Make the most of your Strength training - FAST!
So the other day at work I got asked a really cool question. One of our members wanted to know how she could make the most of being a member of Pegasus Strength. I thought this was great! I mean, she's here, she's keen and she wants to hone in on our training and supplement it with lifestyle changes.
So here it is - this is what I told her
Essentially at Pegasus we are training to set a good solid foundation for life - we want you to push yourself when it comes to weight, that extra rep etc, but only within the confines of perfect technique! We don't particularly care if you can smash out extra weight on any given exercise if you're only doing half reps. There are more important things to be working on that just trying to keep your heart rate up at 90% of its max for 45 minutes. Theres not to say there isn't a benefit in doing that, but the benefit will only last you as long as you continue to flog yourself on any given day.
Strength training will set a foundation, build lean muscle mass and improve other areas of your life as well (hormones and moods balanced, stress managed, higher BMR meaning you can eat more, feel stronger, have less aches and pains... I could go on)
So... how DO you make the most of strength training then, if we aren't flogging ourselves every day??
Step 1. Follow the basic 5 Key habits (regardless of which training style you like).
- Drink 3L of water EVERY SINGLE BLOODY DAY
- Sleep 7-9 hours every night
- Manage your stress! (belly breathing, surfing, meditation, whatever works for you - do it!!)
- Eat a diet rich in wholefoods and banish the packaged stuff (or at least work on minimising it)
- Move daily. EVERY day, not just in the gym - walk the dog, take the kids to the park, just get up and move! hit those 15000 steps a day!
Step 2. Focus on your protein intake
- In order to build lean muscle it is important that we have adequate protein in our diet.. It will also help to burn excess fat see here for my blog that explains why
- Aim for between 1.6g - 2.2g / kg body weight (I say aim for 2g/kg as the math is easier and if you fall slightly short you will still be within the realm of "high protein")
Step 3. When you ARE in the gym - push yourself!
- often during a class we will provide a score out of 10 for difficulty, for instance I might say: These squats should be 8/10 for difficulty, so it is important that you are listening and honing in on this - are you REALLY at an 8/10 for difficulty? Is your form perfect? Do you think you could put a teency bit more weight on and maintain good form??
Step 4. Apply progressive overload
- At Pegasus we let you know when its time to do this. But generally as a rule of thumb you want to be increasing the weight that you are lifting by a tiny bit each week or two, or if you are using the scale above, when your 8/10 weight now feels like a 6/10 weight, its time to increase the weight, reps or the sets (never all 3 at once though!)
Step 5. Aim to be strength training 4-5 times per week
- At Pegasus we have written our programming to be able to do this. As mentioned above you shouldn't be so sore and so exhausted that going to the gym is a chore. You should be able to train daily to create holistic goals and feel GOOD afterwards. Keeping in mind, when you first start a strength training program, you WILL be sore, and you may only manage 2-3 times per week and that it totally fine, it will organically build up as you become more experienced with it. Focus on those 5 key habits at the top and you'll be at the gym 5 x a week before you know it!
Thanks for coming :)