How to Make Each Workout Your Best

Summer is right around the corner, and if you’re like me the last few weeks have been a rough awakening. While I believe that every body is beautiful and unique (how many times have we heard this?!), there are many ways to shape, tone, and produce the most healthy form your own body can be! And the truth of the matter is that we’re about one month away from the long afternoons laying poolside. As we creep closer and closer to the best season of the year, I’m sure there are still many who are struggling to obtain that “summer body”. So I’ve put together the key to make each workout your best work out. Cue the hype music!

 

Stretching/Warming Up/Cooling Down

Stretching is a vital part to keeping our body in tact so that we can continue to exercise for many years to come. Stretching loosens our body tissues, muscles, ligaments, and so much more.  Failure to stretch before and after and workout can result in some devastating injuries.

Warming up is actually a very important step. You don’t just want to start off at a dead sprint on a treadmill, nor do you want to squat the heaviest amount of weight right off the bat. To warm up, start out walking on a treadmill and increasing speed slowly for five to seven minutes. When squatting or doing other weights, start off with a weight that you can easily handle, just to get your legs acclimated to the weighted movement before putting all the pressure on them.

Cooling down is just as important as warming up. Have you ever gotten off the treadmill, and it felt weird to walk? That is because you didn't do a proper cool down. Cool down in a similar way to how you warm up.

Working Out in Sets

Sets are the lifeblood of working out. When I first became active, I would never work out in sets. I would do ten bicep curls or ten push-ups instead of working one muscle repeatedly. However, I found after watching many youtube fitness channels that sets are important. Doing a set of any number, followed by another of heavier weight, and another of even heavier weight has a huge effect.

I like to personally work out in sets of three. I like to have two sets to ten, then finish up the third with a “burn out”. A “burn out” is working a muscle group until the point that you can no longer do it. So for example, 3 sets of 10 pushups (one of my least favorite).  Try to do two sets of pushups followed by a set of how many you can do without stopping.

Set Goals That Keep You Motivated

One of the biggest problems with gym motivation is that people tend to set goals that are hard to achieve. If you set a goal to do something that is super far off from what you are or can do now, then the odds are you are not going to remain motivated.

Setting goals like this is not as hard as it may seem. Set goals that will be difficult to complete, but can be accomplished in two weeks or even a month. Setting goals that you can achieve in a short amount of time will keep you motivated to continuously put your body through pain so you can have gains at the gym.

Treat Your Body Right

Workouts do not end at the gym. In fact the easiest part of a workout is the gym. The most difficult part is treating your body correctly. This means getting your body the correct amount of nutrients that it needs to be able to heal itself from the gym. An easy way to do this is balancing your protein, carbohydrate, and fat intake.

That sounds pretty easy right? Wrong. The hardest thing everyone who wants to get the “summer body” will face is eating properly. Weight loss happens in the kitchen and eating healthy is super important to your workout routine.

Getting enough sleep at night is also a important thing. Getting anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep is super important to your health and for achieving the best workout.

Be Patient

Like I said, it's important to realize that your body is yours for a reason- it's unique to you! How you get the best workout may be different than the personal trainer you see on TV, and the foods that best fuel your body won't be the same as the nutritionist on YouTube. Be patient with yourself and your results, because summer is three months after all! Take it day by day, and enjoy the sunshine.