Are you ready to throw in the towel on your exercise routine because you’re not getting the results you expect? Perhaps low energy, a lack of motivation or an injury is holding you back.
Don’t give up! Everyone — even the most committed athlete — hits a wall every now and then.
Here are ten things you can do to BREAK THROUGH and MAX OUT your workout.
1. Exercise less to get better results.
Most athletes work out more when they stop making progress. However, MORE is not necessarily BETTER when it comes to exercise. Doing too much could cut into your results.
One example: A recent study indicates that people who exercise one hour each day may lose less weight than those who work out for just a half hour.
Why? The reason may be psychological, not physiological.
Research finds that people who exercise longer or more often feel comfortable indulging in bad habits as a reward, such as eating and drinking a little “extra.” In other words, exercise justifies negative behaviors.
The lesson: FInd the right balance between exercise and diet for you. Commit to a regimen for one or two weeks and monitor your progress and eating habits. Then change it up for another week or two. Over time, you’ll find a routine that works for you.
2. Protect the joints and tendons in your legs and feet.
Most forms of exercise, especially repetitive activities like running and cycling, put stress on your lower extremities, especially knees and ankles. This can cause injuries, which may force you to stop exercising while you recover. Of course, a break in your routine will reduce muscle mass and performance levels.
If you want to consistently participate in the sports and other athletic activities you love and that keep you in optimal form, you must take steps to protect your legs and feet.
Work with an expert at a reputable athletic store to select the right footwear for your sport. Make sure it fits properly and provides the perfect level of flexibility and support.
Talk to your coach, trainer or medical professional about other things you can do — including stretching, improving how you move, binding your joints, warming up and cooling down — that will help prevent leg and foot injuries.
One more tip: Take a ThinkitDrinkit Joint Mobility BOOST daily to enhance joint health.
3. Change-up your play list.
The music, radio programs and podcasts you listen to can significantly affect your workouts and overall athletic performance. Sound has a big impact on brain and body function.
Change what you listen to every now and then to see if it raises or lowers your energy and performance levels. Even try going without music. You may find that it enhances your focus and better connects your mind with your body and workout.
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4. Find your REAL motivating factor.
Take a little time to think about WHY you work out and what makes it fun and beneficial for you. Focusing on these factors will go a long way toward motivating you.
For some people, the answer is performance and results. For others, it’s connecting with friends at the gym or getting some alone time during an after work run.
Once you identify the “thing” that gets you going, you’ll look forward to working out.
5. Get out of your comfort zone.
Think about it: How long have you been doing your current exercise routine?
If you’re like most people, it’s probably longer than you can remember.
We’re all creatures of habit and it’s easy to become comfortable with a familiar program. It likely takes minimal thought or effort to do and causes little pain or stress.
However, if you’re not experiencing some level of exertion or discomfort, you’re probably not improving your athletic performance.
A sound exercise program should mix aerobic, strength training and stretching activities. Each of these categories should also include a range of exercise types. For example, strength training should mix free weights, resistance machines and dumbbells. Your aerobic program could incorporate running, cycling, a dance class and swimming. Stretching might encompass pilates, tai chi and yoga.
Tip: Work with a personal trainer to lay out your initial exercise program and adjust it over time. Consider this an investment in your health now and optimizing your long-term physical performance. A regular check-in with a trainer will keep you from becoming complacent.
6. Do the exercises you hate FIRST.
Which part of your exercise program do you dislike most? It’s probably the one that provides you with the greatest benefits. It’s also likely that you put off doing it — or avoid doing it completely.
The primary reason people hate doing certain exercises is because they work the weakest muscles and train the parts of the body that need to be developed the most.
Make it a point to do the exercises you usually avoid FIRST, at the beginning of your routine. This will ensure they actually get done. PLUS, while you’re doing them, you’ll have the activities you enjoy to look forward to!
Tip: Always be conscious of which parts of your workout you’re avoiding and move them to the beginning of your exercise routine. It’s likely that as you strengthen one area of your body, you’ll begin to avoid working out another.
ThinkitDrinkit’s Muscle Size BOOST is proven to build stronger and larger muscles.
7. Don’t exercise when you’re hungry.
There are two places you should never go when you’re hungry: the grocery store and the gym. Hunger will make you buy more food at the supermarket. And feeling hungry while you work out will limit your performance.
Hunger is a sign that your body doesn’t have the nutrients it needs to handle physical exertion. You could be missing the carbohydrates required for energy, protein for muscle growth and recovery and trace elements needed to maintain hydration and optimal cognitive function.
Science has also shown that people who are hungry during a workout are more likely to overeat after it, undoing many of its benefits. This cycle of overeating after workouts is one of the primary reasons people feel they are NOT getting results from their efforts.
8. RIght-size your exercise.
By nature, gyms and sports teams encourage competition. That makes people exercise out of their own class to keep up or show off.
Work with a personal trainer or coach regularly to ensure that your program is aligned with your capabilities and goals — and that you’re consistently optimizing your routine.
9. Pay attention to pain when it happens.
Aches are one thing. Pain is another.
Aching muscles are a normal part of the workout process. They’re a sign that you’re pushing limits and developing stronger muscles.
Pain is a sign that something is wrong. Talk to a coach, trainer or medical professional to resolve the issue before you continue working out. Working through pain could be dangerous.
10. Measure your progress (and be honest).
How can you know if your workout is working if you don’t set goals and measure progress toward them? Your goals should be simple, clear, measurable and based on a specified timeframe.
Goals could include things like:
- losing a specified amount of weight in a certain amount of time
- improving weight-lifting capabilities by a fixed percentage
- increasing running, swimming or cycling speed over a specified period.
Track progress consistently and write down your results. Experts have proven that people who keep a written record of progress toward their goals are more likely to achieve them.
Allow yourself to fail every now and then. Progress toward goals is never a straight, upward trajectory. It’s a series of ups and downs that point in the right direction. Consider those times you hit a wall as small setbacks on the road toward achieving your physical goals. Then leverage the tips in this article to get back on track.
The products and information found on this website are not intended to replace professional medical advice or treatment. Statements and claims have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our dietary supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or medical condition. Individual results may vary.
ThinkitDrinkit urges you to seek the advice of a qualified professional for any health concern lasting more than two weeks, and to share with your provider any information pertaining to your health and well-being, including the use of supplemental nutrition.
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