It’s been a while since you’ve been to the gym. Maybe it’s because you’re busy, or perhaps it’s because you just hate going. It’s a fact: no one has time for the gym. But we all need to exercise! Whether you’re trying to catch up on sleep, work, or just be social with your family and friends, there never seems to be enough hours in the day to get everything done. But it doesn’t have to stay that way! The key is learning how to maximize your time at the gym so you can accomplish two goals at once- getting fit and feeling accomplished without sacrificing anything else. In this post are three tips that will help you do just that!
- Bring a friend with you to the gym: Not only will you enjoy yourself and have fun, but you can also split up your time at the gym. You don’t want to spend 2 hours on the treadmill or doing squats; 20 minutes is more than enough to get a good cardio workout in for the day. Instead of trying to use the gym as your one chance to catch up on sleep and work, use it together with your friend so you can do a few minutes of cardio on the treadmill while they do some push-ups. Then switch! Don’t take away from your time at the gym by needing to spend 30 minutes doing cardio because you think you have to; split that time up with your friend and be done in 15. who knows, maybe you’ll even make a new friend!
- Concentrate on the main event: Don’t bother bringing clothes for working out if you don’t plan on using them; you can just wear the ones you’re already wearing. Respect your word: work out when you say you will workout. It takes an average of 30 minutes to complete one hour of exercise, so try and be as efficient as possible when at the gym. Watch the clock; if you’re not moving fast enough, ask yourself why and then fix it, but don’t spend time going back and forth between machines.
3. Get in and out of the gym as quickly as possible: “rush hour” and peak times are always the busiest. To avoid waiting on others at the gym, get there early in the morning before work or later at night after work when people aren’t as busy. If you can’t avoid peak hours and are suitable for more people to motivate each other! Try booking your gym routine in the morning when you’re most awake or at night when you don’t have as much to do. That way, you can focus more on your workout and not keep checking your phone or daydreaming about what’s next.
4. Wear clothes that are comfortable for your workout: It doesn’t matter what you wear if you’re not going to move in it! People who work out regularly know that a good pair of workout clothes can completely alter how you feel about your workout. Wear workout clothes that make you feel confident in your abilities. Invest in some good wear, so you’re ready to go when an idea for a workout pops into your head!
5. Don’t eat before or after working out; drink water instead: You could be jeopardizing your results by eating before a workout. Your body will break down nutrients instead of burning them for energy as quickly and efficiently. So there’s no need to eat before working out; drink water or other low-calorie fluids instead!
6. Find a routine that works for you: Whether it’s cardio, weight lifting, yoga, or something else, find an exercise program that works for you. For example, some people enjoy yoga because it’s quiet and gives them time to relax; others enjoy weight lifting or cardio because it helps them vent their daily stress. If you hate going to the gym, start by focusing on finding a routine that you love so much you’ll look forward to doing it. While this may sound easy, it can be more challenging than you think- but if you stick with the routine no matter how difficult it gets (and it will get hard), then eventually, you’ll look forward to getting back to what makes you feel great.
7. Get your gear: Once you’ve found a workout program that works for you, it’s time to get all the equipment you need. Many gyms will offer an athletic package (with everything from socks to water bottles) at a discounted price or, if your gym offers a membership program, they may also be able to assist with providing specific gear like yoga mats and exercise balls.
8. Do what makes you feel good: If the gym makes you want to hurl, don’t go. Or, if it’s cold outside, find a gym that has a pool or jacuzzi to warm up. If you don’t like the music, bring your headphones and listen to what you want. If you see someone being rude or intimidating, go somewhere else (there’s plenty of gyms where people are kind and respectful). You can also use various online platforms to help you workout at home or at the gym. Visit modernfit.com to help you figure out what’s the best workout for you.
9. Take advantage of free weights, machines: Know which machines are best for specific exercises: The exercise stations at the gym are not always used correctly, wasting your time and energy. Here’s a little exercise machine cheat sheet to keep you on track:
- If you’re trying to work out your quads: Use the leg press, the leg extension, or squats.
- If you’re trying to work out your chest: use the push-up machine or the bench press.
- If you’re trying to work out your shoulders: use the shoulder dumbbell press or the cable cross over the machine.
- While it’s not a rule that you have to do specific machines for certain body parts, if you want to get better results from your workout, try using those three rules while at the gym.
Stay motivated by having a goal for what you want to accomplish each time you go to the gym. Please keep track of your workouts with an app or fitness tracker so that it is easier to see how much progress you are making over time. And remember, the key to any successful workout is consistency. Even if you’re not in great shape, it’s essential to get your body used to the routine of working out every day. You will only see results if you do!