10 commandments 300x230 10 Commandments to Training Effectively

10 Commandments to Training Effectively

By Golda Smith


If we’re connected on any of my social media channels, it’s no surprise to you that fitness is a big part of my life. I mean I REALLY love it and don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t taken it seriously. I can honestly say that it saved my life and NO, I’m not being overly dramatic.

I’ve written about my bouts with depression and I can honestly say that getting active and doing so consistently has been a major part of helping me heal from that very painful part of my life. It’s been a little over a year since I joined my gym and the transformation, physical and emotional, has been amazing!

While I’d love to talk about the emotional changes, we’ll do that another time. Today I want to focus on the physical because…well, it’s Labor Day; at least it is in North America. That’s not the only reason, lol. Actually I want to discuss the physical because in the year that I’ve been consistently training with some of the same people, I’ve seen incredible changes in a hand few, myself included. Yet for most of them, they look the same. Then they question me as if I have all the answers. I don’t but I do have a few theories which I’ll share now.

These are my 10 commandments to training effectively and they are in no particular order.

Warm up and stretch- Before you begin ANY type of exercise you really must warm your body up. The purpose of the warm-up is to get your body ready to do work yet I see too many people walk on the gym floor and start lifting weights or jump straight into their cardio and that just sends your body into shock. I like to compare it to being roused from a deep sleep with a very loud alarm clock…yeah, I don’t like waking up like that either. FYI, a good warm-up and stretch should last at least 5 to 10 minutes. Light jogging, jumping jacks, jumping rope are all great ways to get your initial sweat going.

Journal- Write down everything! How many hours of sleep you had the night before, every meal you ate, how much water you drank and your exercise for that day. Journaling is a great way to keep track of exactly what you’re doing so that you can easily see what’s working and what you may need to tweak. This is a lifestyle not a quick fix and seeing everything in black and white is the reality check most of us need.

Shoes- Would you believe me if I told you that there is a guy that works out in socks and flip flops? I kid you not yes he does! I don’t recommend you do this. You don’t have to wear $200 sneakers but wear the training shoes that best match your activity. If you’re a runner then get the best running shoes. Doing a lot of jumping then you better have some good cushion to absorb the shock. Get my point? Good.

Hydrate- I cannot stress enough how important it is to properly hydrate before, during and after your workout. 20 oz. of lemon water is how I start my day. I keep the bottle by my bedside BEFORE I go to bed and drink it first thing in the morning. Ideally, men and women should drink 3.0 liters and 2.2 liters per day respectively. Depending on how active you are that could be more. So stop with the little plastic bottles of water that you occasionally sip from during your gym session!

Say cheese- So we live in a #Selfie nation, and you may not like it. I get it; however, photos are a great way to track your progress. No need to feel embarrassed or self-conscious, just say cheese and store it in a folder where only you have access, if that makes you feel better, and take another photo every month and celebrate your progress. Photos don’t lie.

Get social- You may exercise at the crack of dawn while your babies are sleeping but you don’t have to go through this journey by yourself. Go to any social media platform and you can connect with someone who inspires you, share a similar journey or both. My favorite is Instagram and I share a lot of my fitness journey there. Come by and say “hi”.

No coveting- Grown women, little girls, even boys and men, aren’t immune to the airbrushed images we’re bombarded with in the media. Let’s get real shall we? Just because you are thin doesn’t mean you are healthy. Remember that the next time you find yourself feeling bad because you can’t see you abs or you’re not releasing weight as fast as the next person. Compassion NOT comparison.

Rest- Most people would love to add more hours in their day. Sadly, it can’t be done, 24 hours is all we’ve got and somewhere in there we must rest. That means shut everything down, lie down, close your eyes and go to sleep. Our bodies must have proper rest to build and repair itself. Lack of sleep will cause you to be fatigued and lead to poor decision making.

Eat well- Dah! That should be a given right? Then how come I see some people come in eating fast food or take about how they haven’t eaten carbs in 2 weeks? That is just crazy! I don’t believe in depriving the body of what it needs to properly function and I always suggest eating balanced whole foods tailored to your training goals. Basically, if it grew from the ground, eat it. If it comes in a box leave it alone. Meal planning and prepping will help you stay on track with eating well. Here’s my simple template I use every week to plan my shopping trips and meals, feel free to use it.

Cool down- You’re almost done! You’ve worked those muscles now what? Cool down. It’s just as important as your warm-up, stretching and training. When you suddenly end a work out without cooling your body down, your heart rate abruptly slows down and that blood can begin to gather in your lower body which could leave you feeling dizzy. After today promise yourself that you will make it a habit and just do it.

Your turn, which one of these if any resonated with you the most? Do share in the comments below.







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