Start Maximizing Your Workout
A good workout is like an antidote for a bad day. You’re feeling frustrated or unappreciated at work, and then you strap a heart rate monitor on and spend a good hour pumping iron at the gym and the endorphin rush clears up your woes in a matter of seconds.
Top 7 tips for maximizing your workout
Many people claim that you can always get more from your workout, and they’re not entirely wrong.
We have put together a list of 7 tips for maximizing your workout, in the hopes that it helps you to beat away the workday blues in a healthy, efficient manner.
Running out of steam halfway through a workout is the worst, and can sometimes take away your motivation to continue and finish your workout that day. It’s a disheartening experience to be sure, but there are products on the market that help you avoid this catastrophic exercise interruption.
Pre-workout is a powdered drink that you mix with water and drink before and during your workout that not only replenish electrolytes, but are full of energy (and sometimes caffeine) to really get your energy levels skyrocketing.
While effects will differ from product to product, the benefits of pre-workout drinks can include:
- A Boost in Energy
- Increased Workout Performance and/or Efficiency
- Increased Metabolism & Weight Loss
- Faster Recovery Post-Workout
- Improved Concentration & Focus
Although some of these effects are more anecdotal than scientific, the potential benefits of utilizing pre-workout supplements should not be ignored.
Gaining muscle is what exercise is all about, and even weight loss exercise usually involves muscle growth and refinement. Helping this process along is a powdered drink additive called protein powder, which is exactly what it sounds like.
When choosing your protein, it’s important to consider what your requirements are, as each variant is slightly different. For example:
- Whey Concentrate
A fantastic starting point for beginners, this is an inexpensive protein source that can be found in the vast majority of supplement stores. While the affordable price tag makes this a highly popular option, some people will experience bloating and gas due to it being difficult to digest.
- Soy Protein
Despite not being a go-to choice for most bodybuilders, soy-based options are a great source of protein for vegetarians. These soy options are loaded with things like arginine (which assists in getting nutrients to the muscles faster), glutamine and BCAA’s (both of which aid in recovery).
Protein is vital in building muscle, and the more you want to build the more protein you need, so drinking a protein drink twice a day every day that you workout should help to increase your muscle mass quickly.
This should go without saying, but don’t jump into your workout cold. “Cold” muscles are muscles that haven’t been warmed up before a workout, and they have less blood pumping through them, are more prone to major tearing, have lower power output, and are generally less effective.
Full body warm-ups generally involve stretching and cardio, and they get your whole body ready for anything.
The number of reps you do in a set indicate how much muscle you put on and how much fat you burn. If you’re working with high weight, do fewer reps to avoid fatiguing and damaging your muscles. If you’re working with low weight, do significantly more reps to burn off more fat and tone your muscles more.
The number of sets you do should be directly based on your previous experience with any given exercise. If you have done thousands of chin-ups over the years, doing four sets of them in a workout shouldn’t be a problem, but if you haven’t ever done a single chin-up it’s probably a better idea to ease yourself into them with resistance bands first. Overestimating yourself can lead to a loss of motivation, and that’s never fun.
Lifting weights is a delicate balance between not injuring yourself and still pushing yourself to the limit. Find what’s comfortable in your lifting range for each exercise and go one or two levels beyond that.
Whether that’s being comfortable at 10 pounds and pushing yourself to 15 pounds or being comfortable at 40 pounds and pushing to 50 pounds is all dependent on how comfortable you are with the weight, but never lift more than you’re comfortable with.
Finally, cardio is a great exercising tool because it requires very little in the way of equipment and preparation. Get your running shoes on, strap your heart rate monitor on and head out on your run. Make sure to start out small and work up to a longer and longer run as you go instead of tackling a 10km run on your first attempt.
This is a good starting place for working out, and as many exercise enthusiasts will tell you working out is mostly about how confident you feel in the given exercise.
Learn to get a feel for your comfort levels and you’ll learn to safely test what you can and can’t do.
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