A gym is like a jungle, everyone goes to their own. If there are 200 members, there will be 200 routines and 200 ways to see and do things. In this article, we will discuss how to improve your workout at the gym.
10 tips to improve your workout at the gym
- The cardio after training
- The progression is everything
- Prioritize compound exercises
- Work the muscle, do not move the weight
- Always heat
- A range of repetitions adapted to objectives
- The phone outside
- One-sided work
- Adapt to the gym equipment
How to improve your workout at the gym- 1: The cardio after training
A cardiovascular exercise is a tool that we use according to our objectives. Basically there are 2 types of cardiovascular exercise, the high intensity (HIIT) and the low intensity (LISS) but in turn, there are many ways to do it (swimming, running, cycling, weight circuits, elliptical, rowing machine). We should know that cardiovascular exercise is different from the training we do in the gym. It has nothing to do with it.
The main function of weight training is to create muscle mass, but the function of cardiovascular exercise is to help us burn more calories and therefore help us to lose fat.
If we have 2 different objectives we cannot include them in the same bag, they are 2 types of training, so our recommendation is to make them in 2 different moments within the same day (one in the morning and another in the afternoon) or on different days (one day weight training and another day cardiovascular training) so that they do not influence each other.
However, and since we cannot always do this if you are going to join both workouts make sure to include weight training before cardio. The reason is that to lift weights you need to be fresh and you need to have your glycogen stores full and this will not happen if you do cardio first. In addition, doing cardio after training has another advantage and is that as you have trained with weights previously, your muscle glycogen has been partially or completely spent, so when you do cardiovascular exercise, your body will use fat reserves more easily.
How to improve your workout at the gym- 2: The progression is everything
Every time you attend the gym, your training should be better than the previous one. You must go forward. If your workouts do not improve you should do something about it, perhaps change the routine, the exercises, the series. Keep in mind that the muscles grow because they adapt to a new environment. If the environment is always the same (you always use the same weight for the same repetitions), you will have no reason to grow.
The muscles do not want to grow. You must be the reason for them to grow.
You can progress in different ways. One of the clearest is the weight you use. If you move more weight in each workout you are on the right track. If you keep the same weight from one workout to another but you are doing more repetitions, you are also progressing. And finally, if you use the same weight and perform the same repetitions but take less rest time between sets, you are also progressing.
These are the 3 most basic forms of progression. So, remember, never stop progressing.
How to improve your workout at the gym- 3: Prioritize compound exercises
It is well known that compound movements have the ability to add more muscle mass to your physique so you should prioritize this type of exercise.
When we speak of compound movements we are not referring exclusively to the 3 movements of powerlifting (squat, deadlift and bench press) that are great exercises but they are simply that, exercises. You should not lock yourself in only those 3 movements. There are many exercises that involve several muscle groups at the same time such as chin-ups, shoulder presses, paddles, farmer walks, and squat variants.
Use these exercises as a basis for your training. There is a place for accessory or isolation exercises and you should also add them, but these should never be the core of your training.
How to improve your workout at the gym- 4: Work the muscle, do not move the weight
If your goal is to have an aesthetic body, then who cares about the weight you lift? Your job when you enter the gym is to stimulate the muscle or muscles that you have to train that day. It is useless to load the bar with all the possible weight and ask a partner to help you from the first repetition. This does not work like this; you must learn to contract the muscle in each repetition.
This at first is quite difficult, but with practice, you will learn to feel the muscle when you are working and it will be much easier to train it.
Throughout the months and years of training, your strength will increase, you will be able to move more and more weight (see advice 2) but this requires a process, a process that slows down as you gain experience in the gym.
You need to be strong, but the strength must be exercised by the correct muscles in each exercise.
How to improve your workout at the gym- 5: Always heat
Warming is a fundamental part of training. You have to prepare the muscles for the work they will later perform.
Warming not only serves to improve performance, but it is a matter of health. A good warm-up will help you prevent injuries and be more focused on the subsequent training.
How to improve your workout at the gym- 6: A range of repetitions adapted to objectives
You have to be consistent with your goals. If your goal is to develop your body or a part of your body specifically you cannot be doing a series of 2 and 3 repetitions. You are not a powerlifter so do not train like one.
It is possible to increase the hypertrophy by training at very low repetitions, but it is not optimal. Remember that your body does not want to build muscle mass, so you should focus all your efforts on that goal if you want to achieve it. It is not good to want to be big, to want to be strong and at the same time to be defined.
Find your goal and focus on the steps you must take to achieve it, do not try to chase 2 birds at once.
In our opinion, no one looking for aesthetics should perform less than 4-5 repetitions under any circumstances and should focus especially on the range of 6-15 repetitions, even more for some muscles and for some moments.
How to improve your workout at the gym- 7: Hydrate
Water is essential for survival so imagine how important it is while you are subjecting your body to enormous stress, such as weight training.
Drinking water helps your body perform its vital functions while lubricating the joints. Never forget about water during a workout.
Look well, we said water. Do not use energy drinks “sports” that are nothing more than sugary concoctions that your body must process. These drinks can have their place in other sports or activities where the efforts are longer, but in a training session in the gym, you do not need that sugar.
How to improve your workout at the gym- 8: The phone outside
We live in the information age. We all have a Smartphone and we live close to it. There is no way to stop ringing for 5 minutes in a row. We receive notices of the calendar, WhatsApp messages, Facebook notifications, new Twitter followers, likes of Instagram. Even sometimes we receive calls.
Such is the dependence of the telephone that if we are 15 minutes without receiving any notification, we think that our mobile phone has been broken.
These distractions are very dangerous for the gym. If you spend an hour a day changing your body, let it be an hour, but an hour without interruptions. Turn off the phone or put it in “do not disturb” mode or in any other mode that allows you to train without distractions.
How to improve your workout at the gym- 9: One-sided work
Many times we focus on exercises where both sides of our body work equally, usually, this happens when using bars.
By doing this, we are generating more strength and we can move more weight, but as you have read before, weight is not always the key.
You may have one side of your body that is not as developed as the opposite. If you are right-handed, for example, your right side may be overdeveloped compared to the left side and when doing this type of exercises your strong side (right) works harder and therefore it will continue to become stronger by increasing that decompensation.
Unilateral work is a good mechanism to correct and prevent this decompensation. That a part of your body works independently of the opposite makes both works efficiently and also helps other stabilizing muscles get more involved since it is more difficult to stabilize the weight when it only falls on one side of your body.
To perform unilateral training a very good way to do it is to use dumbbells, elastic bands or even some machines. Make sure you include unilateral work in your routine.
How to improve your workout at the gym- 10: Adapt to the gym equipment
In today’s world, mobility is a fact. We are very dynamic, we travel and move around the world. This means that due to personal circumstances you may have to train in several different gyms throughout your years of training.
All gyms lack something, all gyms are different and therefore, the equipment is different. This is not bad, but you must learn to live with it.
In every gym, you go there should be a basic material (dumbbells, bars, discs, bank press bench, squats cage, pulleys, pull-up bar, and various machines), but there will not be 2 gyms with the same equipment and that’s not why you’re going to run out of training.
Adapt and adapt your training to the available equipment. If we have a gym 5 minutes from our house and we sign up for another much more complete gym but to which it took us 1 hour to arrive and 1 hour to return, it is very likely that we will finally stop attending because of laziness. And let us tell you that not even the best gym in the world produces results if you do not go.
We hope you will like these tips to improve your workout at the gym. We want your comments and suggestions to improve our ideas. Thank you and have a healthy life!