Train Smarter, Not Harder!

LaurenMeet Lauren, PAC Fitness Instructor. Today Lauren is blogging about training smarter, not harder!

Does this sound like you?

You spend hours at the gym each week, but haven’t met your health goals.

You are constantly battling illness and injury.

You want to add more exercise into your schedule, but you just don’t have hours to spend at the gym.

If any of these ring a bell, it’s time to start training smarter and not harder! More of a good thing is not always good, and that certainly applies to exercise. If you’re not meeting your goals despite spending hours working out each week, or if you are getting sick or injured frequently, there is a very good chance that you are overworking your body. When we spend too much time exercising at a high intensity heart rate, our body’s hormone levels start going haywire. The “fight or flight” hormone cortisol goes into overdrive which can actually PREVENT fat loss! Not only that, but muscle gains will be minimal and injuries will be frequent. Sometimes, the best way to meet your goals is to actually ease off the throttle a bit. By varying your workouts, using interval training, and taking a rest day for every 3 days of heavy activity, you can help your body recover and begin to burn fat and gain muscle again. (It might be time to look at your daily diet as well, but that’s food for thought in another post… )

If you want to incorporate more exercise into your schedule but just don’t have the time, HIIT is your answer. HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training is a training technique that alternates small bursts of very high intensity training (think sprints, burpees, plyometrics) with low intensity intervals of active recovery. This is an incredibly adaptable program that you can take anywhere and do with almost any activity. Many of the group classes at PAC use this training format! It might look like any of these structures:

(Always be sure to warm up and cool down/stretch with each interval training session)

On the treadmill: 1 minute jog or walk with 30 seconds of sprint/run repeat for 20 minutes.

On the gym floor: 20 seconds of burpees with 10 seconds of rest, repeat 8 times for a 4 minute set (this timing format is known as Tabata and can be done with any high intensity activity)

With weights: 1 minute weighted squat and overhead press followed by 30 seconds boxer shuffle, repeat 3-4 times

If you’re interested in this training format or want to find out how to train smarter and not harder, talk to one of the PAC Trainers or Instructors. They’ll be happy to help you get the most out of your workout!

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