Whether you’re new to fitness or have been around the block a few times, these tips are great lessons and/or reminders. We want to tell you the best things we wish we knew about health and fitness. Hopefully, we can help you learn from OUR mistakes, so you can be better off on YOUR journey.
Judging a “Good Workout”
If you’re leaving workouts feeling dead, beatdown, and like a zombie… you may not be getting the most out of your workouts and may be doing too much, going too hard, or lifting too heavy.
It can be common to see people “emptying the tank” and burying themselves during workouts. Especially in places like CrossFit gyms, spin classes, Orange Theory Fitness classes, etc.
Have you ever caught yourself competing for the top performance spot on the gym leaderboards? Or maybe hyper-obsessing over things like Heart Rate Zones and “Calories Burned” on data wearables?
Look, we definitely aren’t telling you to start sandbagging your workouts, but what if we told you there are other ways? Specifically, ways that you might help you feel better and see quicker progress.
What if you switched up the type of workouts you’re doing?
Or maybe use less weight and aim for more time under tension?
What if you adjusted the intensity of workouts?
What if you shifted your expectations of what it means to “get a good workout?”
If you’re leaving every workout feeling like hot garbage, know that there’s a better way.
Have you ever considered that “a good workout” might actually mean leaving the gym feeling BETTER than when you walked in?
The topic of “effort” and “how heavy to lift” during workouts has been a hot topic lately, especially in the Paragon community. This is absolutely one of those things we wish we knew earlier because we could have moved from A to B soooo much faster.
Don’t get us wrong, there are def people doing the most, going too hard, lifting too fast, doing too much, lifting too heavy, moving poorly… but equal parts people sand-bagging weights/effort, people distracted by their phone, resting too little, resting too much, busy talking to other people…
We’re def on team “good form and quality movement” – but if you aren’t regularly meeting “Fitness Jesus” during lift sets, we have questions.
Potential Red Flags:
- If you consistently fly through workouts really fast
- If you feel you don’t NEED your rest times between sets
- If you finish the day’s programming and regularly still have the desire to go “do more” (like hop in another workout class)
- If you aren’t breathing pretty heavily after each set // if you don’t feel each working set was pretty challenging
- If you don’t need many warm-up sets (or aren’t doing ANY warm-up sets) before your work sets
- If you aren’t seeing strength gains // improvements in your lifts over time (such as by the end of a training cycle)
- If you’re having trouble changing your body composition
We’re trying to find the middle ground between pushing hard ENOUGH, lifting heavy ENOUGH, and also not trying to absolutely obliterate our body. It’s a balancing act and an art that takes time to learn.
Stop Comparing Yourself
One of the biggest things we wish we knew earlier was how to stop comparing ourselves to others who are maybe at a different point in their personal journey. Sometimes we’re at different phases in our lives. Maybe 5-10 years ago we didn’t have kids and/or a demanding career but now we do. Things change and we can’t always directly compare ourselves to the past.
What’s really most important is to MEET YOURSELF WHERE YOU ARE and try to be better than you are now. Any improvement that’s better than where you currently are, is progress.
It’s not about what you’re doing in comparison to someone else or what you could do in the past…
It’s about being better than you are now.
So how are you making yourself better right now and today?
Changing the Outside Won’t Help the Inside
Changing your outside appearance won’t generally solve how you feel about yourself. At least in the long term. At some point maybe it won’t be good enough or you’re still not happy. What truly makes us happy is when we’re living in alignment with what we value and what’s important to us. This is one of those things we wish we knew but unfortunately found out the hard way.
Most of the time, we have to learn how to heal from the inside out, if we truly want to appreciate the results of our journey. Learning how to enjoy the process is the most effective way for us to make progress, and for that progress to be sustainable over time.
Being healthy and fit is about developing a set of skills and habits you can sustain for long periods (ideally for life). It takes time to develop these skills and time to even realize why these skills are beneficial to you. But once you do that, that’s true change and there’s probably no going back to old ways.
Need A Place To Start?
Our Paragon workouts are evidence-based and backed by science. You can choose to work out for 30, 45, 60, or 75 minutes per day. We have workouts for all goals and levels of lifting experience. As well as the option to still include things you love (whether that’s running, Olympic Lifting, or riding your Peloton).
All of our programs at Paragon cycle through different exercise periodization phases, including hypertrophy (building muscle), strength, and metabolic cycles. So as far as goals go, you might have more options than you think!
Physique Programs = strength training and bodybuilding workouts for those who want to look their best and are interested in gaining muscle.
Physique workouts are also our preferred choice for our pregnant/postpartum mommas, those burnt out on high intensity, and/or those working to improve their health and hormones. Choose between 45-Min Physique, 3-Day Physique, 4-Day Physique, and 4-Day DB-Only Physique.
Performance Programs = for those who love combining lifting with other modalities.
These programs are for our Runners, CrossFitters, Olympic Weightlifters, Military, those that love Peloton, etc. Choose between Strength Metcon, Cardio/Lift, or DB Cardio/Lift
DB Programs = workouts that require a minimum of 2-3 pairs of DBs.
These are great workouts to do from home, while traveling, and for those with access to less gym equipment. Choose between DB Physique, DB Cardio/Lift, and 30-Min DB Quickie.