Do your workout sessions at the gym no longer give you measurable results? We can help.
Perhaps you’ve just got stuck in a rut, and need to try something new. Or maybe you need some more motivation or extra nutrition to work out even harder. Whatever the case, you need our top 5 tips to make your workouts more effective.
Take a Pre-Workout Supplement
Pre-workout supplements give you the energy and endurance that you need ahead of high-intensity exercise. And their benefits extend past the workout stage. The best supplements also help with post-workout recovery.
Anecdotal evidence supports this, and many gym enthusiasts swear by their protein shakes, energy drinks, and supplementation routines. However, all supplements are not created equal, and you must know exactly what you are putting into your body.
So be sure to opt for a natural pre-workout supplement that is tested and certified safe for use. It should be free of banned substances, and artificial ingredients and preferably free of GMOs, too.
‘Warm Up’ Before a Workout
If you’ve always ignored the advice to ‘warm up’ before a workout, you may want to reconsider. A warm-up session will not only reduce your risk of injury but also boost your workout performance. So always warm up before high-intensity exercise or even strength training.
It gradually increases your heart rate and gets the blood circulation flowing nicely. It also helps to keep your joints flexible. This gently prepares your body for the demands of your workout. Light jogging on the spot or a few minutes at a lower intensity on the treadmill, qualifies as warming up. As do stretches.
If you’ve never tried warming up before, give this a try. Roll your shoulders up, back, and then back again. Roll your head in a slow circle clockwise, then anti-clockwise. The important thing to remember is to do these warming-up exercises slowly and gently, with no jarring movements.
Plan Ahead to Save Time
You plan ahead for most things in your life — your work schedule, family outings, shopping trips. Your workouts should be no different. There are several reasons why this is a good idea.
First, you may arrive at the gym and find that your favorite starter piece of equipment is unavailable. If you have a basic plan for your workout, you simply move on to the next stage and work your way back to that one when it is free.
Secondly, it helps you feel more confident and in control. When you have a plan, you’ll feel more enthusiastic about your workout and will be more likely to enjoy it.
Last, but not least, you’ll be more motivated. It’s not always easy to summon the will, the courage, and the energy to don your gym clothes and go work out. But when you have a basic plan of action, you’re more likely to follow through with it.
Mix Things Up a Bit
Try rearranging your usual gym routine now and then. Do your usual exercises in a different order, or introduce a new one. So if you no longer feel pumped about pumping iron, switch to cardio. If low-intensity exercise just isn’t delivering the results you want, try some high-intensity resistance training.
If you want to combat workout boredom, stay motivated, and get the best results, you need to mix things up a bit. It’s easy to stick to the same tried-and-tested routine day after day, but this gets boring, fast. And you’ll be less likely to stick to your workout goals.
This strategy prevents workout boredom but it also prevents a common problem amongst fitness enthusiasts. Your body will become accustomed to your exercise routine. In time, you won’t see such dramatic results anymore. Worse still, you might not be working on all your muscle groups, evenly.
Changing up your routine resets things so your body has to adapt to the new routine. And adding variety to your workout plan also ensures that you exercise all of your major muscle groups, for a total body workout.
Groove While You Move
So you’ve taken a supplement, planned your workout, warmed up first, and even added a new exercise but still feel something is missing? Don’t worry, we know what it is — music. Yes, grooving to music while you move is the secret ingredient to workout excellence.
Studies suggest that upbeat music raises motivation during high-intensity workouts, and increases enjoyment levels that last post-workout. If you’re more of a podcast fan, that works too. The key is to listen to what you enjoy, and you’ll find working out more enjoyable too.
Listening to music not only energizes and motivates you, it often relieves stress and anxiety, too. Best of all, it can fit into your daily activities with ease, for example at the gym.
However, things can get sweaty during a workout. So choose earphones that are wireless and can withstand the conditions during a workout. Choose comfortable yet durable and sweat-resistant headphones that won’t continuously fall off your head or get in your way.