Whether you are training hard for a marathon or trying to get the most from your workout routine, there are certain fundamentals that can help you achieve your goals faster. While there are no “secrets” per se, there are a lot of mistakes people make that can undermine even the best-intentioned goals.
What You Should Consider When You Want to Get Fit
Here are eight things you need to consider if you truly want to get fit faster:
- Get a Personal Trainer
- Sometimes, to get the most out of your training program, you need objective advice from a professional. As individuals, we tend to get set in our ways, which can be a good thing for consistency. However, it’s hard to make upward progress when you do the same thing week after week, year after year. Following a program written by someone else can offer you challenges you might otherwise avoid and correct training mistakes that may be holding you back.
- Strength Train
- Strength training is one of the fastest ways to improve your performance and train more efficiently. While you can spend hours running, cycling, or playing sports, few activities can build muscle, power, and strength as well as weight training. If you truly want visible results fast, you need to pick up the weights in tandem with a structured program of resistance training.
- Rest and Recover
- This is an often-overlooked part of effective training. If you don’t rest or schedule recovery days, you limit your body’s ability to build muscle mass and endurance. Your body actually gets stronger after exercise, so you need downtime for stressed muscles to rebuild tissue. By contrast, overtraining is the enemy. You may think that you’re pushing yourself to the max, but what you’re really doing is maxing out.
- Eat Well
- Proper nutrition and effective training go hand-in-hand. Eating right ultimately determines what reserves you have at hand when engaging in strenuous activity. This includes ensuring you remain properly hydrated, neither drinking too much nor too little before, during, or after a workout, race, or sporting event.
- Listen to Your Body
- Effective training requires that you follow a game plan but have enough flexibility to alter the plan based on how you feel. If you are tired, ill, stressed, injured, or notice your heart rate is elevated, you need to pay attention to these signs. Slowing down, resting, or rescheduling an activity are all appropriate responses. Pushing through, by contrast, may end up setting you back or getting you injured.
- Avoiding Getting Sidetracked by Others
- It is often great to have support in your training with one or more training partners. But it’s also important that you adhere your training plan. If you work out with others, don’t get sucked into training at their intensity or duration if it is less than yours. On the other hand, if you’ve scheduled an easy day but your buddy decides to hammer, you need to let go and follow your own plan. All too often, training partners will encourage us to either undertrain or train beyond our limits. Do what you need to reach your personal best.
- Alternating exercise strategies is a great way to reach your fitness goals faster. Cross-training not only helps you develop overall muscle conditioning, it gives your muscles a chance to recover without the loss of tone. Doing so also helps you avoid burnout by constantly changing the game plan and avoiding the monotony of a fixed routine.
- Interval Train
- Interval training involves alternating short, fast bursts of intense exercise with slow, easy activity. It works both the aerobic and the anaerobic systems, leading to a rapid improvement in cardiovascular function. Moreover, people who interval train tend to avoid repetitive stress injuries caused by doing the same exercise over and over again.