We see many posts about “Plan ahead or plan to fail” or “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. Often this is used in the context of food planning. Keeping oneself on track no matter what comes at you during the day. For people who work OR have very busy lives with children OR children and work, this planning is crucial to help with your weight loss goals. Food is a huge part of the weight loss and weight maintenance equation.
Before I start though, I want to say something about the “failure” word – Let’s start looking at it as learning – not failing! You know the old saying – fall down seven times and get up eight! 🙂
What about your workouts? Do you plan ahead for those? If you go to the gym, do you say I am going to do this cardio machine on this day for so many minutes or miles at this speed or level no matter what. Then I am going to do this weight workout with specific exercises in mind in this order for these many sets & repetitions?
Personally, I think it is important to plan ahead for workouts. Some even write their workouts down before AND as they do them. I don’t but it helps many. Either way, this also helps you VISUALIZE your workout which is a huge motivator!
I have a plan for my cardio & which body parts I work each time I go to the gym. I have done this all my 30++++ years BUT which body parts I work together and how my workouts are compiled both weight & cardio have changed thru the years. IT IS CALLED LISTENING TO THE BODY, MIND/MUSCLE/BODY LINK AND CHANGING IT UP TO KEEP THE BODY GUESSING.
The one thing I want to emphasize though is that LISTEN TO THE BODY!!! Just because you planned THAT WORKOUT for that day does not mean it HAS TO BE THAT EXACT WORKOUT FOR THE DAY!
For example – my cardio: I may have a plan for how fast I want to go or how many minutes or miles BUT IT ALL COMES DOWN TO HOW I AM FEELING THAT DAY. If I am feeling great & I know I can do more, I push myself a bit while leaving energy I know I will need for tomorrow’s workout. I don’t just do status quo for the day because that was the plan. Yesterday I was feeling great so I challenged myself with a higher level on my HIIT. On the opposite side, if I am really not feeling it or dragging, I don’t try to push myself to the point that I may have bad form & injure myself.
or MY WEIGHT ROUTINE – I always have a plan but if an exercise is just not working for me OR it does not feel right, I move on to another one. I also don’t do the “I will do 10 repetitions (reps), stop & then repeat”. I understand this is important for certain people’s routines & especially beginners. Once you get past that, what if you stopped at 10 reps but you could have done 2 or even 5 more reps. You are never going to understand if you actually have the strength to move up in weight if you just stop blindly because you hit a certain number of reps. You need to challenge yourself on that. If you can do a couple more OR even more than that with good form, time to increase the weight.
The process of knowing how much more to give without hurting yourself OR how to dial it down without dialing it down too much is going to be a learning process. That is why I always say – DO NOT JUST GO THRU THE MOTIONS OF ANY WORKOUT, CARDIO OR RESISTANCE TRAINING. GET THAT MIND/MUSCLE/BODY LINK SO YOU CAN GET TO THE POINT OF BEING ABLE TO GIVE & TAKE WITHOUT GIVING TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE.
PS: If you missed my Monday post, I did a review of Essential Living Foods Athletic Fuel for pre-workout and/or energy during the day.It is an energy product that helps increase physical energy. It can also be used as a sustaining pick-me-upper to get you through the day that doesn’t result in a crash – THIS IS HOW I TRIED IT. I also had cute pics of the newest granddaughter!
Do you plan your workouts? Do you write them down? Have you got to the point of being able to change things based on how you feel that day?