In no particular order...
It's difficult to put them in any specific order, but follow these simple tips to help you get nearer to great results faster.
1. Set your goal
Whether you’re a complete novice to training, or an old school veteran, the type of training you do will depend on what your goal is. Your goal may even change from time to time as you continue with your training and as you age. So, whether you’re planning to tackle an obstacle race event, or you just want to lose a little weight, setting a goal will help give you the focus to get there.
2. Be consistent
Never skip a workout. There’s an old saying that says that ‘there’s no such thing as a waisted workout’. And that’s so very true as if you don’t turn up to your training session then there won’t even be a workout!
The more workouts you skip then the less likely hood you have of achieving you goal. Sometimes motivating yourself to arrive for your next training session can often be the hardest part. So, on those days where you feel the need to drag yourself to the gym, PT or Boot Camp session and even if you feel you didn’t push yourself as much as you normally could. Just think that you’ve still worked your joints, muscles and cardio system.
You’re now one more step closer to achieving your goal. These down beat sessions will always even out with those other sessions where you feel like you have an endless energy supply and smash all your personal bests.
Practicing quality exercise and focussing on a full range of movement is key. For best joint and muscle health always teach yourself good exercise habits from the very start. You’ll need to build a strong fitness foundation to work from. This will also help you to rid yourself of any weak areas.
4. Train at your level
When using resistant exercises, start with a weight/resistance that feels comfortable and allows you to feel a muscle stretch at the bottom part of the movement and with a full contraction at the top part of the movement. Only add weight/resistance in small increments. With body exercises simply adjust the exercise to suit. When running only increase your distance when you can run comfortably and constantly with your original distance.
5. Train your body a whole
Your training should involve all joints and muscle groups to help create strong links between the chain of muscle groups. It’s advisable to also involve whole body movements during your training such as squat to press, rear lunge to tricep extension, press up to push back and burpees etc. These moves are also classed as metabolic exercises which means your heart will need to supply a greater blood flow to various areas of the body which will dramatically raise your heart rate higher and give you an increase fitness effect on your body.
6. Use all the components of fitness
For total health and fitness development you want to achieve a level of body balance between fitness, strength and conditioning. Using all the components of fitness (see my blog on the components of fitness link below). You’ll be creating that very balance & ironing out any weak areas which may be open to injury.
7. Never forget to stretch
Stretching has a very important part to play with your total fitness and stands equal with the other components of fitness. Again, this is another neglected part of training! Remember that your joints are only as flexible as the muscles and tendons around them. So, this means the more your flexibility improves the easier you’ll find it to perform each exercise with increased quality of exercise creating fuller range of movement and mobility.
8. Rest and recover
At first when you begin exercising your muscles may feel sore and stiff, however this damaging feeling will ease over a few days as your body repairs, heals and recovers. The recovery process will burn more body fat than the workout itself. You’ll also become fitter and stronger during your rest and recovery days too.
As you become fitter and stronger your recovery ability will increase and become more efficient. Therefore, as rest and recovery are an important factor when trying to reach your goal you’ll need to include full rest days with no exercise to help gain full fitness and factuality so you’re fully prepared for your next training session.
9. Feed your workouts with a balanced nutrition plan
You’ll now need nutrient rich elements such as protein, vitamins, minerals and carbohydrates from food to energise your workouts and aid full recovery.
In my Nutritional Fitness Guide, I explain the importance of the whole food diet which promotes balance nutrition from real food and the importance of all food groups to help increase optimal health. I also explain how Keeping a food diary is a great way of keeping track of the food you’re eating. Simply write down what you eat and drink and at what time. But for this to work you must be honest with yourself. The food diary will make you responsible for the food you’re eating and you’ll be able to make adjustment where needed. Download my free 14 day healthy eating plan to give you ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner including some healthy snacks for in between.
And finally... always warm up and cool down...
Sounds obvious but not only is warming up your joints with synovial fluid very important for joint health, the warm up still today seems to be a forgotten part of most exercise programmes. Just walking or jogging on a treadmill is not good enough! All joints must be put through their full range of movement for a full mobility warm up which will also help to create dynamic stretches.
I hope my top tips will enhance your training methods and ability. Good luck and go for it!