Updated: Feb 25
You don't workout hoping to not see any results or feel any different. You workout to see the
benefits of actually working out --- to feel more energized, to build strength, lean muscle
mass and endurance, to improve balance, flexibility, functionality and so many other reasons.
The good news is that you don't have to spend hours in the gym to see results (who has the time to do that anyway?!). There are ways to keep your workouts shorter and make them more effective so keep reading to find out some of my favorite ways:
1. CHANGE IT UP. Variety is great— it keeps your body guessing and challenges you in new ways, promoting change and progress! There are many ways to change it up. Here are a few:
Slow down the exercise (more time under tension makes it harder and more effective!)
Do new exercises
Add drop-sets or 1.5 reps for the last set of your exercises
Add instability (use a stability ball, bosu ball, TRX, etc.)
2. CHALLENGE YOURSELF. The last 2-3 reps should be hard! Keep a light grip with your hands and make your body work. If what you’re doing feels easy or isn’t challenging, it’s time to change it up! (Need help? Join our upcoming 4-week virtual challenge for a great way to mix things up -with lots of extra accountability as well ;) - OR reach out and I’d love to design a workout program just for you!)
3. LIMIT REST TIME. Try supersets or circuits. This keeps you moving, which increases the cardio component.
A superset is working two exercises back to back with little to no rest time in between and a circuit style is similar, with more exercises and variety.
I’m a huge fan of these workout styles because you get to rest the muscle you just worked, while still moving and working another muscle— a great way to challenge your body, increase your metabolism and increase the after-burn (the extra calories you burn at rest up to 72 hours after you’re done working out)!
4. FUEL UP. What you eat after your workout is super important! During your workout, you are simply tearing down your muscles. How you fuel your body (what you eat) AFTER your workout is what makes the difference and builds that lean muscle — and when you have more lean muscle, you burn more calories at rest! Aim to have a lean PROTEIN and a CARB within an hour of working out to replenish the glycogen (stored energy within your muscles) and rebuild that lean muscle.
5. BE INTENTIONAL. Know what muscle you’re working and work (squeeze/contract) it on purpose! The same applies to food --- Don't just eat for the sake of eating, know what you are eating (carbs, protein, fats) and choose nutrient-dense foods rather than just eating just to eat. Food is FUEL and your body is a machine --- how you fuel your body will determine how well your body functions!
6. LISTEN TO GOOD MUSIC. Have you ever been listening to music and an upbeat, hype song comes on and you instantly feel energized? Music has that effect! Create an awesome workout playlist and see what a difference it makes in your workout!
(It's always fun to add new music to the workout playlist so I'd love to know what you listen to when you're working out -- comment below to share your songs!)
7. DRINK WATER. I can't stress enough how important hydration is. Your body needs water to function and if you're even slightly dehydrated (just by 2%), your exercise performance declines, your ability to recover is reduced and even your cognitive function and memory are reduced.
SO many of us walk around dehydrated on a daily basis, so strive to drink half of your bodyweight in ounces of water and do the pee test --- if your pee is yellow you need more water! (some vitamins and medications can change the color too, so be mindful of that!)
8. HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY. You've heard the saying, "it takes a village". Well this is true in fitness, too! It's easy to get in a slump, slack off or allow excuses if we're doing it on our own -- but if you have accountability (people who will push you, challenge you, call you out if you're slacking, exercise with you, encourage you, etc.), you are far more likely to stick with it!! Need some extra accountability? Join my accountability group for survivors & supporters on Facebook.
9. PLAN AHEAD. Planning is the key to success. I know It sounds cliché, but it really is! You've probably heard the quote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. This is one of my favorite quotes because it’s so true. Not planning ahead can lead to poor food choices (think of that person you know who gets HANGRY and even they need food… they’ll eat anything, can you relate?!), excuses for missing workouts (like kids schedules, traffic, plans that pop up, being too tired etc.) and lots of extra stress and feeling overwhelmed.
Writing out your daily schedule can take so much stress out of your day and set you up for success. Include every part of your day --- time for rest, work, food prep, gym time, travel time, etc.
I have a great FREE DOWNLOAD that you can use to get you started! Included are daily schedules for every day of the week! Plan out your day in 30 minute segments, list your priorities, plan your meals, your workouts and anything else that comes to mind! just go to www.RiseAboveBreastCancer.org to download your free copy.
Now it's time go go make it count --- whatever you're doing, wherever you're doing it, you now know how to make it more effective! 🦾
With love & strength,