Hi guys,  Kris from Custom Fitness here, your personal trainer in Amarillo.  Do you know when enough is enough?  Today I am digging into the question of “When do I stop?”  Obviously this can be applied to all sorts of events in your life, but I am going to be answering it as it relates to the fitness world. If you have questions about today’s blog or would like more information about finding your breaking point, give us a call: 806-322-3188.  

In exercise, we typically see people who like to push past the point of pain to fully embody the philosophy of “no pain, no gain”. There are some who work out so hard they are throwing up or passing out before their set is finished.  Some may only get light headed as a symptom, but it’s still a “symptom”.  These are all things you want to self-assess. Figure out how hard you are pushing and weigh it against the benefit you are receiving. You can still get great results without going to the extreme of getting symptoms. If you’ve been an athlete in the past or been an environment where a coach was guiding you to a better body, you have probably heard that if you are not passing out, vomiting, getting dizzy, [insert your favorite symptom here] from your workout then it wasn’t a good workout. Right?  Nope. Knowing when to stop before you become symptomatic can actually result in a better workout.

Pushing the body to exhaustion is positive, but going to the extreme is can put you at risk for a lot of issues. The exhaustion should appear throughout the muscles not the entire physiological structure. In illustration, if you’re lifting weights or doing repetitions of resistance training, then you would want to continue going until the muscle comes to failure – until so you can’t get a complete good quality rep. You do not want to go so hard that you are feeling queasy.  

Understanding when to stop and when to push are crucial for keeping your body healthy. You’ll find that knowledge when you take a minute and really  listen to your body. making sure that we’re paying attention to what about is telling us. Tuning into your body you will know if an exercise is too much, if it’s not too easy, if it hurts or feels funny and needs to be adjusted. Having a personal trainer comes in really handy for this as well. Personal trainers can keep a close eye on your form while you keep your head in the game of getting through. They also watch her body language. I have been a personal trainer in Amarillo for a while and I tell all my clients that when we work together I am not only listening to their words, but I’m listening to what their body is telling me.  If a person says “I’m doing great”, but their arms are struggling to pull that barbell up and I see their necks straining, I know it is time to step in and modify that exercise. I want to know how their body is handling the exercise even though their mind says everything is peachy. Mind being out of step with what the body feels is pretty common. It is tough to tune into our muscles, but to keep yourself safe, injury free, and on the road to your goal, you have to pay attention to what your body is saying.

When is enough, enough when it comes to nutrition? if you’re doing crazy liquid fasting, if you’re taking a ton of supplements and dropping weight, but you don’t know how to maintain that, there’s a problem. This question came up a couple times today, “what do I do whenever I go home from a long day of work and I can’t stop eating?” As you can see it is pretty late tonight and I am still working; I have no doubt when I get home I will have to resist the urge to inhale everything in my pantry. I have those days too. We all have moments of weakness where we arrive home hungry and there is food laying around so we absentmindedly start to dig in. Did you know that the sense of hunger you feel when you get home actually may not be hunger at all? If you’ve been dehydrated all day it could be thirst masked as hunger. It could also be fatigue.

Hunger and fatigue are linked. Many people don’t realize that. You work a full day at your job and when you get home your day is only half finished. Next up is taking care of the house, your spouse, winding the kids down, cooking dinner, getting ready for the next day and more. The to-do list never seems to end. There doesn’t seem like there is time to rest. Your body cries out for energy (aka food) to keep going in the form of food. Unfortunately, the body doesn’t usually scream “give me carrots” or “Man I could really go for a protein packed snack right now!”. You’ll usually crave things like chips, candy, greasy, easily accessible food. Sugar. Sugar. Sugar. Anything your body can take in that can be a fast source of energy. If you ate lunch early, you may be hungry in addition to tired.

To help this, you have to remember to eat snacks regularly. If you’re feeling hungry, or hangry as some like to call it, when you get home regularly, you need to have a snack ready to combat that between lunch and dinner. On the weekend I have a dedicated meal prep day. I encourage you to try it. Make a tray full of cut up and washed veggies. Some good ones are celery, carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, broccoli, etc. You can make hummus or avocado dip to go along with it, if that’s your thing. You just want to have a tray that is readily available to you when you get home. Something that you can just grab when your body starts screaming at you.

When we don’t want to waste time cooking and we resort to eating the sugar and carbs that are available, we only get a small burst of energy from it. It doesn’t really help the “starving” feeling. Often those carbs will lead to more cravings. Whereas if you were to eat protein, veggies, and a healthy fat, you’re more likely to feel satisfied until dinner. From there you can make a healthier choice rather than going bizerk seeking an energy bump.

Remember to listen to your body no matter if it is exercise, nutrition, or sleep. If you’re sleeping all night then wake up feeling unrested. That’s an issue you want to address sooner rather than later. If you are staying up all night, rather than sleep, you’ll be exhausted during the day. That fatigue will lead to overeating. Then you get your second wind and a cycle of fatigue and poor nutrition begins.  

If you’d like some help to keep an extra pair of eyes on your form, a coach to help you navigate the nutrition side, or someone to give ideas on how to best do a lifestyle modification, we would love to be those people. Feel free to get in touch with us at 806-322-3188 or info@customfitness.biz. We would be happy to set you up with a consultation for you to come in and see who we are and whether or not we are a right fit for each other. At Custom Fitness, we are YOUR personal trainer in Amarillo, Texas. We’ll talk soon. Have a great day.