Life Hacks: How To Make Your Workout Go Further

Most people these days are missing one important ingredient in their life – time. Time is difficult to come by and seems to slip away with minimum effort into nothingness. If you’ve ever found yourself rushing from one client to another, skipping a lunch break to catch up on admin and every night heading to bed wishing you could have just five minutes extra in your day, then you will understand the struggle.

If you are serious about your health and fitness, then that’s great. We applaud you. The thing about being serious about it all is that it takes commitment. It is tough and getting to where you want to be doesn’t happen overnight. Essentially, it takes a lot of time, and as we have already mentioned, time seems to be hard to come by these days.

Maintaining your gym routine can be done, even with limited time to cram everything in. It’s just a case of prioritising, and maximising your workout. Make sure you schedule your gym time in – as in, put it in the calendar as if it were a meeting, and stick to it. When it comes to reaping the absolute maximum benefits from your workout, we’ve got some life hacks for that:

1. Fuel up properly

There is a lot of confusing advice out there nowadays about what the best nutrition advice is concerning pre-workout fuel. Should you attempt a fasted state? Should you go for pure protein? A mixture of carbs and protein? A full meal plus cocktails and a cigar? As with most things, the best advice is to figure out what works for you.

There has been some evidence to suggest that a fasted workout is optimal for fat burning, but if that approach makes you feel sick and faint then you should simply ignore that and grab a banana. If you decide to fill up your tank before hitting the gym, then boost your glycogen stores with complex carbohydrates and increase your muscle’s capacity to heal itself with high quality protein. Steer clear of the fats unless you are planning on a prolonged workout, as they take longer to break down.

2. Have a plan (and a contingency plan)

Don’t wait until you have wandered onto the gym floor before deciding whether it’s leg day or not. Head in there with a fixed idea of exactly what you are planning on doing. Know your reps and your sets in advance and decide which machines you will need. A contingency plan is necessary if you are go to the gym at peak time when lots of equipment is being used. If you know what you can use instead then you will lose no time hanging around for someone to free up a bench. Make sure your workout is structured properly (including breaks) so that you remove any time for daydreaming and wasting precious minutes of your day – seize the opportunity to pack in as much productivity as possible!

3. Take a stopwatch with you

This is a follow-on from the previous point. If you have planned your workout carefully (like, really carefully) then you will be aware that you need a stopwatch. You can go traditional with a PE teacher vibe and get one that hangs around your neck, or you could do the less geeky version by using your phone. Time your workouts and (most importantly) time your rest periods, so that you aren’t wasting too much time admiring yourself in the mirror. Once you begin being vigilant with time-keeping you will be amazed at how much more you can squeeze into one gym session.

4. Pick your workout partners wisely

Gym sessions with friends are great. You can motivate each other, spot each other, even do some of those fun and vaguely awkward-looking partner workout moves. The problem is, you will probably also chat and distract each other from the primary goal. Suddenly a quick gym session becomes drawn out over gossip and losing count of reps. Next time, be picky with your gym partners and find someone who also wants to maximise their time frame and has goals aligned with yours.

5. Meditate

Before your workout, or after, it doesn’t really matter. Get yourself a quiet spot and take ten minutes to have a moment of mindfulness. Meditation can lead to sharper focus and increased capacity for attention, alongside being great for having a good night’s sleep. When you combine meditation practice with exercise, you will see yourself performing better, working harder and overall getting more out of your usual technique. While you might be thinking this will take ten minutes out of your day, rather than help you save time, the long term benefits vastly outweigh a quiet moment usually lost in the rest of your day.

6. Get a wearable fitness tracker

The final way to supercharge your workout is to track everything. If you want to consistently improve, lift more and go for longer, then you need to keep track of where you are right now. Do your research and invest in a reliable fitness wearable to find out where you are dropping the ball. The more you know, the better you can plan, in order to reach your peak physical condition. The added mental benefit of seeing your physical signs improve each time you work out will give you a huge boost. You will lose time in the long run if you neglect to watch your performance improve, so do your future self a favour and get yourself kitted up now!

About the Author Kitty Harris

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