Tired of doing the same workouts over and over again? Want to get better results without spending hours in the gym? Then it's time to tweak your exercise routine!
Believe it or not, you can slim down, build lean mass, and improve your health by making small changes to your workout. Simple things, such as eating more protein and swapping cardio for HIIT, can go a long way toward your progress. The key is to be consistent.
Ready to give your workout a makeover? Follow these five easy steps to maximize your gym time:
Fill up on Protein
Exercise and nutrition are equally important. What you eat has a direct impact on your physical performance, body weight, and metabolism. High-protein foods should come first on your list.
The benefits of protein are well-documented. This nutrient promotes fat loss and boosts your metabolism while reducing muscle breakdown. That's why maintaining a high protein intake is particularly important while on diet or during times of intense training.
Furthermore, protein suppresses appetite and curbs sugar cravings. At the same time, it reduces the desire to eat late at night, making it easier to stick to your diet.
Ideally, eat protein at every meal. Chicken or turkey breast, lean meat, eggs, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese are all an excellent choice. Sip on protein shakes before and after exercise to fuel your workouts and recover faster from training.
Swap Steady State Cardio for HIIT
Minute per minute, HIIT is more effective than steady state cardio for fat loss and overall physical performance. Also known as high-intensity interval training, this form of exercise revs up your metabolism and preserves lean mass. Due to its ability to increase maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max), it causes your body to burn calories during and after training.
In clinical trials, subjects who engaged in short HIIT sessions burned up to 30 percent more calories than those using other forms of exercise. Unlike steady state cardio, HIIT doesn't lead to muscle loss, fatigue, or increased appetite. Plus, it stimulates the production of anabolic hormones that regulate your body composition aka muscle-to-fat ratio.
Keep Your Routine Varied
When was the last time you tried something new in the gym? Workout variety can make or break your progress. If you do the same exercises over and over, your body will adapt. This can lead to fitness plateaus and affect your overall performance.
The whole point is to keep your body guessing. Add some variety to your workout by incorporating new exercises, more reps, drop sets, or full body circuits.
For example, if you always do barbell back squats, try front squats, Bulgarian split squats or single leg squats the next time you hit the gym.
Embrace Strength Training
Contrary to popular belief, weight training doesn't make women bulky. In fact, it has the opposite effect. Lifting weights is a surefire way to skyrocket your metabolism and torch fat.
This training method promotes lean muscle growth and enhances your body’s ability to use energy. When combined with a balanced diet, its benefits are even greater. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism and the higher your energy expenditure. Lifting weights will also keep your bones strong, reduce injury risk, and balance your hormone levels.
Focus on Compound Movements
Not all exercises are created equal. For best results, incorporate compound movements into your workout. Start your routine with lunges, squats, bench presses, deadlifts, push-ups, and chin-ups. These exercises engage nearly every muscle in your body, leading to improved physical performance and greater strength.
Compound movements should account for at least 80 percent of your workout routine. They not only stimulate hypertrophy but also boost your metabolic rate and improve body composition. Just make sure you use proper form. Increase the load gradually to prevent injuries.
So, what are you waiting for? Make these changes today! Your workouts will never be the same.