If you’re feeling like you’ve hit a plateau or you’re in a workout slump, here are some helpful workout tips and reminders to get you back on track.
1. Don’t sacrifice reps for form
It’s tempting to just try to crank out reps. After all, isn’t really pushing yourself how you get results? Well, yes, and I’m not saying you shouldn’t push yourself –we’ll talk about that in a sec, but you have to lay the groundwork. Challenging yourself as you work out is a huge part of what will make you successful in your fitness goals. That said, before you can blast through those reps, you MUST have correct form. Having correct form means using the right muscles for the right movement. It maximizes the quality of your workout and minimizes the likelihood of injury. If that means you have to take it slower at first, don’t take that as a negative. It just means you care about your body and getting the most out of your workout! Practice the move without weights until you’ve got it down, ask a knowledgeable gym buddy, get a conscientious & knowledgeable trainer. Get the form right, then you can rock through those reps!
2. Commit to it
How many times have you planned on doing that after-work workout and not made it to the gym? Working out goes in the same category with eating and brushing your teeth. You’re taking care of your body for your life! Don’t treat it like it’s an option. Make a commitment. Put it in your calendar. Make friends that can keep you accountable. Don’t make it easy for yourself to skip. Sign up for a class. Studies show that if you’re invested financially you’re more likely to stick to your workout schedule. If a class isn’t in the cards for you, there are several apps out there that will financially reward you for sticking to your commitment, or punish you for getting lax.
3. Get out of your comfort zone
Assuming you’ve got the form down, you really do need to push yourself to see results. Make your body work harder than its used to working–it’s the only way you’re ever going to create muscle tone. If your form is perfect, you finish your set and you feel like you could’ve gone longer, you’re not working hard enough. Up the intensity! Pick up a heavier weight. This is YOUR workout! You’re already there doing it! Make it work for you. Get the results you came for.
4. Track your progress
Seeing progress is motivational. If you haven’t hit your goal yet, you can still celebrate how much you’ve improved or, if you’re not seeing the results you hoped for, checking in with yourself will help you recognize that fact and course correct. Maybe it’s time to challenge yourself more, be more consistent in your workout schedule or get serious about your eating habits. Maybe its time to get serious and hire a personal trainer to get you where you want to be.
5. Food counts, so count food.
Exercise alone isn’t going to cut it for weight loss. In a 2010 study published by the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, ladies who worked out and recorded what they ate lost more weight and stuck with their fitness plan longer than those who exercised but didn’t record any food intake. Most of us underestimate our calorie intake by a whopping 20% to 40%! Keeping track at least long enough to know what real services my sizes are and how much a cup looks like in”that bowl” will help you stay accountable to facts and make better decisions. Want better results? Get yourself a food journal or use one of the many free apps available out there. Technology makes it easy. Your excuses are only hurting You!