4 Easy Ways To Upgrade Your Workout Experience
Workout sessions are fun, exciting, hard, scary and gosh… so empowering! This post is for you if you (like so many women do) find it challenging to carve out time for the gym on a consistent basis. After all, consistency is the golden word! It’s better to do a little bit often, then a lot sometimes! Be the turtle….
1 – Do Less, More Often
While many people start an exercise program with full enthusiasm, it’s harder to finish with the same enthusiasm. The drop-out rate of gym attendance and fitness classes after a few weeks is HUGE. If you want to be successful with your workouts in the big picture, set yourself up for success right from the get go. Look at your schedule carefully and critically. If 10 minutes walking every day is all that you can do, then do that! It’s better than one hour, once a week. Talking to ABC, sports scientist Tony Boutagy explains that your workout has only a life of 48 hours. After that, effects start reversing.
You’re only as good as your last training session. In other words, you only get health benefits from a session for up to about 48 hours afterwards.
Being able to better manage your time in the gym will get you one step closer to your goals and get fitter faster while burning optimal calories every time and without extra workouts!
2 – Reduce Chat
Unplanned socializing can be the biggest distraction from keeping your heart rate in the fat-burning zone. Get fitter faster by ditching excessive chat. Saying hello is nice, but the stop-start pattern of bumping into people at the gym that you need to small talk with can drag out your workout time. Try listening to your favorite music; not only will it pump you up, it will also send the impression that you do not want to be disturbed. Not sure on what genre of music to listen to while exercising? According to Web MD, the faster, the better.
3 – Shorter Warm-Ups
There’s a powerful place for warmups in the fitness scene – we all know how important it is to stretch and warm up the muscles to perform exercises better. What’s great is learning to be smarter with how you manage these warm-up routines. Results focused warm-ups are the most productive – using a combination of dynamic and static stretching, as well as warming up slower on the cardio machines before heading into your higher intensity workouts.
“A lot of people don’t understand that stretching has to happen on a regular basis. It should be daily.” – David Nolan, Massachusetts General Hospital
If you’re pressed on time, there are several ways to get warm-ups out of the way before you even hit the gym. If it’s near your place, ride your bike or walk instead of spending the time on finding a good parking spot. This will be an invigorating start and you can spice it up by timing yourself, using a step counter, recording your distance or heart rate, and coordinating with a friend. You could also use your smartphone or smartwatch to track your progress.
4 – Less Rest
A super-set is a combination of two or more exercises alternating – with no rest. It is simply the most effective and time efficient method of maximizing a training session!
Alternating between sets will cause the onset of fatigue sooner and allow you to hit greater intensity in a lesser amount of time. Switch up your machine exercises with free weights or target other muscle groups. Do some side steps to keep your heart rate from going to the normal state. Not only is this ‘no rest’ system fast-paced, but it also allows other gym goers to work in with your sets on the machines.
“True super-sets pair two exercises that work opposing muscle groups and are ideal for building strength. For example, you could do a chest press followed by a back row. As your chest muscles are contracting during the chest press, your back muscles are lengthening to allow the contractions to occur. Then the back is warmed up and can work harder, and while you’re using the back during a back row, the chest muscles are resting and renewing their energy.” – Pete McCall, M.S., C.S.C.S.
Other benefits of super-setting include increased overall foundational strength and better range of movement. As free weights usually require a different technique, the movement is not limited and you can pump out a few more valuable reps. Be mindful, however, of overtraining as your body does need to have scheduled recovery days. Read this article on signs and symptoms of overtraining syndrome in athletes.