Do you ever go to the gym not knowing what you’re doing?
You decide that you might go for a run for about 15 minutes and then do a “bit of weights”.
Next time you go in, you might do 10 minutes of weights and 30 minutes of cardio.
You never really go in with a set plan and just make it up as you go.
While there’s nothing really wrong with this approach, you are wasting time in the gym if you have a goal.
There are a few things that you could to make exercising actually worth your while.
Have A Plan
If you’re going to the gym to try and lose weight or to gain muscle you need to have some type of plan. You can’t just go in a few times a week and throw things together depending on how you feel that day. This is because your body will get used to what you’re doing and you won’t achieve what you’re expecting.
You also can’t just go in and train the gym every day and do arms Monday to Friday because even if you want to grow them bigger that’s not the best way to go about it. Muscle growth actually happens when you’re resting and recovering, so smashing your arms day after day and giving them no time to recover isn’t going to help them get bigger.
This is why you need to have a plan for your goals.
You need to know what you’re going to do each time you go into the gym. Whether you’re going twice a week or five times a week, having some plan is better than no plan.
When you have a workout plan for weights or cardio you’re going to know exactly what to do each time you exercise, instead of just going in and throwing things together.
You can literally go to google and look up “free workout program for beginners” or “free workout program for females” and you’re going to find hundreds of free programs to follow. Don’t stress as to whether it’s “the best” program or not, the point is you’re following one.
Track Your Workout
Let’s say you’ve now got a workout plan to follow and you know exactly what you’re doing each time you come in. What you need to know is how well you’re making progress.
You work a full-time job, you hang out with friends and family and you love to watch Netflix. You’ve got so much you think about on a daily basis and now when you go to the gym you’ve got to remember what weights you used last time. That’s pretty bloody hard to do, even for me and I’m a trainer!
It’s hard to keep all of that information in your head and if you can’t keep track of it, it’s hard to make sure you’re doing more than last week and remember what exercises you did.
That’s why recording your workouts are so important. Depending on what type of person you are will determine how you like to track your workouts.
If you’re someone who likes writing and physical things, then buy yourself a notebook so you can write down what exercises you did in what order and what weight you used.
If you don’t want to carry around a notebook with a pen and paper and you’re more of a digital person then you can keep your progress recorded in your notes app or use an app.
Keep It Out Of Your Head
I get all of my online clients to use my training app so they can log all of their workouts, record their weights, reps and sets. Then, the next time they do their session it shows up what weight and how many reps they did last time so they know to make progress in the coming session.
It’s hard to keep all of that information in your head, so by having a way to track your workouts will help make it easier to know you’re progressing.
Speaking of progress, you can’t go into the gym and run on the treadmill for the same amount of time on the same speed and incline every time you do cardio.
You also can’t train with weights and do the same number of reps and sets with the same weight each time you go in. This is because your body is adaptable and will get used to what you’re doing.
There are so many people who will come in and do the exact same thing week in and week out and wonder why they aren’t seeing results.
If you aren’t constantly putting more strain on your body week after week, you’re going to have very slow if any progress and you’re going to waste your time.
The way you can avoid this and keep making progress is to do one of the following options…
- Increase the weight
- Adding more reps
- Increase the sets
- Slow down the tempo
- Shorten the rest time between sets
You don’t have to do all of these, you can just pick one and use that as an overload for the week and then pick another one.
For example, if you bench press 60kg for 3 sets of 10. During your first week, you could increase the reps to 12.
During the second week, you could increase the weight to 62.5kg and on the third week increase the reps again.
As long as you choose one way to increase the amount of work you do, you’re going to make progress.
The same goes for cardio.
If you run at the same speed on the same incline you’re going to eventually burn fewer calories because your body gets better at the exercise.
Here’s what you can do to improve your cardio health and keep burning calories.
- Running at a faster pace
- Increase the gradient you run at
- Running further
- Choose a different piece of equipment.
Stop Plateauing And Start Progressing
Now you know exactly what you need to do to stop making the little mistakes in the gym.
If you follow a workout program, track what you’re doing and use some type of progressive overload week by week you’re going to make much greater progress. This also means that you’re not wasting your time at the gym and expecting results to come yet they never do.