When it comes to working out, we want our time spent in the gym to be the most efficient spent time possible. Here are some ways to ensure that you’re keeping the time wasting to a minimum and getting the results that you’re looking for.
Keep Your Perspective
One of the best things you can do at any level of fitness is to keep your perspective about your workout and the results. While it’s important to set goals (and hopefully meet them), it won’t be possible to one up yourself every single day for the rest of time. Each day has its internal and external challenges, and each workout does as well. Give it your all when you can, and accept that you need a rest day when you can’t.
Don’t think that just because your workout was a little less energized than normal that you aren’t benefitting your body, because you are. Even a workout that’s half as good as the day before thanks to lack of sleep or something, you’re still maintaining strength that you can build on the next time.
Always Warm Up For Mobility
If you start lifting weights without warming up your body at all you are just asking for trouble. Getting the blood flowing and the muscles activated is key for increasing your mobility to the point the body can move freely and safely to protect itself from injury. A warm up might include foam rolling the body, or it might include doing some pushups. It’s a good idea to warm up with specific attention on the body part and movement that you will be doing with the weights.
Don’t Rush Yourself
Some people get in the habit of trying to rush their weight progressions to increase their strength faster, but this can actually set you back. You don’t want to injure yourself for one thing, which can happen when you take on too much weight before you’re ready. For another thing, adding on too much weight can hold you back from hitting your target set numbers, which isn’t a tragedy but it might feel like a fail anyway.
Staying flexible is not just a suggestion for your body, it’s for your mind as well. It’s great to have a plan of action for the gym (and often will help keep you on track and accomplish more), but you have to be able to check in with your body and make adjustments when necessary. For example, if you feel a pinch or tightness in a certain area of your body that generally isn’t there, perhaps you will want to either stretch out some more or just skip that body part for the day. You have to know when you might be pushing it and back off for safety reasons, no matter what your schedule says. Staying flexible also means being able to keep up with a workout when you’re missing equipment or can’t get to the gym at all. There is a lot of workouts that can be done with just your bodyweight as resistance and a yoga mat when need be.