Exercise is key to staying fit and healthy. Between staying motivated, finding time, pushing your limits, and riding out fitness recovery periods, it’s not an easy task.
Use these 7 workout hacks and get more out of your workout.
1. Keep Track of Goals & Progress
Just like anything in life, getting a better workout requires a solid strategy. If you’re working out, there are distinct reasons: whether it is for health, fitness, or competition. Know what it is you want to achieve with your workout in the long run and plan short term goals accordingly. Workout tracking apps like Gymwolf help you measure your progress over a period of time. Setting goals is crucial when designing a workout regiment. They give you something to work toward, a scale for tracking progress, and a framework to choose which exercises to do.
Just as important as setting goals, writing down your goals makes a world of difference. By writing it down, you can make it measurable, tangible even. Set a time frame to reach checkpoints, and create a reminder system. Write down your goals with specific checkpoints and dates. This trick will keep you on top of your workout and motivated to the finish line.
2. Start & End with Stretches
Stretching is just as important as your work out. It warms up your muscles at the start of a workout, and prevents pulled muscles. Stretches also let you get more out of your workout because it loosens you up while stimulating blood flow to your muscles.
Stretching at the end of workout helps prevent cramping, soreness, and muscle fatigue. This cool down essentially pumps oxygen and nutrients to your muscles for repairing. That means stretching at the end of your workout can ensure that you can keep going the next day. Dynamic stretches are ideal for increasing blood flow. Start and end each workout with some jumping jacks, lunges, or high knees.
4 Reasons You Need to Be Stretching:
- It can prevent minor or severe injuries
- It improves muscle coordination and balance
- It increases circulation of blood in your body
- It releases the same “feel-good” endorphins as a workout
When you stretch, be sure you’re targeting all your muscles, maintaining proper posture, and using dynamic moves.
3. Stay Hydrated
Everyone knows that dehydration is not compatible with a workout. Dehydration can cause fatigue, light-headedness, and headaches — among many other things. Your muscle tissues are roughly 75% water. Muscle fatigue and muscle cramps are common symptoms of dehydration.
“At 2% dehydration, your performance is reduced by 10–20%”—BodyBuilding.com
Preventing muscle fatigue is more than just drinking water. You need to drink electrolytes too, but not sugary Gatorade. Drink plenty of water before your workout, during your workout, and after your workout. One step more, add fresh lemon or lime juice to your water. The more pulp the better. These citrus fruits are packed with electrolytes.
Another trick is adding salt to your water. Don’t make salt water though. Just a tiny pinch of salt in your water will add electrolytes and keep your cells hydrated. Using pink Himalayan salt is preferable due to the amount minerals it contains. Not everyone has enough salt in their body, especially when they sweat a lot. That’s why adding some to your water is the perfect hack to staying hydrated throughout your workout.
4. Healthy Competition
Exercising in a group, or even with a partner, boosts motivation and adds a little competition. You’ll feel more accountable with someone else depending on you, but you’re also going to feel more of a drive to perform.
Whether or not you’re competitive by nature, no one wants to be severely outperformed. Known as the “Köhler Effect,” it refers to the fact that no one wants to be the “weakest link” in a group so you put more effort in than you would otherwise. It’s kind of like getting picked last in gym class. So to avoid social humiliation, you may find yourself doing 50 squats with a partner instead of your typical 30.
5. The Right Protein & Fuel
Nutrient-rich meals are absolutely necessary to fuel your body before a workout as well as to refuel your body post-workout. Most workout routines involve a protein supplement, but how many take time to research their protein? No sweat – here’s what you’re missing.
The only protein shown to be a complete protein, easy to digest, packed full of healthy fats, and PH balancing is hemp protein. That’s right, hemp. No THC in this good stuff though. It’s made from the seeds of hemp plants and is fantastic for you. There’s no bloating or intestinal discomfort like you could get with conventional whey protein. Plus, it has essential Omega’s, vitamins, minerals, fiber, enzymes, and antioxidants. With all of your amino acids and other nutrients, hemp protein is a no-brainer workout hack.
Eating before a workout can prevent extreme fatigue during and after the workout. But you need to be eating the right meals.
Before a workout, you don’t want to eat food that is going to be hard to digest. Apply food-combining principles so your meal won’t disrupt your workout. Fruits are a great fuel for a workout because they’ll energize and hydrate you. Bananas are particularly good because the potassium promotes healthy muscle function and prevents muscle fatigue. Try getting only fruit before you exercise so it’s easy to digest, but fuels you up.
What you eat after a workout is just as important as what you eat before. However, unlike most sources, avoid combining protein with carbohydrates like chicken and rice. Stick with good food combining so your muscles can recuperate easily. Enjoy a hemp shake, or some yogurt after exercising for a quick refuel. Small, easy to digest protein meals give you energy without blood sugar spikes. Healthy fats are another great choice, like avocados, for an energy boost. To get the results, try eating within 30–60 minutes after exercising.
6. Replenish with OptiMind
Not only do supplements provide important vitamins, but some boost your performance during a workout. Nootropics, like OptiMind, are used as a pre-workout because of their premium ingredients that help individuals to increase energy, focus, and motivation. OptiMind is THE workout hack because of its nutrient content, which is formulated to help you harness energy and focus throughout your day.
OptiMind contains caffeine, amino acids, and more which make it the perfect addition to anyone’s workout. Try OptiMind for free to see if it’s the right supplement for improving your workout.
“The first time I worked out [with OptiMind], I was focused, I got done everything that I needed to, and thought that maybe I was just in the zone. Then I kept taking it and having similar results everyday. It’s not like anything I’ve taken before.”—Pat Henigan, physical trainer and owner of Recovery Fitness. †
You know how the Shaolin monks micro-fracture their bones to make them stronger? They can do that because they give their bones time to heal. Just like with bones, your muscles strengthen by breaking them apart. You need to let them heal properly in order to become more strong. Schedule at least one day a week where you don’t workout. Make time for restorative practices such as yoga, massage or acupuncture. Your body will thank you.
Be a boss when it comes to your workout and stay on top of it. Use these 7 hacks to maximize your workout. You’ll get more out of your workout, feel stronger, and achieve your goals.
†These are real reviews from real people. These are not our claims, this is what real people think about OptiMind.