The idea for writing this article came to me when I was having a conversation with my girlfriend at our kitchen table.
We were talking about losing body fat and she said the big killer for her and the ladies she knows who are on diets, is the weekends.
For some unknown reason, weekends seems to throw everybody off track when it comes to their weight training workouts and eating habits.
Let's face it, the weeks are tough. You go to school or work each and every day, you come home and spend time with your family and than you hit the weights for a couple of hours, by the time you go to bed, your physically and emotionally exhausted.
You repeat this same pattern from Monday to Friday. By the time the weekend comes, you sleep in until 9:00 PM, you have a cup of coffee and lounge around for a bit, you miss your early morning meal, and when you finally decide to eat it's more of a brunch than a breakfast.
However, with no meals planned, your more likely to eat whatever is at hand. You might be lucky to eat 3 meals on each day of the weekend and let's face it, those meals aren't going to be healthy.
I know, the weekends present different circumstances than the week days do.
You may have social engagements to attend, you may have barbecues to go to, you may have a concert to go to, you may have birthdays to attend, and everything else that happens during this time.
All that matters is that your normal pattern is broken during the weekend.
We've all been there. I know I have, and it's taken me a little while to discover that you need to be prepared for the weekends, just like you have to be prepared for the weekdays. I mean, when I was younger, the weekends meant barbecues and parties. The way I looked at it, was that I worked hard all week long and I deserved a break on the weekends to relax and to have a good time. Whew! I did more harm than good.
Really, we sabotage ourselves on the weekends. We train hard all week and watch our diets to a tee but on the weekends, we let everything go and by the time Monday comes around, we find ourselves starting all back over. We can sometimes even find ourselves in worse positions than the previous week. I mean we could be heavier (or skinnier), weaker and more out of breath than the previous week - Depending on what you did that weekend.
Let me be very clear about this.
Yep, its the weekends that separates those of use who succeed with our training and diet, than those of us who dont. I realized this the hard way and only when I made the change to really watch my diet and training on the weekends did my strength, and muscle gains sky rocketed. I vividly remember, forcing myself to stay in on the weekends and concentrate on my diet and training, back in university that I noticed what affect this had on my body (and mind).
I also noticed what happened when I let everything go and partied it up all weekend. My body felt horrible the following week, and I was actually in a worse position than the previous week. My body was dehydrated, my nutrient levels were way down, and my body was weaker. When I did finally get my body back on track, it would be mid week and really, I missed out on 5 days of progress.
Let me say that its the weekends that you rack up the progress points in your weight training, fat loss, and/or fitness routines.
I hear it all the time;
More often than not, Im going to guess that a lot of these problems have to do with a persons weekends. Unchecked Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays can kill your gains faster than a torn pec muscle (or can lead to a torn pec!). Its what you do on the weekend that can make the biggest difference to your weight training or fitness program. Do the right thing, and youll make the biggest gains. Do the wrong thing and youll lose most of your hard earned gains.
Heres what I suggest:
- Get organized. I used to have a weekend plan in place and I would force myself to stick to it. I would have my diet and menu in place and the foods I needed to for that weekend. I would also have a food cooler in hand at all times. If I knew that my girlfriend and I were going to take a little trip, Id fill the cooler up with healthy foods and snacks. This way, I knew that Id stay away from fast food joints.
- Be consistent in your diet like you would be on week days. Do you ever notice that you eat at different hours on the weekend than you do on the week days? Try and keep to your regular hours because your body likes it that way.
- Dont stray too far from your regular schedule. Try and keep to your regular schedule on the weekends because this will force you to eat at regular intervals and help you keep on track with your diet.
- You simply cant make any gains by partying it up until 4 in the morning on Fridays and Saturdays, get up at noon and eat hang over food (junk food) all day. Try and keep your self in check and cut down on these kinds of weekends. I enjoy a beer every once in a while but I wont drink 15 beers at the bar. If I do go out, I keep myself in check and try and get back home at a decent hour. I know my workouts will suffer if I stay out all night.
- Plan for social gatherings. That can be weddings, birthdays, barbecues, parties, and any other gathering where youll know therell be all kinds of fatty foods. Ill usually have a healthy meal before I attend such events because that way, I dont eat everything in sight when Im at the buffet table. However, sometimes we cant help it and we do indulge in a big fat pork chop, or a 14 ounce t-bone. Chalk it up to a well deserved cheat meal but dont do it all weekend.
- If you find it difficult to work out on the weekends, try working out as soon as you get up. This way, I get my workout in for the weekend and I have the rest of the day to enjoy. You may want to think about working out strictly on the week days in order to have the weekend to spend with your family and friends or whatever else that you do.
- Did I mention to invest in a cooler? Yeah, a cooler is very important. If you know your going to be out all day Saturday, you can have all your protein drinks, sandwiches, vegetables, and fruit kept cool and fresh all day long. People used to think I was nuts carrying a cooler around with me all day, but you want to know something, I was huge and they werent so that was that.
- Above all, try and keep to a regular schedule on the weekends and dont stray too far from it. We all have things to do on the weekends like spend time with our families, go out with friends or whatever else you enjoy doing, but if you can manage to plan around these activities and keep on a regular schedule, youll be ok. Remember, plan for the weekend.
- Try using the weekends to experiment. For example, try using drop sets or giant sets to really mix things up. This will allow the body to adapt to something totally new which means more muscle growth.
Remember, if you can keep on progressing on the weekends with your weight training program, you will reach your goals in half the time.
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All the best,
As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.
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