11 Ways to Get Faster Results in the Gym. I Use #9 Every Week.
Do you value your time?
Of course you do. This means you want to make the most of the time you spend working out. Getting faster results in the gym will also give you more time for other things in life – spending time with family and friends, finishing that book you’ve wanted to read, watching cat videos on YouTube, scrolling through your Facebook feed – you know, stuff like that.
Today, I’ll tell you exactly how you can get faster results in the gym, using methods that my clients and I use every week.
Do you have to implement all of these strategies into every workout session? Nope. You can start with one or two things and go from there. Here’s how to do it.
1. Improve your Nutrition
The time you spend in the gym is not nearly as important as the time you spend out of the gym. Let’s say you go to the gym, bust your ass and burn 500 calories. Well, that’s great, but that Starbucks white chocolate mocha you had that morning is 510 calories. Oh and that pint of Ben and Jerry’s chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream? Yea, that’s more than 1,120 calories! I know, life isn’t fair. There are lots of things you can do to improve your nutrition. Start by keeping track of everything you eat. This will keep you accountable and let you see exactly how much you’re eating. MyFitnessPal or LoseIt! are great apps that can help you with this. I also created an online course outlining all the details you’d need to know to improve your nutrition.
2. Lift Weights
Too many people I see at the gym don’t lift any weights and this is a shame. You’ll see more on making your weight lifting more effective below, but I had to include this part. If you haven’t starting lifting weights yet you’re missing out on the most important piece of getting faster results in the gym. With weight lifting you’ll build muscle, elevate your metabolism and burn more body fat. Do it, do it now.
3. Choose More Effective Exercises
Choosing the right exercises will undoubtedly help you get faster results in the gym. Choosing compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges, step ups, presses, pull ups and rows will make your workouts more effective. Sure, you can add things like bicep curls and calf raises to your workouts, but these won’t get you the fastest results. Working major muscle groups with the exercises I first mentioned is the way to go.
4. Increase your workout density.
Your workout density is essentially how much work you’re doing in a certain amount of time. For example, doing 10 sets of 10 reps with 100 pounds on a squat in 30 minutes would be less dense than doing the same workout in 20 minutes. It would also be less dense than doing 12 sets instead of 10 in the same amount of time. To increase your workout density start by timing your workouts. How long does it take you to finish the workout? If you do the same workout in less time you’ve increased the workout density. I increase the density of workouts with my clients by using the following:
- Supersets. For supersets you simply pair two exercises together and do a set of one exercise immediately followed by a set of the other exercise. I like to pair an upper body exercise with a lower body exercise or a push exercise with a pull exercise. By structuring your supersets this way you’ll allow one muscle group to rest while the other group is working.
- Circuits. In the circuits I use with clients I typically choose 4-6 exercises and, like supersets, have clients perform one exercise after the other with little to no rest between exercises, resting at the end. I’ll use a combination of lower body and upper body exercises, often including a core exercise and cardio exercise as well.
- Timing. I’ll give clients 3 – 6 minutes to complete as many rounds of a few exercises as they can. This method of training is tiring no doubt, but effective for getting faster results in the gym.
5. Lift Heavier Weights
Do you lift the same weights every time you’re at the gym? It’s time for a change. Progressive overload, lifting heavier and heavier weights over time, will allow you to build more muscle and by now you should know how valuable muscle is. Try progressing the weights you use each week. For example, if you’re doing sets of 10 reps with 50 pounds for an exercise one week try to use 55 pounds the next week. Small increases to the weight you use with each exercise in the gym will go a long way in helping you get faster results in the gym.
6. Utilize High Intensity Interval Training
One of the most effective training methods, high intensity interval training (HIIT) simply involves alternating a high intensity bout of training with a low intensity bout of training. For example, sprinting for 30 seconds on a treadmill and then resting on the sides for 30 seconds and repeating this 10 times is one way of using HIIT, but it can actually be used in a variety of ways – running hills, cycling, using bodyweight exercises – all of them can be effective. Treadmill sprints at a 10% incline tend to be my go-to method of HIIT and I use these 1-2 days per week.
7. Use Different Training Methods
Yes, lifting weights is key to getting faster results in the gym, but there are different methods are more effective than others. Using a variety of training methods for your strength training can not only get you faster results in the gym, but also keep things interesting for you – important for making sure you are consistently working out. Some different weight lifting methods are:
- 11. Barbell complexes. These involving doing multiple barbell exercises in a row without putting the bar down. For example, doing hang cleans, push presses, front squats, bent over rows and RDLs, 6 reps of each, with no rest between exercises. These are an important part of my workouts.
- AMRAP sets. AMRAP stands for As Many Reps As Possible. Instead of simply doing 10 reps of an exercise try doing as many as you can. Typically I’ll use these sets for the last set of an exercise as a way to fully fatigue a group of muscles.
- Dropsets. These are an effective way of increasing workout density as well. They involve doing one set of an exercise then dropping the weight by 10-20% and doing another set then dropping the weight by another 10-20% again and doing a final set. There are different ways to do dropsets, but they are an effective training method for muscle growth.
- High volume training. Believe it or not, you can do more than 3 sets of 10 reps for an exercise – Mind-blowing, I know. Using a higher volume – more sets and reps – can stimulate more muscle growth. Often times people simply aren’t doing enough volume to elicit change – adding some high volume training sessions can be the solution. A classic example is German Volume Training which involves performing 10 sets of an exercise – a far cry from simply 3.
8. Add a Workout Finisher to your Workouts
In nearly every one of my clients’ workouts we use some type of workout finisher. These are meant to elevate their metabolism and get their hearts pounding with a short amount of extremely high intensity exercise at the end of our workouts. I’ll use a variety of methods and you can read about my top 10 workout finishers for fat loss in a previous post I wrote.
9. Workout with a Friend
From my personal experience, my workouts are always better when I workout with someone else. Three times per week I workout with two of my clients and we tear it up! I can guarantee that without them those workout sessions would not be completed at the same level of intensity. Find a friend to workout with you and you’ll be able to get faster results in the gym – Just don’t choose someone who you’ll talk with non-stop while you’re training 🙂
10. Increase your Training Frequency
To get faster results in the gym you have to actually workout. Well, let’s just say you are already working out, but only twice per week. Want faster results? Increase your training frequency. In other words, workout more times each week. You can even add home workouts to add an extra day or two of exercise without having to actually get to the gym.
11. Get a Trainer
Yup, I had to add this one 🙂 I wrote about the top 10 benefits of hiring a personal trainer before and I believe this is the best way to get faster results in the gym. Getting expert guidance will take the guess work out of training, add accountability and ultimately save you time and make sure you actually get results.