You have been coming to the gym for a while and are finally feeling comfortable with all the movements you encounter in group classes. You are consistant with your workouts. You are feeling the benefits of having a fitness routine. You are starting to see some changes in your body. However, are you maximizing your workout?
Here are some key factors I consider to make sure I get the most out of my workout:
1. Pre/Post Meals
I'm not going to dive too deep into nutrition here, but what you eat before your workout and after have a big effect on how you perform during your workout and how our body benefits from your workout. Before your workout you will want to consume some carbohydrates. A mixture of simple and complex carbohydrates before your workout will give you the energy to start your workout and energy to power through the entire workout. After the workout you will want to take in a good source of protein to help your muscles recover.
2. Focus on Muscles not Movements
This may sound simple but it is often overlooked. When doing an exercise try to focus on the muscle you are working and not just how the movement of the exercise is supposed to look. For example, when doing a chest press, try to focus on letting the chest muscles fully lengthen and then when extending the arms, squeeze the chest together. Another example would be pressing the hips forward, squeezing the glutes at the top of a deadlift. Also, keep in mind that the negative, or eccentric, phase of a movement is just as important as the contraction, or concentric, phase of a movement. Stay in control of the weight you are lifting. These tiny additions to any lift can make significant changes to the growth of your muscles and overall strength.
3. Challenge Yourself, Give 100%
The hardest part is getting to the gym; I think everyone can agree on that. The mental battle you go through to wake up in the morning or head in after work is always a tough one. Once you win that battle, reward yourself and make your workout worth it. Challenge yourself, the weights, or your pace when you are in class. If something seemed easy the first time you do it, try going up a color on a band or increasing the weight. Same thing applies to the cardio equipment, ask yourself if you can go faster or reach a farther distance in thirty seconds and go for it.
Most of us don't get enough sleep, and I fall victim to this as well. Getting enough sleep is just as important as you keeping your nutrition in line and your workouts consistent. While we sleep our bodies kick into overdrive to help restore your body. Getting enough sleep also helps to prepare for your workout if you are coming in at five in the morning or even after work.
As a quick recap, here are my key points :
It's easy to read these and think "yeah, ok that's a good idea, i'll try it," but after a long day, or a couple long days, does it stay with you? If so, great! If not, we've got you covered... as long as you're up for the challenge!
Our Good2Great Transformation program kicks off again soon. This program includes 6 weeks of health + fitness education, nutrition coaching, killer workouts, and tons of accountability. You'll also be on a team of like-minded people who will support your journey to get there!
Learn more about how to become your healthiest self yet...! Check out more on Good2Great here!
The Handstand Guy. Josh has his degree
in Exercise Science from FAU and is our
G + O2 bodyweight training fiend. When
Josh isn't making people smile and
changing lives you can find him working