You don’t have to run yourself into ground to get an effective workout.
Being a former athlete I was conditioned to workout intensely, 6 days a week, hours on end with a don’t stop mentality. This is not to say that intense training does not have a place, because of course it does.
But going harder is not always smarter. Here are 4 quick tips on how you can adjust your training to benefit both your body and your mind.
Slow down your movement and work on form. This seems like a no brainer but next time you are at the gym or working out at home actually try to do this. Pay attention to if you are compromising form and if you are choose a different exercise.
We tend to want to barrel our way through sloppy movements just to say we got it done but the body is amazing at overcompensating and if you constantly training a sad looking push up, you are going to get really good at a sad looking push up.
Take more days off. You get stronger while you are resting and recovering, not when you are working out. I love this perspective from Ryan Andrews at Precision Nutrition. “Gym time is simply a stimulus for change. This stimulus will only create results if we recover enough between workouts. The quicker and more efficiently we can recover, the sooner we can spur further progress.”
To get the most out of your workout be conscious of scheduling in rest days.
Find an appropriate recovery routine. Recovery is not just about taking a day off. Recovery includes your warm-up, your cool down, what you eat and how much you sleep. If you feel you are overtraining you are most likely under recovering. My personal recovery routine includes:
- Mobility and core exercises pre-workout.
- Plenty of rest in between sets (for my personal goals).
- Stretching and foam rolling post workout.
- Eating a good sized snack or meal with carbs and protein within an hour post workout. This is one of the best times to eat, so be sure not to skip it.
- Plenty of rests days.
- A massage once a month.
- A weekly Pilates or yoga session if I see fit.
- As much sleep as I can manage!
Can you tell this is a bit of a focus for me? 😉
Prioritizing sleep is as much, if not more, important than eating healthy and working out. This article even says that exercise may reduce the risk of cancer but those benefits will slip away, it sleep is lacking. Yikes!
Sleep deprivation messes with your hormones which in turn can effect your hunger, energy and cravings. And for me personally, I know that if I am sleep deprived I feel hungrier, my energy is low so eating makes me feel better and my cravings are through the roof.
If you feel like you have hit a plateau but are doing everything right, check you sleep and stress levels.
If recovery is an concern for you try adding one of these focuses into your routine. It seems counter intuitive but sometimes doing less will give you more.
In the meantime I have include an at home strength workout routine for you! Give it a try and let me know how it goes.
At Home Full Body Blaster
10 Reverse Lunges right leg
10 Reverse Lunges left leg
Repeat 3-5x through