No one wants to spend long hours at the gym, but we all want to get stronger, fitter, leaner, and just plain look good. It’s possible that you’re not getting the most out of your workout time.
It’s possible to get a super-effective workout in 40 minutes, and only do a few workouts a week, if you maximize your workouts.
Today, in this article we are going to share with you Top 15 tips you should consider to make your workout more effective.
Remember, these high-intensity workouts are not for beginners who are just starting out. You have to build up an endurance base first before doing the high-intensity cardio, and start the weights with lighter weights, stressing good form.
1. Limit your workouts to 40-50 minutes
Let’s start with the first tip, A lot of people who really want to get a lot out of their workouts think that it’s all about spending a lot of time at the gym, the truth is that after 40 or 50 minutes, the benefit isn’t as great.
To be able to go that long, you will have to lower the intensity of the workout, and that means that you’re spending too much time working out. that’s why it is recommended to work out at a higher intensity for a shorter amount of time.
2. High-intensity workouts
If you’re just starting out with exercising, it’s better to take it slow. If you’re running or cycling, for example, make sure to build up your endurance for at least 3 weeks before you get into anything more intense. and what I mean by that is going at a rate where you can easily talk without being out of breath.
However, once you have that base of endurance, you should be able to step up the intensity so you will increase the effectiveness of your workout.
Protein plays an important key role in building and maintaining muscle, and a lot of people don’t pay enough attention to get the protein their muscles need to rebuild.
If you don’t, you are not going to get the most out of your workout, as both cardio and strength workouts require protein for building muscles. it is recommended to take either whey or soy protein shakes.
4. Drink Enough Water
When you’re working out, you’re more likely to be losing water, both through your breath and through sweat, that’s why you have to make sure to hydrate throughout the day.
According to experts, It takes a couple of hours for our body to absorb the water, so you can’t just drink right before exercise. Make it a habit to drink water regularly throughout the day to prevent dehydration when you workout.
If your body starts to dehydrate, you won’t get a good workout. You’ll get dizzy, lethargic, your muscles won’t work as well, you won’t feel as sharp mentally, and you’ll get cramps sooner.
Although the low-carb craze might say otherwise, carbs are the main source of fuel for our bodies. If you are willing to do intense workouts, you will need carbs, or you won’t have enough energy.
If you do a shake, be sure to include carbs or a banana as it is a great source of low fiber/high glycemic carbohydrates that you need for exercise.
6. Shake before and after workout
It’s best to take a protein/carb shake just before and after your workout. Taking it before your workout will increase the flow of amino acids to your muscles during your workout, giving them the building blocks they need. After your workout, the shake will stimulate muscle growth. Also, try ti take a small protein/carb meal 40-90 minutes after a workout, a meal replacement bar would work fine.
7. Slow lifting
Lifting weights slowly can help you build larger muscle mass, and perfect your form and also you’re much less likely to injure yourself.
However, a lot of people commit a mistake by contracting their muscles slowly and then release more quickly. So, make sure you lift slowly in both directions, to maximize each move. Lift and lower the weights to a 5-second count in each direction.
8. Heavier weight
When you’re starting out, it’s best to only lift light weights that you can handle without difficulty so you can focus on good form. But once you’ve gotten your form down, try to lift the heaviest weights you can lift while still keeping good form. Don’t sacrifice form for heavyweights, that is ineffective.
But heavyweights, with good form, can give you better results in a shorter amount of time. and remember heavyweights are not only for those who want to bulk up, that’s a common misconception.
9. One set, to failure
Instead of doing 2-3 sets, as many people do, try to maximize your effectiveness by doing just one set, using heavyweights, until you can no longer keep the proper form.
By saying Lifting to “failure” i don’t mean that you should lift the last few times with a wobbly or inefficient form.
10. Compound exercises
Instead of isolating your muscles with exercises such as the tricep Press-Down or bicep curl, you can maximize the time you spend in a workout by doing exercises that work out multiple muscle groups at once. With just a few exercises, you will be able to get a full-body workout.
Another benefit is that your muscles are working together as they do in the real world, rather than alone. Some great compound exercises include deadlifts, squats, good mornings, lunges, pushups, bench presses, military presses, rows, pullups, dips, and more…
11. Balance lifting
Instead of having exercises where you’re sitting down or holding on to something or otherwise stabilized, it’s more effective to do them standing up, or on one leg, or on a Swiss exercise ball. These types of exercises force you to balance yourself while lifting, which brings your core muscles into play. This gives you a stronger overall body and allows you to lift more over time.
12. Pick a cardio exercise you enjoy
It’s no fun to exercise if you hate it. And you won’t keep it up for very long. Pick something that’s fun — running, walking, swimming, biking, hiking, rowing, stairmaster, etc. After the initial phase when you’re getting used to exercise, you’ll start to have a blast and look forward to it.
13. Mix it up
Don’t stick to the same workout routine for too long, or your body will adjust to the stress level and you won’t be getting an effective workout. For strength training, change your routine every few weeks. For cardio, it’s best to cross train rather than, say, to run every time.
If you run or bike or walk for cardio, you’ll want to incorporate hills (after the first month or two of doing it at an easy pace on flat ground). These will make you stronger and make your limited workout time even more effective. Take them easy at first, but once you’re used to hills, you can get a good pace going. Either use a hilly route or do repeats on one hill.
One mistake that people make is to do multiple sets of the same exercise without rest between the sets. This doesn’t allow your muscles to recover and it’s a waste of your workout. But instead of doing a set, resting, and then doing your second set, it’s more effective to move on to multiple exercises in a circuit, so that you don’t rest between exercises but do rest each muscle group. This will offer you a good cardio workout while you do your strength training.