Consistent progress in your work on a widely understood fitness and body aesthetics is possible only if you mantain right balance between intensity of training stimuli and your organism's adaptatability. Unfortunately, in practice, it is difficult to achieve it. Meanwhile, little will do trying hard as you migh on training sessoins and strenuous attempts to overcome physiological barriers by adding more exercises or working out till you die if no adequate regeneration follows. In this article we will focus on how to take care of it.
Rule no. 1: a balanced training plan
If you come to the gym when you have time or when you feel like, you train some muscle parts more often than others, you do all the exercises and sets on 110%, know that you don't have great prospects for progressive development. It is not enough to train a lot and heavily to achieve satisfactory progress. You need to train common sensically, which is in accordance with an established plan. Training plan should also match your needs and possibilities. If you are not familiar with a training planning, ask someone experienced for help, preferably a coach, not necessarily a pal who can bench press more than you.
Typically, in case of recreationally training people 3-5 training sessions a week, lasting about 45-90 minutes will be an optimal solution. If you work out day in day out for two hours or longer, your body will not be able to regenerate itself. If the training is based on weights exercises, it should involve all muscle groups, not just chest, shoulders and biceps. Jogging training ought to be diversified as well.
Rule no. 2: a diet which meets your goals and your body's needs
Even if your training plan is developed by a real genius, and you realize it in every single aspect, the effects are unlikely to be spectacular if you eat junk and pay no attention to the proper nutrition of your organism. Muscles need building components (protein), energy (carbohydrates and fat) and regulators (vitamins, selected minerals) to grow. If you don't ensure appropriate supply of all the required components, the process of post-wokout regeneration will not go smoothly and your muscles will not regain their strength quickly. Little will do thoughless copying of a random diet from a business magazine or the Internet. A diet must suit your individual needs and goals. If you are not a dietician or a nutrition expert, learn, ask experienced people and, if necessary, seek help from a professional dietitian, preferably one that deals with athletes and physically active sportsmen. Thanks to good balancing of a diet, regenerative processes will improve and progress will become evident much faster.
Rule no. 3: take care of sleep and rest
You've probably heard not once that muscles do not grow when they are trained but when they rest. I suggest you remeber it well because this is the whole truth about it. It is stunning, indeed, how many people downplay the importance of a rest in the development of their physical form. Staying up the night partying or staring at the TV with consequent sleep abridgement are the reasons why post-workout regeneration processes are not fully efficient, and muscle tissue and nervous system do not regenerate as they should. The result is slower progress, sometimes total stagnation or even regression.
Both the length and quality of sleep have a very significant effect on how we progress in training, how we develop our endurance, how we build our muscles and even: how we burn our fat tissue. Sleep at least seven hours a day, train no more than five times a week, give yourself a break at least twice a month, go to the theatre, cinema, spend a weekend away, have a good time away from the problems of everyday life. It will give really salutary effects.
Rule no. 4: always have a post-workout meal
If you had a training – you need to eat, and it's not later than one hour after the workout. Regardless of whether the training took place in the morning, at noon, in the evening or at night, you should provide the body with at least a portion of protein, and preferably also carbohydrates, essential vitamins and minerals. Doing a workout straight before going to sleep on an empty stomach is a form of self-sabotage which will do more harm than good to your body and figure. Lack of an adequate portion of amino acids, energy components, building and regulatory materials inhibits or even completely prevents your organism from effective regeneration.
And don't be afraid of gaining weight when eating in the evening. It's a myth that evening meals cause fat gain. What contributes to fattening is improper selection of qualitative and quantitative foods rather than the fact that you have a meal an hour before going to sleep. Remember, a post-workout meal is absolutely irremovable position in your menu! An absolutely minimalistic solution is a portion of protein conditioner or a solid dose of amino acids.
Rule no. 5: Beware of excess stress
Permanent stress does not serve well neither your health nor your fitness, not to mention a progress on the gym. Prolonged stress increases secretion of cortisol, a hormone that very adversely affects energy management, impairing exertional regeneration and impeding fat burning. Of course, you can't exclude stress from everyday life but you can try to reduce its adverse effect on yourself by learning to deal with it and some of its effects. You should first identify the source of toxic stress, then try to introduce appropriate remedial strategies. Stress often stems from the fact that we take too many commitments, which is often associated with a lack of assertiveness. And you can learn to gain one. Stress can also be associated with hectic activity (at work, school, in relationships).
Take time to appropriate plan and systematise your activities. You will reduce the intensity of stress and will more easily evaluate your possibilities for the future, thanks to which the same steps and commitments will be less stressful. Similar examples could be multiplied. Unfortunately, many people do not pay enough attention to the above mentioned cause-and-effect dependencies. If you focus your attention and try to understand how to manage stress, you will do the first step to reduce its negative consequences.