Eight Tips for Successful Training
1. Use Correct Technique
My number one issue when I watch people training is; poor technique – not lifting weights correctly, leaning forwards into your squat, or busting out the repetitions, but with the incorrect posture and form. Lifting weights that are too heavy to perform the exercise properly. You should be exercising your muscles – not the weight! Not only does bad technique risk causing injury, but it is often pointless exertion: your body won’t reap any benefits. Learn to do things properly, and then slow down. The muscles that are supposed to be worked in any exercise should be doing the lifting, this is where your focus needs to be.
I’d prefer if people did one good rep than 10 sloppy ones.
The body adapts to movement patterns, so the more you do it, the better you’re going to get. I wish people knew that, and worked for quality over quantity.
2. Fitness classes can be great – but tread with caution
When it comes to poor form, part of the problem may be our growing fondness for fitness classes. Although classes can be a great way to get into exercise – and more motivating than working out on your own – often, instructors don’t demonstrate the exercises for more than a few seconds. It’s difficult for the instructor to ensure that everyone is performing the exercises properly if they have a big class in front of them.
If you’re a beginner in a class and you do exercises with the wrong technique, you can injure yourself. Perhaps get some one on one sessions with a personal trainer to learn the correct technique first.
3. Women, lifting weights won’t turn you into The Rock
Of all the myths that persist around exercise, this is one of the most damaging, as it excludes women from the health benefits of strength training. Lifting weights will help you to stay strong and active into old age, and can reduce your likelihood of having back pain or bone fractures in later life. But many women still avoid lifting weights because they think it will make them masculine.
I want more women to know that weights won’t bulk them up. It’s a mistake to assume that after a few weight sessions, you’re going to wake up looking like a bodybuilder. It takes a lot of time and effort to build up muscle.
4. Train Hard
If you can watch TV or hold a conversation then you probably aren’t putting in enough effort to see results. You can train hard for a short period of time or you can train at a low intensity for a long period of time. But you can’t train at high intensity for long duration. I’m a firm believer in quality over quantity and there’s a lot of research to show that you get better results with short, intense workouts. And this also has the added benefit of spending less time working out; great for those of you with a busy lifestyle.
If you are new to exercise, begin with low intensity and work up as appropriate. A good Personal Trainer can guide you in this regard. If you are over 40 or have any medical issues, get doctors clearance before beginning an exercise programme.
5. Know your ‘Why’
It’s always a good idea to clearly define your reasons for training. Put them in writing. Write down your goals and the reasons why you want to achieve these goals. What will it do for you and your life? It may be to lose weight, gain weight, improve overall health (physical and mental), increase energy, look better etc. keeping this in mind is a great way to keep you motivated, especially on those ‘off’ days when you don’t feel like going to the Gym.
6. You can’t out-train a bad diet!
If you want to lose weight, exercise isn’t enough – you also need to look at diet. Have a consultation with a qualified Nutritionist who can guide you in what to eat and how much to eat. Your goals will totally depend on what you eat. If your goal is weight control, you need to lift weights. Weight training will shape your body, gain lean muscle tissue and burn body fat. Cardio won’t do all of this for you. Oh, and weight training, done in the correct way, will also make you fit!
Clients sometimes complain they haven’t lost weight, but they’ve actually lost fat and replaced it with muscle. This is why I always track my clients’ body fat as well as weight.