These eight rules that I discuss, target maximum efficiency with minimum time, thus allowing you to have shorter, but more developed and stronger workouts. For many of us, time is of the essence, so being able to shave off even ten minutes from a workout could result in an even more productive day.
I cannot tell you the amount of times I have been at the gym and watched people waste their own time. As a professional, in the health and wellness arena, it kills me to watch people sabotage themselves. Some gym goers do this unknowingly, while others, in my opinion, simply do not care.
I remember what it was like for me when I first started working out. Everything is foreign, machines look scary and there are people doing exercises you never even knew existed. However, after years of honing my workouts, acquiring my professional certifications, and teaching many individuals, I have come up with easy tricks to have an even better workout.
These eight easy tips, truly will help you have an even better workout, and will ultimately help you achieve the body you want faster, and in some cases, easier. They may sound like obvious notions, but actually implementing these eight rules will help you garner the results you’ve been looking for.
1. Put Your Phone Away
This is my first and biggest rule. You step into a workout session with me, it is game time. The outside world does not exist, and we are all each other have.
Yes, I understand that we all have business to take care of, but your body is one of your ultimate priorities. Nothing catastrophic is gong to happen within the hour you are working out, and if you seriously think something big has happened, excuse yourself from the gym to make a phone call.
Furthermore, all that checking your phone, texting, talking, taking gym selfies and whatever else you are doing is wasted time. You are tricking yourself into thinking you have been at the gym working out longer than you actually have. Phone time at the gym still does not equal workout time.
2. Bring a Water Bottle
Again, this may sound completely elementary, but by bringing a water bottle, you save time walking back and forth to the water fountain. Time is of the essence, and just by eliminating that simple walk back and forth; you will feel a difference in your routine.
Furthermore, it is imperative to stay hydrated while working out. It is way more likely that you will keeping drinking adequate amounts of water with the ease of having a water bottle next to you.
Again, simple, but extremely effective.
3. Wear Headphones / Listen to Music
This one may be different for different people, but having music on, in your own headphones, allows you to focus better. Having music play in your earphones, helps to drown out the distractions around you, focus more intensely on your own workout and is a nonverbal sign that you are not at the gym to socialize.
Listening to your own version of pump up music will help you zone in on what ever exercise you are doing, and keep you motivated longer. Music with higher levels of bass can make you feel more powerful, according to a study done at Northwestern, which I can personally attest to.
Throw on some dubstep, hardcore rap, or dancey pop-music and you will have a better burn, pump more and waste less time.
4. Warm Up / Stretch
Warming your body up is extremely important when exercising. Yes, it takes some time to warm up and stretch, but saving yourself from injury is imperative. It is worth the extra 10-15 minutes because you are helping to prevent from long-term effects, which will ultimately take up more time. Coming back from an injury that could have been prevented, takes a lot more time than stretching for a few minutes before and after your workout.
Stretching helps your flexibility and overall muscle function. It has long been said that your level of flexibility is a sign of your general health and wellness.
Once you have stretched, go for a quick 5 minute medium speed run to help raise your heart rate to a place that you will want to keep it at during the duration of your workout. Once you get yourself a little sweaty, it is easier to stay at that place.
To superset when you exercise, means to do two different exercises in a row with little to no rest. This may sound way more advanced than you care to think about, or extremely obvious to others; however, there is a superset for everyone.
No matter who you are, or what your fitness level is, I suggest trying to have as little rest in-between reps as possible. A great way to implement supersets into your workout is to use pushups, high knee ups, running in place or crunches in-between any type of exercise.
I commonly do one set of 10 reps on the bench press, followed immediately by 10 to 12 pushups. Then I give myself a quick rest, drink some water from my water bottle, and then repeat for an additional 4 to 5 sets, doing both moves of bench press and pushups.
Having an additional move in between other exercises, helps to maximize your efficiency, while using less time overall at the gym. It will also keep your heart rate up, thus allowing for more calories to be burned.
6. Avoid Downtime
This has been the overall theme of each of these rules, but can still be done in a number of ways.
Instead of taking the elevator up to the floor of your gym, use the stairs. This is an easy way to start your workout, and will help you get in a mindset to work a little harder.
If you really want to change your body, and you do not have all the time in the world, avoid being the social butterfly. Sure, you may know a bunch of people at the gym, but they’ll respect that fact that you are there to work, not hang out. You can always say goodbye at the end of your workout, and you won’t as easily get stuck talking for longer than you would like because you are done and have to get going.
These are just some examples, but the list is endless.
7. Find a Way to Hold Yourself Accountable
If you are someone that knows you will find any excuse to not workout then you need to find a way to hold yourself truly accountable.
Many people have a hard time doing just this, and that is why I see so many faces in my Barry’s Bootcamp classes, and why classes in general are so popular today. There is a trained professional there to keep you in check, and make sure you are pushing yourself to a point you can do, but don’t like to physically and mentally push yourself to.
If classes are not your thing, or money is tight, have a friend be your workout partner. You can spot each other, go through the motions together, teach each other different exercises and tricks, and hold each other responsible.
However, this is not an excuse to waste time talking to each other and catching up. If you do go to the gym with someone, implement supersets, so that you are both exercising continuously. I see too many friends at the gym together, but they end up there way longer than they should be because all they are doing is gossiping and wasting each others time.
8. Have a Warm-Down Drink
Drinking some sort of protein infused drink, within the first fifteen minutes after your workout is super important. It helps feed the muscles you just worked out, keeps your metabolism moving, and helps you from binging after a great workout.
No matter if you are looking to loose weight, put weight on, or stay the same this really is an important rule. Different drinks are perfect for each type of goal, so do a little research and see what your body needs.
Ultimately, your workout is for you. You got your ass to the gym, so do not waste your own time. I constantly say to my clients that by not giving 110 percent you are only wasting your own time because no one else is going to be able to change your body.
Yes, there will be days that are harder to motivate yourself, but those are the days that you must dig deep, throw on music that is a little harder and find your inner hulk.
Remember we get sweaty in the gym to look sexy on the street. Now lace up those shoes, and go and get the damn thing!
Be safe. Dig deep. Make the changes you want. Stay sweatysexy!