Is 2022 the year you’re going to get into the best shape of your life?
If you’re planning to hit the gym and lift some weights, you need to train smarter not harder. Fortunately, there are many things you can do before, during and after your workouts that can help you to improve your energy, efficiency, and strength. Want to know more? Read on for 10 tips to supercharge your workouts in 2022.
Your Workout Doesn’t Start When You Walk into the Gym
If you want to make every workout count, there are a few things you should do even before you hit the gym. Eating the right things at the right time, preparing your body for exercise, and giving your body the best chance to recover will all help to increase your productivity, efficiency and results at the gym.
Tip 1 – Consume slow-digesting carbohydrates before working out
Whether you work out in the morning, at lunchtime or you hit the gym after work, ensure that you eat a portion of slow-digesting carbs such as whole meal bread, oatmeal or sweet potatoes before you train. Athletes who consume whole grains prior to working out experience increased stamina and burn more fat during exercise than those who eat carbohydrates such as white bread or bagels which are digested more quickly. They also burn more fat and have lower insulin levels throughout the rest of the day.
Tip 2 – Take a creatine supplement
Taking 3-5g of creatine every day will not only give you more energy and strength during workouts but it will help to increase your muscle mass. It’s one of the world’s most tested supplements and is touted as the number one supplement for improving performance in the gym. How does it work? Creatine supplements increase the stores of phosphocreatine in your cells, which help your body to produce ATP. ATP is your body’s energy currency, so the more ATP you have, the better you will perform during exercise.
Tip 3 – Take caffeine before you workout
Research shows that taking 200-400g of caffeine around 1-2 hours before you exercise will increase endurance, blunt muscle pain, improve concentration and increase fat burning. The caffeine acts directly on the endothelial cells which help to improve blood flow to the muscles. This result in the ability to do more reps. It’s best to take a caffeine supplement rather than rely on the caffeine contained in coffee and other drinks.
Tip 4 – Get your muscles ready for action
Whether you’re running, lifting weights or taking part in an exercise class, every workout should start with a warm-up. Most experts now agree that instead of static stretching you should warm up with dynamic movement. In addition, many athletes are now incorporating the use of a massage gun into their warm-up routine to waken up the muscles and prepare their bodies for activity.
Make the Most of Your Time in the Gym
Once you hit the gym, don’t just stick to the same workout every time. To see improvement, you need to progress your workouts. Do this by adding a little more weight or by performing a few extra reps.
Tip 5 – Get as close to failure as possible but don’t train to failure on every set
No matter how many sets you choose to do, the last few reps of the last set should be difficult. This means that you should aim to be close to failure on the last two or three reps without losing your form. However, you shouldn’t train to failure on every set. According to research, while training with one set to failure increases strength, taking more than one set to failure will lower strength gains by almost 50%. To increase intensity without increasing weight or reps, consider doing paused reps or 1½ reps.
Tip 6 – Listen to music
Listening to music can help you to complete more reps per set. So make up a playlist of your favourite tracks, put on your headphones and get ready for some personal bests.
Don’t Forget Your Post Workout Routine
What you do after your workout can have a profound effect on your gains and, more importantly, your recovery.
Tip 7 – Finish with a stretch
While we don’t advocate stretching before a workout, stretching out your muscles after exercise will help with recovery and increase your flexibility as it’s far safer to stretch muscles that are already warm and pliable. It will also feel good to stretch out muscles that have worked hard.
Tip 8 – Drink a shake
Research from Baylor University in Waco, TX reported that drinking a protein shake immediately after working out can increase muscle mass. The researchers found that shakes made with whey plus casein increase muscle mass significantly more than shakes made with whey without casein.
Tip 9 – Use a foam roller and/or massage gun
Easing out sore or tight muscles with a foam roller or massage gun can help them to recover more quickly. The REBELTMPRO massage gun uses percussive therapy to reduce the delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS that you sometimes experience after a hard workout. The vibrations (up to 3000 hits per minute) stimulate and increase blood flow to the muscle tissues to help remove toxins and deliver nutrients. Using a massage gun regularly will also help to repair the muscle fibres so that they come back bigger and stronger.
Tip 10 – Take a warm Epsom salt bath
Taking a warm Epsom salt bath after a particularly hard workout will encourage your muscles to relax and the magnesium in the salts will help to draw out toxins. This will speed up your recovery so that your body is ready for your next workout. Working out with sore muscles can lead to injury so taking steps to reduce and alleviate DOMS can help you to keep training without risk.
Follow Our Tips for Supercharged Workouts
It’s not enough to just have a plan for the gym; if you want to make the most of your workouts, you need to have a plan for outside the gym too. Ensuring that you have adequate nutrition to fuel your workouts, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and treating your body with respect are vital to be able to train well consistently. With all of that info, are you ready to supercharge your workouts in 2022?