We all want to better ourselves in some way, shape, or form, whether it be at work, at school, or at the gym by enhancing and improving our physiques. If you happen to have a vested interest in training and working out, whether looking to get fit, burn fat, build muscle, get stronger, or anything else for that matter, you need to be committed to what you’re doing 100% of the time. Nothing in life worth having comes easy, and so if you’re truly serious about meeting your goals and targets, you need to be willing to put in the hard work. Now, as far as training is concerned, your choices and decisions outside of the gym, as well as inside the gym, will all impact your progress in one way or another. If you’ve decided that now is the time to get serious and are willing to commit yourself to your training and to meeting your goals and targets, here’s a look at four helpful habits you should get into in order to get the most out of your training.
Create a training schedule and stick to it
If you’re serious about getting in shape then you must be serious about your training and your workouts as they are what will get you to where you need to be. It’s simply no good taking a “wait and see” attitude when it comes to your training as that is not beneficial and it simply will not allow you to get the most from your workouts. Rather than going to the gym, whenever you feel like it, and training whatever you feel like on that particular day, instead, draw up a training schedule and stick to it religiously. Your schedule will depend on your goals and targets but if you’re looking to build muscle for example, if you have Monday as your day for training chest, you make sure that you keep Monday free for training your chest. Simply put, you treat your workouts like your job and you don’t skip them or change things up because you’re bored as that is simply not practical and it won’t allow you to make the progress you should be making.
Get your sleeping pattern in check
We mentioned how the choices you make outside of the gym can impact you inside of the gym and this right here is a perfect example. If you’re serious about being productive in the gym, you will need to have energy, you will need to be focused, and you will need to be well rested. For that reason, even if it is your day off, from work, school, or the gym, you should still make sure that you go to bed at a reasonable hour, and get up at a reasonable time. Ideally getting around 8 hours sleep per night. If you spend your night watching cheesy movies on Netflix in bed, not only will your sleeping pattern be erratic, but the next day you’ll feel tired, lethargic, and lacking in energy and motivation, which is the exact opposite of what you need if you’re trying to get in the best shape of your life. Besides which, sleep plays a vital role in post-workout growth and recovery so if you aren’t sleeping right, you aren’t growing right.
Log your workouts
Ask seasoned pros what the most useful piece of kit inside of a gym actually is, and they’ll tell you that it’s a pen and paper, or more specifically, a workout log. A workout log is extremely beneficial as it not only lets you see exactly what workouts you have planned on certain days, but if you refer to previous workouts, you can then track and monitor your progress and hopefully see just how much you’re improving. Say for example, on your previous shoulder session you performed 4 sets of 12 reps with 40lb dumbbells for shoulder press, the next workout you will be looking at either increasing the weight slightly, or beating those previous 12 repetitions. If you hit a plateau, you can refer back to your log and see what, if anything, you did differently. If you used a new machine or trained heavier than usual beforehand, you will see this in writing, and can then rectify the issue to ensure it doesn’t happen again. A training log will take all of the guesswork out of things, making your workouts far more enjoyable and productive as a result.
Prep your meals
To truly get the most out of your training, you need to ensure that your diet and nutrition is on point as perfectly as you possibly can. There’s a saying that goes something like “we don’t grow in the gym, we grow in the kitchen” and that’s pretty much correct, to a point anyways. Building muscle is considered a combination of around 30% training, and 70% nutrition, so if you don’t take your diet and nutrition seriously you simply won’t make any real progress, no matter how hard you happen to be training. Eating clean and healthy does take a bit more effort as there is a lot of prep work associated with fresh and healthy produce. There’s peeling, dicing, slicing, chopping, grilling, boiling, steaming, mixing, washing, and much more to content with, which, after a long day at work and an intense session in the gym, is the last thing you will want to be doing when you get home. By prepping your meals in advance, you save yourself so much time, effort, and work during the week that setting aside a few hours at the weekend is well worth it. Invest in quality Tupperware, grill your meats and fish, steam or boil your veggies, make your stews, stir fries, and sides etc, then place them in your Tupperware and store them in the fridge or freezer and simply reheat them during the week. You can take them to work or school with you, and you can simply pop them into the oven or microwave when you get back from the gym, shower whilst they heat up, and then enjoy them without having to content with mountains of pots and pans to wash as a result.