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As a veteran fitness buff with a hectic schedule, it’s tempting to squeeze your sessions into a portion of the day and rush through for the sake of checking it off the list. But a poorly prepared body, no matter how strong, is a body waiting to get hurt.
All too often confidence in the gym takes over good practices. Unfortunately, the more skilled you get, the easier it is to slack on the details.
Those details – they can make ALL the difference, for better or worse.
Don’t let laziness get in the the way of proper prep, execution and recovery. Here’s how.
TAKE A SECOND
Warm Up, ALWAYS.
You should see sweat before you even start your actual workout. In order to be properly primed for responsive exercise, your muscles need to be warm and pliable. A stiff form is set up for imperfect technique, which affects your ENTIRE workout.
Hit the bike to get your cardiovascular and nervous systems in the game, and after that STRETCH and throw in some isometric moves like a few planks to get your body fully warm. Pay particular attention to the areas you’ll be targeting.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Far
Assess your readiness for new maneuvers like overhead lifts before daring to attempt it. Ask a trainer at the gym to lead you through a back-to-wall shoulder flexion, to see if your form remains intact without compromise. If your posture suffers to compensate for weakness in your lower back or neck, this is a tell-tale sign that you aren’t quite ready to be lifting iron over your head yet.
If you are yelling when you lift, you’ve got WAY too much weight on your hands. Cut it out! Remember, your fitness should be about YOUR health and wellbeing, so don’t make it about being impressive.
Our bodies takes a beating. It does not matter how tough, how experienced, or how big you are – you require recovery, just like everyone else. It’s as important as exercising and is often left in the dust.
After your workout, TAKE STOCK:
- How did you feel during your workout? Great? Did you struggle? Was it too easy? Adjust accordingly.
- Did you maintain technique? No? Then you must master it exactly as you are, before you get to move onto the next, harder challenge.
- Are you performing consistently throughout your session? It’s important to train with regularity in order to keep your body challenged in a way that is consistent enough to transform, not just endure.
Extra Tips on the BASICS:
- EATING. Proper protein, healthy fats and carbs all contribute to regeneration – make sure you CONTINUE to manage the amount of each that you consume. As your physique changes, so will your dietary needs. There is no substitute for foundational nutrition.
- SLEEPING. Insufficient rest not only prevents muscle growth but increases your stress levels (even when you can’t tell), which are counterproductive to burning fat! Sleep well and let the world see those lean muscles faster.
Look out for your own disciplines to prevent injury and encourage optimal results.