The decision to join this gym, or any for that matter is yours, and yours alone. Unless you have found yourself in some mysterious world where you either member up, or get shot, the decision to team up with a coach is simple: you either want to, or you don’t. That decision is simple, gym workouts are simple, eating proper food is simple, maintaining habit, and health therefore, should also be simple.
Ultimately you create what happens in your life. Your day typically is not circumstantial, but rather very much so structural. Very seldom do we wake up not knowing and understanding obligations and such. We are accountable for our actions, and cannot use excuses.
• Know your schedule:
Take the time to sit down and map out your day, week, month, and if possible, year. Understanding what your day looks like is crucial for performing in and out of the gym. Create a consistent schedule for yourself -waking up at 7:00 am everyday will force you to go to bed every night at a reasonable hour. Know that your day should start early regardless of when you went to bed.
Along with sleep patterns/habits create a consistent eating schedule: know that you eat according to workload. Training days will allow you to eat more, and often times different foods than “off,” or “recovery” days. Timing your meals is very important, but preparing your meals and having them ready will really allow you to stick to your regimen.
Weekly routine will create not only mental progress, but will keep you progressing physically as well. Prepare your week just like a day – knowing when you are going to the gym, or exercising outside. Preparing for a gym workout or a workout on your own should be one in the same depending on duration.
While you will never actually know your yearly schedule you can at the very least sit down and create concrete goals for yourself: run a marathon in 3:30:00, lose 15 pounds, dead lift 2x body weight, compete in a triathlon, etc.
Just like the seasons your life goes through natural cycles; mapping out what you plan on doing throughout those cycles will aid you in your long and short-term health. Understanding what you are doing and why is a very important part of maintaining happiness and health.
• Know your output:
Every individual has a different breaking point, or what we could consider a “threshold.” Part of finding out who you are and what you are capable of is being honest with yourself and your coach. If training 3 days a week makes you feel more productive, but performance decreases because of it, how long will you last knowing that your performance is suffering. Over-training is an unfortunate, but a very real part of training. Remove your pride from the equation and allow yourself some down time when you need it.
• Sleeping habits:
Sleep allows our central nervous system to work properly. Without sleep we could not prepare ourselves for a day, and we could certainly not recover from a hard day of any activity. Remember that creating a habit with your sleep will allow you to sleep better, and get the best use of your “time off.”
Sleep comes in 5 stages: N1 – N2 – N3 – N2 – REM
N1: the first stage of sleep; an individual begins twitching, loses some muscle tone, and conscious awareness.
N2: muscular activity is completely lost; this stage usually makes up 40-55% of adult’s nightly sleep.
N3: this is commonly known as the “deep sleep stage.”
REM: rapid eye movement sleep includes rapid eye movements, some muscular activity, and the most memorable dreams are had during this stage.
Know that the longer you stay in the N3 stage the better your sleep/recovery will be. What you do before you go to sleep will affect your ability to get into the N3 stage: do not watch television, or surf the Internet, or play on your phone before sleep; this is because your brain needs time to settle on its own, and with all of the “chatter” involved looking at a bright screen your brain will be set back an hour or so before calming down and preparing for sleep.
Allow yourself at least 30 minutes of time not stimulated by a screen. Try not to eat before bed, and certainly no alcohol before bed either. Try to create a habit of when you go to bed, and when you wake up. Your body will appreciate a structured sleep schedule.
• Eating habits:
Know that your body performs and looks the way it does based on what you eat. What you do in a gym or outside of the gym will never be as important as what you put in it as fuel. Just like sleep, your body will appreciate a structured eating schedule. Throwing up during a workout rarely means that you stayed above threshold for so long that your stomach does not know how to process food, or liquid. Typically vomit occurs because of poor food decisions before a workout. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time before exercising to digest your food.
*If you laugh after saying, “haha, yeah, I ate pizza before I came,” know that we will make you visit the bathroom on purpose. Be responsible enough for yourself to not be uncomfortable.
• Drinking/partying habits:
I cannot stress enough the negative affects drinking alcohol and partying will have on your body over time, and how it will affect your performance in and out of the gym.
• Timing your day for a workout:
You should be able to plan ahead for your workout at least a day in advance; this will allow you to know what you should/should not do the night before, and what to eat as well. Every person has a different body, which means everyone will eat something different, and sleep a different amount the night before a workout. Finding out what works best for you will usually involve a bit of trial and error, and sometimes a conversation with your coach.
• Make sure to get plenty of rest the night before a workout.
• If working out in the morning, allow yourself a proper amount of time to get awake, and eat food (if needed).
• Drink plenty of water in order to allow yourself to sweat.
• Drink water up until 2-3 hours before a workout.
• Stop eating food 3-4 hours before a workout (this is dependant upon each person and what type of workout you are doing).
• Drink caffeine if you are feeling sluggish 15-30 minutes before a workout.