You don’t have to slave in the gym for 2 hours, 7 days a week if you want to get fitter, leaner and stronger. The key is in getting the most out of your workout time, no matter how short it is. Here are a few ways that will make your workouts more effective and yield amazing results for less effort.
Work out on an empty stomach
If you want to achieve that sexy, lean look, you need to burn more body fat. And the best way to achieve that goal is to hit the gym on an empty stomach. When you wake up, your body is already in a fasted state, so igniting your fat-burning mode will be much easier than when you’re full of calories. Your body will have to dig into its body fat reserves for energy and you’ll burn that fat quite fast.
Fuel after a workout
One of the most important things for good results is post-workout nutrition. When you eat right after a workout, you’ll replenish your glycogen levels, decrease protein breakdown and boost protein synthesis. This will allow you to build muscles and look amazing. So, as soon as you finish your workout, grab a meal full of protein. If you can’t get a full meal (kitchen is not always available) you can grab one of the meal replacement shakes and have a nutritious meal on the go. These meal replacements are usually much cheaper and much more beneficial than any type of takeout, so feel free to reach for a shake whenever you need a quick meal full of macro and micronutrients.
Don’t rely on cardio too much
Sure, cardio burns calories, but running or cycling too much can eat away at your muscle mass and even slow down your metabolism and your ability to lose weight. Cardio also encourages fat storage so make sure you have something to use as energy during your endurance training. If you want to have more effective workouts, try to mix things up with high-intensity interval training and total body resistance training. This will allow you to burn twice the number of calories for only 30 to 45 minutes of training.
Embrace strength exercises
If you’re into lifting, think about ditching exercises like bicep curls and leg extensions and replacing them with compound exercises that affect multiple muscle groups at once. This way, only a few exercises can give you an effective full-body workout. So, think barbell squats, dumbbell lunges, push-ups, pull-ups, dips and dead lifts. Additionally, try to do as many exercises as possible while standing up, balancing on one leg or sitting on an exercise ball. These exercises will force you to balance and active many different muscle groups, especially in your core. This will provide you with an overall stronger body and boost your weights and reps.
Rest like a boss
Here is some good news: Recovery is just as important as your workouts! When you don’t allow yourself to rest, your body will start producing stress hormones that boost appetite and fat storage. This is something you definitely don’t want if you’re trying to lose weight. Proper rest doesn’t mean you have to rest for two days after every workout, but you should definitely allow muscle groups to recover. So, try to alternate full-body workouts and lighter cardio sessions or do upper body workout one day and hit your legs the next day. This will allow you to work out frequently, but still give your muscles enough time to recover.
Now that you know how to get the most out of your workouts, it’s time to employ these tips, hit the gym and see the results you’ve never thought possible. Plus, you’ll have enough time on your hands to show off your body now that your workouts are shorter and more effective.