Our unofficial slogan is simply “smarter, not harder”—especially when it comes to workouts. Or, to quote Kevin from The Office, why spend time working out in the gym when a little is enough? So, we asked two trainers to provide their top advice on exercising more effectively.
1. Put away your phone
“If you are at the gym for 30 minutes, you won’t maximise your time if you are constantly checking your phone,” warns Kourtney’s personal trainer Amanda Lee. To get the most out of your exercises, put your phone in your bag and maintain concentration.
2. Carry out combined workouts
Compound exercises are any exercises that include several joints, and these exercises will serve as the cornerstone of your workouts, according to Royal Change founder and trainer Sydney Cummings, B.S., NASM CPT. “Stick with squats, deadlifts, rows, planks, and presses if your goals are strength-based. Perform two of those exercises simultaneously, such as a dumbbell front squat and shoulder push or a Romanian deadlift and bent row, if you want to increase the intensity and burn a lot of calories throughout your workout.
3. Manage the speed at which you go
“If you have a limited supply of dumbbells or weights, concentrate on performing your exercises at a regulated pace. The intensity may be increased without using a full set of dumbbells at home or at the gym by slowly lowering in a squat or adding a pause halfway down in a shoulder press, according to Sydney.
4. Give your muscles your full attention
The muscle you are training will become more engaged and you will achieve better results, according to Amanda.
5. Be consistent
Even if you just have 20 minutes to complete a fast home calorie burn circuit, Amanda advises, it still counts and will keep you on target over time.
6. Reduce the amount of time you rest between workouts
“Grouping exercises into supersets or circuits helps you keep your heart rate up and helps you achieve more time under tension simultaneously,” claims Sydney.
7. Separate the muscles
Set out one day for full-body, one day for lower-body, and one day for upper-body workouts if you’re trying to increase strength and can work out three or more days per week, advises Sydney. This will give you ample time between exercises for your muscles to heal, allowing you to get the most out of each one. Isolating muscles on consecutive workout days will result in your inability to work them effectively on the second day and could ultimately lead to injury from improper recovery.”
8. Combine it
Sometimes you just need a different routine—not one that’s harder. Change up your workouts frequently to keep your muscles challenged and avoid plateauing, advises Amanda.
9. Consume a sensible pre-workout snack
For a pre-exercise snack that will help you feel more energised and get the most out of your activity, Amanda recommends nuts, greek yoghurt, or a banana.