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Erik's Weekly Fitness Tip | Performance & Staying Motivated

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Erik's Weekly Fitness Tip | Performance & Staying Motivated

 

A Show Of Hands

Do you ever find yourself bored with your exercise routine, not wanting to go to the gym, or experiencing a complete loss of motivation?  Sure, you have, we all have.  It’s how life works - there will always be ups and downs.  If you are finding yourself more on the down side you need to find a performance goal to go after.  It can be an actual event or a solo performance just for you to know of. 

Get Back On Track

The goal is to set a target that is hard enough that you must put daily work into reaching it, but can’t be something totally out of reach.  Performance goals help you show up to the gym when that’s the last thing you want to do.  Performance goals will make you accountable!

These types of goals require a plan; a plan helps you stay on track with proper training, rather than showing up to the gym not having a clue what you are going to do besides making it there.  Performance goals should excite you and give you that feeling of butterflies in your stomach when you think about that big day that is coming up! 

It’s these types of workouts that will put your training, sleep, and nutrition right back on track.  Last but certainly not least these types of goals should get you out of your comfort zone, both physically and mentally.

Go get ‘em!

Image Credit: Martins Zemlickis via Unsplash

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Erik's Weekly Fitness Tip | Stalled Out

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Erik's Weekly Fitness Tip | Stalled Out

 

Has your car ever stalled? It happened to me once, at a particularly choice moment,  when I was trying to get the girls off to school. It’s not a fun experience. For most of us, stalling cannot be avoided, especially if we like to push the limits.  At some point in our weight training we will stall. In our quest to lose more weight we will stall.  While on our journey to a 10K personal record we will stall.  The majority of people who experience stalling find that it is due to our: training, diet, sleep, recovery, rest in between sets or it just comes down to poor planning. 

Performance

Let’s look at performance and see how we can avoid the pitfalls of stalling. As a former track and cross country runner and now lover of heavy squats I know this feeling and I know it well.  I’ve stalled many times in my training and I have never once hit my full potential.  So if you are a runner, triathlete, mountain biker, weight lifter, or someone who just loves to push their limits but feel like there’s a little more in you, here’s my best tips to give your body the jumpstart it needs. 

  1. Keep a detailed log that keeps track of: training, sleep, diet, recovery, and anything else that could affect your training both positively or negatively.
  2. Audit your diet; most athletes do not eat enough.  This will affect your ability to recover.  Protein, carbs, and fats  (your macros) should all be on point with your training.  Most people often come up short with adequate levels of protein. If you are over 40 you especially have to make sure your protein levels are a bit higher because you do not digest protein as well.
  3. Rest! You could be overtraining or overextending yourself during workouts.  Make sure you are getting your rest in. Read more about this here.
  4. Biting off more than you can chew.  We’ve all been trying to lift heavier loads, run faster intervals, or trying to match someone else’s workout before we are ready.  These things can cost you dearly.  Be patient with your training. 
  5. Add another set of eyes.  Get a coach to review your training; sometimes a small tweak can be a game changer. 

Weight Loss

Stalling with weight loss is very similar to stalling with your performance. It can be extremely frustrating and can start to chip away at your motivation.  Here are some quick tips to help you overcome being stuck.

  1. Keep a food journal or log onto the myfitness pal app.  Your calorie intake might be more than it should be.  Keeping track of what you put into your body everyday will help you stay on track and see where adjustments can be made.
  2. Stop doing the same workouts you did 4-6 weeks ago.  If you consistently work out, but you are doing the exact same workout without changing any of the variables up you will stall. The variables being: intensity, load (heavier weights), duration, frequency, or speed.  Change things up!
  3. Pay a visit to the weight room.  The gym, without a doubt, can be an intimidating place. As a result most people stick to the cardio section and try to cardio themselves skinny.  Muscle loves to burn calories! Weight training will help not only get you stronger, but will also help you maintain and build muscle mass.  You’ve got to lift! 
  4. Don’t undo all your hard work on the weekends.  Booze, crappy food, and bad sleep can sabotage your weight loss. Stay on point as best as you can, even on the weekends, it all counts!
  5. Be Patient!  It takes times to get results, so don’t get discouraged early in the game. Keep plugging away and the results will follow and your hard work will pay off.

Stick to the Plan

Most stalling is due to not executing on your plan.  So you have to be diligent with all the steps you should be following.  As frustrating as it can be, just by making a tweak here and there can knock down that door and get you through to the other side.

Image Credit: Noah Kuhn on Unsplash


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Erik's Weekly Fitness Tip | 3 Things You Need To Know Now

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Erik's Weekly Fitness Tip | 3 Things You Need To Know Now

 

Stress {not the kind you’d typically think of}, recovery, and adaptation are some important body processes to be aware of for your fitness. I think it’s imperative to learn what these are and why you need to understand them for your body.  

Simply put, these processes are something we go through when we train.  After we go through these steps, some psychological changes occur at this point too. We start to build confidence from the gains we have made and from the changes that take place physically: a trimmer waist, a more defined arm, noticing our clothes are fitting differently.

Stress

We apply stress to the body through exercise: i.e. squats, planks, or a long run.  Stress disrupts our homeostasis {our normal physiological state}. 

Recovery

Now our body must recover from the stress that we applied. Our bodies return to their pre-stress state and become a little stronger.

Adaptation

And last but certainly not least our bodies adapt. We discover that we are able to lift a little more weight, hold a plank for a few more seconds, or run a little bit longer.  The best example of adaptation is someone training for a marathon.  Beginning with week 1 they might only run 1-2 miles on a run, but by week 16 or 18 they could be running 18-22 miles on their long run. 

The take away

Our body is truly an amazing piece of machinery, but when you know how to manipulate it through training and understanding stress, recovery and adaptation you have the keys to reach your genetic potential.  So now when you decide you want to start exercising or you want to see how far you can go, keep these principles in mind while on your journey. Rather than just doing arbitrary exercising like walking, lifting weights, or riding a bike, attack with a focused and purposeful plan to reach your goals and apply these processes.  Lift, walk, bike, or run a little bit more every 2nd or third time and you will be pleasantly suprised how far you have come and the potential your body has to go further!  

Image credit: Erik Taylor


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