Wednesday, 27 January 2016

WEDNESDAY WORKOUT: OPTIMISE YOUR WORKOUTS (SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO SPEND FOREVER IN THE GYM)


Let's face is, no one really loves having to go to the gym. Sure we might like the effect is has and the boost of endorphins after, but dragging ourselves out of bed when it's dark, or going there on the way home when you'd just rather be in PJs - it sucks.
Even the most motivated of us give in sometimes because it IS hard to get into a routine, and it IS hard to convince our minds we should go, when they just want a take-away and bed.
So what is the solution? To give up and not bother, because we inevitably will fail anyway? No. no. Anyone is capable of getting into a healthy routine, you just have to put your mind to it, give yourself a goal you don't want to give up on, and then make your time in the gym as productive as you can so you don't have to actually spend too long there.

I've been going pretty consistently for a few years now and I've picked up some tips along the way, so I'm going to share them with you, in hope that you all stick with it, too...

1. Split your training into days
This might sound like a really 'pro' term, but it isn't all that impressive - it essentially means train different parts of your body on different days. For example, I train legs and bum 2/3 days a week, and space it with 2ish days of abs & arms in-between. That way you aren't spending hours trying to do it all at once, and your body gets a good break to recover. If you're just starting out and don't want to go in straight with the weights on your own, try 2 days of cardio per week mixed in with 1 class (either an abs & ass class or something like a HIIT class). Less work=less time= happier us.

2. Buddy up
Get reinforcement (willingly or via force!). I make some of my friends workout with me because that way I get to spend time with them, and it also makes time pass quicker. My housemate has joined my gym and when we go together, even knowing someone is on the treadmill behind me makes me speed up a little so that we can go to the mat area for a goss (and of course, serious weight training). With a friend, they can also spot you, you can turn it into a circuits type thing - and it's just all round more fun. Set goals with a friend too, and make a forfeit bet. If someone doesn't go twice a week, they have to buy the other breakfast on Saturday every week for the next month. That's a lot of avocado money lost.

3. Heavier, shorter reps
For those who already have a background in weight training - you'll know how easy it is to get into a rut, and you may not feel the burn the next morning like when you first started out. I learnt this one from my other half; train heavier for a shorter period of time. He goes to the gym for about 35minutes and just goes hard while he's there. The same can work for us, too. If you usually squat 20kg for three sets of 12, go up to 30kg or 35kg and do three sets of 8-10.

4. Get organised 
Who else is guilty of getting to the gym, changing and then spending forever trying to untangle their headphones? Or sit on the mats and flick through songs until you find the perfect playlist? I did it, and when I realised how much time I was wasting, I stopped. Get your headphones ready before hand, make a great playlist when you're sat on the train on your way home. Do it in advance. That way you're in and out in no time.

5. Boost your energy levels
If you can't get to the gym until the end of the day, it's just too easy to say 'I'm too exhausted to go.' So, what I do now is half an hour before I head off to workout, I have an energy tablet or a protein bar, and that way I feel more alive. I love Clif Shot Bloks (you can get them at Boots) - they taste really good and give me an energy boost. For vegans, go grab a Bounce Ball in Coconut & Macadamia - they'll have a similar effect. The more energy you have = the better your workout.

7. Go in the morning
The best tip I can give you for making your workout feel shorter, is to go in the morning. It's SO hard to make yourself get out of bed early but believe me, you'll feel amazing when it's done and then for the rest of the day you can relax in knowing that you won't have to try and squeeze it in. Think about it - if you're out of the gym at half 8 or 9am, then that's a whole day free, without any guilt. Set that alarm, you'll see what I mean.

Remember, the aim is to make it a lifestyle, not a chore. Make it fun. If the gym isn't your thing then a training buddy will make it more social. And if you still hate it, then do a class - then you know exactly how long you'll spend in there. Anything that gets your heart pumping is good, so don't lose motivation, just figure out what works for you.

I'm happy to help so get in contact with me if you need any advice or if you're struggling with motivation x

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