You made a New Year’s resolution that lost its appeal once February came around and the extra weight still seemed to be clinging to your body like a Christmas tree ornament. You vowed to use the recent “work from home” weeks to set aside time to workout, but two months later the squats just don’t seem to be changing anything besides the amount of dust underneath the dumbbells in the corner of your garage. We get it- not seeing the results you want, fast- can be frustrating and discouraging. However, results take time, and there are ways to speed up progress or reframe goals.
You know what they say: Don’t skip leg day! When working out, variety is important to every type of athlete. Whether you're trying to gain mass or get lean, muscle strength and size can only improve when a proper regiment of breakdown and buildup is achieved. In other words, the only way to gain strength is to follow the exertion of a muscle group with a recovery day. (Yes, you can burn yourself out from lifting every day). Even the most aerobically focused athletes can benefit from variety. It is extremely beneficial for endurance athletes to supplement their sport-specific activity with cross-training. An aspiring runner might not need to be cranking out sets of bench press, but taking one day to swim laps and another day to bike will lower chances of impact injury and work different muscle groups. Change the distance or speed of the run, bike, or swim by integrating shorter, faster days with longer, slower days. Variety is most beneficial for the everyday athlete looking to better their health and wellness or meet a weight goal. Mix cardio and strength workouts throughout the week or even incorporate both into a single workout. Try a pushup, running, and core circuit to make the workout fly by while getting the full-body benefit.
In the world of fitness and nutrition, there’s a saying that says “six packs are made in the kitchen.” Progress can be gained and lost based on what is used for fuel. Before a workout, fuel yourself with carbohydrates. Carbohydrates will be converted to glucose, which can be digested quickly and utilized to energize the body- the intensity and quality of a workout depends on what is being used as fuel. Following a workout, restore the depleted carbohydrates and add protein to a snack or meal within 20 minutes of finishing the workout! Experts recommend a 4 to 1 ratio of protein to carbohydrates to optimize muscle recovery. Don’t make the mistake of skimping on calories after a workout, as it will likely lead to a lack of satiety and overcompensation in the following meals. Finding the line between eating enough and not overindulging is key. The best diet is a balanced diet. Steer towards meals and snacks that are both enjoyable and nutritious, and unless you are affected by food allergies or intolerances, avoid cutting out an entire food item or group. Instead, pay attention to portion size and choose natural ingredients. Add a few well-balanced snacks in between your meals to reduce overeating at the table.
By focusing on milestones, you are less likely to burn out in pursuit of a daunting goal. Tracking personal records may prove that you are seeing results after all! In the gym, increase your repetitions and weight slowly. Do not lift with no direction or plan for the workout. Determine your starting weight and a range of repetitions. Aim to increase your repetitions or weight each time you do the workout (typically by increasing 5-10 pounds and completing the bottom range of repetitions, or increasing little to no weight and completing the higher range of repetitions). On the bike, in the pool, or laced up on the roads, aerobic workouts can be improved upon in distance or speed. Try increasing weekly mileage or “time on feet.” Choose a distance, complete a time trial, and train for a few weeks. Aim to test your progress again in a second time trial a few weeks later and either modify your training if no progress is seen, or celebrate and set an even faster goal. Even the smallest goals will keep you on track.
Are you feeling better!? Are you performing well!? Enough said! As fat is slowly replaced by muscle, weight loss might not be noticeable, but your body composition is no doubt in a better range. This is especially true when aiming for multiple goals (like losing weight + getting stronger). If you've losted weight, but your strength hasn't gone up, that's still a win! Practice patience and consistency with your diets, workouts, and recovery. Improvement takes time, and routines become habit! Even if tangible progress stalls, a workout routine will keep your mood and general health and well being elevated.
I swear, this isn't just a pitch for our products! Having the right supplements really can make a difference in your workouts. The right preworkoutcan give you the motivation and energy to let you go harder in the gym. A properly dosed fat burner, like our Acid Rain, helps suppress your appetite and gives you a good pick-me-up to keep you motivated. And if you're not getting enough protein, our Weaponized Wheyis an easy way to help balance out your macros.