Exercise can be fun, provide motivation, and a sense of community, but many choose to exercise with the primary purpose of seeing improvements in, or maintaining current levels of, fitness and health.
Find a Blueprint that Matches Your Desired Results
It is common to focus on the outcome and forget that the time we spend working out is a process. An outcome oriented exerciser may forget the bigger picture and focus on only today’s workout, often trying to do too much or using subjective measurements such as fatigue, soreness, or sweatiness to gauge the day’s effort. Instead, think of your main goal as a house and the program as a blueprint. If we want an outcome that ends in a specific change, it is easier to closely follow a program that results in the specific adaptation that you are striving for. For example, if you want to build strength, your program must include increasing the weight of your exercises, or if you want to build endurance, you must use a program that increases the duration over time.
Lay the Foundation First and Build From There
Just like building a house, we have to start with the foundation. We determine our baseline - where you are today, the beginning of your journey - by doing what we reasonably can do from our program and taking notes. These notes should include measurements applicable to your goal such as the amount of weight, the number of sets and repetitions, distance, heart rate or duration. Also, how did you feel during and after exercise? The notes will help you make adjustments to your next workout so your body has to work a little harder.. You can continue to build on your foundation by adding more weight, repetitions, step, miles, or time. If you continue this process of building from the previous workout, your efforts will add up and help you realize your goal. Remember, each change lays new brick in the foundation. As our foundation grows, we can continue to add on. Just like we would not add a roof before the walls are built, making volatile changes in our exercise routine can increase the risk of injury and delay reaching our goal. For example, you would not focus on a swimming program if your goal is to improve your running endurance as the training modality is too different. Likewise, if you are running three miles per day, making a sudden jump to five miles per day could result in an unnecessary plateau and possible injury. In this case increasing .1 or .25 miles each run may be more appropriate.
Learn the Ropes
We see the best results from things that we put time into learning. Educate yourself on proper technique and programming to enhance your results. Take your progress slow and let your mind and body learn from each workout, instead of rushing through the learning process to speed up the outcome. In the end, being slow and deliberate is much more likely to deliver results than doing more. If you have any questions about training, feel free to contact the RecSports Fitness team.