Are you focusing on the wrong things?
Posted on 4th July 2018 at 11:05
Wasting time in and out of the gym is the reason everyone becomes disheartened.
If, like a big percentage of the population you’re a member of a gym, you’ll know that a lot of the time you just don’t feel like going, whether it’s tiredness or just general lack of motivation, you decide that your time is better spent sitting watching the TV.
But I’m not focusing on that, hopefully we don’t need an article on why not being active isn’t helping you achieve your goals?
What I will focus on though is the time you do manage to get to the gym and whether or not you’re utilising that effectively.
Let me say that I do believe anything is better than nothing, but if you always feel like your wasting time, then your willpower won’t last very long and you’ll stop going altogether.
So what can you do about it?
First off, you have to look at yourself. Do you really want to spend an hour or more working out? Does spending all your time on treadmill excite you? Why are you going to the gym in the first place?
Which leads me neatly on to the next port of call, your goal. Is it for Fat Loss? Muscle Building? Sports Performance? Strength? General Health? Whatever you’ve chosen, you do for yourself, it’s what YOU want to achieve, what YOU want to improve. So pick something because YOU want to do it!
Let’s for argument’s sake say you want to spend as little time in the gym as possible, but also need to lose weight for a holiday you’ve got coming up. Is spending an hour on cardio really the most effective way forward?
Not in my opinion. Yes, cardio burns a HUGE amount of calories within a single session, but beyond that, doesn’t really give you much benefit. Plus you’ve spent an hour doing it, which means that 30 minutes was spent wondering why you were still there?
Not a great use of time and because it sucked, you didn’t really get the full endorphin rush from it. So, likelihood is you’ll probably give the gym a miss tomorrow and feel guilty about doing so.
Stop the cycle! Like everything, you’re going to have good and bad days at the gym, but the idea is to aim for more good than bad. The way to do that is to enjoy what you do, and see the difference from doing so. The more you start seeing positive changes, the more consistent you’ll be, the more consistent, the more changes you’ll see and so on.
I know that this may seem obvious, but doing the same thing again and again is the main reason lots of people don’t achieve results. Something needs to change.
A wise man that Albert Einstein! Once we’ve all stopped admiring his moustache, I’ll get back on track!
Referring back to the fat loss goal above, let’s look at it this way. They don’t want to be in the gym for an hour, so shorten it to 45 minutes or even 30 minutes if they really don’t want to be there. They disliked conventional cardio (treadmills, cross-trainers, rowing etc), so we can cut it out. It’s not imperative for their goal. But what do they fill the 30-45 minutes with?
My advice for any beginner would be to include a couple of compound movements, possibly a deadlift and some sort of press (overhead press, bench press etc), providing technique was good. Programmed as a superset (2 exercises, one after the other) with anywhere from 45 seconds-1.5 minutes rest in between sets (depending on weight lifted, reps, individual recovery time etc.) After 4 sets or so, I would throw in some higher rep exercises, possibly walking lunges and press ups, again in the way of a superset. Then finish off the workout with some sled pushes.
Performed correctly, the above workout including a warm up takes no longer than 45 minutes. Amazing what you can get done and it’s a massively more effective use of your time.
At this juncture I do want to say that if your goal is fat loss and you’re thinking about weight training, focus on the bigger movements, no point doing calf raises and bicep curls if you’re 35% body fat. Overcome the first hurdle, then focus on refining the little things.
I’ve trained countless people who have spent months and even years stuck in a rut of the same boring workouts. It’s not an easy habit to break by yourself, but after we chat about their goals and I take them through a completely different workout to the ones they’re used to. They soon gain back their enthusiasm for training and results usually follow close behind.
Never be afraid to take a step back and re-evaluate your training. If you find that you’re bored more often than not, switch it up, do something different. It doesn’t even have to be gym-based!
Play a sport, take up yoga, even run up any stairs you encounter in your day. If you find it fun and it helps you stay active, then I’m all for it!
The same goes for your nutrition, it’s important for any goal, but again doesn’t mean it always has to be the same every week, get creative, find a new recipe and be flexible.
If you’re sitting there reading this and it’s made you realise that you aren’t enjoying your training, then message me. I’ll happily give you some advice about where you can change things, the most effective ways of training for your goal and anything else you may want to ask.
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