Do you want to get more from your training? Of course you do! Well you’re in luck.
We rounded up the best fitness bloggers to get the low down on how to get the most from your training.
From inspirational quotes to practical tips, you don’t want to miss out on this wisdom…
1. “Get up early”
Triathlete Phil says: “Get up early, complete your workout then you have the rest of the day free. On a weekend I always aim to get back before my wife and son wake up, that way my training doesn’t get in the way any quality family time. The other benefit is that you have less time to talk yourself out of it as you would do if you plan evening workouts.”
2. “Follow a training plan”
Running blogger Danielle knows the importance of structure: “I would say my top tip would be to follow a training programme. To train would suggest that you want to improve your current fitness and/or have an upcoming event you want to prepare for. Training programmes can be found online, in magazines and in books.
When choosing one, be realistic: don’t go for a programme that has you training six days a week when in reality, you only have time to train four days a week. Choose a programme that fits into your life; don’t attempt to fit your life into your training programme. Training programmes are created by fitness professionals who have studied in their area of expertise extensively. Basically, they know what they’re talking about and they structure programmes to ensure improvement, rest and recovery. It’s just up to you to put yourself in the hands of your programme and trust the training. Good luck!”
3. “Make progress in your workout”
Personal trainer Richard says: “Remember to make progress in your workout – so many people seem to forget that improving performance is the main principle in fitness. Lift more weight or perform more reps, beat a record, set a target go faster, cover more ground, jump higher, last longer, throw farther, progress, just keep it in sight and don’t let your training turn into a slog.
Now I’m not saying each and every session has to be a record breaker, that’s just dreaming and draining but seeing a gradual progression over the long haul is so important and so often ignored but without we are just spinning our wheels. Progression is king, after all, the numbers don’t lie!”
4. “Keep it simple”
Charity runner Paul says: “My training tips are to keep it simple. Set your goals and make them realistic. This will enable them to be sustainable. It should be a lifestyle change you’re looking for not a quick fix ready for your holidays.”
5. “Consistency in training is vital”
Ultra runner John says: “My top training tip is summed up in one word: consistency. Whether you are training for a 10k or 100 miles consistency in training is vital. Building up your fitness takes time and it is better to consistently run 4 times a week than 7 times one week followed by a couple of weeks of 1-2 runs. So if you are keen to improve then get out there every week and you will see improvement.”
6. “Listen to your body”
Fitness blogger Tess says: “Listen to your body and remember that rest and recovery is just as important as putting in the hard training. If something’s niggling, get it seen to by a physio – don’t let it turn into an injury. Make sure your training plan has at least one full rest day allow your muscles time to recover and grow stronger.
I’m training for my first marathon and am really benefitting from regular physio, sports massages and a love/hate relationship with my foam roller – it’s worth the pain if my legs recover quicker from the long and hard runs!”
7. “Train smart”
Personal trainer Matt says: “Train smart – people tend to think that to get gains, to get a certain exercise correct, you have to put every hour and every minute into the gym.
From personal and first hand experience, put the time and effort in on the days you can and are focused, remember to rest as you need your muscles to recover, then go back into the gym to go hard once again. Make sure those days you are at the gym, your giving every single piece of effort you have got.”
8. “Track your training variables”
Med student Yusef thinks you need to get serious: “Track your training variables: macros, strength, daily morning bodyweight. By tracking, you can effectively manipulate variables observe the feedback over a long period. If you don’t do this, you’re farting around in the dark. If you think that’s too much effort, consider taking up knitting.
To be precise:
– Tracking strength extends beyond your 1RM. This can be rep PBs, or shorter rest periods between straight sets. These are all significant.
– Weekly photos in the same position and lighting can also be useful for body composition.
– Macronutrient intake: myfitnesspal or a similar smart phone app automates this task and builds the database within the app.”
9. “Plan your day’s meals”
Jiu Jitsu black belt Stephen says: “This is a tip to break a running PB. Plan your day’s meals and drinks around your run. I make sure I eat little but often, low carbs but high protein. Also drink lots of fluid during day but cut back about 2 hours before run, otherwise you’ll have to stop a lot! I also have half a shake before and after run to help recovery.”
It’s all in your head
10. “Go to the gym on business”
Title winning bodybuilder Kevan says: “As I say in my Active Channel TV advert, ‘Go to the gym on business! That means turn off your phone and concentrate on working as hard as you possibly can for a set amount of time.”
11. “Mind over matter”
MMA enthusiast Jenhao says: “Coming from a Muay Thai background, mind over matter is a very important aspect to have for training. Muay Thai is a sport that can be painful so having the ability to overcome the pain is very important to be a good fighter. This mindset is valuable as it can also be transferable to other elements during training and not just the pain.”
12. “Use motivational quotes”
Runner and dad Paul says: “Some of my favourite quotes are:
– ‘Good things come to those who wait. Great things come to those who go out and get them.’
– ‘No matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everybody on the couch.’
– ‘The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.'”
13. “Be here now”
Marathon runner Nicola has discovered the power of mantras: “While running my last marathon I decided to go without headphones and just enjoy listening to my breathing and concentrating on how I was feeling and what I was doing. Whenever it got tough and my mind started to race forward to how many miles I had left to run, I said to myself ‘be here now.’ These words can be applied to a lot of hard times in life – be in the present and don’t worry too much about the future. Breathe in, breathe out, just be here now.”
14. “Your biggest competition should be yourself”
Bodybuilder Corey says: “This thought keeps me going: ‘Your biggest competition should be yourself. Pay less attention to others and more attention to your own progress.'”
15. “Endure – you will become the absolutely best version of yourself”
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor Carl says: “Here is one of my favourite quotes concerning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:
‘This is the road of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu: You will be tested physically, You will be tested mentally, You will experience powerlessness, You will learn, You will teach, You will hit the wall, You will slump, You will have bad days, You will want to give up, And if you will endure – You will become the absolutely best version of yourself you could have ever imagined!'”
16. “Increase the frequency of your workouts”
Bodybuilding enthusiast Erny has got a lot to say about hypertrophy: “Increase the frequency of your workouts for increased muscle hypertrophy. There are a lot of myths about overtraining, including you won’t grow if you train a muscle more than once per week.
Gymnasts train the same muscles each day and as a result many of these previously small ectomorph frames become incredibly muscular. The ironic thing about this is that gymnasts don’t even want to gain muscle, they just want to increase strength; the muscle comes as a result of their frequency and continuous overload.
Other examples of this same frequency principle applying to real life scenario’s include: mechanic’s forearms, tennis player’s forearms, footballer’s calves and cyclist’s legs.”
17. “Form is king”
Fitness expert Justin says you should always focus on form: “Learn, practice, perfect and consider the ‘form’ of how you lift a weight or perform an exercise over everything else!
‘Form’ is king when it comes to exercise! Recently I dropped back to just lifting the bar weight on all of my compound lifts. I did this because, despite being experienced, it is easy to start to cheat and make things easier for yourself whilst in the gym, especially when the weight starts getting really heavy! By dropping back to virtually nothing enabled me to perfect my form once again before I started to consistently load the weight back on the bar!
Remember that you are lifting weights and performing certain exercises to build strength and size in those particular muscles. In order to achieve this you need to concentrate on each and every repetition, each lift and each lower of the weight in strict form to stimulate and tax as many muscle fibres in that particular group as possible!
It is important that you do not try and cheat and rush you way to the magic number at the end of the set, thinking that somehow if you reach this figure (no matter how you get there) your strength and mass will increase! You must always concentrate on contacting the muscle not moving the weight.
It is the very act of lifting and lowering the weight or resistance that is causing the muscle fibres to respond, adapt and grow stronger and larger – NOT the act of reaching a set number of repetitions or lifting a certain weight!
Do not rush to get all your reps out, or heap as much weight on the bar as possible, savour and learn to enjoy the training itself, not getting to the end of it with still half a tank full of energy and muscle fibres untapped!
Poor form not only robs you of gains but also increases the risk of injury, both minor and major!”
18. “Never sacrifice technique”
Personal trainer Rich says: “Perform every exercise with great technique. Perform every single rep with perfect form and never sacrifice technique for the sake of lifting more weight”
19. “Strong glutes are crucial”
Fitness model Natasha’s top tip is all about glutes: “My most famous assets are…my glutes!
They are important for both men and women and not just on an aesthetic level. Strong glutes are crucial for protecting your lower back and when lifting heavy. My Tips on building great glutes:
– Train glutes twice a week: I do a hamstrings/glutes day and then a quad/ glutes day.
– Drop the reps: If your goal is to build more muscle then it’s all about less reps. High reps will help you build endurance fibres rather than stimulating muscle growth. So add more weight and lift in the 6-8 range.
– Squat, Lunge and Deadlift: Take it back to the old school with my three favourite exercises. Squats – I swear by ATG squats. Go deep and go heavy with wide stance squats, front squats, bulgarian split squats and one legged squats. Lunge – walking weighted lunges, jumping lunges, just lunge until you can do no more. Lastly, barbell deadlifts.
– Cardio: Do incline cardio on a stepper or a treadmill to really feel the burn in those glutes.”
20. “Focus on explosive strength”
Blind ultra-runner Simon highlights the importance of strength work for runners: “I always enjoyed creating workouts that combined explosive movements with high load movements. For example the clean and deadlifts; the clean was great for explosive movements with the deadliest being a great full body movement.
So rather than just concentrate on the glamour muscle movements, focus on explosive strength and raw strength. I found that translated better over into my real life need for strength and speed.”
Got an awesome training tip? Share it in the comments below!