What Do You Do When Your Fitness Routine Isn't Working Out!
You have this dream, desire or goal get a specific result from your fitness routine. Maybe you want to lose weight, get in shape or just enhance your health and feel good. So you go to a gym, jog on a treadmill, eat right and nothing happens, right? Or at least, it's not happening at the pace you'd prefer.
It's an all too common scenario. Far too many well intentioned fitness seekers end up frustrated with a lack of progress and throw their hands up before achieving their desired outcome.
Setting a goal to change your health, fitness and body is an important quest, for sure. There are, however, a couple of hurdles you must conquer before achieving your outcome.
If you watch any TV, you know America has fallen in love with the Biggest Loser on NBC. Why? Simply because we are drawn into watching everyday people make drastic transformations in a short period of time. We live in an age of instant gratification and quick fixes and it's rather compelling watching people lose weight in front of you week to week.
Unfortunately The Biggest Loser show paints an unrealistic picture of the time frame in which one should expect to see such results. In other words, the reality in this reality show is skewed. If you were sequestered in a house supervised by personal trainers 24/7 and absent from junk food, surrounded by exercise equipment, motivated by a quarter of a million dollars and millions of viewers across the country, you too would probably see extreme results. Unfortunately though, most of us have jobs, kids, responsibilities and to do lists that simply make this scenario a remote possibility. It is just not that easy, unless of course you get picked to be on the next season!
Remember, through a well designed fitness routine that incorporates a constantly changing stimulus of resistance and cardiovascular training, and eating quality foods in the right portion sizes for your goals, 1- 2 pounds of body fat reduction per week is possible. This is what science tells us is possible for healthy, long-term weight reduction.
Don't let reality shows, infomercials, stories from a friend of a friend, or misinformed people set you up for disappointment if you didn't lose 5 pounds last week.
So, if you're currently exercising and "not getting results", the solution typically comes down to one or a combination of the following 4 key areas:
1. How's your nutrition?
Of course, you don't have to be perfect, but you do want to consistently eat a balance of lean cuts of protein, whole grain carbohydrates and a nice mix of whole fruits and vegetables. If a loss of body fat is a goal, then limit your simple sugars and refined carbohydrates and strive for a small calorie deficit on most days. (Often people wanting weight loss restrict calories too aggressively and their attempts backfire after an initial period of perceived success - remember to keep the deficit small to moderate.)
2. How's your resistance training?
Along with nutrition, this is an important area as it's so easy to get into a strength training routine rut. People often get comfortable performing the same movements, at the same resistance levels, using the same repetitions, and performing their exercises in the same order. Here's the catch, if you're comfortable with a routine, so too is your body and it no longer has the stimulus to change.
Change multiple variables of your strength training every 3-4 weeks, including your repetition ranges, resistance levels, rest between sets and exercises and types of exercises. The goal is to continually confuse your body with a new stimulus for optimal results.
3. How's your cardiovascular exercise?
You don't need to spend hours on a treadmill, but you do need to elevate your heart rate sufficiently to allow your heart and lungs to enhance their delivery of blood, oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. The good news is that you can exchange time for intensity. Instead of 45 minutes of a steady state cardio routine, research shows you can perform staggered, higher intensity intervals to reap the same benefit in half the time (20 minutes).
4. How's your frequency?
Although working out twice per week can be sufficient to maintain a given fitness, health, or body appearance, it's typically not enough to create substantial improvement. Three to Five sessions per week with the proper intensity goes a long way in creating significant improvements in fitness, energy and your body.
With these critical keys in hand, check your routine, make any adjustments necessary, and I can guarantee that you'll be on your way to the positive changes you desire!