If you've been working hard but feel like you're not getting the most out of your workouts, it could be the things you’re doing outside of the gym. Working out is typically only about 1 hour of your 24 hour day. What you do in the other 23 hours can either help or hurt your training.
This article discusses four easy ways to get more out of your workout and perform at your best.
1. Get More Sleep
Sleep is crucial for both physical and mental performance. Make sure you're getting 8 hours per night to stay sharp during your workouts. Sleep also helps restore your body, functionality, and hormones. Sleep has a profound effect on muscle growth and physical well-being. Do not underestimate the importance of sleep.
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2. Balance Your Macros
Of course, eating right improves all facets of life. However, when you’re working out regularly, you need to be conscious of not only what you put in your body, but the ratios and timing of your macronutrients. Also, unless you’re trying to lose weight, cutting calories shouldn’t be your main focus. Be sure to add smart calories to your day when bulking up.
Eating a balanced diet is important for anyone, but if you're looking to get the most out of your workouts, make sure you're getting enough protein. Protein helps repair muscles and aids in recovery, so you can hit the gym harder next time. Protein can be found in both animal and plant sources. A protein shake makes a great option for a fast, on-the-go solution. Consider protein before and after workouts to prepare and replenish your body.
Carbohydrates are essential nutrients that the body needs in order to function properly. They are the body's main source of energy, and they help to build and repair tissues, regulate blood sugar levels, and produce hormones. Carbohydrates can be found in a variety of foods, including bread, rice, pasta, fruits, and vegetables. Complex carbohydrates (such as those found in whole-grain bread and pasta) are essential because they provide the body with fiber, which helps to regulate digestion. Consider having carbohydrates before your workout to help give you the energy you need to get a good burn.
Fats are a necessary component of our diet, but not all fats are created equal. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, are required for proper body function. They aid in cell development and growth as well as inflammatory and cardiovascular health. In contrast, bad fats, such as saturated and trans fats, can cause weight gain, heart disease, and a variety of other chronic health problems. Getting good fats from fish, nuts, and seeds while restricting your intake of unhealthy fats is essential. Consider taking a daily fish oil supplement if you aren’t already getting enough omega-3s throughout the day from food.
Get started today with our easy-to-use macro calculator to find exactly what your body needs.
3. Stretch Before and After Workouts
One of the most important things you can do for your body is to stretch before and after your workouts. Stretching helps to prevent injuries, increase range of motion, and improve flexibility.
There are many different ways to stretch, and it's important to find a routine that works for you. Some people prefer to do static stretches, where you hold a position for 20-30 seconds. Others prefer dynamic stretches, which involve moving through a range of motion.
Whatever type of stretching you choose, be sure to do it regularly. It's best to stretch for at least 10 minutes before your workout, and again for 10 minutes after. This will help your body recover from your workout and prepare for the next one.
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4. Time Your Protein
Supplement smartly. If you're looking to improve your performance, consider adding supplements to your routine. There are a few different types of protein powders on the market today. Whey, casein, soy, and hemp are all popular choices.
Whey protein is a fast-acting protein that is easily absorbed by the body. It is a great choice for post-workout recovery or for people who are looking to build muscle mass.
Casein protein is a slow-acting protein that is slowly absorbed by the body. This makes it a great choice for people who want to maintain their muscle mass while dieting or during periods of extended exercise.
You should also consider adding creatine to your supplement routine for strength, stamina, and fuller muscles. And use multivitamins to boost your immune system and fill micronutrient gaps.
Next time you’re feeling sluggish or unsure why you aren’t getting the results you want, consider adding the above to your routine and watch your returns get bigger and better.
Not sure where to start? BodyFit has over 100+ programs from industry experts that you can do in a gym or at home with minimal (or no) equipment on our fitness training app. Track your workouts, rest days, and exercises to stay accountable.