Going to the gym on a regular basis is an achievement in itself. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to go week-in-week-out without throwing in the towel for yet another Netflix binge.
With that said, you'll often see gym-goers doing next to nothing. It's a free country, after all, but if you want to see results, then you have to work your heart out.
Here are 10 easy ways to get the most out of your workout.
1. Leave your phone in the locker
How many hours do you think you've wasted scrolling through your Instagram feed or messaging that hottie you matched with on Tinder? Said things are designed to keep us hooked- hence why they're so popular.
Without a phone, however, you'll be able to give more to that hour, without subconsciously digging into your pockets. Of course, music is a big factor in many people's workout, so if that's the case, use an iPod instead.
2. Don't be afraid to ask for help
Most of us- especially men- fall privy to not asking the professionals at hand for help. And whether that's out of embarrassment or pride, many forgo crucial tips and advice.
But if you want to maximize each session, make it your job to be informed. Even arranging a personal training session can do wonders for your workouts. In fact, a study even proved that the motivation and assistance provided by a PT can drastically increase one's performance.
3. Warm up
Every serious gym-goer has a warm-up routine. And no, it isn't wise to carry out the stretches your P.E. teacher taught you in the 4th grade.
4. Mix it up
While sticking to a plan that works is all well and good, it can get a bit monotonous and can lead to an increased likelihood of trying less.
So why not mix things up and attend a class? Or search for new exercises online?
5. Eat before
Your body is an engine, and if it's half full, it's not going to be running to its full capacity. It's a simple analogy, but one which is true when it comes to working out on an empty stomach.
You don't want to gorge yourself on high-carb foods, but by consuming a simple snack- preferably mixed with carbs and protein- you'll feel energized without being bloated.
6. Limit the chat
If you've made the effort to go to the gym, your body is going to want to produce some good old sweat.
So if you're prone to a good old gossip, then we advise you keep your socials away from the gym- if you have any desire to see any physical improvements, that is.
7. Don't take too long between sets
While working to failure isn't always advised, taking too long between sets is all too common. It leaves room for daydreaming and can leave you taking up to 15 minutes to complete three simple sets.
Instead, take the momentum with you as opposed to letting it slip away and get the job done as quickly as you can (providing the correct form is adhered to).
8. Don't waste time in the changing room
When you're coming home from work, it's best to be in your gym attire.
If not, you can risk spending up to 20 minutes resting on the benches or catching up with familiar faces before you've even changed.
9. Do cardio last- not first
Japanese research discovered subjects who did cardio before weights experienced a 1,100% decrease in their growth hormone response compared to when they lifted first and finished with some form of cardiovascular activity.
Of course, giving your all on a treadmill after lifting heavy can be a task in itself, so it's better to focus on repetition rather than aggravating your body heavier weights.
10. Invest in good attire
Most of us like to look good on smart and social occasions, and the gym should be no different. It may not be smart, or even social, but you should still take pride in your appearance.
Look good feel good, right? And if you look lovely and see yourself in a fresh pair of shorts or a cute new top, chances are you'll be more inclined to keep coming back.