10 Tips to Make Your Workouts More Effective

Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Doing Right!
— Anonymous

In this time of year, getting fit is at the top of everyone's list. However, it seems to be the one activity in your day to get pushed back the most; you have a job, maybe children, you have to prepare dinner, and prepare for the next day. Your time is so valuable, that you don't want to waste any second on performing a bad workout. When some people go to the gym they feel like they have to go full force on every workout, but yet when they leave, they feel like nothing has changed. So you ask yourself, "what changes can I make to my workouts to get better results?" 

Here Are 10 Tips To Make Your Workouts More Effective:

  • Eat Right Before the Gym- Researchers at Loughborough University found that people who ate 40 grams of slow-digesting carbs (whole grains for breakfast and lunch) before going to the gym, had more endurance and burned more fat throughout the day. 
  • Avoid High Fat Foods Before the Gym- A study conducted by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, reported that eating a high-fat meal before going to the gym causes less blood flow to your muscles, which in turn leads to less of a muscle pump. If you take a pre-workout with Nitric Oxide (NO), this can be costly as these high-fat meals reduce the ability for the NO to do its job- dilate the blood vessels. 
  • Take Caffeine For Fat Burning- Taking caffeine before working out increases endurance and fat-burning. Caffeine can also dull the muscle pains during your workout, making you able to perform more reps. In this case, taking a caffeine supplement works better than getting the caffeine from coffee. 
  • Force Your Reps- A study out of Finnish discovered that people who workout with forced reps increase their growth hormone (GH) levels by about 4,000%. On your last set of every workout, do 2-3 more forced reps. Be sure you have a sparring partner if you're performing this with a chest press or heavy squatting to prevent injury.
  • Focus On The Muscle Being Trained- Researchers found that people who focus on the muscle they're training had much more effective results than people who were just going through the movements. During every rep of every set, be sure to FOCUS on the muscles being worked, rather than looking for the hot guy at the squat rack!

 

  • Limit Your Exercise Balls and Instability Discs- Although I think these tools are great, you must limit how you use your exercise balls and instability discs. For abs and a number of leg exercises, these sources are great. However, for chest presses and squats...not so much. Scientists reported that doing chest presses on an exercise ball showed a 40% decrease in strength, than performing them on a weight bench. Also, squats being performed on instability discs showed less force production and muscle activity than performing them on firm ground. For better results, plant yourself on a firm, stable ground. 
  • Cardio After Weights- This has opened my eyes completely! I used to think that doing cardio before weights would help me lose some fat and allow me to perform better, but, not so much. Japan researchers found that when people would perform cardio before weights, their growth hormone (GH) response to the weight workout decreased by 1,100%. It is recommended that you try to do your cardio after weight training or on a completely different day. 
  • Stretch After Your Workout- Stretching after your workout allows you to become more flexible. Also, it is easier and safer to stretch a muscle that is already warm and workable.
  • Schedule Your Workouts- A study conducted by the University of Southern Mississippi stated that when people worked out after 6 p.m for 10 weeks, they lost more body-fat and gained more muscle than those who worked out before 10 a.m. Schedule your workout to help you increase your results.
  • Get Steamy After Your Workout- Ok, ladies don't get too excited! By "steamy", I mean relaxing in a sauna or hot tub. Research states that being exposed to a space set at 105 degrees F for two weeks increased muscle mass by 13%. There are certain proteins that get released in the body when exposed to heat (heat shock proteins), on cellular mechanisms of muscle growth. 

We understand that finding the time to workout is a challenge that most of us find ourselves in. You've already bought that gym membership- now, invest in your body. You have no time to waste on a bad workout, so make every set, every rep count! 


**Source for Tips: MuscleAndFitness.com