Well I think the little bit of sunshine at the weekend reminded us all that summer is on its way (well I sincerely hope it is!) Suddenly everyone has started upping the exercise routine, jumping on new programmes, new diets and planning their summer bodies.
This is all great but unfortunately many people will give it everything they’ve got for a couple of months and then fall off the wagon just as the sun comes out.
Usually this is because they don’t make a plan that is sustainable in their lifestyle. Sure in 6 weeks going hell for leather you can make some drastic changes, but then you hit burn out or boredom and you can’t maintain it; and as one of my very wise clients once said “why would you want to borrow your ideal body to then hand it back?”
So how can we create an effective exercise programme that will get the results we are after but we can also stick to long term?
- Pick exercise that you enjoy! I say this all the time there is no point forcing yourself to take up running or heavy weight lifting if you hate it. Of course if you want a bodybuilders body then you have to train like one, but that’s for you to decide. If you’re just after fitting in your jeans a bit better or feeling less harpooned whale in a bikini on the beach then doing something you enjoy 3-4 times per week will make a huge difference. A bigger difference than those 2 visits to that HIIT gym class that you hate.
- Don’t overdo it. I know, I know you have all of this new found enthusiasm and want to go to the gym and lift heavy stuff every day but in a few weeks you will feel tired, drained and potentially injured. So make sure you also take time to rest and recover properly from your new routine, especially if you are new to exercise. You could treat yourself to a massage, get friendly with a foam roller or some gentle yoga, this will all help to keep you in tip top condition to keep that summer body in sight.
- Consider what you want to achieve long term. This follows on from point one. If you want to look like a bodybuilder or get on stage in a fitness competition then Zumba ain’t gonna cut it. Do you want all round strength and cardio fitness or do you want to be more flexible – (I’m still hoping to get in the splits one day!)Think about this when you decide what kind of programme you are going to start. Does it fit with your long term goals?
- Following on from that. Be realistic and consider whether you goals conflict and may need to be split. For example it is quite difficult to build serious muscle and lose body fat at the same time. Sure training more and losing body fat will help to make you look more muscular ( or “toned” ladies) but if you want to get seriously stacked and have a couple of stone to lose, you will need to shift the fat first and then move on to bulking.
- Nail your Nutrition! I’m sorry no matter what your wiry friend who eats crisps for breakfast says, for us mere mortals you can’t out train a bad diet! So clean up your diet and eat right to support your training and results will come.
- Consistency is key, so get a programme and stick to it. I don’t care if its Joe Wicks lean in 15 or bodybuilding.com get hench on your bench. Get a programme to match your goals or get a trainer to write one for you and follow it. Don’t mix it up with 3 different programmes or just wing it round the gym. To get results you need a structure and progression and most importantly you need to stick to it!
So off you go and join the summer panic pumping…………………………..