You’re hitting the gym every day, sacrificing time and effort to achieve a fitness level you never thought possible, but still you’re not seeing results. Why is this? You’re working your tail off after all but you are still in the same size jeans after a couple months of work. What else could you be doing you ask? Things like making sure you’re getting ample rest and recovery, keeping your diet in check and supplementing are all things that assist greatly in getting you fit. Follow these steps to ensure you’re doing everything necessary to getting you your ideal physique.
Not Sleeping/Resting Enough
If you’re not already doing so, start tracking how much sleep you’re actually getting in a night’s rest. Studies have been shown that 6-8 hours of sleep per night will help you to fully recover from exercise and rejuvenate the body into rest mode. Another key feature besides just feeling well rested is that sleep actually helps contribute to decreasing inflammation in the body. Inflammation within the body is also linked to heart disease and rises in blood pressure so ensuring that you body gets enough sleep can help more than you think.
The main reason sleep is so important from a fitness standpoint is that the same brain receptors that trigger hunger also trigger sleep and tiredness. So when you feel tired toward the end of the night, this is why you’re a lot more likely to reach for the ice cream or chips rather than to just take a drink of water and get some rest!
Not Eating Right
It may sound simple enough but many people that decide to hit the gym hard and expect unreal results are the same ones that are still stuffing their face with pizza and burgers. Think of your body as a formula 1 racecar that needs nothing but the top-notch fuel to make it run at its best. If you go down to the local gas station and fill it up with normal unleaded gasoline, it probably won’t run very well at all. Same goes for our body.
We need to be fueling our physique with the best natural whole food sources. For example, lean protein sources like salmon, chicken and steak, whole grains and carbohydrates such as wheat pasta, brown rice and sweet potatoes and as well as healthy fats which could include avocados, olive oil and nuts. Keep in mind that your physique is made up primarily of what you eat (around 70%) and the remaining 30% is your training and supplementation. So if your diet’s not perfect, get to it and make some necessary changes to see your body change.
Now eating correctly is the key to any good physique but to take your body to the next level and really focus on achieving that next-level status, supplementation can help take you there. We touched on training and supplementation making up about 30% of your physique, but supplementing itself only makes up about 3-5% total. It doesn’t make a world of difference but it does allow you to make small gains that contribute over time in the long run. To keep yourself sane and to keep your pocket book from running on empty all the time, aim to take in just the basics at first. Things like whey protein, BCAAs and creatine, are 3 great staples that anyone of any fitness level can and will benefit from.
Although you may be training your tail off every time you set foot in the gym, keep in mind that there are other things that are a lot more important than just the training alone. Ensure you’re getting ample sleep every night, take in proper nutrition on a daily basis and supplement correctly around your workouts and throughout the day. These things together will help build your ideal body, but the most important thing is to be patient because these results will not happen overnight!