It can be motivating to walk into a gym and see buff guys and gals doing handstand pushups or Olympic lifts.
And if you’re an excited new gym-goer, having the urge to try everything right away (even without proper training) isn’t out of the ordinary. After all, that’s why you signed up, right – to get healthy, lose weight, maybe gain some muscle?
It’s awesome to challenge your fitness, but getting ahead of yourself without understanding PROGRESSION is a great way to set yourself up for injury. Proper progression refers to increasing your workout intensity at the right pace over time – keeping yourself challenged, without overdoing it
Our bodies are more than capable of accomplishing amazing things. If you train efficiently, not only will your body gradually perfect the movement mechanics, but your strength will increase as well. You’ll get the best results in the least amount of time – key words here – without injury.
Remember these tips if you’re in the middle of, or thinking about, increasing the intensity of your workout.
Document every workout. Comparing each one will allow you to track how much improvement you’ve made over how much time. Be happy with your progress, even if it’s small. It will add up over time.
Videotape your technique. This is great for people who are learning new and more complex exercises. Focus your attention to the small mechanics. This will help you safely master the move. Keep in mind that watching someone exercise is NOT the same as actually studying your own movements.
Quality over quantity. Be wary of exercises that feel really hard to complete. There’s a chance you’re not really working that hard, but rather your movements are just inefficient. It’s better to do five high-quality pushups than 50 sloppy ones. Work on turning that five into six, seven and so on. Eventually you’ll be able to complete 50 QUALITY pushups.
Practice makes perfect. Don’t be discouraged when amping up your workout seems too hard. Your body just needs some time to educate muscles that are unfamiliar with new movements. Constant repetition will take you to the next level.
Listen to your body. Go ahead and kick up your workout, but do so when your body is ready. Put in the effort, but remember to let nature takes it course. If you’re interested in learning some modifying techniques (moves that mimic traditional exercises but with an easy twist) don’t be afraid to reach out to fitness instructor.