Workouts are tough! The last thing you want to do is expend a lot of time and energy for tiny results. Here are some big boosting tips to make sure you get the most out of every ounce of effort you spend.
1. Don’t Waste Time
When it comes to exercise, short 30 to 40 minute intense workouts actually yield better results than drawn-out low intensity ones.
2. Grade Yourself
Give yourself a report card measuring important subjects like cardio, flexibility, and even your mood to keep you motivated toward your goals. If you have a personal trainer they can help you keep track of your workouts.
3. Choose Good Carbs, Low Fats
Good slow carbs like whole grain breads and pasta keep your energy up and your appetite down, while foods loaded with fat make you sluggish and hungrier.
Choosing good protein sources, like whey or soy shakes, helps build the muscles you need to keep up with intense workouts. For the best results try a shake before and after heavy exercise.
5. Take Caffeine (Not Coffee)
Researchers found that taking a 200mg to 400mg caffeine supplement an hour or two before working out greatly increases fat-burning and lessens muscle pain.
6. Confuse Your Body
Doing the same sets day after day makes your body too acclimated to the stress; mix up your routines to maximize effectiveness.
7. Train One Set To Failure
Training one set per workout to failure, meaning you go until you can no longer keep proper form, increases strength gains better than sticking to regularly spaced sets. Don’t be tempted to go over one though, as that can actually decrease strength.
8. Stay Balanced
Balance is key to keeping your strength up and avoiding painful injuries due to improper form. Don’t be ashamed to use chairs, walls, and exercise balls to keep yourself straight.
9. Workout With A Friend (Or Several)
Besides being a great way to keep each other motivated, research has found that training in front of others actually makes strength training more effective. Don’t feel scared to ask your friends, personal trainer or fitness club members if they want to workout.
10. Circuits Instead Of Rests
Your muscles need time to recover, but resting too long actually damages your gains. Instead, space your sets by doing different types of exercises that focus on other parts of your body, for example rest your leg muscles after a run on the treadmill by focusing on lifting weights with your arms.
11. Do Something You Enjoy
Exercise doesn’t have to mean you’re going to the gym and doing sets you hate. Add at least one cardio activity you love, such as running, swimming, or biking, to your routine so you have something to look forward to. Don’t have a favourite activity? Try something new until you do! Sometimes it takes a few sessions to realize you like one over the other.
12. Allow Yourself A Break
Fitness is a lifelong commitment, which is why it seems daunting at first. If you allow yourself a few “cheat” days and accept that you’ll likely slip up during certain moments (especially around holidays) then it might not seem so hard. Remember that you’re only human, not a superhero!