Finally getting up and motivating yourself to work out and reach your goals is hard enough, but patiently waiting for results is the hardest part. Sometimes it can be unbearable and difficult to stay focused especially if you’re just starting out.
On the other hand, if you’ve been working out for a while, it might be frustrating if you just haven’t seen any progress or change. One of the reasons you might not be getting the results you want is that your process is flawed. Working out is complex, and things like food, form, and outlook can affect how you work out and what happens afterwards, so it’s important to develop a good, well-structured routine and keep it consistent.
If you’re feeling stuck on how to further progress in your workouts, try taking inspiration from these ten fitness tips that are sure to get you out of any rut.
Do your Research
Like I said, working out is complex. For example, I’m not going to become model thin and wiry by bench pressing nor will I become big and bulky by doing cardio. Different types of exercise encourage different types of weight loss and muscle growth, so to avoid being surprised when your legs are as thick as salamis and your arms are one fifth the size, do your research. You’ll need to learn important things, such as the significance of an even workout (the antidote to those terrible salami legs) and how muscle is built in general. If you don’t know these important building blocks first, then you’re going to flop out there on the treadmill like a beached whale.
Find a Teammate
Not a coach, a teammate. Find someone who is just as thin and unimposing as you, but has big dreams of being able to lift a pickup truck with his bare hands. You need a teammate to fight the big exercise monster with you. Gyms are scary. They’re full of big, bulky sweaty men and even stronger women. You never know when you’ll need someone to hold your glasses on your face while you’re feeling sick. You guys can also motivate each other, go on runs, and pull each other out of the bag of sour cream and onion potato chips on an unnecessary cheat day.
Don’t be a Hero
It can be so tempting to feel like a hero and go running at those heavy weights. The heavier you can lift, the better, right? The more reps you can do, then all the better. Wrong. Big fat wrong. You’re not impressing anyone by causing a strain on your muscles. Your body is going to be in for a world of hurt when you wake up the next morning with a body as stiff as a diving board. You’re still going on that run whether you like it or not.
Form is Key
Novice gym-goers and runners like to think that once you’re pounding the pavement, your job is done. Just like any other skill, running and working out take practice to get good at. If you’ve just begun working out, there’s a good chance that you don’t practice perfect form. Form is the right way to run and lift weights. So, if your hands aren’t in the right place on the dumbbells, then there’s a higher likelihood of you injuring yourself. Workout related injuries hurt and they prevent you from working out until your doctor gives you the a-okay. So, it’s in your best interest to ask a fellow gym rat or employee what the heck it is that you’re doing.
Every Day is not Leg Day
Yeah, surprisingly. If you want an uneven body tone and that’s the look you’re going for, then go for it. If you’re looking for an even tone and you possibly even want to slim down, then you’ll want to switch it up. Cardio, legs, and upper body can get your equal attention if you like. If you’re looking to build more muscle, then you should limit that calorie-burning cardio to once a week.
If you want to work out or lose weight, then I hope that I don’t need to stress the importance of eating healthy. Eating healthy, fresh, well-balanced meals is the key to all-over health and your body needs the nutrients from pure foods to sort itself out and build muscle. You can’t pick one or the other. This doesn’t mean that you have to go on a diet, though. In fact, if you’re trying to build muscle, most diets are bad, unless they’re high in protein (which, long-term can be stressful to your kidneys). You need to stock up on calories if you want to build muscles and for this reason it’s nearly impossible to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time, so you have to watch what you eat so that your pants continue to fit.
Get some Sleep
Muscle doesn’t build from fat. Bet I just taught you something. Muscle actually builds in a reparative process when you sleep. You need to beat up your muscles during the day, create tension and strain those suckers for them to repair. In this reparative process, they come back twice as strong. I don’t know about you, but that’s kind of beautiful.
Keep the Water Flowing
You’ve got to attack that water. If you’re working out, those eight cups a day that your mom always nagged you about just aren’t going to cut it. You’re going to need a whole gallon to keep your system heathy, repair that tissue, and build muscle. We never really know how dehydrated we are until the vertigo and fatigue sets in. To avoid dizziness out on the machines or on your daily run, bring a water bottle with you and keep drinking liberally.
If you want to become a gym rat, you have to know all the dirty little tricks and here are eight of them to get you buffer than a WWE star. Now that you know how, it’s time to get out there and lift with the best of them. You can do this.