There’s a lot more to toning up than just heaving those free weights, being a cardio animal, and pushing yourself to the limit. You’ve got to know specifically what to focus on, what to adjust, and what to plan for.
Avoid these biggest mistakes and watch your body tone up, slim down and thank you later:
1. Not Focusing On Recovery
In trying to tone up, your focus should be on recovery. It’s the last, most important step in the entire process of your fitness regime. Think of it as a business.
What do you think is the most important – product creation, financial planning, or marketing and selling? In business, nothing ever happens until a sale is made.
Nothing also ever happens until your body has time to repair. I don’t how much you’ve bench pressed, how long you worked your cardio or how many group fitness classes you did today. It doesn’t matter. What matters first and foremost is how you’ll be able to recover afterwards.
So if you’re trying to be macho doing 40+ sets for 5 times a week while cross-training in other sports, good luck. The guy or gal who just spends 30 minutes doing a complete workout, 3 times a week will earn my respect a lot more.
You can train all you want. But can you recover from all of that?
2. Not Adjusting Your Diet
I think for most people, sleep is a given constant – 7 to 8 hours a day. Count yourself lucky if you can afford even this basic requirement.
When it comes to diet however, yours could look drastically different from the person next to you. That’s because you need to adjust your food intake to the level of activity you’ve done, you’re doing, and going to do in the next couple of hours. And that’s a lot to take into consideration.
The ones who constantly adjust their diet experience the biggest gains compared to those who eat as constantly as they work out. Don’t get me wrong. You need to be consistent with your protein, carb, and fat intake. But it’s their proportion you need to scale.
In general, mornings are best for high-carb intake while evenings are better for high-protein meals.
3. Not Planning Your Training
If you think your nutrition is the only the thing you need to vary, you’re in for a surprise. Your workouts need to be re-cycled as well.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be as immediate and day-to-day as your diet. Changing your training routines usually happen every 6-12 weeks. Most people still don’t get the reason for this. For them, if a program works great, why change it at all? That’s very logical. However, your mind and body is smarter than that. Once you’ve adjusted well to the exercises, weights, and repetitions you impose on yourself, the program slowly becomes more and more ineffective.
Think about the first time you ever drank coffee. The ‘buzz’ from that instant brew will always be the most intense. Same with your workouts. So to keep your body (and mind) challenged and growing, adjust your workouts – even if it means simply re-ordering your exercises.
Want more great ideas and ways to improve how you look and feel? Stop in and meet with a member of our fitness team, they would be glad to help you develop a specific plan to meet your goals!
Careful How You Choose Your Protein Bar
You’ve probably heard eating five or six small meals a day is one way to maintain a healthy weight and keep your energy levels high, particularly if you work out regularly. But let’s face it: it’s hard enough to find time to cook one meal a day, never mind six. When you’re on the go and looking for a quick, healthy small meal, a nutrition bar can be a good option.
However, there are so many different brands and types of bars on the market — meal replacement/diet bars, energy bars, protein bars — that choosing one that’s healthy and suits your goals can be quite confusing. Let’s try and make some sense of it for you.
What Protein Bar is Best for You?
The different types of bars all contain varying levels of protein, carbohydrates, fat, and sugar, depending on their intended goal. Energy bars are generally designed to give a boost of energy to endurance athletes, such as marathoners and cyclists. Therefore, their main ingredient is carbs, which provide the “fuel” necessary to make it through a competition. Meal replacement bars are essentially “diet” bars; they contain the least amount of calories and more carbs than protein.
They are meant to replace a meal for dieters, or as a healthy, low-calorie pre or post-workout snack. Finally, protein bars are designed with weightlifters in mind. With high levels of protein, they are meant to help you build muscle and lose fat when you’re training.
Always Read the Label
While a nutrition bar can be a healthy choice once in a while, you should always read the labels carefully. Many bars are packed with sugar, which can make them just as bad as a regular chocolate bar. You should always choose one that contains little refined sugars and saturated fats. Also, don’t make the mistake of eating too many of these, or you might end up packing on the pounds. And be aware many bars tested by ConsumerLab didn’t meet its labeling claims, which means they may contain more fat and sugar than you think.
Like all foods you consume, read the label and make wise decisions to fit your lifestyle and activity levels.
Your Active4 Less Team x