If your mission is to get leaner, fitter, and stronger, you’ll be happy to learn that you don’t need to dedicate more hours to physical activity in order to reach your health and fitness goals. All it takes is a few intelligent tweaks and changes to your routine and lifestyle.
Read these 10 simple steps for maximising every workout.
#1 – Have a Clear Plan and a Backup
Instead of wandering around the gym floor aimlessly, establish a clear plan before you step out of your front door. This will improve your efficiency at the gym and ensure that you make the most out of your session.
To start, write down the exercises you want to do, any machines or equipment you need to perform them, and the best order to do them in. You also should consider a backup plan if a machine is taken so that a busy gym doesn’t affect your plans!
#2 – Stick to 30-40 Minutes of Exercise
It might surprise you to learn that there are limited benefits to working out longer than the 40 minute-mark. While you might be tempted to push through the fatigue, the lower intensity means you won’t be able to give your all, and this can mean some advantages are reduced. Instead, stick to doing higher-intensity workouts for shorter amounts of time if you want to make strength or cardio improvements.
#3 – Rebuild Your Muscles ASAP With Protein
While eating five portions of fruit and vegetables per day is essential for a healthy lifestyle, you shouldn’t ignore the importance of protein in conjunction with exercise. This macronutrient will help your muscles recover and repair after an intense session.
Consider consuming various protein foods, drinks, and snacks, such as whey protein and protein bars. Browse the best products from a reputable sports nutrition brand, such as Myprotein
#4 – Listen to Music During and After a Workout
Listening to your favourite music during exercise tends to help you push your body harder, which will allow you to make the most out of a workout. On the flip side, you might be surprised to learn that listening to slow music after exercise can support your recovery.
According to a study by Brunel University, listening to slow music following a workout can lead to changes in the body, which can you recover from intense physical activity at a faster rate. What’s more, it could help you to remember a workout positively, which might make you eager to repeat the experience again!
#5 – Drink Water Before Exercise
Did you know that it takes 75-120 minutes for the body to fully absorb water. It’s for this reason that it’s best you don’t drink water right before exercise, as you could struggle with low energy levels and fatigue. In order to maximise every session, drink a glass of water at least one to two hours before physical activity. If you don’t, you shouldn’t be surprised if you end up throwing in the gym towel.
#6 – Lift Weights Slowly
Many people make the mistake of slowly contracting their muscles and then releasing them quickly when tackling weights. However, the best way to maximise a set is by lifting slowly during both contraction and release. If you count to five in each direction to maximise every move you make you might soon notice a difference in your tone and muscle mass.
#7 – Shake Up Your Exercises
Performing the same workout each day could result in your body adjusting to that particular stress level. As a result, you could hit a plateau and get minimal results for all your hard work and effort. To circumvent this, shake up your exercise routine.
For example, if you want to hit cardio each week, create a mix of running, cycling, and boxing. If you’re strength training at home or in the gym, aim to target different muscle groups throughout the weeks by varying your exercises. And let’s face it. Mixing it up is likely to make your routine much more enjoyable, which will increase your passion for exercise.
#8 – Fuel Your Body With Carbs
No matter if you’re mentally prepared for a big workout, you must also ensure your body is physically ready for the challenge. To help ensure you’re bursting with energy once you’ve put on your workout gear, eat some carbs.
Carbohydrates will serve as fuel for your body and they will boost your output during strength training or cardio activity. This in turn could help you to burn more calories or increase your muscle growth at a faster rate. Grab a slice of toast, a bowl of rolled oats, or an oat-and-whey protein bar before a workout.
#9 – Work on Your Form
Most forms of exercise, for example boxing and swimming, need you to keep your form on point. Good form is also essential for strength training, to maintain effectiveness of a set and prevent injuries. If you find your form slipping when strength training, switch to lighter weights as this will let you bring your technique back up to where it should be.
#10 – Burn More Calories With High-Intensity Intervals
High-intensity intervals are a must for people who want to shed fat and improve their cardiovascular health. The low-intensity breaks will provide your body with a much-needed rest from extreme physical activity, which will get your heart pumping and temperature rising. It could burn many more calories than other types of exercise, which could help you to achieve your weight loss goals as soon as possible.
Focus on performing a 20-minute workout and perform as many reps as possible within 20 seconds, tackling the following exercises:
- Mountain climbers
To do this, rest your body for 10 seconds and then repeat an activity for a maximum of four minutes. After that, rest for one minute and then repeat an exercise for no more than four rounds.