Want to get the most out of every hour you spend at the gym? The following 10 tips will make a real difference!
Make The Last Sets Count
“Pacing yourself” is just as important for body builders as it is for marathon runners. The muscle-building effect of your workouts are optimized when you are already tired, which is why wearing yourself out on the first set and then slacking off for the rest of your time at the gym in not recommendable. Instead, try putting a “steady” level of effort into your early sets, a “difficult” level of effort into your mid sets, and then finally “maxing out” on your last sets of the day.
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch
Preventing injury, improving flexibility, and reducing stress — the benefits of stretching are numerous. Make time for a bit of Yoga or freestyle stretching, even if it doesn’t feel as cool as pumping iron!
Don’t Neglect Your Core
Not only do defined abs look sexy, they also help prevent injuries that could potentially result from upper and lower body exercise. Do yourself a favor and do some healthy and productive core workouts at least three times per week.
Abs are Built in the Kitchen
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — a healthy and nutritious diet is at least as important as what you do in the gym.
Shoes May Be The Most Important Fitness Gear You Can Invest In
Look cool, optimize performance, and reduce your risk of leg, back, and neck injuries by getting yourself a good pair of shoes with solid support.
Pay the Gym…But Make Good On Your Investment
Year-long gym subscriptions are a bit of a double-edged sword. First of all, it is no secret that gyms make a lot of their money off slackers who buy subscriptions but then never use them. However, studies have also shown that people who pay for their gym in advance are more likely to be consistent in their workout resolutions — perhaps because they already feel financially and emotionally committed to their ambitious plans.
More Gains with a Quicker Workout
Resting too long between sets can make your gym trips long and boring while reducing their beneficial effects. Keep it brisk!
Beware Catabolic Exercise
Workouts longer than one hour trigger a substantial release of the hormone cortisol — which causes the body to burn both fat and muscle at a substantial clip. Anyone looking to build muscle should be cautious about extending workouts this long on a regular basis.
Athletes: Train Hand-Eye Coordination
Bench presses, squats, and HIIT runs aren’t going to improve hand-eye coordination, which is an important consideration for many athletes. Ping pong, foosball, and other “tabletop sports” are actually a great tool in this regard.
Quality beats Quantity
As we discussed in our recent articles on marathon training, high-quality training hours trump high-quantities of training hours, so optimize your time and your results by pushing yourself hard!