1. Have a purpose for each workout that moves you toward your goals. At Granite State Kettlebells, we’re trying to make sure everyone loses fat, gets stronger/builds lean muscle, and feels good. This is why our workouts have either a strength development or conditioning development purpose, after all you can’t ride 2 horses with one butt. When you focus on one goal at a time in a workout you will get more out of that workout. It’s been said that it always costs you something to workout, but you don’t always get something of equal value. You want to make sure every workout you do builds you up not beats you up.
2. Get on a foam roller. There’s lots of ways to start your workout and warm up, but one of my favorite and most helpful pieces of equipment is the foam roller. Using the roller before your workout is like getting a massage to work out the kinks and knots before you get started. It also feels pretty good after a training session! For a pretty cool article on foam rolling go to https://www.t-nation.com/training/feel-better-for-10-bucks.
3. If it’s time to lift heavy….then lift heavy. If you’re trying to get stronger then you’ve got to ask your muscles and nervous system to move enough weight for enough time that your body needs to make some adaptations to make it so when you try to move a big weight again it’s ready. The simplest way to get stronger is to use multi-joint compound exercises (pressing, hinging, squatting) with rep ranges from 3-8 reps. Make sure that you’re using your ‘rep-max’, meaning if you’re going to do back squats for 5 reps then you need to use a weight that you can do 5 reps but not 6. If you’re trying to get strong but won’t go past the pink 5 pound dumbbells, then you’re wasting your time.
4. Use proper technique. This one seems like a no-brainer, but, I’m sure you’ve seen a million and one of those “Fitness/Workout Fail” videos. If you know that a particular exercise is good for you, but you don’t know how to do it, then it may be good, but it won’t be good for YOU. You might get hurt and then you can’t do anything.
5. Workout with another human or even a few. When I was researching how I wanted to build Granite State Kettlebells, I went all over New England talking to gym owners and working out with them to find out how their training sessions went and what I might glean from them. The main thing I found was that working out with a group of people was way more fun (even when the workout was really hard) and I would push myself a little harder. One day, between seeking out other gyms, I went to a big box gym because I wanted to squat and I didn’t have a squat rack at home. So I went into this gym, there were at least 40 other people there, and I felt really alone. I realized then that training alone is, for most folks I believe, one of the main reasons people can’t stick to a workout plan or resolution. So get in the gym with someone!