Everyone wants to ensure that their time in the gym is as well spent as possible. This is because even the most avid fitness fanatic would occasionally rather be doing something else.
The good news is that thanks to advances in health, science and technology, there are a number of apps, gear and dietary tweaks that can help you step up your gym workouts. Here are just a few tips to help you get the most from your routine.
Challenge your friends
Studies show that working out with a target in mind keeps you on the path to achieving the results that you want. Even better, have a workout buddy so that the two of you can stay motivated and keep each other going. Perhaps the best way to step up your workout is to combine the two and challenge a friend to reach a shared fitness goal. This brings the benefit of you and your friend staying on track and keeps things fun by introducing a little friendly competition.
If you’re not too keen on getting competitive with somebody you know, then why not challenge complete strangers? There are a number of health and fitness apps for your phone that will pit you against anonymous users in a variety of fitness challenges.
Get some new gym gear
There’s no better motivation to get to the gym than wearing the expensive new training shoes that you just treated yourself to. It’s also much easier to motivate yourself for extra gym sessions when you know that your new gear makes you look the part.
Invest in compression clothing
By far, the most important reason to consider new gear is that the right items can really help you work out more effectively, offering benefits such as enabling you to work out longer, avoiding injuries and recovering more quickly. This means more time in the gym, less downtime between workouts and better results overall.
So, consider investing in some good-quality compression clothing for the gym, such as Copper wear. The brand’s clothing is a tried-and-tested method for working out longer, cutting recovery times and getting more out of your gym workouts.
It is essential to take in protein following any type of rigorous workout, whether it’s bench-pressing 200lbs or spending 30 minutes on an exercise bike. This is because protein will help your muscles recover and prevent muscle wastage (when the body burns muscle proteins once it’s run out of carbohydrates).
Here’s the problem, though – everything that you think you know about protein is wrong. It’s long been the remit of bodybuilders and pro athletes alike to eat huge amounts of fish, steak and eggs, so many amateurs followed suit.
This is now changing, however. More and more elite-level athletes are now choosing vegan diets, from competition bodybuilders to tennis aces. The perception has changed with respect to the types of protein – and diet in general – that athletes need.
While the images of boxers chugging a dozen blended raw eggs was an enduring image of the ‘80s, that kind of behavior is now considered to be counterproductive for a number of reasons:
- Most athletes need nowhere near that level of protein after a workout. Studies show that just 20 gramsis plenty.
- Most people are already getting more protein than they need in their regular diet. There’s no need to take on huge amounts of extra protein except for right after exercising.
- A protein-heavy. meat-based diet comes with extra fat and cholesterol, which help undo your good work in the gym.
Why not try joining the growing ranks of vegan athletes who get their protein in its leanest form and step up your fitness results?
Make your workout more intense
Spending hours and hours in the gym is often seen as necessary to achieve great results. However, the truth is that just 12 minutes per session could be enough. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is so effective that just three minutes per week can deliver all the health benefits that most people seek when they join a gym.
The best part of HIIT is, by design, that it has to be short to count as “high intensity.” Once you get beyond the 20-minute mark, your energy levels will drop and the workout will turn into a medium-intensity session. There are a number of different HIIT workouts that you can try to keep things new and interesting, or you can stick with a favorite once you’ve found a program that suits you.