Time, we never seem to have enough of it!
On the rare occasion we do have enough, the question remains...what can we do to maximise our use of it?!
Today we share with you, 5 of our best tips to help get the most out of your training, along with a few handy tips to keep in mind when it comes to exercising at home and keeping track of your progress
Tip 1: It's not always about having more time, its about using it effectively.
The key to having an effective training session, is knowing what your goals are for that training session, before you even set foot in the gym.
It sounds so simple, but very few people plan their workout before the session begins..
Failing to plan your training session, or at least having a rough idea of what the session might entail, is often the reason why many people spend much longer in the gym than they originally planned.
So how can I make the most of my time in the gym?
Decide the amount of time you want to spend in the gym:
Choose the muscle group you want to train or workout you're wanting to perform.
-Simple leg workout.
Allow for warm up and cool down time,
-10 minutes in total (5 min before and 5 min after session)
Allow for 5-10 minutes per exercise.
-Today we pick 3 exercises for legs, this leaves 10 minutes for each exercise.
-Aim for a minimum of 2-3 sets of each exercise, 8-12 reps each set.
-Keep rest periods short. The shorter rest periods, the faster workout is complete!
Exercise selection: Aim for exercises that recruit the most muscle fibers.
These exercises are usually the most challenging, but are the most effective.
Always have back up exercises in mind, just in case one of the machines you want to use are taken!
Tip 2: Short on time and cant make it to the gym? Forget the fancy stuff, stick to the basics at home.
Circuit training at home!
All you need is a yoga mat, dumbell or kettle bell, skipping rope, timer and 20 minutes of your favorite music.
HOW TO PERFORM THE CIRCUIT.
Step 1: Perform the exercise for 45 seconds.
Step 2: Rest for 15 seconds.
Step 3: Move to the next exercise.
-Repeat steps 1-3 until you reach exercise 5.
-Rest for 1 minute once completing exercise 5.,
-Repeat 5 exercise circuit for 3 rounds.
Exercise 1: Lunges with dumbbell bell curl at the bottom of the lunge.
Exercise 2: Knee push ups
Exercise 3: Skipping
Exercise 4: Squat with shoulder press at the top of the rep.
Exercise 5: Plank or Sit-ups.
Tip 3: Keep track of your progress, in more ways than one.
Measuring your training progress, or more so the beneficial effects from it, shouldn't just be limited to only one or two measurements like the weight lost on the scale, or how long you can run on the treadmill.
You'd be surprised how much of a positive impact identifying and celebrating the
small victories can have, the key is to know what to look for.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to help identify different types of progress.
Are your clothes fitting better?
- Have you noticed your favorite outfit "flows" a little better?
How is the muscle soreness and recovery after each session?
-Do you still feel sore after each workout?
-Is the leg day soreness a little bit less obvious?
-How are your energy levels throughout the day after you have trained?
-Do you have a bit more spring in your step or feel less fatigued by the end of the day?.
-Do you still have energy (and enthusiasm) by the end of the workout?
Has your flexibility improved?
-Have you increased the range of motion in your squats or other exercises?
Have you been able to train more often before you start to need a break?
- Has the Duration of your training session increased?
- Have you been able to get to the gym more often than last month or last year?
- Are you able to train harder, for longer?
Has the quality of your training sessions improved?
-Has your form improved on exercises that you used to struggle with?
-Are you better at adapting your workout plan to suit your goals?
-Have you become more intuitive at choosing the right exercise plan for you?
I can guarantee, if you used this as a checklist to help identify areas of progress, you'd be surprised (and proud) with how much progress you've made!
Tip 4: Sometimes taking a step back and recouping, will set you up for great workout next time you train.
Have you ever had the perfect workout planned, when the timing is perfect, you've got your favorite workout clothing on and by the time you get started.... nothing.
The energy you thought you possessed has vanished, somewhere between the drive to the gym and the front door to the gym..
Fret not! Your time in the gym can still be used effectively, conserve the remainder your energy, don't waste a workout trying to push through, get your body prepared for the next training session.
Use this downtime in the gym to stretch and improve your flexibility, loosen up all the niggles and tight muscles by using a foam roller and finally, finish off with some gentle cardio work, just to help get the blood flowing and to leave the gym feeling refreshed..
Think of this training session as taking 1 step backwards in order to take 3 steps forward next time you train!
Tip 5: Keep track of your nutrition.
The food we eat, water we drink and supplements we use on a daily basis will largely determine not only our gym performance, but also our internal health and well being.
Having optimal nutrition will ensure that your energy levels, skin complexion, mood, hormones and many other of our basic bodily functions are working at their highest capacity.
Many of us know this already, yet many fail to get the results they desire because they may lack an understanding or don't know what a balanced and nutritious diet is supposed to look like.
It's often only once people start to take note of their dietary habits over a period of time, are they then able to identify where they may be lacking in their diet. Avoiding certain food groups or severely limiting your intake, is the fastest way to be deficient in essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals that are essential for good health.
If your diet is restricted and consists of only chicken, broccoli, spinach and 3 almonds, it's time to make a few changes!
So what do we do?
Keep a log of your intake over the next week or two and take note of the types of food you eat, the quantities and what types of food you consume on a regular basis.
If you can identify areas to improve, make the change and keep an record of how you feel with the new changes.
If you're having trouble finding areas to improve or don't know where to start, hiring a dietitian or nutritionist will be of great benefit to you.
Here's a link to see what health professional might be best suited to your needs.
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