How To Increase Your Gym Productivity and Efficiency
Once upon a time a young and aspiring gym enthusiast entered the gym all perked up and ready to go for it was time to start your fitness journey. With their best friend in tow (who had to be coerced to tag along) you say hello to the friendly staff who greet you at reception, hit the changing rooms, get changed and head on out to the gym floor.
You’re ready for this. You’re going to destroy this session because those abs/glutes/pecs won’t tone themselves. You look around and see other gym users in their element with headphones on in their element trying to squeeze out their final rep. It’s time for you and your training buddy to begin.
Soooooooooo………………….. what now??!
“How about we start on the leg press machine over there?” you state.
So you head on over to the machine, sit down on the seat and do a few half-arsed reps. You stop, talk to your friend about something funny that happened at the office today and repeat. You do another half-arsed set, talk some more and then decide:
“Actually you know what. We’ll do some biceps. Yeah! I need to lose this flab that's covering them!"
Again you do a few reps, your friend copies. You talk, you text, take a selfie, and then discuss your dinner plans later in the week. After this your friend turns to you and says:
“Let’s do some cardio. YEAH! We’ll burn the fat right off!” So off to the cross trainers you both go.
For about 10 minutes.
You think to yourself this is kind of boring. We should go and work the core in the matted area. So you both head over to the mats where you proceed to do a few crunches. Some Russian twists. A few glute bridges. And maybe even a plank or two.
You check the clock. Jeez you sure worked hard today and so you hit the changing rooms, get changed and head on out of there after about 35 minutes.
Plan your sessions!
Have you ever experienced this before? Or witnessed it yourself from afar. It’s not hard to miss if you frequent gyms. If this is you then it's time to stop, think and reconsider your training! A lot of you come to me and say that your training is boring or that you don’t feel inspired when you enter the gym. It’s mainly to do with this very reason.
If you actually want to progress in the gym and create some accountability for yourself then create a plan that you will stick to and that will guide you towards your goals. That way you won’t be twiddling your thumbs and walking around the gym looking like a lost child.
If you have no idea how to create a programme, you can follow one of my tailored programmes via my coaching. Otherwise go ahead and steal one from the internet ensuring that you do something that at least resembles your goals.
Don’t hit up Testosterone nation if you are simply looking to get fitter or follow a marathon runners plan if you have no interest improving your long distance performance.
How to track your sessions
We already touched on tracking your body composition in this post. When you are in the gym, make sure you track things like:
You can even report on how you think the set went so you. How you felt on the day and if you were tired or stressed for areas to improve outside of the gym so you can perform better when you are in it. Plan ahead and execute the program!
The trouble with not knowing what you are doing leads to confusion, decision fatigue and more-often-than-not you giving up because of the confusion with what they are doing.
Do you really think the person from the story is going to reach their goals? Will they even bother coming back to the gym? Maybe not. I mean I wouldn't if I felt like I was wasting time! No wonder there is such a big drop-off with people who sign up to the gym, especially the news-years resolution cadets who didn’t plan or set specific goals.
This method will also keep you focused BEFORE you even set foot in the door to train because If you know what you are preparing your body for you then will mentally focus and have an unwavering focus to crush it when you step up the plate. Do this and it’s guaranteed your numbers will go up which means you will be one step closer to your goal.
Hey. You may even stick around the gym long enough to look forward to getting back in there and attempting a PR on a weight or cardio goal. That’s the beauty of recording your sessions. You may be sitting at work and thinking over how you are going to smash it the next time you hit the gym.
“It’s time to squat x weight for y reps. I can do this!”
“I can’t wait to try out this new exercise that is structured in to my programme!”
“I didn’t quite get under 5 minutes on the rower but I know I will tonight!”
The gym has now become a place of continual growth for you. Not just a place to pass the time.
Of course, there are always going to be days when you go to the gym and you do not feel 100% up for it. This is totally normal. You are a human being after all. So what you can do is adapt the session depending on how de-motivated or achy you feel from the previous session.
As an example, say you have carried out a killer leg session on the Monday and are back in on the Wednesday for some scheduled squats and barbell hip-thrusts. Let’s say you ache a bit but could still do some leg exercises. Instead of going for the more intense squats opt for the leg press which will be less taxing on your body. You could also swap out the barbell hip-thrusts for dumbbell Romanian deadlifts or some glute pull-throughs on the cable machine.
If you are severely struggling then skip legs and throw in an ad-hoc ab training session. You are improvising but you still HAVE A PLAN to target a certain area of the body. You still progress!
So please. No more winging-it. Fail to prepare you prepare to fail. Or actually fail to plan then plan to fail.
For more fairy-tale gym tips and advice head on over to Instagram with the username @richardangelofficial or my Facebook page.