Sometimes, the simplest rules of training, recovery and nutrition are not followed, leading to sabotage your performance. This is not uncommon because of all the conflicting information online and the unpredictable "word of mouth" information sharing used at the gym.
Just because something worked once for a friend, it doesn't make it the general rule for you! We'd like to clear up the space by letting you know the top 5 things to avoid!
1. Not Getting Enough Rest
Rest is sometimes under rated! When you rest, you recover. I stress recovery just as much as following a smart training program. While you rest, both by taking days off and sleeping well, your muscles memorize the work load, improve strength, elasticity, and grow.
It's great to be dedicated to a tough program, but there is a limit. If you have only 1 scheduled rest day and it works for you, that is great, otherwise, listen to your body and take a day off when you start to feel fatigue set in. Avoid over training and under-resting at all costs!
2. Relying on a friends program
We've said it before and we'll say it again! One program does not fit all! Your weaknesses and strengths are unique. You'll need a program which fits your needs, goals, objectives and training history. Consult a professional before wasting your time following someone else's ideal program!
3. Relying on training alone to get the body of your dreams
Training is just the catalyst. Think of training as a tool. You can do a variety of different exercises, and some will be more effective than others. In the end, the job should get done. However, with the right nutrition, a good training plan is useless. While exercise will improve health outcomes, exercise alone is not enough to lose or gain weight. A good physique is made in the kitchen!
Eating the right foods in the right portions each day will keep your body in top shape and improve your looks and overall performance.
4. Missing adequate nutrition
High performance is not only relying on fuel and protein. Our body functions also rely heavily on vitamins and minerals. These help to keep the mind, body and nervous system sharp and running smoothly. By only seeing your food as carbs and protein, there is a good chance of missing out on essential micronutrients.
Diversifying foods you consume each meal to help get a bigger spectrum of nutrients. You'll need fruits and a wide variety of colourful vegetables. If you think you are lacking these foods, it would be a good idea to take a solid daily multi-vitamin to supplement them.
5. Sticking to a program
Any program, no matter how fantastic it is, must be cycled off! Studies have shown time and again that unpredictable, random, intense and interval training yields the most rapid adaptation. Change your exercise choice, reps, sets, volume, intensity and as many other things about your program as frequently as possible. While a classic training cycle lasts 4 weeks, it does not have to be an identical program each day.
Diversify your training and you'll be amazed at how your performance improves and how quickly your body responds by gaining muscle and leaning out.
FD Bulsara, BSc
Amino Z Personal Trainer