As 2019 winds down, you are no doubt contemplating your 2020 fitness goals. Maybe you’ve been sedentary for awhile and plan on entering into a workout routine. Maybe your diet has suffered as of late and you soon plan on getting it back on track. Already working out and eating well? Nice! But, I’m sure you still have some fitness, performance or aesthetic/body composition goals.
Before starting, read our top three tips for success! This post is a little long, but bear with me, this stuff is ultra-important and I am super passionate about all of it!
1. Be aware of appropriate training volume and movement mechanics.
For the newbie, this means not jumping right into high-intensity workouts without first regarding things like developing proper movement patterns. You may think that you need to go “all in” and spend 5-6 days a week doing 1-hour plus cardio/plyometrics/metcon sessions. This is a recipe for burnout and overuse injuries. You must first build a base. That means hammering the basics, like squatting, hinging and pressing as well as addressing movement imbalances and weaknesses with things like unilateral movements, tempo work, accessory and mobility exercises. It makes zero sense to load a bad movement pattern with weight and/or ingrain substandard positions with high repetitions. Start slow, build strength, strive for beautiful movement and the rest will come. Slowly build volume.
For the experienced fitness enthusiast, this means not overdoing it. The above applies, but if you already have a good base of volume and clean movement, make sure that you are hitting different energy systems and body parts on the regular. This means not adding more for the sake of adding more! One day you may do a long cardio piece, another day more strength training, a third you work on explosivity, another interval-style training, etc.
Don’t know how to design a smart and effective training program? No worries! That’s where we come in.
For both of the above groups: you must schedule rest days! And I’m not talking “active rest” where you end up logging miles of running. I’m talking total rest. It’s how we recover and, ultimately, make progress.
Are you one of those people who thinks that exercise is your “stress release?” We hear this all the time! Well, guess what? Exercise is a stressor. If you already have a high-stress life, adding more stress via exercise, day after day, isn’t making you better. It can lead to hormone disruption and a higher likelihood of injury. Rest. Rest. Rest. Listen to that body of yours.
2. Dial in Your Nutrition
Nutrition is something the general public is not well-educated about. And it’s no wonder, as you’re being served up confusing messages of what to eat, how much and when.
We advise, at least for a few months, seeking the guidance of a Registered Dietician (RD). In the State of Florida, our laws dictate that these are the only people that can be paid to give detailed diet advice, meal plans, etc. An RD goes through rigorous education and training in science. They can help you with things like how food is affecting your hormones, they can take a deep dive into vitamins and minerals and they take into account various lifestyle and biological factors vs. simply spitting out how many calories or macros you should be eating per day and providing food lists.
We are holding a Nutrition Seminar and launching a three-month nutrition “course” in January led by Chrisie Allemand, RD, so stay tuned for that.
Oftentimes, lack of sleep is what’s holding people back from their fitness and body composition goals. We recommend seven hours as the bare minimum, eight to nine is even better.
Sleep helps you recover from exercise, which can promote lean muscle building. It is directly responsible for protein synthesis and muscle growth, as sleeping releases hormones, including human growth hormone and testosterone. Leptin and ghrelin are affected by sleep. Ghrelin makes you feel hungry and leptin give you the feeling of fullness. Not sleeping enough can make this all out of whack.
So, if you have a few late nights, keep on sleeping. Missing a workout or two in favor of getting adequate rest will not derail your goals, in fact it may help them.
4. Bonus: Limit Alcohol
I know I promised three, but I can’t wrap up this post without mentioning how alcohol can hinder your fitness goals. A drink here and there is fine! But, know that drinking alcohol not only adds lots of calories, but it slows your metabolism and interrupts your body’s normal processes, including impacting estrogen and testosterone levels. It has also been shown to possibly hinder our ability to build lean muscle. And it can lead to that “screw it” attitude where you eat anything and everything while under the influence.
If you imbibed too much one night, don’t punish yourself or attempt to rectify your actions by heading to the gym. You’re dehydrated already, so chalk it up as a rest day.
Don’t Know Where to Start?
I’ve divulged a ton of information and it can be confusing. We’d love to help!
We are currently enrolling in a new year’s fundamentals class. Each Tuesday and Thursday at 6 AM in January 2020. In that class, you will safely and gradually learn all the movements we use at the gym, including modifications and injury prevention for you specifically. Once in our gym, you have access to an intelligent and complete strength and conditioning program as well as a staff that includes a Physical Therapist, Registered Dietician and more.
The class is limited to six people and is a great way to get integrated into Vero Strength. All the details can be found HERE.
If the Fundamentals Class doesn’t fit in your schedule, fear not, contact us for a free assessment and we can guide you from there!