Day one of the fitness instructor course details how in order for your client to achieve their goals they must partake in what is called “The Training Effect”. In simple terms this describes the process of changing the body in performance & appearance. Using “progressive overload”, the rule is that in every workout you must push your body to do more than it did last time. Only then will you see changes to strength, fitness & appearance.
Personally I thought this was common sense but I have always approached this from a human performance point of view where I wanted to be stronger, faster etc. Most people don’t care about this, they just want to look good. So it was to my surprise when I found clients still doing 10 reps on that chest press for months, if not years, or still running that same track in a similar time & wondering why their body wasn’t looking more toned.
So there you have it, every time you exercise you need to do more than you did last time. Beat your previous time, lift that extra rep & after 3 weeks you will start to see real results in your appearance. But it doesn’t stop there, here is some inside knowledge that can help you achieve even quicker.
Sometimes you can intake that many calories through food & drink that the average person doesn’t have time to burn this off exercising. Get a food diary, maybe using some free apps & log all the food and drink that passes your lips every day. This will dictate the way you look, if you are consuming too many calories you will hold excess body fat across the stomach.
As mentioned above about “progressive overload”, you can only run or swim faster if your cardiovascular health is improving, a poor fatty diet can hinder this. So yes, you can have junk food and watch the total amount of calories for the day & still be toned BUT you need good health & a healthy heart to keep moving your training forward to achieve that toned appearance in the first place. So, try not to go overboard on alcohol & take outs & eat plenty of veg. You will get a clear message from your body that your cardiovascular health is poor if your fitness starts to decline.
As covered in most of my articles, everyone should be weight training, despite their goals. It promotes a high metabolism, stronger bones & joints & provides a great signal of whether your diet is working for you. For instance if your strength is increasing, this signals your calories are right for you, the trick is not eating too much that you start to increase body fat.
One huge trick I’ve found over time is to pick exercises that are very easy to perform. Poor form & lack of control can create inconsistency amongst your workouts & therefore you can’t judge progression accurately. Another tip is to focus on distance. For weight training do a high rep range (18-25) as it’s much easier to improve the next day using lighter weights than it is on heavier ones. Remember it’s all about moving forward & being able to record this. It’s not helping anyone if you are lifting 6 reps for 3 weeks, struggling to get the 7th. That signals you have a problem with your ego & it’s hindering your progression. The same goes for cardio, choose something that you find simple to progress with. For instance on a treadmill, maybe you increase the speed by .1 every workout for the same period of time. Or perhaps for interval training (which is superior) you rest for 1 second less every workout.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR RJ Endeavour is the Founder of RJ Endeavours (an app development business), a qualified fitness instructor with over 10 years experience in fitness & business. In the past he's been funded by the Princes Trust & the Department for Business Innovation & Skills. RJ is also skilled as a computer programmer, with knowledge in various programming languages and is currently on a global business acceletator programme working on Intelligence4Fitness - a smart Nutrition & Exercise application.
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