How to Get the Best Out of Your Workouts
Few people starts a workout program because they enjoy the pain of lifting weights or the sweaty atmosphere of the gym. You start exercising to attain a defined end-it may be to lose weight, build muscles, increase your fitness and so on. Since you hit the gym to meet specific ends worth sweating and grinding over, it would be great to know the best way to achieve your fitness goals. The good news is; researchers have worked extensively on the best ways to make your workouts count. Here are some of the best ways to get the maximum benefits from your exercise routine.
Train for Strength
One of the best ways to make your workouts count is by doing strength training. Strength training of all kinds is a powerful technique for achieving your fitness goals be it weight loss or weight gain. This doesn’t mean cardio is bad for you.
However, strength training such as weight lifting, body weight training and other forms of resistance training help to build muscle mass. Mind you; more muscles mean higher metabolism as muscles are metabolically active tissue that helps burn calories. In one study at the Harvard School of Public Health, researchers found that compared with people who did cardio for the same amount of time, people who engaged in weight training for 20 minutes a day accumulated a lower amount of belly fat over a period of 12 years.
Eat Carbs Before High-Intensity Exercise
Eating carbs before working out can help you exercise for longer and more intensely as per a 2013 study published in Sports Medicine. Your body uses its glycogen stores during high-intensity workouts, and when the glycogen reserve has been depleted, your performance also plummets. But you can avoid this by topping your reserves with a meal of healthy carbs before working out so you can exercise harder for longer, which is extremely important for burning calories and build muscle mass. Bottom-line, it’s better to have oatmeal or another healthy carb before rigorous exercise in the morning or any other time of day.
Train with Free Weights
While strength training is an excellent way of building muscles and burning fat, not all strength training workouts are equal. You should be training with free weights if you want to take your fitness to the next level. This is because free weights work more muscles and require maximum concentration and coordination, unlike weight machines that need little to no coordination from you. In fact, a 2014 study published in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research found that exercising with free weights such as barbells, kettlebells and dumbbell trigger higher hormonal responses than similar workouts performed on weight machines.
According to research from the University of North Carolina, 2 percent loss of body weight in fluids can reduce exercise performance, make your workout more difficult, and lower your body's ability to recover after working out. The sad reality is that many people come to the gym dehydrated, making it almost impossible for them to workout at their maximum. Be sure to take enough water before hitting the gym and always remember to drink water after drilling yourself to exhaustion.
Get Enough Sleep
If you spend most of your time working out without allowing your body enough rest to recover and repair itself, you are heading for trouble. Not only does inadequate sleep prevent you from performing optimally during workouts, but it also impedes your body's ability to recover on time for the next exercise, according to a 2015 study published in Sports Medicine. This is because your body repairs and builds muscles during sleep. Also, sleep is necessary for the body to replenish its power reserve. Be sure to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to allow your body rest for optimal performance.
Whether you are gunning for a leaner frame or trying to build killer abs, regular training, a well-rounded diet, and adequate rest will help you attain ideal fitness in record time. No matter your fitness goals, these tips will help you get the most of your workouts. What are you waiting for?