If you raced to the gym at the start of the New Year all set with good intentions to prioritise your fitness routine over work deadlines, family commitments and, quite simply, life, you wouldn’t be alone.
But, now that we’ve a couple of months behind us, where is your fitness motivation? For many of you, chances are, it’s wavering. Perhaps because you’ve not seen the results you were hoping for. Or perhaps because, although you’re aware your body shape is changing, it’s not doing so as quickly as you’d expected.
Which begs the question: how often should you work out for results?
(And how can you speed up your physical gains? Obvs)
We quizzed Mark Bohannon, manager and head personal trainer of Ultimate Performance Manchester – that’s the team behind Gemma Atkinson and Brooke Vincent workouts, in case you were wondering. Because if anyone should have the answer; it’s him.
“When embarking on a new diet or training regime, it is very common to see fast results within the first 2-4 weeks,” says Bohannon. “The results will then start to slow down – which is when people usually start to lose motivation. So, if you are looking for those body changes that cause all your colleagues and friends to comment, you need to commit to your plan for at least 8-12 weeks.”
Remember, your body is for life so don’t view your fitness goals as a sprint.
That said, there are ways you can speed up the results you’re getting from your training. This is useful if, say, you’ve a particular event coming up or you’ve completed your first month and need to overcome fitness plateau.
Fortunately, Bohannon has the tricks of the trade. Read on.
For those of you who have googled “How often should you work out for results”, how many of you formally track your progress after each session? And by that, we don’t mean judging your success on how sweaty your activewear is.
According to Bohannon, unless you regularly monitor how you perform in every workout you do, it will be harder, not only to speed up the results you see but to see the results in the first place. More likely than not, you have improved, it’s just you’ve nothing to compare your current fitness state against.
“There are many ways of tracking the progress of your workouts,” says Bohannon. “But first you need to put together a training plan that you can stick to for at least 4-6 weeks. Once you have the workouts in place, keep a note of the weights you’re lifting, or the times / distances of your runs in a log book or on your phone. You are looking to progress on these each week, whether that be by lifting more load, increasing the reps or adding more sets, or furthering the distance.”
And although many experts will tell you to keep your training plan varied to prevent workout boredom; don’t shake yours up too much. “The common mistake people often make is performing completely different workouts every time they enter the gym,” says Bohannon. “This makes it almost impossible to track the workout and to notice any progression.”
Your “How often should you work out for results” mantra: Consistency is King.
“When it comes to speeding up the results of your exercise programme, there are three main areas to focus on,” Bohannon says. Follow these and you won’t need to ask “how often should you work out for results”, anymore. Results will be a weekly guarantee.
“Use a calorie-tracking app or a standard plate portion size guide to track and quantify the food you’re eating.” Not sure what you’re looking for? Read this beginner’s guide to counting macros.
“Your plan is not just something you follow Monday-Friday. Choose a programme that you can stick to every day and that won’t leave you wanting to binge come the weekend.” Worried about how you’ll cope without your weekly curry night? Try these healthy dinner ideas: five of the best curry recipes that won’t set you back.
“Follow the same plan 2-3 times per week with the view to progress each time – by lifting more weight, performing more reps or adding more sets. Or by increasing time or distance you cover doing cardio. It is this progressive overload that will lead to adaption.”https://bit.ly/2o3isu1