Are you coasting when you’re in the gym?
Do you pick up the same weights and do the same reps/sets as you’ve done for the last who knows how long?
Do you still do 2-3 gym classes back to back with minimal effort and reward yourself with some calorific sturdbucks drink afterwards because ‘you deserve it because you just did 2-3 classes back to back’?
If this sounds like you then it’s time for a healthy does of reality.
Coasting along in the gym is not healthy.Not just physically but also mentally too. You will get stuck in a rut and eventually end up going backwards because your body will have become so efficient at doing the same things you always do that your overall energy expenditure will drop but I’m positive that you won’t adjust your calories to accommodate for this, meaning inevitable muscle loss and fat gain.
Harsh but something that you can see in literally every commercial gym. Don’t be one of these people.
Going to the gym shouldn’t be an all out struggle each session, but you should have at least one hard and one medium session per week with a light session to allow recovery but still keep your body/mind in the right place. This doesn’t mean to say you use baby weights on the right session, it simply means adjusting the volume/intensity (I wrote about this a few days ago, check it out). Here is a nice little option for H-L-M days:
- Medium – 8x3x80-85%
- Light – 5x5x75-80%
- Heavy – 6-10x2x85-90%
Easy to rotate this, all it takes is some planning. Simply sit down and establish what this correlates to for each of your workout days (Pull, Push, Legs for example) and you will have a training program that looks like this:
- Pull – Medium
- Push – Light
- Legs – Heavy
- Pull – Light
- Push – Heavy
- Legs – Medium
- Pull – Heavy
- Push – Medium
- Legs – Light
- Off – Then the cycle starts again.
This is a simple 3 days on 1 day off. You don’t have to follow that, you could do 3 workouts a week and that would give you a three week cycle instead of a two week one. You can arrange the days however bas too suit you – keep in mind that from various research that the optimal training frequency for each movement/muscle group is every 3-5days and the optimal amount of sets is 10-20 (tops) with an average load of 80%.
Take some time and look at what you’re currently doing in the gym and ask yourself these questions:
Does it challenge me?
Does it make me want more?
Does it scare me slightly?
If the answers are NO then you need to take a week off and get your head together, pick a solid goal, return with a plan and knuckle down. As the old saying goes:
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”