It’s no doubt that working out and committing to a fitness goal, whether that be losing weight or toning for a competition, takes extreme dedication, lots of hard work and many, many hours at the gym. Throughout your journey, there will undoubtedly be days where all your body wants to do is lay in bed and not move, but your mind tells you to do just the opposite. It’s all about proper balance and training yourself to work out efficiently and effectively. Here are a few ways to make sure that you’re working your hardest, both mentally and physically and reaching your goals but also giving yourself the rest needed to see results.
- Remember to take a few days off– You may think in order to achieve results, you need to be at the gym every day, but that’s not true. Over-working your muscles can in fact lead to muscle fatigue and eventually injury without proper rest.
- Keep moving– Take shorter breaks between sets and you’ll burn more calories. Once you let your heart rest for a long period of time, your calorie-burn rate decreases.
- Stay focused- You wouldn’t go to an important meeting with half of your brain, right? Think of your gym sessions as meetings with yourself where you’re tuned-in and ready to work hard. Working out can make you rid off stress, so hopefully you’re more naturally focused as well, but if you’re not, get there!
- Crank the intensity up- Some exercises are naturally more intense than others, meaning they burn more calories and build muscle quicker and more efficiently as well. For example, burpees and box jumps are two compound movements where you’re engaging may muscles as well as cranking your heart rate up to torch calories.
- Always have a pre-workout snack- If you’re running on empty, how are your muscles supposed to work at full potential? It’s important to fuel your body with a light carbohydrate and protein-rich snack prior to hitting the weights especially.
- Incorporate HIIT (high intensity interval training)- Steady-pace cardio is not nearly as effective at burning calories and building endurance as quick bursts of sprints on a treadmill, bike, elliptical or stair climber. By pushing yourself to work harder, you’re teaching your body to endure more when you’re lifting weights.
- Change it up- We all know that our bodies need change otherwise they adapt to the same routine, day after day and week after week. Try working shoulders and chest one day and then shoulders and abs the next week. Be sure to keep changing up the weights every once in a while, as well.
- Stay hydrated- Water, water, water…and more water. It really is the key to weight loss and mentally and physically feeling better, too. Aim for at least eight glasses of water every day.