You’ve created your own customised workout routine, and stuck to it for some time now. It’s a routine that you're comfortable with, and one that you’re used to. Of course, this isn’t a bad thing – in order to see results, you will definitely have to train consistently, as well as adapt your routine every few weeks in order to facilitate progress. However, relying on the calendar can mean that you end up missing telltale signs that your training program may not be as effective as you thought. So, what are the signs of a bad training program?
1. You feel bored
Although boredom may sound like a trivial thing to be concerned with, the truth is that enjoying your training program can be a significant determining factor in how well you fare under it. Being motivated to push yourself and complete those last few sets is what will make the difference in seeing the results you desire, so if thinking about working out makes you feel weary, maybe it’s time to switch it up.
2. Your Heart Rate (HR) is low
When working out, aim to keep your HR at 60-80% of your maximum heart rate for any High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or cardio routine in order to ensure that it stays challenging. If you find that your HR doesn’t climb as high as it used to, adapt your routine accordingly. Decreasing rest periods and keeping training sessions denser usually does the trick, but it shouldn’t be to a point where you feel like heaving your guts up all over the floor on a regular basis!
3. You don’t feel as hungry after
After a gruelling session at the gym, damaged muscle fibres need to be repaired and replaced in order for there to be subsequent growth. Our bodies signal this by making us feel hungry, so that we’ll consume enough calories and nutrients to kick-start the process. If you find that your voracious post-workout appetite has waned over time, then try adding more weight or performing more sets to keep your progress on track.
4. There’s no progress
When it comes to sports science, this is as basic a consideration as it gets. Yet, it is still a factor that is often overlooked in cookie-cutter programmes. Whatever training regimen you’re on, be it for strength or endurance, progress must be accounted for. If your programme has you doing the same thing for weeks on end without somehow upping the ante, you can be sure that you’ll plateau in no time. You’re not supposed to be doing more just for the sake of doing more, but you are supposed to be pushing your limits.
While adapting your workout over a set duration certainly isn’t incorrect, it’s more important to listen to what your body tells you. Whether the cues are mental or physical, make the appropriate changes so that you don’t find yourself stuck in a rut or worse, finding out that your time could have been spent more productively.