If working out is a regular part of your routines — you may think you know all there is to know about fitness by now. That’s not necessarily true!
Failing to vary your workout or keep up with the latest fitness research is akin to being a Certified Public Accountant who ignores changes in tax laws, or a doctor who cannot interpret an MRI properly due to missing the training. The personal training industry, like any other thriving industry, embraces change. New knowledge leads to improved outcomes. But don’t worry if you’ve fallen behind — I’m here to help you get caught up with these ideas for how to take your workout to the next level.
1. Write Down Your Workout Schedule.
In a world full of deadlines, do we need to make fitness another task that we have to complete on our schedule? The answer is yes! You’re making a promise, but it’s to yourself, not your boss or client.
Recent psychological research reveals that those who write a schedule for themselves tend to accomplish more than those who get to tasks as they come to mind. Writing things in cements your commitment to accomplish your goals. Once you commit to getting fit as part of your routine, you’ll see results more quickly.
2. Consider A Training Session — Even If You’re Advanced!
As a fitness instructor since age 18, I once scoffed when the gym employee processing my membership papers offered me free personal training sessions. Yes, I was one of those who figured, “What new stuff could they possibly have to offer me when I’ve been doing this forever?”
Turns out, quite a lot. Fitness pros must meet specific continuing educational guidelines to keep their certifications. Trainers seek continuing education in more varied fields than you can possibly count. Even if you know a lot, I’d be willing to bet my last buck you’ll learn at least one new trick from a training session.
3. Drink More Water.
Nothing hydrates you through grueling workouts quite like water does. Water contains zero carbohydrates — it’s not low-carb, it’s no-carb.
Why does this matter? The more carbohydrates a drink contains, the longer it takes the body to process them. Those sugary sports drinks take much longer to deliver vital hydration to muscles and joints. Even those boasting “zero sugar” contain ingredients which must pass filtering through the stomach before being released to thirsty body parts.
4. Always Keep An Eye On Form.
Ever go to the gym and see someone incorrectly rocking back and forth on the lat pulldown machine? Yeah, me too.
If you fail to follow proper form, you waste a lot of energy for nothing. Learn the right form to use when working various muscles. If you’re not sure how a machine works, ask.
5. Mix It Up.
If you’re a runner, you may feel like you have to at least run a few miles every single day. But practicing the same routine day after day leads to overuse injuries.
If you must weight train daily, work out different muscle groups on opposing days to give the ones you just worked time to heal. Muscles heal and grow stronger when the microscopic tears in the fibers re-knit themselves. Instead of a daily run, schedule a mix of long run days, short run days, and walk days. You could also substitute a different cardio activity, like dance, once or twice a week.
6. Forget The Traditional Hour-Long Class.
Many people don’t have time for a full hour workout, so don’t overlook the power of the 30, 20, or even 15 minute workout. Mini workouts throughout busy days can get your blood pumping regularly, which allows you to concentrate more efficiently than one longer workout per day. Even if you’re super busy, you can still squeeze in a two-minute walk once every hour or so. There’s no reason to scrap your routine entirely during time crunches.
Make 2019 Your Fittest Year Yet
Spring marks a period of rebirth and offers the perfect time to rejuvenate a stale fitness routine. Make 2019 the year you learn more about your body’s physiology and create a workout program that will leave you feeling your absolute best!