Fitness guru Ashley Borden and Nick Mullin, fitness manager of OrangeTheory Fitness, are two certified professionals when it comes to the world of workouts. They want to share their expertise on how to get the most out of every single sweat session so you're burning optimal calorie counts and seeing fast results! Here are their 8 dos and don'ts of being successful at the gym:
DON'T Overexert Yourself
"If you're going to try to lift something over your head, you need to make sure it's something you actually can lift." says Nick.
If you're trying something new, start with the basics. Don't lift crazy amounts of weights, or push your body to run marathons on the tread, or try to be a yoga master in a beginner's class.
DO Be Honest With Yourself About Lifting
Think you can't handle it? Take a step back and evaluate before giving that dumbbell a try. Lifting a weight that's too heavy will just cause you more pain and strain than giving you a Ronda Rousey-esk result, trust me.
"Take it down to a level you can handle, and add an extra set instead of going heavier." says Nick. "If you’re doing 10 reps of something, reps 8, 9, and 10 should be hard to finish — incredibly hard — but you should still be able to do them in perfect form."
DON'T Forget To Work Your Core
Engage that core in everything you do for killer abs and a toned tummy. Plus, a stronger core makes you less prone to injury and more physically balanced. A strong, sculpted core translates into better, faster fat burning and easier range of motion when you workout. Try a classic plank, which engages your back, abs and glutes all at the same time for a flawless workout that really works!
DO Consult A Trainer
Don't be a hero here. If you are unsure how to use that machine, or have a question about a certain workout, trainers are there to help you out. Always double check on their credentials to make sure that the expert you are speaking with is really an expert. Don't be afraid to talk openly with your trainer if you decide to work with one, and discuss a long term and short term plan that works best for you.
DON'T Forget Major Muscle Groups
"Major muscle groups give you the biggest calorie burn," says Ashley. "So you want to hit a major muscle group first, then finish with a smaller muscle group."
Big muscles include glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and chest. The small muscles include your shoulders, biceps, triceps and calves. After completing a heavy bench press for example, try some tricep band extensions to get the best results.
DO Roll It Out
"Everyone needs to roll out for 10 minutes before every session. And they need to do their whole bodies." Ashley says.
A good roll is as vital to your muscles as a good stretch. Always allot some time to roll it out to prevent injury and pain.
DON'T Forget To Change It Up
Don't get stuck in a routine for too long or your body will get too accustomed to your movements and won't be challenged enough. This can result in a weight loss plateau, or a stagnation of your overall performance and muscle gains. Jump out of your comfort zone once and a while and switch up your workout style. Try swimming, barre class, yoga, running, strength training or even dance!
DO Make It Fun
Like anything in life, you should be having fun with something that you spend a lot of time on. If it's not fun, learn ways to enjoy yourself when you hit the gym or head out for a run. You can do this by setting certain goals and working towards them, get social with your gym buddies or channel your stress and emotions into exercise to help balance your body.
"The main word of working out is 'work' and that's what people don’t want to do. If we called it 'funning out' do you know how many people would be in shape right now?!" says Nick.
What are your thoughts? Share your pro tips for getting the most out of every workout!