5 Tips on Maximizing Your Workout Effectiveness
When it comes to fitness, everyone’s looking for a way to cut the corner, maximize their results in as little time as possible, and reach their goals faster than everyone else. After all, wouldn’t it be amazing if you could just wake up one day with the body of your dreams after having worked out for only a year? Alas, we all know by now that this is not how the body works.
Exercising is a repetitive cycle of muscle breakdown and muscle repair, cardio and aerobic fatigue and recovery, gaining fat and losing it. But it’s a healthy process that allows you to become better at what you do one workout at a time. That said, there are ways you can take your fitness game to the next level, and maximize your workout effectiveness for higher muscle, cardio, and strength gains. Here’s what you need to know.
Have a clear goal and a sound battle plan
It all begins with a realistic goal and a sound plan with a specified timeframe. Now, you needn’t be a fitness expert to set your own fitness goals or even structure a strong training program according to these goals. All it takes is a bit of planning, research, and preparation.
While sports science is a nuanced field with plenty variables you need to keep in mind, there are some basic pillars that should be the foundation of your every workout split and that will help make your workouts that much more effective. These are intensity, volume, and frequency.
Intensity pertains to force exertion and it should tell you how much weight to put on the bar. Volume will tell you how many sets and reps to do in a given session, and frequency will tell you how often to work each muscle group. Balancing these three variables will allow you to maintain top performance, recover properly, and push your limits safely.
Adhere to a dynamic warm-up
If you’re in the habit of warming up just by putting more weight on the bar, then the time has come to change things up – for the sake of your performance, health, and longevity. The same can be said if you’re doing static stretches before a workout: don’t do those. Science doesn’t like them, and neither does your body.
Instead, if you want to maximize your performance in and outside the gym, you should mobilize your body with dynamic warm-ups. These should include mobility movements for joints, plyometric movements (that’s jumping), explosive movements, and workout-specific movements. You can start slowly with joint mobility, working your way down from your neck and shoulders, and then slowly start to warm up with progressively harder explosive movements using only your body weight. You will be amazed at how much better you will be able to perform when your muscles are properly warmed up.
Monitor your micronutrient intake
Before we talk nutrition, we should emphasize the importance of proper micronutrient intake. These are your vitamins and minerals. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not enough for an athlete to eat a cupful of veggies (or ten) every day to consume the adequate amount of vitamins and minerals. This is due to the fact that every micronutrient has a unique bioavailability ratio – and these are usually not that great.
One of the most important minerals for an athlete, for instance, is magnesium. Unfortunately, magnesium has very poor bioavailability, which is why complementing your diet plan with quality magnesium supplements is imperative for improving total-body health, muscular repair, and CNS recovery. By supplementing every day with vitamins and minerals, you can rest assured that you’re on track with your micronutrients, and focus on your macronutrient intake with your diet regime.
Fuel your workouts with the right diet plan
Nutrition is the fuel behind your every workout. Without a healthy diet plan and a balanced macronutrient ratio, you cannot hope to sculpt the body of your dreams, improve your workout effectiveness, or even achieve mediocre results at that. This is why it’s important to calculate your calories, and divide them into proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in order to maximize your potential and make new progress with every workout.
Tend to proper post-workout recovery
Last but not least, it’s important to understand that your body doesn’t grow or become stronger during the workout. Rather, it is the recovery process afterwards that will produce the results you want, so don’t forget to eat right on your off days, supplement accordingly, and tend to some active rest entailing light jogging, yoga, and stretching.
Maximizing your time at the gym is not about cutting your rest periods and trying to complete your entire workout in one giant set. Instead, focus on these five pillars of progress in order to pave the road to a lifetime of health and vibrancy, and take your fitness game to new heights.