With warmer weather finally here, many are hoping to be in great shape for the summer. If you’ve been hitting the gym all winter with minimal results to show for it, apply the following tips to ensure your body has a reason to change.
Add progression. If you aren’t pushing your body to do a little more each week, your results will fizzle out over time. Get in the habit of keeping a workout journal and recording your workouts from week to week. You can progress by lifting more weight, shortening your rest periods, increasing the volume of your workouts, and adding intervals to your cardio routine, just to name a few. Plan out your workouts for the next eight weeks and be sure to incorporate some form of progression every week.
Exercise properly. Too many people get in the habit of focusing mainly on cardiovascular exercise to help them lose weight. Cardio is a great form of exercise, but too much of it without a balance of strength training could be setting you up for minimal results. In addition to burning more calories than you take in, you must maintain or increase your metabolism by building more muscle density. Too much monotonous cardio could actually break down muscle tissue and increase stress hormones, therefore wreaking havoc on your metabolism and your overall body composition. Focus on a balance of strength training and cardio – so if you’re working out 6 days per week, focus 3 of them on strength training and 3 of them on cardio, with each workout lasting around 30-45 minutes.
Feed your body. Don’t make the mistake of starving your body and thinking you’ll lose weight faster. Your caloric intake will depend on your activity level and the amount of muscle mass you have on your body. If you eat too few calories you will lose precious muscle mass, so you may lose weight, but the wrong kind. As you lose muscle your metabolism will weaken along with your ability to burn fat. In addition, make sure you’re getting a balance of macronutrients. Too many carbohydrates and too little protein or healthy fats will impede your ability to burn fat.
Rest hard. If you’re working hard, you need to allow for proper rest. Most of the positive changes to your body occur when you’re resting or sleeping, so missing this recovery window will slow your results. Focus on getting deep sleep every night and incorporate ways to relax and deal with stress daily. Take care of your body and you will see positive changes.
So try these tips to get the most out of your workouts. You’ll be seeing results in no time.