If you’re looking to get an athletic look, lean out, look in shape, and/or feel comfortable in your own skin, know that not all training programs are created equal. If your program isn’t performing for you, there’s a solution!
For all of you folks looking to pursue fitness and healthy lifestyle goals as your new year’s resolution, here are 5 FUNDAMENTAL tips for training that’ll give your new routine (or existing routine) a face-lift.
FUNDAMENTAL 1: ALWAYS EXHIBIT PROPER POSTURE
If there’s one thing you should remember when training, it’s this: proper form makes all the difference! It’s no use worrying about how many sets, reps, and what weight you’re going to use if your form isn’t solid.
If you want to GUARANTEE good form during your training program, LEARN HOW TO ENGAGE YOUR CORE.
fundamental 2: always be aware of your breath
During resistance training, besides ensuring proper form, always be aware of your breathing (or lack thereof). Holding your breath during a lift not only puts an excessive amount of pressure on your heart, but also puts your body at risk for injury.
Here are a few tidbits on technique for utilizing a proper diaphragmatic breathing pattern. While engaging the lift, inhale through your nose. Continue to take this long breath until you’ve reached capacity. During this time your belly should be expanding. Then, quickly exhale through your mouth upon exertion. During this time, your belly should be deflating and your core should be engaged.
fundamental 3: know the difference between precision and momentum
A good rule of thumb: 3 repetitions performed with precision will net better results than 20 repetitions performed with momentum.
Yes, it is important to challenge yourself, but not to the point where you are throwing weights around using momentum and most likely sloppy form. This yields poor results and also wastes your energy!
A strict lift, with the right weight, will create maximum muscle recruitment. This leads to higher calorie burn and increased muscle tone.
fundamental 4: be aware of lifting too heavy
This point builds off of the previous principle. It is important to make strength gains during training (and this can happen as you GRADUALLY increase in weight). The problem becomes when you lose form and force a lift anyway - this is a sign that you are using a weight that is too heavy.
Here’s a way that you can gauge whether or not you are lifting too heavy: after a workout, you may or may not experience soreness in the muscles you are working. This is otherwise known as delayed onset muscle soreness, which is a normal phenomenon. However, if this soreness lasts for longer that 48 hours, it may be a sign that you are lifting too heavy.
As a rule, always aim to warm up and cool down before and after working out.
Use a proper recovery protocol and self-care tool, like a foam roller, to help reduce the intensity of delayed onset muscle soreness as it sets in.
fundamental 5: hydrate!
The human body is primarily made up of water. Therefore, it is ESSENTIAL to hydrate before, during, and after workouts as increased exertion accelerates the rate of water loss.
A rule of thumb is to drink at least 8 oz worth of water before, during, and after your workout. This will keep your body feeling hydrated and will also prevent the onset of dehydration and undue stress on your kidneys!
Above all, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! Become aware of what it’s trying to tell you. Pain is the last signal your body will send when there’s a problem.
Are you taking longer to recover or dealing with ongoing pain when you workout? Click the link below to schedule an appointment with us today!