3 Tips to get the most out of your workout sessions
Ever-increasing globalization and the spread of ideas pertaining to keeping one’s physical self-fit are on the rise. Along with this, the fitness industry advertises itself well on social media platforms and with it, there is an abundance of information available for the average fitness enthusiast. However, due to this, the spread of myths and false information about fitness/working out is prevalent. Misinformation can prevent you from establishing your fitness goals, steps, and what you want from your workouts. In extreme cases, the wrong information can make you more susceptible to suffering injuries at the gym just because you believed in the age-old myth of “ swinging the weights heavy “. Apart from this most people lead busy lives with little room for long workouts with no direction. This is why this guide has been written, it will aim at providing you with some tips on how to work out properly to make the most out of your sessions and reach your goals.
1. Have a plan
Let’s be real, you won’t get ripped, stronger or leaner by a sudden miracle or by just randomly running on a treadmill. You need to properly define your goals, whether it’s to bulk up mass, lose weight, build strength, etc. Your training plan will change according to your goals. You need to find your maintenance calories level, body fat percentage, and other specific details to properly tailor your exercises, diet, and schedule. Having a schedule also makes you less likely to skip workouts thereby ensuring that you stick to the plan long term. Keep a diary and record the exercises you perform along with the number of sets, reps, and weight, this will allow you to track progress. Tracking progress will make you feel good and further motivate you to keep yourself dedicated to working out. A trainer can also help you make a personal workout plan suited to your needs. You need to allocate days to exercise on and have rest days too. Rest days are necessary for growth as most muscle growth occurs during your recovery phase when the muscles repair themselves.
No matter how hard you train you cannot out-train a bad diet. They say that the six-packs are made in the kitchen. If you’re trying to get leaner or thinner then the key is to remain in a caloric deficit. Multiply your weight in kg by 22 to get a benchmark to stay below. Prioritize healthy foods and protein sources to lose fat and maintain muscle mass. If you’re trying to bulk then eat beyond your benchmark and prioritize healthy carbs and protein to gain size. Avoid processed or fried food with high calories that include alcohol, fizzy drinks, and sweets that only add mass to your belly. It’s also wise to divide your portions throughout the day to facilitate easy digestion without fat gain. You will work out in the middle of your major meals. It’s recommended to plan your own meals, cook your meals beforehand and invest in whole foods such as rice, chicken, fish, vegetables, and seeds, etc. Supplements such as protein powders can help you fulfill your protein needs in building muscle (generally 1.5g per 1kg of body weight is needed for growing muscle)
3. Exercise priority and form
Whether you’re bulking or losing weight it is always better to prioritize compound lifts such as the bench press, squat, deadlifts, etc. These multi-joint movements recruit the most amounts of muscles and effort thereby spending the most calories. They are also ideal for building strength, thereby allowing you to lose fat fast or build muscle fast depending on if you’re on a caloric deficit or surplus. You can supplement yourself with isolation movements like bicep curls for added benefits. However, while it may be tempting to go as heavy as possible from the get-go it’s important to remember that form surpasses weight lifted. Your muscle fibers respond best to a stimulus when the exercise is performed with slow, controlled reps and the full range of motion. That means you need to feel yourself lifting and also lowering the weight and you must squeeze the muscle at the top. This establishes a mind-muscle connection which is needed for muscle gaining. Having proper form also ensures safety.