In this weeks article I hit article number 50 to the column.From the first piece to today’s I have given you as much information as possible with regard to helping you health and fitness goals.The feedback throughout has been great and any ideas for future articles has been and will always be considered.I have covered everything I feel is related to your fitness from workout advice,nutrition tips right down to a summer series of articles.For article number 50 I am going to give you 15 of my best tips from all the training articles I have put together since starting the column.This article can act as a refresher from all the other pieces if you like and all these tips are what I consider the best since starting in the fitness industry almost 10 years ago.
- The primary goal for anyone should be to move more
A lot of the time we can get bogged down on certain gyms to join,programs to try or even different classes or ways to train.I see many people stall and think about it and almost put this or that training on hold for a while.My advice to anyone here is to just get going with anything that gets you moving and off the sofa aiming to live a healthy and fit lifestyle
- Aim to exercise at least 3 times per week
If its important to you then you will find time.Most people should be able to find slots in the day to exercise and if you cant find a full 45 mins try and find little pockets or habits in the day that will help you out.From cycling to work,going for a walk on your lunch break to maybe even training with friends or a trainer that will hold you accountable to your regime
- Keep it varied,yet effective
Having a variation to your training is key.A well structure training program will not only keep it challenging for you but once you have all the areas covered and is relative to yourself then it can only help you achieving your goals.Vary your training by having some mobility work,strength work along with different variations of conditioning work
- It shouldn’t be a chore
If you are a person who joins the gym in January and is no where to be seen on the gym floor come March then you need to assess what you might actually enjoy.Time and time again I would see people sign upto 12 month memberships and have lost interest a few weeks later due to boredom,lack of interest or just not really having a clue on what to do.The list is endless on things to do nowadays and you dont need to focus your fitness any more around a packed gym floor.From park workouts,to outdoor sports clubs to a whole variety of fitness classes and trainers the options are now really endless.Find some that you will enjoy and make it a part of your day that you look forward to.
- Your mental fitness
Your physical fitness is important,however your mental fitness is just as or if not more important .To me, fitness isn’t always about lifting weights, running or going under the bar to hit a heavy squat.Spending time on your mindset is something I would encourage everybody to incorporate into their fitness routine. As a personal trainer I have seen the huge benefit with some clients who are treating exercise as a path to help them with their own personal battles.This article I did last year gives you 3 great ways to improve your mental fitness
- Assessment is key
Like I have said before “If you are not assessing then you are really only guessing” Its good to measure things in relation to your fitness.From body fat scores to repeating benchmark works to even reassessing your range of motion or mobility is something you should consider testing every 6-8 weeks.Any new client I work with from day 1 will always get a mobility assessment first so I can see where they need fixes on focus so we can find the right path for them. Remember any trainer can make a workout and make you sweat but its good trainers who will pinpoint the far more important areas that need attention first to build a good solid foundation.
- You cant beat the basics
I have been around the industry a long enough time to know what is useful and what is absolutely rubbish.Training fads come and go but its the basics that have always stuck around and work.Basic movements like squats, push-ups and pull-ups are things you should be looking to work towards getting right initially.These exercises will help you build a solid foundation from which you can build once you get consistent and stronger at these movements.Other areas like basic flexibility/mobility standards are also very important. Being able to touch your toes while in a seated floor position, perform a basic couch or pigeon stretch, or complete shoulder dislocates correctly are all important standards I like to see clients meet.My previous article here covers how dialing in the basics can make all the difference
- Quality beats quantity
You are far better off getting 3 quality sessions done right as opposed to 5 sloppy sessions in the week.The fitness industry is constantly selling you youth,intensity and pretty much going all out with your workouts yet believe it or not in order to get the best results you should be listening to your body more and doing things that you truly need work on first.Most people think they need to be training constantly in order to achieve their goals when really they might be better off doing active recovery sessions,aiming to getting good quality sleep or even managing their stress a little better. Keeping it quality will keep you on track and will lessen the risk to burnout,fatigue or even loss of interest.
- Slow down to speed up
Something I am constantly telling my clients.Incorporating things like yoga,mediation or even a simple walk is something that you should try.It might not sound much but believe or not it will help you out in the long run
- Hard work,consistency and patience
Nothing is easy to achieve and it was then it perhaps wasn’t a goal that challenged you enough.We are constantly being surround nowadays to fitness marketing,magic training programs and quick fixes.In my opinion if it is too good to be true then it probably is.I have been around the industry a long time now and any goal achieved or positive change to peoples health and fitness generally all comes down to hard work with some consistency over certain amount of time.It wont come easy within 14 days and if it does its 100% not sustainable in the long run
- Mechanics,consistency then intensity
This is a 3 step approach I like to train all my clients.Upon assessment we then move into this area and this is something you should consider.Before diving into the deep end into high intensity workouts asses your movement first before ramping up your workout with extra load,volume or intensity. Don’t get me wrong high intensity workouts are great but not all the time.Learn the new movement,fix it and get better at it then progress.
- The squat
The squat is the king of all exercises and is a movement I would have in almost everyone’s program.For a movement that is quite basic and very functional that we generally do on a daily basis it gets a bit tricky for most in a gym environment.If you want to fix your squat then this article and video will help you fix your squat
- Do some form of strength training
No matter your age, gender or training level I feel strength training is a must for anyone’s workout program.I would generally encourage people to pick movements that will give them the best benefit, and to work on their weaknesses.I would focus on compound movements such as squats and deadlifts along with plenty of pulling, pressing and some core drills.I have previously highlighted five of the best exercises for your gym programme and you can bring all of these into the strength portion of your session.
- Do some form of mobility work
This is a very important part of your session. I’ve seen many approaches over the years; from those who do nothing at all,to the 15-minute foam-rolling session The goal here is to set aside 10-15 minutes for getting warm, loose, working on some areas of your body that is inactive,stiff or immobile.Having access to tools like resistance bands, foam rollers, lacrosse balls and plenty of other mobility tools will help.If you are unsure on what to do then find a trainer who will guide you down the right path
- You dont need the best equipment
Like I have said before you dont need the best equipment for the most effective workouts.A simple set of resistance bands,gym rings,along with a kettlebell and you are pretty much set up to train yourself in some shape or form.My article here gives you some 5 excellent full body workouts with limited equipment needed
I hope these 15 tips have helped you out in relation to your training.
You can also see some of his previous articles here.