If some of you have been training consistently for months now and have not yet reaped any benefits, there is a good chance a few setback that have found your way into your fitness regimen. Being aware of certain bad habits and the possible effects they could have, will help you to eliminate them from your regimen and will hopefully allow you to see progress once again. There are a number of factors that can affect your overall performance, but the one I want to discuss is frequency of training.
The idea now days that I see with a lot of people is that one must be in the gym for hours, going to their CrossFit, Zumba, Spin and Yoga classes back to back. Then decide to do a boot camp or go on a long run just to burn as many calories as possible in the day. However, there is such a thing as over training, which lead to adrenal fatigue and performance decrements in the long term. A common physiological response to working out is the release of certain hormones in the bloodstream such as testosterone and dopamine. When a person trains too much, it can put the body into a negative hormonal state. In fact certain hormones, which help us to build muscle and to burn fat, are active when we sleep. You can train seven days a week and never see the results you are looking for because Adaptations or changes to the body occur during the recovery period. You need to let the body recover and return to Homeostasis, maintaining stability in the body, so it can efficiently build the muscle you want and burn the fat you don’t.
There are two key components to training: Stimulating the muscle/nervous system to elicit an adaptation (fat loss, muscle gain, strength gain), and being able to recover from it.
Here’s a short list of things that can positively (or negatively) influence recovery:
- Training Age
- Quality and quantity of sleep
- Hormonal status
- Family stress (wife, girlfriend, children, friends, etc.)
- Work-related stress
- Money-related stress
- Diet and nutrition
As you can see, there are a ton of things that determine how well we recover from a single workout. If you’re not recovering from your training, you’re not maximizing your progress. Your goals, your recovery capacity, and a host of other factors help you determine the optimal training frequency for you. Like everything in training, you need to figure out what works best for you and your body. Once you figure it out, you’ll be amazed at the progress you make.
It’s something that happens to us all. We get the bright idea to start a new diet, typically one we heard about from a friend. We had great intentions, stripped away all the things that were bad for us and even stuck with it for a week or two. We became lean mean label reading machines!
Then why did it not work, We knew what we had to do.
Now don’t beat your self up and say this is it, this never works! Instead dust your self off, realize where you are and re-commit yourself. Find what didn’t work and what did, go from there. Most of all PLAN! You’ve all heard the saying “If you don’t plan then you plan to fail”. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to diets. Statistics say that most people that start a diet will fail. In fact not only will they fail but they may gain more than they lost…scary right?
Lets break it down. Definition of DIET:a special course of food to which one restricts oneself, either to lose weight or for medical reasons.“I’m going on a diet“restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.“it’s difficult to diet”
A diet requires you to give up the foods that you have eaten for probably a very long time. You have a great first few days then all the sudden the cravings start and you think, I can just have one bad thing. We all know what happens next, we are hiding snacks and lying to ourselves when we say that we’ll get back on it tomorrow. Tomorrow unfortunately never seems to come or comes to late and we are right back where we started. Don’t feel bad, the diet was designed that way, food companies invest millions betting that it wont work. Click here and find out why.. James Clear has an amazing article on the hold Junk Food has on us and why.
Let’s get back to all this diet talk. In fact let’s talk about how you can successfully reach your goals when dieting…
Step 1. STOP GOING ON DIETS, Say What? Yes, stop your dieting. Many don’t realize that the first part of a healthy nutrition plan is mental. Rather than looking at the newest diet fad make a nutrition plan and start making better choices. Replace unhealthy sugary, salty and carbolicious treats and meals with better alternatives. Don’t just take them away, replace them. The road to health is not through a temporary diet solution, it’s making a lifestyle change.
Step 2. Find a nutrition plan or eating habit that you can succeed with. If you can’t be consistent with your new nutrition plan then don’t do it. Challenge yourself but pick something that you can LIVE BY! If I say I want to eat all organic/grass fed I better be able to do it, or if I choose intermittent fasting I better have food available to me at the time I eat. Don’t choose a diet simply because it worked for someone else.
Step 3. Educate yourself. Find foods that give your the most of what you need. If you need fat in your diet, find healthy fats. If you need carbs, then find carb rich foods that are good for you. Many don’t succeed because they just don’t know any better. Take our nutrition class again and re-educate yourself.
Step 4. PLAN. If you want to succeed it is going to take some work. You will need to do things like prepare food in advance. Make sure there is always healthy food available. If your having dinner out with friends at a restaurant check their menu out online and be prepared.
The last bit of advice I can give is to find a partner and help hold each other accountable. If your a member of our facility then your familiar with team work. Grinding with people that are after the same goals you have makes it easier. Find a partner that is just as committed as you and see what happens. The only time it’s too late is when you can no longer make any of these decisions for yourself. Don’t let it get to that point. You can do this, its just going to take a little discipline on your part.
We talk a lot about setting goals, being consistent, and pushing yourself hard. But sometimes we let one of the most important qualities fall by the wayside: personal accountability. It’s accountability that keeps us coming into the gym even on those days when we don’t feel like it. It is what helps us make those healthy choices at the table. And accountability is what helps us to be honest with ourselves when we’re in the middle of a workout and realize that we need to push a little harder.
But there is another side to this. Accountability can also be seen as responsibility. For instance, if you get hurt, no one is accountable except you. It’s not anyone’s job to keep you safe but your own, and if you hurt yourself, it’s because you did something wrong. Now, as a coach, I’m here to let you know when I see something that can be adjusted or corrected, and I’m going to do everything I can to help keep you safe, but it is ultimately you that bears that burden. Most injuries occur due to a lack of proper form. You know what proper form is, but neglect it because you’re tired or just trying to muscle the move, and as a result, you get hurt. Other reasons for injuries include not warming up properly, inattention, and not listening to your body.
I grew up with a dad that was filled with one liners of wisdom. One that I heard a lot was, “There’s no such thing as an accident.” By this he meant that just because you don’t intend for something to go wrong, that doesn’t mean it’s not your fault. All accidents can be prevented. That is the mentality that i was raised with and that I now bring into the gym. If you get hurt, look no further than yourself for the cause. The good news is, that means that you never need be hurt. You have complete control over that, whether you’re paying attention or not.