How to Pace Yourself
You are going to get it this year, I feel that energy!
I love the vibe in January as everyone shifts away from holiday pace and back into work mode. You’ve likely begun to get up early, train more regularly, and have set goals for yourself. These are all very good things, but have you made sure to pace yourself appropriately so you see results and avoid injury?
All active individuals need to consider rest time into their fitness routines. Believe it or not, muscles do not grow during workouts, but actually rebuild and recover while you sleep, hours after you stopped sweating! This means that if you want to make progress, your fitness program has to provide downtime to individual muscle groups.
For example, you can’t hit delts every day and expect your shoulders to start popping. This is actually an excellent way to damage your glenohumeral joint, the ball-and-socket joint that connects the upper arm to the shoulder blade. Talk to anyone who has over trained and suffered the consequences – your body is never quite the same after an injury so you should respect it and accept its limits.
Here are some pro tips to create a safe training schedule:
- Leave at least two days in between training the same muscle group.
- Choose your priority body part (ie: glutes) and train only that muscle group twice in one week. For example, hit legs on Monday and repeat lower body exercises again on Thursday.
- Remember that weight training causes muscle tears that need time to repair – add adequate protein to enable the process. Eat for your goals and increase your protein intake to allow your body the nutrients required for effective muscle regeneration. I suggest matching grams of protein per day to your body weight in pounds, so a 135lb woman would eat up to 135 grams of protein daily.
- Avoid intense exercise lasting over two hours.
While you don’t want to be lazy and slack on your fitness goals, you also don’t want to over-due it and burn out! Forced rest to nurse a muscle strain is not going to help you make progress either, so plan ahead and train smart.
Blog by Julie Germaine.