The key to getting the most out of your training is to have a plan and execute that plan consistently.
We’ve talked to many experts in the field of health and fitness and have come away from those conversations with some great tips that are really easy and practical to add immediately into our training programs. Over the past year we have learned so many things and we would like to take this opportunity to comb back over some of those interviews and pull out some of the highlights that we will be putting to good use this year to achieve our goals.
Here are a few tips to get the most out of your training:
Obviously there are so any different aspects to training and to say that one is more important than the other would be a mistake so keep that in mind as you read these next tips.
- Pick a goal – This is something that might take some time at first but once you know where you’re going it will be so much easier to get there. If you don’t know what your fitness goals are I suggest trying some different gyms, trainers and coaches to find something that you enjoy and that you will keep doing. There are so many different options that there is something for everyone from sport specific training to recreational sports to personal competitions that no matter what you should be able to find something. I talk to so many people who think that the only path is burpess and high intensity workouts that make you throw up but the truth is that playing basketball with friends or slowly lifting weights with a specific program would be so much more effective because you can get a great workout that doesn’t feel like a workout and have fun too. The only program that works is the one that you will do and be constant with it so take some time and try some different things and find what’s right for you.
- Focus on efficiency – In this case I’ve broken it into 5 categories as follows:
- No Pain.
We have talked about these before in previous posts and if you would like to see the full breakdown please find it HERE. However for this I will give you the basic breakdown. No pain means you move without and pain and if you do feel pain you should stop and asses the problem before you continue. Breathing should be something you consider before watch movement and not an afterthought. Move with precision, meaning only moving as much or as far as you need to perform your exercise. Your posture needs to be correct to perform each movement and finally relax and let go of unnecessary tightness in muscles that are not being utilized in the current move.
- Use the Minimal Effective Load – We also did a very lengthy post about what this is and again we will give you the cliff notes but this basically means only do as much as you need to achieve the desired outcome and nothing more. In practice this will relate to overtraining and doing more than you need to. The body is amazing in how it responds to exercise and you don’t need to do as much as you might think to achieve some great results. If you’re always super so to the point you can’t walk straight or you muscles hurt every time you move them then there is a good chance you’re over training and would see better results if you throttled it back a little bit to give your body a chance to recover.
- Slow things way down – Slowing down a movement will help you see the movement in separate chunks and that will allow you to see if you’re weak at a specific part of the move so you can develop a training program to address those weaknesses. Say for instance while you’re doing a really slow squat you notice your knees are caving inward you can add some in some supplementary exercises to address that issue. You can slow down every single exercise from squats to bench press to bicep curls. We’ve used this in our training and have found that starting out with 10 second reps and increasing that time to 30 second reps over time seems to work well.
- Treat each exercise as a whole body Movement – The entire body’s connected from your head to your toes and you should treat it as such. When doing any exercise take note of what your whole body is doing and see if your wasting performance in unnecessary areas. From example when you’re doing a bench press, though this is mostly a chest exercise, every part of your body is involved. Your feet are planted firmly on the ground to balance you on the bench. Your core is engaged. Your back is firm on the bench and though your arms and chest will fatigue there are many other muscles involved and your whole body it ultimately connected so each piece is important.
- Mobility and Performance Drills – This is similar to what is known as a traditional “warm up.” In this case I’m talking about taking the time to prep your body for the workout of the day and do specific drills that will improve your performance. On leg day you should do ankle, knee and hip mobility drills to start the day. On squat day you should incorporate a whole body being sure to include some spinal flexion drills and arm circles. Also in between sets you can do some simple drills to keep things moving well and working properly. Taking 10 minutes before a workout and 30 seconds in between sets can make a huge difference in your recovery and overall soreness and performance.
These are just a few of the things we have learned to help you get the most our of your training and to get the most out of this information please listen to the show and get our full thoughts and some great tips to achieve your fitness goals this year!
And as always remember – Stay Motivated!