14 Ways To Maximize Your Time At The Gym

April 8, 2013  |  
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For most people, time at the gym is pretty precious, especially if you are paying for your membership. When you’ve done your exercise for the day and it’s time to say goodbye until tomorrow, it’s nice to know that the time you have spent at the gym was worthwhile and meaningful.

If you want to get the most out of your time at the gym, there are definitely some things you’ll want to make sure you’re doing every day you’re there. Here are 14 ways to maximize your time at the gym.

Have a plan before you go

Before hitting the gym, make sure you know exactly what exercises you want to do before you go. If you plan to do a day of cardio, plan to head straight for the treadmill, elliptical, or spinning class. Having a plan before you go will allow you to spend a lot less time figuring out what exercises you want to do. This means that the majority of your time will be spent working out, not figuring out exactly what you want to do.

Bring music along with you

Music is the perfect way to motivate yourself when you’re at the gym. There’s nothing that pushes you through a tough hour of exercise than some of your favorite songs. Don’t forget your iPod and maybe even consider creating a playlist that is specifically for the gym. This also allows you to tune out any distractions.

Avoid over-socializing

There’s nothing wrong with a quick hello when you see someone at the gym you know, but things become a bit problematic when you find yourself socializing a lot at the gym. This takes away from your exercise time and in the end, the gym isn’t the place to catch up on the latest drama amongst your friends. Keep convo to a minimum and focus on exercising first.

Switch things up

Doing the same exercises for weeks without any change isn’t only boring, it isn’t optimal for your body. It’s best to switch up your exercises as much as possible. Most gym-goers have a cardio day, and then a weightlifting day, so that their entire body is worked out in a variety of ways. Don’t spend months running on the treadmill at the same 5.0 speed. If you are adamant about sticking to one machine, find ways to change it up.

Bring water with you

The gym and water seriously go hand-in-hand, and though most gyms offer water fountains, that takes away time that you could be spending exercising. Since most machines at the gym have a cup or bottle holder, it makes sense to simply bring your own water with you. This way you aren’t wandering around the room looking for water and possibly losing your spot on the machine you were using.

Always keep your goals in mind

No matter if you’re a novice gym-goer or someone who has been going for months now, it’s always smart to keep your goals in mind. Going tothe gym is never easy, at least it shouldn’t be. You should be pushing your body so that you’re able to have the figure and shape that you want. On those days when you’re tired, lazy, or just not feeling it, remember the ultimate goal and you’ll be able to push though.

Eat before you go

Exercising requires energy, and energy comes from food, which means that it’s vital that you’re able to eat before coming to the gym. Even if it’s something as small as an apple, you’ll want to make sure that you have some sort of fuel in your body so that you’re able to put plenty of effort into your workout routine. Without eating before going to the gym, you may feel light-headed, tired, fatigued, and incapable of working out safely.

Don’t go to the gym everyday

Even if you’ve become a complete gym junkie, you do not want to go to the gym every single day of the week. Your body needs time to rest and heal, so allow yourself to do just that, at least once a week. Aside from going to the gym everyday, you’ll also want to limit the amount of time you spend there. An hour is plenty of time; three hours at the gym is a bit excessive.

Don’t be afraid to try new things

Sticking to the same old routine will get boring after a while so during your time at the gym, don’t be afraid to try new exercises. If you’ve never picked up a weight before, start light, but see if you like it or not! If you’ve never taken part in a spinning or Zumba class, try it out. Allowing yourself to try new exercises will keep your gym experience lively and exciting.

Have a workout partner

It’s always nice to be able to bring a friend with you to the gym. Your workout partner should be someone who has similar fitness goals as well as someone who is just as determined as you are. Aside from having someone around that you know, having a workout partner will keep you accountable, and you’ll have someone close by who will encourage you and help you push through some of the hardest workout days.

Stretch, a lot

Stretching is often times overlooked. Before you do anything at the gym, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve stretched and that your body is warmed up. By not stretching and giving your body a chance to warm up before exercising, you put yourself at a high risk of injury. There’s nothing worse than having to stop in the middle of an exercise because you pulled or a muscle or because you’re having horrible cramps. Stretch before and after you work out.

Keep track of your progress

When you’re in the gym putting forth your all, you’ll want to know that you’re making some progress and that your hard work is paying off. Though you should be able to see changes in the mirror, sometimes numbers speak a lot louder. Compare your body measurements (hips, waist, bust, etc.) every few weeks and see just how many inches you’re losing! This really makes you feel as though your time at the gym is paying off.

Save the flirting for somewhere else

The gym is not a dating platform. While you’re probably going to come across a lot of eye candy, it’s usually not ideal to try to start dating someone you see at the gym. This will only distract you as well as others in the gym, since it’s kind of hard to not pay attention to the girl who is in the corner flirting with a bunch of men. Don’t let the gym become a place to pick up your next man.

Keep your cellphone out of your hands

There’s nothing more distracting and time consuming then talking or texting while at the gym. The time you spend texting or talking to your best friend could be time that you’re exercising and putting good use to your gym time. It’s wisest to either keep your phone in the car or in your gym bag. The gym is not the place to carry on a conversation. Besides, holding your phone and exercises poses all sorts of risks of injury.

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