First of all, give yourself a pat on the back for sticking with your fitness plan as long as you have. It takes an extra helping of willpower to get started in the first place, and a whole lot of grit to keep going; even when it feels like you have little to show for your effort.
Are You Doing It Right?
You are probably puzzling over why your progress has slowed, even as you continue to put in the work. Know that you are not alone, that this happens to lots of people. A plateau in your fitness journey can mean one of two things.
The first is that your body has reached a natural plateau. This is normal, expected even. It can happen when the body loses enough fat and weight, or gains enough muscle, that it does not want to change any further. This kind of plateau is a sign of progress, and all you need to do is make a few changes.
The second reason why you may have hit a slump could be one or more fitness mistakes. Sometimes, our workout regimens need some correction. It is the best way to achieve continued results.
Here are a few fitness mistakes you are probably making and how to fix them.
1) Going To The Gym Without A Fully Formed Workout Plan
To get the most out of your workout, you need to keep your heart rate up the whole time you are on the gym floor. That means you should know the sequence of exercises that you are going to do. Long before you touch the first workout machine.
Having a workout plan allows you to spend nearly all your time working up a sweat, not deciding what to do next. This sounds easy enough, but you will be better served with guidance from a good fitness trainer or instructor. With a martial arts class, the class is planned out for you and your workout is supervised by experts the whole time. All you have to do is show up with a positive attitude and put yourself in the hands of the instructors who will guide you along the way.
2) Getting Distracted
As you exercise, the only role your electronics should play is that of a music player. Anything else is a distraction. You do not need to check your texts, mail, or even your heart rate.
Concentrate on getting in as much of a workout as you can, in the time you have allocated for exercise.
3) Failing To Adjust Your Fitness Regime Over Time
Our minds get bored, as do our muscles. To keep reaping the results of your dedication, you need to step up your workout routine. You will need to start more challenging exercises the moment you notice that you are no longer getting winded.
When your workout routine evolves, your fitness journey becomes more satisfying. For starters, you will never feel like you are just going through the motions. Also, your body will continue to change in the way that you want it to.
That’s one of the many benefits of adding activities like martial arts classes to your fitness routine. Most have a countless number of techniques and other things to learn, so it never gets old even if you have trained for years. Find something that never gets boring. It will be easier to stay motivated, and your muscles get a better workout.
4) Doing The Same Workout Routine Every Single Day
To remain engaged as you work out, change up your routine from one day to the next. If you can do your exercise workout in your sleep, you should worry.
It means that you have enough muscle memory to get through your routine by only giving 80 percent of yourself. So make sure to add something different to tomorrow’s session.
5) Focusing On Only One Thing
Cardio is great, and so is strength training. However, you should not choose one over the other. Narrowing the scope of your fitness journey is a sure way to bore your body into a plateau.
So, for the people looking to lose weight, add some resistance training to your cardio. It will help you to build the muscle you need to burn even more fat and calories. The same goes for people who are looking to build muscle or endurance. A brisk cardio session will increase the efficacy of your workout.
6) Trying To Do It All By Yourself
You have made it this far into the article, and you are likely feeling a little overwhelmed. Unless you are a personal trainer, that is.
In order to get it right, you will need help from a person with experience in training. It is the most effective way to get the most out of your workout sessions.
You will also need help when the time comes to amp up your fitness routine. An experienced trainer or instructor can give you accurate advice about the adjustments you will need to make.
7) Pushing Your Body Past Its Present Limits
This is another scenario where you may need the help of a professional. There is such a thing as training too hard, too fast. You can exhaust yourself in the course of a gym session or a run.
You can also exhaust yourself in the longer term. If you decide to turn your one mile run into a five-mile run two weeks into your fitness journey, your body might object.
If this occurs, give your body a break and pace yourself in the future.
8) Forgetting To Track The Other Stuff
Exercise is only one part of your fitness regime. Equally important is a healthy diet, rest and sleep. If you are trying to build muscle, you have to provide your body with the building blocks it needs. That means a high protein diet.
If you are trying to lose weight, you need to eat enough to get you through a workout, but your diet should never negate the gains you make when you exercise. Balance is key.
As for downtime, your body needs it. Exercise creates micro-tears in the muscles. For the muscles to rebuild and become stronger, you will need plenty of rest. Go easy on yourself after a grueling session, and get some sleep. Seven or eight hours would be great.
If you’re looking for a fun, effective workout that is guided by experts, give martial arts a go.
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