Get More Out of the Gym

Even if you love to work out, you don’t necessarily want to spend hours and hours at the gym. You want to get in, work out, and get on with your day. Unfortunately, we aren’t always as efficient as we could be. As a result, we are not burning as many calories as we could. Here are five simple ways to up your calorie burn and get more from every workout.

  • Don’t just stand there. So your favorite machine is taken. Instead of just waiting, exercise (crunches, burpees, planks, push-ups, wall squats, jumping jacks). Resting five or more minutes between sets can negatively impact your overall workout.You came to the gym to move so move!
  • Put down the remote. Many cardio machines have TVs, which can be a distraction. If you spend the first 10 minutes of a workout surfing for the best program, you’re wasting valuable time.
  • Beware the fat-burning zone. Most cardio machines have a cardio and a fat-burning zone, but working only in the fat-burning zone doesn’t necessarily mean you will burn more calories or fat. When you work out at the lower intensity fat-burning zone, you are burning fewer overall calories. Try adding intervals (2 minutes in the cardio zone and 3 minutes in the fat zone) to increase your overall calorie burn.
  • Don’t class and dash. There is a cool-down at the end of every group fitness class for a reason. You need that time to bring your heart rate down and to stretch your muscles to prevent injury so you can give it all you’ve got during your next workout.
  • Lose your momentum. When you are strength training, you want to use the muscle to move you not your momentum. Every exercise has a concentric (contracting) and eccentric (stretching) phase. If you are using momentum to get through the exercise, you are sacrificing your results and increasing your risk of injury. Each exercise should have a two-second concentric movement and a four-second eccentric movement for optimal results.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be an exhaustive examination of the subject matter nor a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your primary care physician or healthcare provider before beginning any diet or exercise program.

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