Do you find yourself hoping from one training plan to another? Or going from one type of fitness class to another without really picking one and then just stopping the classes altogether? Or do you feel like you are not making any progress in general?
If this is the case, you may need to take a minute to evaluate how you are organizing your training plan.
First of all, let's talk about the most important aspect of any training plan: how long does it take??
Depending on your goals, you can expect to notice your results within a matter of weeks, maybe months. If your goal is weight loss, the general guideline is this: it takes one month for you to see changes, two months for people close to you notice them and three months for every one else. That means that for the first three months of your training, not a lot of people will mention your results, but don't let that fool you!
Sometimes it'll take a little longer or a little shorter to get there, but the 3 month timeline is a good reference point.
Second, let's make sure that you have the basic components of a good training plan.
This should be the first thing that comes to mind. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you make enough time to grocery shop at least twice per week?
- Do you take the time to meal prep at least once a week?
- Do you throw away a lot of food? If you do, you may want to reconsider what you buy. Doesn't matter if you buy a ton of healthy food if you just wast it away
- Do you enjoy you food that you eat? You need to enjoy what you eat and how you eat, other wise you won't last 3 months. Make sure you have cheat meals once in a while!
- Is you plate made up of a protein, fat and veggies? You need all three for the best results.
- Do you drink enough water?
- Do you drink t0o many calories? Excess calories usually come in drinks because they don't make you feel as full. I've seen plenty of people eat very little food but drink slurpees and double whipped moca fraps and wonder why they were gaining weight.
Be the hardest and smartest worker in the gym. Make sure you do a few things properly:
- Training 3 times per week at higher intensities is a good frequency. It allows you to have enough rest in between workouts and makes sure you aren't over working yourself.
- Quality over quantity: train smart, train with a purpose. Each exercise has a purpose. Make sure you feel your muscles work each rep. That is quality. Doing a bunch of crappy quality reps will not yield any results
- Do compound movements like the squats, deadlift, pull ups and over head press. Each of these have many variations so you can alternate from workout to workout.
- Know you rep ranges: 6 reps and under works strengths, 8-12 reps if for size and over 12 reps is for endurance.
- Train pain free. If doing an exercise hurts you, stop. Figure out what is wrong, fix it and then get back to the exercise. Fixing something may take a while so take your time and do it properly.
Now here comes the toughest part of any good training program: trust it! Trust yourself. Results are not going to happen over night. You need to spend time working on the process before seeing results.
If you are doing all the things highlighted above, keep doing what you are doing, you are on the right track.
You obviously want to make sure you are moving in the right direction so check in with yourself every two weeks to evaluate how you are doing. Read this article about it.
Remember that there isn't a perfect program out there. We all need something different, learn what works for you and trust it.
Enjoy the results,