Did you ever have one of those days when you just wanted to throw in the towel and be done with it? When you felt you weren’t making any kind of meaningful progress in the gym? If so, don’t worry, we got your back. This happens to everyone who wants to get results and doesn’t just go to the gym because it’s fun. When one of these days hits you in the back of the head, just remember that you can get back on track and we’ve got the blueprint right here.
Your body is great at adapting. What does that mean? It means your body constantly needs a challenge. Whatever you find challenging this week, your body will adapt to in a week or two and will ask for more. Is this a bad thing? Isn’t it hard to keep giving it more and more? No and no. We grow as humans (physically and spiritually) because our body doesn’t want to settle for what it has and there always a few simple ways to give it what it needs on a regular basis. Here are the most important things you should focus on:
1. Increase Speed
If you’re a runner and are usually running 5 miles in 50 minutes than try to finish them in 49 next time. Push yourself to run faster whether you’re running 5 miles or 1. Try to increase your speed gradually but aim for weekly or at least monthly progress. This doesn’t apply to just running but also cycling or using the elliptical. Whatever you use, try to become faster.
Tip: If you haven’t already, take a look at HIIT (high intensity interval training) or Tabata. These are great because they force the body for shorter periods of time and then give it time to rest and recover and this pushes it to grow and keeps it “happy”. It’s also a great way to lose way because your body burns a lot of calories when doing interval training.
2. Add more weight
Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, especially when you seem to be stuck and not seeing or feeling much progress. One of the easiest ways to shock your body and start seeing progress immediately is to add more weight. If you’ve always used 30 pound dumbbells then try adding 1-2 pounds. Your body can usually handle much more (weight in this case) than you can imagine so push it from time to time. This helps in showing you that you can lift bigger weights and will get you motivated to push forward.
3. Increase frequency and time spent in the gym
If you’ve gotten used to going to the gym 3 times each week maybe it’s time you added a fourth time. Or maybe start by adding a half session where you workout for half the time you’d normally do. Or you could increase time spent on those 3 sessions even by 5-10 minutes. You’ll see progress either way. We recommend adding a few minutes to even 1 session from the 3 and increase from there.
Don’t try to do all of these 3 things at once. Start slow and focus on just one for best results. You don’t want to over train and shock your body past its breaking point. You want to ease into it and give your body time to react, recover and adjust to the changes you’re making.