If you’re headed to the gym, you want it to be worth your time. Especially if you’re just starting out, exercise can be quite tough. You want every second of cardio, each rep, and all those trips to the water fountain to be worth it.
That’s why we’re bringing you today’s blog.
You’ll learn the top things – according to science – that you can do to have an optimal workout. And the good news? You’re not just wasting time on those trips to the water fountain – you’re doing yourself a favor!
Keep reading to find out the reason for that, plus many other workout tips.
1. Lift weights
It would make sense that just hitting the treadmill for an hour would allow you to burn the highest amount of calories and shave off those pounds. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Of course, any cardio is good for you, and you’re not doing yourself a disservice by hitting the treadmill. But doing so may actually slow down your metabolism, making passive weight loss more difficult.
Experts recommend mixing in at least 20 minutes of weight training into your exercise regimen. This is because muscle mass helps to increase your metabolic rate. It’s also why one Harvard School of Public Health study of 10,500 adults found that those who spent 20 minutes a day weight training gained less abdominal fat over the course of 12 years compared to those who spent the same amount of time performing just cardio. 
2. Listen to music
Sure, you’re thinking, listening to some heavy tracks can help me go hard during my workout.
But that’s not what we’re saying today. While that may be true, there’s some interesting research suggesting that you should listen to music at another time in your workout.
A study from the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found that those who listened to slower music following their workout recovered faster than those who didn’t listen to music. 
The researchers say that this is because music boosts the body’s levels of serotonin and dopamine – hormones that are known to support recovery.
So if you want to get your blood pressure and heart rate back to normal more effectively following a workout, switch to some of your favorite relaxing tunes right after your workout.
3. Do a dynamic workout instead of stretching
A study from Austin State University found that people who warmed up with light leg extensions and squats were able to squat with 8.36% more weight during their workout than if they had simply performed a typical “bend and hold” stretch. They also had 22.7% more stability in their lower bodies. 
Dynamic bodyweight movements which mimic the workout you’re about to perform increase blood flow and improve range of motion in the required muscles without putting stress on the elastic properties of your muscles and tendons.
So, for example, if you were gearing up to go for a run, do a 10 minute workout of lunges, knee raises, and leg swings before heading out.
4. Eat carbs beforehand
This is especially important if you’re working out in the morning, as most people hit the gym before eating anything. But if that’s you, this could be compromising your work out.
Research published in Sports Medicine showed that carbs are the body’s primary fuel during high-intensity workouts. As such, if your body is properly fueled, you’ll be able to have a more effective workout. This means burning more calories and gaining more muscles than if you were to work out in a fasted state. 
5. Do intervals
Research has shown that minute per minute, high intensity intervals – meaning bouts of intense exercise mixed with short, mild exercise “breaks” – result in increased cardiovascular and fat-burning benefits than any other workout.
A University of Wisconsin-La Crosse study found that people who performed a 20 minute interval workout with exercises including pushups, burpees, squats, and lunges burned an average of 15 calories per minute. This is twice as many as those who did long runs instead. 
To focus on this calorie, fat-burning approach, perform reps of one of the exercises listed above for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, and then repeat. Do this for four minutes, rest for a minute, and then repeat the entire process four times.
6. Drink water
According to a review from the University of North Carolina, losing just 2% of your body weight in fluids can make your workout feel harder, reduce your exercise performance, and reduce your body’s ability to recover after you leave the gym. What’s unfortunate is that some gym-goers sweat out up to 10% of their weight in fluids, and many people are actually already dehydrated when they show up at the gym.
Drinking water is important all of the time, but it’s especially necessary when you’re working out. Not only will it make the entire process easier for you, but your performance and recovery will be more effective. 
Experts recommend drinking ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of bodyweight per day. If you’re working out, drink plenty of water before, during, and after your exercise period.
7. Use free weights
Weight machines are great to learn form and target certain muscles, especially if you’re just starting out, but you’ll get the most out of your workout if you opt for free weights. So, once you feel comfortable enough, move onto the dumbbells, kettlebells, and barbells for your weight training.
A study from 2014 found that the use of these free weights led to a greater hormonal response when compared to the use of similar exercises, but on weight machines. 
Researchers believe this is because weight training taps into a wider range of muscles. When you’re using free weights, with nothing to guide your motion, you have to rely on all of your synergistic muscles to help.
8. Get a better night’s sleep
You should be aiming for 7-9 hours of sleep every night, but this is especially important if you’re looking for gains in the gym.
Without proper sleep, your muscles can become quickly fatigued or sore, your performance may plateau or even decline, and your recovery time will seem like it takes forever.
A 2015 Sports Medicine review found that poor sleep hinders not only your exercise performance – including the amount of calories you burn – but also your body’s ability to come back stronger after each workout. This is because sleep drives the hormonal shifts that promote the body’s recovery to exercise. 
So, without enough sleep, you may never actually improve in the gym.
9. Get a massage
If you’re looking to gain muscle, what’s important to know is that these gains don’t happen at the gym, but during the time in between the gym. As your muscles recover from your workouts and adapt to exercise, they get fitter. And, as it turns out, a massage can help speed this process along.
Research from McMaster University in Canada has found that a massage influences genes in your muscle cells to decrease inflammation and increase their number of mitochondria, which help power exercise and recovery. 
So, if you’re looking for something else to help encourage your muscles to get fit sooner, incorporating massages into your regimen may make a big difference.
10. Get your B vitamins
If you’re going to be working your muscles, it’s crucial that you ensure they have the proper tools to endure the workout and then properly recover. And the B vitamins are not exception.
Research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism showed that B vitamins like B1, B2, and B6 are necessary in the energy producing pathways of the body, while B9 and B12 are required for the synthesis of new cells and for the repair of damaged cells. 
They found that those with inadequate levels of B vitamins had a decreased ability to perform workouts. And they also noted that current research shows that those who regularly workout require higher levels of B vitamins.
If you’re planning on being active in any way, it’s important that you don’t leave your muscles without the nutrients they need to regenerate and recover. Otherwise, you may actually be doing them a disservice.
This is one of the many reasons why we created our Micelle Liposomal Active B Complex formula. Our all-natural B complex supplement contains all 8 B vitamins, all in a micelle liposomal form, so that you can be confident you’re getting enough.
But that’s not all.
Our formula also contains 9 essential minerals, 4 of which are key electrolytes. If you’re exercising, these are extra important.
Research shows that proper electrolyte supplementation can maintain body function, delay the onset of exercise fatigue, and improve exercise performance, as electrolytes in the body are lost along with body water during exercise. 
If you’re looking to have an efficient workout, why not do it right? These nutrients are the tools your body NEEDS.