Top 10 Training Tips

Join a Good Gym
"There's nothing more demotivating than a poorly equipped, badly staffed gym," says Stuart Hamilton, owner of Hamiltons Fitness Centre in Colchester, "Join a good one and you'll soon find yourself getting fit in ways you've never imagined. Don't just count the number of cardio machines, ask about free weights, classes and the experience of the instructors."

Focus on your Workout
Most people don't get the full benefits from their workouts becasue they lack intensity and concentration. When you are actually working out give it your full attention, performing each rep to the best of your ability. Not only will your efforts show in the results, you will also find that time flies by.

Set Goals
There's no point in training unless you have a target to aim for. Whether it's getting to the gym three times a week or losing four pounds a month, having a goal is motivating and keeps you on track. Also don't forget to record progress, this is the key to sticking to a new fitter lifestyle.

Monitor your core temperature
Paula Radcliffe says "You have got to make sure that your core body temperature doesn't go up". During exercise muscular activity can produce a considerable amount of heat, which increases your core body temperature. The body's first line of defence is to start sweating, however, if the atmosphere in which you're working out is humid, the sweat is unable to evaporate and your body's cooling effect is reduced, as is your performance. Paula says "I train when it's cool; early in the morning and in the evening."

Dress the part
Any time you're tempted to skip a workout, try this simple trick: Get changed into your workout clothes and then make your decision. In most cases, once you have made the decision to get changed, you will go ahead and do the workout.

Buddy up
"Keeping fit doesn't have to be an anti-social activity. Join a group or workout with friends," says five times British Powerlifting Champion, Cathy Wass. "It's easier training with others and its a good way of meeting people too." Other perks include spending quality time with friends, having a laugh as you workout, and being committed to your fitness schedule (you're less likely to skip a session if you have arranged to go with someone else.

Pick 'n' Mix
Your body works on the priciple of growth and adaptation. If you always do the same workout you will soon hit a plateau. You should change the speed, intensity, sets, reps, exercises and anything else that's likely to become tedious afetr a while, on a regular basis to ensure that you perform at your optimum level at all times.

Take control of your eating
Record what you eat in a food diary as this will help you ensure that you're eating according to your goals. If your goal is to build muscle a diary can help you to see if you're eating the correct balance of protein, carbohydrates and fat.

Customise your kit
Wearing the corect trainers for your workout is essential and its worth going to the professionals. It's a good idea to get your shoes fitted at a specialist running shop or with the help of a gait analysis machine.

Stretch to it
Stretching is often under performed. Despite the controversy surrounding the benefits of stetching, it's still thought that it can help prevent injury, maintain range of motion and aid relaxation.



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