If you’re putting in the time and effort to train, make sure you’re getting the most out of your session. There are a few common bad habits I’ve seen people develop that seriously hinder their fitness progress. The good news is that they’re easy to correct but, until you do, your goals will be just outside your grasp.
1. Fuel up
You need to match the intensity of your workout with the appropriate fuel. It’s a common line of thinking that training on an empty stomach helps you burn more calories but; fact is, if you’re going hard, you need energy stored to achieve maximum power and endurance. Keep your kitchen stocked with simple, unprocessed foods like lean protein (salmon, cold cuts, beef, chicken or turkey) carbohydrates (green leafy vegetables, salads and some fruit, fats (nuts, seeds, avocado and olive oil). So grab a quick bite 30 – 45 minutes before a workout and avoid running out of steam before your session’s through.
2. Don’t skip leg day
Plan your training sessions in advance to make sure your fitness regime strikes the balance of cardio and resistance. Drill down into your strength training, too. Are you missing muscle groups? Make sure your whole body is represented in your weekly schedule. Balance is the key to getting (and staying) in great shape.
3. Avoid Groundhog Day
If you’re doing the same thing day in and day out, you’re going to get bored. Even the most invigorating workout gets old after a few weeks and your body becomes accustomed to the same old, same old. Shake things up to keep your workouts interesting and your body constantly challenged. Routine is the enemy.
4. Focus on form and technique
The most effective way to ensure you don’t achieve the body you want is to get injured and have to sit out training while you recover. It’s all good to go hard in a session but if you’re not exercising correct form and technique you’re eventually going to hurt yourself. Make sure you’re recruiting the right muscles and maintaining good posture throughout every exercise you do. Work out with a friend or elicit the help of a trainer or coach who can hold you accountable when your form and technique slips.
5. No token efforts
Anything less than 100% is a waste. You’ve managed to get to the gym/ park/ track; wherever it is that you’re planning to train, but that’s only half the job. Maximise the time and push yourself to realise your true potential by giving your session everything you’ve got, go hard and fast, keep the session short and intense.
Change for the better
It’s easy to fall into bad habits and, often, those habits are hard to break. They demotivate you, prevent you from achieving your goals and waste your time.
Stay conscious of what you’re doing and create genuine goals that excite you and help you stay on track. You owe it to yourself to get the most out of your training. Make some simple changes and start seeing better results.