8 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Fitness Progress

Fitness Progress

There are many common mistakes that both gym goers, and at home exercisers, make that ultimately could hinder their fitness progress. It can occur while in the gym or involve external factors such as eating and sleeping.

If you are not seeing the results that you want, then take heed of these common mistakes that prevent your fitness progress from really taking off, and make the necessary changes to solve them.

Are You Making One of These 8 Mistakes That Are Hindering Your Fitness Progress?

1. You’re Not Eating Properly

This is probably the biggest mistake oversight that gym goers make.

You may be not eating the correct foods, eating too much or in some cases, not enough.

  • Not eating the correct foods

Do you workout hard at every gym session and then go home to reward yourself with junk food? What you eat makes a significant difference to your fitness progress.

Most people make the mistake that because they are training that it means they can consume lots of junk and sugary foods as a reward.

In fact, it can be so detrimental to your progress and can be one of the main reasons why you are not hitting your fitness goals.

While you shouldn’t become too overly obsessed with what you eat, try to eat healthily most of the time, and don’t forget to give yourself the occasional treat as well.

  • Eating too much

On the other hand, you may be eating healthy foods most of the time but be overdoing it. Even though the foods that you are consuming are considered healthy, it can still hinder your progress if you eat too much. This is especially important to keep in mind if you are trying to lose weight.

Try to cut down on portion sizes and see the difference that it makes. Just be careful of the next point, which is:

  • Not eating enough

Not eating enough isn’t just about what you consume but the quantity. Some people tend to overeat while others may not be eating enough.

If you are starving your body of the essential nutrients that it needs, it may cause it to hold onto that stubborn fat you are trying to lose, or minimize your ability to build size.

You need food to fuel your body.

Depending on your fitness goal – whether it is to lose fat, maintain your weight or build muscle and size – your dietary needs will differ. Make sure you are eating accordingly and you will be able to see what a difference it will make to your fitness progress.

2. You’re Overtraining

Training consistently is important but so are rest days. If you are constantly training and not giving your body sufficient time to rest, you can be potentially minimizing your performance.

Your body needs to have time out so that it can recover properly and be ready for the next workout. Make sure you incorporate rest days into your workout routine so that you are not overtraining.

3. You’re Not Sleeping at Night

One important aspect of overtraining and resting properly is not having enough sleep at night. If you are finding it difficult to get enough hours of shut-eye at night, you will find that this can affect your performance, hence slowing down your progress.

It can be difficult to get enough sleep, especially in this on-the-go lifestyle. Try to set a sleeping schedule where you go to sleep and wake up at the same time.

Doing this consistently will help it become a habit and your natural body clock will become accustomed to it.

4. Your Workouts Aren’t Consistent

On the other hand, some people may not be working out enough to see the results they expect. Skipping the gym for a couple of weeks before smashing out an intense two-hour gym session one day will not compensate for the missed time.

You need to make sure that you are heading to the gym on a regular basis. And what “regular basis” means does depend on your routine and preferences.

You may prefer one-hour sessions five times a week focusing on specific body parts. Alternatively, you may choose to only do 2-3 full body workouts a week.

As long as you are going consistently, you will see results.

5. You’re Not Doing the Right Exercises

There are so many exercises that you use in your workout but depending on your fitness goals, you have to find the best workouts for you.

It can be daunting knowing which ones are best, so investing in a fitness trainer or app that helps to simplify this process is a great way to help you in this area.

6. You Train Without a Plan

One way to help make sure that you are doing the right exercises is by using a training plan. Heading into the gym with no plan except to use whatever machines happen to take your fancy will not get you results and your sessions will not be effective.

Taking the time to plan means you can maximize not only each individual session but all your sessions as a whole.

A way to assist with this is to keep track of training logs using a gym workout tracker. This will help you determine what workouts are getting you the results and which ones are not. Then you can really curate a training plan that gets you to your fitness goals faster.

7. You’re Not Using the Right Technique

Not only will this mean that you are not getting the most out of your exercises but it can also be very dangerous.

Before even picking up any equipment, make sure that you know how to use it with the correct technique.

This will help to minimize time wasted on inefficient exercises so that you can get the results you want. More importantly as well, it will decrease the risk of injury.

8. You’re Not Giving It Enough Time

Sorry for the bad news but results take time. You need to regularly work out efficiently to see progress and unfortunately, this will not happen overnight.

Putting in the effort to go to the gym for one week straight and expecting to see drastic changes will only set you up to be disappointed and lose motivation.

Remain consistent, be patient and trust that what you are doing will get you the results that you want.

How to Speed Up Your Fitness Progress

There can be many potential ways that you are sabotaging your progress, hindering your ability to hit your fitness goals and this post covers the most common ones. If any of them resonated with you, try to incorporate some solutions accordingly into your workout and see if it helps your fitness progress.

To help keep you from self-sabotaging your own fitness progress, invest in a gym workout tracker like Jefit. This way, you can keep track of training logs and make every workout an efficient one. It also comes with an extensive exercise library so you can choose the best workouts for you.

Have you made any of these fitness mistakes and if so, how did you solve them? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to know! Stay strong with Jefit.

Three Helpful Tips When Recovering From An Injury

Many of us have already been there, with respect to an injury. If not, the odds are you will probably be there at some point; recovering from an injury. It comes with the territory of working out.

The National Health Statistics Reports reported 8.6 million sports injuries, a rate of 34.1 per 1,000 individuals. A second report by the National Safety Council Injury Facts noted 44.5 million injuries in the United States. This past year, the number for exercise-related injuries alone were approximately 500,000; while biking and basketball reported more than 400,000 injuries apiece.

The odds are pretty high that you’ll probably have to deal with an exercise or sports-related injury at some point during your lifetime. The best exercise advice, post injury, is to “just do it” building-up slowly with your exercise duration and intensity. If you’re thinking about taking an exercise class or participating in small group training, beware of the tendency to push a little harder and go beyond your normal limits when working out with others. Avoid the urge to “show off” due to the group dynamic and instead work within your own abilities.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind whenever you get laid up and are dealing with an injury.

The Psychological Toll May Be Greater Than Initially Realize

If an injury progresses from short-term to a chronic issue, you may be effected psychologically more than you realize. You may even experience a bout of mild depression because you are no longer able to reap the “feel good” benefits of daily exercise like you did prior to injury. This could eventually take its toll on your mind, body and spirit. If this is the case, you may want to talk to someone with a medical background. Other possible suggestions that may help are yoga or daily meditation. Remember, “we become what we think about.” Injuries also have the potential to increase stress levels (like cortisol) in our body and the options mentioned here, may be just what the doctor ordered during the recovery process.

Reduced Physical Activity Means Nutritional Modification

This is a must do. When recovering from an injury, your daily activity level decreases. You will no longer expend the same amount of calories as you did previously and consequently, need to eat less. Be cognizant of the fact that if you continue to consume the amount of calories you were eating pre-injury, you most likely will experience an increase in body weight. Talk about another added stress! You are no longer creating a negative deficit or maintaining a “balance” regarding calories in versus calories out. As an example, your number of steps may decrease from an active 10-12,000 steps a day to a sedentary 3,500 steps following a foot injury. If caloric intake is not monitored – you guessed it – an increase in body weight will occur.

Again, this comes down to the type of injury and if you’re totally sedentary or able to do some type of activity. An idea may be to keep a food journal for a few days to look at what you’re consuming. Also, try using an app in order to offer better insight into your nutritional intake. I typically recommended using MyFitnessPal app. This is a very helpful app that offers insightful metrics in respect to what your eating. It also has a great barcode scanner that can take pictures of food or drink products. Finally, it is equipped with a chart showing macro and micronutrient breakdown of meals and snacks. Personally, I like it because it makes life much easier when it comes to monitoring both overall calories and daily sugar consumption.

Find an Alternative Form of Exercise When Recovering From An Injury

The location of your injury will ultimately dictate what you can and cannot do. A foot injury, for example, may allow you to get back into biking or to do some pool therapy.

You can also check out an ElliptiGO SUB (stand-up bike), a cool, fun to use, product that I highly recommend. One of the great things about the SUB is it burns 33 percent more calories than a traditional bike and will avoid any low-back or neck pain typically found using a traditional bike. How about doing more SUB and SUP if you’re able during the recovery process? Two great full-body workouts that burn maximal calories in minimal time without loading the body like other activities.

There are a multitude of factors that can lead to an injury. When you’re recovering from an injury, think about the root cause of your injury and become more mindful of the exercise equipment you’re using. Take a look at what you’re wearing when you workout, for example, are the bottom of your sneakers worn away? Maybe you have logged 500-600 miles in them already? This will change the way you strike the ground not to mention your gait.

In addition, think about being more preventative by adding “pre-hab” exercises to your workout. Always make time to warm-up your body prior to any type of exercise. Finally, adding more restorative work like massage and mobility while paying more attention to post-recovery diet, may also help your cause. Keep your body injury free by becoming strong with Jefit.

Stay Strong With The Jefit App

Join the more than nine million members who’ve had great success using the Jefit app. The award-winning app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.

Often Neglected But So Important: Grip Strength

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Adequate grip strength is important not only for strength training but also for life. It’s true! There are many longitudinal studies that have looked at grip strength and mortality. The results all come to the same conclusion.

“Grip strength is a simple but powerful predictor of future disability, morbidity, and mortality. The relation between grip strength and future mortality has been shown often. Not only in older people but also in middle-aged and young people. The evidence has been summarized in systematic reviews and in a meta-analysis.”

The Lancet,(2015)

Hand strength is typically used as a measure of overall strength is research. In part, because it’s quick, easy to administer, and extremely cost effective. The association between grip strength and mortality is often used to underscore the importance of resistance exercise.

Ten of the Better Exercises for Improving Grip Strength

Any exercise that requires holding a barbell, kettlebell, dumbbell, or bodyweight, will develop hand and arm strength to some extent. There are certain exercises, however, that are better than others if you’re looking to getting stronger in this area. The first exercise that comes to mind is loaded carry. Here are just a few of the many great exercises you can try:

  • Loaded Carry – This is where you walk with either dumbbells, kettlebells, Hex bar or plates in each hand for time or a specific distance. A suitcase carry is where you load only one side of the body like carrying a suitcase. Ideal for developing full body strength but especially your grip.
  • Plate Pinch – Performed as the name implies. Pick up and hold weight plates in one or both hands for a specific amount of time. Progress from one to two smaller plates before moving to heavier Olympic style plates.
  • Deadlift – Perform as shown in the Jefit photo via the link.
  • Fat Bar Reverse Curl – As the name implies. A thicker bar will recruit more of the muscles in the lower arm that are so important in order to build strength in the four layers of muscles that make up your forearm.
  • Pull-ups/Chin-ups with a towel – When you need to progress from traditional pull-ups or chin-ups, try performing both with a towel hanging over the bar while grasping both ends with your hands. From here you could then progress to a weighted version of both exercises.
  • Sled Pulls – Once again, using a rope or towel. Similar set-up as above but your just pulling in a different direction getting to use that strong, lower extremity of yours.
  • Barbell Finger Rolls – A nice variation to the Plate Pinch, this is where you pick up a heavy plate in each hand. Next, let your fingers slowly extend, lowering the plates toward the floor. Finally, flex the fingers pulling the plates back into the hand. You can progress to a Carry while you do this.
  • Sorinex Gripper – An old Strongman exercise – seen in action here: Grip product
  • Dead Hang – Perform off a pull-up bar for sets of 30/45/60 second – using both arms and eventually progress to making it happen with a single arm. This is great for improving grip strength.
  • Dumbbell Head Grab – A personal favorite of mine. Place two smaller size dumbbells on their sides so one head is facing up. Take hold of the heads with a fully open grip lifting both dumbbells of the floor and hold for 30-seconds. If you have been working out for a while try doing this with either a 35-40 pounds dumbbell for sets of 20-30 seconds. As with some of the other exercises, progress by moving from a standing position to a walk, to squatting or lunging. Enjoy!

Get Strong with Jefit

Join the more than nine million members who’ve had great success using the Jefit app. The award-winning app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.

A Foam Roller is an Affordable & Versatile Product

There are literally hundreds of fitness products you can choose to use. There is one product, however, that won’t break the bank, reduces stiffness, and can be used either at home or in the gym. The product is a foam roller. Not only is it affordable, it’s extremely versatile in the right hands. The foam roller gained popularity back in the 1980’s thanks to a physical therapist who brought it into the mainstream from the world of clinical rehabilitation.

Why use a foam roller? Because it can be used to prepare the body for exercise, it’s a great recovery aid, effective as a massage tool, improves mobility, and keeps connective tissue, like fascia, healthy.

Use a Foam Roller as Part of Your Dynamic Warm-up

Before your next strength workout try incorporating a few dynamic warm-up movements. Then use a foam roller for 5-10 minutes, to “roll-out” some tight areas, and see how you feel afterwards. More importantly, notice the difference in the way you feel during your workout. We have a tendency to sit for prolonged periods of time throughout the day. As a result, muscles and connective tissue become tight and restricted. Overtime, this negatively affects your posture, the way you move, and how you perform in workouts! Regular bouts of foam rolling can help offset these issues and more.

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Incorporate a Foam Roller into Your Recovery Process

Another benefit of using a foam roller is it has the potential to help the body recover faster from a workout. Foam rolling can decrease the “perception of pain” that the body may be experiencing from overtraining. It targets the myofascial network in the body, helping to reduce trigger points and release restrictive connective tissue and muscle.

The body has a tendency to experience delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) from an intense workout. A 2015 study in the Journal of Athletic Training suggested that foam rolling after intense exercise is a great way to reduce soreness and help with recovery. The study looked at college-aged males and showed those who foam rolled post exercise, were able to perform better at 24, 48 and 72 hours after exercise that induces soreness. And a comprehensive review published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy reported foam rolling promotes short-term increases in range of motion.

Finally, a meta-analysis, published in the Frontiers in Physiology (2019) showed foam rolling had a positive effect on performance and recovery. This particular review of 21 research studies and 451 subjects, also showed better results were exhibited during a warm-up phase rather than as a recovery component of an exercise session.

Foam rolling is not the be-all-end-all when it comes to fitness products but you can definitely benefit from regular use, before and/or after a workout. Give it a try and experience the benefits yourself.

Use the Award-Winning Jefit App

Jefit was recently named one of the best fitness apps by eftm.com and PC Magazine for 2021. Jefit is a workout app for gym and home. It helps you plan and stick to your workouts on a regular basis. While there are already over 3800 complete training routines available, it also comes with a customizable gym workout planner. This way you can personalize your own regime that works with your specific fitness goals. Stay strong!

References

Pearcey, G.E.P., Bradbury-Squires, D.J., Kawamoto, J.E., Drinkwater, E.J., Behm, D.G. & Button, D.C. (2015). Foam rolling for delayed-onset muscle soreness and recovery of dynamic performance measures. Journal of Athletic Training, 50(1): 5-13.

Cheatham, S.W., Kolber, M.J., Cain, M., & Lee M. (2015). The effects of self‐myofascial release using a foam roll or roller massager on joint range of motion, muscle recovery, and performance: a systematic review. Int J Sports Phys Ther., 10(6): 827–838.

Wiewelhove, T., et al. (2019). A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Foam Rolling on Performance and Recovery. Front. in Physiol. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.00376



Why You Need a Customizable Gym Workout Planner

customizable gym workout planner

You have been working out with your friend for a while now. You both follow the same program, complete the same sets and repetitions and exercises, and yet, you see that he is making progress while you are not. It is frustrating and confusing, especially since if he is making gains on the same program, then you should be too, right?

In reality, following the same plan as somebody else does not necessarily mean that you will make progress at the same rate. In fact, the program may not even be optimized for you. How to fix this? You need a customizable gym workout planner.

Why You Need a Customizable Gym Workout Planner

A Training Plan for You

The keyword in this is “customizable”. This means that you can tailor the exercises, sets and repetition to suit your personal needs and ambitions. It is not just a great addition to your training, it is a necessity.

Even if your goal is the same as your gym buddy’s goal, you need to take into account your different bodies. Every person works in their own way. Some may find it easier to put on muscle, some may find it harder to burn fat, while some seem to progress faster than others.

It doesn’t mean that you are not working as hard as the next person but that you respond differently to types of training.

A customizable gym workout planner will help you take this into consideration so that you are covering all aspects that affect workout progress.

This way, you are actually following a program that is contributing to your goals.

Mix Things Up

Fitness progress consists of a lot of trial and error. It is difficult to know exactly what it is you need to do right from the start.

A personalized program then gives you the freedom and ability to actually mix things up and switch exercises when you know that some things are just not working.

Of course, it does sometimes take time to see results but after a while, if you know that you are not reaching your potential, then change your workouts.

Use your workout log to know which exercises have been working great and which ones you could replace with better alternatives.

Another reason to switch up your exercises is to avoid hitting the dreaded plateau. This is when you suddenly stop making progress, even if what you were doing was working before.

When your progress stalls, it can be quite demotivating, especially if you had been hitting quite a stride earlier. Perhaps your body has become accustomed to the workout because it has gotten used to the same movements? There are various reasons for this.

A way to prevent this is by switching up your exercises periodically. This will also keep things exciting and fresh, so you are not doing the same things over and over again. Talk about boring!

So, now that you know why a customizable gym workout planner is key, here are some ways on how to tailor your training regime to suit your personal needs.

How to Use Your Customizable Gym Workout Planner

To identify a training regimen that best suits you, there are few things that you need to identify. They are:

  • Your fitness goals
  • How much time you have for training
  • What are the best exercises for your specific goals
  • How many sets/repetitions of each exercise is best

What Are Your Fitness Goals?

What are you trying to achieve? Are you trying to put on muscle or burn fat? Do you want to be able to deadlift 500lbs or bench 300lbs?

By identifying your goals, you are giving yourself something to work towards. Also, by starting at the end goal, you can work your way back to the start and figure out what you need to do to achieve it.

How Much Time Do You Have for Training?

Every person has a different lifestyle and routine. Some people may afternoon/night commitments and so will need to sacrifice sleep for the gym every morning. Others may have 2-3 days off per week and so choose to smash out all their sessions in those 2-3 days.

If you train fewer days, then the sessions that you do will probably be longer and cover more muscle groups than if you had your workouts spread out across 5-6 days a week.

Knowing realistically how much time you can dedicate to training and when can assist in planning a schedule that not only you will be able to stick to but will help you progress.

The Best Exercises for Your Goals

While it is important to train your entire body, the main exercises that you should do should be specific to your goal.

Taking the deadlift goal for example. You may incorporate more Romanian deadlifts, sumo deadlifts, GHR sets than someone who has a goal to bench 300lbs.

Identifying the best exercises to help you hit your goals will help you with your customizable gym workout planner.

How Many Sets/Reps?

This is where people mostly become lost. There is no right or wrong answer, especially if you are just starting out.

A basic rule is to start with 5×5, meaning 5 sets of 5 reps each. Then work your way around from there.

If you begin to use heavier weights, then you typically will complete fewer sets and reps. If you are using lighter weights, then more reps can be added to your routine.

The key thing to remember here is that fitness is a trial and error process, at least from the start. So try not to overthink everything. In fact, overthinking can actually paralyze you and cloud your ability to take action and start moving.

Just go with the basics at first. You can always modify it later as you learn more about the workouts and your body.

With something as flexible as a customizable gym workout planner, you can really stay focused on your own fitness goals and see the results that you want.

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes plan and stick to their workouts on a regular basis. While there are already over 3500 complete training routines available, it also comes with a customizable gym workout planner. This way you can personalize your own regime that works with your specific fitness goals.

What are other benefits to customizing your own workout plan? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to know!

How to Keep Your Workouts Consistent with a Workout Scheduler

workout scheduler

By going to the gym consistently, you can really reap the benefits of each session, both mentally and physically. In fact, consistency is one of the most important factors in your fitness journey. It will help you hit your fitness goals faster while keeping your motivation and endurance high. However, we know that it can be difficult keeping to a regular routine. Luckily, we have one easy solution to help with this – a workout scheduler.

Why You Need Consistent Workouts

Just think about any skill that you wish to develop such as learning how to play an instrument or similar. How often do you practice? How often should you practice?

You won’t get very far if you only pick up the guitar and head to your lessons irregularly. There is a common misconception that you can try to catch up on lost time. For example, if you haven’t had a lesson in 3 months and try to catch up by going 5 days in a row. The sporadic sessions won’t help you get any better and in fact, can be detrimental to your progress.

The same goes for your fitness goals. You need to work out consistently to achieve your long term results. Without putting in the effort, you will take much longer to hit your fitness goals. This is because your training, endurance and motivation will constantly fluctuate. Ultimately, this will be your downfall and you will not get the results you want, at least not in a reasonable time frame.

You will not be able to use the skills or improvements you made in your previous session because by then, you may have lost that progress you gained by your next workout. With consistent workouts, this will be an obstacle that you can avoid. You will be able to continuously improve and add to your next session to hit your fitness goals and make valuable progress. This will maximize your results.

Another reason why you need consistent workouts is that it will help you plan efficient workouts. A workout scheduler will tell you what to do each session. This eliminates the problem of just randomly heading to the gym one day and doing whatever comes to your mind.

This means that every workout actually contributes to you hitting your fitness goals. You won’t be just working out for the sake of working out. Not only will this assist you in keeping to a regular fitness schedule but you will be making real progress. Each workout will have a purpose.

Each workout will have a purpose.

How to Keep Your Workouts Consistent Using a Workout Scheduler

Consistent workouts help you to establish a routine, and a workout scheduler is what helps you to do this. You will have a higher chance of sticking to this habitual activity by having regular session penciled into your everyday life.

A workout scheduler can help you keep disciplined with your fitness. Make time to fit in your workouts as if they were an important meeting appointment in your calendar. Eventually, by making the effort to stick to your workouts regularly, it will become a habit in your lifestyle and you will have developed this discipline to make sure that you go.

Another important aspect on how to keep your workouts consistent is to also schedule in rest days. These rest days will help to give your body enough time to recover to get back to your next session completely motivated and energized.

Personalize your own exercises that suit your fitness goals and help you reach them with a workout scheduler. With a customizable gym workout planner, you can choose the exercises that best suit your needs. As it is specific to you, you can also adjust the workouts as necessary. This will factor in helping you keep to consistent workouts because it will assist in planning workouts that you can regularly stick to.

Consistency is an important factor in fitness. By keeping to regular sessions, you will be able to uphold your high endurance and motivation. It may take some time to get into that habitual routine but once you do, with the help of a workout scheduler, you will be on “auto-pilot” in which your workouts will become an integral part of your life, helping you make valuable progress every time.

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes plan and stick to their workouts on a regular basis. With a workout scheduler and customizable gym workout planner like Jefit on your side, you will be able to keep to your workouts consistently that will take you one step closer to hitting your fitness goals. With Jefit, you will be able to make progress and share it with the community.

How do you manage to keep to consistent workouts? How has a workout scheduler and planner helped you? Let us know in the comments below!

10 Ways to Keep on Track with Your Fitness Goals

Fitness Goals
It is easy to say that you want to start eating healthily and hit your fitness goals. However, as motivation tends to be high at the beginning of your fitness journey but slowly depletes, the challenge comes in actually staying on track to reach them.

Here are 10 ways to remain on track to hit your fitness goals

1. Be Realistic

One of the biggest ways to demotivate yourself and lose sight of your fitness goals is by setting unrealistic standards. For example, it could be expecting to see a noticeable difference in one week or by setting yourself to go to the gym two times a day, 7 days a week if you haven’t set foot in a gym for two years. You need to be realistic with your fitness goals and ensure that you can actually achieve them to maintain motivation.

2. Work Within Your Limits

This means that you should know what your limits are in reaching your fitness goals and work with them, instead of against them. Start by incorporating 1-2 gym day to your weekly routine at first and then gradually add to it, such as an extra gym day every fortnight. It could also mean walking on the treadmill at first, and then slowly including jogging intervals.

By working within your limits and then gradually expanding them, you are setting realistic and achievable fitness goals, constantly motivating yourself to keep going.

3. Keep a Schedule

A schedule is a great way to keep track of your goals. By establishing a plan, you are more likely to stick to your training because it becomes an integral part of your routine.

This will help change your approach to exercise. Instead of seeing it as a chore or a burden, it becomes an essential part of your lifestyle.

As time goes on and you continue to stick to your plan, even those days where you don’t really feel motivated, your routine schedule will help you persevere.

If you do have trouble with this at the beginning though, a way to help make sure that you keep a schedule to achieve your fitness goals is to treat each session as an appointment. By treating it as an important meeting with an important client that you wouldn’t miss, you will be less likely to skip your workout too.

4. Mix It Up

One reason why people fall off track with their fitness goals is because they get bored. As you stick to your fitness schedule, your body eventually gets used to the training.

This is why it is important to mix things up and switch up your exercises. Not only will this prevent you from reaching a plateau in your training but you won’t grow used to the same old workouts which will keep fitness exciting and fun. It will also mean that you are constantly being challenged which will work out your mental game as well.

5. Keep a Workout Log

Keep a workout log which will you keep track of your training regime. By regularly logging your workouts, you make sure that you can properly plan your next sessions according to your previous ones. It also means that you will have consistently good workouts, be able to measure your performance and make adjustments to your training regime as needed. By knowing that you are constantly improving, you remain motivated to hit your fitness goals.

6. Take your Body Measurements

To track accurate results from your training, take measurements. You don’t have to own fancy technology to do this as a good ol’ measuring tape will do the trick perfectly.By logging your body measurements, you take the guesswork out of your progress and work with actual data.

7. Keep a Food Diary

Another way to help keep on track with your fitness goals is to consider your diet. By diet, I don’t mean taking up the latest fad but by monitoring your food and water intake and making the best choices possible.

It can be easy to fall off the track with your fitness goals by not maintaining the nutritional side of things but by logging your food intake, you hold yourself accountable for everything that you consume, helping to eliminate mindless eating.

8. Take Photos

A great motivator to hit your fitness goals is to take photos and keep a photo diary. This will give you visual proof that your training is making a difference.

Take photos from the front view, both sides and back to see your progress from all angles.

9. Remember Why You Started

When you are finding it hard to muster up more motivation, remember why you started. You can keep fitspiration photos on your phone or write down your goals and put it in a place where you can see it every day.

By revisiting that really determined feeling you had at the beginning of your journey, you will be more motivated to hit your fitness goals.

10. Forgive Yourself

It is also vital to forgive yourself if you fall off track one time or another. It happens to the best of us but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to give up. Instead, forgive yourself and use this as fuel to be more determined to hit your fitness goals more than ever.

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has the largest exercise library complete with free workout routines to help mix up your training. It also gives you the ability to update and share your workout log with the community. With Jefit on your phone, you will be hitting your fitness goals in no time at all

How do you stay motivated to hit your fitness goals? Do you have other tips to share? Let us know in the comments below!

Using Workout Logs are Essential to Fitness Success

workout log

Going to the gym is one thing. Completing a workout session that is actually effective and productive is another matter altogether.

A common scenario that athletes and gym goers face is that they head to the gym only to realize that they can’t remember what numbers they hit the previous session. It’s a small thing but it can actually make a big detrimental difference to your fitness success. Fortunately, this can easily be prevented easily through the use of a workout log.

How a Workout Log Can Make Each Workout Session an Effective One

A workout log is a journal, notebook, or an app that helps you keep track of your training so that each session is effective. Here is how:

Accuracy

A workout log means that you always know what you did the previous session, the session before that, and so on. It definitely serves better than your memory, where you can easily forget the smallest details. Recording your training means you can properly plan your next session in a way that further improves your progress on a consistent basis, as opposed to just throwing together a random workout.

It takes the guesswork out of your training regime to get you actual results.

Accountability

It can be easy to slack off when you are having a long day, or if you are feeling particularly tired. Dragging yourself to the gym is one thing but doing the level of exercise you want is another. We can admit it, sometimes we have those days where we cheat a little and use lighter weights or do fewer sets than we planned.

This is why using a workout log can help. By having to keep track of everything, it holds you accountable for all your sessions. Do you really want to look back and see that you put in half the effort last time?

Which leads us onto our next point…

Motivation

What a better way to keep yourself motivated than to look back over your workout log and see the progress that you have made?

Even if you can’t see the changes on the scales or if you are in need a pick-me-up, seeing how far you have come can really give you that much-needed boost of motivation. It will enhance your confidence and determination to keep going and maintain focus on your fitness goals.

Evaluation

What if you are not making the gains that you thought you would be? What if your bench progress has soared but your deadlift has stalled?

Unfortunately, when it comes to fitness success, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every exercise program consists of trial-and-error which is why it is important to be able to monitor how your body responds to your regime and make adjustments as needed.

A workout log can assist with this. It provides you with valuable insight into your past training sessions which is fundamental in evaluating your progress. By keeping track of your workouts, you will be able to see what has worked best for you and what needs improvement. It will also help segment each area for analysis. This way you can maintain consistent progress across your entire body and muscle groups.

By planning your future workouts this way, you enhance your productivity and reduce wasted time because then you are not stuck with a program that really isn’t working. It is all about making advancements and with that, comes monitoring your results and keeping them consistent across all muscle groups.

Consistency

Another important factor that a workout log can assist with is determining how your lifestyle and other external factors affect your sessions. This is something that is not typically given much thought but it can play a significant role in your progress. A key to fitness success is having consistently good workouts.

There may be some days where you do not get enough sleep the night before, or you may have longer work hours on specific days because it is the peak period. By recording this information, you can adjust your program to accommodate to this. It may mean doing a lighter session these days and then making up for it on other days where you have more energy.

Not only will this help you physically but it can also help you mentally.

Instead of taking twice as long to complete a session or “cheating” yourself by cutting your session short and feeling defeated, you will be able to do a workout that you know you can do.

It will also assist in helping you realistically space out and alternate your workouts, especially if are experiencing fatigue or DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

By being able to look back at your workout log and records, you can make a difference in your physical and mental results to make sure that every workout is as good as the last one.

Injury Prevention

Unfortunately, injuries do happen but there are ways to minimize this risk. If you experience nagging signs of an injury, you can identify what workout caused it by using your training records. You can check the exercise as well as the number of sets, reps and weight that you used.

Knowing this information can really help prevent future injuries so you know what not to do.

A workout log is a tool that tends to be undervalued. However, it is a powerful way to enhance accuracy, productivity and motivation for all athletes and gym-goers. It is an integral component in boosting motivation and success for any fitness program.

So are you looking for an easy, simple and efficient workout log tracker? Say goodbye to pen and paper and say hello to Jefit, a gym workout app that simplifies the process of recording workouts for athletes and gym-goers alike. It comes with the ability to record your metrics set by set until your workout is complete, so you can boost motivation and make every workout an efficient one.

Do you use a workout log to track your training? Has it made any difference to your training sessions and results? Let us know in the comments below!

HIIT Burns More Calories In Half The Time

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“High-intensity interval training (HIIT) describes physical exercise that is characterized by brief, intermittent bursts of vigorous activity, interspersed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise.”

Martin Gibala, PhD

High-intensity interval training, or HIIT burns more calories than other types traditional cardio exercise. For those who can’t even think about doing cardio, remember, high intensity interval training has many benefits. The big one being HIIT burns more calories in half the amount of time as traditional steady state exercise.

I’m sure you have your strength training routine down, especially if you’re using the Jefit workout app. The award-winning app has helped literally millions of members get stronger and in turn transform lives. The question, though, is what are you doing on the cardiovascular side of things? Staying strong is a must but so is maintaining aerobic fitness especially as you age. As this happens, you typically build work capacity, and subsequently can handle a higher volume in future strength workouts.

There are probably more research studies currently in progress, involving various forms of HIIT, than any other exercise-related research being conducted. A great deal of the HIIT research that has been published over the past decade by researchers like Martin Gibala, PhD, from McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, continue to show amazing results when compared to traditional cardio exercise. Gibala and colleagues offer their definition of HIIT above.

HIIT RESEARCH

In a study by Matsuo and colleagues (2014), a group of sedentary men performed 13-minutes of high intensity interval training five times a week for 8-weeks. The  (HIIT) group burned more calories per minutes on average than men who performed 40-minutes of traditional steady state cardio. During the study the HIIT group saw a 12.5 percent gain in maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) using 27 less minutes of exercise. Tomoaki Matsuo, Ph.D, co-author of the study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, suggest doing three-minute HIIT stages with two-minute active recovery stages repeated for three rounds.

A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology (1990) by Makrides et al., showed that 12-weeks of high-intensity training produced greater increases in total work accomplished in 30-seconds in old (60-70 year old, 12.5 percent) than young (20-30 year old, 8 percent) test subjects.

One study in the journal Metabolism compared 20-weeks of aerobic training with only 15-weeks of high intensity interval training (HIIT) in which participants did 15 sprints for 30-seconds and lost nine times more body fat than the aerobic and control groups. They also lost 12 percent more visceral belly fat than the aerobic group.

ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OF HIIT

A study in the International Journal of Obesity compared the effect of 15-weeks of HIIT with aerobic exercise. The HIIT group resulted in significant decreases in overall fat mass (3.3 pounds) while the aerobic exercise group had a fat gain of 1 pound on average. The HIIT group also had a significant 9.5 percent decrease in belly fat, while the aerobic group increased their belly fat by 10.5 percent by the end of the study. A 2012 study at Colorado State University found that test subjects who worked out on a stationary bike for less than 25-minutes, with just a few sprints mixed in, expended an additional 200 calories a day, due to excess-post oxygen consumption (EPOC) or commonly known as the after-burn effect.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research by Falcone and colleagues, compared the energy expenditure of single exercise sessions using resistance, aerobic, and combined exercise involving the same duration. The test subjects were young, active men. All sessions were 30-minutes. The resistance training session used 75 percent of their 1-RM, the aerobic session, on a treadmill, used 70 percent maximum heart rate while a high-intensity interval session (HIIT) session was done on a hydraulic resistance system (HRS). The HRS workout used intervals of 20-seconds of maximum effort followed by 40-seconds of rest. The HIIT session using the HRS had the highest caloric expenditure of the three workouts. The data suggest that individuals can burn more calories performing HIIT with HRS than spending the same amount of time performing steady-state exercise.

MORE RESEARCH

A 2007 study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology looked at moderately active women who in their early twenties. The subjects were tested for power output on a stationary bike to determine what their VO2max was and then made to ride for 60-minutes at 60 percent of VO2max intensity. These tests were then repeated again at the end of the study to gauge the effectiveness of HIIT for this particular subject group. This particular training protocol showed some of the following results: a lower heart rate in the last 30-minutes of the 60-minute session, whole body fat oxidation increased significantly by 36 percent in only two-weeks using just 7 workout sessions.

A final study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism (2012), observed healthy but inactive people who exercised intensely. The research concluded even if the exercise is brief, it can produce an immediate change in DNA. “While the underlying genetic code in the muscle remains unchanged, exercise causes important structural and chemical changes to the DNA molecules within the muscles.”

HIIT EXAMPLE

There are many different HIIT formats available that an individual can choose from. A few examples of HIIT include, Tabata protocol, 30-20-10 protocol, 1 x 4 or the Go-To Workout. This last one is a favorite of many, including Martin Gibala, PhD, himself. It is performed often because it develops strength and cardiovascular fitness. The workout duration is only 10-minutes. Following a brief warm-up, alternate a bodyweight exercise, one for the upper and lower body, with some type of cardio exercise, like jumping rope. Each interval is 30-seconds long. Each set of exercise should be difficult to finish. You can decrease the intensity when it comes to the bouts of cardio. Repeat this sequence for 10-minutes. Here is an example of the Go-To Workout.

Warm-up for 3-5 minutes

  • Split Jumps (30-seconds)
  • Push-ups (30-seconds)
  • Jump Rope (30-seconds)
  • Step-ups
  • Inverted Row
  • Stationary bike
  • Jump Squats
  • Bicycle Abs
  • Jog

Repeat x 2 rounds for 10-minutes. Instead of using 30-second intervals you could also use a specific number of repetitions for each set. Still not sure? HIIT burns more calories than traditional steady state cardio exercise.

As the HIIT research continues to prove, it is advantageous to supplement your current exercise routine with at least one HIIT session each week to maximize your training results. HIIT continues to show significant results when looking at total caloric expenditure, gains in VO2max, and elevated post oxygen consumption (EPOC). All this gained for just a few minutes of intense exercise!

USE THE JEFIT APP

Millions of members have had great success transforming their bodies using the Jefit app. The app is a customizable workout planner, training log, can track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.

REFERENCES

Matsuo T, Saotome K, Seino S, Shimojo N, Matsushita A, Iemitsu M, Ohshima H, Tanaka K, Mukai C. (2014). Effects of a low-volume aerobic-type interval exercise on VO2max and cardiac mass. Sports Exerc. 46(1):42-50. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3182a38da8

Falcone PH, Tai CY, Carson LR, Joy JM, Mosman MM, McCann TR, Crona KP, Kim MP, Moon JR (2015). Caloric expenditure of aerobic, resistance, or combined high-intensity interval training using a hydraulic resistance system in healthy men. Strength Cond Res. 29(3):779-85. doi: 10.1519/JSC.000000000000066

Makrides L. Heigenhauser GJ. Jones NL (1990). High-intensity endurance training in 20- to 30- and 60- to 70-yr-old healthy men. Journal of Applied Physiology. 69(5):1792-8.

Gibala, M., The One-Minute Workout. Avery: New York, 2017.

Grip Strength is Important Because It’s Associated With Overall Health

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Research has demonstrated that grip strength can actually predict not only overall health but also all-cause mortality. The definition of all-cause mortality is the death rate from all causes of death for a population in a given time period.

Grip strength is extremely important in the world of working out. It’s needed for every type of exercise, from Olympic lifts to a pull-ups. Adequate grip strength is also needed to get things done around the house. The impact it has on health coupled with valued importance in the gym, makes you wonder why more don’t work on improving it?

Hopefully after reading some of the research presented here, your mindset changes. Most people are not aware of the real value of grip strength, and its importance on overall health. Remember, the old saying, if your grip goes…you go!

Research on Grip Strength

Grip strength is a powerful indicator of upper body strength. Hand strength typically peaks around 30-40 years of age according to one study. There are also gender differences between men and women when measuring grip strength. Hand strength begins to decline in men and women around 50-55 years of age. Low grip strength is associated with a greater likelihood of premature mortality, according to researchers like Bohannon.

Gray and colleagues, in a 2018 study, found hand strength was “strongly associated with a wide range of adverse health outcomes.” Their research concluded lower grip strength was associated with a plethora of health issues. Including, a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and various types of cancer.

A meta-analysis of 42 research papers, and three million participants, found a linear relationship between grip strength and all-cause mortality. In a second study study, handgrip strength was shown to have predictive validity for decline. Specifically, a decline associated with cognition, mobility, and functional ability in older individuals.

Using data from the KNHANES 2015–2016 study, Chong and colleagues looked the association between absolute and relative grip strengths and cardiometabolic outcomes in a Korean adult population stratified by sex and age. Their study suggests that grip strength may be a reliable index to screen for cardiometabolic disease. Thus, grip strength is a biomarker of healthy aging for people of all ages. Finally, it may also be an effective screening tool for various diseases.

How Do You Test and Improve Grip Strength?

One of the best ways to test for grip and arm strength is with a hand dynamometer. The following products are just a few of the many ways to strengthen your grip. One other such example is this unique grip product from Sorinex, that I recently tried and posted video on Jefit Instagram.

Exercises to Improve Grip Strength

As mentioned previously, any exercise that require holding a barbell or dumbbell will develop hand and arm strength to some extent. There are certain exercises, however, that are better than others when looking to become stronger in this area. The first exercise that comes to mind is loaded carry. This is where you walk with either dumbbells, kettlebells, Hex bar or plates in each hand for time or a specific distance. A suitcase carry is where you load only one side of the body like carrying a suitcase. Here are just a few of the many great exercises you can try:

Get Strong with Jefit

Join the more than nine million members who have had great success using the Jefit app. The award-winning app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.

5 Tips on How to Get Back to the Gym After Taking a Long Break—And What to Expect

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It’s easy to stop going to the gym, especially during a pandemic, and so much harder to get back into it if after a long break. Maybe you’re on your way to recovering from an injury, maybe you’ve just come back from a holiday (lucky you!), or maybe you lost your way for some time there. Whatever it is, here are some pointers on how to get back to the gym after taking a long break and what to expect.

Get Back to the Gym After Taking a Long Break with These Tips

1. Don’t expect to be at the same level you were before

Unfortunately, regardless of whether you are a runner, weightlifter, or Crossfit enthusiast, taking time off from exercise means that you will lose some of your conditioning. It doesn’t mean that you’ll never get back to the same level or surpass it. It just means that you may start at a lower weight or shorter running time than before your break. This is completely normal.

Let’s take someone who lifts weights as an example. After 1-2 weeks, you may not really see or feel much of a difference. But 3-4 weeks without going to the gym may result in some lean muscle mass loss. You might start losing actual muscle around the 4-week mark.

The good news is that you’ll also regain your strength quicker than it took for you to reach that level in the first place thanks to a little something called muscle memory. Which leads us to our next point.

2. Be patient

We understand that it can be difficult knowing that you’re not lifting as heavy, or running as fast or long as you could but you need to be patient. Work with the strength or energy you have now, and trust that as long as you are consistent and continue to workout, you will return to normal within a few weeks.

Don’t try to push yourself from the get-go as this will only increase your risk of injury. And if you get injured, then you’ll find yourself spending more time out of the gym.

3. Don’t do too much

Don’t try to do all the exercises at once. Stick to a few to ease yourself back into it and give your body time to adjust to the change.

Then you can gradually go back to your normal routine over time.

4. Remember you’ll probably be sore

Contrary to popular belief, feeling sore isn’t a good indicator of whether you’ve had a good workout or not. If you’re feeling sore, it’s probably because you’re doing a new exercise or you haven’t trained in a while. So if you’re getting back to the gym after a long break, you’ll most likely feel it the next day.

The good news? The soreness won’t last forever. Once you get back into a routine, you will find yourself being able to workout without feeling the soreness afterwards.

To help recover faster, make sure that you properly warm-up before exercising and cool-down afterwards. Stretch during every session and employ other tools to help such as foam rolling.

5. Get a trainer/instructor

If you want the extra help, then enlisting in a workout app or personal trainer can really do the trick. If you just need a little push to get back into training, then a workout app like Jefit is a cost-effective method. You can choose the body parts you want to train, as well as some great exercises to do so. You can even connect with other Jefit members so you can share tips on how to get back to the gym.

A personal trainer at your local gym is also really helpful. He or she can create a workout plan for you based on your goals, and show you how the machines work around the facility. Unfortunately, personal training can be on the pricey side at times, but sometimes there may be great offers like group fitness training. This is where you can share the cost and session with a couple of friends!

If you are recovering from an injury though, we recommend that you do enlist the help of a trainer or coach. This is so that modifications can be made for your rehab process. This is vital so that you don’t undo all the progress you’ve made in recovery and make it worse.

Workout with Jefit

Looking to get back to the gym after taking a long break? Want to connect with like-minded people to keep you motivated? Download Jefit to track your workouts and join our members-only Facebook group. You can record your training, set a schedule, and talk to fellow Jefit members. Basically, everything you need to get back into the swing of things!

What do you do to get back to the gym after taking a long break? What tips work best for you? Let us know in the comments, we would love to know!

Want Strong, Shapely Glutes? Try Doing Barbell Hip Thrust

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The barbell hip thrust exercise is a great option for increasing size and strength in the hip musculature, specifically the glutes. Like a squat or a deadlift, the hip thrust is a compound movement that targets a large number of muscles in the lower body. This particular exercise is ideal for building both strength and size due to the heavy loads typically used. As an example, see the video below.

Take a break from those other more popular leg exercises for a while. Add barbell hip thrust to change things up a bit. This exercise is great for breaking through plateaus for other leg exercises like a squat. Give those other compound leg exercises a break for a few weeks. Transition to a barbell hip thrust along with single-leg exercises for a period before coming back to the squat and deadlift.

Major Muscle Groups Targeted

Exercise Execution

Position the body on the bench so the back touches the bench just below the shoulder blades. Keep the feet flat on the floor with knees bent.

Olympic bar rests across the hip crease with both hands holding onto the bar.

Keep chin tucked and the ribs down.

Lift the hips off the ground performing hip extension. The key is to raise the hips high enough to get maximal hip extension.

The knees are at 90-degree angles and both body and thighs are parallel with the floor at the end (top) of the movement. Keep chin tucked.

Do not over-arch the back during the movement.

The Barbell Hip Thrust Exercise Performed by Jefit Elite Member

Image Credit: @don_fit on Instagram

Does Barbell Hip Thrust Offer More Muscle Activation than a Squat?

Some would say the barbell hip thrust offers a higher glute activation than a squat when looking solely at the involvement of the gluteus maximus. The best way to get more of an understanding is through EMG analysis. Let’s compare the two exercises through research. A 2019 study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine concluded “the mechanics of the BHT favors the greater activation of the extensor muscles of the hip compared to more conventional exercises.” A second study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning, in 2018, also suggested that the hip thrust movement may be optimal for training the gluteus maximus muscle group in comparison to the back squat and split squat. Finally, some additional information from Bret Contreras, PhD, a leading expert on the hip thrust movement, presented here.

Workout with Jefit

Millions of members are having great success using the Jefit app. One such individual is Don who, pound for pound, is one of the strongest individuals we’ve come across in our Jefit community. Check out some of his amazing instagram posts. Jefit is a fitness app that comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s 1400 exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.

References

Neto, W.K., et al., Barbell Hip Thrust, Muscular Activation and Performance: A Systematic Review. J Sports Sci Med. 2019 Jun; 18(2): 198–206.
Published online 2019 Jun 1.

Williams, M., et al., Activation of the Gluteus Maximus During Performance of the Back Squat, Split Squat, and Barbell Hip Thrust and the Relationship With Maximal Sprinting. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 2018. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002651

Top photo – Image credit: Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash