Tips to Maximise Your Gym Workout

General, Muscles, Nutrition | March 16, 2018 | Author: Naturopath

general, Muscles

Tips to Maximise Your Gym Workout

If you have found time in a busy schedule to hit the gym—here are some things you can do to achieve maximum results. Take advantage of the following strategies to burn fat, tone muscles and get in great shape.

Fuelling up before a workout

To maximise your workout, you must maximise your nutrition. Research has shown that what you eat before a workout can play a large role in the results you get. It is recommended that 30-45 minutes before a workout you eat a combination of complex carbohydrates and protein. Examples include poached egg on wholemeal bread, chicken salad or raw muesli with natural yoghurt and berries. Eat light meals to prevent fatigue.

Keep hydrated

Dehydration during a workout can lead to dizziness and fatigue. Before you head to the gym make sure you are already well hydrated and have shorts breaks to drink water during exercise. This will help you sustain the intensity you need to maximise your caloric burn.

Cardio exercises

It’s all too easy to spend most of your gym time walking on the treadmill but if you’re spending more than 20 minutes doing this you could be wasting your time. If your fitness goals are to burn fat and tone up the best way to do this is to incorporate interval training. The benefit of high intensity interval training and tabata is that they take far less time than traditional cardio training and burn fat more efficiently.

Another idea is to learn some multi-tasking moves that work several muscle sets at a time. These calorie-busting exercises will ensure you're getting the most bang for your buck.

Weights

Did you know that doing weights at the gym has many advantages to assist in weight loss? When you perform resistance exercises this builds muscle which will continue to burn a higher number of calories—well after you have left the gym. Another advantage of weight training is that it keeps your muscles in shape, so they look toned. Use a variety of weights to work different muscle groups and continue reps until you feel a burn.

Don’t waste time

As soon as you walk through those doors get to work. Avoid any lengthy breaks and focus on getting your heart rate up as soon as possible. If you need some direction, look into following a set workout program or participate in an exercise class to stay on track and push yourself that bit further. Ideally limit breaks to 30-45 seconds to catch your breath and have a drink of water.

Warm up, cool down and stretch

Warm up, cool down and stretchA warm-up and cool down consists of 5-10 minutes of light-moderate activity that uses large muscle groups.

It gently prepares the body for exercise by gradually increasing your heart rate and circulation.

Without stretching the muscles shorten and become tight—limiting your range of movement and making you more vulnerable to injury.
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More is not better

If you are utilising your time well a gym workout of 45mins to an hour is all that is needed. Any more than this means you may not be working hard enough so bump up the intensity of your exercise. On the other hand, if you are working out at a high intensity for longer than one hour this could put you at risk of injury and fatigue.

Vary your workout

If you are doing the same workout each time your body will get used to it and burn less calories. Try mixing it up by adding in a different prop to challenge yourself or try a different technique on equipment you already use.

Get expert advice

If you feel unsure of what to do and aren’t getting the desired results, consider getting a personal trainer. They will design specific exercises to make sure you reach your health and fitness goals. Sometimes trainers will work with another person or a group which can make these kinds of sessions more fun and affordable.

Listen to music

Listen to musicListening to your favourite music while working out can assist in motivation and studies show it can enhance your performance. Choose uplifting songs with a fast tempo. Most gyms will already play this type of music on the floor but if you want to personalise your playlist you can easily do this on certain apps and listen with headphones.

Supplements to deliver results

L-carnitine

If you’re eating healthy and exercising regularly but feel like you need some extra help losing weight you could try taking a L-carnitine supplement pre-workout. L-carnitine assists the body to achieve maximum fat burning status. These supplements are readily available from pharmacies or health food stores.

Creatine & protein

Need big muscles? Creatine is an amino acid which can be taken before and after weight lifting to increase muscle strength and mass. It can be combined with protein supplements to maximise results. One study found that males who supplemented with a combination of whey protein and creatine had greater increases in lean tissue mass and bench press than those who supplemented with only whey protein or placebo.

Summing it all up

  • Eat a light meal consisting of carbs and protein before a workout
  • During exercise listen to music, stay hydrated and minimise breaks
  • High intensity interval training exercises maximises fat burning and weight loss

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References

Maillard F, et al. Effect of High-Intensity Interval Training on Total, Abdominal and Visceral Fat Mass: A Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2018 Feb;48(2):269-288

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29127602

Opplert JBabault N. Acute Effects of Dynamic Stretching on Muscle Flexibility and Performance: An Analysis of the Current Literature. Sports Med. 2018 Feb;48(2):299-325

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29063454

Wayment HAMcDonald RL. Sharing a Personal Trainer: Personal and Social Benefits of Individualized, Small-Group Training. J Strength Cond Res. 2017 Nov;31(11):3137-3145

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28353489

Pooyandjoo M, et al. The effect of (L-)carnitine on weight loss in adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Obes Rev. 2016 Oct;17(10):970-6

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27335245

Burke DG, et al. The effect of whey protein supplementation with and without creatine monohydrate combined with resistance training on lean tissue mass and muscle strength. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2001 Sep;11(3):349-64

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11591884

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