how to break a plateau

8 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Training

1. Progress is not always linear
When I first began with my fitness routine there would be months where I would lose a few kilos and a few centimetres, and other months where I would get measured and I had actually gained size. Remember that the progress doesn't always go the way that you expect. Use the unexpected changes to help you establish what in your routine is or isn't working for you. Find what your body adapts to best and roll with that.

2. Rest, rest and more rest
It's important to actually make sure that you are getting 8-9 hours of sleep per night. If you are training regularly, still busy with every-day activities and then not sleep enough you will become rundown and potentially get sick or injured. Never underestimate the value of getting a full nights sleep.

3. Workout buddies aren't for everyone
I used to always read that you should have a workout buddy to keep you motivated. Are you a competitive person? Because I am. If you have a workout buddy don't try to out-do them just for the sake of being 'better' at something, this can lead to injury. Workout buddies are good for some people, but not everyone.

4. There will be days you will hate exercise
Some mornings you are probably going to wake up and go, "No". If you have exercised for the last 4 or 5 days in a row, then listen to your body and give it a rest. If you haven't, get up, get out and get moving. Too often people skip, "just one day here" and "just one day there" and before you know it the entire routine has fallen to pieces. You're not always going to be motivated to go to the gym, that's the harsh reality of it, but it's about how you can get around that and still make yourself exercise.

5. Motivation is a beast that needs to be fed constantly
Regularly find things that inspire you to change up your routine, add in something new, or just try a new fitness activity. If you need motivation we have the perfection solution right now, the 8 Week Transformation Challenge. We will provide you with 'fitness missions' for each week to keep you motivated, a whole workout plan to follow, online coaching (so you can be anywhere in the world), and exclusive tips, recipes and video content. Register today 8-wtc.com (registrations close August 15, 2015).

6. Find the real reason you are exercising
Exercising to get your 'bikini body' isn't something that's going to keep you going in winter, just as exercising to fit into a dress for your *whatever event* isn't going to keep you motivated after that date passes. Find something more substantial that motivates you, you don't need to tell anyone else what it is. Only you need to know. Be healthier for your family? Set a good example for someone else? Fight off illnesses or health conditions you may be genetically predisposed to? There are plenty of good reasons to be fit and healthy.

7. Comparing yourself does more damage than good
Don't compare where you are at in your journey to where someone else is at in theirs. Everyone has different challenges, different set backs, different body types and follows a different routine. Comparisons often lead to self-doubt.

8. Learn when to re-adjust your goals
Adjusting your goals is a good way to help you stay motivated, and to achieve greater results. At first you might focus on healthy eating, and then shift your focus to gaining muscle, which will in turn help you burn fat. Notice your body changing and learn when you need to shake things up - this will help prevent plateaus. If you have lost a bunch of weight, but aren't looking toned at all, perhaps it's time for less cardio and more weights? Or if you're eating a high carbohydrate diet, but you're not exercising as frequently any more, you could be gaining weight by eating more than you need to.

It's important to remember that a 'successful fitness journey' is going to look different for everyone. There will be ups and downs, times where you feel like you are on top of the world, and other times where you want to give up. Just keep taking it day by day and eventually you will wonder why you hadn't started sooner. 

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Bored of Your Workouts? This is How To Fix It

Getting bored of your work out?
Want to really make your blood pump?

Here’s 5 Tips & Tricks that will take your work out to the next level!

Advanced overload techniques are the secret weapon that will make your muscles pump and your heart jump out of your chest. When trying to burn fat or gain muscle its all about time under tension and going above and beyond with your work out. Seriously….. you think walking on the tread mill for 30 mins is going to get you the best results? Let's put your Lululemon tights to the test and try some of these in your next work out.

1. Super setting

Most of you will be familiar with super setting, doing 2 exercises back-to-back without rest. Not only is this efficient, but it can really make your muscle work and keep that heart rate high so you can burn fat faster and increase your cardiovascular system. The fitter you are, the more fat you can burn! You can team this up with the same muscle group or something different depending on your program!

2. Partials

What the heck is a partial? You may have heard the term “21’s” if  not, nevermind, I'll explain now. Imagine that your range of motion is divided in to 2 halves, top and bottom. Let's use the leg press as an example. Start at the top with your knees locked out and do 7 reps halfway then 7 reps from the bottom of your range to the middle and then all the way to the top and back down to the bottom. Because you have different stopping and starting points this will separate your focus in to different parts of the legs. You must make sure your weights are light with this as it does get hard!

3. Drop Sets

This is where we see the load (weight) of an exercise start high and the reps low. After each set you drop the weight and increase the number reps. You can do this to your own configuration and set your own challenges. Lets use bench press as an example. Start with 100kg and do 2 reps, then change it to 80kgs for 4 reps. Then reduce the weight again to 60kg for 6 reps, then 40kg for 8 reps and finally 20kg for 10 reps. Do this with as little rest between sets and get someone to help you rack off the weights to get the best results. This will fatigue you and help with strength & size building. Make sure you warm up before doing this too! A way you can warm up is to do a pyramid set (start light with high reps, then slowly increase the weight and decrease the reps, then do your drop set). This can take a fair bit of time during your session, but its great to challenge yourself.

4. Super slow

We’re stronger on our eccentric phase (the easy part of a rep) so what we can do is slow the pace down. Making an exercise last longer puts extended contraction through the muscles and results in more lactic acid build up which helps us fire up our muscles and burn fat, plus helps us condition our bodies to help improve in a functional movement you may need in sports or other activities! Another pretty neat trick you can do is make it a plyometric exercise. Here is another example! When doing something like a squat you can do down for about 5 seconds and then explode out of it. This creates a connection between your muscle and brain and every time you do this it becomes stronger and more explosive. Just imagine a conversation you have with someone for the first time, its usually a bit slow and stuttered, but over time as you get to know them you can blab on about crap for hours. This is you + plyometrics.  So controlling your tempo and explosion can really help improve stability, power and burn a boat load of fat!

5. Holds

Don’t think you have done enough or you still have a bit in the tank? Once you have done half a rep and you’re at the weakest/hardest point try holding it for a few seconds, or alternatively at the end of a set.  This just increases your time under tension and yet again pumps the blood in to the muscle and creates lactic acid, either your best friend or worst enemy depending on how much you like pain, also known as the burnnnnnn. This example will feature a seated row, I like to do this trick with my clients. Ok, example time. Once they get to their last rep I get them to hold the handle of the cable into their stomach and keep it there for 10 seconds, and then because I'm mean I actually try and pull the weight away from them and they have to keep holding it until the time has elapsed. So try this without me first and enjoy.

In conclusion, these aren't something that you’re going to do every training session, just a way to spice up the relationship you have with weights, and the thing is you can play with it a bit and combine them together. Try doing a super set, drop set with a super slow hold partial. If you want to learn more ways to enhance your results in the gym, or want to follow my training program check out our Get Lean Guides.

I would love to see what you come up with, video and tag us on instagram. @eatrunlift.me #eatrunlift