No one wants to spend long hours at the gym working hard and not getting the optimal results. Of course, you would like to get 100% out of every rep, every set, every minute that you spend in the gym drenching in sweat.
Many factors come into play when we talk about getting a perfect workout. To turn your body into a fine-tuned and well-oiled machine in the gym, you need to get all the gears grinding in synchrony.
Here are some essential information and tips to get the most out of your every workout. Consider these strategies as a pre lifting blueprint. Make sure to check these off before you hit the gym.
You Need to Have a Well-Structured Routine
Having a well-structured routine in place before you enter the gym can help you avoid wandering around unsure of what to do next. Indecision not only adds time to your workout but also makes it less efficient because you allow your heart rate to drop. Determine which exercises you will perform, where you will perform them, and in what order well in advance. It's also a good idea to have a backup plan if the machine or floor space you intended to use occupied. You can move on to other parts of your workout, return later, or prepare a backup exercise that uses different equipment.
Dynamic Stretching Before Work Out
Dynamic stretches are an essential component of almost any warmup. Instead of holding a stretch in place, you'll move through different stretches with dynamic stretching. This gradually raises your body temperature and heart rate while also warming up your muscles and preparing your body for an upcoming workout. A dynamic warmup also improves your range of motion, allowing you to go deeper into each exercise and reap the full strengthening benefits.
Have a Carb Loaded Pre-workout Meal
Eating carbs in your pre-workout meal can help you perform significantly better in your workouts. Carbohydrates are your body's primary energy source for any high-intensity or strength training workout, and when your body is fueled, it will get the most out of any workout. Even if you enjoy morning workouts, eat some toast or oatmeal before you leave the house.
Stay Hydrated Throughout Your Workout
Unfortunately, many people are dehydrated when they show up at the gym. Studies show that losing just 2% of your body weight in fluids can make your workout feel harder, reduce your exercise performance and reduce your body's ability to recover after you leave the gym. Therefore, ensure the recommended minimum intake of 3.7 litres (per day) for men, and 2.7 litres (per day) for women. Weigh yourself before and after a sweat session to ensure you're drinking enough water to replace any fluids you lose. You should not lose more than 2% of your body weight.
Never Compromise on Form and Technique
When it comes to strength training and lifting weights, having proper form and technique is essential. Start with a lighter weight to learn the proper technique so that your form doesn't get compromised. It's always better to have an experienced spotter or trainer support you in your early lifting days. As you gradually gain strength, you can start lifting heavier weights but again, not at the cost of proper form. Proper form can save you from injuries and also can maximize your gains.
Always Focus on Compound Lifts
Instead of isolating your muscles with exercises like the bicep curl and lateral raises, you can maximize your workout time by performing lifts that work out multiple muscle groups at once. You could get a full-body workout with just a few lifts. Another advantage is that your muscles work together, rather than alone, as they do in the real world. Squats, deadlifts, good mornings, lunges, pushups, bench presses, military presses, rows, pullups, dips, and other compound lifts are some of the examples that you should include in your workout routine.
Don't Ego Lift
"Which weight should I use?" is one of the most common questions beginners have in the gym. Choosing a heavy enough weight (but not too heavy) will force your muscles to grow stronger. If your weight is too light, you will still improve your fitness, but your strength and lean muscle mass will not improve significantly.
Choosing the proper weight requires some trial and error. In general, you want a weight that allows you to complete all of the reps in your final set of exercises but causes you to struggle on the last two or three. If you can easily complete the final set, it's time to increase the weight. If you are unable to complete all of the reps in a set, reduce the weight.
Mind Muscle Connection is the Key
Thinking about the muscles you're trying to engage rather than mindlessly going through the motion is one way to make any exercise more effective. In multiple studies, it was found that you'll get a better result if you concentrate on contracting the muscle you're involving. This means you will maximize your gains as well as improve your strength significantly. For example, if you're doing a squat, imagine your glutes powering you through each rep to ensure you're using proper form and the muscles you're attempting to engage are doing the work.
Cooling Down Sessions are Essential
Cooling down and recovering are also important parts of getting the most out of your workout. Stretching after a cool down will help to loosen any tight muscles and increase flexibility for the next workout. You might also want to try using a foam roller after working out. It helps your sore muscles to relax and improves flexibility.
The Bottom Line
Try to incorporate these training tips in your daily workout session to get the maximum results and achieve that physique you have been dreaming of in no time. But, of course, your nutrition will decide how fast you see results, so make sure to take care of your protein and calorie intake throughout the day. And above all, you need to be consistent with everything and treat fitness as a lifestyle.
Pre-Exercise Nutrition: The Role of Macronutrients, Modified Starches and Supplements on Metabolism and Endurance Performance. (2014, May 1). PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4042570/
Single vs. Multi-Joint Resistance Exercises: Effects on Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy. (2015, June 1). PubMed Central (PMC). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4592763/
Calatayud, J. (2016, March). Importance of mind-muscle connection during progressive resistance training. PubMed. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26700744/