5 ways to make your workout actually work
As much as I hate to admit it, going to the gym isn’t always something I look forward to. Going to the gym and doing a full workout isn’t always something I have time for either. And I’m sure everyone can relate, during finals season and the holidays, workouts can be few and far between. So when you do have time, why go to the gym, do some half-ass crunches, maybe pick up a few weights, mess around for an hour, and leave? I feel like we all waste a lot of time doing dumb stuff (scrolling threw Twitter, hitting the snooze button ten times in the morning, lying on your bed for an hour in your robe after you shower) so why waste even more of your time? I know personally, I can’t promise myself that I will always have time for the gym, but I can promise myself that when I do, I’m definitely not going to waste it.
Engage your core.
No that’s not B.S. your pilates teacher tells you, it actually helps. Engaging your core not only keeps you from injuring your spine but it also helps with your endurance, muscle strength and can even improve back pain.
Do two more reps than you planned on.
Whenever I am doing any type of strength exercise, I always do two more reps than I planned on doing. In other words, if I plan on doing 20 weighted squats, I do 22. Or if I am holding a plank for 60 seconds, I hold it for 80 instead. I know it’s a lot of math, but I promise making this minor change is going to help you get so much more out of your workout.
Hydrate before and after you workout, not during.
Alright I’m not saying you can never sip water when you workout, but just make sure to get the proper amount of water before and after you workout. Working out dehydrated is like working out on an empty stomach- you’re bound to feel sluggish and distracted and have a shambly workout. Make sure to drink about 8 oz (a water bottle) of water 30 minutes or so before you workout. Repeat the same process when you finish your workout to replenish your body and give it a lil bit of love. REMEMBER: YOUR ORGANS LOVE WATER.
Warm up your body before you workout.
Warming up your heart and your body is so important for building muscles and burning fat. (AKA seeing results) It doesn’t take much- even doing 5 minutes of jumping jacks gets your heart rate up and allows proper blood flow to muscles when exercising them. Also it just gets you hyped up and you can listen to some lit music while doing so.
Don’t do the same workout every time.
No wonder why people hate going to the gym. If I did the same workout day in and day out I would be bored as hell too. Doing the same workout every day also makes it harder to motivate yourself to go to the gym. Switching up your workout (I recommend creating a weekly workout schedule for consistency) allows you to push your body in new ways and continue making progress towards your health and fitness #goals.