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Whether you’re an avid gym-goer or you’re just starting out, you’ll want to get the most out of your workouts. Without the right regime, you’ll struggle to hit your goals. By tweaking your Training plan, however, you can maximize your results and improve your fitness. Want to supercharge your workouts? Try these proven tips and techniques now:
It’s easy to chug water when you’re sweating it out at the gym, but this isn’t necessarily the best way to stay hydrated. Drinking too much water in a short space of time means your body won’t absorb it and, worse still, it could even cause you harm. By drinking regularly throughout the day, however, you give your body the chance to absorb what it needs to and stay hydrated. Even on days when you aren’t working out, be sure to keep your water intake up. This will ensure you’re well-hydrated on training days and allow you to push yourself that little bit harder.
Hit the weights
Many women assume that lifting weights means they’ll add bulk to their physique, but you’d have to commit to a pretty intense regime for this to happen. Instead, lifting weights will build Muscle and increase your metabolic rate. This makes it easier to lose weight and ensures you’ll have great muscle definition to show off.
If you’ve never lifted weights before, booking a session with a personal trainer is a great way to start. By combining squats, planks, box jumps, bicep curls, and deltoid exercises, you’ll get a great upper and lower body workout. Once you’ve mastered the art of weightlifting and perfected your form, you’ll be able to devise a bespoke regime that’s perfectly tailored to your fitness level and your goals.
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If you tend to do all your exercise indoors, switch things up, and get back to nature. The gym, fitness studio, swimming pool, and even your living room are all great places to work out, but outdoor exercise can provide its own benefits. A hike, run, or simply a brisk walk is enough to get your heart rate up, and being outside does wonders for your mind.
When you feel like your training is hitting a rut, changing your workout location is a great way to keep things fresh. If the sun’s out, you’ll even get an extra dose of vitamin D, but be sure to apply sunscreen when it’s needed. Exercising outdoors also means it’s easier than ever to get your daily workout completed. If finding the motivation to actually get to the gym is the trickiest part of your training, being able to step outside your door and starting your work out straight away will give you all the incentive you need.
Supercharge Your Workouts with HIIT
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a fantastic way to improve your fitness. Designed to help you achieve big results in a short space of time, HIIT requires you to do short bursts of exercise at neat-maximum intensity. You might walk for 30 seconds before sprinting for 20 seconds, for example, or do 20 seconds of box jumps followed by a 25-second rest.
When done correctly, HIIT can reduce blood pressure and heart rate, as well as improving your oxygen consumption. What’s more, a HIIT workout increases your metabolism for hours after you’ve finished training. If you’re aiming to lose weight, the calories burned during your work out, combined with an increase in metabolic rate, will help you to get the results you’re after.
Take a rest day
When you’re eager to get fit, tone up, or shed some pounds, it’s tempting to push yourself into working out every day. However, attempting to train every day can do more harm than good, particularly if you’re repeating the same exercises every session. When you work out every day, your body doesn’t have enough time to recover from the exercise you’re doing. As a result, you’ll miss out on the benefits you should be getting.
Furthermore, working out too often can increase your risk of injury. If you’re starting a new fitness regime or you’re increasing the intensity of your training, consider whether you’ll need to increase the amount of rest you’re getting too. Although it can be great to push yourself to reach new goals, pushing yourself too hard won’t get you to where you want to be.
Train with a friend
For some people, working out is the perfect time to get some much-needed alone time. If you can stay motivated while following your own workout plan, that’s great, but don’t worry if you can’t. Having a training buddy doesn’t just give you someone to have a laugh with after a workout, it makes you far more likely to actually show up and get your reps in.
When there’s someone else counting on you to train, you’ll be more hesitant about missing an exercise session. What’s more, having someone on hand to spot you while you lift weights or to encourage you to run that last mile really does help you to hit your targets.
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Eat more protein
Unless you’re a bodybuilder or you’re training for an intense physical test, you probably don’t need to start incorporating protein shakes or powder into your diet. However, there’s a good chance you’ll need to eat a little more protein if you want to feel stronger and build muscle. Chicken, tuna, red meat, eggs, lima beans, tofu, and broccoli are all good sources of protein and they’re easy to squeeze into your usual diet. If you prefer to blitz up a smoothie and add a little protein powder to ensure you’re getting the right daily amount, it can certainly be a quick and effective way of upping your intake.
Don’t forget – protein isn’t the only food group you should be eating. Good fats and carbs are also important, particularly as you’ll need extra energy to fuel your body as you exercise more. If in doubt, consult a physician or work with a nutritionist to help you find the right balance.
Supercharge Your Workouts with Compound exercise
When people do non-cardio exercises, they often focus on just one muscle. If you’re doing bicep curls, for example, virtually all the benefit will be in just your bicep. Although you can exercise every muscle this way, it’s going to increase the amount of time it takes you to get through a workout.
Compound exercise simply means working out more than muscle at a time. By choosing exercises that use muscle groups, rather than just one or two muscles, you can maximize the effectiveness of your workouts without increasing their duration. Squats, lunges, deadlifts, pullups, and pushups are all examples of compound exercises, which means you’re probably already incorporating some into your workout regime.
Another benefit of doing compound exercises is that your muscles work together in the same way they do naturally. By mimicking the body’s natural movement, you’re less likely to sustain an injury. What’s more, you can get a full-body workout by doing just a small number of exercises, which is great for days when you don’t have much time to spend at the gym.
Try something new
A great exercise routine is only effective for so long. Once your body becomes accustomed to it, it’s no longer going to be helping you to build more muscle, improve your respiratory health, or increase your metabolic rate. Switching to a new form of exercise or varying your routine means you’re continuing to challenge your body and ensuring you’re still getting the maximum benefits from your hard work.
Remember – it’s important to choose a form of exercise that you actually enjoy. Whether you’re a keen amateur rower, a tennis enthusiast or you love to dance, find something you like to do and you’ll always be motivated.
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Commit to dynamic stretching
It’s essential to prepare your body before you exercise, otherwise, you increase the risk of sustaining an injury. Although static stretches used to be the go-to warm-up exercise, the benefits of dynamic stretching are now widely known. Rather than holding each stretch in place, maintain movement as you move through a series of stretches.
You’ll be using your muscles while you’re training, so stretching in this way helps to prepare them for what’s ahead. By increasing blood flow to muscle fiber, dynamic stretching loosens tendons and muscles, which means more flexibility when you’re training. As well as using dynamic stretching to prepare for a workout, be sure to use a similar routine when you’re finished too. A proper cool down is just as important as a warm-up, particularly if you want to avoid muscle stiffness.
Creating the Perfect Workout
The perfect workout is different for everyone, so don’t be afraid to try something new. Your fitness levels and goals will determine what type of training is most effective, so do as much research as possible to find the right mix of aerobic and anaerobic exercises. If you’re unsure where to start or you don’t know how to take things up to the next level, work with a trainer and create a bespoke plan that will set you on the right track.
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