Simple Steps for Turning a Good Workout Into a Great One
Getting into the habit of exercising regularly is the first step to shedding those stubborn pounds, so congratulations on your progress!
But are you making the most out of your gym time?
The way you work out can have a dramatic impact on how quickly you lose weight, and if you’re not working those muscles properly, you could be hurting your chances for success.
Fortunately, with these simple steps, you can turn your ordinary workout into an extraordinary one, focusing on precisely what your body needs to burn away the extra fat.
Step 1: Have a Goal in Mind
Have you ever gone to the gym, congratulating yourself for finally finding time to work out, only to show up and wonder what to do next? Or maybe your favorite machines are all being used and you’re left anxiously pacing across the room?
According to Rick Richey, instructor at the National Academy of Sports Medicine, “too often people arrive aimlessly at the gym and without a clear picture of what they want or why they are there.” He suggests, “You will need to know where you’re going before you show up.”
Whether you decide to focus on your trouble zones or envision yourself training for an upcoming marathon, a good workout should reflect your current weight loss goals. Additionally, it always helps to have a backup plan, just in case.
Step 2: Prepare Your Muscles
Warming up and cooling down is an oft-neglected part of most workouts, and a five minute jog around the track or a few quick jumping jacks don’t count.
General warm-ups may be able to get your heart rate up and your blood flowing, but warming up your legs on the track won’t do you a bit of good if you’re planning on doing bench presses and bicep curls.
Richey explains, “Movement prep specifically primes the body for the workout, sport, or activity, and can include any or all of the following: cardio, functional flexibility, core activation, balance, plyometrics, and sports-specific condition drills.”
Depending on what your workout plans are for the day, you’ll want to adjust your warm up focus specifically on moving the muscles you’re going to train.
Step 3: Make Sure You Work Your Entire Body
While doing crunches may help build core muscles, it won’t be enough to fight the belly fat on the own. Similarly, doing squats until your legs feel like jelly may help build stronger calves and glutes, it won’t be enough to get rid of those cankles.
Experts agree that when you burn fat, your body pulls the energy from its stores all throughout the body, not just those “trouble zones.” Additionally, spending too much time with a single exercise can lead to overtraining, hypertension, and even injury.
Rather than focusing on a single area, make sure that you’re giving yourself the full body makeover by making sure that your good workout includes a balanced mix of cardio, strength, flexibility and balance training.
Step 4: Fuel Your Workouts
What you do in your downtime is just as important as what you do in the gym. No matter how good your workout actually is, unless you’re eating right and fueling your muscles with essential nutrients, you won’t see the amazing results you’re looking for.
Jay Cardiello, founder of the JCORE accelerated Body Transformation System states, “Eighty percent of a successful workout program is based on diet. If you work out for an hour a day, you still have 23 other hours to mess up or fuel up the body. Diet makes a good [workout] a great one.”
Tips: If you’re cutting back on calories, it can be difficult to get into the groove of finding the right combination of vegetables, fruits, and other healthy foods to ensure that you get all the nutrition you need. A dietary supplement may be able to give you what you’re missing.
Now that you’ve made it to the gym, these 4 simple steps can help you turn your ordinary workout into a fat burning one. Although it may take some experimenting and creativity to find what works for you, making the most out of your workouts can help you lose more weight than ever before.
Don’t have time to hit the gym? No worries! You can still get a great workout-at home following the same pattern. You can read at-home workout tips here.