If you are a relative beginner at fitness, yet you’ve been training for several months, it’s very likely that after all this time you’ve entered a “comfort zone”, so to speak. Maybe you aren’t keeping track of your progress like you used to or you are just going through the motions, without really pushing yourself. In order to keep progressing it’s essential that you challenge yourself at every workout.
If you find yourself doing any of the things described below, it’s time you reassessed your training priorities, got back in the gym and hit the weights with vengeance.
1. You never change your exercises
When you start going to the gym, there is a period where your body is learning the movements and under gradual weight progression you start experiencing what is generally known as “noob gains”. Those are basically muscle gains that occur because the body has never been trained that way before and whatever exercise you expose it to will force it to react by building new muscle mass.
However, after some time the body will adapt to those movement patterns and doing them over and over again will not induce new muscle gains. Sometimes this adaptation occurs in a matter of weeks, regardless of the exercise you’re performing. Once the body’s fully adapted to the movement, it thinks it doesn’t need to work that hard to move the weight, so it doesn’t burn that much calories.
The solution for this is to design a training program that will include multiple training elements like aerobic and resistance training, mobility and conditioning, as well as static and dynamic stretching. When you incorporate all these elements, you’ll introduce great training variety which will force your body to respond optimally.
It’s recommended that you add one change at a time in your training program every one to four weeks. An example would be to substitute running on the treadmill with riding a stationary bike. Either try a new cardio exercise or add some assistance strength movement.
2. You think that the gym is a place to socialize
It’s been proven that having a training partner is a significant asset when trying to build an impressive physique. Training partners will push when you’re not motivated, they will encourage you to follow through with your plans and give you a sense of camaraderie. However, this can be a double-edged sword. Your training partner can be a bit more “talkative” and can actually distract you from your training.
Even if you don’t have a training partner, you might be the one who’s doing too much talking with other gym members. If you find yourself talking with people in the gym during sets more than a few minutes, this means you don’t work hard enough. This will seriously derail your progress.
The solution is to keep talk to a minimum and focus exclusively on your training. Whatever you have to say, save it for later.
If you’re working out with a moderate intensity, you know you’re training hard if you can only utter a few simple sentences, not have a full conversation. If you’re working out hard and intensely, you should only be able to have the strength to say a few syllables before catching your breath.
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