Have you ever stopped to consider what exactly is the purpose of your fitness routine? Or, for what purpose would you have to start one? Much of the time there is an external reason or an indirect motivational force such as fitting into a certain article of clothing, to turn heads at an upcoming function or because your doctor had that concerned look on his/her face while poking and prodding you during your last visit. Sound familiar?
Then comes the decision to do something about ‘it’. At some point, exercise enters into the equation as a means to reach that goal and so it seems that if some exercise is good for you than how about more and more and more for better results?
Exercise is a stress on the body, albeit a good stress nonetheless too much of a good thing could become toxic. Just like overexposure to the sun will burn you, so will overexposure to exercise.
The human body only has so much recovery ability and any amount of exercise performed is a negative factor into it’s reserves. In order to stimulate change so that the body is forced to adapt so that it could take on new shape so that you could fit into that piece of clothing, then the exercise must be carefully prescribed on an individual basis in order to prevent burnout. In an over-trained state, your muscles will atrophy or become weaker from overuse and this is a big waste of time!
A reasonable means of measure is strength. Strength is the basis of how much you are progressing assuming that the purpose of your visits to the gym is to become stronger.
**Remember - Strength = Muscle= Higher Metabolism= Fat Burning**
Demonstrating strength is not only about a spontaneous bicep curl with your grocery bags but also a stronger heart which will improve your cardiovascular system, reduce high blood pressure, etc…What this means is that it would be wise to follow a program which could dictate at what point it is that you are regressing in strength.
A great many of us follow a calendar in order that we stay on track. January means resolutions, April showers bring May flowers, September is back-to-school and December signifies Holidays and over-eating. Within the months of the yearly calendar, we further break down our lives into weeks and days and hours - since we are paid by the hour on a weekly basis then it only makes sense to fit our workout routine into that formula. However this is by no means organic or holistic considering that the as resilient as the human body is, there is no forcing results on the body. The body has it’s own clock and it’s own agenda, so the next time you consider visiting the gym just because it is Wednesday and the program you are following requires a Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday weight-training session with a Tuesday/Thursday cardio-session for 1hour each session, consider this: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!
Working out does not have to be fun, in fact, if you are performing your exercises with the proper intensity then it should be somewhat of a daunting and painful task but it does not have to be gruelling and exhausting. Actually, you may even be surprised at the tolerance your body will develop and it will actually begin to crave that pump. The biggest mistake made however is a trainee literally dragging an already depleted physique to the gym with literally no gas in the tank and exposing it to further stress and demand (the workout) with an expectation of it to perform more and better than it did yesterday when it was just as tired and exhausted so that it could look really good in that cocktail dress next week!
Instead, visit the gym with motivation, excitement and intention, and not just because it is Monday.