6 Things I Have Learned From My Training Program
So, since I’m about 6 months into my training, I figured it would be fun to share some of the fitness related things I have learned (mostly about myself).
I have to admit, it makes me feel like I was pretty ignorant before - but I guess the point is, I have learned a lot and that is what’s important!
(If you are new around here, you can read the details about my training program and what it is here).
1 - Form
I think this is one of the major things I have really learned is my form. Remember how when I started I always had hip pain? And I dont know if you have noticed, but I havent complained about it in a long time. Mostly because it really doesnt bother me anymore! It goes back to me doing things in correctly and straining the wrong part of my body.
To think of all those squats and lunges I always did at the gym on my own – I was doing them wrong and not reaping the benefits for all the work! My form has improved hugely.
2 – How to push myself & that I really am stronger than I think
I’ll be honest, when I was working out on my own at a gym. I wouldnt push myself. I thought I was…. but I really wasnt. I realized this the other day. We were doing overhead presses with dumbbells last week, and he said the minimum weight for me to use is 20 lb dumbbells. I was like what? I typically used 12s for most stuff like that. And when I got over there, it was tough – but I managed it fine and it was a little extra hard, and it made me a little extra sore.
So I realized, because that was the option he gave me (no option to down grade to the next size) that I was fine with it. If it were me by myself, I would have probably never upgraded to be honest… I would have stayed in my comfort zone.
Some moves that he gives us he gives us a couple different “options” for the more advanced people he wants to make sure it is extra hard and challenging for them. Then usually there is an in between for the average, and then an easy for those that have injuries or are beginning (or the few elderly people we have). I at least always try to do the difficult one first, at least a few reps and if I dont feel I can continue with that I will downgrade usually to the “intermediate” move.
3 – Cardio isnt my love anymore
When I was going to the gym by myself, I always did a mix of cardio (elliptical, treadmill, or stair climber) and then did some strength training (usually on weight machines). I usually didnt like the strength part as much as the cardio portion. I always loved cardio (or thought I did) and would spend the bulk doing that.
Now cardio is obviously really important, but now that I have been doing the training that is typically strength moves (though it still involves a lot of cardio, just not on a dreadmill) I have realized I didnt really love cardio and have so much fun with weights… which leads me to my next lesson I learned…
4 - Variety really is good
No secret I am a creature of routine. I like to have a routine and stick with it. Just like when I used to go to the gym by myself. I’d do the same stuff. I started with strength, would do upper body or lower body depending on the day (at one time I also started doing “front of the body” and “back of the body” which was then, my version of switching it up) and then end with some sort of cardio.
I always read everywhere that variety was good, if you dont have variety you’ll get bored, and your muscles will get used to it. But thinking of straying off of my usual routine just sounded like I would fail. So my idea of variety was taking a group class every once in a while or doing something outdoors (bike riding, hiking etc). When I first started reading blogs for info about healthy living – one thing I noticed was none of the fit bloggers I followed would talk about “oh I went to the gym and ran for 30 minutes today and then did strength training for 30 minutes” and then say the same thing the next day. No, they all had different circuits they were doing, different classes they would take on certain days, sometimes working out at home, sometimes going to a gym to do it. It was appealing, and I wondered how they kept up with it.
Now I really know what that means as far as switching things up. And I like it because I still feel structured and in a routine (having a scheduled time to workout helps me, because lets face it, if it wasnt scheduled it was easy for me to put it off or cancel all together or for something to come up). We do something different pretty much every training session. Every night that I have gone there have been at least two new-to-me moves that I had never done before. 3x a week for the last 6 months and there is still something new everyday. Pretty crazy… but I realized that that makes me look forward to it!
5 – How to listen to my body
I admit, if I’m hurting I will maybe try to be tough and work through it. Not always the best bet obviously. I’ve learned to listen to my body and feel out if I have a problem. If I feel like something is straining, I will speak up and tell my trainer and it is usually just as easy as fixing my form, something I dont realize I am doing wrong (like subconsciously favoring one leg because I’m worried about a bar hitting me)
And again, this is tied into my next lesson….
6 – Food is fuel
Duh. I mean I have always known this, but never really actually paid attention or planned for it. I am a foodie, so I love food for a million different reasons and “food is fuel” is just another lovely reason for me to eat delicious food.
But, with that being said, I have recently learned and actually been able to feel how it affects me during my workouts. I have it down to a T now with my snacking/meals and I pretty much know how my body will react with what I eat as a snack an hour or 2 before my training. It took some experimenting, but I have definitely figured it out and the days that I do go to training, I eat differently.
- Tell me something fitness related that you have learned about yourself somewhat recently (or even a while ago when you maybe started exercising more seriously).
- What is a [fitness related] bad habit that you are or have been guilty of?
Mine was definitely bad form, lack of hydration, or not eating the right things before workouts!
- Do you feel like you have enough variety in your workouts? Is there anything new (new workouts, moves, equipment, sports, etc) that you have been wanting to try?