G’day folks and happy new year!
As per every other thing relating to fitness at this time of year, this could be considered a new year’s resolution article, but these tips don’t discriminate. Regardless of when you start, if you’ve been training your whole life or if you’re somewhere in between we’re pretty certain that including these elements will help you when it comes to getting value from any training program.
- Get stuck in with a friend.
Adherence is one of the biggest issues people have when it comes to getting value from an exercise program. You have to turn up and do the work to see a result. Regardless of the effectiveness of the program, if you don’t do it, you won’t achieve anything.
An important consideration is that by committing to exercise, you are committing to giving up a few hours of something else in your life. Be it an hour of extra sleep, mindlessly scrolling on your phone, or being home early to cook a nice dinner – something has to give.
One of the best ways we see people get a lot out of an exercise program is by locking themselves in with a friend. Some even go as far as making bets with one another to ensure adherence. Either way, you end up killing two birds with one stone, spending time with a mate and getting your training done.
If you want any evidence of such success, just consider the explosion of small group HIIT, CrossFit programs and social team sports – all are community based and all involve a great deal of exercise.
- Track and prioritise your recovery.
This is particularly important for those that want to get more out of their training, or those who struggle to keep it up. Recovering properly is the most important thing you can do to not only improve your training effectiveness, but reduce change of injury.
What does recovery involve?
Well a good night sleep is the best place to start. Then comes the food you eat. All the other alternate methods of recovery are arbitrary at best (have a minor statistical influence). Collectively they can influence your nervous system and help better facilitate effective sleep (through neurological downregulation) but if you’ve got a compromised sleep and diet the effectiveness is rather obsolete.
Methods of tracking your recovery have come a long way in the last 5 years. Tools such as the Ōura Ring and the Whoop Band are incredible tools that use modern tech to assess how you are training and more importantly how you are resting and recovering. Modern day smart watches are heading in the same direction. These are small investments that’ll go a long way to help you understand your body and the way it functions a lot better.
- Learn new skills.
The third point brings us back to our old friend adherence. There is a fine balancing act when it comes to repletion and effective training programs. Firstly, it is crucial to have repetition when it comes to training programs to help facilitate progressive overload (improving at a movement/skill over time). On the other hand, repetitively exposing yourself to the same stimulus for too long generally results in a plateau of results. This is where learning new skills comes in. Be it a handstand or changing from HIIT to a bit more of an endurance focus for a few months, changing the desired outcome and thus the focus of your programming is the simplest way to reinvigorate your motivation to training. So if you find you’ve been doing the same or similar training styles, going after minor improvements in the same outcomes and you’re struggling for motivation, move the goalpost – it’ll rock your world.