Josef Brandenburg, special to wtop.com
WASHINGTON – This time of year is when most people are thinking about fitness. But one of the biggest killers to motivation is not seeing immediate results. However, there are several things you can do to help maintain momentum towards your fitness or weight-loss results.
Instead, use pairs or groups of non-competing exercises to maximize your time and your results. An example of this would be to do some sort of lower body exercise (like a squat), then, while your lower body is resting go straight to an upper body exercise (like a push-up). Then take your break. This sequence gives you “local recovery” in minimal time, meaning your lower body is mostly recovering while your upper body is working hard, and vice versa.
The “magic” of strength training is that you need to be moving something that is heavy for you — like your own body. If you can keep moving at a constant pace for 30 minutes, then whatever you are doing is too easy to produce any results. In short: If you don’t need the break, then you’re wasting your time. You can only workout hard or you can workout long, but it is physically impossible to work hard and long. This leads us to the next tip.
If you beat yourself into the ground (or pay someone to do this to you) on a regular basis there will come a point in time when you stop getting better and start getting worse, since you aren’t allowing any time for recovery. In addition, you will also begin to dread exercise, sleep poorly, have aches and pains, not feel well.
Because results happen between workouts and during your recovery period, the better you recover, the better you progress. A poor recovery will lead to poor results. For best results, your post workout meal should be the largest meal of the day and it should contain lots of protein. These calories will go to your lean tissue for fuel, energy and repair to make you look and feel great.
If you spend most of your time on training for fat-loss, then you are not going to do very well in your marathon. At the same time, the training you do for completing a marathon will prevent you from doing effective fat-loss training and will usually make you ravenous and lead to weight gain, not loss.
A better way to use your time wisely would be to lose the 30 pounds first, and then go focus on your marathon while you maintain your weight.
Editor’s Note: Josef Brandenburg is a D.C.area fitness expert with 14 years of experience and co-author of the international best-selling book “Results Fitness.” In 2004, he started The Body You Want personal training program, which specializes in helping you get the body you want in the available time you have. You can also check out his blog, follow him on Twitter, or check out his fitness videos on YouTube.