All effort, no results? You just haven’t met your true exercise match. Here reveals how to find your perfect workout and start reaping some amazing rewards.
‘You can have the best programme in the world, but if you can’t stick to it, you won’t get good results.’
Some people are naturally hard-wired to love exercise. For the rest of us, it can take some serious commitment and bags of self-motivation. If you’re still struggling to find your perfect fitness match (and see the amazing results you’ve been waiting for) you might just have the wrong approach.
We all have different obstacles when it comes to exercise, whether we’re too busy, too broke or just easily bored. ‘It’s important to find the right kind of exercise for your own circumstances and preferences’. ‘You can have the best programme in the world, but if you can’t stick to it, you won’t get good results.’ Not everyone can follow exercise routines in the same way, but fitness should be a part of your life no matter what. But here’s the good news: there is a type of exercise that works for you, you just haven’t met it yet. Here’s how to beat your fitness trouble spots for good.
Trouble spot: You’re easily distracted
If you often start out on a new exercise regime with all the right intentions but tend to falter along the way, boredom is your number one enemy. But that doesn’t mean you have to quit altogether. There’s a world of fitness out there – discover it! ‘If you’re bored easily then experiment with different classes’. ‘This is the best way to find out what type of exercise you enjoy and whether you prefer training independently or in a group.’ The more you try, the better chance you have of finding out how your prefer to exercise. Are you a lone ranger or do you prefer a group atmosphere? Do you like cardio-based workouts or resistance workouts? indoors or outdoors? High or low intensity? there is so much to eliminate but, equally, plenty of potential for fun. ‘Half the battle with exercise is motivation and enjoyment’. ‘If you don’t like a class, it’s easy to talk yourself out of going. Try using a personal trainer every now and then – it’s a great way to discover new exercises and add variety to your workouts. You can always ask a fitness consultant to show you how to use equipment you’ve never used before, such as a ViPR or Power Plate.’
Trouble spot: You’re a cardio hater
Is the thought of plodding away on the treadmill enough to put you off going to the gym for life? How about racking up some distance on the rower or the cross-trainer? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, but you can get fit without feeling like a hamster on a wheel.
‘Try cardio strength training or metabolic resistance training’. ‘It offers the benefit of increased cardiovascular demand and resistance training in one. Think kettlebells and TRX suspension training.’ High-intensity resistance exercises also double up as cardio – just make sure you keep the power up and your rest periods really short. You could even try opting for a circuit-style session with high-demand exercise like burpees. Jump squats and jumping lunges. They’re guaranteed to give you a serious cardio workout!
Trouble spot: You’re strapped for time
If you think you need to spend hours in the gym to see results, we’ve got news of you. Keeping fit when you don’t have a huge amount of spare time on your hands is as easy as giving your day-to-day activities a fitness twist. We’re talking about taking the stairs instead of lift, ditching you car for a bike, and upgrading your stroll to a power walk.
But if you want to get some serious workouts under your belt, there are loads of ways to get a full-on session done in a short space of time. You just have to work at a high intensity to make it count. Take the ‘little and often’ approach if you don’t have the luxury of big chunks of time. ‘The key is to use a technique called HI (high intensity) frequency training’. ‘This allows you to cut the length of your workouts in return for more frequent sessions of interval training. Warm up for a few minutes and perform one minute of hard work such as sprinting, followed by one minute of easy work or rest. Do this four times and finish with a four-minute cool-down.’
Trouble spot: You’re on a budget
Fitness doesn’t have to cost the earth. There are plenty of ways to get fit on the cheap, and they can be just as effective as pricey alternatives… You just have to be savvy about it! ‘Find a local park with a mini assault course’. ‘This is a fantastic way to add variety and fun to your workout. It’s also much harder than you’ll remember!’
You don’t have to have it all laid out for you though – there are fitness opportunities all around you. ‘Hill sprints and stair running are the most effective methods to get in shape and the only cost is hard work’. ‘You can start by walking up a hill as fast as you can. Take your time on your way back down. Gradually increase the pace of the climb as you get fitter, but never increase the pace of the descent. Start with five to 10 sprints and build up to 15 to 20.’
Trouble spot: You’re in a rut
If you’ve seen results in the past but just can’t seem to keep the progress flowing then you’ve probably hit a plateau. These fitness doldrums can happen no matter how great your training programme is. ‘The body is very good at adapting to the stress you put it under, whether it’s good or bad, so you need to make frequent changes’. Try something different that still achieves the same goals. If you want to tone your thighs and you’ve been at it with squats and lunges, mix it up with squats and reverse lunges, or a completely different exercise like deadlifts. Your body will be forced to work harder at a move it hasn’t tried before. There’s an endless variety of exercises out there, so you’ll never need to wait at a fitness red light again!