Thursday, 23 August 2012

Tips to Get the Most of Your Gym Workout

If you're going to spend your valuable time at the gym, don't you want to ensure that you're getting the most out of each workout? Your time is valuable and you deserve to get great value from your time investment. 
The following are a number of tips that ensure that you're not wasting precious time and effort, while getting the results you want.

1. Go in with a plan
Know what you're going to do the minute you step in the gym.  Having that focus and clarity will ensure that no time is wasted and that every second you spend will contribute to your plan.  Also, be sure to know what your fitness goals so you are working towards them, be it fat loss, muscle gain, etc.

2.  Keep a workout journal
Making sure you've got the right weight, knowing the reps you need to shoot for, reviewing how you've felt after previous workouts gives you a great baseline for each workout and something to strive to improve upon.

3. Wear an mp3 player
This does three things: it makes your workout more enjoyable, it prevents people from talking to you and interrupting your workout, and studies show that listening to music can actually improve your performance.

4. Drink lots of water
Keeping yourself hydrated is key to ensuring you have a great workout.  Take a water bottle with a goal to try and finish it at each session.

5. Warm up/Cool Down
Prevent injury and improve your performance by doing a light 5 minute warm up before your work out and a 5 minute cool down after your workout.

6.  Wear proper clothing
Sure we all want to look the part, but clothing that is functional should be first and foremost.

7. Use compound exercises
If you're lifting weights, make sure you have some compound or multi-joint exercises within your workout to hit multiple muscles at once.

8. Forget about reading anything
If you can read during your workout, you're not working hard enough.

9. Lift heavy or go to failure
If you're lifting weights and want to see results, be sure to lift heavy so you struggle to complete your last rep.  As a rule of thumb, avoid rep ranges above 15 reps.  If you're doing cardio, make sure you work hard to get that heart rate up while pushing yourself.  The more you put in, the more you'll get out of it.

10.  Change it up
You need to continue to challenge your body and shock it into seeing results.  This means changing up your workout on a regular basis, such as every 4-6 weeks.  If you feel physically comfortable with your workout, then it's time to get out of it.

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