The weather is warming up and the days are getting a bit longer.
These are the telltale signs that Summer is just around the corner. If you have been hibernating this winter under long pants and pub dinners, now is the time to pick up your training to achieve that hot summer bod. Lucky for you (and me!), there is an entire season in-between Winter and Summer.
Oh beloved Spring, you are my greatest training season and the months where I really push my body, so that I can feel strong and confident strutting my stuff on the beach in my adorable sun dress. With that said, don’t go slamming your computer shut and running for the gym before careful consideration on how to ramp up your training to avoid injury.
Many of us are guilty of a few sedentary months followed by jumping in too quick too fast, only leading to strain and injury. If this sounds familiar, today is your lucky day. I am here to give you 7 tips for taking care of your body during training season.
1) Trust the professionals
No matter how much research you do online, you will never know as much as the fitness professionals. If you are launching into an intense Spring training regime, reach out to some fitness experts to help you design the perfect routine for your body and goals. I regularly see a physio in South Melbourne which is the perfect option, since you can pop in for a visit then head straight to Albert Park for a training session!
2) Warm up and cool down
A solid warmup and cooldown are often neglected in the quest for the perfect body. Many of us are time poor and can sneak out for an hour run or training session. Even if your time is limited, be sure to incorporate 5-10 minutes before and after training. A light jog to begin with and a good stretch to end are great ways to avoid injury.
3) Good form over big weights
You will see results far quicker if you train with intervals and weights suited for your body and fitness level. Alignment and smooth transitions will lead you to a strong, toned body a lot quicker than pushing beyond your limits.
4) Temp and Consistency
This ties in well with the previous point. Quality over quantity is good to remember when training hard. Consistent tempo is more important, and more effective, than heavy weights or too many reps. Stay in control when lifting, and be consistent. For example, count to three as you lift, hold, then count to three as you release.
This seems obvious, right? Your body is going to breathe to keep you alive, but purposeful breathing during training will help keep you focused and oxygenated. Hey big weight lifters, breathing is not just for yogis, it is important for you too! Exhale to work against resistance, and inhale to release.
6) Progressive Gains
Adding weight slowly and methodically will lead to greater muscle gain and fewer injuries. Choose weight levels that tire your muscles by the last two reps, and be sure to maintain good form throughout.
Did you know that during training you get hundreds of tiny tears in your muscle tissue? This is not harmful and is part of the process of strength training. However, rest is imperative to repair the tears and give time for muscles to form correctly. It is recommended that you rest 48 hours in between really big weight lifting sessions.
We all look longingly at the men and women with the perfectly toned body on the beach. You can be certain that those bodies did not happen without a lot of hard work, discipline and planning. Training your body is an art, and not one that can be rushed. Seeking professional advice and taking things slow and smart are sure ways to help you achieve your fitness targets. Do yourself a favor, read over the 7 tips again, make an appointment with a pro, then hit the road.