4 Ways to Get Better Results From Your Training Efforts
DO things you haven’t done before
We are creatures of habits. Sometimes we go along doing the workouts and diets we like and enjoy. Perhaps we do them because they feel doable or easy. Or simply because we are too lazy to look for better alternatives.
To see different results we have to do things that we are constantly avoiding. The things we know deep down inside that we must do.
Oh you’ve never done meal prep before? Then try that. Oh you don’t do any sort of cardio training. Then try that. Oh you sleep 5 hours every night instead of 8-9? Then try sleeping more.
Oh you’ve never done HIIT workouts? Then try that. Oh you’ve never measured your food? Then try that. Oh you have a protein shake 2 hours after training instead of immediately after? Then try immediately after.
Your flexibility isn’t’ that great but you say you don’t have time to do a 90 minute yoga class? Try romwod.com and do it from the comfort of your own home.
Sometimes the excuse is not that you don’t have enough time to workout or enough money to buy “healthy” food or pay for a monthly gym membership or class.
Sometimes the reason is just that health and fitness is not a priority for you.
People are REALLY good at justifying their habits. It’s really difficult to improve if you aren’t able to evaluate your own abilities.
We sometimes tell ourselves we are doing everything possible to lose body fat or gain new muscle or simply get in the best shape possible.
But maybe you are still drinking your 3 glasses of wine every night. Maybe you are skipping meals throughout the day. After all, new muscle isn’t just going to magically appear.
There needs to be a certain caloric supply to form new muscle tissue. Working out hard is great but it’s not enough.
Perhaps you tell yourself you are eating healthy. But what’s healthy eating? What’s eating healthy for me might be different for you.
You tell yourself that eating quinoa pasta is healthier because well, it’s quinoa. But you’re still might be ingesting 60-70 grams of carbs without knowing.
Get a journal and write down your process. Write down what you need to work on. Be honest, no one is looking.
Here is a great journaling process I got from Marcella Chamorro. She calls it “ The Weekly Wrap-up“. Try completing end at the end of your week so that you can have a more granular look at your efforts and processes.
What went wrong:
What went right:
This week’s goal:
Track your progress
Track your body fat and measurements
Have you measured your body fat? Try that. PLEASE stop weighing yourself every day. The numbers in a scale tells you ABSOLUTELY nothing about what kind of weight you are losing (at least not yet).
It doesn’t tell you if what you are losing is water, muscle or fat. Losing water here and there is normal, but i’m pretty sure you don’t want to lose muscle. In fact, it doesn’t matter what your current goal is. Losing muscle is not an outcome you want.
Instead of solely using a scale, try using a Skulpt device. It will measure your body fat and send the results to your phone via a mobile app. You can even do it yourself.
You can also do Hydro-Static Body Fat testing. They have several locations through out the country.
If neither of these isn’t an option then simply use a measuring tape and measure your chest, arms, waist, abdomen, hips and thighs.
Track your caloric intake
Do you know how many calories you take in per day? Try tracking that, not forever, just for a while so that you can have an idea. You might be under-eating or over-eating for your current goal. There’s tons of calorie and food tracking apps you can use.
I like using MyFitnessPal. I have to be honest though, logging your food everyday can be tedious, at least for me it is. That’s why I just do it from time to time. I measure my food for a few weeks and I get accustomed to seeing the size of my plates and what I put in them.
This allows me to make educated guesses of how much calories I’m taking in. For example, a few times I noticed I was taking in 1,000 calories less than my current goal, which is about 2,800 calories a day according to my body fat and activity level.
The app is very intuitive and it will remember your frequent meals, that way you don’t have to consistently look for them.
Track your workouts
Track your workouts and how much you lift. Track how long it takes you to complete the same workout. You can use several apps or just a pen and small notebook. Gradually make improvements by making small tweaks to every exercise.
Tweaks like changing the order of the exercise or adding just 2.5 pounds to your squat or bench press. That doesn’t seem like a lot of weight, but over several weeks this will compound significantly. Try a bigger range of motion or add one more set to your first circuit.
Do less of what makes you comfortable
Stop doing THAT workout that you know by heart already. That workout that you basically do on AUTO-PILOT. Try a new routine, a harder exercise, a different strength training class or approach.
I know it’s hard and even impossible, to push ourselves day in and day out. But being uncomfortable is sometimes necessary.
When we work out regularly, our bodies adapt to that stress. This type of beneficial stress is often described as eustress.
In order to keep pushing boundaries and physical limitations this type of stress is needed.
So as you train throughout the week, ask yourself, “have I physically pushed myself yet?”. Again, this doesn’t have to be everyday, but it does need to happen from time to time.