Even the most successful workout routine hits a point where it fails to deliver the expected results. There are lots of reasons for this. For example, your form could be lazy or require additional challenges. Use the following five tips to help ensure you consistently get the results you want.
- Add Fuel to the Fire
You can't expect to feel the burn if you don't provide adequate fuel to ignite it. In this case, that's the food and supplements you consume before, during, and after your workout sessions.
Your body uses excess calories, sugars, and nutrients during exercise. These must be replenished. Additionally, muscles need protein to rebuild after weight-bearing activities. If you don't see the results you expect, consider adding a whey isolate supplement to your recovery meals.
- Allow Time for Rest
The human body requires rest periods to perform essential functions. You may need additional rest periods when you exercise regularly, which is why they should be part of any comprehensive workout plan. There are two components of rest: active and passive. Both are important to achieving your goals.
Active rest is best classified as periods of gentle exercise. Some examples include activities such as walking, stretching, and leisurely swimming. This lets your body recover from more strenuous activities while still engaging muscles.
Passive rest is a lack of motion. To reach your full potential, you should aim to get at least seven hours of sleep each night. You can also encourage passive rest by relaxing with a good book or soaking in a tub. The key is to not actively use your muscles during this time. Passive rest days are great when your mind and body both need a break to recharge.
- Apply the Principle of Progression
The principle of progression in weight training covers how your body adapts to the exercises you usually do. To continue getting results, those exercises must become more challenging (or progress to a harder level). Here are a few examples of how to apply this principle to keep workouts challenging:
- Increase the amount of weight lifted
- Add repetitions to each set of exercises
- Add an entire set of your current repetitions
- Change your position to make exercises more challenging (such as incline crunches vs. flat)
Remember, you can mix and match these strategies to change things up. Additionally, there may be exercises where you are not quite ready for a progression. In those cases, only increase the exercises that are no longer challenging and keep the others the same.
- Set SMART Goals
The SMART goal method has shown itself to be very effective in many different situations. One of those is building fitness goals. It lays the foundation for moving toward your ultimate objective through concrete and measurable steps.
If you aren't familiar with SMART goals, now is a great time to do some research into how they work. The main points are that each goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
- Work With a Personal Trainer
Finally, consider working with a certified personal trainer when you need extra guidance or a safe way to take your routine to the next level. If you exercise at a gym, there is a good chance it has one or more trainers on staff. Ask the staff about available training options and get a current rate sheet.
Setting up a trial session is a great idea since it gives you a chance to gauge compatibility between personalities. During that time, talk to the trainer and let her know what's going on with your workouts — and what's not. Then, listen to her advice and see if it is something you are comfortable with.
Developing a workout plan that is challenging, safe, and effective takes knowledge and careful planning. Reaching your goals will be easier if you support them with a proper diet, rest periods, and the advice of a qualified trainer.
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