Top 5 Tips for an Effective Workout
Walk into the gym with a plan
More often than not I notice people wandering around the gym deciding what they need or want to do next with their workout. This indecisiveness not only increases how long you’re at the gym, but it makes it less efficient as you’re allowing your heart rate to drop to low ultimately cooling down and not training. I find by writing down my workouts in a gym log to be a very effective way to counter this. Not only do I have structure to my workout with specific exercises but if my piece of equipment is taken by somebody else, I can move onto a different one. This tip is as equally important for new gym goers as it is for people who train on a regular basis.
Get motivated with your favourite music
The 2nd tip I would give to make a workout more effective is by utilising music. Sometimes people say that just getting to the gym is the hardest bit and not the workout. By playing your favourite music on the way there, it can make you feel strong, powerful and like you can achieve anything, especially if you are into heavy lifting or one of your goals is to increase your cardiovascular fitness as performing this repetitive movement can be boring unless you mix it up. Try and build a “gym playlist” that gets you ready and primed mentally for your workout
Pick the correct weights
One of the biggest questions I get as a trainer is “which weight should I use”. Choose a weight that’s heavy enough (but not too heavy) to challenge your muscles to grow. For example, stick between 10-15 reps on a set. If you cannot achieve 10 reps on an exercise the weight might be too heavy. If you know you could have done 20 reps, the weight may be to light. Choosing the right weight can be trial and error. However, you want to pick a weight where you can finish all of the reps, but you feel like you’re struggling on the last couple. This would be a great starting point and encourage muscle growth.
Log your workout so you can track progress
Tracking your workouts is a great way to make sure you are challenging yourself. Whenever people go to the gym there is no better feeling then seeing all the hard work you have put in. Log your workouts on a smart watch, take photos of your treadmill or cardio work or log it in a diary. Use this information to help you tweak the following weeks workout. You could change the reps, sets, weight or another variable to continue challenging yourself
Try and commit to sleeping more
Getting in your sleep is the last main tip I would give in order to crush a good workout. When we sleep, we heal, we get stronger, and tissues are repaired in this time of rest. If we do not get enough sleep, not only can our body not heal properly, but you won’t have as much energy to work your hardest throughout your workout, and your concentration levels will be much lower which could result in you picking up an unwanted injury.
Jack Cant – Personal Trainer – Cottonmill