Something hilarious happened to one of my friends at the gym the other day and I couldn’t help but share it with you guys. He went to the gym with the intent to have a great workout. After an hour had passed he found that he had to leave to go back to work. The funny thing was that he didn’t even work out because he ended up talking the whole time to a buddy of his.
I know his example is a little ridiculous but we’ve all been there before. Some days you have it, and some days we don’t. We get to the gym excited to work out only to find by the end of our training session we feel like we just didn’t get that great of a workout.
They say just getting to the gym is half the battle with your training, but the truth is even if you lug yourself all the way down to the gym you still have to actually work out. Even if your pumped up for an intense workout there are still some things that are going to drag you down keeping you from maximizing the potential of your workout. I’m going to give you some of my top seven ways to get more of your workouts by maximizing your efficiency in the gym.
The first thing I would do is to wear a good pair of headphones for a couple of reasons. The first reason is it’ll automatically uninvite most people from have a conversation with you. I know the gym is a rather social setting, and I enjoy talking to people too. But when it’s time to work out, it’s time the workout. Additionally, I’ve found headphones help to block out other distractions such as the meathead in the corner grunting away. Also studies have found that when listening to a selected playlists you’ll be able to perform at a higher capacity than without it.
Second thing is to always come prepared to your workout with a written plan of action. There’s nothing worse than getting to the gym and bumming around from machine to machine without a clue on what you should be doing. The night before one of my workouts I always write it down on a 3 x 5 index card so it can easily fit in my pocket while working out, and I’ll have instant access to it at all times. Preparation is key! There’s a popular saying, “if you’re failing to plan been your planning to fail.”
The next way to make your workouts more efficient is to use a stopwatch. This will prove useful because it will help you keep your rest periods under control. If your goal is fat loss then you’re most likely going to be training with the minimal amount of rest periods in between your sets. I usually set my stopwatch to count down for 30 to 60 seconds, and with a push a button it will automatically start beeping when it’s time for my next set. This minimizes the variables so I can’t get distracted by the Giants game on TV or another water cooler conversation.
Carrying a water bottle with you at the gym is going to be very important because you’ll drastically reduce the amount of time you waste walking over to the drinking fountain every five minutes. Also the age-old cliché of water cooler conversations won’t be a problem for you.I said it once and I’ll say it again, hydration is going to be the number one advantage while working out. If your muscles get dried out they will turn into the same consistency of beef jerky, while we want our muscles to be the same consistency of a good raw and supple steak. A good rule of thumb is to drink at least half your body weight in fluid ounces daily, and an easy way to keep track of this is to calculate how many water bottles you should be drinking a day.
Training during off hours can help you get more done in a shorter amount of time simply because you won’t be fighting people for workout equipment. There’s nothing more annoying than getting all the way to the gym only to see that someone has grabbed your particular weight of dumbbells, and it looks like they’re not letting them go anytime soon. Always be prepared to throw an audible while you’re training if somebody’s hanging out on your planned training equipment. There’s nothing more time wasting than waiting around for the guy to finish his last couple sets on the squat rack. Always be prepared to switch things up by deviating from your planned work out if things don’t always go according to plan. I like the quote by Mike Tyson, “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
The next time your strength training try implementing supersets into your workout. An example of a superset would be to do a set of push-ups followed by a set of jump squats. The advantage of super setting noncompeting muscles is great as you will be able to rest one area of the body while training another. This will help to maximize fat loss while also minimizing the time you’ll spend working out. Super setting in this fashion is so effective I’ve blueprinted my Flat Belly Formula program around it, and if your goal is to lose some fat then you should definitely consider this method of training. Although I have to warn you that super setting is much more intense than most peoples run-of-the-mill workouts.
My last strategy for maximizing your efficiency in your training programs is to always have your post workout shake ready. There’s nothing worse than training your butt off in the gym only to not replenish your body after a hard earned training session. When you’re done training think of your muscles as dried out sponges that are desperate to absorb nutrients. I always load up my blender bottle with Athletic Greens and protein powder so all I have to do is fill with water. The reason I like taking Athletic Greens after I train is because it will give my immune system a boost along with helping to alkalinize my body.
Were all living super busy lives and it’s harder and harder to make it into the gym. With the seven steps I’ve laid out for you you’ll be able to maximize your workouts in a minimal amount of time. Get in, get your workout done and get the heck out. You definitely do not have to be there all day, but if you’re willing to invest a small fraction of your day working out then you’ll reap the benefits that most people will never have.