We Can Work It Out — Your Action Plan
1. Dodge distractions. Smart phones can be a big time suck. Avoid texts, calls, and Twitter updates by putting your phone on airplane mode. (I’m doing a pushup. … Can I call you back?)
2. Avoid rush hour. Try going to the gym during off-peak hours to steer clear of crowds and avoid waiting for equipment. Extra points for going midday to stay productive all day long!
3. Know where to go. If you’re unfamiliar with the gym, scope out the scene before the workout. Figure out where all the equipment is so you’re not running in circles looking for the kettlebells.
4. Download an app. Not sure exactly what to do at the gym? Don’t waste time wondering and use a fitness app to have a plan in your palm! Try a strength training or running app to get started.
5. Turn on the tunes. Studies show listening to music while working out can help people workout harder, better, faster, and stronger.
6. Set a goal. Figure out what you want to do at the gym before arriving. (Arms? Abs? Cardio?) Write down the number of sets or even a specific workout to avoid cutting corners.
7. Stay hydrated. Water doesn’t only hydrate — it can fight fatigue, too. Fill up the water bottle or frequent the fountains to stay energized all workout long.
8. Fuel up. Make sure you’re not running on empty on the gym room floor. Try a pre-workout snack like an apple and peanut butter or a protein smoothie to have enough fuel for a killer workout.
9. Time your rest. Stay aware of the clock ticking between intervals or sets. That one-minute “rest” could turn into three or four minutes if you’re not conscious of how much time is slipping away.
10. Do supersets. Want to really save time and challenge the body? Do two exercises in a row that focus on the same muscle group (read: superset). Decreasing rest will engage muscles and burn more calories.
11. Up the resistance. To avoid the weight room plateau, begin to increase your weight safely. Upping intensity will help build muscle so we can start getting stronger in no time.
12. Take a class. Sign up for a yoga, spinning, or Japanese samurai sword fighting class. That way there’s a definite start and end time, help from an instructor, and accountability. (Thanks, classmates!) There’s no way not to slack off.
13. Tabata. Short on time? High intensity interval training like Tabata can burn fat in no time. (Well, four minutes…)
14. Choose compound lifts. Kill multiple birds with one stone and work the full body all at once. Compound lifts like deadlifts and squats will give muscles way more bang for their buck.
15. Run intervals. Instead of spending an hour on the treadmill, try running intervals instead. Short bursts of intense running boosts metabolism, builds lean muscle, and burns more fat in less time.
16. Pick a partner. BYOF to the gym. Having a friend with you may increase accountability. (Don’t skip that last set of pushups!) Try these exercises and work out side by side.
17. Try a personal trainer. To prevent any sort of slacking (we’ve all been there) sign up for a session with a trainer. Science suggests a personal trainer can motivate people to up the intensity at the gym.
Have a go-to move for getting the most of your workout? Share in the comments below or tweet the author @lschwech.
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