YOU WANT RESULTS? TAKE THINGS SLOWLY.
For many people starting out on their fitness journey or returning to it, at times it may make sense to really hit the ground running and take on a multitude of different things all at once to reach your goals.
Essentially, over-committing too early and making the goal that little bit more challenging to attain.
By setting your goals too high from the outset you are likely to burn out, give up or find it far too challenging and tiresome long term to stick to.
So, what can you do to overcome this common issue?
Consistency over Intensity
Something that you may have heard our trainers talk about in the gym before, or even read about in previous blog posts, is how consistency will be your best friend for training longevity and results that can be achieved and maintained. If you get the results you are after, but fall back into old habits and are unable to maintain your newly acquired physique, what is the point?
In simple terms, rather than set yourself mammoth tasks such as training every single day, doing 10K steps, drinking gallons of water, completely overhauling your diet and restricting calories etc. you are better off setting smaller goals that you know you can achieve and then building from there. Especially if you are going from doing nothing to everything mentioned.
For some examples of things you may want to consider when starting out your journey, read on below to find out more.
Some examples if you are a complete beginner:
Although the idea of training daily may be appealing to some, it is a sure way to tire yourself out and potentially throw the towel in early. Our personal trainers see it all the time. Especially if you aren't used to training at all. You'll likely find yourself getting better results training less anyway, giving your body a chance at recovering and adapting to this newly introduced training stimulus.
At first, aim to get in the gym 1-3 times per week with rest days between. Train your whole body with weights using a variety of bodyweight, free weights and resistance exercises, introducing cardio gradually.
In terms of cardio workouts, we recommend getting out in the fresh air for walks or even taking part in classes or going for light runs if that's your jam. Whatever you choose, take it slow and enjoy the process. In Brighton and Hove we're blessed with some beautiful walks, parks and countryside areas around the city to get out and walk or run. Try going for a walk from Hove seafront into Brighton or vice versa or go out onto the downs for a walk in some greener spaces. You'll get the added benefit of 'green exercise' this way and you won't even feel like you're exercising!
Daily step count
You hear it all the time, you MUST get 10,000 steps a day… but do you? Although beneficial and a good target to actually ensure you are up, active and moving, it can be quite a high target for some.
If you work from home for example and struggle to get out, then that target will be hard to hit and is potentially unattainable. However, if you know you are on the lower end and you average lets say 3-5,000 steps per day or less, why not increase this by adding 1,000 steps until you are comfortably hitting your desired target.
This is much easier than going from 0 to impossible straight away. Try it and I am sure you will soon get into a routine and actually enjoy going for a walk. Many use it as time to think, listen to a podcast or just unwind from a busy day.
Possibly the hardest and most overwhelming aspect is food. If your diet is not particularly good, it is hard to change and eat well immediately. This one takes the most time, patience and in some cases sacrifices.
Now, what do I mean by ‘good’? All food is food and has some kind of benefit to it, whether that be nutritional, essential or enjoyment. But, when looking to eat well and maybe lose some weight, there will be better choices that can be made to assist your goals.
I would recommend implementing new habits and making changes slowly. To suddenly restrict yourself from certain foods and drastically reduce calorie intake will result in severe cravings, energy crashes and mood swings. Our trainers will guide you with nutrition and help you find a way of eating which is healthy and sustainable in order to help you fuel your workouts as well as reaching your goals without burning out.
Staying hydrated is essential for many reasons. (Read our blog on the importance of drinking water here)
If you are new to training though you may not realise how important water is for training performance, recovery and general hydration. When you exercise you are going to sweat, perspiring will lead to a loss of salts and water. Therefore it is important to stay topped up with water throughout the day so you don't become dehydrated and sacrifice energy/performance in the gym.
Another super important aspect of getting results comes down to rest. You may think the time spent in the gym is when the fat burns away, the muscle is built and results are made. Although these things help and shape the body, most growth and repair takes place when you sleep and allow the body to rest!
If you don't have a sleep routine or think rest isn't essential, this is your sign to change your mindset on that now and get one. See previous blog posts on sleep, rest and recovery to best implement a healthy routine you can stick to.
You can also get some other ideas on how to make your training more sustainable with one of our older blog posts: How to Make Training More Sustainable
If this blog post has helped you in any way, please let us know! We would love to hear from you and get your feedback.