Whilst there is no such thing as a bad workout, there is such a thing as a good one. The good news is that you can make every workout feel effective and extra satisfying with a few tweaks and additions to make your workout plans more effective. When it comes to fat loss, there are no shortcuts, but by training smarter, you can make your hard work go even further.
Knowing when and how to properly push and fuel your body to meet your fitness goals is important and can support you and your workouts, even after you’ve left the gym. With this in mind, here are 3 ways you can make your workouts more effective.
Stretch Before You Exercise
The warm ups and warm downs are often seen as things that only fitness newbies should do, but during workouts, the muscles in your bodies get microscopic tears in them. During the healing process, these layers may not heal properly and this means they can feel like tight knots the next time you workout. Stretching and self-myofascial release stretches, such as foam rolling, can work out these trigger points so that you can move better.
Improve your workout session by foam rolling and stretching beforehand. This can help to prepare your muscles and allow them to work to their full potential during your workout. When your muscles work more efficiently, they can help you to push harder and get more from your workout, which will essentially help you to burn more calories.
Fuel Your Body Properly
Although it is said that doing a fasted cardio workout is good for burning fat and increasing insulin sensitivity, it is important to properly fuel your body both before and after an intense workout. Fuelling your body with carbohydrates means that you’ll be able to perform better throughout your workout, rather than peaking too soon and feeling sluggish for the rest.
Ensure your body is well hydrated, whether you’re working out or not, as this will keep you focused and your body will react better to workouts. In the mornings, ensure you eat a good breakfast and, if you take any multivitamins, be sure to do so with food. Magnesium supplements have been said to help move blood sugar around your body and into your muscles and help dispose of lactic acid, which can build up during a workout. By eating the right foods and keeping hydrated, you will be able to make your workouts go further and push harder, without feeling as tired or lethargic.
Recovery and rest are just as important as your workout itself. If you don’t give your body enough time to relax and recover in between workouts, then your body starts producing cortisol – a stress hormone which boosts appetite and fat storage. Whilst you don’t need to take a day or two off after each workout, you should ensure that your workouts are varied and avoid focusing on the same muscles for consecutive days.
Back to back weight training workouts aren’t recommended, so instead do upper body workouts one day and then legs or lower body the next. Mix that up with lighter workouts such as spinning or yoga and weight based workouts such as body resistance training. This helps your muscles to recover without eating into your workout schedule.