Here are some tips for making the most of your workout whether you are at home or in the gym, have 20 minutes or 2 hours, are a beginner or a pro athlete.
Go into your workout with a plan.
Go into your workout first of all knowing you’re going to kill it! Set your mindset and go after your goals. Have a plan. Are you working arms, legs, cardio? Do you know how many reps of which exercises you’re going to do? You don’t have to have it all written down perfectly but go into your workout with a plan so you don’t get overwhelmed and lose your motivation.
Stop making excuses!
If you say you can’t go heavy on weights cause you didn’t eat enough carbs today, then you won’t. If you say you can’t run that extra mile because you’ve never gone that far before, then you won’t. If you say you don’t need to workout today because it’s been a long day and you’re tired, then you won’t. If you have an excuse you just don’t want it bad enough. Go into your workouts with no excuses. Try first then modify if needed. Read that again: IF NEEDED. Not because you’re tired. Give yourself more credit. You can do hard things.
High intensity interval training is meant to get your heart rate up fast for a period of time, lower it back down for a short period of time, and then get it right back up again. If you’re short on time, a HIIT workout is a great choice. (You can find plenty on the Internet or I also post them on my Instagram @cookiemonster_fitness). This type of heart rate manipulation allows your body to burn fat for hours after your workout. Who doesn’t want that?
I know this is sometimes a tough concept for women to wrap their mind around, but trust me it works. You won’t end up looking like a man. If you only have 20 minutes to do your strength training, doing heavier sets of less reps is going to benefit you more than lighter weights. Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat. If you want to burn fat even when you’re not working out you need to build muscle. To build muscle, you need to lift heavier than you’re used to sometimes. Challenge yourself!
Fuel your body.
Our workouts revolve around how good our body feels. If you feel sluggish, your workout won’t be very effective. Make sure you are fueling your body properly (i.e. don’t eat a burrito right before your cardio workout, make sure you are staying hydrated, etc.). We all perform better when we feel better.
Just do it!
I hear way too often people say they don’t have time to be at the gym for an hour every day. That’s fine, neither do I. If you have 20 minutes you have enough time for a workout. Each workout doesn’t have to be hours long. Get what you can done in the time you have. Only have your lunch break? Great, get outside and walk the block around your work. See my post Workout While Watching TV. Something is always better than nothing and you will feel so good if you just get up and move!