If you have made the commitment of following a regular fitness plan, chances are like most fitness fanatics, you are always looking for ways to improve your workouts. This may include habits like sneaking in a quick fix on the treadmill during your lunch break, going for the stairs instead of the elevator every chance you get, investing in vitamin supplements, and so on. But did you know that there are actually far simpler and cheaper ways to improve workouts? Here we look at 3 easy to implement tricks that will help you see better and faster workout results.
#1. Include Variety in Your Workouts
One of the best ways to improve workouts is to include variety in your exercise sessions. Sticking to the same workout routines will see your body adjust to the regular stress level and thereby bring exercise benefits to a screeching halt. Mixing things up however continuously challenges the body thereby ensuring consistent all-rounded results.
When it comes to keeping workouts varied, there are plenty of options. You could go for High-Intensity Interval Training, follow a cardio exercise with strength training, change up your routines every few weeks, focus on the upper body during one workout session and then work the lower body during the next, and so forth. The trick is to ensure that your workout plan incorporates everything from cardio, to muscle strengthening, to stretching, to flexibility training, to balance exercises.
#2. Aim for Failure with Reps
A good and effective trick to improving workouts is to train to failure during exercises that require repetitive moves (e.g. pushups, planks, and weightlifting routines). This entails doing exercise reps until the working muscle(s) becomes so spent that it cannot complete one more repetition while maintaining proper form.
The upside to exercising to failure is that it boosts the effectiveness of your workouts thus enabling you to burn more calories as well as build more strength and muscle mass than you would while doing 2-3 sets of a workout routine every session. To top it up, exercising to failure also helps keep the workout intensity well within your body’s limits thereby reducing risk of injury.
#3. Eat Right
While hitting more miles on the treadmill/outdoor run or doing as many reps as possible during workouts is the best way to enjoy great results, the food you eat also plays a huge role in aiding or jeopardizing your fitness. So, if you want to get the most out of your workouts, you need to be careful about what you put into your body and when you eat.
In addition to the commonly practiced habits of following a low fat diet to lose more weight, combining weightlifting workouts with a protein rich diet to build muscles, and taking in fewer calories than you burn, it is also important that you:
- Avoid eating before workouts: Whether you exercise at the beginning or end of the day, it is essential that you push your breakfast or dinner to after the workout. This is because exercise increases levels of the fat burning hormone adrenalin thus allowing for better weight loss results. Eating before a workout however, sees the insulin produced to help with digestion blunt out the spike in adrenaline and consequently, you burn less fat.
- Get some protein into your body after each workout: Whether in the form of a protein bar, protein shake, or a simple protein-rich meal, getting some protein into your system after a workout offers great benefits. Protein increases muscle building potential, reduces muscle soreness by healing the micro tears that occurred during intense workouts, and significantly cuts recovery time. All these benefits work towards boosting workout performance and results.
If you are a serious fitness enthusiast who makes it a point to schedule their day around the gym, the least you could do is to make sure that all the effort you put in towards improving your fitness does not go to waste. With these tips, you will be able to maximize the benefits of your workout time. So, put them into action and make each workout session count.