Have you been spending hours at the gym and are just not seeing results? After putting in all this time and effort, not seeing progress can be frustrating. Whether you are trying to lose weight, build muscle or just want to be more productive.
Here are a few tips to step up your workout game to make the most out of your time and see faster results.
Eat at least an hour before.
It’s never a good idea to go to the gym hungry, so make sure that you have eaten properly in advance. If you plan on eating a big meal, this should be at least 3-4 hours before your workout. Make sure the meal consists of carbs, fats and protein. The carbohydrates supply your muscles with a quick store of glycogen to maintain your energy levels.
For a quick snack before your workout, eat 1-2 hours in advance. This snack should be less than 200 calories and a mix of carbs and protein, keeping the fat intake to a minimum. This will keep your energy up throughout and prevent a crash mid-workout. Here are some foods that you should eat before your workout.
Walk or bike to the gym.
Instead of driving or taking the bus, opt for walking or biking to the gym. If you’re already short on time then this is an efficient way of warming up and getting straight to strength training as soon as you arrive.
Set goals and make a plan.
Make a plan for your workout before you arrive. Avoid wandering around trying to decide whether to start on the treadmill or with the free weights. Instead, have a plan of where you will start, and maybe even the number of sets and reps to keep you on track.
Start with strength training.
After running on the treadmill for an hour, 30 crunches may be the extent of strength training you have energy for. Avoid this by starting with some weights or resistance circuits and then finish off with some cardio. A combination of strength and cardiovascular training has shown to be more productive in fat loss than cardio alone.
Switch it up.
It is important to switch up your workout routine. Your muscles and brain get bored when you do the same workout everyday, so you will see better results when you try something new. Trying a new workout class, adding more weight or reps, or changing the order of your workout can be great ways to change it up. If you need some inspiration, check out these exercises.
Many forget to stretch after their workout. However, during exercise muscles become shorter and tighter. Stretching will help to release the tension and lengthen them out again. This increases blood flow to the muscle, allowing for better circulation and possibly reduces muscle soreness. Stretching has also shown to reduce the risk of injury for your next workout.
Feeding your body after a workout is crucial for recovery. While exercising, your muscles are broken down and your body’s store of glycogen is depleted. Timing your snack after your workout can either make it or break it. The optimal timing to eat after exercising is between 15 minutes to an hour. Incorporating a mix of carbohydrates and protein into your meal will replenish the lost nutrients and rebuild the muscle tissue. Here are a few foods to fuel up on after your workout.
Don’t forget to enjoy your workout.