When you’ve been hitting the gym for a while, it can be very easy to get caught up in the tiny details and miss the big picture. Whether it be that you’ve ceased to see your diet as made up of meals, and instead view it as just an accumulation of calories and macronutrients; or you have become so caught up in using isolation exercises to keep your front and rear delts in proportion, that you’ve forgotten that you need to just keep pressing overhead. Every now and then you should take some time to step away from the finer details, and make sure that you are still keeping the basic principles of training in your lifestyle. Below are three things that should be at the heart of every fitness journey and how to make sure they’re still in yours.
The most important aspect of any training routine, is routine. You could have the best diet, the best personal trainer, and the best workout plan. But if you are skipping workouts and not putting the effort in, you aren’t going to make any progress. Not only should you be ensuring that you are consistently exercising (a bad workout is still better than no workout), but you should also make sure that your workout routine is consistent. There are many ways to maintain consistency throughout your fitness lifestyle, the best one is with your diet, specifically your caffeine intake. Many people will track how many grams of protein or fat are in their diet on a daily basis, but few will track their caffeine intake. Which is odd when you consider that it is a significant part of our daily routine, and can have a huge impact on our ability to train consistently. You may feel like you’re having an off day at the gym, but are simply a little low on energy. Many people will turn to companies like 1st Phorm to use pre-workout supplements which will help them through those days where a little boost is needed. By tracking how much caffeine you usually have in a day, you can keep this intake consistent and minimize the chances of low energy levels ruining your workout.
The staple of any good workout routine is progression. Many beginner to intermediate programs will work on the principle of progressive overload. Simply adding more weight or more reps to any given exercise to make it harder. However, over time the body can adapt to changes so well that this technique is no longer effective. At that point, many people turn to periodization to make further strength and muscle gains. The important thing to bear in mind is that there should always be a measure of success in any workout plan. One of the variables must change in order to make a given exercise more difficult, thereby causing you to benefit from it. Make sure there is progression in your exercises and overall routine. Otherwise you may find yourself stuck in a rut.
Some of the strongest and most successful athletes in the world adopt a very simple policy in their training. They like to spend as little amount of time as possible in the gym. Get in. Do your workout. Get out. The real growth does not take place in the gym; the gym is where you tear the body down. When you rest, your body builds itself back up and becomes stronger. Spend as little time as possible in the gym (while maintaining an effective workout), but spend as long as you can resting and recuperating between workouts.
Keep these three basic principles in mind, and there will be no stopping the progress you can make. No matter how far along the fitness journey you are, it always pays to remember the basics.