To see the results that you’re working towards manifest within a reasonable timespan you’ll have to stay motivated, push yourself and be more productive both at the gym and at home. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and your perfect body will take time to mold and sculpt into fruition too. In that time you will need to learn how to live a healthy lifestyle complete with maintaining a nutritionally balanced diet and of course a gym routine that keeps you feeling challenged and engaged. Most importantly though, you will need to make sure that your time in the gym isn’t wasted. Follow these 5 easy steps to be more productive at the gym and get the most out of your scheduled workouts.
1. Fuel Your Body Correctly
If you really want to be more productive at the gym, before you even begin exercising, you need to be thinking about your workout session. You need to make sure that you are fueling your body correctly and preparing it for the grueling test that it is about to endure during your exercise routine.
Of course it doesn’t all end when you walk out of the gym either. Your post workout nutrition is just as important as your pre workout nutrition. You need to replenish your body with the nutrients that it lost during your workout so that your muscles can properly repair themselves and grow stronger. Eating properly throughout the day also diminishes the risk of post workout muscle soreness.
2. Go During The Natural Lulls
The gym is not always jam packed full of people trying to improve their health, build their muscles and gain endurance. There are natural lulls that occur at every gym. Times during the day where very few people are there and thus most of the machines are open for you to use no matter what order you choose to workout in. To be more productive at the gym there is no better time to aim for than these lulls.
If you don’t know what hours your gym is least crowded during don’t hesitate to ask a gym employee. They will know and they will gladly tell you. Be aware that these natural lulls will likely happen at a different time every day of the week, so you may need to be prepared to adjust your own scheduling around a bit to make it work.
3. Put Away Any Distractions
Apps on your phone can be great for scheduling, planning and even reminding you about workouts but they tend to be more detrimental than helpful once you’ve actually made it into the gym. I know many of you want to argue right now, say that you use your phone for music and that it actually keeps you pushing harder than you would without the inspirational tunes. Or maybe you use it to watch YouTube or Netflix while you run so that you can push past the pain. But you can accomplish both of these goals without the use of your distracting phone.
Your phone is not just a music or video player. It is a communication device, a camera, a social media outlet and a game center all rolled into one. Making it the perfect distraction from true productivity no matter where you are or what you’re trying to accomplish (gym included). Many gyms have televisions that you can watch while you run on the elliptical or treadmill, and if you really do need music to help you push through those last few sets or reps, then bring along a dedicated music player.
You often hear that having a gym (or workout) buddy is a great idea because they push you and keep you motivated, but if your fitness goals differ too greatly between you and your workout partner they might end up being more of a distraction and strain on your workout than a motivator. If this is the case then it’s time to find a new gym partner whose goals are better in sync with your own.
4. Switch Up Your Routine
It’s true that your workout routine should include workouts that you most enjoy doing, so that you are more likely to actually keep up with the routine, but it should never become stagnant. You should switch up your routine every so often to keep your muscles from developing muscle memory to the workouts and thus not putting in as much effort or producing as many results. Switching up your routine also has mental benefits as you will be less likely to become bored, which means that your workouts will continue to excite and challenge you long after you begin going to the gym.
Not only should you change your routine to fit your changing fitness level and keep you engaged over time, but you should also change your fitness routine throughout the week. You should not focus all of your attention on one area of your body. Not allowing for proper resting time between workouts means that you will be more likely to become injured during your workout. This could set you back days or even weeks in your progress. Not to mention the fact that your body will generally be healthier and stronger if you give equal attention to all areas. The perfect workout week includes strength training, cardio training and even a few recovery days.
5. Get A Personal Trainer
If all else fails and you just can’t seem to become as productive at the gym as you’d like to be then it might be time to bite the bullet and get yourself a personal trainer. They will look at your fitness goals, your lifestyle choices and any dietary restrictions you may have and come up with a personalized plan of action to help you achieve your goals. They will work with you to make sure that you understand how to do each exercise they suggest and they will even help to push you and keep you motivated.
Even if you are able to stay motivated at they gym, if you can afford a personal trainer it’s a good idea to invest in one at some point during your life. They are trained to assist you in accomplishing your fitness goals, and may be able to help you be more productive at the gym and more focused on your dietary needs. One of the most beneficial things that a personal trainer can do for you is make sure that you don’t allow yourself to become discouraged if you aren’t seeing the progress you are working towards, in the time span you were hoping for.