Have you ever felt like you’ve hit a brick wall with your training and wondered why everything feels 10 times harder? When it comes to fitness and health it’s all about longevity and sustainability. How we look after our mind and body overtime will have a major say in our adherence to staying fit and healthy. In order to make our training sustainable long term, we need to ensure that we look after the body all year round. I will now discuss and point out some key areas to address in order for you to improve the quality of your training performances.
Let’s take a look at some of the key reasons why your training may be suffering?
The types of factors that will heavily contribute to poor performances in your training are as follows…
Sleep: Are you getting enough quality sleep?
This will play a huge role when it comes to being able to perform optimally in your training sessions. Sleep presents the opportunity for you to re-charge and repair both mentally and physically. Lack of sleep will no doubt affect your ability to recover from previous training sessions and mental fatigue will also take its toll.
If you need to improve the quality of your sleep then creating a consistent sleep environment will be the answer to your prayers. Doing the simple things can make such a difference to your quality of sleep. Getting curtains that completely shut out light, adjusting the room temperature so it’s cool and comfortable and avoiding caffeinated drinks late in the evening are ways in which you can achieve this. A great article by PT Health on ‘Six top tips for better sleep’ will help you maximise your sleep quality. In addition, try to create a better sleep schedule where you’re going to bed at a reasonable time. This will give you enough sleep to feel refreshed and ready to attack a new day. Another article I would recommend in order to help fix your sleep is ‘fight the light and sleep better’.
Social factors: Are you partying too much?
It goes without saying that if you’re out partying until the early hours intoxicating your body, and again, not getting enough sleep, you can be assured that your body won’t thank you. We all want a happy social life outside of work and the gym environment, however, it’s about finding a healthy balance between your training and other social activities to prevent your performance from suffering. If you have a busy social life or you are going through a phase of prioritising social events over your training, then be prepared to accept that your gym performances might not live up to expectations.
Nutrition: Are you fuelling properly?
There are lots of questions when it comes to nutrition but it’s safe to say, if you’re not fuelling properly before and re-fuelling after your sessions then you will see a drop in performance. To assist in the recovery process a combination of carbohydrates, lean proteins and healthy fats are essential to your health and well-being. Ensuring calorie intake matches or possibly exceeds caloric expenditure will ensure you’re consuming enough fuel to perform and recover from physical exercise. Calorie intake will always be individualised depending on the individual’s age, weight, body type and the specific target or goal (fat loss, gain weight). I highly recommend giving this a quick read to help you on your quest to learning more about performance nutrition ‘Eat to perform’.
Stress: Working too many hours?
If you’re suffering from a busy work schedule and working long hours, additional gym sessions on top can be very demanding. Any form of stress that affects your quality of life will undoubtedly affect your ability to perform, progress and recover. On top of this, stress can also act as a demotivator, consequently impacting on your gym routine and training frequency. Stress can come in many different forms and how we handle and manage stress will vary from person to person. Sometimes, this can be completely out of our hands but it’s important to not beat yourself up and find a way of managing the situation in order to move forward. If you want to learn more about stress management then follow this link for a better understanding ‘Stress Management’.
Recovery: Are you getting enough rest?
All the points I have made above will contribute to poor recovery. Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, overtraining, a busy social life and stress will undoubtedly affect your results.
Recovery will always play a huge role in how we develop and progress with our fitness journeys. If you can address the points raised above and try to adapt your lifestyle to suit your training schedule then you will see positive results. You can only deplete a battery for so long before it runs out. The human body is a clever structure and neglecting the re-charge button will only prevent you from functioning optimally.
Remember…Rest is KEY!