December 13, 2013
Make the Most of Your Workout

If you workout with a trainer or workout in a group, you are more likely to push yourself harder than if you workout alone. When a trainer is there to push you and motivate you, your workout is sure to be an effective one. When you are in a class or other group setting you are also more likely to push harder to keep up with the pack. When you are by yourself it can be easy to relax a bit, quit one or two reps earlier, or be sidetracked by other distractions. How do you push yourself when there is no one there cheering you on or motivating you to push through the challenge? There are a few tricks you can use in order to ensure you have a great workout when flying solo.

First: Have a plan
When you get to the gym, you should already know what is on the list for the day. Is today a cardio day, strength day, or circuit day? Which strength exercises are you going to do and for how many sets and reps? How high are you going to keep your heart rate and for how long? All of these questions should be answered before getting to the gym. That way you can get right down to business. Have you ever gone to the gym without a plan? It is very easy to ask yourself, “hmmm what do I feel like doing today?” The answer to that is typically, “less than you should be doing today.” Having a plan helps to eliminate the temptation to move slower, lift lighter, and effectively waste a workout.

Second: Think of your goal
Let’s be honest, exercise should be challenging. This challenge can be very uncomfortable. When your muscles are burning and your body feels like it is going to shut down, there is one thing that will help keep you going: the thought of your goal. The thought of achieving your goal will help push you through the fatigue, the burn, and the temptation to quit.

Third: Stay focused
The gym is a social place. People are there to work their bodies, get healthy, and achieve their goals. When you are working out, don’t let the social factor get in the way of your effort. If you make a habit out of talking with people in the middle of your workout, then at least limit your conversation to under a minute. That minute should take place in between a set while you are resting. Oh wait, you should not be resting… so you better find a way to talk and move at the same time. If you enjoy chatting with people at the gym, that is ok. It is great to connect with other like-minded people who like exercise. It is also ok to say, “give me a moment while I bust out another set,” and then get right back to your workout.

Fourth: Listen to epic music
Your definition of epic music is probably different than mine, but that is perfectly fine. Music can move you and motivate you to move. If there is a song that makes you want to jump up and down and kick down a door, then add it to your playlist. Motivating music will help keep your tempo and intensity up! Ditch the Michael Bolton mix and kick on some Aerosmith or Eminem. Listen to what moves you.

In the next post, let’s discuss how to make the most of your group and trainer workouts.

Stay strong!

Written by Clark Masterson

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