If you’re like me, you want to maximize your time and get the most out of your workout routine. I personally don’t have hours on end to spend in the gym and I am usually trying to squeeze something in early in the morning before work. I’m all about working out smarter not necessarily longer. There’s nothing worse than feeling like my workout was inefficient because I wasn’t prepared. To prevent that feeling, I am sharing with you today my 4 easy steps to ensure an awesome workout!
This post is sponsored by Silver Fern Brand. All opinions and comments are 100% my own and I am thrilled to work with a company that I love and wholeheartedly believe in. Thanks for your continued support!
Step 1: START WITH A PLAN
I thrive on organization and structure. When I go to the gym with a “let’s just see what I feel like doing” attitude, it usually doesn’t go so well. There are people that can knock out a great workout that way but I am not one of them. I don’t get the most out of my workout. I will usually bounce around from machine to machine or do a little bit of this and a little bit of that without much rhyme or reason. Every now and then those experimental days are fine but having a plan keeps me focused and ensures that I don’t skip out on a set just because it wasn’t written in my plan (or I didn’t really feel like doing it). I love using the BodySpace App which I talk about in detail here. Sometimes I will use the notes feature in my phone and make a plan for the week. Other times, when I want to loosely plan what I am doing instead of writing out the specific exercises (for example- M/W/F = Upper Body, T-Th = Lower Body), I use something like the picture below in conjunction with my meal prep plan for the week. Whatever you choose to use, taking the time to jot things down will help keep you focused and maximize your time in the gym.
Step 2: PACK YOUR BAG THE NIGHT BEFORE
This is a big one for me. Like I mentioned earlier I am usually working out first thing in the morning so packing my bag at night saves me so much precious time in the morning. I used to try and just wing it but I found myself still half-asleep rummaging around for socks or a clean sports bra in the week hours of the morning. Not the most efficient way to start my day. I pack my bag with all the essentials I know I will need for my workout and the clothes I will be wearing. Even down to my socks and headband. You can never be too prepared! 🙂
Packing my gym bag also helps rid me of the excuse that I don’t have the time to get ready to workout. There are a couple days of the week that I workout in the evening and having my bag with me all prepped and ready has saved me numerous times from just heading straight home when I’m tired. I mean, I went through all the work of getting things ready, I might as well follow through right?!
Step 3: CHOOSE THE RIGHT PRE-WORKOUT
I started taking a pre-workout about a year ago. It’s taken me a few tries to find one that works best for me. Some made me feel super energized but also made me a little jittery or tingly followed by a huge energy crash when it wore off. Others had a weird after taste or a ton of unnecessary additives. I am working on cleaning up my diet so extra additives and chemicals are on the list of things I am trying to avoid.
I have been using the Endurance Energy Drink from Silver Fern Brand for the past few months and I have been loving it! It gives me this natural non-jittery energy that helps power me through my workouts. The best part is the energy lasts so much longer than I expected. There’s no crash after my workout like I experienced with some other pre-workouts. Some days I wake up with zero energy and drinking 1-2 scoops of this in 8 ounces of water 30 minutes before my workout does wonders to bring me back to life. Especially on Mondays when I would rather just press snooze and pull the blankets over my head.
When you’re working out, usually the reason you stop to rest is because you feel that burn that tells your body “Ok, I’m running out of steam”. The Endurance Drink increases the amount of oxygen your blood carries to your muscles which helps you push through longer, increasing your overall power and endurance. I am all about this! The Endurance Energy drink has been shown to increase cardiovascular performance by up to 12%. That’s a whole lotta extra energy and oxygen to the muscles when you need it the most. It also helps to reduce muscle soreness and boost recovery which is essential for my tougher weight training workouts. The raspberry lemonade flavor is delicious which is an added bonus. I even use it when the 2 PM slump hits at work and I have found that it gives me some good natural sustained energy to get through the end of the day. Highly recommend!
Step 4: WARM-UP-Seriously, stop skipping it!
I used to be one of those people that just got to the gym and jumped straight into my workout. Warming up felt like a waste of my time but after I realized how beneficial it was, it became an essential part of my workout routine. For one, it helps get my initial heart rate up which in turn, keeps the calorie burn going for the rest of my workout. When I don’t warm up, I find that I burn far less calories overall because I don’t have that initial start-up to get me going. The difference sometimes can be over 100 calories for the same workout according to my Fitbit. Spending five to ten minutes warming up before I begin also helps to loosen up my muscles for activity and prevent injury. My range of motion and flexibility all increase as a result of warming up before I begin my workouts.
I don’t always get to the gym full of motivation. I have my days where being at the gym is the last place I want to be. But when I get through my warm up, it usually gets my blood pumping and those feel good exercise vibes start to kick in and then I’m good to go. I usually spend about 5-10 minutes doing some light cardio on the stairmill or the treadmill. If it’s leg day, I add in a few body weight or banded squats to activate my muscles. Overall warming up just makes my workout so much more effective!
Those are the 4 steps I follow to ensure an awesome workout! Hitting these basic steps helps me to have a productive and efficient time in the gym. What are your favorite ways to get the most out of your workout?