- Do I focus on movement quality and exercise technique? Fluid and proper movement will set you up for improved performance, reduced injury and a stronger overall body. You can run through an exercise routine with poor form and still burn calories and still lose some weight but in the end you create a dysfunctional body. Own the movement. Decrease the repetitions and master every movement you do in the gym. In the end, your body will thank you because you will have less pain, more mobility and increased athleticism.
- Am I pushing myself too much or not enough? To get results you must produce a training stimulus on the body. Progressively adding stress to the body is needed for constant growth and improvement. If you do the same thing every week, eventually that training stimulus will taper off and your body will no longer produce the results you are looking for. Finding the necessary training loads needed for continued strength is critical. Too much work and you end up in an overtraining state. Too little and your body doesn’t get better. This is an important question to ask yourself periodically to make sure you are pushing yourself with adequate loads to get your desired results.
- Does my food intake support my goals? Are you looking for weight loss? Muscle gain? Improved performance? If you are looking for weight loss or fat loss, are you eating low glycemic foods, limiting processed foods and sticking to more whole and fresh foods? If you are looking for muscle gain, are eating enough calories to support the goal? You may get very frustrated because you are working out consistently and pushing in the gym and not getting the desired results. Something may be off with your nutrition plan. Take a detailed look at what you are eating and assess if it supports your specific goals.
- Am I recovering properly? Recovery and regeneration are critical components to an overall fitness program. As completing workouts is needed, if you are never allowing the body to fully recover, you risk injury and burnout. When you get hurt, you cannot train. When you cannot train, you cannot get better. Sleep is the single most important strategy in regards to recovery. You must make sure that you are consistently sleeping 6-8 hours every night. How and what you eat will also help you recover properly outside of your workouts. Sticking to anti-inflammatory foods like dark green vegetables, fruits like blueberries and cherries and healthy fats like fish, avocado and walnuts will assist in this recovery process outside of training. Lastly, recovery protocols like soft tissue work, active movement drills and light aerobic work will assist in keeping the body tuned up and keep you consistently training at high levels.
- Is this becoming part of my life? This to me is a big one! Sustainability and consistency matters. You must create realistic healthy habits that will fit into your individual lifestyle. Every”body” is different. Find the habits that will mold into your life and that you can consistently accomplish all the time. Extreme quick fix diets might work in the short term but you will end up frustrated because they are not sustainable. Living a healthy lifestyle gives you flexibility and does not put restrictions on the plan. The idea is to consistently workout, eat healthy foods and learn to make these strategies part of your life.
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