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OIT spring cleaning your fitness routine article

Spring Cleaning Your Fitness Routine

After a long, cold winter, it’s time to clear out the clutter. This is true in our homes, in our garages, and in the space between our ears! When we decide on a new fitness goal, it all starts in our brains. I don’t know about you, but I tend to collect fitness goals over time. For instance, I spend a lot of time thinking about how it would be cool if I lost ten pounds. Then, after I’ve lost five, I get upset that I’ve been losing some strength. Maybe instead, my goal should be to be able to perform 20 strict pull-ups, bench press over 300 lbs, or run a mile in less that 7 minutes. Unfortunately, when I create so many lofty goals, it makes it difficult to achieve any one of them!

There are a few methods you can use to clear out the clutter from your routine. The first thing to do is to identify the most important goal you have. Ask yourself: If I could only achieve one goal, what would I want that to be? This doesn’t necessarily mean those other goals are gone forever, just for now! Focus entirely on that one objective.

Once you’ve decided on your number one priority, it’s time to make the plan! In keeping with the spring-cleaning theme, KEEP IT SIMPLE! The number one most important thing to achieving your fitness goal is consistency. Almost every method that is popular will work if you put in the effort and stick with it. Do not overthink this step. It’s easy to get stuck in the planning phase. The only problem with that is that no physical progress is made during the planning phase.

When you’re choosing your strategy to accomplish your goal, there are some important aspects to keep in mind. If you have been working on a goal for a few years and either didn’t see the results you wanted or you plateaued, it may be time to re-evaluate. A lot of people trying to lose weight will have a workout strategy consisting of mostly cardio. Cardio is a great way to burn calories and lose weight, but it’s not the only way.

If you’ve been in a cardio rut for years trying to lose weight, I would encourage you to consider a resistance training program. Again, keep it simple. People tend not to want to wander outside their comfort zone. The weight room can be intimidating to a runner. Remember that everyone was a beginner once. Pick a routine and get to work! It doesn’t have to be complicated. I would recommend three sets of eight reps on each exercise for those seeking general fitness or hypertrophy (building muscle/size). For a leaner look, three sets of 15-20 reps is a good range. If you want to build strength, I recommend five sets of five reps at a time.

If the thought of ditching the running shoes for the squat rack isn’t appealing to you, there’s still hope! You don’t have to necessarily change the exercises that you are performing. But you could change the way you are doing them. Take running for example. Most people tend to run with a long, slow distance (LSD) approach. LSD has its place in the cardio realm, but it’s not your only option. You could incorporate sprints into your training. These sprints could be at regular intervals or at random. The sprint adds a different mental and physical element into the workout.

Still not buying in? But wait, there’s more! High intensity interval training (HIIT) has gained a lot of popularity in the last 10 years. This method can be accomplished without a lot of expensive equipment or space, too. Choose a group of exercises, perform each at a high intensity level for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds before moving onto the next exercise.

Fitness is not only affected by your choice of exercise but also your diet. Be sure to eat foods that support your goal. If you’re looking to add muscle or build strength, eat plenty of high protein foods. If you’re looking to lose a few pounds, staying at a calorie deficit is best.

The most important piece of any goal is to keep it achievable. Choose a diet and exercise program that you will enjoy (on some level) and stick to. Keep it simple and focus on one thing at a time.


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