5 Ways to Improve Results of Your Gym Workouts

lifting-weights

“IM GOING TO THE GYM TO WORKOUT, BUT IM NOT SEEING RESULTS”
This is one of the most common concerns I hear.

Are you one of the growing masses of frustrated gym membership holders, sweating to get results, yet struggling to see any?
Here are five ways to improve your Personal trainer Battersea and start seeing results from your hard work.

1. CHOOSE WEIGHT ACCORDING TO OBJECTIVE, NOT NUMBERS ON A PROGRAMME
I’m sure you’ve seen workouts instructing you to do 3 sets of 10.

I consciously avoid specifying the number of repetitions to complete, simply because the client will switch off and stop pushing themselves once that number has been completed. This might mean the weight is too light, meaning a heavier weight needs to be used to help them achieve their goals.

If you want to get the most out of your workouts:

  • Make sure that your range of repetitions is in line with your goals. Use the following general guidelines:
    • To improve strength: 5-8 repetitions
    • To gain size: 8-10 repetitions
    • To improve endurance: 10-15 repetitions

NB: if your goal is weight loss, by choosing a repetition range of 5-8 repetitions you will be lifting a heavier weight, which will help raise your heart rate and burn those calories.

 

  • Make sure your weight selection is challenging enough that completing your chosen rep range is difficult: that last repetition should be really tough to squeeze out.
  • Make sure you are using complex movements (exercising more than one joint during an exercise): using complex movements (i.e. squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings) is a great way to get in fabulous shape and improve your fitness overall. Complex movements are a fantastic way to:
    • Improve overall fitness: using more muscle groups burns more calories, as well as raising your heart rate (anyone claiming weights aren’t an effective cardio workout hasn’t swung a kettlebell yet!)
    • Save time in the gym: when you perform a complex movement eg. back squat, your core also gets a great workout in the process
    • Prevent injury: using more than one joint challenges the tendons connecting muscle to bone, thereby aiding in preventing injury (i.e. a deadlift is a very effective exercise to assist runners in avoiding Achilles tendon injuries)

Follow the repetition and weight suggestions above and be ultra-strict on keeping your form correct for each exercise.

2. LEARN YOUR LIMITS

With the increased popularity of High-Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT) sessions, the RPE scale (Rate of Perceived Exertion) scale is very useful in gauging how hard you are pushing yourself.

RPE is a scale from 1-10, where 1 means you aren’t pushed at all (essentially you are asleep) up to 10 which is a flat-out, 100% effort. If you aren’t sure how hard a 10 feels, try completing 20 burpees in 30 seconds and see how you feel. While this may seem like an unreasonable target, by pushing yourself that hard you will know what a ‘10’ feels like.

You can then gauge how hard you need to push yourself to achieve the goals you want to pursue.  (I.e. High-Intensity Interval Training means pushing yourself with short rests. (Ratchet up your intensity to a 9 or 10 to get great results from this training method).

 

 

3. EAT TO LOSE FAT (NO, THAT’S NOT A TYPO) 

One of the most important elements in achieving results from your workouts is fueling your recovery. This means eating good quality food after your training session.

Don’t rely solely on protein shakes post-workout to get the nutrients you need. Make sure you balance out good fats (i.e. avocado and olive oil) along with good sources of protein and slow-release carbohydrate (i.e. sweet potato) for your post-workout nutrition.

Remember, by training you are tearing down muscle to build it up stronger. Recovery is the ‘building it up’ part of that phase. Fuel this process with the good stuff, no shortcuts. This applies even if your goal is fat loss. By building lean muscle mass you will become more metabolically active. (I.e. all that lean muscle you are building will burn more calories at rest). By fueling your recovery, you are creating a virtuous cycle towards becoming a fat-burning demon.

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