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Optimizing Gym Workouts

10 Nov

Since it’s dark out by the time I get out of work I am no longer running outside and instead have been heading to the gym for my workouts. I’m not sure about you, but I think the gym can be really boring and I do everything I can to get in and out of there, but also keep it interesting. Here are some tips on ways to optimize your workout.

I will miss my evening fall runs

[Source Pinterest]

1. Come with a plan

I always know what I plan to do at the gym before I get there. There’s always some sort of cardio where I set either a distance or time goal for the day. Some days I also decide to do a little weight training.

For my weight training I like to bring in workouts from either a magazine or online. Women’s Health Magazine always has great weight training or body weight workouts both in the magazine and online. Some other mags I will sometimes pick up are Shape, Self and even Cosmo sometimes has a good workout routine that your can tear out to bring to the gym with you.

Another web site that has pretty good workouts is Tone It Up! They will sometimes post some great printable workout routines. I’m a fan of the Beach Ball Workout.

Coming to the gym with a plan it will be that much easier to get in and get out without milling around trying to decide what you want to do that day.

2. Get in a high intensity workout

Another way to optimize your workout is to get in some high intensity interval training (HIIT). Cardio is great for your lungs but by adding interval training with short bursts of intensity (HIIT) you can burn more calories and fat quicker.

FitSugar has a link to a a couple of treadmill workouts that focus on interval training. These treadmill workouts are four different printable PDF’s for beginners, intermediate intervals, hills and sprint intervals. This interval treadmill workout can burn 500 calories in 41 minutes.

3. Mix it up

I love running, but sometimes running on a treadmill can be boring. I’ve learned to mix it up not only with distances and times, but also by adding intervals to my workouts. I will also try out different machines. I’m a fan of the Stairmaster for the glutes and the elliptical for days that I just don’t feel like running. Mixing it up goes beyond just cardio. It’s also a good idea to mix up the type of weight training you do.

Your body can begin to plateau if you are continually doing the same workouts. To continue to see results it’s a good idea to change the types of workouts you do.

I used to have a routine when I went to the gym. I ran between 4 and 5 miles and then I did a quick circuit on the equipment. My body did begin to plateau and I wasn’t seeing or feeling results. Now since I have begun to do some interval exercises in the morning and vary my intensity on my runs I’m feeling more challenged.

The gym may not always be fun but by planning your workouts, adding some intervals and mixing up your training you can get the most out of your time there and get in a great workout.

How do you mix up your workouts? What websites do you go to for great new workouts?

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2 Responses to “Optimizing Gym Workouts”

  1. fortheloveofkale November 10, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Awesome tips, darling! I love going to the free classes offered on campus. For inspiration, I look to Tone it Up, Bob Harper, and Jennifer Galardi. I love Physique 57 too!

    • Valerie November 14, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      That’s my first time hearing of Physique 57, I’ll definitely have to check them out!

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