Often, the most common thing you will hear people say when it comes to going to the gym is “I just don’t have enough time to get a good workout in”. I’m here to tell you that you do and below are some basic principles you need to adhere to in order to maximize your time in the gym and get the most out of your workouts!
1. Have a Plan – Before you even get to the gym or your training space of choice you should already have a plan for your training session. This is the best way to avoid languishing around looking lost and wondering what you should be doing. If you don’t already have your workout laid out or at the very least an outline of work to be done you will be losing not only valuable training time but also time for other things outside of the gym. Ultimately, the worst thing that can happen is you get to the gym with no plan of attack, half-heartedly pick up a few dumbbells and then decide to pack it in…what a waste! So do yourself a favor and at the very least have an overall mission for your session…Upper Body, Lower Body, Full Body, HIIT, General Cardio, Boxing etc. and if you really want to be prepared know the specific exercises you will be doing and the reason for your training(Strength, Growth, Endurance, etc.)
2. Disconnect – Having a plan for your training session is important to say the least but even if you have a plan, if you cannot disconnect from your phone while at the gym it’s all for not anyway. One of the worst things you can do while training is to be constantly looking at your phone, it erodes your focus and kills the momentum of your workout and adds unnecessary time to your stay at the gym. When you are at the gym focus on the task at hand, there will be time enough for texting, phone calls and social media after you leave. If you happen to be a person that likes to film your workout for posting later or for review of your technique(myself included) then make sure to dedicate as minimal of time to that process as possible. Pick your sets to capture, get your filming in and be done with it.
3. Get Down to Business – First and foremost see #’s 1 and 2 if you want to accomplish this. You have a plan for your session, you put your phone in your bag, now it’s time to funnel all of your energy and focus into your work. Train with motivation and intention, you are at the gym for a reason, whatever that happens to be, so train with that goal in mind and pursue it with a vengeance. If you are training with a partner, keep each other focused and push each other to get the most out of your training. If you train solo then use whatever tactics you need to drive yourself through your entire workout, whether that be visualization, music that keeps you grinding or talking to/hyping yourself up(…be prepared for sideways glances). The bottom line is this, get in, get it done and get out of dodge!
4. Finish Strong – I preach this to all of my clients and group classes…finish as strong as you begin or better yet stronger. This is the difference maker, it’s what separates you from the herd, as most people start strong and then physically and mentally fade towards the end of their session. Physically, no you will not have as much energy at the end of a training session as you do at the beginning, due to your body’s depleted resources, but I’m speaking more from a psychological standpoint. If you stay dialed in and push yourself even when the end is near and don’t allow yourself to coast across the finish line you will get the results you are after…this is especially important for those training for competitive goals. Not to mention, when you finish on a high note it provides a sense of achievement and euphoria and you walk out of the gym feeling accomplished and like a boss, which is what keeps you coming back for more!
5. Be Consistent – Consistency applies to the four preceding principles. If you follow these every time you hit the gym it will eventually just become your normal course of action, part of a routine associated with your training. The big picture in being consistent is this…Don’t make hitting the gym something you do as if it were a chore, rather, make it a meaningful part of your life. If you skip your chores you don’t lose sleep over it but if you aren’t able to do something that you enjoy or that is rewarding, you feel like you missed out. So make your training consistent to the point where it becomes habitual and you can’t do without for all the right reasons.
There you have it…if you apply these simple principles when it comes to your time at the gym I guarantee you will have better workouts and see better results and that should be the point of being there in the first place!