Do you get midway through the afternoon and crash, or do you get to the evening and feel completely too exhausted to get to the gym? Perhaps, you get up in the morning and you just can’t seem to get going?

Low motivation levels are likely to be symptoms of various imbalances in the body, they are a sign that something isn’t working right. However many people think it’s just part of life and keep trying to push through it. There are plenty of things that you can be doing, and I’m going to share them with you.

Part of what we like to find out for all our new clients goes into some investigating into stress and motivation levels. You see, consistent tiredness can mean quite a few things. Here are some of them:

  • Low intake of food across the day (not enough fuel)
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies (low vitamin B vitamins can cause low energy)
  • Poor sleeping habits (often caused by going to bed way too late and/or interrupted sleep)
  • High-stress levels during the day (your day runs you rather than your running the day)
  • Not enough water intake
  • Chronic use of stimulants such as coffee (inability to wind-down at night impacting the quality of sleep and energy levels the next day

When you understand and are aware of what can cause low energy levels, you can start to put things in place to correct them. Here are some of them:

  1. Cut out all dairy, wheat and gluten from your diet for 14 days (to find out if you are intolerant to them).
  2. Reduce caffeine intake (have no caffeine past 2pm).
  3. Structure your day, complete the tasks that are most important first.
  4. Go to bed by 10:30pm each day and wake up the same time again for 14 days, ensure you get 7-8 hours sleep each night.
  5. Each a portion of lean protein in each meal (eg. lean meat, oily fish), minimum three meals per day.
  6. Eat different vegetables with every meal.

After 14 days you should notice a considerable difference in your energy levels. You can keep these tips in mind for future reference if your energy levels should drop again.

 

Written by – Paul Karoullas

 

 

Everyone wants to build lean muscle, burn fat and improve their fitness, but now and then despite all efforts, you find yourself struggling to make improvements in the gym. Your progress is flat, you’re not lifting more and your workouts seem to feel harder.

These are called “plateaus”, and while they can happen, they don’t have to. In fact, if you structure your fitness regime correctly, you can make consistent progress from your hard work.

The first thing you need to understand is your body is designed to adapt to an incredible amount of various physical demands, but you have to train it correctly.

Instead, focus on one area (or two, at the very most) and dedicate most of your training to improve it. For example, if you want to boost your strength, you can follow a powerlifting program and spend a little time each week to maintain your conditioning and endurance.

1. Don’t try to improve everything at the same time

With fitness, the main area’s performance most people want to improve are: speed, strength, power, aerobic and anaerobic endurance, muscle mass, etc. It’s nearly impossible to improve all of these areas at once because increasing and focusing on any one of these things come at the expense of something else. So if you try to improve everything, you’ll ultimately improve nothing and move sideways in your training.

2. Organize your training into parts

Start by dividing your training into “blocks,” with each block lasting about 4 –6 weeks. The first block can target conditioning, the next block can target strength and the last block can target power.

Once you decide what area your main focus is on, you have to figure how to structure your workouts and for how long. Blocking out your training for different parts is good because if you want to improve one area of your fitness (eg. Losing fat), it takes several weeks for your body to adapt and improve. So by dedicating an adequate amount of time in the first few weeks to body conditioning – instead of trying a different type of workout each week, you’ll find you would have built a platform before getting better and better.

3. Focus on progressive overload

After organizing your training into blocks, it’s important to squeeze the most potential out of your block. Gradually make your training more challenging and intense. This could mean using more weight, adding a couple more reps, longer of shorter rest intervals between exercises. These can all be ways to add “progressive overload” to your exercise plan. By giving your body more and more challenging workouts, you’ll develop and enjoy more results.

4. Get more rest

If you train too hard for too long, you will undoubtedly hit a plateau. It is also likely that you will develop some muscle fatigue or injury. Adequate rest and recovery is an essential element in continuing to make progress in your training program. Most world class athletes train in a ‘rest – recover’ fashion. There may even be times during the year that you should reduce your strength training altogether.

5. Focus on small, steady increases

Aim to increase your training by the smallest amount that gives you improvements. As a guide, you should only increase your training by about 10% per week. Otherwise, if you increase your training too must, too fast, you’ll be vulnerable to plateaus and burnout, or even injuries.

6. Take “Deload” weeks

Despite your best efforts to rest and add in muscle recovery time, by the end of a block, you will get more fatigued depending on how much you’ve increased your training load, nutrition and your initial level of fitness.

That’s why, before you jump into a different block with a different focus, take a week to go easier on your body by only working to around 70 per cent of your maximum so it can repair itself, grow and lock in those gains.

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