Fitsters, let’s make 2016 the year of awesome workouts! Don’t half-ass it when it comes time to sweat it out, put your best foot forward and chase after those fitspiration dreams. Well, how can you ensure you’re getting a good workout? Sometimes all you can do is dedicate your time and put in your energy, but there are a few things to keep in mind that might help you maximize your gym sessions…
Before heading to an intense gym session, feed your body some good complex carbs. This will help to fuel your workout and give you all the energy necessary to do your best. Have some oatmeal or oaty cereal in the mornings before you hit the gym, or if you’re an evening gym goer, snack on sweet potatoes, beans, lentils, or peas prior to your workout. You should be aiming to consume your carbs about an hour before your gym session. It’s also great to include some protein to help the carbohydrates release their energy slower, and therefore give you better stamina.
Warm Up and Stretch Off
Once you’re at the gym, it’s important that you warm up before starting your routine. Go run on the treadmill for 5 – 10 minutes at a moderate pace, or do some jumping jacks, knee highs, etc. to get your heart pumping. After you go through your routine for the day, be sure to stretch out all the muscles in your body – even ones you think you won’t be using, before hitting the shower! Stretching will jumpstart your recovery process by releasing the tension in your muscles and joints and improves overall circulation. Be sure to hold each stretch for about 10 seconds to fully maximize its effect.
Incorporate High Intensity
Your routine should incorporate high intensity portions at least 3 times a week. It’s important to really get your heart going to maximize the benefits of what you’re trying to achieve, whether it’s weight loss, endurance, strength or toning. You should really aim to smash out your routine in about 30-40 minutes for the best results (not including post-workout stretching). If you’re spending any longer in the gym, you’re not really reaping more benefits. That is because after roughly that amount of time your body has to slow down to cope with all the exercise and exhaustion starts to sink in. You are therefore not lifting, squatting or running as hard or as fast as you could be.
Once your workout is over, the next step is all about nutrition and filling your body with the goodness it needs to maximize the work you’ve just put in. You need to replenish your glycogen stores so that your body can begin repairing your muscle tissue to help you grow bigger and stronger. Post workout nutrition is, therefore, crucial to getting the results you want! Be sure to replace your glycogen with some healthy carbs before taking your protein shake to maximize muscle-building results!
Hopefully, these four quick tips will get your workouts rocking in 2016. These are proven methods that really get results – so give them a go! Remember, if you stick to your fitness regime, you will eventually achieve your best body.