How to Make the Most of Your Workout
I hope I’m not alone in thinking none of us go to the gym hoping for so-so, mediocre results? I think I speak for all when I say we go in wanting to get 100% out of every rep, run and hard-earned bead of sweat!! Fortunately for us, scientists and researchers want the same thing and because of that have listed ways in which we’re able to make the most out of every workout to ensure we all meet our gym goals :)
Here are some incredibly efficient strategies, courtesy of the latest research, to get the biggest benefit out of every one of your workouts.
“If you just do cardio, you’re sabotaging yourself,” says Jacob Wilson, Ph.D., certified strength and conditioning specialist and associate editor of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. “Your metabolism will actually go down, making weight loss more difficult. Resistance training, however, builds muscle to increase your metabolic rate.” That explains why, in one Harvard study of 10,500 adults, those who spent 20 minutes a day weight training gained less abdominal fat over the course of 12 years (compared to those who spent the same amount of time performing cardio).
We all have those few songs we listen to, which get us fired up and in the mood to absolutely kill a workout, but in one study of 30 men and women, people who listened to music (especially slow music) AFTER their workout recovered faster than those who listened to alternatives “Music boosts the body’s levels of serotonin and dopamine, hormones that are known to foster recovery,” says Perkins . Try listening to a few of your favourite, most RELAXING tracks as soon as you finish your workout. It will help your blood pressure and heart rate get back to normal at a faster rate and this in turn will ease your body into recovery mode far much quicker than usual.
You might think of carb-loading as something you do to run a better marathon or something you do only in the winter (prime time bulking season). But eating carbs before your workout can also help you during those intervals, according to the 2013 research published in ‘Sports Medicine’ “Carbs are your body’s primary fuel for any high-intensity workout, and when your body is fuelled, your body is going to put forth a better effort and get a better value, both in terms of caloric expenditure and muscle growth, than it would if you were in fasted state,”. So even if you like your morning workouts, make sure to eat some toast or oatmeal before you head out of the door! Morning workouts are growing in popularity as most of us prefer to workout while our gyms are empty/ less busy for obvious reasons, if you haven’t got time to prepare an adequate carb filled breakfast, certain meal replacement such as our MRP Superfood will do the trick!
Minute per minute, high-intensity intervals, periods of all-out effort interspersed with short, low-intensity “breaks”—come with more cardiovascular and fat-loss benefits than any other workout. People who perform a 20-minute interval workout with exercises including pushups, burpees, squats and lunges burn an average of 15 calories per minute—nearly twice as many as during long runs. To burn similar calories, follow the workout’s protocol: Perform as many reps as possible for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat for a total of four minutes. Rest one minute, then repeat for a total of four rounds. You’ll be AMAZED by the results that follow!
5. FREE WEIGHTS
Weight machines are ideal and great for helping those of us who are new to gym learn the correct form, but once you’ve got it down, it’s time to move to free weights. Exercises using free weights like dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells lead to greater hormonal responses compared to similar exercises performed on exercise machines. That’s largely because free-weight exercises tap a wider range of muscles. Whenever you have to move a free weight and you don’t have anything guiding or supporting you like a machine, all of your synergistic muscles have to fire up and support each other to help you.
Quality time with your bed is vital to getting the most out of your time spent in the gym. And that goes for every night of the week. Poor sleep hinders not only your exercise performance (and the number of calories you burn), but also your body’s ability to come back stronger after every workout. Sleep drives the hormonal shifts that promote the body’s recovery to exercise. Without appropriate sleep, symptoms of over-training, including fitness plateaus, set in. Aim for eight to nine hours of sleep every single night.
That post-workout massage does more than just feel good! It also influences genes in your muscle cells to decrease inflammation and increase their number of mitochondria, which help power exercise and recovery. It’s important to remember that your muscles don’t get fitter during your workout; they do so between your workouts as they recover and adapt to exercise, massages helps this process along.
It won’t just keep you from getting bored, it’ll do your body and muscles a lot of good too! In a recent study, exercisers who performed both deep and full squats reaped greater fitness gains than those who performed only deep squats. The same holds true for any exercise variation. Performing multiple variations of an exercise changes the muscles recruited and the amount of weight you can lift, leading to greater gains than if you did the same exact movement month after month! While you can include multiple variations of the same exercise in a single workout (like planks and planks with one leg raised), changing those variations every month will also keep your body guessing.