11 Tactics to Get More from Your Gym Sessions

Muscle Beach
Creative Commons License photo credit: patrick kiteley

Life is busy. Work, family, cooking dinner. It doesn’t leave us with a lot of time to workout. So when we finally make it to the gym we need to make sure we are getting the most out of our workout sessions. In this post I am going to show you 11 ways to get more from your time at the gym.

11 tactics to get more from your gym session

These tips are designed to help make your gym workouts more efficient, effective and result producing. If you have anything else to add please head over to the forum and leave your tips. You never know, your knowledge might really help someone.

1. Have a coffee before hand
Studies have shown that coffee helps you workout. It keeps you more focused and alert and it can even help you perform better physically. This is particularly true if you are doing a weight loss workout as caffeine speeds up your heart rate and metabolism.

The Perfect Coffee
Creative Commons License photo credit: Joanne Probyn

2. Warm up correctly
A lot of women fail to warm up correctly. If you are doing a weights session that involves a lot of upper body work you need to make sure you warm up that part of your body. Running on a treadmill is no good! If you are going to be doing upper body weights perhaps start with some rowing.

3. Keep hydrated
When you workout your body loses fluids. This can end your workout prematurely because it starts to make you feel sick and tired. Keeping hydrated is extremely important if you want to make sure you are getting the most from your time at the gym. Keep a water bottle with you or make sure you constantly visit the fountain.

4. Workout the big muscle groups
There are two types of weight lifting exercise – isolated and compound. Isolated exercises only work one muscle at a time and as such do not have a lot of full body benefits. Compound exercises, on the other hand, workout lots of muscles at once. This is a much better option for saving time, burning calories and getting a full body workout in a short space of time.

5. Use heavy weights
Whoever it was that first said that light weights tone your muscles was a fool. Light weights don’t do much at all to be honest. If you want to tone up and lose weight then you need to use heavy weights. Don’t worry, you won’t get bulky. All you will do is burn calories faster and make a lot more progress.

6. Workout with a partner
Sometimes we can be a little bit lazy when we workout by ourselves. We wander around looking at the televisions or taking big breaks in between sessions. However, if you workout with a partner a lot of that is cut out. Similarly, you will be more likely to work hard when your partner is pushing you to do better. Try it out.

7. Have a fixed routine
A few years ago I used to go to the gym and spend half of my time walking around wondering what to do next. This is a big waste of time. Plan your sessions before you go by creating a fixed routine. Stick to that routine and you will find that your sessions become a heck of a lot more productive.

8. Take some music
There is nothing like a good loud song to get you working out harder. I always seem to run a lot further when I have a good hip hop song in my ear. Try and put together a workout playlist and crank it on whenever you do your cardio sessions. The added emotion will really get you moving.

iPod shuffle
Creative Commons License photo credit: dongga BS

9. Have a set goal
One thing I noticed recently was that I worked a lot harder at the gym when I had a set goal. In previous years I would just go the gym out of some sense of needing to stay fit and slim but recently I decided that I wanted to lose 5 kilograms after spending too much time in the local cafe on an overseas trip. Once I had this set goal I did what I needed to do to achieve it and stayed on track. Find out what you want to achieve, write it down and go for it!

10. Cut your sessions to 45 minutes
Your gym sessions should not go for longer than 45 minutes. Any long than this and your body starts to produce a chemical that can actually hamper your progress. But that is not the only reason. If you cut your session times down you will be forced to fit more in and work harder. This is a fantastic way to work out – intensely.

11. Squat
The squat is the best wight lifting exercise there is. A good session of heavy weighted squats will burn more calories than any other exercise. But what is really cool about the squat is the fact that your body will continue to burn calories after you have finished the workout. If you really want to super charge your gym session you need to start squatting on a regular basis.

If you have any other suggestions please drop by our forum and let us know!