Embarking on a new fitness regime can be a daunting experience. And if you're undertaking the journey alone, you need all the external help you can get to prevent injuries and avoid developing bad habits which could stunt your momentum.
Fitness guru Karl Henry from RTE's 'Operation Transformation,' has compiled an essential guide for maximising fitness regimes. It outlines a list of suggestions which every athlete should incorporate into their routine that aims to make exercising more enjoyable and sustainable.
Change Your Routine Regularly
Exercise can be a mundane pursuit and our bodies need change in order to feel stimulated. According to Karl Henry, you should aim to change your programme at least every three to four weeks to avoid the body getting bored and reaching a plateau. To maximise your progress even more, you should try to make subtle changes to your workout at every session.
Train With Others Who Challenge You
It's easy to hop up on a treadmill and go through the motions, but don't be surprised if you don't see much improvement after a while. Your input reflects your results, so you need to consolidate your efforts with others who are fitter than you in order to get better.
Karl Henry says:
Ensure you are training with someone fitter than you all the time. They will push you harder than you push yourself, you will learn from them and their sessions too
This tip encompasses many formats. From doing running drills to time spent in the gym, you should always have a stopwatch nearby. Rather than doing laps of a field at one speed, try doing some interval running for a more versatile workout.
The clock can also be useful for helping you to avoid wasting time at the gym. Spending hours in the gym will yield an unproductive session. Karl Henry says:
Reducing your rest breaks and pushing yourself further will help you to radically improve your results. That five or 10-kilometre route that you run, aim to cut a few seconds off it every time you go out
Don't Neglect Your Post-Workout Nutrition
You might think that once the sweating is done, the workout is complete. But athletes regularly forget that all that effort is rendered totally useless without having something to eat shortly after the session. This post-workout step is at the bedrock of your recovery.
Karl Henry explains the science behind it:
When you exercise, you put stress on the muscles. This stress causes minute tears in the muscle fibres. It is this stress that creates the changes in the body. What you eat post training will dramatically dictate your results, your level of soreness and how you recover too
You need to be sensible with your food choices here. Fruit, high-protein milk or flavoured milk are Karl Henry's suggestions.