We often believe that pushing ourselves to spend extra hours in the gym will accelerate our journey toward achieving fitness goals. Undoubtedly, increased effort can yield impressive results. However, it’s essential to recognize when this intensified commitment begins to produce diminishing returns. Let’s explore this topic and understand the optimal approach to fitness.
To gauge when we might encounter diminishing returns, we should consider a few critical factors:
1. Does My Goal Demand Extra Hours of Exercise Each Week?
The first question to ask yourself is whether your fitness goal genuinely necessitates spending additional hours each week in the gym. Sometimes, the answer may surprise you.
2. Will This Impact My Sleep and Current Training Routine?
Secondly, contemplate how your newfound dedication will affect your sleep quality and current training schedule. Overextending yourself might not be worth the trade-offs.
3. Am I Prepared to Properly Fuel My Body?
Lastly, assess your willingness to maintain adequate nutrition to sustain your performance. Fueling your body correctly is crucial for achieving your fitness objectives.
If your answers are a resounding “yes, no, and yes,” congratulations, your quest for more exercise can continue as planned! However, for the majority of us, our responses might differ.
More often than not, we can unlock the extra gains we desire by making smart adjustments within our current fitness regimen. Instead of performing a Strict Overhead Press, consider substituting it with a Flat Bench or Incline Bench to focus on “horizontal” pressing. If you’re tired of struggling with squat cleans, swap Back Squats for Tempo Front Squats. Often, we don’t need additional hours each day; we can achieve our goals through strategic substitutions and tweaks.
If you’re contemplating sacrificing sleep to squeeze in more workouts, I urge you to reconsider. Sleep is hands down the most potent recovery tool at our disposal. A study conducted by the “American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society’s Joint Consensus Statement” underscores the critical role of sleep in our overall well-being:
“Some of the adverse health outcomes linked to sleeping less than the recommended amount include weight gain and obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke, depression, and an increased risk of death. Additionally, chronic lack of sleep increases the potential for impaired immune function, increased pain, impaired performance, heightened errors, and a greater risk of accidents.”
For individuals aged 26-64, the average recommended sleep duration is 7-9 hours per night. Falling short of this range can lead to the aforementioned health risks. So, prioritize your sleep; it’s arguably the best “cheat code” for better fitness.
Lastly, it’s imperative to thoroughly evaluate your commitment to maintaining a well-balanced and nourishing diet in order to sustain optimal performance and reach your fitness goals. Just as a well-tuned engine requires the right fuel to operate efficiently, your body relies on a balanced intake of nutrients to function at its best. Adequate nutrition not only provides the energy necessary for your workouts but also aids in muscle recovery and growth. It serves as the foundation for overall health and can enhance your endurance, strength, and agility. Furthermore, proper nutrition plays a pivotal role in injury prevention and can boost your immune system, ensuring you stay on track with your fitness regimen without setbacks. So, before embarking on your fitness journey, take a moment to reflect on your willingness to prioritize your dietary choices and make the necessary adjustments to fuel your body correctly, setting the stage for long-lasting success.
If you’re unsure how to answer these three questions above or what to do next, we’d love to help. Schedule a No Sweat Intro here and we can get you on your way to great results.