A lot of gym-goers struggle with staying motivated on a daily basis and making ways to improve end up unable to work out as hard as they once could. Whether you are training for competition or general fitness, making consistent improvements is an important component in building and maintaining motivation. How many times over the course of your fitness lifecycle have you hit the proverbial wall and, for reasons unknown, had your progress stymied? These 10 guidelines will help you overcome those barriers and help you reach your maximum performance.
c) Load up on lean beef, chicken, turkey, and fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and lake trout.
d) Pile your shopping cart high with fibrous and low starch vegetables as well as fruits with a low glycemic index.
e) Choose complex carbs like whole grains, legumes, squash, and yams. If your town has a farmer’s market, hit it early and often.
f) Limit your consumption of canned, processed, and packaged foods to an absolute minimum.
Drink, drink, drink, all day long! Set a target intake of ½ ounce of water per pound of body weight. Maintaining adequate hydration will not only accelerate fat metabolism, but it will also help control your body’s core temperature and reduce the risk of heat-related illnesses. When exercising hot, humid environments, it is wise to consume a sports drink to replace electrolytes you are losing through sweat. Alcohol intake adds empty calories and causes dehydration, so keep your ingestion to the lowest possible amount.
Periodization is an advanced form of planning that breaks training into specific time blocks or cycles throughout the year to incorporate variations at precise intervals. The systematic changes at each exact time help to eliminate training plateaus. Originally designed for Olympic athletes, periodization has been adapted to fit multiple sports and general fitness. Research periodization online, or better yet, buy Tudor Bompa’s book Periodization – 5th Edition: Theory and Methodology of Training.
Good sleep quality cannot be over emphasized, as its the primary time for muscle repair and building. Establishing good sleep hygiene is key to getting the consistent nightly 7 to 8 hours you need. Set a daily schedule of getting up and going to bed at the same time. Reserve your bed for sleep and sex only; keep the room dark, cool, quiet, uncluttered, and remove all electronics.
5. Active Rest
Plan your training schedule to allow for a week – long break every 9 to 12 weeks. The time away should be used to recover from any minor injuries and give your mind a break from monotonous workouts. Stay active by substituting swimming, hiking, outdoor cycling, body weight workouts, or low to medium level functional pursuits to take the place of your usual training routine.
6. Use a Fitness Tracker
Fitness trackers are a great way to help improve awareness of your diet and exercise trends. Many different devices can enhance your training by providing real-time feedback and advice to help encourage making the right adjustments. Current device choices include activity trackers, smart watches, smart eyeglasses, smart textiles, and trainables.
7. Find a training partner
A training partner may be just the change you need to help you stay consistent and push a little harder to reach those goals that seem just out of your grasp. Exercising with a partner is a great way to improve accountability for both parties. If you are an intrinsically motivated individual used to training alone, working with a partner can be a growth experience.
8. Hire a personal trainer
Consider working with a professional to help get over the hump. Personal trainers possess a vast array of knowledge and practice what they preach. Look for one with a bachelor’s or Master’s degree and a certification from ACSM, NCSA, or ACE who has a reputation with clients for safety, professionalism, and results.
9. Fitness Testing
Fitness testing is the best way to measure the effectiveness of your training program. The tests do not have to be complicated, but should measure the following components, depending on your sport or general fitness goals:
a. Body composition
c. Muscular endurance
d. Muscular power
e. Aerobic fitness
f. Anaerobic power
If you have tightened up your nutrition, maximized your workouts, and still haven’t attained that level of performance or aesthetic look you are seeking, consider using a supplement to get you the rest of the way. Do your research to make sure what you purchase is pharmaceutical grade, lists every ingredient on the label, is certified, and has no shady additives