5 Tips to Get Back on Track
When I walk through the gym these days I can see the merriment of the season written on everyone’s face. They’re filled with the joy of the season, the thought of spending so much time with friends and family, and that much needed time off from the grit and grind of the work day. Or I may be getting that look confused with the stress of juggling holiday parties and gift shopping, having ALL that time with your kids home and the in-laws visiting, and being away from work and your routine allowing you to sit and eat and repeat. Ah, what a wonderful time of year. It really makes you sit back and contemplate how lucky you are and also how much you want to stop going to parties, get your kids back in school, your in-laws back to Florida (even if they don’t live there), and stop eating every red and green cookie and candy “Corporate Santa” ever dreamed up. But do not worry; I am here to offer you a gift, one last gift to wrap up another holiday season. The following are some simple principles that I follow personally and incorporate with my own clients.
1. Do resistance training with a purpose. Try to do 8-12 repetitions; if you can’t get 8, it’s too heavy, and if you can get to 12 or above, increase the weight. Have the mindset that you’re trying to get better each time you do an exercise.
2. Do lots of compound movements. Don’t just ride the bike and do biceps and triceps. You know who you are. Do Squats, Presses, and Rows. They are the most metabolically challenging exercises and incorporate every muscle in your body.
3. Control your tempo. Generally speaking, I would lower the weight for 3 seconds, pause for a second, raise the weight for 3 seconds, and pause again for a second. Repeat for 8-12 repetitions. Eight reps would give you 64 seconds of time under tension, and twelve reps would give you 96 seconds under tension. The more time we generate under tension while increasing the workload (weight) the more muscle we can build and maintain.
4. Target the muscles you’re working. If you’re doing a chest press you should feel it in you’re chest, if you’re doing a row you should feel it in your lats, if you’re doing a squat you should feel it in your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Don’t just perform an exercise and move from A to B, train with a purpose, and mentally focus on the muscles that you’re trying to work.
5. Get an assessment. This isn’t a plug for our program, I assure you. Well, maybe a small one. If you’re going to spend the time in the gym, then have a professional design a program that’s customized for you. Every day you step in the gym you should have a program that’s designed to strengthen you where you’re weak, keep you out of pain, have exercises that are tailored to your unique capabilities, and help you reach your goals. If you don’t have that, let us help.
It’s pretty simple when you look at it. Have a purpose, do lots of compound movements with a nice controlled tempo, and mentally focus on the muscles you’re working while doing it. If you stick to that and incorporate a good diet, you will be on the right path as you start a new year!