Slow and steady wins the gains.
Everyone knows that to get fitter you have to do more work — lift heavier weights, do more squats, run farther distances. Duh.
But making consistent progress is really a matter of balancing that work with recovery and figuring out just how hard to go in a given workout.
While you do have to gradually put your body under incrementally more stress (like lifting more weight or running faster or farther, etc.), you also need to properly recover to give your body time to adapt to that stress, personal trainer Idalis Velazquez, founder of IV Fitness, tells BuzzFeed Health.
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Exercise is stress on the body — albeit a good one — and if your body is stressed all the time and never gets a chance to recover, it won’t get stronger. It’ll break down.
That's why “More is not always better,” personal trainer Albert Matheny of Soho Strength Lab tells BuzzFeed Health.
And it's also why getting fitter isn't necessarily a matter of going way harder or doing a lot more in a workout. “It’s not how much you do; it’s about how smart your training is,” says Velazquez.
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Your workout shouldn’t get in the way of future workouts.
Your priority should be training in a way that allows you to continue working out, says Velazquez. Reconsider any workouts that are so intense that you’re sore for days and need extended rest or cause you to go into your next workout feeling totally depleted.
If you’re working too damn hard, you increase your risk of injury or overtraining, both of which lead to missed workouts, which compromises your ability to keep doing more over over time. And if you can’t do that, you probably won't see the results you're looking for.
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