How to Get the Most Out of Your Workout Every Time

Whether you're a gym junkie or a complete newbie, there will always be ways to improve your workout and maximise those all important gains. 

Here are seven tips to help you make the most of your time when you're training.

1. Be clear about what you want from your workout

Plan your workout beforehand and set a clear training goal - this will keep you more focused and stop you from wandering around the gym aimlessly. Try downloading a fitness app onto your phone to keep you motivated.

2. Train at the best time for your lifestyle
It doesn't matter what time you work out, as long as you're consistent. Decide on a time that's convenient, when you feel most alert or just when you have the most time, and stick to your schedule.

3. Enlist some help
If you're new to working out, it might be worth your while to invest in a personal trainer to show you the ropes until you know what you're doing. You could also train with a friend - this is a great motivation and you'll be able to keep each other accountable.

4. Drink coffee before you work out
Having some caffeine around an hour before you train can improve your workout by stimulating your nervous system, heart and blood pressure - helping both your mind and body to push harder during a session. It also releases feel-good hormones like dopamine, improving your mood and reducing perceived muscle pain. This can result in improved muscle strength and stamina. 

5. Combine strength training with cardio
Do your cardio and weights in the same session - this is more effective than just doing one or the other. Benefits include increased fat loss, increased muscle mass and a faster metabolism. For maximum results, do your strength training first, then cardio.

6. Keep pushing yourself
If you stick to the same workout routine day in, day out, you're going to plateau. Make sure to review your progress every week and increase either the weight or the amount of reps to up the intensity of your workout. If you're running on a treadmill, increase the speed, the incline or the distance. 

7. Take a rest day at least once a week
Maybe most importantly of all, make sure you take time to rest. Rest days are important because they allow the body time to recover and heal the muscles you've broken down while training. Resting at least one day a week will actually make you stronger. Make sure also to get sufficient sleep.

Please note that whatever workout you choose to do, always ensure you warm up properly, stay hydrated and listen to your body - there's a difference between pushing yourself to the limit and pushing yourself too far. If you actually feel unwell or in pain at any point, stop.

Related post: Thirteen Ways to Squeeze Fitness Into Your Busy Schedule

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