Here are five tips that will help you get the best possible result from your time spent exercising.

1. Come to the gym with your mind “set”.

Everyone who walks through our doors wants some form of physiological change . Whether it is increased muscle mass, weight loss, pain reduction, or simply improved conditioning, everyone has a vision of what they are trying to accomplish. Whatever that vision may be, remind yourself of it every time you walk in the door. Remaining focused on your vision and having your mind “set”, will certainly bring more purpose to your time spent exercising…setting you up for success.

2. Posture is king!

For practically every exercise that is performed, good posture is essential on several levels. First and foremost, training with good posture is the safest way to move. Secondly, moving with good posture sets your muscles and joints up in good alignment, thus challenging them effectively. This will not allow other muscles and joints to overcompensate. The final reason is to challenge your core sufficiently. Having good posture requires that your core be solid while moving through big ranges of motion. That requires a lot of strength and endurance. Here are some postural cues to remember:

  • Keep your shoulders as far away from your ears as possible. They must stay down and back.
  • Keep as much space as possible between the bottom of the rib cage and the top of the hip bones. Don’t let that position change as you move.
  • Maintain your capital “I”.  Ensure that your hips and shoulders move in unison.  If your shoulders rotate to the right, the hips should rotate right as well.  If your hips tip to the left the shoulders should tip to the left.

3. Execute every rep with precision.

Although many of our movements are integrated, total body movements, we often target a specific muscle group. Identifying and focusing on maintaining good posture and moving only at the target joint(s) will help you get the most intensity out of a set. This concept especially applies to loaded resistance training. With loaded training, we are isolating muscles and trying to exhaust them. An example of a loaded resistance exercise would be a bicep curl. The most effective way to perform a bicep curl is to keep your body dead still and use only your bicep to move the weight.

4. Push past your (perceived) limit.

Fitness enthusiasts and non-fitness enthusiasts alike can agree on one thing: working out is uncomfortable. There are a select few who really like the feeling of that burn, but the vast majority of us don’t. The fact of the matter is that pushing through the discomfort consistently is what is going to create the greatest physiological change. You must work hard enough to give your body reason to change. It is truly the last 10 seconds of your set where you need to focus your attention. During that short time span…where all you want to do is quit, think about your goals and how good it will feel to get to realize them. For me, I think about beach season or how athletic I will feel once I can dunk a basketball. Remember…it is only 10 seconds of your life!

5. Get busy with the bands!

Practically everyone that trains at One on One uses a resistance band in their program sooner or later. Begin by developing the excellent posture we discussed earlier. Then, after you have developed good control and can move the bands safely, it is time to start moving them as fast as you can. A good rule of thumb for most of the exercises is to move at 2 reps per second. That is an incredible amount of volume in a short amount of time. Believe me; you will know you did some work!

I understand that you’re probably not training for the Olympics, but making your body perform at a high level every time you walk into the gym will help you get the best possible fitness result. At One on One, helping you achieve that result is our mission. Utilize these tips and help us all be successful!

Ryan Burke NASM-CPT