14 steps to make your workout more effective

Working out for one hour in the gym is not what guarantees that you will get the result you want. There are certain things you should be doing inside and outside the gym that will take you to your weight loss, fitness or muscle building goals. Read through the list below and start using them immediately to get the maximum benefit from your workout

 

  • Get a personal trainer

You can argue all you want and tell yourself you can do it by yourself, but the fact is that you need a certified personal trainer. There is a reason for their training. Would you go to someone who does not understand finance to give you advice on buying shares? A personal trainer helps you to prepare a personal training and nutrition program that is tailored specifically to your needs. One size does not fit all. If you are doing it alone without professional advice and supervision, of course you will be blown about with every information, product and diet you see or someone suggests to you. Your trainer prepares your program, trains and guides you in proper form and follows up on you to make sure you do not fall off track. Get a trainer and let go of confusion that comes from 30 different people giving you different advice that is supposed to be good for you at the same time.

 

  • Change your routines

No matter how tasty your chicken stir fry is, if you eat it every day for one month, you will not appreciate its taste anymore. You will get used to it. The excitement will go and boredom will creep in. The strange thing is that you might continue eating it out of habit but not feel anything for the food. It is the same with your workout. Change it regularly. Keep it challenging and fun. The first time I lifted 4kg kettle bell, it felt heavy, I could not do more than 6 reps. I use 8kg now and it is not challenging anymore. So do I just continue with it? No, I am moving up to 10 kg. That’s the same way you should change your weights, vary your workout. Try push up, and then add the diamond push up. Try mountain climber then mountain climber with pushup. Vary, vary and vary your workouts and see incredible results.

 

  • Get an accountability partner.

 

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We all need a helping hand once in a short while. You need someone to motivate you to get up, and encourage you to go on when you give up. Get an exercise buddy, but it has to be someone that has the same value about fitness and nutrition as you. Not someone that will see you as a cash cow for the latest Ponzi scheme or the buyer of some weird weight loss supplement with a strange name. An exercise buddy will notice when you are not working out and check up on you. He will call you in the morning and tell you he is on his way to the gym, where are you. Knowing that someone has got your back will make you step up, workout and get result so you can give each other a high five.

 

  • Feeling of entitlement

Trainer: Ify, what did you eat yesterday?

Ify: I ate my regular meals but I also finished one loaf of bread, one doughnut and a glass of soft drink”

Trainer: Do you know how many calories the extra you ate contains?

Ify: It does not matter; I really worked out in the gym today. I have already burnt it off in the gym before I ate it.

A feeling of entitlement that you have worked out and have earned the reward to eat junk will derail your weight loss goals and keep your abs covered in the fat you are working out to burn off.

A slice of bread has between 70 – 80 calories

A regular sugar coated doughnut has 191.7 calories

And a glass of soft drink has 90 calories

That is 351.1 extra calories.

You need to run with a regular pace for 30 minutes to burn off 300 calories.

It’s not worth it

 

  • Go for HIIT.

To get more result from your workout go for high intensity interval training.  Jump rope for 2minutes alternating with 3 very fast jumps and 10 regular jumps, then do the kettle bell swing for 10 reps. Take 10 seconds break and do 20 jumping jacks, then 20 reps of triceps dips. Take another 10 seconds break and use the elliptical for 3 minutes furious ride and do bicep curls for 10 reps. This is a sure way to get your whole body engaged in your workout and get result fast.

  • Use heavier weights

When I give some mothers 4kg dumbbells they wince and grimace and tell me it’s too heavy and then pick the 2kg dumbbell. The same women will not think twice before lifting their 10kg child and carrying her for hours while they shop. That is just to show you that you are underestimating your strength. Heavier weights will help you get results faster and No, you will not look like Hulk

  • Do not work out on empty stomach

Although it may help you to burn fat, what of your energy level and safety. Working out on an empty stomach may decrease your energy level and make your workout ineffective. Before going for you workout take something. It can be a smoothie, a cup of coffee, one hard-boiled egg or a bowl of mixed fruits. I have had clients who became weak and dizzy during their workout because of not taking anything. I had to stop their training.  You know what works best for you, but do not get desperate and try extreme measures. Another thing that makes it not worth the trouble is that when you do not eat before you work out, you might get very hungry afterwards and make the wrong decision by eating junk to get your stomach to stop grumbling.

 

  • Stay away from sports drink

Taking sports drink after your workout does more harm than good. If you are thirsty, drink water. Sports drinks are filled with sweeteners, additives and other chemicals. This can add extra calories you do not need. Water is always the best way to go. Flavor your water with lemon or mint leaf to make it more acceptable to your taste bud.

  • Work up some sweat

The first time I trained Gloria, she told me proudly that she does not sweat. She watched other people sweating as they worked out and she said smugly.  “Nothing will make me sweat”. I said ok. She has been working out for some time and yet there was nothing to show for all the time she claimed she had been working out.  When you sweat during your workout it’s because your body generates heat, this stimulates the sweat glands in your body to produce sweat. This is then transported to your skin through perspiration, when it evaporates, your body cools own. This keeps you from overheating. Gloria did not sweat because her workout was not charged up enough and that is why she did not lose weight.

 

  • Nutrition

What you eat before and after your workout is very important. When you work out your muscle breaks down, and your glycogen store is depleted. You need to replenish your body with the needed nutrients to help stop further muscle breakdown and fatigue.

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Apple with peanut butter
You should consume at least 10 – 25 grams of protein after a workout. A medium size egg is 6 grams of protein; take it with a glass of milk and yogurt. Failure to follow this step after a workout will make you not to see the leaner and well-toned body you expect from your workout. Post-workout nutrition is crucial to any fitness goals.

  • Jump rope

Jumping rope is a great way to get a full body workout. To get the full benefit when jumping rope, vary your speed and jump. You can go a little faster for 5 reps then revert to your normal pace for 5 reps or you can jump higher for 5 reps and use your regular jump for 5 reps.  Do not jump rope with a regular pace; engage in a constant challenging movement.

  • Strength training
    It is time to say goodbye to those pretty pink 2kg dumbbells and go for something heavier. You must challenge your muscle for it to grow. Any weight that you can use comfortably for 12 reps while holding a meaningful conversation is definitely not challenging. To make the weight lifting more challenging, change your grip on the barbell, squat or lunge with the weight.

For your triceps dips, try raising one leg as you go up and down. Find challenging but safe ways to make each strength training more challenging. That way you will see fast result.

You can also do a superset training when doing your strength training.  Do the bicep curls for 10 reps, standing triceps press for 10 reps and standing kettle bell row for 10 reps. Do the 3 exercise in a row without a break.

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  • Visualization

Your visualization has to be in sync with what you want. You have to see yourself getting the result you want. What do you want?

To lose weight?

Have more muscle tone?

To stop wearing a body shaper?

Or simply look good without your clothes on?

Whichever of this 4 that you may want, you have to see it before it happens. If you want to slim down and the only thing you are thinking about is how to wear certain clothes that you know fits only plus size persons, then your visualization is out of sync with what you want. See yourself slimmer, wearing those clothes you can only wear in your dreams and you will be surprised how nature will work with you to bring it to reality.

  • Your why

 

The reason you came to the gym is to workout not engage in the latest celebrity gossip, what is happening in the economy or to argue about what is wrong and right in the education system. You came in to get fit, lose weight and get wellness. Make sure you get it. Do not waste your time arguing and discussing, only to go home and feel like you wasted your time. You have wasted your time. Time you cannot regain. Make every moment in the gym count.

 

Now you know the steps you should take to make your work out more effective and reach your weight loss, muscle building and health goals. Go back to the gym and make it happen.

Author: Nkeoma DND Agu

Nkeoma DND Agu is a certified personal, group, and corporate fitness trainer. She is also a certified fitness and nutrition coach. She has been in the fitness industry for more than 10 years. She holds certification with one of the highest certifying bodies in fitness and wellness in USA, National Exercise and Strength Training Association (NESTA) She is the Director of Bellisima Fitness And Health Studio Ltd. She helps individuals and corporate bodies in Nigeria and all over the world to achieve personal and company fitness and health goals.

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