Getting regular exercise is the best way to stay in shape, relieve stress, and reduce the risk of conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. It’s also one of the best ways to stay looking great.
If going to the gym is your preferred way of exercising, there’s a good chance you have a routine you like to stick to. But how do you know you’re getting the most effective workout possible?
As you age, it may become harder to keep pounds off and build muscle the way you used to. If you’ve noticed that your workouts aren’t giving you the results you want, it may be time for an overhaul to your routine.
Let’s go over nine gym tips that will help take your workouts to the next level.
1. Variety is Key
A well-rounded workout is essential if you want to continue burning fat and toning muscle. Hitting the cardio machines may be your favorite exercise, but you still need to mix it strength training.
It’s also important to plan your routine so you don’t end up working on the same muscle groups on consecutive days. If you work on arms and chest one day, your next visit to the gym should be all about legs and back. This allows your muscles to fully recover before you condition them again.
Another important element that often gets forgotten is stretching exercises. Things like Pilates and Yoga help improve flexibility and loosen the muscles you’re trying to build. They also enhance your balance.
2. Don’t Work Out on an Empty Stomach
Your diet is an important factor when trying to achieve or maintain the body you want. You may be on a strict diet, but it’s important you always fuel up before hitting the gym.
Exercising vigorously on an empty stomach could be dangerous. You run the risk of dizziness, nausea, and even passing out.
Going to the gym while you’re hungry may also result in overeating once you’re done. You’ll trick yourself into thinking your body needs extra food to replace the calories you burned.
Make sure and have a healthy snack before you work out. You should also start taking advantage of supplements. Check out this website to learn more about fat burning supplements.
3. Track Your Progress
If you’re going to the gym on a regular basis but aren’t seeing the pounds come off, it’s time to start taking notes. This means tracking your caloric intake along with the amount you burn during each workout.
Doing this will allow you to gauge what changes you need to make to your diet and exercise routine. It may be time to start focusing more on cardio workouts.
Keeping track of your progress is also a great motivating factor. When you start seeing results, it’ll push you to work harder.
4. Limit Rest Between Exercises
When you’re transitioning between different exercises at the gym, it’s important not to rest for too long. The goal is to keep your heart rate up. Eventually, you’ll condition your body to exercise more effectively and withstand fatigue.
When weight training, shoot for resting just enough so that you can continue to push yourself throughout the entire session. However, you shouldn’t allow your muscles to enter the recovery stage.
Keeping a consistent heart rate will help you burn more calories and build your stamina so you can continue to reach milestones.
5. Compound Exercises
If you’re a longtime weightlifter but aren’t getting the same results anymore, try mixing in compound exercises. These work on a number of areas at the same time and also burn more calories.
Squats and pushups are two great examples of compound exercises. It may sound strange that something so simple can be so effective. Remember though, it’s all about variety.
6. Utilize Foam Rollers
Recovering from your workouts is critical, especially if you’re pushing yourself to the limit on a regular basis. If you don’t take care of tight muscles, you risk injuring yourself.
For most people, going to a massage therapist every week isn’t realistic. However, using a simple foam roller can help get rid of knots and ease the strain you’re putting on your muscles. Doing this will ensure your body is ready for the next session.
The great thing about foam rollers is they’re affordable, easy to use, and effective for your entire body. They’re also small and convenient so you can use them pretty much anywhere.
7. High-Intensity Interval Training
If you’re pressed for time and can’t fit in a full session at the gym, change to high-intensity interval training. This involves quick bursts of intense exercise followed by a short period of rest.
This is a great technique because it pushes you to keep your heart rate high for your entire workout. Not only does this help when you’re schedule is tight, but it also enhances your endurance.
You can do this type of training with cardio or weights. Just remember not to overdo it, as you could overexert yourself.
8. Always Stay Hydrated
Consuming water is obviously important during your workout. However, it’s also crucial to stay hydrated leading up to your visit to the gym.
Dehydration leads to a loss of energy, which will greatly impact your performance. If you know you’ll be hitting the gym after work, make sure and drink water throughout the day.
It’s also important to replenish your body after a workout. Consuming liquids that contain electrolytes is great for this.
9. Start with Your Least Favorite Exercise
There’s probably at least one type of exercise you hate doing but is necessary for achieving a well-rounded workout. A great way to keep your morale up is to start with your least favorite.
By getting through the grueling part of your workout first, you can cruise through the more enjoyable parts with a higher morale. Plus, you’re more likely to get in the zone and push yourself harder.
Use These Gym Tips and Start Seeing Results
Making simple changes to your exercise routine can have huge benefits. If you’re not getting the results you’re used to, try the gym tips above for a smarter workout.
Everyone is different, which means you’ll need to do a little experimenting to find what works best for you. However, you’ll quickly learn what your body needs to get back on track.
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