January seems to be a popular time of year to hit the gym, for many people New Year’s resolutions mean that for at least one month this year they will give up those lazy weekends and quiet nights after work and try to fit in just one or two hours a few times a week to try and shed some of that extra Christmas weight.
There’s no denying it – the gym needs commitment – and if you aren’t committed to it then there is no point going. But more than commitment, before you start any effective gym workout you need to have a good understanding of what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there.
Just jumping on a treadmill or doing an hour straight on the cross trainer is not the best way to get started, in fact if you do this then chances are you are actually more likely to end up with an injury than a flat waist, but if you are keen to shift those pounds quickly then do your research and when you head to the gym you will know how to make the most out of your workout, and often the limited amount of time that you have.
More is not necessarily better
Although it might be impressive that you can run 10km quickly or that you can spend two hours on the rowing machine, the fact is that if these are the only exercises you ever do you will only ever be training the same part of your body, and while you might end up with amazingly sculpted arms, legs, thighs or various other parts of your body, over time your body will become accustomed to the work out that you are doing and you simply won’t benefit from it as much.
Mixing up your workout will help you to build muscle and build up your cardio at the same time, giving you the perfect mix of both and allowing you to lose fat and build muscle all over your body. It’s also important to ensure that you don’t overwork certain parts of your body at the sacrifice of others . A good rule of thumb is the 48 hour rule where you leave at least 48 hours between weight training sections on each part of your body giving them the time that they need to rest and recover.
If you base your workout on rules of this type then it’s easy to get into a regime which ensures that different parts of your body are being challenged each day and as a result you are getting a total body workout.
Mixing it up will keep you interested
I love listening to music when I run, but even that can come repetitive when you hit the 40 minute mark, so if you are looking to keep enthusiastic about your training sessions then you need to add in a little bit of variety.
Team sports such as Netball, Basketball, Tennis, Football and various others can provide you with a great opportunity to exercise and to keep fit at the same time – and more than that they are a great way to meet new people and encourage each other. So if you do find yourself lacking motivation, get yourself down to your local courts and try something new!