The start of my fitness journey began when I was 18 years old. I really wanted to get lean. I figured that doing as much exercise as possible was the best way to go about it.
Despite all the exercise, my body wasn't changing.
Frustrated, I taught why am I putting in hours and not seeing any differences. I become obsessed about my workouts, if I skipped a workout I would feel guilty. I was exhausted mentally and physically from all the activity.
I was doing 90 percent cardio in my training and a small bit of weight training.
While I was exercising like a mad man,it was high intensity and really long sessions. I exercised as hard as I could for as long as I could and repeated this.
Now I know for progress that training should vary in intensity and duration. I burnt myself out and my appetite was through the roof therefore leading me to devour anything in sight making my efforts in the gym go to waste!
It is important to push yourself and intensity matters don’t get me wrong but if you are training 7 days a week and using the same weights and movements month after month, you may just be going through the motions.
My next step was to improve my eating habits as i was undoing my diet all the time and trying to balance it with extra exercise. It was a constant battle. I struggled with what foods to eat, knowing how much to eat etc…
I remember being a member of another gym in town and going on the treadmill till I burned 1000 calories. That was absolutely ridiculous but I wanted that quick fix.
I would get home and eat, eat and eat. I would justify this and say I will burn this off tomorrow with another few hours cardio . I came into the vicious cycle of thinking I would burn off everything I had eaten.
If you are making nutrition adjustments, new to healthy eating and exercising too much, it makes it extremely difficult not to overeat or eat foods that don’t support your goals.
So what did I do?
I cut my exercise back, I was consuming less calories, I picked up a pair of dumbells and eventually things started to change.
The key to getting the most out of your training is train at an intensity that allows you to make progress, that keeps your appetite at bay and allows plenty time to rest/relax and socialise.
Sometimes less is what is needed. I have learned how to train smarter but it did take time.
Training is meant for you to better yourself, to get healthier, get stronger, get fitter and to make you happier.