AC What should a typical training day consist of

JH: I believe success in training stems from the fundamentals. Coming from a sporting background I can't tell you how many amazing athletes I've come in contact with that never made it because they lacked the ability to perform the fundamentals at a high level. People often hear the word fundamentals and confuse the term with easy, which is far from the truth. It is only by mastering the fundamentals that a person can progress.

Let's start with sleeping habits. I know you said training day, but I believe it starts even before that. If you have inconsistent sleeping patterns you will find yourself unable to recover from your training, and your progress will be severely hampered. Try to go to bed at the same time every night and get between 6-8 hours of sleep, I prefer eight, but I am a realist. Turn the television off, and begin winding down your day about an hour before you need to be asleep.

Next, focus on proper meal planning. It is not realistic to expect success without planning ahead. Just as any business needs a plan, so do our personal lives! Know when you should be having your meals, have an idea about what you are going to have, and recognize any obstacles you may encounter. Let me touch briefly on the last two points.

I encourage clients to prepare their own food whenever possible. The more you eat out, the less likely you are to lose weight or make progress in training. Even if you eat "healthy" in a restaurant you are still subjected to their style of cooking. With many of my clients, I witness bloated stomachs, feelings of sluggishness, and weight gain after they have eaten out. Cooking oils, seasonings, preparation methods, etc. often affect how you feel and what happens to your body. It doesn't take much to throw your system for a loop.

Being a realist, I recognize that people have meetings, dinners, luncheons, etc. If you know you are going to be in a meeting(s) for hours and hours, bring some food that will help you last through the meeting without falling prey to the invariable doughnuts, muffins, and bagels often offered at business events. If you are going to be running around dropping-off and picking-up your kids, have something healthy easily available so that you don't end up at the drive-thru window. You will be doing you and your children a big favor!

After getting your sleeping and eating habits under control, I recommend scheduling training sessions into your day. Even if you don't work with a trainer or go to a class, make an appointment with yourself and try your best (yes, life does happen) not to reschedule that appointment. Consider this appointment time to focus on yourself, and enjoy time away from the everyday rush of your busy life.

Alright, you know when you are going to train, but you should also know what is going to be involved in your training session. You can save valuable time and improve your results by having a plan before you ever enter the gym. While you don't have to be a slave to numbers and percentages, you should always have a good idea of the goal of the training session and what will be involved.

After training, partake in some post-workout nutrition, whatever is appropriate for your goals, and go about your day. If you train at the end of your day, make sure to make time to relax before heading off to bed. You need time to enjoy life and reap its benefits, training is about improving your life not consuming it.

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