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Health & Fitness

Get the most of your gym

By Nick Hilden, 22 Sep, 2017
  • Get the most of your gym
 

Let’s take a moment to go through a few suggestions that will help you get the most out of your gym workout.

 
Now that summer has passed and we’re meandering through fall and toward winter, the majority of fitness enthusiasts are bringing their workout to the safety and comfort of being indoors. For many, that means heading back to the gym. So with this in mind, let’s take a moment to go through a few suggestions that will help you get the most out of your gym workout.
 

Remember that it’s not a competition

When you are getting fit outdoors, it’s easy to feel free and uninhibited. But once you move things into the gym, all those prying eyes from other fit people can make you feel self-conscious. As a result, the tendency can be to go through your workout as a performance for the audience rather than focusing on doing it right.
 
This can cause a lot of problems. You lift heavier than you should, trading the perception of strength for good form, and therefore effectiveness. You skip over workouts that are challenging in favour of doing something easy. 
 
Whatever the case, remember that no one is watching you, and it’s not a competition. The only person you’re there for is yourself. 
 

Buy quality gear that lasts

I know that it can be easy to go for the bargain rather than shelling out for the top-shelf gear, but in the long run spending more on dependable gear will save you money. Why buy a new set of wireless headphones every three months when you can buy one pair that will last for years? Why get shorts that will be threadbare and falling apart after a matter of weeks? Ditto on shoes, and lifting gloves, and more. The point – make an investment in comfortable, quality gear that will last. 
 
 

Make a plan

One of the biggest mistakes people make in the gym involves their lack of planning. From workout schedules to fitness goals (whether that means fat loss or muscle gain), continue along your fitness journey with clear plans and intentions in mind. 
 
When it comes to scheduling your workouts, that not only means knowing what days and times you’ll be at the gym, but which muscle groups you’ll be working out for maximum effect. And while there are a variety of ways to navigate your weight loss/weight gain goals, I find that a calorie counter and workout tracking app helps keep me on track. 
 

Don’t forget safety

When you’re working out outside where you have to deal with cars, weather, and other uncertain circumstances, it’s easy to put safety first. But in the comfort of a gym it can be easy to become lulled into a sense of false security. Keep in mind that it is entirely possible to injure yourself in the gym. Make sure you’re giving yourself proper rest days, stretching before and after workouts, using equipment correctly, and properly hydrating and fueling your body. 
 

Partner up.

Sometimes after taking a break from the gym, it can be hard to get back into the routine. I find that it helps to ease back into it with a partner to help with motivation. Once it becomes a habit again, doing it solo becomes no problem.
 

Don’t forget variety

It can be easy to get comfortable doing a specific series of moves and the same number of reps again and again, but if that’s what you’re doing then you’re limiting your potential. 
 
By changing up your routine often and using a wide variety of motions, you’re ensuring that you’ll work out all of the little muscles that you can end up missing when you do the same thing again and again. And by adjusting your reps and sets, you keep your body from being able to anticipate what’s coming next, which makes it work harder. And that’s what you’re at the gym for in the first place – to work hard and make progress.

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