In today’s world, it is incredibly easy to head online and download a workout plan that promises to get you great results. In fact, it is too easy to do. Just because a program works for one person does not mean it will work for everyone. Heck, it doesn’t even mean it is designed according to sound exercise principles. Take a look at a few of these crucial aspects of workout design to see if yours is up to snuff.
Rigid Routines Can Lead to Plateauing
Many people get stuck in a fitness routine that they’ve used for months —and sometimes years. This is fine if you just want to keep moving. However, it will not move you closer to any other fitness goal. If you are staring at your goal and not getting any closer, now is a time to reevaluate your routine.
You Should Include a Variety of Exercise Modalities
There are three main categories of exercise: cardio, strength, and flexibility training. In order to get the most benefit from your routine, it should include exercises from each group. For example, if you only focus on weight lifting and never do cardio workouts, you are not supporting muscle growth as well as you could be. Additionally, without flexibility, you increase the risk of injury.
Keep this in mind whenever you make changes to your workout structure. For example, your friends who regularly lift weights might have the best intentions to help you, but that doesn’t mean they have the knowledge to develop a solid workout that targets all muscle groups and incorporates the required exercise modalities.
Recovery Is Crucial To Success
Even if you have a great workout plan, it isn’t complete if it doesn’t also include recovery periods. To be clear, these are not the same as rest days. Recovery can also be an active process, such as walking, swimming, or taking a gentle yoga class. The important part is that you include some active and passive recovery periods in your schedule.
You may wonder why recovery is so important. In a nutshell, it is necessary to allow muscles to repair themselves after intense workouts. When you exercise, you develop microtears in your muscle tissue. The body repairs these during recovery. It also flushes the waste produced during physical activity, so you are less likely to become sore.
Muscle Overload Is Great if Done Correctly
You must challenge yourself and your muscles to see results. Using principles of overload is an excellent way to do this. It basically requires you to add progressive challenges to keep your workouts relevant. That may be more reps, higher weights, or greater intensities. Just be careful when applying this principle. Exercising too hard or putting more strain on your muscles than they are ready for can be harmful and lead to injuries.
Strength Training Is About More Than Building Bulk
Strength training is an important part of any workout. Experts recommend including it at least twice each week. In addition to building muscle, it also supports strong bones, which can reduce your chance of fractures. There’s more to it than that, though.
Lifting weights helps to develop lean muscle. The higher percentage of lean tissue you have, the more efficient your body becomes. Therefore, you’ll burn calories quicker and find it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
Diet, Hydration, and Sleep Patterns Can Make or Break Your Routine
If you are doing everything right at the gym and still not seeing results, the problem may be in other lifestyle choices. Eating a clean, balanced diet, drinking enough water to stay hydrated, and getting enough sleep are all crucial to your success in the gym.
Sometimes you work really hard t something and never see results. If you feel this way about your fitness, your exercise routine may be undermining your efforts. Ensure you are using different exercise modalities, making healthy lifestyle choices, and allowing sufficient time for recovery to achieve your goals.