Are you making the most of your time in the gym? Have you stepped out of the building knowing full well you gave that everything you had?
If in your head you’ve just said ‘no’ or ‘I had more’, then it’s time to make sure you leave with nothing left in the tank! Here are my top five tips to ensure your time is well spent!
1) Have A Plan Of Action
This is a mistake that I personally made during my early years of fitness training, not having a plan.
If you’re walking into the gym and aimlessly hopping from machine to machine, no structure or goal in mind, then you’re pretty much pushing the pause button on your personal fitness development and your overall potential!
Without a plan, how can you track progress?
Well, simply put, you can’t! There’s numerous ways to set up an effective training regime.
- Speak to a fitness professional
- Watch useful tutorial videos on YouTube
- Read books
- Whatever way you wish to go about it, ensure you have a plan sorted
Trust me, you’re better off walking into the gym and absolutely crushing a 60 minute session, rather than spending 2-3 hours lifting a few dumbbells, having a chat and then sitting on the leg press scrolling through your Instagram news feed!
2. Ensure Good Nutrition
You’ve heard it a million times before, ‘you can’t out train bad nutrition’.
If you’re not fuelling your body sufficiently then don’t expect it to perform 100% for you. What to eat before and after training can vary from person to person.
The main point being do what you need to do, to ensure your body gives you 100%.
The reason I say everyone is different and there is no perfect answer for me to give you in terms of what to eat before and after training, is because it can also come down to personal preference.
For example, I personally love to fast (not eat) through my morning weights session and then consume a huge post workout meal. That works well for me and I know my body will give me 100% doing that technique.
However, if someone else tried this, they may feel tired, very lethargic and feel their body only giving them 50-70%. The main point being, do whatever it takes to make sure you can crush your workout.
If you feel fantastic from consuming a huge carb meal before training, then go for it, or if you prefer a lighter meal or no food then do so! Everyone is different and everybody has their way of doing things.
Just ensure you do what works best for you!
3. Dehydrated Muscles = Unhappy Muscles
This leads me nicely onto my next tip, no matter what you choose to do food wise, fasting or a big meal, always, always ensure you’re fully hydrated! I promise you now, your muscles WILL NOT give you 100% if you’re dehydrated.
Three things that I always ensure around my workouts:
- At least 1 litre consumed an hour before I leave for the gym
- At least 1.5-2 litres of water during my session
- Another litre post workout
Combine this with my other daily fluid intake and I’m covered. Yes, I may have to nip to the loo a couple more times, but I’d rather that than a poor workout.
We’ve all been there right? A poor workout can literally ruin your entire day! Don’t let something so simple be the reason why you’re not making fitness progress.
Dehydration can lead to fatiguing quicker, dizzy spells and lethargic feelings, headaches and a poor performance. So drink up!
4. Leave Your Ego At Home
Improper form and bad technique will not only dampen your gym progress but also put your risk of injury at a much higher level. Train hard, but also train clever.
Lifting more weight than your body can handle will not give you results faster, in fact, you’re just slowing down your maximum potential!
So, take some plates away or lighten those dumbbells and start making real progress.
A chest press means you come down to your chest, a squat means more than 2 inches and a deadlift shouldn’t put your back out!
This tip can link nicely with my first one, have a plan and track your progress.
If you squatted 100kg for 8 reps last week and want to attempt a little progression, go to 102.5 or 105kg for 8 reps, not suddenly add two more big plates a side and attempt 140kg for 8!
Be patient, train smart and your body will reward you. After all, small progress is better than no progress.
5. Focus On Yourself
Lift what you can lift, not what the person next to you is lifting. Sprint on the treadmill at your fastest speed, not Usain Bolts.
My last tip of this article, do this journey for you and don’t compare yourself to others. Use others as motivation and be inspired, but don’t try and match someone else’s level at the risk of damaging your own progress.
It’s clear now that all my tips link nicely together. Proper nutrition and good hydration, combined with a solid gym plan, focusing on yourself and keeping at your maximum level, not someone else’s, will help you to progress further!
I hope these tips can help you in your fitness journey and that you have learnt something new!