By Myprotein Writer Mike Henken
Did you just sign up for a gym membership? Are you currently starting your journey to gaining a healthier and happier body? Or you may even be an experienced lifter, enjoying the life of a fitness enthusiast.
Whether you or just beginning now, or you have been hitting the gym for quite some time, at some point you probably were lost, even confused and had a lot of questions…
When it comes to losing weight, gaining muscle, or sculpting your dream body, there is much more to achieving your goals then just lifting heavy weights or spending countless hours on the treadmill.
To achieve the body you ever so want, you need to focus on some simple key aspects to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
To find the most success during your fitness journey, a balance between those three must be found, and I know that it can be difficult, but I’m here to help!
Let’s start with the exercise portion, because let’s be honest, this is where most of the focus lies when one begins a fitness program.
First off, finding the right program or routine to meet your goals is key. For example, if we have one person who is aiming to lose weight, and one person who is looking to become the next Arnold Schwarzenegger, obviously their programs will be quite different, but that is a whole different topic.
What we’re looking at is balance…
A big part of balance is time management and effectiveness. One common excuse for not reaching one’s sought after fitness goals, is the famous “I don’t have time to go the gym” line.
Most weight lifters will agree that the classic 45 minute long workout is all you need quote is a little short, but not everyone is an avid lifter who can’t get enough of the gym. And even if it may hurt us to say, it’s true as fitness magazine reported that just 30 minutes of cardio three to five times a week can add six years to one’s life.
I may be getting a little off topic here and this obviously doesn’t apply to people looking gain muscle, but it proves my point, that spending hours and hours in the gym is not necessary.
This is where my second key factor comes in, which is effectiveness. If you can get in the gym, and perform all of your sets, with solid form and “effectiveness” in an hour, that’s perfect.
Want to hit the weights for an hour and a half or run a little longer, even better!
When it comes to balance, however, you want to be effective, making the most of the time you have at the gym.
Enlisting the help of a spotter or workout partner can help also.
If they can go to the gym you can go to the gym and a partner will most definitely keep your mind on your goals and not on excuses.
Probably the most overlooked part of a fitness plan, but also the most important.
When beginners first start, all they want to do is go to the gym, lift heavy, and get big – but they are missing the time in the kitchen… oh the ever so crucial time in the kitchen.
Similar to working out, many people say they don’t have time to prepare healthy foods or the money to attain them. In the end, however, how do you expect to grow or lose weight if you’re eating junk food?
Running miles on top of miles, or benching hundreds of pounds won’t matter if you grab McDonald’s on the way home.
Now I completely understand that preparing home cooked, healthy meals is not always easy and affordable, but it is doable.
My best tip would be to always buy frozen meat and veggies if necessary and also store brand instead of name brand.
Is it ideal to buy frozen chicken, fish, and broccoli? No, but it’s better than the alternative.
When it comes to balancing nutrition, time management is just as important in the kitchen as it is the gym.
Do you have a hectic schedule? Many of us do, and the best tip I can give, is to prepare all of your meals ahead of time, on a Sunday possibly.
Is chicken your protein for the week? Awesome, cook up a bulk load on a Sunday and you’re set for the week!
The same can be done with veggies and even carbs such as rice. Also, always make sure you are eating well balanced meals featuring a lean protein, healthy carbohydrate and even a healthy fat, it’s all important!
…Possibly the most intriguing to fitness enthusiast newbies. Before thinking about a specific workout routine or diet plan, some beginners find it necessary to stock up on every supplement that is proclaimed absolutely vital to their success.
The most important thing to know is that supplements are not necessary, they are to supplement or help your diet and in no way should they replace whole foods. But, they can be helpful and convenient.
A protein powder would definitely be my first suggestion, and just like with nutrition, supplements can be expensive. I would recommend looking out for sales, if protein is two for three this week, then get three bags, it will not go to waste.
Timing is key to balancing supplementation. Only use supplements when needed and it will help tremendously. For example, the famous rule that a protein shake must be taken in directly after a workout isn’t completely true. Yes, you’re body needs protein after a workout, but it also needs carbs from all of the glycogen lost during a workout.
A well-balanced meal could do the trick here and if you have time to cook after a workout, save your supplements for a time when you don’t have time to cook. This can also help save money.
The key to supplementation is to do your research. Focus on getting products that will increase recovery and help you get back in the gym and performing effective workouts. And always remember to balance supplements with food, not supplements over food!
Take home message
In conclusion, life is all about balance.
Fitness can be a huge part of someone’s life, and it has so many benefits if it is. And fitness, just like life is all about balance.
If you focus on just one aspect, success will never be met. A foundation of key parts must be built, and through balancing these key parts, you can attain anything, including your dream body!