Are you getting the maximum benefit from your workout every single time?
If you’re in the gym or attempting to get in the gym regularly, this is an important question to ask yourself.
Often it’s necessary to switch things up in your fitness routine to achieve the best gains, exceed your goals, and get (or stay) shredded. And that requires a plan.
This article will share some tried and true changes you can make to assist you in getting the most out of your fitness regimen. That way, you’ll be sure you’re receiving the best return on your sweat equity.
Our goal is to help you:
- Have more energy during workouts
- Lessen your recovery time
- Achieve bigger gains
We’ll break down these changes into pre-workout, in-workout, and post-workout.
So, let’s dive right in and ensure you’re in the best position possible to crush your fitness goals.
Far too often, pre-workout routines are taken for granted. We’re all in a hurry and may not have time to go through a long pre-workout program. However, we can practice several easy pre-workout rituals to help us maximize our gains.
- Try A Dynamic Stretch
As you’re probably aware, stretching before a workout prepares your muscles for battle.
Many times, stretching is done in a “static” way. We’re standing or sitting in one place and going through our stretching routine. Yet, modern studies indicate that “static” stretches are far from the best way to prepare our muscles to go to work.
When cold, muscles tend to tighten and be less pliable. Warm muscles become loose and flexible.
Dynamic stretches require you to move and work up a lather while warming your muscles and preparing them for your workout.
Just search “dynamic stretch” on your favorite search engine, and you’ll be hit with many excellent routines that can help you get the most out of your gym time.
- Use A Foam Roller
Foam rollers have burst onto the fitness scene in recent years. For a good reason, they have many benefits for your muscles.
Foam rolling pre-workout can:
- Boost muscle elasticity
- Increase blood flow
- Improve range of motion
Foam rollers can be painful to use at first, but it’s the kind of pain that can pay off in the long run. It’s best to start by applying light pressure and work your way up to more pressure as you get
Additionally, begin by applying the foam roller to a specific area for about ten seconds and aim to work progressively towards about a minute per muscle group.
A quick internet search should yield dozens of tutorials for beginner foam roller users.
- Drink And Eat Well
This may seem obvious to some, but it’s worth noting that what you put into your body will heavily affect your workout.
Be sure to:
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat nutrient-dense whole foods
- Avoid “junk” food
Eating healthy and staying hydrated is always crucial for your physique—However, it’s absolutely essential before you work out.
Think about a car that has no oil and no gasoline. It’s not going to operate very well.
The same is true for your body. If it doesn’t have the proper nutrients and hydration, it won’t work as well as it should.
An in-workout plan will help you get the best results. Here are some changes you can implement into your routine to ensure that you are working at peak efficiency and being the best version of yourself.
- Make A Custom Routine For Your Goals
Marathon runners run for hours in the high mountains because the lack of oxygen forces their muscles to function more efficiently.
Powerlifters go for maximum weight with fewer reps and rest for extended periods because that improves their strength.
Why do they do these things?
It’s because they have specific goals that they’re looking to achieve.
Think about your goals. What do you want?
It could be:
- Lose weight or belly fat
- Develop long, lean muscles
- Bulk up and maximize strength
Whatever your goal is, find a workout routine tailored to your needs and get after it.
- Change It Up From Time To Time
So, we tell you to find a routine tailored to your goals, and now we’re saying to change it up.
Sounds antithetical, right?
Yes and no.
Do you know how they say practice makes perfect?
The human mind and body, indeed, have an amazing capacity to learn, adapt, and master a variety of skills, both mental and physical.
The first time we try something, it will be difficult, but eventually, with repetition, we’ll get good at it. Then we’ll reach a point where we have no more room to grow.
The same is true with exercise. If you perform the same activities repeatedly, the body will get very good at them, and your muscles will stop growing.
Finding new exercises that can force new muscle groups to work harder and grow in different ways is critical.
If you like lifting free weights in the gym, try cross-fit. If you’re a distance runner, try cross-country skiing. You’re using similar muscle groups but in new and challenging ways.
By trying a new exercise, you’ll see more rapid improvements, learn new skills, and probably have more fun.
- Push Yourself
Most humans are guilty of getting comfortable and complacent. The problem is these characteristics can be deadly for progress.
It’s essential for muscle growth that we push ourselves. We must continuously strive to lift more weight, run further, and exercise longer to continue making gains.
Otherwise, the body will get comfortable and not grow.
Pushing yourself requires you to leave your comfort zone, because the body craves comfort. However, there are some ways to beat this mentality.
Tips to push yourself include:
- Set goals
- Focus on the present
- Avoid distractions (texts, the clock, phone calls, etc.)
- Follow a mantra
- Find a workout partner (who holds you accountable)
Why be average when you can be great?
Continue to push yourself and look at comfort or complacency as your enemy—Focus on the daily battle, and you’ll be making huge gains in no time.
Many of us head straight for the exits and don’t take time for a post-workout regimen after we finish our session. The truth is, what we do after our workout will play a vital role in our gains.
- Keep A Workout Log
A workout log is a great way to keep track of your gains and solidify your goals. Not to mention, journaling is a great way to get your thoughts out and help you to understand yourself.
We’d recommend writing down the following:
- Amount of sets and reps
- Weight you lifted
- Other relevant metrics
- A note on how you felt
For practical purposes keeping track of how many sets and reps you pumped out will help you to get better in the gym, as will keeping track of the weight you put up.
Writing a note about your mood, attitude, and feelings will help you to understand your ideal routine—It will allow you to identify things that may detract from or add to your workout.
- Take A Cold Shower
Have you ever seen professional athletes or powerlifters in a post-workout ice bath?
You may know that plenty of evidence shows that cold water can help athletes recover post-workout.
Evidence indicates cold water can:
- Reduce recovery time
- Diminish muscle soreness
- Bring body temperature back to normal
- Revitalize energy levels
Some of these effects are physical, while others may be more mental. Either way, immersing yourself in cold water can help you recover faster after a workout.
- Refuel Your Body Properly
Back to the nutrients and hydration we go. We don’t want to beat a dead horse, but putting proper replenishing compounds in your body will go a long way to help you perform your best.
Focus on eating foods like:
- Lean meats
- Nutrient-rich vegetables
- Nuts or legumes
These foods are the best for refueling your body and giving it what it needs after a workout.
Also, try to focus on drinking water. If you need something sweeter with calories, many sports drinks have electrolytes that can replenish your needy muscles. We wouldn’t advise too many sports drinks since they’re high in sugar, but they’re suitable for post-workout recovery in moderation.
Start Today—Optimize Your Gains Now!
It’s common for everyone to hit a plateau in their fitness routine. For many, this can be highly discouraging and lead to extended time away from the gym or other physical activities.
If that sounds like you, it’s never too late to make a change.
Comfort and complacency can be the death of our gains—We must avoid these pitfalls at all costs because the body begins to decline at an alarming rate when it’s not pushed physically.
Make a change, and revitalize your workouts today!
To get the best results, you need a plan. Our goal is to help you do that. Enjoy and get after it, friends.