Eat, train, sleep, rinse and repeat. This might be the recipe for long-term fitness success, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have some fun in the process. After all, fitness is a journey, not a destination, and there are plenty of ways you can make your journey more interesting, get shredded and have fun, and make it infinitely more rewarding if you learn some tricks along the way.
The fitness hacks we’ll be going over today are not the fads you’ll regularly see circling around the web that promise fast results without asking for any amount of real effort on your side. No, these are the hacks that the fitness pros use consistently over time in order to burn fat more efficiently, increase muscle mass, improve stamina, and lead healthier lives in general while staying safe during exercise. Here are the ten hacks you need to implement right away.
Take advantage of discount classes
First of all, nobody ever said that you need to stick to your same old boring gym routine for eons in order to achieve your goals. There are many ways you can stay fit over the years, and even take your fitness game to the next level without doing the same old thing day in and day out – you simply need to break the shackles of your established exercise regimen.
The easiest way to do this, and save some money in the process, is to take advantage of your gym’s special deals and discount classes. Don’t be afraid to venture into a group weightlifting class, or a spin class, or whatever group-based activity your gym has on offer. You will shock your system with a new and challenging workout, which will help you stay passionate about fitness in the long run, among other things.
Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time
A sculpted physique is built in the gym, but it is perfected in the kitchen. While it would be presumptuous to split fitness into 20% what you do in the gym and 80% what you do in the kitchen, it’s still important to note that your fitness level and overall performance will be greatly determined by what you put in your body. After all, there is no better way to lose weight efficiently than to optimize your nutrition. One of the hacks the pros use is to calculate their macronutrient needs, and stick to the IIFYM principle in order to eat basically whatever they want so long as it fits their macronutrient requirements for the day.
Sport the right fitness gear for every occasion
One of the most effective hacks that can make all the difference for your performance and well-being in training is to wear the right gym clothes for every occasion. You might think that a plain old T-shirt along with a beaten-up sweatshirt might be adequate training apparel, but there is a reason why professional athletes choose athletic clothing instead – its highly functional.
For example, athletes are nowadays using heat-preserving puffer jackets when training in the great outdoors in order to stay light while retaining the necessary body temperature to maximize performance. Whether you’re training indoors or outside, you need to wear the proper athletic clothing to boost blood flow, and keep your body warm without retaining moisture. You can only achieve this with appropriate clothing, which a cotton T-shirt and a pair of old sweatpants certainly are not.
Don’t skip your pre-workout meal
When in doubt, carb up! Your body utilizes carbohydrates to generate ATP, or energy in simple terms, which in turn drives your performance in training. So why would you ever skip a pre-workout meal if you knew that it could help you get bigger arms or run the extra mile? Load up on quality carbohydrates an hour and a half before exercise to enjoy sustained energy production during training.
Replace water with a carb drink
Speaking of carbohydrates, they should also be a part of your intra-workout routine. This simply means that you can replace regular water with your own mixture of honey and lemon water, for instance, or even a quality carb drink from the store – just make sure the sugar levels are not too high. This will give you that much-needed energy boost during training to help you perform better.
Use technology to boost your results
Technology has become an inextricable part of our everyday life, so it’s no surprise that top athletes are using it to improve performance and reach their fitness goals faster. They achieve this by using fitness tracking apps to monitor their daily caloric expenditure and optimize their nutrition, as well as their exercise intensity in order to optimize their workouts. And so should you.
Ease into a new workout plan
If you think that experienced athletes are able to jump into a new workout split just because they have years of training under their belts, you’re dead wrong. If anything, experienced athletes know that they need to take a cautious and calculated approach to every new training regimen.
You need to ease into a new workout plan in order to allow your body to adapt, recover from the initial impact, and come back stronger than before. This will also allow you to retain a positive mindset and fall in love with the new routine while building the physique you deserve.
Create your ideal workout playlist
Music is an important part of working out, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise. Just imagine trying to perform a deadlift PR while John Legend is crying over his piano in the background – your chances would be slim at best. With that in mind, be sure to fill up your ears with sounds that never fail to move your body and rock your soul, sounds that never fail to rev up the adrenaline in your veins and turn you into a beast.
Keep your gym bag with you at all times
Another interesting hack is that you should always keep your gym back close at hand. By knowing that your gym bag is in the trunk of your car, you will have no excuse for skipping an evening gym session after work. It’s effective, it’s simple, so try it out.
Specialize in a sport for a while
And finally, experienced athletes understand that they cannot be good at everything. Sure, you could train several different sports at the same time, such as martial arts coupled with lifting weights and maybe some basketball at the end of the week, but that’s no way to become proficient at any of those sports. If you want to reach a specific goal, you need to specialize in a sport, at least for a while.
There are fads and trends, and then there are fitness and nutrition hacks that work. Use these hacks to optimize your time in and out of the gym, and make your fitness journey that much more fulfilling and rewarding in the long run.