Back in the day I can remember walking into the gym, begin taking a look at all the equipment and I would sometimes get this overwhelming feeling of, “Okay, where do I start?” I had no plan in place and a sense of programming was not in my toolbox. Heck, my rep schemes came from the latest fitness magazine for no other reason than that it looked like it might work. It was just a big mess. That’s why I’ve come up with five ways to help you get the most out of your training to help prevent yourself from going through the same mistakes I did.
1) Define Your Goals
What are you aiming to accomplish? General fitness, bodybuilding, powerlifting, etc. What is it that you want? Where are you going to train? When are you going to train? How often are you going to train? If you’re looking to lose weight, how are you going to do it? How long is it going to take you to reach your goal? I suggest using the S.M.A.R.T. Goals system if you haven’t used it before. If you don’t know what that is, then Google it.
2) Study Your Craft
Whether it’s weightlifting or losing weight, you should always be looking for information on what it is you are trying to accomplish. For example, when I was working my way down to get single digit body fat I read every article I could find on nutrition and read summaries on every diet method out there.
I watched videos on nutrition, read blogs on nutrition and took the time to ask questions regarding nutrition to people who I knew that could help me get there. I didn’t jump in to just one method. I found a way through much studying to get the body I wanted and didn’t take a cookie cutter approach. This should be said for anything you encounter in your training. To get better at something, it takes more than just showing up. You have to put the time in outside of the gym to reap the benefits.
3) Be Productive
It’s important to make the best use of your time. Going back to my gym experiences at the beginning of this article, that was the epitome of not being productive. Look, there is no quick method when it comes to strength training or losing/gaining weight. You’re not going to see results magically appear overnight. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to get there quickly.
You have to make the best use of your time and you can’t take the half-a*$ approach to getting where you want to be. Find ways to make the best use of your time, and yes, this will require some studying and fine-tuning to make you most efficient. But hell, it’s worth it. And if it’s not worth it to you, find something else to do. You’re wasting your time because if you can’t do the small things outside of those gym doors you are not going to succeed.
4) Challenge Yourself
Now’s the time to have some fun. You want to make your goal a rewarding endeavor and you want to feel a sense of accomplishment. For this reason you should always be finding ways to challenge yourself.
If you’re a lifter, mark an event from 3 to 6 months down the road and prepare yourself to compete in it. It will make you more motivated to train. If you’re attempting to lose weight, there is usually weight loss competitions taking place or other type of fitness challenges to take part in.
Search for those events and throw your name in the hat. In between, maybe an article online can spark your interest on different challenges you can push yourself on inside the gym. A 100 rep challenge or something to the like. Competition brings out the best in us. Always, always, always – Challenge Yourself!
5) Plan Ahead
This last one fits right in with the above. By having a plan in place and taking action you will ensure success for what it is you are trying to accomplish. If you’re not eating the way you are supposed to and find those many moments of food temptation surrounding you it is time for some meal prep.
Know when you are going to eat, know what you are going to eat and prepare your food accordingly. Yes, that means investing in Tupperware and it’s going to mean preparing your food for the week on Sundays. So, what? Just freakin’ do it and get over yourself. You want something bad enough you are going to find a way to make it happen. Quit with the excuses and take action.
Another example is preparing for a fitness competition. If the competition is 12 weeks out, you should have a training program in place that has you peaking 12 weeks out from now. Genius, I know but sometimes the easiest things to consider are left alone and never mentioned.
So, do what you want. However, if you’re looking to be more efficient and do things in a smart way, take thought into what I’ve mentioned and get yourself ready for prime time. As always, Stay Jacked, Stay Strong.