Three Tips to Get More Out of Your Workouts
Whether you’re just starting on your fitness journey or are a grizzled veteran, here are three simple ways to improve the results you get from your workouts.
1) Rest when needed.
Most people don’t even think about rest when it comes to a workout – I mean, I rest on my couch at home, right? However, rest and work must balance each other in order for exercise to be effective. The higher the intensity of the movement we are going to do, the lower the total volume we can perform and the more rest we need to recover in between efforts. It’s actually during the rest period that your body does the “work” of gearing up for the next set, next rep, or next movement. In order to work really hard and push ourselves to the edge of our ability, we also need to increase the amount of rest we take.
In Metabolic Conditioning, we often see people push past their technique barrier into fatigue (i.e. they become so tired they can no longer maintain proper form.) When you lose form, this is a clear sign for you to take a break. Even if you are in the middle of a timed round, it is better to rest and come back ready to perform your best than become bound to the timer and risk injury. Ignore the importance of rest, and you stunt your potential.
Takeaway: Rest enough to allow your body the time to reset for the next activity. If you are learning a new movement or are in a new Metabolic Conditioning set, this may mean stepping away for a moment during a work period in order to make sure you are able to give your best effort.
2) Don’t work through pain.
This one seems simple enough, until it happens to you. “It doesn’t hurt that bad.” “I can probably work through this.” The simple truth is that pain changes everything – it changes how your body moves, interprets your workout, and adapts to it. When pain is on board, even the best case scenario could have you re-injuring the area or cementing a compensatory movement pattern (no bueno). When you have pain, the smartest thing to do is to step back and find alternative ways to move that don’t evoke a pain response. Have a coach nearby so they can make sure you aren’t compensating around the area and potentially substituting short-term relief for a long-term movement dysfunction.
Takeaway: Your workout doesn’t need to make you hurt in order to make you better. In fact, working through pain could be hindering your progress.
3) Focus on technique first.
We touched on the technique barrier in the first tip, but this one is all about your mindset When going into a new exercise or workout, it is critical to come into the movement with the mind of a learner. Be ready to take your time at first to make sure all the pieces are in place before cranking up the intensity. You wouldn’t drive a Ferrari with the parking brake on, so don’t limit yourself by never taking the time to learn proper form from the start!
Takeaway: Slowing down to focus on technique in the beginning will build your foundation and will increase the effectiveness of EVERY other workout from that point on.
BONUS: Add resets to supercharge your workouts!
We know rest is important, but what if I told you that you could perform a simple movement during rest that will improve technique and even get you out of pain? A reset is a foundational movement that activates your body’s reflexive stability – it’s ability to anticipate movement and recruit the appropriate muscles. It’s like hitting the reboot button between each exercise so you come in fresh to the next set. You might even find that you get stronger as you go further into the workout, rather than weaker!
I’ve been utilizing these resets in my own training for over a year. Since starting them, I not only move better, but I’ve eliminated my chronic back pain, improved my handstand holds, and can squat deep enough to eat dinner with my Japanese host family. I want to teach you those resets so you can utilize them as well. There’s only one catch – different movements work for different people. We need time to review them together and test out which ones will unlock your movement potential. Then you can take your personal reset code into your workouts at Force, and then the planet will align and your will go Super Saiyan.
Our team prides itself on giving you the most personal, professional, and adaptive coaching on the planet, and this is one more way we can do that. So come spend 90 minutes with me on Saturday, August 9th from 10:00 am-11:30 am and experience how resets can change the way you workout, forever.