I often hear how people say you should work out every day. And I agree with them, to a point. While I do agree you should be active as much possible, I don’t think working out 7 days of the week can bring so much more results then if it would for 5 days a week.
Your body needs rest, even if you are rotating workout as you should, a day rest after 2 or 3 workout days is really a healthy thing to do for your body. Not only you will be able to do more after that one day of rest, but you will also give your body time to rebuild.
So what are the rules for a workout that you need to follow?
This will activate your muscles and joins and will reduce the possibility of injuries. Now I say reduce because there is always a chance you can get injured. But with warming up, those chances are way lower then it would be without. So what you will be wanting to do is activate your joints in circular motion and stretching while holding the arm or leg tight for 30 seconds.
Start And Finish In Perfect Form
Don’t take shortcuts when doing the workout. If you can’t finish the workout in perfect form, stop! Ignoring this can overburden other muscles and lead you to injuries. Stay focused, stay sharped! Less focus you are during work out, less you will receive in the way of benefits.
Set Realistic Goals
If you don’t set your goals, sooner or later you will quit. You need to know where your finish line is. Is it to run 5 km? Is it to lift 100 kg? Noticed I didn’t say run 25 km or lift 250 kg. REALISTIC GOALS.
Your goals need to be reachable, but yet challenging. That way you will have the motivation to reach it because you KNOW you are able to achieve it! And what happens when you achieve your goal? Will you go home? Stop working out and let all of your hard work go down the drain?
Hell no! You push it one step further! Were you able to run 5km? Why not set your goal to run under 30 minutes? You did? Add your best time and lower it by 20 seconds. Achieve that time two times and you will have a new personal record! You are ready for the next step! Keep going!
Let us say you set your goal to do 50 reps on a rowing machine and you start slacking at 25. What does it mean then? It means your goal is set too high, it is unrealistic because you can’t do it IN A PERFECT FORM! Lower your goal. Do 25 in a perfect form and build from there.
Do not even think about going to the gym or starting your workout unless you know exactly what will you do and in what order. Why? Well because you lose valuable time in between exercises, and you won’t get results you want because calorie consumption will not be as efficient.
Repeating the same workout over and over will result in one of two things: either you die of boredom or you get hurt. Performing the same workouts in the same order won’t make you much stronger.
You will see improvement and you will be doing easier your workout, but in fact, your body will be fooling you, because your muscles will adapt to that challenge and they won’t grow anymore.
Mix up your routine, change intensity, the order of which you are doing exercises. Surprise your body. Results will come in time. Relax the muscles you’re not working, and focus on the ones you are. You’ll have more energy and get a better result.
Drink A Lot Of Water
I already wrote about the importance of water, but just to mention few to keep it short here: water helps to protect your spinal core, acts as a lubricant for joints, is very much needed for kidney and liver to flush out waste and it replenishes your lost fluid in a body while you workout.
Breathing will have a deep impact on your performance. If you hold your breath while doing your workout, you aren’t doing yourself a favor. Inhale deeply during the rest phase and exhale forcefully in the work phase. A powerful exhale will help you generate more force and you will be able to do more work.
Stretch After Workout
A lot of people overlook the importance of this. Stretching can reduce muscle fatigue and help you recover faster which will prevent muscle soreness. Stretch out slowly, without sudden movements and take your time to devote care to each muscle you affected during exercise.
Don’t push yourself too hard. Do you know the saying: “no pain, no gain”? Well don’t, just don’t. Those who tend to push to the edge of their limits have a higher injury rate. And you don’t want that! I am not saying you should not challenge your self, but do it reasonable.
Keep Track Of Your Score
This will be great motivation to take that one extra step and it will keep you motivated. Tracking your progress is a good way to see how you are doing. But, don’t let it consume you. If you put too much value on numbers, you will lose that thrill of the workout. Remember, you work for yourself, not for numbers!
Don’t Be Picky
Many people don’t do exercise that they aren’t good at, that they struggle with. They avoid it because that exercise challenges them and they don’t want that struggle.
Look at it from this perspective: what would happen if you only do upper body workout and ignore lower body? Eventually, you could get injured because your legs aren’t following your upper body strength.
Not to mention how would you look if your upper part of the body is shaped and your legs are skinny and weak. Include exercise that you don’t like or are not good at in your routine two or three times per week. That will help you build a stronger, more balanced body and will prevent future possible injuries.
Energy bars and sports drink are unreplaceable for professionals who struggle with calorie demands. But, unless you are training for Ironman, those drinks and energy bars can undo all of your hard work you have been putting your effort into. Aim to eat at least three meals per day with two light meals (snacks such as fruit) per day.
Plenty Of Sleep
Sleeping gives your body time to recover, repair and rebuild muscles that were affected during a workout. Aim to sleep 7 to 8 hours each day. It is worth mentioning that extra sleep won’t make you faster or stronger. The better you are rested, the better your mind and body function.
On the opposite side, not enough sleep can make a workout feels harder. It won’t affect your muscle strength, but you will fatigue faster, making it feels harder to workout at desired capacity. If you don’t sleep, you undermine your body! Keep that in mind!
Don’t get me wrong, if you want and can do workouts every day, of course, go ahead! But if you are just starting, most likely is you won’t be able to follow that plan. Not because you don’t want to, but because your body is not used to it still.
Giving yourself two days of rest in a week is enough to get your energy back, relax muscles from working out a day before and will still keep you active and help you build up routine that you want to maintain.
If you start with seven days workout and you stop because of overtraining or muscle inflammation, you will get discouraged and you will slow down or stop. Once you get your routine, you can advance further by doing more exercise, combining them, increase time or even add on some weights. But the key point is to start slow.
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Looking forward to seeing your comments. Have a great day and till next time, remember, your body deserves best, and so do you!