Stop Training Hard and Start Training Smart!

Often times when clients start their fitness programs they are highly driven by wanting to see FAST results, so they crank up the intensity of their workouts in order to shock their bodies and burn maximum amount of calories in a short period of time.


In addition to their gym’s program design, some clients will exert themselves by going beyond and performing extra high-intensity drills on their off days such as P90X workouts, HIIT or by attending additional Bootcamp classes to ramp up their fat burn and metabolism.


As fitness professionals, we really advise against this and ask that you see your trainer or coach to find out what you should be doing on your off-days.


So now you may be wondering, “what’s wrong with going a little extra mile and training hard outside of your gym’s assigned workout?”


The answer lies in recovery time and energy systems.


Whereas prior studies on fitness led us to believe that an increase in energy expenditure, or being “more active” yielded higher amounts of calories burned, new research shows that there’s actually a fixed limit to how many calories our bodies are able to burn in given a day!


This is because aside from our physical fitness adaptations, our bodies require energy for a variety of vital biological functions, including but not limited to your heart beating, delivering oxygen to your lungs, tissue repair, and dealing with life’s stresses (finances, relationships, work). If your goal is to get the most out of your training, you have to realize that there is only so much energy the brain will allow to allocate for weight loss or building bigger and stronger muscles after your other basic metabolic needs and physical activity demands are met.
Finally, if you push your body too hard and exercise near maximum intensity most days of the week you will set yourself up for failure by accumulating recovery debt, by putting excess stress on all the cells and tissues involved in training, depriving them the energy they need for recovery and repair!
The consequence of not allowing your body proper recovery time after workouts can lead you to feeling tired, irritable, worsen your sleep quality, and even make your immune system more susceptible to infections due to the high levels of stress hormones your body’s accruing from the extreme workout regimens and not getting proper rest.
This can lead to decreased fitness gains, muscle loss and overall decline in functioning, so be cautioned against it.
Now that you know how your body operates let’s consider a better, and “smarter” way of training…
The first step to starting the best workout regimen is assessing your current fitness level, strengths and limitations and gradually increasing intensity to build strength and lose weight based upon your own stage of progress and adaptations.
If your body is not used to doing 10 push-ups every day or you have a pain in your wrist, it’s probably not wise to jump head first and try to do 25 push-ups your first day of training. All of our bodies and lifestyles are different and respond to stress in a distinctive way. While one person can get strong and progress really fast, someone with prior injuries or a busy lifestyle may need a little extra time improving their fitness level and reaching their goals whether it’d be losing weight, training for a race or building muscle mass.
In other words, if you are a person who has not been working out consistently in the past few months or even years, you may want to start slow and perform a ‘beginner’ exercise program for the first few weeks before going into a high-intensity drills, increasing your chances for injury and overtraining.
If you have slipped on your diet and your weekly work lunch consists of consuming a whole pizza pie, you may want to start by cutting that pie in half and eating a small side salad with it, as opposed to diving into the other extreme and cutting it out all together!
Eventually, the goal is to find out what works for YOU and discover the right balance between what you want to accomplish and what you CAN accomplish given your lifestyle, energy levels, stress and other demands that life can put on you.
If you or anyone you know would like to start exercise/nutrition/health  program but not sure where to begin please visit and set up a phone call with a coach to help you get started on YOUR own personal health journey!

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