You’re hitting the gym a few times a week and know exactly what you want to achieve, but how do you make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout?
If you’re breaking a sweat regularly, you’ve probably got the basics covered already. Luiza Fernandez from MonederoSmart shared some simple, game-changing tips you can employ to take your exercise routine to the next level.
Make it competitive
According to a study in the journal Preventative Medicine Reports, competition as you workout is a far stronger motivator than support in the gym.
Plus, those who have competition were 90 per cent more likely to work out in the first place. Make sure you hit the gym with someone who’s just as determined as you to meet those fitness goals.
Get your protein
To make your workout as effective as possible, your body needs nutrients and vitamins to support muscle growth and strength. Protein is what you need to help build your muscles back up after a heavy workout, and eating a protein bar is a convenient and tasty way to get some quick nutrients to refuel and aid recovery as soon as you’ve finished.
Just make sure you choose the right protein bar to match your fitness goals, which means avoiding high-calorie ones if you’re aim is to lose weight. It’s also worth eating a snack that’s rich in casein, such as cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, before bed to ensure amino acid and muscle protein synthesis rates stay elevated as you sleep
Listen to the right music
We’ve all experienced what it’s like to get to the gym and realise you’ve got to exercise in silence because you’ve forgotten your headphones. For a workout to be as efficient and painless as possible, listening to music is essential.
A study in 2014 also found that people pushed themselves harder and found strenuous workouts easier and more enjoyable if they were listening to one of their favourite playlists.
If you’re workout routine is all cardio and you’re avoiding any resistance training, then you’re missing out on other ways to build muscle and increase your metabolic rate.
According to research by the Harvard School of Public Health, adults who completed 20 minutes of weight training a day gained less fat around their middle over 12 years than other participants who spent the same amount of time doing cardio exercises.
Up the intensity
High-intensity training can be an incredibly effective way to work out and see the fitness results you want. Studies have found that high-intensity intervals combined with short, low-intensity breaks have more fat-loss, calorie-burning and cardiovascular benefits than any other workout.
A study by the University of North Carolina found that if you lose just two percent of your body weight in fluids, it can make your workout feel harder, have a negative impact on your performance and also take longer for your body to recover afterwards. With some gym-goers sweating out six to 10 per cent, it’s important to make sure you’re regularly drinking water.
Curse a little
It turns out that the four-letter-word you let slip as you push through your final set of reps may actually be helping you power through your workout, according to a recent study.
The research carried out by Keele University found that swearing during a workout boosted performance by between two and four per cent, and increased strength by eight per cent. It’s thought that by swearing, you’re distracted and can, therefore, push harder than they normally would.