Setting realistic goals is essential to building progress in any fitness journey. Many see great results in the first few weeks and months of training. But as time goes on, they might find they’ve stopped making progress. Some might even experience burnout from over-exercising and injuries.
Cameron Fallon, a former S+C coach for major AFL and international soccer teams, Princess Diana’s former personal trainer and founder of fitness studio BFT, says several factors contribute to burnout and progress plateauing. Being attuned to the body’s changes and modifying our fitness regime to match is key. It’s also important to be thoughtful when setting goals to be mindful that burnouts can happen and factor that in as part of the process.
Though it’s possible to do it on your own, Fallon shares how having a personal trainer on board can help boost results and beat burnout.
What are some of the considerations that one should take into account when setting fitness goals? How can we determine if these goals are realistic for us?
Make them measurable – If you can track it, you’ll reach it. Evolt body scans are a great way to track body composition scans; we use them for our eight-week challenges to track progress.
Make the timeline sustainable – Quick fixes don’t work. If you want to keep the results long-term, you need to do it sustainably. If you are too restrictive, you run the risk of having a big blowout and never returning to your training again as you were too tough on yourself the first time.
Speak to a professional – Whether it’s to lift more weight, gain muscle or lose fat, speak to an industry professional who can guide you on achievable goals for your body.
What are some most common mistakes that hinder long-term growth?
Picking up the same weights or working at the same intensity and not progressing your workouts.
Your body needs a new stimulus to keep pushing it in order to grow, adapt or change. Changing up your exercises and movement patterns, changing up your reps and adding more weight to keep your body guessing is how you can avoid a plateau!
Because of that, we structure our workouts at BFT into eight-week progressive blocks. Programs are never the same, and each of our 13 programs will progress over the eight weeks – whether through reps, time under tension, working time etc.
What are some of the main contributing factors to burnout, and what tips do you have to prevent this?
Overtraining– Doing two HIIT sessions a day for a long period of time is likely going to lead to burnout or an injury. Lots of people fall into this trap when they are trying to get results fast.
Not taking into account other lifestyle factors– If you are highly stressed or not sleeping enough, it may be best not to go as hard in some of your workouts until you are feeling better.
Not eating correctly– Diet is so important. Even if you are not as active, eating a diet rich in protein, veggies, and whole foods is important for fuelling your body correctly.
Not sleeping enough– You need eight to nine hours; aim to get it as it is important for the recovery of your body and your mind.
Not recovering– constantly stressing your body and not letting it recover is likely to lead to burnout or injury. Warm up and warm down when you workout, stretch, get a massage, eat well, drink lots of water and get enough sleep
How can coaches help with this?
At BFT, we have a one coach to 12-people ratio, so every member can get the help and attention they need during a session.
A coach can help push people outside their comfort zone or regress workouts to suit their abilities. This means members are getting a more personalised workout suited to them.
And also to help members move with good technique and prevent injury.