You go the gym and you’re not getting the results you want. Don’t worry – there are some simple steps that have been proven to make your time more effective and get you going in the right direction. None of these tactics are magic or will turn you into an overnight fitness guru, but they will all put you on the path to your goals. Achieving your goals is done one step at a time and using these tips you can make more effective progress.
Tip #1: Work out in the morning.
Workout first thing before the rest of your day can get in the way. People who work out in the morning are the most consistent and most focused. Training early sets them up to have a better day. If you can’t work out in the morning or consistently have terrible workouts when you wake up evening hours can work, too. This tends to get a bit more complicated, so make sure to get everyone in your life on board with your workouts. In fact, this should happen no matter what time your workouts are at.
Tip #2: Track your progress.
What gets measured gets done. If you want to achieve results keep a workout log. This allows you to plan your sessions, make sure you are continuing to improve, and to provide yourself or your trainer feedback on the effectiveness of the plan. Not keeping track of your results is essentially shooting in the dark. You’re pretty sure you hit the targets, but you don’t exactly remember where they all were.
Tip #3: Form a team.
Having a workout partner or group has consistently (and scientifically) shown better results than going it alone. Teams can bring out the best in people, pushing you harder than you ever would on your own. This is one reason why CrossFit has become so popular. Take a note and turn your friends and family into your team. Teach them about your goals, why you have these goals, and how they can help you succeed. Having a group atmosphere and others dedicated to your success is invaluable.
Tip #4: Keep a food journal.
Recording everything you eat is possibly one of the most painstaking activities I could ever ask a person to do. The truth is that it can be mind numbing and aggravating at first. But what gets measured gets managed. When you have an accurate food log and you didn’t lose any weight this week, you know exactly why. When your strength numbers have stopped going up and your energy dips at the end of the day, you know why. A food journal is worth its weight in gold when used properly. Don’t worry about getting it perfect, just start. Once you get used to the process it becomes fairly quick and painless, I promise.
Tip #5: Go to bed earlier.
If you don’t get enough sleep it’s hard to lose weight, gain muscle, build strength, build endurance, or pretty much any other goal you have in going to the gym. Get your priorities in line, don’t wait until the last minute for your projects, and get to bed before eleven each night. Ideally, you’d get to sleep even before ten. There is a reason most animals sleep when the sun goes down, and wake up when the sun comes up. Getting used to a more natural sleeping pattern can boost all the gains you are looking for, while having you feel better. On the flip side, remember there is a thing as too much sleep. Eventually you’re just getting lazy and it’s time to get out of bed.
While these tips will all be effective, don’t try to implement all of them at the same time cold turkey. It’s been proven that most people respond best to one change at a time. Anything more and it could be too much to maintain. Pick one new habit to start this week and stick to it. Once it becomes a regular part of your day and no longer a habit you have to think about, then start another one.
Almost all effective people begin to follow patterns of success. Strategize your life the same way you would if you were a company creating a business plan. Create your personal plan, keep track as you go along, and evaluate at the end of the period. Most of the time we seek supplements, complicated plans, and look outside ourselves for the answers. Own your workouts, own your diet, and own your life. Results will follow and be the kind that sticks around for good.
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