Unless you have a love-affair with your gym, you may be looking for ways to improve your workout routine to make sure that you’re getting maximum benefit from each minute of the time you spend there. It’s entirely possible to reduce your gym time and increase the effectiveness of your workouts at the same time.
The following tips will help you get better results from your workout, whether you want to gain muscle, lose fat, run faster, lift heavier weights, etc. Will these tips make your workouts 263% better? This is entirely up to you.
1. Make a Workout Plan
No general will go into battle without a clear plan of action. Don’t you dare step into a gym without a battle plan of your own. You need to know exactly what you’re going to do, which exercises machines you need to use, what order you will perform the exercises in, and what weight you plan on lifting.
Having a workout plan is key to your success. You don’t want to be wandering aimlessly in the gym, trying to figure out what you need to do next. This makes your workouts longer and less effective.
Make sure to have your workout plan written down and carry it with you to be able to consult it throughout your workout.
2. Do More Unstable Lifting
One easy way to make exercises more effective and harder is to do them in a less stable position. Instead of lifting weights while sitting in a chair or a fitness machine, why not do the same exercise while standing up? This forces your core muscles to work in order to keep you steady.
So, do your lifting exercises while standing on the floor, on a buso ball, or while lying or sitting on a stability ball. Your entire workout will be much harder.
3. Do Your Workouts At The Best Time For You
I’m often asked about the best time in the day to exercise and I my reply is always the same: do your workouts when you feel the most energetic. While there are all sorts of research studies which looked at this issues, each person is different. Some feel energetic in the morning and others are most vibrant in the afternoon. Don’t worry too much about research. I want you to train when you most feel like it because this will help you stick to your workout plan and do harder sessions.
4. Have a Water Bottle With You
There’s no doubt that you need to keep hydrated during your workouts. If you’re performing intense exercises, you’re going to sweat a good deal and require water. The problem is that going to the water fountain every 5 minutes wastes a lot of time and breaks the tempo of your workout. I always have a bottle of water nearby when I train. You will be able to do much shorter workouts when you have one with you.
5. Focus On Your Workout
Your mind needs to be a part of the workout. What I mean by that is that you can’t start thinking about what you need to do at work or at home, whether you forgot to pay the electricity bill, or any other thing that comes to mind. You need to focus on your workout. Feel every lift, sense every motion, concentrate on your form, make sure to keep your exercises in the front of your mind. You will find that you’re lifting better, heavier, and correctly. This can lead to massive improvements in any exercise you do.
6. Time Your Rests
If you think that you can sense when you’ve rested enough between sets, you’re delusional. Most people I see take way to long between sets. Instead of one minute they rest for three.
You need to time your rests to make sure it doesn’t happen to you. Either use a stop watch or the clock that hangs on the wall at your gym. Your workout will be harder, you’ll stay warm, and you’ll be able to cut your total gym time by up to 25%. Try it for a few weeks and you’ll see what I mean.
7. Do More Circuits
Circuit training is one of the best ways to push yourself harder during your workouts. No wonder it’s the basis of truly intense workout plans like Xtreme Fat Loss Diet and 24/7 Fat Loss. Circuits are, in essence, a series of different exercises that you perform one after the other very quickly without resting in between sets. A circuit can be 3 exercises long and up.
When you perform non-competing workouts, you don’t do two exercises in a row if they target the same muscle group. For instance, you don’t do squats and then lunges. This allows each muscle group to rest until the next circuit, while another muscle group continues to work hard on its own exercise. Overall, your body burns more calories.
8. Do Your Cardio At The End
Recently I wrote an article about whether you should do cardio before or after weights and I talked about various studies done on this issue. You can read that post for the science debate. I’ll just give you my opinion here:
Do cardio after weight lifting! You want to be as energetic as possible when you lift weights in order to maintain proper form. Cardio is much easier to do in terms of technique, so it’s better to leave it to the end.
9. Diversify Your Workouts
For both physical and mental reasons, it’s important to diversify your workouts. Diversification can be done with different weights, lifting rhythm, the tools you use, selection of exercises, or the order in which you perform them.
10. Eliminate Distractions
Don’t waste your time at the gym on anything else other than your workout. So, stop watching the TVs hanging around, don’t chat idly with other people, and don’t use the gym as a dating ground. You’re there to train, nothing more.
11. Lift Heavy, Train Hard
This tip is very simple: want better results? You need to work harder.
No one lost body fat or built a muscular physique without putting in the work. You need to push yourself at the gym. Try to lift just a little more, do more intense circuits, and you will see results. Naturally, don’t go overboard. Increase intensity gradually and with caution. However, remember that you need to work hard to achieve results.
I hope these tips will help you improve your workout and transform your body. Just to show you I love you, here’s an extra tip for after the workout is done.
Extra tip: Prepare Your Post Workout Meal in Advance
When you finish your workout you will want to eat a good meal. However, you mustn’t fall into the trap of post workout overcompensation and eat too much. This is one of the easiest ways to sabotage your diet.
What I recommend doing is preparing your post workout meal in advance. You don’t want to start making food after you’ve trained when you’re hungry and tired. This is when you’re most likely to overeat. So, get the food ready beforehand and you will be able to feed your body without going overboard.