5 Simple steps to make the most of your strength training
1. Have patience
Strength training is one of the greatest ways to boost your confidence, build healthy muscles and bones and lose some excess fat (as well as other benefits like preventing diabetes, osteoporosis, cardio vascular disease, etc etc), But it won’t happen overnight.
Sure, you could go to a high impact gym for 45 minutes every day of the week, eat at a huge calorie deficit and see some results very very quickly (8 week challenge anyone?).
But how long can you sustain this? And once you have lost all the fat you want to lose, whats next?
Strength training is slower sure, but it’s also maintainable over time and the more muscle you grow, not only the stronger your bones become but the more fat you burn at rest, meaning – the more you can eat and you won’t have to train 6 times a week to maintain your physique!
2.Track your progress
Ensure you keep a record of every lift you do; sets, reps and weight. This way it is easy to progress in a safe and effective manner, ensuring you are getting stronger and providing your muscles with the stimulus they require to grow.
Muscles require outside stimulus in order to increase their size as well as their strength, if you lift the same amount week in and week out, you won’t be providing the muscles with this stimulus and they will stop growing/getting stronger.
3. Write yourself a program or get someone who knows what they’re talking about to write you a program and stick to it.
Without a program it’s all too easy to go to the gym and walk out without really having achieved anything because you have no direction. With a program you can ensure you are hitting all the major movements often and regularly, in turn ensuring you are providing your body with the stimulus required to reach your goals. Plus then you don't have to think, you just have to do what the program says and know you will get a good workout!
4. Be realistic with your goals
Goal setting can make or break. Make sure you set small, achievable goals which you can reach in a matter of 30-60 days. This will provide the positive feedback that you are doing the right thing and keep you on your fitness journey.
If you set goals that are too large to begin with it may feel like you’re not making any progress toward them, same goes if they are too easy; you may not have the drive to strive for better.
Think SMART goals, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time bound.
5. Understand why you are training
Why are you here? Why do you want to go to the gym? Understanding what is important to you will help with goal setting and achieving goals. However I have to warn against goals which are predominantly aesthetic, you may find you never reach what you consider to be the “perfect body”.
Performance based goals are a fantastic measure; think pushups, chin ups, fitness tests (burpees for time anyone?!), and generally speaking, when your performance is getting better, so too is your body composition.
** on top of all of this, it is important to understand that it is possible to have a very effective workout and not feel completely wiped out at the end of it.
If you like the sound of this and you are prepared to make a life long change for the better, shoot us a message and we can show you how we write individualised programs based on your goals and help you along the way with regular goal setting, accountability and encouragement.