‘The ability to maximise your training is for me, one of the most overlooked principles when aiming to achieve health & wellness goals.’
Whilst there can be no denying that a trip to the gym, a morning jog or even just a spring evening walk is far better than laying on the couch watching Coronation Street, the fact still remains that to achieve any level of tangible health & wellness goal, you need to have a base level of understanding around how you maximise your training efforts.
Over the last near decade of experience either coaching, managing or training in many gyms around the UK and across the globe, it is clear for me to see that a large percentage of people really struggle when it comes to understanding the level of effort, consistency and structure needed to make noticeable changes, and I genuinely feel this is a large part of the reason that we have a global obesity crisis in 2016. This post is in no way designed to lead you down a path of absolute obsession, furiously seeking to justify your efforts during every workout and counting every single calorie that goes inside your body, but finding a happy medium somewhere along that scale of being totally sedentary to totally obsessed is where the magic happens!
I myself have recently found this out the hard way in my own training I might add. Up until recently, I had embarked on a stage of total play in my training, opting to practice handstands, crawling movements and skill-based activities at EVERY opportunity. Now whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with that type of training (it’s really fun actually) and I wanted to get better at some of the skills I was practising on a daily basis, so you could say that the training was very functional to my goals at the time, but the big key area I missed a trick on was the fact that I thought because I was ‘just playing around’, there was no need to track progress, adapt my training or even set particularly specific goals – as you can imagine, this was a mistake!
I got in the habit of just going through the motions with my training, not tracking progress, which lead to me not particularly tracking my nutrition, which lead to me not particularly getting ANY results! Now I am not saying that for some people, this training wouldn’t have sufficed, I was still being active every day, but knowing my body and the level of workload I have to get through, combined with the detail around my nutrition required, it is fair to say I was not maximising my training. With this in mind, it was time to call in some help. I’ve always said that even PT’s need PT’s sometimes, and this was the time for me. I can write pretty much any laser specific training or nutritional plan you ask me to when it is for a client, but this was the exact reason I was struggling, as I was doing this what felt like every minute of every day (busy PT first-world problems I know) but then when it came to my own training, I just didn’t have time desire to invest in myself. It should also be known that I’m ridiculously competitive and love to be either pushed or held accountable to someone else, so I have utilised the support of a good friend and fellow PT Saul Katz to write me a basic training and nutrition plan that I can be consistent with and supports my current goals.
Now the reason I’m harping on about this is purely because I want to set the scene about a few vital things you need to do in order to fully maximise your own training – after all, summer is just around the corner and this is the time when the focused really do get focused!
Below are my Top 5 Tips to help you maximise your training (just in time for the lead up to summer!)
1) Set a realistic goal with an emotional attachment and write it down – Figure out what it is you REALLY want, why you want it and how you’ll feel when you get it (or subsequently how you would feel if you didn’t?) Then write that goal down in the most visible place you can find so that you see it EVERY DAY – the fridge is normally a good place to start!
2) Hold yourself accountable – Like me, this could be to somebody else entirely, or alternatively if you are someone who is self-motivated then answer only to yourself! Make sure you are reminded every day as to why you set out on this journey and the satisfaction you will feel once you achieve your goal.
3) Create a plan – A goal without a plan is just a wish, and unfortunately they very rarely come true! If you are confident of how to phase your training plan and how to balance your nutritional needs then great, but if not……outsource it! I’m not saying that every single person training needs a PT, but if you are unsure of what you need to do to get in shape, then find some help! At the end of the day, I struggle to see a better investment than in your own health and wellbeing, yet people don’t prioritise and when they do, they think they can do it alone which invariably doesn’t work out.
4) Be adaptable – Having a plan is all well and good, having structured workouts and precise meal plans are great, but circumstances, situations and hopefully progress are always changing and evolving. If you’ve been stuck in the same gym routine, are always eating the same meals or are always finding the same excuse for why you can’t train, change things up and try a different route – Einstein says that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. You are the sole person in control of how you maximise your training, so take charge!
5) Cut off the distractions – Mobile phones, emails, meaningless conversations, TV and any other distractions need to be removed at the start before the impact your performance. Those 30 / 60 / 90 minutes each day are YOUR minutes to escape and build a body you are happy to live in, you should not be letting anyone or anything get in the way of that time. 60 minutes is just over 4% of your total day, you have 96% left to do all the other stuff!
I hope this has helped spark some thoughts in your mind about how you fully maximise your training and I’d love to hear if it helps you to have a shift in the way you look at how you currently exercise. I always remember the phrase ‘the most bang for your buck’ and this is the phrase I use most when talking about how to maximise exercise – keep that in your mind and I’ll look forward to checking in with you again soon.