Exercise and its benefits aren’t exactly rocket science. Exercise, and you’ll lose weight and find it easier to get stuck into all your further workouts. Put it off, and you’ll gain more weight, and find it harder to motivate yourself towards exercise in the future. This is simple enough, but with the busy schedules we all lead, it can be very hard to reach your targets as fast as you’d like. Here are some of the best pointers for more efficient workouts…
Have a Plan
That old adage “if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail” applies to pretty much everything in life, and working out is no exception. If you head to the gym without a plan, your membership can quickly become a massive waste of money! To keep yourself from wandering uncertainly from one piece of equipment to the next, map out your routine ahead of time, backing it up with clear, achievable goals. When you start a workout with a clear plan and schedule in mind, you’ll be able to do so much more in far less time.
Do Something Different
Any exercise is better than no exercise, but if you’re sticking to an isolated group of exercises, you’re going to be working out inefficiently. Make a point of ditching the exercises and equipment that you usually stick to, and doing something different. After all, there’s literally countless ways you could be exercising and getting your body that much closer to where you want it to be. Try your hand at swinging a kettlebell around, some weighted vest training, or even joining in with a Zumba class. Don’t worry about people staring – they were all beginners at some point!
Track your Progress
One of the main threats of running through the same exercises day after day is that it can bring you to a training plateau – the point where you’re staying as healthy as your routine allows, but not making any kind of real progress. The best way to avoid hitting this kind of wall is tracking your progress through a workout journal. Use this to record all the exercises, reps, sets, and the weights you were using in each training session. From there, you can use these notes to see what kind of progress you’re making, and plan out new regimens that are more challenging than the ones you’re currently performing.
Have Perfect Form
A lot in fitness and strength training is on a learning curve, but there’s really no reason why you can’t have perfect form from day one. Doing this will make sure you avoid any nasty injuries, all the while ensuring that you’ll reap the maximum possible benefits from the kind of exercises you’re doing. With squats, for example, you need to be standing straight with your chest up, shoulders back, and the core engaged, with a soft bend in your knees with all your weight shifting gradually back to the heels. Pretty much every exercise has a proper form, so do your homework!