There is a person in every gym who seems to be there all the time but their body never changes. We’ve all seen this person, day after day doing the same exercises all the while expecting new results. Perhaps this person is you. While a lot of people realize they need to head to the gym to get into great shape they often have little idea what to do once they get there. Whether you are looking to lose weight, put on muscle, or just get in overall better shape there are a few key fundamentals to taking care of business in the gym.
Go in With a Plan
No matter your goals you need to have researched the best way to achieve them. If you want to get stronger then lifting heavier weights is in order. Those looking to improve their cardiovascular health will need to hop on the treadmill. Gym goers should not only understand the types of exercises they need to do but they should have goals for each individual session. By having a certain weight or time to strive for you can stay focused on the task at hand.
It can be difficult to stay on task when in the gym. Running for long times on the treadmill can be boring and while lifting weights is fun it’s easy to get caught up in a conversation with another lifter. It is imperative to stay on track and keep grinding out the minutes on the bike or the reps on the bench. An MP3 player and a set of headphones will do wonders for you concentration. These devices have the added benefit of keeping chatty members at bay. Try downloading motivational podcasts or upbeat music to help you stay positive and focused throughout your time in the gym.
Chart Your Progress
This is an extremely important yet often overlooked part of exercise. Dieters are fast to hop on the scale every morning yet they fail at keeping track of their performances in the gym. A simple spreadsheet or notebook is all it takes to chart successes and failures. Those doing cardio should list the exercise, time, and mileage logged. Weightlifters will need to note the type of exercise as well as the number of sets and repetitions completed.
You can also make other notes like how you felt during the exercise. You might notice you are still running three miles in 25 minutes but it has not become any easier than just a month ago. Lifters might find their three sets of ten reps on the bench press now feels like a warm-up. Instead of wasting time doing the exact same exercise time and again we should be begin pushing ourselves harder.
Strive For Progression
Progression is important when in the gym. If six months after starting you are running the same distance at the same speed you have not truly improved your physical health. You should always attempt to go above and beyond your results the last time you were in the gym. For those who enjoy running, try to cover the same distance in a faster time or a further distance in the same time. Weightlifters should either increase the weight lifted or total number of sets and repetitions. This is commonly referred to as “linear progression” and should be a staple of any workout program.
It is important to not just go to the gym but to go there with a purpose. Too many people are just happy with getting to the gym they forget the real work is still to be done. By setting goals and doing your best to exceed them you will be on your way to getting into the best shape of your life.