As a busy entrepreneur constantly tweaking their lives, there’s always something that can change. But it’s about making sure that when you find the right tweak for your life, that it stays forever. And this is doubly true if it benefits your health. You may very well have improved your productivity and embedded certain habits that will help you stay on the right side of happiness. But have you looked at fine-tuning your physical health?
Everybody knows the importance of going to the gym, but it’s about finding the right balance and exercising smart. The common misconception in uneducated circles is that they have to hit the gym seven days a week in order to see any benefits.
This is not the case.
It’s about exercising smarter, not harder. Let’s show you how you can do this.
Exercising Smart By Stop Thinking About Reps
Some people believe that the more reps they do the better. The function of exercise is to provide a stimulus so strong to your muscles that it provokes an “adaptive response.”
This is why protocols such as high intensity prove so popular. When you start to think about fatiguing the muscle, rather than getting so many reps in, it completely reinvigorates your approach to training.
Because people believe that they’ve got to do so many reps, this takes a lot more time. But switch it around, and fatigue the muscle properly using a heavy weight, it won’t take long at all.
This is why people are using machines more in entrepreneurial circles. If you have space, purchase a functional trainer machine or think about ways to fatigue your muscles. You don’t necessarily have to have an expensive machine. You can very easily fatigue your muscles in other ways, such as timed static contractions or isometrics.
Making Sure You Are Resting Properly
If you are exercising now but you don’t feel like you’re getting stronger or are having any benefit from it, this could very well be the problem. Of course, nutrition has a lot to play in exercising smart too. It’s about 80% nutrition, 20% exercise.
But you have to remember that resting probably is just as vital.
When you are training, you may think that you’ve got to do more to feel more benefits. But there is a spot within us that, if we do too much, can tip us over the edge. It can actually make us weaker. And this is a “hallelujah moment” for many people. The fact that you could potentially exercise once or twice a week, and get more benefits than someone who is exercising every single day can break the game wide open.
As an entrepreneur that is working so much, this is probably music to your ears. The real litmus test of making sure that you rested enough is actually being able to improve on your last effort.
Because you need to measure your fitness, when you are undergoing intense exercises, the best approach to use is the TUL, or Time Under Load, approach. This is what many people do in intense protocols such as “Body By Science.”
And it’s important to remember that when you provide so much of a stimulus, you need to rest properly. Everybody’s different. Some people require seven days, some people require longer. It all depends on your body phenotype as well as your previous experience in the exercise.
Exercising Smart By Focusing on Form
Another reason focusing on reps is bad is that it misplaces your focus on form. For example, when you set yourself a goal of 100 press-ups, you’ll find that when you start to struggle, you contort your body in order to get those last few reps.
Our body is a fantastic thing in that we can push through that at the cost of losing form. But rather than try to push through, it’s better when we listen to our body and stop. Focusing on proper form is a priority in the gym, but if you are starting to exercise smart, rather than hard, you may get sloppy.
And this is where focusing on your form is not just a great way to make sure that you are getting strong and naturally, but it’s also going to prevent injury. Getting injuries will stop you from exercising. But also, this can set you up for problems later in life.
We need to get out of the mindset that the higher the number of reps, the stronger we are. This is not the case. You need to think about the practicalities in life. If you have a specific goal, especially in terms of your strength, it’s not about getting to that goal within the next six weeks. Make it a long-term practice. This means that when you hit that goal, you can focus on the next goal. But the fact is, for most people, a certain level of fitness is more than enough. It benefits your health, but it also doesn’t take over your life.