How can I get the most out of my workouts? This is a question every fitness freak and most novices have asked themselves and typed into Google numerous times. But, really, how can we kick ass in our workouts… and do it without hurting ourselves? Well, I have put together a short guide that will help anyone safely get more out of their workouts.
Before Your Workout
Choose your workouts based on what you enjoy doing and what your body is up for. If your arms are sore from working in the yard yesterday, don’t choose a hard upper body work out. Instead, do a lower body or abdominal workout until your upper body recovers. Rotating various muscle groups is smart and helps to prevent injury and extended periods of soreness that could throw off your whole fitness plan.
Regardless of what type of workout you choose, start with the following preparation.
Mindset is so important if you want to get the most out of your workout time. Take ten minutes before you start to think about your fitness goals. Visualize yourself at your ideal weight, your six-pack abs, or whatever you want to accomplish. See yourself finishing the workout and feeling healthy and positive about your body. Also take before pictures, write down your beginning stats and your goals, so you can track your progress easily.
There are certain things you can do to give your metabolism and muscles a boost beforehand.To start, try drinking a quality pre-workout energy drink or a cup of black coffee half an hour before you hit the gym. Also, you should always make sure you’ve eaten something one to two hours before you workout. This will provide you with vital energy to complete the workout without getting distracted by hunger.
Also, you should always do a proper warm up. This means dynamic stretching of all the muscles you intend to use and doing things to elevate your core body temperature. A light jog on the treadmill or in place will do the trick nicely. By doing these things, you set yourself up for a safe, injury-free workout.
During Your Workout
During your workout, focus on the muscles you use. See them getting stronger and flexing hard. And, even if you do fewer reps with an exercise but focus on intensity you will get better results. You can’t be passive and make excuses when working out, make every second count. Do your best no matter what you’re doing. However, this doesn’t mean doing things that your body is not ready for, like lifting too much weight or doing advanced exercises that are for those at a higher level of fitness. Listen to your body: if it hurts in a way that doesn’t feel right, stop the exercise and rest or try something different.
It’s also highly important you keep yourself hydrated while your workout. Doing physical activities will make you sweat, which means your body loses fluids. You can get dehydrated and tire quickly. So, drink water or drinks containing glucose to keep you hydrated and full of energy before, during, and after your workout.
After Your Workout
The first thing you should do is cool down with slow, gentle movement and a good stretch. Make sure you especially stretch out the muscles that you just worked. Also, don’t forget to do static stretches for your entire body to prevent soreness and to develop flexibility. The hard work continues even after you’ve finished your workout. Recovery is key if you want to get the best results possible. It starts with supplementation. You should have a workout recovery drink that includes protein and BCAAs. These are two things that are essential for helping with muscle recovery. Focus on things you can do to shorten your recovery time. If you’re going to workout again tomorrow, make sure you are not too sore or in pain. If you are, wait.
- Soak in a hot Epsom salts bath.
- Massage your muscles. You can get someone to give you a professional massage, or you can do it yourself. Electronic massagers, massage chairs, and foam rollers are good choices to roll out those muscles.
- Eat properly after your workout.
- Get plenty of rest. Sleep is essential for recovery and getting the most out of your workouts.
Dynamic stretching is a form of stretching beneficial in sports utilizing momentum from form, and the momentum from static-active stretching strength, in an effort to propel the muscle into an extended range of motion not exceeding one’s static-passive stretching ability.
Static stretching is used to stretch muscles while the body is at rest. It is composed of various techniques that gradually lengthen a muscle to an elongated position (to the point of discomfort) and hold that position for 30 seconds to two minutes.
BCAA– A branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) is an amino acid having aliphatic side-chains with a branch (a central carbon atom bound to three or more carbon atoms). Among the proteinogenic amino acids, there are three BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine and valine.
DISCLAIMER: This article is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your physician or fitness expert. Always see your doctor before engaging in any new fitness plan. Assess your fitness level and make wise choices about your body before beginning any workout. Women’s LifeLink, it’s owners, associates, contributors, are not responsible or liable for any bodily injury that occurs from participating in any actions described in this article.