Tips & Advice from the professional personal trainers at OneLife training gym in Kelowna.
You’re in the gym, extremely happy with your decision to start training, you love the feeling you get, but you aren’t loving your results- anymore, that is. It suddenly dawns upon you, you have reached the end of your beginner phase. But what do you do now? First off, be proud of yourself for achieving you initial fitness goals! All the hard work you’ve put in has paid off and you’re ready to advance to the next step. Secondly, do not panic because in this article we are going to define how you can move up from novice gym-goer to intermediate athlete. It’s always a great idea to talk to a personal trainer and find out their specific recommendations that are unique to you and your body type, but in addition to that, these tips are great to aid in pushing past your performance plateau.
Here are 5 ways to get the most out of your intermediate workout:
• Split-Body Workouts & Increased Rest Time
• Analyze Current Technique & Address Weak Points
• Train With Someone Stronger
• Enhance Your Nutrition Game
What Are “Split Body Workouts?”
If you’re just beginning your fitness journey, you might train all your muscle groups in one day. It feels easy to pump out arms, legs, and abs in a single day when at an ameture level (okay, maybe not… but it does now!) That’s because you were using lighter weights and lower intensity workout techniques. With a split-body workout, you focus on training one or two muscle groups per workout session. For example, Monday you might workout shoulder traps, rear deltoids, and biceps. On Tuesday you now target glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Are you seeing a pattern here? You’re still working out your body on a consistent basis, but you’re cycling through specific muscle groups during the week; this allows you to train harder without fatiguing your entire body from squats before you move onto shoulder presses. You’ll be able to increase the weight you’re lifting and provide undivided attention to one group while the other rests and recovers. Remember, you are not being lazy by giving specific parts of your body a rest period; your muscles grow on the days you give them off. Using this technique will actually increase your performance and stamina in the long run.
Addressing Your Weaknesses
Have you ever given a second thought as to how you’re lifting in the gym? Are you using proper form and the right weight for your strength level? These are all factors that should be taken into consideration, otherwise by improper practice you could be harming your performance and results. It’s a given that in order to build stronger muscle, after you’ve hit a flatline, you should increase the load you’re lifting… But if you aren’t able to do so, it could be because your body is not aligned into the correct position for that exercise. Those 15s are certainly not cutting it anymore, but why are the 20s impossible to curl? Check if your wrist form has gotten sloppy and that you have appropriately grounded yourself. You might be surprised to see that by making the smallest adjustments, it makes world of a difference.
Micro-Load Your Weights
Could too much of a weight increase be deterring you from advancing your strength and skill level? It might be. Your gym might only offer you an increase of 2.5 lbs. to 5 lbs. and you also need to take into consideration the difference between barbells and dumbbells. Adding 2.5 lbs. to your barbell on each side equals out to a 5 pound increase in total, however, after around 30 pounds, dumbbells seem to only go up in 5 lbs. increments… So instead of increasing your lifting weight by 5, it becomes 10 on either side! See the problem here? A solution to this can be found by investing in smaller weight plates and small magnetic weights that you can take with you to the gym. Or look at wearing wrist or ankle weights that range from 0.5 lbs. to 2 lbs., as these can add just enough resistance for what you need.
Train With Your Superior
If you’ve been at the gym for a while now, you’re sure to have found that there are people of all different skill levels surrounding you. Your goal might be to advance to the highest level, but without the proper motivation there is no way you are going to get there. By keeping to yourself, you won’t be able to see the potential you have yet to reach. Try making friends with someone who is above your lift game. They will be able to mentor you and unlock the abilities you didn’t know your were capable of. If you can’t seem to find someone to workout with that will push your limits, consider hiring a personal trainer. They are there to monitor your progress and determine definitive points that will get you to the next stage.
Keeping Up With Your Nutrition
In our beginners guide to fitness we outlined the importance of proper nutrition. But we are wondering, have you kept up with a healthy diet? If you’ve gotten lazy about fuelling your body with the right foods, you certainly will not have the energy you need to progress in the gym. This week, take the time to stock up on healthy fats, lean sources of protein, complex carbs and a whole truck load of veggies. Replace anything in your diet that spikes your insulin levels, leading to an energy crash, with sustainable nutrients that keep you moving throughout the day. You’ll never reach your goals if you’re ignoring quality nutrition because you’ll never have the endurance to get there.
With these five tips you’re sure to advance past your workout rut and make gains. It’s always a good idea to take a step back, evaluate your current process and how you can improve upon it. Personal trainers great to help you do so and will be there to coach and guide you through the tough points. But no matter what level you’re at, One Life Fitness is a great place to start progress in your athletic performance and will be there to offer you expert advice in a friendly environment.