It is February – the holidays are over and life has returned back to normal. Post- holidays, some of us noticed a few extra pounds; others made up their mind to be more fit in 2011. Well, besides all the cliché’s about New Year’s resolutions, the New Year is a perfect time to start on the right foot, a healthy foot!!!
As a trainer, I see quite a few things that slow clients’ progress down and have put together a list of the top five. If you are not getting the results you are working for, check the list below.
Five things that could be slowing down your progress:
- Nutrition: This would be number one, if anything is going to de-rail an exercise plan, it is poor nutrition. If we put garbage in then we are going to put garbage out. Poor nutrition will affect if and how we lose weight, how we recover or even the energy we have in the gym. According to medical science, the body replaces itself every seven years. The cornea replaces itself every 24 hours, the skin every 14 days, the blood cells every 90 days, the soft tissue every 6 months, and the dense tissue every 2-7 years. Now let me ask you, would you rather be built with French fries and cheeseburgers, or lean protein like chicken and vitamin-laden vegetables?
- Not having a goal: This would be the second biggest problem, in most fitness centers clients don’t have clear goals. They will walk around aimlessly from machine to machine trying a couple sets here and a couple sets there. Clients will work out and decide they want to add size or strength or lose weight and lean out all in the same week. You need to have clear measurable goals to attain, whether it is to add 20lbs to your bench press or to take three inches off your waist measurement. Having clear attainable goals will lead clients to make progress instead of floundering around the gym.
- Workout A.D.D: The most common problem I see is workout A.D.D. The clients that do have goals and are eating right are in information overload. Magazines, internet sites and other gym members are constantly providing the newest great all encompassing exercise or workout. When this happens the client goes back and forth from one program to another never really making any positive progression to their current fitness level because they are not sticking to one long enough. Design your program based on your goals and stick with it for four to six weeks in order to make some progress.
- Consistency: If our eating is in check, we have goals and our program is set to accomplish those goals, you have to be consistent. This is a complaint that is heard throughout every fitness center, “I am eating right, my program rocks, but I am not making any progress”. Without a doubt if you asked the client how often he was making it in, you would inevitably find out they are not making it in as often as they would like. Missing the odd workout will not slow you down too much but if you are only making it in here or there and are missing almost as many as you are putting in, then no matter what type of program or eating habits you have, you are not going to reach your goals.
- Progressive overload: This is the method of imposing gradual increased demands on the body, thus forcing gradual changes in our body composition. Progressive overload is done by slowly increasing the weight or sets or reps of a chosen exercise. Let’s take a client who is benching 200lbs twice a week for four sets of ten. After two weeks he has hit all the target reps of ten under this weight, that’s four workouts and his muscles have adapted. The client would then increase the weight by ten pounds and start the cycle over again forcing his body to adapt by getting strong enough to do 210lbs for all four sets. He may only hit ten on the first two sets and fall around eight for the next two; this gives him something to work toward on the following work out. Little changes will result in big changes in body composition.
Wayne Boucher is the Fitness and Wellness Coordinator at Algonquin College, PICP Level 2, Pro Trainer with Can fit, Personal Trainer, Fitness Boxing Instructor, Nutrition and Wellness Specialist, and Kettlebell Trainer Specialist.