Resistance training plays a huge role in getting people in shape. It is the stimulus for building muscle, losing body fat, increasing strength, and improving your body shape.
It is therefore essential that resistance training becomes your primary form of exercise during your fitness journey. While a sustainable form of cardio should be included in your routine, it must be used as a tool to increase your daily calorie output.
Many people are aware of the importance of starting a resistance training plan but are often apprehensive to do so due to certain fears and not knowing what to expect.
So, what can you expect? What are the realities of resistance training?
You Must Be Disciplined
One of the biggest challenges you will face is in fact more psychological than physical. There will be days when you are tired, not motivated, and even stressed. This is when many people skip training and start to lose momentum.
Training is also not always enjoyable, but you must be disciplined, keep showing up, and keep putting in the work, week in, week out. The hardest part is often putting your kit on and getting started, and it is vital that you make turning up to your training sessions a non-negotiable. This will build vital consistency.
Training Alone Will Not Get Results
When you start your journey, it can be very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the training alone will deliver results. This is far from reality. Whilst training is extremely important to your progress, it is only a part of the puzzle and is often the area that people have the fewest problems with.
You must combine consistent, progressive training with the right nutrition, adequate recovery, improved lifestyle habits, and better stress management. If you do not place these areas as a priority, the effect of training on your progress will be severely limited. So, see training as part of the solution, not the whole solution.
Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
Training should be uncomfortable. If it is not, then you are not pushing yourself enough. Of course, in the early days, it is important to know your limits and not push your body past what it is able to physically achieve, however you could be increasing the intensity and difficulty of your sessions in line with your progression.
The more challenging your sessions are, the more stress you will place on your muscles, which is vital for increased damage and therefore growth. Furthermore, your energy output will be higher due to the extra effort you are putting. This does not mean doing more reps, but instead lifting more weight, reducing rest times, and pushing through pain.
Patience and Consistency Are Key
Getting in shape takes time, and it will be a big test of your psychological strength as much as your physical strength. So, it is important to lower your expectations and understand that reaching your goal does not happen overnight. Furthermore, you will have setbacks, and you must learn how to put them behind you and keep moving forward.
Just like one good workout does not get you in shape, one bad day will not ruin your progress either. Instead, it is about consistently putting in the work and not letting challenges or obstacles overcome you. Those who get in shape and stay there are very consistent with their training, nutrition, recovery, and lifestyle. You must be too.
You Will Start To Feel Better
Believe it or not, it is okay to not enjoy resistance training. It is not for everyone, and you do not have to love the process, even though it makes things a lot easier. However, you will undoubtedly love how it makes your body and mind feel over time.
Not only will you feel in better shape, but you will also notice changes in your strength, flexibility, balance, confidence and energy, among others. Of course, this takes time to accumulate, but the effects of a simple plan executed consistently well are life-changing. You may not be in it for the process, but you will definitely be in it for the results.
So, if you are unsure about what to expect before you start resistance training, it is important to be aware of some realities that you will face. These include the importance of discipline, patience, and consistency, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, the fact that the training alone will not deliver results, and that you will love the way it makes you feel.
The best thing you can do is to be prepared for these realities and know that the result you want will come down to how hard you are willing to work and your level of consistency over a long period of time. If you find your way of doing this, you will be well on your way to achieving a body that you never thought was possible.
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