This question might make you squirm, but let’s ask it anyway…
Are you getting the most out of your workout or wasting your time? It seems like a simple enough question, but let's take a step back and really take a look at your workouts and make sure you are getting the most out of each session.
Do you regularly push yourself to your limit? Do you have a specific intention with each exercise and each rep? Do you feel your muscles burn at some point during your exercise?
Or....does your workout more closely resemble a comfortable trot? Do you coast along, potentially breaking a sweat, while doing the same old thing?
Since you are spending a portion of your valuable time exercising, I assume that you have goals and aspirations for your body. And I also assume that if you had the option to achieve that leaner, more toned body you've set as your goal(s) even faster you’d jump at it!
The following tips are going to show you how to spend less time exercising, while still achieving the results you want. Sound good?
Be Focused. I realize this one sounds obvious, but this crucial requirement for an effective workout is often overlooked. Don’t be one of those people who goes through "exercise" movements without any specificity intent, or worse, exercise their jaw muscles (from chit chatting) more than any other muscles.
When you are working out, focus on that specific muscle group that each exercise requires. Think of actively flexing and squeezing the muscles required. Researchers have proven significant increase in muscle activity when people focused on what they were doing, compared to thinking about unrelated topics.
Be Confused. Err, more specifically your muscles should be confused. You can do this by changing up your routine often, as well as the types of activity. We often do the things we are most comfortable with in order to avoid discomfort. But when it comes to working out, being uncomfortable with new lifts, exercises, and activities is a great way to challenge different muscle groups, and your body. This helps to avoid plateaus and to continuously challenge your body. Which means more gains, and a more fit body!
Be Nourished and Hydrated. I know...broken record! But staying on top of your food and your hydration levels is crucial for recovering. If your body isn't properly hydrated or fueled, you are missing out on the recovery aspect of your workouts, which is essentially where all of your gains are made. The best results are achieved when you’re drinking enough water and fueling your muscles with real, wholesome foods.
Be Strategic. The time of day that you exercise makes a huge difference in your results. And no, I’m not going to say that there’s a universal ‘right time’ to workout. Your job is to figure out when your body is at its best and to make that the time that you consistently exercise. If you’re not a morning person, then don’t force yourself to wake up at 5am, try working out after work instead. However, if you know you are forced to stay late at work often (or can't say no to a happy hour invite) then perhaps the morning is your best option.
Be Watched. There’s a benefit to working out in a group setting, with a partner, or with a trainer. Researchers saw a significant increase in strength and endurance in the people who had an audience versus those training on their own.
Be Caffeinated. Caffeine has been shown to help burn fat and to increase endurance. If you don’t have any medical conditions that would otherwise make moderate caffeine intake unsafe, then drink a caffeinated beverage one hour prior to working out. That does not mean a sugary soda, or frappacino. Try a cup of black coffee, or tea.
Be Pumped Up. Check this out: researchers found that music motivated weightlifters to complete two more repetitions on average than those who were not listening to music. That’s a great reason to listen to upbeat music while you exercise.
If you don’t know where to start when it comes to exercise, I’m here to help. My goal is to do everything I can to help you reach your fitness goals! I'm only a call or email away!
Dedicated To Making Healthy Your Habit,
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