We all know that feeling when you turn up at the gym and you feel exhausted before you've even started. Exhaustion, caused by numerous factors, is the enemy of anybody trying to reach a health and fitness goal. How can you possibly have an effective workout when your body is drained of all energy? The tips in this article are designed to get to the route of your problem and get your body back on track.
1. Rest days
When it comes to fitness, more is better right? Wrong! A fundamental factor in an effective training regime is rest. You can't expect your body to cope with the intense workload you're putting it under without supplying it with adequate rest.
So how many days is enough? The answer to this question is purely subjective. If you're training to shred fat, doing mainly cardio vascular based exercises, then there's no reason you can't hit the gym 4-5 times a week (easier said than done, I know). Very similar principles apply if you're looking to build muscle using moderate weight. However, if your goals are to build strength, using very heavy weights, then you may want to limit yourself to perhaps 3 sessions a week.
The importance of hydration in every day life is pretty obvious, but not everybody understands just how important it is when you exercise. I regularly see people at my local gym working out without bringing a water bottle. Not only can this be dangerous, but it seriously hinders the effectiveness of your workout.
When you sweat, essential nutrients and water are lost from the body. Without these, combatting muscle fatigue can become an impossible task. Many professional athletes consume sports drinks, that are packed with electrolytes, when training. While there are clear benefits of this, at an amateur level drinking water is just fine!
3. Rest between sets
I've already touched upon the importance of rest in this article, but let's get a little more specific. To really get the most of your workouts your rest times need to be specific to your overall goals. There are many different ideas for the time you should rest between sets, but from experience, here is my advice. If you're looking to build muscle/strength then I advise a rest time between 60 and 90 seconds. However for weight loss, you may want to shorten this to around 30-60 seconds max.
4. Be conscious of timing
For most, (not all) fitness goals, sessions that last hours and hours are far less effective than shorter ones. A 40 minute session that is packed full of high intensity training can be much more beneficial than a two hour session that is tackled with minimal enthusiasm! Not only this, but long sessions can become very tedious. Tedium is often a reason that people tend to give up, so you should avoid it at all costs.