How To Stay Fit For Life

No matter how olf you are, you can still get fitter and in better shape as you get older very easily.

’12 Weeks to the best  body ever’ sounds great doesn’t it? well how about 12 years to the best body ever.

You may be thinking this sounds crazy, imagine for a moment if over the next 12 years you defied time and got fitter as you got older and then built strength and further conditioning for another 12 years, increasing performance further and essentially getting you fit for life.

This may sound impossible but is actually easier than you think, follow eight simple rules and you can lift for life.

1) Train With Just Enough Intensity

Many people believe that proper training should leave you in a staggering sweaty mess, but there is something to be said about occasionally leaving the gym feeling stronger than when you went in, ‘just enough’ of everything is the sweet spot you should be aiming for.

People usually train with too much volume, very high intensities and ignoring potential injury as well. It is very common to see injuries of the shoulders, knees, lower back and elbows as you progress due to the sheer weight exerted on the bones.

Any lift that comes with a ‘how much ya lift’ nonsense needs scaling properly, especially when body parts start to give you trouble, if you are having knee troubles on a day, do glute-activation exercises instead to save your knees rather than squats. It is better to come back and train squats another day, it is not a good idea to train through the pain.

2) Don’t Give Yourself Too Many Choices

One of the greatest and toughest things about a gym is that there are many ways to challenge yourself, grow stronger and change your life. Training can be done with weights, machines, bodyweight, cardio, swimming, anything. With no map to guide you there are far too many options to pick from.

The solution here is don’t choose, have a plan in hand and stick to it, go to the gym knowing what you will be doing every time so you are not just wondering around.

Finding the perfect plan may seem difficult, but there are plenty here on this website and scattered around the internet that can help you with your specific goals.

The perfect plan is not one that burns a certain number of calories or gets a certain level of muscle activation, it is one you can stick with long-term for the best overall results.

Don’t overthink all of the choices in your workout,, keep things pretty simple and you will stay motivated.

3) Have A Little Choice

An easy mistake to make is starting a program and then thinking that everything is set in stone, remember you are an individual with specific needs and wants.

So should you tinker with your program’s sets, reps and movements? not exactly. Follow them as closely as you can but maybe save a few minutes at the end of every gym session for something else you want to do. Maybe try a new movement you are curious about or do an extra couple of sets on something you think is important, this will help open your mind up to new possibilities, new goals and ways to enjoy yourself in the gym.

You need to learn what works for you in the long-term.

4) Take The Long View

You will hear many trainers and athletes talk in percentages, keep eating 90% clean, 85%, 87.5% etc. etc., It is easy to laugh at the numbers but the idea is to think that the numbers are cumulative, no matter the mistake it is just a grain of sand on a beach if you think broad mindedly about it and come back for more.

Whenever a diet or workout slips up, just get right back at it. Remember that you are creating a new, healthier lifestyle and it is important that you don’t give up on it, giving up means you definitely won’t see the results you want.

5) Quality Over Quantity

Thinking quickly, how good is your squat? if you answered with a weight in pounds then you misunderstood the question, there are many bad squats that are heavy and many good squats that are light, which one is yours?

Leave your ego outside of the gym, learn proper form and use proper weight.

This is easier said than done, it is very satisfying to struggle through a heavy lift and push a weight you were once terrified by. Those numbers should be earned by high-quality, controlled training, not by adding more weight to cheat lifts. Don’t be a lifter whose injury rap sheet is as long as his PR sheet.

No matter what your goals might be in the gym, you will achieve them much faster when you target and recruit muscles properly. This may require a bit of a step down in weight, however the increased stimulus your muscles receives more than makes up for it, focusing on quality will make the numbers come.

Be sure to get some rest in-between your workouts to make sure that you recover properly.

6) Program Your Rest

This can be difficult to get your head around, most of your life you have been sitting around. You can rest when you’re dead, crush it daily!. This is the mindset for a forced rest day, this can result from an injury or overall fatigue for hitting your workout too hard for too long.

Your muscles grow as you rest, never underestimate how good a rest day can be as it allows your body the chance to rebuild and recover. If you train everyday, you are not going to make the same progress you’re supposed too and you will just end up frustrated.

How are you to tell if you are getting enough rest? Just take a good look at the last few weeks of training and ask yourself if you are as strong at the end of the week as at the start. If Friday’s session is a struggle for you and your double dosing caffeine just to get to the weight room then you need more rest. Try every other day instead of daily training, two out of three days or alternating weight training with something like yoga class.

7) Focus On Fun

You don’t have to do hours alone on the stairs or kill yourself with endless circuits to burn fat. More activity does equal more calories burned but if you are miserable doing the activity then you are doing yourself any favours and this isn’t supposed to be a punishment.

Don’t force yourself to do something you strongly dislike, pick activities you enjoy. Not everyone is into the same kind of training so pick something you look forward too for better motivation.

Doing exercise classes with your friends, sports or hiking with your family are all great choices that can be kept up for years, make room for at least one fitness activity you enjoy every week, if you dislike the results of your training, chances are you won’t stick with the fitness programme for long.

Fit For Life

Look beyong your goals and make they are being done for the right reasons.

8) Thinking Beyond Your Goals

Trainers love it when their clients have really specific goals like burning 10 pounds of fat or adding 5 pounds of muscle or front squat your body weight for an x amount of reps, they will happy to help you if you are willing to put in the effort.

You are a person though, bigger than your goals, you need to make sure that you are living the lifestyle for more than just weight loss or body composition changes. Goals like energy, health improvements or better self-confidence sound a bit vague but they will help you progress further and keep you motivated.

You achieve these goals with time, consistency and patience, figure these out and you will definitely stay fit for life.

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