It would be nice if work was like our hobbies and our hobbies were like work. By that I mean we never seem to have the proper amount of time and energy to devote to the things we enjoy the most. Well most of us don’t, I am sure some of those Powerball winners won’t have that problem.
Take working out. There are a bunch of things people can and do to make every workout better and more effective. That is turn means better results which makes you happier and feeling more accomplished. However when push comes to shove, other things usually have to be prioritized first.
Not anymore! These tips will help make your workouts better and are easy enough to fit into even the busiest schedule.
Improve Workouts Now!
- Eat Oatmeal Pre-Workout – Everyone should have a good pre-workout meal. Ideally you want to eat some quality food about 2 hours before you train. The best bet is some slow-digesting carbs like whole oats which helps with more endurance and higher levels of fat burning. Add a scoop of whey protein, 3 grams of creatine, and some raisins on top to cover all your bases; simple, fast, and very portable.
- Skip High Fats Before the Gym – Ideally you should skip high-fat meals all the time, but you never want them in your body 5 to 6 hours before you train. That fat can reduce the ability of nitric oxide in the blood which can lead to less blood flow as well as less of a muscle pump. That means fast food and deep-fried fare are off the menu.
- Add some Caffeine – Ideally you want a caffeine supplement, or coffee, one or two hours before your training session. It will increase blood flow, add energy, and reduce muscle pain (which means you can push harder, longer).
- L-Arginine Please – In that last window, 30 minutes before you hit the gym, pop some L-arginine along with some Gatorade or other electrolyte filled liquid. The arginine will help with strength while the electrolyte top of your system before the work begins.
- Speed Up and Slow Down – Learn to vary your rep speeds in your workout. Some days work on fast, explosive movements. Other days use extremely slow and controlled lifts. That way you hit both fast and slow twitch fibers. A good rule of thumb is to change speeds every two weeks.
- Train to Failure, Once – Don’t go to failure on every set. Studies have shown that taking every set to failure provides diminishing returns compared to pushing your last, heaviest set to absolute failure.
- Use Rest-Pause Training – On your last set to failure, use the rest-pause technique to make sure you go as far as possible. After your last rep, rest 8 to 10 seconds, and then do more. Repeat that 2-3 times.
- Work Heavy and Light – Your gains will increase if you switch up the work load on your muscles. Going heavy all the time can build up levels of myostain which limits muscle growth. Every 4 to 6 weeks take a break from going heavy and switch to lighter weights and higher reps for 2 to 4 weeks.
- The Post-Workout Shake – Always drink a post-workout shake to maximize all the hard work in the gym. Use a mix of whey and casein protein (40 grams total), 3 grams of creatine, and 50 to 100 grams of sucrose.
- Stretch After Your Workout – You will gain the most benefit of static (hold) stretching after the muscles are warm. This will lead to longer muscles and greater flexibility.
Dan Barthalomew is a crossfit coach and fitness writer for Nutribomb Bodybuilding supplements. Keep up with Dan’s writings by following us at our Blog or at our Google Plus Page.