Michael Jordan, the famous American Basketball player, once said “Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen.”
So if you have a goal in mind, go for it but make sure you plan ahead.
To aim for a goal half heartedly will just cause frustration and the end result will be a loss of interest and possibly a waste of a gym membership.
How many of us have flicked though a fitness magazine and tried a few weeks of a workout before becoming bored or giving up because we are not getting the intended results? This look may be completely achievable with some thought and careful planning.
Aiming for one goal at a time is the first step. To aim to lose weight and improve fitness are two separate goals. Cardio may help with both of these but the body can only do one thing at a time.
If your primary goal is to lose weight, ensure you train simply for fat loss with cardio, weights, and a careful balanced diet.
For muscle building, make sure you eat enough carbohydrate and protein at every meal. Protein will only build muscle in the presence of carbohydrate. Keep the cardio low as that will just burn up vital calories and over stress the muscles.
For serious shredding to reduce already low body fat, carefully deplete your carbohydrate but watch your fat intake so that your total calories consumed stay above the Resting metabolic rate. This ensures your body doesn’t go into starvation mode and your metabolism doesn’t slow down.
For a more specific goal such as completing your first marathon, ensure you divide your training program into sections, changing your training every 4-6 weeks. This not only alleviates boredom but allows a change in intensity around the point that your workouts become easier as your body becomes used to them. Also remember that running or indeed any training for over around 45minutes will start to burn up muscle, so increasing your protein intake with each meal will help. Also energy drinks and gels will fuel the body over longer runs, minimising muscle breakdown or catabolism. Runners actually require as much protein as a weightlifter of similar weight.
The problems arise when goals are unclear. For example it is very difficult to build up muscle while partaking in hours of cardio. It’s also almost impossible to build muscle without increasing your calorie intake unless you have a large amount of fat stores to utilise. This is why bodybuilders and athletes tend to have an “off season” around winter, allowing themselves the extra calories and resting from the cardio sessions. The extra calories can then be used to fuel more intense workouts, increasing strength and power.
For serious athletes, triathletes, or anyone doing regular high intensity training sessions a healthy diet rich in sources of high quality protein, complex carbohydrates and super foods will help. Large amounts of exercise will cause free radicals to be released just like the effects of smoking or stress. The effects of overtraining as well as stress to the body can include wrinkles, low immunity, soreness, fatigue and insomnia.
Super foods which are high in antioxidants, plenty of water and strong good quality vitamin supplements will not only aid recovery but also increase your health and vitality.
Goals should also be realistic. We all have specific body types and just because we want to change a rounded body into a thin limbed version of ourselves does not mean the body will allow it. Work with what nature gave you and make the best of it.
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