So, after that epic fail with the 18 day abs saga, I…..DID NOT give up!
No sir. A normal person, with a normal goal of a 6 pack, and a normal desire to look really sexy would have given up. But me?
I was OBSESSED. I wanted that 6 pack at any cost. I was convinced that the 6 pack is the epitome of fitness. And I continued to work towards it.
Everyday, I would wake up 30 minutes earlier than normal, get a mat and start. Crunches. Bicycle crunches. Planks. Sit ups. High knees. All of the basic, simple exercises that every fitness guru in the world recommends. No, guarantees. Guarantees that it’ll give the 6 pack abs you want.
And now that I look back, I realize what it was that I wasn’t doing right.
All of the exercises are great, and effective. Don’t get me wrong there. They CAN give you a good 6 pack, but there are things that you need to understand about your own body, before these exercises can give you results. That’s what I didn’t know.
First off, the muscles in your body are smart. When you do some stressful work, the muscles break. And when these muscles rebuild, they rebuild stronger and tighter, so it can take the extra work that you are doing. But for the muscles to get stronger, you have to first break them.
That’s what I wasn’t doing. I would do all those exercises, but I would stop just when it got a little difficult for me to go on. I didn’t go past that comfort level. I stayed within my limits. And so, I never broke my muscles. Which means, they didn’t feel the need to grow stronger, and didn’t. Can’t blame them
And the second mistake that I did, was that I worked out everyday. Without fail. Every morning, for 15 minutes I would get up and go through the motions. Here’s why that’s wrong.
Rest is just as important as working out. Because it’s when you rest, that your muscles get the time and energy to rebuild and become stronger. If you keep working out, all the time, your muscles will remain broken and you will never see progressive results.
In my case, yeah, it didn’t make much of a difference. Because my muscles never really broke in the first place. So this was a mistake that rolled off of my first mistake.
Friends, keep this in mind. It is extremely important. It goes for whatever workout that you do; bodyweight, weights, cardio.
- When you workout, workout till you can take no more. Then, workout some more! That will make sure your muscles break.
- And after you have done that, rest. For a day. Or two. Till that soreness goes away.
A good thumb rule would be-
Workout 2 days, rest 1 day.
That is, if you are just starting out. And if you want to go higher, workout 3 days, rest one day. And if you are an extreme athlete, 4/1 is the best ratio.
This rounds up my first set of advice for you. Keep working! I am too. This year for me, is all about fitness! 😀