We are coming to the end of the second week of January and that initial burst of energy and motivation is beginning to wear off. It's cold, dark and miserable outside and the summer months seem so far away! You begin to realise that you haven't achieved your dream body in two weeks from joining the gym and begin to ask yourself why you are even bothering.
So why do you feel this way and what can be done about it?
1) Training Volume
Going from no exercise at all to suddenly expecting yourself to be able to attend the gym for an hour, three times a week is just not realistic and you are setting yourself up to fail. Not only does this put a lot of pressure on you mentally but it also does physically. Your body will not be use to this amount of training volume and you will feel fatigued going in to each session.
To combat these issues why not set your self to go to the gym twice a week to start with each session just being 30 minutes long. This gives you chance to build your confidence in the environment you are training in and your body the ability to adapt. As you begin to ingrain this habit you can then increase your training session times over the weeks to an hour and finally increase the amount of days you train.
2) High Intensity
High intensity training has become popular over the years because it is very time efficient and you leave the session sweating feeling like you have had a good work out. Just because this feels like a good way to train, it doesn't mean it is the smartest and it is probably resulting in the reason you want to give up. It is just not possible to maintain this intensity long term and over time something must give. The lack of ability to be able to recover from the sessions increases your risk of becoming injured, feeling burnt out and the loss of motivation. On top of all of this you also begin to realise you still haven't acquired the body you desire because this type of training does not provide the right stimulus for you to do so.
High intensity training can be a good tool to have in your exercise tool box but it should not be your first go to resource. Following a resistance training programme allows you to become stronger, increase muscle mass and reduce body fat.
3) No Structured Programme
Going to the gym without a training programme is like going to the supermarket without a shopping list. You end up buying food you don't need, forget to buy food you do need, and you spend most the time wondering around a bit lost! Going to the gym without a training programme isn't much different. You do exercises you don't need to do, don't include exercises you do need to do, and you spend most the time wondering around a bit lost! It is no wonder you don't see any results and lose all motivation to train.
To avoid overtraining and ensure you are continuously progressively overloading, a structured training programme is key. This allows you to turn up to each training session knowing exactly what you are going to be doing and no time is wasted on decided what exercise to do next. You completely eliminate the guessing game and are able to achieve the results you are aiming for.
If you don't set your self goals how do you know if you are making progress? However, the goals you do set need to be realistic and measurable. Your expectations need to be realistic and match your commitment. For instance if your current back squat is 40kg and you expect to be able to squat 100kg by the end of the year but you can only train once a week it just isn't going to happen. If your goal isn't measurable you will never know if you have achieved it or not. For example if you say you want to lose weight, how can you measure this? If you say I currently fit into a size 16 and I want to be able to fit into a size 14 this is now measurable.
5) No Patience
As the old saying goes 'Rome wasn't built in a day' the same can be said to achieving your weight loss goal. We live in a world now where we want everything now and I believe modern technology is to blame for this. Back in the day we would of had to show extreme patience as we hunted for our food but these days with a few taps on our phones we can get a meal delivered to us without needing to leave our front door. Now I am not saying we need to all hunt for our food to lose weight but we do need to show patience and believe in the process. This means keeping consistent with our training, keep showing up to each session and try to do just a little bit more then the session before. This may not feel like much at the time but if you keep this up over time each little win will lead to you achieving your goal!
So before you give up I want you to have a look at your current training programme compare it to the five points I have made and see if you can make any positive changes.
I hope you have found this useful and if you have any other questions or would like help with your programming just drop me an email.