People go to the gym for various reasons: to build muscle, lose fat, to get in shape, to “tone” their body, improve their health and some of them even go just to chat and kill some time. Of all the “gym goers” just a small percent will become regular trainees, while the others will work out for a few weeks, months or maybe years before they disappear. Out of all these remaining trainees, 90% will fail to make significant improvements after the first few weeks of working out.
Do you wonder why this happens?
There is one simple answer to this question – they don’t have a progression plan. They just go to the gym and do what they do every time, spinning the wheel over and over again in hopes that they’ll get the body they want.
The ones that want to build muscle usually follow workout routines from the muscle magazines, or even worse, they will go to the gym, pick up any exercise that comes to their mind at the moment, and do 3 sets of 10 reps before moving on to the next random exercise.
The trainees that want to loose weight on the other hand, plan to lose it by following the diet of the month or spending countless hours a week on cardio machines without any weight training.
How to Make an Improvement Plan?
1. Define your goal. Concentrate and work towards your goal. Put your mind and heart into it, don’t just do it mechanically.
2. Find a routine that works for YOU. Everyone is unique and not all workout routines work for everyone. You can find out what works for you with trial and error. One piece of advice – keep away from the workout routines of the professionals.They probably have better genetic make up than you, they are chemically assisted and don’t have a 9-5 job to worry about.
3. Even when you find a routine that works for you, consider changing it from time to time. Remember, no routine works forever. Your body adapts to the stress that you impose upon it.
4. Take a step outside your comfort zone. Doing exercises that feel comfortable won’t bring any progress usually. The hard exercises are the ones that will make your body transform so it can handle the stress. Try doing deadlifts, squats and standing shoulder presses for 5-6 months and tell me that there is no improvement after that.
5. Rest. Your body recovers and repairs itself during the periods of rest. Working 3 to 4 times a week with weights is enough to trigger muscle growth. If you don’t do cardio after your weight workouts, these non-weightlifting days are good for doing cardio. Remember not to overdo the cardio either. 30 minutes of walking, jogging or static bicycle is a good start.
6. Keep a log of the weights you lift and the food you eat. Monitor your progress. You’ll know what works and what doesn’t work by looking at the log.
7. Be consistent. Read and learn new things. In time you will learn how to distinguish good from bad advice.
8. Enjoy yourself. If you don’t like what you are doing you can never see improvement.