Do you find that you lose interest a few weeks into a new training plan, are you bored of doing the same exercises day in, day out, or do you feel like your performance has plateaued? If you’re looking to get more from your workouts, there are several simple steps you can take to elevate your fitness regime.
Setting realistic goals
Setting goals can be incredibly beneficial for those who are looking to increase their fitness levels and get in shape, but it can also be counterproductive. If you’re working towards targets that are too easy or you’ve set yourself an impossible mission, you may lose interest very quickly, and your confidence may suffer a knock.
The key to successful goal setting lies in pinpointing ambitious, but realistic targets. If you’ve only just started running, for example, don’t aim to complete a marathon within 3 months. Break major milestones off into manageable chunks. In this case, start with a 5km run and work your way up to 10km and then a half marathon before thinking about taking on the full 26.2 miles. Personalize your goals, and try to avoid being influenced or pressured by others.
Think about what you want to achieve. Some people work out to lose weight, others to gain confidence and some to improve their physical and mental health. Whatever your motivation, use it as the driving force behind the objectives you set.
Perfecting your technique
Technique is crucial to get the best out of your workouts and to lower the risk of injury. Whether you’re playing team sports, you’re out on the tennis court or the golf course, or you’re training in the gym, it’s essential to make sure that you’re using the right technique when you make a shot or you use a machine. If you’re doing exercises in the gym, increasing your grip strength is beneficial, as it will give you a better hold when working out your upper body and reduce the risk of injuries.
For example, If you’re doing pull-ups, and you find that you’re struggling to hold on once you’ve completed the upward movement, this shows a lack of grip strength.
If you’re playing tennis, and you have some shots that are weaker than others, check your technique.
If you’re not holding your racket properly, or you’re hitting the ball too early or late, adjusting your training regime and practicing specific shots will help.
In golf, working on your technique and your stance will improve the quality and power of your shots at the same time as reducing the risk of back pain and muscle strain.
Hiring a trainer
Do you ever find that it’s difficult to go flat out or find that extra 10% when the end of your workout is looming? Motivating yourself can be a challenge, especially if you’re unsure about whether you can actually accomplish the exercise.
If you’re worried you’ll run out of steam before you hit the last mile of your run, you doubt yourself when jumping onto boxes in the gym, or you don’t think you can lift a heavier weight than you’re used to, have you thought about hiring a trainer?
Personal trainers can help you push yourself without putting your body at risk, they cheer you on when energy levels are on the floor and they give you the boost you need to believe in yourself. There’s a vast range of options available when it comes to personal training sessions. You can book one-to-one training sessions, you can join a group or you could even log on to join virtual classes or do online workouts.
Working with a trainer is also an excellent idea for those who have a history of injuries, individuals with underlying illnesses that affect their ability to exercise and those with specific goals. Trainers can create customized plans based on your needs and objectives.
Vary your training
It’s understandable to get bored and to lose motivation if you’re doing the same exercises every single day. To maintain motivation and make working out fun, try to vary your activities. If you’ve had a heavy weights session one day, go for a swim or book a yoga or Pilates class the next. Combine cardio and strength training, swap the gym for the great outdoors from time to time and have fun with fitness. You don’t have to be running or doing sit-ups every day to get fit. You can climb, cycle, play team sports, dance, go for a hike or take a kayak or a canoe out onto the water for the afternoon. It’s always beneficial to try different activities and to make exercise part of your daily routine.
Working out with a buddy can be great fun, but it also introduces an element of friendly competition. Human beings are naturally competitive creatures, and we tend to work harder when we have somebody breathing down our necks or leading the way. If you don’t have friends that are interested in exercise, look for classes in your local area or join group training sessions. You’ll soon get to know others, and you can cheer each other on and push each other to achieve more. Exercising is a brilliant way to meet other people and there’s a wide range of activities available. You could join a running club, start spin classes, research local football, tennis, netball or basketball teams, sign up for weekly boot camp training at the park or join a fitness group for moms.
Whether you’ve hit a wall, you’re bored of the same old workouts, or you’ve lost interest in fitness, there are ways to supercharge your fitness regime and get more out of the exercise. Set achievable goals, work out with others, think about why you want to get fitter and stronger and work on your technique. Try to have fun and vary your workouts and get friends and family members involved. If you’re struggling to reach the next level, it’s worth thinking about hiring a personal trainer or joining a training group. This will help you push yourself and build confidence.
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