training in two aspects.
1- Are you training long enough all together. Are you getting the challenge by taking your workouts beyond your regular 45 minutes spin class? Are you holding the plank for 1.30 or copping out at just 30 seconds. Progressing your time can impact your results in a profound way, you just have to be willing to push your self longer or make more of it.
2- What time are you training, morning, lunch, evening or other? Everyone has their own routine, and although they say training in the morning is best for you. It doesn't always fall like that for some people. Something you should consider... are you a lark? or are you an owl? Larks wake up early, owls come awake a night. You know what makes your body tick, so you know how to train at the right time for you, and how to energy your day accordingly. Thats a top tip i've not shared before, keep that one in mind.
What type of training are you doing. Only recently i spoke to a person who's been trying to get 'in' shape, but is only doing cardio. Most of us will take the common recommendation; go to the gym, do something and start seeing results... right? No, you have to be specific to the goals you want. Cardio - good for fitness, good for a little bit of fat burning. Gym classes, good for your wellbeing, social and improves your dance floor skills. Weight training - builds muscle, sculpts body, burns enormous fat and makes you feel stronger mentality too. If you want results; you need to look at what type of training it is you are doing and get a lot more specific.
Incorporate these training principles into your routine. Mix things up and keep pushing your body forward. Remember if you'e only training 3 -5 days a week; you need to make them count. Your body constantly gets stronger; so you constantly have to test it. This is true to keep results flowing and not slow down.
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Thanks for reading.
About David Donaldson
Leading fitness expert and owner of Prestige Fitness.
"You can always be the best version of yourself; you just have to want it bad enough."
Always train hard, get in your zone, be humble, be happy and focus. Get a little selfish sometimes, and get the best results of your life. It's that simple.
For more David secret workout tips head over to Prestige Fitness, for motivation and workouts.