I see it all the time as a coach. People come to the gym to get a great workout in, and then spend the other 23 hours making poor choices sabotaging their hard work. If you have a goal of getting stronger, leaner, more fit, or just want to feel better, then the choices you make outside the gym are just as important as the work you do in the gym.
You can’t out exercise a bad diet
I know you have heard this. If you haven’t, there it is. If you want to see results that come from your workouts you need to eat right. Protein, Carbs, Fats, Calories and how much or little you eat of those will play a huge role in the results you get or don’t get.
This is a fact. I can’t “sugar” coat this. See what I did there? haha. But seriously, if you truly want to see results then you need to look at what is going on your plate and what the quality and quantity of that food is AND how it relates to your activity level.
There are probably a thousand diets out there and they all come down to helping you with the Quality and/or Quantity of food.
Recovery is just as important as working out
If you aren’t getting enough rest your muscles and body will not perform the best that it can. I know that many of us have really busy lives. I get it. That still doesn’t change that we need to do the best we can with what our circumstances are. SLEEP is huge for muscle recovery, hormones, reducing stress, losing weight, improving memory, and on and on and on. There are too many benefits to sleep to list them all here.
My coach used to always say, “there is no such thing as overtraining, only under recovery.”
Stretching will help alleviate the pain of sore muscles. Breathing exercises help calm the nervous system down and help speed up the process of recovery. Compression, ice baths, saunas etc. all have value when it comes to recovery depending on who you talk to.
Find what helps you, and do it! Outside of diet the two biggest for me are sleep and stretching.
Drinking alcohol detrimental to your fitness
I’m just as guilty as anyone else on this one. Drinking alcohol will slow your recovery and blunt the release of hormones necessary to repair the muscles you worked so hard for. Alcohol will also slow your metabolism which will make it harder to lose the fat. And with every drink, that is extra calories that is going into your body that have zero benefit towards your fitness goals. The beer belly is a real thing.
If you are serious about getting results, then drinking less will be important.
Diet, recovery, and drinking alcohol are probably the three biggest issues I see people mess up. Other things like stress and your work environment can play a role in it as well. Both of those are within your control as well, but for some people maybe not as readily able to change. If that is the case for you, then evaluating what you are trading for your health is choice only you can make.
Watch your 23 hours and the decisions you make outside the gym. Is what you are doing helping you move the needle towards your goal? If not, then it’s time to take a serious look at why you’re making the choices you are making.
If you like this article, then the best compliment you can give me, is to share it with people you know need this reminder.