One of the most detrimental things about the way most people train – is that the only thing they are consistent in, is their inconsistency.
This might not come as shock to most of you, who have come to expect this from their workout partners in the past, but these type of inconsistencies have the potential to completely destroy otherwise healthy fitness routines.
Think about the time you spend in the gym and the people you see in there. You probably notice a few people who only come around once or twice a week, and when they do, they are running on ALL CYLINDERS. You might have even seen them before and said to yourself, “Wow, it shouldn’t take them very long at all to get in shape if they keep training like that!”
Except, that’s not really quite how it works. Someone like that, is likely just tiring themselves out twice a week and not getting any sort of real fitness results. To put it in a way that is easier to understand, they are basically fasting for days at a time, then binging on as much food as possible twice a week. Not only is that an ineffective way to lose weight, but it’s not a healthy way to keep your body fueled.
Does that mean there’s something wrong with training hard?
No, not necessarily, provided you are training within your ability level. Overtraining can be just as bad for you as undertraining though – sometimes even worse because overtraining can easily cause an injury while undertraining usually only causes a lack of results.
Instead, there is one thing you need to focus on, above all else:
Consistency is about to become your new best friend and guide to training and getting in shape. In our opinion, consistency is the most important aspect of your training schedule – not how much weight you lifted, not how many calories you ate yesterday and certainly not how drenched with sweat your shirt is after a workout.
Studies have shown that athletes who train consistently, regardless of intensity levels experience better, faster and more stable results than those who don’t.
What this means is, you’re better off training six days a week at a manageable and sustainable intensity level than you are training until exhaustion two or three times a week.
If you’ve ever said to yourself, “I just can’t make it to the gym today, I’m still wiped out from yesterday’s workout.” then you might be training too hard, which is counterproductive to meeting your goals. If you had trained yesterday in accordance to your actual energy levels, then you should feel like you have more than enough energy to go at it again today.
Another thing to keep in mind, is that you can mix up your training activities to include light or easy days as well. While Monday might be your day to go heavy while you work on your arms, Tuesday could be your day where you focus on deep stretches or something more relaxed – just as long as you’re doing something active most days of the week.
Staying consistent also keeps you motivated.
It seems like a simple concept and it is, but being consistent in your workouts and training is going to keep you motivated to continue them.
Have you ever noticed that when you are going to the gym almost everyday, it is pretty easy to continue going there everyday? You almost look forward to going, even if you aren’t the type of person who generally enjoys going to the gym.
On the other hand, take two full days off from your normal gym schedule and then what happens? For most people, their drive and desire to hit the gym again decreases with every day after their first day off from the gym. If you want to maintain your current motivation levels, don’t ever take more than one day off!
Slow and steady wins the race.
That might be exactly the opposite of the advice you were expecting to hear, but it’s true. Keep in mind, the focus is on the steady, not the slow. If you can go fast and steady, than all the power to you, but if going fast is not sustainable over a long period of time, then it is counterproductive.
Instead, focus on actions and activities that you can perform correctly, with good form, at a pace that will allow you to keep up the same routine in the long term. The best workout routine is one that you will stick to – and in order to stick to something, it needs to be consistent!
Once you realize the effects of working out in a consistent manner, you might just look at those people sweating and burning through their twice weekly workout (more like burnout!) in a whole new way.