Fitability

Deb Bailey AFPA, MAT, CanFitPro, YMCA

Are you frustrated because you're not seeing the results you want from your workouts? It may be because your program hasn't changed in a while. While our minds love the status quo, our bodies need to have challenges! In an eight week program, it's important to increase the weights up one level every couple of weeks. Otherwise, the body knows it doesn't have to work as hard as it did in the beginning to do the exercises. So you don't get the positive changes you're looking for - you've gotten stagnant.

Also, at the end of eight weeks, you need to get a new program. Build on the skills of the first program, but make things more challenging. If you were doing squats with biceps curls, try doing the squats on a BOSU, and do a different upper body exercise. That increases the challenge to your muscles, balance and core. 

As you go through each program, the weight should go up and the reps should go down, so you cycle through the endurance fibres into the strength fibres in your muscles. That way, you'll have a well-rounded program that challenges you constantly - and gets the results you want.

Are you frustrated because you're not seeing much change even though you're working out regularly and eating better? The first thing to look at is what you are doing for weight training, and when you're changing it up.

The mind loves the status quo, but the body needs regular change! During an eight-week program, the weight (load) for each exercise should increase every couple of weeks or so. After a while of the same old weights and exercises, the body says, "Oh, right, I know what's coming, because I've been doing this stuff for months now. I can take it easy - not work so hard!" and that translates into fewer calories burned, less muscle mass gained, and little progress.

Every couple of weeks, up the weight one or two pounds. And at the end of eight weeks, it's time to get a new program going. If you were doing squats in the first program, do them on a BOSU, or try lunges combined with an upper body exercise. Build on the skills learned in the first program, but challenge yourself in the next eight weeks to bigger and better heights.

So challenge yourself to up the ante and look for those results!

FIT TIP #13

Don't forget the most important meal of your day! No, I don't mean breakfast, although that's very important too.
I'm talking about the small meal or snack you need to eat after your workout, preferably within a half-hour. This food should include 10-15 grams of protein, animal or plant-based, and 20-30 grams of good-quality carbohydrates, with little or no fat.


Some of you may balk at eating after a workout, because you feel you'd be undoing the calorie burn you just got. But you have to take in enough carbs to prompt a release of insulin, which sends the carbs and amino acids into your recovering muscles. This help repair the muscle tissue damaged through exercise.
Right after your workout, your muscles are at their peak ability to take in nutrients. So chow down on that recovery meal!

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