Let's be honest. Sometimes carving out the time to make it to the gym can seem like a workout in itself. After a long day at the office, you might be lacking the energy and motivation required to make it through your workout. You don't have hours to spend at the gym, but you want keep progressing towards your fitness goals. Consider using these easy to implement tips to ensure you are able to get the most out of every workout.
Bring your MP3 player. Customizing a playlist for your workout has been shown to improve performance. Researchers have found that people who listen to up-beat music get significantly more out of their stationary bike workouts. They pedaled faster, produced more power and their heart rate was elevated high than that of individuals who listened to slower music or those who did not list to music at all.
Find a workout buddy. Working out with a partner can help you stay motivated and make the entire gym experience more enjoyable. Having a partner will make you accountable to someone other than yourself, helping to keep you committed to your fitness goals.
Mix up your routine. Keep your muscles guessing by changing up your routine every 3 or 4 weeks. This way you will not become bored with and you will have new challenges to tackle. You can change the amount of weight you are lifting, the machines you are using, or mix up the exercises you perform.
Turn the television off! It's tempting to lose yourself in your favorite show during your cardio workout. However, one study found that women worked out about 5 percent harder when they weren't watching TV than when they were. Because you are thinking about your show and not your workout, it is easy to lose touch with how much effort you are putting into your workout.
Create competition. There is nothing like a little friendly competition to increase motivation. Instead of spending 30 minutes the treadmill, opt for a game of pick-up basketball. Or, consider competing in your own mini triathlon. Lift weights for 15 minutes, bike for 15 minutes, and then finish your workout with a 15 minute run.
Chart Your Progress. Use a fitness report card to keep track of these categories: Cardio, Muscle Conditioning, Flexibility and Attitude. Set goals for each workout and grade yourself A through F at least once a month. This report card will show what you have accomplished and where you need to make improvements.
Hydrate! Drink plenty of water throughout the day and on your way to the gym. If you're dehydrated going into a workout, you will not be able to work as hard while training. When you're dehydrated, you lack mental clarity, motivation and energy. Stay hydrated so you do not sabotage your workout.
If you think you can, you will. Often times, optimism and positive thinking can carry you through a tough workout. In one study, exercisers who thought positively were more likely to stay active than those whose minds often uttered those two words, I can't.
By: Joe Vennare, Co-Owner: Hybrid Athlete