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Everyone who undertakes physical training wants to know the best ways to improve the results of their workout activities.
While the internet is awash with information, it is fair to say that much of it is conflicting and not backed up by scientific evidence.
With that in mind, we have identified ten ways you can improve your workout results, regardless of your current fitness level.
1. Limit your workouts
Do not be lured into thinking your workouts should last two or three hours – the ethos of ‘less is more’ undoubtedly holds plenty of resonance where training is concerned.
A 30-40 minute session where you are fully committed will deliver better results than a longer workout at lower intensity.
In simple terms, if you think of workouts in terms of quality rather than quantity, you will see more positive benefits in the long run.
2. Undertake high-intensity interval training
If you are just starting out on a new training regime, it is best to take things slowly to build up your stamina and endurance over a few weeks.
However, once you have established an improved level of fitness, you should be ready to undertake specialised high-intensity interval training (HIIT).
This consists of short bouts of intense work lasting from 10 to 60 seconds, followed by a recovery period of the same length. Repeat this up to 10 times for the best results.
3. Try compound exercises
In the spirit of maximising the overall effectiveness of your workouts, try and steer clear of exercises that isolate just one particular muscle.
While bicep curls can get that area of your body looking ripped, they do virtually nothing for other important muscle groups.
Some great compound exercises that work several muscle groups include squats, deadlifts, lunges, push-ups, rowing and many more.
4. Use pre-workout supplements
Pre-workout supplements have grown massively in popularity in recent years, with numerous scientific studies extolling their virtues.
These are multi-ingredient dietary formulas designed to boost your energy and athletic performance, and are typically consumed 30-60 minutes before working out.
According to site PreWorkout, amino acids, beta-alanine, caffeine and creatine are amongst the most common ingredients found in pre-workouts, each of which deliver tangible performance gains.
5. Eat well & stay hydrated
Do not think of supplements as a magic cure for achieving your fitness goals – they are an additional boost to eating healthily and staying hydrated.
While taking pre-workout supplements can be beneficial to your overall results, it is important to note they should only be used alongside a nutritious diet.
This should contain a balance of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, fish and healthy fats, and you should aim to drink at least 6-8 cups of water per day.
6. Utilise balance exercises
Many workout exercises are performed while you are holding on to something else, sitting down or stabilised in some other way.
It is feasible to adapt many of these exercises so they are done while stood up or balancing on a Swiss exercise ball.
These types of exercises require you to balance yourself while lifting, bringing your core muscles into play and giving you a stronger overall body.
7. Choose your cardio wisely
Let’s be honest here, working out should not be easy if you want the best results. On that basis, it is important to choose cardio activities you enjoy.
If you hate swimming, it would be counter-productive to spend endless hours in the pool each week trying to achieve your fitness goals.
Pick an activity that is fun – maybe racing on the rowing or cycling machines excites you? Whatever it is, if you enjoy the activity you will get more out of it.
8. Mix things up
Variety is the spice of life! That is undoubtedly the case where workouts are concerned, so try and mix things up wherever possible.
If you stick to the same routine for too long, your body will adjust to the stress level and your workout will not be as effective.
Make sure to incorporate different cardio exercises into your routine and mix up your strength training as much as possible.
9. Build recovery into your routine
Advancements in sports science have helped to highlight just how important it is to build sufficient rest and recovery into your workout regime.
Exercise creates tiny tears in the muscles. When you allow time for these to heal, the muscles eventually become bigger and stronger.
The duration of a recovery period depends on factors such as your age and training regime, but resting at least one day per week is generally advisable.
10. Track your VO2 Max
Monitoring your VO2 Max is one of the most critical components in understanding how fit you are and whether your workout activities are working.
VO2 Max is the greatest amount of oxygen that can be used by the entire body. It relates to the ability of the heart and lungs to transport oxygen and body tissues to use it.
By tracking your VO2 Max with a trained exercise physiologist, you will be able to determine just how much impact your workouts are having.
The final word
By piecing all these elements together, you can formulate an overall workout plan that is guaranteed to deliver positive health and fitness benefits.
If you are a newbie to physical activity, spend time building up a core level of fitness before stepping up the training intensity.
The ideal plan afterwards incorporates 2-3 days of high intensity cardio, 2-3 days of high intensity strength training and some rest and recovery time.
Pre-workout supplements can play a significant role in helping you achieve your fitness aims if used in conjunction with a nutritious diet.
Make sure you stay well hydrated and always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding the optimum dosage of each product.
Following these simple tips will significantly improve your workout results and leave you feeling satisfied that your training works!