I used to think if I worked out 5-6 times a week, then I would lose weight and get strong super fast. Well, there is actually such thing as working out too much and not getting a balance of rest and recovery. There are also things you can do to increase your performance and get the most out of your workouts without spending your whole week at the gym.
Train Smart Tip #1: Put it in Your Calendar!
Set a routine and stick to it. Decide before you start your workout program how often you will show up. Put it in your calendar. It is an appointment with yourself and a commitment to your health. By not showing up, you are only cheating yourself. If you put your workouts in your calendar, than you can adjust the rest of your week around your training schedule. This is a really important piece to be successful in reaching your goals.
I recommend 3-4x/week for most people. Even on the days when you'd rather go home and hide under the covers. ESPECIALLY on those days. You'll feel better afterwards and you'll make it easier for yourself to show up in the future. Show yourself you can do it.
Train Smart Tip #2: Post Workout Protein
Protein right after your workout will help your muscles recover quicker and help prevent overeating later on. The trick is bringing the protein with you to your workout - waiting until you get home won't have the same effect. For my post workout protein I like protein powder mixed with water or a handful of raw organic almonds. This should not replace your meal.
Train Smart Tip #3: Vary the Intensity of Your Workouts
If you are training too often and too intensely, you could actually be doing more harm than good. What constitutes as too much will vary from person to person. What happens when you work out too much is your body will begin to store fat because it will trigger a stress response. Let's say you are training 3-4 times/week. I recommend two high intensity workouts, one moderate intensity and one light workout. If you are only training 2x/week, then its okay to train intensely both days.
Train Smart Tip #4: Sleep!
One of the best benefits to a regular workout routine is that you will sleep better. You should also sleep more, especially if you are training hard. For most people, 8-10 hours per night will be best, but this varies from person to person. The hours slept before midnight will be more beneficial than the hours slept after. For best sleep, make sure your room is cool and that all artificial light is eliminated.
Train Smart Tip #5: Nutrition - Eat smart to Support your Hard Work
Now that you are putting in all this hard work, eat in a way that supports muscle recovery and fat loss. You won't shed pounds if you don't eat right. It doesn't work that way. For best results, consume high protein foods and lots of veggies to support your new lifestyle and your goals. Avoid eating sugary, starchy, processed foods like pizza, pasta, bread and frozen meals. Eat real food. This will help you recover quicker from workouts and help you feel more energized. If you are not sure how to eat, its best to discuss this with our certified health coach, Sharon Nelson.
Train Smart Tip #6: Water - Hydrate to Boost Energy, Recovery and Performance
Drinking plenty of water is important whether or not you are training. It helps our bodies function better especially before, during and after our workouts. Water is the best form of hydration. A lot of sports drinks come with added sugars, high fructose syrups or other additives that put extra strain on the body, so keep that in mind. You can add flavor to plain water by squeezing in a half a lemon or lime.
Now that you have some training tips in your back pocket, you should be able to perform your workouts with more ease and energy. Enjoy!
Marie and Sharon Nelson are the owners of Total Body Power. In this blog they impart their expertise, insight and experiences with all aspects health-related. Feel free to comment on this blog or contact them directly: MarieNeslon01@gmail.com and Sharon.Nelson08@gmail.com