Monday, 9 June 2014

Getting the most out of every workout

From Google Images
A couple of months ago, I made a post about how to NOT miss a workout, and today I want to give you a few tips, on how to get the most out of every workout you do.

Have a plan of attack:
When going to the gym, you should already have a plan in your head, on paper or on your phone (I use Fitocracy for iPhone). Is it cardio, endurance, or resistance you'll be focusing on today?
That way, you know what equipment and/or exercises you will go through during your workout.

Don't talk - get in, work out, get out:
It is way faster to finish your workout, if you don't socialise with friends or just other people training. Of course, it is fine to ask a mate to help spot you in an exercise, if you need it, but don't spend hours chatting with friends. You can do that afterwards!

Track progress:
One of the most important things, when working out, is tracking your progress. Spending workout after workouts squatting or benching the same weight will most likely lead to a training plateau, which won't help you progress with your training.
Personally I use the Fitocracy app for iPhone I mentioned earlier. It is simply the best tool, in my opinion.

Warm up:
Warming up provides your body with warmth and slowly getting the muscles ready for the heavier weights or faster running. There is nothing worse, than going for a PR-run without warming up and then end up with a pulled hamstring muscle...

Concentrate on form:
Form will help you progress faster, than bad technique, which is what we want, right ?

Compound moves:
Why do tricep extension and dumbbell flys, when you can combine the muscles used into a single exercise; the bench press. The same goes for the Squat - instead of doing knee extension and an isolation glute exercise, combine it into the squat. It is much more sufficient, both time and progress-wise.

Don't use your phone! (text, calls, email, facebook etc):
If you look around at your gym, I bet you will see a lot of people on their phones - texting, emailing, Facebook, Snapchatting etc. I know, I am contradicting myself a bit, since I use my phone pretty much every workout I do. I use Fitocracy and listen to music, nothing else. I do not, however, send texts etc.
The gym is not the time for that!

This is related to having a plan of attack. Set the goal for number of sets and reps you'll complete. That way, when you are thinking about stopping after the 3rd set, you know you won't, because you still have those 2 more sets to complete - if your goal was 5 sets of course.

Superset your exercises. Instead of resting 90 seconds between each set of bench press, add a back exercise instead (bent over row for example). That way, when your chest, front part of the shoulders, and triceps are resting, you will do work the biceps, back part of the shoulders, and rhomboideii.
This can of course be done with any two opposite-directional exercises.

Most people have smartphones nowadays, so make a playlist with some upbeat music that really motivates you, instead of listening to the music the gym plays. That way, when you wear earphones, people will also see, that you are not interested in socialising - win-win!