How to: maximize gym results

Despite weight loss being one of the most common resolutions people set at the beginning of each year, few are able to actually meet this goal. The idea behind it is not difficult: burn more calories than you consume. Though it takes discipline to follow this model, it also takes efficiency when being active.

The most difficult part about going to the gym is actually getting there. While it could be easy to blow it off, envision your goal. Write your goal down on a piece of paper and keep it in eyesight beside your bed or on you bathroom mirror as a daily reminder of what you strive for. Put together a workout playlist to pump yourself up. If you’re into motivation through others, find a workout buddy so you can hold each other accountable for visiting the gym as a team.

Warm up. Take about five to 10 minutes on the elliptical to get going. Ensure the settings are not more than what you can do. When you end up leaning into the machine for support, you won’t get as much out as you would like. Reading will detract from your form. Similarly,  minimalize socializing with others. Spending an entire workout talking to someone will hinder you from exercising to your full potential.

If you’re a gym newbie, refrain from lifting free weights. Instead, utilize the machines because they are designed to position your body properly and effectively. While doing your sets, ensure everything is done slowly. Trying to impress others by rapidly lifting something on the machine with your legs won’t be impressive when it doesn’t do anything to your body; naturally, gravity pulls those weights down. Remember to lower everything slowly in order to maximize your muscle results.

A common mistake gym-goers have revolves around the usage of the equipment itself. Being afraid to ask a staff member about properly using a machine will only hurt you in the end. Improper usage could result in injury or an ineffective routine that turns out to be a time waster.

Incorporate a cardio exercise into your routine that is enough to make you sweat. Understand that sweat does not necessarily equate to weight loss. Focus on interval training. Alternate between an intensive and moderate workout. The more intense you work, the more calories you will burn because your body will also have an after-burn mode. Staying on a cardio machine for a long period of time could mean you aren’t pushing yourself enough. Going through the motions at a gym will not get results. Exercising should not always be comfortable in terms of how much you work yourself.

Target strength training for fat burning. It takes more calories to maintain muscle and additional muscle increases metabolism. Before you walk out the gym doors, stretch your muscles. You don’t want to wake up the next morning too sore to exercise again.