20 Top Gym Hacks

Here’s a list of our 20 top gym hacks to make your workout's more efficient, effective and rewarding. Follow these and you’ll soon be looking better than ever in your favourite Be An Athlete vest and leggings.

1. Keep workout sessions under an hour

Any longer than this and your body will start producing greater amounts of cortisol, a stress hormone, which can have a wasting effect on your muscles.

2. Do the exercises you hate the most 

If there’s an exercise you hate more than others, such as press-ups or sit-ups, this is probably down to the fact that you find it the most difficult. Prioritise this exercise, improve the muscle set, and before long you’ll love it!

3. Count down your repetitions

This is a more productive way of keeping count. You'll be less likely to stop halfway before reaching your goal as well. When you near the end of a set, by concentrating on how many you have left to do, instead of how many you’ve already done, you'll be more likely to achieve it.

4. Record your measurements

Every four weeks make sure you record the measurements of the areas you want to change. If you’re trying to lose weight around your waist, or gain muscle girth around your bicep, by recording your transformation it will confirm that what you’re doing is working and will inspire you to continue.

5. Exhale at the top of a repetition –

This will not only help your rhythm when exercising, which will in turn help you stay focussed, but the sudden exhalation will also force your muscles to work harder.

6. Don’t exercise when you’re rundown

It is better that your body reserves its energy for healing, as opposed to muscle gain, otherwise you might stay sick for longer. Get better, and then hit the gym hard.

7. Pay in advance

By paying for your gym sessions in advance, as opposed to a 'pay as you go' scheme, you’ll be more likely to attend in order to make the most of the money you've spent.

8. Faster muscle recovery

If you’ve worked a particular muscle set hard one day, instead of resting, give them a lighter workout the next day. This will pump more blood and nutrients into the area and encourage faster recovery.

9. Use your gluttonous for better stability

When lifting weights above your head, tense your bum muscles as this will force your body into a more stable position.

 10. Consistency is the key to success

The odd gym workout isn’t going to achieve any results. You might feel good about it afterwards, but realistically its a waste of time. Instead, structure a regular workout regime. Decide how often you want to go and when you want to go, and then write it out in a detailed plan. This way, you’ll be more likely to stick to it.

11. Cook meals in advance

Cook up a large batch of your workout meal in one go. Following an intense gym, session, the last thing you'll want to do is cook a complicated meal and that's when that kebab house starts to look real tasty. Instead, preprepared meals can be quickly heated up, and you’ll be more likely to stick to your diet.

12. Track your body fat percentage instead of your weight

It’s a far more accurate reading of your progress.

13. Rid your house of unhealthy food

If you have a bag of crisps in the cupboard, it will play on your mind and eventually you’ll eat them and regret it. If it's not in the house, it can't be eaten. For a list of foods you can afford to nibble on during the day, check out our previous blogpost - the top 10 healthy snacks.

14. Permanent Diet 

Don’t start a fad diet with an end date. Chances are the results won’t last. Instead, change your diet to something enduringly healthy and change it for life. A diet shouldn't necessarily mean eating less - it means eating correctly.

15. Reduce chafing

Before you train, rub a deodorant stick across the worst chafing areas, such as the inner thighs, for a more comfortable workout session.

16. Regularly replace trainers 

Do the ‘twist test’ to determine whether your trainers need replacing. Simply hold the shoe at both ends and twist. If it twists easily the sole is worn, and this can result in injury.

17. Add a sprinkling of salt to your trainers

Do this at the beginning of the day as this will help to draw out sweat and odour, and keep your shoes fresh. Needless to say, replace the salt on a daily basis. Another trick is to place some mint leaves beneath your heel.

18. Will it make the boat go faster? 

This was an Olympic strategy, where a rowing team asked themselves the question in relation to every decision they made. Naturally, they ended up winning gold. The concept can be easily adapted – ‘will it make me fitter?’ After a while this will become a natural thought process. Boom.

19. Distract your mind while planking

Position your phone or tablet underneath you, and watch a music video or film trailer while planking. For most people, this will be roughly the right amount of time and will keep you occupied during the workout.

20. Find a fitness partner

This way if you’re feeling down one day, you can rely on your friend to motivate and encourage you, and vice versa. You can also share lifts, advice, recipes, best practices, and you won’t be so tempted to skip a session as you’ll be letting someone else down (as well as yourself!).

The Be An Athlete team have plenty more great fitness tips up our sleeves, but in the meantime, we'd love it if you'd share yours in the comment box below - we promise to give it a go!

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*As with all exercise/fitness/health regimes always consult your physician first


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Be An Athlete is a premium sportswear brand. Through the Be An Athlete blog, we hope to share health and fitness tips, in addition to exploring fashion, lifestyle and popular culture. If you would like to get in contact, please email Ryan@baaclothing.com