Ok, so you’ve set your health and fitness goal, whatever this may be, and this is a great first step. However, there are some expectations of you to get the most out of each fitness class or workout session to ensure this goal is achieved effectively.
Food and Water
This sounds very simple, but it really is. No matter how many classes you attend or how good your personal trainer is, if you have not got the right levels of pre and post workout hydration and nutrition then you are limiting your ability to succeed.
To get the best out of your fitness session, around 60 to 90 minutes before you start you must ensure that your pre-workout meal contains carbohydrates in its majority with protein. During this time beforehand your body will be able to digest the food and then be able to use it as fuel to power your session. This is crucial to maximising your performance and motivation levels throughout the class or fitness session and in turn getting the most out of it.
Hydration is also a very important aspect to benefiting from the workout. Being properly hydrated throughout the day, before, during and after your workout as well as on your rest days is integral to achieving your health and fitness goals. Being fully hydrated improves cardiovascular health, helps regulate body temperature, improves muscle and joint integrity, cleanses toxins as well as promoting maximum performance during your workouts.
To ensure you get the most out of your workout and fitness session you may think it’s all about being physically ready. However, having the right mindset transforms your outlook of the upcoming session. Being prepared such as turning up on time, being hydrated and eating well all contribute to being mentally ready for the training session. If your mind is not focused or ready to engage in getting the most out of your workout then you are certainly limiting what you can achieve. Some individuals get ready and tune in to their session by using music via headphones or carrying out self-talk to motivate their behaviour. By becoming mentally, physically, and emotionally engaged you will be able to maximise what you can achieve from each of your sessions.
Fail To Prepare
Ok, so you must have heard this before ‘if you fail to prepare then prepare to fail’. And in terms of maximising the benefits of each workout, this could not be truer. Taking your gym kit to work so you can work out on the way home, preparing your meals, keeping water on you at all times, updating your training plan are examples of small adjustments that you can make to help you prepare for success. These individual adjustments to your weekly routine eliminate the opportunity to skip workouts, eat poorly or not drink enough water. To get the most from your workout session you must be prepared at all times. Having a healthy balanced lifestyle by being prepared is a great way to not only maintain your training regime but helps to develop a strong and positive mindset.
Dress To Impress
As much as I am not sure about how aesthetically pleasing some of the gym gear available on the market is at the moment, I am sure that having the right gear will maximise your benefits from the workout. Having the correct workout attire can really boost your self-confidence and make you more inclined to not only workout but to push through specific workouts. For example, you are making the workout ten times harder on yourself if you are wearing an oversized cotton t-shirt heavy with sweat that pulls down on your shoulders with every movement. The better you feel in your clothes, the more likely you’ll feel positive about the exercise and the harder you will work out. However, it is also important to have the correct supporting shoes, trainers, compression tights, high wicking vests and tops etc. to ensure maximum performance as well as prevent injury.
To gain maximum benefit from your workout, whether it’s in a class or with a personal trainer a further top tip is to buddy up. Finding the right workout partner can be hugely helpful for your developments within a workout environment. You gain the confidence to try new exercises, work harder, run further or lift bigger if you have the right inspiring partner with you. Having a partner with you during the session can really challenge and push you to maximise the benefits of that session. Enlist a friend or family member who will meet you at the class ensuring you attend and will keep you motivated, accountable and always improving.
Warm Up and Down
Again to further maximise your results of specific exercise classes you must warm up prior to the session and cool down following the session. To get the most out of your workout developing this habit is essential. A good personal trainer will take you through a warm up and cool down, however some classes jump straight into the action. It is important to take the extra time to do mobility movements and stretches to wake up and release tension in bundled muscles. Working out with ‘cold’ muscles, joints and tendons will not only increase your chances of injury but will limit the benefits you can receive from each session.