How many times have you gone to the gym to realize that you're unsure what to do? Or you've been following the same routine for months and feel bored.
Many people find themselves in this situation, but it doesn't have to mean that your workouts will be forever ineffective. In fact, there are a few simple things you can do to get the most out of your weight-training workouts.
Without further ado, let's jump right into some actionable tips!
Don't be afraid of lifting heavy weights! Many people think they should only lift light weights to avoid injury, but lifting heavier weights is essential to getting the most out of your workouts.
Lifting heavier weights forces your muscles to work harder, increasing strength, endurance, and muscular development. In addition, lifting heavier weights feels good because it makes you acknowledge what you are capable of. Nevertheless, lifting heavy should be done within reason –– lift as heavy as possible without breaking the exercise form.
Don't be afraid to push yourself because lifting heavier weights is one of the best ways to get the most out of your workout routine. The general recommendation would be to focus on working sets taken close to failure (i.e., always leaving 1-3 reps in reserve at the end of your set.)
Rest More Between Sets
As the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nervous system are under more strain, your body needs more time to recover between sets. Suboptimal rest between sets can quickly diminish performance, robbing you of good stimulus and making your workouts less effective.
However, if you're properly rested and have a good plan, lifting heavier weights can be a great way to build strength and muscle mass and reap all the benefits of your training sessions.
As a general rule, if you do your working sets as recommended previously, you would be best off resting about 1-3 minutes before you go into another bout of heavy lifting, depending on your goal!
Emphasize Progressive Overload
If you've been to the gym more than a handful of times, you've probably heard the term "progressive overload."
In short, progressive overload is the process of gradually increasing the amount of stress placed on your body during exercise.
This can be done by the following means:
- Increasing the weight lifted
- Increasing the number of reps
- Increasing the number of sets
- Increasing workout frequency
- Decreasing rest times (doing the same work for less time)
- Increasing time under tension
It's important because if you don't gradually increase the difficulty of your workouts, your body will quickly adapt and stop making progress.
So if you're looking to get the most out of your time at the gym, keep progressive overload in mind. After all, the body adapts to things (in this case, loads) it hasn't experienced before.
You hit the gym hard day in and day out. You never miss a leg day, you're always doing cardio, and you make sure to get your protein shake in afterward. But if you're not eating right, you aren't getting the most out of your workouts. This is because eating better is essential to getting the most out of your workouts, as a good workout is nothing without good food.
The right foods will help your body recover from strenuous exercise, build muscle, and improve your overall performance. With this in mind, fuel your body with the right foods if you want to get the most out of your workout routine.
Get around 0.8-1g of protein per pound of body weight, about 0.4g of healthy fat per pound, and tailor your carbohydrate intake to personal preference.
To also get the most out of your workouts, you must ensure you get enough good-quality sleep. While sleeping, your body can repair itself on all the levels needed to benefit from your workout sessions. This means that you'll be able to work out at a higher intensity and for a more extended period of time, in addition to bettering your food and sleep.
It can be said that the benefits come in the days AFTER a workout. Your training sessions are just a prerequisite for the benefits!
It's important to remember that success takes more than just hard work. You also need to be smart about your training and do everything possible to get the most out of your time in the gym.
If you need to figure out if you are training effectively, ask a professional for help. They can assess your routine and make suggestions for how you can improve. With a bit of tweaking, you can turn those lackluster workouts into ones that produce real results.
About the Author: Brittinie Wick is an Air Force Veteran turned Health and Fitness Coach who founded Brittinie Wick Fitness. Her mission is to empower all women, through fitness and nutrition, to gain confidence, lose weight, and celebrate the feeling of strong and sexy. Grab her “Healthy at Every Age” guide! This ebook is aimed at people just like you, who want to live their BEST, MOST ACTIVE life, starting TODAY and continuing deep into the future!