Getting The Most Out Of Your Workouts
When it comes to working out, I usually tell people “whatever you do I am glad you are doing it.” The reason I say this is because working out is hard, and with our nation being so immobile it excites me to see others put in the effort to workout. With that said however, I would like to share with you the workout structure I use to ensure that I get the most out of my workouts.
If you are someone that is dedicated to getting fit, you first need to make sure you are going about it the right way. A great starting point is the free BodyFit Guide I have for you. It will set you up with the right workouts, the right kinds of foods, and more. Plus it is all FREE!
Alright, time to get down to business:
1. Have a plan
First and foremost you must be sure you have a plan before entering the gym. Whether this means writing your workout down on a napkin or typing it into your iPhone, you must know what you are going to be doing that day. For me personally, I make sure I know what I am doing for the week ahead. This includes exercises, sets, reps, rest times, etc.
All your plan has to state, is what you are going to be doing. Are you going to be doing strength training, circuit training, High Intensity Interval Training; whats your plan? How do you plan to make the most of your workout?
No matter what workout you decide on, you should always make sure you are first warmed up and ready to go. Doing some dynamic stretching, a light jog, foam roll, etc. will work great. Make sure you take 5-15 minutes to get your body full warmed up. Some may take longer than others to get warmed, so find a time that works and apply that to your plan.
Next, if you are going to be lifting weights that day you have to be sure that your muscles are fully ready to go. Always do 8-10 reps with a lighter weight on the first exercise you will be doing to make sure your muscles are fully ready to lift. A great warm up is one of the best ways to avoid injury and prepare you to dominate your workout.
3. Always start with your toughest lifts and exercises first
After you are stretched and warmed up, it is time for your workout to start. The beginning of your workout should consist of the most challenging exercises. You should not start a workout with dumbbell curls or triceps pull downs. Instead you want to start your workout with your big movements: deadlifts, squats, bench press, overhead press, etc.
The reason you want to start with your toughest exercises is simple:
First off, you will have the most energy in the beginning of your workouts. After a light warm up, your muscles are primed with glycogen (energy for your body), your muscles are the most fresh, and your cardiovascular has yet to be challenged. The start of a workout is the best time to hit the weights hard because this is when your body is going to be the most ready to go. As your workout continues on, your energy depletes making it harder to do the big exercises.
Next, your focus is going to be at its highest level. Especially if you have a good warm up, you should be fired up to hit the weights hard. As your workout goes on, your energy and your focus will start to drop because of the demand of your workout. It is very hard to try and do heavy deadlifts or squats when you are not focus or energized. So complete your most important exercises in the beginning when you are fully ready to do them!
Finally, you will get the greatest benefits in the beginning of your workouts. When we workout, our bodies naturally boost testosterone levels to significantly higher levels than normal (don’t worry this is a good thing). This testosterone boost peaks at around 30 minutes into your workout and at 45 minutes, your testosterone levels will start coming back down to baseline. That is why it is recommended to keep your workouts no longer than 45 minutes. Once you hit the 60 minute mark into a workout, your testosterone levels will actually drop and you will start producing cortisol (a fat storing hormone). Something we definitely do not want.
Therefore, it is in those first 30 minutes when you should be doing the majority, if not all, of your key exercises (or the ones that will bring you the greatest benefit). You will be energized, focused, and will be at your peak for results.
4. Keep your workouts under 45 minutes
As was just stated, it is important to not overdo it on your workout. You should not be slacking off by talking or watching TV, then end up spending two hours at the gym. It is not about the quantity when it comes to working out, it is about the quality. Be time efficient, working on doing the right exercises.
Your workouts do not have to last for hours. When done correctly you should be able to finish them in under 45 minutes, easily!
As we saw in number three, our testosterone levels peak at 30 minutes during our workouts. Testosterone is key to helping us build muscle, burn fat, and stay lean (and no ladies it will not make you bulky!). As was stated, once you hit the one hour point in your workout your testosterone levels drop and cortisol starts getting produced which is a terrible combination.
Now just so it is clear, when I say keep your workout times to under 45 minutes this does not include your warm up. You should first get your 5-15 minute warm up in, then engage in a workout lasting now longer than 45 minutes. Therefore you could be at the gym for an hour, but your workout time will only consist of 45 minutes.
5. Save abs for last
When doing the right kinds of exercises, you engage your core in just about every one that you do. When doing deadlifts or squats, the last thing you would want is an already tired core. Doing key compound movements needs your full focus and strength in order to maximize your results. That is why you should save your core and ab specific training until the end of your workout.
6. Finish with a finisher
This is one I have been in love with as of late. A finisher is a short routine that is saved for the end of your workout. It can last anywhere from 4-8 minutes, and should be very intense. The goal here is to burn some extra calories by shocking the body after your workout is done.
Lets say you went through a tough 35 minute workout and then took a three minute break when you finished. This would be a perfect time to start your finisher as your body had time to recover and you will be able to shock it with one more go around. Finishers have been shown to bring incredible benefits and results when done correctly. Done correctly in this case simply means keeping them intense!
The final aspect of your workout is your recovery. You don’t grow in the gym, you grow during your recovery time. This means the majority of your results will come from what you do while resting and recovering. Making sure that you fuel your body with the right foods and getting proper rest is key to seeing incredible results.
Once your workout is over, engage in a short cool down period. This could simply be 5-10 minutes of stretching or walking. Foam rolling is another option that will help eliminate soreness.
Next you want to fuel your body with a good source of protein. A protein shake is always a good option after a workout and as you know, this is also the best time to indulge in your carbohydrates. Getting the right foods after a workout will greatly speed up your recovery time.
Just as important as your immediate post workout nutrition, your continued nutrition is also something that needs your focus. Indulge in natural, clean foods and watch as your results go through the roof!
If you are going to workout, you might as well do things right and get the most out of it. The workout structure above, when combined with the right exercises and workout plan, will bring amazing results. These are the exact guidelines I follow for every single one of my workouts and the structure I use when putting someone else through a workout.
It is simple, but it brings results. And that is what we all want!
Questions or Comments?
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