January is here, and we all know what that means. Everyone is back in the gym eagerly working to get started on they're fitness resolutions. This can be a time of new beginnings, new challenges, and also continued growth. But with everyone striving for the same goal, the gym can become the last place we want to be. So here are some tips to maximize your workout efficiency during the winter months.
Tip 1: Add compound exercise to compound your results
Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that involve more than one muscle group when performed. These lifts engage the cardiovascular system just as effectively as running on the treadmill would; while increasing strength, flexibility, and coordination. Examples of this would be the Bench Press, Deadlift, Step-Ups, and Dumbbell Shrugs. I do these workouts at the beginning of my workout since they are usually the most extraneous.
Tip 2: Be Persistent with Resistance
Resistance training is any exercise that causes muscles to contract against external resistance. These workouts are perfect if you want to tone, gain mass, or increase endurance. They are lightweight and portable, and are effective whatever your level. You can get them in latex and fabric, and do both upper and lower body workouts. What I love most amount them is how I can use my own body weight to perform the movement, which is great in a packed gym, or if I'm pressed for time and rather to a home-workout. My favorite exercises to with them are Leg Lifts, and Squats. Try them out, your buns will thank me later.
Tip 3: Do Forget Leg Day
The gluteus maximus is the largest muscle in the body. Therefore working them out is key if you want to change your body proportions. Yet, so many people skip leg day. Training legs increases the bodies range of motion and allows more flexibility and functionality, in and out of the gym. Stronger legs also provides the body with a better foundation when standing or walking. Leg day can be challenging and even the toughest day at the gym for some, but it promotes a healthy mental discipline that will definitely validate and drive you to achieve your fitness goals. Want to really see results? Perform two leg days a week, with two recover days in between. You might hate these at first but you'll definitely won't regret it come short season.
Tip 4: Be Super and Supersets
A superset is a form of strength training where you move quickly between two exercises targeting opposite muscle groups with no rest time. An example would be performing Cable Bicep Curls and Cable Tricep Extensions in succession. The main reasons for supersets are to build muscle, increase endurance, and to save time. This is based in hypertrophy training (muscle-building), and are invaluable for more experiences lifters that want to advance to the next level.
Tip 5: Rewards to the well Rested
A big unawareness in working out and fitness is that your body grows in the gym while engaging in movement. This isn't accurate, the body actually grows during rest. Muscle is repaired during the N3 stage of NREM (Non-Rapid Eye Movement) while you sleep, when the body releases amino acids and Human Growth Hormone (HGH), with the assistance of dietary protein. Blood flow to the muscles increases and tissue growth and repair happens. Be mindful of overtraining when you start to really commit to fitness. And remember that if you experience depression or anxiety during the winter months remember that a comfortable pillow is a wellness weapon. Now lets make gains!