If you’re thinking about building muscle, losing weight, or you just want to improve your overall fitness, joining a fitness class is a step in the right direction to achieving your goal. Regardless of your current fitness level, you are guaranteed to notice some positive results from the workouts, assuming you put in the work and stay committed to the process. But if you really want to maximize the experience, you’ll need to go the extra mile and do certain things differently. Here are 5 incredibly efficient strategies to get the most out of your fitness classes.
1. Pre-workout Nutrition
Eating the right foods before a workout can boost your results tremendously. Optimal nutrient intake will not only give your body energy to power through the class but will also optimize your performance. In general, you want to eat meals high in protein and carbs but low in fat around 3-4 hours before hitting the gym. Carbs supply the body with the glycogen it needs to fuel high-intensity exercises, while proteins assist with muscle growth and recovery. Fat should be avoided because it slows digestion.
Complex carbohydrates such as starchy vegetables and whole grains are preferred since they are a much better source of high energy than refined carbohydrates. This is because they’re digested much slower and provide lasting energy to the body.
2. Lift Weights
While it’s true that doing cardio exercises alone can help you lose weight and build your confidence, this practice is not as effective as it would be if coupled with resistance training.
According to one Harvard School of Public Health study, adults who lifted weights for 20 minutes a day gained less abdominal fat in a span of 12 years compared to those who just relied on cardio.
This goes to show that if you want optimal results in your workouts then strength training is absolutely necessary.
Lifting weights is one form of strength training. If you’re not a fan of weights your fitness instructor can suggest other movements such as burpees and box jumps to help you get the benefits of both strength training and cardio.
3. Turn Off Your Phone
Did you know that texting your family, friends, or co-workers during your workout impedes your progress? According to one study published in the Computers for Human Behavior journal, participants in a 30 min treadmill exercise who texted spent more time in low-intensity zones compared to those who didn’t have their phones with them. This disparity was attributed to the multitasking effect. Try leaving your phone behind or simply turn it off to ensure you get the most out of your fitness classes.
4. Push Yourself
If you want to realize your fitness goals you’re going to have to push yourself. Buddying up with a workout partner can be great motivation and encouragement. A workout partner will help you stay on track, help you monitor your progress, and hold you accountable which will motivate you to work harder.
Too much of a good thing can be counterproductive and that applies to exercise as well. Always devote sufficient time for your body to recuperate and heal from the repetitive mechanical stresses and strains. Adequate rest also allows the muscles to replenish their glycogen stores which will boost your energy and improve your performance the next time you resume your workout.