5 Tips for Improving Workout Performance

Losing weight, getting in shape and building muscle depends on more than just hitting the gym. These simple tips will make your workouts more effective, improve your performance and help you get the body you’ve always wanted.

Eat Before and After Exercising

Too many people believe that working out on an empty stomach will lead to a higher calorie burn. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Just like a car needs gas before moving, the human body needs food to exercise properly. Without any energy, your body will resort to saving energy by going into starvation mode or break down muscle as an energy source. Eat a healthy snack that’s heavy in healthy carbohydrates before working out. Afterward, eat a light meal that’s full of protein to rebuild muscle that was torn during your workout.

Drink Some Coffee

Researchers have found that participants who consumed 200 to 400 milligrams of caffeine one to two hours before exercising experienced less pain during training and increased the rate that they burned fat. Additionally, a recent study from University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that athletes who took a caffeine supplement before exercising were able to increase both the amount of weight they lifted and the number of repetitions before growing tired.

Exercise with Friends

Not only does working out with others increase the likelihood that you will stick to your exercise plan and make it more fun, but it’s also been shown to improve workout performance. Researchers who studied weight lifters found that when lifting their one repetition maximum, weightlifters were able to lift more in front of a group of friends rather than when lifting in front of a single trainer. Scientists believe that because humans are competitive by nature, that working out with others can increase pain tolerance and exercise endurance.

Listen to Music

A study done by researchers at John Moores University found that those who cycled during their workout were able to cycle faster and got more out of their workout when listening to fast-paced music. Other studies have found that listening to upbeat music can increase workout performance by up to 15 percent. Additionally, the same studies also found that music lowers the perception of effort in the brain, helping exercisers to work out harder and faster.

Do Cardiovascular Exercises After Strength Training

Whether seeking to lose a few pounds or build muscle, strength training can help. Strength training not only builds and tones muscle, but it increases the base metabolic rate that food is used for fuel. Doing cardiovascular exercises, such as running or aerobics, before lifting weights has been shown to decrease training effort. Lift weights first to build muscle and then burn extra calories off with cardiovascular exercises for the best performance.

Getting all of the heart-healthy benefits of exercise and achieving the body you’ve always wanted means a consistent routine of exercise and eating healthy. Use these tips to make your workouts more effective and see changes in your body.