QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
We’ve all been there. Working out five times a week and not seeing the results. Have you ever thought that it might be that you’re relying on quantity over quality? There are many reasons why at Beattitude, we believe less is sometimes, more. With a group class, it’s easy to just turn up, get it done and tick off your workout for that day without considering how much you actually pushed yourself. Our trainers are always there to encourage you to work even harder, challenging you to pick up that slightly heavier kettlebell or add in a few more reps! It’s key when working out that you are ‘progressively overloading’ your body. For a muscle to grow and therefore increase in strength and performance, the body must adapt to a tension that is beyond what has been previously experienced. This doesn’t necessarily need to be a heavier weight, it could be adding more reps or working that muscle for a longer period of time. If you fall into the trap of ‘getting too comfortable’ with your workouts and forget to challenge yourself, you’re perhaps not going to see the results you’re after.
FINDING A ROUTINE
Life is stressful enough without setting unrealistic goals to fit in five workouts a week around work, family life and social life. Not only is this putting unnecessary pressure on yourself but exercise itself can put stress on the body if you push yourself beyond what feels comfortable. It’s far more beneficial to create a regular routine when it comes to your training. If you can consistently stick to working out 3 times a week, this is going to be far better than training five times one week, and then only once the next. There’s no easy answer to the number of times you need to be training to notice a positive change to your physical and mental health. Everyone is different, so the most important thing is that you listen to your body and find a routine which works best for you.
Rest days allow the body to recover which is imperative for muscle growth. During strength training, we create microscopic tears in our muscle tissue and during rest our cells work hard to repair it. This healing and growing process results in stronger muscles. Our muscles also store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen which is broken down to fuel our workouts. Giving your body the opportunity to rest means that you’re able to replenish these energy stores before your next workout. If you don’t replenish these stores fully, you can experience muscle fatigue and then underperform in your next workout, making your efforts in class far less effective. If we look at the science behind this, the body adapts in three steps (know as general adaptation syndrome):
1) During a workout the body becomes flooded with hormones to help you take on the challenge.
2) You then enter the resistance phase and, if you have recovered properly you will be better adapted to the stress that the workout places on the body.
3) If you don’t fully recover and the stress on the body persists then you’ll enter an exhaustion phase and won’t be able to perform as well in your next workout.
VARIATION IS KEY
It’s also important to make sure that you are varying your workouts throughout the week as there are different elements of fitness which need to be considered. It’s very easy to fall into a routine of ‘sticking to what you know’. However, if you are strength training twice a week and adding in one core class, have you considered your aerobic fitness? Or how about taking a mobility or yoga class to encourage balance throughout the body? This variation is crucial for you to live a healthy life.
TOP TIP FROM BEATTITUDE TRAINER ADRIENN
Push yourself in your training, a hard session is worth so much more than a few average workouts. Stay consistent, you’ll see the benefits, we promise.
Words by Adrienne – @adrienn_szeman