Get The Most Out Of Your Workouts


Some of us train within our comfort zones, but if you keep doing the same thing all the time you won’t see any improvements. If you’re not trimming down, toning up, or feeling any fitter, it could be because you’ve hit a plateau. There are many reasons why this can happen, but you can change things up and get back to achieving results.

You Always Run at the Same Pace

If you want to increase your speed, interval training is the way to go as you’re teaching your muscles to use energy more efficiently so you can go faster.

If you’re running on a treadmill, start by warming up at a easy pace, then run at your normal pace for one minute followed by running at slightly faster pace for a minute, back to your normal pace for a minute, and so on. If you’re outside, you can use telegraph poles as markers – run at your normal pace past 4 poles, then increase your pace past 4 poles and back to your normal pace past another 4 poles.

The aim is to gradually lengthen the faster-paced intervals and increase the tempo.

You Do Whatever

Do you walk into the gym and then decide what what exercises you’re going to do? Do you know the reps, sets, tempo and rest you’re going to use? To achieve results, what you train, when you train, how you train and even why you train, should be included in your program (which needs to be specific to you and your goals).

You’re Doing the Same Weight Circuit as Last Year

If you’ve noticed that the circuit seems easy, it’s because your muscles have adapted to the circuit and are bored with doing the same exercises. To become stronger, you need to continuously challenge your muscles by mixing things up, such as using machines, free weights, resistance bands or your body weight. You can also play around with the number of sets and reps, amount of weight, length of rest periods between sets and the overall number and order of exercises.

You Only Cycle or Do Yoga

There is nothing wrong with cycling or yoga but if they are the only form of exercise you do, then try other activities. It’s all about challenging your body and keeping your regime interesting. Choose something that you and your family/friends will enjoy. Or set yourself a goal to do the Sydney to Gong Ride, City to Surf or a half marathon for the first time.

See A Personal Trainer’s Week for more ideas on what you can do or get involved with some of the social events that Health Jigsaw organises each month.

Eat What You Want

Just because you’re doing some exercise it doesn’t mean you can eat McDonald’s or KFC everyday. As discussed in The 70-30 Rule, your diet is the most factor in a healthy lifestyle. Eating not only involves what you eat, but also how much you eat and your emotions play a big part as well.

Your Recovery

If you are constantly smashing yourself you can end up overtraining, which can sometimes be worse than under training. Your body needs sufficient time between workouts to recovery properly.

Recovery also involves getting enough quality sleep each night. Try not to be watch TV or have bright lights on just before going to bed as it could taking you longer to fall asleep. The body uses the time while you are asleep to recover, both physiologically and psychologically (see Keys To Better Sleep).

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Please note that before you begin any fitness program, consult your doctor first, especially if you are over 40 years old, have health related issues or have not exercised for an extended period of time.

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Andrew is the owner and principal trainer of Health Jigsaw. He is a highly sought-after trainer and has been a personal trainer since 1997. Andrew has previously worked in a five-star luxury resort, large fitness centres and an exclusive personal training studio.

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