For many people, the end of winter is known as crunch time. You may find yourself rushing to try to look your best before the dreaded bikini weather hits. Maybe you’ve indulged a little too much over the holidays, workouts became increasingly infrequent, or maybe you just want to get more out of your workouts before swimsuit season. No matter what your goals, here are ten ways to up the ante before the weather starts warming up.
Start with Something You Like
After you're warmed up, start your workout routine with something that gets you excited. Love doing cardio? Jump on the stair stepper first. Love to swim? Jump in the pool and swim a few laps before following up with weights. It'll motivate you and put you in a positive mindset for the exercises ahead.
Identify Downtimes at the Gym
Most people want to get in and out of the gym as quickly as possible. By paying attention to slow traffic times, you can make the most of your time by avoiding big crowds and a lack of equipment availability. You can also ask the staff at the front desk when the busiest times are, and work your schedule around that.
Burn More Calories
Packing your bag and actually getting to the gym can oftentimes be the hardest part. You did it, so now’s the time to reward yourself with a tough workout! Maximize your calorie-burning potential by incorporating high-intensity interval training into your routine. These cardio exercises will ensure you're getting the most out of your time at the gym.
Share a Trainer with a Friend
Having a trainer can be one of the best ways to get the most out of your workout. They will keep you focused, on task, and they won’t let you slack off. If hiring your own personal trainer is out of the budget, see if you can split a session or two with a friend.
Observe a Class Before You Try It
To get the most out of your workouts, don’t take a class you aren’t going to enjoy or put your full effort into. Before you try a new group fitness class, stop by the studio and observe for a moment to get a sense of whether or not you'd like it.
Save the Talking for Later
As we know, getting to the gym is hard and your time is valuable, so don’t waste time and energy by chatting away your workout. While it can be fun to bring a friend to the gym, save the conversations for afterwards. Instead, push each other to work hard by doing a few extra reps or engaging in a friendly competition.
Get Competitive with Cardio
Sometimes you can help motivate yourself just by observing people at the gym. On the treadmill, the bike, or the stair stepper, look for someone near you who is working hard, and try to match their pace. By doing so, you can push your way through the burn much easier because you’re competing with someone else. Just don’t push yourself too hard!
Break down Your Sets
When faced with a set of squats, crunches, or step-ups, break the big set down into smaller sets if it becomes too difficult. If doing twenty reps is too hard for your current fitness level, don’t skip them, but instead count them out in four sets of five. The smaller sets can seem easier to conquer.
Decrease Your Time at the Gym
Yes, really! Who has time to spend hours at the gym several times per week? Get the same results in a shorter amount of time by increasing intensity. Studies show that high-intensity intervals will burn fat faster than doing the same steady routine. The workouts are hard, but they’ll reward you with quick results if done properly.
Don’t Forget to Stretch
Instead of sitting during rest periods, stretch your tired muscles instead. You can stretch muscles you've already worked or do complementary stretches for muscles you're working. For example, if you're working your glutes, stretch your hamstrings. For an added bonus, try foam rolling!
To make sure you're well rested, be sure to workout at least three hours before you go to sleep. It can take that long for your body to completely cool down and your heart rate to return to its normal rate.
So, what are you waiting for? Start meeting your summertime fitness goals today at Genesis Health Clubs!