Last week one of my clients pointed out that she was training much harder than anyone else around her. She was sweating, huffing and puffing while the other members in the gym were just going through the motions.
She knew what she was doing was the right thing. After all losing 22.5 lbs in five and a half weeks says it all! But she asked me why the others weren’t training as hard.
There are many reasons but the main one has to be they are following the wrong advice given out by so many gyms that steady state cardio is great for us. It’s not! There are far better ways to train to increase your fitness and burn fat.
So here are 5 ways to increase your effectiveness in the gym
1. Change what you do EVERY 3-4 weeks – Your body gets used to what you are doing very quickly and this means less calories are being burned every session. By changing the exercises you will add a new challenge every month or so.
2. Increase the weights you are lifting. This is really quite a simple thing to do yet so many just stick to the same weights. If your programme calls for 10-12 reps of an exercise and you do 12 guess what? You are fit and strong enough do 12! Your muscles have no extra need to get stronger and therefore there will be no major increase in metabolism. Increasing the weight in the next set will mean you are pushing yourself harder and will increase your strength, metabolism and calories burned.
3. Increase the reps you are doing. Taking the above example if you increase the weight and only get 10 reps then the next time go for 11. Again this means you are pushing yourself more every time and will continue to get results. Be aware though that increasing the reps all the time without increasing the weights will not be as effective. Doing 20 reps of a light weight is not as early as effective as doing 12 of a much heavier weight.
4. Increase your range of movement. When I look at people doing half squats and lunges I always wonder do they realise they can go lower! As a rule of thumb go as low as possible on any exercise while maintaining a tall posture. I love looking at how babies move with freedom and flexibility, that’s how we are designed to be. There are plenty of videos on You Tube showing how ot do certain exercises correctly and you can always ask an expert’s help (remember a lot of instructors that work in gyms are not experts, just like a cook in McDonalds is not a chef!)
5. Do more work in less time. This one is great. I love a challenge, especially challenging myself! Time your training sessions and then try to beat it the next session. A simple way to do this is pair 3 exercises together and give yourself and set amount of reps per exercise. Then see how long it takes you to do 5 rounds. Then in your next session beat it!
There are many more ways to increase your effectiveness in the gym and I’d love to hear what you do in the comments section below.