The most toned and muscular individuals often spend hours in the gym to achieve their physique. Bodybuilders work out as much as six hours per day, lifting weights and running laps. It’s a great way to get fit, but most people don’t have that kind of time to commit to a workout.
Most people follow the CDC’s recommendation to exercise, 30 to 45 minutes per day, five times per week. When you only have this short window to hit the gym, you want to maximize that time as much as possible. Here are a few things anyone can do to make their workouts more effective.
The workout supplement market has taken off over the past several years, resulting in highly-effective weight loss supplements designed to help you increase muscle mass and decrease fat cells.
Supplements are a way to advance your workout because all you have to do is remember to take them. There are a number of supplements worth trying, including:
Mesomorph Pre Workout: This pre-workout powder contains science-backed ingredients such as beta-alanine, l-citrulline, and creatinol-o-phosphate. It doesn’t use fillers like other workout powders.
Whey Protein: This quickly-digested substance is best consumed post-workout. It’s ideal for muscle recovery. Choose high-quality protein that doesn’t contain sugars and other unhealthy fillers.
Creatine Monohydrate: Your muscles use creatine and phosphocreatine to maintain energy and grow. This supplement, usually in powder form, can be taken to promote recovery.
Lipodrene: If you’re working out for weight loss, Lipodrene is a highly effective supplement. The active ingredient is ephedra, which has been clinically identified as a fat burner.
Fish Oils: Omega-3 fatty acids, a key ingredient in fish oils, have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This is a powerful post-exercise recovery tool.
Let Yourself Recover
Amateur athletes often take inadequate time to recover. Your body needs rest for the muscles to knit back together and strengthen. Most serious exercisers work different muscle groups three times per week, allowing a rest day between each workout, during which they do cardio. If you’re doing heavy weightlifting, you might also consider the occasional break for several days or a week in which you do cardio rather than weightlifting.
What you do immediately after an exercise also helps. Your nutrition is particularly important. Eat nutrient-rich foods high in protein to encourage muscle growth.
“Immediately following a weight-training exercise is when your body utilizes protein at its best,” Leah Kaufman, a nutritionist, told Eat This, Not That. “I always tell my patients to consume at least 10 to 20 grams of protein after a weight-training regimen.”
Getting adequate sleep, hydrating, limiting sugar intake, and getting a massage can also stimulate muscle recovery and maximize your workout.
Do High-Intensity Workouts
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are among the most effective, not only for burning fat but also for increasing muscle mass.
“When you’re in a moderate, low-intensity exercise state—an aerobic state—your body can keep up with the amount of activity it’s being asked to do,” explains ACE- certified trainer Jacque Crockford, C.S.C.S. “But with HIIT, you’re asking more and more and more from your body, and that comes with a lot of extra calories burned.”
In other words, you’ll gain more benefits from your exercise in a shorter time frame. If you’ve never done HIIT workouts before, Crockford recommends easing into it.
“Longer rest periods—maybe 60 or 90 seconds—and shorter work intervals of 30 seconds or less at 70 percent of your effort, versus 100 or 110 percent, is definitely a good place to start,” he says. “You want to slowly work your way toward a higher intensity on the work interval, and changing the rest intervals to be a little shorter is how your body will begin to adapt and become more efficient.”
When you apply these methods of making your workouts more effective, you’ll recognize the benefits almost immediately. Along with faster fat burning and increased muscle mass, you’ll feel better after your short workout.