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Combatting the Wall

Posted Oct 20 2012 9:30am
The following is a guest post and does not necessarily reflect the views of exercisebasics. 

If you're into your first week of exercising regularly, you might have heard of the dreaded wall. Thankfully, for any keen runners, the wall isn't physical. It exists as a mental barrier which usually halts you in your tracks after 14-20 days of keeping fit. Tiredness and fatigue usually bring down the wall, but boredom and repetition will also prize you of crucial motivation. This is why you need to incorporate variety into your exercise plan to give yourself the best chance of success.

The problem is that people identify a form of exercise or sport they can use to keep fit and stick religiously to it. If you've found yourself in this situation, you'll notice that the hunger to compete or set new goals will start to wane within the first two weeks. The trick is to participate in two or three sports or exercises and change elements of your plan whenever you're getting bored of the same curls, lifts and cardio workouts.

As you linger on the edge of giving up altogether, here's how you pull yourself back from the brink…

Change the game-plan

Breaking out of your routine is key. If you're only lifting weights, you should look into using some of the other pieces of equipment at your gym. Exercise bikes and rowing machines are perfect alternatives as they test other areas of your body and allow you to build up your reserves. For example, rowing still requires you to continuously pull a weighted handle, but the movement also gives you an ab crunch at the same time.

It might also be that the setting is sapping precious ounces of drive out of your system. Should this be the case, work 20-30 minute jogs into your week to supplement the gym sessions, or sign up to a football team at the weekend. You'll then find yourself concentrating on new surroundings and using different muscles, which in turn is likely to give you more complete results when you look in the mirror.

Recover

The only cure for fatigue is rest, but a two to three day break is unlikely to revitalise you if you've been preparing incorrectly. After your workout, allocate 10 minutes to stretching and lightly walking off your exercise. Following this, you could perhaps take on bodybuilding supplements like protein shakes, which contain vital nutrients to aid muscle growth and repair.  

Change the tune

Most gym-goers use music to summon their inner-beast. An mp3 player could prove to be a useful tool for you over time, but it needs to be full to the brim with fresh sounds to maintain its worth. There's nothing worse than flicking through the first 10 tracks just to find something that takes your fancy. A selection should be found within the first few clicks if you've built up a strong library - allowing you to focus on your workout . Every week, pull up your list of tracks and decide which can stay and which can go.   

Of course, this is hard when you've got a player with over 2000 tracks loaded onto it. In this case, construct playlists featuring suitable gym music rather than hitting the shuffle function. You'll then always have something else to concentrate on while you push for the burn.  


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