For my workouts over the past 4 months I have been following Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide. Despite having been a keen gym-goer for the past 5 years or so, since starting the guide I have seen dramatic improvements in both my strength and cardio fitness. The best part is I actually spend less time at the gym than ever before!
Here are 5 tips that I use to get more out of my workouts:
- Switch up your routine
Although repeating your favourite exercises may give you some results to begin with, after a few weeks the muscles will become accustomed to them. This means that you are likely to burn less energy performing them and you may not see the results that you were hoping for. You may also begin to find the exercises easier, making your workouts less challenging both mentally and physically. For optimum results I suggest that you switch up your routine on a daily basis. I really enjoy training with a TRX- find out more about it in my TRX review. It’s time to get creative with your workouts!
- Plan your workouts
Planning is key to achieving your goals. Rocking up to the gym at 7am on a Monday morning with a plan of what exercises you are going to be doing is more likely to result in a better workout than one that you haven’t given any thought. To plan your workouts, first decide how many days out of the week you intend to exercise for. I recommend a minimum of three days of muscle group training a week with two lower intensity cardio sessions on the days in-between. Writing down the exercises in your diary or workout journal is a great way to keep you motivated and moving towards your goals.
- Target specific muscle groups
For each workout, decide which muscle groups you want to target. For example, if you are working out three times a week, you could focus on working your legs on a Monday, arms on a Wednesday and core on a Friday. This makes each workout different whilst making sure that your muscles have ample time to recover in-between training days.
- Use free weights
Weight machines tend to isolate specific muscles, failing to strengthen supporting muscle groups. Alternatively, dumbbells and bodyweight resistance exercises work multiple muscles, allowing you to train more muscles in fewer exercises. So if you find yourself pushed for time, hit the free weights for a more efficient workout!
- Give yourself some recovery time
When exercising on a regular basis it is important to give yourself a rest day once a week to allow your muscles to recover. Also be sure to get into the habit of spending a minimum of 10 minutes stretching at the end of your workout. This is when your muscles will be warmest, allowing you to work on increasing your flexibility and prevent future injuries. Foam rolling is also a great way to release tension and tightness.
What do you think about these tips? How do you maximise your workouts? I’d love to hear your thoughts- please comment below!