Updated: Jan 29, 2020
"Frustrated" is the word that I often hear most from those who are always kicking it into high gear, but aren't quite seeing the fruits of their labor. Here's the thing though. In order to see the fruits of your labor, you have to consider a few things which I'll share with you later on.
Before beginning any exercise routine, I highly recommend that you see your Physician. If you have a history of health conditions or limitations, your Physician will guide you on how often you should exercise as well as the intensity. The last thing you want is to land yourself in the Hospital especially when it could've been avoided.
1. Establish Goals Before Beginning Your Journey.
What's your reason to begin or continue an exercise routine? Establishing your goals is a way to guide yourself in the right direction. You could say that it's your starting point. Goals could be:
Losing a certain amount of weight.
Gaining muscle mass.
Improve your current health state.
2. Monitor Your Measurements.
This is very important. If you're not tracking your progress, you don't know whether or not you're getting closer to reaching your goals for gaining muscle mass or even losing weight. You can also do more than just monitoring your weight. There's checking your Body Mass Index (BMI) and even checking your skinfold measurements in the correct areas.
3. Exercise... It's Not Just A Word.
There's more to exercising than just bench pressing, doing curls to make your arms larger or running on the treadmill until you start sweating. Consider the amount of times you train per week (exercise volume), organizing your routine in a specific order based on your goals and the measurements you'd like to see change.
4. The Mirror And Photos.
Most gyms have mirrors. Yes it's good to see how handsome or pretty you are, but there are other uses for mirrors as well. If you're working out with no spotter, training partner or trainer, it's always good to make sure your form for every exercise is on point. You don't want to be the person leaving the gym in an ambulance unless you're the driver of course. Of course mirrors can show you the progress you've made, but it's fairly difficult to do that. If you see yourself everyday in the mirror, you may not see the difference being made like a friend or spouse would. To see it for yourself, I would suggest taking photos bi-weekly. I do photos with my clients before training for the first time. 2 weeks later, we retake those same photos and use them as a comparison. You can trick the eye, but you can't trick a photo!
5. Meal Planning Will Make A Huge Difference.
What you eat is very important, and I'm sure you've heard that plenty of times. People develop illnesses which include cardiovascular diseases due to a combination of not exercising and/or not eating the best foods. It's good to know your daily intake based on the amount of Fat, Protein, Carbohydrates and Calories you consume for each meal. I personalize meal plans for all of my clients, because I know food is a big part of the World's problem today with not knowing what you should eat. Spend 1 hour Sunday evening prepping your meals for work or traveling to reduce the chance of you spending almost $10 on a meal from a fast food restaurant.
6. You Can Reward Yourself, But Do It In Moderation.
Of course with reaching a milestone or a goal, you should celebrate. For me, I like to celebrate by either doing something cool or eating. If you decide to celebrate by eating, it's okay to eat a bowl with 2 scoops of ice cream. Why? It's okay to eat those no-no foods in moderation. You don't want your body to think it's okay to crave those items and that it's normal to consume it often.