8 tips to maximise your time and effort at the gym
Make every gym session count with these effective workout tips, from the power of music to smart stretching.
Juggling your gym time with your relationships, career, hobbies, chores and moments of self-care is no small task. But while it’s not possible to increase the amount of hours in the day, it is possible to use the time you have to exercise more efficiently. Here’s how.
1. Make your stretches more effective
For a more effective workout, science suggests that you choose dynamic moves that reflect what you’re about to do. For example, in one study, people who were about to squat prepared by doing some light squats and leg extensions beforehand. They were able to squat with 8.36% more weight than if they had done more generic, less-targeted stretches.
2. Put on a playlist of your favourite tunes
We all love listening to music - but did you know that it can actually improve the quality of your workout? Studies show that music enhances your performance during exercise (particularly with repetitive activities such as running), and can moreover reduce your perception of how hard you’re working, making it easier to up your effort levels.
3. Relax in-between sessions
Your workouts will show much larger results if your body’s in peak shape - which means you must give yourself ample time to relax in-between gym sessions. Why? Every time you push yourself, your muscles break down and accumulate microscopic tears, which need to be rebuilt with sleep and rest. To perform at 100%, then, you must take care of yourself.
4. Get a friend to help you
It’s been shown that couples have a big influence on each other’s healthy behaviours - including getting fitter. Involving a friend or partner in your workouts will increase your accountability, sharpen your focus and make your time at the gym all the more worthwhile.
5. Bring HIIT workouts into the mix
Try high intensity interval training - otherwise known as HIIT - once a week. These are fierce sessions in which you exercise for extreme, short bursts, separated by small recovery periods. These take much less time than your regular workouts as they involve so much effort (you’ll be exhausted after 10 minutes!), but you’ll burn more calories and strengthen your target muscles at an astounding rate.
6. Mix up your routine
Make sure you’re constantly nearing your goals by mixing up your workout on a regular basis. This’ll keep both your mind engaged and body working at its hardest. Conversely, if you’re always doing the same exercises, your body can ‘adapt’, putting in less effort as you exercise and therefore halting your progress.
7. Eat before you exercise
Working out on an empty stomach is never a pretty picture. You run the risk of feeling fatigued, dizzy or nauseated - and are more likely to injure yourself, too. To make sure you keep your energy levels high and body fighting fit, enjoy something quick and carb-y before you head to the gym, like a granola bar or some oatmeal.
8. Use a personal trainer
Our Holmes Place personal trainers make every second count. They can help you plan an achievable workout routine that’ll push you towards your goals, give you advice on how to live a healthy lifestyle based on your individual requirements and provide support around the clock. Find out more here.
Curious about your local Holmes Place? Find your closest club here.