If you're like most of us, you don't have a lot of time to workout, but you also understand that working out is an important part of looking good, feeling great and staying healthy. So even if you can't dedicate much time to working out, you can make sure you squeeze the most out of every sweaty second.
Obviously, this means pushing hard during your training, but there are a handful of effective strategies and powerful tools you can use to maximize your workout before you even break a sweat.
You don’t want to drink so much water that it sloshes out your nostrils mid-burpee, but being adequately hydrated for your workout will help you optimize your performance and push harder. The result is more calories crushed and more muscles built.
In fact, a study in Sports Medicine found that being dehydrated will deplete your power by 3%, your strength by 2% and your high-intensity endurance by 10%. This may not seem like a lot, but when it comes to sculpting a lean, powerful body, every bit counts.
How much should you drink? The exact amount will depend on your body weight, but a solid general rule is to drink around 8 oz a half an hour before you exercise and then 16 oz within an hour after. During exercise, have a water bottle ready to sip as you need it.
2) Don’t Eat
We’re not suggesting that you not eat all day if you workout in the evening, but if you workout in the morning, exercise prior to eating. Training in a fasted state in the morning has been shown to help regulate insulin and build more muscle.
Regardless of whether you have a completely empty stomach, it’s a good idea to avoid eating a meal two hours before exercising to prevent painful stomach cramps that can inhibit your ability to smash out your workout.
3) Warm Up
In our haste to begin working out, many of us skip the warm up. Don’t! Warming up properly can increase your performance, your endurance and your mental and physical ability to push harder for longer. You don’t have to dedicate a lot of time to your pre-exercise routine. Try running lightly on the spot, or doing bodyweight squats. As little as 60 seconds is enough time to prep your body and mind for a killer workout.
4) Drink Coffee
Having black coffee prior to exercising can rev up your fat burning engines and increase performance. This is because java will cause your fat cells to be sourced for energy, as opposed to glycogen. What’s more, the hefty hit of caffeine in black coffee will amp up your metabolism and give you an energy burst.
But do make sure it is black. If you are planning to workout in your fasted state, adding sugar, cream or milk to your coffee switches your body out of its fast. Even if you’re not working out fasted, it adds extra (and unnecessary) calories.
5) Drink AVC
You've probably already heard about the miracles of apple cider vinegar. Also known by its acronym of ACV, this powerful product will give your bod a bountiful hit of vitamins and minerals to help fuel your muscles. Drinking ACV will also reduce muscle cramps, and provide you with more energy.
We're not going to lie: ACV isn't going to go down smooth on its own. For optimal results, combine 1 tablespoon of organic, unfiltered ACV with 1 tablespoon of cleansing lemon juice, a pinch of insulin controlling cinnamon and 1 cup of warm water.
That’s it, kids! These five simple strategies will significantly power up your performance and help you score the gains you sweat to get.