So, we’re almost a month into the new year, hopefully, Blue Monday hasn’t bitten you too badly and you’re still working on those 2020 goals. Blue Monday, which was Monday just gone, is when most people feel the worst (a combo of lack of daylight and feeling stuck/not seeing the progress they’d hoped) and are statistically most likely to give up on whatever goals they’ve set. The problem I see most often is that people tend to go off too hard too soon. Change is hard, and making sweeping changes to your diet and exercise routines can lead to disaster. You end up too sore and too hungry, and wonder why you’re not seeing significant (any?) results after 2 weeks…
The truth is that both fat loss and muscle gain is a slow process. It takes consistency and effort over a long enough period for your body to adapt to the new stimulus. By going too extreme to begin with, your body fights the change and you eventually give up due to your lack of results. And the fact that you’re starving and sore all the freaking time.
If you are struggling with your motivation to stay on track, look at your approach and see where you can scale it back a little to make it more sustainable, and still make progress.
3 training thoughts
On that same topic, we tend to believe that to get great results we need to use extreme methods. So whatever the latest variant of P90X comes out and you push your sweaty self into the floor repeatedly. Or you pick a workout from magazines or online that promises to drop a dress size in a week/add an inch to your biceps in an hour/ get that 6 pack in a fortnight and you go at it. And because you’re new to training/ or it’s a massive change in what you’ve done before, you get so sore you can barely move. And you keep going until you can’t and then you go back to whatever you were doing before.
The secret to making long lasting change, is finding a program that starts almost too easy and builds over time to minimise soreness, maximise adaptation and build momentum to keep going. Find a program that works for you instead of against you and you’ll get the result you’re looking for.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Progressive overload is necessary if you want to see progress!
Progressive overload is the slow and steady increase in training load, reps or sets on your exercise selection over time. You body adapts to whatever stresses it gets exposed to most often. It’s a built in method of energy saving and protection. If you stay using the same weights you’ve been using for the last 6 months, your body isn’t going to go through the metabolically expensive process of laying down new muscle fibres and strengthening your neural pathways. Why would it? It’s already doing the task at the level you demand. To create a need for your body to change, you have to ask more of it. Challenge yourself a little!
Sometimes I feel stupid.
I see an exercise that does exactly what I want for a specific type of client and when I find it, I can’t believe it’s so simple and I couldn’t figure it out. This is one of those times.
2 nutrition bites
Talking with a few online clients this week in their coaching calls and a similar theme came up from several – the need to plan ahead for the week and not let the weekend, or midweek eating out derail their progress. It seems simple, but a little planning ahead can make all the difference in the world. It gives you a clearer plan, stops you bingeing and still allows you an occasional treat or 2 so that you don’t hate life.
Take 5 minutes today to look at the week ahead, find the potential times where you might be thrown off track and develop a plan. That could be knowing you’re out on Friday night for dinner and drinks, so you adjust your meals earlier in the week to leave extra cals for the night out. It could be a work lunch and you go online to pre plan your order to get something that works for you. It might be a midweek day off that takes you out of your normal schedule and you know you don’t eat well when you’re out of your routine.
It doesn’t take much, but it will make a big difference.
1 exercise demo
This doesn’t require a video demo…but then there’s this.
Walking is one of the best exercise you could be doing more of.
Improved aerobic function
Exposure to daylight which will improve sleep later on
Great for recovery
I could go on, but I think you can see how good walking is for you.
While the 10000 step target is pretty arbitrary, it’s good round number to aim for. How close do you get each day?
Have a great Sunday.