They say consistency is key but are you becoming so obsessive that you’re actually slowing your results? It’s all too easy to get stuck in a routine so make sure you’re helping yourself and not hindering…
Here are some tips to encourage you to re-think your methods in getting the results you want. Give yourself a greater chance of success by taking a step back and considering the points outlined below.
BE REALISTIC – Setting unrealistic goals or designing impossible work out programmes only results in disappointment leading to a loss of motivation. Make sure you properly consider all factors of your lifestyle (e.g. work, travel, time, money) before you plan a training routine. This way, you will be able to stick to it and get results over the long term. Remember, slow and steady wins the race so make sure you give yourself a really good chance of succeeding. This will enhance feelings of accomplishment and positivity which will put you in a really good place and boost your holistic wellbeing.
REST – If you are exercising on a regular basis, it is crucial to get enough rest. Getting a good sleep at night is important for the body’s recovery as well as having positive effects on your own mental health. It means you’ll be in optimum condition to train effectively each day. Over-training (or under-recovering depending on which way you look at it) is common and you can get stuck in a routine of “I must, I must, I must” but you have to listen to your body – if it’s tired or you’re struggling from a psychological point of view then take the day off and rest – the gym will still be there tomorrow!
EAT ENOUGH – Ok so this sounds obvious right? Easier said than done. Nutrition is essential for optimum training gains and not just pre and post-training either! True, you need to provide your body with enough energy to work hard in the session and make sure your body gets the right nutrition afterwards for adequate recovery, BUT it doesn’t stop there. You need to consistently make the right choices when it comes to food as it will affect long term success. Don’t always opt for the lower calorie option, skimp on carbs or miss meals by choice (which can be common amongst us ladies). Rather make sure your calorie count is sufficient and eat decent, balanced meals. Being organised and prepping your meals is a great way to ensure you eat well and minimise the chance of under-eating. A range of vitamins and minerals should be considered alongside the correct balance of protein, carbs and healthy fats to suit you and your lifestyle. This will ensure you have the energy for regular exercise and feed your body the nutrients it needs.
GO SOLO? – Sometimes a training partner can work wonders for adherence. Not only can they help for motivational purposes (you always have fun with a friend) but they can also act as a spotter to help you get those few extra reps, push that little bit harder and work harder for that pump. BUT have you ever been stuck training with somebody who just doesn’t have the same goals as you or perhaps you are just nothing like them genetically and biologically, so you require something totally different? Being dragged along with their training programme which is geared towards their goals could be seriously hindering your results. Recognise if it is best to pull away and go solo. If you’re able to focus on what you need in the gym, you are far more likely to make progress and hit your targets faster.
STEP OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE – This is definitely a tough one for lots of people (I mean, who doesn’t love routine?). While the gym can be a hugely daunting place anyway, naturally, we shrink away from the unknown whether it’s new exercises, different techniques or impossible-looking challenges. All too often, we fear failure and we definitely don’t want to let others see us fail. Don’t let structure and routine dominate your gym sessions – do something each week that’s different and that scares you. Pluck up the courage and just do it!
BE INSPIRED, NOT DISCOURAGED – With the rapid expansion of social media, it’s so easy for us to follow fitness models and female physique competitors for inspiration, which can be a awesome perk of modern life. However, sometimes we get so wrapped up in social media that our perception of reality becomes warped. We see pictures and videos of women looking incredible with fit, toned bodies, all beautifully made up with a seemingly perfect life and it can make us feel inferior. We don’t look that good, we don’t have that dream job, we’re not always that happy and we definitely don’t look like that at the end of the day. Please remember, we only see the best bits of a person’s life (because who wants to post about their bloated stomachs, skin breakouts, or their hormonal mood swings?) – and that’s ok as long as we understand this and we don’t allow ourselves to become discouraged as a result of it. Never compare yourself to anyone – concentrate on your own progress and use the social media content available to keep you educated, inspired and motivated on your own journey.
When you have a goal or a target that you desperately want to reach, it’s not surprising that you want to do everything in your power to succeed, but just take a moment to question your actions. Are you being overly restrictive? Overly obsessive? Overwhelmed? It’s quite the balancing act to ensure you’re meeting your own expectations without affecting your ability to be happy. The best advice I can give you on this topic is to imagine you are your friend and ask yourself, would I encourage her to do the same as I am doing? If the answer is yes, then great, keep going, but if the answer is no, then something’s got to change!
Look after yourself girls!