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Capitalizing on Your Gym Time

~ Lashley Training Center ~

By Sarah Elise

You want to work out. You know you need to work out. But like so many, there’s apprehension, hesitation, and slight frustration before even setting foot in the gym. We weren’t all born into the fitness world, and with the financial stress brought on by the pandemic, not all of us can afford our very own personal trainer. That said - there are plenty of fitness hacks to capitalize on your gym time, and get the most out of your workout.

Before anything else, HEART HEALTH first. If you don’t have one, Christmas is right around the corner … get you a heart rate monitor and activity tracker. Garmin, Fitbit, Apple, Omni Heart Guard - whichever price point your “Santa” can afford, invest in a smart device to help guide your fitness journey. Not only do they pay dividends during your workout by displaying your current heart rate and calories burnt, but most also track all of your activities acting as a personal fitness log and weight loss journal. It keeps you accountable, acts as an extrinsic motivator, and most on the market offer additional useful tracking options to optimize your health and wellness.

Just like anything else in life, it’s a smart idea to HAVE A PLAN … at least a blueprint of what you’re trying to accomplish. A small journal, ‘Notes’ on your phone, a fancy fitness tracking app, anything to keep you focused and eyes on the prize. Taking a moment to jot down a list of some basic exercises or sets you’re going to tackle will prevent you from aimlessly wandering around the gym and / or packing up early out of frustration.

MAKE A PLAYLIST!! Unless your spirit animal is David Goggins and you go hard in the paint to some dead silence or you enjoy pacing your workouts to others’ grunts and heavy breathing, music is mood. It can feed you energy on your last few reps, fuel your fire when it begins to flicker, and supply sick beats to fall into rhythm while crushing cardio. Music is proven to boost your brain into beast mode, so add some tunes to whatever device you’ve got, turn up the volume, and get after it!

You’ve got a plan and a playlist, so PUT THE PHONE DOWN. The polls are in people, the number one gym time waster: technology. Whether it’s mindlessly scrolling through social media, taking duck face gym selfies, having full blown text battles or conversations - phones are a complete distraction. So unless you’re reading your workout plan, leave it alone.

Now you’re ready. But what’s tried and true and proven to give you the QUICKEST RESULTS? Cardio, free weights, machines … so many options. While there’s never one clear cut workout to address the masses, and everyone responds differently to cardio and strength training, the key is to stay moving - rest only when necessary and keep your heart rate within its fat-burning zone. Although a weight-training workout doesn’t typically burn as many calories as a cardio workout, it has other important benefits. Weight training is more effective than cardio at building muscle, and muscle burns more calories at rest than some other tissues, including fat. Because of this, it is commonly said that building muscle is the key to increasing your resting metabolism — (calories you burn at rest). There are other important calorie-burning benefits to weight training. Research has shown that you burn more calories in the hours following a weight training session, compared to a cardio workout. This means that once you leave the gym, you will continue to burn calories long after your workout.

No one said you have to compete in the next power lifting competition. Keep it simple and within your limits. Lower your weight, increase your reps, slow down, and perfect your form. Build a SOLID FOUNDATION before you shoot for the stars and wind up on the IR list. Once you gain confidence, increase the weight to build resistance. Mix up your movements and range of motion to prevent muscle memory. But always remember - form over weight.

These few simple fitness hacks are guaranteed to optimize your time in the gym. Whether you’ve got 20 minutes or an hour to devote to your mind and body, make the most of it. You deserve to give yourself your undivided attention. Your time is precious and every minute counts.

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